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atheist or Atheist? That is the question!

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posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:59 AM
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Many threads on ATS dealing with religion and atheism attempt to assign some kind of belief system to atheism to turn it into Atheism - The religion. I just want to get across this alternative viewpoint.

The whole point of the concept of atheism is that it is a lack of belief in a God or Gods and NOT a belief that God does not exist. Many seem incapable of understanding the difference and it is my perception that the atheists fall into the former definition and the Atheists into the latter.

Most religions at least in the US of A as far as I can see classify all non religious persons as Atheists rather than atheists because they think that there has to be some sort of religious fervour to their non belief. Where such a fervour does exist then truly these persons are not atheists but Atheists and the definition of Atheism might well be God Hating, but that as I say is not atheism.

The atheist does not hate God. The true atheist has no concept of God because they have a lack of belief in any such supernatural being or beings. The true atheist has no desire to convert all Believers to atheism, but I suspect that is not the case for Atheists who appear to have an agenda of that nature.

The Atheists fervour is not nearly so clear in Europe and I suspect that atheism is more prevalent. In the same way that we do not have such a strong Fundamentalist Christian movement we also to not have the Fundamentalist Atheists.

It is true to say that many atheists and Atheists have either been brought up as Christians/Muslims/Jews/Hindus etc and have either seen the light or fallen by the wayside depending on your point of view.

There are few in the modern world who will have grown up with no influence at all from mainstream religion and thus even being an atheist implies some knowledge of the traditional beliefs. It is another erroneous assumption on the part of many ATS religious protagonists that the Atheists or atheists know nothing about the teachings of the bible/koran/torah etc. This is not the case for the greater part.

I was brought up by a Church of England priest and his wife, my adoptive parents, and am well versed in the dogma of the C oe E. I have read the bible in many versions including the New Testament in Greek, and I possess and have read many passages from the Noble Qur'an. On the surface I have studied many other religions. My partner is a Roman Catholic and it has been an interesting experience comparing Anglicanism and Catholicism and discovering that despite the propaganda put out by some there is actually very little difference. An Anglican could just as easily be a Catholic and vice versa.

On another very recent thread a poster commented that they had studied religions and most were originally based on Sun worship. This really is hardly surprising considering the importance of the Sun in our lives. Others have commented on the similarities between accounts in many disparate religions. Again none of this should be a surprise.

I am not going to elaborate on the pecuniary or power benefits of being a religious leader, or on the veracity or otherwise of the various tomes in various religions that go to support their faith whatever it may be. There is ample evident in relatively recent times that supportive writings will appear to foster the belief in the doctrine no matter what it is.

I would rather look at the human in it's natural environment and how the human would dwell on the wondrous things it sees and would feel a need to ensure that these wondrous things continue. Is it not essential as a human that the Sun returns to the heavens to give light that the plants may grow to provide our food, or that we may hunt in daylight and see our quarry? It would not take more than one or two eclipses of the Sun for the humans to think they must do something to placate the Sun and entreat it to stay and to return each day for our benefit.

Did my dogs love me because I fed them and was kind to them. Does my cat love me for the same reason? Yes. Deny it all you want these animals return love as a supplication that you will continue to feed them and look after them. Taken back to the pack level it is no different. Stop feeding them and see how long they will love you.

So most sentient beings have a need to ensure their continuance. No surprise there as that is the ultimate goal of everything - reproduction, continuance, furtherance of the species. It is easily seen where the need for religion comes into the system. This is not belittling religion. It is the natural product of our environment and human nature. As the system grows the need for compliance increases and a set of rules to ensure that the community can live together. Whether you are a member of a tribe in the Amazon or live in a modern city there is a need for rules. The people who discovered that religion was a powerful tool perceived that this was an excellent vehicle for conveying the rules and in the Abrahamic religions called them the Commandments.

So if you have no belief in this deity based system does that mean that you are absolved from "the rools"? Nope. The rules are still required. On a very minor scale this is the case at ATS. We have the T & C. These are needed in order that our society can exist and not disintegrate into chaos. If you fail to obey the rules that have been formed for your benefit, or the benefit of the society then you get banned. You could also say this was excommunication. It is. Some other societies call it being shunned. In fact this mechanism of detaching an errant individual from the support mechanism of the community is universal. Think of exile for example.




posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:59 AM
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So why does any religion need to be intolerant of another? I have no idea personally but I suspect that it is knee-jerk protectionism which attempts to secure the belief system, thus the rules, of that particular organisation and prevent adherents from straying. Straying weakens the grip of the organisation and threatens the way of life.

By exactly the same token this intolerance is directed at atheists or Atheists. The threat from outside must be eliminated. It is such a wonderful contradiction that the thread to religions of love should be met by verbal or even physical violence.

But is this intolerance returned? By the Atheist I believe it is because Atheism is indeed a religion - I wish you would find another word for it, perhaps AntiTheism - and feels threatened by other religions and the need to go out and sell its doctrine.

The atheist however has no such agenda. Generally the atheist will accept that rules are needed, that they may have appeared to come from religion but are still required, and that society in general needs to have order. The atheist has no axe to grind with the believer, no matter from which religion they may be, and expects that all shall live in harmony and not continually be forcing views down each other's throats. I would not mind betting either than many true atheists are quite likely to have pacifist tendencies.

Yes there is in my opinion a very big difference between an atheist and an Atheist (AntiTheist) and that this difference should be recognised by the membership of ATS.

I believe that all people have a right to their own religious beliefs or otherwise, that they have the right to describe those religious beliefs without fear of attack and derision, and that they have the right to inform others about their religion or lack thereof. No one has the right to attempt to force another to their viewpoint and the use of derogatory or disparaging remarks or general badmouthing as a tool to belittle the respondent. This is not acceptable, but then I am an atheist after all.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by PuterMan
 



The whole point of the concept of atheism is that it is a lack of belief in a God or Gods and NOT a belief that God does not exist. Many seem incapable of understanding the difference and it is my perception that the atheists fall into the former definition and the Atheists into the latter.


Or perhaps you just made this up. I had a professor of philosophy who would not agree with you. His explanation was this:

An atheist believes there is no God.
An agnostic does not stand in a believing relationship vis-a-viz God.
A theist believes in God.

The point is that an atheist has an active belief that there is no God. Your definition of atheist would his definition of an agnostic. John Hospers, once a professor of philosophy at UCLA and author of "An introduction to Philosophical Analysis" which is a college level textbook still in use today, puts it this way:


One can believe that there is no God at all (atheism), or that we are not entitled on the basis of evidence either to believe God exists or does not exist (agnosticism, literally "I-don't-know-ism").
2nd edition, 1967, Prentice-Hall, p. 427.

The rest of your thesis may or may not follow, but the point is that you are taking liberties with established definitions.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 12:44 PM
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The whole point of the concept of atheism is that it is a lack of belief in a God or Gods and NOT a belief that God does not exist.


Is the word you're looking for Agnosticism by any chance?

"Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown or unknowable"

I'm an Agnostic and proud to be one too. I used to be an athiest and believed pretty much what you explained in your post. About how the Bible was created by man to control it's population for the benifit of civilization but I believe it goes far beyond that but I won't get into it.

As an Agnostic, I do believe in the Bible however, the Bible isn't 100% true nor 100% false but the best way to describe it would be; It's black and white with shades of gray. Over the years, I believe the Bible was rewritten to for the agenda of TPTB and to control the population so people don't get out of control, murdering, raping, fornication, and all kinds of other crap.

Love your post Puterman. S&F.

May I recommend a movie for you to watch that I bet you havn't even seen? With you being an athiest, I think you will enjoy it. Check it out, that's all I'm asking. Link is in my signature.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 



I had a professor of philosophy who would not agree with you.


I have no doubt you did. But then maybe he just made it up? Who is to say? I personally do not believe that you have to actively NOT believe in God. To actively not believe in God to me suggests that there is something that you are rejecting, and that may not be the case. That is a different thing form not having a belief in God in the first place. As I say I don't think many understand the distinction. Perhaps you number amongst those, and perhaps your Prof does as well?



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 01:12 PM
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reply to post by TheProphetMark
 



Is the word you're looking for Agnosticism by any chance?


No I don't believe so, at least not by virtue of what I understand as being agnostic.


"Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown or unknowable"

I'm an Agnostic and proud to be one too. I used to be an athiest and believed pretty much what you explained in your post. About how the Bible was created by man to control it's population for the benifit of civilization but I believe it goes far beyond that but I won't get into it.


Now that is quite interesting. I had not considered a movement in that direction possible, but I suppose anything can change.


As an Agnostic, I do believe in the Bible however, the Bible isn't 100% true nor 100% false but the best way to describe it would be; It's black and white with shades of gray. Over the years, I believe the Bible was rewritten to for the agenda of TPTB and to control the population so people don't get out of control, murdering, raping, fornication, and all kinds of other crap.


I would agree with you on that. My premise is that the origination was not Divine.


May I recommend a movie for you to watch that I bet you havn't even seen? With you being an athiest, I think you will enjoy it. Check it out, that's all I'm asking. Link is in my signature.


You may, and I shall watch it now.

 

Or maybe not. I do not and will not do torrent in any shape or form. I shall see if I can find this elsewhere. It sounds quite interesting.

Found another non torrent source.
real.movieonline.cc...

The other half has an account so I will ask her to download it for me.


edit on 15/4/2012 by PuterMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 01:39 PM
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reply to post by PuterMan
 


Bascially not all agnostics hold the same belief. Some are different from others. I choose to believe in what I feel is "right" to me. I research a lot, and have been for 10 years now which is why I consider my belief to be my religion now that I established a foundation. I love investigating, putting puzzles together, thinking outside of the box, and listening to what others have to say. I never tell people they are wrong, nor I try to convince them I'm right. I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion which is another reason why I believe Religion is NOT needed in this world because it only makes things worse. With religion, people often become ignorant, arragant, judgemental, and most important a hypocrite.

You can establish what you want to believe in for yourself brother.

And thanks for finding the link for online streaming, I shall post that in the forum for others incase they don't know how to download torrents. Thanks for that.



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