Atheism meant the belief of no god

  • #26
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hypnagogue said:
The word "atheism" just denotes a lack of belief in the existence of a god or gods. Questions about evidence are perhaps relevant to whether one chooses to be an atheist or not, but they are not built into the definition of the term itself.

Note also that being an atheist does not entail actively denying the existence of a god; one can be an atheist without holding the positive belief that god(s) do not exist. For more information, see the Wikipedia entry on atheism.
Without looking it up, I have to think these definitions are wrong. Common usage is atheism denotes belief in the non-existence of God and agnostic denotes lack of belief or uncertainty. Whatever the definitons, that's the common usage and it won't change.
 
  • #27
Hypnagogue said:
In the common vernacular, agnosticism is usually meant to convey weak atheism, but this is a usage problem. If weak atheism and agnosticism were equivalent, it would impossible to be e.g. an agnostic theist, because that would be a contradiction in terms. But it's not. An agnostic theist would be someone who believes that God exists, but denies that he can have any true knowledge of God's existence. That is, he doesn't think the matter of God's existence can be subject to demonstration or proof or whatever, but he chooses to believe in God anyway as a matter of faith.

Of course, it might be relatively rare for someone to be both agnostic and theist, and probably even rarer for someone to be agnostic and strong atheist. Agnosticism and weak atheism go together naturally, and the majority of agnostics are probably weak atheists, but the two terms are not synonymous.
There seems to be a problem here if we look further into definitions. To "believe" something is to hold it true. Belief does not mean holding something fictional to be true as Nameless has described. Now how about knowing or knowledge? Just as "belief" does not imply any sort of fiction "Knowing and Knowledge" does not imply any sort of truth, they are simply bits of information or ideas. Now it would seem to me that knowledge is a necessity of belief. You must have some sort of piece of information or idea to believe in in order to have a belief. So the idea that a person can believe in god yet have no knowledge of god (being both agnostic and theist) is logically inconsistant. It would seem that a person who has not been introduced to the idea of god or does not consider the possibility of god would best be described as agnostic, lacking knowledge.
There is also the matter of "faith" but faith is defined as a strong belief. If belief requires knowledge then faith, being a strong belief, must require knowledge too as opposed to the common definition that "faith" is belief without knowledge. Logically you can not believe in something without knowing about it.
So it would seem that the main differances between these ideologies is what constitutes "knowing" and what sort of knowledge is necessary or sufficient to consider something "true", or believe in it, specifically in regards to god.

There is a further problem that I have with this definition of atheism being used though. The idea that atheism means lack of belief in "god" (either intentional or unintentional) would seem to make a number of religions such as buddhism "atheist" religions. I doubt though that these religions would consider themselves "atheist".
 
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  • #28
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TheStatutoryApe said:
Belief does not mean holding something fictional to be true as Nameless has described.
I am being misrepresented here. I stated that, ultimately, any and everything that you can 'believe' in, is fiction.
'Belief' is no arbiter of 'Truth'. If you can conceive of something, that is the sum total of it's 'existence', in your 'conceptions', in your mind, which makes it 'fiction'.
Yes, 'belief' IS holding something 'fictional' to be true.
That is also the definition of 'delusion'.

One would, of course, expect 'true believers' to emotionally and vehemently disagree with this position, by definition. Makes for 'spirited' discussion! *__-
 
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  • #29
nameless said:
I am being misrepresented here. I stated that, ultimately, any and everything that you can 'believe' in, is fiction.
'Belief' is no arbiter of 'Truth'. If you can conceive of something, that is the sum total of it's 'existence', in your 'conceptions', in your mind, which makes it 'fiction'.
Yes, 'belief' IS holding something 'fictional' to be true.
That is also the definition of 'delusion'.
Considering what you have responded with I don't understand how I have misrepresented you. I simply don't agree with your convention that a belief is a fiction.
 
  • #30
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NewScientist said:
I was once told that Atheism meant the belief , after studying all of the evidence, that there is no God.

However, as no one could ever study all of the evidence there is no such thing as an atheist.

Thoughts please
We used a variation of that theme in one of my religious courses when I was an undergrad. The idea was that you can think of yourself as a serious aetheist, one worthy of that term, if you had taken some serious time to consider the matter, read up on some material on it, read some of the pro and con arguements and after having educated yourself in the matter came to a decision. That's an aetheist I can admire, even though I'm more of a Christian every day.

Speaking of which - Stephen Gould (An evolutionist at Harvard and a Nobel prize winner as I recal) came up with a so-called "Proof" that God does not exist. I was wondering if someone knew where I could find that article online? Thanks.

Peted
 
  • #31
arildno
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1 ."There has never existed, exist or will ever exist an elephant with blue ears and huge batwings attached to its back"
2. "Once it existed or exists or will exist an elephant with blue ears and huge batwings attached to its back".

Either one of these statements might be true, right?
And, furthermore, one of these statements MUST be true?

So, does it therefore follow that it is equally intellectually respectable to pick either one of them?
 
  • #32
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TheStatutoryApe said:
Considering what you have responded with I don't understand how I have misrepresented you. I simply don't agree with your convention that a belief is a fiction.
You are right. My error. I thought about that afterwards and realized that you didn't really misrepresent.
Perhaps what 'goaded' me to respond was the way you just dismissed my experience in passing. Perhaps if you said that "I have a different take on the matter than nameless.."
I guess that 'egoic' response of mine was not called for.
Apologies.
 
  • #33
arildno
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nameless said:
Not at all. We can never know, conclusively, whether it was,is, or will be.
That is totally irrelevant.
One of the statements is true, the other is false.

It is, however, sheer nonsense to believe in 2.

It is equally nonsensical to believe in the existence of a god.
 
  • #34
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Originally Posted by arildno
Either one of these statements might be true, right?
Might.

And, furthermore, one of these statements MUST be true?
Not at all. We can never know, conclusively, whether it was,is, or will be. Would it 'count' if I dreamed up your elephant tonight when I sleep? Would that bring it into 'existence'?

So, does it therefore follow that it is equally intellectually respectable to pick either one of them?
Pick either one for what? Dinner? A 'belief'? A 'world view'?

pmb_phy said:
Speaking of which - Stephen Gould (An evolutionist at Harvard and a Nobel prize winner as I recal) came up with a so-called "Proof" that God does not exist. I was wondering if someone knew where I could find that article online? Thanks.
Just goes to illustrate how someone can be absolutely brilliant in one area and turn into a 'drooling idiot' when emotionally held 'beliefs' are in question. Ego vs intellect.. and never the twain shall meet!
 
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  • #35
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arildno said:
That is totally irrelevant.
One of the statements is true, the other is false.
Shall I take your word for it or are you able to offer definitive proof of your assertion?
 
  • #36
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Language is a poor carrier of thought. The argument seems to be merely a matter of definition. So there isn't actually a valid argument here, since definitions vary widely. The definition I use, however, is Psi 5's.

I was going to write about the nature of perception as well, but that doesn't belong here.
 
  • #37
arildno
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nameless said:
Shall I take your word for it or are you able to offer definitive proof of your assertion?
It doesn't need proof, since there is no third alternative.
 
  • #38
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Lack of a third option neither affirms or negates your first two assertions.
If you cannot answer my questions, just say so and I'll leave you alone.
 
  • #39
arildno
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nameless said:
Lack of a third option neither affirms or negates your first two assertions.
If you cannot answer my questions, just say so and I'll leave you alone.
You are evidently seriously defective in mental capacities. Goodbye.
 
  • #40
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Hahahahahahaha......
I liked your first posting before the 'correction';
arildno said:
You are evidently serious defective in mental capacioties. Goodbye.
Hehehe..
What can I say?
It's bad karma to be nasty to the handicapped!
Hahahaha...
 
  • #41
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nameless said:
Just goes to illustrate how someone can be absolutely brilliant in one area and turn into a 'drooling idiot' when emotionally held 'beliefs' are in question. Ego vs intellect.. and never the twain shall meet!
True. However, I'd still like to read the article again. I was looking for a very proof "proof" of the non-existance of God and his was the absolute worst I've ever came across. Thanks.

Pete
 
  • #42
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kcballer21 said:
I think that to an atheist, the question of whether God exists is useless. There is just no need for God, and if God does exist, who cares?
Woa! Let me get this straight. Are you saying that if there was a person who used to be an atheist and then changed his mind then he'd still think there'd be no reason to care? If this is what you're saying then do you actually believe this would happen in anyone who became a believer from an atheist?
There's no reason to think that he affects us.
Why do you say that? Jews, Christians and Muslims, a very significant portion of the worlds mono-theistic religions, believes that God affects our lives and continues to do so. Ho did you arrive at such a belief? Do you know a lot of atheists who became believers?
[quite]That said, atheists do like to speculate.[/QUOTE]Why? To get anywhere scientists speculate in order to make a first move toward a theory.

Pete
 
  • #43
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kcballer21 said:
I think that to an atheist, the question of whether God exists is useless. There is just no need for God, and if God does exist, who cares?
Woa! Let me get this straight. Are you saying that if there was a person who used to be an atheist and then changed his mind then he'd still think there'd be no reason to care? If this is what you're saying then do you actually believe this would happen in anyone who became a believer from an atheist?
There's no reason to think that he affects us.
IF we take as the part of the definition of "God" That intelligent being who created the universe then I'd say he had a lot to do that has affected us - He created us! Unless you look at God as a non-absent parent who gives birth and then takes off. In that case the birth still toof place.

But I don't understand why you'd say that anyway? Is this a matter of opinion as far as what believers actually believem? If so then recall that Jews, Christians and Muslims, a very significant portion of the worlds mono-theistic religions, believes that God affects our lives and continues to do so. How did you arrive at such a belief? Do you know a lot of atheists who became believers?
That said, atheists do like to speculate.
Why? To get anywhere scientists speculate in order to make a first move toward a theory.

Pete
 
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  • #44
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It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes.

I believe the Bible is the only specific revelation from God to man. II Timothy 3:16

I believe the Bible is the only supernatural book in the world, and that it is the source of faith from God to man. Romans 10:17

I believe God states that a man's morality dictates his theology. Romans 1:17-32.

In regards to atheists God says that the fool has said in his heart "no, God."

If my belief in God and heaven is wrong I will not have lost much in this life. If an atheist is wrong he will have lost eternity.

As a Christian this world is the worst hell I will know. As an atheist this world is the best heaven he will know.

If someone knocks on your door be glad because it is God's love through them to you...caring about your eternal happiness. (www.desiringgod.org)
 
  • #45
Atheism for me is a constant denial for God's existance...
 
  • #46
Rade
arrow said:
It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes.
Perhaps, but neither are there any true Christians either, for if anything is clear in the philosophy, it is that one must love those that hate you.
 
  • #47
I am an Atheist, but I have never heard of Gould's proof. I would also be interested in reading it. I am already confident that God doesn't exist, of course, but I am always interested in reading more on the matter.

For those interested in Atheism, I would, if you haven't already, look into reading the opinions of Richard Dawkins, a Strong Atheist/Antitheist. He has some interesting arguments that involve reductionism and the proper application of modern scientific theory into spiritual matters.
 
  • #48
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Rade said:
Perhaps, but neither are there any true Christians either, for if anything is clear in the philosophy, it is that one must love those that hate you.
Yes, we are to love our personal enemies. We aren't perfect, only forgiven. God's definition of a "true" Christian is a soul that has by faith trusted in Jesus Christ's death on the Cross for sin. John 3:16

Nationally however, God ordained each nation to have authority & responsibility to defend.
 
  • #49
mugsby
i'm an atheist becuase i 'believe' there is no god, you can't prove there is one way or another so i chose what i 'believed' to be logical in the absence of blind faith.

confusing ain't it. :rolleyes:
 
  • #50
pmb_phy said:
Woa! Let me get this straight. Are you saying that if there was a person who used to be an atheist and then changed his mind then he'd still think there'd be no reason to care? If this is what you're saying then do you actually believe this would happen in anyone who became a believer from an atheist?
Why do you say that? Jews, Christians and Muslims, a very significant portion of the worlds mono-theistic religions, believes that God affects our lives and continues to do so. Ho did you arrive at such a belief? Do you know a lot of atheists who became believers?
[quite]That said, atheists do like to speculate.
Why? To get anywhere scientists speculate in order to make a first move toward a theory.
Pete[/QUOTE]
I never said anything about someone who used to be an atheist, that is a meaningless description. A person who used to be an atheist is not an atheist. (sorry to be redundant)
How do believers arrive at their beliefs? Is there some sort of overwhelming evidence? I was only speaking for atheists, or what my idea of atheism is.
 

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