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How would you define atheism to a theist?

Asmodean

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #45 on: May 14, 2020, 01:11:13 PM »
My common response too 'You believe in evolution!' is 'Only an idiot believes in evolution; I understand it, which is very different.'
Yes, but. (Before any religiously-inclined person attempts to use my "but" towards their ends, do please note that it does not in any way invalidate Tank's point - it simply adds another dimension to it)

Evolution is also a model we use to describe a facet of reality. I, for one, believe that model to be a good approximation of its respective piece of the puzzle. I can certainly justify my belief through understanding, but I'll also change my mind if my understanding of the model or the model itself is proven wrong or incomplete.

There is an difference between people who are perfectly fine with dynamic models of reality and those who crave something more static, however, so when someone like me says "belief," it does not mean the same thing as "faith."
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Davin

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #46 on: May 14, 2020, 04:36:59 PM »
Belief is only accepting something as true. That doesn't explain how one got there. I believe in evolution because of how well it explains the facts. This is not the same as believing in a god because there is no rational path to a belief in a god.
Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Randy

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #47 on: May 14, 2020, 07:33:46 PM »
Belief is only accepting something as true. That doesn't explain how one got there. I believe in evolution because of how well it explains the facts. This is not the same as believing in a god because there is no rational path to a belief in a god.

Yes, unfortunately the believer will only hear "I believe in evolution," and then it goes into a debate which I avoid but when brought into one, I'll debate away.

Having said that, I no longer have the energy and I have a trach which makes talking difficult let alone debating orally. But the fatigue that I experience from the cancer and the chemo and all the medicines I take, keep me wanting to take it easy and not tire myself out. So my debating days are over.
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson
"Some people focus on the destination. Atheists focus on the journey." -- Barry Goldberg

LifeisSweet

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2021, 07:06:42 PM »
Bump

One of the more common definitions of atheism is "The lack of belief in a god", but I find this definition too broad because it includes people who do not have the mental capacity to understand the concept of a god, such as infants, young children, and those with severe mental incapacities.  Infants do not believe in god, but we don't usually classify them as atheists.  This definition also includes many agnostics who don't believe in god, but also don't not believe in god.  And it includes some spiritualists who do not believe in the common conception of a god but do believe in an afterlife and some energy or force that their spirit joins in a conscious state after death.

I prefer to define atheism as a positive belief rather than a lack of belief, that is, "The belief that there are no deities".  This applies only to those who have the ability to believe and have consciously rejected the belief in a god.  It could be widened if desired to also reject belief in an afterlife or the supernatural, such as "The belief that there are no deities, no conscious state of existence after death, and no rational support for the supernatural".  This best describes me, although it may need a different word since atheism generally only refers to belief in a god.

In any case, it's just a label.  What is important is that you live your belief, not justify or defend it.  If a theist truly wants to debate me I could certainly have some fun, but it is kind of like debating the existence of Santa Claus with a child or pulling the crutches away from a disabled person - easy but not very satisfying and could possibly cause pain to the other person.  I am happy to just smile a lot with the firm but silent belief that I understand and accept reality without the need for comforting fairy tales.  In other words, a "Happy Atheist".
"When we exist, death is not; and when death exists, we are not." Epicurus

Randy

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #49 on: February 20, 2021, 01:34:12 AM »
Bump

One of the more common definitions of atheism is "The lack of belief in a god", but I find this definition too broad because it includes people who do not have the mental capacity to understand the concept of a god, such as infants, young children, and those with severe mental incapacities.  Infants do not believe in god, but we don't usually classify them as atheists.  This definition also includes many agnostics who don't believe in god, but also don't not believe in god.  And it includes some spiritualists who do not believe in the common conception of a god but do believe in an afterlife and some energy or force that their spirit joins in a conscious state after death.

I prefer to define atheism as a positive belief rather than a lack of belief, that is, "The belief that there are no deities".  This applies only to those who have the ability to believe and have consciously rejected the belief in a god.  It could be widened if desired to also reject belief in an afterlife or the supernatural, such as "The belief that there are no deities, no conscious state of existence after death, and no rational support for the supernatural".  This best describes me, although it may need a different word since atheism generally only refers to belief in a god.

In any case, it's just a label.  What is important is that you live your belief, not justify or defend it.  If a theist truly wants to debate me I could certainly have some fun, but it is kind of like debating the existence of Santa Claus with a child or pulling the crutches away from a disabled person - easy but not very satisfying and could possibly cause pain to the other person.  I am happy to just smile a lot with the firm but silent belief that I understand and accept reality without the need for comforting fairy tales.  In other words, a "Happy Atheist".
I have a hard time with the word "belief" and it's derivatives. To me believing that a door is closed despite all the evidence to the contrary is what gets me. Now, I see the door is open and so do others but they believe it is closed anyway. I'm confident that I can walk through that doorway unimpeded.
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson
"Some people focus on the destination. Atheists focus on the journey." -- Barry Goldberg

Tom62

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2021, 06:20:43 AM »
I agree with Randy. Atheism isn't a believe but an absence of believe. Theist are unable to provide evidence for their claims, which makes their claims unbelievable.
The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
Robert A. Heinlein

Tank

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2021, 09:06:33 AM »
I agree with Randy. Atheism isn't a believe but an absence of believe. Theist are unable to provide evidence for their claims, which makes their claims unbelievable.

 :this:
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“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.

Icarus

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Re: How would you define atheism to a theist?
« Reply #52 on: June 08, 2021, 12:49:14 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.

My newspaper has a reader write in feature. All sorts of ideas or thoughts are put forward by the writers of those letters.

My newspaper has a frequent writer who is a religious Nut.  She is from a prominent family and the paper gives her letters some priorities..........or so it seems.  Most  recently she has taken issue with my city council. The council meetings allow different persons to give the opening invocation.....(read prayer)  In the interest of fairness the council  has allowed an atheist to give the invocation.

Ms Lam, her actual name, shit her britches over the fact that a non believer could actually deliver an opening invocation.  In her recent letter she claims that Atheists hate God, Atheists hate Christianity, that atheists are placing us on a Marxist path to destruction of our democracy.

Her letter really jacks my Jaws. Usually that sort of stupidity does not affect me.  For some reason this one set me alight.  Whew! I am pleased that I have read one  of my own jewels of advice as above.  I can relax now.