Do atheists believe that existence / nonexistence is a binary proposition?

Do Atheists believe that existence / nonexistence is a binary proposition, that is, that only one of the states can be true.

Posted: October 25th 2009

Mike the Infidel www

It is definitionally binary. Something either exists or does not exist. If we aren’t certain of its existential status, our lack of knowledge doesn’t weigh in one bit on the reality of the situation. If something is only “partially” existent, it is not nonexistent.

The existence or nonexistence of a particular being can be unknown, in which case we’re only left with belief, lack of belief, and outright rejection (or denial).

Posted: January 22nd 2010

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George Locke

This is a question about word usage, so it would probably be better to ask Merriam-Webster than this site.

The question specifically asks whether the two following statements can be true simultaneously: “X exists” and “X does not exist”. If there are cases where they can both be true, I can’t think of them, though there are cases where neither is true because both are meaningless, as when X is poorly defined.

I’m guessing that the questioner finds the existence/nonexistence dichotomy inadequate for describing God or something, but s/he doesn’t say why, and I don’t see the problem.

Posted: October 26th 2009

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SmartLX www

Save the capital A. It’s not a religion, it’s not a school of philosophy unto itself, it’s not named after anyone named Atheus and you wouldn’t capitalise “theism”.

If there are any atheists who do not see existence as a binary proposition, my guess is that they would not believe that God exists even partially. That said, I’ve never heard of any.

Posted: October 25th 2009

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