Atheism: Belief or not a belief?

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23 Jun 2016 04:12 #246065 by
Replied by on topic Atheism: Belief or not a belief?

TheDude wrote: As for agnostic atheists, I don't really see the point, personally. There is major doubt, but there is no real belief involved. I see it more as "I am in the process of deciding between theism and atheism and I am leaning towards atheism" than "I am an agnostic atheist". But I would say pretty much the same thing about agnosticism in general, too.


I can't say that I agree with you. The view you present there is not my position. I don't think I can really know whether there is a god, nor do I live like one exists. Therefore, agnostic atheist. I don't doubt you know what they both mean and that they are two different terms that mean two completely different things (they're not mutually exclusive and they're not co-dependent). You may take any view you like because "that's just, like, your opinion, man." lol

I've nothing to prove, nor do I feel compelled to prove anything. Thank you.

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23 Jun 2016 05:37 - 23 Jun 2016 06:09 #246070 by
Replied by on topic Atheism: Belief or not a belief?
If you don't read another post I've made in this thread, read this one.

Wescli Wardest wrote: Atheism, from what I have witnessed, is anti-Christianity.


Christianity, from what I have witnessed, is anti-atheist. <-- That's a statement I could make quite easily, if I wasn't trying to make a real effort at harmony here. Look at how many times Christianity has seen those who aren't part of their group as "unsaved", "hellbound", "lost", etc. I wish I had a clicker to record every time someone tried to witness to me or get me to come to their church or convert me. Just a few weeks ago a guy at work who had previously loved me told me to my face that I'd be "singing a different tune when flames were shooting out of my ass in hell", then refused to talk to me again. I've been asked pretty regularly, "how can you stand to live without Jesus? what is the point of your existence?" My daughter was bullied about her atheism to the point where I had to pull her out of public school for two years. One girl threatened to kill her with a knife next time she saw her. For being an atheist. And when we tried to join 4-H because Girl Scouts wouldn't let her join, we had to PRAY at the beginning of the meetings. Pray to WHAT? But if you don't do it, you get stared at and interrogated. So we bow our heads and pretend something is happening. But when's the last time someone pretended anything like that for us?

We are clearly viewed as "less than", like there is something missing inside of us. The lightbulb in the fridge is burned out. Now imagine having to live with that for 40 years. Guess how many times have I been insulted and told that my existence was meaningless, that I was going to hell, that I was garbage and without morals? There are only so many times you can beat a dog before it learns to bite in self-defense.

Yes, there are ugly trends in atheism. The current trend among some of insulting and ridiculing Christians is one of them, but those are the loudmouths. You get them in every group, and in this one it is backlash from centuries of abuse. When I was in college, the leader of the nontheist group that I was in was one of those radical anti-Christian individuals and insisted on playing these hateful youtube videos before each meeting. It drove a lot of us away. He defined his atheism by hatred, which so many of the rest of us found to be horrible.

My point is that FEW of us are like that. It's like the Westboro Baptist Church... they certainly don't speak for Christians at ALL.

The truly arrogant believe in their own abilities to do and provide the same for themselves.


It isn't arrogance to believe that nature put us here by random chance and that our only quest is to make the best of what we can see with our eyes. I don't have to believe in anything at all to go get a milkshake and enjoy the weather, or to feed meters downtown with quarters so that people don't get parking tickets. In my view it's arrogant to believe that everyone has to feel the way you do or see things your way to get through the day.

But, then again, they should probably call themselves what they actually are… Anti-Christian-ist. :P


We call it anti-theist, to mark the difference between THOSE atheists and the others. Anti-theists tend to be the guys at the party who you don't want to stand next to or they'll talk your ear off and kill your buzz. The only people they really like is each other.
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23 Jun 2016 09:53 #246084 by x57z12
This thread certainly is a ride. Throwing in my two cents as an opinion (mind: subjective view):

“Do you believe in religion?”
“I believe in the power of religion.”

I am aware of what religion has brought to my life and don’t shun that, even with the standard set of duality a lot of good came from them. Still I believe it to be impossible to prove or disprove the existence of a deity. My solution is to not bother with trying to figure it out. Speaking of labels that would be ‘practical atheism’ or ‘apatheism’ (Wikipedia leads me to believe they are the same thing). Don’t know if I need to have a desire to explain everything in a scientifically way to fit this description though – cause I don’t have that. I like to accept things as they come to pass.
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23 Jun 2016 12:11 #246095 by Wescli Wardest
I thought about quoting people and answering each one individually and then I thought, why? :unsure:

I have not said that I am in support of Christianity. I never said that anyone has to believe the way I do. Nor have I said that any belief system is better than another. In fact, I have given examples to the contrary. :dry:

And again, I have had words put in my mouth and what I have written was ignored for its actual content. :pinch:

There are many people that are not interested in others views, just defending their own. Which is fine and completely what I expected when I posted to this thread the first time. :lol:

So I will step out of this conversation and let people debate about whether a non-belief in something constitutes a belief… And not suggest people take a look at themselves and what they actually believe. :whistle:

Monastic Order of Knights
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23 Jun 2016 13:48 #246110 by rugadd
Actually, this was a good read. I'm bowing out too. I feel I've grown, learned something new, and stances are getting circular.

I love this Temple.

rugadd
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23 Jun 2016 14:00 #246115 by
Replied by on topic Atheism: Belief or not a belief?
yeah i believe i am done aswell , good discussion , good points , much to think about ;)

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23 Jun 2016 15:05 - 23 Jun 2016 15:16 #246135 by
Replied by on topic Atheism: Belief or not a belief?

CableSteele wrote: I have experienced unexplainable phenomena at various times in my life as well as visions (drug induced and sleepy dream variety) where I communicated with being that are not of this world. I cannot explain most of what I've seen, let alone prove that it was real. Scientifically speaking, I would say that none of it actually happened, but that doesn't mean that it isn't real in some sense. It's real to me and that's why I believe in it. All belief is subjective. Did we really lands on the moon? How do you know? Faith. Did the Egyptians build the pyramids or find them? Are all the hieroglyphics factual? Faith. Does God exist? Faith is required to answer all these questions. As such, agnostic is the only valid "default belief" as I see it. Atheism is just another way of dealing with the concept of God by saying, "nope."


I would agree with you that no belief is absolute. Just as you experience visions or dreams or whatever that are personal to you, each of us has our own personal beliefs based on our own personal experiences. In this reality we can never "know" anything with absolute certainty. But we must start somewhere and so we start with the assumption that reality exists in some form. We must also assume that we can learn something about this reality. Once we can accept those premises we can move forward in our search for "truth". This will not be an absolute truth since we can never absolutely know this reality exists but it can be an objective truth based on consensus. In that search we also develop our subjective truths such as your personal experiences with visions.

So not only can we have subjective truth we can also have objective truth. It is objectively true that we landed on the moon. This comes from the evidence we have to examine that this event happened in this reality. Keep in mind this is not an absolute truth but an objective truth. Within the construct of this reality, which we have assumed exists, we can examine the rockets and talk to the astronauts and see the video and hear the comms. If need be we could even go to the moon and see the lunar landers still there. This is all evidence that we did land on the moon. It is an objective truth that is accepted by consensus through the evidence which is overwhelming and to not accept those facts is a failure in logic and reasoning.

However when it comes to a God or Gods, that may or may not be transcendent, this can never be the case. There is no evidence to examine outside our personal experience. Short of a God manifesting in physical reality and providing evidence that he created the universe, the belief in a God will always be a subjective belief. Some will come to believe that a God or Gods exist because their personal experience have convinced them of that. Since there is no external/physical evidence to examine and no comparisons to be made that could lead to consensus, this becomes an act or leap of Faith. In this leap they come to trust this God or Gods and have faith that it is a just or fair or loving or benevolent God and cares for the things it has created, namely us, and only does things in our best interests.

Others will not be so willing to take this leap of faith and instead never accept the conclusion that supernatural forces governs our natural universe or that we could be subject to their whims. Their subjective experiences say this makes no sense. Instead the search for a reality that is as close to absolute truth as possible is their goal. Those that pursue this path will never find absolute truth because of the above assumptions but they strive to get the best objective truth that is as close as possible to absolute truth. Often times this automatically excludes the consideration of a God or Gods because if one existed then nothing could ever be objectively proven. Other times they are eliminated through deduction. At any time a God or God could change whatever it wanted and so our entire universe would make no sense. In effect we could never learn anything about our reality.

I think this is the difference between Theist and Atheist.
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23 Jun 2016 15:33 #246137 by Breeze el Tierno
Atheism is an explicit belief in the non-existence of a supreme being. It may bring with it any of a series of perspectives on the universe. It is not a belief system. It is a single belief.

It does not represent a hole or absence. If I may generalize, the atheist says this (more or less):

"There is no evidence to suggest that there is a supreme being. There is a wealth of evidence and a pile of logical proofs suggesting a supreme being does not exist. To whit, I do not believe in one."

That part, at least, is quite simple. The social consequences of that conclusions of that are where things get complicated.
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23 Jun 2016 18:43 #246154 by
Replied by on topic Atheism: Belief or not a belief?
Now, another question.

Other than an arguing point, a relatively pointless one, what value does it have to label atheism a belief, or not?

Surely the only time this type of question comes about is in regards to one who believes in a deity, or something of the like meeting an atheist and the arguing point is, "Well, even you believe in something!" as if this is little more than misdirection.

Certainly here, it has taken its own life, but from another thread apparently, so I am wondering, what has been gained ultimately?

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23 Jun 2016 18:50 #246155 by
Replied by on topic Atheism: Belief or not a belief?

Khaos wrote: Now, another question.

Other than an arguing point, a relatively pointless one, what value does it have to label atheism a belief, or not?

Surely the only time this type of question comes about is in regards to one who believes in a deity, or something of the like meeting an atheist and the arguing point is, "Well, even you believe in something!" as if this is little more than misdirection.

Certainly here, it has taken its own life, but from another thread apparently, so I am wondering, what has been gained ultimately?


Hence my post on page two:

Goken wrote:

Rugadd wrote: Let's start by defining the term as found in a common dictionary.

atheism (noun)
1. the doctrine or BELIEF that there is no God.
2. disBELIEF in the existence of a supreme being or beings.


What I find interesting about these two definitions of the same thing is that one seems to support one side of the argument and the other supports the other side. Definition 1 states that it is a belief in the absence of a god and definition 2 states that it is the absence of a belief in a god.

That begs the question, does whether it's a belief or not actually matter or is it simply semantic?


It is an interesting question. Does the label really change anything? The length of this discussion seems to imply that to some it does, to others maybe not. I do believe that it is a semantic issue more than anything, but, similar to how I treat transgender people, I like to know what people prefer to be called so that I may do so accordingly.

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