doogly wrote:Are these supposed to represent different modes of thought, or modes of conversation? Because I still don't see how they represent functionally different thoughts. If you think there is no evidence for something, you believe in not-it.
I could have a pet mongoose. You don't know if I do or not. Chances are that I don't, because I don't think most households have pet mongoose, but some do.
Now, is the lack of belief in me having a pet mongoose the same as the belief that I don't have a pet mongoose? One is saying "I...really don't know. I doubt it, but I'm not going to say he definitely doesn't" Because I really could, you know. Saying that I don't is a fact which you could be wrong about.
I think most of the problem has more to do with the theists than with the atheist/soft atheist/agnostic response. Like doogly (may have) implied, I would say that one can only be 7 with respect to specific deities, not to the concept of God in general. However, thanks to theists, the concept of God has been expounded so broadly as to make a novel concept of God well-nigh incomprehensible. If one holds to the 6 position overall but has taken the 7 position with respect every deity conceivable (at least, as far as he knows), the inconceivability (yes, it means what I think it means) of other concepts of God actually existing will make him into a 7 overall.
One could separate possible god-concepts into two categories:
- Gods which ought to have real and proximate effects on the observable universe by action of their nature
- Gods which have no effects that could possibly be measured (either by virtue of a noninterference policy or a faith-is-necessary policy)
He might first presume (based on experience) that all god-concepts must fit into one of these categories (the fairly reasonable presumption that irrelevant options are irrelevant). He would further rule out any deities in the former category (for which cases the absence of evidence really is evidence of absence) because he sees no effects, and he would rule out deities in the latter category on the basis that no legitimate excuse for such policies could exist (not a totally bad conclusion once he has heard a thousand illegitimate excuses).
doogly wrote:I mean, I could see being a 7 regarding particular gods which make nonminimal claims about their existence. I'm a 7 with regards to jesus, who is supposed to have done a bunch of miraculous fucking with the natural world. I have zero evidence irrelevant gods (ie, deist folks preferred gods). I have overwhelming evidence against the claim that I am god. Most gods are in between at some finite value, but for a claim regarding "any god," the irrelevant options prevent anyone from being a 7.
You're a 7 with regard to Jesus, who is supposed to have performed a bunch of miracles? You know
that a guy named Jesus didn't exist 2000 years ago? Or you know
that no one named Jesus performed miracles 2000 years ago? Ostensibly, you weren't there; do you fit into either of the "7" categories I listed above?