Someone had the temerity to ask me to “take down” my definition of ‘adeism’, and presumably to change the title of this blog, or even to remove the blog.
1. This is NOT the definition for adeist that I coined in 2003. Adeism is the word I chose to describe the weak-atheist position of unbelief in supernatural beings. I hope you take this down, because I’m going to promote the usage of adeism as I coined it.
What a cheek!
Unbelief in the supernatural, or better yet an argument that ‘supernatural’ is a false category, is not a weak position – it obviates the possibility of superstitious mumbo-jumbo and any religious deity other than cult deities such as the Emperor Hirohito (and we know what happened to his pseudo-divinity).
Sorry, but I am *not* taking it down because I disagree with your definition, even if you did coin it earlier than I.
While searching for an official definition for the term that I wished to adopt, I found, as recently as 2007, that there was *no officially accepted* definition of adeism.
I think that I found your definition on an atheist message board, where you had previously posted a paper that you’d submitted for a course. Your position, as I recall, was just to the atheist side of agnosticism. I found the paper quite interesting, but disagreed with your terminology for the following reasons:
If deism is the weakest form of ‘theism’, then I see refusal to believe in *even* the weakest position as being the strongest form of atheism. The opposite of weak is strong. Deism, as I see it, was a hedge position that snuck the concept of supernatural past the censors by essentially saying “God got it started, but the lack of evidence of His interference is explained by his voluntarily giving up interference.” This contrives to make room for a supernatural creator and attempts to put God beyond question or examination. It’s a theistic notwithstanding clause.
I don’t buy *even* that contrived position. My strongly atheist position on this could be summed up by the term ‘adeism’. Basically, as soon as any agent interferes with the physical world, then that agent is necessarily *of* the physical world. The supernatural is a pseudocategory invented by humans to explain away the patently obvious noninterference of a deity in any physical events (which includes psychological events).
As you can tell by my delay in posting, I have neglected this blog, so you need not worry that hordes of people are reading my definition.
I can’t stop you from promoting your usage of ‘adeism’ and like the case for VHS technology you just might prevail over ‘Beta’ because most people don’t think the logic through to the obvious conclusion.
The actual conversation is in the comments section of my ‘about’ post, but I was annoyed enough to bring it up to the front page.
As to the argument from primacy, it could be used in an argument that the conceptualization of Egyptian gods preceded the copy-cat invention of Jehovah/God/Allah, and that therefore Jews, Christians, and Muslims should “take down” their religions and revert to worshipping Ra and the gang. I’d like to see all those religions taken down, but on the basis of factual information and logic and not on the basis of a fallacy of logic.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which is the nation’s largest association of atheists and agnostics, is unveiling what is believed to be one of the first nontheistic billboards erected in Madison, Wis.
“We think it is time for the rest of us to use the mass media to counter the ubiquity of religious messages on roadsides everywhere!”
The Foundation will be erecting another billboard to greet attendees of its 30th national convention, meeting on Oct. 12-13 in Madison. A smaller billboard on East Johnson Street by Fordem Avenue (passed by nearly everyone coming in from the airport) will carry the “Beware of Dogma” message on one side, while the other side will sport the stained-glass motif and the words “Imagine No Religion.”
My guess is that religious fundamentalists, who believe in free speech so long as this includes only their message and freedom of religion so long as people believe in supernatural nonsense, will deface some FFRF billboards.
Every time I consider the stranglehold that religious stupidity has on the US, I am, except for our obnoxious PM (puerile megalomaniac), thankful that I live in Canada.
Scientists Feel Miscast in Film on Life’s Origin appears in today’s New York Times.
Scientists, including Richard Dawkins and Eugenie C. Scott have revealed that their appearance in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed was induced under false pretenses.
Reputable scientists have eschewed so-called intelligent design since its resurrection by American creationists a decade ago. Yes, resurrection. The argument for design dates back to the Greeks and was last rehashed by Christian apologist William Paley in 1802. This argument from analogy might fool creationists, who are, after all, already fooled, but it fools nobody with two neurons to rub.
Part of the movies purpose was to whine about rejection of creationist pseudoscience by the scientific community. The rejection continues, and is seconded by NYT’s Cornelia Dean:
“There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the complexity and diversity of life on earth. And while individual scientists may embrace religious faith, the scientific enterprise looks to nature to answer questions about nature. As scientists at Iowa State University put it last year, supernatural explanations are “not within the scope or abilities of science.””
The British government has released guidelines concerning the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in science classes. “The verdict: they are not science, and they have no place in the curriculum.” Better late than never. It reflects badly on American educators and politicians that they have too long displayed either ignorance of science or cowardly refusal to distinguish scientific reality from religious delusion.
Of course the makers of Expelled needed to resort to Rampant deception! Eternally outspoken PZ Myers would have enlived the movie, but not in the way that the producers hoped. The arch-deceptionists could not reasonably have expected some legitimate experts on science to otherwise appear in a movie intended to promote unscientific creationist stupidity.
“If he had known the film’s premise, Dr. Dawkins said in an e-mail message, he would never have appeared in it. “At no time was I given the slightest clue that these people were a creationist front,” he said.
Others might have appeared, but would have been more prepared for deceptiveness-in-interviewing.
Dr. Scott, whose organization advocates for the teaching of evolution and against what it calls the intrusion of creationism and other religious doctrines in science classes, said the filmmakers were exploiting Americans’ sense of fairness as a way to sell their religious views. She said she feared the film would depict “the scientific community as intolerant, as close-minded, and as persecuting those who disagree with them. And this is simply wrong.””
Americans’ sense of fairness? This appears to be confined mostly to atheists who have too long tolerated religious nonsense. American fundamentalist theists are so woefully short on a sense of fairness toward genuinely free speech that they would sooner vote for a Muslim presidential candidate than for an atheist. American fundamentalist theists are so woefully short on a sense of fairness that they presume to tell other how to live their lives on the basis of 2,000 year-old moralistic pronouncements in a book that they attribute to a nonexistent supernatural deity so lacking in omniscience as to have concocted mythology fraught with inconsistency.
Read more on other sites: Pharyngula: I have obtained a stolen, pre-release clip of Expelled!, Denyse O’Leary: paranoid projectionist, More dribblings from the producer of Expelled, Expelled producer seems to be embarrassed about his sneaky tactics, Ruloff’s claims are not credible, Any conservative can make an ass of themselves on Fox: Ben Stein gets crazy, Betrayed!, Watch out, faculty: biblical literalism will be enforced, Expelled comes to the NY Times’ attention, Spiegel gets into the act, too: Bad: Ben Stein in Hot-Pants for Intelligent Design, Expelled movie producer exposes the holy hand of Intelligent Design :
Praise Jesus, it’s the collapse of evangelical Christian rule in America. Rejoice!
I wrote this in response to a typical theist post reviewing God: The Failed Hypothesis, by Victor Stenger by dangoldfinch at Life Under the Blue Sky: The View From Below
His disapproval would make me inclined to buy his book, but I already knew what dangoldfinchs say Stenger has written.
Dangoldfinch needs to check his logic and his atheist sources—most acknowledge that you cannot logically disprove a negative. So it is illogical to demand disproof of God, particularly when it actually behooves theistic claimants to provide ‘proof’ for their claims.
However, it is possible to disprove falsifiable claims about the physical world. I think Stenger’s point is that the Bible does make unsubstantiable claims about natural events. Since the huge body of scientific knowledge provides an empirical (falsifiable, testable, verifiable) body of knowledge that better explains those naturalistic claims, then the God of the Bible is effectively reduced to an infinitesimally small probability and is, in essence, disproved by the fact that science provides much better explanations. The religious typically know virtually no science or logic, so it is hardly surprising that their arguments are risible.
““The [scientific] model need not be proven to be correct, just not proven to be incorrect.”
In other words, Stenger doesn’t actually put forth an argument at all.”
What part of falsifiable does dangoldfinch not understand? If a falsifiable hypothesis is not disproven—note the double negative—then that hypothesis stands until, if ever, it is disproven. If it is not disproven by successive discoveries, then it graduates to full theory, and ultimately to acceptance as scientific knowledge. In logic, it is recognized that inductions cannot be disproven. Dangoldfinch simply failed to understand what Stenger had written, so he misinterpreted Stenger in favor of his own misguided prejudices for unbelievable mythologies.
The burden of proof, or disproof, does not logically fall on the atheist. The burden of proof falls on the claimant—those theists who have failed in over 2,000 years to prove Yahweh, in almost 2,000 years to prove God, and in 1,400 years to prove Allah (same mythical entity, different dogmas). So, atheists do not believe in God because of the lack of evidence, the immeasurably better explanatory power of science, and all the religious mythology that strains credulity. The effective disproof of the God of the Bible is to be found in 200 years of amassed scientific knowledge.
“I think it is just one more piece of evidence that suggests atheists are terribly afraid of the Abrahamic God. After all, doesn’t it make sense to suggest that you can only really attack something that is real? I mean, logically speaking, if the Abrahamic God didn’t exist, would Stenger, Dawkins, Harris, et al have anyone or anything to attack? Their books would be quite meaningless (they are anyhow).”
Dangoldfinch claims that atheists must be arguing against something that must exist—sure, we disbelieve evidence-less improbable mythologies, but we argue against illogic, ignorance, misinformation, pseudoscience, bigotry, and religious violence. Those all exist and, though not all theists exhibit all of these, the correlation is too high to dismiss as a problem confined to fundamentalism.
“They never actually provide conclusive evidence that God doesn’t exist.”
Duh! Again, one cannot disprove a negative. Atheists do not believe that gods exist because religious claims for the existence of supernatural beings are not based on any empirical evidence for which science cannot provide a much better explanation—that is, supernatural mythologies are not believable, which is why faith is demanded of believers.
“Maybe someday atheists will come clean, be honest, and just admit that even though they know in their hearts that there is a God, specifically the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, they simply do not want to believe in Him because then they would be forced to submit to Him.”
Dream on! As to atheists fearing God, dangoldfinch is utterly mistaken and is projecting his own fears onto people who genuinely have none of the fears that theists love to imagine. There is nothing to submit to except stupid human-invented dogma and I have never been impressed by foolishness. The repeatedly observable fact that theist provide falsehoods and resort repeatedly to fallacies of logic do not themselves prove God’s nonexistence, but they do demonstrate that to believe in the unbelievable typically requires ignorance that spreads beyond holding deluded beliefs.
Theists love to make the empty threat that all atheists will go to hell for their disbelief. Theists merely want to believe all the myths about atheists because theists cannot imagine being free of their own indoctrinated fear, which is why they cling so tenaciously to ignorance.