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Atheism as a religion

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posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:02 AM
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Atheists most often think of themselves as ahead of the curve. They say religious people are ignorant, gullible, naive or even stupid to believe in a being whose existence has never been proven. They claim they KNOW there is no God because of the existence of science. That is flawed reasoning and they mostly have no idea what science implies.

God and science are 100% capable of coexisting. Contrary to popular (atheist) opinion, the big bang theory does not at all disprove the existence of a creator. It merely illustrates a plausible condition for the first few tiniest fractions of time of our known universe’s existence. It does not at all answer the question as to where those conditions found their origin.

Off course this isn’t literally what Genesis tells us, but the in the big picture the sequence of events (i.e. the evolution of life) is more or less the same. (First planets, then animal, then man).

Then there is the problem of consciousness. Even though we know how the brain functions, or what parts are active when we think, do or experience stuff, modern day science and biology have not quite succeeded in explaining why we are aware of the things we are aware of. (Follow me?). It could as easily have a spiritual explanation as a scientific one. Fact of the matter is, we don’t KNOW.

Now, as for the title of this thread. How does atheism become a religion?
Well first of all, it is based on a system of believes. Namely the believe that God does not exist. Also there is the believe that science explains everything. These are believes and if you think you know these things for sure that’s a great misconception.

Science has so far only explained questions about HOW and never the question FUNDAMENTALLY WHY. This is a very important notion and really is true. Of course we can answer some ‘why-questions’ but that is only because we have discovered mechanisms of nature (‘how-question’).

The second characteristic of religion Atheism displays is the need to preach it’s truthfulness towards others. Think along the lines of “SCIENTIFIC PROOF GOD DOES NOT EXIST”. It’s the atheists version of the Jehovah’s witness .

Finally, and this kind of overlaps with the first two points but is very important as well, they claim their truth is the only possible truth and think low of everyone that doesn’t agree with them.


Personal disclosure: I believe the Universe/ Nature/Reality is God. We are all part of the divine. God is no person and God is every person. That’s my religion.

I hope I didn’t bore you, I just got fed up with the self-righteousness some people (atheists but also theists) display.

“I would have to know a lot more to call myself an Atheist.” – Carl Sagan




posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:04 AM
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I have potential atheists swimming around inside my reproductive parts....
, for something to be, it has to be created, how did this whole entire universe, the dimensions that come into play all come about?
edit on 17-6-2011 by Sounds_of_Silence because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:07 AM
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Atheism is not a religion, we do not believe in God. It's quite simple really. We don't want to convert you or make you stray from your path, if you wish to be religious, it's your choice, like it is ours to not be, it doesn't really have to be any bigger than that. :-)



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:13 AM
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reply to post by j-man
 





Science has so far only explained questions about HOW and never the question FUNDAMENTALLY WHY.


that's because science is here to help us understand the how. philosophy is here to answer the esoteric "why".

And there lies the difference between atheism and theism. Atheists don't need a why, there's doesn't have to be some grand meaning behind everything, things are as they are, enjoy it while you are lucky enough to be here. Theists require a why, there has to be a reason behind everything, which is the divine plan.

I can't really call myself an atheist. i don't believe in any of the current major religions view on a "god" but for me, the very basic mechanisms that form our reality, is god.

You nailed something good with your post in saying that science doesn't rule out a god. Indeed, science can never rule out a "god" that is equipped with omnipresence. All science can do is explain the mechanisms behind what we perceive. Science can push the boundary of "proof" of a god back further as our knowledge advances, but the very notion of a "god" eliminates sciences ability to 100% prove one doesn't exist.

There is also no way to prove god exists.

Some poster in some other thread said something profound:

If my 5 year old child asked a theist why the sky was blue, most, not all, but most, would say because god made it blue.

If that same child asks that same question to a so called "atheist" they will learn about how the atmosphere is composed of particles that refract light and a byproduct of that is our blue sky.

It's a nice warm feeling to believe in a divine plan and all of that, but if I ever expect to fully understand the world around me, I have to go with science.

I agree, true atheists, the hardcore, are essentially a religion of their own. But don't lump all people who have a different view of "god" into that category.

Great post op, should have people thinking.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:20 AM
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reply to post by phishyblankwaters
 

Thanks,

It's always hard to make a statement about a group or groups without generalising. It happens all the time, everywhere. It think what I was trying to point out is that naivety might just as well lead to Atheism as it does to blindly taking the bible literal.

Not favoring anyone


edit on 17-6-2011 by j-man because: grammar



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:20 AM
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God is just an explanation of what science can't prove.
Don't worry, when we figure out the big bang, god will be pushed further away in the non-understanding.

More and more, we will prove that god doesn't exists...maybe we will arrive to a point where god will be the final answer. Till then, believing is subjective.

Anyway, why MUST there be a creator?
Why can't things just be and have been forever.

Is it because of the way WE create life?
Probably is, because since we are finite we can't conceive the infinite.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:41 AM
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reply to post by j-man
 


Originally posted by j-man
I hope I didn’t bore you, I just got fed up with the self-righteousness some people (atheists but also theists) display.


What?... and you don't sound morally superior?

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” --Stephen Roberts



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:47 AM
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reply to post by JudasIscariot
 


Trying not to, and I think I had a fairly well-balanced post, merely pointing out there is much more uncertainty about fundamentals than some people would like to believe, or think to know...



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:59 AM
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I'm not so sure I would call atheism a religion.
But I would most certainly agree that there are religiously zealous atheists.

There are some right here on ATS. You know who you are.


S&F OP.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 08:02 AM
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reply to post by j-man
 


You wrote about atheists:

["They say religious people are ignorant, gullible, naive or even stupid to believe in a being whose existence has never been proven. They claim they KNOW there is no God because of the existence of science. That is flawed reasoning and they mostly have no idea what science implies."]

You are talking about gnostic atheists, who are not especially representative for atheists these days.

Quote: ["Contrary to popular (atheist) opinion, the big bang theory does not at all disprove the existence of a creator."]

See above.

Quote: ["Off course this isn’t literally what Genesis tells us, but the in the big picture the sequence of events (i.e. the evolution of life) is more or less the same. (First planets, then animal, then man)."]

From a perspective of contemporary science, genesis 1 is total nonsense.

Quote: ["Then there is the problem of consciousness. Even though we know how the brain functions, or what parts are active when we think, do or experience stuff, modern day science and biology have not quite succeeded in explaining why we are aware of the things we are aware of. (Follow me?). It could as easily have a spiritual explanation as a scientific one."]

And so? Moving into a knowledge-gap?

Quote: ["Also there is the believe that science explains everything."]

There are many things science doesn't know, and admits it. Though this doesn't prevent some theists from hijacking scientific HYPOTHESES and claim adaptions of said hypotheses to be 'proof' of theist claims.

Quote: [" Science has so far only explained questions about HOW and never the question FUNDAMENTALLY WHY."]

Presently that's the job of philosophers.

Quote: ["Think along the lines of “SCIENTIFIC PROOF GOD DOES NOT EXIST”. "]

There is no scientific proof of 'god' one way or another.

Quote: ["Finally, and this kind of overlaps with the first two points but is very important as well, they claim their truth is the only possible truth and think low of everyone that doesn’t agree with them."]

Science is used for observation and analyzing of cosmos. It's far superior for that purpose. Science is not working with speculative guesses.

In your opening paragraph you wrote: ["the existence of science. That is flawed reasoning and they mostly have no idea what science implies."]

And your knowledge of science is.....? (It seems rather questionable to me).



edit on 17-6-2011 by bogomil because: addition



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 08:25 AM
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reply to post by bogomil
 


I think you misintrepeted my post completely. I was not making a case against science, I was making a case against the argument that science rules out a God.

And as an astronomy student I think my knowledge of science is pretty much up to date.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by j-man
 


People go around and around on this all the time, as to whether atheism can be called a religion. The fact that it's an -ism is one clue about it: it's a system of belief or philosophy (and I'm not sure there's much difference between the two). Atheists like to say that there is no difference between "I believe there is no god" and "I believe there is no flying spaghetti monster" (or the teapot illustrations many atheists like to use), lumping all belief in the unprovable together. But unlike the FSM and the teapot, it is entirely rational to posit a First Cause based upon what science can observe: entropy and no effect being greater than its cause. Philosophically, we can also rationally state that the idea of anything causing itself to exist is absurd. The idea of a First Cause is rational, but the idea of flying monsters of the spaghetti or teapot variety is absurd; this is the answer to the earlier quote about asking theists why they reject other gods. Until atheists see the difference between blind wishes and rational hypotheses, theists and atheists will continue to talk past each other.
edit on 17-6-2011 by SaberTruth because: clarification



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 08:55 AM
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reply to post by j-man
 


There are still a few scientism'ists around, both amongst scientists and atheists, but they don't carry as much weight as they used to do. As an astronomy student, be it as an academic or layperson, it surprises me, that you create a category around them.

That would be like saying all christians are raving missionaries, obsessed with pushing their message.

It surprises me even more, that you are unaware of the difference between science and philosophy, that you take some tentative steps in the direction of 'intelligent design' and most it surprises me, that you compared genesis with science.

If you can see anything reasonable in genesis from a scientific perspective, you are the first person in my time on ATS to do so. Though the claim of doing that occurs from time to time, no-one has ever actually made the effort.

A REAL communication between science and religion wouldn't be based on such wishy-washy simplifications.

The christian recipee: Making friends, infiltration, assimilation, taking over and finally heresy-accusations.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 09:12 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 


You wrote:

["Atheists like to say that there is no difference between "I believe there is no god" and "I believe there is no flying spaghetti monster" (or the teapot illustrations many atheists like to use), lumping all belief in the unprovable together."]

And what would that difference be? Like this:

Quote: ["But unlike the FSM and the teapot, it is entirely rational to posit a First Cause based upon what science can observe"]

The FSM is definitely THE first cause (that is, if any such exists). Prove me wrong.

Quote continued.....:["entropy and no effect being greater than its cause."]

And how does enthropy prove any theist claims? Don't worry, I can probably follow you.

Quote: ["Philosophically, we can also rationally state that the idea of anything causing itself to exist is absurd"]

Like theists' postulate about their 'god' being a primal cause?

Quote: ["The idea of a First Cause is rational, but the idea of flying monsters of the spaghetti or teapot variety is absurd;"]

The concept 'first cause' is rational. Any presently specific answers on it are guesses. A demon-lord, Jahveh, as creator of the universe (and in his supposedly own book not knowing what his creation is like). This makes the FSM more credible by exclusion.

Quote: ["Until atheists see the difference between blind wishes and rational hypotheses, theists and atheists will continue to talk past each other."]

Since you have started the patronizing game...please refine what you mean with rational hypotheses.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 09:22 AM
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Originally posted by bogomil
reply to post by j-man
 


There are still a few scientism'ists around, both amongst scientists and atheists, but they don't carry as much weight as they used to do. As an astronomy student, be it as an academic or layperson, it surprises me, that you create a category around them.

That would be like saying all christians are raving missionaries, obsessed with pushing their message.


Yet the category 'christians' exists as well. And you use it. So are you saying all Christians are missionaries or did you make you own point invalid?



It surprises me even more, that you are unaware of the difference between science and philosophy, that you take some tentative steps in the direction of 'intelligent design' and most it surprises me, that you compared genesis with science.

If you can see anything reasonable in genesis from a scientific perspective, you are the first person in my time on ATS to do so. Though the claim of doing that occurs from time to time, no-one has ever actually made the effort.

What tentive steps are you talking about? I simply point out we don't know how and what? If something isn't sure it doesn't mean it isn't true.

I think I regret mentioning Genesis because it could and has been misunderstood as to what I meant. (a loose comparison in sequence of events.)

And as far as the difference between science and philosophy goes, did you know that in ancient Greece science was considered a branch of philosophy? As were math, biologie, astronomy, psychology and so forth...

Maybe we lost the overlap.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:10 AM
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reply to post by j-man
 


Why does this feces keep coming up!?

Alright, let's break this down.


Originally posted by j-man
Atheists most often think of themselves as ahead of the curve.


Possibly, but really...doesn't everyone?



They say religious people are ignorant, gullible, naive or even stupid to believe in a being whose existence has never been proven.


Ignorance isn't an insult. I'm ignorant on a lot of things. I don't know all that much about dendochronology even though I understand what it is.
Gullible? Sure, some of them?
Naive? Well, there are degrees of that in everyone?
Stupid? Any group that's big enough will have some stupid people in it.



They claim they KNOW there is no God because of the existence of science.


To quote a great man: "Lol wut?" I'm sorry, but the existence of science doesn't prove or disprove anything.

First off: Few (if any) atheists claim to know whether or not there is a deity.
Secondly: Nobody is making the claim that you're proposing that they make.



That is flawed reasoning and they mostly have no idea what science implies.


*sigh* And let me guess, you do. You'll claim that science and god are either compatible or that science can only exist with god..



God and science are 100% capable of coexisting.


And nobody has claimed otherwise.



Contrary to popular (atheist) opinion, the big bang theory does not at all disprove the existence of a creator.


...well, that's dandy, except that isn't the popular opinion among atheists...sooooooo.....*ahem*
Straw man.



It merely illustrates a plausible condition for the first few tiniest fractions of time of our known universe’s existence. It does not at all answer the question as to where those conditions found their origin.


True, but tossing "goddidit"in is just an argument from ignorance. "We don't know, therefore GODDIDIT!" is not a valid answer.



Off course this isn’t literally what Genesis tells us, but the in the big picture the sequence of events (i.e. the evolution of life) is more or less the same. (First planets, then animal, then man).


....except that big picture is way off.

Order:
"Heavens"
"Earth"
Light
Light and darkness split, named evening and morning.
Firmament to separate 'water from water'...which is odd.
Land is revealed, seas gather
Plants (we're at the third day so far)
Stars, the Sun, and the Moon

That's where we sort of run into a massive roadblock...also, plant life isn't considered the first form of life by a long shot...it's just generally wrong.




Then there is the problem of consciousness.


...not again....what's the problem with it? Oh, we have a gap in our knowledge for you to stuff a deity into?



Even though we know how the brain functions, or what parts are active when we think, do or experience stuff, modern day science and biology have not quite succeeded in explaining why we are aware of the things we are aware of. (Follow me?).


...well, that's to heavily understate the level of progress scientists have made in the fields of cognitive neuroscience.



It could as easily have a spiritual explanation as a scientific one. Fact of the matter is, we don’t KNOW.


I'm sorry, but when has a spiritual explanation ever been the right one?



Now, as for the title of this thread. How does atheism become a religion?


Answer: It doesn't!

Atheism means one thing: I do not believe in a deity.
That is not a religion. You can have it as a component of a religion, like certain forms of Buddhism, but it is not a religion in and of itself.



Well first of all, it is based on a system of believes. Namely the believe that God does not exist.


No, we don't. We do not believe in any deity. That doesn't mean we actively believe in the nonexistence of deities. I've gone over this far too many times on this website and quite a few of those were this week alone.



Also there is the believe that science explains everything.


I'm sorry, but atheism doesn't imply materialism or any trust in science.



These are believes and if you think you know these things for sure that’s a great misconception.


So, this thread is going to be a giant straw man sprinkled with a fundamental misunderstanding of epistemology?



Science has so far only explained questions about HOW and never the question FUNDAMENTALLY WHY.



The question of 'why' is a relative one. It could very much be that 'why' is an irrelevant question as motivation only applies to that which is conscious.

Before you bother answering the question of "fundamentally why" you have to actually demonstrate that it is a legitimate question to pose. So far, the only answer is "No particular reason".



This is a very important notion and really is true. Of course we can answer some ‘why-questions’ but that is only because we have discovered mechanisms of nature (‘how-question’).


I'm sorry, but you need to provide justification for the beginning of this bit.



The second characteristic of religion Atheism displays is the need to preach it’s truthfulness towards others.


I'm sorry...but no. Some atheists want to demonstrate the truth of atheism to others, but so do plenty of people who think that Avatar was the single greatest cinematic spectacle in history. People like to demonstrate that their positions are true, it's human nature. There is no compulsion to 'spread the word' so to speak in the lack of belief in a deity.



Think along the lines of “SCIENTIFIC PROOF GOD DOES NOT EXIST”. It’s the atheists version of the Jehovah’s witness .


....so some people say that they have that proof (and I doubt its many), but I'd have to say..um...no. It's not inbuilt to atheism, that's inbuilt to humanity. Christianity, on the other hand, has a specific command in its 'holy book' to spread the religion, as does Islam.

On the other hand, not all religions put forth the spreading of their teachings. Judaism was never interested in conversion, neither was Hinduism, same goes for Buddhism.



Finally, and this kind of overlaps with the first two points but is very important as well, they claim their truth is the only possible truth and think low of everyone that doesn’t agree with them.


I'm sorry, but you're wrong there. I'm not going to say that there aren't atheists who think that, but that isn't a fundamental part of atheism. ...though I guess I would claim that there is sort of one possible truth...it's a fundamentally difficult epistemological issue to answer properly without devoting a whole post to it. Now, as for thinking low...I don't think low of Newton or Copernicus. I don't think low of Gallileo. I don't think low of Ken Miller or Francis Collins. I don't think low of Gregor Mendel. I just think that they're wrong on one thing. I'm wrong on a lot of things, so thinking someone is wrong about one thing doesn't really change my opinion of them much.



Personal disclosure: I believe the Universe/ Nature/Reality is God. We are all part of the divine. God is no person and God is every person. That’s my religion.


So logical contradictory pantheism...I'm sorry, but why call it god?



I hope I didn’t bore you, I just got fed up with the self-righteousness some people (atheists but also theists) display.


And I'm fed up with the arrogance of the people who claim to be above both groups.



“I would have to know a lot more to call myself an Atheist.” – Carl Sagan


...except that Sagan, as little as he described himself an atheist, but he most certainly was as he never believed in a deity.

Also, citation on the quote please, because a Google search of it brings up one result: this thread.

edit on 17/6/11 by madnessinmysoul because: quote format edit

edit on 17/6/11 by madnessinmysoul because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 


It's not an -ism, it's an A.

The A is the important part there, it's the lack of being part of an -ism.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 12:32 PM
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To believe in something one way, or the other. Without any evidence what so ever to support your idea is a “belief”. A “religion”. A belief in something that is far greater than you can ever hope to understand.

A person that believes there is no god without exception, is making just as big of a leap of faith as the person that believes there is one without exception.

We, at our present level of understanding, have no way of knowing such questions, or no way of even contemplating them in the first place.

Us contemplating god is just like a bacterium contemplating if the environment it’s in has been created by natural forces, or if it’s been prepared by a greater intelligence(aka Petri dish.) It has no way of even contemplating the forces and technology involved, let alone making test of it’s environment to determine the answer.

To keep an open mind is to state that we just don’t know!
To try and declare anything one way or the other is foolish.

I view people that go after people talking about “such a stupid thing as a god” with as much disdain as people that go after people for not preaching the word of god at every turn.

They are both religious fanatics in their own right.

Same as the environmentalism. It’s just another religious movement.

And the pathetic part is people that deny any possibility of the classic religions is usually the people that are preaching the “new age” religions like atheism and environmentalism.

The reason for that is…. The new age religions are usually in conflict with old age religions so you have to disprove the old to accept the new. As most religions are usually mutually exclusive.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 01:49 PM
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reply to post by j-man
 


You wrote:

["Yet the category 'christians' exists as well. And you use it. So are you saying all Christians are missionaries or did you make you own point invalid?"]

I said, I don't make a uniform category of christians. They are very different.

Quote on intelligent design: ["What tentive steps are you talking about? I simply point out we don't know how and what? If something isn't sure it doesn't mean it isn't true."]

By creating an 'opening' for a creator: "It's not disproven".

But the flying spaghetti monster isn't 'disproven' either, neither is Brahma etc. They are optional, amongst thousands of possibilities.

Quote: ["I think I regret mentioning Genesis because it could and has been misunderstood as to what I meant. (a loose comparison in sequence of events.)"]

No worries. I won't hold it against you, now that it's retracted.

Quote: [" And as far as the difference between science and philosophy goes, did you know that in ancient Greece science was considered a branch of philosophy?"]

Yes; but things have changed somewhat since then.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by j-man
 





Atheists most often think of themselves as ahead of the curve. They say religious people are ignorant, gullible, naive or even stupid to believe in a being whose existence has never been proven. They claim they KNOW there is no God because of the existence of science. That is flawed reasoning and they mostly have no idea what science implies.




You got it figured out.

Isn't anybnody else getting tired of all the Atheist threads?................ I know I am. I just thought I would tell you that op. I figured you already knew that though, since you have me figured out.






They claim they KNOW there is no God because of the existence of science.That is flawed reasoning and they mostly have no idea what science implies.




I am confused on your rationality.




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