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where are the differences between Anti-theistic and Atheistic

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by ratikala, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    We have been having a discussion in Hinduism DIR about the threat (if there is one) of Anti-theism to the Hindu faith , this tread is now closed as it was an in apropriate place for non Hindus to post so the discussion could not continue .

    but from this discussion this it has become evedent that there are Anti-theists with a capital 'A' , ..anti-theists and Atheists

    what exactly do Anti-theists and Atheists here realy beleive and what is their stance on theism ?
     
  2. Bunyip

    Bunyip pro scapegoat

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    Funnily enough the person who began the thread in question was an atheist and a hindu. So it does seem strange that the same person defined hinduism as theistic.
    How can you be a theist (hindu) and an atheist?
    As to atheism, I disbelieve in theism. As to anti-theism it is the position of being opposed to theism.
     
  3. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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  4. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    the thread was started by Axiyz ji who like my self is Vaisnava (devotee of Visnu) so will be theistic (Although I should let him speak for himself ), it is Aupmanyav ji who Identifies as an Atheistic Hindu, ...prehaps you have confused them ?

    @Aupmanyav will I am sure explain this for you , ...

    personaly what is your stance ? do you feel that there is a need for Atheists to actualy oppose Theism ? or should we just acccept each others veiw ?

    personaly I see no problem with any other person holding an atheistic or non theistic veiw , it is only when Anti-theistic person actively speaks out against theism that I am at all bothered .
     
  5. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    one interesting point raised in the previous thread was that Anti-theists were only Anti Christian in their sentiments

    how true would most anti-theists hold this to be ?
     
  6. Heim

    Heim Active Member

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    I think it's correct to say that anti-theists would oppose any concept of deity, but the opposition is often most visible as opposition to Abrahamic faiths.
     
  7. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess
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    Atheists are simple people who either lack a belief in a Deity or believe that there is no Deity.

    An anti-theist is someone specifically opposed to/against theism. These are the people who get angry by ideas of theism and can be militant in opposing ideas relating to theism/religious beliefs.
     
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  8. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    An atheist does not believe in deities. An anti-theist thinks everyone would be better off not believing in deities. And an Anti-Theist is probably one who tells you so up front.

    Yes. Everyone should oppose misguided Theism. And it is to be expected, and all too reasonable, that some people will find Theism itself inherently mistaken.

    Of course, that too. There is no point in attempting to "convert" people from theism to atheism or vice-versa. Acceptance does not mean silence, nor agreement, though.

    Why does it bother you? How is that different or worse than disagreements about whether Krishna is Vishnu's Avatar or rather the other way around, or whether Hindus will burn in Hell due to their refusal to accept Jesus or the Quran?

    Why is refusal of theism at all a problem?

    No, that is not really accurate. Most of us, I figure, oppose Islam as well for much the same reasons. Quite a few are anti-supernaturalists to some degree as well.

    I personally oppose most any cult or belief I see as destructive, while supporting many I disagree with (such as Mormons or the current Catholic tendency). But there is much wrong in, say, Kardecist Spiritism or Rajneesh's movement that ought to be spoken against.

    The way I see it, silence is just no more respectful than honest challenging of things we care about and that we find wrong.
     
    #8 LuisDantas, Nov 19, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
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  9. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Hey, ratikala...I'd describe myself as an atheist, but not an anti-theist. Still, thought I'd throw in my views.

    I have no issues at all with theism in and of itself. I have plenty of theist friends, and the majority of my closest friends are practising Christians, I guess. My family are majority non-practising Christians.

    I think where issues would come from is more around secularism. I want my kids school to be religion free. They sing Christmas carols, etc, and I'm not a hard-arse about it (hence not anti-theist) but the way I see it, no-one actually wants religion as part of the school, with the possible exception of some who like their OWN religion to be part of the school. As an ex-educator, I worked at a school that included religious education (which was a stupid term...it was Christian literalism) and went to a primary school which did the same. That's not appropriate, to my mind.

    Similarly, I don't want religion involved in politics. I'm neither naive to assume, nor militant enough to try and force people to not consider issues through the teachings and messages from their religions, but I don't think it's appropriate, for example, for a politician to use Jesus as an argument when discussing immigration policy.
    (Of course, that politician is now our Prime Minister...smh...)

    So, mostly my arguments in RL would be against Christianity, but these are few and far between.
    I did get upset, for example, when Christian groups tried to prevent football being played on Good Friday. They have no issue with football being played on a Saturday since that effects other religions and not their own. I'd prefer people thought a little outside their own box, and worldview.

    Mostly, my Christian friends and I live and let live, and religion is almost never an issue. We do tend to avoid serious discussion on it, though, since our views are not reconcilable. However, when one of my friends had a few issues, and was thinking about attending church, I actually encouraged her to, as it seemed the best path for her at the time. Confused her no end few months later when she wanted me to come, and when I refused and she asked why, I told her in very simple terms..lol

    So, yeah...Christianity and to a lesser extent Islam are the religions which have practical impact on my life and world in an unavoidable way. So it's Christianity, and to a lesser extent Islam, which I tend to argue against in certain circumstances.

    I'll leave it there, but happy to give my view on anything.
     
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  10. Apex

    Apex Somewhere Around Nothing

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    Anti-theism is bigotry. Atheism is not.
     
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  11. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

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    No, it's just a point of view. If you want to see bigotry look at Christian and Muslim fundamentalists.
     
  12. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

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    So if for example a parent objected because their child was being taught creationism in a school science lesson, would that make them an atheist or an anti-theist?
     
  13. Sees

    Sees Dragonslayer

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    Neither one

     
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  14. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    I agree with all you say here. The point I would make from this then is that those who are anti-theist typically are against these things from religion, but fail to properly speak of their complaint as such, properly identifying exactly what they oppose. Rather than saying it's the politicising of religion, or the abuse of religion that needs to be gotten rid of, they incorrectly assume it is because it is the belief in God that causes this. They scapegoat their frustrations onto a symbol, "God", and if people just didn't believe in God, then all this would magically go away!

    Of course that's not really supportable rationally, but just a reactionary idea, like if we can just get rid of this ethnic race on our soil, then the economy will become better. The issue of course is not how someone visualizes or symbolizes the Absolute, but in how they treat and see others in their own societies. You could strip God out of the picture, and nothing would change if the people themselves were still functioning at that level, wanting to impose their views on other, be that theistic or atheistic. The whole, 'my view of the world is right and yours in wrong,' and seeking to make over the whole world in your own image is the cause. It has nothing to do with with theism.
     
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  15. Maya3

    Maya3 Well-Known Member

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    This is something that I see played out in my real life not only here.
    I have an Atheist brother in law, and a sister in law that is a very, very conservative Catholic. My atheist brother in law has a facebook friend who is very, very anti theist. Let me just say that I see these three baiting each other almost daily. You need a lot of pop corn for it.

    Anyway, my brother in law and his friend feels that his sisters religion is harmful, it threatens people with hell, tells you that you are born a sinner etc etc. He doesn´t mince words to say the least, and he is the polite one of the three.
    I think that religion can give people so much, I don´t think it is right to judge what another person believes, I believe that religion gives people a lot of comfort.
    I do also see my brother in law's point that scaring people with hell is horrible.
    On the other hand I see a lot of Islamophobia and Hinduphobia as well.

    I'm not really sure how to go about this, or if I was very clear in this post?

    Maya
     
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  16. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Secularist. Or perhaps just someone who respects that the science classroom is where science should be taught.
     
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  17. StarryNightshade

    StarryNightshade Aspiring Progressive Orthodox Jew
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    I don't think being "up front" with not believing in any deity really equates to being an "anti-theist". I'd wager most atheists will be upfront and say that they don't believe in God. Likewise, however, I'd also wager that many (if not necessarily most) atheists don't hold the view that theism in and of itself is inherently bad or harmful. I think that's where the biggest difference comes in.
     
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  18. StarryNightshade

    StarryNightshade Aspiring Progressive Orthodox Jew
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    Exactly. Like I've said before, I'm a religious person, but am also very secular.

    If anything, if it needed a title, I would be a "Religiously-secular pluralist".
     
  19. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

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    Good point. Religious belief becomes a problem when it's imposed on other people, and that's when people are entitled to object. For example generally I'm fine with Christians, but I do object strongly to the homophobic views of some fundamentalists - because they are discriminating against others based on their religious prejudice.
     
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  20. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    It isn't really possible to answer that question. Lots of people use these terms, about themselves and others, with various different meanings, intentions and nuances. Even then, two people who are both "correctly" defined as atheists could have vastly different opinions regarding theism (just as any two theists could).

    In basic terms, atheism just means "without a belief in a god or gods" but it's obviously extended to cover all sorts of other concepts (rightly or wrongly depending on your opinion).

    Anti-theism would literally mean opposed to belief in god(s) but the difficulty with any "anti" concept is that some people may consider anyone challenging or questioning them to be "anti" when the challengers may feel quite differently.

    In my experience, those who self-identify as anti-theism tend to really be anti-religion, given that they tend to highlight and object to what people do as a result of their beliefs rather than the fundamental beliefs themselves. They're also often opposed to specific religions rather than all in general (if only due to ignorance of the true diversity). That's part of the reason I'm not sure Hindus have all that much to fear from anti-theists, certainly not in the West.
     
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