Potentially, the Atheist Nexus is home to many philosophers, professional or amateur. This group will be the place for them to debate philosophical standpoints, share new ideas, or help each other understand various philosophical propositions.

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Latest Activity: Jul 3

The Philosophy Group on Atheist Nexus

Potentially, the Atheist Nexus is home to many philosophers, professional or amateur. This group will be the place for them to debate philosophical standpoints, share new ideas, or help each other understand various philosophical propositions.

Do you ever find yourself discussing the philosophy of science or the philosophy of mind, or do you ever consider yourself a cynic, an existentialist, a nihilist or a skeptic? Join up and launch yourself into interesting discussions and analyses. Connect with your fellow thinker!

Interesting links

Discussion Forum

Our Unthinkable Situation, beyond Nihilism

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Jan 23. 1 Reply

The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris

Started by Rodney A Sayre. Last reply by JP Carey Sep 4, 2013. 3 Replies

The Masochist's Wager

Started by Nathaniel Summers. Last reply by Steph S. Jan 7, 2013. 1 Reply

Can You Imagine Nothing?

Started by JP Carey. Last reply by Steph S. Dec 1, 2012. 3 Replies


Animal Consciousness

[Revised entry by Colin Allen and Michael Trestman on October 24, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Questions about animal consciousness - in particular, which animals have consciousness and what (if anything) that consciousness might be like - are both scientific and philosophical. They are scientific because answering them will require gathering information using scientific techniques - no amount of arm-chair pondering, conceptual analysis, logic, a priori theory-building, transcendental inference or introspection will tell us whether a platypus, an iguana, or a squid (to take a few examples)...

Pregnancy, Birth, and Medicine

[Revised entry by Rebecca Kukla and Katherine Wayne on October 24, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] When philosophers have turned their attention to the ethics of reproduction, they have mostly focused on abortion, and to a lesser extent on various assisted reproductive technologies used to create a pregnancy. However, a number of thorny ethical issues can arise during the course of a continuing pregnancy, labor, and birth, and these are receiving growing attention in bioethics. This article is restricted to a discussion of such issues. See the entries on feminist perspectives on reproduction and the family,...

Foundationalist Theories of Epistemic Justification

[Revised entry by Ali Hasan and Richard Fumerton on October 24, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Foundationalism is a view about the structure of justification or knowledge. The foundationalist's thesis in short is that all knowledge or justified belief rest ultimately on a foundation of noninferential knowledge or justified belief. A little reflection suggests that the vast majority of the propositions we know or justifiably believe have that status only...

The Theory of Two Truths in Tibet

[Revised entry by Sonam Thakchoe on October 24, 2016. Changes to: Bibliography] Tibetan philosophers argue that the two truths theory is not only core ontological doctrine as it is understood within the Indian Buddhist thought, it also makes the central theory behind epistemology and soteriology. The Indian Buddhist schools are named after the theories of the two truths they each upheld as in the entry on the theory of the two truths in India. The same cannot be said about the schools of thought in Tibet. All Tibetan philosophers and the...

The Theory of Two Truths in India

[Revised entry by Sonam Thakchoe on October 20, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The theory of the two truths has a twenty-five century long history behind it. It has its origin in the sixth century BCE[1] India with the emergence of the Siddhārtha Gautama. It is said, according to the Pitāpūtrasamāgama-sūtra, Siddhārtha became a buddha "awakened one" because he fully understood the meaning of the two truths - conventional truth (saṁvṛti-satya) and ultimate truth...

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Comment by Jedi Wanderer on September 3, 2013 at 10:01am

Hey KBJ, it's PhilosopherAaron! Not surprised to find you here. My take: I'm just fine with calling myself an atheist. You put the matter well: one cannot logically rule out the existence of deities, any more than we can logically rule out the existence of fairies or goblins or any number of some such fantastical creatures. And all of these ideas were quite clearly created by people. Beliefs are held based on strength of certitude. I am not at all certain whether life exists elsewhere in the universe, but I tend to believe that there are, just as I am not at all certain that we haven't been visited by aliens, though I tend to believe not. I am very certain that I have two hands, and that my name is Aaron, and that I had tea AND coffee already this morning. This degree of certitude qualifies as knowledge if anything does. I am also very certain that people created the ideas of deities and all other fantastical creatures, and that these creatures exist only as ideas. I could be just as wrong about this as I am that I am who I think I am, and that I have actually experienced what I think I have experienced. I COULD doubt all these things; another way of putting this is that there isn't anything which can not be doubted. As an academic exercise, there isn't anything that, at one time or another, SHOULDN'T be doubted. But when we come back to Earth, we have to decide what degree of certitude we can assign to each of our beliefs, and which ones could be counted as knowledge. On this account, knowledge is weak and is nothing more than having strong certitude in a belief (and it must turn out that this belief was both true and reasonably-justified). With such a weak version of knowledge, it may be acceptable to affirm that we know more than what is logically permissible, because of the difference between logic and practical belief. The problems associated with this approach seem more acceptable than the problems associated with a stricter approach, for the simple fact that, as I previously mentioned, no belief is logically superior than any other, in any purely objective sense. We are all in an epistemological hinterland where the only thing separating truth from fiction is a reasonable suspicion of what is more or less likely. Nevertheless, if anything makes sense, then a great deal can be said about what does or doesn't make sense. Still, there is so much doubt surrounding our entire epistemological constructs that making any progress requires a lot of heavy lifting. But, some beliefs seem much lighter to lift than others, expertise seems possible, and so justification seems possible. At some point it seems possible to say some things with a great amount of certitude. I believe, with a degree of certitude sufficient enough to warrant calling it knowledge, that I have two hands. I have a similar strength of belief that deities are figments of people's imagination. If I cannot say that deities are not real, than I am in much the same situation with regards to saying that my hands are. In other words, either you have to accept a pervasive skepticism which undermines all beliefs and puts every belief on the same epistemological footing, meaning that all beliefs are just as likely to be true as any other, or you have to have some epistemological structure which allows for comparing beliefs against each other. However you bridge that gap, once you do than you have a weak method for separating truth from fiction, and you don't have to qualify every belief on this basic level. It will still be necessary to say what degree of certitude you have in any given belief, but you can be "sure" of some, sure enough to say you "know". I am sure I have two hands, I am sure there are no deities, etc., and I know these things.


I just wrote this off the top of my head though, so I'm not sure how well this all works. I would say I am less sure of what I just wrote than to be able to say that I know it is right. :)

Comment by Keith Brian Johnson on September 1, 2013 at 3:42am

I don't see a way to edit that, so just mentally add an end parenthesis at the end of the second paragraph.

Comment by Keith Brian Johnson on September 1, 2013 at 3:41am

No. No, no, no, and again, no. There is a lot of room between "Yes, God definitely exists," and "No, God definitely does not exist." Not all versions of God are logically impossible or even conflict with what we know about the world, and nobody halfway rational could absolutely rule out the possibility that one of the not-impossible versions of God exists. And that is enough to be claimed as agnostic.

Of course, this is a technical form of agnosticism. One cannot rule out the possibility that Santa Claus exists, either. (Maybe there's an invisibility shield cloaking his North Pole home, and maybe his sleigh has an anti-gravity device, and maybe he uses a Star Trek-style transporter to get into and out of homes, and maybe his bag reaches into a fourth spatial dimension and is therefore effectively bottomless, so that it can hold all of the presents he has to deliver, and maybe he has a time dilation device that slows the passage of time outside its bubble so that he can get to all the homes in one night, and so on.

Do I think human beings invented the idea of God? Sure. Of course. But if I say simply, "No, there is no God," theists jump on my statement as a statement of faith--"See? You have faith, too!"--and then think that nonbelief doesn't have any epistemological advantage over belief. I'd rather say that I do not see sufficient reason to think it's actually true that God exists, so that as a reasonable person, I don't believe that God exists, and that in the absence of such sufficient reason, nobody else should believe that God exists, either. But that's a mouthful. I'd love to find a quick way of saying that. So far, I haven't found one. "Nontheist" is a label I use, and perhaps "rational nontheist" would do. I'm unaware of a single, one-word label for my position, though.

Comment by D R Hosie on August 31, 2013 at 9:37pm

Why so many still claim to be agnostic.

Re-examining our God of the gaps

Comment by D R Hosie on August 24, 2013 at 1:38pm

For anyone still in the dark about Bradley Manning.

Bradley Manning's still a Good ol' Girl.

Comment by D R Hosie on August 20, 2013 at 6:11pm

Childhood religious indoctrination is Child Abuse.

Suffer not the little children

Comment by George Gordner III on August 3, 2013 at 11:01am

Existential Atheist



Comment by Kelvin Hilerio on March 14, 2013 at 4:35pm

Currently reading some of Jean Paul Sartre's fictional works.

Comment by JP Carey on October 16, 2012 at 2:34pm

Yes! I've made it home to here -I finally have some minds for conversations :)  Today I am 42yo, I've always been a thinker and alone. In fact I've spent 13 YEARS as a carpet cleaner STARING AT THE FLOOR, LOST IN THOUGHT.  In that time I've had some pretty profound ideas. amazing to be here, today

Comment by Smiley Courtney on September 21, 2011 at 8:13am

Board moderator;

You have some good sources here. Can you put up an expandable biblio? A place for us all to share books, etc. we've founf informative?


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