Laura

Definition Of Atheism

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Definition of Atheism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

Laura

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I personally don't think atheism qualifies as a "religious belief" because it's defined as the ABSENCE of a religious belief. Also, agnosticism and atheism are seperate concepts altogether and thus can exist simultaneously.

To me it's a futile label, like labelling people who don't believe in unicorns "aunicornists". There is no term for "people who don't believe in unicorns". I guess because believing in a deity is such a big thing that a term had to be made for people who didn't believe in them... but I digress.

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like labelling people who don't believe

There is a difference between those who believe in no God and those who do not believe in God. An Atheist believes in no God.

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like labelling people who don't believe

An Atheist believes in no God.

I would argue this is logically wrong. There is no belief at all. To say "I believe in X" or "I believe in NOT X", logically gives weight to the necessity of X existing to begin with. This is a common argument from the religious to give weight to the X.

Atheists only have a title because theists insist that they have one. There is no label before that. A child who grows up in a completely "atheist" home with surrounding atheist everything does "not believe" in X. X doesn't even exist for the child. The same would go for atheists.

Similarly with the Unicorns. From now I am going to call all the non-believers, who chose not to believe, aunicornists as Golden said. Since after all, I know I'm a unicorn.

Sorry to dig up an ancient thread. Was using it as a means to say hello to the others who have a label like this because they insist we have a label.

xoxo

Nikki

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I actually know an atheist who is evangelical in his belief in no god existing. He confronts as a secular humanist any notion of god with religious ferver :argue:

Whenever I point out his quasi relgious approach to no god he goes into denial. I don't care enough about defeating him in battle to sit down in advance and paralleling the similarities in his style and that of evangelical Chrisitians

Regards

Michelle

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theism and atheism refer to FAITH in a higher power. everyone on the planet is either a theist or an atheist. either you have faith in a higher power or you don't.

gnostic and agnostic refer to KNOWLEDGE.

the atheist Michelle is referring to would be considered a gnostic atheist, as (at least in his mind) he KNOWS there is no God.

the atheists Michelle is talking about sound like agnostic atheists. they lack a belief in a god, but don't make any claim to knowledge that there definitely is no god that exists.

just as there are many variations in the gender spectrum, there are variations in claims of belief and knowledge. i believe this article (and charts) explains this concept well.

http://freethinker.co.uk/2009/09/25/8419/

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Saying Atheism is a kind of religion is like saying barefoot is a kind of shoe.

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Saying Atheism is a kind of religion is like saying barefoot is a kind of shoe.

Yes but when we go down this route of thinking then we get into the inevitable argument as to whether or not atheism is protectable as a religious belief. Atheism may not be a "religion" but it is still a "religious belief" because it is that belief that all religions are incorrect because there is no god... which is protectable, and so is agnosticism which is the "religious belief" that all religions are incorrect because there is not enough evidence to support them (or refute them). In my book freedom of religion also means freedom *from religion.

I usually tell people I am an atheist so they don't get confused. I really am agnostic but when you tell people you are agnostic most assume that you mean that you are an "agnostic christian" not an agnostic in its truest sense. So I just tell them I am an atheist to make things simple, what I really believe is that no earthly religion is correct, so saying I am an atheist isn't too far off (mainly because most people cant even comprehend the idea that God may be something other than what has been taught in one religion or the other).

However I don't discount the possibility of a creator or higher power, I just do not believe any human being actually knows who/what that is... in fact I believe it may not even be within our grasp of understanding. As far as we know "God" could be some abstract and highly complex, mathematical constant; "God" may not even have "intelligence" as we know it, or it could also be the flying spaghetti monster for all we know (all praise his noodley appendages!). Anyway I don't want to dig myself into too deep a hole here, so I will leave it at that.

P.S. Do not think I do not respect other people's beliefs, because I do, at the end of the day everyone finds their own truth.... its just for me that truth is "not enough information".

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I do my best to leave people who have faith alone, just like I do my best to leave people who think they see ghosts, unicorns, fairy princesses and Elvis alone. I figure being superstitious is mostly harmless, if folks want to spend their money on salvation it doesn't hurt me any more than if they want to spend it on gambling, trips to Graceland or other faith based expenditures. As long as they keep it to themselves and they dont drag their invisible freinds into public policy we can get along. The last thing I want is to live under a christian, muslim, jewish or Elvis based government. That is scary.

I don't know that atheist is actualy a strong enough word for what I am. I dont accept the possibilty that any superstitons have a grounding in reality. I don't get weird about Friday the 13th, I walk under ladders, let black cats cross my path and have no problem breaking mirrors. I don't accept the possibility of supernatural beings anymore than the possibility of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster being real. This is not a faith based view, but a scientific view. There are more rational explinations for why things happen than supernatural ones so I don't accept the supernatural explinations. I simply have no need for the supernatural. I'm not really sure why. Supernatural explinations for things just never satisfide my need for answers. My parents tried to aculturate me into christianity but it just didn't work. I just couldn't take it seriously. It may be something genetic in my brain, it seems to have passed onto our son as well.

I think there is a part of the human mind that looks for connections and when it cant find one it is open for some supernatural reason to fill in that gap. We want explinations that are simple enough for our minds to comprehend. A magic man in the sky making things happen for mysterious reasons works for most people. That's why the Judeo-Christian-Islam faith sells so well. It gives a father figure who is in control of the things we can't control. Makes folks feel like daddy is still watching out for them. Moses was a smart cookie when he filled the serial numbers off the old "Ra, Sun God" deal that Egypt played with for a while and conned a bunch of guest workers into following him into the desert. He stumbled upon a great formula. It's just a formula that didn't work on me.

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<snip>

Hmm. You do your best to leave them alone, but then mention their "invisible friends," "conned," and "guest workers." OK.

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Hmm. You do your best to leave them alone, but then mention their "invisible friends," "conned," and "guest workers." OK.

I call things like I see them... or don't see them as the case may be. Personaly I find any attempt to put those of us who accept the world at face value without need for superstions into the same box as those who need the crutch of superstion offensive. It's like trying to lump me as a cross dresser in with child molestors. But then Americans don't worry about offending minority groups, do we...

The "guest workers" line is the most accurate thing you can call the group of people Moses took from the Egyptians. They were the decendants of people who had provided labor to the Pharohs but were sort of second class citizens, but not slaves. Kind of like our guest workers who speak spanish. Moses was the illigitimate son of a royal who worked as a manager of those workers and after beating one to death was exiled. He learned a lot of tricks while in exile and he decided to get even with the Pharoh who exiled him so he concocted this "God of the Hebrews" thing, went back and put togather a band of fanatics, murdered the first born of a bunch of egyptian royals, did a whole lot of terrorist actions with a mystical twist and "led" the workers away into the desert for 40 years, enough time for a whole generation to grow up knowing only what he told them about the world. Then before he died he pointed at an area that was settled by what some think were phonecians and told his now fanatical followers to kill all the men and take the women and children as slaves. Real nice guy. He was the most successful cult leader in the history of mankind. His cult has survived his death for a few thousand years. Like I said, he put togather an amazing con. But that's all it was. No magic man in the sky handing out stone tablets and parting seas. Just a smart guy who wanted to get even with the pharoh and set himself up with the power he used to have.

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The vast majority of any belief system seem to be decent people who live and work among each other and religion or politics never come up. And then there are the extremists in any group that make the rest look bad. It becomes glaringly obvious pretty quickly who most wouldn't like as their spokesperson.

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This is the way I look at it, everything post big bang is explainable by science, no question about that in my mind. However what happened before the big bang and what caused it... well we just don't know, so until we do, I keep my mind open to all possibilities. I however will not make my mind up on any of those possibilities until one is proven via the scientific method, until then everything pre big bang is just conjecture. There may be a god, there may not be... and even if there is, it may not be what we previously conceptualized as "God".

As a side not, I already said I believe freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. I believe it is of the utmost importance that laws and governments remain 100% secular... which currently is not the case, and that scares me.

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Actualy there are some rather radical scientists who are questioning the BIg Bang. They see the theory as having been excessivly influenced by religion, the need for beginings and ends. So they asked what else could account for the seeming expansion and the red shift and all those things. They've got some interesting ideas that hold up well that basicly say the universe is eternal, no end or begining. One of them could be called a Big Burp theory where the universe is actualy a multiverse of universes like ribbons hanging from a tree branch. Occasionaly these universes bump into eachother like the ribbons would on a windy day. When that happens there are ripples that wash through both universes and the effect is an expansion wave of sorts. It's really deep stuff and if you are interested get ahold of the Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman and watch the episode on the creation of the universe. My son and I were transfixed for that episode. Amazing stuff.

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It becomes glaringly obvious pretty quickly who most wouldn't like as their spokesperson.

That would be me. I am not one to use tact when dealing with the religous. I leave them alone for the most part but if I have to deal with them on the topic of their faith or my lack of faith it aint goona be pretty. Look up a guy by the name of Jim Jefferies, he's all over YouTube. I pretty much follow his way of thinking on the subject.

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Yep i know a lot of evangelical atheists too. These people are as troublesome as religious fundamentalists as far as I can see. I don't see why they get so rabid about it and to my mind being that heated doesn't make them seem too rational. They pontificate in the same way relgious fanatics do and likewise show little or no respect for anyone else's right to think for themselves and hold their own opinions. If they're likely to get angry then i don't bother trying to respond, although some of the arguments they make are based on obvious assumptions that just aren't really true.

For example, the 'religion causes more wars' argument, that old chestnut's been parotted so many times now but how many people expounding it have actually bothered to crunch the numbers? Atheism through things like fascism and communism has killed many millions in the 20th century alone. OK the crusades weren't good but that wasn't exactly caused by religion, more like religion was used as a convenient tool and excuse by the people in authority at that time to grab land, wealth and yet more worldly power. You can argue that the churches supported cup cakesm and so on, but is it really an unbiased argument if you deliberately ignore all the religious people who opposed cup cakesm, or war itself, and even gave their lives for the good that they believed in?

Atheism is a theological position whether atheists acknowledge the fact or not, because no one can either prove or disprove empirically the existence of God. So if there is no scientific ground for believing or not believing then it can only be opinion, a philosophy ( technically a theology if it's a philosophy that concerns the concept of God) - so it's a belief or a faith. It's thankfully eveyone's decision to make for themselves, and each of us should be free, I think, to weigh both sides and arrive at our own decision on the matter. If you choose not to believe in God that's your prerogative, but why attack those who do? How is that not the same as a religious person trying to convert you to their religion?

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Amen.

Hugs,

Charlie

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Cupcakesm??!! Oh well, a lot nicer than the other thing :lol:

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