Tag: belief

Beliefs and Rationality – CMT Vol: 10

I so often see my fellow atheists saying things like ‘I don’t believe x I accept the evidence for x’ and I can’t help but facedesk. I tried to address the problem in articles like I Don’t Believe, Dirty Words: Belief, Faith and Evidence, Beliefs and Logic but so far have not got anywhere. Perhaps the approach I took was providing too much information in one go, and instead I should have kept it simple and to the point, allowing......

Ontology and the things we lack… (lacktheism or rocktheism?)

I often ask people, ‘What things are defined just by what they lack?’ – interestingly there are very few answers to this, but feel free to shoot some over and I’ll add them to the article. The reason I ask this is largely because of commonly heard, ‘atheism is only a lack of belief in gods, therefore, anything that lacks belief is an atheist’ aka conflating all forms of non-theist with atheist. This analysis may differ in various languages, and......

So what is this ‘Normative’ thing all about anyway?

Language is descriptive. It is defined through use. People might describe their use of words in slightly different ways, be that through regional differences, common usages, or indeed there might be contextually correct usages of words. So what is this Normative thing all about then? When we speak about ‘Normative’ usage of words we largely mean they have gone through a process of normalisation. For example, the word ‘Hello’ has gone through this process and is generally regarded as a......

Pitfalls of ‘New Atheism’

I’m an atheist. *Gasp* ‘Hold the phone!’ Hard to believe that an atheist runs an atheist site right? I’ve even been the keyboard warrior type of atheist, although that was many years ago. I spent lots of time debating theists desperately hoping that either they could provide me with some evidence of a deity, or I could get them to see reason past their presupposition and fallacies. Over time I got bored of the conversations, there are only so many......

Beliefs, Language, and Logic

Introduction Logic is an important part of rationality. After all, acting rationally is acting in accordance with reason and according to the rules of logic, among other things. Which means that understanding the rules of logic are important if one wants to claim rationality for oneself.  There is more to logic than simply the rules though.  As William Hodges says in his book Logic, logic is also about consistency with regards to our beliefs.  Another important part of logic is......

Bad Atheist Arguments – Vol: 02 – Beliefs and Logic

Following on from volume 1: Bible and Evidence, I felt it prudent to follow this up with errors many fellow atheists make around beliefs. I too have made some of these statements in the past, and as I looked into things more I realised that some of these statements just don’t make sense or if they do, are wrong. What is a belief? Before we continue, we should consider what a belief really is, as many think it is simply......

The Burden of Proof – Belief vs Claim – Court Room Analogy

I've had the "Burden of Proof" discussion many times recently, and a lot of it comes down to semantic issues with definitions of claim & belief, as well as the logic around propositions. I hope to clear up some of the confusion with this article....

Is nonbelief a belief? (hint: you might be surprised) – Conflated and Misunderstood Terms: Vol 8

“Nonbelief is a belief? Who knew…” – an often said sarcastic comment by many fellow atheists as a retort to theists calling atheism a religion or belief system. Whilst I agree atheism is not a religion, and that it is a polysemous word which has moved from the classical disbelief in the existence of gods to include a nonbelief/unbelief (aka lack belief) in gods existence, and many atheists use this definition, I do wonder how many know what this nonbelief......

Coherent and Consistent Beliefs

A wander through the many Facebook groups, YouTube videos, and Twitter tweeters with atheism as their central subject matter will see many atheists and sceptics making the claim of being rational.  One could also look at the ‘memeosphere’ centred around atheism and scepticism to see images making claims like ‘I am a sceptic/atheist because I am rational’, and other similar memes.  What does it mean to be rational though?  That is a rather large question, and involves many questions about......

Do we Atheists have a Burden of Proof? – Conflated and Misunderstood Terms: Vol 7

“The burden is on the claimant!”, “I only lack belief so I have no burden”, “I don’t hold a belief as that is a claim” and other phrases are touted by many fellow atheists on the internet. Is this correct, or are we missing some of the picture? This article hopes to discuss What is the burden of proof? (aka BoP) To whom does the burden of proof apply? What do we mean by claim? Before we start, I feel......