Re: irrational atheists

Generic (
Tue, 22 Dec 1998 15:13:09 -0600

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> Perhaps a better scheme would be divided between strength of
> conviction, perceived evidence and theistic view. The irrational
> people are those who hold strong convictions in the absence of
> evidence, regardless of what they believe in.
> (then we can get Bayesian about it and start to think about what
> priors to use and so on...)

Thought I was an atheist for a while there but not so sure now. When I read the above I asked myself, "Is it irrational for me to not believe in dragons simply because there is no evidence?" Must atheists provide evidence that god doesn't exist in order to justify their position and avoid the label of "irrational"?

I tend to agree with Anders that the continuum Spike(?) described sounds more like it's a function of one's flexibility when it comes to belief systems. I try to work, play, think, and live under the assumption that there is no god, but I'm very open to emprical evidence to the contrary. I haven't thought of myself as an agnostic, because I don't say that "I haven't decided." or "I'm not sure." Instead, I say, "I currently don't see any rational way I can accept the notion of god." So what am I?

BTW, I had a few years of church teachings (Wesleyan Methodist) but was never strongly religious. Ultimately, the whole idea just didn't hold water, IMO.