PDA

View Full Version : Strong Atheism vs. Weak Atheism



Aeternitas
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 03:52 PM
Atheism is commonly divided into two types: strong atheism and weak atheism. Although only two categories, this distinction manages to reflect the broad diversity which exists among atheists when it comes to their positions on the existence of gods.

Weak atheism, also sometimes referred to as implicit atheism, is simply another name for the broadest and most general conception of atheism: the absence of belief in any gods. A weak atheist is someone who lacks theism and who does not happen to believe in the existence of any gods — no more, no less. This is also sometimes called agnostic atheism because most people who self-consciously lack belief in gods tend to do so for agnostic reasons.

Strong atheism, also sometimes referred to as explicit atheism, goes one step further and involves denying the existence of at least one god, usually multiple gods, and sometimes the possible existence of any gods at all. Strong atheism is sometimes called “gnostic atheism” because people who take this position often incorporate knowledge claims into it — that is to say, they claim to know in some fashion that certain gods or indeed all gods do not or cannot exist. [...]More here... (http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismquestions/a/strong_weak.htm)

If you are an atheist, what category do you classify yourself under, based on these definitions? Please take the poll.

I'm a weak atheist. I don't believe in any god(s), but I'm not concerned with proving that god(s) doesn't/don't exists(s). I just simply don't believe in any. I haven't come across any convincing facts to make me think otherwise.
So, I may be wrong and consider the possibility that I am wrong.
I'm not religious and I feel fine that way. I don't need a "god" in my life. But I am fine with religion and religious people as long as they don't try to impose their religion on others at any cost.

Pervitinist
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 04:23 PM
I'm a strong atheist concerning the Judeo-Christian (and Islamic) God because I find the very concept of a monotheistic God to be self-contradictory while being a weak or agnostic atheist concerning most other Gods in most senses of the word.

Besides, I think the crucial (and tricky) point about a-theism is not so much its epistemic status as a belief or lack thereof, but rather the definition of its object.

Nekron
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 10:30 PM
there is no God, but if there is one, it would not matter

Thruthheim
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 10:56 PM
The whole term "Atheism" implies we are Religious by default, or from birth. I'm not Religious, I'm not anything in that regard, labelling me something and calling it a belief only gives the question an unnatural bias towards the concept of Religion. Which is man-made.

Aupmanyav
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 11:37 PM
I am a strong atheist, but I am quite religious. In India, this sort of belief is known as 'Advaita' (non-dualism) in Hinduism. Advaita believes in a universal substrate, 'Brahman'. But 'Brahman' is not a God, it does not need to be worshiped, it does not interfere in human affairs. It is the quantum field constituting all things in the universe which also creates space-time.

In this theory, there is no soul, no karma, no heaven and hell, reincarnation is only changes in the field, and Nirvana is the understanding of this scheme of things. Of course, there are rules of social conduct, which Hinduism calls 'Dharma', and everybody is supposed to follow them. I do not have any problem with the Hindu myths, since I take them to be stories created to impart social sense and wisdom of life.

So for me, being religious is being cognisant of the scheme of things in the universe, and caring for our society and environment,

SineNomine
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 11:54 PM
Personally I am agnostic, but leaning towards deism. As a "religion" I like Satanism and its egotheism best.

Patrioten
Saturday, March 10th, 2007, 01:41 AM
Strong atheist. I can't see any logic behind claims of the existence of gods and what more. In my opinion religion is a product of human fantasy and imagination, created to quench the human mind's thirst for an explanation for everything's existence and meaning, back when science wasn't around to give an explanation. That's a basic instinct of humans, the need and desire to understand ones surroundings and the conditions, occurrences and patterns that helps to dictate life itself.

Even if there was a god it would be ridicilous for anyone to claim that their god or gods are the "right ones", on what criteria would you claim such a thing? The oldest religion? The religion with the most scriptures and relics? The religion with the most followers? The religion that just so happened to be the dominant one where you live and being the one your parents belong to even though some thousand years ago your ass would have been doomed by default for all eternity since your precious god didn't consider it worth the effort to spread his word to every continent at the same time and hence ensuring that you were believing in the wrong blasphemous faith?

Dr. Solar Wolff
Saturday, March 10th, 2007, 07:30 AM
I am a strong atheist, but I am quite religious. In India, this sort of belief is known as 'Advaita' (non-dualism) in Hinduism. Advaita believes in a universal substrate, 'Brahman'. But 'Brahman' is not a God, it does not need to be worshiped, it does not interfere in human affairs. It is the quantum field constituting all things in the universe which also creates space-time.

In this theory, there is no soul, no karma, no heaven and hell, reincarnation is only changes in the field, and Nirvana is the understanding of this scheme of things. Of course, there are rules of social conduct, which Hinduism calls 'Dharma', and everybody is supposed to follow them. I do not have any problem with the Hindu myths, since I take them to be stories created to impart social sense and wisdom of life.

So for me, being religious is being cognisant of the scheme of things in the universe, and caring for our society and environment,

This isn't bad! Here is how I explain myself. Imagine walking through a park and two old men are playing chess on a table and arguing. As you walk by, they stop you and want you to decide the argument. One says the world is flat and the other says the world is hollow. They grab you by the arm and won't let you go until you tell them which one is the truth.

Atheism is a reaction to religion. If there is not god, there is no religion and so the reaction of atheism is superfluous. If the concept of "god" does not ever originate in your mind, if, in your daily internal dialogue the word "god" does not ever arise, then there is no need to call upon some other external entity (atheism) to counter it.

This does not mean religion can not be appreciated in others or that it has no cultural value. For Germanics, especially, it is a link to our cultural heritage and for that reason alone it has value. Also, some practices of Germanic belief have real, practical outcome and so have value in themselves.

Aupmanyav
Saturday, March 10th, 2007, 12:05 PM
Dr. Solar Wolff, I would not agree that atheism is only a reaction to religion. How and why the world was created, how and what makes it go, are very valid questions. As Patriotpatrik said, trying to understand things is a normal human instinct. My atheism is my search for truth and answer to these problems. It is simple, not confusing, and quite satisfactory.

Blood_Axis
Saturday, March 10th, 2007, 12:41 PM
I'm a weak atheist. I don't believe in any god(s), but I'm not concerned with proving that god(s) doesn't/don't exists(s). I just simply don't believe in any. I haven't come across any convincing facts to make me think otherwise.
So, I may be wrong and consider the possibility that I am wrong.
I'm not religious and I feel fine that way. I don't need a "god" in my life. But I am fine with religion and religious people as long as they don't try to impose their religion on others at any cost.

Couldn't have said it better myself :) :thumbup

P.S. Struggling to prove that God(s) do(es) not exist, it is a kind of religious fanaticism in itself.

To me, it is as absurd as trying to convince the French not to eat frogs. What difference does it make for my own self-development if they eat frogs or not? :D (Of course, I don't want to be forced to eat frogs as well).

I hope you get my point by this stupid example... :)

Janus
Saturday, March 10th, 2007, 02:12 PM
I am no atheist at all but an agnostic since I came to the conclusion that there's always the possibility for God(s) to exist or not to exist and actually I don't think it matters much whether they do or not since we cannot change it at the moment. But I'm not only agnostic about God(s) but about almost everything.If I do not know something explicitely I will be agnostic about the topic and consider all possibilities as probable.
My opinion about strong atheism is a rather bad one as you can see in other threads already so I won't begin the discussion about it here aswell.

SubGnostic
Sunday, March 11th, 2007, 10:05 PM
created to quench the human mind's thirst for an explanation for everything's existence and meaning, back when science wasn't around to give an explanation.I think the early forms of religion (if you don't take any divine intervention into account) before they became political weapons, were attempts to explain life, sprung from the imagination and curiosity of man, rather than attempts to quench the thirst. Deities have been/are subliminal archetypes mirroring the mental world, qualities and values, of organic societies.

Have you ever thought there might be existence and meaning beyond the grasp of our corporeal senses?

Dr. Solar Wolff
Monday, March 12th, 2007, 07:02 AM
Dr. Solar Wolff, I would not agree that atheism is only a reaction to religion. How and why the world was created, how and what makes it go, are very valid questions. As Patriotpatrik said, trying to understand things is a normal human instinct. My atheism is my search for truth and answer to these problems. It is simple, not confusing, and quite satisfactory.

But Aupmanyav, we don't need religion to ponder the world. You use the words "why" and "created". If the universe goes on forever, then we need only go to mathematics. The universe exists because it couldn't be otherwise. There is no "why" and nobody had to "create" it. It is a mathematical certainty.

In order to "search for the truth", as you put it, you have to ask questions which can be solved. "Why" and who "created" the world are not researchable questions--that is why religious people talk this way. And both those questions are non-questions in the end, anyway.

Aupmanyav
Monday, March 12th, 2007, 04:59 PM
"Why" and who "created" the world are not researchable questions--that is why religious people talk this way.I do not know. Many things were unknown to us, even the falling of an apple.

Patrioten
Monday, March 12th, 2007, 05:31 PM
Have you ever thought there might be existence and meaning beyond the grasp of our corporeal senses?I don't think there is.

Mac Seafraidh
Monday, March 12th, 2007, 06:54 PM
I'm a weak atheist because at times I consider myself agnostic. Religion all just seems unreal for the most part. I just question the existance of god(s) at the same time.

Nachtengel
Tuesday, March 10th, 2009, 07:29 PM
I'm a convinced atheist, so strong. I don't think there is a god or other divine force and I won't be convinced with theoretical and philosophical arguments, but with solid proof only. ;)

Mac Seafraidh
Tuesday, March 10th, 2009, 08:41 PM
I'm a weak atheist because at times I consider myself agnostic. Religion all just seems unreal for the most part. I just question the existance of god(s) at the same time.

Strong Atheist now. All religion is rubbish. Nothing but fables. As far as Heathenism or Paganism goes I respect those because blood and soil is involved. Supernatural attributes, happenings, and or powers are a joke. I could of sworn I had taken this poll before and did not choose "weak." Guess I was wrong.

Ossi
Wednesday, March 11th, 2009, 12:37 AM
I despise religion, especially Judeo-Christian-Muslim religion. Non-religions atheist then? :D

Blood_Axis
Wednesday, March 11th, 2009, 01:01 PM
I despise religion, especially Judeo-Christian-Muslim religion. Non-religions atheist then? :D
Irreligious (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion)

Walterina
Saturday, March 28th, 2009, 06:03 PM
Well, you can't prove a negative. I am satisfied that there is no evidence for the existence of a God. I do not expect ever to be proven wrong.

The need for meaning and purpose in life and shared values in groups I do acknowledge. However it is apparent to me that these meanings, ethics or ideals sprang from the needs or wants of certain societies or were imposed on them by other people by the sword. They were not granted to them by a Divine non human figure.

Siebenbürgerin
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009, 07:58 PM
Well, you can't prove a negative. I am satisfied that there is no evidence for the existence of a God. I do not expect ever to be proven wrong.
But no evidence doesn't mean no existence. For centuries we had no evidence of some things, and then some theories were elaborated and verified. You can prove a negative in my view. You can prove the solar system is not geocentric (the planets don't spin around the Earth), because you prove it's heliocentric (the planets spin around the Sun), so that excludes the possibility that it spins around the Earth.

Hmm, I've to say sometimes I adopt a weak atheistic stance, I'm doubting the existence of God, but being a human I'm conscient that I'm predisposed to sin, even in my thoughts.

Aeternitas
Wednesday, July 1st, 2009, 12:20 AM
I dunno if just doubting the existence of god(s) would qualify as atheism per se, even weak one... Doubt, as a status between belief and disbelief would rather characterize an agnostic proper IMO. The agnostic is unsure whether there is (a) god(s) or not, while the atheist disbelieves, regardless if the stance is personal or viewed as an universal truth.

Reich des Waldes
Wednesday, July 1st, 2009, 01:18 AM
I think I would be classified as a weak Atheist. The existence of deities and an afterlife is irrelevant to me. At the very least it does not impact the decisions I make nor the actions I take. If deities truly do exist then they do not require my belief in them to perpetuate their existence. So I suppose it isn't so much me going out of my way to deny the existence but just the fact that it doesn't matter to me. Religion only really bugs me when it tries to degrade the power of human achievement/willpower (no atheists in foxholes garbage :oanieyes).

Bärin
Wednesday, July 1st, 2009, 05:46 AM
Strong. I don't think any kind of god exists but I also think that's a matter of fact, because there is no empirical evidence. The logical conclusion can only be there is/are no god/s. There are many things we can't see, like air or microscopic things, but they can be detected some other way. God can't be detected, because *gasp*, it doesn't exist. ;)

Méldmir
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009, 07:17 PM
I don't believe, but I of course do not know anything. But since I don't know anything, I might as well have equal belief in God, Odin, Santa Claus, or the classical spaghetti monster. I have thought about this and my own conclusion is not to believe because there is nothing that points in the direction of a supernatural being, and I believe in science instead, although that is also a belief.

According to wikipedia, there are som different sort of agnosticisms, theisms and atheisms other than just strong and weak.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism#Types_of_agnosticism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_and_strong_atheism


Edit: I didn't mean to offend Christians or Odinists when I grouped these gods with Santa and "the Spaghetti Monster", I should change them to some more widely respected dieties.

runder
Monday, December 14th, 2009, 01:52 AM
I'm an agnostic/weak athiest. I don't think that we can prove that there is no God, but I haven't been convinced that there is a God or that any particular religion is true.

Linnea
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010, 08:27 PM
I'm a Weak Atheist. I do not believe in a God. My sister is very Christian and has been trying to change my religious views for a few years now.

Micaela
Thursday, December 30th, 2010, 04:14 AM
I'm probably classified as a strong atheist. I do not believe there is a god, and I believe that even if we don't have all the evidence to disprove the existence of a god, religion doesn't have any evidence at all to prove it. There are a million ridiculous things that could possibly exist if their existence is based purely on belief. That doesn't make them true. An anonymous quotation puts it nicely: "Atheism is evidence without certainty; religion is certainty without evidence."

Stanley
Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 07:04 AM
I'd probably be classified as a weak atheist.

My stance is this: I deny the existence of any god man has or had believed in, as I believe they are complete and utter fictions. I do not, however, assert I know whether or not some ultimate force (i.e. god) is responsible for that which exists, and in the case that there is, I believe it is of no consequence in our earthly lives.

Spec
Friday, March 18th, 2011, 09:50 PM
Religion is practiced by man without one drop of evidence as to any deities existing. I would say that the concept of a higher being than ourselves is just another explanation of the unknown, so I hereby denounce all gods as incarnations of story-telling and imagination. Would this land me into the sector of "strong atheism"? I suppose so, but I really do not care to describe the beginning of the universe, and science/thinking is sufficient when describing natural occurrences.

Midnattsol
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011, 11:53 AM
The truth:

http://graphjam.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/atheist-and-god.gif

;)

Tristan-
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011, 03:36 PM
I don't believe in any god, yet do not claim with certainty that there is none.
Yet even if there were to be a god, I'd see no moral obligation to worship it.
Some gods (eg Christian/Jewish/Muslim deity) I'd even despise and rather spend the rest of eternity in hell (or whatever they've thought of to scare men) than tolerate its presence.
Why? Because if they exist they're bastards, whom I'd feel morally superior to.

Summarize:
I see no reason to believe anything I cannot verify with my (granted, limited) capacities as a human being.
No reason to.