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Friday, March 23, 2007

Three Fallacies of Movementarian Atheists

I call "Movementarian Atheists" those who would try to stop everyone else from having a good time, and want to temper everyone into falling into step for an "atheist movement" which does not exist. Like this guy.

Here are their three most-used fallacies:


1. Fallacy of the Middle Ground

The belief that there is a middle ground between believing and not believing (there isn't), and that residing on this middle ground makes a person's position superior to all others positions (it doesn't).

Examples:
"I'm an agnostic. I believe that no one can really know. You have the burden of proof."
"I don't pretend to know anything."


2. Fallacy of Positive Thinking

The desire to find something good about religion or religious people. While no one denies that religions or religious people can do good things, those things have nothing to do with religion itself.

Examples:
"Don't insult someone for his or her religion, we have to be nice to everyone." (said after an atheist points out that Christianity is a morally repugnant doctrine)
"Religions do good things, like charity."


3. Fallacy of Pin-The-Meaning

The belief that folk semantics equals ontological truth (it doesn't). The desperate attempt to pin a meaning, any meaning, on a word simply because we already use that word.

Example:
"God is not a person, but God is love. We all really believe in God."
"Why are you so close-minded as to reject the idea that God could represent something beyond us?"

Post a Comment


5 Comments:

At 3/24/2007 11:21 AM, Blogger vjack declaimed...

Did you actually read the post to which you refer? It sounds like you stopped at the title and did not read the actual content.

 
At 3/24/2007 3:52 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Well, Alison did and relayed it to me. From what I heard, he's one of those people.

 
At 3/25/2007 8:53 AM, Blogger vjack declaimed...

I have no idea who Alison is, but since the he you refer to is me, I can assure you that this representation is not accurate.

 
At 3/25/2007 4:56 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

What, you're not a movementarian?

 
At 3/25/2007 8:03 PM, Blogger sidd declaimed...

I think you are mistaken regarding point 1:

Saying that there is no middle ground between belief and non-belief is debatable, but I'll give it to you anyway.

Even so, it is perfectly valid to say "I *believe* that there is no supernatural being, but I have no way of proving it, so I don't *know* for sure".

This is the sentiment of agnosticism as far as I understand it.

By the way, you have been linked back by Atheist Revolution.

 

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