1. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    12 May '06 01:241 edit
    Which people most commonly exhibit skeptical thinking when evaluating their beliefs: theists or atheists?
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    12 May '06 03:04
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Which people most commonly exhibit skeptical thinking when evaluating their beliefs: theists or atheists?
    Theists exhibit more sceptical thinking, they are more honest about the wrestle they are having inside themselves... They are in a place where their experience goes against what their brain can logically define. So what do they trust/believe in? their experience or their logic?
  3. Donationbbarr
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    12 May '06 03:11
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Which people most commonly exhibit skeptical thinking when evaluating their beliefs: theists or atheists?
    Theists, but only when evaluating the beliefs of atheists. Atheists generally demand evidence unto reasonableness, while theists generally demand proof unto certainty. This, of course, is because theists are generally ignorant about epistemology.
  4. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    12 May '06 03:335 edits
    Originally posted by bbarr

    Atheists generally demand evidence unto reasonableness, while theists generally demand proof unto certainty.
    I don't agree with this assessment, and even if it holds, I don't agree that it means atheists are more skeptical, but the opposite.

    First, I don't think theists demand proof unto certainty, because they believe in God, whose existence obviously hasn't been proven unto certainty. In light of this, I'm not sure why you would posit that theists generally demand proof unto certainty.

    And isn't skepticism characterized by requiring absolute certainty in order to justify holding something as true, as opposed to accepting the mere weight of the evidence as justification?

    I do agree with your assessment that theists are more skeptical when evaluating claims of atheists than when evaluating their own claims. However, I would say that a similar claim holds about atheists. In general, people are more skeptical about things that they don't already believe, although it is my assessement that theists carry this to a further extreme than atheists, and thus it is theists who are generally more skeptical. That is, given a building amount of evidence in favor of some new claim contrary to one's current belief set, the theist will continue to doubt and hold to his original position long after the atheist has revised his old belief.
  5. Donationbbarr
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    12 May '06 03:40
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    I don't agree with this assessment, and even if it holds, I don't agree that it means atheists are more skeptical, but the opposite.

    First, I don't think theists demand proof unto certainty, because they believe in God, whose existence obviously hasn't been proven unto certainty. In light of this, I'm not sure why you would posit that theists ge ...[text shortened]... although it is my assessement that theists carry this to a further extreme than atheists.
    The first sentence in my post was meant to qualify the second.

    A's ask for evidence concerning the beliefs of theists. T's ask for proof concerning the beliefs of atheists.

    Read the posts of KYJay, pcaspian, Coletti, knightmeister, etc.
  6. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    12 May '06 03:453 edits
    Originally posted by bbarr
    This, of course, is because theists are generally ignorant about epistemology.
    Do you really think this is true, and if so, to such an extent that it distinguishes theists from atheists? That is, aren't atheists also generally ignorant about epistemology? Aren't most people? I know I was until I started posting here a couple years ago. It's not exactly a common discipline, even among college educated people.
  7. Donationbbarr
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    12 May '06 03:50
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Do you really think this is true, and if so, to such an extent that it distinguishes theists from atheists? That is, aren't atheists also generally ignorant about epistemology? Aren't most people? I know I was until I started posting here a couple years ago. It's not exactly a common discipline, even among college educated people.
    As an empirical generalization, I do think this is true. Atheists are generally willing to countenance the possibility that they are mistaken. That is, they better exemplify the epistemic virtue of open-mindedness.
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    12 May '06 04:18
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Which people most commonly exhibit skeptical thinking when evaluating their beliefs: theists or atheists?
    If we were to use the spirituality forum here at TFC/RHP as the petri dish, I'd say that a's seem to be more actively pursuing the path of truth than t's. That is not to say they are closer to it, but IMO they seem to be more active in their pursuit of the same.

    You all know me as a rabid theist, but if TFC/RHP were to have an "Atheists Only" forum, you would likely not find me poking and prodding around to see if anyone could trounce my beliefs/faith.

    IMO, I believe that the atheists that inhabit the spirituality forum are like the guy who goes to the comedy club in a defensive but (obviously) hopeful position: he refuses to give in too easily, yet it sure would be great if someone could make his belly shake with laughter.

    I am very grateful to the (no pun intended) faithful atheists/agnostics who do continue to post their seeds of doubt and sometimes open defiance. Jesus said "seek and you will find," and--- I believe--- purposely made life a question that man could not help but to ask. That He has/is the answer, regardless the depth/ability of the questioner is no small comfort.
  9. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    12 May '06 04:23
    Originally posted by bbarr
    The first sentence in my post was meant to qualify the second.

    A's ask for evidence concerning the beliefs of theists. T's ask for proof concerning the beliefs of atheists.

    Read the posts of KYJay, pcaspian, Coletti, knightmeister, etc.
    All the posters you mention are admitted Christians. What about non-Christian theists? Are you perhaps confusing theism with religion?
  10. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    12 May '06 04:30
    Originally posted by bbarr
    As an empirical generalization, I do think this is true. Atheists are generally willing to countenance the possibility that they are mistaken. That is, they better exemplify the epistemic virtue of open-mindedness.
    Interesting wording: "better exemplify ... open-mindedness." Better does not necessarily mean good. Going by the attitudes of both theists and atheists in my life, open-mindedness is a rare cat, indeed. Humans need to believe that they are right--correct--to operate their lives. To doubt leads to hesitation, perhaps even paralysis, and hesitating often means losing out to the other rats in the race. A human will defend his position until the bitter end--doubting is the last thing a human of any stripe is going to do.
  11. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    12 May '06 04:37
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH

    I am very grateful to the (no pun intended) faithful atheists/agnostics who do continue to post their seeds of doubt and sometimes open defiance. Jesus said "seek and you will find," and--- I believe--- purposely made life a question that man could not help but to ask. That He has/is the answer, regardless the depth/ability of the questioner is no small comfort.
    Once again no mention of the independant theist. I feel so slighted, especially when I'm going around picking everybody and generally causing trouble. I like to think that I plant more seeds of doubt than most, actually, as I have two groups of people to plant in.

    That brings up an interesting question: how skeptical are atheists and Christians among themselves? Does a atheist actively sow seeds of doubt in a fellow atheist? How far does this "open-mindedness" thing go?
  12. Donationbbarr
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    12 May '06 05:25
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    All the posters you mention are admitted Christians. What about non-Christian theists? Are you perhaps confusing theism with religion?
    I'm not making claims about religion, but about theists (so, no confusion on that score). I intend my claims about theists to apply to non-christian theists as well, but my experiences with non-christian theists have happened generally offline.
  13. Donationbbarr
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    12 May '06 05:29
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    Interesting wording: "better exemplify ... open-mindedness." Better does not necessarily mean good. Going by the attitudes of both theists and atheists in my life, open-mindedness is a rare cat, indeed. Humans need to believe that they are right--correct--to operate their lives. To doubt leads to hesitation, perhaps even paralysis, and hesitating of ...[text shortened]... osition until the bitter end--doubting is the last thing a human of any stripe is going to do.
    Well, your experiences have differed substantially from mine. I didn't claim that, as a general rule, either atheists or theists are particularly open-minded. Trust me, my misanthropy is not limited to theists! While it is trivial that if a human believes that P, then that human believes that his belief that P is right, this is irrelevant to my claim about being open to considering conflicting evidence. I see this epistemic virtue exemplified quite regularly (though I spend most of my time with academics, so I may be inferring from a non-representative sample).
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    12 May '06 07:031 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Which people most commonly exhibit skeptical thinking when evaluating their beliefs: theists or atheists?
    A lot of the Christians here also seem to think philosophy stopped with Descartes, Hume and (at a push) Kant. (Other than philosophy of religion, perhaps.)
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    12 May '06 12:06
    Originally posted by dottewell
    A lot of the Christians here also seem to think philosophy stopped with Descartes, Hume and (at a push) Kant. (Other than philosophy of religion, perhaps.)
    As well as science, for some.
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