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Most people are atheists

000ike
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5/17/2013 3:24:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
When I asked my friend why she was Catholic, she was immediately offended. Her justification for feeling offended went thus: "Asking me why I'm Catholic is like asking an asian person, 'why are you asian?'" Clearly, that justification is nonsense, but it did make me realize something. Religiosity is no longer a function of thought and belief. People call themselves Christian/Hindu/Jewish on the basis of a hereditary, sociocultural tradition - that is to say that religion is not a system of belief but an extension of identity. So it's difficult to attack and defeat religion because people don't really care about the argumentative quality of it. All they know is that their parents raised them into thinking they are of XYZ faith and they own that description.

Meanwhile, they proceed to live entirely secular lives, using periodic references to Jesus and superficial trips to the town chapel as the only proof of their self-professed identity.

Irreligiosity is atheism.
Secularism is atheism.
Most people are atheists - even if they don't think so.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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5/17/2013 3:39:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 3:24:21 PM, 000ike wrote:
When I asked my friend why she was Catholic, she was immediately offended. Her justification for feeling offended went thus: "Asking me why I'm Catholic is like asking an asian person, 'why are you asian?'" Clearly, that justification is nonsense, but it did make me realize something. Religiosity is no longer a function of thought and belief. People call themselves Christian/Hindu/Jewish on the basis of a hereditary, sociocultural tradition - that is to say that religion is not a system of belief but an extension of identity. So it's difficult to attack and defeat religion because people don't really care about the argumentative quality of it. All they know is that their parents raised them into thinking they are of XYZ faith and they own that description.

Meanwhile, they proceed to live entirely secular lives, using periodic references to Jesus and superficial trips to the town chapel as the only proof of their self-professed identity.

Irreligiosity is atheism.
Secularism is atheism.
Most people are atheists - even if they don't think so.

You can have no religion and believe in deities You can have a religion and not believe in deities.

You can be secular and believe in deities.

I couldn't say what most people "are".
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Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/17/2013 3:40:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 3:24:21 PM, 000ike wrote:
When I asked my friend why she was Catholic, she was immediately offended. Her justification for feeling offended went thus: "Asking me why I'm Catholic is like asking an asian person, 'why are you asian?'" Clearly, that justification is nonsense, but it did make me realize something. Religiosity is no longer a function of thought and belief. People call themselves Christian/Hindu/Jewish on the basis of a hereditary, sociocultural tradition - that is to say that religion is not a system of belief but an extension of identity. So it's difficult to attack and defeat religion because people don't really care about the argumentative quality of it. All they know is that their parents raised them into thinking they are of XYZ faith and they own that description.

Meanwhile, they proceed to live entirely secular lives, using periodic references to Jesus and superficial trips to the town chapel as the only proof of their self-professed identity.

Irreligiosity is atheism.
Secularism is atheism.
Most people are atheists - even if they don't think so.

I do not know about most, that may be stretching it. I do agree with you though that many people who claim to be Christians just do it out of tradition. I actually had someone say "I am Christian but I don't believe in God" lol Some people just call themselves Christian's because their parents are or something, and it is just a label to them with no core meaning.
AlbinoBunny
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5/17/2013 3:45:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 3:40:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/17/2013 3:24:21 PM, 000ike wrote:
When I asked my friend why she was Catholic, she was immediately offended. Her justification for feeling offended went thus: "Asking me why I'm Catholic is like asking an asian person, 'why are you asian?'" Clearly, that justification is nonsense, but it did make me realize something. Religiosity is no longer a function of thought and belief. People call themselves Christian/Hindu/Jewish on the basis of a hereditary, sociocultural tradition - that is to say that religion is not a system of belief but an extension of identity. So it's difficult to attack and defeat religion because people don't really care about the argumentative quality of it. All they know is that their parents raised them into thinking they are of XYZ faith and they own that description.

Meanwhile, they proceed to live entirely secular lives, using periodic references to Jesus and superficial trips to the town chapel as the only proof of their self-professed identity.

Irreligiosity is atheism.
Secularism is atheism.
Most people are atheists - even if they don't think so.

I do not know about most, that may be stretching it. I do agree with you though that many people who claim to be Christians just do it out of tradition. I actually had someone say "I am Christian but I don't believe in God" lol Some people just call themselves Christian's because their parents are or something, and it is just a label to them with no core meaning.

I think they like the "Christian lifestyle" as if that's the only way to embody the "western lifestyle".
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

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http://www.debate.org... - Running for president.
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twocupcakes
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5/17/2013 5:38:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 3:24:21 PM, 000ike wrote:
When I asked my friend why she was Catholic, she was immediately offended. Her justification for feeling offended went thus: "Asking me why I'm Catholic is like asking an asian person, 'why are you asian?'" Clearly, that justification is nonsense, but it did make me realize something. Religiosity is no longer a function of thought and belief. People call themselves Christian/Hindu/Jewish on the basis of a hereditary, sociocultural tradition - that is to say that religion is not a system of belief but an extension of identity. So it's difficult to attack and defeat religion because people don't really care about the argumentative quality of it. All they know is that their parents raised them into thinking they are of XYZ faith and they own that description.

Meanwhile, they proceed to live entirely secular lives, using periodic references to Jesus and superficial trips to the town chapel as the only proof of their self-professed identity.

Irreligiosity is atheism.
Secularism is atheism.
Most people are atheists - even if they don't think so.

It seems many people identify with the cultural upbringing of their religion. So people regard being raised Jewish or Catholic, as they would regard being raised French, Dutch, or Texan. Just a bunch of traditions they hold.

In a way, it makes some sense. Children do not choose their religious upbringing. It is forced on them by their parents. A kid has no choice more choice of being raised with Catholic traditions, then they do being raised English.

You make a good point how it does not make sense that people still identify as the religion they were raised, even if they are secular. I know many atheists who say they are Catholic, because they were raised Catholic. Being Catholic has two meanings I suppose. Being raised in a Catholic family, and actually believing and following the religion.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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5/17/2013 6:10:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Whether or not someone is cognizant of why they believe something doesn't change the fact that they do believe it. You are essentially saying, "If everyone were rational thinkers, they'd be atheists." This is true in more ways than one, but it doesn't change the fact that most people who self-idendity as religious genuinely believe in God.
dylancatlow
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5/17/2013 6:20:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
" People call themselves Christian/Hindu/Jewish on the basis of a hereditary, sociocultural tradition - that is to say that religion is not a system of belief but an extension of identity."

Belief and arbitrary reasons for said belief are not mutually exclusive. You might be right about your friend, but then gain, she could just be using doublethink.
dylancatlow
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5/17/2013 6:21:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 6:20:08 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
" People call themselves Christian/Hindu/Jewish on the basis of a hereditary, sociocultural tradition - that is to say that religion is not a system of belief but an extension of identity."

Belief and arbitrary reasons for said belief are not mutually exclusive. You might be right about your friend, but then gain, she could just be using doublethink.

again*
000ike
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5/17/2013 7:46:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 6:10:28 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Whether or not someone is cognizant of why they believe something doesn't change the fact that they do believe it. You are essentially saying, "If everyone were rational thinkers, they'd be atheists." This is true in more ways than one, but it doesn't change the fact that most people who self-idendity as religious genuinely believe in God.

Nope. "I think I'm supposed to believe in God, therefore I do" =/= "I believe in God"

One is a belief in God, the other is an empty title with no substantive intellectual translation. The latter is what I qualify as irreligiosity.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
royalpaladin
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5/17/2013 7:48:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think that for many people, religion is really just a form of communal identification at this point. You're right-they're born into a religion and they want their children to have the same religion in order to validate their communal identities.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,730
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5/17/2013 8:01:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
As Einstein pointed out, one person would be enough to point out the wrongness of an idea if it were truly wrong - popularity doesn't reflect truth.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
dylancatlow
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5/17/2013 8:33:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 7:46:08 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 5/17/2013 6:10:28 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Whether or not someone is cognizant of why they believe something doesn't change the fact that they do believe it. You are essentially saying, "If everyone were rational thinkers, they'd be atheists." This is true in more ways than one, but it doesn't change the fact that most people who self-idendity as religious genuinely believe in God.

Nope. "I think I'm supposed to believe in God, therefore I do" =/= "I believe in God"

One is a belief in God, the other is an empty title with no substantive intellectual translation. The latter is what I qualify as irreligiosity.

I'm sure if you prodded your friend a bit more she would have also said that she's a Catholic because she thinks it's valid.... why she didn't start with that is beyond me, but I digress.

I think atheism, or any belief for that matter, must be consciously decided upon. I don't think a lack psychoanalysis serves as a belief.
dylancatlow
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5/17/2013 8:40:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 8:33:19 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/17/2013 7:46:08 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 5/17/2013 6:10:28 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Whether or not someone is cognizant of why they believe something doesn't change the fact that they do believe it. You are essentially saying, "If everyone were rational thinkers, they'd be atheists." This is true in more ways than one, but it doesn't change the fact that most people who self-idendity as religious genuinely believe in God.

Nope. "I think I'm supposed to believe in God, therefore I do" =/= "I believe in God"

One is a belief in God, the other is an empty title with no substantive intellectual translation. The latter is what I qualify as irreligiosity.

I'm sure if you prodded your friend a bit more she would have also said that she's a Catholic because she thinks it's valid.... why she didn't start with that is beyond me, but I digress.

I think atheism, or any belief for that matter, must be consciously decided upon. I don't think a lack psychoanalysis serves as a belief.

a lack of*
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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5/17/2013 8:55:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 8:33:19 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/17/2013 7:46:08 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 5/17/2013 6:10:28 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Whether or not someone is cognizant of why they believe something doesn't change the fact that they do believe it. You are essentially saying, "If everyone were rational thinkers, they'd be atheists." This is true in more ways than one, but it doesn't change the fact that most people who self-idendity as religious genuinely believe in God.

Nope. "I think I'm supposed to believe in God, therefore I do" =/= "I believe in God"

One is a belief in God, the other is an empty title with no substantive intellectual translation. The latter is what I qualify as irreligiosity.

I'm sure if you prodded your friend a bit more she would have also said that she's a Catholic because she thinks it's valid.... why she didn't start with that is beyond me, but I digress.

I think atheism, or any belief for that matter, must be consciously decided upon. I don't think a lack psychoanalysis serves as a belief.

Tell me how you measure to what extent "she thinks it's valid"? Of course she thinks its valid, but she thinks so because she was told so and identifies with it as just a cultural fact that defines her character and upbringing. There's no way she'd have pre-constituted arguments in favor of theism. If I ever pressed her for an intellectual justification, that justification would be ex tempore at best!

My argument isn't that "people deep down know they're wrong but feel culturally pressured not to admit it." My argument is that people think they're right and DO believe in God because such is of sociocultural exigence to them. Take out the didacticism out of Christianity, the indoctrination and let it roam free as a belief to arrive at intellectually or abandon at will. Can you honestly say to yourself that Christianity with it's angry God and magic Jesus would be nearly as popular?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
dylancatlow
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5/17/2013 9:11:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"My argument isn't that "people deep down know they're wrong but feel culturally pressured not to admit it."

I would contend that this is not conscious and therefore does not qualify as a belief. Of course the belief that God exists is influenced by the subconscious factors you pointed out, but I don't think most people are atheists in hiding. So yes, 'most people are atheists' if you want to treat the potential of religious people exploiting proper psychoanalysis and critical thinking skills to dispel unfounded convictions, but these aren't assumptions I'm willing to make.
dylancatlow
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5/17/2013 9:16:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 9:11:31 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
"My argument isn't that "people deep down know they're wrong but feel culturally pressured not to admit it."

I would contend that this is not conscious and therefore does not qualify as a belief. Of course the belief that God exists is influenced by the subconscious factors you pointed out, but I don't think most people are atheists in hiding. So yes, 'most people are atheists' if you want to treat the potential of religious people exploiting proper psychoanalysis and critical thinking skills to dispel unfounded convictions, but these aren't assumptions I'm willing to make.

* ....convictions as constituting an actual belief,
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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5/17/2013 9:19:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So basically, you're saying "religious people are atheists if they would just think rationally." In other news, the earth is round.
Bullish
Posts: 3,527
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5/17/2013 9:41:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 9:19:42 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
So basically, you're saying "religious people are atheists if they would just think rationally." In other news, the earth is round.

He's not even talking about religious people..
0x5f3759df
dylancatlow
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5/17/2013 9:51:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 9:41:44 PM, Bullish wrote:
At 5/17/2013 9:19:42 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
So basically, you're saying "religious people are atheists if they would just think rationally." In other news, the earth is round.

He's not even talking about religious people..

The whole point of the thread was over whether these people are religious or actually just atheists, so this comment makes no sense.
AlbinoBunny
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5/18/2013 3:43:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Irreligious =/= atheism.

Religious =/= theism.

Just a heads up.
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org... - Running for president.
http://www.debate.org... - Running as his vice president.

May the best man win!
Mysterious_Stranger
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5/18/2013 3:44:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 3:24:21 PM, 000ike wrote:
When I asked my friend why she was Catholic, she was immediately offended. Her justification for feeling offended went thus: "Asking me why I'm Catholic is like asking an asian person, 'why are you asian?'" Clearly, that justification is nonsense, but it did make me realize something. Religiosity is no longer a function of thought and belief. People call themselves Christian/Hindu/Jewish on the basis of a hereditary, sociocultural tradition - that is to say that religion is not a system of belief but an extension of identity. So it's difficult to attack and defeat religion because people don't really care about the argumentative quality of it. All they know is that their parents raised them into thinking they are of XYZ faith and they own that description.

Meanwhile, they proceed to live entirely secular lives, using periodic references to Jesus and superficial trips to the town chapel as the only proof of their self-professed identity.

Irreligiosity is atheism.
Secularism is atheism.
Most people are atheists - even if they don't think so.

I agree, many people of todays society claim to be of a religious faith however non of them follow the actual teachings of their religion in great depth therefore making them atheists even when they refer to themselves as "religious". Although there are still people who actually follow a religious faith in far greater detail than just visiting a place of worship every so often or quoting extracts from religious texts they are the only people who could legitimately call themselves religious. So most people who think they are religious are actually just atheists, although actually telling them that would be somewhat difficult.
Turn around, go back.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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5/18/2013 10:01:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/18/2013 3:53:21 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Most people are apatheists* http://en.wikipedia.org...

we don't disagree. I'm just making the leap that apatheism is tantamount to atheism.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
SarcasticIndeed
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5/18/2013 10:46:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Indeed, I'd go as far and say that almost everyone here in Montenegro is in fact religious only and only due to tradition. This infuriates the hell out of me. Especially when people look at me as a stranger when I out my atheism. Meh.
<SIGNATURE CENSORED> nac
twocupcakes
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5/18/2013 11:41:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I agree with OP that most apatheists are actually atheists. Many people follow traditional superstitious customs, like maybe having a lucky number, lucky shirt, lucky fishing rod. When pressed I'm sure people will admit there is no magical lucky thing about them, just a superstition. The same can be said about religion I think.
AbnerGrimm
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5/18/2013 11:45:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
This is philosophically wrong. It is illogical. If one believes in just one God they are the opposite of atheism. No matter how many Gods they refuse, the one places them on the opposite side if atheism. Any atheist who maintains this argument is being illogical. This is a preschool argument.
Bullish
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5/18/2013 11:48:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/17/2013 9:51:36 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/17/2013 9:41:44 PM, Bullish wrote:
At 5/17/2013 9:19:42 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
So basically, you're saying "religious people are atheists if they would just think rationally." In other news, the earth is round.

He's not even talking about religious people..

The whole point of the thread was over whether these people are religious or actually just atheists, so this comment makes no sense.

He was specifically talking about irreligious people who claim to be part of a certain religious group. You were talking about religious people who may or may not think rationally. My point stands.
0x5f3759df
dylancatlow
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5/18/2013 1:07:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/18/2013 11:48:14 AM, Bullish wrote:
At 5/17/2013 9:51:36 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/17/2013 9:41:44 PM, Bullish wrote:
At 5/17/2013 9:19:42 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
So basically, you're saying "religious people are atheists if they would just think rationally." In other news, the earth is round.

He's not even talking about religious people..

The whole point of the thread was over whether these people are religious or actually just atheists, so this comment makes no sense.

He was specifically talking about irreligious people who claim to be part of a certain religious group. You were talking about religious people who may or may not think rationally. My point stands.

The debate was whether or not that is true.