1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured 1 out of 5 Atheists in the U.S believe in a "higher power"

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by firedragon, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Messages:
    10,001
    Ratings:
    +2,736
    What does "Higher Power" mean in these two articles?

    1. 10 facts about atheists
    2. Americans' beliefs about the nature of God

    I understand that Atheism is not believing in any theism or even anti-theism. Its pretty simple. But the atheists seem to grapple with the fact that some atheists yet believe in a "higher power". That goes against the definition atheism. But this is normal as anything can become an identity statement. But some atheists are fighting to redefine and reinterpret "Higher Power" to defend the tribe. I find it highly contradicting because atheists claim they are not a religion, while they also claim the religious people do just the same thing they are doing.

    Thus. Let me ask again.

    What does "Higher Power" mean in these two articles?

    1. 10 facts about atheists
    2. Americans' beliefs about the nature of God
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    183,641
    Ratings:
    +62,017
    Religion:
    Atheist
    I don't recall any atheists who believe in a "higher power".
    I'm curious what this would mean to them.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Messages:
    10,001
    Ratings:
    +2,736
    This is quite old. Nevertheless, there are two articles in the OP.
     
  4. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    20,011
    Ratings:
    +13,106
    To me, it is any polynomial function of the nth degree where n > 1.

    Easy to prove that such a higher power exists, too.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  5. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    183,641
    Ratings:
    +62,017
    Religion:
    Atheist
    I'm hoping for a fellow poster to present their perspective.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Messages:
    10,001
    Ratings:
    +2,736
    Thats what you think the responded to the PEW research meant when they said "they believe in a higher power"?
     
  7. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    20,011
    Ratings:
    +13,106
    No. I was being facetious, although I realize that doesn't always come through clearly via text.
     
  8. aketo

    aketo Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2021
    Messages:
    341
    Ratings:
    +230
    Religion:
    Χάος
    Words like "deity" and "god" aren't too well defined.
    If someone believes in a "higher" power and doesn't attribute the features that are commonly attributed to deities to this power, and acknowledges that it isn't a deity, even then this person can be called an atheist by definition.
    I think higher power could mean anything they want it to mean. Almost certainly something supernatural.
     
    #8 aketo, Mar 7, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
  9. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist My baby niece

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    32,040
    Ratings:
    +10,892
    Religion:
    Process of Spiritual Healing
    I find that odd. I never really got the higher power (or belief in something greater than myself and so forth). Though, higher power isn't always a deity, so I guess so. Atheists can be spiritual. I wonder why people associate atheism with no belief in the supernatural.
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    183,641
    Ratings:
    +62,017
    Religion:
    Atheist
    It's all new to me.
     
  11. questfortruth

    questfortruth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    2,428
    Ratings:
    +374
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox Christianity
    Aliens

     
    #11 questfortruth, Mar 7, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
    • Funny Funny x 2
  12. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Messages:
    10,001
    Ratings:
    +2,736
    OK I understand.
     
  13. lukethethird

    lukethethird Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Messages:
    1,555
    Ratings:
    +649
    Religion:
    Xian
    1 out of 5 Atheists in the U.S believe in a "higher power"

    What does that say about Americans?
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
  14. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2017
    Messages:
    3,705
    Ratings:
    +2,514
    Religion:
    None
    It seems to me that in both articles the there are people saying that there is a difference between god and a Higher Power. Thing is that Higher Power might not mean god or the Middle Eastern concept of god. But also, they did interview Americans, and Americans aren't the most consistent bunch. These people could be irrational atheists.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  15. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Messages:
    6,366
    Ratings:
    +5,436
    Religion:
    none
    We had that discussion in one form or another several times, one just two weeks ago (Various kinds of Atheism).
    It all comes down to the definition of god (or, more precisely, theos) you are using and if you define atheist on that definition of theos.
    Giving atheism a positive definition (does not believe in any gods) instead of using the literal, negative definition (not a theist), leaves one group undefined, namely those who don't believe in a theos but do believe in an entity or power that could be said to be a "higher power" or even a god (deos).
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
  16. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    56,629
    Ratings:
    +25,775
    Religion:
    Love
    Part of the answer is in one of the articles as the excerpt shows.

    Typing atheist pantheist into a google search brings up many web sites with various views about whether some atheists are pantheists such as Is Pantheism an Atheism? The answer in the article is 'maybe'. Is pantheism an atheism?... that is up to you to decide, and it depends very much on how you experience the universe through your cerebral atheism.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. Jedster

    Jedster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,793
    Ratings:
    +2,157
    Hmm...maybe something like my cousin who insists he is a vegetarian even though he eats white meat & fish. Go figure.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Messages:
    31,287
    Ratings:
    +26,017
    Religion:
    None

    I would say regarding the universe as a god runs againt the definition of atheism but as you say, thats up to me to decide. I have been in trouble more than once from higher powers for taking definitions literally
     
    • Like Like x 3
  19. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    72,104
    Ratings:
    +28,072
    Religion:
    God is in the Rain
    I frequently have people throwing the atheist label on me, just because I don't believe in any sort of personal deity as it's typically and generally understood in a Western perspective. Never mind anything else I say, such as a very deep agnosticism and mandatory skepticism towards my own experiences, or that I don't reject the possibility of a god and do have a "loose vision"/concept of some thingy (my views are heavily influenced by Einstein), I frequently still get called an atheist. I reject the label, I've never used it myself, not even when I leaned slightly more towards that, but many others do apply it to me.
    Sam Harris, however, is one such person that does consider himself a "spiritual atheist." He even wrote a book titled that. It's an interesting read if for no other reason Sam Harris typically presents a formidable and shrewdly informed position in his books (I've never gotten around to listening to his podcasts).
    And, truly, the definition of atheist has changed much and greatly over the past few centuries. Used to be that not only was an atheist godless, but also of immoral character (an unfortunate lingering effect still witnessed today).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Messages:
    31,287
    Ratings:
    +26,017
    Religion:
    None
    Not American but i have 2 cents to spend.
    Define higher power.
    Mains electricity potential is certainly more powerful than the electtivity that drives my brain.
    Authority wields a higher power, one just cannot contend with french bureaucracy.
    Some nations the police have the power to arrest me, even execute me for my beliefs.
     
    • Like Like x 2
Loading...