Many believe Atheism is not a religion because it does not follow traditional beliefs. Others believe it is a religion because it has to do with existentialism. What do you think?
If religion can be described as an ideological world view which utilizes individual active thinkers to establish, strengthen and perpetuate itself, by garnering more individual active thinkers, then Atheism and Traditional religion is exactly the same.
Methods vary but intent remain the same.
This one is a bit of a no brainer.
Religion is defined as
the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods: ideas about the relationship between science and religion.
Using this definition Atheism is not a religion.
Where did you get this definition for religion?
Atheists at least believe in Self, Yes? And those that I know are fairly good at pitting science vs. religion. (?)
Atheist's believe in Self? What are you talking about?
What I gathered from this is that Atheists believe more in themselves and their own powers rather than relying on a "God" tp act and choose for them
I have no powers. I thought it was the Christians that believe in free will?
Well said. This is very much the belief of the LaVeyan Satanists. Those are Satanists who belief in the Church of Satan's beliefs founded by Anton LeVey and not the devil themselves.
I would say this is a very mild form of atheism. Both trust in their own abilities and think they don't need any God. Whereby all of these Satanists believe they are their god and believe in worshiping the self, many atheists just don't believe and that doesn't resemble Satanism at all.
Did you know that Seth McFarlane, creator of "The Family Guy" is a Satanist and atheist? Both (not all atheists) have the agenda of trying to eradicate Christianity by saying it is a cancer and is for stupid people.
See this video about "The Family Guy".
The funny thing is that there are also some Christians that also believe in their own abilities and realistically on some levels don't need God either. I'm not going to dig into this because this will open a whole new can of worms
Then they aren't truly Christians then, are they?
Why would they not truly be Christians? I'm very curious. Note, I said on some levels. In my opinion, there are some Christians that rely wayyyyy more on God than truly necessary. But this is going into a whole other realm that some would not even want to entertain.
A person who trusts in their own abilities above that of God is not a Christian. How can one think they know better than a supreme being who loves us? It's when we want to do things our way that we stuff things up.
You'd actually be very surprised at how Christians knows what Christianity actually requires of them. Jesus relied entirely on God. He asked God to sanction all His decisions. You can never rely way too much on God.
It's not about a person that knows more or bette rthan a supreme being. It's about a person or people that know their own abilities BECAUSE they were given by a supreme being. Not to be totally contradictory, but Jesus did not ask God to sanction all of his decisions. a lot of his actions were done because they were ALREADY sanctioned by God. Jesus came to fufil a purpose on this earth and he knew his purpose. he didn't need God to tell him or sanction what he already knew.
In that case in saying one can do something because of the grace of God then you are right. In Satanism, they believe there abilities are wholly theirs.
Jesus didn't always know everything. Do you believe earlier in His ministry that He would die a horrible death? God withheld certain things from Jesus so that Jesus could ask that His will be God's. That's the basis of the Lord's Prayer. Jesus made the decision to reject the devil's temptations.
For example, I don't need to pray to God to give my wife and me a baby. All I have to do is check my wife's ovulation schedule, then have sex with her until one of my swimmers breaks through. That's the only example I'm going to provide because once again I would be entering a realm that is not easily digestible. Also I would not want to bore anyone with my beliefs
We can make decision on how to plan for a baby but you ask God for His will to be done. If it is His will then you will have a baby.
We will simply have to agree to disagree on this point. As I stated before, we are entering into a realm where interpretation plays a factor. I am not going to debate my interpretation against yours because that carries the implication that one interpretation is better than the other. My understanding of the bible is no better or worse than anyone else here's. It's an understanding that ultimately I have found has worked best for my life thus far. I will not debate what i feel works best for me
I tried to watch your video, but was only able to get half way through. I had to stop when the narrator said "If people continue to watch Family Guy it will bring a complete moral collapse of society... and people will be stealing and killing and there will be no structure or order left in society... pure anarchy."
I'm not a Family Guy fan and tried to prevent my kids from watching it when they were young, but it runs on many channels all day long, but the above description is over the top.
Those who believe that atheism is a religion because it deals with existentialism are wrong. Existentialism is a philosophy, not a religion.
Very important difference and well said.
Giving Atheist the name alone acknowledges that they are a group, and yes a religion. Their mission statement is God does not exist. They don’t need a building or an alter or collection plates etc. etc. to be called a religion. I would accept that the God describe in the bible does not exist but to make the statement that nothing created us is a bit naive. Example: Some people believe in Ghost some do not , but both are irrelevant to the reality of weather they exists or not.
If this is the definition of religion, yes.
: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
I cannot prove that the last integer of pi, exists for example. Nevertheless there is a ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The ratio exists, the exact figure can not be shown or known.
Scientist and mathematicians still are trying to compute the value of pi and I think its up to 10 trillion digits.
When an atheists claims: There is no evidence of the existence of God. There is no evidence of the last integer of pi, yet the ratio exists. I think, It is a category or induction error to assume that the last integer of pi has to be computed or the ratio just does not exist. No, it just does not exist that way. We observe the temporal and physical via the temporal and physical, so I think it creates a bias. Thats just an example.
If there were no life in the universe would the universe still exist? Who would there be, to make that claim? Based upon what observation of empirical evidence? Yet the universe could exist without observers, because truth is not contingent on observers. Especially if there was an observer and he had this "belief" that universes should exist within the parameters they desire as opposed to how they might in fact actually be. Without a claim of experiential or inference; agnosticism is less faith driven than atheism and more rational, in my opinion.
If it is a religion it certainly isn't very organized. lol
It is not a religion. They don't believe in anything.
Well, Atheists have beliefs. They just don't believe in God.
Atheists do have beliefs. The only belief they lack is a belief in God (This is mostly due to a lack of acceptable evidence for them).
There are two types of atheists. Those who just don't believe in God and don't care and those who go out of their way to make people believe in the way they do especially set up sites like jesusneverexisted.com
The latter is more of a movement with Dawkins as the Pope.
Too much for my brain right now.. Ask a Theologian?
A theism meaning without theism or without religion. It is obvious it is not a religion, It is not an ideology either. It means one thing only, we have no belief in the christian god or any conscious creator.
Some think this is a belief. Philosophically having a belief or faith about atheism is not a strong position to take. Atheism just means lack of belief. Christians believe, atheists do not. It does not mean atheists believe there is no god. You can't prove there is no god any more than you can prove there is one. So the only rational position is one of lack of belief, not belief of lack. Same goes for anything that is speculative like bigfoot or invisible pink squirrels, or anything the imagination can come up with that can't be falsified..
Physicalism or materialism is a science based philosophy which some have made into atheist religions. Pantheism, for example. But it is only a religion in that it has a model for existence like religions do. It even gives moral directives.
Atheism does not have a moral philosophy, or a model for existence. It tells you nothing at all about what a person does believe if anything. It tells you only one thing they do not believe.
If one cares enough to promote his or her atheistic beliefs then it seems to me that atheism has become their religion. On the other hand there is agnosticism -- now those folks simply don't care. Nothing religious about that.
No, it is not a religion. A religion is a set of rules and regulations. Because Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. From their ideas about the cosmos and human nature, they tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.
Good answer, But this only accounts for one definition of religion. There is a second definition of religion that is more personalized and does not necessarily mean that any of the other things you mentioned are part of it. You just spoke of the organized definition of religion.
Atheism is an ethical belief and practice. It is not a religion. The basis of a religion is to have a relationship with a deity, god, or higher power.
It depends on the atheist. I've met atheists who don't believe and their demeanor is such that I would not label them religious. However, the atheists who appear to believe they have a moral imperative to call believers onto the carpet for their beliefs are, in my mind, religious.
I know these types will vehemently disagree, but I think their disagreement comes from a basic difference of opinion as to what defines religious behavior. I see it as little more than something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience. Claiming a moral imperative is little different from the Christian belief that drives evangelism. I don't consider them two sides to the same coin. It's the same side of the same coin with the same value, just minted at a different location.
I've never met an atheist that feels a moral imperative to call believers on the carpet.
Ones that think they are smarter, better educated, think better, etc. but never one with that moral imperative. Ones that will try to stamp out religion wherever found either in reaction to religious proselytizing or demands that all conform to their belief, but never a moral imperative.
I've even met a few that almost wear their atheism as a badge of some kind, probably in reaction to religious doing the same, but the reason is far more base than a moral imperative.
I used the term 'moral imperitave' specifically because I read it in a post by an atheist here on Hub Pages. After I finished laughing, I thought about it. Then laughed again.
I think I would too. While I do find the logical reasoning abilities as well as the knowledge base of some of the far out religious nuts to be pretty sad, I certainly don't have a moral imperative to "help" them "improve".
Not only are they happy where they are, the golden rule prevents any "imperative" that I force teach them.
Concur, atheists DON'T bother nor harangue other people for their beliefs. Atheists state their beliefs and let it BE. I have never met an atheists who insist that their belief and philosophy are the only valid and legitimate ones. They are on a higher plane than that.
Atheists don't harangue other people for their beliefs??? Atheists state their beliefs and let it BE??? You never met an atheist who insist their belief and philosophy are the only valid and legitimate one???
If that is the case, then you have lived under a rock or never met an atheist.
I actually can't find an example of an atheist that states their belief WITHOUT putting other beliefs down.
I have met many atheists and they are the nicest and most reasonable of people. They do not condemn others. They have a live and let live attitude!
I have met many atheists that are nice people, too. But to say they do not instigate long arguments or only state their own beliefs without putting down others is completely false.
I don't know you from Adam and you might have never met an Atheist who has done these things, but that equates with the Duck Dynasty guy saying all of the African Americans he met were happy under segregation. You can't prove him wrong, since he is saying it was his experience, but it is highly unlikely. You know what I mean?
To expand on that, I would say that 99.9% of Atheists have not tried to convert me or tell me I am wrong. Maybe some in college that go overboard like most when they believe something at such an impressionable age, but otherwise I have had good experiences.
The attacks are from those that are out of sight and out of mind and are protected with anonymity, such as groups that post billboards or people on the internet. Others are the ones that protest things like public crosses and are protected by the pack.
I do think you will find general agreement among atheists that public funds, land and buildings should not be used for religious icons. I also think that they are NOT wrong in protesting that their tax money and public land or buildings are being used to promote a specific religion - it is after all illegal to do so.
Imagine if the Mormons didn't have to pay taxes?
You will get no argument from me on that because I would not like the shoe to be on the other foot. With that said, it can be done respectfully, which is rarely done in the dealings of politics and religion.
I don't know. Frankly, when some believer comes to the city wanting the city to spend money on planting a giant cross in the corner park, and the city council prays over it and then spends the money, I don't see any of them as deserving of respect.
These people promoting their religion via public funds and materials know very well it is illegal, they know they don't want it done to them (just as you say), but they don't care. And because of that they lose any respect I might have for them.
"Frankly, when some believer comes to the city wanting the city to spend money on planting a giant cross in the corner park, and the city council prays over it and then spends the money, I don't see any of them as deserving of respect."
So what you are saying is that they started it? My kids use that excuse when they argue, too. I am trying to break that habit before they start kindergarten.
Wanna lose a friend? Tell them you are an Atheist. Atheists are the most hated group out there. I don't discuss religion with my friends.
That is false because I have friends that are atheists. I think everyone has friends that are atheists.
As for atheists being the most hated group, all I have to say about that is...Please! lol You can cry me a river, but I don't think anyone will have too much sympathy for you on that one.
The only atheists that are hated are the ones that cannot explain their beliefs without dogging someone else's.
Are you sure the atheist is actually dogging someone else's belief?
Or just presenting evidence that the belief is false, evidence which the believer does not want to hear and which forces them into ignoring yet another well known fact to maintain their belief? I know I wouldn't appreciate people that did that to me if I insisted that my beliefs, plainly false to fact, were true and real.
"Are you sure the atheist is actually dogging someone else's belief?"
Yes, I am pretty sure that is what it is. Why should they care what I believe and how does that affect what they believe? Why is that necessary to put someone else's belief down when explain their belief?
While there are few foolish people that claim to know there is no god, most atheists have no such belief. They try, in fact, not to have beliefs at all; just knowledge based on known evidence.
Which is why I ask about them dogging their belief. They have none to dog.
What they DO have is knowledge and evidence; factual evidence that they like to present to those ignorant of it. (which is not a put down of a belief, just facts). Which, like I said, is not well accepted as it is too often just something else that the believer has to pretend isn't there.
So the atheist doesn't necessarily put down someone's belief, although they HAVE been known to put down false logic and muddy thinking. Perhaps you are mistaking the two.
Look at that, while you tell me I'm a lier you show me a smug atheist.
http://www.bornagainpagan.com/texts/024 … heists.htm
Saw and read the post. Atheists are indeed the most hated group in American society. Although American society has become less religious, there is STILL an underlying religious premise to this country. Studiies have substantiated that 80% of Americans are affiliated to some religious denomination. Studies further show that 70% of Americans still believe in the devil and in hell. American society has an underlying religiosity factor. Many Americans wear their religion as a badge of honor. There are Americans who are nominally religious because they are loathe to be identified as atheists. Many Americans still associate atheists with evil and immorality when nothing is further from the truth.
This is completely false and also insulting to those that are actually persecuted across the world. For an atheist to feel this way, it is only due to a personal insecurity.
False statement. Please stop making false statements.
Madalyn Murray O'Hair was labeled the most hated woman in America by Life magazine for her involvement in the ruling ending the official Bible-reading in American public schools in 1963.
"Wanna lose a friend? Tell them you are an Atheist."
I never called you a liar. You are putting words in my mouth.
I said it was a false statement because it was. Completely different.
Not false at all.
You are making a false statement. See how I didn't call you a liar? I just pointed out the lie.
What was my false statement? Dr. Lamb said I would lose my friends if I told them I was an atheist. I have done this before and I didn't lose them. Therefore it is a proven false statement.
Calling someone a liar is a personal attack on that person's character and is from that said person repeatedly lying. Therefore their habit makes them a liar.
If I make a candle once in my life, does that mean for the rest of my life I am a candle maker and should be described as such? No.
We all say statements that are false and can be unintentional due to a lack of knowledge. This does not make one a liar. It depends on the intention.
Did you read the article I linked to? Guess not. You will indeed lose friends if you tell them you don't believe in the nonsense they believe in. Happens all the time. I have lost some myself. Are you ignorant in that case? See how I did not call you a liar? Which is it? Are you ignorant or repeating a false statement without bothering to check the facts?
I see you are up to your old tricks and still not above a little self-promotion! lol
You have a very good formula from what I remember.
1. Go to the religion forum
2. Instigate a fight w/ some Christians and stir up the bee hive
3. Get people to your page to read your articles
Get your enemies to foot the bill. Not a bad idea!
Did you read what I said? I said I came out as an atheist at one time and didn't lose my friends. I don't need to read your article. Try to give me a real source and you don't count! lol
I don't believe your claim. And in any case - this was the generic "you" not specific to you personally. And - it does happen all the time.
I guess I knew you would not be interested in reading anything. You don't need to do you? You already know it is wrong without reading it.
I think what the righteiusatheist guy did was generalize. And yes, generalizations are typically false statements, yet we generalize all of the time.
So let's say this. When some people come out as an atheist, they are shunned/ridiculed. When some people come out as an atheist, nothing really changes. And for some, they fall somewhere in between.
Just like everywhere else, there are extremes and grey areas...
mark (i.e. therighteousatheist) didn't generalize. he was trolling! lol he is a very simple minded man and doesn't need much to entertain him.
I see you did not read the article I linked to - odd. It has factual data about atheists being mistrusted and hated in the USA. It is current information and cannot be discarded the way you discard all other facts. It is not based on generalizations - it is based on current data. Simple minded? I suppose if you mean "honest" then yes. I can see why you would attack that.
What do you think explains how anyone could possibly claim that "Atheists don't harangue other people for their beliefs" when they do just that 24/7/365 here?
Not much explains that strange behavior, but one thing does. The worldview they are most often "going after...." Christianity.
This is a clue from logic, reason and truth and facts, if people care to see it. I think most don't want to see how ironic that is. Truth stands, hardly needing defense, and will be the most threatening to other worldviews that don't have truth and facts as their base. People COULD always consider abandoning worldviews that don't give sufficient reason, evidence, logic, etc. Instead, we often see what we see.
Trust me, there are atheists who won't leave you alone until you abandon Christianity. Like Christians that threaten atheists with hell, there are atheists who keep insisting Christians are stupid and delusional. Both are trying to undermine the belief of the other.
So be neutral, they need to stop making atheists churches.
I would say that it is a religion for the person is basing their precepts and concepts on what they believe.
People used to believe in Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite's etc. entities which we recognized as non-existent. Believing is a faith-based concept.
The murderous pastor Jim Jones believes in himself.
Why do bald people use barbers, hair dressers, scissors razors etc...and other things designed for those who is interested in improving hair styles?
No. Atheism in its basic form is a lack of belief in a deity. This is generally attributed to a lack of evidence supporting the existence of the deity.
There are those that may try to force their Atheism on others, but this does not define Atheism as a religion.
Okay, I've had it and I'm gonna blow - RIGHT HERE AND NOW!
Atheism is not a religion. A religion involves a deity. Atheists do not believe in dieties. At least, not all of them. Maybe some of them do, I don't know. For certain, they do not believe in a diety who interacts with humanity on any personal level. Period. They don't believe. Why is this such an oft asked question?
Let me tell you why. If believers can call atheism a religion, then it justifies the attacks of the religious against the atheists (since two can play at that game, you know).
I've got news for you, folks. NOTHING JUSTIFIES AN ABUSIVE ATTACK ON ANY HUMAN BEING REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANOTHER BELIEVES OR DOESN'T BELIEVE.
The war of words that you wish to win with the atheist will never be won, dear believer, because neither side will stipulate to any truth which flows from the other's position.
Say I hand you a red ball and ask you what it is. You're color blind. You tell me that it is a ball. Another person recognizes only the color, not the shape and says that it is red. Are you both right? Yes. Partially. But the only person who is completely and totally right is the person who can see that it is both RED and A BALL.
Believers are blind to every truth that comes from an atheist's mouth because they think their non-belief makes them a natural liar. Atheists are often blind to every truth that comes from a believer's mouth because they think their very belief makes them irrational, hence they are must be irrational by nature.
Can an atheist cling to his/her worldview with religious zeal? Sure. But lots, lots, lots of believers have watered down their faith and practice it with no zeal at all. To stand the two next to each other, no one would recognize a difference between them.
This question isn't even worthy of a decent internet troll.
Wonderful! If this was a Hub I'd share it and vote it up. Got it in a nutshell.
I agree with most of what you've said here.
While I can appreciate your original post, I think to be fair we would have to properly define "Deity" - for instance, I believe Taoism is considered a religion, and I do not think they have any deities. That is just one example, and please correct me if I am wrong.
I think you're right, in part. Deity has been clearly defined, IMO. While I think also that Taoism is considered a religion, because of lack of belief in a diety, I would call it either a life philosophy or a belief system. Similarly to secular humanism - as close as an atheist might ever come to a belief system, but certainly not a religion.
You are correct, and the wisest Christian I've met concerning this topic. These things are complex and have to be broken down into their parts before they make sense. Religion is obviously a life philosophy and belief system. An atheist might have a life philosophy or belief system like Taoism and take that on as their religion. Some forms of Buddhism do not concern themselves with deity either. So an atheist might be a Buddhist as well. You can be both an atheist and a Buddhist at the same time.
As many times as I have explained it, atheism means one thing and one thing only: We lack the belief that Christians and others have in god beings. But other than that we may have nothing else in common as a set, certainly not a life philosophy or belief system, or model of origins.
Again, many atheists look to science for answers to origin. But many do not.
So while it may be complicated as to what an atheist might believe, the meaning of the word atheism is very clear, and clearly has nothing to do with religion in and of itself.
From my point of view
Until an atheist can prove their belief, it is a believe.
If this was true then they really have no problem proving that God doesn't exist.
God doesn't exist, because this old man told me once that God is just an anagram of Dog and that this is the whole point about religion, people believe that most Dogs have balls, but quite often the Vet hacks them off to keep the Dog from humping your favorite Teddy bear....
Having read what you've written I'm not sure if we're in the same reality.
It didn't take with my dog. Every once and a while he tries to show affection to someones leg. I like how you got from the existence of God to a dog humping a teddy bear in one sentence. Made me laugh.
I guess I have to do this again.
The definition of religion is
"The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods: ideas about the relationship between science and religion."
Using this definition Atheism is not a religion.
Actually we don't have to proof God doesn't exist, it's up to you to prove he does. That hasn't happened yet and I'm waiting.
On the contrary, it is the nonbeliever who is concerned with the concept of God by believers. If one is certain of their position then they need to prove it. A scientist can't say gravity doesn't exist-until he can prove it.
In the debate world, it is the person making the claim that bears the burden of period. Some even go so far as to claim that the burden of proof rests on those making a positive claim. If a believer is making the claim that a god exists, it is their responsibility to prove that position. Most atheists don't claim "no gods exist". They simply have a lack of belief in god.
Do you need someone to prove to you that unicorns, Bigfoot or leprechauns don't exist, or would you be asking for evidence from the person that claims that they DO exist? Can you prove to me right now that there is no such thing as a unicorn?
I believe a young child having been told by a classmate that the unicorn exist with mind some proof or some reasonable explanation that they don't.
Gee--I heard that only virgins can see unicorns....
Here is why the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim of existence.
YOU CANNOT PROVE THAT SOMETHING DOES NOT EXIST!
So what proof would you use to definitively, positively claim that unicorns don't exist?
Seeing as both are making large claims, with believers of either side trying to back up with evidence for centuries, I'd say both sides need to prove they're "case".
Simply saying "I am 100% right until you prove me wrong" is not good enough.
That's the problem. I didn't make a claim. If you're claiming that god exists, you are making the claim, not me - and I'm asking you to prove it. If god is as great as they say, it should be easy.
Additionally, you ignored me request to prove to me that unicorns don't exist.
You do understand the difference between faith and fantasy?
I do actually, thanks. I'm trying to demonstrate a point about the burden of proof.
Yet, you expect the person you are questioning to set aside the difference between faith and fantasy. Interesting.
To me, believing in an invisible super being is fantasy. And I'm pretty sure that the person I'm actually talking to is more than capable of answering for themselves without any help, since they've been doing it up until now.
No one suggested anyone couldn't speak for themselves. I was simply pointing out that your line of questioning lacked reasonable thought. But, hey. If you think it makes sense. I'm sure Richard Dawkins would be tickled to know a disciple is working arduously to regurgitate his thoughts.
lol it's an honor to be called a disciple of dawkins...although I haven't read a lot of his work, so I'm not sure I'm capable of regurgitating anything. But hey - better than spouting off a 2000+ year old book of ignorance and immorality.
Unfortunately both stances lack original thought. You guys are all disciples of someone. Your argument has been presented in the same way so many times it's rather uncanny if you don't know that.
so why not leave the conversation up to those who are interested in having it?
What leads you to believe I'm not interested? Or, are you saying you don't have a reasonable argument? Was this one of the lame arguments that you were presented with on your move from missionary for Christianity to missionary for Atheism?
I'm hardly an atheist missionary. I don't want to or care to "deconvert" anyone. I just like having discussions. If you're going to say that both sides are futile and they keep repeating the same thing over and over again to no avail, you're more than welcome to present something new that no one has heard before.
Then again, because you think any argument I heard for atheism (and I never actually heard an argument for atheism until I actually was one) is lame off the cuff, then we really have nothing more to discuss and I'll continue my conversation with the person I was speaking to, and you can converse with someone else.
So, you don't have anything of value to say in defense of your belief? We agree on something.
You didn't ask me to say anything in defense of my belief, and I don't have to defend anything about my beliefs or anything else to you. You seem hell bent on just antagonizing people, not having meaningful discussions, and I'm not inclined to waste my time.
If we were going to have a conversation, I believe that I asked you to say something new that no one has heard before, but you seem to want to bypass that question.
I'm not defending a belief. You are. I'll ask again. Do you have a reasonable argument in defense of it? Yes, or no? Or will you simply continue to channel Dawkins?
I'm not defending a belief. I have a lack of a belief - and one that does not need to be defended, explained or discussed with someone that only wants to antagonize as many people as possible. I see no need for us to continue this conversation further. Mock me all you want, it's actually kind of amusing :-)
Julie, don't be so dismissive. Don't you know trolls need love too?
they might - but I don't particularly like bridges, and I already ate all of my dinner, so I have no scraps to share.
I agree. Everyone we don't agree with is called a troll. That could make you a troll also. Not to me. I don't crave consensus.
We are both laughing then. You claim you have no belief; but your argument is hinged on a claim to an answer to a cosmic question. And you believe comparing one person's faith to belief in what is commonly accepted as fantasy wins the argument. Hilarious.
She has three original arguments
1) I don't know.
2) Your a troll.
3) Only those who say 'I don't know' have rational arguments. (though she has no idea what reason and logic is).
The only person I have ever called a troll was Mark Knowles and that was after having been called a troll repeatedly by him. You kids do realize that insisting someone is trolling, when you can't answer their questions is funny; since your usual point in this forum is to attempt to hedge the believer in with your own opposing view, which they perceive as offending? Are you that blind, or do you simply convince yourself that your behavior patterns are different?
And, 'I don't know' is more honest than making up shallow arguments to shore up a belief that is the opposite of the belief of another. Sorry that honesty offends, but I don't see anything else to do but be honest. This need to believe you are superior to others which drives the two far ends is a sad thing to watch.
When you understand the difference between knowledge and ego, this might make sense to you. Until then, be offended in order to ignore the obvious.
Well mama, I do know that behaviour patterns are different and what I call education is bringing a change in the 'behavioural pattern'. But good that you admit you are a believer.
If I ask you what is beyond Galaxy M106 or who is the second president of china or who was the father of Caseare, and if you do not know the answer and say "I do not know" that is a honest answer. But who asked you that question? What you are asked to do is to clarify and specific and being logical in what you say instead of being vague, nebulous and duplicitous. They might be "cosmic questions" for you, beyond your comprehension(but I suspect that it is not that you cannot comprehend but you DO NOT want to) but that is not so for all. Eg: Your own thread about time, you didn't say what time is, though it was asked. You wanted to keep the meaning open so that you can argue each side(always shift the goal post) and finally come to your loved conclusion - "I do not know". Claire recently told me that "Jesus was hanged from a tree" is correct because a cross is made from a tree and crucifixion is like hanging. your arguments are similar where a cross can mean a tree.
Please tell me what knowledge is. Since you know that, it might be easy for you. Or do you mean learning, or memorising?
By ego do you mean 'insisting that others said something' that they never said in spite of repeatedly showing that is not the case?
I consider it cute that you call me a believer, since my opinon doesn't regurgitate yours. I don't know anything on a cosmic scale and I am fully aware that belief is simply that. What I know is that your belief and any other person's belief is also simply that. You believe you know. Attempting to convince others that you do know something on a cosmic scale is a futile exercise in ego. I'm not so egotistical as to think I have answers I don't have. And, since I believe that no one can know; I don't have anything to prove.
And, I'm not your mother. Trust me, I didn't raise anyone to insist they were right when they couldn't prove it.
Edit. Non belief in God is simply nonbelief. Until you attempt to convince others that your non belief should be their non belief. That they should trust your opinion on the matter. They should trust in your reasoning. Then, you have turned non belief into belief and you act just the same as those who believe in the thing you claim to not believe in.
Repeating the same nonsense, aren't you?
Belief: is a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person.[webster]
So how do you believe/non-believe in god? How do you trust/not trust god?(even the "non trust" has to be active, like "non-running" an activity you do(regularly)??)
If you want to believe in god
1) You should know that he is a person
2) You should know what s/he said.
So who is this god that you believe or not believe?
The real statement is "I believe/not believe god exists", and accepting or rejecting that statement may qualify as a belief. But I neither accept or reject that statement because it is an opinion and an opinion can only be countered with another opinion and because god's existence or non-existence is not a subject of "belief", but reasoning. And the reasoning is based only on the meanings of the terms.
I didn't ask anybody to trust my reasoning. All I ask, just as I asked you, is to tell clearly what they say and be within the limits of logic. If you do not know the meanings of the terms like god, time, belief or knowledge and still use it, then either you are lazy or you have some ulterior motives.[ you haven't told me yet what knowledge is]
Neither am I your kid, so get out of that high horse.
Naturally, if your kids have seen your posts they will never want to be like you. Insisting you know what the other person said alone is enough to "prove" that you never insist you are right when you cannot prove it.
How nice! How you again assert that "I don't know" alone is the answer! But when you say you do not know whether god exists or not, you should at least know what is that you say you do not know, what you mean by that statement. Or is that too a do not know and you are simply making a statement that you find interesting but still nonsense for you.
Umm, think about that for a minute. You are saying you have a belief. Is that what you meant to say?
You have confidence in someone's opinion on the matter. Whether it be your own opinion (which I see no evidence of in many of the atheist arguments) or you have confidence in some other person's opinion. (Did you think this through before you posted it?)
Really? You don't ask anyone to trust your reasoning? Then why are you arguing this point? Are you not attempting to bring my reasoning in line with yours?
What high horse? That is your skewed perception which I am not responsible for.
What horse was it that I was sititng on? You are the little hypocrite, aren't you?
Is English your primary language? I do wonder. 'I don't know' is pretty self explanatory. And, the most logical answer to a cosmic question; when ego is set aside.
Read once more by, definition belief is a trust in a person, so one cannot trust god(because youdo not know what god said), but can only trust a person who says there is god, or (as in your case) a person who says 'one cannot know whether there is god or not'.
What I asked was what do you mean by "god". Nothing cosmic about it.
Did I? That is news. All as asked you to do is say unambiguously and precisely the crucial terms of your argument to tell me precisely and clearly what you mean when you say god or time or knowledge. You do not want to do that but continue with your 'I am great and what I say (I do not know) is the correct answer", fine continue
That was evident when you insisted that I said something which I never said.
Not as good as you.
Certainly you do not know what you are talking about, that is self explanatory.
You make a good point regarding knowing something on a 'cosmic scale' and its relation to belief. But I disagree that non-belief in God is simply non-belief. This is the point I was trying to make earlier in this same discussion. To be an atheist is to believe it's actually possible that this universe, this planet and all the life on it, including us humans, can exist as we do today without a creator. That, presumably, if there is no creator/god, existence managed to come into being in some other way, most likely on its own, with no help from a conscious/deliberate entity of any kind. Because we exist, if someone lacks a belief in a god of any kind, then that automatically means they do in fact believe existence, as is, is still possible, because you still have to account for existing. The mind of the atheist has no problem accepting existence as being possible in a God-less/non-intelligent environment. That, in itself, is an unsubstantiated belief.
Seems like a simple enough point. Yet I was told that lacking a belief in any god is in no way related to how existence came into being, and then was given the definition of 'atheist' over and over again like a child. I was then told that I was basically being argumentative and presumptuous for having the gall to speak about how atheists think. I was told I don't understand, that my indoctrinated mind simply doesn't get it, that I lack the ability to think critically, and that I'm basically trying to project my ways of thinking onto others.
Maybe I'm just being over-sensitive, as I often find myself becoming punchy and overly cynical when I spend time in these forums, but it's that very mindset that drives me nuts about these discussions. This assumption that atheists are the more enlightened, less gullible ones who have their own minds and use their own brains, where theists, simply based on their belief in God, are indoctrinated and unable to think for themselves. They claim to want to have these discussions, but that's only true as long as the discussion stays generic and the normal talking points and stock answers still apply. Anything beyond that and you're being unreasonable. Present a challenging idea and you're being combative or presumptuous. Bring evidence and you're told you're just delusional. Apparently, there's no genuine desire to gain any sort of perspective from opposing viewpoints in these discussions, which I find sad.
Well, they don't call you a troll when you disagree; so consider yourself lucky. And, I do agree that the thought (when carried on to its logical conclusion) can only be accepted as belief; since too many factors remain unknown.
I think my biggest head scratcher is what drives anyone to claim knowledge past a certain point. Life is what it is. I notice that atheists and theists both have an unfortunate habit of over reaching and both tend to be either unwilling or unable to accept what I view as a very basic fact.
There was a lot said there Headly and I don't have time to address it all and I apologies for that, but I would like to briefly comment on your remark that you have been called gullible and your bothered by that. That was most likely me and it was not meant as a direct assault on you as an individual at all. I can't tell you how many times I've been called names here or have been pigeon toed into a group. Very recently someone once again said I was the anti-christ and sometimes I think that they actually must believe that. What would make someone believe another human is Satan or the anti-christ? I would think it's a fair guess to say that they have been told that Satan is real and takes human shape. It's one thing being told such nonsense, but it is something else believing that and using that without any evidence. What makes someone believe Mohammed or Joseph Smith for that matter? What is the difference between the person who takes Joseph Smith's word on faith and the person who says "what a minute, you want me to believe what and you want how much of my money?" Make no mistake, I've been taken by sales people before and will most likely be taken again.
That would evidence of reality and the fact that those whom you acknowledge as having presented the same argument the same way would show reality is shared by all of us and is consistent.
Yes, sun rises in the east is not original statement and to be an original statement it should be 'I do not know where sun rises'.
Just like this statement "Unfortunately both stances lack original thought".
You are still avoiding the pertinent questions though.
Seriously? What pertinent cosmic question do you have proof of an answer to? What pertinent cosmic question does anyone have an answer to? Please, enlighten me. I'm all ears.
What is a "cosmic question"? Enlighten me. Or are you just continuing your nonsense
"Unfortunately both stances lack original thought. You guys are all disciples of someone."
I checked every where but couldn't find the name of Emile R in relation to agnostism. So that was not your original thought? You too are a disciple of someone?
What is a cosmic question? Really? OK, I'll humor you. Belief in God, non belief in god, consciousness on a cosmic scale, where did we come from? What was before the universe? What are the answers to any of the questions we either ponder, or have some evidence of through observation of the known universe? Is there any eternity of life on any level? Sh#t like that.
And, no I am not a disciple of anyone. Nor am I egotistical enough to believe that my personal opinions should be followed. There are those whom I do admire; but that is because of their actions, not their thoughts. I don't follow anyone primarily since these questions and the beliefs we come to through pondering them are simply products of thought processes and everyone should follow their own thoughts. It's a little lazy to follow the thoughts of another. Freedom of conscience is a pretty big thing for me. Whether you realize it or not, I do respect your opinion and find it fascinating. I don't have to agree with you to be interested in what you have to say.
First decide what is god, the belief comes later.
For Christians god is "somebody up there"
For some god is a concept like love
For some god is the whole universe, the matter and space around it.
So which is your god?
And only in the case of a god which is like the Christian god one can believe, the latter one can only understand.
What is consciousness first, cosmic is later.
Science help as understand that, but even if you loath science, logic tells as that it is from evolution only. Well whether it happened in this planet or some other may be a question for debate.
Before universe? What is universe, what is time?
You do not want to objectively define the crucial terms. If you do that you will find that one has enough answers, but that will force you to change your cherished beliefs.
If you do not follow, why do you suppose others do that. Do you think you alone can think and come to conclusions?
If the the atheist or theists are asking to follow their thought process, what are you doing by insisting that only your answer is the "honest" and "correct" one?(It appears like an agnost doing the same as a/theist)
See, opinions are only opinions, and we cannot debate with opinions. We should have something to debate. Consider language, why is there grammatical rules and semantics? Because we want to convey what we mean, we want to be understood. Definition of the words are for the same purpose, to be understood precisely. If you noticed, you can see that except for "belief" I didn't give any definition. I asked you to define that I can understand what you mean. Without understanding what you mean, how can I reply to you? If you do not define I will be using my definition and I will fail to understand you precisely and then throw opinion at each other and finally do anything but debate (especially when anger was incited we say things which we regret later).
And by defining the words and using valid logic if you can show me the answer will still be 'I do not know', I will happily agree with you. As I already told, I'm not here to change anybody but to understand the thought process.
Most of your post is pointless and I don't really feel like going back and forth with you not accepting simple definitions that are fairly universally agreed upon. As to the comment about coming to conclusions. You have to come to your own conclusions. If you don't, you skip the necessary steps in understanding why you think what you think. You are little more than a puppet.
Just like you are a puppet of some agnost?
Why are you so afraid to define?
From the example of 'god' itself I made clear that there is no universal definition, every person mean differently when they say god. Yet you do not want to tell me what YOU mean by God, why? Simple, that will threaten your beliefs, that will tell you your agnostism is just like a/theism, a veneer you use to hide your perverted sadistic personality. You like to tell others that they all are wrong and only your opinion counts, only you have a "thought process", and you are superior(evident because whoever does not agree with you is 'kid' for you).
Then I'm sorry to say Mark Knowles is perfectly right in calling you any name he pleased.
You really need to get a grip. I suppose if you get this emotional over a simple difference of opinion in an online conversation you lead a very lonely life. I'm sadistic and perverted simply for disagreeing with you? I don't really understand why you are mad about me not defining the meaning of the word God, since I didn't bring the word up. Your issues aren't mine and you really can't badger me because of your own confusion. I'm afraid I can't define the word for you. You'll have to think for yourself on that one.
And, so you know; I have consistently told you my opinion is of no more value than any other. I can only conclude that your anger stems from your desire to believe you, alone, have discerned the answers and we should bow to your opinion. Sorry, not going to do it. Please explain the difference in your style from that of a theist? You don't take into account anything I say, you simply engage me in conversation in order to share your idea of superior knowledge and then cry foul when you don't get a pat on the back? That, in and of itself, tells me you have nothing of value to share because your internal emotional struggle is ongoing. Your need to know the answer is driving you.
I am not led by any agnostic. I am surrounded by Christians. I do know two people who claim non belief, but their lack of a moral center is disturbing and I'd hate to label them agnostic simply because I don't want my name associated with theirs. If you can point out who I am a puppet of, please do. Otherwise, do not project your problems onto my life. That, again, is you channeling theistic behavior.
And I'm not surprised you gave Mark kudos for calling me a troll. That, again, is a response I would expect from a follower, not an independent thinker.
Angry? me? Is this what they call projection?
You are perverted because you accuse others of confusion, lacking independent thought and lacking honesty while displaying that qualities yourself. I have no confusion and I know what I mean when I use any word. But I do not go after fellow hubbers telling them they ought to be honest and they are followers while I alone is an independent thinker and the only answer to the "cosmic questions" are mine.
Remember, it is about "belief in god" that we were discussing, and wasn't it the 'cosmic question' you want answered. Or was that a question put forward to show your superiority, to show others that they cannot answer it to your satisfaction.
I don't take into account anything you say? But what have you said? The only thing I have heard so far is that "the cosmic questions are unanswerable" and the only honest answer is "I do not know". But when I asked you to explain yourself, you started calling me 'kid' and what all, I do not know. Using words to construct a seemingly meaningful sentence alone will not help in a discussion. And before we can discuss we ought to understand each other, understand what we say precisely. But for some reason you do not want to do that. You say nobody knows whether god exist or not, but want to avoid answering what this god is that others know(/not) exists(you do not want to say precisely what you mean by god and say it is a universal definition while it is not so. And isn't that what theists do? Avoiding questions).
Difference from theist? When did I ask you to believe me or any book I follow? All I asked you is to be clear and precise in your words. Is that what theists do? I asked you to be logical. Is that part of theism?
I never asked to follow anything I say, I never asked you to follow my reasoning. All I asked you is to be clear and precise in what you say, is that too much?
And please tell me what this knowledge is. You repeatedly say I assume I have 'superior knowledge' while I haven't. But I do not even know this 'knowledge' you are talking about let alone have it.
So you are the first person to mention agnostism? You say your agnostism is your own, you got by being an "independent thinker". Yet you say an atheist can never be an independent thinker. You say only you can think independently, though you have no original thoughts and you say others cannot have original thought. Or do you think all atheists are surrounded by atheists hence they became atheists?
You think atheists are puppets because "they are all followers of other atheists without any independent thinking", then by the same token you are a puppet of any agonostic because you are not the first person to proffer agnostism.
I have a previous experience with you, were you read something and accuse me of saying that. And you, even after repeatedly pointing out was not able to accept that it was not the case. You find it difficult to change your "belief". If that is what an independent thinker do, then I certainly am not one, nor want to be one.
I have a riddle for you.
How many idiotic, redundant, boring, asinine, trifling, mundane, weird posts can one douche bag leave on a thread?
We were not discussing belief in God. You consistently attempt to insert God into the conversation and I consistently make it clear I am not interested in discussing the concept. This is typical of your side of any dialogue we have found ourselves embroiled in. You respond to a post, but you don't actually address the points. You attempt to pull the conversation onto a topic you find more interesting.
Please, start a thread about God and those who are interested in discussing it will come. Don't follow me around and whine that I won't tell you what to think on the subject.
I haven't said I, alone, am an independent thinker. What I have said is that I see no evidence that you are. Don't project. You are embarassing yourself.
Are you blind too?
It was you who replied to my comment first.
http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/108785? … ost2334871
Then you are the one who started god too.
http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/108785? … ost2334938
You insert god and say I did it. You say I said stuff I never said. If this is what you call honesty, I am not honest either. Thank you.
I'm not implying you are lying, because maybe when I click on those links they don't go where you meant for me to go. But, I don't see any mention of God in the first link. In the second link I was using the term in context of what atheists claim to believe. Could you send me to a pertinent link?
I think the link is where I meant, as it tell me that it is not I who started "god" and even after you pointed to god, I was discussing about 'belief', to clarify and when you didn't listen then only I pointed to 'god' as a further clarification
Atheists may be
1) People who 'believe' other atheists that there is no god,
2) People who based on what theists say about god came to the conclusion that there is no god,
3) People who based on reasoning came to the conclusion that there is no god.
Except for the first, atheists are not 'believers'.
Agnosts also can be 'believers' of other prominent agnosts but might have reached that conclusion based on independent thinking.
So to call an atheist a 'believer' is just as insulting as it is to call you a believer if you are an independent thinker. And to say that your conclsion is the only honest conclusion, and other peoples conclusion is "beleif", especially when you do not want to clarify how you reached your conclusion in unambigous terms, is also dishonest
So let me clarify once more
I'm not discussing "god". but the word meanings of 'belief' and 'god', as it is 'non - belief' in 'god', what the atheist "do". And the meanings/definitions are important because as this says "Unfortunately, our definition of the term is not their definition of the term; which causes confusion"(your statement), it can cause confusion and it is from the confusion that misunderstandings arise and create "cosmic questions" and imponderable answers.
Let's bring this down to this last statement you made. I'm tired of the other back and forth which appears to be leading no where. Let's settle on my explaining what non belief entails, by my perception; which is really where the disagreement starts.
I don't believe hockey is an interesting sport. I don't watch it. I don't discuss it. It plays no part in my life.
I don't believe I have a personal and vested interest in any sports team. I don't believe that purchasing paraphernalia and memorabilia does anything to show solidarity and comraderie; I believe these actions simply line the pockets of corporations and overpaid athletes.
I don't believe screaming at a tv during a sporting event will effect the outcome of the game, or do anything other than make me appear a perfect idiot. Although I enjoy watching various sporting events I don't participate in what I perceive to be mass hysteria.
I don't believe there is a giant treasure hidden somewhere in the vicinity of Lynchburg, VA. I don't watch the documentaries on people who are in search of it.
I don't believe the Templars brought treasure to the New World and buried it in Missouri. I will admit to watching one documentary on the subject; but for its entertainment value only.
These are just a few examples. But, the underlying thread which can be found while observing the behavior patterns borne of my non belief is that I don't go out of my way to search for those who do believe. When I encounter individuals with these beliefs, I don't spend a moment of my time attempting to dispel belief in these people.
If I actively pursue the believer and attempt to convince them to validate my 'nonbelief' by agreeing with me (or convincing them that my conclusions are superior to their own), by my own actions, I have displayed a belief. My actions show that I consider my belief in the falsehood of these endeavors to be superior to their belief in their hopes for the outcome of their actions. I am attempting to sway their beliefs and behavior patterns due to my own belief in my conclusions which have led me to believe these thoughts and actions are at odds with reality; as I perceive it.
So, we don't have to agree on any definitions. What we have to study is our own behavior patterns brought about by our own definitions. How we behave in accordance with our perceived definitions. If our definition of anything within our perception of reality impels us to act at odds with another human being and their perception; because our perception of behavior patterns brought about by our understanding (or misunderstanding) of their definition goads us into action; it is our belief that drives us.
Nonbelief does not exist in concordance with action. Non belief implies disinterest which would result in inaction. Look at the definitions of belief and each definition applies to an action.
1. Acceptance of truth of something.
You believe what you are saying is true. You believe in the truth of your conclusions; which you are willing to tenaciously argue in defense of.
2. Acceptance by the mind that something is real or true; often underpinned by an emotional certainty.
Again, you appear to have accepted your conclusions as true. The atheist argument is hinged, often times, on the statement that this is reality. Many atheist arguments appear to not only attempt to elicit emotional responses, but display emotional elements in the course of presenting the arguments.
3.Trust: confidence that somebody or something is good or will be effective.
Your arguments show a confidence that your explanations of your conclusions are something good and will be effective. And atheists, like believers, are quick to jump to the defense of another. Which implies, to me, that the group has confidence that their shared belief is good. They appear to be willing to stand behind any argument, no matter how weak, if presented by what they perceive to be a fellow atheist.
4.Something that somebody believes in: a statement, principle, or doctrine that a person or group accepts as true.
I have been told, repeatedly, that atheists agree on one point. One statement. This statement is accepted by all within the group as true. It is the only thing that binds their philosophies together.
So, explain to me how actively arguing against anything equates to nonbelief?
Only two doubts
1) Heard of objective definition? A definition that DOES NOT include circular synonyms and subjective feelings?
2) If you are disinterested, why bother to come to forums and argue with anyone and everyone and say there are cosmic questions and the only honest answer to that is 'I don't know'?(by your own admission you should be minding your own business and should not point out neither your cosmic questions nor your honest answer.)
And to answer your question
Have you studied logic? I presume no. But without studying the logic you still uses in everyday life. So a person who knows logic, points out that the given logic is wrong, is it a belief? No. It shows the person's comprehension of the laws of logic. (which is universally accepted for the sake of communication just like it is accepted that 1+1=2). There is no "belief" involved. But in case of the first kind of atheists I pointed out, your argument carry value. But you are clumping all together and think 'atheists' mean a single group. But the same you, distinguish yourself from other agnosts, how I can't figure out.
And again, yes all those meanings you pointed out are valid, in common talk. That is why it is called a 'meaning' and all listed in a dictionary but that will not be a 'definition' as definition should be precise, and should limit the meaning of the word to a single one that it can be used consistently.
'You do not believe hockey is interesting' or is 'hockey is not an interesting game' for you? For irrespective of what you believe, hockey might or might not be an interesting game, and usually we do not "believe" but think or feel or dislike/like hockey.
Or to be precise,
By your definition you are a believer(you believe that the only honest answer is 'I don't know',) yet you say you are not. How?
First, I have consistently claimed a belief in the fact that all conclusions are belief. And, I have never argued that my belief is superior to any other. I participate in the forums because belief is fascinating to me.
As to the rest, methinks thou doth protest too much, but that is my belief. Take it with a grain of salt and enjoy your beliefs.
My question was
By Your definition you are a believer, but when I pointed that out you said you are not a believer but an 'independent thinker'.
How you alone becomes an exception?
Are you a believer?
My opinion is that every human being, on any matter which addresses a question whose answer would be consistent throughout the universe, is a believer. You cannot know, with certainty, anything. We are sitting in the middle of nowhere, making observations on things we don't have the ability to verify. It would be the same if you asked me where a deli was in Jersey.I would simply be drawing conclusions based on input from others. Not verifiable observations which I have made. I assume the information I share is true, but without being there I can't verify it.
That was not my question, My question is simple
Are you a believer?
Whether I can know or not, there is one thing I can do, use my terms clearly that I will not reach false conclusions to argue about.
And with certainty I can say I exist.
And we are not in the "middle", either.
How difficult is it for you to understand simple statements? When addressing cosmic questions; you are, in my opinon, a believer. I am, in my opinion, a believer. All of humanity, in my opinion are believers.
As to you final point, I was refering to nowhere. It's an expression not intended to pinpoint an exact location. But, since we can only go by what we observe, we are in the middle of the observable universe so you can't make that claim from a point of knowledge.
That is the problem with believers, they believe everyone else is a believer, too. If that were true, science would never exist.
LOL. I think it is cute. That you can't accept the fact that your perception is not necessarily the final word on reality.
I do wonder what you would do, if presented with firm evidence which contradicts your conclusions. Would you, could you, should you change your views? Sorry, the coloring of your avatar always makes me think of Doctor Seuss.
Reality is the final word on reality, which has nothing to do with my perception.
Firm evidence that would contradict reality would be the final word on reality. Of course, your statement is merely one of incredulity.
I don't change my views, reality does that for me.
I beg to differ ATM. Reality is all about perception. If perception is nothing more than the process of using the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation, how do you propose that you are aware of reality without the use of perception? What avenue did you travel, and how, to come to your conclusions on the nature of reality? Without perception, you could never have made that statement.
Then why were you objecting when I called you a believer, if you are a believer?
And how difficult it is to understand that there are no cosmic questions, but only questions that you consider 'cosmic' and do not want the answer?
What has 'middle' got to do anything with 'what we can observe'?
I don't object to being called a believer. What I do object to is your reasoning for labeling some believers and some not.
You, obviously, don't quite understand the term cosmic question. If you claim to think any conclusions you have come to automatically apply universally; you are a believer; simply because you cannot prove you are correct. Universally. We can certainly make observations about reality as we percieve it but that is not the same as knowing, for sure, that our observations are conclusive.
Middle has to do with the fact that you have no idea what the universe encompasses. You can only see what you can see and draw conclusions from that. So, claiming that we are not in the middle is a belief since you must admit (if you are being honest) that you cannot observe the entire universe.
My statement of being in the middle of nowhere had nothing to do with a location. You were the one who chose to transform a figure of speech into a claim and then proceed to argue against it.
It's not really a matter of labeling as it is a matter of observing the system people use in their decision making process.
No, it is a question of agreement. Of uniform belief. Uniformity is not possible while so many variables remain unknown.
So, it becomes reality if enough people believe it to be reality? Isn't that call mass hysteria?
Absolutely.. It is called mass hysteria. Which works in a number of ways
I was talking about atheists wanting uniformity in belief and I would never suggest you were victims of mass hysteria.
No, I don't understand what you mean by 'cosmic questions'.
Where is the question that was universally applied? Can you ask at least one question with well defined words (from the previous list you provided)?
'Middle'. Again you are throwing words at random that can mean anything, and when confronted with one meaning says that was not what you meant.
And a conclusion only is a conclusion not belief, but the premises can be 'belief'.
So, you appear to be saying that consensus equates to truth. How do the believers who sing the same tune factor into your theory? There are a lot of them saying the same thing.
Once again, Emile, your reading comprehension skills shine through. Where did I say that? Are you not able to actually respond to what others say as opposed to what you want them to say?
No, they aren't. You've been here long enough to know by now Christians constantly disagree with each other over their faith to the point of calling each other Satan. Why do you think there's over 38,000 denominations?
Is it my reading comprehension or your writing skills that are causing the confusion in our communication? You said That would evidence of reality and the fact that those whom you acknowledge as having presented the same argument the same way would show reality is shared by all of us and is consistent.
Believers are no different than non believers. They do disagree on the finer points of their take on reality. However, they do consider reality to be evidence of God and they do present the same arguments with about the same consistency as non believers do. I think you and I both view reality and come to similar conclusions on the question of God; but you specifically stated that those who show the same argument share reality in the same way and are consistent. That statement does hold true for believers as much as it does non believers. Although their conclusions are at odds with your conclusions and my conclusions- by your statement- you did imply that reality would be as it is argued to be. Taking your statement at face value, one can only assume you were implying that consistency of argument by multiple individuals would imply reality as being what they argued it to be.
Their take on reality has nothing to do with reality.
I doubt that.
No, it doesn't. Although we all share the same consistent reality, believers have another reality altogether that has nothing to do with reality.
Honestly? This isn't worth either of us arguing over. I apologize for looking at your statement and wondering how it would apply to other groups. I will attempt to remember, in the future, that any statement you make (which can be read in several ways) should only be read in context of non believer views being accepted as acceptable views. I think that will resolve our problem here.
LOL. A remedial course in reading comprehension skills would resolve the problem.
LOL. A better understanding of language might help you.
But, I think we could both benefit from you not needing to find things to pick about.
When you constantly put words in my mouth because you're not capable of understanding what people actually say, it needs to be pointed out.
I didn't put words in your mouth. If you can't admit that your original statement could be viewed differently than your intent. OK.
You two march upstairs and go to your rooms and think about how your actions and words effect other people.
Aw come on rad man. If I thought ATM was affected by my words I'd die from shock. Anyway, I don't want to go into time out.
No back talk young lady. I don't want to hear another word. And don't you dare stomp on the steps. I'll deal with you both when I'm good and ready.
No fighting. No bad words. Everyone should love and respect each other.
Or you will be hugged so hard you'll never be able to think of another thing to say except, "Awwww."
I think I've been called the anti-christ again. It doesn't bother me however but I showed the post to my Catholic wife of Italian descent and she said she wanted to reach through the internet and grab her by the neck. Ha ha ha ha ha. Go figure. I've been called a Satanist and a manga cake all in the same day. I'm more bothered by the manga cake. LOL
LOL. Where did you find that? Thanks for the smile.
You are quite welcome... got it off a blog... probably going to copyright hell for posting it.
Not to worry, my friends a corporate lawyer specializing in copywriter and he tells me I'm going first.
Cool... you can have the place decorated when I get there...
Leather would be appropriate, I think.
When you hit the big time, I expect something leather... even if it's just a key fob.
Or this outfit:
What's sad is I know someone who looks almost exactly like that... minus the pink fur and the rainbow.
She's only a couple years younger than me and has one more kid than me.
Care Bear Stare has a whole different definition there too...
Okay, everyone is dying to know...did you buy a lottery ticket?
Would that make the care bear stare the evil eye? Just wondering...
Careful, your Catholic friend of Italian descent might want to have a go at them.
Umm, what's with manga cake? I googled it. I think that person meant mungie cake. If we had such a phrase in American English, I'd be one.
You're correct. My Italian friend can't spell either and I just copied what he said on Facebook. Mungie/manga cake is in reference to non Italian white English types. I was called this about 4 thousand times as a kid. When Italians first came here they didn't like the soft bread. They were used to the crusty stuff that made you bleed every bite taken. They thought the English bread was like cake. So they called us Mungie/manga cakes. My father in law says it's not even good to wipe his butt with. LOL.
I expect no such thing from you. I was however expecting you to understand that not everyone thinks as you do.
(edit, sorry, on closer in your comment was not directed towards me, kind of funny considering my comment)
What?!?!? People are unique? My thoughts aren't your thoughts? I don't know rad man, that's so radical I may take some time wrapping my head around it. Before I put too much thought into this novel idea, are you sure?
Edit to your edit. D#mn you. Apparently my thoughts were your thoughts. Do I still ponder the original point, or is it now moot.
Actually to some the concept of a God is a fantasy. You do understand that right?
So you are saying that you believe in Santa Claus, fairies and unicorns, because no one has proved that they do not exist?
That's funny. Yes a scientist CAN say gravity doesn't exist and they don't have to prove it doesn't, but others have to prove it does.
We can't prove anything doesn't exist. We can't aliens don't exist, we can't prove dragons don't exist, we can't prove purple dragons don't exist. If I make the positive claim that I have a purple dragon in my basement you'd say prove it. Could you attempt to prove I don't?
Repost from earlier
Giving Atheist the name alone acknowledges that they are a group, and yes a religion. Their mission statement is God does not exist. They don’t need a building or an alter or collection plates etc. etc. to be called a religion. I would accept that the God describe in the bible does not exist but to make the statement that nothing created us is a bit naive. Example: Some people believe in Ghost some do not , but both are irrelevant to the reality of weather they exists or not.
Once again look at the definition of religion.
"The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods: ideas about the relationship between science and religion."
Atheists do not believe or worship any superhuman or God therefor Atheism is no a religion.
This is not rocket science people.
Hey! You stole my pet purple dragon! I was wondering what happened to him. He went missing. Give fluffy back!
It's strange how ADULTS seem to get insanely desperate when faced with having to discard a belief in Santa Claus. Desperate!
Actually, according to some of the atheists I've met here, the burden of proof falls to us because we believe in the existence of something.
Rad man actually used the example of if he said he had a talking dog it would be up to him to prove that the dog talked because if someone else didn't believe it there would be no need to prove it didn't talk because he could come up with the statement that the dog only spoke in certain situations.
But there is more than one definition of the word religion. According to another definition, atheism can be considered a religion..
Dictionary.com also defines religion as - a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons.
What I've noticed is that some define atheism as a lack of beliefs. Dictionary.com defines atheism as -the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
so in looking at certain definitions, there are arguments that point to atheism being a religion and some that point to it not being a religion..
I personally don't have a classification for it either way. Atheism is simply what it is.
This is an old, tired, worn out, and disingenuous argument. The only reason an atheist will even tell a person God doesn't exist is because someone is telling them He does. Until you can prove that God does exist, don't demand proof that He doesn't. It sounds like nothing more than a 'nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.' to the reasonable people around you.
It is not I who is objecting to your belief but rather those who choose to object to my belief.
Ummm...I think perhaps you're arguing solely from a personal, emotive point of view. You don't even know what my belief is (or what I might not believe in) from what I've said here. I've deliberately that personal information out of my posts.
Which belief? Do you believe that God exists? If you tell someone that, they might ask for proof. If you don't, you'll have plenty of interesting conversations about other things.
The problem here is that some people do not understand the difference between having a belief and not having a belief. I can not prove god does not exist so believing god does not exist would imply a faith in the matter. I lack the belief that a god does exist which is not the same as believing it does not.
It seems to be a hard concept for some. It really isn't.
A theism. Without theism. As opposed to with theism.
That's backwards thinking. If you give me a lava rock, and tell me that when magical leprechauns existing in the leprechaun realm get really angry, lava on this plane is formed, and when they go to war in their realm, the lava builds up and the pressure causes a volcano somewhere in the world to erupt. When they calm down, the lava cools and becomes beautiful black rock. It's an interesting story, but why should I be the one to prove to you that is not what really takes place? Honestly, there's no real way for me to prove 100% that your leprechaun story isn't true, however, so here enters agnosticism.
"Atheism," or more specifically a lack of belief in God/gods, is a default state. Any beliefs, in anything to do with that which cannot be seen with the naked eye (or tools that enhance said eye) or experienced by everyone without being a part of some special group with mystical exclusivism, are taught to you after you are introduced into the world. The burden of proof is on those teaching them. Simple as that.
As a species on this polluted planet we always label everything.....why not simply say a Spade is just a Spade!
In a word, No. As others have said, a religion, by definition, deals with belief in a diety of some sort. Atheism denies the existence of such, so cannot fit the definition of a religion. Period.
Sure you are technically correct but what would you call a union of people that is based off a belief system and promotes an ideology which interpretations are considered as truth. The definition of religion needs to be updated.
There is a slight difference between the Atheist and the religious in this regard.
If a particular deity is proven to be true, and can be scientifically verified, then the Atheist will most likely agree. The religious that already follow that deity won't have to switch and will become smug. The religious that don't follow that deity probably won't, as it goes against their already preconceived beliefs.
To summarize, an Atheist relies upon evidence to determine their position. Since there is no evidence supporting the existence of any deities then the default position is a lack of belief.
Why update it? So you can claim atheism is a religion?
It's not. Live with it.
Are the American fraternities of Eagles, Moose, Elk, etc., religious organizations?
Atheists are not religious.
Atheism is not a religion.
And who the heck woulda thunk that I would be the one irritated with this constant, erroneous assertion?
what do you think an atheist's belief system is? What do they support?
If you were talking about secular humanism, I'd agree. Atheists are all different - the only thing that we all have in common is a lack of a belief in a deity.
What you have just said is so very profound. Atheists are all different. I know at least 4 different types here. But I have a question: do you personally think all Christians are the same?
no. I don't think that all christians are the same - but there are some generalizations about christians that I feel justified in making because the common majority often behaves the same way. Does that mean that all christians can fit into a nice cookie-cutter box? No. But speaking about "christians" at least when I do it, is in reference to the overwhelming majority that i've encountered in my life - and in the lives of the majority of people I know. perhaps it's not fair to refer to them this way, since there are christians that don't fit the mold - but the mold exists because of the common mentality in regards to christianity in general.
Another profound statement, and one which I hope you understand that most of the sweeping generalizations you make toward Christians are generalizations that some Christians make of atheists (some of which you personally have taken offense to in other forum posts)?There is a common mentality that is made of atheists as well
again, when I speak of "christians" i am speaking of the majority - not individual christians or denominations. I am referring to the common ground that is typically assumed when someone calls themselves a "christian".
when you're entering into a discussion with someone in real life (although not necessarily in the forums) if someone tells me that they are a christian, they don't usually say "i'm a christian and I'm a southern baptist, and I believe....) They don't trot out a list of doctrinal positions or explanations. they assume that, at least in this country, there is a general idea of what that term means, and that most people are aware of it. Does that mean that every christian believes exactly the same thing? Of course not. there are over 3000 denominations of christianity alone. But in real life, I've found that people aren't as concerned with specific labels as they seem to be here. If I make an incorrect assumption about what "christian" means to the person that I'm conversing with, they're free to correct me. They don't usually, however, jump all over it and get offended that I'm lumping them in with other "christians" that they personally disagree with. I'm learning that things are much different on HP forums.
The only generalization that I can think of is that they all believe that Jesus Christ is a savior. Other than that, the myriad of differences are even more varied than the 3800 different denominations.
Right on time. Another of my favorite atheists. Thank you for your response. Although I'm a little surprised that you didn't mention that you also generalize that Christians believe the same silly whimsical nonsense that is posted in a 2000 year old book. (LOL.. you surprise me sir. I've gotten used to it)
Atheism means "without theism", enough said. That would be like asking if Anarchy should become a legitimate political party.
let me add a question. If christianity has lost its meaning, and no one is supposed to assume what that word means, since there are so many different versions of it - why choose to label yourself as one?
If I tell someone that I'm an atheist, and they equate that to devil-worship or baby killing, I can always correct those misconceptions. If I was uncomfortable with the term, I wouldn't use it.
A valid question, I think. I'm not uncomfortable with the term personally. I feel much the way you do in that I am always able to correct any misconceptions someone may have regarding my beliefs. I tend to identify myself only when asked about my beliefs, rather than just throwing right out there that I'm a Christian.
And I think that if one doesn't want to be identified with others who bear the same name, they have a right to be heard about what they believe as individuals. For example, a woman who bears her husband's name cannot be expected to believe or condone everything every member of his family believes or condones.
Just my two cents.
I completely agree.
Do you agree, then, that there is a common "assumption" about what being a christian means, and while everyone is entitled to have their own interpretation of the scripture and their relationship god, it is not necessarily always a negative connotation to say "christians" when speaking to the group that collectively goes by that title?
No, it isn't always negative connotations. But at the same time, there is sometimes an unfair standard placed on Christians
If i really wanted to place an unfair stereotype on all christians, I would lump them all in with the likes of the Westboro Baptist church. I don't. I understand that they're the exception to the rule - and the rule itself has enough issues to deal with without figuring that crazy lot in. Do you get what I'm saying?
I do agree that there are common assumptions anytime a label of any sort is applied to someone. I used to hate "Christians" because everyone I knew who identified themselves that way seemed to behave in a manner that was a complete antithesis of what I believed it to mean. Then I met one woman who changed my mind. I started then to look at each believer individually, although it's a difficult thing to do.
I think the biggest struggle in this particular situation is recognizing that there are Christians who are not fundamentalists...literalists...evangelicals. When anyone in America hears "Christian" they think of those three groups because they are the most vocal. To me, it is not a negative connotation. I take no offense to it - but I will correct misconceptions about my own beliefs and others who believe as I do when I feel that it will benefit the conversation and further understanding.
A very deep and valid question. I'm also not uncomfortable with the term itself. Just like you aren't uncomfortable with the term atheist. A lot of it for me are the connotations and misconceptions regarding Christians, and as a result, Christianity. The actions of the majority are often attached to the minority as well. I personally catch the flack for some of the ideals that Mainstream Christians promote.
i understand your position. I guess my main point is that, knowing that the "majority" of christians fly the same flag - and that flag is not always positive - is it unfair to say "christians" in general terms, when there is an understood implication as to what that title means? You have the right to express where you differ from the norm, and many people in these forums have.
The one problem I have with the term 'atheist' is that a lot of people have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the word means. Atheists only don't believe in a god. As someone else pointed out, the word itself means "without theism". To therefore say that all atheists are secular humanists, for example, is a misconception. A lot of us are - but that's not due to atheism. It's due to an agreement with the ideas of secular humanism. Do you get what I'm saying? (i'm not very clear in my posts tonight, I guess)
If I'm an atheist and a democrat, my atheism has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a democrat. the misconception I encounter is that people assume that all atheists are nihilists or liberals or humanists, etc - and that's untrue. Atheism has nothing to do with being a part of any of those groups. All atheism is is a fundamental lack of a belief in a deity.
Conversely, a lot of christians are republicans. When you ask some of them why they're republicans, they say that republicanism embraces the moral values of their religion - therefore the fact that they're a christian has something to do with the fact that they're a republican.
I have a feeling that I'm not making much sense.
Actually, you make a lot of sense to me. I'm following you just fine
I agree that you make sense. I think that one of the biggest mistakes we all make is to assume that belief or non-belief automatically dictates how a person thinks, behaves, and interacts with others. I'm politically quite liberal. Far right Christians assume then that I have no faith. I'm highly intelligent and critical in my thought processes so lots of atheists who assume that all believers are stupid don't quite know what to do with me. I came to faith as an adult, so people who think all believers are indoctrinated sheep get confused when we converse about things like Scripture.
I said to getitrite in another thread that it is extremely important to come into any dialogue from an objective place. Assume that each party is interested in ultimately seeking and discovering truth, not in trying to win a debate. Do not get emotional, do not attack with generalizations, and try not to take generalizations personally. It's the red ball situation that I mentioned in my earlier post in this thread. Everyone has a spark of truth in what they present in a dialogue, but we are so quick to dismiss it because of preconceived notions and assumptions that we only hear that what they say differs from what we say, rather than hearing the possible truth in what we all say.
Now, I'm afraid I'm not making sense. LOL
you're making sense to me. While I will most likely continue to use the word "christian" because it makes things easier without having to list out the multiple denominations, etc, I will be open to individuals who would like to clarify their own positions and correct any misconceptions I may have.
Well...it's hard not to use the word when you're speaking of someone who identifies with that group. I can't 'not' refer to you as an atheist. BUT, I can refrain from lumping you in with 'militant' atheists, or making assumptions about your character based on your lack of belief. I like you. I think you're cool. A little strident at times but then, aren't we all when we're passionate about something. But, guess what? I don't think you're going to burn in hell for eternity. And, I personally think that if I face God on a day of judgment, it will mean a hell of a lot more to Him that I was kind to you and treated you like the decent human being that I believe you are than it would if I could count the number of times I'd threatened you with eternal damnation if you didn't turn away from your dissolute lifestyle. I could throw a rock in a room full of Christians and find a whole bunch leading lives far more dissolute than yours or mine.
although we may disagree at times, I like and respect you too. awww I feel the love
Thank you. I appreciate the kindness.
And just for the sake of clarification, I should have put 'dissolute' in quotes. I make no judgments on anyone's lifestyle...there's more than enough to judge in mine.
Feel the love?! Good! That's my goal!
You have always been open to me. That's why I respect you a lot. I have learned a lot in reading your hubs as well as in conversation with you
I love the fact that here we have people seriously debating atheism and Christianity, instead of slinging insults at each other.
It's great isn't it? And happens so rarely.
It happens so rarely because sometimes comments get taken out of context which raises hackles...lol
I was thinking the exact same thing. It's usually complete mud-slinging "every body kill the person who doesn't share our beliefs" nonsense. Actually seeing people interact with logic rather than irritated ignominies is quite refreshing.
Atheism is not a religion at all! They don't see any use for any gods for nature to function ... but see quite clearly the absurdity of religiosity in general - all of them - which most religious type are not able or unwilling to grasp!
Atheism is not a religion. Religion follows a doctrine, a dogma that has to be obeyed at all times. The dogma of each religion, although sometimes in conflict, should be adhered by its followers. Atheists don't have a dogma, they are freethinkers. And sometimes atheists are in conflict with each other because they have contradicting beliefs. But when it comes to God, for them it doesn't make any sense since none can provide any evidence of its existence, not even God himself.
Seeing many of the usual suspects involved in this thread, and having had some good conversations with many of you in the past, I have to ask, do you not get tired of having this same tired never-ending discussion over and over again? Does this question really warrant 6+ pages worth of discussion?
Atheism is not a religion. A belief system, yes, but not a religion. Anytime anyone fills in the unknown with something other than "I don't know", it's a belief. I'm pretty sure it's as simple as that. Is there really anything to say beyond that?
Sorry, but it's not a belief system, either.
I can help. Atheism is a lack of belief. It is not saying "I don't believe in a god, because I believe there is no god." It is "I find no valid evidence to believe in a god so I do not have a belief."
It is possible that mankind will prove the existence of a god or gods, however man will never prove that a god or gods do not exist. It is not possible to prove that something does not exist. They can however make statements such as "it seems more likely that this particular deity does not exist". Science is of course always open to and ready to change if evidence is produced.... provided it can be verified with the scientific method.
Also I'd like to use an analogy that JMcFarland used only an hour ago.
"If atheism is a religion, then NOT collecting stamps is a hobby."
Okay. So then how do you define agnosticism?
Agnosticism: A person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.
Atheism: Disbelief in the existence of God or gods.
Okay, so by your definition, one makes a determination regarding the existence of a God, the other doesn't. Because the existence of God cannot be objectively/factually known, how is making a determination on the topic when it cannot be known for certain not a belief?
I disagree with rad's definitions. (that he got from the dictionary) gnosticism speaks of knowledge. Agnostics do not have knowledge of a god. Theism speaks to belief. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god and agnosticism is the lack of knowledge of a god
Interesting, but most who call themselves Agnostic (as I once did) were given the knowledge of a God, but still don't have faith or a disbelief in God. Meaning they are undecided even with knowledge. Using your definition we could say that even Atheists don't have enough knowledge to believe in God, so we could be also called Agnostic.
I think gnosis in this instance refers to absolute knowledge or certainty. Christians, for example, claim to know for certain that their god exists, despite the lack of evidence, so they are gnosticism. Agnostics may have heard of god, but they do not know him to be true.
J, that's always been my understanding of agnostic as well. In short, a-theism is without belief in God; a-gnostic is without knowledge of God. They may believe in the possibility, but have no certain knowledge.
This is also where you start running into hybrids like agnostic theists, gnostic theists, agnostic atheists, etc
Right. I had an uncle who was an agnostic. Sure, he'd heard of God, but unlike the theists in our family who believed in Him, my uncle Ron said that he simply believed that there could be a God, but in the end, he could never know for sure. Maybe that's the issue. A-gnostic is without knowledge. Agnostics are willing to accept that there are many things (not just God) about which they may never possess knowledge. Rad, does that make it clearer?
Not really, your uncle had the same knowledge and the rest of the family, it was the faith he didn't, just as the definition describes. If it were knowledge, atheist would also be considered agnostics and that would be an easy fix for theists. Just supply the knowledge. But all the knowledge my not supply the faith. Agnostics are simply people without faith and without a disbelief in God. Very often the Agnostics have the most faith because they are looking for answers.
Totally get what you're saying....and it does support Julie's explanation of agnostic atheists, agnostic theists...etc. The way my uncle always explained to me was that there was no way to ever know for sure - and so he never tried to know.
That's the way I felt once, but I looked for evidence because of course who doesn't want to believe in life after death. One can memorize the bible and still have no faith.
Well, this uncle of mine was a scientist and one of the most brilliant men I knew. He never said an absolute NO to the existence of an afterlife, but he felt that little time should be devoted to it while we were alive in this one...since there was no way for any of us to know for sure. I remember one of my BA Christian family members assuring his grown daughter that he had accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior before his death. I think it was in an effort to comfort her. She and I talked about it. We both knew her dad better than that. I thought at the time that it was a terrible and selfish thing to say to someone.
If they have heard of God then they have knowledge of God. We all have the same knowledge, it's the faith that changes. Mo has faith, I have a disbelief and the Agnostic has neither faith or the disbelief in God just as the definition states.
I've heard of string theory, but I don't have knowledge about it. I haven't studied it and I don't understand it.
Is it a belief system to NOT believe in Bigfoot or aliens because of a lack of evidence?
Aliens and bigfoot aren't a valid comparison. We're talking about existentialism here. We undoubtedly exist. The universe undoubtedly exists. Beyond that we don't KNOW anything. Some believe there is a God who created existence, others believe existence formed on its own with no deliberate/intelligent aid, others believe its always been here and didn't begin at all. But we all believe something where we cannot KNOW. You have to. Whether or not you profess your beliefs externally, internally you believe one over another and the rest of your worldview is built around and informed by beliefs regarding those things that can't be known.
Okay, so you don't believe in God. That means God is not part of your belief system. Your belief system where existence is concerned is an existence that doesn't include a God.
Therefore, atheism is an existential belief system.
Okay, so what would you call a belief system that includes a lack of a belief in unicorns, pixies or giants? What do you call your lack of a belief in something?
A-mythicism? Doesn't matter as its beside the point. The point is if somebody claims to be an atheist then they are saying that the CAUSE that resulted in existence as it is today does not involve a God in their view. Until we can know for sure what the CAUSE of existence is, any answer other than "I don't know" is part of your belief system. Atheism is an existential belief system that does not include a deity. But it's still a belief system.
Can we say that our disbelief in the giant spaghetti monster is a belief system? Is it a belief or a disbelief?
That means the giant spaghetti monster is not part of your belief system. Doesn't mean you don't have one, just that a spaghetti monster isn't part of it.
It means I don't have one in regard to the spaghetti monster, just as I don't have one in regards to a God.
P.S. I don't want to try to spell spaghetti anymore. My stupid dyslexic brain wants to spell it (spegeti)
A-spaghetti-ism is clearly rife amongst Christians.
But you still have one, that's the whole point. And the term 'atheist' speaks specifically to that effect. It informs as to your stance on existential matters (how/why existence exists), which are inevitably belief-based views at least to some degree.
P.S. I'd still know what you meant, and personally think that's how it should be spelled anyway, as spaghetti has too many unnecessary letters.
Existential from a logic stand point is affirming the existence of a thing and is not the study of how or why we exist. If I don't believe in God then I have a disbelief not a belief.
An Atheist is a person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods by definition (new oxford american dictionary) A non belief is a disbelief and not a belief.
Okay, well from that standpoint, the universe is a thing that exists and we humans are things that exist. And you have some beliefs about how that all happened, and your faith in your beliefs is strong as you are certain that those things coming into existence didn't require a God to make it happen. Though you don't believe in God, you still have beliefs about things you don't and can't know for certain. It's the same thing.
Existentialism is not exclusive to atheism and existentialism is not a belief system, it's a theory or approach.
I made a mistake by trying to use the word 'existentialism' in the same way I use 'existential', when technically, according to online dictionaries at least, there's a difference. If my use of that word has caused confusion I apologize, but I think what I'm saying should be pretty clear. I mean 'existential' as in "of, relating to, or dealing with existence".
We all have beliefs where existence is concerned. Atheism is a belief system that does not include a God as part of, or the creator of, existence.
That may have been my error then, but a belief in my own existence has nothing to do with a belief or disbelief in God's existence.
If we use existential as a philosophy then existential concerns the the theories of existentialism.
If we are using it as a logic then we are affirming the existence of a thing.
I guess I was using it as a philosophy.
Some folks have beliefs, others don't. Those, much like yourself, have a poor understanding of the world around them because they believe in things rather than understand, causing them to come to false conclusions based on false premises. Others have an understanding of the world around them and don't require believing in things, but rather admit to not knowing something rather than attempt to create false premises and conclusions.
I get what you're saying, and you're right. Beliefs can cause you to miscomprehend the facts and reach false conclusions. Much like your beliefs about me and how I look at the world have led you to the false conclusions that I have a poor understanding of the world around me and why.
I'm not sure whether or not you count yourself amongst those that have an understanding of the world around them, but in the past you have stated that the universe just formed itself on its own and that the abiogenesis of life just happened on its own. These are your beliefs, that this is not only possible, but actually happened. This is not known for certain, but you still believe it to be true. And you form your understanding of the world around these beliefs. Your belief system revolves around the idea that something can come from nothing given the right conditions. You don't admit that we don't actually know that that's what happened, and even go so far as to brazenly tell others they are wrong, or that they just have a poor understanding, when they don't agree with you. Your faith in your beliefs is strong.
What you don't seem to understand is that my views are based on the exact same facts about the world as yours. I know where the facts end and the speculation begins, and I just try to point out how these same facts make sense from a 'God does exist' viewpoint. You and I just fill in the blanks regarding what's not known differently, based on our differing philosophies. But because your faith in your beliefs is so strong, you conclude that I must not have a very good understanding of the world around me or I'd agree with you.
That's my whole point. To say you're an atheist requires belief. In this case, it's the belief that the universe and life could have just happened all on their own. Because these things definitely exist, an atheist mindset requires the belief that they could just come about all on their own, though this is not known for certain. That's a belief.
Headly, my atheism has nothingto do with my beliefs about the beginning of the world or the origins of life. I know that you staunchly want to assert and maintain that atheism is a belief system, but you're mistaken. Atheism only answers one question - whether or not you have a belief in a god. Everything else is separate. I understand that its difficult for believers to separate the two because for them, they are one and the same. That is not the case with me, or the majority of atheists I know. Atheism is not the belief in evolution or the concepts behind the existence of the universe - it has nothing to do with it.
I have a minor understanding of the theory of evolution and believe that there is sufficient evidence to prove the theory to be fact. I'm not an atheist, so does that mean I can't support the theory of evolution as a possibility because it doesn't line up with more fundamental beliefs of my chosen religion? Belief in a scientific theory isn't really a 'belief' in terms of a person's faith. It's simply support of a theory and the acceptance of its available proof.
Not everyone has a belief system. Some people just live according to what their own morals dictate. It's like (to me anyway) that anyone who rides a motorcycle has a belief system that lines up with the Hell's Angels. Perhaps they really just like motorcycles.
I'm not saying that you can't believe in the theory of evolution if you're a believer. I'm just trying to demonstrate to Headly in a way that he will understand that, although he WANTS to believe that atheism s a system of belief, it isn't. Evolution has nothing to do with whether or not I believe in a god. My atheism is just a lack of a belief in a deity. Secular Humanism is a belief system. Secularism is a belief system. Atheism is not. It's a LACK of a belief, period.
You know I like you and respect you Mo - and this was mostly directed at Headly's assertion, not at you :-)
Sorry, but no one other than YOU has shown a poor understanding of the world around you. It has nothing to do with me.
Yes, I know you believe they are beliefs. The indoctrinated operate on belief systems and not on understanding things.
No, it does not, it requires understanding. Sorry, you don't understand such things, but that is the entire point.
JMcfarland and Motown2Chitown,
I'm afraid you're misunderstanding. Like you said, JMc, specific theories have nothing to do with it. The fact is, the universe and everything in it does exist. Life. Us. If you do not believe in a higher power then you also don't believe in its various explanations behind existence existing. But because existence does exist it has to be accounted for. Whether you equate the two or not, they are not separate. You can subscribe to established theories like Big Bang, evolution, or the various theories regarding abiogensis, or something else entirely. Just something that does not require the need for a God of any kind. The belief is that existence can and does exist without a God because existence does in fact exist. Therefore, you believe that existence can be as it is today without a creator. Because we do not know for certain how existence exists, or whether or not a God was involved or not, it is the belief of the atheist that however it happened, it is indeed possible without a God.
Personally I subscribe to the Big Bang theory. Besides the fact that it offers a plausible explanation for how the universe and all the stars and planets took shape, it also describes all the universe coming about from a single point, which sounds just about right to me. The primary problem with that scenario in a God-less existence is accounting for that singularity made up of all the matter in the universe that had to be there initially. And I subscribe to the theory of evolution. Forging life through struggle, competition, and adaptation makes sense. However, evolution doesn't account for the actual beginning of life, nor does it account for the inherent determination every living thing has to survive and procreate, the very instinctual drive that propelled life to evolve as it has. Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and the seas, that explains the propulsive nature of life to me. I also don't see the efficiency and effectiveness of all the variations of evolved characteristics; limbs, lungs, eyes many different times over, etc, as being the result of a truly random mutating process, or gene-replicating 'mistakes'. Even given the extensive timeline. And that goes even more-so for the conscious, self-aware, reasoning human mind. And as far as the actual abiogenesis of life happening on its own, that requires accepting that a molecule in the primordial pool just happened to start replicating all on its own, developing the ability to replicate itself exactly, presumably accidentally, without the benefit of prior generations aiding the process.
Basically, science and God do not contradict in my eyes. They coexist. And one informs of the other.
You said a lot that I cannot make heads or tails of, and I'm frankly not really interested in figuring out how a believer reconciles god and science - it's all spin theory.
My only question is why? Why do you have to assume that atheism is a belief system when multiple people have explained to you repeatedly in relatively simple language that you don't. I don't know how life began. It's fascinating, and I'd love to learn more, but frankly I don't really care right now. I have too much going on. I exist because my parents had sex. I don't care how the universe began, or if it began at all.
This is far more cynical than I like to be, and I'm just trying to accentuate a point. The point is that I don't believe in a god, or a creator or a deity of any kind. I don't have to explain how we exist or why or anything else, for that matter. My atheism is a term that describes my lack of a belief in a god. Period. I don't know how else to explain this to you. All you're doing is saying "yes it is yes it is yes it is because I don't want to listen to what anyone else is saying because I want this to be true" while practically EVERYONE else is saying "no it isn't" and trying to explain why. We're at an impasse.
It's not an assumption, it's a fact. Whether or not you care to think about it or acknowledge it makes no difference. That just means you haven't really thought your view out very far. I'm not trying to be mean or disrespectful. It's just the truth. You can just stop at your parents if you like, but the story doesn't stop there. It keeps going. Belief/disbelief in God cannot be separate from this. The fact that you exist had to happen somehow and ultimately has to be accounted for, regardless of whether or not you choose to pursue it. The fact that you don't even think about it just means you're that certain as to not even feel the need to question. That's faith in an unsubstantiated belief.
Anything accepted as truth, when there is no empirical evidence to prove it to be so, is a belief.
an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.
- something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion
- a religious conviction
Its the truth according to you. Its your opinion, and nothing more. I'm sick of being told that I have a belief system just because I define myself as someone without a belief in god. You do not have an additional belief system due to your lack of a belief in unicorns or pixies. A lack of a belief does not automatically constitute a belief in something else. I DO have a belief in the origins in life (the above psst was just an example for effect alone) but it has nothing to do with my atheism. I'm sorry that is either to hard for you to understand our accept, but that's the way it is. Insist SGML you want, but you're in no position to tell someone who actually is an atheist what they do or do not believe, our which of their beliefs are linked when you don't share those beliefs our opinions.
Just because I'm not an atheist doesn't mean I can't understand. I do get what you're saying. I get how you see it. You're not getting me because you're saying it's my opinion. If you really think about it, it isn't. These aren't separate topics with each having separate belief systems. There is one belief system you adhere to. It's the blanket that covers everything else you don't know for sure. It's just how the mind works. It builds its concept of reality using sensory perception and reason. Everybody has one to some extent because no one knows everything. Your beliefs can be informed by knowledge of facts, they can be based on something you were told by someone you trust, they can be shaped by your own ponderings and studies and reason, and they can change over time as you change, but unless it's something that is an objectively verifiable fact, it is a belief you treat as truth.
As far as I can tell the disconnect here seems to be more based on how you think of the word 'belief', or maybe what I mean by 'belief system'. It's just a guess on my part, in trying to better understand where you're coming from. Belief doesn't have to be just about whether or not God is real, or unicorns or pixies for that matter. It's anything and everything you believe to be true that can't be proven to be true. Therefore, if you are an atheist and do not believe in a higher power of any kind, you by default believe that existence as it is is possible without having been purposefully created. The only way that is not the case is if you don't acknowledge existence.
It's not unlike the way society is a belief-based system. Or the economy. Or business. Or love and marriage. It's all about operating within a system that is built on trust and belief in the institution and the parties involved doing, or feeling, as they say or have agreed to. This too is all belief-based. Whether or not anyone thinks about it or acknowledges it as being such doesn't change that fact.
Even the simplest of concept is escaping you? She's not saying you can't understand because your not an Atheist, it has nothing to do with that. Just because Religion is wrapped up in everything you do and think doesn't mean it is for everyone else. The lack of belief in God has no effect on how we think the universe began. And saying we don't know or care how it began is perfectly acceptable, just as saying that the big bang makes sense. There are also all kinds of theories as to how life started, again unconnected with the birth of the universe.
Look, I don't know why this is so hard for you all to grasp. It's really very simple. Everyone has a belief system. Period. Whether you acknowledge it or not, you do. We all do. Every single human during adolescence constructs their own version of reality based on information gained through the senses and their own logic and reason. And a big part of that construct is made up of things you believe to be true, whether or not there's any actual truth to it. For all you know your body could be in one of those Matrix contraptions with a spike sticking in the back of your head feeding your brain information to fool it. You simply trust what your brain tells you. Just like the rest of us.
Reality to you is what your brain tells you it is. You, me, JMcfarland, and every other human who has ever lived, each constructed our own concept of reality during our childhood. Whether or not a God is part of that reality you construct has a significant impact on everything else. If God has never been a part of your concept of reality, then your version of reality still must account for reality being here. For you being here. Your parents before you. Your history. The country you're a part of, the species you're a part of, etc. However far each individual has thought about it can vary a great deal. The less you think about, or feel compelled to question, any particular facet of your construct of reality has everything to do with how soundly you buy into that belief.
Whether or not you're theist or atheist informs, or affects, the rest of it. It has to. Whether or not you recognize or acknowledge it. You seem to think that one topic can be completely separate from another. Like there's no relation at all. For example, JMcfarland said earlier that she does in fact have a belief where the origins of life is concerned. Yet, without even knowing what her specific belief regarding the origins of life is, her identifying herself as an atheist informs me of at least one crucial bit of information, doesn't it? So, how could that be if they're in no way related? How could one inform the other if they have absolutely nothing to do with one another?
Of course there are things I believe, but God is NOT one of them.
a person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods.
You will notice that the definition doesn't contain information about the beginning of the universe or humanity.
Now, just because your belief in God hampers all your other beliefs doesn't mean my lack of belief in God hampers any of my other thoughts. For crying out load, what if I said I don't believe there is a God now but there once was.
I personally have no idea how the universe or life on earth started. I've read the theories and understand they are just theories with some evidence. The only thing I know is I don't believe in the existence of God or gods.
Right, and your certainty regarding your disbelief in the existence of a God plays a significant role in what you accept as truth, especially in regards to potential explanations for the origin of the universe or the origin of life, does it not? Whether you're conscious of it or not. If you hear/read a theory regarding the origins of either that includes something about a God playing a part then, based on your own concept of reality, you reject that explanation, right?. That portion of it is not plausible to you because to you there is no God. You are, therefore, more willing to consider explanations that offer what you view to be a plausible scenario that has nothing to do with a God, because to you there is no God that is a part of your construct of reality. How is that possible if the two are in no way related?
There is only one reality, and each individual only has one version of that one reality that they maintain. One belief system. And what you hold to be true greatly impacts everything else. Just like in those cases where something you held to be true is proven to be false. It can have a significant impact that makes you reassess other things you also held to be true. It's all related.
Headly, my lack of belief in God does not stop me from looking at evidence. I've asked for evidence over and over and none is supplied. A few people even claim to be prophets, but still are unable to supply evidence. I would like nothing more then to find out that a loving God exists and we all get eternal life after death, but I don't see evidence for that although I've looked. Go back to the definition of Atheism please. Yours is not the only way to think. You're reminding me of an elderly person I know who just happens to be a Christian who is afraid of being alone and thinks everyone is afraid of being alone.
I've had those discussions with you, Rad Man. And I know, although I can show you in detail where the events of Genesis took place, and the impact it had that can be seen in human history, and you simply reject it at the conceptual level. Everytime. You don't examine the evidence objectively. Your eyes are closed to the facts and I have seen it for myself. You like to say your open to the idea, but when it comes down to it you see things a certain way that impacts your ability to accept anything else. No matter how obvious it might be.
Headly - i've examined your "evidence" about the events in genesis. It's your opinion and it neither lines up with the biblical accounts or with the known origins of human history. that, like everything else is just your beliefs and your opinion and no matter how hard you try to shove it in to history, science and religion, it doesn't fit. I know that you can't separate things in your own mind and that, to you, all things are connected - but that does not make that true for anyone else. You can't project your own beliefs on how the world works and what's connected etc onto other people and expect to have them agree with you or just role over and give up what they believe to be true. I don't know how else to make this any clearer to you.
I don't except your evidence because it's incredibly flawed. I've showed you that many times but your mind is not willing to see it and you assume everyone thinks like you. Every time someone tells me they communicate directly with God I ask them to tell me something about me. Seems like an easy task. "Hey God, lets me a believer out of RAD MAN, what street did he live on in 1980. Nothing... even though they just told me God gives them information. Now you site there and tell me I don't look for information because you assume everyone is like you. This is what happens when your ego lets your super-ego run amuck.
Are you open to the fact that your "evidence" has failed to be convincing, when subjected to the rigors of critical examination? No matter how "obvious" you mistakingly think it is.
I'm still waiting for critical examination. I've had others who were actually knowledgeable of the evidence I'm presenting who have tested this theory, who have brought some well thought out challenges, and it continues to stand up. Though none of those individuals are part of this particular discussion. This is something I've discussed many times for years now. I know how well it stands up, and can say with the utmost confidence that neither of these two have critically examined this theory. Including JMcfarland who specifically asked for 'reasons to believe' in a forum, but then never actually got into it. Go check it out for yourself and you tell me if it was 'critically examined'.
So you have really discovered these groundbreaking phenomenal facts, yet these skeptics aren't even open minded enough to do an in-depth analysis of the material. And you believe this attitude is based on their preconceived bias. I understand your frustration.
Have you critically analyzed the claims made by Muslims that their scripture lines up with the archaeological records as well?
Yes, actually. When I initially started this it was only ever supposed to be for my own understanding. It was as honest an assessment of my own self and my own beliefs as I was capable of. And that included taking into consideration numerous other religions and the texts they're based on. The Quran being one of them. And I looked into the claims regarding creation specifically. Just like everything else I ran into, it all kept coming back to the books of Moses. The Quran was written a few centuries after Christ by Muhammad who claimed the original books of Moses had been altered over the centuries. In the end, the Genesis creation account accurately describes 6 major eras and numerous specifically named creations in the right order, and manages to do so from a 'surface of the planet/human' perspective. What was altered for the Quran shows no resemblance to actual history and even takes away from many of the things that give Genesis credence.
You think that "critical examination" means rolling over and agreeing with your position. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.
We understand why you believe that nonsense. It is because the indoctrinated are only able to function on a belief system because they never really developed any critical thinking skills, which is evident in almost all of your posts. They then project their own deficiencies onto others because they believe everyone operates the same way.
Sorry, that you don't understand.
If you don't acknowledge that everyone's construct of reality developed during our formative years and forged throughout life experience does not include a network of beliefs held to be true, that may or may not actually be true, then it's you who lacks critical thinking skills. It is simply how the human mind works and I know you know that.
Just as you filter everything I say through your imagined concept of me as being this indoctrinated fool unable to think critically for myself colors your perception of me and makes you incapable of comprehending the simplest of points. That lens, like your belief system, is a construct of your own making. This is a point that I'm sure you'd fully accept if it were not coming from a believer because it's simple logic. Something I know you're capable of when you actually respect the person you're speaking with and not being so dismissive and arrogant, thinking yourself intellectually above them. Your mind is closed to me because you've already deemed me not worth listening to, which then affects the rest of the discussion. See what I mean? Your beliefs, valid or not, color how you interpret everything else, whether you acknowledge it or are aware of it.
Perhaps, and most likely, that is true for you. Sorry, that you don't understand, perhaps some day, you will understand.
LOL. Once again, the only person who shows they cannot think critically is you. I have nothing to do with that.
That is a fallacy. Please show me anywhere that I or anyone else here as stated they are intellectually above you.
Sorry, but you have yet to even notice that we take your words for their value on a post by post basis.
JMcfarland and Rad Man,
Neither of you have comprehensively considered what I've given you. If you had then you'd both be much more familiar with the Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia, the Uruk culture, climatological data in that region and time, behavioral studies, etc. If you had actually looked into it and gave it your honest consideration, you'd see that it's as plain as day. But your mind is already made up. Genesis gives a very specific time period and region, and what we've learned over the past couple of decades lines right up with what its describing. That's not just my opinion. Like it's not my opinion that according to Genesis 1656 years passed between when it says Adam was created and the flood. That's a fact. That is in fact what it says. Just like it's not my opinion that the Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia lasted roughly the same length of time (5500 to 4000 BC) and actually did end very abruptly, at least partially due to an actual flood. Didn't make any of that up. Or that a dramatic climate change caused massive migrations just like what Babel describes. Didn't make that up either. Or that the Sumerian city of Uruk was built not long after the flood according to both Genesis and Sumerian texts, and the actual city of Uruk we know to have been built not long after the fall of the Ubaid culture. That too is a fact. It all really happened. And even the experts agree that it (the climate change and the Uruk culture) played a significant role in human history and the dawning of multiple civilizations, each having their own unique language and culture. You can dismiss this as the opinion of a believer if you like, but it doesn't change the facts.
Now, if you actually want to engage in some real examinations of the evidence I'm game. But I understand that's a lot of work and hard to convince yourself is a worthy cause because to you I'm just another delusional believer trying to bend reality to fit my views. That's your call.
I have actually examined your claims historically the last time we spoke. Its why there was a lot of time between your posts and mine. I spoke to my old testament professor from college. I got back in touch with my history mentor from college. I listened attentively to all of your posts and theories. If I was going to dismiss them outright, I would have never engaged in a conversation with you at all, and I resent the assumption than I would just disregard your theory out of hand because I disagree with you. I believe that I've always been respectful of you, even though this conversation particularly has tested and challenged my patience. Don't assume ignorant things about me just because we disagree.
I don't care to examine your claims all over again, because they have nothing to do with this conversation. When we last spoke, I believe that I told you briefly the problems that your theory presented, both from my own research and the information I was given from two people in the actual field of study who I both respect and trust. You were unwilling to accept what I said, and instead staunchly stucco to your position, ignoring all of the challenges to it - ironically much like you're now accusing me of doing.
I can't respect someone who assumes things about other intelligent people because they disagree. I can't respect the ostrich approach of maintaining a previously held belief just because you want it to new true. You have pre existing bias, and this conversation has just proven too me that you cannot sufficiently ses past it
Well JMc, I certainly don't mean to offend and don't want to downplay any work you may have put into this before. But you have to understand that as far as what actually got back to me and our discussion, I didn't get any of that. I got a reply that began with "While I do know a lot about the bible, I will also admit that the history that i've studied is not of that region or that time period..", then went more into a criticism of my methods and how you felt I was starting with a conclusion and working back. If you did indeed do all this research and have these discussions, none of it equated to specific information relative to my claim. Unless there's something I'm not recalling. I just went back through some of our previous discussions. We talked about the slavery thing, we talked a bit about the rise of Christianity, but when it comes to ancient Mesopotamia and information specific to that region and timeframe, we didn't discuss much at all and I certainly didn't get out of that conversation that you had put so much effort into it. In fact, I do recall the time that passed between and being a bit disappointed in the responses because I was looking forward to someone knowledgeable of the bible really having a go at my claim.
None of that, however, I have much issue with. What I do have an issue with is when you later make a blanket statement that you've 'examined my "evidence"' and that it "neither lines up with the biblical accounts or with the known origins of human history". I don't mind being wrong, but I've put a significant amount of time and effort into both research as well as presenting it to others to get their input. Maybe its a character flaw on my part, but I don't generally take too kindly to being so flippantly dismissed with what at least appeared to be very little effort and little to no pertinent/relevant information.
Typical Headly, turn a forum entitled "Would you call Atheism a religion?" to look at how much work I do and how smart I am and compare that to how pathetic all you people below me are.
If you'll recall, the whole reason we got into any of this was in reply to your statement that said, "I've asked for evidence over and over and none is supplied."
The discussion organically led here. I only brought it up when you said what you said.
McFarland said, "i've examined your "evidence" about the events in genesis. It's your opinion and it neither lines up with the biblical accounts or with the known origins of human history."
And you said, "I don't except your evidence because it's incredibly flawed."
The rest had to do with those statements. I'm sorry if I find that slightly irritating. Hopefully by now you have a sense of the amount of time and effort I've put into this. Can you not see how those kinds of statements would be borderline infuriating? Especially when neither of the people making that statement have actually gotten into the meat of the specific theory I'm talking about?
so what you're saying is that you don't like people making what appear to be sweeping assumptions and claims about your years of careful research and consideration - none of which can actually be supported - but you have no qualms about turning around and making sweeping assumptions and claims about belief systems for people that are actually living as atheists and these ARE their lives, regardless of how much research they've done, the years that they've put into it and the knowledge that they ultimately possess.
That's interesting, don't you think?
None of which can actually be supported? Seriously. I know I've apparently gotten under your skin with this whole discussion, but let's be reasonable here. You've yet to actually touch on anything specific to what I'm claiming, other than a comment about how different it is from what other theologians say/think, so how would you know? Maybe you did look into this, maybe you found good reason to say what you're saying. The problem is you haven't shared it with me. So, until then, I take issue with statements that say 'none of which can actually be supported'.
And I'm not making sweeping claims and assumptions about the whole 'beliefs in atheism' thing. I'm sorry you're not understanding me, but that doesn't make what I'm saying wrong or even presumptuous. It's a fact. It's how the brain works. I don't know how else to explain that to you. It has nothing to do with atheism specifically. It's a human thing. You're a human with a human brain, I too am a human, also with a human brain. We're on the same playing field here. You're trying to say that your lack of belief in God in no way informs or has an effect on your other beliefs. I know that to be false. Not because I'm presumptuous, but because that's literally impossible. It's impossible to not maintain a belief system on some level, and it's impossible to not have a belief in God and for that lack of belief to not have a significant impact on those other beliefs. For example, the belief you said you have about the origin of life. Something you yourself referred to as a 'belief'. Your atheism stance informs me of what you definitely don't believe in where the origin of life is concerned. Can you be an atheist, yet buy into an origin of life belief that includes a God? Would you even consider it? No you can't and no you wouldn't. That's what I mean. They're related. They impact one another.
I've been more than respectful with your beliefs, but just because you've done years research and doesn't mean I have to do years of research to see the errors in your theory. You believe what you believe because you want to. I'd like to believe in eternal life as well, but I prefer reality and the reality is your theory is flawed and if a simple graphic designer with limited critical thinking skills can see the errors in your theory then you may want either look at your theory or move onto a different market.
The little bit of marketing I know indicates that the reason we are not buying your theory is you are marketing it to the wrong people. I suggest you look for the gullible, the ones who have already been indoctrinated to not use there own brain as even the bible describes this process.
Wow, Rad Man, that response from you is hugely disappointing. I don't know what I've done to warrant such a remark. Maybe I'm coming off as an ass here. If so, I'm sorry. I'm really not trying to. But I'm also not going to just tuck my tail and run because I'm outnumbered. There have been many who have specifically studied the age I'm talking about who say my theory is the most rational they've seen. Even Mark went so far as to say that my 'delusion' is at least the most consistent he's ever heard, though not to me of course.
I've been vetted by quite a few people who have illustrated a much deeper understanding of the material. So I'm sorry if I don't accept your clearly flawed assessments. Like you yourself said, you've not put much into this yet you're claiming to have found glaring errors. Do you really think that little of me? Have I not at this point earned more credit than that? Can you not see that your default view that I just believe because I want to might make you a little too quick to dismiss this?
Stay in the dark if you prefer, but this idea is gaining momentum. Sooner or later you're going to be hearing it from others beyond me. Even those who don't believe in God have at least acknowledged that what I'm pointing out gives much more credence to Genesis as a historical document than many give it credit for. Even if they don't buy into the 'God' aspect of it. It's that on point. If you're really interested in the truth, you'd be wise to not be so dismissive of this. Whether or not you believe in God, this offers incredible insight into arguably the biggest change in human history that played a demonstrably pivotal role in humans becoming what we've become.
Or, as Riane Eisler put it ... "the great change - a change so great, indeed, that nothing in all we know of human cultural evolution is comparable in magnitude."
You think your the first to think in the validity of genesis?
To be honest you are coming off like an arse.
The fact that your delusion is consistent has no bearing on it's validity, you are just consistently delusional. With all due respect.
No, I don't. I'm also not the only one that sees what I see. The thing is, the evidence that makes it so apparent is still relatively new and is not yet common knowledge. But that will change soon enough. It's an education issue, pure and simple. If it were more commonly known then this would be a totally different conversation.
I honestly don't know where things went so haywire here. I'm still baffled that nobody here seems to get the point I was originally trying to make before all that other nonsense. And I'm particularly baffled that there could be such offense taken. Even not believing in God, you have to account for existing. How can you not? How can you just not have any beliefs where that's concerned? And even in acknowledging you don't know, what you do consider as even a possibility is impacted by your disbelief in God, because that means you are predisposed to leaning towards believing possibilities where no God plays a part over those where God is involved. Right? How is that not clear?
So, you have to believe, as an atheist, that existence as it is today is possible without any intelligent design or guidance. It's really just that simple. For it to be understanding, not belief, as ATM kept trying to say, suggests that the knowledge of how existence and life came about is known, but just not understood by the individual. That is not true. It is not known. And no amount of understanding will make you fully understand something that is not yet known or understood by anybody.
1. Scientific Evolution
2. Special Creation
5. Theory of Chemical Evolution
6. Theory of Catastrophism
7. Inorganic Incubation
8. Endosymbiotic Theory
9. Panspermia - Cells From Outer Space
11. Marine Theory
12. Electric Spark Theory
13. Tribal and Mythological
Please point out which one of these theories an Atheist must believe to consider himself a proper Atheist? Then show me given the definition of an Atheist which theory relates to the definition?
As I said before, specific theories don't matter. The point is, being an atheist, that one attribute cannot exist by itself in a vacuum. It's an attribute that at least partially defines you. You're a father, a son, an atheist, a graphic designer, a human, a Canadian, a mammal, a casual hockey player. You exist. Just as the earth and the sun and the stars exist. With theism comes an explanation for existence. As an atheist, you still exist, so existing still has to be accounted for. Whatever you believe, however well you do or do not know or understand, whether or not you've really even thought about it at all, your mind accepts your existence as being possible without belief in a god, and it does so without proof to confirm it as possible. That's a belief. A belief that you can and do exist as you do without the existence of a god.
I understand the point that you were trying to make. If there is any glaring flaw in your point, it was in the presentation of your point (to say the least). Your point (as it appeared to me) was that everything has an origin and in that origin is where a belief truly would come in at. Since there is no fully proven answer to anything, This statement is self defeating and basically lends itself and can strengthen a lack of belief in anything at all, including the idea that we don't truly know. If anything, it would appear that you were trying to lead JM and Rad Man into thinking about the situation to almost get them to say "I don't know", Which would almost throw them under the banner of agnosticism (almost because as atheists, they lack a belief in a higher power whereas agnostics know there is a reason for everything, they just don't know for sure what the reason is and feel that we can't know for sure). The fact of the matter is that a lot of atheists (that I've encountered) simply don't care about the origins of a lot of things. There are those who heavily favor science because science has been tested and provide more logical answers than religion does. There are others that really don't care about science either. As far as they are concerned, we simply are born, we live, we die... the end.
As for you mentioning the book of Genesis and it's relation to historical happenings, A lack of belief in a deity also includes a lack of belief in anything that points to a deity (i.e The Bible, Quran, Torah..etc) So to present some of them with anything biblical is pretty much the equivalent (on a fundamental level) of reading a fairy tale to some of them because they do not take stock in the Bible.
For the record, I am not dismissing what you were trying to explain, I'm merely saying the presentation Slightly missed the mark of what you were going for on both the theistic and atheistic side of the spectrum and almost removed the need for agnostics because what happens to agnostics if one side or the other are able to prove their side? The core belief of agnosticism is the unknown. The core belief of theists is in a god or gods. The core belief(so to speak out of respect for my atheist friends here) is that there is not enough information to prove the existence of a deity as well as a fundamental apathy (in some areas) toward origins.
In order to make further discussion profitable or worthwhile. (apologies for the typos and wrong words, my smart phone is not as smart as I'd like it to be, and I cannot edit it until I am in home in front of an actual computer.)
I've gone down that road way to many times and every time I show you errors in your theory you somehow invent and rationalize your errors away. Dinosaurs... birds... days and eons blah blah blah. And know you tell me MY mind is made up and I don't understand my own disbelief. No thanks, been there. done that, plus you seem even more stubborn then before.
Look, I appreciate the effort you've put into prior discussions. You have been one of the more willing to read and look into things within these forums, and I acknowledge that. But you have to understand I have engulfed myself in this stuff for months and years, so when you try to dismiss things like the lack of human on human violence prior to 4000 BC based on dated evolutionary psychology theories that I myself used to subscribe to long before doing this research and finding a lot more is now known on the topic, that I'm not going to accept that. Or you trying to dismiss something based on a cursory level of reading you did on one specific example of violence prior to that date, that I acknowledged and even gave an additional example of, as saying there's no truth to what I'm saying. Or the getting hung up on the whole bird thing, discounting the fact that you have to ignore numerous other things for that to stand, or getting hung up on the day thing, though I illustrated at great length how what I'm saying is valid according to the Hebrew language. While these are perfectly fine for you to choose to not accept what I'm saying, that's a far cry from saying, "I don't except your evidence because it's incredibly flawed".
When I present the entirety of human history and can illustrate behavioral changes that actually reflect in the historical record, cultures that last the same length of time as what's described, ended the same way as described, followed by dramatic climate changes that line up chronologically, and countless other things, it's kind of hard to dismiss all of it based on your birds argument.
The fact is I no longer have any doubt in what I've found. What I find most frustrating now is that what I'm offering actually provides an explanation that has the potential of bringing together to opposing views in a very divisive topic, allowing for middle ground to be had. Something that could actually help us better understand ourselves and help us move forward together, rather than wedged further apart, so I may tend to get short with such flippant statements that try to dismiss the months and months of work I've poured into this. This, whether you want to believe me or not, is the result of a very honest evaluation on my part, and has nothing to do with trying to justify my beliefs. I believe anyway. Being right or wrong about this won't change that.
People tend to conflate atheism and religion because in a sense they serve a similar role in coloring ideological beliefs in people's worldviews. But I'd say this isn't because the two are similar, but because the two are expessed in similar ways each as an alternative to the other. But..religion is entirely theistic and I'd say that is its defining characteristic. Atheism is non-theistic.
Both I suppose are "believed in". Though I'd say for different reasons. Faith is at the heart of a theistic belief system, and for some, this just isn't enough. If I were to reduce it down to an equation, theists say "1+1=2", while atheists say "2+0=2". I'm not equating the two, but just trying to show how similar convictions can be arrived at in vastly different ways.
The primary difference between these forms of "faith" is their philosophical basis. Atheists have been engaged in a range of philosophical schools, but I'd say the common demoninator is a belief in the tenets of philosophical materialism, in which empirical evidence is "scripture". Theists ultimately reject this view in favor of philosophical idealism, which asserts that reality is ultimately mental, or immaterial. Neither of these philosophical schools lead directly to atheism or theism, but do provide some fertile ground for each viewpoint to grow.
Taking all of this into consideration, and to answer the original question...I'd say no, atheism isn't a religion. Though I would say it's a philosophical stance, a stance that once adopted actually prevents any religion from being adopted as well (or at least not without a hefty dose of cognitive dissonance).
I would like to add that religion is often seen as a source of morality. And I'd certainly agree that in many cases it does serve this function from a cultural standpoint. Buuut, there is a popular belief out there that atheists are immoral, or generally unethical, and for most atheists, this is far, far from the truth. I'd like to point out that there are some just morally awful theists, as well as atheists and the same with upstanding folks. And that moral systems are much more likely to have a basis in the anthropological understand of cultural systems rather than a purely religious source.
I believe atheism is the absense of a religious belief system, and the disbelief that God, or a super-natural power exsists.
Read up on it.. go to a Satan site. When I first read about Satanism on the internet, it thought ...wow, I agree with all of this.. I must be a Satanist!...
Without bringing the awareness of the reality of God into our consciousnesses and lives, I think we all are! I mean by nature, without God, we are essentially, naturally self-oriented. Not selfish... self oriented. Which is what Satanists seem to be.
So are atheists in all actuality, Satanists?
I guess Mr. Radman and Mr. Troubled Man would have to answer this question after they check out what Satanists believe. If they are not, I would like to know why they or any other atheist would not not agree with Satanism.
Kathryn, to be a Satanist you must believe in both Satan and God and you must be truly selfish. I do not believe in Satan and am not selfish, however I've has a bit of an epiphany of late and may be in transition.
...talk about throwing a loop!
BTW Are you sure Satanists believe in God? ( I hate going to those sites..I guess I'll have to go check it out... ugh.)
More random thoughts:
Most people who believe in God, do so because of Jesus and the Bible (and for other religions: their holy texts and scriptures...) Jesus was born and as a young man, he spoke of God. The very bottom line is that Atheists believe the history of Jesus is just a story. Christians believe the story of Jesus is actual history. It has to do with f a i t h in the spiritual realm where some sort of metaphysical Source/Force originated (and originates) everything that exists. Atheists just do not believe in anything which is not provable in/on the physical realm of existence. They do not have scriptures or holy texts about spiritual and metaphysical concerns and realities.
The word "metaphysical" applies to all true religions. It means, that which is beyond matter.
So, Atheism is not a religion at all.
You are welcome.
I've found that not all anyone believes in any particular concept, but Satan is really a biblical concept.
Actually, bad guys with horns have been around pre-bible, but then we get into the discussion of things that influence the bible from other religions and it goes down-hill from there...
But basically, satanism is largely a Christian religion... in as much as the text from which it derives it's deity is the bible.
I have not researched that in some time, but as I recall those calling themselves "Satanists" basically worship themselves and those calling themselves "Devil worshipers" do what the name implies. Could be wrong, but that is what I recall.
I think that is where we do each other a disservice. We define a term such as Satan to mean something and then we project that label on to others. Unfortunately, our definition of the term is not their definition of the term; which causes confusion. And, then you have others reading and they use their definitions of the term to decide how to judge the one who the label has become attached to.
Satanism is not viewed in a positive light by anyone other than a Satanist. I would never apply the label to anyone; I would accept the label if the individual chose to use it. At which time I would attempt to understand the positive light they see when they do use it. But, even then, considering the negative connotations associated with the word; I wouldn't use the term in relation to them unless they were there to defend themselves against the images conjured up by the listener.
Church of Satan does not believe in Satan or any gods. They say one's self is their own "God." They do not believe in suppression of desire and human nature. They say that believing in God or the Devil is abandoning reason. Satan in Hebrew means "one who questions."
"Nine Satanic Statements:" (of the Church of Satan:)
"Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence.
Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams.
Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit.
Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates.
Satan represents responsibility to the responsible rather instead of concern for psychic vampires.
Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse that those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development", has become the most vicious animal of all.
Satan represents all the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years."
The Church of Satan? What are you talking about? You can't look up the Church of Satan and say that's what Satanism is? That's just what that Church is.
the worship of Satan, typically involving a travesty of Christian symbols and practices, such as placing a cross upside down.
Atheism is not a religion. Why? Because it has nothing to do with one's lifestyle. Religions normally have certain systems that determine one's behaviours and attitudes to achieve a spiritual goal. No such system is proposed or advocated by atheistic views. Atheism just states there is no god or gods whatsoever and noone needs to be worshipped, prayed and offered sacrifices. Atheists agree on this point only and may have different standpoints on what life is and who they are and what the purpose basically is.
As to satanism, evil spirits exist (are believed to exist) in many cultures and faiths, either of Jewish or other origin. The concept of satan seems to be absent from the old testament bible and to have been introduced much later, after the end of the exile. Basically, it was all about rebellous angels who descended to the earth to enjoy sexual relations with human females. I understand them as have similar inclinations. In particular, God supposedly destroyed the earth in the flood because of the children from their marriages who reportedly had devoured the inhabitants of the earth and were guilty of many other mischiefs. The idea of satan was most likely developed by Christians and later adopted by Muslims as well. It is all about the devil who made Adam and Eve taste the apple and reduced them to death and the Christ who destroyed the devil's hooks and enabled the life option. It is a battle between angels and humans. Devil misled Adam, the man of dust, and Jesus, the man of spirit, overplayed devil.
Okay. I thought it was just the absence of the belief in God. I guess the Church of Satan dumbed the concept down... or up.
You're right, alexabda, the old testament doesn't mention satan. I'd point out that vast majority of jews reject the idea that satan, or hell for that matter, even exists.
That's not true. Here's from the book of Job:
The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (Job 1:12)
The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. (Job 2:6-7)
Who is the serpent in the Garden of Eden?
The Christian take on Satan is a jubled mess and makes no sense whatever, how can an omnipotent deity allow Satan to exist and all the evil he supposedly wreaks. The only interpretation of this that makes any semblance of sense (assuming these things exist at all) is Islams which claims that Satan is god's servant sent to tempt men to men and thus test their faith.
Christians believe in a monotheistic God but that isn't actually true. There are polar opposites in life and both Satan and God represent that. The one does not exist without the other on this earth. They are both powerful deities. The only thing that makes God more powerful is Jesus. It is humanity that keeps Satan alive and well here not God.
There is such a thing as permissive will when God will allow something from Satan in the lives of those who serve Him IF it will spiritually benefit us.
Claire, do you know what the story of Job is about? It is about a god making bets with a satan, whoever he is. It is not about Job's righteousness and god's grace. It is about a god who seeks to prove his rightfulness and superiority at any cost - both to satan and Job at the expense of Job. God truly believes he is so great that noone should question his authority. The entire family was murdered at god's discretion, and this son of bitch believes a new family and more rams and goats will compensate and reimburse for the loss. He demonstrates his greatness by referring to the fact that nobody could kill a hypopotamus or catch a crocodile in the Nile at the time. I am so fucking strong and right in my decisions that canon balls like Job should keep silent and never open their stinking mouths again if he sends any test again.
I just quoted Job because Satan is mentioned in it. I don't believe in most of the Old Testament. It is absolute nonsense that God makes bets with Satan even though the story says so.
That story clearly was written due to a lack of understanding. People may think that when God allows something to happen to us then it means he must have given Satan permission. That He must have said, "Okay, Satan, make his life a misery so I can prove just how great I am by delivering this poor wretch in my own time." It may appear that way but it most certainly is not the case as I explained permissive will.
Some Jews question the book of Job. Why? Because it mentions the satan that is missing elsewhere. As to the serpent in the garden, read the bible more carefully - god says that Adam broke the testament (was in breach of their treaty), that's it. Hosea, I guess.
Where is it missing elsewhere? I just find it so ironic that Jews wouldn't believe in Satan when their ancestors constantly were worshiping Satanic figures like Baal and Molech. Even their Star of David is Satanic.
In the Garden of Eden, the serpent is described as the most cunning creature God made. Who's that? Adam? There was God, the serpent, Adam and Eve. Who's the serpent? You know that serpent worship is Satanic just like Moses did?
Claire, it really funny to see you describe everything as satanic. Sanatic, according to the bible, is anything which opposes god's will, laws, etc. This can include spirits and humans. The bible states that pagan gods are not gods, they are dead idols, therefore it is not Baal or Molech that are satanic, but human aspirations and desires that are exposed through one's worship of carved stones and woods. As to spirits, those are sons of god who made love with human ladies. According to one version, they are spirits under the heaven, according to another - they have been chained and placed in an abyss, wherever it is. In any case, Jesus will get them fried in the lake of fire. A saturday barbeque.
We do not know who the hell that snake is. Christians believe it is the devil. One who cheats and misleads. It seems that devil has been there to blame humans in the eyes of god, now we have Jesus who takesany blame off. It is like god has two superheroes, one of them is a bad guy, the other is a good guy. The good guy is expected to win based on Hollywood screenplays.
Not everything or everybody is Satanic but the world is drowning in Satanism so I talk about it. Perhaps Satan in the OT is anyone or anything opposed to God but it is most certainly not the case in the NT. Those pagan gods are just representations of Satan.
You know we know who the snake is supposed to represent. Who else did God oppose in the Garden of Eden? How does Satan blame humans?
The star of David is a stylized form of hebrew script that actually spells out "David", and has over time just merged the letters together. A much older symbol of judaism is the menorah. It's hardly "satanic" as you suggest, and frankly that's offensive. On the other hand, your cross could easily be misconstrued as a symbol of human sacrifice, as much as a symbol of christ. The only reason it isn't is that christians have a tighter grip on popular culture. You keep brining up the serpent in the garden, without realizing, apparently, that genesis is a fusion of two seperate stories of creation. The "Elohim" version describing it in a more generalized way --for example: "Man and woman, he created them." (apparently at the same time) and the "YHVW" version in which eve is created from adam's rib. What I'm getting at is that the serpent was only apart of one story, not both, and you'd think that a supposed lord of evil would at least warrant a mention in the other version. Moreover, well before the New Testament was even written, jewish philosophers had already stated that "animals with speech are ridiculous," and that it was a clearly a metaphor for temptation, NOT a person. If I seem irritated it's because I am, it's because so many christians comment on *jewish* texts without any knowledge, or twist the Torah to fit christian theology. I really wish christians would just stick to their new testament, and leave our supposedly "old" testament alone.
Thumbs up for this one. A lot of things are taken too literally as well as are just plain taught incorrectly. Which in itself is a big reason for disagreements and debates on the subject.
Isn't it interesting that Christians tend to believe they know more about Jewish scripture than Jews? I find it to be like adolescents telling their parents how the world works. I don't believe in your God, but I respect sensible people such as yourself.
The Star of David dates back to the 14th century. Before then, the hexagram representing witch-craft and still does.
"The Israeli national talisman is the hexagram which is called the Magen David or 'Star of David' and is supposed to be the ancient symbol of Israel. However, such an occult symbol is nowhere mentioned in the Bible. It was 'bequethed' to rabbinic leaders in the 14th century by the Hermetiist, King Charles IV of Bohemia and formally adopted as 'the Star of David' in 1898 at the Second Zionist Congress in Switzwerland." (Michael A. Hoffman, Judaism Discovered: A Study In the Anti-Biblical Religion of Racism, Self-Worship, Superstition, and Deceit, page 794, Independent History & Research, 2008)
In fact, the Star of David is actually the Star of Rephan who is Molech or Baal:
"But ye have borne the tabernacleof your Moloch and Chiun your images,the star of your god..." -- Amos 5:26 KJV
"Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye make to worship them; and I will carry you away beyond Babylon." Acts 7:43 KJV
Hardly surprising since the Jews tended to worship these gods.
It also represents the Seal of Solomon and he was a black magician or is the Star of Saturn whose number is 6.
666 Part 1 The Hexagram, its origins and hidden meaning
The crucifix is not based on human sacrifice. I am interested in its origin.
I bring up the serpent because I am interested in knowing what the Jews think it is. So which Genesis account is correct? They can't both be. What caused the fall of man in Genesis 2? Where did evil come from if God planted a tree of the knowledge of both good and evil?
Of course speaking animals is nonsense. The snake represents Satan and is not a snake. Who is the source of temptation? Was Jesus not tempted by the devil in the wilderness?
I bet you didn't realize that the OT is very different translated literally.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4MXLB6S … r_embedded
The symbol’s association with King David comes mostly from Jewish legend. For instance, there is a midrash which says that when David was a teen he fought the enemy King Nimrod. David's shield was inscribed with the name of God, in form of the star. David won the battle and the six-pointed star was henceforth known as the Shield of David (Magen David in Hebrew). "David" was also sometimes written out in medieval Hebrew texts in the shape of a star. The origins of the Star of David are unclear. We do know that the symbol hasn't always been associated exclusively with Judaism, but was used by Christians, Muslims and Pagan religions at various points in history. Sometimes it was even associated with King Solomon instead of King David.
The Star of David is not mentioned in rabbinic literature until the middle ages. It was during the latter part of this era that Kabbalists (Jewish mystics) began to associate the symbol with deeper spiritual meaning. The Star of David was eventually cemented as a Jewish symbol when it became a favorite architectural decoration on Jewish buildings and then during World War II, when Hitler forced Jews to wear a yellow Star of David as a "badge of shame." (Jews were also forced to wear identifying badges during the Middle ages, by the way, though not always a Star of David.) Zionists had earlier adopted the symbol because at the time it was recognizable by Jews, but actually wasn't particularly religious (the menorah or tablets were, and still are, the prevalent symbols), and they preferred their political movement to be more secularized at the time.
That connection to Baal is interesting but shaky, it's assuming a lot. Quite a few ancient religions had symbols, but almost none were universal, and especially among polytheists iconic symbols for their deities were largely localized. For example, Zeus in Ionia was usually represented with oak laurels, in Crete with golden disks, and around southern mainland greece by the eagle or thunderbolt. The six pointed star may have been a symbol of ba'al, but the more widespread one was the bull -- and as a symbol it's significance and meanings are vastly different between then and now. Ignoring that part is the offensive part of what you write. It creates a double standard, one for jews and one for everyone else.
So it doesn't disturb you that those Satanic gods like Moloch were represented as hexagrams? That is why the "Star of David" is the most powerful symbol in witch-craft. Before this midrash, the hexagram meant Saturn.
As I said, it is associated with King Solomon, too, because he was a black magician. 1 Kings 10:14 says:
The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents,
Your midrash story is also a bit shaky. What does Saturn have to do with King David? Much of the OT is lifted off these pagan stories. I am interested in the origins of things and the midrash story is certainly not one of them. And the hexagram certainly wasn't associated with God as demonstrated by those verses I gave you. Even the Levites were occultists so I'm not surprised that Judaism has occult references.
That actually makes a little sense, but why would an all powerful, all knowing God need to test anyones faith. You'd think he'd would just know. Sorry, it sounds more like something made up by man to make people think God is always watching and testing.
The book of Job is more or less a narrative trying to anwser "the question of evil", or why bad things happen to good people. there are quite a few interpretations but every rabbi I've ran across has suggested that it's a rejection of divine punishment or reward in this world. That nature is ultimately neutral to men, and for there to truely be justice, it must be upheld by, and strived towards by societies, instead of being passively assumed to exist. The mention of satan is from the hebrew: הַשָּׂטָן (ha'satan) meaning literally "the adversary/opposer". It's not a name, but an epithet (or title) for an angel -- which was common at the time. What you have is NOT proof of anything, but a misunderstanding of jewish texts, which is very common for chirstians to make. There are several theological reasons jews don't believe in satan. Some believe that a truely loving god wouldn't allow such a thing to exist. Others take the position that evil is in and of itself not an active force, that it is like darkness. Darkness isn't a force, it's simply a lack of light, evil is simply a lack of good. And that personifying it is actually a form of idolotry.
So, as I said, Claire, "Satan" as Christians (and popular culture) understand the concept do not appear in the old testament. To drive this point home: there are a few cases where "ha'satan" is mentioned without the definitive article "the(ha in hebrew)". Such as in psalm 109:6 "הַפְקֵד עָלָיו רָשָׁע; וְשָׂטָן, יַעֲמֹד עַל-יְמִינוֹ. " meaning "'Set Thou a wicked man over him; and let an adversary (satan) stand at his right hand."
Satan wasn't a personifed concept of the big bad for jews, even linguistically, like it is for christians.
The problem is OT does not provide for demons, evil spirits, while NT is abound with them. They are everythere, almost everyone is possessed.
The only case of an evil spirit is that which irritated Saul after god's spirit left him to the benefit of David. But that one was from god. However, OT prohibits, along with the worshipping of foreign gods (and their idols), the calling of ghosts and the wakening of dead. We could say neither ghosts and dead souls exist and can be contacted, but the OT itself describes a number of situations where they are called and seen. In any case, such situations are quite rare.
In NT, we see people that believe in demons, ghosts and that dead people can rise from the dead and walk to work miracles. Judea seems to be a province of lunatics, as if Roman governors used the area as a GULAG to keep psychically inadequate population separately from the rest. Evil spirits, demons, satans, ghosts, walking deads are a commonplace. Jesus seems to be busy all day long expelling various impure spirits, so many of them are there torturing poor Jews. As if it was an ethnicity-specific infection.
If before the exile bible says god sent the flood because humans got too sinful, after the exile Jewish apocryths say he sent the flood to save the earth from all-devouring children of sons of god. If in OT god suppresses ill habits in humans, NT says those habits come from spirits, and that Christians must fight not only evil men, but also evil ghosts.
Why is it so?
What Jews believe is an open question. Josephus Flavius gives descriptions of Jewish denominations that existed at the time of the Christ. The only thing they all had in common was the law of Moses. They could have different opinions as to postmortal existence and god's influence. Sadducees did not believe in angels and soul and the rest of intangibles. Pharisees believed in judgement and reincarnation where souls returned back to earth. Esseis, like Greeks and Romans, believed that souls would go to a happy place or a sorrowful place depending on their life achievements. Therefore, the underlying basis is the origin from Abraham and the law of Moses. Anything else is not in the scripture and does not matter. Whether or not there is life after death, the law must be observed and upheld. Basically, god should attach postmortal rewards to one's compliance.
its an open question only if you look at the beliefs historically, just as it is with christians and the divinity of jesus, various sects, mostly declared heretical, denied such claims. The Greek and Roman religions also had various destintions they believed souls would go to, at different times in their own respective histories. Maybe I should have said "most modern-day jews..."
Yes , I would call atheism a religion all its own ,and why . only because of our modern day culture of How we treat others , atheists here at least? .....Religiously attack theists with battle lines already drawn ! Its not enough you see , to just decide you don't believe in faith , No , the gestapo tactics of so called atheism ,at least in these forums , requires that you state your case while driveling venom at all of the elements of faith within theism! And all it amounts to is digging the shallow grave of liberalist's integrety and moral acceptance of others ....their mission statement is but ,na na na Naa na na!
By definition atheism is not a religion-- just like theism isn't a religion in itself. Nor is polytheism or monotheism, etc.
Atheist simply means no belief in any Gods. It does not imply any beliefs or world view or practices beyond that.
Religion is a set of beliefs and practices.
Some atheists are religions (Buddhists, secular humanists, Unitarian Universalists, etc.). You can be an atheist and still have a religion. But atheism itself isn't a religion.
Just like you can be a theist but not have a religion.
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