7 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ nonbelief

  1. There is a subtle difference in the English language between don’t believe and disbelieve. The first, philosophically, can be termed negative or implicit, while the latter a positive or explicit belief.

    I explicitly disbelieve in Abrahamic gods and implicitly not believe in gods that I have not heard of.

    This is in part at the heart of the agnostic-atheist debate. Of course we handle the concept of knowledge is also relevant to agnosticism. But back on topic … the barmaid is expressing the implicit form of atheism. I wonder, does she not disbelieve in some of the Abrahamic attributes of the alleged God.

    1. Re: disbelief in Abrahamic gods vs. non-belief in unfamiliar gods

      That is covered by categorical disbelief. I disbelieve in the any element in the set of gods, without having to single them out. I don’t need to find a reason why Krishna or Anansi do not exist to disbelieve in them. I consider myself a naturalist and have a categorical disbelief in the supernatural: gods, fairies, leprechauns, the list goes on. There is no more reason to single out Jehovah or Thor than there is to single out Santa Claus.

  2. I consider myself a naturalist and have a categorical disbelief in the supernatural: gods, fairies, leprechauns, the list goes on.

    Fair enough I consider myself a naturalist too, and I don’t have a belief in the supernatural. I am not sure what the word categorical adds to the concept of disbelief.

    There is no more reason to single out Jehovah or Thor than there is to single out Santa Claus.

    Well in the context Jesus&Mo I could argue there is.

    Take a more neutral question, “has there ever been life on Mars?” I would answer, “I don’t believe so.” For me to say “I disbelieve”, would take more knowledge than I currently have.

    1. > I am not sure what the word categorical adds to the concept of disbelief.

      What ‘categorical’ adds to it is that there is no reason to refute every new argument, every new god, every new supernatural claim. If I rule out the existence of real magic when I read up on Harry Houdini, I never have to consider the ‘possibility’ that David Copperfield or Criss Angel were real, legitimate magicians. I ruled out the category, and do not need to rule out specific cases. We haven’t categorically ruled out distant planets in the solar system, but we have specifically ruled out a counter-Earth.

      > has there ever been life on Mars?

      The burden of proof is on someone introducing a fully new category – especially one that violates current prevailing theories. For a xenobiologist, yes, it is a fascinating question, but not out of the realm of possibility. Not yet, anyway. There might be a point where we discover that Martian life is not just non-existant, but actually impossible. This comes back to your lack of disbelief in other gods like Vishnu and Baal. It is categorically impossible that they exist as supernatural beings (sure, they and any other god could have been inspired by real-life natural human beings. Separate issue.

      1. Burden of proof One hears a lot about this, but I am curious how we can “prove” stuff using inductive logic? Also, I am happy to listen to all corroborating evidence that there is no god, should anyone assert there is no god.

  3. It may or may be odd that Frank Wilczek of the Core Theory of the effective field theory of everything would be pantheist [ https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2013/01/04/the-world-of-everyday-experience-in-one-equation/ , https://www.edge.org/response-detail/26611 ].

    Sean Carroll
    Theoretical Physicist, Caltech; Author, Something Deeply Hidden
    We Know All The Particles And Forces That We’re Made Of

    … Together with gravity, captured by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, we have what Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek has dubbed the Core Theory: a complete description of all the particles and forces that make up you and me, as well as the sun, moon, and stars, and everything we’ve directly seen in every experiment performed here on Earth.

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