• 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!

What is the Definition of Atheism?

Which Definition of Atheism Do You Use

  • Ancient: You do not believe what I believe.

    Votes: 2 10.5%
  • Newest: The search for God is futile, so why try.

    Votes: 2 10.5%
  • There is no God.

    Votes: 9 47.4%
  • I reject all of your God(s).

    Votes: 7 36.8%

  • Total voters
    19

PureX

Veteran Member
That conflict is built into our instincts. On the one hand we have a whole kit of survival behaviors, learnt and instinctive. On the other hand we're tribal, and our success as a species is marked by and depends every day on our ability to cooperate with our own.

As I mentioned, two of our evolved moral tendencies are to like fairness and reciprocity, and to dislike the one who harms. At the same time, two others are respect for authority and loyalty to the group.

A very clear example is annual remembrance of those who died for their country in war ─ if you're tribal, that's what you do. And you remember and re-tell stories of heroes and self-sacrifice.
I find it very strange that you keep running to the evolution of the dilemma as if this somehow justifies or excuses the dilemma. Thereby exemplifying how unable science is to actually address or resolve the dilemma.
 

blü 2

Veteran Member
Premium Member
I find it very strange that you keep running to the evolution of the dilemma as if this somehow justifies or excuses the dilemma. Thereby exemplifying how unable science is to actually address or resolve the dilemma.
The evolution of the dilemma explains the dilemma ─ we're individuals and at the same time we're group members; and we have instincts that oblige both of those and have to be sorted out.

We know that through studies, through reasoned enquiry. And the more that reasoned enquiry can tell us, the better placed we'll be to make our decisions.

And stop worrying about absolutes ─ there aren't any.
 

lukethethird

unknown member
But that's agnosticism, or skepticism, not atheism. For the term 'atheism' to have any actual meaning, it needs to actually mean something. It needs to represent an actual position. "Unbelief" is not a position that has any actual meaning (content). It's just an empty label for people to hide their unwillingness to assert an honest opinion behind.
But that's the beauty of atheism., a position that has no meaning yet drives people like you crazy.
 

Kfox

Well-Known Member
But that's agnosticism, or skepticism, not atheism. For the term 'atheism' to have any actual meaning,
For the most part, “atheism” doesn’t have any meaning. Personally I don’t think atheism should even be a word; that's why I prefer the term "skeptic" myself. Remember; skeptics didn’t originate the term, theists did. Theist originated the term as a pejorative to describe those who don’t share their religious views. Remember; Christians were called atheist while they were being thrown to the lions. We don’t coin terms to describe what you don’t do, terms are used to describe what you actually DO.
To remain skeptic of all deist claims is what they call atheist.
it needs to actually mean something. It needs to represent an actual position.
Individual atheist will have various positions, but those positions may have nothing to do with atheism.
"Unbelief" is not a position that has any actual meaning (content). It's just an empty label for people to hide their unwillingness to assert an honest opinion behind.
Again it is the theist who coined the term, not the actual atheists.
 

Kfox

Well-Known Member
Theists say: "There is a god, and He/She/It is my God."
I say: "I cannot, in good conscience, believe He/She/It exists unless you can prove/produce/demonstrate such, and I will withhold belief until that happens."

So I suppose the 4th option on your very biased list of "definitions" (I'll go along and pretend they are definitions) comes closest to describing my view. I do reject the notions of gods that cannot be proven... which currently happens to be ALL of them.
Does Nature exist? Does the Sun exist? There are some who call those Gods ya know. Not everybody worships the Christian/Muslim/Jewish God, there are Rastafarians who deify Halle Selassie (former President of Ethiopia), Kumari of Nepal is worshipped by some sects of Hinduism (Halle died in the 1970’s but Kumari is still alive today). IOW there are people who choose to call things and people who are as real as you and I God. I don’t think atheism should be based on whether something exist or not, but whether the claims people make of it are true claims.
 

Kfox

Well-Known Member
That's irrelevant, now, however.
You said “unbelief” is an empty label for people to hide their unwillingness to assert an honest opinion behind. How is this possible? Please explain or give an examples of someone actually doing this.
 

rational experiences

Veteran Member
Human theist poses science thesis about God. As a human. Naming all statuses as a human.

Says I will possess God himself the idealisms highest power in. The Body in creation. Whole time processing by conscious thought I am the God lied.

As he is not the body in creation mass is.

His thesis poses imagery. I want to not any truth possess the power.

No machine whatsoever is involved.

Theist concludes I will not change anything. Meaning no machine no reaction.

Lies.

Goes about giving changes to everything. Designs machine to gain I want result. To change.

Theist then says after effects holes he personally newly places into gods body earth...see I told you I could not change anything.

Reason God the earth already owned sin.x K holes itself.

Does not nor ever did listen to his same used conscious human advice.

Brother said my brother the theist adult never listened to father adult advice. As it was real.

We knew we learnt as he attacked life not God.

Cant convince a liar that he is a liar as he lies about lying.
 

PureX

Veteran Member
You said “unbelief” is an empty label for people to hide their unwillingness to assert an honest opinion behind. How is this possible? Please explain or give an examples of someone actually doing this.
Many atheists believe that no God/gods exist because they have been given no acceptable proof of any God/gods existence. Which means they also believe that if any God/gods did exist, the evidence for such existence would be available to them, and that they (the atheist) would be able to recognize and identify it as such. This is a completely illogical assumption, of course, and one they know they cannot prove in exactly the same way they demand that the theist must prove his asserted beliefs. So instead of stating that this is what they believe, they hide what they do believe behind the constant refrain of their proclaimed "unbelief" to try and keep the focus and the onus on the theist's assertions, and off their own. I find it all quite hypocritical, and disingenuous.
 

PureX

Veteran Member
What is irrelevant to anything that matters is the existence of God, should there be one.
Well, logically, we cannot ascertain relevance in this instance, because the existence of God as a the source, sustenance, and purpose of all that is, if it is so, would be totally relevant, and if it is not so, would be of no relevance at all. As mere humans, we do not have the cognitive capacity to ascertain either condition. So for one of us to proclaim that God is completely irrelevant is just as foolish and unfounded as any one of us proclaiming that God is of absolute no relevance.
 

lukethethird

unknown member
Well, logically, we cannot ascertain relevance in this instance, because the existence of God as a the source, sustenance, and purpose of all that is, if it is so, would be totally relevant, and if it is not so, would be of no relevance at all. As mere humans, we do not have the cognitive capacity to ascertain either condition. So for one of us to proclaim that God is completely irrelevant is just as foolish and unfounded as any one of us proclaiming that God is of absolute no relevance.
So far all descriptions of God are foolishness, child's play. Who could believe such nonsense? Off hand I can't think of anything more ridiculous let alone less relevant.
 

PureX

Veteran Member
So far all descriptions of God are foolishness, child's play. Who could believe such nonsense?
Descriptions are just descriptions. They convey the way one perceives that which they are describing. Why this makes you so indignant is a mystery.
Off hand I can't think of anything more ridiculous let alone less relevant.
Well, it stands to reason that there would be an ultimate source, sustenance, and purpose for existence, even if we can't know that to be so, or what that might actually be. Again, I don't see any reason for your indignation, here. You have no more evidence or reason to scoff at the suggestion than anyone else has for presuming it to be so.
 

lukethethird

unknown member
Descriptions are just descriptions. They convey the way one perceives that which they are describing. Why this makes you so indignant is a mystery. Well, it stands to reason that there would be an ultimate source, sustenance, and purpose for existence, even if we can't know that to be so, or what that might actually be. Again, I don't see any reason for your indignation, here. You have no more evidence or reason to scoff at the suggestion than anyone else has for presuming it to be so.
Purpose is a human construct devised to make sense of our actions and thoughts in some regards and it does not stand to reason that there be an ultimate purpose and an ultimate provider of purpose, the thought is just plain silly, child's play. The God character in The Bible is fictitious and that much should be obvious to anyone that has read it.
 
Last edited:

Kfox

Well-Known Member
Many atheists believe that no God/gods exist because they have been given no acceptable proof of any God/gods existence.
I agree.
Which means they also believe that if any God/gods did exist, the evidence for such existence would be available to them, and that they (the atheist) would be able to recognize and identify it as such.
Of course!
This is a completely illogical assumption, of course,
Why is this illogical? If God does exist, and he wants us to know he exist, is it too much to ask for empirical evidence of his existence?
and one they know they cannot prove in exactly the same way they demand that the theist must prove his asserted beliefs.
Not quite sure what you’re saying here, but if you’re suggesting that if I cannot prove God does not exist, I should believe he does? You can’t be suggesting that are you?
So instead of stating that this is what they believe,
They do state this is what they believe; how many atheists have you heard they reject your God due to lack of evidence? This is said all the time!
they hide what they do believe behind the constant refrain of their proclaimed "unbelief" to try and keep the focus and the onus on the theist's assertions, and off their own. I find it all quite hypocritical, and disingenuous.
If the theist is the one making the claim, it is up to him to provide evidence to support said claim. If the Atheist is making a claim, it is up to him to provide evidence of such a claim. I always hear theists making the claim that God exist, I never hear atheists trying to convince theists their God does not exist, I hear them explaining why they don’t believe in God, not why the theist should not believe.
 

PureX

Veteran Member
Purpose is a human construct devised to make sense of our actions and thoughts in some regards and it does not stand to reason that there be an ultimate purpose and an ultimate provider of purpose, the thought is just plain silly, child's play.
1. The fact that purpose is a 'perceptual construct' does not negate it's being an appropriate perceptual construct. Why would you assume not? Why this bias against the validity of humans perceptual constructs. Is this some odd form of self-loathing?

2. All life forms pursue the purpose of continuing their existence, both individually and as a collective species. This 'construct' is written into the DNA by existential necessity. Thus, it is not just a "human construct", it's an fundamental existential construct. And if purpose plays such a significant role within existence, why wouldn't it also apply to existence, itself?
The God character in The Bible is fictitious and that much should be obvious to anyone that has read it.
Fiction fulfills an very important function (and purpose) for we humans. We use it to represent reality in ways that help and allow us to better understand it's mysteries and complexities. Even YOU are a fictitious character to the rest of us. In that you are a mystery to us that we are trying to understand via the 'story' of our interactions with you. As we all are, to each other. I don't understand this animus against fiction, and against the human ability to use imagination to better understand our existence within a very complex and mysterious reality.
 

PureX

Veteran Member
Why is this illogical? If God does exist, and he wants us to know he exist, is it too much to ask for empirical evidence of his existence?
Why are you assuming that God wants us to know it exists? Aren't you just assuming this because it's an easy proposition for you to argue against? That's called creating a 'straw man' argument so that you can then easily knock it apart. And if you say it's because this is what the theists claim, then 1., not all theists claim this, and 2., even if the theist doesn't understand that his personal chosen conception of God does not define God, YOU should be able to understand this. If not, then you're in no position to be judging or arguing with him.

Most theists understand that "God" is a profound mystery that we humans will never be able to unravel. For most theists, the term "God" refers to the great mystery source, sustenance, and purpose of all that is. In fact, in most religions, the words used to refer 'God' originally meant 'that which cannot be grasped or controlled by humans'. So when you meet a theist that is spouting off platitudes about how God is this, and God wants that, understand that they are novices in their own religions. Not to be taken as the spokesmen for that religion, and certainly not for all theists.
Not quite sure what you’re saying here, but if you’re suggesting that if I cannot prove God does not exist, I should believe he does? You can’t be suggesting that are you?
No one sane really cares what you believe or don't believe. That's your own business. What we care about is what you assert to be so, and not so, and WHY. (Also how you behave as a result, but that's a separate issue.) Because by our exchanging and debating these assertions and their reasoning, we can hopefully get a better idea of what IS so, and not so.

So my question to you is how do you justify making the assumption that if God exists, you would be able to know it? Because, logically, I see no reason to make that assumption. If God is the great mystery source, sustenance, and purpose of all that is, how could we, being a tiny part of all that is, recognize and verify the source, sustenance, and purpose of everything we know or, and everything we don't? What could possibly stand as evidence to us that such an "entity" exists (I don't even know what to call such 'omni-being')? If 'God' appeared in front of you right now, in all it's "glory" (whatever that would look like), how could you possibly verify that it was 'God', and not some highly advanced alien being appearing to you in a form it thought you could grasp. Or a very clever magician's trick. Or an illusion being generated within your own mind? What you would "believe" about these various possibilities is irrelevant. And whatever the truth is, it would by unverifiable by you, or by any of us.

So I am not proclaiming that we believe or don't believe anything. I am claiming that when we cannot validate one possibility over another, what we are left with is choice, rather than knowledge. And the only way to move forward, then, is by choosing the possibility that we would HOPE to be so, and then acting as if that hope will manifest, to see how that works out.

"God" is not a proposition that will ever be resolved by obtaining proof. It can only be resolved by an act of faith. By choosing the possibility that we most hope to be so, and then living as if it will be. And then allowing the value of the results our actions to stand as our guide. Ultimately, life for we humans is not about obtaining knowledge of the truth, it's about doing the best we can for ourselves and each other, without it.
They do state this is what they believe; how many atheists have you heard they reject your God due to lack of evidence? This is said all the time!
What "they" believe is irrelevant to anyone but them. Just as what you believe is irrelevant to anyone but you. Arguing with someone else's belief is as much a fools errand as adopting someone else's belief is.
 
Last edited:

Kfox

Well-Known Member
Why are you assuming that God wants us to know it exists?
Because people who claim to know God say he wants us to know he exist.
Aren't you just assuming this because it's an easy proposition for you to argue against?
No. Most of the theists I speak to are Christian representing the Christian God, and according to the Bible God wants us to know he exists.
That's called creating a 'straw man' argument so that you can then easily knock it apart.
No; it’s called listening to what someone is saying, and responding according to what they say.
And if you say it's because this is what the theists claim, then 1., not all theists claim this,
Can’t speak for you, but every theist I’ve spoken to does make this claim.
and 2., even if the theist doesn't understand that his personal chosen conception of God does not define God,
IMO there is no such a thing as God, there are just concepts of God and many people have different concepts of God; some real people like you and me (Hallie Selassie, Kumari, etc) and some imaginary. When someone tells me of their God, and they tell me God wants to have a relationship with me, they are telling me God wants me to know he exist.
Most of the theists I speak to are Christian, and based on what you’ve said thus far it is clear you are not Christian because the Christian book (bible) is very clear that God wants us to know him; especially when you consider verses like Matthew 11:28-29, or Matthew 5:8, so it would help if you explained which God you believe in, so we can have a conversation of God in the context of what you believe; rather than what someone else believes.
No one sane really cares what you believe or don't believe. That's your own business. What we care about is what you assert to be so, and not so, and WHY.
How are you defining the difference between what I believe to be true vs what I assert to be true?
So my question to you is how do you justify making the assumption that if God exists, you would be able to know it? Because, logically, I see no reason to make that assumption.
All the people who tell me God exist, claim I should know the same way they know. Remember, I don't have a concept of God, I respond to claim of God based on the claims Theists make of them, and this is done on a case by case basis because these claims often vary from person to person.
If God is the great mystery source, sustenance, and purpose of all that is, how could we, being a tiny part of all that is, recognize and verify the source, sustenance, and purpose of everything we know or, and everything we don't? What could possibly stand as evidence to us that such an "entity" exists (I don't even know what to call such 'omni-being')? If 'God' appeared in front of you right now, in all it's "glory" (whatever that would look like), how could you possibly verify that it was 'God', and not some highly advanced alien being appearing to you in a form it thought you could grasp. Or a very clever magician's trick. Or an illusion being generated within your own mind?
Perhaps I should ask you the same question. Why do you believe God exist if you have no way to verify his existence?
So I am not proclaiming that we believe or don't believe anything. I am claiming that when we cannot validate one possibility over another, what we are left with is choice, rather than knowledge. And the only way to move forward, then, is by choosing the possibility that we would HOPE to be so, and then acting as if that hope will manifest, to see how that works out.
Wishful thinking? Are you kidding me??? No! If I have no evidence that your idea of God exist, all the wishful thinking in the world is not gonna change that and it would be foolish for me to wish he exist then spend the remainder of my life pretending he exist just because I wish it were so. No thank-you I do not live my life that way; life is too short for make-believe, if I see no reason to believe it true, I assume it is not.
"God" is not a proposition that will ever be resolved by obtaining proof. It can only be resolved by an act of faith. By choosing the possibility that we most hope to be so, and then living as if it will be. And then allowing the value of the results our actions to stand as our guide. Ultimately, life for we humans is not about obtaining knowledge of the truth, it's about doing the best we can for ourselves and each other, without it.
Do you know what I have noticed to be the biggest difference between the truth and a lie? The truth never asks to be believed (that’s what lies do because that’s all they’ve got), the truth asks to be questioned. the truth asks to be analyzed, picked apart, studied, questioned…. the truth wants to be verified! Because once you’ve done all of that, belief comes naturally.
So when you come to me with faith, trust me, wishful thinking, or just believe me, my experience tells me this is the opposite of truth, and everything I’ve known to be the prelude of a lie; so you will have to excuse me if I remain skeptical when you tell me I should just take your word for it; that whatever it is you call God, actually exists.
 
Last edited:

Kfox

Well-Known Member
What "they" believe is irrelevant to anyone but them. Just as what you believe is irrelevant to anyone but you.
What I believe affects my actions. My actions affect everybody; not just myself.
Arguing with someone else's belief is as much a fools errand as adopting someone else's belief is.
When I am proven wrong, I recognize my mistake and change my mind on the issue in light of the new information. This has happened many times in my past and will continue to happen over and over in the future; this is how I learn, this is how I grow. Only a fool remains in his folly, and momma didn’t raise no fool!
 
Top