A question about fallacies

60 posts / 0 new
Last post
Franco's picture
A question about fallacies

An appeal to ignorance is a commonly used counter-argument by theists. The argument is there is no proof against X(god) so X(god exists). The problem is some people claim that saying " There is no evidence for there being a god so I do not believe" is also an appeal to ignorance. I am not sure if it is because I believe that the existence of god would be the claim. I say that because the idea of a god is taught and a human is born atheist. Could someone please explain to me whether saying there is a god or saying that there is not is the claim. And also if disbelief of a claim due to lack of evidence is also an appeal to ignorance.

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

Nyarlathotep's picture
An appeal to ignorance is a

An appeal to ignorance is a commonly used counter-argument by theists. The argument is there is no proof against X(god) so X(god exists).

I would say that on the surface, there is nothing wrong with that principle. Of course the problem is with its implementation. There is no "proof against" ghosts, demons, alien butt probers, bigfoot, and all kinds of other gods that people have dreamed up. So they use this principle when it comes to their religious idea of choice; then use a more skeptical principle (like the rest of us) for other religions claims. It is special pleading, in that for some reason (and they will often give you a reason), the more skeptical principle does not apply to their religious claims, but does apply to all others.

Cognostic's picture
Franco: NO> The problem is

Franco: NO> The problem is some people claim that saying " There is no evidence for there being a god so I do not believe" is also an appeal to ignorance.

You are confusing, "I don't believe in God or gods." with "I believe that there are no God or gods."

I believe god does not exist is a claim. An assertion that god does not exist. To this claim you are allowed to ask, "so what is your evidence."

"I don't believe god exists" is a neutral position. (Look at the stars in the sky. If I tell you that the number of stars are even, do you believe me? No. Of course not. I have not counted them, Does that mean you think the number is Odd? No. Of course not. They have not been counted. You do not believe that the number of stars are even or odd. You have no way at all to figure this out. NONE)

If I say "I don't believe in god." I am countering the assertion that a god exists. I am not making the assertion that "there is no god." I simply have no reason to believe you. The burden of proof is on the person making the assertion.

"There is no evidence for there being a god so I do not believe" is also an appeal to ignorance.." NO! "There is no evidence for their being a God. so I do not believe." Is a statement of FACT until you can produce some evidence for the existence of God.

Disbelief due to a lack of evidence is not a claim. It is disbelief in the god claim due to a lack of evidence.

I BELIEVE that a god or gods does not exist IS A CLAIM. Now you get to ask why.
I believe that a god or gods does not exist based on a lack of evidence. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. (That is my claim.) Now I must defend it.

We have long known that an absence of evidence can be used to establish a lack of existence. Take a mountain cave for example.

I want to go into the cave and look around but everyone in the village tells me that a man eating bear lives in the cave. Hmmm? How do I find out? I make up some tests.

I tie a sheep to the front of the cave and it sits there tied to a pole for a month. I sprinkle the ground with flour and look for paw prints month after month and find none. I build a fire in front of the cave and blow smoke into it. Nothing happens. I have searched the mountain and found no other entrances or exists to the cave and the smoke has shown none either. I yell into the cave. I send a pig into the cave and it comes out an hour later. ( I am pretty damn sure that there is no bear in that cave. I venture in with a gun in my hand and find no bear.)

It is that very same 2000 years of lack of evidence that allows us to make the assertion, I do not believe that God or gods exist.

With that said, different Gods can be disproved differently. If you assume your god is all knowing, and that he gave man a free will, and that he answers prayers, your god does not exist. These are mutually contradictory positions. It's like saying god is a square circle. It's a logical contradiction. You can not be all knowing, knowing both past and future and then respond to prayers or make any changes in the world. If you made a change you would be contradicting yourself. If you are an all knowing god, you can not change the future that you already know. You already know who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. You are the one that created the believers and the atheists. You already know everything. Nothing can be changed. You are a prisoner of your own knowledge/ THIS GOD DOES NOT EXIST.

A god can not be All Just and merciful. These are logical contradictions. Mercy is a suspension of justice.

Your god can not be a loving god and the God of the bible at the same time. The god of the Bible is a fucking asshole.

Hope that helps.

Sheldon's picture
"There is no evidence for

"There is no evidence for there being a god so I do not believe" is also an appeal to ignorance"

Well firstly that's not an assertion, it's a lack of belief. If one asserted there is no deity because no one can evidence it, it could conceivably be fallacious, which is why I always caution atheists on rare occasions on here whose hubris gets the better of them.

Most importantly an appeal to ignorance fallacy makes the assertion irrational, but does not in any was evidence the existence of a deity.

Just ask yourself, do you normally believe claims for which no evidence can be demonstrated, and when you cannot know whether or not it is true?

If you do then you either believe literally anything, or are using a selection bias and a special pleading fallacy to believe in a deity.

JazzTheist's picture
However, all of this depends

However, all of this depends on what kind of evidence counts as evidence to you.

If you're only looking for evidence that are physical and visible, then you can't know for sure whether Caesar existed, or whether dark matter exists.

Of course, you can use historical documents to support Caesar's existence; but I can always argue that those documents were fabricated and corrupted after numerous copies, given that the oldest documents to ever mention Caesar appeared 900 years after he supposedly died.

And of course you can argue that the existence of dark matter is simply necessary to explain what scientists have observed. But I would also have the same grounds to accuse dark matter of being a special pleading fallacy to explain something dubiously unnatural.

Talyyn's picture
"but I can always argue that

"but I can always argue that those documents were fabricated and corrupted after numerous copies, given that the oldest documents to ever mention Caesar appeared 900 years after he supposedly died."

Read carefully, slowy what you've said and apply it to every major religions.

"And of course you can argue that the existence of dark matter is simply necessary to explain what scientists have observed. But I would also have the same grounds to accuse dark matter of being a special pleading fallacy to explain something dubiously unnatural."

Why do you consider the dark matter "dubiously unnatural"?

What does keep all galaxies to being shred appart? The farts of your creator god?

JazzTheist's picture
''Read carefully, slowly what

''Read carefully, slowly what you've said and apply it to every major religions.''

Exactly; which is why I meant that as a parody of your line of reasoning. If you can dismiss Jesus' existence, then I'd have every reason to dismiss Caesar's existence.

What's more, there are thousands of original copies of the New Testament written within the first and second century; while there are only 10 original copies regarding Caesar written 900 years after he died.

''Why do you consider dark matter 'dubiously unnatural'?''

Because the math doesn't work out. The observations we see directly contradict what we would predict. In other words, we see a direct violation of physical laws that we knew were right.

To compensate for this, scientists simply threw out the concept of ''invisible magic mass'' (which is not a straw man because I am merely stating the obvious) which lacks physical evidence. Now, according to your methodology and worldview, shouldn't dark matter be viewed as special pleading, just like the concept of God?

Talyyn's picture
Being written in the first

Being written in the first century doesn't signify being written in the aftermatch of the death of Jesus, by his own small group of followers.

For the dark matter i'm not the specialist, could you provide ALL the peer-review counter evidence for it? I give you the special pleading, don't you thing there is a huge difference between the two hypotheses?

JazzTheist's picture
''Being written in the first

''Being written in the first century doesn't signify being written in the aftermath of the death of Jesus.''

You are evading the question. The first documents of Caesar was written 9 centuries after his death, for goodness' sake.

''For the dark matter i'm not the specialist, could you provide ALL the peer-review counter evidence for it?''

I don't need to, because the burden of proof doesn't lie on me; as I've already demonstrated how dark matter is special pleading.

Talyyn's picture
"I don't need to, because the

"I don't need to, because the burden of proof doesn't lie on me", you are asserting some, apparently different from classical theism (whatever that means) God.

So, i'm evading the question. Jesus spoke hebrew. What are the language of the first recorded gospels?

JazzTheist's picture
''You are asserting some,

''You are asserting some, apparently different from classical theism (whatever that means) God.''

What makes you think so, and why is it relevant? My intention is to reveal the flaws of the general methodology atheists use.

Also, classical theism is a philosophical position that I'm taking, which is different from conventional religion (even though the two aren't mutually exclusive).

''Jesus spoke hebrew. What are the language of the first recorded gospels?''

How is this relevant? Are you intending to make the ''translations cause corruption'' argument?

Talyyn's picture
I must have missread then, so

I must have missread then, so the difference between your taking and conventional religions? What i am saying is that the flaws your so adamant to make evident to us to see about Cesar, is that it can be applied to your stance too.

JazzTheist's picture
My Caesar argument is

My Caesar argument is directly intended as a parody of your arguments against theism, to expose the flaws of your methodology. Why would you think that I'm actually arguing that Caesar never existed?

Also, the philosophical notion of God is an ultimate source of existence. The religious notion of deities, however, either sees deities as merely other occupants of the natural world, or emphasizes its relationship with humans and its interactions with the natural world. These are two totally different yet not mutually exclusive positions, and atheists tend to make non sequitors by confusing the two (e.g. ''God exists as a philosophical necessity.'' ''Which God? Yahweh? Zeus?).

LogicFTW's picture
I have said this before to

I have said this before to you and I will say it again:

Some sort of "ultimate existence" or first cause cannot be described as god. It requires a different word -OR- for you to explain everyone your are changing the commonly held definition of the word god to suit you.

And then... you try to say the two concepts are not mutually exclusive positions. Saying in a sense that you can tie the common widely defined definition of god to some definition of god that is not widespread. And the two ideas support each other. NO! THEY DO NOT.

Even if you were somehow able to prove there is some sort of first mover, some sort of greater consciousness/intellect that is currently entirely undetectable to us, all you have proven is that entities existence, in no way does that entities existence prove your god idea. Just like how it does not prove Zeus, or Santa Claus, or giant cosmic bunnies.

You can say they are not mutually exclusive positions, but then you invite every single possible idea anyone can ever think up and say it proves that too which is insanity. NOT SANE.

 
 

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

▮          I am an atheist that always likes a good debate.          ▮
▮   Please include @LogicFTW in responses directed to me.    ▮
▮        Useful list on forum usage. A.R. Member since 2016.      ▮
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

JazzTheist's picture
I have also said these before

I have also said these before and I will say them again:

No, my methodology does not at all prove giant cosmic bunnies; because giant cosmic bunnies by definition are things in the natural world and thus subject to naturalistic means. However, naturalistic means don't apply to the supernatural.

No, the two ideas aren't mutually exclusive. A philosophical God does not conflict with the Abrahamic God; for there's no reason to think that the Abrahamic God isn't the ultimate God. However, If I claim that I believe in a philosophical God yet believe in Greek polytheism, THAT would be a problem.

And yes, the ultimate source can be described as a God; because the ultimate source has to create everything in existence and has to be conscious (since consciousness is a thing). Sounds like a God, no?

Nyarlathotep's picture
JazzTheist - the ultimate

JazzTheist - the ultimate source has to create everything in existence and has to be conscious (since consciousness is a thing)

Let me try:

the ultimate source has to create everything in existence and has to be c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s homosexual (since c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s̶n̶e̶s̶s homosexuality is a thing)

JazzTheist's picture
Yes, you've got the idea;

Yes, you've got the idea; albeit the ultimate source technically has no gender, for it's simultaneous every possible gender at once.

Also, I'm not against homosexuality.

Nyarlathotep's picture
JazzTheist - the ultimate

JazzTheist - Yes, you've got the idea; albeit the ultimate source technically has no gender...

Clearly an ultimate source has a gender! Here I'll show you:

the ultimate source has to create everything in existence and has to be c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s female (since c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s̶n̶e̶s̶s being female is a thing)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oh I also just "discovered" this shocking information:

the ultimate source has to create everything in existence and has to be c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s shit covered pig fucker (since c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s̶n̶e̶s̶s being a shit covered pig fucker is a thing)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
/e oh and this:

the ultimate source has to create everything in existence and has to be c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s prostitute (since c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s̶n̶e̶s̶s prostitution is a thing)

arakish's picture
Or how about this one?

Or how about this one?

The ultimate source has to shit everything in existence and has to be shit (since shit is a thing).

rmfr

JazzTheist's picture
But the word ''shit'' isn't

But the word ''shit'' isn't an adjective, so it doesn't say anything about God's nature.

To be more accurate, God has the knowledge of how every possible shit is composed and can provide existence to any possible shit.

Nyarlathotep's picture
and this one:

and this one:

the ultimate source has to create everything in existence and has to be c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s an atheist (since c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s̶n̶e̶s̶s atheism is a thing)

JazzTheist's picture
Still, doesn't say anything

Still, doesn't say anything about God's nature. It simply means that God simply knows how every possible atheist is like and can provide existence to any possible atheist.

JazzTheist's picture
All you've demonstrated is

All you've demonstrated is that God can have the knowledge of how every possible pig-fucker and prostitute is composed, and can provide existence to any possible pig-fucker and prostitute. These fact don't say anything about God's nature.

And God would also be female, male, she-male, spaghetti-male, paga-yaga-male, shloo-male, etc...all at once, and you get a neutral gender.

(PS: you made me laugh!!)

Nyarlathotep's picture
the ultimate source has to

the ultimate source has to create everything in existence and has to be c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s fictional (since c̶o̶n̶s̶c̶i̶o̶u̶s̶n̶e̶s̶s fiction is a thing)

The point is, we can use the "logic" you supplied to establish any attribute we want to your deity; even contradictory ones. There is something very wrong with your logic if we can use it to manufacture contradictions.

JazzTheist's picture
No it doesn't; as I've

No it doesn't; as I've demonstrated, all it shows is that the ultimate source has everything to do with such things, not necessarily its nature. And it's not contradictory.

For example, you probably have enough knowledge of how to rob a bank; but you also probably have enough knowledge of why not to rob a bank. Is that contradictory? Does that say anything about your nature?

arakish's picture
You have shown what? Please

You have shown what? Please explain and provide OBJECTIVE HARD EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE.

rmfr

Sheldon's picture
"naturalistic means don't

"naturalistic means don't apply to the supernatural."

Or the non-existent rather tellingly.

"A philosophical God does not conflict with the Abrahamic God;"

well they wouldn't, both being unevidenced fictions.

"there's no reason to think that the Abrahamic God isn't the ultimate God. "

Catchy title, but that won't make it's existence any more compelling, for that you will need to demonstrate sufficient objective evidence.

"And yes, the ultimate source can be described as a God; because the ultimate source has to create everything in existence and has to be conscious (since consciousness is a thing). Sounds like a God, no?"

You can't define anything into existence, this is the very definition of an argument from ignorance fallacy.

"Sounds like a God, no?""

Not to me no, it sounds like string of assumptions you are assigning to something, something you can demonstrate no objective evidence for, in an attempt to define it into existence using an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy. You can make a complex and detailed description defining a wizard, and define it in such a way you think it is essential in order for everything to exist, that won' make it real, anymore than it becomes necessary because you claim it is.

JazzTheist's picture
I don't commit the argument

I don't commit the argument from ignorance fallacy because I have never said ''I don't know X, therefore Y''.

In fact, atheism is committing the argument from ignorance fallacy. ''I don't know how anything could be of supernatural origin, therefore they're all natural''.

arakish's picture
Are you a pathological liar,

Are you a pathological liar, or are you just obtuse and ignorant and illiterate?

You do not even know what an argumentum ad ignorantiam is. Here is a perfect example of an argumentum ad ignorantiam.

"And yes, the ultimate source can be described as a God; because the ultimate source has to create everything in existence and has to be conscious (since consciousness is a thing). Sounds like a God, no?"

Argumentum ad ignorantiam.

rmfr

Sheldon's picture
In fact, atheism is

In fact, atheism is committing the argument from ignorance fallacy. ''I don't know how anything could be of supernatural origin, therefore they're all natural''.

That's not atheism, and atheism does not make that or any other claim. So that is a straw man fallacy you have used.

Cognostic's picture
Seriously, Why is this troll

Seriously, Why is this troll still here?

Pages

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.