If not, or you never got to read it don't worry. I'll give you the cliffs notes of my argument: you can only lack a belief (pro/con) about a proposition if you've never heard about it. And there are 3 choices regarding belief (once you know of the proposition): yes, no, don't know.
One may argue that "can't know" is an option. However that would be a belief statement as well, and I would say falls under the selection of don't know.
And "don't know" does not equal a lack of belief as I'll will show.
If I say "do you believe in X?" But you don't know what X is, you can lack any sort of belief. You may say "I don't know" but that isn't the same as the "don't know" above.
Don't worry, we will get out of the mud soon enough.
I have been listening to a podcast called Serial. You can find it here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/serial/id917918570?mt=2#episodeGuid=31%20at%20http%3A%2F%2Fserialpodcast.org
It a reporters investigation into a murder that took place in 1999. She, the reporter, is looking into it today, in real time, trying to uncover what really happened.
I won't bog this post down with the specific details because it those don't matter in the grand scheme of the post.
But a guy was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend. However there are some glaring issues with whether or not he did do it.
And after following this podcast my thoughts on if he did it or not are this: I don't know.
Chances are you've never heard of the case, so if I were to ask you if he did it you would most likely say: I don't know.
But there is a vast difference between our "don't knows."
My DK is based upon knowledge I have about the case as presented by the reporter.
Your DK is based on LACK of ANY knowledge of the case whatsoever. You LACK an ability to form a belief since you have no knowledge of the case.
I have knowledge and info regarding the case but it isn't enough to sway me to either yes he did it or no he didn't. I am left with: don't know. It's my only option. It's a belief statement- I don't lack a belief about the situation.
You LACK info, thus you cannot make an informed belief statement. In this case, you DO lack a belief. How can you have a belief about something you know NOTHING about?
Okay, so why is this splitting of hairs important?
Because atheists (not all) interchange the two in their arguments.
Take my pal Ironatheist.
He claims atheism is a lack of belief, yet is fully aware of the information provided regarding the proposition: does God exist?
This, obviously is incorrect.
At best his "don't know" is equivalent to my "DK" toward the murder case. He is informed, but not swayed either way. Thus he doesn't fall into the other DK.
And here's the rub: if I truly LACKED a belief if the guy commuted the murder- the I can't argue a side (pro/con).
Yet with God, this is exactly what IA does and other atheists like him. They claim to lack a belief, yet will argue that God doesn't exist.
But don't take my word, let's look at IAs own words:
"God is a lie."
That's not lacking a belief of God, that's a clear belief statement if there ever was one.
That's not, "you can't know God exists." Or "I don't know."
That's a definitive statement.
Yet in his posts he contradicts this statement by claiming atheism is a lack of belief - which is why, he BELIEVES, we are all born atheist because atheism, to him, is a "lack of belief." Or a neutral position.
But as we have seen, this doesn't jive.
In is post arguing that we are born atheists he states this: "- Atheism is the neutral position."
No it isn't
He even goes onto say this: "- Atheists DO NOT BELIEVE in gods, or the truth of religions, because there is no evidence to believe."
That's NOT neutrality.
How is "God is a lie" as neutral as newborn w/ out knowledge of the world.
By IA's definition babies are ascience as well- neutral about science.
He does agree we form beliefs, but forgets that neutrality DOESN'T take a side.
The point that IA missed in my post in reply to him. One he lied about and said he "just found." Was that babies CANT form a belief. They LACK the ability to.
Hence the word atheism. The word means to NOT believe in God. That is, a belief HAS been formed.
It's quite simple.
Atheism is not a lack of belief but a statement of belief.
To test an atheist when these this claim, simply ask them this: do they lack the ability to form a belief?
Of course they will say they can.
And when they do, then say well if they can't why haven't they?
I trust you see where this goes from here.
Lack of belief is NOT atheism. It's quite simple, but fundamentalist atheist don't like to hen cornered.
Anyhow, I have once again beaten a dead horse. That's okay, I needed something to wind down with.