What is Atheism? -- Distinguishing Atheism from Agnosticism
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And frustrating. It gets to the point that talking to some people is about as productive as talking to a brick wall.
Yeah in all honesty, I just recently figured out that it isn't worth the effort a lot of times. Now, if you want to either hone your skills of logic, or just keep them up, that's fine so long as you realize you aren't really in a debate. One side wants logic, one side wants emotion/belief.
This is a long and very interesting arguments. I love the way participants delivered their own point of view about atheism and agnosticism. Although this kind of topic has been discussed before, I can say that this thread really dig deeper into it.
I agree, SoG, the "a" prefix means no...and suggest the more specifically, it means: without. So atheist is one without a god; just as amoral means without morals. And being amoral has zero to do with *believing* in morals.
Yes, but morality is not based on belief or not. Either you believe God exists, or you believe he does not exist, or you don't know.
You can believe he exists AND not know. You can believe he does not exist AND not know.
But I thought atheism wasn't a belief system?
Also, as per the words definition, it is the doctrine or belief that no god or gods exist.
Nope. That I am atheist has nothing to do with belief - it has to do with thought. Belief does not require consideration. It does not require thought. And, as morality is not universally constant, it can indeed be rooted in belief. Most theists I've spoken with have told me their morality is based on their belief in their god's rules. Mine is rooted elsewhere.
Firstly, if atheism is not grounded in belief then you are saying that you know that God does not exist. If you know that God does not exist, then I must ask, do you have any justifiable evidence for this?
Secondly, if morality is universally constant, than anything can be right or wrong. It can be OK to rape young children. Well, if morality is subjective, then why do we dismiss those who believe that rape is OK as insane or unstable? Also, if you think it is OK to steal, but then somebody steals from you, what are you going to say about what they did? You're going to say it was wrong.
I said neither that I believe nor that I know...I said I THINK there are no gods.
So far as morality not being a constant...is theft to prevent starvation moral or immoral? Currently to some, and more frequently in the past, if a woman's elbows were visible, she was considered immoral. Some think giving medicine to a sick child is immoral, others think denying it is.
I have a set of behaviors in which I will not engage because *I* find them immoral. They may or may not be the same behaviors you or anyone else does.
So you think there are no gods? That is believing that there are no gods.
Secondly, the act of stealing is immoral, but the reasons for doing it justify the act.
Nope. Thinking and believing are two very different things. The former requires cognition, the latter does not.
Morality, although most humans have a great deal in common with each other when defining what they thing is right/wrong, is not universal. Period.
Nuff said, good night.
Firstly, I think that God exists, therefore, I believe that God exists. I do not think that Santa Claus exists, therefore, I do not believe that Santa Claus exists. The *context* in which you use "think" implies your belief that no god or gods exist. For example, if somebody says "I think you are weird", they are saying the same thing as "I believe you are weird", in the fact that they are both being used in the context of having confidence in the claim that somebody is weird, but without demonstrable proof of this.
Secondly, do you have any justifiable evidence that morality is subjective, and not objective? According to you logic, murder is not wrong. Neither is theft, or rape, or willingly inflicting pain onto another. The evidence I have that suggests morality is objective is that every human believes murder is wrong. Any human who does not is dismissed as mentally unstable. Well, if morality were subjective, that would not be fair. Why aren't people who think that cheese pizza is better pepperoni pizza disregarded as mentally unstable? According to your logic, they're both subjective statements.
Even if one claims that murder or theft is moral, they would claim the opposite had somebody killed one who was close to them, or stolen their vehicle. They would claim that what this person did is not moral.
Now, to extrapolate more on the fact that atheism is a belief system. Firstly, to "think" is to use cognitive behavior, yes. But the context in which you use the word "think" has the following definition: To have an opinion or judgement of.
Secondly, "belief" is--in the context in which it should be used here--defined as: to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so. Or, as follows: to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.); give credence to. So, if you think that atheism is correct, but aren't able to demonstrably prove this, that is, *by definition*, a belief. You *believe* that God does not exist, and acknowledge the fact that you cannot demonstrably prove this statement true.
I like many others atheist now have stood up for SOG in the past I honestly took a break for a bit and came back to the forums today. I must say I was saddened to see that SOG has not moved on. I think SOG is a troll SOG certainly does not want anybody on here to like them,
In being a Christian apologist across the Internet, I get that a lot.
Knock of God I figure it will only be a matter of time before you show up at our door again, So I figure I should try to help you with something bay stating the following... If you have the same problem with many people chances are the problem is with you.
Perhaps you would be more inclined to take some advise from Jesus something to the effect of "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
I don't have a problem with anybody. Everybody has a problem with me.
@SOG Out of curiosity, what is the objective of your thread?
To show why atheism is a belief system and why the burden of proof rests on the atheist as well as the theist.
I assume that you don't believe in Zeus, making you an atheist with respect to Zeus. In an existential argument between you and a believer in Zeus, would it be your burden to prove Zeus doesn't exist, or is it the burden of the person claiming Zeus exists to prove he does? Is your default position to assume Zeus exists unless someone provides proof otherwise, or do you instead assume Zeus doesn't exist unless proof of existence is provided by whoever makes the claim?
Nicely put Spewer, I am almost sure our friend soggy will pretend not to see this or respond in some way that has nothing to do with directly answering your question.
You can't be an atheist with respect to Zeus. An atheist denies the existence of all gods, not just one or a few.
Secondly, the burden would rest on both of us because we are both making a claim that requires evidence.
Oh, but I can, and I am. I lack belief that the theological construct Zeus exists. If someone claims that a powerful creature who can direct lightening using his hands exists, it is not in any way my burden to prove or provide evidence such a being does not exist. We have no historical record of such beings apart from fictional literature. We have explored Mount Olympus and not found a trace of such a being. It would be entirely up to a person claiming the existence of Zeus to provide evidence. Absent that, the correct default position is that such a being does not exist, more so since the claims about this being violate what we know to be evident from all beings in our scope of knowledge and experience.
To show why atheism is a belief system and why the burden of proof rests on the atheist as well as the theist.
Then when do you plan on doing that, SoG? You have attempted some lackluster and not very clever word games that have more holes in them than Albert Hall. As has been said multiple times, atheism is the LACK of belief in deities. Thinking and believing are two very different things. Trying to define them as one in the same has not and will not work. Let it go.
Firstly, as I stated above, the context in which you use "think" and "believe" imply the same thing, don't try to avoid this by committing the fallacy of equivocation as you have done.
Secondly, nowhere is atheism defined as a lack of belief in a god. Lacking belief in something is a psychological state, not a world view. Atheism is the world view that no gods exist. If it was defined as you put it, babies are atheists. A baby can't be an atheist because it doesn't yet understand such a concept nor does it understand the concept of a god.
If you did a little research, you would notice that the whole theist/atheist stances are NOT stances i.e. there are much more stances than just theism and atheism- there are things in between and even things completely outside of the atheist-theist-spectrum.
Ignosticism is an example. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignosticism
Ignosticism means that you have no concept or understanding of God, which is what babies would be.
I encourage you to read the series on Irrelgion on Wikipedia. It is very very definitive and well put; you learn a lot of things from it.
*NOT binary stances
I have placed this here before, but will do so again, as I have been told it was helpful and I think it gets the point across simply!
The labels are crazy? I originally put this in another thread about the options on the profiles... again I think it will fit here. I happen to know a lot about these labels and did my best to explain them herein:
I would like to stress that I am not trying to spam the forums, this is a secondary repeated post of mine from another thread in the suggestions room...
Unknowntyper presents: An Unknown production, in association with Nifty tid-bits Inc...
Defining the Terms for Religious Belief or: How you Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Terms
What you believe = atheist or theist
What you "know" or better yet "what you think we can know" = gnostic or agnostic
These terms describe our stances and thoughts on gods. We end up with four basic labels.
An agnostic atheist doesn't believe in gods and subsequently thinks their existence is not and or cannot be known. Most atheist fall into this category. E.g., they reject the existence of gods on account of the lack of evidence for them.
An agnostic theist believes in god(s), yet he or she does not claim to know that god(s) exist; and generally also thinks that we cannot know for a certainty that god(s) exist (even their own god).
A gnostic atheist does not believe in gods, while also asserting that it can be known that gods do not exist. This is not very common for atheists especially scientists.
A gnostic theist believes god(s) exist and asserts that it is known, and or, can be known that god(s) exist. This is a very common position for theists... Basically depends on the understanding and definition of "proof".
I hope this clears things up a bit.