Thread: What exactly is atheism?

  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon
    ] What you have done is given the reasons why what I described as the qualities of atheists is justifiable.
    And the fact that Q does not speak for even a majority of the atheists here, let alone "atheism" in general, is one reason to temper your description.
    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    By definition, Atheism is 100% certainty that God does not exist.
    I am atheist - I believe in no Gods, and in my judgment the common Gods of the extant religions do not exist as believers describe them.

    But 100% certainty in anything of that nature - a question of real existence or non-existence - is impossible for the educated and sane. By that definition, neither atheists nor theists exist in significant numbers among them.
    Quote Originally Posted by simon
    It might mean that atheist is not a relevant concept here in science forums.
    Difficulty in further defining a category that is a catchall for many different basic philosophies and approaches to life is a given.

    But such negatively established categories do have validity for some approaches to some questions - the category "cold-blooded", for example, even though it potentially includes everything from arthropods to octopi, has some uses.

  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke View Post
    By definition, Atheism is 100% certainty that God does not exist.
    No. Percentages and certainty have nothing to do with the definition. You are adding them in. It is merely not having a belief in any gods. This is how we are born and this is how many of us choose to stay.


    You are using your own personal definition because you want to equate atheism with theism.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke View Post
    A in Atheism specifies that God does not exist.
    A in front of something whereas the that something is a belief in X is not without the belief in X, but the belief in the antithesis of X. Amoralism is not simpley without the belief in morals, but the belief that morals do not exist.
    No.

    amoralism
    the state or quality of being without morality or of being indifferent to moral standards. —


    So amoralism is not a belief that morals don’t exist. It is the lacking of morals. The prefix ‘a’ means without.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke View Post
    If you are not 100% certain that God does not exist, you are not an atheist.
    That could also be incorrect because you could believe in different gods. Yahweh is but one of many gods which humans have followed. Theists sometimes prefer to avoid thinking about that.

  3. #163
    Thus I posit that until we can prove that we do or do not exist and that reality does or does not exist that we cannot say, without a doubt, God does or does not exist. It is a question of belief/faith that God/Deities do or do not exist. "Proof" is not possible given our current state.

  4. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    But 100% certainty in anything of that nature - a question of real existence or non-existence - is impossible for the educated and sane. By that definition, neither atheists nor theists exist in significant numbers among them.
    You are not defined as an atheist unless you believe that there is no God. Belief is 100% certainty of something.
    Furthermore, the belief that nobody can be 100% certain of anything is skepticism which is far from atheism. Which you are clearly not.
    All skeptics are agnostics, but not all agnostics are skeptics.

  5. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaman_ View Post
    No. Percentages and certainty have nothing to do with the definition. You are adding them in. It is merely not having a belief in any gods. This is how we are born and this is how many of us choose to stay.


    You are using your own personal definition because you want to equate atheism with theism.

    No.

    amoralism
    the state or quality of being without morality or of being indifferent to moral standards. —


    So amoralism is not a belief that morals don’t exist. It is the lacking of morals. The prefix ‘a’ means without.

    That could also be incorrect because you could believe in different gods. Yahweh is but one of many gods which humans have followed. Theists sometimes prefer to avoid thinking about that.
    This is not about personal definition or about wanting anything. This is about fact. And the fact is, your definitions are incorrect.
    FACT: Belief is an individual's 100% certainty about something.
    FACT: Amoralism is 100% certainty that morals do not exist.
    FACT: Atheism is 100% certainty that there is no God.
    FACT: The belief that no man can be 100% certain of anything is Skepticism.

    EXAMPLE OF SKEPTICISM:
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    100% certainty in anything of that nature - a question of real existence or non-existence - is impossible for the educated and sane.

  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    FACT: The belief that no man can be 100% certain of anything is Skepticism.
    The belief that anyone can be 100% certain of anything involving existential reality - not a statement in an abstract, defined, axiomatic system - is Delusion.

    That's no more a belief than any other observation is - no one is immortal, no one is omniscient, these are just observations. I don't believe in mortality or fallibility, I just think they are universal and inevitable, because that makes sense to me and agrees with the rest of the world. That could be wrong, but such is not the way to bet.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    FACT: Belief is an individual's 100% certainty about something.
    Now the sane and educated are not allowed to have any beliefs. It keeps getting worse.

  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke View Post
    This is not about personal definition or about wanting anything. This is about fact. And the fact is, your definitions are incorrect.
    FACT: Belief is an individual's 100% certainty about something.
    .. and atheists are just those without a particular belief.
    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke View Post
    FACT: Amoralism is 100% certainty that morals do not exist.
    Open a dictionary and stop making things up. I have already posted a definition that shows that amoralism is a state without morals. It is not about being certain that morals don’t exist. The prefix means ‘without’ it doesn’t mean ‘100% certain of the non existence of’.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke View Post
    FACT: Atheism is 100% certainty that there is no God.
    Putting ‘fact’ in capitals before your definition doesn’t make it any less incorrect.

  8. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The belief that anyone can be 100% certain of anything involving existential reality - not a statement in an abstract, defined, axiomatic system - is Delusion.

    That's no more a belief than any other observation is - no one is immortal, no one is omniscient, these are just observations. I don't believe in mortality or fallibility, I just think they are universal and inevitable, because that makes sense to me and agrees with the rest of the world. That could be wrong, but such is not the way to bet.

    Now the sane and educated are not allowed to have any beliefs. It keeps getting worse.
    Nobody ever said you need to be immortal to have believe something. In other words have 100% certainty about something. The point is that skeptics are no more educated or sane than anybody else. They are no less delusional than anybody else. Skeptics are walking contradictions. You believe that nobody can be 100% certain about anything. And you believe it is delusional to believe you can be 100% certain about anything. Well i'm pretty certain that skeptics have 0 education, and 100% delusion.


    Quote Originally Posted by shaman_ View Post
    .. and atheists are just those without a particular belief.
    Open a dictionary and stop making things up. I have already posted a definition that shows that amoralism is a state without morals. It is not about being certain that morals don’t exist. The prefix means ‘without’ it doesn’t mean ‘100% certain of the non existence of’.

    Putting ‘fact’ in capitals before your definition doesn’t make it any less incorrect.
    Either way none of your nonsensical claims have any basis in the facts presented. You clearly do not know what the prefix means or the connotation of the definition.

  9. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    . You believe that nobody can be 100% certain about anything. And you believe it is delusional to believe you can be 100% certain about anything.
    It's not a matter of belief - I observe that I am not omniscient, and you aren't, and apparently nobody is, and that 100% certainty about a matter of existential reality (anything that isn't axiom based) requires omniscience.

    And I think that many non-omniscient people, even those who know they are fallible and could be wrong about something, nevertheless have beliefs.

    Do you disagree ?

  10. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke View Post
    You clearly do not know what the prefix means or the connotation of the definition.
    So 'asexual' is a life form with 100% certainty that sex doesn't exist?

    The prefix means 'lacking' or 'without'.

  11. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaman_ View Post
    Time to dust off the old favourite - atheism is a belief the way not collecting stamps is a hobby.
    Wrong - atheism is a religion the way not collecting stamps is a hobby.

    It is a belief. Atheists believe that god does not exist. A belief based on evidence or lack of evidence (the latter for me)
    Last edited by s0meguy; 08-18-08 at 09:06 AM.

  12. #172
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    Okay, atheism is a belief in the way that you not thinking that there are monkeys in my kitchen cooking me pancakes.. is a belief. If you want to call that a belief then fine.

  13. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    And the fact that Q does not speak for even a majority of the atheists here, let alone "atheism" in general, is one reason to temper your description.
    Hey pal, if you've got a problem with me, come see me. I'd be happy to straighten you out.

    And if you're so adamant I'm wrong, feel free to jump in and correct me.

  14. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hamtastic View Post
    Thus I posit that until we can prove that we do or do not exist and that reality does or does not exist that we cannot say, without a doubt, God does or does not exist. It is a question of belief/faith that God/Deities do or do not exist. "Proof" is not possible given our current state.
    And yet you think it is perfectly allright to declare eternal damnation to everyone who doesn't accept Jesus as their savior?

  15. #175
    yes

  16. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenberg View Post
    And yet you think it is perfectly allright to declare eternal damnation to everyone who doesn't accept Jesus as their savior?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hamtastic View Post
    yes
    Didn't you say in another post that you wouldn't want to be killed simply because you "changed your mind?"

    Why would you wish eternal damnation to those who might change theirs?

    Do unto others... remember?

  17. #177
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hamtastic View Post
    Thus I posit that until we can prove that we do or do not exist and that reality does or does not exist that we cannot say, without a doubt, God does or does not exist. It is a question of belief/faith that God/Deities do or do not exist. "Proof" is not possible given our current state.
    I don't think anyone gets this ham.
    All arguments about whether god is or isn't, are circular. at the end of the day it is up to the individual and their circumstance which side of the fence they are on or whether they are actually sitting on the fence itself.

    One can say god exists; one can say god does not exist but neither viewpoint can be proven above or beyond the personal level.

    Or one can bang one's head repeatedly against a wall.

  18. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    And the fact that Q does not speak for even a majority of the atheists here, let alone "atheism" in general, is one reason to temper your description.
    I am not basing my my ideas about atheism just on Q. I see a number of self-proclaimed atheists here who have rarely battled here, as far as I can tell, with Creationism calls from theists, but rather engage regularly in a variety of threads related to religion.

    I am atheist - I believe in no Gods, and in my judgment the common Gods of the extant religions do not exist as believers describe them.
    So your atheism has a belief. A belief that the Gods of the extant religions do not exist as believers describe them.

    But 100% certainty in anything of that nature - a question of real existence or non-existence - is impossible for the educated and sane. By that definition, neither atheists nor theists exist in significant numbers among them.
    Difficulty in further defining a category that is a catchall for many different basic philosophies and approaches to life is a given.
    Sure.

    But such negatively established categories do have validity for some approaches to some questions - the category "cold-blooded", for example, even though it potentially includes everything from arthropods to octopi, has some uses.
    I think in a way you have hit a core issue. Not believing is seen as a more rational position per se - not simply in relation to God - by what I have been calling in other threads 'reasonists'. Where one draws the line and decides not believing is better must, I think, be based on intution. For example most reasonists rarely challenge people's belief in a self that continues through time.

    I appreciated the tone of your response by the way.

    I am responding to what I find an interesting phenomenon. It is very important for a number of atheists here to assert that atheism is not a belief. These same atheists seem to have a belief or set of beliefs that is part of their atheism. Their atheism does not seem like a lack.

    I keep picturing for me what an archetypal atheist would be like. One that simply lacks a belief. Some guy who works with his hands, perhaps. Believes in what he can touch and what he experiences affects him - he may very well be an intellectual, by the way - and when asked 'Do you believe in God?' he shrugs and says he sees no reason to and goes back to things that interest him.

    Someone who spends quite a bit of time combatting theism - in a discussion forum - and having the qualities I listed earlier seems to me has something more than a lack.
    Last edited by Simon Anders; 08-18-08 at 11:41 AM.

  19. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon
    So your atheism has a belief. A belief that the Gods of the extant religions do not exist as believers describe them.
    How did that judgment, considered and made on various evidence and long experience, etc, come to be "a belief" in your eyes ? At a minimum, even if you want to stretch the word "belief" to cover such judgments, shouldn't it be different "beliefs" for the different Gods (and other supernatural entities) thought not to exist ?
    Quote Originally Posted by simon
    It is very important for a number of atheists here to assert that atheism is not a belief. These same atheists seem to have a belief or set of beliefs that is part of their atheism. Their atheism does not seem like a lack.
    But that is not very important for other atheists, or even those of that number in other or all situations.

    Also, you are extending from that "number" to make conclusions about the atheists here who have been forced to insist that atheism is not "a belief" in the course of defending dismissals of a literal Noah's Ark, the intrinsic atheism of all evildoers, the necessity of Deity for morality, and similar Fundie nonsense. Those are not the "same atheists". And you have overlooked the matter of who started things in particular cases - the assertion of "belief" is frequently an accusation of irrationality, meant and taken personally. And so forth.

    If you want to discuss a subset of the category "atheist" that you find important, nothing wrong with that. There are such atheists as you describe. Fraggle, for example, is not one of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by simon
    I keep picturing for me what an archetypal atheist would be like.
    It's a negatively defined catchall category. There is no such thing as an "archetype" atheist. It is probably misleading to even name it, but you can't stop theists from doing that - and so as with other pejoratives, it's been coopted.
    Quote Originally Posted by simon
    Someone who spends quite a bit of time combatting theism - in a discussion forum - and having the qualities I listed earlier seems to me has something more than a lack.
    As long as you take care in not extending those "qualities" (or the conclusions drawn from them) to atheists and atheism in general, no problem.

    For some of the others, if you require a motive to explain an intensity of involvement: How about a fear ? Or a political wariness ? Or a resigned and pragmatically acquired willingness to take care of business experience has shown to be significant ?
    Last edited by iceaura; 08-18-08 at 01:55 PM.

  20. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaman_ View Post
    Okay, atheism is a belief in the way that you not thinking that there are monkeys in my kitchen cooking me pancakes.. is a belief. If you want to call that a belief then fine.
    how is it not a belief, if i think that there are no monkeys in your kitchen cooking you pancakes? quote me pls, because when checking for replies, I search the page for my nickname using the browser search feature.

    how is it any different than the belief that a god does not exist, in terms of being a belief?
    Last edited by s0meguy; 08-18-08 at 02:02 PM.

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