Author Topic: What is atheism?  (Read 2866 times)

Dave

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2018, 07:24:54 PM »
Absence of belief in deities. I think anything beyond that is superfluous.
In a sense I agree however why would there be absence of belief?

The basis for the absence of belief is worthy of discussion, but in my view the term "atheism" in and of itself doesn't require any explanation of reasons. It describes a position on the existence of deities; any additional baggage is beyond the remit of the word. People can be just as unthinkingly atheist as they can be theist. To assert that "atheism" describes not only a position on the existence of deities, but also a position on evidence supposedly supporting said deities' existence (implying that all atheists have given serious thought to the issue of evidence) is to ignore that fact.
I do agree that there are unconsidered atheists as there are unconsidered theists. But because they have made no effort to consider and derive their position they are thus both thoughtless in their position. I am discussing those atheists that have come to a considered opinion. And in my experience it is the lack of evidence for the existence of a sentient involved 'god' that brings a realisation that there is no god.

If it weren't for "sentient" you could be edging into deism here!

deism
ˈdeɪɪz(ə)m,ˈdiːɪz(ə)m/
noun
belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe.

Cannot private definitions or lables be open to argument as to precise definition?
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Tank

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2018, 07:51:06 PM »
Absence of belief in deities. I think anything beyond that is superfluous.
In a sense I agree however why would there be absence of belief?

The basis for the absence of belief is worthy of discussion, but in my view the term "atheism" in and of itself doesn't require any explanation of reasons. It describes a position on the existence of deities; any additional baggage is beyond the remit of the word. People can be just as unthinkingly atheist as they can be theist. To assert that "atheism" describes not only a position on the existence of deities, but also a position on evidence supposedly supporting said deities' existence (implying that all atheists have given serious thought to the issue of evidence) is to ignore that fact.
I do agree that there are unconsidered atheists as there are unconsidered theists. But because they have made no effort to consider and derive their position they are thus both thoughtless in their position. I am discussing those atheists that have come to a considered opinion. And in my experience it is the lack of evidence for the existence of a sentient involved 'god' that brings a realisation that there is no god.

If it weren't for "sentient" you could be edging into deism here!

deism
ˈdeɪɪz(ə)m,ˈdiːɪz(ə)m/
noun
belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe.

Cannot private definitions or lables be open to argument as to precise definition?

Any creating entity, deistic or theistic, has to be sentient. The deistic version to my understanding kicked off the Universe and then watched from the sidelines.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
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No one

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2018, 09:04:02 PM »
Correct Tank, humans are nothing but cosmic Sea Monkeys. Although, slightly less intelligent.

Dave

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2018, 09:19:18 PM »
Correct Tank, humans are nothing but cosmic Sea Monkeys. Although, slightly less intelligent.

"Comic Sea Monkeys"?

Oh, "cosmic"! Sorry.
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Icarus

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2018, 10:53:38 PM »
.
[/quote]
I do agree that there are unconsidered atheists as there are unconsidered theists. But because they have made no effort to consider and derive their position they are thus both thoughtless in their position. I am discussing those atheists that have come to a considered opinion. And in my experience it is the lack of evidence for the existence of a sentient involved 'god' that brings a realisation that there is no god.
[/quote]

Tank I agree with what you have said, however there is the  "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" argument.   That statement may be valid but when used  in the religious sense, it is obsolete. 

For thousands of years humans have chosen to believe, or have been forced to believe in supernatural beings. During the same thousands of years no evidence has been forthcoming.  That is a long enough period of time for us to justify our position.








 

Dave

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2018, 07:07:10 AM »
.
I do agree that there are unconsidered atheists as there are unconsidered theists. But because they have made no effort to consider and derive their position they are thus both thoughtless in their position. I am discussing those atheists that have come to a considered opinion. And in my experience it is the lack of evidence for the existence of a sentient involved 'god' that brings a realisation that there is no god.
[/quote]

Tank I agree with what you have said, however there is the  "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" argument.   That statement may be valid but when used  in the religious sense, it is obsolete. 

For thousands of years humans have chosen to believe, or have been forced to believe in supernatural beings. During the same thousands of years no evidence has been forthcoming.  That is a long enough period of time for us to justify our position.
[/quote]

Your post prompted me to look at the history of religiosity and its part in our evolution. Still looking, big subject. With a quick look there is talk of ritual behaviour going bavk to the Paleolithic, up to 200ky ago.

To fit with my original thinking this sentence, from Wiki, stood out:
 
Quote
Collective religious belief draws upon the emotions of love, fear, and gregariousness and is deeply embedded in the limbic system through socio-biological conditioning and social sanction.

It is the ritual aspect that interests me, you can ritualise something, like saying a final goodbye to a loved one, without the involvement of the supernatural, even the gifting of grave goods need not have religious conotations in my mind. But, human nature being what it is there are those who will try to gain from any aspect of human behaviour that they are able to exploit. On a more positive slant there are always those who gain emotionally from helping to console others who have suffered a loss, the "natural" counsellors.

To shorten my theory language (plus symbolic art and then writing) led to the codification of such practices and that implies sanctions for breaking the rules. With the human tendency to ask, "Why?", and not always a concrete reason available (why did X die after a scratch on the arm when Y had no problems from a similar wound?) something abstract may fill the gap. Did X do, or not do, something against the rules? Someone will probably have a strong opinion and voice it, and become known as the voicer of such things, and maybe gain authority/fear because of this . . .

Thus the industry of religion was established.
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SidewalkCynic

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2019, 02:19:09 PM »
This is a recurring discussion that atheists have been debating for, at least, the fifteen years that I have been monitoring and participating in atheist forums - I have been dedicated to search for the resolve of these issues, because the unresolved issues form the dogma that maintains the stall that atheists perceive of society.

Atheism is a political doctrine that opposes theist based doctrine for public policy.

The definition that atheism is the absence of belief in deities is an archaic definition that was the most reasonable definition that the theists (dictionary editors) could compose, because of the simplicity of society way back when. As is being argued, here, atheism is a conscious rejection of deities, but that is a negative assertion, as it depends on the root word, "theism," for it to have meaning; so it is kind of absurd to designate oneself as such. What happens when theism is eradicated, because of the overwhelming evidence and advancements in community and society? - We will then describe ourselves as humanists.

Theism is an ontological doctrine that suggests that a god defines reality. Humanism is the correct competing ontological doctrine that suggests that humans define reality.
If there were a god, then it would have revealed itself to me. There has never been anything more important in the history of Mankind than what I am delivering - scientific collation theory for the organization of technology.

Bad Penny II

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2019, 03:22:24 PM »
This is a recurring discussion that atheists have been debating for, at least, the fifteen years that I have been monitoring and participating in atheist forums - I have been dedicated to search for the resolve of these issues, because the unresolved issues form the dogma that maintains the stall that atheists perceive of society.

the resolve?
Let it pass, he might be a magician or something.

"unresolved issues form the dogma" seems counter intuitive to me.
"that maintains the stall that atheists perceive of society" I don't agree that our lack of a agreed definition caused this stall.  I blame the religious, conservatives, contrarians and ass holes in general.



Atheism is a political doctrine that opposes theist based doctrine for public policy.

Why not start by defining your definition of a term.
There are other definitions, you want to add another, the others don't go away.
Why not make a new term?

The definition that atheism is the absence of belief in deities is an archaic definition that was the most reasonable definition that the theists (dictionary editors) could compose, because of the simplicity of society way back when. As is being argued, here, atheism is a conscious rejection of deities, but that is a negative assertion, as it depends on the root word, "theism," for it to have meaning; so it is kind of absurd to designate oneself as such.

Ye if that was all I was, its a characteristic, it doesn't define me.

What happens when theism is eradicated, because of the overwhelming evidence and advancements in community and society? - We will then describe ourselves as humanists.

Theism is an ontological doctrine that suggests that a god defines reality. Humanism is the correct competing ontological doctrine that suggests that humans define reality.

I know some turtles that would take you to task for that assertion.
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SidewalkCynic

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2019, 04:49:46 PM »
"unresolved issues form the dogma" seems counter intuitive to me.
If there are unresolved issues, then that means that there are people who are maintaining falsehoods as truths - dogma. And chances are you are an adherent to such dogma.

"that maintains the stall that atheists perceive of society" I don't agree that our lack of a agreed definition caused this stall.  I blame the religious, conservatives, contrarians and ass holes in general.
It is not just the unresolved definition of atheism that causes the stall - it is a set of several terms that atheists use to test the doctrinaire, or principles, of the person presenting arguments.

Ad then there is a larger problem - the lack of a reliable knowledge classification system that would sort and stabilize the definitions of all words that we use in reasoned debates, or dialectics. As is always argued in this discussion, the definitions of words are in a continuous state of change (morphing) - and that is unacceptable.

Atheism is a political doctrine that opposes theist based doctrine for public policy.
Why not start by defining your definition of a term.
There are other definitions, you want to add another, the others don't go away.
Why not make a new term?
My ambition is to resolve the problem of there being the several different definitions. I am claiming that they are incorrect and counter productive to the atheists general ambition to  eradicating theism.

The definition that atheism is the absence of belief in deities is an archaic definition that was the most reasonable definition that the theists (dictionary editors) could compose, because of the simplicity of society way back when. As is being argued, here, atheism is a conscious rejection of deities, but that is a negative assertion, as it depends on the root word, "theism," for it to have meaning; so it is kind of absurd to designate oneself as such.
Ye if that was all I was, its a characteristic, it doesn't define me.
Well, just for shits and giggles, how would you define yourself so there is no question as to what you are all about?

there is no way that you are going to be able to do it. As diligent as you may be, there will be somebody who will demonstrate that you have not completely defined yourself.

What happens when theism is eradicated, because of the overwhelming evidence and advancements in community and society? - We will then describe ourselves as humanists.

Theism is an ontological doctrine that suggests that a god defines reality. Humanism is the correct competing ontological doctrine that suggests that humans define reality.
I know some turtles that would take you to task for that assertion.
that's silly
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 05:07:10 PM by SidewalkCynic »
If there were a god, then it would have revealed itself to me. There has never been anything more important in the history of Mankind than what I am delivering - scientific collation theory for the organization of technology.

Sandra Craft

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2019, 02:40:35 AM »
What happens when theism is eradicated, because of the overwhelming evidence and advancements in community and society? - We will then describe ourselves as humanists.

Theism is an ontological doctrine that suggests that a god defines reality. Humanism is the correct competing ontological doctrine that suggests that humans define reality.
I know some turtles that would take you to task for that assertion.
that's silly

I'd like to meet these turtles.
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Tank

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2019, 08:34:36 AM »
What happens when theism is eradicated, because of the overwhelming evidence and advancements in community and society? - We will then describe ourselves as humanists.

Theism is an ontological doctrine that suggests that a god defines reality. Humanism is the correct competing ontological doctrine that suggests that humans define reality.
I know some turtles that would take you to task for that assertion.
that's silly

I'd like to meet these turtles.

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
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Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Sandra Craft

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2019, 03:21:37 PM »

Whoa.  Those are some seriously turtley turtles.
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Icarus

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2019, 10:49:29 PM »
It's turtles all the way down.   ;D

Caliasseia

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Re: What is atheism?
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2019, 04:48:30 AM »
In answer to the original question, I offer this. On the basis that this is the one feature that is observably shared by all atheists.
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