Thread: What exactly is atheism?

  1. #201
    Refined Reinvention lixluke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaman_ View Post
    amoralism - the state or quality of being without morality or of being indifferent to moral standards.

    Amoralism is a state without morals. This contradicts your definition and certainly does not help your argument.


    The closest definition of the word is ‘without a belief in gods’. I have demonstrated this and shown you to be wrong on several points. Your circular argument is that atheism can’t possibly mean that because that is not what atheism means. ?


    I am proclaiming that anyone who doesn't believe in any gods is an atheist.
    You are proclaiming that anything that isnt theism is atheism.
    This includes those who do not know, agnosticism, and real atheism.
    Your claim is absurd and incorrect. Your claim about amoralism is abusurd and oncorrect.

    Ypu are misinterpreting my argument.
    The closest definition to atheism is the correct definition of atheism. Not the incorrect definition of atheism. You cannot take the A in atheism out of context, and use it to support your argument. You are arguing a definition of a term.
    I can say what the "a" is for, and I could say what the "ism" is for. The fact is when discussing a term, the breakdown is irrelevant to the definition. Anything with an A in front of it, and anything with an ism in front of it can mean any noun, verb, adjective, etc.
    The point of how the A and the Ism in atheism is used in a particular term is not relevant to how it is used in other terms. I am simply stating what those prefixes/suffixes are typically used for. In the case of atheism, it is not meant to describe anybody who does not abide by theism. Atheism certainly is not meant to describe anybody who abides by any form of skepticism. This includes agnosticism.

    Describing those who take the position of God does not exist. Any term could have been used to describe this. It didn't have to be atheism. I could have been any word under the sun you could make by putting any amount of letters together. It just so happen that the word is atheism.

    You can claim that A prefix is used to describe indifference. You can claim that B prefix is used to describe indifference. You can claim whatever you want. It does not make it valid.

    Atheism was is and never will be intended to describe anybody that isn't theism. Atheism was is and always will be intended to describe anybody who abides by the opposing position - There is no God. If you do not take that position you might take the position of agnosticism, you might not take any position. You certanly do not take the position of atheism.

  2. #202
    until the end of the world greenberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniffy View Post
    That, then, is their problem not anyone else's.
    It becomes your problem when you are such a person's child, or when your head is at gunpoint, and so on, or when you simply live in a country where there is plenty of people who are certain about something and are still wrong, and you then suffer under the decisions passed by their votes, and the pollution and so on.

  3. #203
    Registered Senior Member electrafixtion's Avatar
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    It's my understanding that the concept of no creator because of evolution is flawed.

    Many scientific minds contend it takes as much faith to accept evolution from nothing as it does to accept creation from nothing.

    Is their proof of either?

    As far as "evidence" is concerned, the problem is that there is TOO MUCH "evidence" supporting both notions. Disbarring "evidence", what proof is there that evolution is fact? Observation? Isn't observation itself flawed by the concept of perceptive reality?

    I here to learn ONLY and not because I fully support either notion. Please show me that which constitutes proof that creation has not taken place.

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    There are 2 basic forms of Skepticism.
    1. The belief that nothing can be known for certain.
    2. The belief that some things can be known for certain, but not everything.
    You are still confusing abstract systems based on logic and axiom, in which things can be known for certain and we deal in Truth and Falsity, with existential claims about the real world, in which nothing can be known for certain and we deal in evidence and probability.

    You are requiring of atheists that they share your confusion, otherwise they are to be known as "agnostics" or the like, according to you. Likewise theists, apparently.

    I would regard the claim of 100% certainty about anything in the evidence and probability sphere as good evidence of delusion. But any description of myself as anything other than atheist would be misleading - even dishonest. I have not suspended judgment in the matter, nor have I any claim to infallibility, and in the normal course of the world that would allow me to describe myself as theist or atheist without serious objection.

  5. #205
    Refined Reinvention lixluke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrafixtion View Post
    It's my understanding that the concept of no creator because of evolution is flawed.

    Many scientific minds contend it takes as much faith to accept evolution from nothing as it does to accept creation from nothing.

    Is their proof of either?

    As far as "evidence" is concerned, the problem is that there is TOO MUCH "evidence" supporting both notions. Disbarring "evidence", what proof is there that evolution is fact? Observation? Isn't observation itself flawed by the concept of perceptive reality?

    I here to learn ONLY and not because I fully support either notion. Please show me that which constitutes proof that creation has not taken place.
    Irrelevant. The question is "What is athesim?" The question has nothing to do with whether or not the theory of evolution proves there is no creator.

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke View Post
    You are proclaiming that anything that isnt theism is atheism.
    This includes those who do not know, agnosticism, and real atheism.
    Your claim is absurd and incorrect. Your claim about amoralism is abusurd and oncorrect.
    It was not a claim but a definition cut from an online dictionary……

    Don’t even think about responding until you look up the meaning of amoralism. I mean look it up from somewhere other than your head.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke View Post
    Ypu are misinterpreting my argument.
    The closest definition to atheism is the correct definition of atheism. Not the incorrect definition of atheism. You cannot take the A in atheism out of context, and use it to support your argument. You are arguing a definition of a term.
    I can say what the "a" is for, and I could say what the "ism" is for. The fact is when discussing a term, the breakdown is irrelevant to the definition. Anything with an A in front of it, and anything with an ism in front of it can mean any noun, verb, adjective, etc.
    The point of how the A and the Ism in atheism is used in a particular term is not relevant to how it is used in other terms. I am simply stating what those prefixes/suffixes are typically used for. In the case of atheism, it is not meant to describe anybody who does not abide by theism. Atheism certainly is not meant to describe anybody who abides by any form of skepticism. This includes agnosticism.

    Describing those who take the position of God does not exist. Any term could have been used to describe this. It didn't have to be atheism. I could have been any word under the sun you could make by putting any amount of letters together. It just so happen that the word is atheism.

    You can claim that A prefix is used to describe indifference. You can claim that B prefix is used to describe indifference. You can claim whatever you want. It does not make it valid.

    Atheism was is and never will be intended to describe anybody that isn't theism. Atheism was is and always will be intended to describe anybody who abides by the opposing position - There is no God. If you do not take that position you might take the position of agnosticism, you might not take any position. You certanly do not take the position of atheism.
    So even though all the examples posted so far confirm what I am saying, even though I have clearly demonstrated that you are wrong and that is what the word means you are going to continue with your baseless, ironclad guarantee that you are correct, although you can’t show me why. O..K.

    You are welcome to cling to your personal definition of the word. Your argument appears to be with the English (and Greek) language, not me.

  7. #207
    Refined Reinvention lixluke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaman_ View Post
    It was not a claim but a definition cut from an online dictionary……

    Don’t even think about responding until you look up the meaning of amoralism. I mean look it up from somewhere other than your head.

    So even though all the examples posted so far confirm what I am saying, even though I have clearly demonstrated that you are wrong and that is what the word means you are going to continue with your baseless, ironclad guarantee that you are correct, although you can’t show me why. O..K.

    You are welcome to cling to your personal definition of the word. Your argument appears to be with the English (and Greek) language, not me.
    All of your examples are baseless and irrelevant. None of them confirms your assertion. The only thing you have clearly demonstrated are nonsensical ideas about atheism.

  8. #208
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    greenberg,

    Sure. But seeing things as they are requires a pure, unified, unadulterated mind. I wouldn't dare claim that my mind is such or that I have such a mind at my disposal. For the time being, it appears I am stuck with interpretations (even when I can quote verse and chapter).
    Was this decision made with an adulterated, impure, chaotic mind then?

    IOW, it is sometimes Christians themselves who expect that one believes that Jesus existed in the flesh and blood, and that archaeology, history, physics, biology etc. support this.
    That's fair enough, IMO, as they have opposition who equally have no real basis in their conclusions.

    But also as I said earlier - Jesus is purported to be the one and only way to salvation, and that everyone who doesn't believe in Jesus will burn in hell for all eternity - that humans have this one lifetime to make the right choice or be damned for ever and ever. With stakes high like this, surely it is understandable to want as much proof and justification as possible for one's choice, no?
    I would question the claim, which doesn't appear to have anything to do with Jesus, or real religion in general.

    Conversely, in regards to Buddhism and Hinduism, for example, I have never struggled with these problems - even if the Buddha and some others are nothing but didactic devices, they have the benefit of being more detailed, more practical, their instructions more actionable than Christianity's, and most of all, they don't preach eternal damnation if you "don't get it right" in this lifetime. By this I don't mean they suggest slacking or laziness - it is just that they do not put a person under such paralyzing pressure as the common Christian outlook does.
    Maybe if Hinduism, or Buddishm became tools of the powerful we would begin to see the same kind of ultimatums.

    Is it solely their business? If they are right and Jesus is the only way to salvation, and I want to be saved, then what Christians say is my business.
    I would have thought your business would be what Jesus says.

    Even if this means that you will burn in hell for all eternity?
    Yes.

    jan.

  9. #209
    until the end of the world greenberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena View Post
    Was this decision made with an adulterated, impure, chaotic mind then?
    Of course ...


    I would have thought your business would be what Jesus says.
    Sure. But as I myself am not sure I know what Jesus said -and what are merely interpretations of what he supposedly said-, I am left to those who claim to know what Jesus says.


    Even if this means that you will burn in hell for all eternity?
    Yes.
    Explain.
    Under what conditions would you be willing to burn in hell for all eternity?

    For example, if God Himself ordered you to be an example to all other living beings of what happens if one defies God, and you have full obedience to God, then I imagine you would have no objection to such an order and would willingly carry it out, and be happy with your situation.
    But on the other hand - if God, with no explanation, nothing whatsoever, condemned you to eternal hell with no chance of redemption, would you just take this upon yourself and be happy with it?

  10. #210
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    greenberg,

    Sure. But as I myself am not sure I know what Jesus said -and what are merely interpretations of what he supposedly said-, I am left to those who claim to know what Jesus says.
    Well, go with the interpretations, and see what matches up to other words and deeds of other great saints and personalities, and of course, BG.

    Explain.
    Under what conditions would you be willing to burn in hell for all eternity?
    That's like asking me; under what condition would I be willing to serve life imprisonment, undergo the death sentence.
    To avoid such sentences would be dependant on my actions.

    For example, if God Himself ordered you to be an example to all other living beings of what happens if one defies God, and you have full obedience to God, then I imagine you would have no objection to such an order and would willingly carry it out, and be happy with your situation.
    Your imagination would be correct.

    But on the other hand - if God, with no explanation, nothing whatsoever, condemned you to eternal hell with no chance of redemption, would you just take this upon yourself and be happy with it?
    That's like saying, if God with no explanation, condemned me to living in the UK, with a beat up car, and no chance of immortality, would I just take it upon myself, and be happy with it?
    The answer is yes, but I don't have to be happy with it.

    jan.

  11. #211
    until the end of the world greenberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena View Post
    That's like asking me; under what condition would I be willing to serve life imprisonment, undergo the death sentence.
    To avoid such sentences would be dependant on my actions.
    /.../
    That's like saying, if God with no explanation, condemned me to living in the UK, with a beat up car, and no chance of immortality, would I just take it upon myself, and be happy with it?
    The answer is yes, but I don't have to be happy with it.
    Please bear with me. I am exploring your stance on the fire and brimstone notions.

    Say for example that there would be a religious instruction that you personally find morally repugnant, but which would promise you salvation from samsara. Would you act in line with that instruction?

    (This is a good question. I'll post a separate thread for it.)

  12. #212
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    greenberg,

    Please bear with me. I am exploring your stance on the fire and brimstone notions.

    Say for example that there would be a religious instruction that you personally find morally repugnant, but which would promise you salvation from samsara. Would you act in line with that instruction?

    (This is a good question. I'll post a separate thread for it.)
    The answer is quite simple (to me).
    If I came to the conclusion that the religious instruction was "personaly, morally repugnent, I wouldn't accept that instruction.

    jan.

  13. #213
    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke View Post
    Irrelevant. The question is "What is athesim?" The question has nothing to do with whether or not the theory of evolution proves there is no creator.
    The theory of evolution says nothing about the origin of the first life. To claim so is a red herring that the evolution denialists are fond of tossing at people who haven't given the matter a lot of thought. The theory of evolution describes how species have evolved from previous species, and like any canonical scientific theory it is based on mountains of evidence: in fossils, DNA, and observation of mutations and breeding.

    The hypothesis--not theory--that the first living matter arose from non-living matter is called "abiogenesis." There is very little evidence to support it and it is all indirect or logically reasoned, hardly enough to qualify as a "theory." Nonetheless it has more supporting evidence than divine creation, which is not a scientific theory at all since it violates the defining theory of science: that the natural universe is a closed system.

  14. #214
    until the end of the world greenberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena View Post
    The answer is quite simple (to me).
    If I came to the conclusion that the religious instruction was "personaly, morally repugnent, I wouldn't accept that instruction.
    But something might be the Absolute Truth, even though you find it morally repugnant. What then, how do you resolve this dilemma?
    For me, this is a very relevant personal dilemma - namely that even though I find something morally repugnant, it might still be the truth and so I would do better to act in accordance with it.
    I would appreciate it if you would look at this post here and tell me what you think.

  15. #215
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    greenberg,

    But something might be the Absolute Truth, even though you find it morally repugnant. What then, how do you resolve this dilemma?
    I don't understand how the Absolute Truth could be morally repugnant, let alone understand that it is morally repugnant, outside of my own personal reasons for finding something morally repugnant

    For me, this is a very relevant personal dilemma - namely that even though I find something morally repugnant, it might still be the truth and so I would do better to act in accordance with it.
    Daniel Dennet, a well known atheist said; "“If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion I would not hesitate to get rid of religion.”
    Which of the two do you find morally repugnant?
    My point is, what we find "morally repugnant" is based on our understanding of everything, and how it works.

    I would appreciate it if you would look at this post here and tell me what you think.
    I think your whole premise is out of step;

    Introduction:
    There is the possibility that the truth is something I find repugnant; such as "It indeed is an act of love to torture your child in hell for all eternity."


    You keep returning to this same spot, and I cannot understand why. There is enough information for you to update your conclusions, enough to form a richer understanding of who and what God, is, regardless of your belief choice.
    It makes no sense that God, in His understanding, would harm a being against his sincere will, for what we can understand as forever.
    In light of becoming an adult, and devoloping good intelligence, good discrimination, why would you still accept that premise as a possibility?

    jan.

  16. #216
    Quote Originally Posted by electrafixtion View Post
    It's my understanding that the concept of no creator because of evolution is flawed.
    Quite right - but then evolution makes no comment as to the existence, or otherwise, of a creator of life.
    Evolution only takes place after life arises in the first place - perhaps this is why only a tiny minority on the lunatic fringe of extremist religions reject evolution for this reason - the rest of the theists have no problem with it as evolution leaves ample space for God or some other creator if you want it to.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrafixtion View Post
    Many scientific minds contend it takes as much faith to accept evolution from nothing as it does to accept creation from nothing.
    You have made similar claims several times and yet you are unable to name and cite them - very telling.
    Name 7 and cite evolutionary biologists who have made this claim in the past 5 years - or publicly retract your claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrafixtion View Post
    As far as "evidence" is concerned, the problem is that there is TOO MUCH "evidence" supporting both notions. Disbarring "evidence", what proof is there that evolution is fact? Observation? Isn't observation itself flawed by the concept of perceptive reality?
    really? Too much evidence for creation?
    Challenging you to cite 12 peer review papers that provide evidence in favour of creation should not pose a problem for you then - cite or retract

    with regards to perceptive reality - explain with a specific example relating to evolutionary biology how and why this may cause a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrafixtion View Post
    I here to learn ONLY and not because I fully support either notion. Please show me that which constitutes proof that creation has not taken place.
    Negative proof = logical fallacy

    I'm getting used to them coming from you already

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

  17. #217
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    synthesizer-patel,


    Quote Originally Posted by electrafixtion
    I here to learn ONLY and not because I fully support either notion. Please show me that which constitutes proof that creation has not taken place.

    Negative proof = logical fallacy

    I'm getting used to them coming from you already

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

    It is only fallacious if he is asserting that creationism is true because it has not been proven to be false, which he has not done.

    jan.

  18. #218
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena View Post
    synthesizer-patel,








    It is only fallacious if he is asserting that creationism is true because it has not been proven to be false, which he has not done.

    jan.
    Read his other posts Jan

  19. #219
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synthesizer-patel View Post
    Read his other posts Jan
    Why the roll-eyes?
    I suggest you read the statement you actually responded to;

    Quote Originally Posted by electrafixtion
    I [am] here to learn ONLY and not because I fully support either notion. Please show me that which constitutes proof that creation has not taken place.
    jan.

  20. #220
    until the end of the world greenberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena View Post
    I don't understand how the Absolute Truth could be morally repugnant, let alone understand that it is morally repugnant, outside of my own personal reasons for finding something morally repugnant
    What if your personal reasons are completely wrong?

    Have you considered that perhaps the fire and brimstone Christians are right (and that they are the ones who have the proper understanding of the Bible), or that God is evil, or that the Bhagavad-Gita is wrong?
    I don't see why this wouldn't be possible, and this is what scares me.


    Daniel Dennet, a well known atheist said; "“If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion I would not hesitate to get rid of religion.”
    Which of the two do you find morally repugnant?
    I am not sure what Dennet there meant by "religion". If he meant fire and brimstone Christianity, then I agree with him. I think what those Christians are doing to those they wish to convert, is spiritual rape.

    Yet I see no way to prove that those Christians aren't right, so I am left to wonder what to do.
    Perhaps there is only this one lifetime, and if I don't "get it right", I will burn in hell for all eternity.


    I think your whole premise is out of step;

    Introduction:
    There is the possibility that the truth is something I find repugnant; such as "It indeed is an act of love to torture your child in hell for all eternity."

    You keep returning to this same spot, and I cannot understand why. There is enough information for you to update your conclusions, enough to form a richer understanding of who and what God, is, regardless of your belief choice.
    It seems to me that unless I am able to refute that premise, I am obligated to believe it as true and good.


    It makes no sense that God, in His understanding, would harm a being against his sincere will, for what we can understand as forever.
    Why not? It is one of the basic premises of a popular line of Christian thinking. Millions of people across the world and history have believed it to be true and good - so it's not that I am afraid of something completely outlandish or peculiar to myself.


    In light of becoming an adult, and devoloping good intelligence, good discrimination, why would you still accept that premise as a possibility?
    What are that intelligence and discrimination against a god who is willing to torture me in hell for all eternity?

    Moreover, I don't have personal realization or insight, I am not enlightened, I don't have direct perception - so I can't say how things really are. I am merely left with possibilites of all kinds. Considering the worst-case scenario (ie. God is evil / I have to get it right in this one lifetime or I will burn in hell forever) seems like the best path of caution to take.

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