I am interested in how you justify your examples as even being similar to what you responded to.Ã‚Â
Maybe I can see it if you are referring to 2 opposite things, but that is certainly not what is being said here.
He's confirming and denying the same thing simultaneously by changing the wording but the meaning falls out the same each way. Lets break it down...
The first part; "Atheism is a lack of belief..."
Atheism is a lack of belief, not a belief in the negative.
What is this saying at its unassumptive core? Atheism is looking from the perspective of a 'lack'. A lack of what? ...belief. To work towards
what atheism is, you start from the establishment that atheism makes an intellectual leap by making a negative assessment. When the direction is opposite of a positive confirmation than we can logically deduce that the argument itself is from the negative, hence Thanos did indeed establish that Atheism foundationally argues from the negative.The second part; "...not a belief in the negative."
I'm not sure that is even coherent by itself, or at least, even dealing with the charge that Atheism argues only from the negative. For the sake of argument however, we'll say that it does, and if
it does, it is trying to deny what was confirmed by the first part; "Atheism is a lack of belief..."
Javabean, did that clear up why I believe that my own examples of self-defeating statements were relevant?
Let's get something right here so we don't get confused. There is nothing logically wrong with arguing from the negative. Creationists do it all the time. When the scientific method is used to demonstrate the shortcomings of Evolutionary beliefs the arguments are almost always from the negative. It's establishing why evolution can't be true. Why evolution lacks real evidence to justify it. Why evolution comes up short. The difference is that when evolution is agreed to have enough problems to discredit it, the creationist has a positive argument for justifying why they do believe what they believe.
Atheism by itself, on the other hand, only has arguments from the negative and it's pretty universally agreed (even among educated atheists) that you can't make a positive conclusion from arguments that are all in the negative. This is why many atheists will seek to identify themselves with an ideology other than atheism such as Humanism, Communism, Socialism or Utilitarianism. These secular ideologies give them the impression that they now have grounds for ideologically making positive claims where atheism can not.