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PGA
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3/19/2015 5:22:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Okay, since you have challenged me to open up a thread here it is.

I would eventually like to question your belief about goodness, but there are other things I need to establish first.

I said:

"I'm thinking of opening a thread to address your worldview more thoroughly..."

You replied:

"You're welcome to, as long as you do not represent it as my worldview. It is in fact your beliefs about atheist worldview that you have (despite my constant objection) ascribed to me and all other atheists, as though there were a secret manifesto to which we are all signatories."

We'll see. Apparently I can't deduce anything about what an atheist believes.

You said:

"But more importantly, you have no intellectual authority to define atheism as other than the way atheists themselves define it. Attempting to define atheism theologically (with or without postmodern rationales) is paternalism."

So nothing can be known about atheism other than what you (an atheist) define that to be.

Here is your challenge:

"My strong recommendation is that if you want to critique anyone's belief you must first ask a question. If that question can be answered by written doctrine, well and good.

However, there is no such written doctrine for atheism."

Starting my questioning:

1) Does it have to be written?

2) Surely there are some things that all atheists have in common, whether strong or weak, otherwise they would have a different belief system?

I'm going to start out slowly since you seem to insinuate I can't know much, if anything, about your belief system.

Peter
PGA
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3/19/2015 6:35:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Reading on, in the "Godlessness" thread I see you make some statements concerning the Christian God, the only one I am at all concerned about for now.

Obviously, most Christians realise that atheism is rejection of all gods, but the only one they really care about is their own: Yhwh,...

You also give the definition from what you call a reputable dictionary:

1 archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
2b : the doctrine that there is no deity

1) Can an atheist still be an atheist and believe the Christian God (the one described in the Bible) is real?
Let me express it another way. Can a person call themselves an atheist and still believe the Christian God is real?

2) If the Bible is true in its declaration that He is the one and only true and living God then would it be also true that anyone could reject this God in a number of ways; either by denial of His existence/chooses not to believe in this God by distrusting His Word, put their trust in another so-called god (which is really no god at all), or live life as though He does not exist (ignore or be ignorant of Him), thus in fact be denying Him His outright Sovereignty and majesty?
RuvDraba
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3/19/2015 7:22:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/19/2015 5:22:10 PM, PGA wrote:
I would eventually like to question your belief about goodness,

You're welcome to do that, on the understanding that refuting my sense of good (should you do that), proves nothing about any other atheist's sense of good.

Apparently I can't deduce anything about what an atheist believes.

That's exactly right, but it's not just you. Atheism is a property of non-acceptance -- a person is without gods. There's no way of telling why until you talk to the individual. For convenience, I requote something from an earlier thread:

If you look up "atheism" in the dictionary, you will probably find it defined as the belief that there is no God. Certainly many people understand atheism in this way. Yet many atheists do not, and this is not what the term means if one considers it from the point of view of its Greek roots. In Greek "a" means "without" or "not" and "theos" means "god." From this standpoint an atheist would simply be someone without a belief in God, not necessarily someone who believes that God does not exist. According to its Greek roots, then, atheism is a negative view, characterized by the absence of belief in God. -- Michael Martin, "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification"

Of course, it's possible to be more or less informed about the spectrum of atheistic knowledge and opinion. Sociological surveys can pick this stuff up, for example.

So nothing can be known about atheism other than what you (an atheist) define that to be.

It's more that atheism doesn't mean much in itself: it's absence of belief in divinity. We can associate it to almost any non-theological doctrine, simply because by itself it's devoid of any metaphysical meaning.

"My strong recommendation is that if you want to critique anyone's belief you must first ask a question. If that question can be answered by written doctrine, well and good.
However, there is no such written doctrine for atheism."
1) Does it have to be written?

No. If there's culture then there can be oral tradition. But atheism itself isn't a culture; it's rejection of religious culture, which may or may not be replaced by something else.

2) Surely there are some things that all atheists have in common, whether strong or weak, otherwise they would have a different belief system?

You've begged the question, Peter. Because you believe that atheism is a system of belief, you expect to see traits in common among atheists. But really, the only things all atheists have in common are a non-acceptance of divinity, and a degree of hatred and persecution by the religious.

To the extent that we now have a social and political identity, it was theists that created it, by treating atheism as a morally dangerous movement that needed to be combated and crushed. if you look at what atheistic societies talk about, that's largely it: the abuse of religious power. But if there were no abuse of religious power, it'd be hard to see that atheist societies would have much to talk about.

If you want to know why atheism is on the rise, I don't think it's because of a single movement. Rather, I think it arises naturally in consequence of greater intellectual freedom, reduced credence in the physical, historical and metaphysical claims of theology, and a weakening role of religion in social life. Essentially, there would be more atheists even without abuses of religious power, but those abuses have brought a degree of cohesion and mutual support among atheists, despite their different beliefs.

I'm going to start out slowly since you seem to insinuate I can't know much, if anything, about your belief system.

It's not an insinuation as I've stated it baldly. :) But thank you for asking questions.
bornofgod
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3/19/2015 8:09:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/19/2015 7:22:02 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/19/2015 5:22:10 PM, PGA wrote:
I would eventually like to question your belief about goodness,

You're welcome to do that, on the understanding that refuting my sense of good (should you do that), proves nothing about any other atheist's sense of good.

Apparently I can't deduce anything about what an atheist believes.

That's exactly right, but it's not just you. Atheism is a property of non-acceptance -- a person is without gods. There's no way of telling why until you talk to the individual. For convenience, I requote something from an earlier thread:

If you look up "atheism" in the dictionary, you will probably find it defined as the belief that there is no God. Certainly many people understand atheism in this way. Yet many atheists do not, and this is not what the term means if one considers it from the point of view of its Greek roots. In Greek "a" means "without" or "not" and "theos" means "god." From this standpoint an atheist would simply be someone without a belief in God, not necessarily someone who believes that God does not exist. According to its Greek roots, then, atheism is a negative view, characterized by the absence of belief in God. -- Michael Martin, "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification"

Of course, it's possible to be more or less informed about the spectrum of atheistic knowledge and opinion. Sociological surveys can pick this stuff up, for example.

So nothing can be known about atheism other than what you (an atheist) define that to be.

It's more that atheism doesn't mean much in itself: it's absence of belief in divinity. We can associate it to almost any non-theological doctrine, simply because by itself it's devoid of any metaphysical meaning.

"My strong recommendation is that if you want to critique anyone's belief you must first ask a question. If that question can be answered by written doctrine, well and good.
However, there is no such written doctrine for atheism."
1) Does it have to be written?

No. If there's culture then there can be oral tradition. But atheism itself isn't a culture; it's rejection of religious culture, which may or may not be replaced by something else.

2) Surely there are some things that all atheists have in common, whether strong or weak, otherwise they would have a different belief system?

You've begged the question, Peter. Because you believe that atheism is a system of belief, you expect to see traits in common among atheists. But really, the only things all atheists have in common are a non-acceptance of divinity, and a degree of hatred and persecution by the religious.

To the extent that we now have a social and political identity, it was theists that created it, by treating atheism as a morally dangerous movement that needed to be combated and crushed. if you look at what atheistic societies talk about, that's largely it: the abuse of religious power. But if there were no abuse of religious power, it'd be hard to see that atheist societies would have much to talk about.

If you want to know why atheism is on the rise, I don't think it's because of a single movement. Rather, I think it arises naturally in consequence of greater intellectual freedom, reduced credence in the physical, historical and metaphysical claims of theology, and a weakening role of religion in social life. Essentially, there would be more atheists even without abuses of religious power, but those abuses have brought a degree of cohesion and mutual support among atheists, despite their different beliefs.

I'm going to start out slowly since you seem to insinuate I can't know much, if anything, about your belief system.

It's not an insinuation as I've stated it baldly. :) But thank you for asking questions.

In other words, from your viewpoint of what an atheist is, most Christians are atheists who don't believe in the God that I testify for. I call them antichrists, or unspiritual people. They don't have any way of knowing for sure there is a Creator by reading words in a book but they believe the stories in the book, anyway.

When I come along and preach God to these atheist Christians, they do not believe it's Him that is speaking. Wouldn't you consider these Christians to be atheists from your understanding of atheism?
RuvDraba
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3/19/2015 8:21:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/19/2015 6:35:50 PM, PGA wrote:
Let me express it another way. Can a person call themselves an atheist and still believe the Christian God is real?

So, if I understand your question correctly, such a person would believe the entire universe and humanity to have been created by Yhwh, a jealous supernatural being who insists humanity worship himself and nothing else, who has cursed humanity in consequence of the first humans' transgressions, but who has also sired a son whom if they believe in him, he'll forgive them, and who presides over a heaven into which he'll admit the eternal souls of those he forgives sufficiently.

And such a one would believe all of this, yet nevertheless elect not to worship, not to treat Yhwh as a divinity but only a supernatural agency unworthy of worship or propitiation.

So I observe that not all supernatural agencies are gods: it's really only the act of worship that makes it a deity. Such a person then, could believe in Yhwh as a supernatural agency, yet not uphold Yhwh's claim to divinity.

If such a person called himself an atheist, then I think it would meet both the spirit and literal meaning of the term, and I wouldn't contradict him.

2) If the Bible is true in its declaration that He is the one and only true and living God then would it be also true that anyone could reject this God in a number of ways;

Rejection need have nothing to do with the truth or otherwise of the Bible, Peter. For example, you can reject Christianity simply because you don't like its adherents enough to want to listen to their preachings or read their literature.
RuvDraba
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3/19/2015 8:25:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/19/2015 8:09:50 PM, bornofgod wrote:
In other words, from your viewpoint of what an atheist is, most Christians are atheists who don't believe in the God that I testify for.
Wouldn't you consider these Christians to be atheists from your understanding of atheism?

Technically a-theos means without any god, but it has been pointed out that most religious people reject all faiths but their own -- an atheist just rejects one more faith than they do.

I don't think it really helps an already confused topic to call theists atheists though. I don't know whom that would serve. :)
bornofgod
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3/19/2015 8:27:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/19/2015 8:25:43 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/19/2015 8:09:50 PM, bornofgod wrote:
In other words, from your viewpoint of what an atheist is, most Christians are atheists who don't believe in the God that I testify for.
Wouldn't you consider these Christians to be atheists from your understanding of atheism?

Technically a-theos means without any god, but it has been pointed out that most religious people reject all faiths but their own -- an atheist just rejects one more faith than they do.

I don't think it really helps an already confused topic to call theists atheists though. I don't know whom that would serve. :)

It only serves our Creator who is totally invisible to His creation and the reason no religious person or atheist has any proof that He exists.
PGA
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3/20/2015 1:33:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/19/2015 7:22:02 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/19/2015 5:22:10 PM, PGA wrote:
I would eventually like to question your belief about goodness,

You're welcome to do that, on the understanding that refuting my sense of good (should you do that), proves nothing about any other atheist's sense of good.

It does if you don't have an objective universal standard to base it on or even if you do have an objective one that does not originate from your own worldview, but from my Christian one.

If you don't then what do I care if you say what you believe is morally good if it goes against what I "feel." You are not going to willingly put me under your system of belief unless there are sufficient grounds to believe what you push as good actually is and that I have an obligation to live within the confines of such a system and will be ultimately judged if I do not.

Push whatever you want, but if there is no such standard and if I can get away with opposing "your" subjective standard I will. We will get more into utilitarianism and altruism from an atheist perspective later. Right now I have other more pressing questions and objections that are even more basic.

Apparently I can't deduce anything about what an atheist believes.

That's exactly right, but it's not just you. Atheism is a property of non-acceptance -- a person is without gods. There's no way of telling why until you talk to the individual. For convenience, I requote something from an earlier thread:

Rubbish, that is complete and utter BS. If I can't deduce anything of your belief then you can't of mine either since you subjugate it to the possessor only. To be an atheist means you look at the world from a particular vantage point, one that dismisses the Christian God for starters.

You have to believe something in order to be atheistic.

If you look up "atheism" in the dictionary, you will probably find it defined as the belief that there is no God. Certainly many people understand atheism in this way. Yet many atheists do not, and this is not what the term means if one considers it from the point of view of its Greek roots. In Greek "a" means "without" or "not" and "theos" means "god." From this standpoint an atheist would simply be someone without a belief in God, not necessarily someone who believes that God does not exist. According to its Greek roots, then, atheism is a negative view, characterized by the absence of belief in God. -- Michael Martin, "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification"

Can any atheist believe the Christian God is real and still be an atheist?

Of course, it's possible to be more or less informed about the spectrum of atheistic knowledge and opinion. Sociological surveys can pick this stuff up, for example.

It all falls under the umbrella.

So nothing can be known about atheism other than what you (an atheist) define that to be.

It's more that atheism doesn't mean much in itself: it's absence of belief in divinity. We can associate it to almost any non-theological doctrine, simply because by itself it's devoid of any metaphysical meaning.

Absent of belief in divinity says a lot about how you look at life. It means a lot. It says that you must explain life without a personal Creator, without mind behind it. It is an either or situation. Either life originated from a Creator or it did not, and you either look at it from the one perspective or the other or everything is just illusion which does not make any sense.

Which do you propose? Do you look at the universe and life coming from a personal Creator or not?

If you do not them you have an atheistic framework that you look at everything else through.

"My strong recommendation is that if you want to critique anyone's belief you must first ask a question. If that question can be answered by written doctrine, well and good.
However, there is no such written doctrine for atheism."
1) Does it have to be written?

No. If there's culture then there can be oral tradition. But atheism itself isn't a culture; it's rejection of religious culture, which may or may not be replaced by something else.

Sure it is. It is a culture of unbelief/disbelief/no belief/doubt about God (and I only speak of one God. Deny any others and I will be right with you. The God I speak of is the Christian God). You replace this God with other beliefs.

2) Surely there are some things that all atheists have in common, whether strong or weak, otherwise they would have a different belief system?

You've begged the question, Peter. Because you believe that atheism is a system of belief, you expect to see traits in common among atheists. But really, the only things all atheists have in common are a non-acceptance of divinity, and a degree of hatred and persecution by the religious.

It is precisely that. When you disbelieve something you look for explanation apart from that disbelief.

Non-acceptance of divinity means that you have to look at and explain origins and ever other ultimate life question devoid of this God, the very point I, and others, continue to make about those who call themselves atheist.

To the extent that we now have a social and political identity, it was theists that created it, by treating atheism as a morally dangerous movement that needed to be combated and crushed. if you look at what atheistic societies talk about, that's largely it: the abuse of religious power. But if there were no abuse of religious power, it'd be hard to see that atheist societies would have much to talk about.

On the one hand you deny atheism is a culture ("atheism itself isn't a culture") then on the other you are confirming this very thing ("look at what atheistic societies talk about"). A culture is a society of people that share certain beliefs.

1) : the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time

2) : a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.

3) : a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business)

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

If you want to know why atheism is on the rise, I don't think it's because of a single movement. Rather, I think it arises naturally in consequence of greater intellectual freedom, reduced credence in the physical, historical and metaphysical claims of theology, and a weakening role of religion in social life. Essentially, there would be more atheists even without abuses of religious power, but those abuses have brought a degree of cohesion and mutual support among atheists, despite their different beliefs.

My belief is that it is on the rise because atheists are pushing their beliefs in the media and bombasticating them on the Internet, challenging the beliefs of others from their particular perspective and people are buying into this nonsense. According to the Christian worldview you are suppressing the knowledge of God in your unrighteousness. That would be one explanation of why you reject Him. You do not want to admit you have an obligation to live as He has decreed.

I'm going to start out slowly since you seem to insinuate I can't know much, if anything, about your belief system.

It's not an insinuation as I've stated it baldly. :) But thank you for asking questions.

More than glad to. My questioning has just started.

Peter
PGA
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3/20/2015 1:58:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/19/2015 8:21:43 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/19/2015 6:35:50 PM, PGA wrote:
Let me express it another way. Can a person call themselves an atheist and still believe the Christian God is real?

So, if I understand your question correctly, such a person would believe the entire universe and humanity to have been created by Yhwh, [1]a jealous supernatural being [2]who insists humanity worship himself and nothing else, [3]who has cursed humanity in consequence of the first humans' transgressions, but [4]who has also sired a son whom if they believe in him, [5]he'll forgive them, and who presides over a heaven into which he'll admit the eternal souls of those he forgives sufficiently.

[1] Jealous to protect truth and goodness, what is noble.
[2] There is no greater being to worship and admire than One who is worthy of our love.
[3] Imposed on people who had corrupted the image of God in their minds with their own construction. Man was not going to have intimate relationship with God after he rejected what God said was good. Man was allowed to find out that the hard way. He can't live a righteous life outside of God's ways. Man has been witness to this from the beginning, from the moment he rejected God's good council.
[4] God supplied the way that both satisfied His righteousness and His justice.
[5] God created man to live either with Him or without Him. Man, in Adam, chose to live outside of Him, thus man's inhumanity to man. If you don't want to know God then you will live outside His love and compassion in eternity, the other side of this earthly existence.

And such a one would believe all of this, yet nevertheless elect not to worship, not to treat Yhwh as a divinity but only a supernatural agency unworthy of worship or propitiation.

Then, if you are wrong about this God, you will reap the consequences of your actions and will not be able to justify such actions on the belief that God has not given you enough evidence. You rejected His Word.

So I observe that not all supernatural agencies are gods: it's really only the act of worship that makes it a deity. Such a person then, could believe in Yhwh as a supernatural agency, yet not uphold Yhwh's claim to divinity.

You are right there. There is only one God.

It is not only the act of worship that makes God God. It is that He is.

If such a person called himself an atheist, then I think it would meet both the spirit and literal meaning of the term, and I wouldn't contradict him.

Being atheist means he looks at life other than from the perspective of God. Whether you want to add a whole bunch of other little gods that are not God is entirely up to you.

2) If the Bible is true in its declaration that He is the one and only true and living God then would it be also true that anyone could reject this God in a number of ways;

Rejection need have nothing to do with the truth or otherwise of the Bible, Peter.

True.

For example, you can reject Christianity simply because you don't like its adherents enough to want to listen to their preachings or read their literature.

Sure you can, but God judges on what you do with Him and the sufficient means He has given to reconcile you with Himself - His Son. By rejecting Jesus you reject God.

Peter
dhardage
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3/20/2015 2:14:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
(Trimmed for space)

Rubbish, that is complete and utter BS. If I can't deduce anything of your belief then you can't of mine either since you subjugate it to the possessor only. To be an atheist means you look at the world from a particular vantage point, one that dismisses the Christian God for starters.

Uh, one that dismisses all gods. I know this is mostly between you and Ruv, but you need to at least get your basic information straight. Please note that a disbelief in any god is the only qualification for being an atheist.

You have to believe something in order to be atheistic.

Sure, we can believe anything we want. We just don't believe in any god or gods, your blood god included.

Can any atheist believe the Christian God is real and still be an atheist?

No, that would be diametrically opposed to the definition.


Of course, it's possible to be more or less informed about the spectrum of atheistic knowledge and opinion. Sociological surveys can pick this stuff up, for example.

It all falls under the umbrella.

So nothing can be known about atheism other than what you (an atheist) define that to be.

It's more that atheism doesn't mean much in itself: it's absence of belief in divinity. We can associate it to almost any non-theological doctrine, simply because by itself it's devoid of any metaphysical meaning.

Absent of belief in divinity says a lot about how you look at life. It means a lot. It says that you must explain life without a personal Creator, without mind behind it. It is an either or situation. Either life originated from a Creator or it did not, and you either look at it from the one perspective or the other or everything is just illusion which does not make any sense.

Only in the view of theists who cannot conceive of life without some overarching belief to support them.

Which do you propose? Do you look at the universe and life coming from a personal Creator or not?

Obviously not.

If you do not them you have an atheistic framework that you look at everything else through.


"My strong recommendation is that if you want to critique anyone's belief you must first ask a question. If that question can be answered by written doctrine, well and good.
However, there is no such written doctrine for atheism."
1) Does it have to be written?

No. If there's culture then there can be oral tradition. But atheism itself isn't a culture; it's rejection of religious culture, which may or may not be replaced by something else.

Sure it is. It is a culture of unbelief/disbelief/no belief/doubt about God (and I only speak of one God. Deny any others and I will be right with you. The God I speak of is the Christian God). You replace this God with other beliefs.

No need for 'other beliefs' when there is sufficient evidence to accept natural explanations for natural events.

2) Surely there are some things that all atheists have in common, whether strong or weak, otherwise they would have a different belief system?

Once again, all we have in common is that we don't believe in any god or gods. Why is that simple concept so hard for you and most other theists to grasp?

You've begged the question, Peter. Because you believe that atheism is a system of belief, you expect to see traits in common among atheists. But really, the only things all atheists have in common are a non-acceptance of divinity, and a degree of hatred and persecution by the religious.

What he said.

It is precisely that. When you disbelieve something you look for explanation apart from that disbelief.

Non-acceptance of divinity means that you have to look at and explain origins and ever other ultimate life question devoid of this God, the very point I, and others, continue to make about those who call themselves atheist.

Once again, natural explanations for natural occurrences.

To the extent that we now have a social and political identity, it was theists that created it, by treating atheism as a morally dangerous movement that needed to be combated and crushed. if you look at what atheistic societies talk about, that's largely it: the abuse of religious power. But if there were no abuse of religious power, it'd be hard to see that atheist societies would have much to talk about.

On the one hand you deny atheism is a culture ("atheism itself isn't a culture") then on the other you are confirming this very thing ("look at what atheistic societies talk about"). A culture is a society of people that share certain beliefs.

Big difference in 'atheistic society' and 'atheist society'. You should really bone up on your use of the language.

1) : the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time

2) : a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.

3) : a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business)

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

If you want to know why atheism is on the rise, I don't think it's because of a single movement. Rather, I think it arises naturally in consequence of greater intellectual freedom, reduced credence in the physical, historical and metaphysical claims of theology, and a weakening role of religion in social life. Essentially, there would be more atheists even without abuses of religious power, but those abuses have brought a degree of cohesion and mutual support among atheists, despite their different beliefs.

My belief is that it is on the rise because atheists are pushing their beliefs in the media and bombasticating them on the Internet, challenging the beliefs of others from their particular perspective and people are buying into this nonsense. According to the Christian worldview you are suppressing the knowledge of God in your unrighteousness. That would be one explanation of why you reject Him. You do not want to admit you have an obligation to live as He has decreed.

Atheists have been the ones being suppressed for centuries. You and your ilk have imprisoned, murdered, and tortured anyone who disagreed with your particular theistic views. Yes, some tyrants have been atheists but that was not the reason for their tyranny and there have been Christian tyrants as well. The difference is that no one has every tried to control a country or population in the name of atheism. The same cannot be said for theism.

As for that 'obligation', it's as man made as the holy book you use to justify your entire belief system. Sin is a disease created so that people had to buy the cure with submission to its creators and you have sold your intellectual honesty and integrity to it. Some of us simply think that's too high a price.

I'm going to start out slowly since you seem to insinuate I can't know much, if anything, about your belief system.

It's not an insinuation as I've stated it baldly. :) But thank you for asking questions.

More than glad to. My questioning has just started.

Then ask a few instead of insisting that you know what every single atheist thinks and feels. We are not a homogenous group, each different with different outlooks and personal philosophies. Be an honest investigator instead of a theistic inquisitor and you might actually learn something.

Peter
RuvDraba
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3/20/2015 2:45:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/20/2015 1:58:36 PM, PGA wrote:
At 3/19/2015 8:21:43 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/19/2015 6:35:50 PM, PGA wrote:
Let me express it another way. Can a person call themselves an atheist and still believe the Christian God is real?
So, if I understand your question correctly, such a person would believe the entire universe and humanity to have been created by Yhwh,

Without requoting your amendments, haven't you just lost sight of your original question and purpose?

You asked whether one might accept the Christian deity as existing, yet still be an atheist. I suggested that one might accept it as existing -- or at least the possibility of existence -- without in any way admiring, respecting it, invoking it, or wanting to commune with it.

And such a one would believe all of this, yet nevertheless elect not to worship, not to treat Yhwh as a divinity but only a supernatural agency unworthy of worship or propitiation.

Then, if you are wrong about this God, you will reap the consequences of your actions

This has nothing to do with the question. Firstly, because it was an abstract question -- about what is possible, and not about what I personally believe. Secondly, because it's not a question; it's preaching.

And there are philosophical and moral problems with faith-by-fear anyway, but since you broke faith with your own stated intention, I'm going to punish you by not pointing them out. [On the theory that the harshest punishment on a debate site is to refuse to argue. :D]

So I observe that not all supernatural agencies are gods: it's really only the act of worship that makes it a deity. Such a person then, could believe in Yhwh as a supernatural agency, yet not uphold Yhwh's claim to divinity.

It is not only the act of worship that makes God God. It is that He is.

I disagree. The word 'god' itself (the common noun) derives from the Indo-Euoprean linguistic root ghut meaning 'that which is invoked or called on'. If you don't invoke or call on it, it's not a god, no matter how powerful it is. On the other hand, if you invoke it, it is a god by usage, even if it doesn't exist.

Being atheist means he looks at life other than from the perspective of God. Whether you want to add a whole bunch of other little gods that are not God is entirely up to you.

I'm not sure why you mentioned this. So in addition to not being sure I agree with it, I have no idea how to respond to it.

Sure you can, but God judges on what you do with Him and the sufficient means He has given to reconcile you with Himself - His Son. By rejecting Jesus you reject God.

So this is to be a preach-thread? You're going to ask questions to which you don't care about my answers, just for an excuse to regurgitate tiredly familiar doctrine?

How dull and disappointing. What a waste of intellect, what a betrayal of respect and integrity.
PGA
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3/20/2015 4:14:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/20/2015 2:14:51 PM, dhardage wrote:
(Trimmed for space)

By snipping I lost the train of thought.

Rubbish, that is complete and utter BS. If I can't deduce anything of your belief then you can't of mine either since you subjugate it to the possessor only. To be an atheist means you look at the world from a particular vantage point, one that dismisses the Christian God for starters.

Uh, one that dismisses all gods. I know this is mostly between you and Ruv, but you need to at least get your basic information straight. Please note that a disbelief in any god is the only qualification for being an atheist.

True, you dismiss all gods/God, but I only care how you view the Christian God for the sake of this discussion. I don't recognize any gods but the one true God, either. When you state you are an atheist I want to know whether you apply your atheism to the Christian God. You say you do.

If you do not believe in a personal God (a mindful being) then the universe does not come from/originate from mind - correct? It came about apart from mind. Is this a fair deduction about what an atheist would believe?

This is a question for Ruv also.

I will argue til the cows come home with you about any other 'gods.' They are not necessary for my belief either. What is true for other gods is not true of the God of the Bible for the very reason that He alone is the one true God and the God you are responsible to, per Scripture. As a Christian I can view your belief from a Christian perspective and come up with things you would have to disbelieve if you exclude the Christian God.

As an atheist these are things you would have to believe or else you would have some other worldview.

You have to believe something in order to be atheistic.

Sure, we can believe anything we want. We just don't believe in any god or gods, your blood god included.

If you do not believe in God, the Christian God, then you have constructed another way of looking at the universe apart from Him or devoid of Him.

Correct?

Can any atheist believe the Christian God is real and still be an atheist?

No, that would be diametrically opposed to the definition.

Exactly, and my point. He can't.

Peter

I'm out of time for now (more pressing things to do)
RuvDraba
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3/20/2015 8:25:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/20/2015 2:14:51 PM, dhardage wrote:
I know this is mostly between you and Ruv, but you need to at least get your basic information straight.

For my part, DH, you are welcome to participate to your heart's content. :D I don't believe Peter greatly cares what I think in particular. He has argued in multiple threads that all atheists have some sort of doctrine in common, and is just using me to try and prove that I do (when he's not forgetting the reason he's posting, and preaching at me instead. :p)

Can any atheist believe the Christian God is real and still be an atheist?
No, that would be diametrically opposed to the definition.

I think Peter would like to hear that, because he'd like to argue from rejection of deity to an absolute statement of the metaphysical: if you reject likelihood of deity, then you must claim some sort of metaphysical insight, hence you're subscribing to a doctrine, hence atheism is doctrinal.

But I don't believe that myself, simply because mythologically, a god isn't just a creative supernatural force. It's a force invoked by people -- worshiped, propitiated, called upon. It's the act of doing so that in common usage, identifies a supernatural agency as a god.

Real or not, then, declining to invoke supernatural beings is a sufficient criterion for atheism, whether you have any position on their existence at all. So you can be an atheist without making a metaphysical statement.

The problem with the confusion here is that the meaning of atheism was coined by theists, who have conflated belief in existence with the necessity of worship. (Ironically, having committed the idealistic fallacy that god ought to exist for morality and ultimate explanation, so he does, they then invoke the reciprocal naturalistic fallacy that since god exists, explains everything and informs human morality, you ought to worship him.)

But even if Yhwh existed, created the earth and romped around like an Old Testament dictator, many atheists (myself included) would have no wish to invoke, worship or have anything to do with such an appalling creature. So rejection of the Christian deity on grounds of moral repugnance isn't the only reason to reject Christianity, but is sufficient reason to do so.

In conclusion, I understand atheism to be rejection of deity, not just disbelief in deity, and that distinction is born out in the more astute dictionaries such as OED, and Merriam-Webster.
debate_power
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3/21/2015 1:24:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/19/2015 8:09:50 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/19/2015 7:22:02 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/19/2015 5:22:10 PM, PGA wrote:
I would eventually like to question your belief about goodness,

You're welcome to do that, on the understanding that refuting my sense of good (should you do that), proves nothing about any other atheist's sense of good.

Apparently I can't deduce anything about what an atheist believes.

That's exactly right, but it's not just you. Atheism is a property of non-acceptance -- a person is without gods. There's no way of telling why until you talk to the individual. For convenience, I requote something from an earlier thread:

If you look up "atheism" in the dictionary, you will probably find it defined as the belief that there is no God. Certainly many people understand atheism in this way. Yet many atheists do not, and this is not what the term means if one considers it from the point of view of its Greek roots. In Greek "a" means "without" or "not" and "theos" means "god." From this standpoint an atheist would simply be someone without a belief in God, not necessarily someone who believes that God does not exist. According to its Greek roots, then, atheism is a negative view, characterized by the absence of belief in God. -- Michael Martin, "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification"

Of course, it's possible to be more or less informed about the spectrum of atheistic knowledge and opinion. Sociological surveys can pick this stuff up, for example.

So nothing can be known about atheism other than what you (an atheist) define that to be.

It's more that atheism doesn't mean much in itself: it's absence of belief in divinity. We can associate it to almost any non-theological doctrine, simply because by itself it's devoid of any metaphysical meaning.

"My strong recommendation is that if you want to critique anyone's belief you must first ask a question. If that question can be answered by written doctrine, well and good.
However, there is no such written doctrine for atheism."
1) Does it have to be written?

No. If there's culture then there can be oral tradition. But atheism itself isn't a culture; it's rejection of religious culture, which may or may not be replaced by something else.

2) Surely there are some things that all atheists have in common, whether strong or weak, otherwise they would have a different belief system?

You've begged the question, Peter. Because you believe that atheism is a system of belief, you expect to see traits in common among atheists. But really, the only things all atheists have in common are a non-acceptance of divinity, and a degree of hatred and persecution by the religious.

To the extent that we now have a social and political identity, it was theists that created it, by treating atheism as a morally dangerous movement that needed to be combated and crushed. if you look at what atheistic societies talk about, that's largely it: the abuse of religious power. But if there were no abuse of religious power, it'd be hard to see that atheist societies would have much to talk about.

If you want to know why atheism is on the rise, I don't think it's because of a single movement. Rather, I think it arises naturally in consequence of greater intellectual freedom, reduced credence in the physical, historical and metaphysical claims of theology, and a weakening role of religion in social life. Essentially, there would be more atheists even without abuses of religious power, but those abuses have brought a degree of cohesion and mutual support among atheists, despite their different beliefs.

I'm going to start out slowly since you seem to insinuate I can't know much, if anything, about your belief system.

It's not an insinuation as I've stated it baldly. :) But thank you for asking questions.

In other words, from your viewpoint of what an atheist is, most Christians are atheists who don't believe in the God that I testify for. I call them antichrists, or unspiritual people. They don't have any way of knowing for sure there is a Creator by reading words in a book but they believe the stories in the book, anyway.

When I come along and preach God to these atheist Christians, they do not believe it's Him that is speaking. Wouldn't you consider these Christians to be atheists from your understanding of atheism?

"Atheist Christian" is an oxymoron. Do you try to be funny?
You can call me Mark if you like.
dhardage
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3/23/2015 10:00:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/20/2015 4:14:49 PM, PGA wrote:
At 3/20/2015 2:14:51 PM, dhardage wrote:
(Trimmed for space)

By snipping I lost the train of thought.

Rubbish, that is complete and utter BS. If I can't deduce anything of your belief then you can't of mine either since you subjugate it to the possessor only. To be an atheist means you look at the world from a particular vantage point, one that dismisses the Christian God for starters.

Uh, one that dismisses all gods. I know this is mostly between you and Ruv, but you need to at least get your basic information straight. Please note that a disbelief in any god is the only qualification for being an atheist.

True, you dismiss all gods/God, but I only care how you view the Christian God for the sake of this discussion. I don't recognize any gods but the one true God, either. When you state you are an atheist I want to know whether you apply your atheism to the Christian God. You say you do.

Yep. I reject the assertion that your god exists just as I do the assertion that Odin, Zeus, or Brahma exists. There is no tangible, testable evidence to support any of those assertions.

If you do not believe in a personal God (a mindful being) then the universe does not come from/originate from mind - correct? It came about apart from mind. Is this a fair deduction about what an atheist would believe?

It's a fair deduction of what I believe. As you've been told over and over, the only common thread is that atheists do not accept the assertion that any god exists. You'd have to actually ask every atheist that question to get a valid base of information.

This is a question for Ruv also.

I will argue til the cows come home with you about any other 'gods.' They are not necessary for my belief either. What is true for other gods is not true of the God of the Bible for the very reason that He alone is the one true God and the God you are responsible to, per Scripture. As a Christian I can view your belief from a Christian perspective and come up with things you would have to disbelieve if you exclude the Christian God.

And you'd be wrong. You see things through the Christian theist lens and live in that paradigm. You cannot accurately replicate any system that is not within that paradigm.

" What is true for other gods is not true of the God of the Bible for the very reason that He alone is the one true God and the God you are responsible to, per Scripture."

That statement alone shows that your thinking is rigidly locked into one viewpoint, one from which you cannot deviate in any part. You must, by your belief system, assume that anyone who does not actively believe in your god is actively rejecting him. That is not true. If you can find it in yourself to step outside that perspective and actually try to see things as others do you will then be able to understand them. As long as all you do is try to force others into your frame of reference you will never have an accurate understanding of anyone who doesn't believe as you do.

As an atheist these are things you would have to believe or else you would have some other worldview.

You have to believe something in order to be atheistic.

Sure, we can believe anything we want. We just don't believe in any god or gods, your blood god included.

If you do not believe in God, the Christian God, then you have constructed another way of looking at the universe apart from Him or devoid of Him.

As mentioned on several occasions, natural explanations for natural occurrences.

Correct?

Can any atheist believe the Christian God is real and still be an atheist?

No, that would be diametrically opposed to the definition.

Exactly, and my point. He can't.

Ok, so you understand an atheist can't be a theist. That does not preclude someone from being a theist but refusing to worship your God because of the psychotic behavior he exhibits in your holy book.

Peter

I'm out of time for now (more pressing things to do)
DanneJeRusse
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3/23/2015 10:08:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/20/2015 4:14:49 PM, PGA wrote:

True, you dismiss all gods/God... I don't recognize any gods but the one true God, either.

So, you don't see that you too dismiss all gods, but one? Considering there are thousands of gods throughout history purported to have existed with followers as ardent and infallible as any other cultists, recognizing ONLY one god out of all of them would show more of an atheistic worldview than anything else.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
bornofgod
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3/23/2015 11:49:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/20/2015 8:25:39 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/20/2015 2:14:51 PM, dhardage wrote:
I know this is mostly between you and Ruv, but you need to at least get your basic information straight.

For my part, DH, you are welcome to participate to your heart's content. :D I don't believe Peter greatly cares what I think in particular. He has argued in multiple threads that all atheists have some sort of doctrine in common, and is just using me to try and prove that I do (when he's not forgetting the reason he's posting, and preaching at me instead. :p)

Can any atheist believe the Christian God is real and still be an atheist?
No, that would be diametrically opposed to the definition.

I think Peter would like to hear that, because he'd like to argue from rejection of deity to an absolute statement of the metaphysical: if you reject likelihood of deity, then you must claim some sort of metaphysical insight, hence you're subscribing to a doctrine, hence atheism is doctrinal.

But I don't believe that myself, simply because mythologically, a god isn't just a creative supernatural force. It's a force invoked by people -- worshiped, propitiated, called upon. It's the act of doing so that in common usage, identifies a supernatural agency as a god.

Real or not, then, declining to invoke supernatural beings is a sufficient criterion for atheism, whether you have any position on their existence at all. So you can be an atheist without making a metaphysical statement.

The problem with the confusion here is that the meaning of atheism was coined by theists, who have conflated belief in existence with the necessity of worship. (Ironically, having committed the idealistic fallacy that god ought to exist for morality and ultimate explanation, so he does, they then invoke the reciprocal naturalistic fallacy that since god exists, explains everything and informs human morality, you ought to worship him.)

But even if Yhwh existed, created the earth and romped around like an Old Testament dictator, many atheists (myself included) would have no wish to invoke, worship or have anything to do with such an appalling creature. So rejection of the Christian deity on grounds of moral repugnance isn't the only reason to reject Christianity, but is sufficient reason to do so.

In conclusion, I understand atheism to be rejection of deity, not just disbelief in deity, and that distinction is born out in the more astute dictionaries such as OED, and Merriam-Webster.: :

The atheists who come to me because of the message I write on my whiteboard are actually chosen believers who don't recognize they're believers. These are people who reject the religious gods and teachings of religious people, particularly the religious teachings from their parents or other early childhood experiences with other religious people.

God has drawn these so-called atheists away from religion so they could be taught some wisdom contrary to the hypocritical thoughts that come from religious people. These so-called atheists are drawn to the knowledge of God that I share with them about energy, quantum mechanics, and the visible objects as being illusions. This type of knowledge separates chosen believers who call themselves atheists from the atheists who believe in evolution and other fanatical teachings of how this universe came into being.

The atheist believers like to listen to how religions, science, languages, mathematics, etc. came into this world by the observations of the stars to get building shapes and shapes for the characters of their written languages and mathematics. When I get into this type of knowledge, religion and religious gods don't enter their minds to distract them from hearing what I'm telling them.

In fact, atheist believers are much easier to share knowledge with because they don't have any pre-conceived religious knowledge that keeps them from opening up their minds to knowledge that they've never heard before. Most of God's believers are not religious at all and have never read the Bible or any other holy books that religious people need to worship their false deities in the false gods that they build.

I can see you're not totally rejecting some of the knowledge I'm sharing in this thread or other threads I've been in. That's because you have enough wisdom from God in you that keeps you from rejecting it. You may never in this world, believe everything I'm sharing with you but at least you're open minded enough to know that I'm not a fool with no wisdom at all such as the case with many in this forum.

A friend is one who doesn't reject all your thoughts.
RuvDraba
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3/23/2015 12:00:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 11:49:40 AM, bornofgod wrote:
You may never in this world, believe everything I'm sharing with you but at least you're open minded enough to know that I'm not a fool with no wisdom at all such as the case with many in this forum.

I think you're a much nicer man than many who claim to more conventional beliefs.

And since my world is full of deluded faiths that I must already tolerate, I'm more than happy to welcome yours too, BoG, since I love much your canon drives everyone else crazy. :)

Freedom of worship either works for everyone, or it's just an excuse for a few big, faiths to act bigoted and precious.

So fill your whiteboard, my friend. You can't be any more wrong than the big faiths already are, and at least you have the decency to respect people outside your beliefs. :)
bornofgod
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3/23/2015 12:21:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 12:00:41 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/23/2015 11:49:40 AM, bornofgod wrote:
You may never in this world, believe everything I'm sharing with you but at least you're open minded enough to know that I'm not a fool with no wisdom at all such as the case with many in this forum.

I think you're a much nicer man than many who claim to more conventional beliefs.

And since my world is full of deluded faiths that I must already tolerate, I'm more than happy to welcome yours too, BoG, since I love much your canon drives everyone else crazy. :)

Freedom of worship either works for everyone, or it's just an excuse for a few big, faiths to act bigoted and precious.

Worship means "to live" according to the ONE who taught me what it means. I'm living and that's all that matters. I'm just sharing that experience of living with anyone who becomes friends with me.

So fill your whiteboard, my friend. You can't be any more wrong than the big faiths already are, and at least you have the decency to respect people outside your beliefs. :): :

Thank you my friend.

I may still be wrong from your perspective but that only means that you're right. I know the ONE who made us alright.
PGA
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3/23/2015 12:23:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 10:00:52 AM, dhardage wrote:
At 3/20/2015 4:14:49 PM, PGA wrote:
At 3/20/2015 2:14:51 PM, dhardage wrote:
(Trimmed for space)

By snipping I lost the train of thought.

Rubbish, that is complete and utter BS. If I can't deduce anything of your belief then you can't of mine either since you subjugate it to the possessor only. To be an atheist means you look at the world from a particular vantage point, one that dismisses the Christian God for starters.

Uh, one that dismisses all gods. I know this is mostly between you and Ruv, but you need to at least get your basic information straight. Please note that a disbelief in any god is the only qualification for being an atheist.

True, you dismiss all gods/God, but I only care how you view the Christian God for the sake of this discussion. I don't recognize any gods but the one true God, either. When you state you are an atheist I want to know whether you apply your atheism to the Christian God. You say you do.

Yep. I reject the assertion that your god exists just as I do the assertion that Odin, Zeus, or Brahma exists. There is no tangible, testable evidence to support any of those assertions.

Sure there is concerning the Christian God - period. Your bias disqualifies you from acknowledging it.

If you do not believe in a personal God (a mindful being) then the universe does not come from/originate from mind - correct? It came about apart from mind. Is this a fair deduction about what an atheist would believe?

It's a fair deduction of what I believe. As you've been told over and over, the only common thread is that atheists do not accept the assertion that any god exists. You'd have to actually ask every atheist that question to get a valid base of information.

Not per my worldview.
a - without
theos - God

I will stand by your side in denying gods. I only stand for the one true and living God.

This is a question for Ruv also.

I will argue til the cows come home with you about any other 'gods.' They are not necessary for my belief either. What is true for other gods is not true of the God of the Bible for the very reason that He alone is the one true God and the God you are responsible to, per Scripture. As a Christian I can view your belief from a Christian perspective and come up with things you would have to disbelieve if you exclude the Christian God.

And you'd be wrong. You see things through the Christian theist lens and live in that paradigm. You cannot accurately replicate any system that is not within that paradigm.

That is just your assertion through the atheistic lens and that paradigm. Blind, ignorant assertion. Who are you to speak for Christianity if you are not part of that paradigm? That is the ill used reason you offer by saying that "I can't see things through your perspective at all." It's pure nonsense. If I can't see things through your worldview then apply the same principle to yourself concerning mine and don't speak for what I believe.

" What is true for other gods is not true of the God of the Bible for the very reason that He alone is the one true God and the God you are responsible to, per Scripture."

That statement alone shows that your thinking is rigidly locked into one viewpoint, one from which you cannot deviate in any part. You must, by your belief system, assume that anyone who does not actively believe in your god is actively rejecting him. That is not true. If you can find it in yourself to step outside that perspective and actually try to see things as others do you will then be able to understand them. As long as all you do is try to force others into your frame of reference you will never have an accurate understanding of anyone who doesn't believe as you do.

You are just as rigidly focused and locked in your own little closed black box.

I do believe that anyone who suppresses Him is in fact rejecting Him. I pity the fool.

Why would I want to step outside the Christian perspective to search for truth. How do you know what you believe is true, or more pressing, what would be necessary for your worldview to be true?

I'm not trying to force others into my framework. I'm trying to get them to open up what is behind their framework. It's pitiful.

As an atheist these are things you would have to believe or else you would have some other worldview.

You have to believe something in order to be atheistic.

Sure, we can believe anything we want. We just don't believe in any god or gods, your blood god included.

If you do not believe in God, the Christian God, then you have constructed another way of looking at the universe apart from Him or devoid of Him.

As mentioned on several occasions, natural explanations for natural occurrences.

Explain why from the beginnings of your universe there should be such a thing as uniformity of nature? How did it happen from cold, irrational, mindless, unintentional matter plus energy? How does your universes beginning sustain anything?

I know I'll be waiting a long time for this one.

Correct?

Can any atheist believe the Christian God is real and still be an atheist?

No, that would be diametrically opposed to the definition.

Exactly, and my point. He can't.

Ok, so you understand an atheist can't be a theist. That does not preclude someone from being a theist but refusing to worship your God because of the psychotic behavior he exhibits in your holy book.

Oh, so you are giving me that I can know something of your worldview after all! I can understand one thing, yet I suppose that is all - right?

: And you'd be wrong. You see things through the Christian theist lens and live in that paradigm. You cannot accurately replicate any system that is not within that paradigm.

You are giving me that I can understand that an atheist can't be a theist. Anything else that you will concede?

Peter
dhardage
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3/23/2015 12:40:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Trimmed for space

True, you dismiss all gods/God, but I only care how you view the Christian God for the sake of this discussion. I don't recognize any gods but the one true God, either. When you state you are an atheist I want to know whether you apply your atheism to the Christian God. You say you do.

Yep. I reject the assertion that your god exists just as I do the assertion that Odin, Zeus, or Brahma exists. There is no tangible, testable evidence to support any of those assertions.

Sure there is concerning the Christian God - period. Your bias disqualifies you from acknowledging it.

Show me one piece of tangible, testable evidence of the existence of your god, please? Note: The bible is not evidence, it is the claim and it was written by men, edited by men, and published by men.

If you do not believe in a personal God (a mindful being) then the universe does not come from/originate from mind - correct? It came about apart from mind. Is this a fair deduction about what an atheist would believe?

It's a fair deduction of what I believe. As you've been told over and over, the only common thread is that atheists do not accept the assertion that any god exists. You'd have to actually ask every atheist that question to get a valid base of information.

Not per my worldview.
a - without
theos - God

A - without
theism - belief in god.

Why do you insist on changing the meaning of the word?


I will stand by your side in denying gods. I only stand for the one true and living God.

And I will push you away (figuratively) because you belong in that other line of people who believe in some kind of supernatural deity. Yours is no different from any other.


This is a question for Ruv also.

I will argue til the cows come home with you about any other 'gods.' They are not necessary for my belief either. What is true for other gods is not true of the God of the Bible for the very reason that He alone is the one true God and the God you are responsible to, per Scripture. As a Christian I can view your belief from a Christian perspective and come up with things you would have to disbelieve if you exclude the Christian God.

And you'd be wrong. You see things through the Christian theist lens and live in that paradigm. You cannot accurately replicate any system that is not within that paradigm.

That is just your assertion through the atheistic lens and that paradigm. Blind, ignorant assertion. Who are you to speak for Christianity if you are not part of that paradigm? That is the ill used reason you offer by saying that "I can't see things through your perspective at all." It's pure nonsense. If I can't see things through your worldview then apply the same principle to yourself concerning mine and don't speak for what I believe.

I remark on Christianity because I see it's results and the actions of its supposed adherents. Christianity broadcasts its beliefs and attempts to make them the law of the land based on some imagined superiority. Actions come from attitude and the attitude of many so-called Christians is quite well documented.

" What is true for other gods is not true of the God of the Bible for the very reason that He alone is the one true God and the God you are responsible to, per Scripture."

That statement alone shows that your thinking is rigidly locked into one viewpoint, one from which you cannot deviate in any part. You must, by your belief system, assume that anyone who does not actively believe in your god is actively rejecting him. That is not true. If you can find it in yourself to step outside that perspective and actually try to see things as others do you will then be able to understand them. As long as all you do is try to force others into your frame of reference you will never have an accurate understanding of anyone who doesn't believe as you do.

You are just as rigidly focused and locked in your own little closed black box.

Hardly. I am willing to admit I could be wrong if real, testable evidence is presented to me.

A question for you. If you were presented with a fact that you could test and verify, a fact that proved beyond doubt that your belief system was wrong, what would you do? Would you change your belief? Would you deny that the fact was true despite your own confirmation? What?


I do believe that anyone who suppresses Him is in fact rejecting Him. I pity the fool.

Good grief, is a bad Mr. T reference all you have?


Why would I want to step outside the Christian perspective to search for truth. How do you know what you believe is true, or more pressing, what would be necessary for your worldview to be true?

Because what I accept as true is backed up by facts that I can examine and scrutinize, things that have been tested every day and continue to be tested every day. I don't have or need some mythical primitive deity to inform me about my world and how I should deal with it. I am grown up and don't require 'parental supervision' to get along


I'm not trying to force others into my framework. I'm trying to get them to open up what is behind their framework. It's pitiful.

Yes, you are, by claiming to know how a group of people defined by one single aspect their character feel and believe as some kind of homogenous group when they are not. It's presumptuous at best, arrogant at worst.

As an atheist these are things you would have to believe or else you would have some other worldview.

You have to believe something in order to be atheistic.

Sure, we can believe anything we want. We just don't believe in any god or gods, your blood god included.

If you do not believe in God, the Christian God, then you have constructed another way of looking at the universe apart from Him or devoid of Him.

As mentioned on several occasions, natural explanations for natural occurrences.

Explain why from the beginnings of your universe there should be such a thing as uniformity of nature? How did it happen from cold, irrational, mindless, unintentional matter plus energy? How does your universes beginning sustain anything?

See above. Natural results of natural forces acting on the material universe.

I know I'll be waiting a long time for this one.

Correct?

Can any atheist believe the Christian God is real and still be an atheist?

No, that would be diametrically opposed to the definition.

Exactly, and my point. He can't.

Ok, so you understand an atheist can't be a theist. That does not preclude someone from being a theist but refusing to worship your God because of the psychotic behavior he exhibits in your holy book.

Oh, so you are giving me that I can know something of your worldview after all! I can understand one thing, yet I suppose that is all - right?

I'm saying that one can not believe and not believe the same think at the same time. Nothing more or less than that.

: And you'd be wrong. You see things through the Christian theist lens and live in that paradigm. You cannot accurately replicate any system that is not within that paradigm.

You are giving me that I can understand that an atheist can't be a theist. Anything else that you will concede?

Peter
RuvDraba
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3/23/2015 12:48:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/20/2015 4:14:49 PM, PGA wrote:
If you do not believe in a personal God (a mindful being) then the universe does not come from/originate from mind - correct? It came about apart from mind. Is this a fair deduction about what an atheist would believe?

No, an atheist does not have to explain anything in order to reject Christianity or any other faith.

Pete, the thing I think you need to most get from this thread is that your own faith -- Christianity -- isn't a single belief. It's actually a bundle of metaphysical explanations, historical explanations, physical explanations, political ideals, psychological explanations and moral imperatives made canon.

It's not hard to find that particular package philosophically flawed, empirically inaccurate, physically implausible, politically unethical, psychologically unsound and/or morally repugnant.

Some 67% of the world already does.

Any of those is reason enough to reject Christianity outright. And once one does, the whole edifice of Christian philosophy becomes irrelevant, just as Balinese animism or Eckankar is likely irrelevant to you.

If as a Christian, you then want to challenge an atheist's materialism, naturalism, relativism, epistemology or theory of mind, you can. But even should you succeed in that challenge, the solution will may not be Christianity.

So you have three obstacles here:
1) Atheists don't all believe the same thing -- metaphysically, physically, morally, so you can't treat them as a philosophical category;
2) Even if you refute what one atheist thinks, it doesn't change what any other atheist thinks, since we don't have a canon of doctrine to update;
3) If you do refute what one atheist thinks, he's still not especially likely to convert to your particular faith.

I guess I'm pointing out that in arguments like this, you're more likely to expose weaknesses in your own knowledge and biases in your own beliefs, than prove anything about atheism in general.

That's not to say don't do it, but you have a lot more at stake here.
PGA
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3/23/2015 1:02:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/20/2015 2:14:51 PM, dhardage wrote:
(Trimmed for space)

Can any atheist believe the Christian God is real and still be an atheist?

No, that would be diametrically opposed to the definition.

My point also! Your atheistic worldview forces you to deny God and deny the evidence for God.

So nothing can be known about atheism other than what you (an atheist) define that to be.

It's more that atheism doesn't mean much in itself: it's absence of belief in divinity. We can associate it to almost any non-theological doctrine, simply because by itself it's devoid of any metaphysical meaning.

Absent of belief in divinity says a lot about how you look at life. It means a lot. It says that you must explain life without a personal Creator, without mind behind it. It is an either or situation. Either life originated from a Creator or it did not, and you either look at it from the one perspective or the other or everything is just illusion which does not make any sense.

Only in the view of theists who cannot conceive of life without some overarching belief to support them.

Don't try an slough off my concerns. Are you telling me that the universe is created by mind/personage or not? Does it have mind/intentionality behind it or not? If not then I can know you have to explain it some other way. So that would be something else I could know of your worldview. One that excludes God, a personal being has to explain the universe from another perspective. That is what you try to do. You try to explain it all naturally.

Where have you ever observed a life coming from something that is not living? Again, your worldview reeks of inconsistency.

Which do you propose? Do you look at the universe and life coming from a personal Creator or not?

Obviously not.

Another thing I have correctly observed about atheism. Amazing!

However, there is no such written doctrine for atheism."
1) Does it have to be written?

No. If there's culture then there can be oral tradition. But atheism itself isn't a culture; it's rejection of religious culture, which may or may not be replaced by something else.

Sure it is. It is a culture of unbelief/disbelief/no belief/doubt about God (and I only speak of one God. Deny any others and I will be right with you. The God I speak of is the Christian God). You replace this God with other beliefs.

No need for 'other beliefs' when there is sufficient evidence to accept natural explanations for natural events.

Again, you ignored what I said that refuted your claim by your talking around it. Atheism is a culture.

2) Surely there are some things that all atheists have in common, whether strong or weak, otherwise they would have a different belief system?

Once again, all we have in common is that we don't believe in any god or gods. Why is that simple concept so hard for you and most other theists to grasp?

Again, you deny I can know what an atheist believes and so far you have yielded two things that I can know about atheistic beliefs. You are one mixed up, inconsistent, confused person to date.

You've begged the question, Peter. Because you believe that atheism is a system of belief, you expect to see traits in common among atheists. But really, the only things all atheists have in common are a non-acceptance of divinity, and a degree of hatred and persecution by the religious.

What he said.

Sure it is a system of belief. Why don't you think about it rather than letting others think for you. If you deny God you look for another explanation of why you are here, where you came from, what difference it makes and what your destiny will be.

It is precisely that. When you disbelieve something you look for explanation apart from that disbelief.

Non-acceptance of divinity means that you have to look at and explain origins and ever other ultimate life question devoid of this God, the very point I, and others, continue to make about those who call themselves atheist.

Once again, natural explanations for natural occurrences.

Your worldview forces you to this conclusion. It is a default position for an atheist.

On the one hand you deny atheism is a culture ("atheism itself isn't a culture") then on the other you are confirming this very thing ("look at what atheistic societies talk about"). A culture is a society of people that share certain beliefs.

: Big difference in 'atheistic society' and 'atheist society'. You should really bone up on your use of the language.
: :
1) : the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time

2) : a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.

3) : a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business)

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Again, you ignore the definition of what a culture is. It is a society that has its own beliefs. A society that is largely comprised of atheists is an atheistic society. That is the predominate culture. Sweden is such a society. The majority of Swedes do not accept God as a viable explanation.

My belief is that it is on the rise because atheists are pushing their beliefs in the media and bombasticating them on the Internet, challenging the beliefs of others from their particular perspective and people are buying into this nonsense. According to the Christian worldview you are suppressing the knowledge of God in your unrighteousness. That would be one explanation of why you reject Him. You do not want to admit you have an obligation to live as He has decreed.

Atheists have been the ones being suppressed for centuries. You and your ilk have imprisoned, murdered, and tortured anyone who disagreed with your particular theistic views. Yes, some tyrants have been atheists but that was not the reason for their tyranny and there have been Christian tyrants as well. The difference is that no one has every tried to control a country or population in the name of atheism. The same cannot be said for theism.

Yet now they are getting a foot in the door they are the ones wanting to suppress Christians. Your Four Horsemen are a prime example of views that many atheists hold.

And I will again remind you that what is done in the name of Christianity does not always reflect the teaching of Christ just as what atheists do does not reflect the savage origins of their evolutionary worldview.

Many people who were and are atheists control(led) countries and peoples that have practiced savagery.

As for that 'obligation', it's as man made as the holy book you use to justify your entire belief system. Sin is a disease created so that people had to buy the cure with submission to its creators and you have sold your intellectual honesty and integrity to it. Some of us simply think that's too high a price.

Your worldview has to account for evil too or else you would not be belly-aching over it.

Why is something evil or is it?
please tell me from your perspective.

...My questioning has just started.

Then ask a few instead of insisting that you know what every single atheist thinks and feels. We are not a homogenous group, each different with different outlooks and personal philosophies. Be an honest investigator instead of a theistic inquisitor and you might actually learn something.

I don't have to know everything you know in order to know something about what you would have to believe. In some respects an atheist has to believe certain things or else he would be a theist or deist or pantheist instead.

You just have a hard time admitting this. It is pathetic how much trouble a Christian has to go through in digging this out of you.

Peter
RuvDraba
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3/23/2015 1:18:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 1:02:57 PM, PGA wrote:
At 3/20/2015 2:14:51 PM, dhardage wrote:
Big difference in 'atheistic society' and 'atheist society'. You should really bone up on your use of the language.
1) : the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time
2) : a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.
3) : a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business)

Pete, for clarity, as an 'atheistic society' I was thinking about (for example) The American Atheists society: http://atheists.org...

I've never myself been a member of an atheistic society, but as I pointed out earlier, societies specifically for atheism don't seem to have a lot to talk about, other than religious oppression of atheists, and reasons that atheism is okay. :)
DanneJeRusse
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3/23/2015 1:20:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 1:02:57 PM, PGA wrote:

My point also! Your atheistic worldview forces you to deny God and deny the evidence for God.

Sorry, but that is not a valid point considering there is no God to deny as no God has ever shown Himself to exist in order to deny. All claims for any gods existence comes directly from people, hence it is their claims that are being denied and not the existence of Gods.


Where have you ever observed a life coming from something that is not living? Again, your worldview reeks of inconsistency.

Where have you ever observed gods?

Atheism is a culture.

Yes, a culture of non-belief in the claims of believers.

Yet now they are getting a foot in the door they are the ones wanting to suppress Christians.

The only things suppressing Christians are reason, logic and reality.

Many people who were and are atheists control(led) countries and peoples that have practiced savagery.

Now, you're just making up stuff.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
RuvDraba
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3/23/2015 1:23:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 1:02:57 PM, PGA wrote:
Are you telling me that the universe is created by mind/personage or not?

This question was to dhardage, but I'll offer an answer.

If you choose to live without religion, the question of the origin of the universe becomes a lot less pressing.

It's when you choose to live with some absolute doctrine of faith that you need to incorporate the existence of the universe into that faith somehow, since metaphysical authority really needs to explain everything.

I don't personally feel I need a creation myth in order to be an atheist. I understand that our universe has a story, and that we know part of it reasonably well. I don't propose that we must ever know all of it for me to be an atheist, I don't demand that we know it absolutely or immutably, and I certainly don't expect we shall even have a clear view of it in my lifetime. But since I don't need metaphysical faith to live by, I don't need much of a creation myth to live by either.
PGA
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3/23/2015 1:39:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/20/2015 2:45:52 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/20/2015 1:58:36 PM, PGA wrote:
At 3/19/2015 8:21:43 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/19/2015 6:35:50 PM, PGA wrote:
Let me express it another way. Can a person call themselves an atheist and still believe the Christian God is real?
So, if I understand your question correctly, such a person would believe the entire universe and humanity to have been created by Yhwh,

Without requoting your amendments, haven't you just lost sight of your original question and purpose?

I will let you know that I have not read your other responses yet. I usually work from the list of notifications, so forgive me it you have already answered my questions.

You asked whether one might accept the Christian deity as existing, yet still be an atheist. I suggested that one might accept it as existing -- or at least the possibility of existence -- without in any way admiring, respecting it, invoking it, or wanting to commune with it.

Okay, that confirms what the Scriptures say regarding the unbeliever.

Romans 1:18-25 (NASB)
Unbelief and Its Consequences

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.


By denying God, however you want to do that, whether it be by your ignorance or ignoring of Him, or whether it be a flat out denial that He even exists I will accept.

And such a one would believe all of this, yet nevertheless elect not to worship, not to treat Yhwh as a divinity but only a supernatural agency unworthy of worship or propitiation.

Then, if you are wrong about this God, you will reap the consequences of your actions

This has nothing to do with the question. Firstly, because it was an abstract question -- about what is possible, and not about what I personally believe. Secondly, because it's not a question; it's preaching.

He either is who He claims to be or He is not. If He is (therefore is possible) then it has everything to do with whether you live according to His commands or not.

If He exists then it is stating a fact, whether you like that fact or not, whether you want to call it preaching or not. Either it is or it is not true.

And there are philosophical and moral problems with faith-by-fear anyway, but since you broke faith with your own stated intention, I'm going to punish you by not pointing them out. [On the theory that the harshest punishment on a debate site is to refuse to argue. :D]

You should be afraid if in fact you live in His universe and thumb your nose up to His goodness and caring for you. You want to take away His right to punish wrongful action that He has warned you of the consequences of ignoring.

So I observe that not all supernatural agencies are gods: it's really only the act of worship that makes it a deity. Such a person then, could believe in Yhwh as a supernatural agency, yet not uphold Yhwh's claim to divinity.

It is not only the act of worship that makes God God. It is that He is.

I disagree. The word 'god' itself (the common noun) derives from the Indo-Euoprean linguistic root ghut meaning 'that which is invoked or called on'. If you don't invoke or call on it, it's not a god, no matter how powerful it is. On the other hand, if you invoke it, it is a god by usage, even if it doesn't exist.

It is a term that we use to denote the greatest possible being that can be thought of, regardless of where the term came from, the Being who created the universe and everything in it.

Being atheist means he looks at life other than from the perspective of God. Whether you want to add a whole bunch of other little gods that are not God is entirely up to you.

I'm not sure why you mentioned this. So in addition to not being sure I agree with it, I have no idea how to respond to it.

Since all gods are contrary to every other god in some degree they can't all be the same God logically. You can't have a god that is personal and impersonal at the same time and manner. So all gods can't be this greatest possible being that we can think about. Logic will not allow it. I claim only one is, the Christian God. So you can add all the gods you like but the only one I will argue about is the Christian one. Be atheistic in your denial of all the others and I will join you in respect to these false gods.

Sure you can, but God judges on what you do with Him and the sufficient means He has given to reconcile you with Himself - His Son. By rejecting Jesus you reject God.

So this is to be a preach-thread? You're going to ask questions to which you don't care about my answers, just for an excuse to regurgitate tiredly familiar doctrine?

You have just preached your little old heart out Ruv, stating what you believe, yet you want to edit what I believe or what I care to say in my defense of God. I noticed that preachy tone coming through on your "Godlessness: understanding atheism" thread in that you were limiting how I could respond. I do not limit you here. Say whatever you want to say. You wanted me to play by your rules and answer according to how you wanted me to answer.

How dull and disappointing. What a waste of intellect, what a betrayal of respect and integrity.

I see you are doing what other atheists try and do. You want to make the universe according to Ruv. Again, in our discussion on ethics, why should my biological bag of matter (if that is all that I am) respond the same way yours does?

Peter
dhardage
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3/23/2015 1:47:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 1:02:57 PM, PGA wrote:
At 3/20/2015 2:14:51 PM, dhardage wrote:
(Trimmed for space)

Can any atheist believe the Christian God is real and still be an atheist?

No, that would be diametrically opposed to the definition.

My point also! Your atheistic worldview forces you to deny God and deny the evidence for God.

Once again, I challenge you to provide evidence that would, say, be admissable in a court of law. That precludes heresay and unsupported assertions so it had better be something a good defense attorney can't refute.


So nothing can be known about atheism other than what you (an atheist) define that to be.

It's more that atheism doesn't mean much in itself: it's absence of belief in divinity. We can associate it to almost any non-theological doctrine, simply because by itself it's devoid of any metaphysical meaning.

Absent of belief in divinity says a lot about how you look at life. It means a lot. It says that you must explain life without a personal Creator, without mind behind it. It is an either or situation. Either life originated from a Creator or it did not, and you either look at it from the one perspective or the other or everything is just illusion which does not make any sense.

Only in the view of theists who cannot conceive of life without some overarching belief to support them.

Don't try an slough off my concerns. Are you telling me that the universe is created by mind/personage or not? Does it have mind/intentionality behind it or not? If not then I can know you have to explain it some other way. So that would be something else I could know of your worldview. One that excludes God, a personal being has to explain the universe from another perspective. That is what you try to do. You try to explain it all naturally.

Exactly. There is nothing beyond nature that has ever been detected or evidenced in any way that can be falsified, hence it is rejected.

Where have you ever observed a life coming from something that is not living? Again, your worldview reeks of inconsistency.

Our bodies are composed if 'non-living' elements like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen among others. Life emerged when conditions were favorable for it to emerge. We don't know the exact way it happened, may never know, but we keep searching for that answer. Goddidit is an intellectual cop-out, a way of giving up instead of continuing the search.


Which do you propose? Do you look at the universe and life coming from a personal Creator or not?

Obviously not.

Another thing I have correctly observed about atheism. Amazing!

However, there is no such written doctrine for atheism."
1) Does it have to be written?

No. If there's culture then there can be oral tradition. But atheism itself isn't a culture; it's rejection of religious culture, which may or may not be replaced by something else.

Sure it is. It is a culture of unbelief/disbelief/no belief/doubt about God (and I only speak of one God. Deny any others and I will be right with you. The God I speak of is the Christian God). You replace this God with other beliefs.

No need for 'other beliefs' when there is sufficient evidence to accept natural explanations for natural events.

Again, you ignored what I said that refuted your claim by your talking around it. Atheism is a culture.

Atheism is one single facet of a person's personal belief system. That is the only thing it is.

2) Surely there are some things that all atheists have in common, whether strong or weak, otherwise they would have a different belief system?

Once again, all we have in common is that we don't believe in any god or gods. Why is that simple concept so hard for you and most other theists to grasp?

Again, you deny I can know what an atheist believes and so far you have yielded two things that I can know about atheistic beliefs. You are one mixed up, inconsistent, confused person to date.

You keep asserting a culture and belief system that doesn't exist. You can know that an atheist does not believe in your god or any other and has a personal system that gets along fine without god. That in no way constitutes you understanding the individual beyond that point unless you ask questions about every other facet of his or her life. If you base your entire image of a person on the single fact that they are atheist, which you seem bent on doing, then you do them and yourself an injustice. You image is the intellectual equivalent of a 1st grader's sketch as compared to an artist's masterpiece, one dimensional and without any real meaning.

You've begged the question, Peter. Because you believe that atheism is a system of belief, you expect to see traits in common among atheists. But really, the only things all atheists have in common are a non-acceptance of divinity, and a degree of hatred and persecution by the religious.

What he said.

Sure it is a system of belief. Why don't you think about it rather than letting others think for you.

We do. That's the difference in us and theists. We don't need a god or gods to tell us how to live.

If you deny God you look for another explanation of why you are here, where you came from, what difference it makes and what your destiny will be.

It is precisely that. When you disbelieve something you look for explanation apart from that disbelief.

Non-acceptance of divinity means that you have to look at and explain origins and ever other ultimate life question devoid of this God, the very point I, and others, continue to make about those who call themselves atheist.

Once again, natural explanations for natural occurrences.

Your worldview forces you to this conclusion. It is a default position for an atheist.

On the one hand you deny atheism is a culture ("atheism itself isn't a culture") then on the other you are confirming this very thing ("look at what atheistic societies talk about"). A culture is a society of people that share certain beliefs.

: Big difference in 'atheistic society' and 'atheist society'. You should really bone up on your use of the language.
: :
1) : the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time

2) : a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.

3) : a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business)

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Again, you ignore the definition of what a culture is. It is a society that has its own beliefs. A society that is largely comprised of atheists is an atheistic society. That is the predominate culture.

No, it's just a common lack of belief in god. It's not their culture. You can't seem to stop conflating the two.

Sweden is such a society. The majority of Swedes do not accept God as a viable explanation.

And they have one of the lowest rates of crime in the developed world. As opposed to America, where the vast majority is Christian and we have the highest per capita rate of incarceration among developed nations.
PGA
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3/23/2015 1:59:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/20/2015 8:25:39 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/20/2015 2:14:51 PM, dhardage wrote:
The problem with the confusion here is that the meaning of atheism was coined by theists, who have conflated belief in existence with the necessity of worship. (Ironically, having committed the idealistic fallacy that god ought to exist for morality and ultimate explanation, so he does, they then invoke the reciprocal naturalistic fallacy that since god exists, explains everything and informs human morality, you ought to worship him.)

Freud conjured up the pie in the sky god principle to appease some natural disaster about to overtake man, thus god made in the image of man. In this way he could brush aside his accountability to God for the mean time.

What I have been trying to do here for some time is to get you guys to peel back your belief system and let's see what makes it tick. You have built a gigantic wall around doing just that, as do others who profess the same type of belief, and then most even deny they have a belief. It is silly to what lengths atheists go to in their denial of God.

But even if Yhwh existed, created the earth and romped around like an Old Testament dictator, many atheists (myself included) would have no wish to invoke, worship or have anything to do with such an appalling creature. So rejection of the Christian deity on grounds of moral repugnance isn't the only reason to reject Christianity, but is sufficient reason to do so.

Again, you miss some important aspects. God is just and has laid down to man what is required of man, should man choose to live outside of God's goodness (which was/is the case). Second, God told His people what would happen and what they would do if they neglected Him. A lot of the events you read of in the OT can be taken from either one or both of these perspectives.

In conclusion, I understand atheism to be rejection of deity, not just disbelief in deity, and that distinction is born out in the more astute dictionaries such as OED, and Merriam-Webster.

That is the way in which it was originally thought of before the "new atheism" tried to redefine everything. But either way can apply from a biblical point of view. Either way it is an outright denial of God by either denying His existence outright or ignoring His existence.

Peter
RuvDraba
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3/23/2015 2:14:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 1:39:26 PM, PGA wrote:
At 3/20/2015 2:45:52 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Without requoting your amendments, haven't you just lost sight of your original question and purpose?

I will let you know that I have not read your other responses yet. I usually work from the list of notifications, so forgive me it you have already answered my questions.

Of course.

You asked whether one might accept the Christian deity as existing, yet still be an atheist. I suggested that one might accept it as existing -- or at least the possibility of existence -- without in any way admiring, respecting it, invoking it, or wanting to commune with it.

Okay, that confirms what the Scriptures say regarding the unbeliever.

It's irrelevant what scriptures say. Some atheists think supernatural beings are impossible; some think they're possible but shouldn't be treated as gods; some consider the question meaningless; some might ignore it entirely.

DHardage sounds like an atheist of the first sort. I'm more of the third sort -- I don't actually know what supernatural means, so questions of existence and possibility don't really mean anything to me.

On the other hand, if there were a physical being called Yhwh in the world acting like its Old Testament self, I wouldn't want anything to do with it, except possibly destroy it. As a fictional character I consider it evil. As an evil tyrant, I consider it an enemy of humanity -- a sort of Saddam Hussein on steroids.

This has nothing to do with the question. Firstly, because it was an abstract question -- about what is possible, and not about what I personally believe. Secondly, because it's not a question; it's preaching.

He either is who He claims to be or He is not. If He is (therefore is possible) then it has everything to do with whether you live according to His commands or not.

Actually, insisting that these questions are meaningful and all-important is what's preachy. They're meaningful and important to you. But your faith is only a small minority of world belief. Advancing it in such a way is arrogant and self-important.

You should be afraid if in fact you live in His universe and thumb your nose up to His goodness and caring for you. You want to take away His right to punish wrongful action that He has warned you of the consequences of ignoring.

Actually, I'm not afraid at all. My dominant emotion here is concern for you, for reasons I explain below.

The word 'god' itself (the common noun) derives from the Indo-Euoprean linguistic root ghut meaning 'that which is invoked or called on'. If you don't invoke or call on it, it's not a god, no matter how powerful it is. On the other hand, if you invoke it, it is a god by usage, even if it doesn't exist.

It is a term that we use to denote the greatest possible being that can be thought of, regardless of where the term came from, the Being who created the universe and everything in it.

It has never meant that. You're confusing Abrahamic transcendental god-claims with anthropological and historical meanings of deity. Many faiths have gods. They are often not the greatest beings, since they're often children of more protean beings, and sometimes ruled by meta-beings -- for example, Zeus was son of Xronos, and ruled by the Fates; Thor was son of Odin, and as with all Norse gods, he was ruled by the Norns.

In a similar vein, in ancient israelite polytheistic belief, Yhwh was a lesser deity of the pantheon. He ended up getting merged with the Canaanite El Elyon, and inspired by Zoroastrian monotheism, became the sole henotheistic Israelite deity, subsequently the monotheistic deity of the Jews.

You have just preached your little old heart out Ruv, stating what you believe, yet you want to edit what I believe or what I care to say in my defense of God.

I thought our topic was what you understood about my atheism. That's certainly what the title suggests.

Apparently you need to make faith-statements between asking questions. Either that's for me -- in which case I wish you'd stop because it's boring, off-topic and disrespectful. Or it's for you (as I suspect it is) in which case, I'm concerned for you.

Do you feel that talking to me can hurt you morally or spiritually? Is that why you're spitting such spite and hate, why you need to recite scripture as some sort of charm against my supposed intrinsic evil, and why you feel you need to threaten me with torment in the afterlife?

I'd never ever treat you as intrinsically evil, Pete, or wish such suffering on you. I can only imagine how much fear and loathing you have been taught to feel in order to be so stressed. So of course I'm concerned for you.

I see you are doing what other atheists try and do. You want to make the universe according to Ruv. Again, in our discussion on ethics, why should my biological bag of matter (if that is all that I am) respond the same way yours does?

I'm not sure it does. But I'm just asking you to meet your stated intentions; I'm not giving you rules to live by. It's your faith trying to do that to me.