Author Topic: Atheism  (Read 2163 times)

Ultima22689

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2011, 05:03:32 PM »
Quote from: "Asmodean"
Here is my view of atheism:

I do not believe in gods, therefor I am an atheist. The end.

^ This, there is no philosophy behind atheism, when it comes to claims that define our reality, existence, etc i'm an empiricst, i'm an atheist simply because no one has produced a modicum of empirical data that proves a higher being is real and our creator. Didn't take a long philosophical self reflection to determine an atheist, I simply followed like 15 seconds of logic and came to that conclusion.

Stevil

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2011, 06:55:42 PM »
I am an atheist, a weak atheist.
My philosophy is that of empirical evidence. Show me proof and I will tell you it is fact. I am open to unproven theories, they are the root of progressive thinking, but they must be backed up by empirical evidence to become anything more than just an interesting thought.

However my philosophy does not apply to all atheists. Strong atheists do not require empirical evidence.

Heretical Rants

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2011, 10:15:41 PM »
There are many different philosophies that lead to atheism.

Bubblepot

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2011, 09:03:08 AM »
Quote from: "Tank"
You wrote 'all philosophies'. An assertion for which you have no evidence, and for which you never can have evidence because you would have to be immortal and omniscient to obtain said evidence.
This demonstrates a lack of intelligence of what's actually being said on your part. I merely quoted a Buddhist proverb.

Quote from: "hackenslash"
Excellent. Then I hope you are actually open to other points of view. Let's begin:
So long as you can prove to me that you're worth my time by making rationalistic discussion, yes.

Quote from: "hackenslash"
I doubt that, since most of the members here are fully aware that atheism is merely the absence of a single class of belief. In that light, it cannot be a philosophy.
Are you speaking on behalf of other members of this forum?

Quote from: "hackenslash"
Then let's do so. What particular aspect of not accepting the truth claims of others with regard to the existence of deities would you like to dwell upon? The not believing in deities aspect, or the not believing in deities aspect?
Both of those, and many others, as there are more characteristics that embody the philosophy of atheism than these two that you mentioned. However, this discussion isn't just limited to my own dwelling-upons; everyone is free to do so, as I said in my opening post. This is a discussion where all are welcome.

Quote from: "hackenslash"
Except that it isn't the opposite of theism, merely the absence of it. The opposite would be a categorical claim in itself, and such categorical claims are generally embraced only by those whose faculties for critical thinking are under-developed. Atheism in its rigorous formulation neither erects nor supports any categorical claims of its own, it simply rejects the unsupported claims of others with regard to the existence of a deity.
The word atheism is short for "anti-theism"; and despite this very simplistic definition, you say atheism is *not* the opposite of theism? Does it support it then?

Quote from: "hackenslash"
Actually, theism is not philosophy. It doesn't contain, nor does it seek, any knowledge, which is what philosophy is. Indeed, it is the antithesis of philosophy, as it categorically rejects the search for knowledge, not least because it thinks it already has the answers. The nearest that theism gets to philosophy is its worthless apologetics, which is not philosophy, although it likes to think it is, and uses some of the same language. This is not philosophy, though, it's theology, and it is about as much use as a fishnet condom.
And since atheism is the opposite of this, you're implying that atheism, on the other hand, is the ultimate seeker of knowledge; that atheists are the most knowledgeable and intellectual people in the world. And since atheism is the opposite of theism, and theism is the opposite of philosophy, then atheism is synonymous with Philosophy. So what you're really saying here (though I'm not sure if you yourself actually realize the implications of your words when they're looked at from a skeptical viewpoint) is that atheism is not merely *a* philosophy, it *is* philosophy. I'm sorry but I disagree with you there. Atheism is not the "one and true way" as you, being atheist, might like to believe. It is merely one of many belief systems; one of many philosophies. It is no more superior to any other philosophy than the dung of a cow might be to that of goat.

Quote from: "hackenslash"
Which demonstrates why it isn't philosophy. Philosophy is the search for knowledge, and it can never oppose itself. Adherents to particular schools of thought can certainly oppose each other,
This is a contradiction. You're saying that philosophy cannot oppose itself, yet different philosophers can oppose each other. So am I to believe that there are to different kinds of philosophy opposing each other, both under some greater philosophy that doesn't go back on itself? Would that philosophy be your atheism, as you keep implying?

Quote from: "hackenslash"
Then they aren't engaged in philosophy, but apologetics.
So atheism and apologetics are synonymous?

Quote from: "hackenslash"
Oh, and your assessment of that Buddhist proverb as 'wise' is, in my opinion, wide of the mark.
What mark?

Quote from: "hackenslash"
There is only one'philosophy, as I think I've made reasonably clear.
That being atheism, I presume.

Quote from: "hackenslash"
As for schools of thought, there is one that is demonstrably superior to all others, because it has provided real and tangible results, and it has done so through a very simple but very powerful principle: That all ideas must be measured against what reality is telling us. That all ideas must be, in principle, open to being falsified. Any idea that is not testable and falsifiable constitutes no more than a rectally extracted blind assertion and, as such, it is worthless in the realm of ideas.
Are you talking about apologetics here?

Existentialist

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2011, 12:28:25 PM »
Quote from: "Asmodean"
I do not believe in gods, therefor I am an atheist. The end.
It's not the end, it's not even the beginning of the end.  But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.*  

Quote from: "Tank"
Allah does not exist, therefore I am an atheist. The end.
Allah is a god isn't he?  Why narrow it down?  (For effect, I know.  But why - really?)

Quote from: "Whitney"
Atheist is simply someone who does not have a belief in gods/deities.
With respect, 'simply' is a bit of an over-simplification.  It's not quite as simple as that really.  Someone who denies the existence of god is also an atheist, and can legitimately object to being categorised 'simply' as someone who does not have a belief in gods/deities.  One is an absence of belief, the other is a belief.  The distinction is important, and not very simple.

Quote from: "hackenslash"
What is particularly interesting is how people cling to such a useless construct as belief (and I mean any belief, not just those that involve a deity). Where we have hard evidence from reality, belief is superfluous. Where we don't have hard evidence from reality, belief is ridiculous. Either way, it is entirely without utility, and it really does fascinate me that people think it has value.
Why did you believe you needed to use the word 'cling'?

Quote from: "Ultima22689"
there is no philosophy behind atheism, when it comes to claims that define our reality, existence, etc i'm an empiricst, i'm an atheist simply because no one has produced a modicum of empirical data that proves a higher being is real and our creator. Didn't take a long philosophical self reflection to determine an atheist, I simply followed like 15 seconds of logic and came to that conclusion.
Through what philosophy did you decide on empiricism as the best approach?

Quote from: "Bubblepot"
Atheism... the opposite and counterpart of "theism", which is itself another philosophy; one philosophy opposes another philosophy, and the parties of each are engulfed within their own philosophies while scarcely bringing to remembrance that wise Buddhist proverb: all philosophies must eventually come to an end. But if this is the case, then how is one philosophy superior over any other philosophy? I'd appreciate any thoughts.
I don't see atheism as the opposite of theism, nor its counterpart.  The word atheism wasn't invented by sticking the a- prefix on the front of theism.  I know that the etymology of a word doesn't necessarily determine its meaning for people, but it's fairly important to me that athe-ism is a derivition of atheo in greek.  The -ism has only been added in english, therefore much later on, and athe-ism is to me the set of ideas around the proposition that god is not.  I don't even think that the concept of belief is an essential component of atheism.   When I use the term atheism about myself, I mean I 'take the stance that', 'assert that', 'take as a starting point that' there aren't any gods at all.  But I usually try to take trouble to explain the individual words I'm using each time, not mistake the words themselves as stores of a point of principle, I tend to find when people do that that the underlying motive is to force the conversation to a rigid set of conclusions, a process I tend to think kills off conversation.

*Quote: (Churchill, 1942 - talking about something else)

Bubblepot

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2011, 04:55:31 PM »
And these responses, Existentialist, show more intelligence than other responses I've seen so far, on this thread and others.

hackenslash

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2011, 05:54:53 PM »
Quote from: "Bubblepot"
So long as you can prove to me that you're worth my time by making rationalistic discussion, yes.

That's a two-way street, and thus far all the traffic has been in one direction only.

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Are you speaking on behalf of other members of this forum?

I am repeating what they themselves have said on previous occasions, so I think I am in a reasonable position to speak for other members of the forum on this point, yes.

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Both of those, and many others, as there are more characteristics that embody the philosophy of atheism than these two that you mentioned. However, this discussion isn't just limited to my own dwelling-upons; everyone is free to do so, as I said in my opening post. This is a discussion where all are welcome.

There is no philosophy of atheism. There are many philosophical positions regarding atheism, but none of them are essential to atheism itself, which is merely the absence of bleief in deities.

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The word atheism is short for "anti-theism";

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Thank you for playing. Anti-theism is a distinct position in itself, and has nothing to do with belief in a deity. Atheism isn't short for anything, and its etymology is well-understood. It stems from the greek a (without) theos (god), and simply means 'without god'.

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and despite this very simplistic definition, you say atheism is *not* the opposite of theism? Does it support it then?

The opposite of theism would be a categorical belief in the non-existence of deities. That is more than is necessary and sufficient for atheism. It would certainly be described as atheism, but it carries characteristics that are extraneous to that which is sufficient and necessary.

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And since atheism is the opposite of this,

It does you no good to reassert this point as if it's uncontroversial while it is actually under challenge. You have not yet established this, merely asserted it. You have also been given clear reasons why this assertion doesn't hold water.

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you're implying that atheism, on the other hand, is the ultimate seeker of knowledge;

I imply no such thing. I am categorically stating that atheism is the absence of belief in a deity. Anything you add to that is a strawman of my position, and constitutes dishonest discourse. Please continue, if you wish your tenure here to be brief.

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that atheists are the most knowledgeable and intellectual people in the world.

I never implied that either. Perhaps you would be better off starting your own forum, where you can argue with yourself to your heart's content, since you aren't erecting any useful arguments against the position of anybody responding to you here.

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And since atheism is the opposite of theism,

It isn't.

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and theism is the opposite of philosophy,

Err, who said that? If you got that from my post, then perhaps I should be offering you some remedial English lessons, because only with very poor reading comprehension could you infer that from anything I have written here.

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then atheism is synonymous with Philosophy.

No, it isn't synonymous with anything, except the absence of belief in a deity.

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So what you're really saying here (though I'm not sure if you yourself actually realize the implications of your words when they're looked at from a skeptical viewpoint) is that atheism is not merely *a* philosophy, it *is* philosophy. I'm sorry but I disagree with you there. Atheism is not the "one and true way" as you, being atheist, might like to believe. It is merely one of many belief systems; one of many philosophies. It is no more superior to any other philosophy than the dung of a cow might be to that of goat.

I never asserted any of that, nor inferred it. You still seem to be arguing against yourself. Let us know how that works out.

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This is a contradiction. You're saying that philosophy cannot oppose itself, yet different philosophers can oppose each other. So am I to believe that there are to different kinds of philosophy opposing each other, both under some greater philosophy that doesn't go back on itself? Would that philosophy be your atheism, as you keep implying?

Would you like to try reading that again, or would you rather just continue arguing with yourself? I never implied any such thing.

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So atheism and apologetics are synonymous?

No, theology and apologetics are.

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What mark?

Wow, do you need lessons in vernacular English as well? It's a figure of speech.

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That being atheism, I presume.

No, that being the search for truth.

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Are you talking about apologetics here?

Very good. Why do I get the feeling you're possibly one of my many stalkers? Is that you, Armageddo?
Dogma is the death of the intellect - hackenslash

No man is more hopelessly enslaved than one who falsely believes he's free - Goethe

If I showed your preposterous beliefs the respect you think they deserve, I wouldn't be showing you the respect you deserve - hackenslash


hackenslash

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2011, 05:57:27 PM »
Quote from: "Existentialist"
Why did you believe you needed to use the word 'cling'?

There was no belief or need involved, it simply seemed an appropriate word to employ at the time.

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Through what philosophy did you decide on empiricism as the best approach?

Not through any particular philosophy, merely by understanding the simple principle that it works, while others only wibble.
Dogma is the death of the intellect - hackenslash

No man is more hopelessly enslaved than one who falsely believes he's free - Goethe

If I showed your preposterous beliefs the respect you think they deserve, I wouldn't be showing you the respect you deserve - hackenslash


Asmodean

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2011, 06:30:39 PM »
Quote from: "Existentialist"
Quote from: "Asmodean"
I do not believe in gods, therefor I am an atheist. The end.
It's not the end, it's not even the beginning of the end.  But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.*
Wrong. My view of atheism as a "philosophy" does, actually, end completely with the lack of belief in gods.

Quote from: "Bubblepot"
Are you speaking on behalf of other members of this forum?
In what he said, he speaks at least for one other here.
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Existentialist

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2011, 06:47:37 PM »
Quote from: "hackenslash"
Quote from: "Existentialist"
Why did you believe you needed to use the word 'cling'?
There was no belief or need involved, it simply seemed an appropriate word to employ at the time.
It 'seems' to me that you have found a good device there by which you need never again say you believe anything - a synonym, seemingly!

Quote from: "hackensash"
Quote from: "Existentialist"
Through what philosophy did you decide on empiricism as the best approach?
Not through any particular philosophy, merely by understanding the simple principle that it works, while others only wibble.
I believe you... oops, sorry, I mean it 'seems' to me you are genuine in your statement: you did not employ anything containing any philosophical process to arrive at the decision that empiricism was the best approach.  I wonder if it 'seems' to you that I am being genuine when I say this.  I admit, you might believe that I am not telling the truth.

Ultima22689

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2011, 08:13:45 PM »
Existentalist, I don't know what philosophy that could be, if any at all. I simply thought about it, found there was no evidence therefore it's likely BS, simple as that.

Existentialist

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2011, 08:21:19 PM »
Quote from: "Ultima22689"
Existentalist, I don't know what philosophy that could be, if any at all. I simply thought about it, found there was no evidence therefore it's likely BS, simple as that.

So you think that thinking about things, examining the evidence and deciding it's BS is a good approach to determining what your view is of them?

If that's the case, how did you reach this conclusion?
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 08:46:17 PM by Existentialist »

Ultima22689

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2011, 08:46:09 PM »
Quote from: "Existentialist"
Quote from: "Ultima22689"
Existentalist, I don't know what philosophy that could be, if any at all. I simply thought about it, found there was no evidence therefore it's likely BS, simple as that.

So you think that thinking about a thing, examining the evidence and deciding it's BS is a good approach to determining what your view is of them?

If that's the case, how did you reach this conclusion?

Wait, before I answer that, what do yuo mean by them? I hope you aren't thinking I judged a group of people because that's something I try not to do.

Existentialist

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2011, 08:59:16 PM »
Quote from: "Ultima22689"

Wait, before I answer that, what do yuo mean by them? I hope you aren't thinking I judged a group of people because that's something I try not to do.

Sorry it's my error - I corrected my post around the same time you posted so sorry I caused the confusion.  It should read, "So you think that thinking about things, examining the evidence and deciding it's BS is a good approach to determining what your view is of them? "  Them being the things you are thinking about.

Ultima22689

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Re: Atheism
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2011, 09:17:28 PM »
If there is not a shred of evidence for it, yes, I do. Anytime a claim is made before me i'd like to see something that gives some sort of credibility to the claim.