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Author Topic:   God.....again.
doctrbill
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 31 of 50 (46898)
07-22-2003 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by nator
07-21-2003 4:18 PM


Hi Scraff,

You know I have, in the past, called you "scraffy"; but considering how efficiently and venemously you take on characters like buzzsaw (as in your recent post on my thread) I should really call you "scrappy"! But this is an aside.

The word "atheism" comes to us from the Greek atheos - "denying the gods," by way of the French - atheisme. Atheos appears to be a combination of theos - "god," plus the negative particle - a, "no" or "not."

To me, a-theism means two things.

1. - That I don't believe in the concept of an invisible, immortal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Guy in the Sky. And,
2. - That I am opposed to Theism, a philosophy which embraces the above mentioned Guy and seeks to bring me under His dominion.

Theism is the power behind the throne where monarchy is practiced (that was a problem for Henry the Eighth). Theism is sometimes expressed through a form of government called Theocracy, wherein "God Rules" (through his priests, or ministers, or mullahs) I'm sure you've seen this arrangement. Most recently it has been called The Taliban.

So "atheism" in my book, also means anti-theism; for theism leads to theocracy; and theocracy is hell on wheels.

db

------------------
Are you a Sunday School graduate?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by nator, posted 07-21-2003 4:18 PM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by nator, posted 07-22-2003 4:27 PM doctrbill has responded
 Message 34 by Rrhain, posted 07-22-2003 11:00 PM doctrbill has responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 214 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 32 of 50 (46913)
07-22-2003 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by doctrbill
07-22-2003 12:35 PM


quote:
You know I have, in the past, called you "scraffy"; but considering how efficiently and venemously you take on characters like buzzsaw (as in your recent post on my thread) I should really call you "scrappy"! But this is an aside.

Awww, I always liked that you called me "schraffy".

I'll accept "scrappy", though. I can't deny that it's accurate.

quote:
The word "atheism" comes to us from the Greek atheos - "denying the gods," by way of the French - atheisme. Atheos appears to be a combination of theos - "god," plus the negative particle - a, "no" or "not."

To me, a-theism means two things.

1. - That I don't believe in the concept of an invisible, immortal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Guy in the Sky. And,
2. - That I am opposed to Theism, a philosophy which embraces the above mentioned Guy and seeks to bring me under His dominion.

Theism is the power behind the throne where monarchy is practiced (that was a problem for Henry the Eighth). Theism is sometimes expressed through a form of government called Theocracy, wherein "God Rules" (through his priests, or ministers, or mullahs) I'm sure you've seen this arrangement. Most recently it has been called The Taliban.

So "atheism" in my book, also means anti-theism; for theism leads to theocracy; and theocracy is hell on wheels.


Hmm, interesting.

Isn't "theism" different from "religion", though? Isn't the problem with governments and theocracy more about the adherence to a religion rather than belief in God/gods?

Is it your position that Theism inevitably leads to religion/Theocracy?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by doctrbill, posted 07-22-2003 12:35 PM doctrbill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by doctrbill, posted 07-23-2003 1:00 AM nator has not yet responded

    
Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 740 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 33 of 50 (46923)
07-22-2003 6:10 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Miguel
07-20-2003 3:20 PM


Miguel,

You said
"I don't understand why atheists deny the existence of a creator."

What would you say if I told you I believed in three gods? There's Numbah Wan, who creates things, Numbah Tu, who destroys things, and Numbah Friii, who generally just sits around and has a speech impediment. There's a lot more I could tell you about this awesome trio, but first I would like to get it off my chest that I don't understand that people deny their existence. Why do you think this is, Miguel?

No, really Miquel, I'm serious. If someone made this claim, what would you say to them?

{Edited to correct typo and because I had the names wrong. Numbah Wan came to me in a dream last night and told me to correct it.}

[This message has been edited by Parasomnium, 07-23-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Miguel, posted 07-20-2003 3:20 PM Miguel has not yet responded

  
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 34 of 50 (46975)
07-22-2003 11:00 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by doctrbill
07-22-2003 12:35 PM


doctrbill writes:

quote:
The word "atheism" comes to us from the Greek atheos - "denying the gods,"

Not quite. The word comes to us from the Greek "a" and the Greek "theos" - "without god."

The best way to find out what atheism is is to ask atheists. I am unsure why you seem to think you can tell somebody else what they really believe...and think that you can do so through a semantic argument.

Most atheists do not deny god. Rather, they have no belief in god. Yes, there is a difference. Atheists don't go around actively thinking about how there is no god all the time. They simply behave as if there is no god.

Thus, your first definition of "atheism" as:

quote:
1. - That I don't believe in the concept of an invisible, immortal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Guy in the Sky.

isn't actually followed by most atheists. It isn't that they don't believe. It is that they have no belief.

That is, atheists don't "believe there is no god." Instead, they "have no belief in god."

Do you have any beliefs about the Invisible Pink Unicorn (May Her Horn Be Blessed)? Does the fact that I just mentioned it to you really change anything about what you believed? So now you understand how most atheists feel: They just don't think about it unless somebody engages them in the topic.

------------------
Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by doctrbill, posted 07-22-2003 12:35 PM doctrbill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by doctrbill, posted 07-23-2003 1:23 AM Rrhain has responded
 Message 37 by Quetzal, posted 07-23-2003 6:34 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

    
doctrbill
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 35 of 50 (46988)
07-23-2003 1:00 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by nator
07-22-2003 4:27 PM


Scrappy
quote:
Isn't "theism" different from "religion", though? Isn't the problem with governments and theocracy more about the adherence to a religion rather than belief in God/gods?
My Thorndike Barnhart defines theism as:
1 belief in one God, the creator and ruler of the universe.
2 belief in a deity or deities; religious faith or conviction. {< Greek theosgod}

I would say that any theistic religion is a manifestation of theism. The simplest way to define the word religion is to look at its etymology < Latin re + ligion = tie again, or tie back; which suggests preservation, or conservation. That in itself does not require a theistic philosophy. Theism assumes an Overlord, usually invisible, all powerful, and all wise. Almost invariably (I can't think of a single instance to the contrary), it leads to the appearance of His envoy, prophet, vicar, ambassador, angel, avatar etc. whatever; His representative "on earth."

The man in shining armor who stands before you with drawn sword is his judge. Will you serve the God of heaven and his appointed Lord, annointed king, duly elected representative, tax collector, ... Huh? Will ya?

This is a time honored and highly, if temporarily, successful means of establishing the kingdom of whichever god seeks to rule the world of the moment. On a personal level, in a face to face encounter with his avatar, you're damned right I believe in him! Whatever you say Sir. This is worship of the True God. Everything else is just farting around.

quote:
Is it your position that Theism inevitably leads to religion/Theocracy?

If it is profitable, or imagined to be in the interest of national security, ... Absolutely! Christians pray for the return of their King, whom they expect to govern this planet with a Rod of Iron. That prayer is not metaphorical. History teaches us to fear the king who knows God. You wicked (secular materialists) will be "worse off than Sodom and Gomorrah." {to quote Jesus}

Does this answer your question?

db

------------------
Are you a Sunday School graduate?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by nator, posted 07-22-2003 4:27 PM nator has not yet responded

  
doctrbill
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 36 of 50 (46989)
07-23-2003 1:23 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Rrhain
07-22-2003 11:00 PM


quote:
doctrbill writes: "The word 'atheism' comes to us from the Greek atheos - 'denying the gods,'"

Rrhain writes: Not quite. The word comes to us from the Greek "a" and the Greek "theos" - "without god."


I don't know where you get your definition but the one you point up here is that of Thorndike Barnhart in their advanced dictionary. If you don't like it, take the matter up with them.
quote:
The best way to find out what atheism is is to ask atheists.
Advice which you seem to ignore in reference to yourself at the moment.
quote:
I am unsure why you seem to think you can tell somebody else what they really believe...and think that you can do so through a semantic argument.
I believe I made it very clear that I am speaking for myself.
quote:
your first definition of "atheism" ... isn't actually followed by most atheists.
Thanks for noting that I am unique, or at least unusual.
quote:
It isn't that they don't believe. It is that they have no belief. That is, atheists don't "believe there is no god." Instead, they "have no belief in god."
And this hair splitting is not a semantic argument?
quote:
So now you understand how most atheists feel:
No. Now I understand how you feel.

db

------------------
Are you a Sunday School graduate?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Rrhain, posted 07-22-2003 11:00 PM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Rrhain, posted 07-23-2003 6:40 AM doctrbill has responded
 Message 40 by NosyNed, posted 07-23-2003 9:24 AM doctrbill has responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3916 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 37 of 50 (47014)
07-23-2003 6:34 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Rrhain
07-22-2003 11:00 PM


Actually Rrhain, I think the distinction you're making pertains more to the difference between so-called "strong atheist" (active denial and/or active anti-theism) and "weak atheist" (manifesting a lack of belief as you mention). Most of the people I know who self-identify as atheists fall somewhere on a spectrum between those two distinctions - and may even elide into agnosticism or fall on multiple places on the "scale" depending on which particular deity or aspect of theism is in question (positive an anthropomorphic entity doesn't exist, less positive or even agnostic about a more deist interpretation). Since we're discussing personal philosophy and self-identification, it isn't surprising that easily delimited categories don't exist.

I personally probably fall close to DrBill's atheism/anti-theism stance. Whether that refutes your statement that this brand of atheism

...isn't actually followed by most atheists. It isn't that they don't believe. It is that they have no belief.

That is, atheists don't "believe there is no god." Instead, they "have no belief in god."

or not I have no way of judging. I neither know "most atheists" well enough to make the call nor do I believe that there is some over-arching atheist philosophy that could be considered definitive and hence provide a standard by which all atheists can be classified.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Rrhain, posted 07-22-2003 11:00 PM Rrhain has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by doctrbill, posted 07-23-2003 10:45 AM Quetzal has not yet responded
 Message 45 by zephyr, posted 07-23-2003 1:10 PM Quetzal has not yet responded

  
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 38 of 50 (47015)
07-23-2003 6:40 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by doctrbill
07-23-2003 1:23 AM


doctrbill responds to me:

quote:
quote:
quote:
The word 'atheism' comes to us from the Greek atheos - 'denying the gods,'

Not quite. The word comes to us from the Greek "a" and the Greek "theos" - "without god."


I don't know where you get your definition but the one you point up here is that of Thorndike Barnhart in their advanced dictionary. If you don't like it, take the matter up with them.


Merriam Webster:

Main Entry: athe∑ism
Pronunciation: 'A-thE-"i-z&m
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French athťisme, from athťe atheist, from Greek atheos godless, from a- + theos god
Date: 1546

The word "atheism" means, literally, "without god."

The point is that you are trying to make a semantic argument and then claim that atheists are actually like your semantics. Reality doesn't work that way. If you want to know what "atheism" means, then you should start by looking at atheists and see how they define themselves.

They don't mean what you claim is meant.

quote:
quote:
The best way to find out what atheism is is to ask atheists.

Advice which you seem to ignore in reference to yourself at the moment.


(*chuckle*)

Yeah, right. And your proof of this is what, precisely?

Question: Am I an atheist?

Question: What is my background with regard to studying comparative religion with respect to atheism?

Here...Michael Martin in his book, Atheism: A Philosophical Justification wrote the following:

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.

Let's look at the Atheism Web's An Introduction to Atheism:

What is atheism?

Atheism is characterized by an absence of belief in the existence of gods. This absence of belief generally comes about either through deliberate choice, or from an inherent inability to believe religious teachings which seem literally incredible. It is not a lack of belief born out of simple ignorance of religious teachings.

And later on:

"But isn't disbelieving in God the same thing as believing he doesn't exist?"

Definitely not. Disbelief in a proposition means that one does not believe it to be true. Not believing that something is true is not equivalent to believing that it is false; one may simply have no idea whether it is true or not.

So it seems that many atheists seem to be of the opinion that atheism as defined by others doesn't seem to be the same thing as atheism as defined by atheists.

Now, which definition do you think gets to be the one that really counts?

quote:
quote:
I am unsure why you seem to think you can tell somebody else what they really believe...and think that you can do so through a semantic argument.

I believe I made it very clear that I am speaking for myself.


Do you mean you are defining your atheism? Well, that's one thing. It seemed, however, that you were trying to define atheism on a larger scale than just yourself.

quote:
quote:
It isn't that they don't believe. It is that they have no belief. That is, atheists don't "believe there is no god." Instead, they "have no belief in god."

And this hair splitting is not a semantic argument?


No.

Please follow the link regarding disbelief in a proposition means that one does not believe it to be true.

quote:
quote:
So now you understand how most atheists feel:

No. Now I understand how you feel.


We're back to my second question:

What is my background with regard to studying comparative religion with respect to atheism?

You seem to be so sure about my personal history, why don't relate it for us? How long have I been researching atheism? Have I written anything about it? If so, where?

Indeed, there are people out there who take what is commonly called the "strong" atheistic position where they make an active claim that there is no god and cannot be anything like god, but most atheists do not take that position.

------------------
Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by doctrbill, posted 07-23-2003 1:23 AM doctrbill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by doctrbill, posted 07-23-2003 10:23 AM Rrhain has responded

    
compmage
Member (Idle past 3197 days)
Posts: 601
From: South Africa
Joined: 08-04-2005


Message 39 of 50 (47023)
07-23-2003 8:17 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Miguel
07-20-2003 7:52 PM


Miguel writes:

But why are so many properties of the universe fine-tuned for life?

Besides the various arguments already raised by others to this form of reasoning I would find it far more convincing if life existed despite evidence that it is impossible for it to exist.

The fact that life exists in a universe that seems to be suited to life is not all that impressive.

------------------
He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.
- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Miguel, posted 07-20-2003 7:52 PM Miguel has not yet responded

    
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8829
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 40 of 50 (47031)
07-23-2003 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by doctrbill
07-23-2003 1:23 AM


And this hair splitting is not a semantic argument?

Uh, we seem to be discussing the meaning of a word here so, of course, it is a semantic argument.

I see in Rrhain's "hairsplitting" distinction a real point. For some atheists (but of course some are more militant) it is a huge non-issue. It is a matter of "no belief" rather than a belief of any sort.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by doctrbill, posted 07-23-2003 1:23 AM doctrbill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by doctrbill, posted 07-23-2003 10:36 AM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 740 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 41 of 50 (47034)
07-23-2003 9:39 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Miguel
07-20-2003 7:52 PM


Miguel,

You said:
"But why are so many properties of the universe fine-tuned for life?"

They are not! They are indeed very badly tuned. At least for the kind of life I have in mind. You see, this universe is particularly ill-suited for life based on neutrobisonic spheroids. Huh? Neutrobisonic spheroids, you ask? What are they? Well, how the hell should I know? They don't frickin' exist, do they? Because of this stupid universe and it's stupid properties.

Seriously now, what I'm saying is that each property of the universe has to have some value. Then, given the particular values of all the properties of the universe, whatever happens isn't a miracle, it simply follows. In this universe, life as we know it happens to be one of the consequences. Why moan about it? Enjoy it!

You could think of it this way. Imagine you're a pond. Don't worry, you're an intelligent pond. You can, shall we say, 'ponder'. The question is: are you intelligent enough not to waste time pondering why the hole you sit in is exactly the right shape for you?

Take your time chewing on it.

{edited to include "as we know it"}

[This message has been edited by Parasomnium, 07-24-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Miguel, posted 07-20-2003 7:52 PM Miguel has not yet responded

  
doctrbill
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 42 of 50 (47039)
07-23-2003 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Rrhain
07-23-2003 6:40 AM


Rrhain:
quote:
If you want to know what "atheism" means, then you should start by looking at atheists and see how they define themselves.
You have apparently evolved beyond that stage of development.
quote:
What is my background with regard to studying comparative religion with respect to atheism?
I donít know and I donít care.
quote:
Which definition do you think gets to be the one that really counts?
Mine. Or is there going to be a test?
quote:
Do you mean you are defining your atheism?
Pretty sharp, arenít you?
quote:
You seem to be so sure about my personal history, Ö
Donít know. Donít care.
quote:
What is my background with regard to studying comparative religion with respect to atheism?
Donít know. Donít care.
quote:
Indeed, there are people out there who take what is commonly called the "strong" atheistic position where they make an active claim that there is no god and cannot be anything like god, ...
Indeed.
quote:
but most atheists do not take that position.
I do not pretend to speak for most atheists.

db

------------------
Are you a Sunday School graduate?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Rrhain, posted 07-23-2003 6:40 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Rrhain, posted 07-24-2003 3:27 AM doctrbill has not yet responded

  
doctrbill
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 43 of 50 (47043)
07-23-2003 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by NosyNed
07-23-2003 9:24 AM


NosyNed
quote:
Uh, we seem to be discussing the meaning of a word here so, of course, it is a semantic argument.
Thanks Ned. I see that you, for one, know how to use a dictionary.
quote:
I see in Rrhain's "hairsplitting" distinction a real point. For some atheists (but of course some are more militant) it is a huge non-issue. It is a matter of "no belief" rather than a belief of any sort.
I believe that is called "weak atheism," and depending on the philosophical development of the individual, might become either agnosticism or "strong atheism."

You apparently understood the intent of my post.

db

------------------
Are you a Sunday School graduate?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by NosyNed, posted 07-23-2003 9:24 AM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
doctrbill
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 44 of 50 (47046)
07-23-2003 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Quetzal
07-23-2003 6:34 AM


Quetzal:
quote:
I personally probably fall close to DrBill's atheism/anti-theism stance. Whether that refutes your statement that this brand of atheism
quote:
...isn't actually followed by most atheists. It isn't that they don't believe. It is that they have no belief.
That is, atheists don't "believe there is no god." Instead, they "have no belief in god."
or not I have no way of judging. I neither know "most atheists" well enough to make the call nor do I believe that there is some over-arching atheist philosophy that could be considered definitive and hence provide a standard by which all atheists can be classified.
Thanks Quetzal. Seems to me that Rrhain would like to be the god of atheists, judge of the nonfaith, (or lack of faith).

db

------------------
Are you a Sunday School graduate?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Quetzal, posted 07-23-2003 6:34 AM Quetzal has not yet responded

  
zephyr
Member (Idle past 2594 days)
Posts: 821
From: FOB Taji, Iraq
Joined: 04-22-2003


Message 45 of 50 (47082)
07-23-2003 1:10 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Quetzal
07-23-2003 6:34 AM


quote:
....nor do I believe that there is some over-arching atheist philosophy that could be considered definitive and hence provide a standard by which all atheists can be classified.

So who's going to write the atheist bible?

I can just imagine the arguments... it'd never work. Rather antithetical anyway, wouldn't you agree?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Quetzal, posted 07-23-2003 6:34 AM Quetzal has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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