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What is Atheism?

Zylorarchy
Posts: 209
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7/26/2014 8:45:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Due to some recent posts, I would like to clarify what exactly atheism is. Many are under the impression atheism is like a religion, in fact many say it is. This is simply not true. Atheism potentially is not even the disbelief in god(s) but merely the lack of belief.

The common definition of atheism is this;
"The disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods."

This is all that atheism really is. It is not a set of beliefs, nor is it a set of values. There are no rules to live by. There is no 10 commandments, nor is there Five pillars. The disbelief or (in explicit atheism) complete rejection of god is all atheism is.

And yes, take a look at that, atheism is the rejection of god, not religion. Being an atheist does not mean you are anti-theist, it does not mean you hate religion.

So I would like to conclude by saying, you cannot tell me or others what I believe... Unless it is that I do not believe in god. Evolution, the origins of the universe? Yes obviously atheists come up with different solutions to "God made this happen", but not every atheist can be generalised. Not ever atheist believes in Evolution, not every atheist believes in the Big Bang, ever consider that? You really cannot generalise atheist beliefs as (if I have not already stressed this enough), there is only one belief, which is the lack of belief in God(s).

So remember, in atheism there is only one belief. And I would simply ask that atheists are actually treated with more respect. Sure, disagree with atheism, and debate it. But enough of the ridiculous insults against atheists and enough of the sarcastic posts. Being an atheist, or a theist makes you no less intelligent or less of a person. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
"I am not intolerant of religion, I am intolerant of intolerance"
"True freedom is not simply left or right. It is the ability to know when a law is needed, but more importantly, know when one is not"
Double_R
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7/26/2014 10:06:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 8:45:23 AM, Zylorarchy wrote:
So remember, in atheism there is only one belief.

You definitely need to correct this statement. A lack of belief is not a belief. Atheism is a description of a negative attribute not a positive one, that is the whole point that theists cannot seem to wrap there heads around.

For theists...

You can't pull a positive attribute from a negative one unless it is a true dichotomy. The question of whether there is a God is a true Dichotomy, there either is a God or there is no God. But theism/atheism do not address the truth of the statement, they address what a person believes about the truth of the statement. Since belief is the subject referred to, it is no longer a dichotomy. You can A) believe God exists, B) believe he does not exist, or C) have no belief about either proposition. Since there are now 3 options, saying a person is not A (atheism), does not say whether he is B or C.

And just in case it was missed...
Saying what a person is not = Negative attribute
Saying what a person is = Positive attribute
Zylorarchy
Posts: 209
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7/26/2014 12:57:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 10:06:48 AM, Double_R wrote:
At 7/26/2014 8:45:23 AM, Zylorarchy wrote:
So remember, in atheism there is only one belief.

You definitely need to correct this statement. A lack of belief is not a belief. Atheism is a description of a negative attribute not a positive one, that is the whole point that theists cannot seem to wrap there heads around.

For theists...

You can't pull a positive attribute from a negative one unless it is a true dichotomy. The question of whether there is a God is a true Dichotomy, there either is a God or there is no God. But theism/atheism do not address the truth of the statement, they address what a person believes about the truth of the statement. Since belief is the subject referred to, it is no longer a dichotomy. You can A) believe God exists, B) believe he does not exist, or C) have no belief about either proposition. Since there are now 3 options, saying a person is not A (atheism), does not say whether he is B or C.

And just in case it was missed...
Saying what a person is not = Negative attribute
Saying what a person is = Positive attribute

I apologise if I was not quite clear enough. Yes, I would say atheism is not so much a belief, indeed a lack of belief.

The whole main point however that I am trying to say however is that atheism is not a religion and as you point out, arguably has no beliefs at all.
"I am not intolerant of religion, I am intolerant of intolerance"
"True freedom is not simply left or right. It is the ability to know when a law is needed, but more importantly, know when one is not"
KnightArtorias
Posts: 103
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7/26/2014 2:51:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The problem with your definition of Atheism is that it can decend into absurdity. A baby lacks a belief in a deity. But that's because...it cannot even comprehend such levels of thinking anyone. A baby also lacks belief that the sky is blue. A rock lacks a belief in deity...because rocks don't think at all. Are we know to proclaim that rocks are Atheists?

Atheism should not be defined by a lack of belief about something. A better way to define Atheism is the rejection of the proposition that deity or deities exist, in the same way that Theism is the acceptance of that proposition.
"Within us all, we are burdened. Hidden away. A murmur of the dark. Always seek the light of reason. Lest you slip and be devoured by the Abyss."
KnightArtorias
Posts: 103
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7/26/2014 2:53:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Holy sh*t I butchered the spelling in that post. There really needs to be a post edit button. Or an option to delete posts if they haven't been responded to yet. Wish I could fix that.
"Within us all, we are burdened. Hidden away. A murmur of the dark. Always seek the light of reason. Lest you slip and be devoured by the Abyss."
intellectuallyprimitive
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7/26/2014 3:08:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 2:51:22 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
The problem with your definition of Atheism is that it can decend into absurdity. A baby lacks a belief in a deity. But that's because...it cannot even comprehend such levels of thinking anyone. A baby also lacks belief that the sky is blue. A rock lacks a belief in deity...because rocks don't think at all. Are we know to proclaim that rocks are Atheists?

Atheism should not be defined by a lack of belief about something. A better way to define Atheism is the rejection of the proposition that deity or deities exist, in the same way that Theism is the acceptance of that proposition.

Atheists lack a belief because of insufficient reasons to substantiate the existence of a deity. An infants cognitive utilities are incapable of inferring information to formulate a hypothesis of that nature. What is your point?
KnightArtorias
Posts: 103
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7/26/2014 3:11:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:08:32 PM, intellectuallyprimitive wrote:
At 7/26/2014 2:51:22 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
The problem with your definition of Atheism is that it can decend into absurdity. A baby lacks a belief in a deity. But that's because...it cannot even comprehend such levels of thinking anyone. A baby also lacks belief that the sky is blue. A rock lacks a belief in deity...because rocks don't think at all. Are we know to proclaim that rocks are Atheists?

Atheism should not be defined by a lack of belief about something. A better way to define Atheism is the rejection of the proposition that deity or deities exist, in the same way that Theism is the acceptance of that proposition.

Atheists lack a belief because of insufficient reasons to substantiate the existence of a deity. An infants cognitive utilities are incapable of inferring information to formulate a hypothesis of that nature. What is your point?

My point is that defining Atheism as a "lack of belief" is a poor way of defining it, and that a better way is to define it as a "rejection of X proposition", namely, the proposition of deity. Atheism should not be defined as the mere lack of belief in deity. It should be defined as the belief in a lack of deity.
"Within us all, we are burdened. Hidden away. A murmur of the dark. Always seek the light of reason. Lest you slip and be devoured by the Abyss."
KnightArtorias
Posts: 103
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7/26/2014 3:12:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:11:49 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:08:32 PM, intellectuallyprimitive wrote:
At 7/26/2014 2:51:22 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
The problem with your definition of Atheism is that it can decend into absurdity. A baby lacks a belief in a deity. But that's because...it cannot even comprehend such levels of thinking anyone. A baby also lacks belief that the sky is blue. A rock lacks a belief in deity...because rocks don't think at all. Are we know to proclaim that rocks are Atheists?

Atheism should not be defined by a lack of belief about something. A better way to define Atheism is the rejection of the proposition that deity or deities exist, in the same way that Theism is the acceptance of that proposition.

Atheists lack a belief because of insufficient reasons to substantiate the existence of a deity. An infants cognitive utilities are incapable of inferring information to formulate a hypothesis of that nature. What is your point?

My point is that defining Atheism as a "lack of belief" is a poor way of defining it, and that a better way is to define it as a "rejection of X proposition", namely, the proposition of deity. Atheism should not be defined as the mere lack of belief in deity. It should be defined as the belief in a lack of deity.

I mean, I literally said that in the post you quoted. Not sure how you could miss that.
"Within us all, we are burdened. Hidden away. A murmur of the dark. Always seek the light of reason. Lest you slip and be devoured by the Abyss."
Benshapiro
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7/26/2014 3:28:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Defining yourself as an atheist due to "lack of belief in God" is a poor definition. Agnostics lack belief in God. Toilet paper lacks belief in God.

Furthermore, atheism is the antonym of theism. It doesn't make sense to negate rather than reject theism because atheism is the polarizing position.
Zylorarchy
Posts: 209
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7/26/2014 3:30:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 2:51:22 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
The problem with your definition of Atheism is that it can decend into absurdity. A baby lacks a belief in a deity. But that's because...it cannot even comprehend such levels of thinking anyone. A baby also lacks belief that the sky is blue. A rock lacks a belief in deity...because rocks don't think at all. Are we know to proclaim that rocks are Atheists?

Atheism should not be defined by a lack of belief about something. A better way to define Atheism is the rejection of the proposition that deity or deities exist, in the same way that Theism is the acceptance of that proposition.

I searched for the definition of atheism and what I have put here is the first result. It is not really "my" definition. Again though, the main point of my post is to highlight that this is the only "belief" or "lack of belief" present in atheism. Atheism has one principle and so is not a religion. Atheism covers only the belief in God and nothing else.
"I am not intolerant of religion, I am intolerant of intolerance"
"True freedom is not simply left or right. It is the ability to know when a law is needed, but more importantly, know when one is not"
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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7/26/2014 3:32:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:30:56 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 2:51:22 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
The problem with your definition of Atheism is that it can decend into absurdity. A baby lacks a belief in a deity. But that's because...it cannot even comprehend such levels of thinking anyone. A baby also lacks belief that the sky is blue. A rock lacks a belief in deity...because rocks don't think at all. Are we know to proclaim that rocks are Atheists?

Atheism should not be defined by a lack of belief about something. A better way to define Atheism is the rejection of the proposition that deity or deities exist, in the same way that Theism is the acceptance of that proposition.

I searched for the definition of atheism and what I have put here is the first result. It is not really "my" definition. Again though, the main point of my post is to highlight that this is the only "belief" or "lack of belief" present in atheism. Atheism has one principle and so is not a religion. Atheism covers only the belief in God and nothing else.

Yet it is the antonym or opposite of theism (does exist) as (does not exist) right?
Zylorarchy
Posts: 209
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7/26/2014 3:33:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:28:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Defining yourself as an atheist due to "lack of belief in God" is a poor definition. Agnostics lack belief in God. Toilet paper lacks belief in God.

Furthermore, atheism is the antonym of theism. It doesn't make sense to negate rather than reject theism because atheism is the polarizing position.

As I have said, this is the definition that I found upon searching it. I mean, look at the first result.

https://www.google.co.uk...
"I am not intolerant of religion, I am intolerant of intolerance"
"True freedom is not simply left or right. It is the ability to know when a law is needed, but more importantly, know when one is not"
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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7/26/2014 3:34:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:33:06 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:28:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Defining yourself as an atheist due to "lack of belief in God" is a poor definition. Agnostics lack belief in God. Toilet paper lacks belief in God.

Furthermore, atheism is the antonym of theism. It doesn't make sense to negate rather than reject theism because atheism is the polarizing position.

As I have said, this is the definition that I found upon searching it. I mean, look at the first result.

https://www.google.co.uk...

I was asking for a logical proof not a definition. Definitions vary even within the same source.
Zylorarchy
Posts: 209
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7/26/2014 3:38:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:34:06 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:33:06 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:28:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Defining yourself as an atheist due to "lack of belief in God" is a poor definition. Agnostics lack belief in God. Toilet paper lacks belief in God.

Furthermore, atheism is the antonym of theism. It doesn't make sense to negate rather than reject theism because atheism is the polarizing position.

As I have said, this is the definition that I found upon searching it. I mean, look at the first result.

https://www.google.co.uk...

I was asking for a logical proof not a definition. Definitions vary even within the same source.

I think we can agree that an atheist does not believe in God. This is the one principle of atheism. You cannot really, believe in not believing in something (unless you claim it as a myth possibly). Atheism is a rejection of the belief in deities, or put another way, the lack of belief in deities.

This is the thing, atheism is not a belief system, it is not a faith or a religion. Atheism is merely the word to describe, as you say the opposite to theism. Theists believe in god, therefore atheists lack the belief in god. What atheists have is not technically a belief at all, but a rejection. A rejection in the existence of god(s).
"I am not intolerant of religion, I am intolerant of intolerance"
"True freedom is not simply left or right. It is the ability to know when a law is needed, but more importantly, know when one is not"
Benshapiro
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7/26/2014 3:42:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:38:35 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:34:06 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:33:06 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:28:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Defining yourself as an atheist due to "lack of belief in God" is a poor definition. Agnostics lack belief in God. Toilet paper lacks belief in God.

Furthermore, atheism is the antonym of theism. It doesn't make sense to negate rather than reject theism because atheism is the polarizing position.

As I have said, this is the definition that I found upon searching it. I mean, look at the first result.

https://www.google.co.uk...

I was asking for a logical proof not a definition. Definitions vary even within the same source.

I think we can agree that an atheist does not believe in God. This is the one principle of atheism. You cannot really, believe in not believing in something (unless you claim it as a myth possibly). Atheism is a rejection of the belief in deities, or put another way, the lack of belief in deities.

This is the thing, atheism is not a belief system, it is not a faith or a religion. Atheism is merely the word to describe, as you say the opposite to theism. Theists believe in god, therefore atheists lack the belief in god. What atheists have is not technically a belief at all, but a rejection. A rejection in the existence of god(s).

Rejecting a belief is not the same as lacking belief.

Example:

The water is opposite of hot

The water is not hot

Is there any difference between these two sentences?
Zylorarchy
Posts: 209
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7/26/2014 3:44:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:42:07 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:38:35 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:34:06 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:33:06 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:28:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Defining yourself as an atheist due to "lack of belief in God" is a poor definition. Agnostics lack belief in God. Toilet paper lacks belief in God.

Furthermore, atheism is the antonym of theism. It doesn't make sense to negate rather than reject theism because atheism is the polarizing position.

As I have said, this is the definition that I found upon searching it. I mean, look at the first result.

https://www.google.co.uk...

I was asking for a logical proof not a definition. Definitions vary even within the same source.

I think we can agree that an atheist does not believe in God. This is the one principle of atheism. You cannot really, believe in not believing in something (unless you claim it as a myth possibly). Atheism is a rejection of the belief in deities, or put another way, the lack of belief in deities.

This is the thing, atheism is not a belief system, it is not a faith or a religion. Atheism is merely the word to describe, as you say the opposite to theism. Theists believe in god, therefore atheists lack the belief in god. What atheists have is not technically a belief at all, but a rejection. A rejection in the existence of god(s).

Rejecting a belief is not the same as lacking belief.

Example:

The water is opposite of hot

The water is not hot

Is there any difference between these two sentences?

Fine then, you are correct. But (I feel like I keep saying this), what we have been debating is the only actual aspect of atheism, which is the rejection of God. I made this post originally because some people seem to think atheists have a whole load of beliefs e.g. Evolution, the Big Bang etc.

But atheism is what we have been discussing and I did not intend to really get into specifics but yes, atheism is only the rejection of the existence of god(s). Nothing else.
"I am not intolerant of religion, I am intolerant of intolerance"
"True freedom is not simply left or right. It is the ability to know when a law is needed, but more importantly, know when one is not"
Benshapiro
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7/26/2014 3:47:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:44:42 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:42:07 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:38:35 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:34:06 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:33:06 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:28:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Defining yourself as an atheist due to "lack of belief in God" is a poor definition. Agnostics lack belief in God. Toilet paper lacks belief in God.

Furthermore, atheism is the antonym of theism. It doesn't make sense to negate rather than reject theism because atheism is the polarizing position.

As I have said, this is the definition that I found upon searching it. I mean, look at the first result.

https://www.google.co.uk...

I was asking for a logical proof not a definition. Definitions vary even within the same source.

I think we can agree that an atheist does not believe in God. This is the one principle of atheism. You cannot really, believe in not believing in something (unless you claim it as a myth possibly). Atheism is a rejection of the belief in deities, or put another way, the lack of belief in deities.

This is the thing, atheism is not a belief system, it is not a faith or a religion. Atheism is merely the word to describe, as you say the opposite to theism. Theists believe in god, therefore atheists lack the belief in god. What atheists have is not technically a belief at all, but a rejection. A rejection in the existence of god(s).

Rejecting a belief is not the same as lacking belief.

Example:

The water is opposite of hot

The water is not hot

Is there any difference between these two sentences?

Fine then, you are correct. But (I feel like I keep saying this), what we have been debating is the only actual aspect of atheism, which is the rejection of God. I made this post originally because some people seem to think atheists have a whole load of beliefs e.g. Evolution, the Big Bang etc.

But atheism is what we have been discussing and I did not intend to really get into specifics but yes, atheism is only the rejection of the existence of god(s). Nothing else.

Ok. People tend to conflate atheist beliefs (myself included) with other necessary conditions (like if there's no God we are objectively purposeless, have no objective morality, etc.,) just because it follows logically. But you are right, atheism is just a proposition that does not accept that God exists, and more precisely, a rejection of that belief.
KnightArtorias
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7/26/2014 3:50:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:30:56 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 2:51:22 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
The problem with your definition of Atheism is that it can decend into absurdity. A baby lacks a belief in a deity. But that's because...it cannot even comprehend such levels of thinking anyone. A baby also lacks belief that the sky is blue. A rock lacks a belief in deity...because rocks don't think at all. Are we know to proclaim that rocks are Atheists?

Atheism should not be defined by a lack of belief about something. A better way to define Atheism is the rejection of the proposition that deity or deities exist, in the same way that Theism is the acceptance of that proposition.

I searched for the definition of atheism and what I have put here is the first result. It is not really "my" definition. Again though, the main point of my post is to highlight that this is the only "belief" or "lack of belief" present in atheism. Atheism has one principle and so is not a religion. Atheism covers only the belief in God and nothing else.

Oh well of course. It always amuses me when the religious make that "Atheism is a religion too!" argument.
"Within us all, we are burdened. Hidden away. A murmur of the dark. Always seek the light of reason. Lest you slip and be devoured by the Abyss."
Zylorarchy
Posts: 209
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7/26/2014 3:53:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:50:09 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:30:56 PM, Zylorarchy wrote:
At 7/26/2014 2:51:22 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
The problem with your definition of Atheism is that it can decend into absurdity. A baby lacks a belief in a deity. But that's because...it cannot even comprehend such levels of thinking anyone. A baby also lacks belief that the sky is blue. A rock lacks a belief in deity...because rocks don't think at all. Are we know to proclaim that rocks are Atheists?

Atheism should not be defined by a lack of belief about something. A better way to define Atheism is the rejection of the proposition that deity or deities exist, in the same way that Theism is the acceptance of that proposition.

I searched for the definition of atheism and what I have put here is the first result. It is not really "my" definition. Again though, the main point of my post is to highlight that this is the only "belief" or "lack of belief" present in atheism. Atheism has one principle and so is not a religion. Atheism covers only the belief in God and nothing else.

Oh well of course. It always amuses me when the religious make that "Atheism is a religion too!" argument.

Yes though as Ben has pointed out to me, the one principle (not even belief) of atheism really is the just the rejection of the existence of God(s). I apologise for how unclear I was previously stating it was merely a "lack of belief".
"I am not intolerant of religion, I am intolerant of intolerance"
"True freedom is not simply left or right. It is the ability to know when a law is needed, but more importantly, know when one is not"
intellectuallyprimitive
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7/26/2014 6:46:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:11:49 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
At 7/26/2014 3:08:32 PM, intellectuallyprimitive wrote:
At 7/26/2014 2:51:22 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
The problem with your definition of Atheism is that it can decend into absurdity. A baby lacks a belief in a deity. But that's because...it cannot even comprehend such levels of thinking anyone. A baby also lacks belief that the sky is blue. A rock lacks a belief in deity...because rocks don't think at all. Are we know to proclaim that rocks are Atheists?

Atheism should not be defined by a lack of belief about something. A better way to define Atheism is the rejection of the proposition that deity or deities exist, in the same way that Theism is the acceptance of that proposition.

Atheists lack a belief because of insufficient reasons to substantiate the existence of a deity. An infants cognitive utilities are incapable of inferring information to formulate a hypothesis of that nature. What is your point?

My point is that defining Atheism as a "lack of belief" is a poor way of defining it, and that a better way is to define it as a "rejection of X proposition", namely, the proposition of deity. Atheism should not be defined as the mere lack of belief in deity. It should be defined as the belief in a lack of deity.

Hence why I stated due to insufficient evidence.
sovereigngracereigns
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7/26/2014 8:02:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 2:51:22 PM, KnightArtorias wrote:
The problem with your definition of Atheism is that it can decend into absurdity. A baby lacks a belief in a deity. But that's because...it cannot even comprehend such levels of thinking anyone. A baby also lacks belief that the sky is blue. A rock lacks a belief in deity...because rocks don't think at all. Are we know to proclaim that rocks are Atheists?

Atheism should not be defined by a lack of belief about something. A better way to define Atheism is the rejection of the proposition that deity or deities exist, in the same way that Theism is the acceptance of that proposition.

That's a very good point.

And it gets to the heart of the matter.

Atheism is not a religion.
But it is a philosophical position.

In other words, it's not neutral.
It is a positive position.

If someone is tentative about, or neutral about, or indifferent to, the notion of God, then it would be more appropriate to call that person an "agnostic."
"Atheist" is just simply not the right term.
sovereigngracereigns
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7/26/2014 8:10:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 7:12:04 PM, bulproof wrote:
That's sorted now define christian.

Have fun.

Christian = One whose faith is in Christ, who gave his life as a ransom to redeem his people from their sins.
9spaceking
Posts: 4,213
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7/26/2014 8:11:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
being a pastafarian seems more fun. It gives me the giggles every time I mention I'm in that ridiculous religion, in contrast to boring Atheism.
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Skepticalone
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7/26/2014 8:12:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:43:40 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
An atheist does not believe in God, but an agnostic and toilet paper don't as well.

A theist believes a god probably exists, an agnostic does not commit to belief or rejection of a god, and an atheist holds a god probably does not exist.

Now, if you want to get in to the strong/militant positions then we have the strong theist who believes the probability a god exists is 100%, and the strong atheist who holds the probability a god exists at 0%.

I believe there is so much confusion on this because theists tend to assume atheism is always the strong position which is not necessarily true.

I believe most theists who subscribe to a particular god consider themselves to be strong theists, and weak theists would be something along the lines of deists or pantheists.
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What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
muzebreak
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7/26/2014 10:10:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 3:28:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Defining yourself as an atheist due to "lack of belief in God" is a poor definition. Agnostics lack belief in God. Toilet paper lacks belief in God.

Furthermore, atheism is the antonym of theism. It doesn't make sense to negate rather than reject theism because atheism is the polarizing position.

Atheism is only the antynom of theism if you define it as such. Some people, including myself, define agnosticism as the lack of knowledge in regards to a god. So gnostic would be knowledge of a god. Agnostic was originally a term coined by T.H Huxely as a term for those who rejected claims of knowledge of a god or gods.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
mrsatan
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7/27/2014 12:33:07 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Originally, atheism had nothing to do with whether or not you believed in a Gods existence. Rather, it had to do with whether or not one believed in the same God as the general population.

Theists were (presumably, most still are) of the belief that their religion is the one true religion. Thus, they would believe that anyone who were/are not part of that religion are without the one true God as well. And so, hose people would be referred to as Atheos, meaning Godless. And, following that, an atheist is one who believes they are without God.

Based on Theos(God)
Atheist = A + Theos = Without + God = Godless
Alternatively, you can define it in terms of theism being the base. In that case, anyone who is without theism. Anyone who is not a theist.

In which case, the simplest definition would be anyone without (lacking) belief in God... Which is included in most dictionaries, and expounded upon in the better ones.

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As for (a)gnosticism, I don't see why people have such a hard time understanding what it is. One can be gnostic in respect to one subject, while being agnostic in respect to another. However, once the subject is declared, more specifically when the subject is God, we have this:

A person is agnostic if they DO NOT claim to know that God exists or does not exist.
A person is gnostic if they DO claim to know that God exists or does not exist.

The subject and direction of the claimed knowledge are irrelevant to whether one is gnostic or agnostic in respect to that subject.

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Ultimately though, the label of atheist is a very poor descriptor, nothing more than a starting point, really. It's vagueness makes it practically meaningless. So if someone tells you they're an atheist, they're only telling you what they aren't, not what they are. So if you want to have a meaningful conversation at that point, ask them what it is they DO believe
To say one has free will, to have chosen other than they did, is to say they have will over their will... Will over the will they have over their will... Will over the will they have over the will they have over their will, etc... It's utter nonsense.
black_88
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7/28/2014 4:12:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/26/2014 8:45:23 AM, Zylorarchy wrote:

And yes, take a look at that, atheism is the rejection of god, not religion. Being an atheist does not mean you are anti-theist, it does not mean you hate religion.


Surely atheists might not "hate" religion. But if someone believes strongly in a supreme force or a divine being that you simply reject, you two will face serious difficulties getting along with each other. It's not like believing a certain team will win, or that one actress is more gorgeous than the other. Belief in God affects many aspects of human life and is a deep and dearly held belief in most cases.

Unless, of course, you choose to ignore the matter and just get along, which is a wonderful workaround.
"We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe