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Nachtengel
Tuesday, July 7th, 2009, 07:24 PM
I wanted to ask this for a while :D

Some people say atheists are believers too, because they believe that there is no god.

What atheists say:


It is reasonably common for religious persons and others to class Atheists as those that have a “belief” system. It is taken for granted that the Atheist's "belief" system is somewhat different from a “belief” in the supernatural and sundry. Proponents of such loose use of the language would wish to bring Atheists down to their level of accepting un-evidenced dogma. They then “reason” that it is far better to have a “belief” in that which has some perceived beneficial or “moral” good than that which is “godless” and therefore immoral. How very wrong, incorrect and opposite to the truth is that thought.

The Macquarie Encyclopedic Dictionary definition of “belief” is:

1. that which is believed; an accepted opinion.
2. conviction of the truth or reality of a thing, based upon grounds insufficient to afford positive knowledge:

Most other Dictionaries tender similar definitions.

Those definitions are basically saying that a “belief” is not formed by critical scientific investigation but by emotions, feelings and unsubstantiated opinion.

As a child I can hold a “belief” that the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are real characters. I can have a “belief” that Unicorns exist and that Ghosts and Goblins etc. are also real.

As an adult I can hold a “belief” that any one of the numerous gods purported, do actually exist, and that humans have an immortal "soul". Some even have a "belief" in UFO's, the power of crystals and a myriad of other unproven paranormal activity.

Atheists do not accept that any of the above imaginary creatures or powers do exist as no scientific evidence is extant in support of those propositions. This is not a “belief”, it is just lack of scientific evidence in their support.

The word “belief” has been incorporated as part of the religious language of ethereal nonsense with a design to confuse the faithful. Certain words have been with humanity since the beginning of time and have been refined in use to fool the unwary. “Belief” is one of them.

If religion was not evolutionary driven, with its majority acceptance “seen” as a herd benefit, then the word would not exist in its present form but would simply be a word or phrase that states that we do not know.

That which we do not know is our ignorance and seen in that light, a “belief” in the supernatural etc. is giving ignorance far greater credibility than reasoned thinking should permit.

Many so-called examples of our “beliefs” are thrown at the Atheist, but none come anywhere near being good explanations. For example, we have a “belief” the Sun will come up tomorrow. Forgotten, so it seems, is that by example of the Sun coming up every day for billions of years hence, shows a pattern that cannot be denied that it will come up again tomorrow. “Belief” has nothing to do with it.

Another is since we do not fully understand how electricity works, we somehow have a “belief” in the workings of electricity. It may not be fully understood but it is accepted that if a toaster is connected to it, the bread will cook. Again and so on and so forth, “belief” has naught to do with it.

If religions and such could do likewise and show by previous experience or experiment that some part of future action could be predicted, it would then no longer be a “belief” system.

If “belief” in the super-natural had some kind of quantifiable substance to it, then it would escape the realms of our acceptance of ignorance as a way of explaining the world.

The religious and others have a “belief” that ignorance is superior to empirical knowledge.

Atheist see no credible empirical or scientific evidence for the super-natural and therefore reject the notion as one only originating from our ignorance.

There is absolutely no similarity between the Atheist philosophical stance in life and that of the religious. Atheists accept only facts, whereas the religious et al find no need for them.

http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/belief.htm

What do you say?

Freigeistige
Wednesday, July 8th, 2009, 06:41 AM
We do not "believe" that there is no god, we simply do not believe that there is a god, pending evidence. I call myself an atheist because I experience a lack of theism, which is what the word means to me, based on it's root words.

Bärin
Friday, July 10th, 2009, 09:41 PM
Some people say atheists are believers too, because they believe that there is no god.
:oanieyes

If you define belief like that then everything is a belief. In fact there's a member here who believes in almost every phrase she writes. :D

No, atheists are nonbelievers, because they don't have a belief in the religious way. They lack it, that's what makes them atheists.

Holsatia
Saturday, July 11th, 2009, 07:44 PM
Atheism is a belief because they believe there is no God.
Agnostics however are no believers.

Auteire
Friday, August 28th, 2009, 09:05 PM
Atheism is a belief because they believe there is no God.
Agnostics however are no believers.

That's an interesting observation. I call myself atheist, but I don't consider myself to know for a fact that there is no 'god'. In that sense I suppose I am technically agnostic, but I consider 'agnostic' to be a fence-sitter's term. I don't know whether or not there is a creator of the universe, but there is certainly no reason to believe any supernatural occurrences have happened here on earth so when I call myself an atheist it is reference to all the man-made earthly religions.

Ocko
Sunday, August 30th, 2009, 12:21 AM
Just look at what a basic common 'Thought' is. how do you proof that you have a 'Thought'.

you can perceive the electrons chasing through your brain by means of apparatuses. but where are those electrons actually changed into the 'Thought' and how does that work? Nobody knows. Not even Atheists now according to their definition that there is a 'thought' because you can't prove it. for them they only can proof an electron running through a heap of molecules while they at the same moment use, what they can't prove and therefore doesn't exist for them.

they can't even prove an "I" but they definitly believe they exist.

Reality is never proveable to common men because they use their organs of perception (how do they know they are real?) knowing that perception don't give you reality but only a picture of reality?

You can hypnotize somebody and tell him there is a snake in the room and he really sees it, even posthypnotic. For him/her the snake is real because he sees it. How do you say it doesn't exist? using your perceptions? well the hypnotized is using his perceptions as well. So who of you is right and why?

Hindus say everthing is Maya, everything is illusion and that includes you. (for them they mean the lower self which is indeed not real from the point of view they look at it)

I don't know whether you ever saw the movie Matrix? it shows pretty well what religious thought means about reality. (the story itself is hogwash but this point they show very well)

Aeternitas
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 06:16 PM
IMO atheism is both belief and non-belief, depending on the angle from which you look at it: it is the absence of belief in supernatural beings, or, the belief that supernatural beings don't exist (strong atheism), or are unlikely to exist (weak atheism).

If one understands belief from a strictly religious position, then atheism is lack of belief. Atheists are commonly referred to as "nonbelievers" or "unbelievers" by adherents to several religions, however, the term isn't reserved solely for them, rather for anyone who does not subscribe to that specific religion.

Whether it's a religion or not, depends how one defines the term, however, although there is not one single definition of religion, it is widely accepted that religion refers to a system of faith and worship, a belief in one or more supernatural beings/deities. In other words, religion can also be understood as theism. Since atheism is the absence of theism, it cannot be a religion.

Wulfram
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 06:59 PM
IMO atheism is both belief and non-belief, depending on the angle from which you look at it: it is the absence of belief in supernatural beings, or, the belief that supernatural beings don't exist (strong atheism), or are unlikely to exist (weak atheism).

There is no "weak atheism". It is all disbelief or nothing. What you have described above is more akin to agnosticism. You are giving atheism an escape route in order to establish it as a dual possibilty, which it isn't. It is just as dogmatic and straight forward as religion. Either you do or you dont.


Whether it's a religion or not, depends how one defines the term, however, although there is not one single definition of religion, it is widely accepted that religion refers to a system of faith and worship, a belief in one or more supernatural beings/deities. In other words, religion can also be understood as theism. Since atheism is the absence of theism, it cannot be a religion.

In the United States, the teaching of atheism is also forbidden wherever the teaching of x-tianity is forbidden. This is but one comparison that can be made for the argument that atheism is a parallel of religion.
The government rules that the Theory of Evolution is a truth, which is one of atheisms strongest arguments, if not the strongest.
They permit atheism in the form of evolution, but forbid prayer in schools. This is establishing a dogma in a way that is exactly similar to how x-tianity was imposed.
If it is practiced as an absolute method for defining existence then it qualifies as a dogma, particularly if it is fervently preached by its believers as a final truth, just like x-tianity.
This to me constitutes it as a religion even if on paper one can argue that it is not. It behaves, preaches and suppresses exactly in the same way x-tianity has. It resembles an established religion, and to me this makes it one.

Sigurd
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 07:00 PM
Whether it's a religion or not, depends how one defines the term, however, although there is not one single definition of religion, it is widely accepted that religion refers to a system of faith and worship, a belief in one or more supernatural beings/deities. In other words, religion can also be understood as theism. Since atheism is the absence of theism, it cannot be a religion.

I would not immediately equate theism with religion, understanding that religion can be a type of "folkway" - where it is not merely a system of faith and worship, but one of faith, worship and traditions.

When traditions are involved, they may be celebrated in their religious form, but also by people who lack much faith, and who certainly do not practice worship.

An example would be the approach 85% of people take to Christmas/Yule or Easter: Celebrated in a religious context, but oft by people with very little faith, who only ever go to church when someone marries or dies.

Another example would be most Jews, who observe Passover, eat Kosher and adhere to some Talmudic Laws, but have little faith and are never to be seen in the synagogue, instead pursuing other shady business.

As such, if religion is equated solely with theism, a person who nominally belongs to a faith but is a non-practitioner would be classed as an Atheist, when they are more commonly referred to as "Secular [insert random religion]". ;)

This would, if we understand Atheism as the lack of Theism, mean that about 90% of our fellow folk are Atheists, a statistic which would sound very puzzling to the average man. :shrug

Segestan
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 07:12 PM
Atheism is a flawed sense of logic. The mortal enjoys a blind journey through time and space. Without a blind adventure there could be no dynamic experience. The Atheist enjoys a perfect blind adventure all the while feeling a sense of logic and reason is the foundation for there ideas. It's not as simple as a conscious being just existing on a perfect environment. Nor is it a dogmatic system of laws such as many faiths purpose.

Zimobog
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 07:25 PM
Atheism can also be described as a belief that there is nothing holy or sacred in the entire universe, including the universe itself, without reservation or exception. Atheism is not the same as nontheism, which a belief that there are no Gods.

Atheism is among the most dogmatic of belief-systems, which when combined with a powerful and vocal orthodoxy equals a religion. As a religion, the atheists often can be found proselytizing people of other religions around the world in an effort to "make them see the facts". As religion, Atheism has founded entire societies.

Just as many Christians have never read the Bible or been to church, most atheists are unaware that their religion also has foundational texts, organizational meetings, or an agenda.

Aeternitas
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 07:27 PM
There is no "weak atheism". It is all disbelief or nothing. What you have described above is more akin to agnosticism. You are giving atheism an escape route in order to establish it as a dual possibilty, which it isn't. It is just as dogmatic and straight forward as religion. Either you do or you dont.
No, what I have described is agnostic atheism (a synonym for weak atheism). An agnostic believes that the existence of deities is unknown. An agnostic atheist believes that the existence of deities is unlikely, yet not necessarily impossible. A strong atheist believes that the existence of deities is impossible.


In the United States, the teaching of atheism is also forbidden wherever the teaching of x-tianity is forbidden. This is but one comparison that can be made for the argument that atheism is a parallel of religion.
The government rules that the Theory of Evolution is a truth, which is one of atheisms strongest arguments, if not the strongest.
They permit atheism in the form of evolution, but forbid prayer in schools. This is establishing a dogma in a way that is exactly similar to how x-tianity was imposed.
If it is practiced as an absolute method for defining existence then it qualifies as a dogma, particularly if it is fervently preached by its believers as a final truth, just like x-tianity.
This to me constitutes it as a religion even if on paper one can argue that it is not. It behaves, preaches and suppresses exactly in the same way x-tianity has. It resembles an established religion, and to me this makes it one.As I said, it depends on the definition one gives to religion. There is no single universal definition for it. If one uses it metaphorically, then one could understand it in this sense.

To me, however, atheism constitutes simply what its definition says: absence of theism.

Anyways, an atheist does not necessarily have to believe in the alternative of evolution. An atheist does not necessarily believe to have all the answers. Many atheists do, and while the evolution theory is popular among atheists, atheism per se, as per its definition, is simply lack of theism, that's all there is to it.


I would not immediately equate theism with religion, understanding that religion can be a type of "folkway" - where it is not merely a system of faith and worship, but one of faith, worship and traditions.

When traditions are involved, they may be celebrated in their religious form, but also by people who lack much faith, and who certainly do not practice worship.

An example would be the approach 85% of people take to Christmas/Yule or Easter: Celebrated in a religious context, but oft by people with very little faith, who only ever go to church when someone marries or dies.

Another example would be most Jews, who observe Passover, eat Kosher and adhere to some Talmudic Laws, but have little faith and are never to be seen in the synagogue, instead pursuing other shady business.

As such, if religion is equated solely with theism, a person who nominally belongs to a faith but is a non-practitioner would be classed as an Atheist, when they are more commonly referred to as "Secular [insert random religion]". ;)

This would, if we understand Atheism as the lack of Theism, mean that about 90% of our fellow folk are Atheists, a statistic which would sound very puzzling to the average man. :shrugWell, that is the literal and etymological sense of atheism. The suffix a (without) + theism, i.e. without theism.

atheist (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.etym online.com%2Findex.php%3Fterm%3Datheist)

1571, from Fr. athéiste (16c.), from Gk. atheos "to deny the gods, godless," from a- "without" + theos "a god" (see Thea (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.etym online.com%2Findex.php%3Fterm%3DThea)). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (c.1534) which is perhaps from It. atheo "atheist."

Sigurd
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 07:28 PM
There is no "weak atheism". It is all disbelief or nothing. What you have described above is more akin to agnosticism.

Agnosticism can either be "theist agnosticism" (belief in a super-natural power without being able to put down what it is) and "atheist agnosticism" (belief that super-natural power is either unknown or unknowable).

Atheism can either be strong atheism (absolute disbelief in a super-natural power), and weak atheims (disbelief in a super-natural power due to lack of scientific or empirical proof).

Strong atheism: "I know there is no god."
Weak atheism: "It is improbable that there is a god, because there is no proof for it."
Atheist Agnosticism: "It is very possible that there is a god, but it is not known."

The distinction is fine, but not unimportant. The "Atheist Agnostic" places more importance upon the lack of knowledge, whilst the Weak atheist places more importance on the likelihood of existence. ;)

Wulfram
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 07:50 PM
Agnosticism can either be "theist agnosticism" (belief in a super-natural power without being able to put down what it is) and "atheist agnosticism" (belief that super-natural power is either unknown or unknowable).

Atheism can either be strong atheism (absolute disbelief in a super-natural power), and weak atheims (disbelief in a super-natural power due to lack of scientific or empirical proof).

Strong atheism: "I know there is no god."
Weak atheism: "It is improbable that there is a god, because there is no proof for it."
Atheist Agnosticism: "It is very possible that there is a god, but it is not known."

The distinction is fine, but not unimportant. The "Atheist Agnostic" places more importance upon the lack of knowledge, whilst the Weak atheist places more importance on the likelihood of existence. ;)

I don't think so. Your superfluous explanations only belabor a point that can easily be reduced to just plain old agnosticism and atheism. Why this need to elaborate?

Nachtengel
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 07:59 PM
I don't think so. Your superfluous explanations only belabor a point that can easily be reduced to just plain old agnosticism and atheism. Why this need to elaborate?
Because atheism is not a hundred percent monolithic bloc. It only has a common denominator. Compare to being German for example. All Germans have a common denominator: they belong to one of the German races, speak German as a native language, and so forth. Many Germans are Nordid. Many Germans have blonde hair. But, some Germans are Alpinid, and have brown hair. Many Germans have blue eyes. But, some Germans have green or brown ones. You can't say the black haired, freckled skinned, blue eyed German like myself isn't a German, just because I don't look like the majority of Germans. It's a fallacy, lack of logic.

There are several atheists on this site, and not all of us have the same views. The only thing we have in common is not believing in gods, especially the Xtian/Jewish gods. That's our common denominator.

Your problem is, like I told you in the other thread, that you define everything in Semitic/Jewish terms, puting an "=" sign between nature and god, science and god. You judge atheism according to Xtianity and Semitism. That's wrong. Our nature, our science, does not conform to such standards.

Wulfram
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 08:12 PM
Because atheism is not a hundred percent monolithic bloc.

I see no evidence for this when one can easily reduce it to its most basic definition.


It only has a common denominator. Compare to being German for example. All Germans have a common denominator: they belong to one of the German races, speak German as a native language, and so forth. Many Germans are Nordid. Many Germans have blonde hair. But, some Germans are Alpinid, and have brown hair. Many Germans have blue eyes. But, some Germans have green or brown ones. You can't say the black haired, freckled skinned, blue eyed German like myself isn't a German, just because I don't look like the majority of Germans. It's a fallacy, lack of logic.

There are several atheists on this site, and not all of us have the same views. The only thing we have in common is not believing in gods, especially the Xtian/Jewish gods. That's our common denominator.

It matters not that you carry differing opinions. You all still adhere to the same dogma. It does not matter if it is called weak or strong, it all reduces to the same thing, which is not believing in a higher power. There is no need to over-elaborate in an attempt to give it legitimacy when the basic definition was good enough. Either way it is still without logic.

Sigurd
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 08:14 PM
It matters not that you carry differing opinions. You all still adhere to the same dogma. It does not matter if it is called weak or strong, it all reduces to the same thing, which is not believing in a higher power. There is no need to over-elaborate in an attempt to give it legitimacy when the basic definition was good enough. Either way it is still without logic.

Yes, there is a need to elaborate the differences. The basic definition may be true for both - but so is the basic definition for both Folkish and Universalist Heathens: Two different schools of thought, between which a line has to be drawn, as beyond the original belief, the rationales which are derived therefrom are fundamentally different. ;)

Nachtengel
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 08:21 PM
It matters not that you carry differing opinions.
It matters, doh, if you ask for evidence that it's not a monolithic bloc. In a monolithic bloc, everyone carries the same opinions.


You all still adhere to the same dogma.
Yes, but religion =/= dogma. Nationalists adhere to the same dogma. Nationalism is not religion. Same goes for NS, conservatists, liberals, libertarians, and even agnostics. Agnostics adhere to the same dogma of ignorance towards gods, thinking the existence of gods is unproven and unknown. Agnosticism reduces to the same thing, which is "the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims — particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of deities, spiritual beings, or even ultimate reality — is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism, inherently impossible to prove or disprove and hence unknowable". ;)


It does not matter if it is called weak or strong,
It does for the ones who believe all atheists are alike.


it all reduces to the same thing, which is not believing in a higher power.
Yep, that's what I said, it looks like you finally got it. :thumbsup


Either way it is still without logic.
To prove not believing in a higher power is without logic, you must prove the contrary. Prove that a higher power exists, then belief in a higher power is logical and nonbelief in a higher power is indeed illogical.

Wulfram
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 08:28 PM
Yes, there is a need to elaborate the differences. The basic definition may be true for both - but so is the basic definition for both Folkish and Universalist Heathens: Two different schools of thought, between which a line has to be drawn, as beyond the original belief, the rationales which are derived therefrom are fundamentally different. ;)

Do you mean that Folkish is exclusively Germanic and Universalist is exclusively non-Germanic? My argument still holds the same. These are also “differing opinions” which reduce to the same thing.

Definition of Folkish Heathenism(Can't remember where I found this, my apologies):

Because we are more like our ancestors than we are like anyone else. We inherited not only their general physical appearance, but also their predominant mental, emotional, and spiritual traits. We think and feel more like they did; our basic needs are most like theirs. The religion which best expressed their innermost nature – Asatru – is better suited to us than is some other creed which started in the Middle East among people who are essentially different from us. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are alien religions that do not truly speak to our souls.

Is this not the same basic goal of the Universalist(in spite of it's wiccan elements)? This does not add further support to your argument in favor of over-elaborating the defintion of atheism.

Sigurd
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 08:35 PM
Do you mean that Folkish is exclusively Germanic and Universalist is exclusively non-Germanic? My argument still holds the same. These are also “differing opinions” which reduce to the same thing.

Your argument holds, but where did I stated any different? I stated that both are the same basic thing: Germanic Heathens, but that even where the same basic idea prevails, difference in ultimate goals, difference in interpretation and difference in approach can be a good cause to refer to both as somewhat different by elaborating and thus further qualifying their school of thought.

Otherwise, one could just as well argue: We are all Germanic Preservationists, where is the need to over-elaborate as to being National Socialists, National Communists, National Anarchists, Libertarians, you name it? Since the same basic goal is the preservation of our culture? ;)

Nachtengel
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 08:46 PM
Do you mean that Folkish is exclusively Germanic and Universalist is exclusively non-Germanic? My argument still holds the same. These are also “differing opinions” which reduce to the same thing.

Definition of Folkish Heathenism(Can't remember where I found this, my apologies):


Is this not the same basic goal of the Universalist(in spite of it's wiccan elements)? This does not add further support to your argument in favor of over-elaborating the defintion of atheism.
What is so hard to understand? Nobody disagrees with this.
What we said was that atheism has a common denominator: rejection of theism. Like heathenism has the same basic goal, even if it's folkish or universalist.

You started to define atheism according to only one of its subsets: positive or strong atheism. That's like defining heathenism as universalist only, and saying folkish heathens aren't true heathens, because they don't agree with universalists. It's a fallacy.

Let me make another allusion so you can understand, k? All Germans are Germanic. Every German is a Germanic. But not all Germanics are German. Some are Danish. Some are English. Just like, all strong atheists are atheist. Every strong atheist is an atheist. But not all atheists are strong atheists. Some are agnostic atheists. Atheism, like Germanic, is an umbrella term. You can define everyone sitting under umbrellas as umbrella users, but you can't define everyone as cardigan wearers just because the majority wear cardigans.

Siebenbürgerin
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 08:59 PM
I would not immediately equate theism with religion, understanding that religion can be a type of "folkway" - where it is not merely a system of faith and worship, but one of faith, worship and traditions.

When traditions are involved, they may be celebrated in their religious form, but also by people who lack much faith, and who certainly do not practice worship.

An example would be the approach 85% of people take to Christmas/Yule or Easter: Celebrated in a religious context, but oft by people with very little faith, who only ever go to church when someone marries or dies.

Another example would be most Jews, who observe Passover, eat Kosher and adhere to some Talmudic Laws, but have little faith and are never to be seen in the synagogue, instead pursuing other shady business.

As such, if religion is equated solely with theism, a person who nominally belongs to a faith but is a non-practitioner would be classed as an Atheist, when they are more commonly referred to as "Secular [insert random religion]". ;)

This would, if we understand Atheism as the lack of Theism, mean that about 90% of our fellow folk are Atheists, a statistic which would sound very puzzling to the average man. :shrug
Hmm, Sigurd, if I recall from reading statements by Heathens on Skadi, Hrodnand said that to him Heathenism, the old ways, isn't a religion, and Valkyrie said that she celebrates Christmas with her relatives because it's a tradition in her family. (I'm sorry if I attributed the statements wrongly, please correct me).

From my point of view, just celebrating Christmas and other traditions like it, doesn't make a person religious. Many atheists I know celebrate Christmas, because it's the habit in the area. But Christmas hasn't the same meaning to them. Sure, they've a Christmas tree, sing carols, give each others presents, but the true meaning of this holiday isn't sacred to them. They don't think much about the birth of Jesus Christ.

A religion without faith is difficult to imagine. Would you say if I decide to celebrate Yule tomorrow, or teach my children about Skadi, Njord and Freya one day, as characters of our folklore, that I become a Heathen? I'm sure many Heathens would find it offensive to call me that.

In my view, the peoples without faith, the peoples who generally don't believe in their gods, are atheists or agnostics, it doesn't matter what traditions they celebrate. When the Judgement day comes, a Christian in name, who never believed in God, and to who religion reduced itself to putting a Christmas tree in the living room or painting Easter eggs, is not going to be judged the same way as a Christian who believed in God.

Wulfram
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 09:01 PM
What is so hard to understand? Nobody disagrees with this.
What we said was that atheism has a common denominator: rejection of theism. Like heathenism has the same basic goal, even if it's folkish or universalist.

You started to define atheism according to only one of its subsets: positive or strong atheism. That's like defining heathenism as universalist only, and saying folkish heathens aren't true heathens, because they don't agree with universalists. It's a fallacy.

Let me make another allusion so you can understand, k? All Germans are Germanic. Every German is a Germanic. But not all Germanics are German. Some are Danish. Some are English. Just like, all strong atheists are atheist. Every strong atheist is an atheist. But not all atheists are strong atheists. Some are agnostic atheists. Atheism, like Germanic, is an umbrella term. You can define everyone sitting under umbrellas as umbrella users, but you can't define everyone as cardigan wearers just because the majority wear cardigans.

I understood perfectly, Angel:D. But your latest over-elaborated "answer" is not helping your cause. Perhaps if you were to reduce this...;)

Nachtengel
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 09:05 PM
I understood perfectly, Angel:D. But your latest over-elaborated "answer" is not helping your cause. Perhaps if you were to reduce this...;)
Reduce this to what? The idiotic fallacy that atheism is a religion because it has a common belief and a dogma?
Then every single politics, ideology, science, belief is also a religion. Infact, it would be difficult to find something that is not a religion, your agnosticism included. All agnostics agree on the same thing afterall, eh?

Ward
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 09:33 PM
Reduce this to what? The idiotic fallacy that atheism is a religion because it has a common belief and a dogma?
Then every single politics, ideology, science, belief is also a religion. Infact, it would be difficult to find something that is not a religion, your agnosticism included. All agnostics agree on the same thing afterall, eh?


Militant atheism can be considered a religion of sorts. Proselytizing atheistic crusaders like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins could be placed in this category, I would think.

Apart from that, atheism is an absolute term, so it makes no sense to qualify atheism as "strong" or "weak." One is either Godless or not.

Anything else is agnosticism, which is actually an umbrella term for a diverse group of people, whose doubts about the supernatural differ in various degrees.

Nachtengel
Sunday, September 13th, 2009, 12:39 AM
Militant atheism can be considered a religion of sorts. Proselytizing atheistic crusaders like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins could be placed in this category, I would think.
Militant nationalism can be considered a religion too?


Apart from that, atheism is an absolute term, so it makes no sense to qualify atheism as "strong" or "weak." One is either Godless or not.
One can be strongly godless or weakly godless. ;) Dawkins, who is considered an authority on atheism, recognizes degrees of atheism himself, on his belief scale (http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=124071). It's like hot. Hot can be 25 degrees Celsius, but it can be 40 too. It's not absolute.


Anything else is agnosticism, which is actually an umbrella term for a diverse group of people, whose doubts about the supernatural differ in various degrees.
See Dawkins' scale again. A strong atheist believes he knows, he is 100% sure. A weak atheist is not 100% sure, but he is sure enough not to be qualified as an agnostic.

Strong atheism scores on 7.


7 Strong atheist. ‘I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung "knows" there is one.’

Weak atheism is 6.


6 Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’

When you lean to reach 50%, the category of doubt or unknown, that's when you're an agnostic. Hence the name fence sitters, they don't dip their foot deep enough in either pond.

velvet
Sunday, September 13th, 2009, 01:18 AM
Militant atheism can be considered a religion of sorts. Proselytizing atheistic crusaders like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins could be placed in this category, I would think.

Atheism cannot be a religion. A religion requires a sacred myth, priests, prayers, confessions, rituals, and probably a dogma to distinct believers from non-believers (as we learned, Confucianism did not have a dogma, and therefor is not recognised as a religion by religious people, so obviously a dogma is required too).


Apart from that, atheism is an absolute term, so it makes no sense to qualify atheism as "strong" or "weak." One is either Godless or not.

'Godless' is a religious judgement. You're either chosen or doomed, godloved or godless.

All terms that hold no value whatsoever for an atheist.

But, you deny the qualifyers "strong" and "weak", but consider "militant" as a valid qualifyer? Doesnt make much sense. Either you consider a term absolute or not. If you do, also militant is an invalid qualifyer :P

Ward
Sunday, September 13th, 2009, 01:31 AM
Militant nationalism can be considered a religion too?

It can be, sure. Isn't there a lot of NationalSocialists who say NS is their religion? They aren't just being figurative. Hardcore Communists could be said to be religious as well.

Religion (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion): 4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith



One can be strongly godless or weakly godless. ;) Dawkins, who is considered an authority on atheism, recognizes degrees of atheism himself, on his belief scale (http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=124071). It's like hot. Hot can be 25 degrees Celsius, but it can be 40 too. It's not absolute.


See Dawkins' scale again. A strong atheist believes he knows, he is 100% sure. A weak atheist is not 100% sure, but he is sure enough not to be qualified as an agnostic.

Strong atheism scores on 7.



Weak atheism is 6.



When you lean to reach 50%, the category of doubt or unknown, that's when you're an agnostic. Hence the name fence sitters, they don't dip their foot deep enough in either pond.


Dawkins is just talking out of his arse.

In its strict sense, atheism is an absolute term for the absolute belief that there is no God(s). Anyone who has any uncertainties one way or the other is properly called an agnostic.

velvet: see the definition I posted for religion. "Militant" atheism fits under that definition.

Nachtengel
Sunday, September 13th, 2009, 01:52 AM
It can be, sure. Isn't there a lot of NationalSocialists who say NS is their religion? They aren't just being figurative. Hardcore Communists could be said to be religious as well.

Religion (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion): 4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
The sense of religion there is a different one from the one under which Xtianity, Judaism, Islam, Zoroastrianism and the like fall.


Dawkins is just talking out of his arse.

In its strict sense, atheism is an absolute term for the absolute belief that there is no God(s) Anyone who has any uncertainties one way or the other is properly called an agnostic.
He's a realist, and he isn't the only one who came up with categories of atheism. Philosophers Antony Flew, Michael Martin, and William L. Rowe have contrasted strong (positive) atheism with weak (negative) atheism. George H. Smith coined the terms implicit and explicit atheism.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/56/AtheismImplicitExplicit3.svg/800px-AtheismImplicitExplicit3.svg.png

velvet
Sunday, September 13th, 2009, 02:50 AM
velvet: see the definition I posted for religion. "Militant" atheism fits under that definition.

* Etymology: Middle English religioun, from Anglo-French religiun, Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back

* Date: 13th century

1 a : the state of a religious b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

Okay, until here I agree with the definition

3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness

It leaves the sphere of clear definition, although these are the things applied by religion-replacing policies (f.e. communism, where the state itself become the 'sacred myth' / god to adore)

4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

When you assign religion, a system as described in the first two or three paragraphs, with these extensions to almost everything (causes, principles, general ardor etc), everything can be put into the religious box, blurring its sense to absolutely meaningless in conversations, as noone knows what the hel the other talks about.

A cause (as in reason? intention?) applies to everything, as the world functions commonly in cause and effect events. Makes absolutely no sense to me at all.
Unless, the one who defined that is a convinced believer, and therefor applies 'cause' (all cause of everything) to god. This would be a religion-only definition and can not have an opposite, which in turn would make it an absolute.

And absolute, as in absolute -> singular, is an axiom. It is not even a theory, it got stuck in the state of an axiom :P

Ward
Sunday, September 13th, 2009, 04:41 AM
The sense of religion there is a different one from the one under which Xtianity, Judaism, Islam, Zoroastrianism and the like fall.

Militant atheists are those who approach their beliefs with what one could accurately describe as a "religious fervor." They hold an unscientific faith that the world will better off if they can convert everyone to atheism.



It leaves the sphere of clear definition, although these are the things applied by religion-replacing policies (f.e. communism, where the state itself become the 'sacred myth' / god to adore)


Since when are you an expert in the English language? ;)

True, the term "religion" is not typically associated with atheism in colloquial use. It is generally used to designate the various belief-systems in the supernatural.

But in a deeper, more metaphysical sense, it makes sense to apply the "religion" label to certain secular social movements. When these movements are viewed as such, we can often gain a better understanding of them and the psychological impulses of their followers. The use of the term "God" is not essential to make a religion. "God" can take other, equally mystic, forms.

Marxism, for instance, is a self-proclaimed atheistic ideology, and is viewed by the laymen as such. But Marxists have merely replaced "God" with the pseudo-scientific dogmas of "Dialectical Materialism"; trading a transcendental theology for an immanent one.

So, atheism can indeed be religious in some cases.

velvet
Sunday, September 13th, 2009, 02:49 PM
Militant atheists are those who approach their beliefs with what one could accurately describe as a "religious fervor." They hold an unscientific faith that the world will better off if they can convert everyone to atheism.

No. When you start to describe every stronger emotion, fervor, ardor, even conviction itself, as 'religion', you would exclude the possibility that one can be areligious at all, as this are perfectly human feelings and emotions, that existed long before the term 'religion' was invented and loaded with the methods of a thought reforming concept to its nowadays accepted meaning.

Your notion that atheists would hold an unscientific faith shows the effects of exactly this thought reform, as religion declares science such as psychology or more specific socio-psychology as humbug, discrediting it, and this notion reveales you as a conformist to this thought reform.


True, the term "religion" is not typically associated with atheism in colloquial use. It is generally used to designate the various belief-systems in the supernatural.

Where the term is correct and where it should stay.


But in a deeper, more metaphysical sense, it makes sense to apply the "religion" label to certain secular social movements. When these movements are viewed as such, we can often gain a better understanding of them and the psychological impulses of their followers. The use of the term "God" is not essential to make a religion. "God" can take other, equally mystic, forms.

Religion and god / a supernatural are untearable. It makes no sense to apply this term to each and everything. And you should note that this is a tricky move to keep people from questioning the religion, as its opponents can be, and are, attacked on grounds of twisted meanings.


Marxism, for instance, is a self-proclaimed atheistic ideology, and is viewed by the laymen as such. But Marxists have merely replaced "God" with the pseudo-scientific dogmas of "Dialectical Materialism"; trading a transcendental theology for an immanent one.

In marxism the state has taken the place of god, and the state system is a replacement for the religious service to said god. Marxism is mainly anti-christian, not atheist.
The confusement comes from the undifferenciated view that everyone who denies the christian god must be an atheist, revealing first of all the mental position of the critic.


So, atheism can indeed be religious in some cases.

Only when you swollow the christian viewpoint and view atheism as a counter-religion. This though is not the viewpoint of an atheist.
An atheist views religion as a mental sickness which should be nursed. And it is this view from which certain actions follow, if the atheist acts, which you twist into the 'religious context'. But all you do is revealing yourself as a conformist to the 'religious thought reform' ;)

Ward
Sunday, September 13th, 2009, 09:07 PM
Your notion that atheists would hold an unscientific faith shows the effects of exactly this thought reform, as religion declares science such as psychology or more specific socio-psychology as humbug, discrediting it, and this notion reveales you as a conformist to this thought reform.

What is your problem? I explained how certain groups of "atheists" do cling fervently to patently unscientific beliefs, with secular Marxists providing a classic example. The phenomenon of Marxism can be best understood when examined as a religion. Can you not understand that the concept of "God" can take various forms? If you can make this connection, then you should realize that religion can, technically speaking, take a variety of forms.

Merriam Webster even supports my contention. Not much left to say, really.


Where the term is correct and where it should stay.

Yeah, well if the topic of religion came up during small talk with a random stranger at a bus stop, I would stick to layman's terms and not bother discussing it any deeper than that.

Obviously, I made a mistake in trying take this discussion with you beyond the street level.

velvet
Sunday, September 13th, 2009, 10:47 PM
What is your problem? I explained how certain groups of "atheists" do cling fervently to patently unscientific beliefs, with secular Marxists providing a classic example. The phenomenon of Marxism can be best understood when examined as a religion. Can you not understand that the concept of "God" can take various forms? If you can make this connection, then you should realize that religion can, technically speaking, take a variety of forms.

Can you not read? I didnt dispute the 'religious' form of communism / marxism.

I just tried to point your observation to the underlying system that was used to design communism / marxism as religion-replacing states form.
This system was first invented with 'religion', in socio-psychology it is called Thought Reform (google for it, you'll find some interesting explanations).
Therefor, it is correct to call communism / marxism a religion. It is however not correct to call it atheistic, because what they did was renaming Jahwe to [random state] and religious service to state service.

See the difference?



Obviously, I made a mistake in trying take this discussion with you beyond the street level.

Now dont play the affronted, doesnt suit you :P

But see above. It makes no sense to discuss a topic with terms on which we dont agree about their meaning.
This will lead to misunderstanding, superfluous ones, so before we discuss 'religion', we should try to clear about what we talk.

Just because fervor emotions and ardor are commonplace among religious people, doesnt make these emotions religious-only. That's a fallacy in my eyes. I just tried to point that out.

Ocko
Monday, September 14th, 2009, 12:56 AM
Let's get practical to see that atheism is a belief:

A few years ago my sister had 2 miscarriages and I was pregnang with again. In order to help her I followed my pagan belief. After some preparation I went to a powerplace I frequently use. there I called upon my ancestors and some spirits as well as the Gods of the North. I sacrificed food and then I cut myself and sacrificed my blood. And asked the spirits for help. After a while i got the order to go to a certain place (maybe 20 yards away) and look at the moon. It was full moon the sky was completly covered by clouds. There was only a circular opening around the perfectly moon disk. In this opening appeared shadows (patches of clouds) which took on certain forms. I felt my task was to dissolve the shadows.the shadows rapidly changed their form until the opening was clear. I stood there for a while longer but nothing happened any further. So I assumed that little ceremony was over.

A few month later she gave birth to a strong boy. She recently told me he is going to be taller than 1,90. The is pregnang again a due in October.



As I am a religious person I apply the following logic: There was a problem, I went to a powerplace, I sacrificed to the Gods, they gave me a task, I succeeded, my sister has children now. So far so good.

What would an atheist make out this? He would say there is no proof of any connection it is just all accident.

I state that atheists wouldn't use logic because they don't BELIEVE in Gods. The logic which is at hand they explain with accident. Therefore I state, atheists don't use logic but explain the logic they don't want to use with a concept of accidence.

That is like if you want to buy some chewing gum, you go to a store, put money on the table and the sales girl gives you the chewing gum. So far everything seems to be logical or? But now an atheists would say. Sales girls don't exist. That you got your chewing gum has nothing to do with all the other things. It can't because sales girls don't exist.

The only logic atheists apply is in accordance with their belief system. things they can't explain are 'accidents'.

The very concept of accidence is an area where they say logic doesn't apply because for them they wouldn't accept the cause and effect. But logic is based on cause and effect. To accept accidence they have to throw out logic. But they never argue, that accidence is logically possible. For them there is a world which only works with cause and effect. And what can't be explained with their logic simply doesn't exist. And for those things that doesn't exist but obviously happens they come up with the trick of accidence, which is a convinient placebo for them, because it numbs the logical mind. With this placebo they can go on be an atheist.

I am not trying to be a missionary and whoever wants to be atheist should keep being one. There are fine people among them. But for me it simply doesn't make sense

Ocko
Monday, September 14th, 2009, 12:58 AM
sorry,

Of course it wasn't me who was pregnant again. I have never been and for the rest of my life will never be

Ocko
Monday, September 14th, 2009, 01:05 AM
logic uses terms and logical connections between those terms.

If you just accept a certain set of terms you don't get the same results of someone who uses more terms.

For me an atheists who accepts a certain result and therefore skews the terms so that his result looks logical

velvet
Monday, September 14th, 2009, 01:40 PM
The shop girls allegory is quite stupid I have to say


A more useful one would be: you walk the street and find a 100 dollar note.
A believer would say: god laid it there for me.
An atheist would say: someone lost it.

The believer would conclude that there must be a reason for it, that god intended him to find it, that it has a purpose.

The atheist doesnt think about that. Someone lost it, he found it, end of story. The atheist does neither exclude the possibility that it will have or get a purpose nor does he exclude the possibility that it has no purpose at all. The atheist just thinks: it is just so.

The difference is that while the believer thinks he has to find a purpose for everything (which can be viewed as obsessive) the atheist accepts that there dont have to be a reason for everything.


But I have another question for you.
Would you equal the term religion by all means with a faith in the gods or with 'belief' as such? You state your religion in your profile as none/pagan, so you dont apply religion to yourself. You obviously think, and I actually do agree with that, that there is a difference between 'religion' (as defined by christianity and the other world religions) and faith or belief. That both happens on another level, both spiritually and for the concrete life. Religion orders your life through and through, while a belief or faith can, but must not necessarily have that influence.
That the direction of the functioning is another. You decide yourself when it's time to sacrifice to your gods, there is no stiff corsette which forces you to anything. Religion on the other demands that service and also defines how and probably where you have to do that service.

So belief or faith on one hand and religion on the other is not the same. Would you agree?

Wulfram
Monday, September 14th, 2009, 02:15 PM
...you walk the street and find a 100 dollar note.
A believer would say: god laid it there for me.
An atheist would say: someone lost it.

The believer would conclude that there must be a reason for it, that god intended him to find it, that it has a purpose.

The atheist doesnt think about that. Someone lost it, he found it, end of story. The atheist does neither exclude the possibility that it will have or get a purpose nor does he exclude the possibility that it has no purpose at all. The atheist just thinks: it is just so.

The difference is that while the believer thinks he has to find a purpose for everything (which can be viewed as obsessive) the atheist accepts that there dont have to be a reason for everything.


I am sure there are many believers out there who would also say “someone lost it”. There are also going to be believers who are not going to say “g-d did this for me”. Unless you know every single believer personally and give them this test of honesty then there is no way to know how a believer or an atheist is going to react. For all we know an atheist could see the money as a sign of g-d and convert to theism on the spot. I have known a few believers in my life that were not above saying “Things like this just happen” in order to explain the unexplainable. They did not asign the mystery to a g-d nor did they attempt to explain it.

The agnostic would try and find the person who lost the money before keeping it.
The atheist would pocket the money and move on, refusing to see a possible solution.

velvet
Monday, September 14th, 2009, 03:07 PM
I am sure there are many believers out there who would also say “someone lost it”. There are also going to be believers who are not going to say “g-d did this for me”. Unless you know every single believer personally and give them this test of honesty then there is no way to know how a believer or an atheist is going to react. For all we know an atheist could see the money as a sign of g-d and convert to theism on the spot.

Could. You're trying to interprete again and push open doors to possibilities that dont help you to understand an atheist thought.


The agnostic would try and find the person who lost the money before keeping it.
The atheist would pocket the money and move on, refusing to see a possible solution.

Unless you know every single atheist personally and give them this test of inhonesty then there is no way to know how a believer or an atheist is going to react.

You conclude that an atheist is 'by nature' inhonest and a believer or agnostic is by nature honest.

Dont you think you try to imply a little too much?

This is what I really hate about desperate believers, they think they have invented 'moral', right and wrong, consciously ignoring that there are reasons for law and a definition for right and wrong on pure social grounds, without a god-given 'moral' (which in the case of christianity is anyway disgusting).

Wulfram
Monday, September 14th, 2009, 03:32 PM
Could. You're trying to interprete again and push open doors to possibilities that dont help you to understand an atheist thought.

This is not interpretation, but my attempt to prove the non logic of basic atheism, which has borrowed heavily from agnosticism in order to make it sound sensible.


Unless you know every single atheist personally and give them this test of inhonesty then there is no way to know how a believer or an atheist is going to react.

You conclude that an atheist is 'by nature' inhonest and a believer or agnostic is by nature honest.

I never have concluded this. There are good and bad representatives from both atheism as well as agnosticism. But whether good or bad, atheism is not reasonable.


Dont you think you try to imply a little too much?

You are equally guilty of this in your post to Ocko.


This is what I really hate about desperate believers, they think they have invented 'moral', right and wrong...

How am I a believer?
I have never "invented" any moral other than to try and follow those that have already been well established and work to my benefit as well as others.


...consciously ignoring that there are reasons for law...

Reasons which have still yet to be explained sufficiently by an atheist without having to rely on agnosticism to bolster their arguments.


...and a definition for right and wrong on pure social grounds, without a god-given 'moral'.

I too ascribe to morals that have proven themselves to work. I have never tried to re-define them or give a "g-d" any credit for creating them.

velvet
Monday, September 14th, 2009, 04:11 PM
This is not interpretation, but my attempt to prove the non logic of basic atheism, which has borrowed heavily from agnosticism in order to make it sound sensible.

You consider it more useful to refuse to discuss a given fact? And then call your (conscious?) misinterpretion of that 'logic'?


I never have concluded this. There are good and bad representatives from both atheism as well as agnosticism.


The agnostic would try and find the person who lost the money before keeping it.
The atheist would pocket the money and move on, refusing to see a possible solution.

I think it speaks for itself.


But whether good or bad, atheism is not reasonable.

As long as you twist any argument, you will of course not see logic.

You see, I try it to explain to you:
2 + 2 = 4

The two 2s are given facts, with which you can work, for example add them. Or multiply them, it would still be 4. The given facts create a result which is verifiyable by everyone.

What you are trying with your notion above is like 2 + 2 = 5, because you consider a 'hidden or extra 1' possible, and then try to explain that 2 + 2 = 4 is illogical, because it only cares about the given facts.

I dont know what you want to reach with that :shrug


How am I a believer?

You believe that there is a creator. Whether you call that Jahwe or god or whatever doesnt change its attribute of being the 'creator of everything' and that without that creator there would be no sense whatsoever to human's existence.
I call that a believer.


I have never "invented" any moral other than to try and follow those that have already been well established and work to my benefit as well as others.

Well, I question this 'well established moral', as it is entirely christian.


Reasons which have still yet to be explained sufficiently by an atheist without having to rely on agnosticism to bolster their arguments.

Care to elaborate? How is social behavior or laws dependend on 'agnostic' explanations?

Wulfram
Monday, September 14th, 2009, 04:37 PM
You consider it more useful to refuse to discuss a given fact? And then call your (conscious?) misinterpretion of that 'logic'?

We are discussing it. But you have no proof of "fact" and neither do I. The agnostic admits this, the atheist insists that it does have proof. I have not misinterpreted what you've said.


I think it speaks for itself.

I was only making an example. It was not a final diagnosis.


You believe that there is a creator.

I never said this. I am open to the possibility.
An atheist tries to say that they also do not totally discount it as well, but they have to borrow from agnosticism to do this, whereas agnosticism never has to borrow from atheism.
Basic atheism say g-d does not exist. If elaborated defintions such as "atheist agnostic" cannot rely on the original basic definition then the foundations for these superfluous explanations crumble. As I said before, there is no need to elaborate. All forms of atheism simply cannot be valid without that original basic definition.


Whether you call that Jahwe or god or whatever doesnt change its attribute of being the 'creator of everything' and that without that creator there would be no sense whatsoever to human's existence.
I call that a believer.

I have never called "it" anything. I have only alleged that a creator is responsible, which is why I frequently write it out like this: "creator".
You still have not proven how I am a believer.


Well, I question this 'well established moral', as it is entirely christian.

Are we talking about the same morals here?


Care to elaborate? How is social behavior or laws dependend on 'agnostic' explanations?

I said that atheism was dependent upon agnosticism.

velvet
Monday, September 14th, 2009, 05:55 PM
I never said this. I am open to the possibility.
An atheist tries to say that they also do not totally discount it as well, but they have to borrow from agnosticism to do this, whereas agnosticism never has to borrow from atheism.
Basic atheism say g-d does not exist. If elaborated defintions such as "atheist agnostic" cannot rely on the original basic definition then the foundations for these superfluous explanations crumble. As I said before, there is no need to elaborate. All forms of atheism simply cannot be valid without that original basic definition.

This is what I mean with twisting.
The believer or agnostic wants to discuss 'the creator'. Fine. Now the believer or agnostic wants to discuss that with an atheist, who says: there is no creator.
At this point the discussion is closed, because the two hold entirely diametral views onto the world. They cannot discuss, because they dont agree on what you call the 'original basic definition'.

When you manage to trick the atheist nonetheless into a discussion, he is forced to take an 'agnostic' standpoint in that discussion, because a believer or agnostic cannot take an atheist standpoint. What you in turn turn into an accusation of 'borrowing from agnosticism'.

So whatever the atheist does it is wrong. If he doesnt discuss with you because he knows it will lead to nowhere due to the two diametral 'basic definitions' you will call him ignorant, arrogant or whatever, if he does, he traps into the next accusation of borrowing from something else.


I said that atheism was dependent upon agnosticism.

As I explained above, this 'problem' only occurs in conversations between atheists and believers or agnosticists.
Where the atheist can take, for discussion's sake, the standpoint that allows for this possibility, the believer or agnosticist is not able to take an atheist standpoint to discuss the same question on an equal level from an atheist angle.

And again I repeat: a complete lack of hints to such a creator do not create a sufficient ground to establish such a belief. Not even for the possibility that there could be one.

The same problem occurs when the believer or agnostic demand proof for the creator's nonexistence. Such a proof is logically not possible: you cannot establish positive proof against something which does not exist.

But since there is likewise no positive proof for it, the discussion is void. You can either stick to what you have (no proof whatsoever) and say 'it doesnt exist' or you say 'the lack of proof can be interpreted as hint for it'. This are two roads that are diametral opposed to each other and actually make a conversation impossible.

For an atheist the assumption that there could be a creator is illogical, whereas the agnostic or believer assumes that there is very likely/certainly one and then call everything that does not agree with this premise illogical.

Ocko
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009, 02:48 AM
@ velvet

'But I have another question for you.
Would you equal the term religion by all means with a faith in the gods or with 'belief' as such? You state your religion in your profile as none/pagan, so you dont apply religion to yourself. You obviously think, and I actually do agree with that, that there is a difference between 'religion' (as defined by christianity and the other world religions) and faith or belief.'


Yes, for me religion is the exoteric expression of internal happenings for a real religious men.

For example the christian (paulinic) rule: women should be quite in church is taken exoterical by religion in that way, that woman has no role in church hierarchy. What St. Paul really meant was: 'woman' is a key for emotion, 'church' is a key for a religious exercise, lets say for ease of understanding it's prayer/meditation. The meaning of this is that during the exercise you should not be emotional about something because it will distract you from your exercise and therefore from going into a higher internal world.

The exoteric meaning is utterly meaningless for any religious advanced person. Whether women talk in church or not, who really cares? You can be present to women talking as well as yourself while talking.
There is no difference for being present (out of imagination) no matter what is around you.

Yes my exercises or tasks are not determined by religious services or rules or patterns.
I go by what one would say are omens. (If I see 3 eagles in a month that means something for me. Eagles are messengers of the high one. I know for you its weird and all accident, its just a different understanding. And understanding depends on your being ((Jesus said you have to be like children. Rilke (the poem druide/goth) said Wisdom is the understanding of a child)).

For becoming religious you have to not be afraid of losing your sanity.
Your logic is a prison.


For me, nothing in this world is worth the excitement of dealing with the spirits/angels. The world of atheists for me would be boring, dead.

velvet
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009, 12:35 PM
Thanks for answering ;)

I just want to add that there is a reason why I state myself as 'Heathen atheist', so the heathen approach to our original gods and the faith in them is not so alien to me as it may seem, and I dont reject this.

My full-blown atheism mainly aims at the christian religion and their notion of god. I think that it is impossible to understand the nature of our gods as long as we accept the christian definition and expect our gods to be like this.

Ocko
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009, 02:53 PM
Most people who talk about God or Gods have no experience of them (neither do I). I simply know that something exists out there by experience. I know there are spirits/angels is something else. (there are also bad spirits ((for political correctness they are not bad in a moral sense but they aren't beneficiary for you but try to use you))).

People talk about God who is the most difficult to reach and a being you have to be worthy of to get in contact.

I would start with my ancestors, keep a corner with their pictures and put a light in front of them, offer them some food or whatever. 'take care' of them amd try to get in contact. They will 'talk' to you. They are closest to you and most likely not harmful.

Then there are helper spirits most often in form of animals. Bears, wolfs, birds, etc. (the general german helper animal is the eagle which still the main feature in the Bundestag, not a cross to mention that). Your individual helperspirit (or several of them) will reveal itself through omens, or if you had curious experiences with a certain animal it is most likely that it tries to show you who they are. Internally asks them to give you a sign, ask them often and seriously and then watch what happens.

If you seriously want to know whether God exists or not you have ways to find out. A fruitless discussion about it without seeking to find out isn't really the thing

Soljah
Thursday, August 5th, 2010, 11:45 AM
i have met some insanely religious fruitcake atheists -- a lot of them belong to skeptic societies (their church) where they conglomerate and ridicule everything from aromatherapy (apparently there is no proof that lavendar relaxes you) to poltergeists.
so imo, very religious. its just atheists don't worship a God, instead they worship a no-god, still a religion

Fyrgenholt
Thursday, August 5th, 2010, 01:21 PM
Atheism means different things to different people. It becomes a belief when a person is too reluctant, stubborn, or whatever else to question things. When skepticism completely overtakes the mindframe atheism becomes a belief in no god. Otherwise, I think atheism is a mind-set, a 'philosophy', or something of those sorts.

Interestingly, a poster of 'atheist videos' on Youtube, recently posted a video critical of 'organised' atheism (almost an oxymoron, right?), due to his being criticised by supposed atheists (obviously the politicaly correct doolally sort) for questioning Islam, and not simply Christianity, as seems popular amongst the 'community'.

mC35KHoI6_E

Horagalles
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011, 10:09 PM
We do not "believe" that there is no god, we simply do not believe that there is a god, pending evidence. I call myself an atheist because I experience a lack of theism, which is what the word means to me, based on it's root words.
What you describe sounds more like agnostic.

I have to admit that I find it rather strange that atheists have such a problem with their believe system actually being a religion. And I notice that most atheists actually did fill in "atheism" in the field where religion has been asked to be filled in;).

velvet
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011, 11:16 PM
I have to admit that I find it rather strange that atheists have such a problem with their believe system actually being a religion.

Because it is none.

Although there is no single definition of religion, all (almost 100) definitions consists at their basis of a "belief in the holy / all-comprising / absolute / god / whatever you want to call this being that is the be-all and end-all of everything" and as such is the source of all sense in/for life.

Atheism denies exactly this "being", so it cannot by either definition be a religion.



And I notice that most atheists actually did fill in "atheism" in the field where religion has been asked to be filled in;).

Because there is no field asking for "life philosophy" :P

When you ask a biased question, you cannot expect an unbiased answer :)

Schwanengesang
Thursday, April 14th, 2011, 01:16 AM
Atheism denies exactly this "being", so it cannot by either definition be a religion.


^THIS makes anything I'd ever say irrelevant.

Thank you, honestly.

Horagalles
Thursday, April 14th, 2011, 09:58 AM
Because it is none.Well, I say it is, just like christianity, buddhism, heathenism would be. And I think the real reason atheism don't won't to admit that their belief system is a religion is because they want to use the word religion to label others and avoid some legal implication being a religion may have.


Although there is no single definition of religion, all (almost 100) definitions consists at their basis of a "belief in the holy / all-comprising / absolute / god / whatever you want to call this being that is the be-all and end-all of everything" and as such is the source of all sense in/for life.

Atheism denies exactly this "being", so it cannot by either definition be a religion.....That's setting the definition for religion to be in a way that it doesn't include atheism. Of course with that technique you can win any debate.

The definitions that I got spontaneously can easily accomodate atheism, i.e.

A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
(previously included in the article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion at the moment there it starts with...)...Religion is a cultural system that creates powerful and long-lasting meaning, by establishing symbols that relate humanity to beliefs and values.
So a religion can contain supernatural(or for that matter spritual, metaphysical) agencies (or beings), but that is not necessary so. Atheist will usually deny that they belief in some supernatural agency, but that they actually invoke something like that in their arguments is certainly debatable. And professing that there isn't any supernatural agency is also making a faith based statement about the supernatural/spiritual/metaphysical. And that's what atheism does do.
One can agree that atheism is a cultural system creating powerful meaning and establishing symbols. All that can be shown with people like Dawkins and their followers as well as many others. It is cultural in the sense that it is derived from earlier practices and beliefs, it creates powerful meaning as they obviously feel very strong about their beliefs and they do establish symbols in the form of logos including an A, have their prophets like dawkins and also guiding literature. The combination of this and other tenets clearly indicates religion.

velvet
Thursday, April 14th, 2011, 12:06 PM
Well, I say it is, just like christianity, buddhism, heathenism would be. And I think the real reason atheism don't won't to admit that their belief system is a religion is because they want to use the word religion to label others and avoid some legal implication being a religion may have.
That's setting the definition for religion to be in a way that it doesn't include atheism. Of course with that technique you can win any debate.

And theists twist every given fact to make implications that arent there to win their nonsensical argument.

The question is, why are theists so eager to make atheism a religion? What is their agenda? What evil intent do they follow?



The definitions that I got spontaneously can easily accomodate atheism, i.e.

They cannot


So a religion can contain supernatural(or for that matter spritual, metaphysical) agencies (or beings), but that is not necessary so.

So, according to your self made-up definition everything is a religion. From using the toilet to going to work. Since it doesnt have to include any extra-natural being, you cant deny that your use of the toilet really is a religion. :shrug


Atheist will usually deny that they belief in some supernatural agency, but that they actually invoke something like that in their arguments is certainly debatable.

Why is it that theists cannot understand the implication of the absense of ANY belief?

Because this is what Atheism really means, the absense of belief.



And professing that there isn't any supernatural agency is also making a faith based statement about the supernatural/spiritual/metaphysical. And that's what atheism does do.

No, it's based in the fact that there is absolutely no hint whatsoever that there could be any form of god as stated by religions, aka the creator of the universe, the creator of life etc.

There is just nothing of this kind. This is not a "faith based belief", but a conclusion drawn from facts.



One can agree that atheism is a cultural system creating powerful meaning and establishing symbols. All that can be shown with people like Dawkins and their followers as well as many others. It is cultural in the sense that it is derived from earlier practices and beliefs, it creates powerful meaning as they obviously feel very strong about their beliefs and they do establish symbols in the form of logos including an A, have their prophets like dawkins and also guiding literature. The combination of this and other tenets clearly indicates religion.

I have never read anything by this Mr Dawkins, I dont possess any books or works trying to establish a "belief system" of whatever kind, I dont have "prophets", I dont sport symbols for my nonexistent belief. Yet, you will continue to make such claims, in order to prove, based on twisted opinions, that ALL atheists surely must follow those prophets and that they therefore also have a religion, even those who never heard of Dawkins or others of that confused ilk. What for?

What agenda do you follow? Why cant you accept that some people simply dont believe? Because you cannot attack people who have no belief.


And isnt it rather pervert that people are forced to take a definition made by "believers"? Believers state that there is a god, and people who dont believe this are called a-theists, Gottlose, godless. As if "god" was a given fact. It is a rather insulting definition, and one that exemplifies how deeply the hijacking of language by believers really goes. Every word that one would need in modern languages (including ancient Greek, where this word originates) to describe the absense is hijacked and occupied by believers, there is no neutral words. Everything is occupied from the standpoint of believers.


Believers will therefore forever be unable to really understand the "Atheist" standpoint, because they cannot view the world with neutral eyes. They will continue their totalist thinking and try to bully non-believers into THEIR definitions to be able to attack them, suppress them, brainwash them into their own dependent position. They just cannot stand that people are free of these superstitions, and free of the mechanisms to control their thinking. And because believers are weak and dependent, there is nothing more frightening for them than people who are not weak and dependent, because these people are much harder to control, and peer-pressure doesnt work on them either. And monotheist religions really perfected the totalistic brainwash machinery (http://www.rickross.com/reference/brainwashing/brainwashing19.html).

Plantagenet
Sunday, April 17th, 2011, 04:43 AM
I'd say atheism is a belief that is looking more and more like a religion. A disorganized religion for sure with no definable figurehead, leadership, place of worship, or strict dogma, but a religion nonetheless.

Atheists, with some variation, appear to have a general set of agreed world-views, the primary view being naturalism and the infallibility of science. Atheists are often fanatical about their atheism, perhaps on an equal level to that of the religious extremists they often proclaim hatred of. Atheists, at least on the internet, seem to be among the most vocal and fervent of proselytizers of their belief system. Atheists have their own saints or figures they look up to as well; Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Victor Stenger, Richard Carrier, and (once upon a time) Anthony Flew for example. Atheists have their own apologists/polemicists, their own websites/organizations, and their own sub-cultures. They have even had instances where their "religion" was the state religion, ie the various Communist regimes.

One thing I've noticed about many atheists (though of course not all of them) is that they often seem very bitter, filled with a hatred toward religion, and much like leftists also seem to hate when people have opinions that do not agree with their own (then again this might be because most atheists are leftists.) This seems especially true for ex-Christian atheists. Finally one trait so common to modern atheists seems to be a smug sense of intellectual superiority, believing with as much conviction as a religious fundamentalist that their view is correct, the only rational belief, and that all who do not agree are either weak, idiotic, brainwashed, or at best misinformed.

This has been my observations of atheists throughout my life. Not all fit this mold, but many do. Of course atheism can't be a real religion in the sense that religion usually requires spirituality and a belief in a higher reality and usually atheists deny those things. However, atheists do make claims about religion, God, the meaning of life and death, and other factors that usually falls to religion to answer and atheists themselves share many common traits. In this sense many atheists do resemble a religion (or at least a cult.)

Ishild
Saturday, August 11th, 2012, 08:29 PM
Atheism is under no circumstances a belief, but opinion.

Something either exists or does not exist.
So if there is no proof it does, it's safe, sane and reasonable to conclude it (most likely) doesn't - unless and until proven differently.


the only rational belief
Not all people who call themselves are atheists, they just think they are. As I said in the above...


filled with a hatred toward religion

Considering the repression and monstrosities done through centuries in the name of religion it only comes as natural.

ablutive
Saturday, August 11th, 2012, 10:25 PM
Atheism in itself is just a belief. Ceirtain strains of modern atheist thought are an entire worldview but it lacks the cultic aspect (rituals etc) of a religion.

Ishild
Sunday, August 12th, 2012, 11:20 AM
Atheism in itself is just a belief. Ceirtain strains of modern atheist thought are an entire worldview but it lacks the cultic aspect (rituals etc) of a religion.

Then, I can tell you that atheism you speak about isn't atheism. A rational atheistic does not believe, but think.
And the other sorts of atheist are usually the part-time ones: in between exams, football matches etc. Even those atheists don't have hierarchy nor church.
They don't have common ethics and morals among themselves. So it is not a religion. Maybe a popular belief of some subcultures, but religion: no.