Atheism: Belief or not a belief?

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22 Jun 2016 20:19 #246023 by
Replied by on topic Atheism: Belief or not a belief?

Wescli Wardest wrote:

Luthien wrote: Open and honest discussion is the best way, I've found, to either convince another person why they're wrong, or to come to a point of co-tolerance. I like to just discuss why I'm not and listen to why they are and respect their decision to remain that way.


Why would you want to convince another person that they are wrong?


My honest understanding of how it works is that both parties have a view theat they think is the correct view. They state why they think that way, then counter each other's points, then reach an understanding of what is wrong or right. That's my understanding of it, at least. In any regard, both are trying to convince the other why the other person is wrong. It's just a way of saying, "proofing one's logic," or finding the flaws in a point or argument. I think it helps to find a better, more solid foundation for one's conclusion.

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22 Jun 2016 20:21 - 22 Jun 2016 20:47 #246024 by OB1Shinobi

Miss_Leah wrote: There is such thing as secular morality.


only if you ignore the historical evolution of [our ideas on] morality

religious history and the history of morality are fundamentally intertwined; it is only now that we have modern, complex societies, which most definitely have sprung from our religious foundations and origins, that anyone can even conceive of the idea that religion and morality are or could be independent from each other

Miss_Leah wrote: The lack of belief in God/gods doesn't automatically mean belief in destructive social practices.


true, and i dont think its necessary to believe in God or Gods, per se, in order to want to be moral

but

in theory, the belief in "higher powers" places one in a context which he or she cannot ever hope to rise above

secular ethics mean nothing to the person who can dominate the secular world with impunity, because the underlying principle of secular ethics is that "things work better for all of us when we get along and treat each other well"

if i have the ability to wipe out 99.9999% of the earth, and totally dominate the remaining few, i have transcended the foundational constraints of modern, secular ethics

you can make the case that someone who would actually do this is not going to be swayed by fear of god either, but thats not anything you could prove and is not necessarily as reasonable as it might seem at first

supposing that someone does in fact really believe in God, it is easy to accept the possibility that such a person would restrain his or herself as a consequence of this belief

Miss_Leah wrote: It's not all about you, you know? ;)


well, from over here it sure looks like i am the one who is dreaming this funny dream :P

People are complicated.
Last edit: 22 Jun 2016 20:47 by OB1Shinobi.
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22 Jun 2016 20:28 #246026 by
Replied by on topic Atheism: Belief or not a belief?
My. Will you look at how fast this topic grew? Who knew? (don't answer that. :P )

:laugh:

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22 Jun 2016 20:35 - 22 Jun 2016 20:38 #246028 by Wescli Wardest

Miss_Leah wrote:

Wescli Wardest wrote: Secular morality is not much more than the passing fancy of what is commonly accepted at the time and changes with time and each passing generation. This can be seen and followed through the accounts of pass generations and cultures.

I am well aware that it is not all about me. In fact, it is not about me at all. :P I know what I believe and what I worship/adore. What I am not convinced of is that others have such clarity in their convictions.


So you don't trust your fellow man to have morals outside of an organized religion? It must be a very frightening world you live in!


I did not say that. I said, "Secular morality is not much more than the passing fancy of what is commonly accepted at the time" and that it, "changes with time and each passing generation."

An example is that a hundred years ago it was completely acceptable that a sixteen year old girl was wed to an older guy and that is not acceptable now.

Nor did I say that religion is the only place to obtain moral authority. As most religions have changed their own doctrine at some point to encorporate activities that would normally be outside the moral path previously laid down. And there again, it was man, secular decisions, that made those changes and told others it was backed by religion. Where most religions have strict laws that are not subjective.

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Last edit: 22 Jun 2016 20:38 by Wescli Wardest.

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22 Jun 2016 20:37 #246029 by Wescli Wardest
As to trusting my fellow man…

I trust people to be exactly what they are. For each person that is different. So you could say that I trust my fellow man completely. ;)

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22 Jun 2016 20:38 #246031 by
Replied by on topic Atheism: Belief or not a belief?
To say "There are no Gods" is a belief. But this is not atheism. Since you can never prove there are no Gods it becomes a belief and could possibly even be construed as a worldview.

But to say "I don't accept the existence of a God because there is no evidence to support it" is a position on a single issue. Its not a belief and its not a world view. This is the default stance on any single issue. If I say I have an invisible purple unicorn in my garage, your default position is to not believe me unless I can prove to you that I, in fact, do have an invisible purple unicorn in my garage. This is the premise that not only Atheism but any logical process operates under. An atheist takes the default option of disbelief in the claim that a God exists, not that no Gods exist no matter what.

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22 Jun 2016 20:42 #246032 by Loudzoo

Wescli Wardest wrote: Secular morality is not much more than the passing fancy of what is commonly accepted at the time and changes with time and each passing generation. This can be seen and followed through the accounts of pass generations and cultures.

I am well aware that it is not all about me. In fact, it is not about me at all. :P I know what I believe and what I worship/adore. What I am not convinced of is that others have such clarity in their convictions.


I think plenty of Humanists would disagree with you!

But therein lies an answer to the question. Most of the atheists I know are secular humanists in terms of their 'beliefs', morals and ethics.

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22 Jun 2016 20:45 #246034 by Wescli Wardest
I’m sure they would. :laugh:

And we could debate it until we were blue in the face. :silly: But, the only way I could think to prove one way or the other is to wait a couple of hundred years and see what course was taken and how things turned out. :woohoo: :P

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22 Jun 2016 20:45 - 22 Jun 2016 20:56 #246035 by OB1Shinobi

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote: To say "There are no Gods" is a belief. But this is not atheism. Since you can never prove there are no Gods it becomes a belief and could possibly even be construed as a worldview.

But to say "I don't accept the existence of a God because there is no evidence to support it" is a position on a single issue. Its not a belief and its not a world view.


well, this is where it might get tricky

having a view on what the origins of the world are (or are not) is a really good step in the direction of developing a world view

i agree with the distinction between "not being convinced" and "believing" but even that distinction makes for the basis of a world view

you can have a world view based on belief that there is a god

you can have a world view based on the belief that there is no god

both of those obviously make for the foundation of a world-view

and i think you can also construct a kind of world view that begins with the understanding that you do not know for sure if there is a god or not, although i guess thats the one with the most room for personalization

People are complicated.
Last edit: 22 Jun 2016 20:56 by OB1Shinobi.
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22 Jun 2016 20:57 #246036 by Adder
I tend to see it things being in 'strengths of' belief, as a function of our capacity to perceive our environment and therefore populate it in the past, present and future with thoughts. Viewing thoughts as isolated events external to anything except themselves, then they exist entirely of models which represent those things external (to the thoughts) and therefore integrally have with the attribute of accuracy.

So, the act of awareness itself in our body and environment are heavily reinforced beliefs that our perceptions are accurate, else we would have little confidence or capability to interact with the world. But when it comes to the question of something which cannot be proven, even if only experienced (like a dream) rarely, then we end up having a requirement to artificially reinforce that belief to maintain it. This is where for me the definition of religions comes into play, it is the system of reinforcing a belief to facilitate participation with it.

So the question about atheism, I tend to think it depends on what level of analysis one wants to focus on. I feel most comfortable viewing it as a belief system insofar as all perception is belief in our capacity to perceive. I feel most comfortable viewing it as a belief if someone chooses to say they do not believe in God/Goddess/s. But I do not think it is a belief if the person has never considered the question and therefore does not have a position on it.... but once the question is asked of them
:silly:
Measures of things :P

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