HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Religion & Spirituality » Religion (Group) » Of COURSE atheism is a re...

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:55 AM

Of COURSE atheism is a religion, they believe in "nothing"!

37 replies, 2137 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Of COURSE atheism is a religion, they believe in "nothing"! (Original post)
cleanhippie Jan 2013 OP
rug Jan 2013 #1
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #2
rug Jan 2013 #3
eallen Jan 2013 #8
rug Jan 2013 #9
eallen Jan 2013 #11
rug Jan 2013 #12
tama Jan 2013 #20
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #14
eallen Jan 2013 #17
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #22
mr blur Jan 2013 #4
rug Jan 2013 #5
jeff47 Jan 2013 #6
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #10
rug Jan 2013 #13
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #15
rug Jan 2013 #16
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #18
rug Jan 2013 #19
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #26
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #23
tama Jan 2013 #25
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #28
tama Jan 2013 #29
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #31
tama Jan 2013 #32
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #33
tama Jan 2013 #34
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #36
tama Jan 2013 #37
starroute Jan 2013 #7
tama Jan 2013 #21
starroute Jan 2013 #35
dimbear Jan 2013 #24
Skittles Jan 2013 #27
tama Jan 2013 #30

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:12 PM

1. What is it then?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:31 PM

2. It can be a lack of belief

There's a subtle difference between "I believe there is no god." and "I do not believe in a god.".

Do you define your own belief system around the scant likelihood of the Invisible Pink Unicorn existing?



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fumesucker (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:33 PM

3. Is it therefore defined entirely by the negative?

(The answer to your question is no.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 03:23 PM

8. In my view, there is a positive content to atheism...

To wit, the rejection of the various religious notions to which the atheist has been exposed. We typically don't call infants atheist, because they don't know enough about religion yet to have an opinion. An atheist is someone who has some acquaintance with one or more religions, and has rejected them.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eallen (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 03:26 PM

9. You described rejection, not anything positive or new.

I agree with your comment about infants though. In order to reject something, that something has to be known, if not understood.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:33 PM

11. Positive, in the sense of something believed, rather than something not believed.

The usual notion of an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in a god.

By itself, that says nothing about what beliefs an atheist might hold, except that belief in a god isn't among them.

If we go with the idea, though, that atheism is a conscious decision, that shouldn't be ascribed to infants or rocks, that starts to imply something about what atheist do believe. It will vary from atheist to atheist, but generically I suspect it would be something like: None of these explanations I've heard or read for belief in a god make any sense. Which is a belief, rather than a non-belief. More, it is a belief that suggests many particular beliefs leading up to it, about the the various explanations any particular atheist has heard or read.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eallen (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:55 PM

12. Are you familar with Atheism+?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eallen (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 07:36 PM

20. Consider this

 

Religions can be too, through various paths, ways to non-attachment to any belief system. And that "God" can be also symbol for state or experience of no belief systems being present, attached to. It is in fact quite plausible that "mystery" can in many cases refer to state or experience of non-belief, e.g. pure awareness without content of any mental objects such as belief systems.

That may be a experiental truth behind a religion, as a belief system stating and suggesting that such state is possible, and that such and such practices will help to achieve such state.

Also on the other hand, philosophical definitions aside, as psychological state and behavioral pattern "atheist" identity some times appears as belief system about religions and spirituality in general, attaching negative values to everything and anything related to religions and spirituality, belief that religions are all bad and need to be opposed and attacked.

Just to show that there can be many aspects to belief systems and lack of them, and there is no simple theist-atheist divide in that respect.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eallen (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:38 PM

14. It is a strong argument that infants are, in fact, atheists.

Looking that the entomology of the word,

atheist (n.) Look up atheist at Dictionary.com
1570s, from French athéiste (16c.), from Greek atheos "without god, denying the gods; abandoned of the gods; godless, ungodly," from a- "without" + theos "a god" (see Thea).

The existence of a world without God seems to me less absurd than the presence of a God, existing in all his perfection, creating an imperfect man in order to make him run the risk of Hell.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=atheist


one can see that, minus the modern day parlance given to the word largely by non-believers, infants are born "without god" or rather without belief in a god. They are, by definition, atheist. They lack a belief in a god.


Atheism. It's the default position.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:53 PM

17. And rocks?

People invent words. And invent the meaning they assign to those words. So whether infants are atheists or not -- in fact! -- is merely a matter of how different people use the term.

Atheism is the default position philosophically, in that the philosopher asks of any claim: Why should this be held?

But infants aren't born philosophers. They learn language together with a large set of things taken at face value from their parents, not even knowing what much of it means. They learn that "twinkle" follows "star" before knowing what "twinkle" means. Many learn they are supposed to pray before eating, folding their hands before knowing what prayer is. So I'm not much impressed by the notion that before an infant learns anything, they are ignorant of everything.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eallen (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:23 PM

22. Fair enough.

Although, if infants could remain ignorant of religion, at least until the age of reason, and not have it etched into their brains by their parents and society, the world just might be better off.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:43 PM

4. Well, you're the one who's obsessed with atheism. (Nice evasion of the point of the OP, b.t.w.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mr blur (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:46 PM

5. More bemused than obsesed. (Nice answer to my question BTW.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:44 PM

6. It's nothing.

Literally. It's the air in a perfect vacuum. It's the contents of empty space.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 03:59 PM

10. It is a label that is broadly given to people, whether they accept it or not,

that do not believe there is evidence of the existence of God as proscribed by the religious. It can be viewed as positive. One person believes in the existence God. Another believes that there is no evidence supporting the existence of God. To characterize those that dont believe in the existence of evidence of God as believing in nothing is absurd and may even be viewed as bigoted.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rhett o rick (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:11 PM

13. At best it's neutral.

Regarding the view you posited that some people come to atheism by lack of evidence, whether that is a good or not depends upon one's view of applying the scientific method across the board.

To say that atheism is literally unconcerned with morality is not bigotry but a simple fact. It is an entirely different statement from claiming that a person lacks morals or is a nihilist because that person is an atheist.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:45 PM

15. Morals are independent from religion.

Regarding the view you posited that some people come to atheism by lack of evidence, whether that is a good or not depends upon one's view of applying the scientific method across the board.


I would certainly entertain evidence that people "come to atheism" by other than lack of evidence. The cornerstone of religions is "faith" which totally falls outside of anything scientific.

To say that atheism is literally unconcerned with morality is not bigotry but a simple fact. It is an entirely different statement from claiming that a person lacks morals or is a nihilist because that person is an atheist.


Please, that is a strawman argument. This is what I actually said, "To characterize those that dont believe in the existence of evidence of God as believing in nothing is absurd and may even be viewed as bigoted." First of all simply stating that something is "a simple fact", does not advance the argument. It isnt a "simple fact". Secondly, since there is no creed for atheists, neither you nor anyone else can characterize what atheists are concerned or unconcerned with.

Once again, atheism is not a religion, it has no creed. There is no church, no bible, no agreed belief other than the common disbelief that evidence exists, not faith, but evidence, that there is a God. Many people that are labeled atheists decline to accept that label.

Morals are independent from religion.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rhett o rick (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:50 PM

16. They are independent of atheism.

Religion, among other things, teaches morality that stems from its beliefs. along with other sources.

You may disagree with, loathe or revile religious morality but you cannot credibly claim it is not about morality. Logically, the same cannot be said about atheism.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 07:02 PM

18. I agree that morals are independent of atheism because atheism isnt a religion. It doesnt

have dogma or a charter, or concepts or rules or laws. It is just a state of belief. There is no creed.

I agree that religion can teach morality along with parents, teachers, coaches, friends, etc. But religions also can teach immorality.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rhett o rick (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 07:18 PM

19. Not to quibble but there are many nonreligious sources of morals and ethics.

My point about atheism is, that by the terms of its own definition, atheism is not one of those sources.

And you're right, of course, that religions can teach what can be considered immorality. Lots of things can, including nationalism.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:22 PM

26. I think we agree. nm

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rhett o rick (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:37 PM

23. You never made the claim that morals may come from atheism.

You have tried repeatedly to demonstrate this point, but your responder seems to feel the need to say the same thing, but not quite the same thing, to make it appear that maybe you did.

Yes, there is no morality to learned from atheism. But then again, no one says it does.

Yes, morals can come from religion, but as anyone can see, those morals are culturally dependent on whether they are judged as good or bad. Religion is not a source for good morals, even as many, if not most, believers of religion claim the opposite.

Whether something is morally good or not is dependent on the culture of the questioner. Not religion, not lack of religion, but culture.

Atheism makes no claims about morality, but there may be a good argument that being a non-believer today in this country, may make one more moral, because atheists tend to do the right thing because its the right thing to do, culturally.

But to say that religion teaches moral would be incorrect, as any morals derived from a religion would be the interpretation of the believer and his/her culture at the time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:59 PM

25. And

 

what is culturally right thing to do, in your view?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:02 AM

28. About what?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:36 AM

29. You tell me

 

We are facing enormous problems on global level and local levels everywhere. What is the right thing to do, in your view and from your cultural background?

Do you, for example, agree with Dalai Lama that integrating secular ethics and practice of compassion much better in secular education, is not only right thing to do but very important, if we want to find constructive solutions to our problems and challenges?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:54 AM

31. Interesting question.

Perhaps you should start an OP with that in the appropriate forum, or at least in a thread where it would be relevant.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:05 AM

32. From above

 

In this thread you made the claim:

there may be a good argument that being a non-believer today in this country, may make one more moral


I'm not arguing against that and may in fact strongly agree, but I'm asking you to clarify your thought and present such argument for further discussion.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:12 AM

33. Perhaps you overlooked this part?

"there may be..."


You should bring this up in the Atheists & Agnostics group. You will likely get a wider range of answers from atheists, and none from theists attempting to disrupt or hijack the conversation. That would be a more productive environment for that conversation.

See you over there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:48 AM

34. Thanks for the invite

 

But even though I might qualify as agnostic of some sort, over there the general atmosphere appears to be too much us-against-them for my tastes and ethical values and believes, which prefer more inclusive discussions where also theistic etc. points of view are welcome, so I must humbly refuse.

In multicultural global society religious, national etc. us-against-them attitudes tend to be very problematic and cause much suffering, and while I agree that secular critique of religions etc. is correct to point that out, I don't believe that creating a secular us against them religionists is a solution or any better.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:20 PM

36. That is really unfortunate.

It's not an us-against-them environment, it's just free from the usual and repetitive, and oft-debunked arguments and statements one finds coming from theists.

It's too bad, I think it would be a good conversation for that group. If you change your mind, the door is open.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #36)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:25 PM

37. OK, maybe I'll make a post there. :)

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:08 PM

7. Believing in Nothing has a very different meaning to some people

Though it took an Irishman to realize it.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scottus-eriugena/

Johannes (c.800 - c.877), who signed himself as ‘Eriugena’ in one manuscript, and who was referred to by his contemporaries as ‘the Irishman’ (scottus — in the 9th century Ireland was referred to as ‘Scotia Maior’ and its inhabitants as ‘scotti’) is the most significant Irish intellectual of the early monastic period. . . .

Immediately following on his abrupt announcement of the four divisions of nature, Eriugena proceeds to list ‘five ways of interpreting’ (quinque modi interpretationis) the manner in which things may be said to be or not to be (Periphyseon, I.443c-446a). According to the first mode, things accessible to the senses and the intellect are said to be, whereas anything which, ‘through the excellence of its nature’ (per excellentiam suae naturae), transcends our faculties are said not to be. According to this classification, God, because of his transcendence is said not to be. He is ‘nothingness through excellence’ (nihil per excellentiam).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to starroute (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 07:50 PM

21. Christian Neoplatonism

 

Neoplatonism, on both experiental and philosophical level, resembles quite closely Indian philosophies, with which there were strong cultural connections at the time. Especially Eastern Orthodoxy carries much Neoplatonist influences, but nice to know they extend also to Ireland. Thanks for informing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:12 PM

35. The Irish monks were in direct contact with the Eastern church

They knew how to read Greek, were fond of the writings of the desert fathers, and generally had a much broader worldview that anybody in continental Europe at the time.

They may also have preserved some of the teachings of the Druids, which had certain connections with Indian philosophy -- reincarnation, in particular.

Eriugena is an impressive figure -- both brilliant and witty -- and he's worth you're looking into if you're interested in the subject.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:51 PM

24. God doesn't like smart alecks?

Jacob. If Jacob wasn't a smart alec(k), I can't think who was.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:23 PM

27. they believe in reality

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:50 AM

30. That is not required by atheism

 

but sound more like belief in metaphysical realism, materialism or some other philosophy like that. Some atheist may believe so, others may not. But atheism by itself is not a positive statement for any belief system, just lack of belief in certain belief systems.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread