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Author Topic:   I Am Not An Atheist!
Posts: 18242
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 376 of 382 (670385)
08-13-2012 7:03 PM

Summary too
Hi marc2000 and others,

I will use marc2000's summary as the basis for beginning mine:

PaulK writes:

Anyone who believes that there is a God is not an atheist, by definition.

Percy believes that there is a God.

Percy is not an atheist.

Deism is entirely consistent with unguided evolution, therefore Percy's rejection of creationism and intelligent design is consistent with his religious beliefs.

And it's entirely consistent with the political ambitions of atheists, that is, to destroy traditional religion in the U.S. ...

Traditionally the US has been composed of people from many religions, including Deism. There never has been a single "traditional religion" and there never has been any kind of program to dismantle the established religions.

And it's entirely consistent with ... (making) "unguided evolution" the basis for political decisions that much of the general public finds troubling. ...

For a Deist "unguided evolution" can be the mechanism for the development of intelligent species, have established the laws and mechanism through which evolution works.

Creationists are often labeled "anti-science" by ....

... everyone but Creationists, including Christians, due to their unreasonable fixation and adherence to falsehood after falsehood, and wanting to make other people believe their delusions (fixed beliefs held in spite of contradictory evidence).

The earth is OLD, get used to it.

... yet obviously the only science they oppose is the "progressive" kind - the experimentation that considers animals the same as humans, that worships the environment as if it's a god, that promotes abortion, ...

Nonsense rant

... that eliminates the belief that we were "endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights".

The Deist God mentioned in the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Then came the war, and the Articles of Confederation in 1777.

The current form of government was established in 1787, with the signing of the constitution, and it has no such mention of god. What it does say is

WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The valid reason is this, the mystery of why Deists believe in a creator, then agree with the atheists that there was no creator. ...

Ah cognitive dissonance once again. Agreeing about evolution is not equivalent to believing there is no creator.

... I asked Percy to name one difference in beliefs of how the world works between a Deist and an atheist, and got no answer. ...

As another resident Deist I'll reply: the difference between a Deist and an Atheist is that one believes in god/s and the other one doesn't.

How this works is the world is that when it comes to spiritual questions they may have different answers, but when it involves non-spiritual questions then they can both rely on science, the scientific method and view objective empirical evidence with a skeptica open mind, often coming to the same conclusions. This is covered in further detail on Is ID properly pursued?.

An honest IDist would have no problem with any conclusion of science, because that is a means to separate fact from fiction.

Accepting science does not make you either an atheist or a proponent of atheism, it makes you rational.

... People with religions that always take a back seat to what atheists claim about science share much/most of the blame that causes creationists to declare them to be atheists. (THE END)

So when Dr. Roger C. Wiens in Radiometric Dating - A Christian Perspective says:

Arguments over the age of the Earth have sometimes been divisive for people who regard the Bible as God's word. Even though the Earth's age is never mentioned in the Bible, it is an issue because those who take a strictly literal view of the early chapters of Genesis can calculate an approximate date for the creation by adding up the life-spans of the people mentioned in the genealogies. Assuming a strictly literal interpretation of the week of creation, even if some of the generations were left out of the genealogies, the Earth would be less than ten thousand years old. Radiometric dating techniques indicate that the Earth is thousands of times older than that--approximately four and a half billion years old. Many Christians accept this and interpret the Genesis account in less scientifically literal ways. However, some Christians suggest that the geologic dating techniques are unreliable, that they are wrongly interpreted, or that they are confusing at best. Unfortunately, much of the literature available to Christians has been either inaccurate or difficult to understand, so that confusion over dating techniques continues.

This means he is an atheist?

In Thread Name Not Available I replied to marc9000 as follows:

marc9000 writes:

Anyone who is the slightest bit religious, anyone but the most militant of atheists, should show some interest, however slight, in Intelligent Design.

Since you believe deists are just atheists by another name, this deist/atheist is so interested in intelligent design that he dedicated an entire forum of his discussion board to it.

What that seems to have resulted in is an attractive looking place for atheists to shout down Intelligent Design, and give each other more and more ideas in how to further shout it down in places other than just these forums. If it was your attempt to genuinely search for new knowledge about Intelligent Design, and how it may fit with your religion, I don’t think it worked out very well for you. A quick glance through that forum showed me one of your messages on it, a complete dismissal of ID.

What I generally find is that ID proponents are

  1. not completely committed to ID, they want to have their religion kept as well, choosing their religion when it comes to the crunches, and
  2. not willing to discuss what is wrong the the modern approach to ID, and not interested in fixing it.

See Is ID properly pursued? and Message 39 among many others for additional comments. This was originally posted on my second day on the forum (when I was entranced by bright colors ...)

Is ID properly pursued? was posted 03-16-2004 and remains with few ID proponent comments. Based on this I would say that the ID proponents that come here are not interested in discussing this issue, and the failure of the current movement to address the shortcomings.

Obviously Percy is not an atheist nor a promoter of atheism, obviously there are many people from many religions that accept science and are not atheists.

A great debate with only you, or a general thread? PM me if you want a great debate - otherwise I'll propose a new thread in the coming days/weeks.

I predict it will end as badly for you as your previous threads.


Edited by RAZD, : .

Edited by RAZD, : 2nd "

we are limited in our ability to understand
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Rebel American Zen Deist
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Posts: 5508
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Message 377 of 382 (670401)
08-14-2012 1:11 AM

Deism is not atheism
I have not posted much in this thread. But I'll summarize my position anyway.

Deism is clearly not the same as atheism. Roughly speaking, deism is theism without the crazy. It is a respected position, one that is reasonably well respected by many theists and many atheists.

Many scientists who are Christian have beliefs that are close to those of the deist. That is, they take God as having created the cosmos, and as getting it right from the start so that he did not have to continually interfere. They usually believe a little than vanilla deism. It can perhaps be described as deism plus Jesus.

For myself, I don't have a problem with deists, theists, etc, as long as they avoid trying to impose their beliefs on others. That is to say, I respect freedom of thought.

Jesus was a liberal hippie

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Message 378 of 382 (670405)
08-14-2012 2:51 AM

marc9000 writes:

A great debate with only you, or a general thread? PM me if you want a great debate - otherwise I'll propose a new thread in the coming days/weeks.

A general thread will do fine.

But I recommend you do some research on what your terms mean before you start - otherwise it'll be as bizarre as attempting to argue that someone who believes in god is an atheist.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

Dr Adequate
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Member Rating: 3.9

Message 379 of 382 (670407)
08-14-2012 5:28 AM

What's interesting is how justified marc feels creationists are in saying something that isn't remotely true. It is "logical", he says, for creationists to call atheists all those people with whom marc disagrees (though it isn't true, and marc knows this) and the victims of the creationist slander should take "much/most of the blame" (for being slandered).

I think it is fairly fruitless to try to debate with someone who can convince himself that he is entitled to employ in the service of his arguments statements that he knows to be false. And since we equally know these statements to be false, it's fairly pointless for him to engage in debate with us, really.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Message 380 of 382 (671007)
08-21-2012 2:44 PM

As often happens, this topic is being summarized based mainly on the most recent discussions, the ones involving marc9000.

In Message 303, marc9000 started equating deism with atheism as well as denouncing as "atheists" practicing Christians who do not reject evolution. Then in Message 305 he came right out and said it:

marc9000 writes:

We saw the reference to the “duck test” in message 183, though that poster probably didn’t give any thought to the fact that it works more than one way.


It is a reasonable logic test, at least equal to, if not far beyond many of the “logical fallacies” that have been dreamed up in liberal universities to distract attention when a liberal/atheist is having trouble in a debate. Creationists tend to remember the Biblical phrase “by their fruits shall ye know them”. So when Deists and other “religious evolutionists” look and behave like atheists, they share a large part of the blame when some other members of society determine them to be no different than atheists in their political views, including a desire to weaken the hold of traditional religion.

In response to the former message, I asked marc9000 to define his terms, "atheism in particular":

DWise1 writes:

Also, as you want to paint the Rehms as "atheists", please tell us exactly what an atheist is! Give us a definitive definition of "atheist," so that we can determine whether the Rehms are atheists.

Is somebody who believes in a god or gods other than YHWH (AKA "Yodh-Hah-Vav-Hah", AKA "the Tetragrammaton") an atheist? Why? Please explain your answer.

Is somebody who believes in YHWH, but is not a Christian, an atheist? Why? Please explain your answer.

Is somebody who is a Christian, but is not of your particular sect, an atheist? Why? Please explain your answer.

Not every Christian believes nor teaches fundamentalist and creationist lies. Does that make them atheists? But True Christianity should be in harmony with reality, shouldn't it? (If you disagree, then explain why!) Since your sect is in conflict with reality every which way it turns, wouldn't that make your sect the "atheists"?

Define your terms!

"Atheist" has a very specific meaning, but marc9000, like so many of his brethren, has chosen to ignore that specific meaning and to apply it indiscriminately and broadly to tar everybody who doesn't agree with his beliefs. In doing so, he renders his accusations of science and scientists being atheistic completely meaningless ... not that those accusations had any meaning to begin with. And now that he is trying to get a new topic started based on those same accusations, the first thing he must do is to define his terms!

No, a deist is not an atheist. Obviously! Nor is any theist. Obviously! Yet again, marc9000 just has no idea what he's talking about.

We would perhaps do well to quote another well-known deist whom conservative/evangelical/fundamentalist Christians constantly seek to malign as an atheist: Thomas Paine, the Father of the American Revolution (and sometimes suspected author or co-author of the Declaration of Independence whose deistic wording and style matches Paine's), from his book, The Age of Reason. If anything, it might provide marc9000 some perspective, though he will doubtless ignore it:

I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.

I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

But, lest it should be supposed that I believe in many other things in addition to these, I shall, in the progress of this work, declare the things I do not believe, and my reasons for not believing them.

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.

. . .

As to the Christian system of faith, it appears to me as a species of Atheism- a sort of religious denial of God. It professes to believe in a man rather than in God. It is a compound made up chiefly of Manism with but little Deism, and is as near to Atheism as twilight is to darkness. It introduces between man and his Maker an opaque body, which it calls a Redeemer, as the moon introduces her opaque self between the earth and the sun, and it produces by this means a religious, or an irreligious, eclipse of light. It has put the whole orbit of reason into shade.

The effect of this obscurity has been that of turning everything upside down, and representing it in reverse, and among the revolutions it has thus magically produced, it has made a revolution in theology.

That which is now called natural philosophy, embracing the whole circle of science, of which astronomy occupies the chief place, is the study of the works of God, and of the power and wisdom of God in his works, and is the true theology.

As to the theology that is now studied in its place, it is the study of human opinions and of human fancies concerning God. It is not the study of God himself in the works that he has made, but in the works or writings that man has made; and it is not among the least of the mischiefs that the Christian system has done to the world, that it has abandoned the original and beautiful system of theology, like a beautiful innocent, to distress and reproach, to make room for the hag of superstition.

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Message 381 of 382 (671076)
08-22-2012 7:42 AM

I am not an atheist.


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From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
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Message 382 of 382 (671416)
08-24-2012 10:06 PM

I think a deist is functionally a soft atheist. A deist believes that, in the beginning, God got it all started. Then it's "I have no belief that God has been involved since the beginning".

I may be wrong.

I tried to pursue something along the lines of this in a proposed Great Debate with RAZD, but he declined.


Note: Invoking some sort of "admin privilege" in posting this, as Minnemooseus hadn't previously posted in this topic. But the Adminnemooseus privilege also works for Minnemooseus in the summary mode.

Professor, geology, Whatsamatta U
Evolution - Changes in the environment, caused by the interactions of the components of the environment.

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