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Author Topic:   Does Atheism = No beliefs?
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5777
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


Message 31 of 414 (551348)
03-22-2010 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by New Cat's Eye
03-22-2010 12:35 PM


I see this as the crux of the issue Hyro has with other debaters.

He cannot conceive that someone can be pro-gun rights, but willing to call for gun control. For him it is an either/or dilemma. He is making a false dichotomy and reaches for spurious quotes and reasoning in order to back up this false dichotomy.

His remarks have shown this to be a perfectly valid assessment. He is making a false dichotomy. Show through a valid argument he isn't.

BS
Your posts have shown that you are a christianist troll.

Also, a valid assessment. I am not the only one to think so.

You obviously don't think.

Yes assholish, but attempting to show the stupidity of his arguments.

CS,
You have had problems with me in the past. the problem as I see it is that you do not like my arguments. I argue strongly. If you think I am an asshole, so be it. I don't resort to name calling and refuse to let others call me names without responding. If you feel the need to resort to attacks maybe you should not respond to me. I have no need, desire or inclination to ignore self-righteousness or arguments I disagree with or think are fallacious. To you I might be an asshole, but lets keep the conversation civil.

I truly don't care what you think of me, but care what I am called in a post.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 414 (551349)
03-22-2010 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Theodoric
03-22-2010 12:43 PM


Just because a person that is atheist could have more beliefs, dos not make atheism more.

Just because you are unwilling to accept that atheism can include more, doesn't mean that it cannot.

Atheism is the lack in the belief of a god.

The positive belief that gods do not, or can not, exists is also accurately described as atheism, which could be considered a religion in itself. Too, it could be a way of life, so to speak.

If some atheist believe in something else, that does not affect what atheism is.

Words are defined by the way they are used and the way they came about. Atheism came about as the belief that gods do not exist. It has morphed into today's version of lacking a belief in gods.

I'll am trying not to be an asshole. It is just that you argument is flawed.

What argument?

You're entire first post to me is this:

quote:
Does Athiem = no beliefs?

Atheism is no belief in a god.
Nothing more, nothing less.

I find it hard to think of an animist as an atheist. I am not real familiar with the concept. Maybe others can better enlighten this thought.


You didn't even quote my whole "argument":

quote:
Does Athiem = no beliefs?

No, it doesn't.


Although, now my argument is that atheism can be more than "no belief in a god".

Where's your support for that?


ABE: reponse to other post that was uneccessary:

His remarks have shown this to be a perfectly valid assessment. He is making a false dichotomy. Show through a valid argument he isn't.

I don't think that assessment is valid at all. You guys both are over reacting to each other.

BS
Your posts have shown that you are a christianist troll.

Also, a valid assessment. I am not the only one to think so.

So if someone says they ain't christian, but you think they are, then you're confident enough in your mind reading abilities to validly assess them?

You have had problems with me in the past. the problem as I see it is that you do not like my arguments.

far from it. You just remind me of the childish neo-atheist anti-religios douchebags I see all over facebook.

I don't resort to name calling and refuse to let others call me names without responding.

Yes you do.

I truly don't care what you think of me, but care what I am called in a post.

I've carefully avoided saying that you actually are an asshole and instead have been explaining to you how you come off to other people.

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Theodoric, posted 03-22-2010 12:43 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Theodoric, posted 03-22-2010 1:06 PM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 34 by hooah212002, posted 03-22-2010 1:13 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5777
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


Message 33 of 414 (551353)
03-22-2010 1:06 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by New Cat's Eye
03-22-2010 12:55 PM


There are definitions. You are not just allowed to make your own definition and expect others to agree to it.

Atheism - disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
Source Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

Atheism is commonly defined as the position that there are no deities
Source Rowe, William L. (1998). "Atheism". in Edward Craig. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

quote:
Nielsen, Kai (2010). "Atheism". Encyclopædia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/40634/atheism. Retrieved 2010-02-01. "Atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings.... Instead of saying that an atheist is someone who believes that it is false or probably false that there is a God, a more adequate characterization of atheism consists in the more complex claim that to be an atheist is to be someone who rejects belief in God for the following reasons (which reason is stressed depends on how God is being conceived)...".

quote:
Edwards, Paul (2005) [1967]. "Atheism". in Donald M. Borchert. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference USA (Gale). p. 359. ISBN 0028657802. "On our definition, an 'atheist' is a person who rejects belief in God, regardless of whether or not his reason for the rejection is the claim that 'God exists' expresses a false proposition. People frequently adopt an attitude of rejection toward a position for reasons other than that it is a false proposition. It is common among contemporary philosophers, and indeed it was not uncommon in earlier centuries, to reject positions on the ground that they are meaningless. Sometimes, too, a theory is rejected on such grounds as that it is sterile or redundant or capricious, and there are many other considerations which in certain contexts are generally agreed to constitute good grounds for rejecting an assertion.". (page 175 in 1967 edition)

Source

Show me a definition that includes what you claim.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 129 days)
Posts: 3181
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 34 of 414 (551356)
03-22-2010 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by New Cat's Eye
03-22-2010 12:55 PM


Definition of religion:
CS writes:

which could be considered a religion in itself.

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

Source

I hardly see how atheism could at all, anywhere, anyhow, be considered a religion.


"Some people think God is an outsized, light-skinned male with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up there in the sky, busily tallying the fall of every sparrow. Others—for example Baruch Spinoza and Albert Einstein—considered God to be essentially the sum total of the physical laws which describe the universe. I do not know of any compelling evidence for anthropomorphic patriarchs controlling human destiny from some hidden celestial vantage point, but it would be madness to deny the existence of physical laws."-Carl Sagan

"Show me where Christ said "Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones." Gay people, too, are made in my God's image. I would never worship a homophobic God." -Desmond Tutu


This message is a reply to:
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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3456
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


Message 35 of 414 (551360)
03-22-2010 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Den
03-22-2010 6:40 AM


Acommitism?
Once you commit to Atheism ...

I understand it may be difficult for a theist to comprehend but there is no such thing as a “commitment” to atheism. There is nothing to “commit” to in being an atheist.

As a theist you must positively avow to a specific creed and must give allegiance to the dictates of your priests. You must commit yourself heart and soul to a specific set of theistic beliefs. Atheists lack the above. There is no creed, no priests, no allegiance to which an atheist can commit in this religious sense.

Other than theistic ones, all other philosophies, political, social, moral, etc. are as open to an atheist as they are to anyone else.

And I submit that as an atheist I am more enabled to follow the evidence wherever it may lead rather than as a theist who draws the conclusion first then tries to twist and shoehorn the evidence into some justification.


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 36 of 414 (551375)
03-22-2010 3:31 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Theodoric
03-22-2010 1:06 PM


There are definitions. You are not just allowed to make your own definition and expect others to agree to it.

Of course not, but your definition is the absolute one so its going to be fairly easy to show you are wrong. In fact, your own sources show your wrong so I don't even have to hunt down my own.

Your claim:

quote:
Atheism is no belief in a god.
Nothing more, nothing less.

You source explains:

quote:
Atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings...

That is something more than "no belief in god", so there you have it.

Even this one:

quote:
Atheism - disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
Source Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

Right at the start it has it as an active disbelief and it also can be a doctrine, so there you have it again.

From a previous thread, Message 1:

quote:
The dictionary says that the definition of atheism is the belief that there is no god.

People on this forum have said that this is incorrect. They’ve said that atheist are ‘without a belief in god’ but are not ‘with a belief in no god’. The claim is as follows:

A-: without
Theism: a belief in god.

I couldn’t argue with that because I didn’t really know where the word came from and that claim seemed pretty good.

Then, I saw the following line in the dictionary under the definition of atheism:

quote:
{< Gk athe(os) godless + -ISM}

from The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, The Unabridged Edition, Published in New York by Random House, Inc. 1983 page 93

This says, to me, that the claim that atheism means ‘without a belief in god’ but not ‘with a belief in no god’ is wrong. The word is greek in origin and is actually a belief that god doesn’t exist.



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Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1086 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 37 of 414 (551380)
03-22-2010 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by New Cat's Eye
03-22-2010 3:31 PM


Useless semantic nitpicking. You know full well that the colloquial usage of the word (including the usage of Atheists themselves) is inclusive of both active disbelief and passive lack of belief. When one identifies oneself as "Atheist," it can mean either of those two, regardless of the strict dictionary definition or the word's Greek roots.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 38 of 414 (551381)
03-22-2010 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by hooah212002
03-22-2010 1:13 PM


Re: Definition of religion:

I hardly see how atheism could at all, anywhere, anyhow, be considered a religion.

I agree that a simple lack of belief in something could not be considered a religion.

I'm talking about the positive disbelief atheists, and also the anti-religious, or even militant, types as well.

Your definition includes:

quote:
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly;

Its not hard to imagine a person devoutedly following and believing that god doesn't exist.

We also have:

quote:
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices

Where particular set of beliefs = gods do not exist

quote:
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

That'd be easy to throw together and I think somebody already has:

http://firstchurchofatheism.com/

Or sense you said anwhere, anyhow, I offer you The Cult of Reason during the French Revolution

quote:
The Cult of Reason was a creed based on atheism devised during the French Revolution by Jacques Hébert, Pierre Gaspard Chaumette and their supporters and intended as a replacement for Christianity. It was stopped by Maximilien Robespierre, a Deist, who instituted the Cult of the Supreme Being. Both cults were part of the campaign of de-Christianization of French society during the Revolution and part of the Reign of Terror.

The culte de la Raison developed during the uncertain period 1792-94 (Years I and III of the Revolution), following the September Massacres, when Revolutionary France was ripe with fears of internal and foreign enemies. Several Parisian churches were transformed into Temples of Reason, notably the Church of Saint-Paul Saint-Louis in the Marais. The churches were closed in May 1793 and more securely, 24 November 1793, when the Catholic Mass was forbidden.

The Cult of Reason was celebrated in a carnival atmosphere of parades, ransacking of churches, ceremonious iconoclasm, in which religious and royal images were defaced, and ceremonies which substituted the "martyrs of the Revolution" for Christian martyrs. The earliest public demonstrations took place en province, outside Paris, notably by Hébertists in Lyon, but took a further radical turn with the Fête de la Liberté ("Festival of Liberty") at Notre Dame de Paris, 10 November (20 Brumaire) 1793, in ceremonies devised and organised by Pierre-Gaspard Chaumette. The Cult of Reason centered upon a young woman designated the Goddess of Reason.


So...

Why can't I consider this stuff to be a religion?


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 414 (551383)
03-22-2010 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Rahvin
03-22-2010 3:46 PM


The claim was that atheism is no belief in a god and nothing more.
This message is a reply to:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3170
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 40 of 414 (551386)
03-22-2010 3:54 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by New Cat's Eye
03-22-2010 3:31 PM


Reminds of the old joke:
quote:
A man dies and ends up in Hell. As the Devil is giving him his orientation, he's shown rooms with different torments being performed and it's explained that each group is tormented in the manner that they had all agreed upon in their group's teachings. Then they came to a room where everybody was standing around drinking coffee and chatting. The man asks what group that is and the Devil gets this really disgusted look on his face: "Those are the Unitarians. They can't agree on anything!"

I think we'll find that there are almost as many detailed definitions of atheism as there are atheists. Especially since traditionally when one became an atheist he'd pretty much be all on his own. For example, when I heard Dan Barker speak at an Atheists United meeting in Los Angeles circa 1985 (broadcast on their old weekly 15-minute radio program) about his deconversion from being a life-long fundamentalist and fundamentalist minister in Southern California and how he had to move all the way to Michigan before he was able to meet another atheist: "Where were you guys when I needed you?" So most atheists have had to define the term for themselves. Fortunately, that's changing with the Internet, but still we pretty much define for ourselves what atheism is and what it means to be an atheist.

Can't we just agree to disagree and get along?


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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1086 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 41 of 414 (551387)
03-22-2010 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by New Cat's Eye
03-22-2010 3:47 PM


Re: Definition of religion:
Why can't I consider this stuff to be a religion?

Because you're using small subsets of Atheists to qualify the entire group as a religion.

All B are A, but not all A are B, CS.

Religions are typically identified as having a set of shared beliefs, traditions, philosophies, etc. Atheism as a whole shares none of these.

Atheists on the whole cannot even agree whether god(s) are impossible or possible, or whether arguments for the existence of god(s) are simply not convincing. They are tied by a lack of belief, not by a shared belief. This is rather like identifying "non-Christians" as a religion, simply because all of thsoe in that subset would share a "disbelief" in Jesus. It's a non-starter, it's absurd, and it's stupid.

Atheists don;t have any shared holidays. There is no "Yay, there are no gods" day.

There is no shared philosophy. There are no moral dictates that come from not believing in deities. There are no shared religious texts, no preachers, no hymns, nothing.

That a single subset has decided to group together and adopt some of the rituals, traditions and terminology of religion for Atheism does not in any way qualify Atheism in general as a religion.

Besides - we already knew that religious Atheists existed, even without your Church of Atheism. Buddhists believe in no deities. Animists believe in no deities. Ancestor worshipers believe in no deities. Your arguments is simply absurd.


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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1086 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 42 of 414 (551388)
03-22-2010 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by New Cat's Eye
03-22-2010 3:48 PM


The claim was that atheism is no belief in a god and nothing more.

Because that's all the word means without further qualifiers, CS. An Atheist can have more beliefs, but not necessarily so.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-22-2010 3:48 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

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Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 2372
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 43 of 414 (551389)
03-22-2010 4:04 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by New Cat's Eye
03-22-2010 3:31 PM


Hi CS,

Getting bogged down in definitions is, as ever, a bit of a waste of time. Here are the key points as I see them;

The only idea that unites all atheists is a lack of belief in deities. Within that group, a range of opinion exists. Some simply lack belief, others actively believe that no gods exist, still others (although very few) are completely certain that no gods could possibly exist. Some are hostile to the idea of gods, others might wish it were true. Some might hate religion, others might think religion a good thing, even if if it mistaken in some respects. And so on...

All these people might self-identify as atheists, but the only idea that could be said to unite them all is a lack of belief in deities. That is why many of us see it as being the only central tenet of atheism.

Whether atheism is a belief, a lack of belief or whatever else you want to call it doesn't really concern me much. It's all semantics. It's an idea, an opinion about the universe. Whatever you like.

The main problem with Den's silly argument is that what he describes is not atheism but closer to nihilism. Now you could say that nihilism is a subset of atheism, since, by definition, a nihilist could not believe in gods, but that doesn't make atheism equivalent to nihilism any more than Christianity is equivalent to Arianism.

It's just a silly argument, seemingly designed to get up people's noses. You shouldn't be surprised to find atheist hackles very much in the "up" position in this thread. The OP is just so bad...

Mutate and Survive


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Taq
Member
Posts: 7557
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 44 of 414 (551391)
03-22-2010 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by New Cat's Eye
03-22-2010 3:47 PM


Re: Definition of religion:
I agree that a simple lack of belief in something could not be considered a religion.

I'm talking about the positive disbelief atheists, and also the anti-religious, or even militant, types as well.

Next you will tell us that you don't have enough faith not to believe in God.

Your definition includes:

6. something one believes in and follows devotedly;

C'mon now. An argument from conflation is below you. If I religiously watch football on Sundays is that the same as the religion practiced at the cathedral down the street? Do you really think those are the same thing?

Where particular set of beliefs = gods do not exist

So not believing in Santa Claus is now a religion? Really? We are quickly heading into the "not collecting stamps is a hobby" territory.

That'd be easy to throw together and I think somebody already has:

http://firstchurchofatheism.com/

Or sense you said anwhere, anyhow, I offer you The Cult of Reason during the French Revolution

How long did the Atheist Church last? About as along as the Organization of Non-Stamp-Collectors of America?


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 45 of 414 (551396)
03-22-2010 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Rahvin
03-22-2010 3:57 PM


From Message 41:

Why can't I consider this stuff to be a religion?

Because you're using small subsets of Atheists to qualify the entire group as a religion.

Oh, I see. You've misunderstood. I'm not qualifing the entire group as a religion, just the subset.

The rest of your post is defeating a strawman.

I maintain the the group that holds the positive belief that gods do not, or can not, exist, especially the militant ones, could be considered religious.

From Message 42:

The claim was that atheism is no belief in a god and nothing more.

Because that's all the word means without further qualifiers, CS. An Atheist can have more beliefs, but not necessarily so.

Well I disagree that without further qualifiers that that is all the word means. With its greek origin being atheos, or godless, without further qualifiers it means the belief that gods do not exist.

Modern users have backed off to a more palatable position of simply not believing in god, which is fine, but to say that atheism is no belief in god and nothing more is demonstrably false.

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.


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