I have talked to many atheists and some say that atheists are people who do not believe in the concept of God. But in the past people said that atheists were people who believed that there was "no God". What actually is atheism?
By definition, Atheism is a belief that there is no god. However, Paul Tillich, a theologian, defines atheism as a belief that there is nothing sacred and meaningful in the universe. I happen to agree with Tillich. It is scary to think that some folks think that nothing is sacred. I beg to disagree. Human life is both sacred and meaningful. How so, you may ask? I just believe.
"Paul Tillich, a theologian, defines atheism as"
There's your problem. :-D
I define my personal version of Atheisim on what was used in the Murray vs. Curlett case in 1963:
“An atheist loves his fellow man instead of god. An atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work now – here on earth for all men together to enjoy.
An atheist believes that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it, and enjoy it.
An atheist believes that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.
He seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man.
He wants an ethical way of life. He believes that we cannot rely on a god or channel action into prayer nor hope for an end of troubles in a hereafter.
He believes that we are our brother's keepers and are keepers of our own lives; that we are responsible persons and the job is here and the time is now.”
To say that Atheist think there is nothing sacred is asinine... sorry to be blunt in that way.
The fact that we believe in no afterlife makes life itself more sacred than any religion can possibly make it.
To the point...
Atheism by dictionary is the absence of belief in a deity.
Wikipedia definition: Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.
Generally the term is used by any religion, for people who don't believe in their particular version of nonsense, say, for a Christian, a Muslim is an atheist and vice versa. It also encompass(for the general public) a wide variety of beliefs, absence of beliefs, rationalism, nihilism, ignostism.....
I'll go with Wikipedia definition, as dictionary definition is irrational. You cannot believe or disbelieve in existence. Say, do you "believe" in the existence of your hand??
So you say that your definition is non-belief in the existence of a deity. Is it not the same as belief in non-existence of a deity? By keeping the "non" before "belief" or "existence" does it change the meaning? I think it does not. Because even with definition if I ask you the question "Does God exist?" you would answer "no".
There is a difference. A belief is acceptance as true, a past event. But when you say something does not exist, there is no role for belief there. Something exist or not, solely depends on the definition of the word exist, not whether somebody believe in or not. Say, god(whatever that is) exist, my belief or absence of it, will not make him non-existent.
There are people who call themselves atheists, who say they don't believe in god. Replace god with parents. So you believe or not believe what they say, is it not?
What do you ask? Do you believe in your parents or does your parents exist? Answer to both questions may be yes, but does that make the questions same?
You don't doubt their existence, do you, whether you believe in them or not? That is why I said "belief in existence" is irrational.
That was a good argument. But there is a flaw. I will take your example and put it in a different way to if you can see the point. You don't seem to understand where "belief". I don't doubt in the existence of my parents because I live with them it is obvious that they exist. In this case you are right in saying that "belief in existence" is irrational.
But lets say your parents went on a trip and suddenly they are missing. You do not know where they are or what happened to them. Under this circumstances if you are questioned "Does your parents exist?" what would your answer be? By all logic your answer can only be "I don't know". If you have to answer with a "yes" or a "no" you will have to use belief.
Let me elaborate. If you answer that question with a "yes they do exist" that would mean that you believe that they do exist and that you have your reasons(or evidences) for that. If your answer is "no they don't"then it would mean that you believe that they don't exist and that you have your own reasons (evidences) for such beliefs. I hope you get the point.
Yes, but there is a small difference again, what you should be really asking is are my parents alive. And my answer will be "I believe....."
The difference is "objects exist", concepts don't. We believe in concepts. So the first question is what is god? Is it an object or concept. If it is an object, it either exist or don't. If its concept, we believe, but our belief or lack there of, is not going to make it an object and hence exist.
Belief, we have is in past events. Say I believe Napoleon existed, or lived. Exist is always present. And knowledge- the future
So what do you say God is? An object or a concept? I assume that your position is that God is a concept and hence you lack belief in God. If that is your position then what makes you think that God is a concept?
What makes me think god is a concept?
Well i don't, why because nobody knows what this 'god' thing is. Without really knowing what does anybody mean by god, how can anybody say whether it is an object or concept? If you remember my first post i was saying about 'creator' and used god as its more easier to type.
So when you say creator aka god is an object, it need to satisfy condition. It should have a physical presence, that is, it need a shape and location, to be an object. How many will agree that there creator got a shape and location? And when you say creator, the act of creation should be able to be rationally explained, but it can't be. Hence it cannot be an object. So what choice we got, that this particular thing is conceived by intelligent humans, hence a concept.
That is an excellent analogy; for anyone under six years old. But, it makes absolutely no sense to anyone older.
It's so easy to trivialize the reflections of a person we disagree with because we see everyone arguing the existence of God using the same arguments and we assume they were simply taught what to think.
But, I see it as a simple matter of faith on the part of someone who believes. I don't have a problem with that. That's a choice you make. I do scratch my head when people insist there is concrete evidence. Those are people who turn a blind eye to reality and attempt to argue the point.
If no god exists, as reality implies, then it is what it is. If a god does exist, then he'll reveal himself in his own good time and we'll find out the reason for all the confusion.
Why worry about it? If you're right, it doesn't appear as if your god could care less what anyone thinks.
That is a nice way of putting it but it is a round about way. A theist also believes the same. The difference is God. The passage you quoted only strains to eliminate God. Statements like "instead of god", "no help through prayer", "rather than to know a god", "instead of a prayer said" etc only asserts that point. It cannot be taken as a definition.
@Mikio so you are saying that atheism or atheist has a belief. For you said "Atheism is a belief that there is no god". But Many atheists are against this. They say "atheism is a state of non-belief". So which is true.
I agree somewhat that there is no god to an extent, though each persons beliefs and practise or not is all different. Everyone is happy to do as they like.
Atheism is a disbelief in the existence of deity. It's pretty simple. It's not just God, it's any deity. I'm not sure why this is even arguable.
Atheism is doubt and confusion of a cynical person; a very un-natural one.
No disrespect intended to any person however; one may believe in anything one likes; this is the freedom provided by the Creator-God to every human being; and that I respect most.
Simplest definitions ever:
Theism - belief in god(s)
Atheism - no belief in god(s)
Atheism and theism cover the entire spectrum of disbelief and belief, from the zealous believers/unbelievers to those more agnostic believers/unbelievers.
to me it doesn't really have a definition . i'm an athiest i guess because i know god doesn't exist. it's not that i don't believe, it's that i know there is no such thing. i don't want or need to be classified because this is what i know in my heart and mind. i honestly don't care what other athiests think or what believers think.
There is no god, never was a god and never will be a god. When we die we are dead end of story. That is my opinion and I'm the only one I can speak for. I suppose it's could be like the christian faith in this regard...There seems to be as many definitions of what a true christian is as there are christians. The main differnce I see between religion and atheism is that the religious primarily use their beliefs to attack others while atheists use their belief to try and help those under attack. I was born an atheist and will die the same way.
Interesting definition of the difference between religion and atheism.
I thought it was ego that was the culprit. I've seen atheists and the religious attack. One avowed atheist visited one of my hubs and started his comments with an attack -- no introduction, no cordiality. So, I find your conclusion a bit thin on evidence. The real culprit is not an ideology or a group membership, but merely the tried and true, blistering ego.
You were not born as an atheist,you came into this world as a baby silly
That would be definition, and yes I do have a definition.
The word is a religious construct originating as an insult to unbelievers in religion.
LOL earnest, only the religious could believe that calling someone a free thinker would be an insult.
Which is why I never call myself something that is a religious construct.
No god, no atheists.
One does not need any system of belief to know a myth is a myth.
Such omniscience! The all-knowing, all-seeing Earnest! Wow! I'm impressed.
Im a saved christain bapist and I would have to say that a atheist is somebody that has never had the hope of something better then what this world has to offer .... So I pose this question to
everybody in the world WERE WILL YOU GO WHEN GOD COMES AGAIN TO JUDGE US WILL IT BE Heaven or HELL YOUR CHOICE ??
I used to be a saved again christian as well, the god/hell threat is a croc.
What do you expect in heaven, by the way, that you can't get in this world? And how long do you propose to enjoy it?
like you, i'll go in the ground or be cremated. unlike you, i don't need some myth about heaven and hell to tell me how to live because i'm afraid to die and go to hell. if heaven was never introduced into religion, religion would have ceased to exist a long, long time ago.
hot sizzle, I choose hell. wouldn't miss the suprised looks on the faces of most christians as they walk thru the front door for anything. According to the book you supposedly believe in, damned few of you have any chance of making it to heaven if it's a reality. It's a shame that so many of you take the possibility of heaven so seriously that you feel you have the right make this life a living hell for as many people as you can manage. The problem is that according to your beloved book, most of you will manage to screw hell up for my fellow atheists if we're wrong about the whole heaven and hell bit of nonsense. Saved baptist simply indicates an ability to swap targets for you hatred and bigotry. blacks, jews, homosexuals, mexicans, are all targets that have been createdc equal in your minds. I live below the mason/dumb-a$$ line and know what I'm talking about.
Atheism is simply a non belief in any god. Anything past that is personal philosophy and one shouldn't assume the opinion of any individual redefines the word.
As I had posted earlier not believing in the existence of a God is the same as belief in the non-existence of God. So isn't atheism also a belief? Because you believe that there is no God!
What nonsense. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in a god. A - theism. If I am A-political, that does not mean I hold a political preference. It means I do not have a political opinion. A-sexual reproduction means reproduction without sex. This is what the "A" at the beginning of the word means. "Without."
Perhaps a better dictionary than the Miriam Webster Online Liars for Jesus (TM) dictionary would help? Just a thought.
Do you hold a belief that the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus do not exist? Or do you simply not believe in them? Because if you call these beliefs - you have an awful lot of beliefs.
The only reason you call atheism a belief is to attempt to show that atheists are as irrational as you religionists.
This is simply untrue, and causes conflicts. Irrational religious beliefs cause people to behave irrationally - as you are doing now.
My attempt is to show that you people are just hiding (or trying to escape reality) behind a flawed definition of Atheism. You said that "Atheism is simply a lack of belief in a god". Can I interpret that definition as "there could be a God. He may exist. We just don't believe he exists. "
Tooth fairy and Santha Clause. My answer to this age old stale argument is... no I don't believe that they exist. It is the same as saying that I believe that they don't exist.
No. Atheism is a lack of belief, not a belief. The "a" represent a lack of something. This is the correct English definition.
Age old stale argument that there is an Invisible Super Being in the Sky?
Yes. As opposed to having a belief in God but being aggressively disconncted with It. That would be antiteism.
I mean you wouldn't say a Democrat was Arepublican. That of course would make the radio news much too confusing.
These guys are so transparent and dishonest it is almost sad. He does not want to know what atheism is (and it is not that complicated) - he wants to attack atheists as being irrational for holding a belief in order to defend his irrational belief in a god and hold the two up as being equal.
I would say that you are stuck behind a thought or a definition. You are intelligent and so I would not say you don't understand. I would say you do not want to accept the facts.
A coin has two sides. If "lack of belief in something" is one side the "presence of belief in something" is the other side. If atheism is the lack of belief that is only one side of the coin. What about the other side?
The other side is a belief in a god.
What about it? Your belief in god has no bearing - it is simply something you believe and I do not. So what? Does the fact that I think planes only stay in the sky because 51% of the passengers believe they will and you don't have any bearing on that?
I am not stuck on anything. That is the correct English definition of that word. You are just defending your ridiculous beliefs.
I mean no offense but you either don't get the point or you just don't want to accept the truth. I am not questioning anyone's belief. I am only trying to make a point.
Lack of belief in something is the result of belief in something else.
Lack of belief in something means belief in something else.
This is true because everything else has a flip side.
So logically you just cannot say that Atheism is the lack of belief in God and leave it at that. What about the flip side?
Yes I can. The correct English definition - using a- in front of something means a "lack of." Your point is nonsense. You are simply defending your ridiculous beliefs. Lack of belief in something is not the result of a belief in something else.
Sorry you cannot understand this basic use of English. Your logic is also somewhat nonsensical. Everything has a flip side? Yes - Lack of belief is the flip side of belief.
I wouldn't say I believe in the non existence of any gods. I see no evidence of any gods. Nothing more. I'm not certain how that would equate to a belief.
But I don't classify myself as atheist.
it's not the same . it's not that i don't believe, i know god is a myth and so does almost everyone else. the difference is that i don't act like i believe "just in case" god is real. i honestly thing that maybe, at best, 5 % of believers actually honestly believe, the other 95% are just covering their butts.
Richard Dawkins has a neat definition of an atheist. It is someone who does not believe in a god. By this definition, everyone is actually an atheist. A Christian does not believe in Zeus or Wotan or Jupiter or Saturn or Cronos, or any of the other many thousands of gods people have worshipped throughout history. It must be understood by Christians, that these other gods had as much reality to people as their god does to them. People prayed to these gods, taught their children to worship these gods, and believed that when they died, these gods would be there to welcome them to the afterlife. Yet, these gods have been forgotten, and the world still continues without them. The difference for Richard Dawkins and many who call themselves atheists is that their disbelief extends to one god further. They do not stop at stating that they don't believe in Zeus or Wotan, but that they also do not believe in the fashionable god of their own culture in their own time.
So when Christians criticise atheists for not believing in the Christian god, they must also realise that they too are atheists, because of their lack of belief in Zeus or Wotan.
And why must we take Richard's definition? In fact I would say that all other definitions were not good enough for him to hide behind and also to condemn others so he coined his own definition.
How odd. You ask what atheism is and then argue and fight that it is not what the atheists tell you it is. Did you not actually want to know? I guess you just wanted to fight about how rational believing in god is compared to not believing?
I don't think Richard Dawkins needs or even wants to "hide behind" any definition. He is very open about his atheism. I don't think anyone who knows anything about Dawkins can be in any doubt that he does not believe in the existence of any god. It's not as if he hides the fact. And the points he makes concerning a person's beliefs being founded upon the relgion of their family and of the culture in which they were born is very valid. If someone is born in India, they are more likely to be a Hindu or a Sikh. If they are from Western Europe thay are more likely to be a Christian or a Muslim or atheist. If they are from the United States, they are more likely to be Christian, etc. The god people believe in is the one they have been taught to believe in, just as for an ancient Greek, they would have belived that Zeus was as real as Jesus is for a Christian. This is only stating the obvious and there should be nothing that is offensive by his saying it.
I have already mentioned that I have no intention of fighting. I am just raising some questions. Why do some get upset? Are these questions disturbing to you?
Long bank Atheism was defined as "belief in non-existence of God". Atheists at that point in time worked under that definition. But when questions arose and atheists began to find it difficult to explain their beliefs the term was redefined as "lack of belief in God". This definition helped gave them a better grip on things. Now here comes Mr. Dawkins and defines the term as "lack of belief in ' a ' God".
My question is why is the definition changed every now and then?
The definition has never changed. I have given you the correct definition that has always been true. Religious liars persuade their followers to use new definitions in order to defend their own ridiculous beliefs.
As you are doing now.
Has the definition of "theism," ever changed? Because - if it has not, then the definition of a-theism has never changed.
Here is an example of violence perpetrated by someone who is not an atheist.
http://www.care2.com/causes/leader-of-c … child.html
Reading this article, and others recently, it does seem that homophobic crimes, including murder are on the rise. Even in Western Europe, for so long a very liberal part of the world is seeing a huge increase in crimes against gay people, or those just perceived as being gay. That a four year old child could be so horribly murdered because of the ravings of another mad religious bigot shows how religion can be so irrational and filled with hatred towards anyone perceived as being different. Why though is it always gays and women who must suffer the most at the hands of the religious fundamentalist?
When a human is born as long as he does not attain maturity he learns from his parents and the society. As a kid he has no other better teachers than them and they teach him a lot. With innocence he gets knowledge hardly questing anything; this is the natural process. This is his faith primarily.There is no harm in it whatever it is.
When he gets full consciousness; he knows good from the bad and then his journey towards the Absolute Truth begins.
Belief is like one is walking straight and normal and then when he tumbles down it is a flip of him.
Do you even understand what you just wrote? Because I certainly did not!
Atheism is a word some assign to a lack of belief in an impossible god.
I don't believe I have 9 toes on each foot, so that makes me an atoist?
Not believing ridiculous unproven claims requires no more than some education and common sense unless you are indoctrinated....... and when that happens you leave your logic behind.
Heb 9 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
Nothing about 9 toes but . . .
I searched the Bible database for 'presence of God' and it gave me this. I searched 'proof of God' and it gave me this:
Your simple query produced no results.
by Brittany Williams2 years ago
Atheism only means the lack of a belief in God. Why is it so hard for Christians to realize that we dismiss their religion for the same reasons that they dismiss all other religions? It doesn't make us horrible people,...
by Mahaveer Sanglikar3 years ago
Is atheism becoming another religion? I am asking this question because many atheists are loudly talking against 'other' religions, like many of the the propagandists of religions do.I myself am an atheist, and I think...
by Cattleprod Media6 years ago
I find most people are clueless. They say they are atheist, but can't properly form an argument as to WHY, or they say they are agnostic, with zero clue as to WHAT that is.Ignorance, above all, is our weakness. Not...
by Rhonda D Johnson4 years ago
I was about to reply to rickylidea's forum "How Did You Become an Atheist?" when it dawned on me that I might not qualify as a bona fide atheist. Some of you may remember from my previous hubs that I...
by Tony Lawrence5 years ago
I think not.Some say that they just aren't sure, but they figure "I'm a good person, so if there is, I'm fine". I'd say that person is actually a theist.Others say they don't know and don't care. They never...
by Disappearinghead2 years ago
.......in terms of behaviours and activities?I've just read a hub by someone talking about the old Chestnut that not all who call themselves Christian are going to heaven citing Jesus "Not all who cry Lord will...
Copyright © 2016 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.