On Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 8:50 AM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:

> My point is that if one takes atheism to be the rejection of all
> conceptions of god, then because those ideas are conceptions of god from
> various religions, then someone who remains atheist after exposure to those
> ideas (rather than agnostic) has rejected them, and worse, has done so
> without any justification.  This is anti-scientific because there is some
> evidence for these propositions.  Even if that evidence does not convince
> you, there is no reason to reject them until evidence comes out against the
> theories on which they are based.

This thread has devolved somewhat into arguing definitions, but I'll bite

Anyone can posit theories or claims; it is up to those persons to present
credible evidence supporting those claims.

If the claims themselves are incoherent or not logically possible, no
evidence can be presented.

If the evidence presented in support of those claims is not actually
supportive, or is not possible to evaluate, then no further action need be

If the evidence presented is simply that a proposition is possible, well,
many things that are possible are still not true; this is not evidence.

If the evidence presented is "I would like/feel happier/be less scared in a
world where this is true", this is of course not evidence.

If the evidence presented is "If this were true, it would be consistent
with these other things that I believe are true", it is not evidence.

If the evidence presented is "I can't make sense of the world unless this
is true", it is not evidence.

If the evidence presented is "Everyone believes this, you should too", it
is not evidence.

If the evidence presented is "Believe this or we will kill you", it is not

In all these cases, there is no burden on anyone else to reject these
assertions, as no evidence has been presented in support of them.

In the realm of theistic beliefs, we were all born lacking any; we were all
born atheists.  Some people have come to believe various religious claims
as true, and thus have become theists of different varieties.

For some of us, these claims have never risen beyond any of the categories
above, and hence we remain atheists, without the need to "reject" anything,
having not taken any action whatsoever.  We simply remain in our state of
lacking any theistic beliefs.  We do not need to encounter specific
evidence against these sorts of claims.

So if you have a specific claim to make, and actual evidence to support it,
we'll listen.  But we don't start out as "rejecting all conceptions of
God"; we're just happily living our lives and not spending much time
worrying about these matters, except perhaps recently on this mailing list.

Johnathan Corgan

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