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Featured Is it possible to be an Atheist and Calvanist?

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by McDoogins, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. McDoogins

    McDoogins Member

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    Calvanism interests me in that it states in TULIP (an ackronym) under Total depravity that my man is free to not sin, but due to self interest and neccesity will sin more times then not and that he is basically destined to do so. This and the concept of predestination interests me.

    Also I would like that say that my attitude towards morality and God's supposed predestination is "This is the best we can do" is essentially my attitude towards life at this point in my life.

    Any suggestions for any Christian denominations that are based more in ethics and morality and less on the reward of heaven or authoritarianism of God are also welcome.

    I will say however that I'm not particularly interested in Unitarianism or Secular Humanism. I want a lens to see Bible dogma through in order to better consolidate or mitigate material with
     
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  2. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    You might be interested in looking into Christian deism - Wikipedia. There is even Christian atheism that is just one step further from Christian deism. The supernatural bits believed to be added by future generations.
    I am not sure how well the idea meshes with Calvinism, unless you're an atheist with a really specific view on hard determinism I suppose.
     
  3. McDoogins

    McDoogins Member

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    Thanks for the response. I am pretty convinced of determinism and evolutionary biology but I also think there is some wiggle room or actual free will.
     
  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Wouldn't you have to believe in god to be a calvinist?
     
  5. McDoogins

    McDoogins Member

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    That's the question I'm asking. I don't know.

    I guess I'm barely an agnostic. I think God is possible but have seen no evidence of his/it's existence other than as a social construct people create to feel they are safe or have purpose.
     
  6. Nietzsche

    Nietzsche The Last Prussian
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    What's the point of ethics and morality in a universe that is pre-determined? I mean, the argument against that is obviously "they exist because they were going to exist, because that's the way everything fell into place", but you know what I mean.

    Also. I'm pretty sure Calvanists are big on the "God" and "Jebus" stuff.
     
  7. lovesong

    lovesong .little necromancer. .shaman in training.
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    I'm going to go with no. You can be an atheist and not believe in free will, sure, but to be both a Calvinist and an atheist would require at least one pretty big contradiction within your belief system. Calvinism is a sect of Christianity, and one of the biggest ideas in Christianity is that there is one god, whereas the whole point of atheism is that there isn't. There really is just no way to be both a Christian and an atheist without completely eliminating the core teaching of Christianity, at which point you're no longer in the religion but just following the philosophy. Now you can totally do that, you can take up some of the philosophical aspects of Calvinism while maintaining your atheism, but that doesn't make you a Calvinist, it just makes you a predeterminist.
     
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  8. McDoogins

    McDoogins Member

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    I mean, I see what you're saying, that if everything is predetermined it could be argued there is no point, but just because something is predetermined doesn't mean it loses meaning.

    If it's predetermined I go to work tomorrow and I go to work out of necessity it doesn't negate the fact that I went to work and earn money.

    Another example would perhaps be that this conversation is predetermined. Does this conversation lead to me becoming an Calvinist and therefore saved in the eyes of Jesus and/or God? I don't know, but I may as well try to do the best I can morally while I'm on this planet regardless of whether nothing happens after I die or if I go to heaven or go to hell.

    Even if I believe free will is an illusion it would be stupid of me still not to try to fulfill the predetermined path for me.

    Now if you were to say I have a choice to not fulfill that path, I would agree that it would be pointless if god determines who goes to heaven and who goes to hell.

    But there's one problem, we don't know who goes to heaven and who goes to hell.

    Nobody knows who is responsible for what in terms of what is needed in the "great plan" I hear people talking about.

    Another thing about Calvinism that interests me is that it's so human. God just picks who he picks and that's that, but it still doesn't take away our agency of what we do. Like I said, I believe in determinism, but with some wiggle room.
     
  9. CogentPhilosopher

    CogentPhilosopher Philosophy Student

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    Just a heads up, atheist is not capitalized.

    No. Calvanism is a theological concept that requires the existence of a deity which an atheist does not believe in by definition.

    In philosophy there is the idea of determinism, which I do believe, which states that basically because cause leads into effect and that to an observer outside of time that all events in the future already exist that the future is already determined.

    By that logic I guess throw what I said out of the window. Because you only want theistic ideas not secular ones.

    But that begs the question of why you asked if it is possible if someone could be an atheist and a calvanist if it has nothing to do with your post.
     
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  10. McDoogins

    McDoogins Member

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    I think lovesong said it best when she said I'm more of a predeterminist looking into the philosophy of Calvinism.

    I am interested in what ADigitalArtist said about Christian Atheism however.

    (atheism to you) haha
     
  11. CogentPhilosopher

    CogentPhilosopher Philosophy Student

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    Well the problem with the idea is that if Yeshua is just another person you take ideas from then what makes label of Christian important?

    Just because I take some ideas from Siddhartha Guatama does not make me Buddhist, or because I like the quote from the bible "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." does that make me Christian?

    More importantly, because I agree with a lot, if not most, of Socrates's ideas does that make me a Socratesian? Or because I like a lot of Daniel Dennets's works that I am a Dennetian?
     
  12. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    Just as a reference: Christian atheism - Wikipedia
    They do more than take a few quotes. They build ritual, lifestyle and practice around the central figure of Jesus. They just don't believe he is supernatural.
     
  13. CogentPhilosopher

    CogentPhilosopher Philosophy Student

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    To be honest it sounds extremely irrational.
     
  14. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I know there are churches that will support you in that course, but I do not know about denominations.
     
  15. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Why would it be any more irrational than other man made philosophies?

    Secular Humanism is pretty much a godless version of liberal Christian ethics fused with Greek rationalism.
     
  16. CogentPhilosopher

    CogentPhilosopher Philosophy Student

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    I don't think taking lessons from the teachings attributed to Yeshua is bad. A lot of the ethics in the NT are very good.

    I'm saying having a whole freaking worship service over a human is irrational.

    Actually I'm going to have to correct you.

    Humanism (little h) was originally a system of ethics used by liberal Christians that they took from secular philosophy.
     
  17. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    They're separate? Since when? More like prefered neck ties differences. Calvin likes the fluffy lawyerly, atheists prefer bow ties, or business ties, more modern. Just neck tie preferences is the only difference between the two. So the question is can you wear both the fluffy tie and a bow tie at the same time? Bill Nye does so sure!!! Ironically ken ham prefers the modern open collar, short sleeve, white shirt pocket protector look!!! But he is a Calvinist at heart, he has the big fluffy $100,000,000 ark!!! Fluffy is popular.
     
    #17 David T, Apr 28, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  18. McDoogins

    McDoogins Member

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    True, I do tend to get hung up on labels sometimes.
     
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  19. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    I hate to sound snide or dismissive.
    But in the wacky world of syncreticity there doesn't seem to be any rules. You can label yourself however you wish. Just don't expect anybody else, who know what the terms mean, to take you seriously.
    Tom
     
  20. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    If you believe there is a god of any kind, you cannot be an atheist.......it's really that simple.
     
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