Sunday, November 15, 2009

Atheism As Justified True Belief

Acceptance of "the Given" [1] *

Atheism is a not a belief system for those who know there is no supernatural entity by any name.
How can anyone know this? The same way anyone can know anything--as a "justified true belief". [2]

First, something must be accepted as true. This is stated in logic as

  • 1. p is true

Then the person accepts the statement as fact. For example, the sky is blue represents the form of "p is true." Therefore,

  • 2. Mary believes p is true

And finally, because p is true

  • 3. Mary is justified in believing the sky is blue.

"Mary believes the sky is blue" is not a belief "system." It is a statement about what Mary believes about the statement "p is true."

In this way a justified true belief is a statement about one's acceptance of what is classified as a "given."

[1] "A skyscraper is a man-made fact, a mountain is a metaphysically given fact...Nature is the metaphysically given—i.e., the nature of nature is outside the power of any volition." Ayn Rand
[2] The Analysis of Knowledge; Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
* Originally published here in April, '09.

Alcoholics can get sober without god, since there is none.
Bill Wilson was wrong about self-will; but we must direct our will toward what keeps us sober. A higher power (HP) is no power at all if it doesn't help us. But as you will read in the page titled Higher Power, Part 2, that HP does not necessarily need to be outside yourself. ©

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