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Emil
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 02:55 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;108739 wrote:
If we assume that people can hold inconsistent beliefs, then why not? I think there is a confusion here between the beliefs and what it is that is believed.


But this is not a case of inconsistent beliefs. It is a contradiction. You do believe in the law of non-contradiction, do you not? This is an instance of a contradiction.

It is not a contradiction to believe inconsistent things. Look at the forms again if you don't see this.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 03:03 am
@Emil,
Emil;108750 wrote:
But this is not a case of inconsistent beliefs. It is a contradiction. You do believe in the law of non-contradiction, do you not? This is an instance of a contradiction.

It is not a contradiction to believe inconsistent things. Look at the forms again if you don't see this.


What is a contradiction? The believings, or the beliefs (what is believed)?
 
Emil
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 03:08 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;108756 wrote:
What is a contradiction? The believings, or the beliefs (what is believed)?
 
ACB
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 07:20 am
@Emil,
Emil;108760 wrote:


I agree that to say someone believes something inconsistent is not a contradiction. However, I wonder whether it is in fact psychologically possible to believe that God does not exist and that God does exist at the same time. Does the idea of such a belief even make sense?

Of course, it is possible for someone to say (falsely) that he/she believes both that God does not exist and that he exists. It is also possible to say (truthfully) that one believes God exists in one sense but does not exist in another. Another possibility is to hold two beliefs, one implying that God exists and the other implying he does not, but fail to be aware of those implications. But could anyone honestly believe, explicitly and without qualification, that God both does and does not exist?

---------- Post added 12-07-2009 at 01:56 PM ----------

fast;108367 wrote:
An atheist is one who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.


There is the exclusive "or" (X or Y but not both) and the inclusive "or" (X or Y or both). But the "or" in the above quote seems to mean "X or [X and Y] but not Y alone". To be an atheist, one must disbelieve in God or gods, and may also deny their existence. But someone denying the existence of God or gods (i.e. claiming to disbelieve in them) could be lying and actually believe in them, in which case he/she would not be an atheist. ("Or denies" is really redundant.)

So there are more than two types of "or".
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 08:06 am
@Emil,
Emil;108760 wrote:


Why can I not both believe that it is true that God exists, and believe that God does not exist? Can't I have inconsistent believings? People often seem to. In fact, the psychologists call that, "cognitive dissonance".

---------- Post added 12-07-2009 at 09:10 AM ----------

ACB;108787 wrote:
.


Sorry. What is the third type besides: (1) p or q, but not p and q, and, (2) p or q and p and q?
 
ACB
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 08:44 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;108805 wrote:
Why can I not both believe that it is true that God exists, and believe that God does not exist? Can't I have inconsistent believings? People often seem to. In fact, the psychologists call that, "cognitive dissonance".


As to whether you can have inconsistent believings, see my previous post. But Emil's point was that you cannot simultaneously (a) believe that God exists, and (b) not believe that God exists. The latter is different from believing that God does not exist.

---------- Post added 12-07-2009 at 09:10 AM ----------

kennethamy;108805 wrote:
Sorry. What is the third type besides: (1) p or q, but not p and q, and, (2) p or q and p and q?


(3) p or (p and q) but not q only.

I presume the red "and" in the above quote should read "or".
 
fast
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 08:54 am
@fast,
Ann has many beliefs, and one of the many beliefs she has is that God exists, so it is not the case that she lacks belief that God exists. I denote that as B(G)-belief that God exists.

Bob has many beliefs, and one of the many beliefs he has is that God does not exist, so it the case that Bob (just like Ann) has a belief beyond that of other beliefs, and I denote that as B(~G)-belief that God does not exist.

Charlie, like both Ann and Bob, has many beliefs, but Charlie, unlike Bob, does not believe that God does not exist, yet he doesn't believe that God exists either. He lacks the believe that God exists, so he no such belief that Bob has. I denote that as ~B(G).

Dan, just like Charlie, lacks the belief that God exists, but in addition to that, he also lacks the Belief that God does not exist. I denote that as ~B(~G).

In summary, we have: 1) B(G), 2 B(~G), 3 ~B(G), and 4) ~B(~G).

As I said earlier, there is a difference between not believe and believe not. The former lacks a belief, and the latter has a belief, so in terms of beliefs (or lack thereof), the former (not believe) is associated with 3 or 4, and the latter (believe not) is associated with 2.

When I hear that someone denies the existence of God, I associate that with believe not, and since believe is associated with 2, I would denote that person as holding the number 2 position: B(~G).

The word, "disbelieve" is ambiguous, and I'm not talking about the sense associated with the idea of a wife being in disbelief upon hearing of her husband's death. I am using the term, "disbelieve" to also mean just what "denies" means. Hence, to disbelieve is to hold a belief that something is not true, and if we're talking about God's existence, then we're talking about another case of number 2: B(~G).

However, I am told that "disbelieve" is even more ambiguous that I thought. I am told that not only can it mean believe not, I am also being told that it can mean not believe, and that throws a monkey wrench into things. If it is in fact ambiguous like I'm told, then I cannot determine whether or not such a person that disbelieves in God is a person that has a belief or a person that lacks belief, so I cannot tell if such a person is 2 or 3.

To figure out how I ought to interpret "disbelieve", I'm looking to the word, "or." If it's in fact inclusive, then "disbelieve" ought to be interpreted as believe not, but if it's exclusive, then it ought to be interpreted as not believe.

Since you believe (Kennethamy) that it's inclusive, just as I do, (and if we're correct) then we can deduce that the term, "disbelieve" is not being used as not believe. Unless I'm mistaken, then the definition does not imply that an atheist is one that lacks belief in God but rather a person that believes that a God or gods does not exist.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 08:55 am
@fast,
ACB wrote:
As to whether you can have inconsistent believings, see my previous post. But Emil's point was that you cannot simultaneously (a) believe that God exists, and (b) not believe that God exists. The latter is different from believing that God does not exist.


Keep in mind you must write it out formally like Emil did in order to show the contradiction. This is because you could believe that X God exists, but not believe that Y God exists, and with the way you wrote it ('(a) believe that God exists, and (b) not believe that God exists'), someone could definitely interpret it like this.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:00 am
@ACB,
ACB;108818 wrote:
As to whether you can have inconsistent believings, see my previous post. But Emil's point was that you cannot simultaneously (a) believe that God exists, and (b) not believe that God exists. The latter is different from believing that God does not exist.

---------- Post added 12-07-2009 at 09:10 AM ----------



(3) p or (p and q) but not q only.

I presume the red "and" in the above quote should read "or".


No, it should be 'and' for the whole to express the inclusive "or". The truth tables of your proposed expression has to we worked out to determine how it compares with the truth tables of the inclusive and exclusive "or". I haven't done that, but my intuition (for what that is worth) tells me that it may be the same truth table as the exclusive 'or'. In any case, I don't see why it constitutes a meaning of "or".
 
fast
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:13 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;108691 wrote:
X disbelieves in God implies that X does not believe in God (although not conversely). That is why disbelieving in God is strong atheism, and not believing is weak atheism. So, you may both disbelieve in God, and not believe in God.

The first sentence is ambiguous, but the second sentence disambiguates it, and I agree with you.

Disbelief in God's existence is B(~G)--not ~B(G)

To say B is to say there is a belief, and to say ~B is to say there is no belief. It's possible to imply ~B(G) when you say, "does not believe." But, since you say to disbelieve is to imply strong atheism, and since strong atheists hold beliefs, you do not mean to imply ~B(G) when you say "does not believe."
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:22 am
@fast,
fast;108826 wrote:
The first sentence is ambiguous, but the second sentence disambiguates it, and I agree with you.

Disbelief in God's existence is B(~G)--not ~B(G)

To say B is to say there is a belief, and to say ~B is to say there is no belief. It's possible to imply ~B(G) when you say, "does not believe." But, since you say to disbelieve is to imply strong atheism, and since strong atheists hold beliefs, you do not mean to imply ~B(G) when you say "does not believe."


since strong atheists hold beliefs, you do not mean to imply ~B(G) when you say "does not believe."

Sorry, I don't understand this argument. Can you explain it?
 
fast
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:27 am
@Emil,
Emil;108733 wrote:
I don't have an opinion. In my view lexical definitions like the above are simply not clear enough. Not surprising since it is a common english dictionary and not a philosophical dictionary.


Philosophical Dictionary: Asceticism-Ayer

"Belief that god does not exist."

Yeah, that does seem to clear it up.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:28 am
@fast,
Kennethamy,

This is what you say:

Disbelief = ~B(G)

Then you go on to say that

Disbelief = Strong Atheism

But since we know

Strong Atheism = B(~G)

Fast thinks you meant to say, "X disbelieves in God implies that X believes there is no God", instead of what you said, "X disbelieves in God implies that X does not believe in God".
 
fast
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:32 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108833 wrote:
Kennethamy,

This is what you say:

Disbelief = ~B(G)


Except that "does not believe" is itself ambiguous, so you can't be sure he means, "~B(G)."
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:34 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108833 wrote:
Kennethamy,

This is what you say:

Disbelief = ~B(G)

Then you go on to say that

Disbelief = Strong Atheism

But since we know

Strong Atheism = B(~G)

Fast thinks you meant to say, "X disbelieves in God implies that X believes there is no God", instead of what you said, "X disbelieves in God implies that X does not believe in God".


Disbelief = ~B(G)


If I wrote that any place, I take it back. It is a mistake. It should be B(~G). I do mean to say that to disbelieve in God is to believe it is false that God exists.
 
fast
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:36 am
@fast,
A person that lacks belief that God exists does not believe that God exists.
Also, a person that believes that God does not exist does not believe that God exists.

Edited to add: this post wasn't directed to anyone in particular. Just stating what seems to me obvious.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:41 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;108836 wrote:

Disbelief = ~B(G)

If I wrote that any place, I take it back. It is a mistake. It should be B(~G). I do mean to say that to disbelieve in God is to believe it is false that God exists.


This is what you wrote exactly:

Quote:
X disbelieves in God implies that X does not believe in God (although not conversely).


My interpretation of this is ~B(G). My interpretation is not B(~G). For if you meant B(~G), I would expect you to write, "X believes that God does not exist", or something to that effect. Do you think I am wrong to expect this?

Fast, you are correct that it is ambiguous. I would just hope that on a philosophy forum we can provide clarification -- that's all I'm trying to do Smile

Very interesting topic indeed.

---------- Post added 12-07-2009 at 10:45 AM ----------

Quote:

A person that lacks belief that God exists does not believe that God exists.
Also, a person that believes that God does not exist does not believe that God exists.



I just think it's important we keep it written out formally. Because, for isntance, a person that believes that X God does not exist could believe that Y God exists. The way you have it written out is ambiguous, as it is not always assumed we are speaking of the same God.[/SIZE]
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:56 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108839 wrote:
This is what you wrote exactly:



My interpretation of this is ~B(G). My interpretation is not B(~G). For if you meant B(~G), I would expect you to write, "X believes that God does not exist", or something to that effect. Do you think I am wrong to expect this?



X disbelieves in God implies that X does not believe in God (although not conversely).

That is exactly what I meant.

B (~G) > ~B (G). But not conversely.
 
fast
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:57 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108839 wrote:
I just think it's important we keep it written out formally. Because, for isntance, a person that believes that X God does not exist could believe that Y God exists. The way you have it written out is ambiguous, as it is not always assumed we are speaking of the same God.

I don't know anything about multiple Gods--multiple gods, maybe, but not multiple Gods, so this talk of X God and Y God is foreign to me.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 10:17 am
@fast,
fast;108842 wrote:
I don't know anything about multiple Gods--multiple gods, maybe, but not multiple Gods, so this talk of X God and Y God is foreign to me.


But fast believes in Yaweh, but Ahmud believes in Allah. Nevertheless.
 
 

 
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