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Critical vs. Default Atheism FredPotter

Posted by fachad on September 16, 2002, at 21:30:46

In reply to Re: The 10,000,000 Dollar Question, posted by FredPotter on September 16, 2002, at 20:22:40

FredPotter,

I really enjoyed your post. It's nice to see that you have thought thru these issues. Here's a few additions to the dialogue:

> Religions say general empirical things about existence. This means they can't even in principle be falsified and are therefore lower in status than theories. Neither of course can they be proved.

Yes, that was the point I was trying to show.

>One interesting religion is Atheism which states the null hypothesis as being true. You can never know this as you can never be sure you've looked everywhere.

Not necessarily so. Atheism does not necessarily assert the null hypothesis as being true. Atheists merely claim that the burden of proof is on the party making the claim.

Theists are claiming that there is a god. The burden of proof is on them. If they fail to produce proof, the argument defaults to the atheist.

So atheism is not really asserting anything, it is simply what is left when theism collapses due to lack of evidence. This is sometimes refered to as "default athiesm".

The other way of looking at atheism is that because the concept of god is not rational, and proof or disproof are impossible, it is certain that there is no god. This stronger flavor of atheism is known as "critical atheism".


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URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faith/20020715/msgs/909.html