Atheism and belief
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
03-09-2010, 09:01 PM
RE: Atheism and belief
I swear it's like you're constantly looking for a fight. Not because your questions are necessarily argumentative but because you seem to just ignore the answers your given and keep plugging away. It's a little maddening, at least to me.

Anyway, this really isn't that complicated. Atheism is not a belief system. We don't all universally believe in anything. We all universally disbelieve in a faith-based deity but, beyond that, any commonalities between us are just the type of similarities you may find in any group of people in all walks of life.

Quote:Atheism is the lack of a belief. Cool. But is it so difficult to imagine that there might be differentiation within that group?

Differentiation in the non-belief of a faith based deity? You mean like people who "really" don't believe it vs. people who "really, really" don't believe it? Again, it's not a complicated thing and doesn't really lend itself to interpretations.

I'm not sure if you're going to read this as me picking a fight or not but I'm honestly trying to be constructive here.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
03-09-2010, 09:36 PM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
(03-09-2010 09:01 PM)BnW Wrote:  
Quote:Atheism is the lack of a belief. Cool. But is it so difficult to imagine that there might be differentiation within that group?

Differentiation in the non-belief of a faith based deity? You mean like people who "really" don't believe it vs. people who "really, really" don't believe it? Again, it's not a complicated thing and doesn't really lend itself to interpretations.

An example of that differentiation would be the Atheist vs. New Atheist groups. Or, though essentailly the exact same argument, Atheists vs. Anti-theists.

The question among larger atheistic communities than our little online one here has become about whether aggressive atheism servesd the purpose of educating theists. Do we, as atheists need to be more or less aggresive? Should we be actively combating faith in our communities to bring reason around? and if yes, then how much?

If no, then do we leave them alone, knowing how much damage religion has done in the past?

This was a huge topic on the Yahoo! group that I left. And, it serves as a perfect example of 'sects's among Atheists.

For the record, I am an anti-theist. I would like to see all churches lose their tax-exempt status, have all religious references taken out of our schools and off of our money, removed from the Pledge of Allegiance(yes, I know its history and how it was added because of McCarthyism), and in general see religion consigned to the fringe group that Atheists used to occupy. I just don't want to be an asshole about it.

And many anti-theists or New Atheists as some others prefer to call themselves come off as assholes. Christopher Hitchens is a perfect example. Love his writings, but he comes off as pompous and arrogant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_...st_century
Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2010, 06:34 AM
RE: Atheism and belief
Yes, I get that as a result of being an atheist you will probably start to fall into a few different obvious logical paths on religion. But, these are more opinions then "beliefs". Atheism is not a belief system, it's simply a lack of belief in a faith based deity. I don't think what you're describing is what Ghost was referring to, but maybe I just misunderstood.

Btw, I'm with you on the religion thing. I don't care if there is a generic "In God we trust" on my money but the pledge thing irks me some and the tax exemption thing pisses me off to no end. Especially now when so many church's are violating the rules on political speech and crossing the line where they should be losing their tax exempt status. Yet another example of where religion gets deference that on one else would get. Grrrr......

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2010, 06:42 AM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
(04-09-2010 06:34 AM)BnW Wrote:  Yes, I get that as a result of being an atheist you will probably start to fall into a few different obvious logical paths on religion. But, these are more opinions then "beliefs". Atheism is not a belief system, it's simply a lack of belief in a faith based deity. I don't think what you're describing is what Ghost was referring to, but maybe I just misunderstood.

Btw, I'm with you on the religion thing. I don't care if there is a generic "In God we trust" on my money but the pledge thing irks me some and the tax exemption thing pisses me off to no end. Especially now when so many church's are violating the rules on political speech and crossing the line where they should be losing their tax exempt status. Yet another example of where religion gets deference that on one else would get. Grrrr......

But the difference between an opinion and a belief when speaking about a social norm is small.An opinion is a belief or judgement. My opinion is that religion has no place in a rational society. My belief is that religion is wrong.

I can't PROVE either of those conclusively, but to me, they're so interrelated that it makes no difference when you speak of the difference between my opinion and my belief.

and, to be honest, it's little differences that split the major monotheisms into factions. I can definitely see the parallels between having facets in a belief system and facets in a disbelief system.

I think you're arguing semantics on this one.

'course, I've been drinking, so I'll check this in teh morning, too.
Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2010, 06:48 AM
RE: Atheism and belief
Quote:I think you're arguing semantics on this one.

I don't think we've been properly introduced. Hi, I'm BnW,and arguing over semantics is what I do.

I see your point, though, but I still don't agree. The question was what do atheists believe. I don't think we are required to believe anything. Many of us will gravitate towards certain common areas including science and the place of religion in the world, but these are not requirements of being atheist or part of the atheist belief system.

Compare that with, say, Christianity where your starting point is a belief that God made the world in 6 days, Jesus died on the cross and that the bible is true. Depending on how religious you are you may see it as literal truth or metaphorical truth, but you see it as truth and it shapes your view of the world.

Perhaps this is just a semantic difference, but I still thought the "really" vs. "really, really" was pretty funny.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2010, 06:54 AM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
(04-09-2010 06:48 AM)BnW Wrote:  
Quote:I think you're arguing semantics on this one.

I don't think we've been properly introduced. Hi, I'm BnW,and arguing over semantics is what I do.

I see your point, though, but I still don't agree. The question was what do atheists believe. I don't think we are required to believe anything. Many of us will gravitate towards certain common areas including science and the place of religion in the world, but these are not requirements of being atheist or part of the atheist belief system.

Compare that with, say, Christianity where your starting point is a belief that God made the world in 6 days, Jesus died on the cross and that the bible is true. Depending on how religious you are you may see it as literal truth or metaphorical truth, but you see it as truth and it shapes your view of the world.

Perhaps this is just a semantic difference, but I still thought the "really" vs. "really, really" was pretty funny.

Actully, I was trying to figure out how to add you to my buddy list, so I could get to know you better. I like reading what you have to say.

And I see your point, as well. But when you are talking about rational thinkers, a classification is as close as you are going to get when you are considering a list of atheist beliefs.

Since we all reject the religious arguments, what is the harm in classification? And really, isn't a list of what we DON'T believe essentially the same thing?

I think that my original point was that it's all types of categorization and the reasoning behind it is irrelevant as far as the overall intent. The difference between new atheist and atheist and agnostic is all terms of classification.

the differences between Catholic, Protestant and Baptist are (to me) all matters of classification. i'm never going to be a Christian, so what's the difference?
Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2010, 07:07 AM
RE: Atheism and belief
Maybe. I've never heard the term "new atheist" before you wrote it. Until you added some clarification I would have figured it was someone who recently became an atheist.

And, if we are putting ourselves into groups based on lists, put me in the group that still believes in dog heaven because that's where my dog is going. Best damn dog to ever walk on 4 paws.

Buddy list? I'm flattered, but I had no idea this site had a "buddy" list. Of course, just this morning I figured out what the green "3" next to my reputation meant (and thanks for the kind words, btw).

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2010, 07:43 AM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
As a scientist, we use classification (technically, taxonomies) as an attempt to discern order within some set. Unfortunately, reality has a disconcerting habit of resisting such classifications, because our perceptions of order are always imperfect. Imagine setting up an array of little boxes, like a post office has, and each little box has these hard boundaries. Every member of the set must go into one box or another.

But when we attempt to do that in the real world, classifications often generate more conflict than insight - boundaries are blurred, real examples seem to fit equally well in more than one box, or perhaps not into any of the existing set of boxes. New classification systems are proposed, only to run into the same problems over and over.

I'm not opposed to trying to categorize atheists, but I think in the end it's going to be a waste of time and effort. One thing unites us, but from there ... it's like herding cats.
Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2010, 03:01 PM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
(04-09-2010 07:43 AM)2buckchuck Wrote:  As a scientist, we use classification (technically, taxonomies) as an attempt to discern order within some set. Unfortunately, reality has a disconcerting habit of resisting such classifications, because our perceptions of order are always imperfect. Imagine setting up an array of little boxes, like a post office has, and each little box has these hard boundaries. Every member of the set must go into one box or another.

But when we attempt to do that in the real world, classifications often generate more conflict than insight - boundaries are blurred, real examples seem to fit equally well in more than one box, or perhaps not into any of the existing set of boxes. New classification systems are proposed, only to run into the same problems over and over.

I'm not opposed to trying to categorize atheists, but I think in the end it's going to be a waste of time and effort. One thing unites us, but from there ... it's like herding cats.

I think that they just have to classify themselves. It's kind of a rational, natural process. We as atheists will eventually divide into sub-groups and cultures on our own. But the original post was about Atheism and belief, and classifying Atheists by belief. I mean, I may not believe in god, but I believe in a whole mess of other things.
Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2010, 09:52 PM
RE: Atheism and belief
(03-09-2010 05:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  1 - Are there any beliefs that are universal amongst Atheists?
There are common beliefs for most people who identify themselves as atheists, but no, there is no belief that units atheists. As you said, it's pretty broad.

(03-09-2010 05:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  2 - What are some of the different belief groups/categories within Atheism?

I've been thinking about that too. I haven't done much research into it, but I tend to create three sub-categories. Religious views(Scientology, Buddhism, ect...), philosophical views, and non-religious stances on the supernatural/god(I.E. apatheism). Each sub-group has plenty of examples. Any ideal that lacks, or requires there not to be, a belief in god is atheistic.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: