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LostOne4Ever

(9,329 posts)
Fri May 9, 2014, 11:58 AM May 2014

How do you define atheism?

Last edited Tue May 27, 2014, 06:41 PM - Edit history (1)

There has been a lot of debate on what the word atheist means in the OTHER forum as of late.

In response, I thought it would be nice to have a thread here in the A/A forum for us to point to in order to show others how we, ACTUAL REAL LIVE ATHEISTS, define ourselves.

All that said, I humbly ask that any believers who visit our forum please refrain from replying.

So how do you define atheism? Is atheism a belief that there is no god(s), or is it a lack of belief in any god(s), or do you have a completely different definition?

Edit:
The agnostic version of this post can now be found here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/123023350

60 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
How do you define atheism? (Original Post) LostOne4Ever May 2014 OP
I define it as a 'failure to launch'. AtheistCrusader May 2014 #1
I want to go on the record LostOne4Ever May 2014 #2
Personally, ChairmanAgnostic May 2014 #3
Atheism: "Pending further evidence, I reject your magical sky man proposition." Bryce Butler May 2014 #4
The word is self-explanatory pscot May 2014 #5
Exactly. trotsky May 2014 #7
They're not 'making it difficult'. They are attempting to validate their special pleading by AtheistCrusader May 2014 #12
I side with the Greeks on this one Act_of_Reparation May 2014 #6
Isn't the belief that there is no god the same thing as Brainstormy May 2014 #8
no. Warren Stupidity May 2014 #14
Warren's got it exactly right. EvolveOrConvolve May 2014 #19
No, because belief and knowledge aren't the same thing. Act_of_Reparation May 2014 #22
Most people would say that Brainstormy May 2014 #30
I misread your post :\ Act_of_Reparation May 2014 #57
You are a gnostic atheist. LiberalAndProud May 2014 #51
Eh, a belief that there is no god-thing is the same as a belief that there is... malthaussen May 2014 #9
It is an issue when belief in the improbable magical sky being is then Warren Stupidity May 2014 #17
Logically equivilant, yes. malthaussen May 2014 #18
Can you point to ANY atheists skepticscott May 2014 #35
Yep. malthaussen May 2014 #36
Nice dodge skepticscott May 2014 #38
Eh, human behavior is subject to the tyranny of the bell-curve. malthaussen May 2014 #39
Another nice dodge skepticscott May 2014 #44
Im trying to keep my involvement in this thread to a minimal LostOne4Ever May 2014 #46
Agreed skepticscott May 2014 #48
I just don't believe in any gods. JNelson6563 May 2014 #10
I'd go with that definition. onager May 2014 #13
Well said, as usual. :) JNelson6563 May 2014 #16
Hey, that definition works for me. uriel1972 May 2014 #32
Not as a "non-belief," for sure ... Auggie May 2014 #11
An atheist is a person who doesn't believe in a god or gods. Iggo May 2014 #15
Definitions nil desperandum May 2014 #20
Definitions, indeed. malthaussen May 2014 #40
If you're here to tout "other ways of knowing" skepticscott May 2014 #47
Lack of belief in any god(s) LeftishBrit May 2014 #21
The Father Christmas reference... onager May 2014 #24
Speaking only for me... Solly Mack May 2014 #23
A lack of sufficient evidence. Promethean May 2014 #25
The Theists tried to plant questions in our heads Mr.Bill May 2014 #26
Personally, I don't believe in god because I don't believe god exists Heddi May 2014 #27
Not theism. It's like being pregnant. Either you're pregnant or you're not. valerief May 2014 #28
The way I see it, atheism is a lack of belief in any god or gods. Curmudgeoness May 2014 #29
Lack of belief in Gods. bravenak May 2014 #31
+1. deucemagnet May 2014 #49
non-theist defacto7 May 2014 #33
Lack of belief in any gods TxDemChem May 2014 #34
Atheism is a state of being unconvinced skepticscott May 2014 #37
Raises the question of what would constitute convincing evidence... malthaussen May 2014 #41
There is convincing evidence that the moon exists skepticscott May 2014 #45
This video is a great start. Promethean May 2014 #53
This message was self-deleted by its author LiberalAndProud May 2014 #54
I have no knowledge of frogmarch May 2014 #42
Yep. It's not a lack or an absence of belief. Iggo May 2014 #43
I'm an apatheist mr blur May 2014 #50
Thanks! skepticscott May 2014 #55
Ah, that was suposed to be a joke, mr blur May 2014 #56
and I don't care. AlbertCat May 2014 #60
As a lack of belief. jaded_old_cynic May 2014 #52
The disbelief, or lack of belief, in gods sakabatou May 2014 #58
To echo many previous responses Beearewhyain May 2014 #59

AtheistCrusader

(33,982 posts)
1. I define it as a 'failure to launch'.
Fri May 9, 2014, 12:00 PM
May 2014

Someone has offered a concept to which one can ascribe to or not.

As an atheist, I have not ventured any faith in that concept. It's a 'null' to me.


It is not intrinsically different from rejecting the claim that Elvis lives. I simply don't believe the claim, and invest no faith in it being true.

LostOne4Ever

(9,329 posts)
2. I want to go on the record
Fri May 9, 2014, 12:04 PM
May 2014

as saying that I define it as a lack of belief in any god(s)

This means that a person who believes there are no gods is an atheist.

It also means that a person who neither believes in any god(s) nor believes that there are no god(s) is also an atheist.

ChairmanAgnostic

(28,017 posts)
3. Personally,
Fri May 9, 2014, 12:09 PM
May 2014

it defines how I view our 6,015 yr old flat earth.

If there was a god, she is one mean, cruel, and human hating bitch. But, since I do not believe in any "highest being" that gives two shits about my tithing or prayers, . . . . Let me amend that. Since I do not believe in any "highest being" our problems are mostly of our own making, and sometimes, due to forces, geographical, astronomical, solar, that are far beyond our control.

pscot

(21,024 posts)
5. The word is self-explanatory
Fri May 9, 2014, 12:25 PM
May 2014

The Greek prefix "a" means without. Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists. Atheists, ipso facto, don't believe in god.

trotsky

(49,533 posts)
7. Exactly.
Fri May 9, 2014, 01:12 PM
May 2014

An atheist is NOT a theist. Doesn't seem too difficult, but some just have to make it that way.

AtheistCrusader

(33,982 posts)
12. They're not 'making it difficult'. They are attempting to validate their special pleading by
Fri May 9, 2014, 01:44 PM
May 2014

trying to misconstrue EVERYONE's position as equally special pleading.


And they're not going to get away with it.
Make no mistake, they are doing it deliberately, and with a purpose.

Act_of_Reparation

(9,116 posts)
6. I side with the Greeks on this one
Fri May 9, 2014, 12:36 PM
May 2014

"a" + "theos" = lack of belief in a god or gods.

It addresses belief, not knowledge. So all those Salon and HuffPo authors should find something else to write about.

Brainstormy

(2,384 posts)
8. Isn't the belief that there is no god the same thing as
Fri May 9, 2014, 01:24 PM
May 2014

a lack of belief in any god? I'm missing the distinction. Either way, you've got me covered.

 

Warren Stupidity

(48,181 posts)
14. no.
Fri May 9, 2014, 02:49 PM
May 2014

a lack of belief in x is not the same as a belief in x.

A simple analogy: "off" is not a tv channel.

EvolveOrConvolve

(6,452 posts)
19. Warren's got it exactly right.
Fri May 9, 2014, 03:29 PM
May 2014

Not collecting stamps isn't a hobby, it means that one doesn't collect stamps. Bald isn't a hair color, it's simply the lack of hair. Etc.

Even believers are atheists - Christians lack a belief in Thor, Muslims lack a belief in Buddha. We just happen to be atheists towards one more god than the average believer.

Act_of_Reparation

(9,116 posts)
22. No, because belief and knowledge aren't the same thing.
Fri May 9, 2014, 05:01 PM
May 2014

This pic summarizes the difference rather nicely:



Atheism refers to belief, so in identifying yourself as "atheist" you aren't claiming to have any special knowledge pertaining to the existence of god or gods.

Brainstormy

(2,384 posts)
30. Most people would say that
Fri May 9, 2014, 08:36 PM
May 2014

Atheism refers to a LACK of belief. And the op made no mention whatsoever of knowledge. But my point was that I see only a semantic distinction but no difference in "I believe there are no gods" and "I don't believe in a/any/many gods.

Thanks for the chart. It's just not relevant.

LiberalAndProud

(12,799 posts)
51. You are a gnostic atheist.
Sat May 10, 2014, 08:25 PM
May 2014

I do not believe in any god. This is the state of my belief. (theism)

There is no god. This is an assertion of what I know to be true. (gnosticism)

I am an atheist. I do not believe in any God. Absence of belief.

I remain open to evidence that there is a God, same as I remain open to evidence of Bigfoot. I think evidence of Bigfoot is more likely, but there it is.

malthaussen

(17,307 posts)
9. Eh, a belief that there is no god-thing is the same as a belief that there is...
Fri May 9, 2014, 01:33 PM
May 2014

... lacking any factual evidence. I know a lot of people whom I think of as "evangelical atheists." It's not enough for them to maintain their own belief, they have to proselytize, apparently getting some kick out of scoring points off the ignorant. Their belief that this god-thing does not exist is as frantic as the belief of an evangelical theist that their god-thing does exist.

So I usually don't bother with the words a-theist or a-gnostic either. The a-gnostic is claiming the answer can't be known, which of course cannot be known. The a-theist is claiming that the god-thing doesn't exist, but despite quibbles to the contrary, I'm still pretty happy with the concept that a negative can't be proven (of course, I can't prove that).

To me it's a non-issue, which is a reflection of my privilege in living in a god-free environment. I have come to understand better in the past few years that others don't benefit from that privilege, and so I have learned to cut a little slack to the people who are on the barricades with this.

I'd really prefer a good word for anti-religious, though. I think religion causes a lot more problems than the belief in the god-thing, which lacking religion is no more harmful than believing in Nessie. OTOH, some people are religious and also very nice people. I rather expect, though, that they would be just as nice sans religion.

-- Mal

 

Warren Stupidity

(48,181 posts)
17. It is an issue when belief in the improbable magical sky being is then
Fri May 9, 2014, 02:53 PM
May 2014

elevated to the same status as non-belief. Non belief makes no extraordinary claims, it is the failure to be convinced of the extraordinary claim that magical sky beings exist due to lack of any evidence for this alleged existence.

I hate to go there, but do you seriously consider non belief in Santa Claus to be equivalent to belief in Santa Claus?

malthaussen

(17,307 posts)
18. Logically equivilant, yes.
Fri May 9, 2014, 03:17 PM
May 2014

Both beliefs are making a positive statement ("there is no Santa Claus" is a positive statement) without any backing evidence.

Now, "I'm not convinced there is a Santa Claus," or "Your evidence that Santa Claus exists is not adequate" is not the same thing as saying "There is no Santa Claus." Many atheists, however, make the statement that there is no god-thing, as an absolute truth. My own view of the multiverse does not allow for absolute statements about things of which, ultimately, I know nothing.

-- Mal

 

skepticscott

(13,029 posts)
35. Can you point to ANY atheists
Sat May 10, 2014, 10:34 AM
May 2014

let alone "many", who claim with absolute certainty that there are no gods of any kind, anywhere in the known universe?

 

skepticscott

(13,029 posts)
38. Nice dodge
Sat May 10, 2014, 10:54 AM
May 2014

but if you're arguing that you're the only one who knows such people, I find that singularly unconvincing. And have you pressed these many, many atheists of your acquaintance as to whether they are absolutely sure that nowhere in the universe there could be any situation where the "gods" that people believe in actually exist? Because if you haven't, and if they're just talking in a very limited sense, about the few most prominent god concepts here on earth, your claim remains unsupported.

malthaussen

(17,307 posts)
39. Eh, human behavior is subject to the tyranny of the bell-curve.
Sat May 10, 2014, 11:03 AM
May 2014

I doubt I'm the only one who knows such people, and it's not a claim I would make. Nor, indeed, would I claim to know "many, many" atheists. Atheists do remain a minority, after all. It would be extraordinary if I knew a disproportionate number.

Now, if you'd like to argue that one who maintains the absolute non-existance of a god-thing of any kind is unworthily taking the name "atheist," then that's a definitional issue and not one I care much about. I think the whole point of the OP comes from the fact that atheism means different things to different people. The absolutist are just one end of the curve.

-- Mal

 

skepticscott

(13,029 posts)
44. Another nice dodge
Sat May 10, 2014, 05:46 PM
May 2014

of every point I raised. You made a claim about what "many" atheists think, and when asked to back it up by pointing some out, you indicated that it only applied to those atheists that you know personally. Do the logic.

As well as a rather transparent attempt to attribute a claim to me that you know perfectly well I never made. Someone who doesn't believe in any gods is an atheist. Period. If there actually are any who do also make an active claim, when pressed on the issue, that absolutely no "gods" exist anywhere in the universe, they've taken an intellectually indefensible position, but that doesn't mean they aren't atheists, or are somehow "unworthy" of the name.

LostOne4Ever

(9,329 posts)
46. Im trying to keep my involvement in this thread to a minimal
Sat May 10, 2014, 06:00 PM
May 2014

As to avoid being accused of influencing the results. Though there are some replies I would really really like to question further!

But to be clear, the point of this thread is simply to see how we, atheists, define atheism ourselves. This is also why I did not use the poll option. I wanted the subscribers of this group to explain their own private definition without restricting those definitions in any way.

This way, whenever the issue comes up on any part of DU, we all have a thread to point to as opposed to a debate of anecdotes.

That said, I would like to thank you, Skepticscott and everyone else for your input so far!

 

skepticscott

(13,029 posts)
48. Agreed
Sat May 10, 2014, 07:09 PM
May 2014

The meme that atheism means that someone is asserting an affirmative claim that there are NO gods at all, anywhere, is one that is peddled quite a bit in the Religion forum (and now in this one too, apparently), but it is wholly false and should be treated and called out as such. Attempts to paint atheism as a religion or a "belief" system are bogus. This thread is a good place to make that point, IMO.

onager

(9,356 posts)
13. I'd go with that definition.
Fri May 9, 2014, 02:40 PM
May 2014

Which is very simple. I don't know why people try to make it more complicated. OK, I do, as others in this thread have pointed out. They (usually believers) have their own weird definition of atheism and want others to fit into it. No matter how wrong their definition is.

The reason I don't believe in any gods is also simple: evidence. There ain't none.

When an atheist points this out in The Other Group, the fun really starts. Either they are flatly dismissed as "having an immature view of Xianity," or they are treated to a Liberal Xian version of the Gish Gallop.

Auggie

(31,334 posts)
11. Not as a "non-belief," for sure ...
Fri May 9, 2014, 01:42 PM
May 2014

to do so implies there's an option IMO -- to believe or to not believe. An atheist would see no option.

I don't even like to label myself "atheist," but I'm not quite sure what I'd replace it with.

nil desperandum

(654 posts)
20. Definitions
Fri May 9, 2014, 03:49 PM
May 2014

I find the argument that one who believes there is no god as equal to one who believes there is a god quite interesting.

I know, which is different than I believe, that there are real physical things in the universe, I know that because I can prove the existence of those things. I see them, I can measure their chemical abilities and I can map their existence. I do not believe there is a gold or iron, there is in fact a gold or iron because I can melt, smelt, and create using them.

There are no fairies or unicorns or easter bunnies because there is no physical record that these things ever existed anywhere at anytime. There are no angels, or demons, or gods because there is not now nor has there ever been any record of any of these things having ever existed anywhere at any time.

If someone wishes to believe in fairy tales that's problematic for me because it brings into question what level of judgment the view the world with on a daily basis.

For me we are a simple accident of cosmic chemistry, an accident of life in a universe devoid of life beyond microbes and building blocks. We evolved into the apex predators after a cataclysmic collision annihilated the previous apex predators and changed the oxygen content of the planet so that those large lifeforms could no longer exist.

Religion to me has always been a mystery, I was asked to leave catechism as a young catholic because I asked to many uncomfortable questions. The same was true when i attend a methodist church after leaving the catholic church. At about 16 it occurred to me that all of that religion was no more than the ramblings of people similar to the ancient celtic shamans making stuff up from whole cloth to control the ignorant masses.

I did get some crap in the military for having "no preference" on my dog tags where preferred religion was supposed to be but it was never a big deal to me.

I am not surprised that the large number of religious believers, science has always been viewed suspiciously throughout our history. Those who would dare investigate their world instead of just accepting the views and laws of the high priests of the time.

If someone wants to believe in god, whatever floats their boat I guess. I'm not here to bust their bubble until they start trying to convince me there is validity to their claims of magic as power.

malthaussen

(17,307 posts)
40. Definitions, indeed.
Sat May 10, 2014, 11:11 AM
May 2014

"Belief" is used in such a sloppy manner in colloquial speech. So for that matter, is that god-word. For instance, if we define "god" as a metaphor used to construct a world-view, then the existence of such a "god" becomes not a matter of belief, but a plain fact. Is the thought of a unicorn a real thought?

But a world-view based only what is tangible and observed is also flawed. It limits one's understanding to the scope of his instruments. We are told today that the Big Bang is "fact," because we finally believe (that word again!) we have observation evidence. But if it is fact now, it was also fact before we could prove it. That's one of the ways the faith-peddlers sell their nostrums, after all: the story of Judas Thomas is quite instructive in that way.

-- Mal

 

skepticscott

(13,029 posts)
47. If you're here to tout "other ways of knowing"
Sat May 10, 2014, 07:06 PM
May 2014

You're probably in the wrong Group.

And who is this "we" that "believes" in the Big Bang? At one point in time, there was no convincing evidence that the Big Bang had occurred. Now there is. People who understand the evidence are convinced of that. "Belief" does not enter into it, nor does "faith". If you're trying to peddle a false equivalency between scientists and "faith peddlers", you might also want to find another room.

LeftishBrit

(41,244 posts)
21. Lack of belief in any god(s)
Fri May 9, 2014, 03:59 PM
May 2014

And leaning to the belief that there are no god(s), though this can never be strictly proved.

It does not mean hostility to God, wishing to suppress believers or impose totalitarian state atheism, etc. Though there are many reasons for people assuming the latter, I suspect that the use of the phrase 'believe in' in different ways may contribute to the misunderstandings. 'I don't believe in Father Christmas' (= I don't believe he exists, though it might be good if he did) versus 'I don't believe in capital punishment' (= I don't approve of it, even though it obviously exists in many places). Not believing in God isn't due to, or equivalent to, wanting God not to exist.

onager

(9,356 posts)
24. The Father Christmas reference...
Fri May 9, 2014, 06:22 PM
May 2014

...reminds me of the great dialogue in the movie "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold."

In the scene where Richard Burton & Clair Bloom are discussing what they believe:

Burton: "I believe the Number 9 bus will take me to Hammersmith. I do not believe it will be driven by Father Christmas."

Bloom says she doesn't believe in God, then starts rhapsodizing about Soviet Communism.

That makes Burton bust out laughing. The subtext couldn't be clearer: You've just given up one goofy totalitarian belief system for another.

Promethean

(468 posts)
25. A lack of sufficient evidence.
Fri May 9, 2014, 06:24 PM
May 2014

Provide me reviewed and vetted evidence of something and I will accept it as factual. Until evidence is provided a claim isn't credible enough to be considered.

Mr.Bill

(24,438 posts)
26. The Theists tried to plant questions in our heads
Fri May 9, 2014, 06:25 PM
May 2014

as soon as we could comprehend language as a child. Why are we here? Who created us? What happens after we die?, etc.

Then, conveniently, they present us with an authority figure that "knows" the answers to these questions and we are commanded to believe these answers under penalty of some horrific punishment.

In short, these questions never struck me as all that important. My answers are simply I don't care and I don't know, and I am content with that. It's a wonderful, peaceful feeling and I enjoy every minute of my non-belief.

Heddi

(18,312 posts)
27. Personally, I don't believe in god because I don't believe god exists
Fri May 9, 2014, 07:03 PM
May 2014

and not only do I not believe that god exists, if he/she/it/them did, I wouldn't change and start being a believer.

valerief

(53,235 posts)
28. Not theism. It's like being pregnant. Either you're pregnant or you're not.
Fri May 9, 2014, 07:13 PM
May 2014

Either you're a theist or you're not.

Curmudgeoness

(18,219 posts)
29. The way I see it, atheism is a lack of belief in any god or gods.
Fri May 9, 2014, 08:21 PM
May 2014

But I also see it as a belief that there is no god or gods.....because if I did not believe that there are no gods, it would be hard for me to be an atheist. The chance that there is a god, that I should fear or worship or adore, would be enough for me to not have the nerve to profess myself to be an atheist....because I would be a chicken about it. I have no doubts that god does not exist and was invented by man.

defacto7

(13,485 posts)
33. non-theist
Sat May 10, 2014, 04:31 AM
May 2014

I have no faith because it requires by definition complete lack of facts. It is immovable. Facts obliterate it.

I have no beliefs because beliefs do not require facts though possibly not destroyed by them. It is movable on a whim.

I have trust in many things and people because trust is movable and can change when the facts evolve. It can only change when the facts evolve.

 

skepticscott

(13,029 posts)
37. Atheism is a state of being unconvinced
Sat May 10, 2014, 10:45 AM
May 2014

of the existence of any gods, due to insufficient and questionable evidence, and of lacking belief in same as a result. It does not preclude the possibility that convincing evidence may eventually come to light.

Atheism is merely one facet of skepticism, the view that the strength of one's convictions should be directly related to the strength of the evidence supporting them.

malthaussen

(17,307 posts)
41. Raises the question of what would constitute convincing evidence...
Sat May 10, 2014, 11:15 AM
May 2014

... although every man's conviction is his own.

As I like to say, if a white-bearded face (or bearded white face) appeared in the sky and told us all he was the truth, the light, and the creator of all, it would still be an unsupported assertion.

-- Mal

 

skepticscott

(13,029 posts)
45. There is convincing evidence that the moon exists
Sat May 10, 2014, 05:53 PM
May 2014

There is convincing evidence that The Great Pyramid exists. There is convincing evidence that atoms and neutrinos exist. There is convincing evidence that Barack Obama exists. Gods seems to require special pleading to exempt them from the same standards of evidence, however. The fact that a single observation is not enough to be convincing doesn't mean that the bar has been set unreasonably high.

Promethean

(468 posts)
53. This video is a great start.
Sat May 10, 2014, 08:49 PM
May 2014


It covers evidence that would be outright fully convincing on its own as well as evidence that while not a sure thing would definitely help the cause of Theism.

Response to Promethean (Reply #53)

frogmarch

(12,183 posts)
42. I have no knowledge of
Sat May 10, 2014, 12:30 PM
May 2014

the existence of any gods. I’m therefore an a-theist.

I don't like to say I lack belief in gods or that I'm without belief in god/s, because lack and without imply that god/s exist but that I refuse to believe it.

Iggo

(47,713 posts)
43. Yep. It's not a lack or an absence of belief.
Sat May 10, 2014, 01:39 PM
May 2014

That implies there's something missing...which there ain't.

 

mr blur

(7,753 posts)
50. I'm an apatheist
Sat May 10, 2014, 08:07 PM
May 2014

Last edited Sat May 10, 2014, 09:44 PM - Edit history (1)

I don't believe gods exist and I don't care.

Actually, I'm editing this to say that skepticscott in #37 upthread gives the best definition I can think of.

I cannot state with certainty that a god doesn't exist but nor can I state with 100% certainty that human affairs are not secretly controlled by 13' shape-changing lizardoids. However, I'm with The Science Guy in his recent debate with Mad Ken Ham; in answer to the question, "What could make you change your mind?", Ham said, "Nothing!", Nye said, "Evidence."

 

skepticscott

(13,029 posts)
55. Thanks!
Sat May 10, 2014, 11:36 PM
May 2014

Can't quite agree about the not caring part, though. As unlikely as it is, if a being really existed who could create the whole universe (or even just the Solar System, if we allow for a few stretchers) with a few waves of his hand, I'd damn sure want to know about it!

Not holding my breath, though.

 

mr blur

(7,753 posts)
56. Ah, that was suposed to be a joke,
Sun May 11, 2014, 10:43 AM
May 2014

on apathy/atheist.

When I edited my original reply, I lost the bit that I thought made that clear

And of course I'd agree with you.

 

AlbertCat

(17,505 posts)
60. and I don't care.
Wed May 14, 2014, 11:26 AM
May 2014

Egg-zactly.

Gods....whether they are there or not....don't seem to have any influence on anything so I just don't even think about them at all. They are not part of my life. (except of course when their questionable existence is forced upon an issue)

The only thing I know about gods comes from ancient ideas that are, no matter how beautiful and poetic, superfluous in important matters these days. I can surmise and even understand how the notion of gods came about, but all those concerns are obsolete and archaic. I can see how religions were very important in ancient societies, but I don't see what if any importance they contribute today. Theology is about as useful and serious, and contributes as much as astrology or the Tarot or learning Klingon. I try to live in the present! Even when listening to Bach Cantatas!

I'm atheist because I reject the supernatural. It's just so much useless baggage to carry around. And I get along just fine without it! (so would just about everybody else too)

jaded_old_cynic

(190 posts)
52. As a lack of belief.
Sat May 10, 2014, 08:45 PM
May 2014

I do not consider the lack of a belief to be a belief. Since there is no evidence for a god(s), I live my life in accordance with said evidence or rather the lack thereof. Meaning I don’t follow any tenets or doctrine for guidance except my own moral code. If tangible evidence were to be shown to me that proves the existence of a god(s), I would then need to sort out exactly what “god” is before I would make any changes in my life.

However, I do think that the odds of such an occurrence are so infinitesimal, that it is not an issue of paramount importance. Most Atheists I know, myself included, would not even discuss the matter of god or religion if some theists weren’t so eager to foist it upon us through the legislative process.

Beearewhyain

(600 posts)
59. To echo many previous responses
Tue May 13, 2014, 05:48 PM
May 2014

It is a lack of belief in god or gods. A non "thing" in much the same way that I don't believe in the Loch Ness Monster. I do find it rather frustrating that theist are constantly trying to make various atheist "define' what it means to be an atheist or as I suspect, what it means to be a "proper/good atheist", as if there ever was such a thing.

I believe that this is related to the average theist's belief that their ethics and lifestyle are dictated by their faith and as such they are making some inescapable logic trap from which an atheist will never escape if they don't define the nothing they don't believe. Strange because my ethics, ideology, and viewpoints are developed outside but informed by my atheism. My atheism is not the point from which I start to develop these philosophies and I imagine that is the scariest and most confusing part for them.

Ultimately, atheism is not something, in and of itself, that I apply a lot of thought to in much the same way I don't spend much time thinking about how the Loch Ness Monster doesn't exit.

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