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Atheism is a RELIGION

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Matheist, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Do you believe in a Global Flood? Do you believe the sun stood still for Joshua? Do you believe Jonah spent three days on the belly of a fish?
     
  2. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    But not believing something is not a belief.

    Just like not thinking is not a thought.
     
  3. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    If religions are TV channels, then atheism is turning the TV "off". "Off" is not a channel.
    If religions are types of shoes, then atheism is walking barefoot. Barefoot is not a type of shoe.
    If religions are hair colors, then atheism is being bald. Bald is not a hair color.


    :)
     
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  4. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    No.
     
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  5. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    Your connotation that religious belief = belief in God is demonstrably incorrect. I think multiple eastern religions, as well as some moderns ones would like a word.

    We shouldn’t make incorrect statements because some people don’t know that there are godless religions.

    And again, I’m not even talking about religions, just beliefs. Do you acknowledge, at least, that one belief does not make a religion?
     
  6. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    I would argue that if it’s a conscious, considered position to not believe something, then that is a belief.

    I make a distinction between things we choose not to believe, and things we do not believe simply because we’ve never considered them. The former are beliefs; the latter are not.

    I do not believe that the earth is flat. Is that not a belief?

    I am not talking about religions. I am talking about a religious belief.

    I can make analogies too. Choosing to watch nothing is still a choice about what to watch.
     
  7. Tiberius

    Tiberius Well-Known Member

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    Okay. In what context will the Powers That Be be talking about peace and security? Will the be saying we have it? Will they be saying we're going to lose it? Will the be talking about how they're going to achieve it? Will they be talking about what's putting it at risk?

    Define "great" in this context? Does it mean "large"? Does it mean "very good"?

    It's false that I can't say that it's not untrue that the double negative doesn't make it not confusing.

    In any case, the evidence that tsunami can be caused by earthquakes is pretty much beyond dispute at this point.

    Whatever. Please show me a clear and unambiguous prophecy of the Bible that has evidence from outside the Bible for its fulfillment. Please also demonstrate that the prophecy was written BEFORE the events that fulfilled it. Please also make sure that the prophecy is something SPECIFIC and unlikely to occur by sheer chance.
     
  8. Tiberius

    Tiberius Well-Known Member

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    No it isn't.

    Not having a belief in a thing and actively believing the thing doesn't exist are two different things, as has been explained several times now.
     
  9. Tiberius

    Tiberius Well-Known Member

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    A minority, but I'll grant that. Perhaps I should have said that a religious belief is the belief that a particular religious faith is correct.

    I believe many things, yet I wouldn't say that makes those things religions for me. So I will agree with you here.

    And so, I must conclude that even if atheism was an active belief that God does not exist, then since that is the only thing that atheists have in common, it is still just one belief, and thus does not make atheism a religion. Therefore, atheism is not a religion. Case closed.
     
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  10. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Between theism, agnosticism, and atheism, the latter is the weakest in terms of logic. Matter or fact, I was thinking about starting a new thread, so I think I'll do that right now.
     
  11. Darkstorn

    Darkstorn This shows how unique i am.

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    This picture seems to imply that if you sprinkle some Quran on top of a nice animism cake, you somehow get a more pure product than with just animism.

    I.E I wouldn't take baking advice from this guy. But it nicely explains the... Let's say "emotional necessity" to make the case he does in the OP for the guy. This picture itself doesn't present any logic, maybe that's why people didn't understand its message. But it's not actually supposed to be logic. It's his wants and needs put into argument form.

    For dummies, here's the OP's argument simplified: He's making the case that ALL other forms of theism and atheism are religion, except for his. Because it has the added purity of a certain specific religion that he really enjoys. You're welcome.
     
  12. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    That makes no sense to me.
    "A belief" is to believe something.
    To believe something is to accept something as accurate / correct.

    My position of atheism is that I do NOT accept the claims of theism as accurate or correct.

    Not believing something, is thus not a belief.
    It makes no sense to call it a belief. Because what is being believed? Nothing. Au contraire. Something is NOT being believed.


    No, it's not.

    Now, if you would say "i believe the earth is NOT flat" - then that would qualify as a belief.
    It's a subtle yet important difference.

    Not believing the claim that the earth is flat, is not a belief.
    Believing that the earth is NOT flat, is a belief.

    The latter is a claim in and of itself. The first is a response to one.
    People tend to think that "i don't believe X" is synonymous with "i believe X is false" - but simply is not correct.

    My atheism is literally defined by not having religious beliefs.....

    But it's not not a TV show, nore is "not watching" a type of watching tv....

    Just assymmetry is not a type of symmetry.
     
  13. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    Agnosticism is not some mysterious "third" position on theistic beliefs.
    You either believe theistic claims or you don't. If you do you're a theist, if you don't you're an atheist.

    Agnosticism is a position on a completely different question.
    If anything, agnosticism is a qualifier of (a)theism as it pertains to knowledge while (a)theism pertains to beliefs.

    I'm an agnostic atheist.
    These terms are not mutually exclusive.

    When a claim is made without evidence, the only logical thing to do is to not accept said claim as accurate due to lack of evidence.

    That's my atheism in a nutshell.

    I predict a bunch of PRATTs
     
  14. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    No arguments from me here!
     
  15. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    In most cases “I don’t believe X” is synonymous with “I believe not-X”. I would argue that that is how it normally works— people will freely interchange “I believe the earth is not flat” with “I don’t believe the earth is flat” and intend the same meaning.

    I agree that it is not always synonymous. But you cannot say it’s never synonymous.

    You ask what is being believed when you don’t believe something. You answer with “Nothing”. Your stance clearly ignores intended meaning.
    If you “do not believe that vaccines are safe” that is a clear statement about reality. Nobody would interpret that as a statement about “nothing”.

    Anytime we make assertions about reality, we are expressing beliefs. You are focusing on semantics while ignoring meaning. A “negative” belief is just as much a belief as a “positive” belief.

    You certainly seem to believe that the claims of theists are inaccurate, since you do not accept them.

    Do you, perhaps, believe that the probability of god’s existence is very low?

    I would describe beliefs about god— which include stances on his existence— as religious. You are thinking about religious concepts and coming to your own conclusions. I would describe it like morality. Perhaps you don’t believe that abortion is wrong. You do not accept the arguments of the pro-lifers. I would then say you have a morality belief. “Morality”, like “religious, is just an accurate descriptor, or classification.

    Your analogies really don’t do anything for me. They illustrate your position but they don’t convince me your position is correct.
     
  16. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    This doesn't change the point.
    That people usually don't understand how it logically works, is irrelevant.

    Fact remains:
    "I don't believe the claim that the earth is flat is true"
    is not the same as
    "I believe the earth is not flat".

    I most definatly can. It's never synonymous. When people use it as being synonymous, they are incorrect. Or not being complete in explaning their position.

    Like when people use double negatives in their sentence structures. They oftenly do and they mean a single negative. But it's just wrong linguisticly.

    I'm not ignoring intended meaning at all.

    When *I* say that I don't believe claim X as being true, then *I* am not claiming or meaning that I believe claim not-X as true.

    And when somebody says "i don't believe claim X" while really meaning "i believe X is false", then they are just incorrectly expressing their actual stance.

    Would you interpret it as synoymous with "I believe vaccines are unsafe"?

    I certainly wouldn't, unless it is explicitly expressed.

    Because I understand that saying "i don't believe X is true", is not the same as saying "I believe X is false".

    Disagree.

    Like said already, "not believing" is not a belief.

    Certain specific claims, yes. Like the YEC claim that at some point a few thousand years ago the whole earth was flooded and only a handfull survived on some physically impossible boat.
    And I believe that claim is false, because of the actual demonstrable evidence that shows it false.

    Other claims, are not like that at all.
    Like the claim that "a god" exists in some realm that isn't accessible to us.
    There is not evidence to support that claim. By extension, there is no reason to accept it as true. So I don't. There also isn't evidence to support the claim that such a being does not exist.

    So if "not having supportive evidence" is the reason to not accept that claim that such a deity exists, why would I believe any other claim that also lacks such evidence? Or why would I make such claims myself?

    I believe it is quite likely that religions (and gods) are human inventions. And I believe that based on good evidence like human psychology and tendency of superstition.

    As for probability of a religion being correct or "a god" actually existing, I wouldn't have a clue because how do you calculate probabilities of things that are completely unknown?

    My positive beliefs about abortion have nothing to do with my disagreement with the arguments of pro-lifers and everything with my agreement with arguments of pro-choicers.

    Let's try another one then.

    There's a giant gumball machine with thousands of gumballs in it. You have no access to the gumballs, so you have no way of counting how many are in there exactly.

    Some guy claims that there is an even amount of gumballs in the machine. He asks you "do you accept my claim as being accurate and correct?"

    I say "no, I don't" - since I have no way of verifying it. I'ld necessarily have to guess in the dark.
    So due to insufficient evidence and data, I don't accept as true that there is an even amount of gumballs in the machine. There could be an even amount in it. In fact, it's 50/50. But I have no way of knowing, so I'm unwilling to commit to the position that there IS an even amount of gumballs in it.


    Does this mean that I positively believe that there is an uneven amount of gumballs in the machine?
    Or would I rather not commit to that claim as well for the exact same reason?

    Is my non-acceptance of the claim that there is an even amount of gumballs in the machine a "belief"?

    I'm saying it isn't.

    The one who believes the claim, is the one with the beliefs.
     
  17. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    I don’t think we can say that a common way of speaking is incorrect. Language is determined by how it’s used; not about some perfect concept of logic or even communication.

    You say it’s “just wrong linguistically”. According to whom? Wouldn’t the people who speak the language be the ultimate arbiters of what’s correct linguistically?

    I wonder if this distinction is even present in other languages, or if it’s simply a curiosity of English.

    Your statement fails to convince. ;)

    Your position seems to be solely based in language. That’s not particularly strong ground.

    I do not see any real-world difference between how it feels to believe something and how it feels to (consciously) not believe something. In both cases, I am making an assessment and determination about reality. Both effect my worldview.

    Thanks for the clarifications on your beliefs.

    Personally, I’d respond to the man with “I don’t know”. “No I don’t” would more naturally, imo, be interpreted as “I think you are wrong”, which is precisely the claim you want to avoid. “No, I don’t” is confusing precisely because it is ambiguous in meaning.

    Likewise, I think it would be better for the “lack of belief” “atheists” to call themselves “agnostics” to avoid confusing themselves with strong atheists. Essentially, separate the “I don’t knows” from the “I believe no’s”.
     
  18. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    I realized I got stuck on your language and didn’t go on to address your meaning.

    I do think your non-acceptance, as you describe it, is a belief— the belief that you have insufficient reason to believe this man’s claim. But more to your point, does it constitue a belief that the gumballs are odd numbered? No, I can’t say it does, despite your ambiguous way to word it.

    I do think, however, that your example differs from that of many “lack of belief atheists”. These atheists do not just “not accept” the claim. Imagine the man gives someone multiple reasons for his even belief and they proceed to reject all the reasons the man gives. Imagine someone finds the idea of even gumballs ridiculous and engage in ridicule of the belief. Imagine someone thinks that even gumballs are unlikely. Imagine someone believes that belief in even gumballs is likely just due to psychology. Imagine someone engages in debates online in favor of odd gumballs. Imagine someone calls themselves by the same name as those who support odd gum balls.

    This person doesn’t exactly come off as neutral. Rather than a mere non-acceptor, this person comes off more as an odd-gumball sympathizer.

    Regardless, I would still maintain that anyone who carefully considers the question of god’s existence has a position— which includes “I don’t know”.
     
    #418 Falvlun, Mar 26, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  19. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    According to things like grammar.

    Someone says "there isn't no other way".
    The structure of that sentence means that there actually IS another way.
    If someone says that, yet means that there actually is NO other way, then that person is just wrong linguistically. That person expressed himself incorrectly.

    And when people have a habbit of using poor grammar, the grammar stays just as poor. Bad grammar doesn't become good grammar just because people tend to use bad grammar.

    I'm sure my english teacher would've disagreed if I would have used that excuse back in the day when trying to weasel myself out of a bad grade due to using bad grammar.

    If by "distinction" you mean unbelief of claim X not being the same as positive belief in the claim of not-X, then I can assure you that this is not a language thing. It's a logic thing.

    Language has nothing to do with it.
    The position is based in what the act of "believing" is.

    Just like "standing still" is not a type of moving.
    So is "not believing" not a type of believing / a belief.

    Which is synonymous with answering "no".
    Only a positive answer means you accept the claim. All other answers means you don't.

    Also "do you believe my claim", is a yes/no question. You either believe the claim or you don't.

    Then you are adding things to the answer that were not said.

    Rather: it's a claim I'm not making. It's YOU who's attributing that claim, by "interpreting" the answer to meaning something MORE then has been acknowledge or said.

    "do you accept my claim as true?"
    "no"

    The only thing you know, is that the claim is not accepted as true.
    Nowhere is it said that the person positively believes some other, mutually exclusive claim (like the claim of not-X, or in the case of my example: that I believe there is an odd number of gumballs).

    That's just you, adding things to the answer that weren't said or acknowledged.

    I disagree.

    "do you believe / accept as true my claim X?"
    "no, I don't".

    That doesn't mean I believe X is false.
    That doesn't mean I believe X is impossible.
    That doesn't mean I believe not-X.

    It just means that at this point I'm not convinced that claim X is accurate for whatever reason (which I haven't shared with my answer of "no, I don't").

    Or perhaps those who are confused could just start using language correctly and understand the difference between belief and non-belief. And how it differs from knowability of things.

    Also, hi, I'm an agnostic atheist.
     
    #419 TagliatelliMonster, Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
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