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  1. #131
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Logical fallacy. But if you want to believe in it, fine...
    I was of the understanding that this is the difference between soft/weak/negative/implicit atheism, or agnostic atheism, versus hard/strong/positive/explicit atheism, wherein the former category expresses no belief in theos, while the latter category expresses belief in no theos.

    Technically, semantically, both categories would therefore be a-theistic, or without theos, but the latter is anti-theistic as well.

  2. #132
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Logical fallacy. But if you want to believe in it, fine...
    The odds are pretty much against the existance of gods, but it is pretty much impossible to prove that there are no gods. Therefore you may either believe that there are no gods, or know that there probably are no gods.
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
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  3. #133
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    What you describe here seems more like agnosticism, while atheism by contrast is belief that there is no God. As such, it is a belief just as much as any religion.
    No, I'm talking of atheism, lack of belief in a deity should not be characterised as the same as having a belief. I don't believe in fairies either, yet people wouldn't go around considering my lack of faith that fairies live in gardens is the same as someone who believes they do, it is simply a lack of belief.

    atheist
    ˈeɪθɪɪst/
    noun
    noun: atheist; plural noun: atheists

    1.
    a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

  4. #134
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    hmmm... wouldn't you have to believe in something one way or another, even if it's believing that there is nothing?

    and just because someone doesn't believe in a god of some sort doesn't mean that they don't believe in anything... (for those in doubt go to a few 12 step meetings and talk to some people... it can get pretty odd)

    I live in an agnostic household... neither of us is all christian-y or anything, but we do indulge in christmas in our weird, agnostic manner because families expect it and such. We give each other gifts year round, but we always get each other something extra awesome sometime between Halloween and New Years every year... in part to break up the monotony of a midwestern winter. We do all of the Christmas celebration stuff with family because they find the traditions to be important. We don't decorate the house or yard or go to church or send out cards or anything... tradition for the sake of it isn't all that important to us

    It doesn't bother me if an Atheist or an Agnostic or even someone from another religion celebrates Christmas though... it's a major commercial holiday that's become pretty damned secularized... it's celebrated in most schools around here and on TV and in the mall and such. In my book Christmas is like Valentine's Day or the 4th of July... just another holiday with it's traditions
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  5. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzulEyes View Post
    I know a lot of atheists- or people who do not believe in God- or the miracle birth of Jesus, who celebrate Christmas.

    Trees, lights, presents- the whole nine yards.

    This is strange to me.

    What gives?
    Trees, lights, and presents aren't from Christianity. Neither are holly, the Santa myth, or anything else you associate with Christmas... except for the Jesus myth. Just because I don't believe in that doesn't mean I can't follow the parts of the Yule celebration that long predate Christianity.

  6. #136
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    hmmm... wouldn't you have to believe in something one way or another, even if it's believing that there is nothing?
    No. Would you call someone who had never heard the concept of a deity a believer in something? They would by default be atheist as they lack belief in a deity.

    and just because someone doesn't believe in a god of some sort doesn't mean that they don't believe in anything...
    Yes.

    An atheist may hold a belief, but atheism is inherently the lack of one while theism is inherently a belief, and agnosticism is not making up ones mind, maybe belief maybe not, but it would also count as the lack of a belief. People see agnosticism as the "true neutral" with religion, yet with most other aspects of life, the lack of belief in something is not seen as holding a position, just as not having something is not the same as having something, absence does not imply a positive. If an atheist believes that the world was created by a dog farting then that would be a belief, however the only thing all atheists have in common is that none of us believe in a god or gods, we lack belief.

    If you hold out you hand and one person tells you there is a very tiny invisible elf on it, that would be them holding a belief, if another person tells you you're holding oxygen that would also be a belief (a rather reasonable one), if you do not agree with the person who says you have an elf that is not a belief (you may believe they're bonkers though), if you do not agree with the person who says you have a fist full of oxygen that would also not be a belief (they may think you're stupid though). Theism holds a positive view, your own view on faith determines if you see them as the person believing in oxygen or an elf, agnosticism holds all views as options without making up their mind, maybe there is an elf, maybe there is oxygen, or maybe not, atheism does not agree with a view, again depending on your perspective it may be the oxygen or the elf, it does not default to telling you what is actually there in their belief.

    The thing is religion and faith is so popular that those who do believe often claim that atheism is a belief as they see those who do not agree with them to hold a belief because their default is a world with a deity and someone without faith must be wrong.

    As an atheist I don't believe in a god, that is not a positive thought, I don't replace him with something else to believe in, I nothing him, I also nothing Zeus, fairies, elves and invisible jumping beans and yet because of the world we live in, no one would think twice about me 'holding a belief' with anything mentioned except not believing in a deity. It is not a consistent standard.

  7. #137
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SensEye View Post
    There are what I refer to as 'militant atheists' who claim with 100% certainty that no god exists. This degree of certainty is unwarranted, and you could possibly consider that 100% certainty a faith statement, but an atheist who simply claims since no god has been proven to exist, it is reasonable to conclude no god exists, is not expressing a statement of faith.
    It all comes down to how one defines terms. I tend to use "atheist" to refer to the highlighted, though it can certainly include the rest as long as one is clear on definitions. The definitions I usually use are these, from the Free Dictionary, but similar to those found elsewhere.

    Agnostic (literally without knowledge): " One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God," usually because there is insufficient evidence; or "One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism."

    Atheist: "One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods."

    Theist: "one who believes in the existence of a god or gods".

    In other words, the theist concludes that deity exists; the atheist that deity does not exist; and the true agnostic holds that there is not enough evidence to support either belief or disbelief, and so forms no conclusion on the matter. The last is the most logically supportable point of view.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #138
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasper View Post
    No. Would you call someone who had never heard the concept of a deity a believer in something? They would by default be atheist as they lack belief in a deity.



    Yes.

    An atheist may hold a belief, but atheism is inherently the lack of one while theism is inherently a belief, and agnosticism is not making up ones mind, maybe belief maybe not, but it would also count as the lack of a belief. People see agnosticism as the "true neutral" with religion, yet with most other aspects of life, the lack of belief in something is not seen as holding a position, just as not having something is not the same as having something, absence does not imply a positive. If an atheist believes that the world was created by a dog farting then that would be a belief, however the only thing all atheists have in common is that none of us believe in a god or gods, we lack belief.

    If you hold out you hand and one person tells you there is a very tiny invisible elf on it, that would be them holding a belief, if another person tells you you're holding oxygen that would also be a belief (a rather reasonable one), if you do not agree with the person who says you have an elf that is not a belief (you may believe they're bonkers though), if you do not agree with the person who says you have a fist full of oxygen that would also not be a belief (they may think you're stupid though). Theism holds a positive view, your own view on faith determines if you see them as the person believing in oxygen or an elf, agnosticism holds all views as options without making up their mind, maybe there is an elf, maybe there is oxygen, or maybe not, atheism does not agree with a view, again depending on your perspective it may be the oxygen or the elf, it does not default to telling you what is actually there in their belief.

    The thing is religion and faith is so popular that those who do believe often claim that atheism is a belief as they see those who do not agree with them to hold a belief because their default is a world with a deity and someone without faith must be wrong.

    As an atheist I don't believe in a god, that is not a positive thought, I don't replace him with something else to believe in, I nothing him, I also nothing Zeus, fairies, elves and invisible jumping beans and yet because of the world we live in, no one would think twice about me 'holding a belief' with anything mentioned except not believing in a deity. It is not a consistent standard.
    I think you may have misinterpreted what I said there a bit

    I'll use Terry Pratchett's Lies to Children concept here to go along with one of the sociocultural theories on the reason for religions. There are concepts, like the ideas of justice, generosity, not gutting people like fish because they're being asshats and telling the truth that make societies run a hell of a lot easier. Of course it's not necessarily to an individual's best interest for their personal survival to go around sharing their shit and such, which makes communal living a bit more difficult. With religion invented as an explanation for things that people didn't understand it was a hell of a lot easier to codify these social concepts into laws and get people to follow them. It's easier to tell someone that the big man in the sky will be pissed off if they murder their neighbor Joe and steal his cows than to explain to someone that, while murdering Joe and taking his cows may be good for them in the short run, if EVERYONE took to murdering their neighbors to steal their cows there'd be a lot less people around and everyone would be all paranoid a la Spy v Spy.

    Yeah, the God is going to cast you into a pit of flames for being a dick may be a lie, but not killing Joe is still a good idea.

    What I'm getting at here is that while an atheist may not believe in God, The Devil or the Tooth Fairy they still probably believe in things such as truth and not going around and killing people. Technically those concepts are rather abstract as well... Not believing in some bearded man in the sky doesn't necessarily equate to lack of belief in other abstract concepts

    that's just my two cents trying to clarify a point there... not meaning to take off from the track and make for the hills
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  9. #139
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    I am an atheist and I celebrate Christmas. I was raised with gift giving, a tree, lots of good food, family, present giving, stockings etc. I had no idea of the whys, nor did I really care as a child. My current practice is an exercise in tradition passed onto me by my family.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #140
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    With religion invented as an explanation for things that people didn't understand it was a hell of a lot easier to codify these social concepts into laws and get people to follow them. It's easier to tell someone that the big man in the sky will be pissed off if they murder their neighbor Joe and steal his cows than to explain to someone that, while murdering Joe and taking his cows may be good for them in the short run, if EVERYONE took to murdering their neighbors to steal their cows there'd be a lot less people around and everyone would be all paranoid a la Spy v Spy.

    Yeah, the God is going to cast you into a pit of flames for being a dick may be a lie, but not killing Joe is still a good idea.

    What I'm getting at here is that while an atheist may not believe in God, The Devil or the Tooth Fairy they still probably believe in things such as truth and not going around and killing people. Technically those concepts are rather abstract as well... Not believing in some bearded man in the sky doesn't necessarily equate to lack of belief in other abstract concepts
    When Joe's neighbor gets to thinking and realizes there is precious little evidence supporting the existence of this man in the sky, and throws that idea out, will he also reject the notion that it is bad to kill Joe and steal his cows, since the justification for it no longer (to him) exists? Better to have our morals on a firmer footing than that, one that will weather the evolution of our personal ideals and beliefs.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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