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Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
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06-08-2014, 01:02 PM
Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
I figure there are 2 things to bring into this thread, one more geared towards we atheists and one geared towards ye theists.

I'll start with the latter, first. A lot of theists seem to have a strong desire to call atheism (or some form of science/naturalism) a religion. Why is this? Do you believe a religious position is a weaker one than a secular position? What about atheism or science asserts itself as a religious belief?

As for we atheists, I've now heard theists (and some atheists and/or agnostics) refer to atheism as an inherently philosophic position. I can't for the life of me figure out how to make that work. Philosophy or no?

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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06-08-2014, 01:04 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
Welcome back. Thumbsup

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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06-08-2014, 01:04 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
(06-08-2014 01:04 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Welcome back. Thumbsup

I was always with you in spirit Laugh out load

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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06-08-2014, 03:22 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
It always confuses me when people try to relate atheism directly to anything aside from skepticism (although even the relationship to skepticism might be questionable). Science ... religion, neither are directly related to atheism. Atheism is just one small characteristic. As small as a preference towards sandwiches, or a dislike of seafood. Such a characteristic usually wouldn't matter, unless one found themselves in a culture that worshipped seafood and rarely at sandwiches.

But I guess that's the problem, isn't it.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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06-08-2014, 03:27 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
Interesting question.

Whenever a theist is brave enough to debate me Laughat and brings the old "atheists have faith in their beliefs" attack, or equate atheism as a religion I usually respond in this manner...

Atheism is not a religion, lets look at what religion is: A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence...an anthropological category. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe.

Many religions may have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, holy places, and scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration of a deity, gods or goddesses, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religions may also contain mythology.

Now, with exception of public service, Atheism doesn't have any of that. Atheism also doesn't need to have faith, as faith is the firm belief in something without evidence. We have evidence of our position (evolution), it is the theist whose delusional belief in a transcendental reality is based solely on imagination and subjective philosophy...oh yeah, and a fictional disproven book.

Science is the antithesis of faith. Science is a process that contains multiple and redundant checks, balances, and safeguards against human bias and error. Science has a built in corrective mechanism..hypothesis testing...that weeds out false claims. Claims that come about as a result of a scientific process are held as tentatively true by scientists..unlike claims of faith that are held as eternally true with zero evidence. Related to this, claims that come about as a result of a scientific process are falsifiable, that is, there is a way to show the claims are false. This is not the case with faith claims. For example, there's no way to falisify the claim that the norse god Loki was able ot assume other forms.

Scientists try to prove claims false (falsification), unlike faith leaders who unequivocally state their faith claims are true. If a scientist can demonstrate that a popular scientific claim is false, he or she can become famous, get tenure, publish books, earn more money and become respected by her or his peers. If a preacher states that the claims of his faith tradition are false, he's excommunicated, defrocked or otherwise forced to abandon his position...the stifling of growth and enlightenment basically.

Science is a method for advancing our understanding. It is process we can use to bring us closer to the truth, and to weed out false claims. Science thus is the best way we've currently found to explain and understand how the universe works...unlike the religious leaders who base it on a superstitious disproven anthropocentric fictional book put together by agenda based allegorical writings based on fairy tales and passed down mythical stories and sold to the masses. Singlehandedly the greatest scam ever pulled on mankind.

...or words to that affect Smile

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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06-08-2014, 03:32 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
(06-08-2014 01:02 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I figure there are 2 things to bring into this thread, one more geared towards we atheists and one geared towards ye theists.

I'll start with the latter, first. A lot of theists seem to have a strong desire to call atheism (or some form of science/naturalism) a religion. Why is this? Do you believe a religious position is a weaker one than a secular position? What about atheism or science asserts itself as a religious belief?

As for we atheists, I've now heard theists (and some atheists and/or agnostics) refer to atheism as an inherently philosophic position. I can't for the life of me figure out how to make that work. Philosophy or no?

I've noticed that theists commonly accuse atheists of things they are themselves guilty of… for example
- having a religion
- having faith
- not being objective
- all believing the same thing
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06-08-2014, 04:01 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
(06-08-2014 03:32 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I've noticed that theists commonly accuse atheists of things they are themselves guilty of… for example
- having a religion
- having faith
- not being objective
- all believing the same thing

I've been wondering about this myself. If they think that religious faith is a bad thing then they do they have it themselves?

In a way they are implicitly admitting their fears that they may just be wrong and that scientists may be correct. After all, you just have to look at the marvels of modern day life to see the power of the scientific method. Also because there are so many other religions the vast majority of the global population will be wrong.

The other worry is that they don't necessarily understand what scientists are talking about, whereas they can easily appreciate that followers of other religions believe in things that seem like nonsense to them.

So if they can convince themselves that atheism is just another religion then they can also convince themselves that there is just as much chance that they are as correct as an atheist.

Essentially what they are doing is just trying to find a way of ignoring the fact that people disagree with them so they don't have to question their own beliefs.
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06-08-2014, 04:09 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
Technically, there really is no such thing as atheism. There is only theism. In the same way, there are only skaters. There aren't "not a skaters". So atheism can't be a philosophy or a religion because it isn't really anything.

Aside:
I was tempted to write "there is only theism and deism" above, but it is only theism that has the "a" in front of it. Why is that? Adeism isn't a word as far as I know and it falls under atheism I guess. But that emphasizes my point. There really is no adeism either which might be why there is no word for it.

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06-08-2014, 04:09 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
Atheism literally means not a theist. By that definition it cannot be a belief system.

However, atheism has taken on the meaning of someone who does not believe in god, and often someone who places emphasis on humanism and on science as a means to find answers. In that sense atheism is a philosophy.
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06-08-2014, 04:35 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
I liked most of your post but...
(06-08-2014 03:27 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Now, with exception of public service, Atheism doesn't have any of that. Atheism also doesn't need to have faith, as faith is the firm belief in something without evidence. We have evidence of our position (evolution)
Atheism doesn't have public service. Sometimes groups of atheists do public service, just like sometimes groups of teenagers do. Evolution is not an atheistic position and has nothing to do with atheism.
Quote:Science is the antithesis of faith. Science is a process that contains multiple and redundant checks, balances, and safeguards against human bias and error. Science has a built in corrective mechanism..hypothesis testing...that weeds out false claims. Claims that come about as a result of a scientific process are held as tentatively true by scientists..unlike claims of faith that are held as eternally true with zero evidence. Related to this, claims that come about as a result of a scientific process are falsifiable, that is, there is a way to show the claims are false. This is not the case with faith claims. For example, there's no way to falisify the claim that the norse god Loki was able ot assume other forms.[...]
You make good points about science, but science itself is not directly related to atheism. I was an atheist at the age of 6 with little to no knowledge of science.

Although I do agree that religion is the greatest scam of all time.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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