Yep, I agree with some of what he says and other parts I completely disagree. I hope you enjoy this video!
Let’s talk a bit about terms…oh yeah and I still do write blogs…it’s been awhile. I’ve been so busy getting my channel up and running that having time to sit down and write a blog has been pretty much non-existent.
I am an Atheist-
So anyway, let’s talk about terminology.
Some folks will say that Atheist simply means a lack of belief in god or gods, and I believe they are correct. Others will say that Atheist means a positive assertion that you do not believe in god or gods, and I believe that they too are correct.
How can both groups be correct?
Let’s look at the opposite side of the coin.
A theist makes the assertion, “I am a theist.”
Well, what do we gather from that statement? Not much really. The theist could be saying that they believe in a specific god, such as Jehovah, Allah, Krishna, Thor, or Zeus.
They could also be saying that they believe there is a god that is not really defined by any of the specific gods mentioned but is still Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent.
On top of those they could just as well be saying that they believe in god as a natural force that flows throughout all of nature.
Lastly, they could even be arguing for a concept of god, something that attempts to prove the god hypothesis is plausible or probable. This last one I like to call the William Lane Craig method.
Stating that you are a theist could literally mean a plethora of different ideologies, ideas, or perspectives. It does not state anything about what the theist actually believes personally.
So let’s get back to the original argument, that both groups are correct. If you do not believe in a god or gods, you lack belief in a god or gods. If you lack belief in a god or gods, you do not believe in god or gods. I really don’t understand what the major issue is around the terminology. The only time that making a positive assertion means anything at all is in terms of a formal debate, outside of that they are simply your own personal statements.
Burden of Proof
This gets me to the burden of proof issue. In a debate the burden of proof goes to the person making a positive claim. So whether you say, I believe in god, or I do not believe in god, you would be making a positive claim and would technically take on your back the burden of proof. However, how bad of a thing is this?
I do not believe in Unicorns.
That didn’t hurt me a bit to make that statement and yet many would balk if I were to say, “I do not believe in god.” Why is this? We have precisely just as much evidence to support the god hypothesis as we do the unicorn hypothesis, and yet has anyone ever been told…“AH! But you can’t prove unicorns don’t exist!”
Do you know why you don’t hear people saying this? It’s simple really….that statement would be ridiculed, laughed at, and you would become a laughing-stock. No one would take you seriously if you tried to force folks to prove Unicorns don’t exist and yet I claim that the same should be true for god.
Do I have evidence that there isn’t some planet out there where a horse like creature with a horn exists? No, do I need that evidence to laugh at the Unicorn believer? Fuck no. I’d laugh and move on with my day, the same that I would do for any other ridiculous belief such as this.
I do however think god and unicorns are separated by one big difference.
Argumentum Ad Populum
The only real difference between any other ridiculous claim and the god hypothesis is the number of people who believe in god is far greater than the number of people who claim to believe in unicorns, leprechauns, and other myths or conspiracy theories. What I’m saying here is that by stating atheists need to defend their lack of faith a person is committing an Argument ad Populum fallacy.
How dare I?!?!?!
Well, from all that I have gathered the only reason that an imaginary god is treated with more respect than the other ridiculous beliefs out there is because the majority of people feel like it should be treated with more respect than those other beliefs. So basically we are stating that atheists, in order to claim that they do not believe in god, are required to present more proof than you would have to present for any other mythical or imaginary figure. How much evidence do I have to present to prove that unicorns don’t exist? Absolutely none because there has never been a unicorn as presented to us in mythology. It is perfectly fine for me to take it for granted that unicorns do not exist.
I would say that it is also perfectly fine for me to take it for granted that god does not exist.
Where do I stand?
I am perfectly happy stating that I do not believe in god, I also do not believe in any god concept that has been presented to us since the dawn of our species. I am a positive atheist, a 6.99999% on the Dawkins scale, and what would be called a philosophical atheist if we going to go with more academic terms. However, when asked I will call myself an agnostic atheist. Why would I do this? A couple of reasons…
1.) We cannot expect everyone to be academic and highly classed in philosophy.
2.) I am a layman atheist. I want to be approachable and easy to talk to.
3.) The modern colloquial usage of that term is the most prevalent in society today.
4.) The actual terminology is only truly important in terms of debate or academia.
So I refer to myself here, as well as on my channel, as an agnostic atheist. Meaning that I am a person who lacks a belief in god but does not know for certain that god does not exist. Technically I’m also an agnostic unicornist, an agnostic leprechaunist, and an agnostic educated flat eartherist. I lack belief in those 3 things but I cannot prove with absolute certainty that they do not exist somewhere in some form within this universe.
I’m not one that puts a lot of stock in terms, I really don’t care what people call themselves as long as we can both have a simple understanding of each others position. I lack belief in god and I do not believe god exists. If that causes a major problem for you, I suggest you move on from the topic. If you accept my terminology and we can then move on to a productive conversation, let’s do it.
Hopefully, this will be the last time I have to talk on this topic because it really is unproductive. Much love to you all.
The Godless Iowan
Welcome to a new #SubscribeSaturday post. This week I have a brand new YouTuber, Atheistic Snail.
Atheistic Snail is a former Catholic who made her way to reason though a very interesting journey. The above video gives a brief description as to what the channel is all about and a bit of information regarding who she is now. These stories are all similar but also different in their own ways and I find them all fascinating.
The above answers video gives her perspective on some of the most common questions that atheists receive. Her reasoning for hating Pascal’s wager is the same as mine. I can’t tell you how many times I used Pascal’s wager as an argument for faith in god and now I realize just how bad of an argument it really is….gah….you live and you learn.
Atheistic Snail already has some great response videos that I have really enjoyed. Response videos are actually a bit scary to tackle because you want to come off as tackling the ideas promoted in the video but not the person themselves. Atheistic Snail nails it and I think you’ll really enjoy this video.
I want to thank Johnny Drivebye for directing me to this channel. I’ve really enjoyed every video she has on her channel, I’ve seen Atheistic Snail in my comments section several times and she has been highly supportive of me throughout the last couple of months. This channel is almost definitely going to blow up and I am so glad to have found it in the early days.
Thank you Atheistic Snail for being an awesome new creator. For being bright and fun to watch. You’re going to go far in the future and I am glad to have met you in my comments section and now through your videos.
Everyone should go and subscribe to Atheistic Snail’s channel right now, it’s awesome!!!
Hello Hell-Bound Friends. Tomorrow 1-9pm, if you’re in Dallas, I recommend you check out the Faithless Forum. Tickets are still available, only $20 dollars, and it is going to be a great time. However if you are like me and live in the Butthole of America, you’re not going to be able to make it and so I’m bringing the forum to you with my favorite videos from each of the guests. So let’s get to it.
GM Skeptic: Why You Lose By Being Religious
To be honest, making this list is harder than most because of the excellent videos on each of these channels. However, GM Skeptics was probably the hardest to select just one from. His content is all interesting, profound, and powerful. Check out this video and get hooked on his channel just like I did. Enjoy!
TellTale Atheist: Jehovahs Witnesses Justifying Shunning
Ok so maybe I was wrong because going through TellTale’s catalog was just as hard as going through GM Skeptics. A former Jehovah’s Witness, Telltale has an amazing story to tell and a lot to draw from. His videos flow very well and are each unique and interesting. There really isn’t a bad video to jump into his content. Subscribe to his new Science channel as well!
Godless Engineer: How a Jehovah’s Witness Questioned and Left his Faith
There are videos that Godless Engineer makes that are more entertaining, funnier, and more informative than the above one. However what Godless Engineer does is takes folks like me, and Fenrir in the video above, who are just starting out and gives them a major boost. He is all about building the community and helping small channels succeed. It’s amazing what he does and I think he’d be proud knowing I picked one of these videos on his channel for today’s list. Go subscribe today!
KC’s Corner: Jehovah’s Witness Elders Tell Us How to Stay Clean For Jehovah
KC can also be found on Godless Engineer’s channel and just as much can be said about her contributions to the community as with Godless Engineer. New to making videos of her own she hit the nail on the head with her first video and really set herself apart. She’s honestly one of the nicest people you will ever get the pleasure of meeting and is both brilliant and hilarious.
Anthony Magnabosco: Street Epistemology: Nick
Magnabosco can chat with anyone, he has a natural charm that seems to make folks enjoy talking to him. His street epistemology series teaches the finer points of leading someone towards questioning their own beliefs. Anthony Magnabosco is a modern day Socrates in my opinion, and I think some of the folks he interviews comes away with the same type of mindset as those who spoke with Socrates did in Plato’s stories.
Allie Jackson: How to Approach Hateful Thoughts and acts towards
Allie Jackson(Atheist Republic) is the one on this list today that I am less familiar with but nonetheless what I have seen of her talks and videos have been excellent. This talk discusses how to deal with some of the things that we atheists meet with on a daily basis and some great advice is provided. Check out Atheist Republic’s channel for more of Allie’s content!
Prophet of Zod: What if Everybody Wanted School Prayer
What doesn’t Prophet of Zod do? I mean seriously, he makes great response videos, has awesome interviews, and even has some great animated shorts on his channel. It’s really impossible to narrow him down to a specific style because he really does it all. Zod is an amazing creator and a really good guy, I’ve enjoyed getting to know him recently and can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in the future.
Holy Koolaid: Atheist State of the Union 2018
This is the video that made me a content creator on YouTube. I watched this, looked at Missus Snarky and said it’s time for me to tell the world my story. 9 days later i was on YouTube. So Holy Koolaid holds the distinction of being the voice that “led me out of the darkness” of sorts and since then I have made so many friends and learned so much. I wouldn’t be making videos if it wasn’t for this video and for that I will always be thankful for Holy Koolaid.
Honorable Mention: Suris the Skeptic: My De-conversion from Christianity
Not officially in the line-up but deserving to be on the list today is Suris the Skeptic. A few weeks back I was introduced to Suris by Don Michaud on Twitter. Since then I have grown to call him a friend. He makes awesome videos and is there to help. If you want to know why my audio magically got better, it’s thanks to Suris! He will be roaming around meeting all the people tomorrow. Which is good because I have no doubt that one day soon he will be a headliner at conferences like these.
Last week was April Fools and so this week’s edition is dedicated to the amazing videos produced last week. I hope you enjoy! Also this week I did include videos that I happened to be in so I hope that doesn’t offend too badly.
Honorable Mention: Cap Brony
Doesn’t really fit the theme of the week but this was a great interview. Hope you enjoy it!
#1 The Rebels Advocate
Absolutely hilarious short clip!
#2 God the Good One
Easter has now been cancelled!
#3 The Black Sofa
The “True” story of easter. Black Sofa had a special guest…me! lol
#4 Hymnalysis, Godless Mom, Godless Engineer and Me
We were so wrong….or were we…lol
#5 Disappointed Optimist
Who knew rabbits were so evil? lol
#6 Professor Stick
Atheism is dead! No questions asked!
#7 Holy Koolaid
Gotta show respect that such a hustler would show such loyalty to his god.
#9 Mac Clark
A more serious look at what Easter means to a skeptic.
#10 Suris the Skeptic
I have no idea what is going on but I’m scared and laughing.
Video of the Week: NonSequitur
Not really an April Fools Joke, but Dean Esmay got owned!
Everyone go and subscribe to TellTale Atheist. Today I talk about some of my experiences as a pentecostal and use TellTale Atheists video as a jumping off point for my own series on the practices of the pentecostal faith. I hope you and he enjoys it.
The Black Sofa was nice enough to allow me to make a video for his channel. I hope you all enjoy it!