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Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:29 PM

 

Atheism 101 Class Exercise!

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by Le Taz Hot (a host of the General Discussion forum).

I figure "really big news" is a rather subjective matter on which reasonable persons might differ. So, I am posting this from my perspective and will let the DU powers that be decide whether or not for DU General Discussion purposes it qualifies for posting here.

I think it is really big news when someone like Vic Stenger, reputed to be the heir to the 4th horse of the New Atheist movement left vacant by the departure of Christopher Hitchens, refuses to answer simple, fundamental questions regarding his beliefs relevant to atheism.

In recent days Vic Stenger has refused to answer a few simple questions regarding the fundamentals of atheism. In more recent, subsequent discussions with others, I have developed a class exercise for those interested in the affirmative, unsubstantiated beliefs of atheists and such beliefs as is implied by atheism in the context of a simple, critical thinking exercise.

The exercise contains an argument and six simple questions with discussions to follow according to the time, talent and interest of the participants. Nothing really all that controversial. No traps. Just a simple critical thinking exercise with emphasis on fundamental, unsubstantiated, affirmations of atheists/atheism.

Here's the argument with the six questions (steps) following, including my position as to each question:

MAJOR PREMISE:

> IF (A) man was able to originate the
> idea/concept of God through the power
> of imagination, as opposed to reason
> and/or revelation,
>
> THEN (B) man did originate the
> idea/concept of God through the power
> of imagination.

MINOR PREMISE:

> (A) Man was able to originate the
> idea/concept of God through the power
> of imagination, as opposed to reason
> and/or revelation.

CONCLUSION:

> (B) Man did originate the idea/concept
> of God through the power of imagination.

Step #1:

Do you believe the argument is so constructed that
if its premises are true its conclusion will follow
as true therefrom (i.e., that it is logically valid)?

I do.

Step #2:

Do you believe that atheism implies the truth of the
conclusion and that atheists implicitly and/or
explicitly believe the conclusion to be true?

I do.

Step #3:

Do you believe that atheism implies the truth of the
minor premise and that atheists implicitly and/or
explicitly believe the minor premise to be true?

I do.

Step #4:

Do you believe that you can take the minor premise
and conclusion of a logically valid modus ponens
argument and construct the major premise therefrom?

I do.

Step #5:

Do you believe that the major premise of the above
argument is properly inferred and properly constructed
from the minor premise and conclusion of the argument?

I do.

Step #6:

Do you believe that atheism implies that the major
premise is true and that atheists implicitly and/or
explicitly believe the major premise to be true?

I do.

I will be posting this invitation for those interested to complete the exercise at my place in conjunction with this posting to the DU and preserve any participation here at my place as well.

For those so inclined, you can participate at my place directly. Here's the link to get over there:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/

These issues are related to the issues taken up by Robert Owen and Alexander Campbell back in 1829 and by Dr. Dziubla and me back in 2011. Here are links to those debates:

http://www.biblesupport.com/e-sword-downloads/file/7060-campbell-alexanderowen-richard-debate-on-evidences-of-christianity/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/24058

Sincerely,
Robert Baty

Reference:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=about&forum=1002

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Atheism 101 Class Exercise! (Original post)
RLBaty Nov 2012 OP
wrath of medusa Nov 2012 #1
Viking12 Nov 2012 #4
Viking12 Nov 2012 #2
RLBaty Nov 2012 #7
Viking12 Nov 2012 #9
RLBaty Nov 2012 #10
Viking12 Nov 2012 #13
csziggy Nov 2012 #3
defacto7 Nov 2012 #6
wrath of medusa Nov 2012 #11
defacto7 Nov 2012 #5
RLBaty Nov 2012 #8
wrath of medusa Nov 2012 #14
Zoeisright Nov 2012 #12
RLBaty Nov 2012 #15
wrath of medusa Nov 2012 #16
RLBaty Nov 2012 #18
wrath of medusa Nov 2012 #20
OriginalGeek Nov 2012 #17
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Nov 2012 #19
Le Taz Hot Nov 2012 #21

Response to RLBaty (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:38 PM

1. Um

I don't believe in gods because there is zero evidence such beings exist. It's the same rationale for denying the existence of ghosts or Santa or magical fairies at the bottom of wells. Why non-belief needs a movement is beyond me. Education is the cure for mass delusion, not politics.

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Response to wrath of medusa (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:44 PM

4. At least you didn't dis Bigfoot

A fine post. Welcome to DU.

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Response to RLBaty (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:42 PM

2. you broke your syllogism

circular logic, your conclusion is the same as your major premise. not much different in structure than The Bible is the Word of God> because god says so in the Bible.

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Response to Viking12 (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:49 PM

7. Viking12's demonstration!

 


Viking12 provides a demonstration as to why so many of us can profit from simple, critical thinking exercises such as I have proposed.

Maybe he will work through the six steps; maybe not.

His fundamental error, failing, is proposing that the conclusion is the same as the major premise.

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Response to RLBaty (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:53 PM

9. I was trying to be polite.

I wouldn't accept this crap from a first week freshman...maybe you should re-read your post, dumbass.

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Response to RLBaty (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:55 PM

10. So, try again; be polite and work through the simple exercise, Viking12

 


I have found that most folks spend a lot more time and effort trying to change the subject than it would take to answer those six simple questions about what they "believe".

I understand the politics of such evasions.

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Response to RLBaty (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:04 AM

13. No, you don't understand anything.

Just because you think you've made some startling revelation doesn't make it so. It makes no sense logically. Your syllogism fails at every level. Your nutball explanation that similarly tries to circularly justify your goofy argument fails even worse. I tried to be polite because I remember what it was like to be stoned and 18. Then I grew up and got an advanced education and learned how to construct and analyze arguments.

As others have pointed out atheism has nothing to do with 'belief' -- it is the default logical position in the absence of evidence.

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Response to RLBaty (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:43 PM

3. It's stuff like this why I'm not an atheist

You guys are too serious and spend too much time on it.

If I were to be a member of any group about beliefs or lack of, I'd join the The Church of the Apathetic Agnostic http://uctaa.net/ Mostly I like their motto: "We don't know and we don't care."

I'm glad there are deep thinkers who take the time to consider the serious aspects of non-belief. I'm just not one of them.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:49 PM

6. he/she is not an atheist.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:58 PM

11. I share much the same view

Whether magical superbeings exist is irrelevant to my life. What is relevant, however, is that the religious fanatics want their fantasies taught as facts in public schools. Under no circumstances can that be allowed. The very survival of our Union depends upon it. Science and technology is our only hope of further prosperity both as a nation and as a species, and unfortunately, anti-science sentiment is burning brightly in many parts of our country.

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Response to RLBaty (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:45 PM

5. Your entire post died an ignorant death

the moment you wrote "beliefs of atheists".

Illogical.

end of argument.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:51 PM

8. Another fine demonstration, defacto7!

 


One of the consequences of the exercise is realizing that atheists/atheism do have beliefs.

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Response to RLBaty (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:11 AM

14. We all have beliefs

What you fail to understand is that atheism is not itself a belief system. It is the absence of belief. What you're doing is playing with words because you can't make a logical argument.

I'll make this simple for you- my brain is capable of comprehending the concept of gods and I "know" of gods because other humans have imagined them. But I think the concept is silly and physically impossible in our NATURAL universe, so I don't believe gods exist but in the minds of men. Similarly, people imagined Santa Clause and kids believe in him. I don't. Do you?

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Response to RLBaty (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:01 AM

12. WTF?

Atheism's "affirmation" is that there isn't any god. Those who support incredible claims (i.e. there is a god) need to provide the proof. You've got yourself backwards there, bud.

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Response to RLBaty (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:16 AM

15. Atheism 101: Step by Reasonable Step - Step #1!

 

MAJOR PREMISE:

> IF (A) man was able to originate the
> idea/concept of God through the power
> of imagination, as opposed to reason
> and/or revelation,
>
> THEN (B) man did originate the
> idea/concept of God through the power
> of imagination.

MINOR PREMISE:

> (A) Man was able to originate the
> idea/concept of God through the power
> of imagination, as opposed to reason
> and/or revelation.

CONCLUSION:

> (B) Man did originate the idea/concept
> of God through the power of imagination.

Step #1:

Do you believe the argument is so constructed that
if its premises are true its conclusion will follow
as true therefrom (i.e., that it is logically valid)?

I do!

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Response to RLBaty (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:19 AM

16. Your premise is ridiculous

Posting it again won't make it any less so.

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Response to wrath of medusa (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:24 AM

18. Step #1 remains for anyone seriously interested in an open, honest conversation!

 

MAJOR PREMISE:

> IF (A) man was able to originate the
> idea/concept of God through the power
> of imagination, as opposed to reason
> and/or revelation,
>
> THEN (B) man did originate the
> idea/concept of God through the power
> of imagination.

MINOR PREMISE:

> (A) Man was able to originate the
> idea/concept of God through the power
> of imagination, as opposed to reason
> and/or revelation.

CONCLUSION:

> (B) Man did originate the idea/concept
> of God through the power of imagination.

Step #1:

Do you believe the argument is so constructed that
if its premises are true its conclusion will follow
as true therefrom (i.e., that it is logically valid)?

I do!

(Hint: Step #1 does not require an evaluation of the content of the argument.)

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Response to RLBaty (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:29 AM

20. I've answered

My answer is no. Let me repeat that: NO, your idiotic argument is not valid! Absence of belief does not equal belief.

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Response to RLBaty (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:23 AM

17. lol...Master baty was blocked from posting this nonsense in AA

so he brought it here.

And he'll probably tell his yahoo group all about his ministry at DU.

The funny part is that he believes sincerely that some atheist elsewhere on the web has any duty to answer his silly questions.

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Response to RLBaty (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:28 AM

19. Say 10...

spell Ten
say 10
spell Ten
say 10
spell Ten

What's an aluminum can made of?

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Response to RLBaty (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:30 AM

21. Locking

Please consider reposting in Religion.

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