Study explores distrust of atheists by believers

Nov 30, 2011

Distrust is the central motivating factor behind why religious people dislike atheists, according to a new study led by University of British Columbia psychologists.

"Where there are religious majorities – that is, in most of the world – atheists are among the least trusted people," says lead author Will Gervais, a doctoral student in UBC's Dept. of Psychology. "With more than half a billion atheists worldwide, this prejudice has the potential to affect a substantial number of people."

While reasons behind antagonism towards atheists have not been fully explored, the study – published in the current online issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology – is among the first explorations of the social psychological processes underlying anti-atheist sentiments.

"This antipathy is striking, as atheists are not a coherent, visible or powerful social group," says Gervais, who co-authored the study with UBC Associate Prof. Ara Norenzayan and Azim Shariff of the University of Oregon. The study is titled, Do You Believe in Atheists? Distrust is Central to Anti-Atheist Prejudice.

The researchers conducted a series of six studies with 350 American adults and nearly 420 university students in Canada, posing a number of hypothetical questions and scenarios to the groups. In one study, participants found a description of an untrustworthy person to be more representative of atheists than of Christians, Muslims, gay men, feminists or Jewish people. Only rapists were distrusted to a comparable degree.

The researchers concluded that religious believer's distrust – rather than dislike or disgust – was the central motivator of prejudice against atheists, adding that these studies offer important clues on how to combat this prejudice.

One motivation for the research was a Gallup poll that found that only 45 per cent of American respondents would vote for a qualified atheist president, says Norenzayan. The figure was the lowest among several hypothetical minority candidates. Poll respondents rated atheists as the group that least agrees with their vision of America, and that they would most disapprove of their children marrying.

The religious behaviors of others may provide believers with important social cues, the researchers say. "Outward displays of belief in God may be viewed as a proxy for trustworthiness, particularly by believers who think that people behave better if they feel that God is watching them," says Norenzayan. "While atheists may see their disbelief as a private matter on a metaphysical issue, believers may consider atheists' absence of belief as a public threat to cooperation and honesty."

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Doug_Huffman
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 30, 2011
Probability Theory:The Logic of Science section 5.3 pp 126 - 132
by E. T. Jaynes. Simple Bayesian analysis.
Royale
1.8 / 5 (13) Nov 30, 2011
How about a person just not mention religion at all? Then you can remain trusted if you're an atheist.
tadchem
1.8 / 5 (21) Nov 30, 2011
Antagonism against atheists has its origins in the antagonism that some atheists have consistently shown towards religious people. There are two major groups of atheists.
Those who hate religion and are openly hostile to any manifestation thereof are seen (perhaps rightly so) as 'Satanic' or demonic. Their hatred of religion is a defining aspect of their characters.
Other (I believe most) atheists have simply moved along in their development beyond religion, and are mostly indifferent towards it. These will happily celebrate Christmas, Saturnalia, Kwaanza, the Winter Solstice, or Mithra's Birthday - anything to lift the winter depression of SAD.
FrankHerbert
2 / 5 (73) Nov 30, 2011
How about a person just not mention religion at all? Then you can remain trusted if you're an atheist.


So you wouldn't look at all suspicious if someone asked you what church you go to and you don't have an answer? Around here it's not "are you religious" or even "are you christian" it's "what church do you go to?"

I say non-denominational, most realize this is code for "I don't give a shit" but they seem to appreciate that rather than being confronted with an ATHEIST dun dun dun. It's just the protocol you have to follow 'round these parts.

I've actually had people get quite distressed with me because I don't believe in ghosts. I didn't criticize them. They could see the mild-disbelief on my face and took exception to it without me even saying a word. The person also never treated me the same after that. I'm assuming they took a disbelief in ghosts as a disbelief in Yahweh.

So it's not as simple as not saying anything. Please don't pretend it is.
FrankHerbert
1.9 / 5 (70) Nov 30, 2011
Also imagine someone running for high office, say president.

Do you really think a refusal to answer any questions about one's religion would be taken as anything other than an atheist dodging the questions?

Shit, Obama is a bona fide christian and there are people out there saying he is an atheist-muslim or whatever. If saying you are a christian isn't enough for someone suspected of religious subversion, than saying nothing definitely will not do the trick.

Antagonism against atheists has its origins in the antagonism that some atheists have consistently shown towards religious people.


Really, not the exact opposite?
Nerdyguy
3.6 / 5 (20) Nov 30, 2011
Antagonism against atheists has its origins in the antagonism that some atheists have consistently shown towards religious people.


Sort of like the whole "chicken and the egg" thing - which came first?

It's likely however, that your argument is factually incorrect, seeing as how any publicly-acknowledged form of atheism was a virtual death sentence in most of the world until very recently, historically speaking.

In many places, announcing one's atheism is still an invitation to lose one's job, one's circle of friends, one's membership in organizations, and even the support of family.

In such a world, would it not be more likely to assume that atheists might have a legitimate beef with those who are religious?

Nerdyguy
3.8 / 5 (24) Nov 30, 2011
There are two major groups of atheists. Those who hate religion and are openly hostile to any manifestation thereof are seen (perhaps rightly so) as 'Satanic' or demonic. Their hatred of religion is a defining aspect of their characters.
Other (I believe most) atheists have simply moved along in their development beyond religion, and are mostly indifferent towards it. These will happily celebrate Christmas, Saturnalia, Kwaanza, the Winter Solstice, or Mithra's Birthday - anything to lift the winter depression of SAD.


Too simplistic. Atheists are not an organization. They are not a political party. Not a charitable trust. Not a scholarly group.

Atheism means simply to "believe in no deities". The fact that you are desperately trying to draw conclusions from this to define and categorize people is simply the kind of nonsense that the article is addressing.
Nerdyguy
3.4 / 5 (18) Nov 30, 2011
How about a person just not mention religion at all...


If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, religion is woven into the very fabric of life in most places.

You might get by in, say, New York City without ever having to reveal your religious beliefs.

However, in the mid-size Southern (emphasis intended) U.S. city I live in, religion, one's church affiliation, where one's children attend Sunday school, how one's child will complete the Cub Scout Religion badge, etc. are all common topics around the watercooler. Religion here is not just a personal belief system, it is a social movement.

To be a non-believer, particularly one like me who can't even define for himself whether he is agnostic or really atheist, is at times very awkward.

And this is the case in many places I've lived in and traveled to. More so after having children and spending time socially with a wider circle.

However, I've NEVER heard ANYONE announce their atheism!
finitesolutions
2.7 / 5 (3) Nov 30, 2011
Religious people think that god is something outside their bubble ... well that could easily be me.
You do not need to fight religion but take advantage of its zealots for your own godly gain.
Amen.
ConcernedCitizen
4.8 / 5 (16) Nov 30, 2011
"Antagonism against atheists has its origins in the antagonism that some atheists have consistently shown towards religious people."

When my father found out I had become an atheist instead of the 'true believer' he had raised, he disowned me on the spot, asked me to pack my bags, and to leave the house immediately. (To both our credit, we quickly worked through our disapointments and are good friends to this day.)

Earlier in life, it was pretty much the same treatment from trusted friends when I stated my 'unbelief' in Santa Claus.

So call me an unbeliever if you must, but I don't believe what you said about the causes of 'believers' antagonism towards atheists!
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.3 / 5 (23) Nov 30, 2011
Those who hate religion and are openly hostile to any manifestation thereof are seen (perhaps rightly so) as 'Satanic' or demonic. Their hatred of religion is a defining aspect of their characters.
So. We see the true Evil inherent in the religionist; people who dont accept their god must necessarily ascribe to the amorality of what they consider the antigod. This naked bigotry is appalling dont you think?

I have news for you godder - neither exist. You distrust atheists because you know only they have the power to ruin your fantasies.
Other (I believe most) atheists have simply moved along in their development beyond religion, and are mostly indifferent towards it.
Thats because they have chosen to ignore the DANGER that religion poses to the world. Religions are all busily trying to out-reproduce one another. The resulting misery and conflict WILL destroy the human race because religionists now have the power to do so.

All you superstitionists are complicit in this.
djr
4.9 / 5 (19) Nov 30, 2011
It has been accurately stated - that atheists are not members of a club - it is just lazy to try to generalize about atheists. However - those of us (eg. Christopher Hitchens) who are outspoken athiests feel there is good cause to take issue with religion in our world. Look around you. How many wars? - how much hatred? - how much conflict in the name of this god, or that god? Sunnis killing Shia, Catholics killing Protestants, Hindus killing Moslems - ad nauseum. Read the story of the little girl in Kurdistan who was stoned to death, because her boyfriend was from the wrong sect - and defend religion to me. Of course religious people don't trust athiests - they see them as an existential threat. The sooner we leave religion in the dustbin of history - the quicker we will move forward as a species - and transcend war and conflict IMHO.
Nerdyguy
2.5 / 5 (12) Nov 30, 2011
It has been accurately stated - that atheists are not members of a club - it is just lazy to try to generalize about atheists. However - those of us (eg. Christopher Hitchens) who are outspoken athiests feel there is good cause to take issue with religion in our world. Look around you. How many wars? - how much hatred? - how much conflict in the name of this god, or that god? Sunnis killing Shia, Catholics killing Protestants, Hindus killing Moslems - ad nauseum. Read the story of the little girl in Kurdistan who was stoned to death, because her boyfriend was from the wrong sect - and defend religion to me. Of course religious people don't trust athiests - they see them as an existential threat. The sooner we leave religion in the dustbin of history - the quicker we will move forward as a species - and transcend war and conflict IMHO.


Shhhhhh.....you will announce our secret organization to everyone.

Sorry, couldn't help myself. :)

Joking aside, well said.
Callippo
1.8 / 5 (19) Nov 30, 2011
I wouldn't trust the mainstream physicists regarding the string theory, cold fusion, Higgs boson or gravitational waves as well. Just because I don't believe in formal abstract stuffs and experimental results are supporting me last forty years. Who is greater believer, after then? Nearly all concepts of mainstream physics of the last forty years are based on pure belief. We have no experimental support for them and vice-versa: whenever physicists are trying to distrust something, they're rendered wrong instead (cold fusion, aether theory, antigravity). We could say, the mainstream physics is based on two verified one hundred years old theories (relativity and quantum mechanics), which are inconsistent mutually and which no one understands clearly - but everything outside of it is just disputable, to say at least.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.3 / 5 (16) Nov 30, 2011
How about a person just not mention religion at all? Then you can remain trusted if you're an atheist.
Because religionists dont trust people UNLESS they declare their allegiance. This is the tribal instinct, legitimized, institutionalized. 'If youre not with us youre against us.' And those who are not obviously with them simply cant be trusted, because only those who are with them can be moral. Their books tell them this.

"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." -Rev22:14,15

-Except that theyre not HIS commandments. The world was and is not amoral without god. Morality is a manifestation of internal tribal altruism. Religions only appropriated morality in order to justify all the amoral things they need to do to unbelievers in gods name. Situational ethics.
Callippo
1.4 / 5 (18) Nov 30, 2011
Because religionists dont trust people UNLESS they declare their allegiance..

The stance of mainstream physics proponents is exactly the same regarding the various opinions of crackpots. They don't bother to analyze their ideas and motivations at all - they do behave like strongly religious people instead.
Squeeky_Gunderson
5 / 5 (6) Nov 30, 2011
I remember being 6 and going to church. I had no idea what everyone was talking about. At 15 I declared my atheism to the boarding school pastor and opined that his classes had no relevance to me. Kind man that he was he expressed a hope that I would at least find the history part interesting. It was a required class so there I was. I do not remember ever feeling untrusted. This study suggests that I was, by some, seen as a threat. I think what happened most of the time could best be described as disbelief in my atheism. I have often felt the "religious" were unable to connect with a notion of disbelief in a god and convince themselves that one day there will be an epiphany and I will return to some form of deism. I have Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and yes, atheist friends and family. I feel that I am trusted by these people who are important in my life. I am not sure though if I trust them ...
jerryd
4.6 / 5 (18) Nov 30, 2011
Religionists don't like atheists because it reminds them just what dupes they have been.

The onlky thing religions have is many people will believe anything to belong to the group.Atheist scare them because they don't care to be part of the scam.
theskepticalpsychic
1.2 / 5 (19) Nov 30, 2011
I don't know why other people dislike some atheists, but I can tell you why I do: because of their open and arrogant contempt for anybody who disagrees with them. But what do I know? I'm just a living object.
rwinners
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 30, 2011
I never trusted a Cubs fan either....
rwinners
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2011
... or a member of the Moose... I mean

moose???????
rwinners
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2011
Royal Order of, no less????
MarkyMark
4.9 / 5 (8) Dec 01, 2011
I don't know why other people dislike some atheists, but I can tell you why I do: because of their open and arrogant contempt for anybody who disagrees with them. But what do I know? I'm just a living object.

Way to go generalise a whole group of people!
Just like the Nazis did the Jews.
kevinrtrs
1.6 / 5 (17) Dec 01, 2011
Just like the Nazis did the Jews

Interesting how you're doing exactly the same....?
infidel
5 / 5 (15) Dec 01, 2011
Not all religions can be right, but they can all be wrong!
rawa1
1.3 / 5 (12) Dec 01, 2011
We need more symmetric model of believers and disbelievers. The disbelief can be as irrational, like the belief. Scientists don't believe in cold fusion, because they refuse all rational reasoning of it and experimental results, not because their stance is more rational, than the belief of many religious people.

But there are two approaches to rational conclusion: synthetic and analytic thinking. We can compare them to the navigation through fractal landscape. The synthetic thinking sums all path integrals and follow the direction of highest average density (Hamiltonian) profile by principle of least action. The analytic thinking vectorizes the landscape and it follow the shortest connection between two point. It means, first approach is based on emergent, holistic thinking, the other approach is based on reduction to formal rigour.

In certain types of problems the later approach may be effective, but when many conditions is involved, then the nonformal approach becomes more reliable
rawa1
1.2 / 5 (13) Dec 01, 2011
In dense aether theory the reality is completely symmetrical and we can perceive it both transverse, both longitudinal waves. But we are still special fluctuation of random aether: we managed to move through this random environment at the single place for long time of our evolution. Therefore our perception of reality is strongly biased toward transverse waves and schematic thinking into account of so-called the natural instincts.

The contemporary science, physics in particular is based on strictly rigorous approach, which systematically ignores (the research of) all phenomena, which cannot be described with formal model. It involves the emergent effects inside of multiparticle systems, the intuitive understanding of whose is rather trivial, but the mathematical description is difficult due the highly dimensional, poorly conditioned nature of problem. At the case of phenomenal like the superconductivity or cold fusion we are losing huge money because of this disbelief.
rawa1
1 / 5 (11) Dec 01, 2011
Many people realized, the evolution works in circles. There exist a model of hierarchical Universe: we are sitting inside of dense black hole, which is sitting inside of another Universe which is formed in the same way. The dense aether theory doesn't share this model in its entirety, it explains it with dispersion of energy inside of particle environment.

At the water surface a tiniest waves manifest like Brownian noise and they're of pronounced longitudinal character. With increasing wavelength their character changes into transversal one, but when the wavelength increases even more, the character of surface ripples changes into longitudinal again. So that observer of water surface can get the impression, his water surface is of recursive fractal nature - although its relatively flat.

My point is, the evolution of ideas a paradigms in human society undergoes the same cyclical evolution, during which the intuitive approach to the understanding alternates with the more schematic one.
rawa1
1 / 5 (13) Dec 01, 2011
At the beginning of the last century the analytical approach based on less or more intuitive reduction of aether model has lead into significant improvement of our reality understanding. But by now it seems, this formal approach has fallen to its limits, because the formal description of physical reality becomes hyper-dimensional, implicit and poorly conditioned. It becomes more and more difficult to handle it with schematic equations. And the progressive scientists are gradually changing into conservative religious proponents of dogmatic ideas in similar way, like the Holy Church era before four hundreds years. Apparently, we should sit down and rethink the deeper insight into reality, which is surrounding us in order to behave rationally again.
antialias_physorg
4.9 / 5 (13) Dec 01, 2011
The researchers conducted a series of six studies with 350 American adults and nearly 420 university students in Canada,

Oooookay. Using canadian (and especially US) students is nowehere representative for the rest of the world. The religious climate in the US is way different (and a lot more bizarre) than anywhere else.

Sort of like the whole "chicken and the egg" thing - which came first?

In this case it's quite evident because without religious people there wouldn't be atheists at all (the whole issue would be a non-issue).

atheists aren't part of a homogeneous group. Neither ae gays (or earlier: women). Groups have alrways been distrusted/discriminated against because they didn't subscribe to the feel-good-club that (thought it) was the majority.

This isn't a specific religious-atheist problem. This is a basic human problem. Fear of what's different.
dogbert
1.5 / 5 (15) Dec 01, 2011
Distrust of atheists stems very naturally from the active political hostility of a subset of atheists who ostensibly attack all religions but are rabid in their resistance to Christianity. Witness the constant lawsuits by the ACLU against the public expression of Christian beliefs. A simple review of posts on such sites as this when religion is the subject will reveal a very active group of atheists who attack the notion of Christianity.

Most atheists are not politically active and don't really care about others' beliefs or lack thereof. They are generally neither better or worse than any other random person. But the atheists who hate Christianity and actively seek to suppress Christian expression promote a distrust of atheism in general.
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (9) Dec 01, 2011
Sort of like the whole "chicken and the egg" thing - which came first?
Atheism is recent. So religion came first. The hatred came from the religious. I don't seem much in the way of hatred by Atheists and especially by us Agnostics. I do see religious people calling a disbelief in their god hatred of their god. I get it frequently here.

as how any publicly-acknowledged form of atheism was a virtual death sentence in most of the world until very recently
Pretty much.

However, I've NEVER heard ANYONE announce their atheism!
I announce my not believing in gods. Not very often but I do so other places than here. It really doesn't come up much but some people actually expect me to say Bless you when they sneeze. When they do it to me I say 'no demons'.

Ethelred
Ethelred
4.4 / 5 (12) Dec 01, 2011
Interesting how you're doing exactly the same....?
Kevin, didn't anyone ever tell not to lie?

Where is he or me for that matter me suggesting that YOU be put to death?

I just would like you to go to religious site. This is a science site. The sort of place where we understand that the Egyptians were not all drowned in a miles deep flood and replaced by people with exactly same writing hundreds of years later and that they then finished building the pyramids the previous inhabitants started.

Ethelred
Ethelred
4.6 / 5 (11) Dec 01, 2011
Distrust of atheists stems very naturally from the active political hostility of a subset of atheists who ostensibly attack all religions
This started in reaction to religious hatred towards them and towards other religions.

Witness the constant lawsuits by the ACLU against the public expression of Christian beliefs.
False. Against the use of GOVERNMENT money to do so or on public land. The ACLU also supports Jehovah's Wittinesses right to their religion.

But the atheists who hate Christianity and actively seek to suppress Christian expression promote a distrust of atheism in general.
False. Its not a hatred of Christianity. It is a hatred of the violence that RELIGION, not just Christianity, has so often engendered.

I think the main reason at present for Dawkins pushing back at religion is Islam not Christianity. Though he is clearly irked at the way Creationists tell lies about him.

Ethelred
dogbert
1 / 5 (14) Dec 01, 2011
I think the main reason at present for Dawkins pushing back at religion is Islam not Christianity. Though he is clearly irked at the way Creationists tell lies about him.


No one needs to tell lies about Richard Dawkins. The truth about his hatred is sufficient.
CHollman82
2.6 / 5 (13) Dec 01, 2011
Interesting anecdote:

I'm an agnostic atheist who lives in New York, half of my family are southern baptist YEC's who live in Alabama. I just got back from a 12 day vacation visiting them. At only one point in the entire time I was there did religion come up, and it was when we were talking about how individual human heart cells beat by themselves. My little sister said "I don't know how anyone can believe that something like that could have come from random chance"... there was an awkward pause, because everyone knows that me and my girlfriend believe in evolution and we know that they don't, but finally my girlfriend said "let's not get into that" and we moved on. I would have chimed in and corrected her that it is not the result of random chance and that does not accurately describe evolutionary theory but this was my youngest sister and it would have been pointless to get in an argument and upset her.

Point is, it is perfectly possible for non-believers and believers to get along
Ethelred
4.5 / 5 (8) Dec 01, 2011
No one needs to tell lies about Richard Dawkins. The truth about his hatred is sufficient.
So if no one needs to tell lies why did you just lie? Dawkins is not a hate filled man.

Ethelred
Royale
5 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2011

If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, religion is woven into the very fabric of life in most places.

You might get by in, say, New York City without ever having to reveal your religious beliefs.


Perhaps I should have mentioned, I live in NJ 20 mins outside of NYC. No one I know really cares about other people's religion. Sure a great handful of people are religious around here, but you aren't asked about religion. But I suppose you guys are right about elsewhere. In fact I had a friend that lived around here (and was atheist) until about two years ago when he moved to Florida then to Georgia. Now the only posts on his facebook are how great God is. In that case, with evidence here, it sure does matter what part of the country you're in.
rawa1
3 / 5 (4) Dec 01, 2011
atheists are among the least trusted people
This distrust is institutionalized in the voting rules of politicians in many countries, where the atheists have significantly lower chance, they will be elected at all.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (8) Dec 01, 2011
It is not what religions SAY but what they DO. All their books contain contingencies and explicit instructions for extreme violence in the name of god and self-preservation. Their normally passive bigotry becomes a call to action.

"The Muslim Brotherhood, a moderate Islamist movement banned for decades by Hosni Mubarak, has emerged from the shadows since the fall of the autocrat and has forecast its party will take at least 40 percent of the vote.
The battle for second place had been seen as between secular liberals and hardline Islamists who follow the strict Salafi brand of Islam, with local media indicating the latter might prevail in the new parliament."

-As populations swell and people begin to suffer and fight, Religionists open their books to the appropriate chapter and verse. Moderates become extremists and extremists begin the purging.

This is why antireligionists distrust religions. And why we want them to end.
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 01, 2011
Atheism is recent. So religion came first.

So you're saying all our ancestors - back to the first organism - were religious? I doubt that. Religion started at some point in the past. The only reason atheists weren't around before that is because before that there was no concept of theism.

But the stance of those who were atheists just after the invention of theism was no different than right before. So I'd argue the stance of these people who suddenly found themselves termed 'atheists' had been around billions of years earlier than the stance of the theists.

Atheism isn't a stance. It is a non-stance.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (6) Dec 01, 2011
So you're saying all our ancestors - back to the first organism - were religious?
Clearly I am talking about written history.

Religion started at some point in the past.
Well it couldn't have started in the future. There are pretty clear carvings of what look like religious figures long before even the earliest cities.

The only reason atheists weren't around before that is because before that there was no concept of theism.
That is Agnostic. They have no knowledge either way of a god.

But the stance of those who were atheists just after the invention of theism was no different than right before.
Not really. Atheism cannot exist without a concept of a god in the first place. Agnosticism is what you are thinking of.

Atheism isn't a stance. It is a non-stance.
Not normally. I have no knowledge of the existence of a god so I don't believe in one. Many if not most Atheists, but not all that call themselves Atheists, are certain there is no god.>>
Ethelred
3.6 / 5 (5) Dec 01, 2011
What would you be if you never heard of Religion? Agnostic. If you looked at religion and decided it was false. Atheist.

So far I see no reason to be religious. The difference is a bit more subtle if you have been exposed to religion or raised in it as I was. Who knows maybe the Deists are right.

Ethelred
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (8) Dec 01, 2011
What would you be if you never heard of Religion? Agnostic.

Nope. Because agnostic is someone who is undecided on an issue (unknown truth value). This means that the issue MIGHT be true (or false)

But if the issue doesn't exist in the first place then you're not agnostic on it. The issue cannot be true.

It's like fargoodlebumps. Are you an agnostic on fargoodlebumps? Are you after I claim that fargoodlebumps exist? Did your stance on them change after I told you they do exist from your previous stance? No.

Atheism cannot exist without a concept of a god in the first place.
Athism is not a disbelief in gods - it is the stance that arguing about gods is like arguing about fargoodlebumps. atheism is not an active choice. It is the absence of a choice on a nonexistent issue.

Many if not most Atheists, but not all that call themselves Atheists, are certain there is no god

As certain as I am that there are no fargoodlebumps (and for the very same reason, too
panorama
4.3 / 5 (4) Dec 01, 2011
Atheism isn't a stance. It is a non-stance.


Beautifully said.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (7) Dec 01, 2011
Nope. Because agnostic is someone who is undecided on an issue (unknown truth value). This means that the issue MIGHT be true (or false)
No. I am decided. I know of no reason to believe in a god. Nor of any reason to say there is no way there can't be a god. More to the point I know there is no way to prove it either way. Specific gods can be proved or disproved but not all conceivable gods. Deism cannot be disproved nor can it be proved.

But if the issue doesn't exist in the first place then you're not agnostic on it. The issue cannot be true.
Agnostic means without knowledge. So if you never heard of religion you are without knowledge of it. Agnostic.

I have to go over this almost once around here. A large percentage Atheists are unaware that they are a better fit for the word Agnostic.

Are you an agnostic on fargoodlebumps?
No. Its a bogus word.>>
Ethelred
2.3 / 5 (7) Dec 01, 2011
Athism is not a disbelief in gods - it is the stance that arguing about gods is like arguing about fargoodlebumps.
That is Agnostic except for Fargoodlebumps as that is equivalent to supercalifragilisticexpidaliocioius. Try a less silly word next time you forget the definition of Agnositic and make silly claims about it.

As certain as I am that there are no fargoodlebumps (and for the very same reason, too
Nonsense. One is a nonsense word and the other is a belief. You have a belief that there is no god. I have a belief that you can't answer the question. In fact I KNOW you can't answer the question of whether there is a god based on evidence. Only on belief. I go on evidence.

http://en.wikiped...Agnositc
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claimsespecially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claimsis unknown or unknowable.
>>
Ethelred
2.3 / 5 (4) Dec 01, 2011
http://en.wikiped.../Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities
Now how can you have a position on deities if you never heard of them?

1st of December and I already have to go over the reality of what Agnostic entails with an Atheist again. Every bloody month at least once.

Ethelred
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (5) Dec 01, 2011
I know of no reason to believe in a god. Nor of any reason to say there is no way there can't be a god.

Then you're agnostic - not atheist.

Deism cannot be disproved nor can it be proved.

If a god would happen to appear and manifest all of the things a god supposedly can do then one could prove deism. Disproving a non-issue, however, is impossible.

It would be like provingthe existence of non-existence - a contradiction in terms.

Are you an agnostic on fargoodlebumps?

No. Its a bogus word.>>

So is 'god'. No difference whatsoever. Both are made up. One just happend to be made up a long time ago.

In fact I KNOW you can't answer the question of whether there is a god based on evidence.

As explained above. You're asking for a proof of the existence of non-existence.

Since the god-issue is non-issue to an atheist I don't really accord it any status. Not even a (possibly) true / (possibly) false status.
ConcernedCitizen
4 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2011

This isn't a specific religious-atheist problem. This is a basic human problem. Fear of what's different.


Antialias: heartily agree (thanks for the all the heavy lifting) and wish this statement would be enough said.

However, when the opponent doggedly goes for their sword (dogma), or only pauses to take a long pull from their emotional flagon, what can one do?

Maybe a boring idea, but we desperately need a 'Human Thinking 101' to be taught.

In short, it is very hard to recognize that most of our so called 'thinking' is little more than a muscle twitch being controlled by our emotional states.

And THIS is usually why debating about religionists vs. other religionists vs. atheists, etc., is often like watching drunken armies going at each other.
CHollman82
1.1 / 5 (9) Dec 01, 2011
What the hell are you guys talking about? This is simple:

Do you believe in any god(s)?

Yes = Thiest
No = Atheist
CHollman82
2.1 / 5 (11) Dec 01, 2011
If you're not a theist then you are an a-theist... pretty simple...

The prefix a- means "not"...

I am an agnostic atheist. Those labels are not mutually exclusive.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (9) Dec 01, 2011
Gnosticism refers to knowledge of god:

"Do you know god?"

Yes = Gnostic
No = Agnostic

All atheists are necessarily agnostic... but not all agnostics are necessarily atheist. If you don't believe in any gods then clearly you don't know any gods, but just because you don't claim to know any gods does not mean you do not believe in any gods.

This stuff couldn't be any simpler. Stop over thinking it and stop getting your definitions from dictionaries.
CHollman82
1.8 / 5 (11) Dec 01, 2011
Theist and atheist, like gnostic and agnostic, are dichotomous and mutually exclusive. If you aren't one you are the other.

Think you are agnostic and NOT atheist, then you believe in god, or you are using the words incorrectly.
CHollman82
1.8 / 5 (11) Dec 01, 2011
Agnostic is not a "fence sitting" position about your belief in god, that's just stupidity, that is not what it means.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (5) Dec 01, 2011
Theist and atheist, like gnostic and agnostic, are dichotomous and mutually exclusive. If you aren't one you are the other.

False dichotomy.

Theism is a belief in a god. Atheisim is NOT the belief in no god. It is just the absence of belief and the absence of acknoledgement of the god issue altogether.

Atheists aren't against god. They just think the issue of gods is about as important as unicorn farts (and merits about as much attention).
CHollman82
2.3 / 5 (11) Dec 01, 2011
Theist and atheist, like gnostic and agnostic, are dichotomous and mutually exclusive. If you aren't one you are the other.

False dichotomy.

Theism is a belief in a god. Atheisim is NOT the belief in no god. It is just the absence of belief and the absence of acknoledgement of the god issue altogether.


What? I didn't say it was the "belief in no god"... where did you get that?

I said that theists believe in god, atheists do not believe in god. You either DO believe in god or you DO NOT believe in god, that is not a false dichotomy, the former is a theist the latter is an atheist.

I thought I stated this very simply. If you are not a theist you are an atheist. I never even came close to saying what you accused me of...
CHollman82
1.6 / 5 (10) Dec 01, 2011
One more time:

Answer the following question: Do you believe in god?

If you answer yes you are a theist
If you answer no you are an atheist

...and if you answer "I don't know" then you're an idiot because I didn't ask you what you know I asked you what you believe. If you think you really don't know what you believe then you are lying to yourself, everyone knows what they believe.
antialias_physorg
3.2 / 5 (6) Dec 01, 2011
Do you believe in god?
I don't understand the question. It's like asking: "do I believe that fridays are yellow?" The question makes no sense.
The concept of belief does not have any connection with some made up entity.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2011
Question: "Do you believe in god?"

Answer: "Meh"
Nerdyguy
2.8 / 5 (11) Dec 02, 2011
Witness the constant lawsuits by the ACLU against the public expression of Christian beliefs.


Derrrrrrr....what did he just say?

So, now the ACLU is an atheist group?

The ACLU's lawsuits have nothing to do with atheism, and you need to do educate yourself.

A simple review of posts on such sites as this when religion is the subject will reveal a very active group of atheists who attack the notion of Christianity.


Hallelujah Brother! Ain't in grand?

Most atheists are not politically active and don't really care about others' beliefs or lack thereof. They are generally neither better or worse than any other random person. But the atheists who hate Christianity and actively seek to suppress Christian expression promote a distrust of atheism in general.


Naw, confused pseudo-intellectuals who believe in invisible people promote the distrust of atheist.
Nerdyguy
2.7 / 5 (12) Dec 02, 2011
Maybe a boring idea, but we desperately need a 'Human Thinking 101' to be taught.

In short, it is very hard to recognize that most of our so called 'thinking' is little more than a muscle twitch being controlled by our emotional states.


You're quite right. Even the more "enlightened" religions are full of contradictions, violence, and confusing dogma. To be expected from something that's a mish-mash of ideas and writings from many authors over hundreds or thousands of years.

Humanity 101 - I hope someday we get to a point where we can teach all children the basic ideas of civility, kindness, love for one's fellow man, logic, rational thought, civic duty, etc. without needing to bow our heads first or some such nonsense.

All of the best characteristics of humanity are present in each of us at birth and do not require any allegiance to a mythical creature to be expressed.
dogbert
1.1 / 5 (16) Dec 02, 2011
Nerdyguy,
So, now the ACLU is an atheist group?

The ACLU's lawsuits have nothing to do with atheism, and you need to do educate yourself.


Perhaps you should try educating yourself. The ACLU's roots are primarily communist/socialist and communism is atheistic.

The ACLU continually files lawsuits against Christian expression. This is anti-Christian activity, ipso facto. Christianity is the primary religion of America and is therefore the primary target of atheist political groups like the ACLU.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Dec 02, 2011
The ACLU's roots are primarily communist/socialist and communism is atheistic.

Erm..no. It just happens that most communist regimes have discouraged religion - but communism by itself is not atheistic.

(Quite the contrary: if we'd actually follow any of the religious texts out there - specificaly the bible or koran or any buddhist text - then communism is what we'd have)
Royale
5 / 5 (2) Dec 02, 2011
I just had to add one note here.
Antialias, I have to agree. I do believe Fridays are yellow.

=)
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (11) Dec 02, 2011
Do you believe in god?
I don't understand the question. It's like asking: "do I believe that fridays are yellow?" The question makes no sense.
The concept of belief does not have any connection with some made up entity.


You describe god as a "made up entity" therefore you do not believe in god... see how easy that was?

Stop being obtuse.
CHollman82
1.7 / 5 (11) Dec 02, 2011
Question: "Do you believe in god?"

Answer: "Meh"


That's not an answer, that's the refusal to provide an answer.

Stop being obtuse.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (6) Dec 02, 2011
You describe god as a "made up entity" therefore you do not believe in god... see how easy that was?
You make it out as if atheism was an active choice in a (false) dichotomy of gods/no gods.
It is not an activity nor is it an active choice.

The point is that I don't actively disblieve in gods. Atheism is not a stance of *active* disbelief (and hence it is not surprising that atheism is not organized - as there is no common activity or even mental process which would be the basis for a group.)

Atheism is the state of anyone who has never heard of the the concept of gods.

It's like not caring about colors if we were all born with only rod cells in our retinas. Would we be then *actively* against colors? Never even having been exposed to the concept? (And, indeed, for such humans 'color' - as a concept - makes absolutely no sense)
Nerdyguy
2.7 / 5 (12) Dec 02, 2011
The ACLU's roots are primarily communist/socialist and communism is atheistic.

The ACLU continually files lawsuits against Christian expression. This is anti-Christian activity, ipso facto. Christianity is the primary religion of America and is therefore the primary target of atheist political groups like the ACLU.


Let's be clear here: the ACLU and I don't agree on things very often.

But, they are NOT in any way communist, socialist, atheistic, or anti-religion.

You should not let your view of the organization's position on various issues distort the reality of their intentions.

The ACLU will just as happily defend a brimstone-and-hellfire Baptist preacher as they will defend a NAZI sympathizer.

They are quite notorious for sticking to their principles, which generally tend to fall around abuses of Constitutional and other areas of law.
CHollman82
1.9 / 5 (10) Dec 02, 2011
communism is atheistic.


What the hell???

How do people get these stupid ideas in their heads?

That's like pulling 3 yellow M&M's out of a bag and then proclaiming that all M&M's are yellow.
CHollman82
1.6 / 5 (10) Dec 02, 2011
You make it out as if atheism was an active choice in a (false) dichotomy of gods/no gods.


What are you talking about false dichotomy? First of all I said that you either BELIEVE in god(s) or you do not. That is not a false dichotomy. Secondly, though I never said this, it is also not a false dichotomy to state that their either are god(s) or there are not.

Atheism is not a stance of *active* disbelief (and hence it is not surprising that atheism is not organized - as there is no common activity or even mental process which would be the basis for a group.)


You either believe in god(s) or you do not. If you don't then you are an atheist. You're getting all confused with this nonsense of "active non-belief"... whatever that's supposed to mean.

Atheism is the state of anyone who has never heard of the the concept of gods.


Correct, because you cannot believe in something you haven't ever heard of.
CHollman82
1.2 / 5 (9) Dec 02, 2011
Maybe you'll understand this, though I think I've said it already...

If you believe in one or more gods then you are a theist... otherwise you are necessarily an atheist.

That INCLUDES people who have never even heard of the concept of "god" (which is no one...).

"Do you believe in one or more gods?"

Yes = Theist
EVERY OTHER ANSWER = Atheist.
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (9) Dec 02, 2011
Theists are those that believe in god or gods, atheists are everyone who is not a theist... that is literally what a-theist means... not theist.
Nerdyguy
1.5 / 5 (11) Dec 02, 2011
communism is atheistic.


What the hell???

How do people get these stupid ideas in their heads?

That's like pulling 3 yellow M&M's out of a bag and then proclaiming that all M&M's are yellow.


Not sure I get your meaning.

One of Marx's founding principles was the whole "religion is the opiate of the masses" concept. He firmly believed, as did his successors, that religion should be wiped out, so it seems fair to say communism is atheistic.

Oh, was it specifically the way it was worded you're talking about?
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2011
You either believe in god(s) or you do not.

No. You say that just because someone makes you chose on an issue that you automatically have to acknoledge that it even IS an issue.
False dichotomy.
http://en.wikiped..._dilemma

BELIEVE in god(s) or you do not

you are asking me if I believe in god(s) or that blieve that there are no god(s). But you are implicitely assuming that I hold a ACTIVE BELIEF on the issue - or that I even see that there is an issue. i don't believe (or disbelieve) in gramumbls. Gramumbels are not an issue. Neither are gods. Making something up does not make it an issue.

That INCLUDES people who have never even heard of the conept of "god" (which is no one...)

Before someone invented the concept of god you would not have told anyone they are an atheist. The concept would not have made sense. Likewise it makes no sense to (apply it to) people who haven't heard of god(s).
Ramael
1.2 / 5 (5) Dec 02, 2011
One word;
Ego
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2011
One of Marx's founding principles was the whole "religion is the opiate of the masses" concept.

Marxism is just an (atheist among other things) flavor of communism and socialism. Communism is a much broader theory. it is a theory of economical, social and political factors. It does not mention religion anywhere (neither pro nor con).
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (10) Dec 02, 2011
No. You say that just because someone makes you chose on an issue that you automatically have to acknoledge that it even IS an issue. False dichotomy.


What? Of course it's an issue, do you deny that other people do believe in god?

you are asking me if I believe in god(s) or that I blieve that there are no god(s)


No I am not, this is the second or third time you have accused me of such a thing, show me where I have ever said that... I have only asked you if you believe in god... I have NEVER asked you if you believe that there are no gods, that question is unnecessary to determine whether you are an atheist.

Before someone invented the concept of god you would not have told anyone they are an atheist. The concept would not have made sense.


Of course... this is irrelevant... because the concept of god exists now and we are talking NOW... not 10,000 years ago or more. What kind of a point do you think you are making?
CHollman82
1.1 / 5 (9) Dec 02, 2011
AA, I don't know how you don't understand me, but I think we really agree with each other you just think I am saying something I am not...

Once again I have never claimed that you must believe that there are no gods to be an atheist... I have never said, please point it out. All I have said is that if you do believe in one or more gods you are a theist. If you are not a theist then you are an atheist... this includes everyone who does not believe in any gods. If you don't know about a particular idea of god then CLEARLY you do not believe in that god. If you do not know about the concept of a "god" then clearly you don't believe in any god.

It is NOT a false dichotomy to say that you either believe in something or you do not... not believing in something is NOT the same as actually disbelieving it... it is the ABSENCE OF BELIEF, NOT THE BELIEF OF ABSENCE.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (9) Dec 02, 2011
That's important, I think that is where you are confused...

Atheism is the absence of belief, not the belief of absence.
Atheism is the absence of belief, not the belief of absence.
Atheism is the absence of belief, not the belief of absence.
Atheism is the absence of belief, not the belief of absence.

It's so important I said it 4 times.
Nerdyguy
1.7 / 5 (10) Dec 02, 2011
Maybe you'll understand this, though I think I've said it already...

If you believe in one or more gods then you are a theist... otherwise you are necessarily an atheist.

That INCLUDES people who have never even heard of the concept of "god" (which is no one...).

"Do you believe in one or more gods?"

Yes = Theist
EVERY OTHER ANSWER = Atheist.


You're missing a category.

In short, agnosticism really boils down to a third category of people who just aren't sure.
Nerdyguy
1.5 / 5 (11) Dec 02, 2011
One of Marx's founding principles was the whole "religion is the opiate of the masses" concept.

Marxism is just an (atheist among other things) flavor of communism and socialism. Communism is a much broader theory. it is a theory of economical, social and political factors. It does not mention religion anywhere (neither pro nor con).


Wrong. Despite historical inaccuracies and misleading information like we saw on these boards a few weeks ago, Marx is THE father of modern communism. Between Marx and Lenin you can account for about 95% of the ultimate followers of the entire philosophical movement.

The word communist, and all of the ramifications of the various ideals it proposes, meant nothing until the movement gained significant traction through the writings of Marx and Lenin. The Bolsheviks and, later, the Chinese formed the largest body of "applied" communism in the world, based almost purely on Marxist rhetoric.

The anti-religion message was key to that.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (9) Dec 02, 2011
You're missing a category.

In short, agnosticism really boils down to a third category of people who just aren't sure.


NO...

This is frustrating... Agnosticism is not a fence sitting position between theism and atheism... I really hate that the general public has taken it to mean that.

Gnosticism refers to knowledge of god... all Gnostics are theists because they claim to KNOW god. All atheists are agnostic because they don't claim to KNOW god (because they don't believe in god)... Theists can be gnostic or agnostic, they believe in god but they may or may not claim to KNOW god.

Gnosticism is about having KNOWLEDGE of god, theism is about BELIEF in god... knowledge and belief are two completely different things.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Dec 02, 2011
Atheism is the absence of belief, not the belief of absence.

As I have noted before: Atheism is according god(s) the status of non-issue. Not chosing between belief or disbelief in gods.
So it seems you have figured out that asking whether I believe in gods or not makes no sense.

Marx is THE father of modern communism.

Marx is not the first to propse communism. It has been implemented man times before. (E.g. Jesus was a communist. So are most buddhist flavors).

The concept did not originate with Marx. Marxism originated with Marx.

The word communist, and all of the ramifications of the various ideals it proposes, meant nothing until the movement gained significant traction through the writings of Marx and Lenin.

Large parts of Asia would beg to differ. That they didn't use the word 'communist' doesn't mean they weren't aware of the idea (or implementing it in various regions) for thousands of years before 'the west' became aware of it. If it walks like a duck..
Nerdyguy
2.1 / 5 (11) Dec 02, 2011
You're missing a category.

In short, agnosticism really boils down to a third category of people who just aren't sure.


NO...

This is frustrating... Agnosticism is not a fence sitting position between theism and atheism... I really hate that the general public has taken it to mean that.

Gnosticism refers to knowledge of god... all Gnostics are theists because they claim to KNOW god. All atheists are agnostic because they don't claim to KNOW god (because they don't believe in god)... Theists can be gnostic or agnostic, they believe in god but they may or may not claim to KNOW god.

Gnosticism is about having KNOWLEDGE of god, theism is about BELIEF in god... knowledge and belief are two completely different things.


YIKES!

I yield and lay down arms in the general hope that both of you will stop this back-and-forth. lmao
CHollman82
1.3 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
Atheism is the absence of belief, not the belief of absence.

As I have noted before: Atheism is according god(s) the status of non-issue. Not chosing between belief or disbelief in gods.


Okay... but that is not what atheism is... atheism is the lack of belief in god(s).
Nerdyguy
1.6 / 5 (9) Dec 02, 2011
Large parts of Asia would beg to differ...

"Asia" and "thousands of years" covers a lot of ground.

But, I was being specific. There are only so many ways to organize a group of human beings. So, it's undoubtedly true that some elements of every system have been implemented at various times.

However, the topic under discussion was "communism" which has a specific meaning, and is bounded by specific references to certain historical periods (e.g., 1800s to present), people, documents, etc. when it is used in common conversation, regardless of various elements it may share with earlier systems.

And, it is widely accepted that a defining characteristic of communism, is its anti-religious POV.

"All religions so far have been the expression of historical stages of development of individual peoples or groups of peoples. But communism is the stage of historical development which makes all existing religions superfluous and brings about their disappearance." - Engels
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (9) Dec 02, 2011
You may be correct, it all depends on how you define communism. However, communism is NOT a part of atheism, atheism is a part of communism... this is a very important distinction. It is a one-way association and most people are two stupid to even understand what that means. The result of making such associations is that the general public now mistakenly believes that atheists are communist...
Nerdyguy
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
You may be correct, it all depends on how you define communism. However, communism is NOT a part of atheism, atheism is a part of communism... this is a very important distinction. It is a one-way association and most people are two stupid to even understand what that means. The result of making such associations is that the general public now mistakenly believes that atheists are communist...


Ah, I see what you mean. Makes sense.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (6) Dec 02, 2011
As I have noted before: Atheism is according god(s) the status of non-issue. Not chosing between belief or disbelief in gods.
No, you're definition includes accepting the possibility of god.

"Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist."

-Is what atheism is. I feel it is always better to defer to experts for things like this rather than try to concoct my own.
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
You may be correct, it all depends on how you define communism. However, communism is NOT a part of atheism, atheism is a part of communism... this is a very important distinction. It is a one-way association and most people are two stupid to even understand what that means. The result of making such associations is that the general public now mistakenly believes that atheists are communist...


Ah, I see what you mean. Makes sense.


Ironically I used the wrong spelling of "too" when I was claiming that most people are stupid... oops :D
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Dec 02, 2011
No, you're definition includes accepting the possibility of god.

How can I inclde the possibility for something I don't consider an issue? Do I accord graboodles also a possibility? The concepts of "according a possibility" and "a concept which isn't an issue" aren't applicable to one another.

However, the topic under discussion was "communism" which has a specific meaning

Well, someone was referring to Marx - and Marx derived Marxism from communism found in (or so he thought) early hunter gatherer tribes. So he certainly isn't the originator of the concept.
Whether you think he is is another matter - but that's your problem.

And, it is widely accepted that a defining characteristic of communism, is its anti-religious POV.

One person is 'widely'?

Wikipedia even has an entry on religious communism
http://en.wikiped...ommunism

The use of the word "communism" in religious context even predates the use in secular contexts.
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
As I have noted before: Atheism is according god(s) the status of non-issue. Not chosing between belief or disbelief in gods.


No, you're definition includes accepting the possibility of god.

"Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist."

-Is what atheism is. I feel it is always better to defer to experts for things like this rather than try to concoct my own.


Also wrong...

Atheism is ONLY the lack of belief in any god. This is not the same as a belief that there are no gods, it is not the same as the rejection of the possibility of the existence of god...

This is simple, you are all drastically over complicating it.
CHollman82
1.1 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
For example, I do not believe in any particular god, therefore I am an atheist. HOWEVER, I do maintain that a god like entity is possible and may exist. Regardless, I am still an atheist, because I do not believe in any gods.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2011
How can I inclde the possibility for something I don't consider an issue?
Atheists consider it an issue.

"...the rejection of belief in the existence of deities"

-It is an issue which they reject.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (6) Dec 02, 2011
Atheism is ONLY the lack of belief in any god. This is not the same as a belief that there are no gods, it is not the same as the rejection of the possibility of the existence of god...
So what would you call people who reject the possibility of the existance of god? Most everyone, including the experts who wrote the DEFINITION, call them atheists.

You want to make up your own definitions for words? Why would you want to do that? Who would understand what you were talking about??

Maybe you should do a little research before making shit up?
http://en.wikiped.../Atheism
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2011
For example, I do not believe in any particular god, therefore I am an atheist. HOWEVER, I do maintain that a god like entity is possible and may exist. Regardless, I am still an atheist, because I do not believe in any gods.
I dont think you know what you are. There are many people like you:
http://en.wikiped...osticism
http://en.wikiped..._atheism

-Maybe youre one of them?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 02, 2011
But really, the only rational and responsible approach to the whole issue is to oppose religion in all its forms.
http://en.wikiped...religion
Nerdyguy
1.7 / 5 (10) Dec 02, 2011
One person is 'widely'?


Widely means widely. Internationally recognized, by the diplomatic corps of nations like Germany and other NATO nations who discussed it extensively in Policy Papers throughout the Cold War.

I personally discussed it with my counterparts from Moscow State University when I was a college kid in the the 80s and Gorbachev let the very first group of students travel out-of-country since Stalin took power. Political science was my first major, in fact, and my college was playing the role of the USSR in the National Model United Nations competition. As a part of that, I spent a pretty intensive year studying Soviet foreign policy and communist doctrine.

In 1988 I met the Soviet ambassador to the U.N., and had a sit-down inside the embassy where my team grilled him for an hour about, among other things, the defining characteristics of his national ideology.

That aside, I think "one person" should also suffice, if that one person is Engels.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (7) Dec 02, 2011
For example, I do not believe in any particular god, therefore I am an atheist. HOWEVER, I do maintain that a god like entity is possible and may exist. Regardless, I am still an atheist, because I do not believe in any gods.
I dont think you know what you are. There are many people like you:
http://en.wikiped...osticism

-Maybe youre one of them?


I told you what I am, I am an agnostic atheist... you even linked to the wiki article about it... what's your problem?
CHollman82
1 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
So what would you call people who reject the possibility of the existance of god? Most everyone, including the experts who wrote the DEFINITION, call them atheists.


Yes, I would call them atheists... what don't you understand about the statement "atheism is the disbelief in god(s)"

If you reject the possibility of god then you necessarily do not believe in god(s), right? What is wrong with you people?

The word atheism does not FULLY qualify how you feel about god... it only means you don't believe in any god... an atheist may consider the possibility of the existence of god(s) or may reject that possibility... BOTH ARE ATHEIST.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Dec 02, 2011
The word atheism does not FULLY qualify how you feel about god... it only means you don't believe in any god... an atheist may consider the possibility of the existence of god(s) or may reject that possibility... BOTH ARE ATHEIST.
According to you... but you are uninformed (ignorant) of what these words actually mean. I SUGGEST you educate yourself before offering any further opinions on the subject.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Dec 02, 2011
I told you what I am, I am an agnostic atheist... you even linked to the wiki article about it... what's your problem?
What you said in reference to the definition of atheist was:
Also wrong...

Atheism is ONLY the lack of belief in any god. This is not the same as a belief that there are no gods, it is not the same as the rejection of the possibility of the existence of god...
Which shows that you do not understand what the word means.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (7) Dec 02, 2011
You're problem is that you want a single word to fully define how you feel about god... that is not what the word Atheist is... atheism is the lack of belief in god(s)... that is ALL. It does not tell you anything more than that, it does not tell you if you think gods might exist or not...
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
I told you what I am, I am an agnostic atheist... you even linked to the wiki article about it... what's your problem?
What you said in reference to the definition of atheist was:
Also wrong...

Atheism is ONLY the lack of belief in any god. This is not the same as a belief that there are no gods, it is not the same as the rejection of the possibility of the existence of god...
Which shows that you do not understand what the word means.


I don't believe in any gods, therefore I am an atheist. Atheism is the lack of belief in gods... I don't know what your problem is
kochevnik
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 02, 2011
So you wouldn't look at all suspicious if someone asked you what church you go to and you don't have an answer? Around here it's not "are you religious" or even "are you christian" it's "what church do you go to?"
Just join the Unified Church of Atheism or become an ordained minister and spread the word! As a legally ordained minister, you will be able to perform weddings, funerals, commitment ceremonies, and other functions that are reserved for members of clergy. http://firstchurc...ism.com/

However, I've NEVER heard ANYONE announce their atheism!
Only because you don't speak Russian.
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
So you wouldn't look at all suspicious if someone asked you what church you go to and you don't have an answer? Around here it's not "are you religious" or even "are you christian" it's "what church do you go to?"
Just join the Unified Church of Atheism or become an ordained minister and spread the word! As a legally ordained minister, you will be able to perform weddings, funerals, commitment ceremonies, and other functions that are reserved for members of clergy. http://firstchurc...ism.com/

However, I've NEVER heard ANYONE announce their atheism!
Only because you don't speak Russian.


That's stupid, atheism is not a religion anymore than not believing in big foot is a religion.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2011
Widely means widely. Internationally recognized, by the diplomatic corps of nations like Germany and other NATO nations who discussed it extensively in Policy Papers throughout the Cold War.

Well, I'm sorry if history lessons in your country don't include the differences between socialism, communism and marxism. Local misunderstanding of a term doesn't mean that the whole world has do be uneducated, does it?

The claim was that communism was inherently atheist. That has shown to be false. Unless you want to start altering the meaning of words in the dictionary 1984-style I suggest you get your terms straight befor using them.
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (9) Dec 02, 2011
Atheism simply means that you do not believe in god... it couldn't be any simpler than that and it doesn't mean anything more than that. It does not fully qualify someone's position concerning god, it only tells you that they do not believe in god. It does not tell you if they believe that there are no gods, it does not tell you if they accept the possible existence of god, and it does not tell you if they claim to know that god does not exist. The word atheist does not tell you any of that, all it tells you is that the person is NOT A THEIST... if you are not a theist you do not believe in god, that is all it means, period.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (5) Dec 02, 2011
You're problem is that you want a single word to fully define how you feel about god... that is not what the word Atheist is... atheism is the lack of belief in god(s)... that is ALL. It does not tell you anything more than that, it does not tell you if you think gods might exist or not...
No, my problem is that it irks me when people try to redefine very thoroughly defined words to use as a basis for argument. What the word atheist MEANS is extremely well defined. It has been argued ad nauseum.

If you and AP were trying to make valid points you would both be referring to references. Instead you ad lib and you both get it wrong. That is my problem.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2011
Atheism simply means that you do not believe in god... it couldn't be any simpler than that and it doesn't mean anything more than that.
That's funny... The official definition contains more words than yours does. I think this means that it is not quite as simple as you are saying it is. IS IT??
kochevnik
1.3 / 5 (10) Dec 02, 2011
Perhaps you should try educating yourself. The ACLU's roots are primarily communist/socialist and communism is atheistic.
Communism was invented in the USA and tested by the Jesuits in Paraguay and implemented by Jesuit-educated Stalin. Atheism was promoted by the Vatican to destroy the Orthodox church. Stalin burned many heretics alive as did his friend Hitler. Both enacted the Vatican's orders to kill all heretics. Communism posits the state as a god and this utopia is somehow to be achieved through xtian raping and pillaging. That's why it failed. Communism is simply christianity for nonbelivers. You live through the same fascist austerity programs now being implemented in Greece. As the fascist Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Makis Voridis entrenches himself, just as Hitler did, a new found interest in austerity programs aka "religion" will unfold. Perhaps WW3 as well. Of course banks pick fascists leaders who are, after all, true xtians.
kochevnik
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
The claim was that communism was inherently atheist. That has shown to be false.
Indeed communism has been proven to be inherently xtian. That's why xtians become so furious about it. They know it's their Achilles heel. The McCarthyist 50s had all the frothing-mouth undertones of xtians gone wild on another witch hunt.
kochevnik
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 02, 2011
One of Marx's founding principles was the whole "religion is the opiate of the masses" concept. He firmly believed, as did his successors, that religion should be wiped out, so it seems fair to say communism is atheistic.
Marx did not invent communism. He wrote a manifesto. He was paid by the banking families, who wanted to kill the Tsar in retribution for not paying tribute (taxes) to the Rothschild's Bank of England. The Vatican in turn wanted to kill heretics. Stalin was the love child springing from this marriage. Lenin wasn't bloodthirsty enough for them. Communism was an economic model invented by Jesuit catholics in Paraguay from 1559.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 02, 2011
The claim was that communism was inherently atheist. That has shown to be false.
Indeed communism has been proven to be inherently xtian. That's why xtians become so furious about it. They know it's their Achilles heel. The McCarthyist 50s had all the frothing-mouth undertones of xtians gone wild on another witch hunt.
Sounds like you're not aware that this TOO has an official definition?
http://en.wikiped...ommunism

CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
No, my problem is that it irks me when people try to redefine very thoroughly defined words to use as a basis for argument. What the word atheist MEANS is extremely well defined. It has been argued ad nauseum.

If you and AP were trying to make valid points you would both be referring to references. Instead you ad lib and you both get it wrong. That is my problem.


Grade school children might be able to get away with pointing to a dictionary or wikipedia and saying "I told you so"... I am above the pedestrian definitions in dictionaries and have been for some time now.

90 % of the population uses these terms incorrectly, it does not surprise me that dictionary editors do as well. A-Theist means NOT THEIST... A-gnostic means NOT GNOSTIC... It is literally that simple. The prefix a- literally means not, or the negation of... What don't you understand?
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
The word a-theist is merely the word theist with the a- prefix. The a- prefix means "not" or "without" or "absent of"

A-theist therefore means "NOT THEIST". Theist is defined as one who believes in at least one god or deity. A-theist is ANYONE WHO DOES NOT FIT THE DESCRIPTION OF THEIST.

STOP OVER COMPLICATING THIS.
kochevnik
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 02, 2011
Sounds like you're not aware that this TOO has an official definition?
Yes thanks you mentioned that before and it is indeed a rich trove of hidden history. More than enough to properly frame the dominionist xtian hiveminds in their historic role as communist founders and sympathizers.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (7) Dec 02, 2011
you can also read this as well if you are so quick to give up your own ability to think by simply pointing to someone elses thoughts:

http://www.religi...eist.htm

"The most common meaning among Atheists themselves refers to a weak, negative, soft, or skeptical Atheist: one who lacks a belief in any supernatural entities."

In short, your "official definitions" are not official (whatever that's supposed to mean... words are human inventions) and they are not unopposed.
kochevnik
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
That's stupid, atheism is not a religion anymore than not believing in big foot is a religion.
Hardly stupid. More likely business model. An atheist church can spread the message of nonbelief to the unwashed masses, and enjoy a nonprofit status while doing so. As atheists we need a tax-free millennium to hoard all the gold and real estate the Vatican has acquired. The we can spread the message far and wide, that there is indeed NO F****** MESSAGE! No reason to be a poor atheist, while the xtians collect all the toys in their corporate churches. Useless suffering is for xtians.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 02, 2011
The word a-theist is merely the word theist with the a- prefix. The a- prefix means "not" or "without" or "absent of"

A-theist therefore means "NOT THEIST". Theist is defined as one who believes in at least one god or deity. A-theist is ANYONE WHO DOES NOT FIT THE DESCRIPTION OF THEIST.

STOP OVER COMPLICATING THIS... plus blahblah about 'a-' prefixes
You are the one who is overcomplicating this. The easiest thing to do is rely on the scholars who have already been through this and come up with the following:

"Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist."

-You want to dissect a word in order to discern it's meaning, not realizing that it was originally coined by people long since dead. The meaning has since evolved, and the PROPER def, all words intact, is the one above.
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 02, 2011
Are you kidding me?

"Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist."

THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING THIS ENTIRE TIME... we don't even disagree with each other but we can argue like spouses of 50 years.
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (8) Dec 03, 2011
Well, I'm sorry if history lessons in your country don't include the differences between socialism, communism and marxism. Local misunderstanding of a term doesn't mean that the whole world has do be uneducated, does it?

The claim was that communism was inherently atheist. That has shown to be false. Unless you want to start altering the meaning of words in the dictionary 1984-style I suggest you get your terms straight befor using them.


History lessons in YOUR country show the same thing as in my country.

German foreign service policy papers in the Cold War discussed it as well.

This is not news. You just hate to admit when you're wrong, and are pulling things out of thin air to avoid admitting it. You've proven nothing, nor shown nothing to counter anything I've said other than to say "see I proved it".
Callippo
1 / 5 (3) Dec 03, 2011
Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist
It's not that simple, it's agnosticism. The atheists actively believe in nonexistence of deities without evidence, so that they're sorta believers too.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Dec 03, 2011
Atheism is ONLY the lack of belief in any god. This is not the same as a belief that there are no gods, it is not the same as the rejection of the possibility of the existence of god...
-This was what you said which is not atheism, which I showed by posting the correct def, which you apparently did not read until the 2nd time I posted it.
Atheism simply means that you do not believe in god... it couldn't be any simpler than that and it doesn't mean anything more than that.
Obviously it can and does, as the correct def includes more than just this.
It does not tell you if they believe that there are no gods
Yes it does.
it does not tell you if they accept the possible existence of god
This would be agnosticism. Your statement here directly contradicts your first statement:
it is not the same as the rejection of the possibility of the existence of god...
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (9) Dec 03, 2011
Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist
It's not that simple, it's agnosticism. The atheists actively believe in nonexistence of deities without evidence, so that they're sorta believers too.


NO NO NO

Don't any of you read other people's comments? That is NOT what agnosticism is. Agnosticism is NOT a fence sitting position between theism and atheism...
CHollman82
1 / 5 (8) Dec 03, 2011
Atheism is ONLY the lack of belief in any god.
-This was what you said which is not atheism


According to your own definition:

"Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist"

What exactly do you think is the difference?

You're being fucking ridiculous.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (7) Dec 03, 2011
(Most inclusively) Atheism is (ONLY) the absence (lack) of belief that any god (deity) exists...

That is the amalgamation of what I said and what your own definition says... They are in complete agreement.

I really don't know what the hell your problem is.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (5) Dec 03, 2011
NO NO NO
Don't any of you read other people's comments? That is NOT what agnosticism is. Agnosticism is NOT a fence sitting position between theism and atheism...
Well, lets find out...

"In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves there is a God, whereas an atheist disbelieves there is a God. In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify knowledge of whether God exists or does not. Within agnosticism there are agnostic atheists (who do not believe any deity exists, but do not deny it as a possibility) and agnostic theists (who believe a God exists but do not claim to know that)."

-is what agnosticism is. I dont know if anyone else posted the correct def - did they?

Why is it you have so little regard and respect for the work of scholars whose JOB it is to define these things properly? Why should I read your spaghetti when I can just look stuff up??
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Dec 03, 2011
What you said:
[Atheism] does not tell you if they believe that there are no gods
What scholars say:

"Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities."

What you say:
it does not tell you if they accept the possible existence of god,
What scholars say:

"In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities."

What you say:
and it does not tell you if they claim to know that god does not exist.
And what scholars say:

"In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities."

-So you see how far your concoctions are from the truth?

The word atheist does not tell you any of that
The word atheist tells you ALL of that.

Save yourself further embarrassment. Learn to reference the work of others who are far more competent in these matters than you.
https://www.google.com/
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 03, 2011
Do you know what the words "most inclusively" and "in the narrowest sense" mean?

Do you?
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 03, 2011
MOST INCLUSIVELY Atheism is EXACTLY what I told you it is. 90% or more of the people who call themselves atheists use the definition I gave from the beginning. The definitions you are providing are the ones given to atheists by the religious in order to make them appear equally irrational.

Try talking to people who actually call themselves atheist and you will find out what the label means to those that apply it to themselves instead of what the label means according to people who know nothing about the people who wear it.
technospice
5 / 5 (2) Dec 03, 2011
Believers are told from the time they are teeny tiny babies that God is the source of right and wrong. We are designed to believe what we are told by adults growing up as a survival mechanism. So that's what they believe, even though it's false; or women would still be treated as property and we'd still have slaves. There is a great deal of evidence that contradicts the idea that ethics are derived from religious doctrine; The Montreal Police Strike of 1969 in which a primarily Christian city in Canada dissolved into looting and rioting without Police, rather than without God, and the fact that most criminals (in America) self-identify as Christian before and during incarceration. Not to mention the vast majority of wars drawn on religious lines over the lines of social inequalities.

This is why I am afraid of religious people. They are told blind faith is a virtue, believe what they are told without question, and act upon those beliefs regardless how ethical they are.
Callippo
1 / 5 (2) Dec 03, 2011
This is why I am afraid of religious people.
Yes, the religious people are dangerous, when they form a large cloud. But the isolated religious people are preferred even with the crowds of atheists and this is just the paradox, mentioned in the above article. After all, all people who are firmly dedicated to their idea appear attractive for clouds, no matter the stuff, in which they do actually believe. Because the crowds seeks the leaders instinctively.

My private experience is, the people who appear like agnostics are actually a strong believers of intersubjectivelly accepted idea and they're not opened to alternative ideas more, than the common Christians. It's just their affiliation with majority, what makes their religion inconspicuous. But when the proponent of mainstream physics is facing the cold fusion or dense aether model for example, than his religious character becomes quite apparent. He starts to oppose blindly and he is not willing to accept any arguments.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 03, 2011
Atheism is EXACTLY what I told you it is.
Naw you told me that
an atheist may consider the possibility of the existence of god(s) or may reject that possibility... BOTH ARE ATHEIST.
-which CLEARLY, according to definition, it is not.
90% or more of the people who call themselves atheists use the definition I gave
-How could you possibly know what 90% or more of the people who call themselves atheists think?? Can you provide a link to a study which concludes this?
The definitions you are providing are the ones given to atheists by the religious in order to make them appear equally irrational.
Check wiki to see where they're from.
Try talking to people who actually call themselves atheist and you will find out what the label means to those that apply it to themselves instead of what the label means according to people who know nothing about the people who wear it.
Wiki may be bad sometimes but it's not THAT bad. I trust it and me over you in this case for sure.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 03, 2011
Do you know what the words "most inclusively" and "in the narrowest sense" mean?

Do you?
Yeah. I notice all your various ad hoc definitions do not allow for these variations (I suppose?) I also notice yours are calling atheists agnostics and agnostics atheists, which clearly they are not. Neither.

Wiki DOES have defs for agnostic atheists and agnostic theists, which I referenced, and which you might find informative. Take a look.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (7) Dec 03, 2011
Wiki DOES have defs for agnostic atheists and agnostic theists, which I referenced, and which you might find informative. Take a look.


Great, and if you weren't so busy enjoying the argument that we've been having for no reason since we actually agree with each other you would notice that what I have said corresponds completely with those wiki articles...
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 03, 2011
OK I'll do it for you. My quote references these sources:

"Nielsen, Kai (2010). "Atheism". Encyclopedia Britannica."
-Socialist

"Edwards, Paul (2005) [1967]. "Atheism". In Donald M. Borchert. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference USA (Gale). p. 359." -atheist philo

"Rowe, William L. (1998). "Atheism". In Edward Craig. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis
Religioustolerance.org's short article on Definitions of the term "Atheism" suggests that there is no consensus on the definition of the term." -atheist... "Rowe has described his conversion from Christian fundamentalist to, ultimately, an atheist as a gradual process..."

"Simon Blackburn summarizes the situation in The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy"... "I suspect that many professional philosophers, including ones such as myself who have no religious beliefs at all..."

-So. The def i quoted was redacted from other defs by Socialists, atheists, and apostates. Scholars. No theist.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 03, 2011
since we actually agree with each other
Only if you are of the opinion that you post bullshit, which you obviously do.
you would notice that what I have said corresponds completely with those wiki articles...
-except that you said an atheist may consider the possibility of the existence of god(s)... BOTH ARE ATHEIST. Which I think that, if you look it up, corresponds with the def of bullshit.

Hey let's find out-

bullshit (blsht) Vulgar Slang
n.
1. Foolish, deceitful, or boastful language.
2. Something worthless, deceptive, or insincere.
3. Insolent talk or behavior.

-Yeah I think that says it all-

"lead author Will Gervais, a doctoral student in UBC's Dept. of Psychology. "With more than half a billion atheists worldwide..."

-Let's see 90% of 500M is -a lot- isn't it? Maybe you can email them-
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (9) Dec 03, 2011
I'm not going point for point. I'm just going to quote the definition YOU provided once more in response to this:

"-except that you said an atheist may consider the possibility of the existence of god(s)... BOTH ARE ATHEIST. Which I think that, if you look it up, corresponds with the def of bullshit."

Here is the definition YOU provided:
"Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist"

Do you recognize that it is possible to acknowledge that a god like entity MAY exist yet still not believe that to be the case? If you don't you're an idiot, if you do then you are wrong.

So are you an idiot, or are you wrong? It is clearly one or the other because you absolutely can admit that a god may exist yet still not believe that any do and according to the definition you provided that would still make you an atheist, like I said 50 something goddamn posts ago.

mbrmark
4.9 / 5 (10) Dec 04, 2011
Those worried by this, should move to a country where there are less people suffering from religious delusions. Britain only has about ~3% confirmed religious, fortunately.
dogbert
1.4 / 5 (11) Dec 04, 2011
The verbal sparring over definitions in this thread is amazing.

A theist has decided that there is a god.
An atheist has decided that there is no god.
An agnostic has not decided.

Simple.

Yes, you can decide something and admit the possibility that you may be wrong. That doesn't change your decision or lack thereof and does not redefine your position.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (11) Dec 04, 2011
"Agnostic atheism, also called atheistic agnosticism, is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact."

-Again, all you had to do was read what I referenced instead of making something up. Why try to make something up when it has already been thoroughly hashed out by EXPERTS?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (10) Dec 04, 2011
Dogbert thinks it is simple because he is not a very complex person. If he too had done a little research and read the refs I posted instead of believing the jabber he hears in the coffee clatches at his church he would have more insight.
dogbert
1.9 / 5 (9) Dec 04, 2011
Otto,

One can, of course, decide that there is no god but be wishy-washy about it. You can pile on adjectives to express your foggy position, but my definitions hold.

Saying "I am an atheist, but I am not sure I made a good decision" doesn't make you something else. You have defined yourself as an atheist. You can add any number of adjectives without changing the base meaning.
Callippo
1 / 5 (3) Dec 04, 2011
The proponents of mainstream physics are remarkably consistent regarding dismissal of both aether model, both hypothesis of God. IMO it's because both models share a common origin, i.e. the assumption of underlying hidden causal reality, which is omnipresent and omnipotent, but it manifests itself only in subtle way at the common life. IMO the notion of God of many religions comes just from the instinctive feeling of this hidden underlying reality, in this sense the religion has its rational physical origin. Note that the completely chaotic phenomena can be interpreted like the manifestation of intelligent deity in hyperdimensions. For our animal pets our conscious behaviour would appear completely incomprehensible, random and unpredictable and we are at the same position regarding the quantum or Brownian noise. http://aetherwave...ept.html
ShotmanMaslo
4.2 / 5 (10) Dec 04, 2011
Just look at what the word is made up of, for (nonexistent) gods sake:

atheism = rejection of BELIEF in deities
agnosticism = rejection of KNOWLEDGE of the existence of deities.

Belief and knowledge is a different thing. I believe that aliens exist, but I dont know it for sure. Thus I am an agnostic alienist. Someone that was abducted by little green men, or otherwise is sure that their existence is a fact, is a gnostic alienist.

Agnosticism is NOT a fence-sitting position between a theist and an atheist. It is just another attribute. All the combinations can exist: gnostic theists, agnostic theists, agnostic atheists and gnostic atheists.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (11) Dec 04, 2011
So are you an idiot, or are you wrong? It is clearly one or the other...
I think you are missing something here. I am not posting my opinions but those of experts and scholars. You are choosing to call them idiots, not me.

As to your opinions specifically, those experts and scholars remain silent. Why don't you email them? Maybe someone will give you their opinion of what you have to say? Better yet, why don't you go and muck up one of the wiki pages. See what happens.

These are various ways of testing your opinions to see if they are valid or not. Or, you could just reason your way through them in comparison to those of experts and scholars as I did, and perhaps realize that there is some bullshit there.

This is how we learn.
Guy_Underbridge
5 / 5 (8) Dec 04, 2011
I believe in Electricity, and follow it's commandments
(Thou shalt not piss on a -48VDC busbar)
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (9) Dec 04, 2011
The verbal sparring over definitions in this thread is amazing.

A theist has decided that there is a god.
An atheist has decided that there is no god.
An agnostic has not decided.

Simple.


Simply wrong.

This is the common understanding of these words, and the common understanding is WRONG...

No self described atheist that I know, and I know many, would agree with your definition of atheist. An atheist is one who does not believe in god...
CHollman82
1 / 5 (7) Dec 04, 2011
So are you an idiot, or are you wrong? It is clearly one or the other...
I think you are missing something here. I am not posting my opinions but those of experts and scholars. You are choosing to call them idiots, not me.


Now I think you are just trying to have some fun with me because I have said already that I agree with the definitions you have provided and everything I have said in the past does as well...

This is just getting fucking ridiculous unless you are just messing with me, in which case knock it off.
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 04, 2011
What do I have to do to make people listen to me? I am an atheist, MANY people I know call themselves atheist as well. NONE of them would tell you that god does not exist, they will ALL tell you that they do not believe that any gods exist.

Do I have to post the wiki definition again?

"Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist."

Notice it DOES NOT say that atheists know that god does not exist, that definition was perpetuated by the religious as a form of slander to make us seem equally irrational as they are.

People in this discussion are confusing belief for knowledge, they are confusing the lack of belief for belief, and they are confusing these terms for terms that fully encompass what anyone could possibly think about the subject.

A lack of belief in god is NOT THE SAME as belief in the lack of god. One describes atheism as it is most commonly used by atheists, the other does not.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2011
Stop arguing with me, as far as any of you are concerned I AM the authority on this topic in this group of people. I have likely spent more time discussing these terms and these points of view than any of you. I have likely spoken to more people who call themselves atheist than any of you have. I have likely spoken to more YEC's and fundamentalists who have an incorrect understanding of these terms than any of you have. I have likely researched the various interpretations of these words from more sources than any of you have. I have likely researched the origin and etymology of these words more thoroughly than any of you have.

Stop arguing. Atheism as it is referred to by atheists is simply the LACK OF BELIEF IN GOD. If you are not a theist then you ARE, NECESSARILY, an atheist. Period. End of discussion.
FrankHerbert
0.9 / 5 (49) Dec 04, 2011
Stop arguing with me, as far as any of you are concerned I AM the authority on this topic in this group of people.


Holy shit take your head out of your ass man. Read that sentence again and tell me how the hell you got such a large cranium up your ass. It's quite a remarkable feat.

Stop arguing. Atheism as it is referred to by atheists is simply the LACK OF BELIEF IN GOD. If you are not a theist then you ARE, NECESSARILY, an atheist. Period. End of discussion.


You are so ignorant you are incapable of ever realizing it.

http://en.wikiped...r_effect

The DunningKruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes.
Nerdyguy
3 / 5 (2) Dec 04, 2011
Those worried by this, should move to a country where there are less people suffering from religious delusions. Britain only has about ~3% confirmed religious, fortunately.


Making up numbers to help your case is called fraud...

"An Office for National Statistics survey of 450,000 Britons in 2010 confirmed that 71% are Christian, 4% are Muslim and 21% lack a religious affiliation."
toyo
5 / 5 (2) Dec 04, 2011
Thank God I live in a country with an atheist Prime Minister! :)
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 04, 2011
i have said already that I agree with the definitions you have provided and everything I have said in the past does as well
So sorry but I have proved that you do not. You can SAY that you agree with the defs of experts and scholars but that does not make it so. I pointed this out thusly
-except that you said an atheist may consider the possibility of the existence of god(s)... BOTH ARE ATHEIST. Which I think that, if you look it up, corresponds with the def of bullshit.
-and showed that what you were describing was something different, ie agnostic atheism. Which is a separate school of thought which you would have learned if you had followed the link.

And just because you say SOME of the same things experts say, using somewhat similar wording, this does not make them EQUIVALENT. Versteht?

Again you can PRETEND that what you say agrees with what experts and scholars say, but you would just be further embarrassing yourself. And getting gang-rated for it to boot. Ouch.
Guy_Underbridge
3 / 5 (2) Dec 04, 2011
So, is a person who (a) worships no gods and (b) considers the existence of gods irrelevant to their existence an atheist or agnostic? (Hint: it doesn't matter)
The 'distrust' is felt by the folks that DO believe in god(s). Their perception of reality is based on gods.
It's like trying to tell you folk that stuff can go faster than the speed of light. You've been taught that 'c' is The Limit, you believe it, and anyone that tries to tell you otherwise is Obviously Crazy.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (49) Dec 04, 2011
So, is a person who (a) worships no gods and (b) considers the existence of gods irrelevant to their existence an atheist or agnostic? (Hint: it doesn't matter)


Specifically:
considers the existence of gods irrelevant to their existence


This is known as apatheism, which is the correct position to take :)

http://en.wikiped...patheism
CHollman82
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 04, 2011
Just look at what the word is made up of, for (nonexistent) gods sake:

atheism = rejection of BELIEF in deities
agnosticism = rejection of KNOWLEDGE of the existence of deities.

Belief and knowledge is a different thing. I believe that aliens exist, but I dont know it for sure. Thus I am an agnostic alienist. Someone that was abducted by little green men, or otherwise is sure that their existence is a fact, is a gnostic alienist.

Agnosticism is NOT a fence-sitting position between a theist and an atheist. It is just another attribute.


Exactly correct, thank you!
CHollman82
1 / 5 (2) Dec 04, 2011
So sorry but I have proved that you do not. You can SAY that you agree with the defs of experts and scholars but that does not make it so. Except that you said an atheist may consider the possibility of the existence of god(s)... BOTH ARE ATHEIST. Which I think that, if you look it up, corresponds with the def of bullshit.


I HAVE ALREADY ADDRESSED THIS, YOU IGNORED IT. THE DEFINITION YOU GAVE SUPPORTS WHAT I SAID

Jesus christ this is ridiculous. I'm done. At least one other person understands this correctly, given how people are I'll consider that progress.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2011
Ha! Thanks frank I did not know this.

"...French Catholic philosopher √Čtienne Borne, "Practical atheism [apatheism] is not the denial of the existence of God, but complete godlessness of action; it is a moral evil, implying not the denial of the absolute validity of the moral law but simply rebellion against that law."

-and so they should be killed, says the little philo priest. This is why Religionists distrust the godless - they think law and morality originate with god.

But as god doesn't exist, these must come from somewhere else. How about biology and natural selection?
http://rechten.el...RID2.pdf

-Specifically, tribal law. Those tribes which were most successful in creating internal trust and cohesion, along with concerted animosity toward the enemy, were naturally selected for. Religions commandeered this in order to spread it over ever-larger groups of people. But their utility is long past.
kochevnik
3.3 / 5 (7) Dec 04, 2011
@dogbert An atheist has decided that there is no god.
False. You've repeated that mistake at least five times on this site. An atheist realizes that BELIEF in ghosts and skyfaries and dead zombie Jews on sticks is irrational. No denial enters into the equation. There is nothing to deny but ignorance, which you generously provide.

It was a small step for me to then realize that embracing BELIEF itself is a sufficient condition for irrationality. Beasts must do so as they lack the requisite mental facilities. With a generalized human brain, BELIEF is nothing more than willful retardation.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 04, 2011
Just look at what the word is made up of, for (nonexistent) gods sake:

atheism = rejection of BELIEF in deities
agnosticism = rejection of KNOWLEDGE of the existence of deities.

Agnosticism is NOT a fence-sitting position between a theist and an atheist. It is just another attribute.
Exactly correct, thank you!
Except that I think Shotman was disagreeing with you when you said that atheists are agnostics - did I get that right? And so you are still pretending.
Stop arguing with me, as far as any of you are concerned I AM the authority on this topic in this group of people. I have likely spent more time discussing these terms and these points of view than any of you...blahahaha
But apparently you were doing so with no formal knowledge of what you were talking about, and so it was all like a big waste of time.

Don't worry - much time is similarly wasted by guys sitting around MacDonalds drinking coffee, and women on their cellphones while they are doing the wash.
dogbert
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 04, 2011
kochevnik,
An atheist has decided that there is no god.

False. You've repeated that mistake at least five times on this site. An atheist realizes that BELIEF in ghosts and skyfaries and dead zombie Jews on sticks is irrational. No denial enters into the equation. There is nothing to deny but ignorance, which you generously provide.


Wrong. There are two possibilities regarding deities:
1) There is no god (or gods)
2) There is a god (or gods)

If you decide that a god exists, you are a theist.
If you decide that no god exists, you are an atheist.
If you have not decided, you are agnostic.

There is nothing to deny but ignorance, which you generously provide.


And I said nothing about denial. Only decision.

You have apparently decided that there is no god, therefore your position is the atheist position.
kochevnik
2 / 5 (4) Dec 04, 2011
@dogbert And I said nothing about denial. Only decision. You have apparently decided that there is no god, therefore your position is the atheist position.
There is no decision. See, unlike fundies, atheists have a higher burden of proof. One such methodology is science. Even the act of deciding requires a burden of proof. There is no signal. The line is dead. Since there is nothing but ghosts, goblins and wisps of wind (something you call the holy spirit) there is no act at all on our part. Not even an act of decision.

And if some alien beamed down we would not blindly accept him as a god, no matter how godlike he appeared. Whereas you would be fooled, act recklessly and probably ruin your life and the lives around you.
dogbert
1 / 5 (2) Dec 04, 2011
kochevnik,

You deny making a decision while declaring your decision. You only fool yourself when you play such games.

It is better to live in the real world.

kochevnik
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 04, 2011
@dogbert You deny making a decision while declaring your decision. You only fool yourself when you play such games.
It is better to live in the real world.
On the contrary, we made a decision to have a higher standard of proof that animals and soothsayers. Beyond that, there is nothing to decide because the fairy tales aren't even perceptible. Without perception there is no thought. And that, sir, is how the real world works.
Tausch
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
Without perception there is no thought. - kochevnik

"To demonstrate that one sense can affect another even before perception,..." - http://medicalxpr...sly.html

Without thought there is no perception.
(nerve cells first - the prerequisite), then perception.
(An attempt to save the logic of your original statement.)

Of course "cross talk"(signals)between senses in the womb where the senses haven't reached a stage to fulfill their predestined function provide signals to the brain anyway.

'Thoughtless perceptions' are life forms without neurons.

So maybe labeling 'perception' in life forms without nerves cells is not correct labeling.

Now-days people argue how many neurons are needed to perceive perception as thought - whether subliminal or not.

CHollman82
1 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
Except that I think Shotman was disagreeing with you


Are you fucking kidding me? He basically quoted me... you need to reread what I have said if you aren't just jerking me around, which I really believe you are.

Here, he said this:

"Agnosticism is NOT a fence-sitting position between a theist and an atheist."

Which is AN EXACT QUOTE of something I said much earlier in this discussion. For the love of zombie Jesus this is infuriating.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
"Agnosticism is NOT a fence-sitting position between a theist and an atheist."

Which is AN EXACT QUOTE of something I said much earlier in this discussion. For the love of zombie Jesus this is infuriating.
Yeah you say lots of things. For instance you said this:
For example, I do not believe in any particular god, therefore I am an atheist. HOWEVER, I do maintain that a god like entity is possible and may exist. Regardless, I am still an atheist, because I do not believe in any gods.
-To which i said:
I dont think you know what you are. There are many people like you:
http://en.wikiped...osticism
-Because accepting the possibility of gods that you do not 'believe' in makes you some kind of agnostician. Right? I keep quoting your errors and you keep claiming you didn't make any. Why not defend your errors? This would be a valid method of argument.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.3 / 5 (4) Dec 05, 2011
Plus you said:
MOST INCLUSIVELY Atheism is EXACTLY what I told you it is.
-Except that it differs substantially from the wiki defs I referenced. So how could yours be EXACTLY the proper def? Experts and scholars needed to use more and different words and qualifiers in order to convey what they considered the proper def - how could yours be adequate? (hint- you need to actually argue the differences, and not just CLAIM that they are equivalent.) Dint you think that if they could have said the same thing with fewer words then they would have?

You also said:
90% or more of the people who call themselves atheists use the definition I gave from the beginning
-and I asked you for a source for this statistic. Out of your ass is not a valid source.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
Yeah you say lots of things. For instance you said this:
For example, I do not believe in any particular god, therefore I am an atheist. HOWEVER, I do maintain that a god like entity is possible and may exist. Regardless, I am still an atheist, because I do not believe in any gods.
-To which i said:
I dont think you know what you are. There are many people like you:
http://en.wikiped...osticism
-Because accepting the possibility of gods that you do not 'believe' in makes you some kind of agnostician. Right? I keep quoting your errors and you keep claiming you didn't make any. Why not defend your errors? This would be a valid method of argument.


You are wrong. If I do not believe in any god I am an atheist. I do not believe in any god, therefore I am an atheist.

I really wish you weren't so hard headed, you might learn something.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
You don't seem to understand the difference between belief and knowledge, or belief and the acceptance of a possibility... they are not related.

I can accept the possibility of the existence of big foot and yet not believe that big foot exists... regardless of the former, the latter would make me an abigfootist.

I can accept that a god-like entity MAY exist, yet not believe that any do. Regardless of the former the latter makes me an atheist.

Stop being stupid.
rawa1
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 05, 2011
Steven Weinberg is a Jew and an atheist: "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion."
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (5) Dec 05, 2011
I really wish you weren't so hard headed, you might learn something.
I have. Let's see I've learned what apatheism and agnostic atheism are. I've learned that the wiki definition of atheism was written by atheists, not Religionists of course, although one of whom was formerly a fundamentalist.

I learned that it is always better to reference formal definitions for these sorts of things as a basis for discussion rather than pukeing up some sort of half-assed notion and then stating that it is EXACTLY correct, because I would only look like a buffoon if I did that.

So. Have YOU learned any of these things?
CHollman82
1 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
So. Have YOU learned any of these things?


I learned that you will go to extreme lengths to try to make yourself look better when someone proves you wrong...

The wiki definition of atheism that you keep citing:

"Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist."

Is the same exact thing that I have been saying since my first post in this discussion.

Your problem is that you do not recognize the difference between a belief and an absence of a belief, or between what someone believes and what they claim to know what they admit to the possibility of.

If I admit that a god/diety might possibly exist I can still not believe that any do, and according to the definition above that you keep referencing that STILL means I am atheist.

You have been arguing with me about this for days now, let it go for fucks sake. Is it so hard for you to admit you were wrong?
CHollman82
2 / 5 (4) Dec 05, 2011
For those listening at home Otto is confusing belief for absence of belief, absence of belief for belief of absence, and absence of belief for denial of possibility.

If he could get those straightened out in his head and recognize that each are independent of the other he might just learn something from this.

The precious definition he keeps referencing says that Atheism is the absence of belief in god(s), which is 100% correct. Otto however thinks that this means that an atheist cannot accept the possibility of the existence of god. Of course it does not say or imply that whatsoever, and that is why he is wrong, and has been all along.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
"Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist."

Is the same exact thing that I have been saying since my first post in this discussion.
Uh no its not. You left out 2/3 of it which includes the majority of atheists your half-assed def doesnt cover. Sort of. Kind of. According to your bad choice of mushwords.
Your problem is that you do not recognize the difference between a belief and an absence of a belief, or between what someone believes and what they claim to know what they admit to the possibility of.
No, I am only citing the formal definitions I find in wiki and elsewhere. I have yet to offer an opinion of my own regarding the variations of belief in god.

Like I say I believe it is better to search for the opinions of experts in these matters rather than to pretend to be one. Because, like you, I would just be making myself a target of ridicule.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
Steven Weinberg is a Jew and an atheist: "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion."
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"

4 "You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." gen3

-Good is what benefits you and your tribe and harms your enemies; evil is what benefits your enemies and harms you or your tribe. Religions detach this from the tribal dynamic and artificially apply it to ever larger groups.
CHollman82
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
"Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist."

Is the same exact thing that I have been saying since my first post in this discussion.
Uh no its not. You left out 2/3 of it which includes the majority of atheists


I ask once more, do you know what the words "most inclusively" mean? Because MOST INCLUSIVELY atheism is exactly what I told you it is, according to your own definition.
CHollman82
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
So let's forget pedant definitions here Otto, you call yourself an atheist do you not? Do you accept that a deity, god, or god-like entity may exist?
CHollman82
2 / 5 (4) Dec 05, 2011
Aww now you don't want to play anymore because I am dangerously close to exposing your own irrationality and the reason you so vehemently oppose the slight deviance between our understandings of a term that we both apply to ourselves?

A pity...
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (47) Dec 05, 2011
No, he's probably just tired of trying to hammer the obvious into your thick, thick skull.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
The obvious fact that is in black and white for everyone to see, that the definition he provided is exactly what I said from the beginning?

Please, enlighten me if you think otherwise.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Dec 05, 2011
I ask once more, do you know what the words "most inclusively" mean? Because MOST INCLUSIVELY atheism is exactly what I told you it is, according to your own definition.
And I ask you once again, do you understand what 'broad sense' and 'narrower sense' mean when devising a COMPREHENSIVE def of the term?

"Atheism is, in a BROAD sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a NARROWER sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most INCLUSIVELY, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists"

-Not to mention that your mushy def of MOST INCLUSIVE atheism is not EXACTLY what the experts describe it to be. Is it?

Your words are nerfballs. Theirs are .300 Win Mag. This sort of ballistic efficiency is essential in word calculating.

Why shoot blanks? Reference people who are far better marksmen than you.
CHollman82
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
Guess what, the "rejection of the belief in the existence of deities" does not conflict with anything I have said either.

So your definition of atheism "in the broad sense" as well as your definition of atheism "most inclusively" BOTH agree with everything I have said.

Stop fucking arguing you pedant. I told you that atheism is the disbelief in god.

YOU can't figure out that this does not mean that you can't admit to the possibility of the existence of god.

YOU ARE WRONG.
CHollman82
3 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
...and answer the question, you call yourself an atheist right? Do you agree that a god, deity, or god-like entity may exist?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
Stop fucking arguing you pedant. I told you that atheism is the disbelief in god.
Naw you said all this which I answered:
"Agnosticism is NOT a fence-sitting...

Which is AN EXACT QUOTE of something I said much earlier in this discussion. For the love of zombie Jesus this is infuriating.
Yeah you say lots of things. For instance you said this:
For example, I do not believe in any particular god, therefore I am an atheist. HOWEVER, I do maintain that a god like entity is possible and may exist. Regardless, I am still an atheist, because I do not believe in any gods.
-To which i said:
I dont think you know what you are. There are many people like you:
http://en.wikiped...osticism
-Because accepting the possibility of gods that you do not 'believe' in makes you some kind of agnostician. Right? I keep quoting your errors and you keep claiming you didn't make any. Why not defend your errors? This would be a valid method of argument.
Own up. Quit lying.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
...and answer the question, you call yourself an atheist right? Do you agree that a god, deity, or god-like entity may exist?
Man I dont feel like it. Clear up all the bullshit you created up above. Like your '90% of all atheists dont know what theyre talking about.' That would include you right?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
For instance you said
HOWEVER, I do maintain that a god like entity is possible and may exist. Regardless, I am still an atheist, because I do not believe in any gods.
-which obviously means that
Guess what, the "rejection of the belief in the existence of deities" does not conflict with anything I have said either.
-is a lie. Just how full of shit are you?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
YOU can't figure out that this does not mean that you can't admit to the possibility of the existence of god.

YOU ARE WRONG.
You mean the wiki source is wrong dont you?

"Atheism is, in a BROAD sense, the REJECTION of belief in the existence of deities. In a NARROWER sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are NO deities. Most INCLUSIVELY, atheism is simply the ABSENCE of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists"

-In all 3 cases the wiki atheist experts are calling you a liar.
Nerdyguy
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
Oh yeah, now I remember why I clicked on "unsubscribe".
CHollman82
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
For instance you said
HOWEVER, I do maintain that a god like entity is possible and may exist. Regardless, I am still an atheist, because I do not believe in any gods.
-which obviously means that
Guess what, the "rejection of the belief in the existence of deities" does not conflict with anything I have said either.
-is a lie. Just how full of shit are you?


Wow... you don't even know what rejection of belief is... I reject the belief in god... that does not mean I reject the possibility of god.

You're so fond of definitions, look up the difference between not believing in something and recognizing the possibility of that thing.

You're such an idiot I swear to the non-existent gods.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
-In all 3 cases the wiki atheist experts are calling you a liar.


No they are not, you're a fucking idiot that doesn't understand the BASIC words and concepts, let alone the word atheist.

You don't understand what it means to believe something, what it means to have an absence of a belief in something, or what it means to reject the belief in something.

NONE OF THOSE THINGS mean that you cannot recognize the possibility of that thing.

You are so fucking confused you have convinced yourself that you're not, and we have become so combative I can't even help you understand because you reject what I say on principle. This is pointless.
CHollman82
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
Absence of belief and rejection of belief both refer to BELIEF.

It is possible to acknowledge the possibility of that which you do not believe.

Stop being a fool, I used to think much more highly of you.

Answer the goddamn question: Do you call yourself an atheist and if so do you recognize the possibility of the existence of a god, deity, or god-like entity?
FrankHerbert
0.7 / 5 (48) Dec 05, 2011
For instance you said
HOWEVER, I do maintain that a god like entity is possible and may exist. Regardless, I am still an atheist, because I do not believe in any gods.
-which obviously means that
Guess what, the "rejection of the belief in the existence of deities" does not conflict with anything I have said either.
-is a lie. Just how full of shit are you?


This right here is the crux of the issue and demonstrates how wrong (and unable to realize it) CHollman82 is.

Just to reiterate, this:

HOWEVER, I do maintain that a god like entity is possible and may exist. Regardless, I am still an atheist, because I do not believe in any gods.


is a factually impossible statement. It's obvious CHollman82 is just ignorant of the definitions but can't admit it.

CHollman82 would be wise to look up the Dunning-Kruger effect.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
Let me get this straight frank just so everyone following along is clear:

It is your opinion that someone cannot admit that a god may exist if they do not believe that one does.

Is that your opinion?

If it is you're an idiot as well as Otto. Believing or not believing in something has nothing at all to do with whether or not you accept the possibility of that thing... they are two completely different issues.

I don't know why it is so hard to explain this to you people, but the more I speak with you about the more depressed I become at the state of humanity.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
I may not BELIEVE that a meteor is on a collision course with Earth right now that will end all life on this planet at some point in the future... but I would be foolish to deny the possibility of that scenario.

I may not believe that I may lose my job tomorrow and have to rely on my savings for the next three months, but I would be a fool to deny the possibility of that scenario.

I may not believe that you and Otto will ever come to your fucking senses and understand what I am trying to tell you but I wouldn't keep trying if I didn't accept the possibility that you just might get it eventually.

...and I may not believe that any gods exist but I would be wholly irrational to deny the possibility of their existence.

Do you understand now? I can come up with analogies all day to prove that accepting the possibility of something has nothing at all to do with whether you believe it to be true or not. Atheism speaks only to what you believe or don't believe, it has NOTHING to do with...
CHollman82
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
...whether or not you accept the possibility of something.

You're both acting like complete idiots.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
Oh, and answer the question Otto: Do you call yourself an Atheist and do you accept or deny the possibility of the existence of a god, deity, or god-like entity?

You're avoiding the question because you're a coward and you don't want others to see how irrational you are. Denying the possible existence of such an ill defined construct that could 1) exist anywhere in the universe, and 2) intentionally and perfectly obscure itself from human detection is foolish and irrational.
FrankHerbert
0.9 / 5 (49) Dec 05, 2011
I may not BELIEVE that a meteor is on a collision course with Earth right now that will end all life on this planet at some point in the future... but I would be foolish to deny the possibility of that scenario.

I may not believe that I may lose my job tomorrow and have to rely on my savings for the next three months, but I would be a fool to deny the possibility of that scenario.

I may not believe that you and Otto will ever come to your fucking senses and understand what I am trying to tell you but I wouldn't keep trying if I didn't accept the possibility that you just might get it eventually.


LOL are you actually trying to use Pascal's Wager as an excuse to believe in a god WHILE trying to claim you are an atheist?

REALLY?!
CHollman82
1 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
I can't believe that grown, seemingly educated individuals think there is a logical contradiction between not believing in something yet accepting the possibility of it...

It confuses the hell out of me how people can be so ignorant and irrational, but even more so how they can so stubbornly defend their irrational position.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
LOL are you actually trying to use Pascal's Wager as an excuse to believe in a god WHILE trying to claim you are an atheist?

REALLY?!


WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???

I don't believe in any god, I have said that many times, what is WRONG with you people? Are you all illiterate or is English not your first language?

Why do you think I believe in god? Quote anything I have ever said that implies that I do... this should be hilarious if not infuriating and depressing.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
I'm going to go insane... you two literally cannot understand the difference between believing in something and recognizing the possibility of that thing... it's like I am holding up an orange crayon and telling you it's orange and both of you are arguing that it's green... This is enough to drive someone mad.

LISTEN. TO. ME.

There is a difference between believing that something is true and recognizing that it might be true.

Do you agree or not?
CHollman82
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
Do you agree that there is a difference between acknowledging that something might be true and believing that it is true.

Please answer the question with either yes or no.
FrankHerbert
0.7 / 5 (47) Dec 05, 2011
I can't believe that grown, seemingly educated individuals think there is a logical contradiction between not believing in something yet accepting the possibility of it...


THAT IS WHY THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT TERMS. AHHHHHH!

Please continue to get angry with is for being correct you little man.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2011
You're not even stating an argument anymore, I'm tired of this fucking nonsense.

I am an atheist because I do not believe that any gods or deities exist. I cannot, however, rule out the possibility of the existence of a god, deity, or other god-like entity. There are 3 primary reasons for this: 1) The definition of a "god" is so lacking I wouldn't even know what it was that I was denying the possibility of (ex. does a supremely advanced alien count as a "god"). 2) The universe is vast and I don't know everything that exists in it. 3) A god with omni properties could intentionally and perfectly obscure itself from human detection, forever.

That is my position concerning god, and I am an atheist. I believe it is the most rational position. If you have a problem with it you can fuck yourselves silly because I am done wasting my time on you.

If someone else other than Otto or Frank would like to continue discussing this I would be more than happy to, until then enjoy talking to yourself
kochevnik
1.3 / 5 (4) Dec 05, 2011
Believing or not believing in something has nothing at all to do with whether or not you accept the possibility of that thing... they are two completely different issues.
Actually they are related: the probability function is the integral of the probability density [possibility space], and in turn the chance of an observation is related to the probability. I think you are working backwards relative to other atheists, hence the confusion. You're saying you haven't seen a god, but the probability density of a god could be nonzero. Other atheists go further to assert the probability density is nonzero everywhere as well, based on suppositions of physics, cosmology etc.

It becomes very, very hard to assert a zero probability in the universe, which is tantamount to proving a negative.
FrankHerbert
0.9 / 5 (49) Dec 05, 2011
I am an atheist because I do not believe that any gods or deities exist. I cannot, however, rule out the possibility of the existence of a god, deity, or other god-like entity.


You aren't an atheist then. Pick up a dictionary. Jesus.
kochevnik
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 05, 2011
Fundies claim that inability to examine every quark in the furthest reaches of the universe is de facto proof of their follies. They're saying they're right because no other godlike being exists to prove disprove theirs. I'm not sure which logical fallacy that is, but it's damn stupid.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
You're saying you haven't seen a god, but the probability density of a god could be nonzero. Other atheists go further to assert the probability density is nonzero everywhere as well, based on suppositions of physics, cosmology etc.


Yeah yeah, that type of formal scientific language isn't even necessary though, it's a very simply logical deduction.

Fact: I don't know everything that exists in the universe.
Fact: "God", as ill defined as that concept is, could exist anywhere in the universe.

Therefore I cannot deny the possibility that god exists somewhere in the universe.

However, I do not believe god exists, and I cite a lack of credible evidence and the null hypothesis as well as the principle of Occam's razor to support my lack of belief.

That lack of belief, as per all of the definitions provided by Otto, qualifies me as an atheist.

That's all.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
I am an atheist because I do not believe that any gods or deities exist. I cannot, however, rule out the possibility of the existence of a god, deity, or other god-like entity.


You aren't an atheist then. Pick up a dictionary. Jesus.


The definitions have been provided ad nauseum. It's not a definition you need, it's a brain to understand it.

An atheist is broadly anyone who rejects the belief in a god.

I reject the belief in a god.

An atheist is most inclusively anyone who lacks belief in a god.

I lack belief in any god.

I qualify, and most atheist fit my description, go cry in a corner about it.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
Fundies claim that inability to examine every quark in the furthest reaches of the universe is de facto proof of their follies. They're saying they're right because no other godlike being exists to prove disprove theirs. I'm not sure which logical fallacy that is, but it's damn stupid.


I completely agree. The inability to disprove something is not proof of that thing. Well said.
kochevnik
2 / 5 (4) Dec 05, 2011
As a nonbeliever, I go even further. I'm sticking a fork in all such hocus-pocus so long as the number of observations to date is zero. For me beliefs are an evolutionary artifact of the brain, like the appendix. Since humans can predicate, and statistics is well covered in 4th year courses, beliefs have outlived their utility. Predicating with beliefs is masochistic.

Some study was done long ago and the folks who believe in ghosts, gods, spooks etc. uniformly failed basic probability tests. Most of this religion is promulgated by illiteracy.
FrankHerbert
0.7 / 5 (46) Dec 05, 2011
go cry in a corner about it.


LOL, that would be you.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2011
As a nonbeliever, I go even further. I'm sticking a fork in all such hocus-pocus so long as the number of observations to date is zero. For me beliefs are an evolutionary artifact of the brain, like the appendix. Since humans can predicate, and statistics is well covered in 4th year courses, beliefs have outlived their utility. Predicating with beliefs is masochistic.

Some study was done long ago and the folks who believe in ghosts, gods, spooks etc. uniformly failed basic probability tests. Most of this religion is promulgated by illiteracy.


Once again I agree completely. The null hypothesis in all such cases should be disbelief until sufficient evidence exists to warrant belief.
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (48) Dec 06, 2011

Once again I agree completely. The null hypothesis in all such cases should be disbelief until sufficient evidence exists to warrant belief.


That's the agnostic position.
CHollman82
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 06, 2011
Once again I agree completely. The null hypothesis in all such cases should be disbelief until sufficient evidence exists to warrant belief.
That's the agnostic position.


Nope, I've written all of this a hundred times...

Gnosticism refers to knowledge of god. Gnostics claim to have KNOWLEDGE of their god, they claim to know god.

An agnostic is one who claims to have no knowledge of god, or that it is impossible to have knowledge of god.

Theism deals with belief, gnosticism deals with knowledge.

Knowledge and belief are two completely different things.

CHollman82
1 / 5 (3) Dec 06, 2011
Tell me frank, why is it that you cannot understand the difference between belief and knowledge, and between the absence of belief and the belief of absence, and between what you believe and what you acknowledge to be possible?

Do you have some disorder? Is there a name for it so I could research your disorder in an attempt to communicate more effectively with you?
CHollman82
1 / 5 (4) Dec 06, 2011
Gnosticism and theism are two completely different things, they are not mutually exclusive terms, they are not substitutes for each other. Agnosticism is NOT a fence sitting position between theism and atheism, I don't care what you've been told, what dictionaries might say, or what 90% of people believe the word means, because they are wrong.

Gnostic is Greek for "knowledge"... it is a name given to several ancient religious factions due to their claim of divine knowledge of god. Those who did not follow those religions and did not claim to have the same divine knowledge of god were given the term agnostics, meaning "not gnostic" or "without knowledge of god"...

That is the etymology and origin of the word, and that is what it means. I am very sorry that so many goddamn people are ignorant today and think that theism gnosticism agnosticism and atheism are all points along the same scale... THEY ARE NOT.
CHollman82
2 / 5 (4) Dec 06, 2011
Keep rating me 1 automatically without reading my posts. You have ZERO integrity, you do not try to understand anything, you are here to argue ad infinitum. There is nothing I could say to prevent you from continuing to argue with me because that is who you are, you don't care about the truth or coming to an understanding, you want to oppose me because of some juvenile revenge fantasy.

It isn't healthy, for either of us, to indulge this sickness of yours any longer. No progress is being made here because that isn't your goal, your goal is to blindly oppose me at all costs, as evident by your 1 votes for every one of my posts which occur faster than you could possibly read them.
CHollman82
1.3 / 5 (3) Dec 06, 2011
It is downright disturbing that you think your 1 votes on my comments have any meaning whatsoever... I don't know who I am dealing with thanks to the miracle of the internet but I suspect you are a severely psychologically damaged individual. You register multiple accounts to down vote every one of my posts many times without reading them, all because of some argument you and I were in MONTHS ago that I don't even remember. You are severely disturbed and likely need help. I feel very sorry for you and wish that find the help you need to begin behaving like a normal human being...
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Dec 06, 2011
Poor CH he ought to know by now he shouldn't be using his own head as a reference.

"Agnostic atheism, also called atheistic agnosticism, is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact. The agnostic atheist may be contrasted with the agnostic theist, who does believe that one or more deities exist but claims that the existence or nonexistence of such is unknown or cannot be known."

-Which I posted before. Now, CH is going to claim that this is EXACTLY the same thing that he's been saying all along (it isn't - look! - the words are different!) and that it proves he's right because he says it does.

Essentially sort of somewhat similar is not the same as equivalent. Even if you say it is.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (5) Dec 06, 2011
READ the wiki articles. DIGEST what they say. LEARN the importance of each and every word in a definition. ADJUST your thinking in response. QUIT making shit up and PRETENDING it makes sense. HAVE a nice day.
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (48) Dec 06, 2011
Otto, I don't think we are going to get through. He's been provided with the correct information multiple times and just screams "NO YOU'RE WRONG YOU GIRL". It's really quite immature at best.
CHollman82
2 / 5 (4) Dec 06, 2011
READ the wiki articles. DIGEST what they say.


It is very funny... I said at the very beginning of this that these words are very controversial and that many people consider them to mean similar but slightly different things and that due to this simply pointing to "wiki" or dictionaries is not sufficient to arrive at a correct conclusion. All you are doing is pointing to what someone else has to say about the topic, how about forming your own opinions and using your own words for a change?

Ironically enough the wiki definition of atheism is in full agreement with me and everything I have said. The wiki def for agnosticism is slightly different than what I am saying and I acknowledge this.

There is more to learning that copying the words of others and putting full faith into the opinion of a perceived expert.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Dec 06, 2011
Ironically enough the wiki definition of atheism is in full agreement with me and everything I have said.
No its not.
YOU can't figure out that this does not mean that you can't admit to the possibility of the existence of god.

YOU ARE WRONG.
You mean the wiki source is wrong dont you?

"Atheism is, in a BROAD sense, the REJECTION of belief in the existence of deities. In a NARROWER sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are NO deities. Most INCLUSIVELY, atheism is simply the ABSENCE of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists"

-In all 3 cases the wiki atheist experts are calling you a liar.
-which is still true.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Dec 06, 2011
There is more to learning that copying the words of others and putting full faith into the opinion of a perceived expert.
But that is how the accumulation of knowledge works isnt it? If there is one thing to learn from this website, it is that the process of discovery builds upon the work of others.

Scientists, unlike you, dont attempt to start over from scratch every time they want to discover something new. They trust in the professionals who came before them, and in their contemporaries who might be more versed in related disciplines than they are, and in the people who taught them what they know back in school.

Then there are the crackpots and loonies who think that their opinions are worth more than the concerted efforts of trained and experienced individuals who have written whole critically-acclaimed BOOKS on the subject, and earn a good living TEACHING the subject to generations of students.

Thats like you isnt it CH?
CHollman82
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 06, 2011
Scientists, unlike you, dont attempt to start over from scratch every time they want to discover something new. They trust in the professionals who came before them, and in their contemporaries who might be more versed in related disciplines than they are, and in the people who taught them what they know back in school.


Wow... the Earth would still be flat if everyone thought like you did. Nothing should be taken for granted. It's disgraceful that you talk about science like you know anything about the practice.
CHollman82
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 06, 2011
-which is still true.


You didn't even address the argument I made that is quoted there, you've done nothing but deflected and denied this entire time. You haven't even tried to put forth a coherent argument beyond "nuh uh, look at this link"... You are lazy in debate and intellectually dishonest. You aren't worth my time.

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