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Is Atheism a religious/blind faith belief?

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posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 08:28 PM
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reply to post by IamBoon
 


A religion is based on a belief...and atheism is defined as a lack of belief, so I wouldn't call it a religion. However, while the fact that we don't have any proof of god's existence makes that stance more "logical" or "rational" than a religion claiming they "know" their god is the right one and really exists, it completely disregards the fact that we currently can't rule out his/her/its existence entirely. So in a sense, atheists who state "there is no god" are just doing something similar than religious people...they form an opinion without having all the facts.

You can twist and turn it as you like, since we currently don't have any evidence for or against the existence of a god, the only rational and logical answer would be "we just don't know".

[edit on 24-7-2010 by MrXYZ]




posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 08:30 PM
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Atheism and Agnosticism are not mutually exclusive.


Originally posted by eight bits
TS


Atheism is a stance on the existence of gods. It is a lack in belief in them.

Atheism is the belief that there is no god. That is a different thought from not believing that there is a god.


There are two forms of Atheism, one of them being disbelief, meaning that you don't believe or that you lack belief. An Agnostic Atheist would lack belief in gods, but not claim that they know that gods do not exist.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 10:22 PM
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reply to post by PieKeeper
 


I love the hedging people do to somehow elevate their particular set of opinions above others. Which is the whole problem of course. People caring too much about classifications, justifications and other's opinions.

Agnostic



Main Entry: 1ag·nos·tic
Pronunciation: \ag-ˈnäs-tik, əg-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek agnōstos unknown, unknowable, from a- + gnōstos known, from gignōskein to know — more at know
Date: 1869
1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
2 : a person unwilling to commit to an opinion about something

— ag·nos·ti·cism \-tə-ˌsi-zəm\ noun

SOURCE@Merriam Webster

Atheism



Main Entry: athe·ism
Pronunciation: \ˈā-thē-ˌi-zəm\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French athéisme, from athée atheist, from Greek atheos godless, from a- + theos god
Date: 1546
1 archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity

SOURCE@Merriam Webster

Atheists by definition commit to the idea of NONEXISTANCE. Where as agnostics do not. Par words, do the disingenuous semantic shuffle all you will it doesn't change the simple facts of the words you bend for your own justification. Sorry.




[edit on 24-7-2010 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 11:18 PM
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reply to post by eight bits
 




Atheism is the belief that there is no god.


That is called strong atheism. Only strong-atheism (also known as positive-atheism) makes the claim that there definitely is no God. Regular ol' atheism is merely a lack of belief in them and is not a statement on whether they actually exist or not.




People can find themselves not believing that there is a god, without believing that there is no god.


I agree, this is called Agnostic-Atheism and it is what I am, and the vast majority of atheists are. The issue with Strong-atheists, and why I personally disagree with their views is

1) They put the burden of proof on themselves by making a claim to knowledge.

2) They confuse people about what atheism actually means, many believe, wrongly, that Atheism can only be Strong-atheism, that it can only be a statement that there is absolutely no God. This is a misconception that theists latch onto and its one that scares agnostic theists back into their holes and away from atheism.


Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not have belief in the existence of any deity, and agnostic because they do not claim to know that a deity does not exist.


Agnostic Atheism




No, I think we could agree that theism principally names a set of religious beliefs


Not at all. Not even in the slightest. Someone can be a theist without holding religious views, I know because for years after I stopped being a Christian I was an agnostic-theist. I had no religious belief just a belief in a God (theism) that could not truly be known (agnostic).

Theist is a broad describing term just like atheist. Theist means you do believe in a god but does not specify a belief system just as atheist specifies a disbelief in God. Neither are belief systems in and of themselves they merely describe a persons stance on whether they believe there is a God/gods.




There is also nothing unusual about single religions having a diversity of views


Except that atheism is not a religion, and neither is theism. See above.



However , atheism does have one dognma, the belief that there is no god.


Positive/Strong Atheism


Positive atheism is a term popularly used to describe the form of atheism that maintains that "There is at least one god" is a false statement.


So no that is not a dogma that all atheists have in common. The one that all atheist have in common is the lack of belief in deities. That just describes their stance on one issue, it is not a system of belief. You could call it a dogma but where does one dogma get you?



I lack belief in gods, and I am no atheist.


I falsely labeled myself an agnostic for almost a year thinking that it merely meant uncertainty on the God issue. Really one cannot be just agnostic, one is either an agnostic -theist or an agnostic-atheist. I am guessing you are the latter. Read the definition I posted above.

Whoever told you atheism means the outright 100% rejection of the possibility of gods lied to you.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


reply to post by PieKeeper
 


Thank you both of you. Too frequently do people understand the words atheist and agnostic. I can't count how often I have had to explain that agnostics believe the answer is ultimately unknowable and atheists either have no belief in deities or believe there are no deities. People want to add more stuff when that is all there is to it. And too many people think they are exclusive stances.

Thanks again for spreading the truth.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 03:34 AM
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PK


There are two forms of Atheism, one of them being disbelief, meaning that you don't believe or that you lack belief. An Agnostic Atheist would lack belief in gods, but not claim that they know that gods do not exist.

No. Atheists claiming that they subsume agnosticism is like Mormons baptizing people in abstentia who don't believe in their religion.

Not everybody who doesn't believe in some god is an atheist. Get over it.

TS


That is called strong atheism. Only strong-atheism (also known as positive-atheism) makes the claim that there definitely is no God. Regular ol' atheism is merely a lack of belief in them and is not a statement on whether they actually exist or not.

Ah, the atheist passive.

What you mean is that someone has called agnosticism "strong atheism." How nice for that person.

The usage didn't catch on among agnostics. See remarks above. Do as suggested, get over it.


Whoever told you atheism means the outright 100% rejection of the possibility of gods lied to you.

Nobody did tell me that, nor have I argued that here.

That standard of certainty is not generally applied to other religious beliefs, and certainly not by people who aren't members of the religion. Since I am not an atheist, I simply do not comment on the "quality of belief" needed to be an atheist.

Jay


I have had to explain that agnostics believe the answer is ultimately unknowable

No, it suffices that the agnostic does not believe either categorical answer to the question "Does any god exist?"

One advantage of agnostic being of recent coinage is that it has a well documented etymology. Although in Huxley's essay where it first appears, the word meant many things besides "neither theist nor atheist," those uses fell away, even during Huxley's lifetime.

Like every other word, it will retain connotations that complement its denotation. "Unknowable" is plainly a holdover from when the word denoted Huxley's personal beliefs. It stopped denoting that as soon as the second English speaker said "I am an agnostic."

That was in the 19th Century.

Doubtless, the reason why you have to keep explaining it to people is that most people know that what you are "explaining" is factually wrong. So, the good news is that you don't have to explain it any more.

That'll free up your time to explain to Roman Catholics why they're really Rastafarians. At least you'll be closer to "the truth" than you are now.



[edit on 25-7-2010 by eight bits]



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 04:52 AM
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Atheism is a total belief system.
Atheism starts from the faulty position of saying God does not exist. At best that is a faith based claim, along the lines of someone blindly claiming that God does exist.
That already assumes somekind of entity to disprove. At least agnostics are less arrogant in admitting that the subject is too big for them to understand.

Most atheists would admit that you can't prove a negative. As you can't existentially disprove that God exists, you can't prove a negative, atheism will always be a belief system.

Yes they can argue till they are blue in the face with believers, but they must admit that it is a belief. Just because the atheist does not and cannot understand God (as a lesser being cannot know more that a superior being) does not mean that God does not exist.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 04:59 AM
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reply to post by sinthia
 




Atheism starts from the faulty position of saying God does not exist.


No it does not, please see my post just a few posts above yours that lays this stawman to rest. Only Strong/Positive Atheism makes the assertion that God does not exist.

Atheism is just a lack of belief in gods. So Atheism does not start from that position, it starts from a mere disbelief. Strong atheists merely take that lack of belief one step further and make a claim that no gods exist, I agree that in doing this they accept the burden of proof and are making a faith based claim that they can't really know for sure. In no way do all atheists make the claim.



At best that is a faith based claim, along the lines of someone blindly claiming that God does exist.


I agree that Strong Atheism fits this description. However most atheists are not Strong/Positive Atheists for this very reason.

I grow tired of repeating myself on these points in this same thread. Read my post from earlier on the different types of atheism.



a belief


In the sense that not believing in fairies or mermaids is a belief, than yes.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 05:21 AM
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I didn't know that there were so many denominations of atheists!

'Strong' atheists as you refer to are what I believe most people think of when atheism is meant. If that is not the case then the opening post should make that clear.

"Atheism is just a lack of belief in gods. So Atheism does not start from that position, it starts from a mere disbelief."

Disbelief is a belief!!!!!!!!!!!! You can try and rephrase it however you like, but atheism IS a belief.

If I choose not to believe in faires, unicorns, pink dragons, that is a choice, a belief, I cannot prove that they do not exist- even if I suspect they don't. Why can't atheists admit that atheism is a religion, albeit an inverse one?



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 05:44 AM
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reply to post by sinthia
 




If I choose not to believe in faires, unicorns, pink dragons, that is a choice, a belief, I cannot prove that they do not exist- even if I suspect they don't.


No, it is a lack of belief. You know how darkness is the absence of light? Atheism is the absence of a belief in God.

You seem to also be confusing belief with knowledge. Let me give you an example of a claim to knowledge:

- God exists

If someone were state that a god exists or that a god does not exist it as an assertion of knowledge and they accept the burden of proof.

However one does not need to make a claim to knowing whether or not there is a God to believe in one.

I am an agnostic-atheist, I don't believe in a God but I'm not going to pretend that I KNOW for certain there absolutely isn't one (which is what a Strong atheist would do).

I'll use the classic rebuttal to your claim that atheism is a religion. Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.



Why can't atheists admit that atheism is a religion, albeit an inverse one?


Because it isn't a religion, want to know why? Because THEISM is not a religion. Theism is the opposite of atheism, it is the belief that there is a God or gods. Theists, however, can belong to a myriad of separate and often immensely different religions. Hindus, Deists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.

Atheism, like theism, merely reflects a person's belief in god/gods or lack there of.

There are Buddhist atheists, there are atheists that believe we were made by aliens. There are atheists who pray to their ancestors. Atheism is not a religion.



[edit on 25-7-2010 by Titen-Sxull]

[edit on 25-7-2010 by Titen-Sxull]



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 05:59 AM
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I'll use the classic rebuttal to your claim that atheism is a religion. Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

But when you're obsessed with the idea of not collecting stamps it becomes rather hobby-like. Especially when you spend most of your time in conversations with stamp collectors about how/why you don't collect stamps.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 06:03 AM
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reply to post by IamBoon
 



atheism is the conclusion (not 'belief') one comes to, after reasoned and rational thought about the various aspects of faith/belief/religion/creator beings and all the attending hocus-pocus.



for further info/reading:


Madalyn Murray O'Hair - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Early life|Atheistic...|Murray O'Hair...|American...
Madalyn Murray O'Hair was an American atheist activist, and founder of the organization American Atheists and its president from 1963 to 1986.

...She is best known for the Murray v. Curlett lawsuit, which led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling ending government sponsored prayer in American public schools. O'Hair later founded American Atheists and became so controversial that in 1964 Life magazine referred to her as "the most hated woman in America."[1][2]

In 1995 she was murdered, along with her son and granddaughter ...


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madalyn_Murray_O'Hair





[edit on 25-7-2010 by St Udio]



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


We have been round and round on this before. I don't know if it is because we see the definitions differently or what. In any case, the definitions are not mutually exclusive. There seem to be many different types of agnostics, which has muddled my understanding, just like weak/strong has done for you. Let me give it another go.

Weak atheists say that the claims of theists are wrong; there is no reason to believe in god. They do not believe in god(s). Strong atheists claim there is no god. They believe there are no gods. The difference is subtle, kinds like saying that its unknown vs unknowable. Weak atheists reject claims about deities while strong atheists claim they don't exist. Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive either. I am an atheistic agnostic because I reject the claims that deities exist, but it believe it is ultimately impossible to know for certain. That confuses most, so I mostly say I'm an atheist.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 12:29 PM
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We have been round and round on this before. I don't know if it is because we see the definitions differently or what. In any case, the definitions are not mutually exclusive. There seem to be many different types of agnostics, which has muddled my understanding, just like weak/strong has done for you. Let me give it another go.

Since the word agnostic was coined in the 19th Century, it has meant "not atheist and not theist." So, yes the term agnostic excludes atheist. That was why Huxley coined it.


Weak atheists say that the claims of theists are wrong; there is no reason to believe in god. They do not believe in god(s). Strong atheists claim there is no god. They believe there are no gods. The difference is subtle, kinds like saying that its unknown vs unknowable. Weak atheists reject claims about deities while strong atheists claim they don't exist. Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive either. I am an atheistic agnostic because I reject the claims that deities exist, but it believe it is ultimately impossible to know for certain. That confuses most, so I mostly say I'm an atheist.

First, in scholarly contexts, the words strong and weak apply only to propositions, and never apply to the human proponents of a proposition.

Proposition p is stronger than proposition q just when p implies q, and not vice versa.

Clearly, "I believe there is no god" implies "I don't believe there is a god," and not vice versa. So, if you wish, then you can call them the macaroni propositions, and call the first "the strong macaroni proposition" and the second "the weak macaroni proposition." For macaroni, any other non-conflicting term can be used.

You like to use the word atheist a lot. Fine, we'll call them the strong and weak atheist propositions. My agreement to that usage ends at the end of this post, and is given only to explore the consequences of adopting the proposed usage.

Knowing only that someone asserts the weak atheist principle, I couldn't tell whether they were atheist or agnostic. Indeed, I have no idea whether the person even has an auto-epistemic opinion about the strong atheist proposition.

That is, it is admissible for someone to assert "I don't know whether I believe there is a god or not." Such a person is neither an atheist nor an agnostic.

An agnostic is someone who asserts the weak atheist proposition and denies the strong atheist proposition. Therefore, to be agnostic excludes being a proponent of the strong atheist proposition, and also excludes denying an autoepistemic opinion about it.

Even if it were somehow permissible to call a human being a "weak" proponent of anything in scholarly discourse, which it is not, it would be ridiculous to call an agnostic any kind of atheist, and particularly inappropriate to say a "weak" one.

You would lose the information about what the person believes, if anything, besides the weak atheist principle, and would simply invite confusion between the arbitrary name of the weaker principle and the established mutual exclusivity of atheist and agnostic.

Avoidably losing specificity is frowned upon in scholarship. Aviodably sowing confusion is frowned upon in scholarship. Defining terms so as to invite conflict with the established meaning of words, such as agnostic is also frowned upon in scholarship.

Ad hominem descriptions of those who disagree with you are outrightly forbidden in scholarship.

It is ad hominem to call a person's religion by a name other than he would use, it is ad hominem to assert that a professed member of one religion practices a different and incompatible religion, and it is ad hominem to call any particpant in a scholarly exchange a "weak" anything.

So, yeah, you're not going to get away with it. I can't stop you from calling me names, but I can easily show up your pretensions to "scholarly acceptance" of this woo for the BS that they are.

-

[edit on 25-7-2010 by eight bits]



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


A) Although agnosticism was created as a middle ground if you will, understanding and definiton of the concept do not exclude the posibility of agnostic theists and agnostic atheists. I believe you are claiming one understanding of agnosticism speaks for all agnostics. There are agnostics that believe truth about deities is unknown and some that believe that is unknowable. That does not preclude them from having a personal position of belief or disbelief.

B) I was intentionally not using full academic precidion in my language in an effort to find another way to convey these ideas to you.

C) Call me a name caller if you wish, but all I did was attempt to explain some definitions that you have repeatedly misunderstood. I made no claim about your beliefs.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 04:32 PM
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Not everybody who doesn't believe in some god is an atheist. Get over it.


That's exactly what Atheism is. People who don't believe in deities.

Gnosis: "esoteric knowledge of spiritual truth held by the ancient Gnostics to be essential to salvation"

Gnosis is basically spiritual knowledge. This is what Thomas Huxley was referring to when he coined the term "Agnostic," he's rejecting a claim of knowledge.
-"They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis,"–had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. "

Gnosis and Agnosticism deal with knowledge. Theism and Atheism deal with belief. They are not exclusive, and as I said before there isn't just one definition of Atheism.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 05:30 PM
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TS


Although agnosticism was created as a middle ground if you will, understanding and definiton of the concept do not exclude the posibility of agnostic theists and agnostic atheists.

If by that you mean that any oxymoron can be defined a certain way if the parties agree, then trivially that's so. Any untaken string can be defined anyway the parties agree.

And an oxymoron is likely to be "untaken," since no oxymoron has any inherent meaning. They are contradictions, plain and simple.

Since, however, agnosticism is the name of a religion, you have about the same chance of getting agreement for "non-agnostic agnostic" as you would for "Muslim Pagan."

The real question would be why you want to go out of your way to field meaningless religious insults. My guess is to inflate the numbers of "atheists" in the population, and to delegitamize opposition on your non-theist flank.

God's work, to be sure. But some oxymorons demean and belittle people.

The demeaned and belittled will resist you. You will not word-lawyer my religion out of the public square. I am not an atheist.

And now, let's say it together: Get over it.


I was intentionally not using full academic precidion in my language in an effort to find another way to convey these ideas to you.

Lol, why? You think you got more book larnin' than us Gomers?


Call me a name caller if you wish,

Why thank you. I wasn't very concerned about whether I had your permission, but it's very kind of you to offer anyway.

PK

See, Pie, here's how it works. Every time I see you call me an atheist, then I point out that you don't what you are talking about.

And as to


Gnosis: "esoteric knowledge of spiritual truth held by the ancient Gnostics to be essential to salvation"

We have already discussed that that isn't the sense of gnosis that Huxley invoked.

You really can look that up, you know.


[edit on 25-7-2010 by eight bits]



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


I don't care what you call you yourself. I just want to explain the definitions that you seem to misunderstand. I see the words agnostic and atheist as defined and you see them differently. We are at an impass.

Well, the discourse was fun while it lasted. Thanks for listening, if nothing else.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by eight bits
See, Pie, here's how it works. Every time I see you call me an atheist, then I point out that you don't what you are talking about.


"Agnosticism simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that for which he has no grounds for professing to believe." -Thomas Huxley

If this is the definition of Agnosticism you adhere to, then you are indeed an Atheist. This definition of Agnosticism fits with the "lack of belief" form of Atheism.

You deny to be an Atheist, whether it be in the sake of non-conformity, an attempt to claim the moral high ground, or whatever, I don't know. But since you lack a belief in gods, you're an Atheist whether you accept it or not.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 09:18 PM
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Agnosticism simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that for which he has no grounds for professing to believe." -Thomas Huxley

If this is the definition of Agnosticism you adhere to, ...

No, Pie, as I have explained repeatedly, the etymology of the word begins with Thomas Huxley. But he's been dead for a long time.

In any case, the quoted sentence is not a definition, but rather a statement of what Huxley believed to be an attractive consequence of his personal views. He was using to mean in the sense of to entail, as in the sentence

"Passing the course means that you don't need to retake it."

That is, a good reason to try to pass the course is this intuitively pleasing consequence if you do pass.


If this is the definition of Agnosticism you adhere to, then you are indeed an Atheist.

Well, then, thank God I don't adhere to that definition.

Among the ways in which I differ with Huxley, despite our religious harmony, is that my domain-independent epistemological views allow elective priorism. Thus, I disagree that the stated entailment of Huxley's personal views is desirable, unless the word grounds is construed very loosely.

However, in that case, nearly everyone nearly always satisfies the sentence's condition for speaking, on nearly every subject. So, what'd be the point of associating the consequence with agnosticism?

I also do not believe, and have not argued, that atheists or theists unanimously lack grounds satisfactory to them for what they say. So far as I know, many of them - both atheists and theists - fully satisfy the quoted sentence's condition for speaking, without being agnostics.

What makes me an agnostic is that their grounds, so far as I know them, are unsatisfactory to me, and I am disinclined to resolve the question prioristically.

Since the premise of your argument fails to describe my views, I'll just leave it there.



[edit on 26-7-2010 by eight bits]




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