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Featured What does it mean to be an Atheist ( not a mocking thread)

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Amanaki, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    According to the American Atheists website they state this

    Atheism is one thing: A lack of belief in gods.
    Atheism is not an affirmative belief that there is no god nor does it answer any other question about what a person believes. It is simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods. Atheism is too often defined incorrectly as a belief system. To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.
    What is Atheism? | American Atheists

    But in many discussions in this forum with many good Atheists i come across many ways to describe what atheism is.

    Could i get some more info from Atheists in this forum? What is Atheism to you?
     
  2. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Hello again.....

    Much to some Atheist member's irritation, I have classed myself as a kind of atheist........ this is how I see one kind of atheism.

    I am a Deist. Deists tend to believe in an uninvolved, disinterested or unaware Deity.

    I am not a Theist. Theists tend to believe in an involved, interested or aware God.

    And so, being a non-theist, I am a kind of atheist. With any luck, in time, Deism and Theism definitions will be properly separated. At present some folks insist that Deism is a kind of Theism, which is daft.

    :)
     
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  3. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    Hello again :)
    thank you for your answer :)
     
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  4. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Some atheists do maintain that God definitely doesn't exist, but a simple lack of belief is the one feature common to all varieties of atheist.
    "Lack of belief" is the essence of atheism. It's definitive.
     
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  5. Pudding

    Pudding Well-Known Member

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    Other common features including that they're human (otherwise some people will say rocks are atheists too), maybe also they're not at the age of baby (this is controversial).
     
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  6. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    I think a helpful idea is to recognise that atheism is essentially the opposite of theism. People seem to have no issue accepting that there are people who are theists but with that alone not being a huge factor in their worldview. Theists are rarely spoken about generically but are recognised based on their more individual religions, worldviews and wider opinions, ideas and statements.

    Put simply, atheist (or theist) isn’t really a type of person, however much some people (even some atheists) will present it that way. Atheist (or theist) is just an individual who happens to have one particular characteristic amongst the thousands of other characteristics they will have.
     
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  7. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Atheism to me is natural, i.e. there is no evidence of any gods existence therefore what is the point of believing in a god.
    In the same way i dont believe in pink unicorns or harry potter.

    In fact i would go further, there is considerable evidence to suggest that some claimed aspects of gods are impossible.

    Other than that it means nothing.

    But i am certain that non belief in gods frees me from the restrictions imposed by any particular belief.

    Oh, just thought of a real benefit of atheism. It makes for some interesting conversations on RF

    I am tickled by monotheists who do mock, abuse, even threaten atheists when they themselves are atheist towards every other concept of god but their own.
     
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  8. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    To be an atheist means very little.
    I get Sundays to myself and I don't waste time thanking god(s)

    I only think about it when I come up against religious privilege which manifests itself in such things as schools, abortion rights, and assisted dying.

    I've been in hospital recently, there was a religious box to complete, I happily put NONE
     
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  9. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    For me, disbelief in god(s) makes more sense than lack of belief.

    Outside of internet based quibbling, it makes very little difference though.
     
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  10. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    I am an atheist because i dont see how a god is even possible. I am much more into an underlying reality that is not alive but is intelligent and purely natural and spiritual. Apple to hand we are created by a force not a god.

    An omnipresent god would be alive everywhere and thats just not convenient nor desireable, nor is it evident.
     
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  11. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    One issue is that even those who call themselves atheists or agnostics often disagree on definitions. Here are a few varieties, though:

    1. Strong atheist: There are no deities.
    2. Weak atheist: I have no belief in deities.
    3. Implicit atheism: Lack of belief without making a statement about it.
    3. Apatheist: I don't care about whether deities exist.
    4. Weak agnostic: It is not known if deities exist.
    5. Strong agnosticism: It cannot be known if deities exist.
    5. Ignostic: The term 'deity' is to ill-defined to make the question of existence meaningful.


    Wikipedia actually has some very fine articles on atheism and related aspects of non-belief.
     
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  12. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    For myself, I vary from ignostic (thinking the term 'deity' is too ill defined to be meaningful) to fairly strong atheist (I don't think the term 'supernatural' is meaningful), to flirting with pantheism (the universe is an appropriate object of worship). At times I even go to apatheism (I don't care if deities exist), but that is rare.
     
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  13. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    I think labels like "atheist" can be somewhat elusive. It seems to vary from individual to individual.

    But then, sometimes I wonder if there isn't a little bit of the "atheist" (or at least "agnostic") in all of us. How many believers can truly claim that, in their heart of hearts, that they truly, 100% believe in a god? If they did, then they wouldn't sin, would they? There's always going to be a certain degree of doubt.

    If you have any doubts yourself, even to the slightest degree, then you may understand how/why other people have doubts to an even greater degree.
     
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  14. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    It seems the former is the God of the philosophers. the latter the Biblical God. I would assume Atheists believe in neither. I think for Atheists the idea of a God does not, cannot, coexist with the analytical mind. In addition some have been 'burned' by religious experiences.
     
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  15. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    In the beginning it was just not believing in gods.
    As time went by, it became....
    - Finding churches to be creepy.
    - Sleeping in on Sundays.
    - Refusing to serve in a war to defeat godless commies.
    - Refusing to say religious oaths...
    The newer Pledge Of Allegiance
    That "so help me God" crap in court .
     
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  16. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    It makes sense for you to disbelieve in the many gods that you've never even heard of?

    How does one manage to conceive of a thing as false if they've never conceived of it at all?
     
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  17. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I find that people who say that atheism is a belief system are theists who just can't relate to atheism.

    Even if they understand that atheists don't believe in their god, God (because it's usually God-with-a-capital-G for the theists I'm describing) is so central to their own beliefs that they can't understand how the lack of God wouldn't be central to someone else's beliefs.

    I think that many theists have even more trouble with the idea that God might be irrelevant than they do with the idea that God might not exist.
     
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  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    And of course, a person will have different attitudes from this list to different deities.

    Anyone - theist or atheist - is an implicit atheist about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in.
     
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  19. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    [​IMG]
     
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  20. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    If you're going to characterize your position as a dead horse, I'm not going to argue.
     
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