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Author Topic:   Does Atheism = No beliefs?
Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 196 of 414 (561809)
05-23-2010 5:32 PM
Reply to: Message 195 by Asking
05-23-2010 4:12 PM


Asking writes:

An atheist doesn't need to deny the existance of something that they know doesn't exist.

Or more precisely something they don't think has been established to exist. Even people who are unsure about the existence of gods are atheists. An atheist can be perfectly receptive to the existence of a god, even to the point of having a preconceived bias toward there being *something* out there, but reject a claim of a god's existence that is simply not backed up.


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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5583
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 197 of 414 (561815)
05-23-2010 5:57 PM
Reply to: Message 186 by Den
04-10-2010 8:32 AM


you must make to undertake yourself, it begins when you let go of your ego and accept that you know nothing, this is where I began.

It appears that you're still there!

All you Athiests same as Dawkins paint a false image of God, and then choose to disbelieve in your own delusion, for the God I believe in is not the same God you choose to disbelieve in.

Lets use some common sense. Atheists, by definition, are people who don't believe a God exists. If they don't believe in God then they have no image, let alone a false one.

You use atrocities committed in the name of Religion to revolt against God, yet you do not ask which of these attrocites are inspired by Jesus or the 10 commandments, obviously none as these men and commandments inspire nothing more than peace and love. Those who commit attrocities in the name of Religion represent God no more than the KKK represents all of white man, or the corrupt policeman represents the entire police force.

Except that God himself committed and/or ordered said atrocities.

For your edification:

quote:
If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey, I will inflict you with seven more disasters for your sins. I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle, so your numbers will dwindle and your roads will be deserted. -- Leviticus 26:21-22

quote:
The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived. Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. I have watched Israel become as beautiful and pleasant as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children to be slaughtered." O LORD, what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don't give birth and breasts that give no milk. The LORD says, "All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. The people of Israel are stricken. Their roots are dried up; they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children." -- Hosea 9:11-16

There are countless other verses just like this.

Does this seem consistent with an all-knowing and all-loving God? Could you at least understand why some people are cynical?


"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from mistaken conviction." Ė Blaise Pascal
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Phat
Member
Posts: 11160
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 198 of 414 (774485)
12-18-2015 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Modulous
03-22-2010 3:30 AM


Fig Newton Of Your Imagination
I would tend to think that atheists not only have no belief, they would claim that everyone elses belief is a product of their imagination.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ĖRC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ĖMark Twain

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Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 6106
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.0


(1)
Message 199 of 414 (774504)
12-18-2015 12:46 PM
Reply to: Message 198 by Phat
12-18-2015 11:36 AM


Re: Fig Newton Of Your Imagination
Phat writes:

I would tend to think that atheists not only have no belief, they would claim that everyone elses belief is a product of their imagination

They have no belief in God(s), not no belief. And yes as God(s) are not real, anyone believing in them is mistaken. I wouldn't say it's their imagination, it's what they've learnt - they didn't make them up themselves.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

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

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3456
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


Message 200 of 414 (774505)
12-18-2015 12:57 PM
Reply to: Message 198 by Phat
12-18-2015 11:36 AM


Re: Fig Newton Of Your Imagination
Give us the boy until he is seven and we will give you the man.

The gentler word is indoctrination. The harsher is brainwashing.

It is not so much that the religionistís beliefs are the product of their imagination as they are the product of otherís imaginations deliberately planted in fertile young minds. The process involves constant repetition while being shielded from contrary ideas. Thus the manís mind is set in his youth to such an extent that in the lifetime of experience that follows no reality can alter the embedded programming.


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Diomedes
Member
Posts: 719
From: Central Florida, USA
Joined: 09-13-2013
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 201 of 414 (774515)
12-18-2015 2:54 PM
Reply to: Message 198 by Phat
12-18-2015 11:36 AM


Re: Fig Newton Of Your Imagination
I would tend to think that atheists not only have no belief, they would claim that everyone elses belief is a product of their imagination.

You are conflating a few concepts here that is causing confusion regarding specific ideas.

Atheism is merely the response to a claim: is there a god? It doesn't expand beyond that. But it does not in any way dictate that atheists have 'no belief'.

To draw the point further, there is no concept of a 'god' in the Buddhist faith. So from a classification standpoint, Buddhists are atheists. Yet Buddhists clearly have specific beliefs: reincarnation, karma, various spiritual practices relating to inner peace and the soul, etc.

Yet even though individuals like Tangle and myself are atheists, I don't believe in reincarnation and I am pretty sure Tangle doesn't either. (Correct me if I am wrong)

It makes things easier to understand the demarcation between views and beliefs when when looks at the classification on the other side of the fence: theism.

Theism responds to the claim: is there a god by indicating yes. But theism, in an of itself, is not a belief system. It is merely a viewpoint relating to the question regarding the existence of a deity. Christians are theists. Hindus are theists. (Or polytheists depending on the sect) Muslims are theists. Jews are theists. Yet all these are distinct religions with different beliefs. Additionally, there is the concept of deists. These are also individuals that believe in a higher power or being, but don't ascribe any belief systems associated with that being. Many Agnostics also fall into that camp.

Ultimately, as an atheist, I classify my 'belief' as what is commonly referred to as 'secular humanism'. Although once again, there are deists that also fall into that camp.


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deerbreh
Member (Idle past 791 days)
Posts: 882
Joined: 06-22-2005


Message 202 of 414 (774516)
12-18-2015 3:02 PM


The whole line of discussion makes my hair hurt. It is all semantics. Disbelief is a belief. Lack of a belief in God is the same as believing there is no God. Whether we call God a god, a deity or a supernatural being does not really matter. If you are sure there is no god you are an atheist. If you are sure there are no supernatural beings or deities you are an atheist. If you disbelieve in one God or 20 gods, you are still an atheist. Any questions? I actually don't think anybody is an atheist because no one can be really sure there is no God just as nobody can be really sure there is a God. Anyone who says they never have any doubts is lying. We are all agnostics, imo. Some of us are more willing to admit it than others.
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Diomedes
Member
Posts: 719
From: Central Florida, USA
Joined: 09-13-2013
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 203 of 414 (774521)
12-18-2015 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 202 by deerbreh
12-18-2015 3:02 PM


Disbelief is a belief. Lack of a belief in God is the same as believing there is no God

Sorry, that is false. It takes a tremendous amount of 'belief' to accept a whole myriad of supernatural claims. To equate the two is inaccurate. In essence however, it is actually not exactly 'belief'. It is a view based on evidence. And this ultimately indicates why there is a false equivalency: theists often have to take massive 'leaps of faith' to adhere to their beliefs. Atheists don't have to do anything of the sort. They merely examine the evidence (or lack thereof) and draw a conclusion.
It is akin to how a CSI might look at a crime scene. They may conclude that the evidence indicates the perpetrator of the crime was someone of medium build who used a blunt force instrument to murder the victim. But of someone else comes in and says he thinks the murder was committed by a multi-dimensional demon-like entity from a planet in the Vega system, clearly those two views are not equivalent.

If you are sure there is no god you are an atheist.

Once again, this is incorrect. You are confusing atheism/theism with gnostic/agnostic concepts. Certainty is often not possible to convey because the claim lacks the necessary criteria to perform a test.

For example, if someone claims that there is an invisible dragon in their garage and I respond by indicating that the evidence does not seem to indicate that, is my statement one of certainty? No. And it can't be because the individual making the claim has not provided any evidence for me to disprove. And this is the similar case in the case of gods.

actually don't think anybody is an atheist because no one can be really sure there is no God just as nobody can be really sure there is a God

And again, you are confusing theism/atheism with gnostic/agnostic concepts. But you are actually looking at the overall concept backwards. The burden of proof is on the individual making the claim. Not on the person disproving it. As I alluded to in my invisible dragon example.

Anyone who says they never have any doubts is lying

I would actually agree. But what you will discover is the ones that are claiming absolute certainty generally reside in the theist camp.

We are all agnostics, imo. Some of us are more willing to admit it than others.

And as I indicated: gnostic/agnostic are not mutually exclusive to theist/atheism. You can be a gnostic theist. You can be an agnostic atheist. In the end, it is down to the view and the knowledge surrounding the concept in question. But because fully disproving anything is generally not something that has any veracity in the fields of science or philosophy, it is a pretty useless standard.

Evidence leads us to conclusions. Those conclusions are not in any way statements of absolutely certainty: they are the end result of following the evidence, analyzing the information and formulating a statement based on the information at hand.


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Tangle
Member
Posts: 6106
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.0


(1)
Message 204 of 414 (774527)
12-18-2015 4:22 PM
Reply to: Message 202 by deerbreh
12-18-2015 3:02 PM


deerbreh writes:

Disbelief is a belief.

Take it from someone who has had both, no it's not.

It seems necessary for believers to believe this - god knows why - it comes up over and over again and it doesn't matter what's said next, they persist in needing to believe it - presumably so they can explain it to themselves.

ABE. The nearest I can get to explaining it is being at school where all the young kids believe in Father Christmas and all the older kids don't. There's a bunch in the middle still trying to work it out; wanting to keep the belief because it's lovely and comforting but beginning to realise that it isn't true. When the belief is gone, it's not a belief in something else - like theists seem to want it to be - it's just no longer a belief in Father Christmas.

For those of you that claim that atheism is another form of belief. I ask you what a non-belief in Father Christmas is then a belief in. You've been there, what is it?

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

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

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1701
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


(1)
Message 205 of 414 (774532)
12-18-2015 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 202 by deerbreh
12-18-2015 3:02 PM


Disbelief is a belief. Lack of a belief in God is the same as believing there is no God. Whether we call God a god, a deity or a supernatural being does not really matter. If you are sure there is no god you are an atheist.

I disagree. If not believing in supernatural entities is a belief, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

I just cannot have any mental acceptance that these types of entities could exist without evidence and I have encountered no credible evidence in my life for the existence of any supernatural realm or entities.

I remember when I had faith and belief and what that felt like, and I remember the instant when I realized that I could not be a rational being with such faith and beliefs, and it feels completely different than that belief.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy


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Faith
Member
Posts: 29590
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 206 of 414 (774543)
12-18-2015 7:53 PM
Reply to: Message 202 by deerbreh
12-18-2015 3:02 PM


I actually don't think anybody is an atheist because no one can be really sure there is no God just as nobody can be really sure there is a God. Anyone who says they never have any doubts is lying. We are all agnostics, imo. Some of us are more willing to admit it than others.

Ya know, you really can't speak for other people like this. I'm not lying when I say I have no doubts about the existence of God. I've lived with the Biblical revelation for going on thirty years now and tested it in many different situations and I can say I have absolutely no doubts about the reality of God. I may have doubts about specifics such as whether or not I'm really saved, due to my weak faith and lamentable sinfulness, but God's existence, nope, not after thirty years of His providential workings in my life and answers to prayers.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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ringo
Member
Posts: 15166
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 207 of 414 (774593)
12-19-2015 12:23 PM
Reply to: Message 202 by deerbreh
12-18-2015 3:02 PM


deerbreh writes:

Disbelief is a belief.


According to the all-powerful Yahoo! Answers:
quote:
Disbelief is being shaken up by a challenge to a belief about something or someone
Unbelief is active rejection of a belief
Nonbelief is non -acceptance of a belief

"I can't believe you said that!" is disbelief. In this particular example, you know it's true but you still "can't believe".

Not believing in Odin is nonbelief. You can believe in Ganesh and non-believe in Odin at the same time.

What you're describing is more like unbelief: Unbelievers believe that God un-exists.

I personally don't believe that any gods exist but I don't self-identify as an atheist. I self-identify as an agnostic. I have no active unbelief. People who do self-identify as atheists may or may not be "sure". There's little to be gained by labelling people one way or the other.


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herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1483
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 5.4


Message 208 of 414 (774597)
12-19-2015 1:11 PM
Reply to: Message 207 by ringo
12-19-2015 12:23 PM


Unbelievers believe that God un-exists

"un-exists" is an odd term to use here. "Unbelievers believe that God does not exist" would be more sensible.

There's little to be gained by labelling people one way or the other.

Which I think is the most salient point here! We want things to fit into neat, tidy categories but they rarely do (particularily when it comes to beliefs and other parts of the human experience.

HBD


Whoever calls me ignorant shares my own opinion. Sorrowfully and tacitly I recognize my ignorance, when I consider how much I lack of what my mind in its craving for knowledge is sighing for... I console myself with the consideration that this belongs to our common nature. - Francesco Petrarca

"Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe." - another Petrarca gem.

Ignorance is a most formidable opponent rivaled only by arrogance; but when the two join forces, one is all but invincible.


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Tangle
Member
Posts: 6106
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 209 of 414 (774601)
12-19-2015 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 207 by ringo
12-19-2015 12:23 PM


ringo writes:

I personally don't believe that any gods exist but I don't self-identify as an atheist.

Doesn't matter, if you don't believe gods exist you're an atheist. Else the word means nothing.

I self-identify as an agnostic.

Irrelevant.

I have no active unbelief.

Nobody has. In fact it's a meaningless statement. Do you have an active disbelief in Father Christmas?

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

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

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 207 by ringo, posted 12-19-2015 12:23 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3456
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


Message 210 of 414 (774603)
12-19-2015 2:43 PM
Reply to: Message 207 by ringo
12-19-2015 12:23 PM


I personally don't believe that any gods exist but I don't self-identify as an atheist.

Technically, if you hold to no theistic creed you are a-theist by definition, from the Greek atheos - without god.

That does not preclude you from also being agnostic, from the Greek agnost or agnotos - not knowing or incapable of being known.

Of course, then, there is always pedantic, from the Middle French pedante - (1) to put unnecessary emphasis on minor or trivial rules or points of learning, thereby displaying a scholarship lacking in proportion or judgment, displays of which are often ostentatious, though occasionally fun. (2) asshole.

here

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.


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