• 7 Posts
Joined 1 year ago
Cake day: June 17th, 2023


  • It’s not so much saying that someone’s religious beliefs are logically impossible, more highly unlikely. When I typically see this rhetoric, it’s generally along the lines of “how on Earth did you weigh up all the evidence (or lack thereof) and come to the conclusion that God exists?”, or more impolite words to that effect.

    I personally don’t browbeat the religious, so I’m not condoning it, but that’s why this line of argument generally isn’t gnostic atheism.

    If, on the other hand, someone is actually saying that the existence of God is logically impossible, a priori, then that would be gnostic atheism. But, like I said before, that generally isn’t what most atheists believe or argue for.

  • Gnostic atheists are only a thing on paper; I’ve never met or heard of another atheist who ascribes to this view. As the link you provided states, this academic definition of atheism is not one ascribed to by the vast majority of self-described atheists.

    Or, to quote the American Atheists organization:

    Atheism is not an affirmative belief that there is no god nor does it answer any other question about what a person believes. It is simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods. Atheism is too often defined incorrectly as a belief system. To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods. Source

    On this basis, any invisible unicorn/intergalactic teapot/flying spaghetti monster argument that invokes “burden of proof” is not an gnostic atheist position. The argument is based on the idea that until evidence for an invisible unicorn exists, there is no reason for it to have any bearing on our behavior.

    This is different from saying that because no evidence of an invisible unicorn exists, that we must conclude that it categorically does not exist. You cannot logically prove the non-existence of a non-existent entity.

  • As an atheist who is not anti-religion, I wholeheartedly agree. The religious do not have a monopoly on irrationality, or weaponizing ideology.

    I see many atheists on forums proposing the idea that if we could only just get rid of religion, the world would be a harmonious and rational place. As if human beings wouldn’t still be perfectly able to come up with new and interesting ways to rationalize conflict and division amongst themselves.

  • I agree with your second paragraph but take issue with your first.

    Atheism is not the belief that God categorically does not exist; it’s the position that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that God exists, and that therefore there is no reason to believe in him/her/it. It’s a subtle but important distinction because the first is not logically consistent whereas the latter is.

    Agnosticism, on the other hand, tends to either be the view that the likelihood of God existing is more or less equal to that of God not existing, or the view that we will probably never know so we cannot come down on one side or the other.

  • Yeah, it’s an interesting dichotomy and one that is quite typical of Thai culture, which many people don’t realize is actually conservative in a quiet kind of way.

    For years, LGBT+ people have been tolerated but still not fully accepted by mainstream society. So while LBGT+ people can be out in public and not get harassed like they do in other cultures, they still haven’t had the same legal rights as CIS/straight people. This is why this new legislation is a great move forward in the right direction.

  • It’s a fair question. Human hearing ability is a spectrum like anything else, however when it comes to discerning the difference in audio quality, the vast, vast majority of people cannot reliably tell the difference between high-bitrate lossy and lossless when they do a double blinded test. And that includes audiophiles with equipment worth thousands of dollars.

    Of that tiny minority who can consistently distinguish between the two, they generally can only tell by listening very closely for the very particular characteristics of the encoder format, which takes a highly trained ear and a lot of practice.

    The blind aspect is important because side-by-side comparisons (be they different audio formats, or 60fps vs 120fps video) are highly unreliable because people will generally subconsciously prefer the one they know is supposed to be better.

  • This is true, especially if you are storing files locally. However, even compared to “CD quality” FLAC, a 24/192 album is still going to be around three times larger (around 1GB per album) to download. If everyone switched over to streaming hi-res audio tomorrow, there would be a noticeable jump in worldwide Internet traffic.

    I’m personally not ok with the idea of bandwidth usage jumping up over 3x (and even more compared to lossy streaming) for no discernable benefit.