Let’s Talk About Atheism, Agnosticism and Theism!

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Username, May 2, 2013.

  1. Balerion Banned Banned

    It's not even that atheists are especially skeptical, it's more that atheism itself is a position of skepticism.
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  3. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Why are ''atheists expecially skeptical ?

    By ''atheism is a religion'', I think it is meant that they act as a religious fundamentalist, not that they believe in God, which is correct.

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  5. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

    I seriously doubt you can paint the whole atheism religion as one.

    I would be sure there is equally as many thinkers in any mainstream religion, as there are in atheism. Do you people think that the vatican just sits there and makes stuff up? There is and always has been loads of scientists working for the roman catholic church. I am sure all the main churches are full of people that question.

    I would think just as many atheists do not question why they are atheists, over as many people in any religion you name.

    Only a minority of all humans seem to have an analytical mind. For the most part the rest are just happy to go ahead to get along.

    But you cannot tell me that loads in atheism, are thinkers, or even bothered about why they believe what they do.
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Atheism is not a religion.
  8. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

    Its based on faith that god does not exist. No scientist will ever answer that question. At least a minority of theists had some sort of experience to justify there beliefs. Atheism has nothing, other than mans arrogance.

    If you think that humans are just the sum of there parts, that is your choice.
  9. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    The fact is very few atheists have absolute faith that there is definitely no God. Typically, it's just that we don't believe there is one because no evidence has been shown.
  10. Balerion Banned Banned

    It's not a religion, and my statement doesn't paint all atheists as one. Saying that atheism is a position of skepticism is simply a fact.

    I'm sure there are. Some of the greatest minds in history have been theists, or at least deists. However, in modern times, theism--particularly the practice of religion--requires cognitive dissonance. There is no logical conclusion that leads to the existence of a god, so if one is a believer, they are deluding themselves in that area of their lives, or they're simply ignorant.


    I think most religious people who do question their faith find their answers in "feelings" or "intuitions" rather than intellectualism. Then again, there are many practicing theists who become atheists.

    Given the pervasiveness of religion in society--even in language, with such idioms as "God bless you," "Heaven forbid," and "Devil's advocate"--it's unlikely that a person who is an atheist has never questioned why they are an atheist. Chances are, an atheist was raised in a particular religion, attended mass or similar gatherings, and took for granted as a child that a particular deity exists. But even those who are atheists by default--as in, grew up in an atheist family--almost certainly encountered religious people at some point and wondered why they believed.

    Non-sequitur. Everyone has an analytical mind. People who don't question their own beliefs tend not to because they're afraid of the answer, or because the status quo is more comfortable, (the user Lightgigantic appears to believe in god simply because it makes him feel better than the alternative) or because they have been fed propaganda that satisfies their curiosity.

    I would see no reason to believe otherwise, particularly because it is a position more likely to be arrived at intellectually than born into such as a religion.,
  11. Balerion Banned Banned

    It isn't faith. It's not belief in a message, it's typically a position reached after examination of available evidence.

    That's faith.

    Not a justification. Simply a genesis. Some people claim to lack the ability to believe in obvious superstition. But beneath that, there is the analysis which arrived at religion as "obvious superstition."

    The concept of "man's arrogance" speaks to the idea that your belief is self-fulfilling. In other words, you dislike atheism simply because it disagrees with your faith, not because it lacks merit.

    Thanks for the permission?
  12. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Right. I think that it's important to note that 'theism' isn't synonymous with 'religion'. It's entirely possible to be be a religious non-theist. Millions of Buddhists, Jains and Confucians would fit that category. It's also possible to be a non-religious theist, I guess. Maybe some of the 18'th century deists would belong in that one.

    It might also be helpful to make a distinction between 'non-religious' and 'anti-religious'.

    I don't think that all atheists would deny any possibility that god(s) could exist. They just don't believe that any do.

    The 'theist' in 'atheist' seems to suggest that atheism is specifically concerned with non-belief in the existence of god(s).

    If you're suggesting that some atheists seem dogmatic in their beliefs in the non-existence of god(s), in much the same manner that some theists are very dogmatic about their belief in the existence of the same things, I'll agree with you. I think that there's a certain kind of atheist who really does resemble a religious fanatic. Except that in the atheist's case, it's anti-religious fanaticism. The style (and abrasiveness) can be very similar though.

    Agnosticism is the belief that knowledge about transcendent things (like gods) is lacking. It's entirely possible to simultaneously be an atheist and an agnostic.

    I personally consider myself an agnostic. I don't know of any way that human beings like myself can obtain objective knowledge of transcendent things, should they exist.

    Beyond that, a lot depends on how we choose to define the word '"God". If the word is being used to refer to philosophical functions such as the universe's first-cause or ground-of-being, my attitude is basically non-committal. I don't have a clue why reality exists instead of nothing at all.

    But when we are using the word "God" to refer to the specific deities of religious tradition such as Yahweh, Allah and Vishnu, then I would qualify as an atheist as well as an agnostic. That's because I'm confident that whatever the unknown first-cause and ground-of-being of the entire universe might be, the chances of them turning out to be one of the cosmic "persons" described in the earth's religious mythologies seems so vanishingly small that I feel quite comfortable thinking and behaving as if those religions' theistic claims aren't true.

    I don't believe that Yahweh, Allah or Vishnu literally exist (outside our mythologies at least) and I'm reasonably certain that none of our religious traditions is in any better position to answer the ultimate questions than I am.
  13. Username Registered Senior Member

    Thanks for the response Jan.

    I think you have given more than a definitive response as to what theism entails. Which is a belief in God or a God. For some reason I think this tends to get lost in translation for me (and maybe with others .. idk), especially when debating topics regarding religion or belief in x,y, and z.
  14. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

    Theism is the belief in a deity or deities. Atheism is the lack of belief in such. There are multiple forms of the latter, ranging from lazy disregard to aggressive contention. It's the difference between rejection of a claim, and making a claim of your own.
    Agnosticism isn't a matter of theological view. It's a matter of certainty vs. uncertainty. There are agnostic theists just as much as there are agnostic atheists.
  15. Upstate8987 Registered Member

    Very well put! "I am Me."
  16. Username Registered Senior Member

    You are you, but who are or what are you? 'Me' doesn't say much.

    That is like saying: "You don't speak for me, you speak for yourself and no one else can speak for me other than myself."

    In other words anything critical about someones life gets thrown out or overlooked because it may or may not be accurate when dealing with the personal aspects of someones life. That doesn't mean it is factually inaccurate or misrepresenting the truth of someones actions or how they lived their life.
  17. Username Registered Senior Member

    Agreed, theism and atheism goes far beyond religion.

    As Jan stated, theism is in fact a belief in god or a god. Atheism isn't just a matter of rejecting religion, because even theist may reject several different aspects of their own religion yet agree with others.

    So where does that leave atheist? Rejecting religion and the religion 'they base that god on'. Does that mean they reject a power greater than themselves? Because it isn't possible for them to do so.
  18. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    It's theists that created the false dichotomy. That's part of the problem of religion, it separates the world into them and us. I just don't believe your shit.
  19. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    The basic forces of physics are greater than myself. Without them I wouldn't exist. But it would be inappropriate to worship them or ask them for favors.
  20. Chipz Banned Banned

    huh? Arent you separating the world into us verse them? You say "religion" vs "atheist". Boy, you not very smart if you think like this. I say not believing in deism is but one form of theism. Sorry your world view is so small.
  21. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Socrates was accused of atheism for belief in a single God. Some people confuse theism with Deism. But what seems odd to me are that segment of (mostly Christian, usu. fundamentalist) believers I encounter who deny that they practice a religion, as if, in their eyes, it somehow invalidates the "truth" of a person's beliefs to acknowledge that it is in fact a religion. They will tend to call themselves Theists, as if any other label devalues those beliefs. To me it's partly semantics and it's partly something akin to dishonesty - at least a form of denial - to refuse the label at face value. In the 60s war protest song Universal Soldier the fighting men, who would ideally say killing is immoral by any standard, are generously labeled:

    He's a Catholic, a Hindu
    An Atheist, a Jain
    A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
    And he knows he shouldn't kill
    And he knows he always will
    Kill you for me, my friend, and me for you

    . . .without loss of significance, and certainly not with disparagement on account of religious belief or disbelief. There's only one thing held sacred here - life.
  22. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Never have, never will. They will hopefully be liberal with the morphine when I've met my match.

    Why do u ask, Chipz?
  23. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Until you lose you job, run out of bread and find yourself breaking in and stealing stuff, get hauled off to jail and probably lose friends and family in the process, which is where too much goot = a whole lotta badddd.

    So I see it was a rhetorical question, you don't really object to my post that much. Goot.

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