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 Thoughts on Atheism

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Laika, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,571
    Ratings:
    +6,022
    Religion:
    Dialectical Materialism
    I'm going to share some thoughts on atheism in this thread. I expect it will throw up some unexpected responses because my views on atheism are NOT representative of many atheists on the forum. It may be useful nonetheless to share and see how things go.

    Firstly, Atheism is (for me) the explicit rejection of the existence of god. the reason for this is that god is something that is not and cannot be observed, but is instead inferred by an intellectual error. I realise that is not a view widely held on RF, with most atheists professing a "lack of belief" and I respect many differences arise from that.

    Second, this particular variety of Atheism is, in a sense, dogmatic and a "faith". There isn't absolute categorical proof for the validity of this view and many would dispute that as a basis for legitimate belief. If all belief is the product of man and is therefore as finite as man's experience, both within their individual lifetime and the historical accumulation of experience. There is no god and no omniscience. There is no absolute standard of truth or knowledge. Much of the problem of scepticism is that is seeks for absolute where there cannot be one. It continues to inherit a belief in absolute conviction from religion, when in fact none is possible. knowledge is finite and imperfect, as a product and a reflection of its human creators.

    Third, Atheism entails a worldview and is in a sense a "religion", in that rejecting god means rejecting the idea of creation. If God traditionally performed the role of "creator" of nature, society and morality, these things have to be re-evaluated until we reach an atheistic worldview. Atheism is therefore not a singular isolated statement about whether god exists or not, but is a broader philosophical conception about how man, nature and society exist without a deity.

    Fourth, Atheism therefore has the risk of nihilism. If there is no god, because god is a creator, it brings into question the very source of creation. It brings about questions of the nature of meaning and purpose of existence, of our own sense of importance and our role in the universe. This is not an inevitable result of such atheism, but is certainly a factor when realising the necessity for man creating his own values.

    Fourth, there is no "a-historical" atheism. one of the things that comes up a great deal when people try to define atheism is they reach for the dictionary. This however fails to take into account that how we define words, logic, standards of truth and knowledge, are all ultimately products of history and are historically relative to the times they live in. There is therefore no "eternal" atheism. atheism has evolved though history and will continue to evolve. people who believe that "logic" validates atheism fail to take into account that logic is also the product of men's minds and of historical evolution. logic is at least in part relative and subjective even if it may have an objective content for understanding the relationship between things and properties.

    Finally, atheism means the possibility of self-deification. If man created god, he projected his own humanity into the divine. There is no absolute separation between the "human" and the "divine". In a sense therefore, man can live in the pursuit of an absolute but can never attain it. Man can aspire to be gods, increasing human powers of creation (and destruction) as a source of meaning and purpose. However human being will never become gods in an absolute sense, but the pursuit of a "purer" or "fuller" expression of the meaning of humanity is what is meaningful in life. In creating ourselves, we possess and exercise the divine power of creation.

    As any thread on atheism is by definition controversial, I will make a disclaimer that these are my views on atheism and are NOT meant to tell other atheists what they are or believe. Atheism is not a single monolithic idea, but is a conclusion that can be reached by several paths. Most Atheists on RF will do so by a "lack of belief" based on a "lack of evidence" for god and therefore withhold belief. That is not how I understand or experience my own atheism however.

    Any Thoughts or Suggestions? Anything you'd want me to clarify? :)
     
    #1 Laika, Nov 11, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
    • Like Like x 5
    • Informative Informative x 3
  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Libertarian Gearhead
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    111,444
    Ratings:
    +24,974
    Religion:
    Vantology
    Actually, yours is a common opinion held by atheists (including this groundskeeper.
    It just doesn't rise to the level of certain belief.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  3. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,571
    Ratings:
    +6,022
    Religion:
    Dialectical Materialism
    I'm usually at loggerheads with most atheists on RF (despite being one), so that's nice to know. :)
     
  4. Gerry

    Gerry Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2017
    Messages:
    261
    Ratings:
    +134
    Religion:
    Follower of Joshua
    I’m wondering, are atheists people who haven’t found God yet?
    I am guessing that some atheists become non atheists over time.
    Just wondering, no actual knowledge.
    Also, another wierd thought.
    If atheists believe there is no God, wouldn’t they be better off than those who believe in a false god?
     
  5. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Libertarian Gearhead
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    111,444
    Ratings:
    +24,974
    Religion:
    Vantology
    Sometimes we get bogged down in formalism, eg, the existence of gods cannot be disproven.
    But I know in my bones that there are no gods....I just cannot claim certainty.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Messages:
    346
    Ratings:
    +97
    Religion:
    none
    The river has no source?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,571
    Ratings:
    +6,022
    Religion:
    Dialectical Materialism
    man is the source of religious belief and/or belief in god.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,571
    Ratings:
    +6,022
    Religion:
    Dialectical Materialism
    Some atheists might say they haven't found evidence of god yet. Although I'm not sure if that has exactly the same meaning.

    Yes. Probably. :)
     
  9. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    3,199
    Ratings:
    +2,673
    Religion:
    None
    That's not me. Your definition of an atheist excludes people like me for taking the logical position that one should have a reason to believe anything, and that there is no reason to accept any god claims at this time. This is not the same, as you know, of saying that gods cannot or do not exist. Why would you limit your definition of atheism to just that subset of atheists willing to make such a leap of faith? I'd say that if you have a definition of atheism that excludes people that don't believe in any god, you should consider broadening your definition.

    Yes, it is. That's a good reason to reject it, isn't it?

    I am an atheist with no worldview derived from atheism. As an atheist, I can hold any nontheistic worldview. I can be a secular humanist. I can be an atheistic authoritarian Communist dictator. And I can be an astrologer that believes in no gods, giving stars the power theists give gods. These are three wildly different worldviews all compatible with atheism.

    Which of these is the atheist worldview? Which of these is the atheist religion?

    Most atheists I know are not nihilist.

    The most extreme nihilism I see is from Christians. They see man as a failed species born spiritually sick. They see our world as a horrid place to be shunned and separated from. The often see life as pointless without a god belief, with wilding, berserking, and murderous rampaging appropriate absent a god belief.

    Logic validates atheism nevertheless. It is the only rational position possible for the person who needs a reason to believe in gods and hasn't seen one yet.

    I have never thought myself to be the ruler or creator of the universe, nor to be omniscient or omnipotent.

    If you mean merely eluding belief is unsupported claims and ideologies that attempt to subjugate the mind and spirit, and instead, becoming autonomous and self-actualized, then yes - mea culpa.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Messages:
    346
    Ratings:
    +97
    Religion:
    none
    Laika,

    You have built an impressive rationale for your atheism. The thing is, I disagree with so many of your premises, that it would be impossible for me to argue your conclusion. I see observation, finite experience, the nature of omniscience, the tense of creation, men's minds and historical evolution, human powers of creation, meaningful life, etc., through a different lens. I think it will probably take an epiphany of sorts for one or both of us to agree on these things. That would be interesting. I’ll keep reading, watching, and listening.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  11. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,571
    Ratings:
    +6,022
    Religion:
    Dialectical Materialism
    I have no problem with that really. From the reverse position, I find myself looking at most atheists the same way. It was very strange and unexpected when I first joined RF. If there are even more kinds of atheism I'm ok with it.

    I'm not looking for an argument of who is or isn't atheist. I'm stating a personal view about my own experience with atheism and its not an obligation on you or anyone else to accept it if you don't want to.

    Hence the disclaimer at the end...

    "As any thread on atheism is by definition controversial, I will make a disclaimer that these are my views on atheism and are NOT meant to tell other atheists what they are or believe. Atheism is not a single monolithic idea, but is a conclusion that can be reached by several paths."
     
  12. Carlita

    Carlita Riding the waves!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    17,005
    Ratings:
    +5,329
    Religion:
    Viet. Zen Buddhist
    Whether its rejection, disbelief, or lack of evidence, how does atheism relate to the christian god?

    Even though you say words change hy historical background and not set instone, if John never heard of any creator-god but say a Pagan throughout his life and realized this X god does not exist, is he an atheist or are only former abrahamics allowed to take up the term?

    In my view, any definition added to a- theism that does not mean the opposite of a belief in a deity, is just personal interpretation. While theists add interpretations alot, I honestly dont see the use if one is an atheist.

    I looked up the history of the word and it says "without god" without reference to which god referring to and the nature of that god. I am without any god not just creators. How can one reject a nonexistant being?

    Maybe reject the claim: God exists compared rejecting the claim without reference to belief: God does not exist is what some atheists mean.

    If its not a claim but a statement: I believe in god. Its not a rejection to say "I dont believe in god" Is that second person an atheist or not because there is no claim involve to reject it? Just a statement of one's belief.
     
  13. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    3,199
    Ratings:
    +2,673
    Religion:
    None
    I thought that this was a religious debate, not a personal soapbox from which others are expected to be mute, or if not, not to offer alternate opinions. This thread seems to be for your opinions only.

    My apologies.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. sunrise123

    sunrise123 The sea remains the sea whatever the drop thinks
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    17,912
    Ratings:
    +5,587
    Religion:
    Love
    @Laika, why do you call yourself a "New Religious Movement/Seeker"? This appears to be a contradiction from your professed atheism. After all, why would anyone seek for that which she or he believes does not exist?
     
  15. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,571
    Ratings:
    +6,022
    Religion:
    Dialectical Materialism
    I don't know how you drew that conclusion, but ok. :shrug:

    I also said that (my) Atheism is a religion and a faith in number 3. As Atheism is the creation of a worldview/religion it would therefore also be a new religious movement or a form of seeking truth or knowledge.
     
  16. Guy Threepwood

    Guy Threepwood Mighty Pirate

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Messages:
    5,625
    Ratings:
    +1,222
    Religion:
    Non atheist
    I agree with much of what you say, but I've yet to meet an atheist who does not explicitly claim intellectual superiority as the fundamental reason for their holding a different belief.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,571
    Ratings:
    +6,022
    Religion:
    Dialectical Materialism
    Personally, I'd say the Christian God does not exist but that it is not special among all the other deities that don't exist. I couldn't give you a really detailed explanation as to why that is, beyond the sense that at some instinctual level it "does not compute" as possible.

    If you stopped beliving in a pagan god and believed in no god, then yes I think John would be an atheist.

    God is interconnected with our beliefs about nature, society and man as the author of creation. That's especially true of the Abrahamic religions (I'd be much less certain of Pagan Religions). So If god does not exist, that would still mean we'd have to re-write many of the cultural and philosophical assumptions that go into understanding those things.

    If I had to reduce it down, I'd say atheism (again, for me, not necessarily everyone else) would be summed up as "There is no god; man created god(s)". It may make more sense if you think of it like man worships a false god as Christians would say, but then extend it to all gods are false gods. Its sort of mutually exclusive; If all gods are false gods, it means that no deity of any kind is possible.

    If you are going to claim "other people are wrong for believing in god X", yes, it is probably going to entail a claim of intellectual superiority of knowing better. At this point I couldn't do that, as this "feels" more like I just think differently to everyone else rather than thinking I'm right and everyone else is wrong.
     
  18. Carlita

    Carlita Riding the waves!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    17,005
    Ratings:
    +5,329
    Religion:
    Viet. Zen Buddhist
    Ive always had an overall question of how one rejects a god (not the idea or claim) that does not exist. Theist can snswer why they accept a god because they believe one exists. So if they left theism, by definition they have reject it for whatever reason. I wonder what about those of us who never believed in a god/being?

    Its really ilogical to reject anything/one non existsnt to begin with. If a person didnt base god's existance on his upbringing and culture, what exactly is he rejecting?
     
  19. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man.

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    13,089
    Ratings:
    +3,750
    Religion:
    Zen Buddhism
    As I see it, Atheism simply means, "Without gods".
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  20. corynski

    corynski Reality First!
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Messages:
    252
    Ratings:
    +104
    Religion:
    none ........
    You're trying to make more of atheism than there really is. I see no evidence of any god or goddess. Period.....End of story. You seem to want to make more of it than what it is.......
    Atheism is not a rejection of the existence of god as you state, it is only a recognition of the absence of any evidence for a god. Atheism isn't necessarily dogmatic nor does it qualify in any way as a 'faith'. Atheism doesn't entail a worldview as you suggest. And there is really nothing about atheism that could evolve through history to my mind, it's always the same 'there is no evidence, end of story'. And your last point, something regarding self deification is beyond my comprehension, I can't begin to imagine where you get this idea. Read anthropology and learn about religion. Men create gods for specific reasons, and religions have a primary social function unrelated to anything transcendental. Religions enforce group identity and solidarity, and each has a unique god or goddess as a centerpiece. Religions, whether true or false, are social organizations first and foremost. My belief is that every church clergy is corrupt, just as every government is corrupt to some degree. Give me your money and I'll promise you heaven.... is that game. Study mythology and the hundreds and hundreds of gods that men have created to get a broader perspective.
    Or, simply turn to reality and try to understand what there is evidence for. Science it's called.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
Loading...