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What is an Atheist truly?

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posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 10:53 PM
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We have had threads about atheism on here and I have yet to find a true atheist on this forum.


Many people believe that if they don't believe in God, then they are an Atheist. Some even think if they detest the concept of God that they are an Atheist.


Yet, what I find so hilarious, is that most self proclaimed Atheists, would say that the Self definitely exists. I find the fact that a Self exists just as hilarious as the Belief in a controlling deity of some sort.

What I'd like to find out is, how many people on here realize that the concept of Self is itself an illusion. Until you can really get beyond the mechanics of your own consciousness and see yourself for what you are, "A meat machine", then you can not even come close to claiming atheism as your orientation.




posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 11:04 PM
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reply to post by Quazga
 

I do not believe in god. That is the definition of an atheist.
The concept of spiritualty does not require belief in god either. Self awareness and philosophies based around lack of spirituality [aside from god] is probably closer to nihalism than anything. Existentualism perhaps? Atheism is more as statement of what one doesn't believe in.. it doesn't go into specifics of what one does believe 'instead of'.

[edit on 7-2-2008 by riley]



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 11:05 PM
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Tricky and interesting. I've thought about the same thing, and I've come full circle. I think the closest thing that best describes myself is that I'm completely nihilist.

There might be a God, good for him.

There might be a Self, good for them.

It's none of my concern and I'm just going to leave it at that.



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 11:20 PM
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Atheists have a religious conviction in the nonexistence of god. It is their faith. There is as much or little proof for their belief as for any other religious belief.



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 11:22 PM
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Originally posted by mattguy404
Tricky and interesting. I've thought about the same thing, and I've come full circle. I think the closest thing that best describes myself is that I'm completely nihilist.

There might be a God, good for him.

There might be a Self, good for them.

It's none of my concern and I'm just going to leave it at that.


Well said.

You (that is to say, the digital representation of the meat machine that may or may not be an extension of my computer) have earned a star (a trivial and pointless thing, when all is said and done) from me (a collection of muscles, nerves and amino acids that is at the very least aware of the need to type, smoke cigarettes and drink tea).



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 11:24 PM
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I think being an atheist is believing in your own interpretation of whats out there, and not an organized religion. I would call myself an atheist just because I dont believe in any organized religion, but I do believe there has to be something out there. How can something come from nothing, etc etc.. you can just sit and think for hours on what we do and do not understand. It's hard to say definitively that there is or isnt a 'god'. Just my opinion, and now thanks I will just be pondering on this for the next few hours



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 11:32 PM
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reply to post by vox2442
 


Before all is said and done, I returned the favor of granting you a star for an excellent sense of humor; the origin of which is the great grey gooeyness encased in your cranium



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 11:34 PM
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Originally posted by racerzeke
It's hard to say definitively that there is or isnt a 'god'.


to me, atheism isn't just a disbelief in god...it's accepting that we do not know who or what did create all of this for sure. it's opting out of religion until all of this can be proven as truth.

it's not a negative thing, it's almost more responsible and open-minded.

i'm happy for people who can believe whatever religion...it works for them. sometimes i envy it. sometimes i'm on the ropes, sometimes i see a hidden nugget of truth that glows deep within my own soul. these things moments i do hold on to, i research them, i try to understand them. i sometimes get closer to maybe figuring some things out.

sometimes.



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 01:31 PM
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hmmm.. atheism, for me, is fake. i mean, you can't disprove the existence of something without proving its existence.. getting my point?



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by Quazga
Many people believe that if they don't believe in God, then they are an Atheist. Some even think if they detest the concept of God that they are an Atheist.

Yet, what I find so hilarious, is that most self proclaimed Atheists, would say that the Self definitely exists. I find the fact that a Self exists just as hilarious as the Belief in a controlling deity of some sort.


Quite the non-sequitur.

Shouldn't the thread be labelled 'what is the self, truly?', and then you can add a dig at atheists in there somewhere...

The self is just a narrative we use, based on past experiences and current state. It can't be bottled. Indeed, it can be in some ways split in two in split-brain patients. So, what is self? It's like a little story produced in the brain that helps us to navigate the world.

Many neurological patients give an interesting insight into this. For example, Clive Wearing, the dense amnesic. Can't learn anything new, a self stuck in a moment. No further narrative possible?



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 06:53 AM
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atheism is not believing in any form of theism, not sure what your defining it as.



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 08:19 AM
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I'm an Atheist, but it's not my fault. It's just the way god made me



Peace



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by Quazga
What I'd like to find out is, how many people on here realize that the concept of Self is itself an illusion... get beyond the mechanics of your own consciousness and see yourself for what you are, "A meat machine"...

You can't dismiss the mind-body problem that easily.

From the outside looking in, you look like a meat machine. From the inside looking out, you are a conscious entity. That is the essence of the mind-body problem. It has been discussed for more than 1000 years by philosophers and scientists with no resolution.

If you think you are a meat machine, just hit your thumb with a hammer, and tell yourself that the pain you feel is just neurons firing. It doesn't ease the pain much!

No -- the mind and body are two different and very real things.

Religion (of any type) is an attempt to understand that mystery.

Atheism trys to dismiss that mystery, but it is a little like ignoring an elephant in the living room.

See Mind-Body Problem for further discussion.



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 09:39 AM
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Consciousness, self-wareness, and the ego etc are just best mechanisms that evolution can give us for self preservation. There's some evidence that we make all our decisions before we're even conscious of making them. "I think therefore I am" is an illusion. We are animals, meat machines, hosts for replication of DNA. Religion is a bandage for the fear we have of death, it too serves a purpose, enabling us to endure the stress of the awareness the impending destruction of this 'self', soothing us so that this mechanicism of consciousness is not detoured from the primary goal of aiding the meat machine in being a successful lifeform, eating, breeding, staying alive.



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by Quazga
 


What is an Atheist truly?

Simply put, an athiest is someone who denies what is obvious to them and in that, they reject that obvious truth and define themself as an Athiest.



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 10:06 AM
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Originally posted by Jadette
"I think therefore I am" is an illusion. We are animals, meat machines, hosts for replication of DNA.

I am confused by your assertion. Perhaps I misinterpret what you mean by "illusion". Descartes said that "I think therefore I am" was the only thing that COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED an illusion, so you are contradicting one of the great and accepted premises of philosophy with your statement.

As for your statement that we are animals, hosts for replication of DNA, that may be true, but it only one half the perspective. You could just as easily say that DNA is the mechanism for supporting our consciousness, the physical realm exists ONLY to allow the human psyche to exist within it.

Your statement that we may make all our decisions before we're even conscious of making them -- that is fascinating! That has some amazing implications. Perhaps decisions come from the future? Very heavy.



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by Buck Division

Originally posted by Jadette
Your statement that we may make all our decisions before we're even conscious of making them -- that is fascinating! That has some amazing implications. Perhaps decisions come from the future? Very heavy.


I find it really fascinating too.


My husband is a behavioral psychologist. He's worked for John Hopkins and done research for the CDC and now teaches. I have to give credit for my knowledge of this subject due to his influence.

Look up Benjamin Libet. He did a series of experiments that suggest that volitional acts are initiated in the unconscious processes in the brain. There is very little free will, that we have the power of 'veto', that's all.

We THINK we think and make decisions, but really, the meat machine does it and we suffer the illusion of having made the decision. Hence why I said, that "I think therefore I am" is an illusion. I was deliberately trying to be ironic, since I do know it's one of the quintessential statements on the subject.


The REALLY fascinating thing is, that there is some issue of temporal displacement, that our brains might actually work outside of time in some respects. We really don't know a lot about how the brain functions in regards to time. Some people speculate that our minds are simply...using 'time travel' in a small way when it comes to decision making.



edit: fixed the quotation code

[edit on 8-2-2008 by Jadette]



posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by Quazga
What is an Atheist truly?


The Atheist is he who sees the foolishness of the religious people in their errors and this makes the atheist fall into error for themselves as they totally reject the all things spiritual for the foolish selfrightous errors of those in religion.



posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 03:28 PM
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Ok, some of you guys are confusing Atheism and Agnosticism. They are separate factions of logic.

Atheism (non-belief in any god[s]) vs. Theism (belief in one or more god[s])

Agnosticism (unsure if what you believe is correct) vs. Gnosticism (sure that what you believe is correct)

You can be one from each camp. Also, all this 'something from nothing' nonsense is trite. There's no argument there. And another thing, spirituality and religion have nothing to do with each other. I know many christians who are very un-spiritual, and many atheists who are very spiritual.



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