Author Topic: How would you define atheism to a theist?  (Read 1005 times)

Tank

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How would you define atheism to a theist?
« on: January 02, 2018, 06:46:21 PM »
I regularly get theists telling me what atheism is. This is my most recent attempt at an explaination.

"Atheism is the rational deduction that the lack of evidence to support the conjecture that gods exist is sufficient to support a world view that gods do not exist."

Thoughts?
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
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Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

No one

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 06:55:55 PM »
Atheism is the only true path to enlightenment. If you don't agree, I will have to kill you.

Dave

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 07:04:34 PM »
"Atheism contends that there is no rational evidence for the existence of the supernatural."
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Tank

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 07:11:55 PM »
Atheism is the only true path to enlightenment. If you don't agree, I will have to kill you.
This would be an Islamist atheist.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Tank

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 07:12:25 PM »
"Atheism contends that there is no rational evidence for the existence of the supernatural."
That's a good one.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Dave

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 08:25:38 PM »
The "Internet Encyclopedia of Psychology" has the following deginition:

Quote
The term “atheist” describes a person who does not believe that God or a divine being exists.

But I always feel that this is the "classical" definition, described fairly recently by those more familiar with Christianity. A more embracing definition, from the Wiki "History of Atheism" page offers:

Quote
"...without gods; godless; secular; denying or disdaining the gods, especially officially sanctioned gods".

That is closer, involving the Greek pantheon (and seems to imply a political motive) but, personally, I prefer something that includes theistic or supernatural beliefs of all brands. What happens within the human mind is still seen only through a fuzzy, and very subjective, filter but that which happens in the rest of the Universe obeys the rules of physics - including those laws that we have not yet determined.

That which happens within the human mind is still biological and a result of known electro-chemical processes. Though the results, as we experience them, may not seem rational the processes are.

I have had a good glug or several of wine since my first post here! "In vino philosophicus" or summat.
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Sandra Craft

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 08:32:30 PM »
I just go with a lack of belief in any gods.  If pushed, I could refine that to "any gods I have yet heard described".
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Dave

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 08:48:12 PM »
I just go with a lack of belief in any gods.  If pushed, I could refine that to "any gods I have yet heard described".

I see where you are comming from, Sandy. Unfortunately the "theos" bit of the derivation pins it to "god(s)" in the minds of most. However, sticking strictly to that implies that an atheist may believe in spiritualism, sone definitions of animism and maybe a couple or several other -isms where no gods need be involved, just the supernatural.

Perhaps calling ourselves "rationalists" would get us into all kinds of interesting discussions with many kinds of people! Probably why I hang onto the "humanist" label.
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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 11:20:42 PM »
I just go with a lack of belief in any gods.  If pushed, I could refine that to "any gods I have yet heard described".

I see where you are comming from, Sandy. Unfortunately the "theos" bit of the derivation pins it to "god(s)" in the minds of most. However, sticking strictly to that implies that an atheist may believe in spiritualism, sone definitions of animism and maybe a couple or several other -isms where no gods need be involved, just the supernatural.

Perhaps calling ourselves "rationalists" would get us into all kinds of interesting discussions with many kinds of people! Probably why I hang onto the "humanist" label.

While anything supernatural is out for me (just too silly), I do know atheists who accept at least some supernatural things (ghosts and/or ESP, usually).  It's unusual, but not unknown. 

Humanist works for me, but still takes a bit of explaining to some theists.  And I wouldn't dare call myself a rationalist -- too many people with evidence to the contrary.
Sandy

  
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Icarus

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 11:34:16 PM »
To explain atheist point of view to a dedicated theist is almost always an exercise in futility.  There is a message in the bible that addresses that reality.  See Proverbs 18:2.....A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

I have tried on more than a few occasions to explain some of the details about the history of their good book, the bible or the history of their God :run!:. That is mostly where the conversation ends because they will hear none of it.   

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 01:20:33 AM »
To explain atheist point of view to a dedicated theist is almost always an exercise in futility.  There is a message in the bible that addresses that reality.  See Proverbs 18:2.....A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

I have tried on more than a few occasions to explain some of the details about the history of their good book, the bible or the history of their God :run!:. That is mostly where the conversation ends because they will hear none of it.


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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2018, 10:54:17 AM »
I would just run with:

    An atheist is a person who does not believe in any god or gods.

If pushed I might expand it to:

    An atheist is a person who, because of the lack of any objective evidence for one's existence, does not believe in any god or gods.

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 01:50:06 AM »
I regularly get theists telling me what atheism is. This is my most recent attempt at an explaination.

"Atheism is the rational deduction that the lack of evidence to support the conjecture that gods exist is sufficient to support a world view that gods do not exist."

Thoughts?

Oh man, Tank, I had to laugh a little at your explanation.  (I'm laughing with you, not at you!) I don't know who you would be talking to, but if someone said that to me, I would be staring blankly at you, as though you just spoke Arabic to me.

I usually go with very simple, because I find that succinct is best to start with. Something very similar to what others have said: I can not believe in any gods because no information (or anything else) has ever convinced me.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato (?)

Magdalena

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2018, 05:10:55 AM »
I regularly get theists telling me what atheism is. This is my most recent attempt at an explaination.

"Atheism is the rational deduction that the lack of evidence to support the conjecture that gods exist is sufficient to support a world view that gods do not exist."

Thoughts?

Oh man, Tank, I had to laugh a little at your explanation.  (I'm laughing with you, not at you!) I don't know who you would be talking to, but if someone said that to me, I would be staring blankly at you, as though you just spoke Arabic to me.

I usually go with very simple, because I find that succinct is best to start with. Something very similar to what others have said: I can not believe in any gods because no information (or anything else) has ever convinced me.
:this:
I like it.
Speaks to me.  :grin:

Tank

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 07:29:22 AM »
I regularly get theists telling me what atheism is. This is my most recent attempt at an explaination.

"Atheism is the rational deduction that the lack of evidence to support the conjecture that gods exist is sufficient to support a world view that gods do not exist."

Thoughts?

Oh man, Tank, I had to laugh a little at your explanation.  (I'm laughing with you, not at you!) I don't know who you would be talking to, but if someone said that to me, I would be staring blankly at you, as though you just spoke Arabic to me.

I usually go with very simple, because I find that succinct is best to start with. Something very similar to what others have said: I can not believe in any gods because no information (or anything else) has ever convinced me.

I think me inner Sheldon got the better of me  ;D
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.