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Definitions - Atheism

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by Not4Resale, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. #1 Not4Resale, Jun 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    For the religious folk.

    This is a well thought out video and it extends to quite a good story of deconversion. It is non-offensive and is basically just a biographical account of the person's thought processes as they go through the process.

    This particular video aims to clarify terms. We've had this argument on here before about what it is to be an atheist, agnostic, theist, gnostic, pantheist, etc. etc.

    Atheism - Definition

    I like information like this because I feel like it bridges the gap between the believer and the non-believer because most often the problem lies in misunderstanding, once we have a clear picture of the other it becomes easier to accept a different state of mind.

  2. He makes valid points re the knee jerk reactions ...
    However im clear in my own mind that when i say i am Atheist it is in direct reply to the belief of a " mythical god person" .
  3. An atheist is a person with no invisible means of support.
  4. I'm sticking with agnosticism, it's like the ultimate exercise in fence sitting.

    "I don't know if God exists, but if he does I'm rooting for him"
  5. Why?
  6. Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.

  7. And this has what to do with baby jesus butt plugs...?
  8. To be honest I would say the vid is just quibbling over terms for the same thing.
  9. Good find, Resale :)
    It's hard to define what god is without questioning god, which in many religions is very frowned upon. what i would call a long-overdue debate, they would call ungrateful blasphemy.

    then again, if i'd been indoctrinated from birth to dedicate my entire life to a religion, the idea of acknowledging something like the possibility that god has a lifespan could very well debase everything i thought i knew about life, which coupled with the fact it would go against the popular opinion of my church and family, would leave me alone and unsupported in a scary new world with too many unanswered questions. i'd probably take the easy option out, not ask any hard questions and stay with the flock too. ignorance IS bliss.

    myself though, i tick the agnostic box too. not enough reliable information available to draw any type of conclusion.
    i acknowledge that in our lifetimes we may never find the answer to the burning question of our existence, and have found happiness and peace in just spending my life drowning my senses in stimuli, running the gamut of human experiences and simply being a witness to existence.
    life is good.
  10. I was bought up as a strict catholic. Failed miserably though. I consider myself a hardcore athiest. If you can't prove it or at least have some plausable explaination, I dont believe it.

    For those who have not read and Dawkins books, he quotes himself as being an athiest, but he has a scale of 1 - 7, where 7 is full on creationist and 1 being full on athiest. He says he is a 2, because if on the very remote chance you could prove that there was a god, he would have to become a believer.

    I also like dawkins theory on infinite regress, that is if everything is created, then who created the 'god'? I am sure the creationist have plausable answer for that though.
  11. That sums it up for me, especially after studying Historiography.

    That and the fact that I'd never believe in any god that would send me to hell for not believing in them. What an asshole god that would be, sheesh.
  12. #13 loki, Jun 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    congratulations on your escape *hi5*
    was it an easy transition?
    after suffering a decade of forced religion myself, I now have one parent who has severed all ties with me completely because I went against the grain of the church

    I saw [URL="]one video[/URL], where some flat-earther likened it to a historian digging up an ancient arrow. he made the point that the arrow obviously wasn't naturally formed through sedimentation, and just because he himself did not know which particular tribe had made it doesn't mean it it wasn't intelligently designed :roll:
  13. #14 TRA, Jun 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    I wouldnt say easy transition, but rather a natural transition as I learned to think for myself. I am naturally curious, so it just made sense to me. I am also an engineer, so naturally I observe and draw conclusions. My belief is science, and when weighing up my 2 options i figure hard evidence of evolution is pretty hard to argue against, especially when all the creationist have is a book the contradicts itself. At the end of the day, the science seems more credible to me.

    Its sad that a parent would sever a relationship based on their own views. This is what scares people out of thinking for themselves in such cases. My wifes family are religious and I get on well with them. They also know that I am an athiest and it does not bother them.

    I think a lot of creationist get their nickers into a not over dawkins. He is not opposed to relegion per se, rather he is opposed to religion being taught as a science, when cleary it isn't by definition. If you have not read the god delusion by richard dawkins I highly recommend it.
  14. #15 FALCON-LORD, Jun 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Ouch that has seriously got to hurt, having a parent disown you over something they can’t prove. Humans are very weird creatures.
    Oh man the logic there is so very flawed… you know the arrow is Man made because you can identify that other arrow heads made by man have been found and there history known.
    But with only one earth and no absolute knowledge of the connection of this to a divine entity nor even the proof of the existence of the divine, you have a leap of faith as opposed to drawing on previous knowledge as your decision making tool.
  15. and similiar to yourself, my morals prohibit my worshipping of any all-powerful being who allows young children to die painful deaths from cancer and other terminal diseases. now i think of it, if there is a god, i think he's been responsible for more infant deaths than abortionists :bolt:

    c'est la vie, re: my parent. i doubt it was his own view he was acting on, and moreso a view that was pushed on him by his church leader. luckily i have an awesome step-father who has been much more of a reliable parental role-model. i get on well with religious people, as long as we keep our seperate beliefs in the bedroom. if someone is only known for their religion (ie, if i ask them if they've read any good books lately and they talk about a bible) i tend to distance myself from them.

    I'd like to read Dawkin's works.
    I've seen a few of his videos on youtube, he's a very eloquent speaker, who i think finely expresses what a lot of non-believers are thinking, and then some. i do find him a little caustic and rude with religious people, and his answers to questions can spin wildly off-topic, but i'd imagine it's frustration at being asked the same questions repeatedly at each seminar
  16. Dawkins is the same type of douche as you'll fund in a pentacostal church...sure of himself to the point of being a "believer" in Dawkins.
  17. Not quite true. He approaches the matter from a very scientific point of view. That is, there is overwhelming evedince that suggest that there is not such thing as a 'God', and there is overwhelming evedince that evolution is real. However, he does not go as far as to suggest that one definitivley does not exist, because he does not know, and no one does.

    Dawkins goes as far as to suggest that one day he may well be proven wrong, and then he will have to change his opinion. I have not heard a religious scholor ever suggest such a concept.

    Remeber, science is based on empirical evidence, and no such thing exists for religion. That is his argument.
  18. One difference..

    Dawkins is correct.
  19. Ultimately it is futile to debate the idea of theism or atheism without first wrestling with the question of epistemology - that is, how do we know what we know? Or more simply, how do we know what is true?

    There are two important things to grasp about epistemologies. Firstly, they are typically unconscious, and secondly, they are essentially un-provable by definition. One can't prove that their way of understanding truth is true, as the epistemology shapes their understanding of truth.

    Let us take scientific method as an example... if you accept the scientific approach of hypothesis, experiment, conclusion, then based upon that method you can draw certain conclusions; but the belief in scientific method largely comes down to one's experience - both first and second hand - that such experiments yield justifiable conclusions. There is many a religious person who's epistemological world view is at least significantly shaped by the concept of divine revelation. I imagine most of us have known at least one person in their life who has said that they know what is true as it has been revealed in the bible, and that it has proven itself to be true. While such an epistemological framework is clearly at odds with the epistemological framework based upon scientific method, ultimately both draw upon the same internal justification: my experience of evaluating that which I know about life and the world through this framework has proven itself to be reliable and trustworthy to me (and, usually, people I trust and/or respect advocate it as true).

    This says a great deal about Dawkin's epistemological framework, that is to say his conclusions about what is true are influenced by (or based upon) scientific method. No matter how vehemently you agree or disagree with this approach, we can at least identify it as the approach he has taken, and recognise that others with whom we may engage with such philosophical discussions may have a different epistemological framework, causing them to draw different conclusions.

    Nor would I expect to hear a religious scholar suggest such a concept (eg that they may be disproven about the existence of God). For such a concept falls outside the scope of their epistemological framework. If your understanding of truth is one built upon or incorporating the notion of divine revelation, then it is built upon the implicit understanding of the existence of such a divine entity, and there would be no truth or evidence that could be presented that would have the epistemological weight to shake that conclusion in most cases. Some say that this is naive, deluded, or self deceiving. It is, I put to you, merely the byproduct of an epistemology different to your own.

    My personal definition of "religion" is "a belief or collection of beliefs about the existence and/or nature of the divine, which is unprovable." (You may note with some amusement, as I do, that my definition of a religion contains the implicit hat-tip to the notion of "proof"). Christianity is a very good example of a religion, by my definition. So too, I argue, is (hard) atheism: it is a belief about the (non) existence of the divine which is unprovable.

    Just some food for thought...