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Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
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06-08-2014, 04:39 PM (This post was last modified: 07-08-2014 05:54 AM by Chas.)
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
(06-08-2014 04:09 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  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.


Nope. It isn't in that or any sense.

Being an atheist correlates with holding certain philosophies and views.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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06-08-2014, 05:05 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
(06-08-2014 04:09 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  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.

That tends to seem more like humanism. In that when people ascribe to the above, they tend to call themselves secular humanists or if relying more on science, then naturalists. I do agree that in some ways atheism has become synonymized with these but I don't get how it is itself a philosophy.

I'll elaborate on the theistic claims a bit, I've been told that there are atheist philosophers and that these apparently include people like Nietzsche and Dawkins. I just don't get either of those as philosophers of atheism let alone what it means to philosophize about a lack of belief.

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06-08-2014, 05:16 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
I am not implying all atheists are secular humanist, or that all atheists are naturalist. Only that depending on how you use the word "atheism" it might be understood to mean more than it's literal definition. It is not inaccurate to say that most athiest do subscribe to similar set of core philosophical beliefs. Whether that is the correct usage of the term or not, I am not sure. Most atheist don't seem to think so. Linguistics tell us that the definition and usage of word evolve. Whether we like it or not, atheism might become synonymous with more than nonbelief.
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06-08-2014, 05:17 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
I've still not explained this well I fear. I've been told by theists that atheism as a philosophy goes back as far as Socrates.

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06-08-2014, 05:18 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
Otherwise, I think we largely agree that atheism as a word has become synonymized with other terms through association via correlation

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06-08-2014, 05:28 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
IRL, I have only observed people who associate either nothing with atheism (most) or negative things (a few) with atheism.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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06-08-2014, 05:29 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
(06-08-2014 05:28 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  IRL, I have only observed people who associate either nothing with atheism (most) or negative things (a few) with atheism.

Negative as in they try to equate us with Hitler? I mean....that makes sense because we are clearly similar to Catholics.

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06-08-2014, 06:52 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
(06-08-2014 05:17 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I've still not explained this well I fear. I've been told by theists that atheism as a philosophy goes back as far as Socrates.

That doesn't seem consistent with anything I know about Socrates.

Claiming that atheism is a religion seems to make religious people feel better. I don't understand why. If all people who believe in religion are foolish and delusional, that makes you still all of those things, even if it also makes me all of those things. I don't mind being shoe horned into the role of an hypocrite in order to make a point.

When people acknowledge the ridiculousness of their own faith, then I am happy to talk about what distinguishes atheism from all of those.
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06-08-2014, 08:18 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
(06-08-2014 06:52 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(06-08-2014 05:17 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I've still not explained this well I fear. I've been told by theists that atheism as a philosophy goes back as far as Socrates.

That doesn't seem consistent with anything I know about Socrates.

Claiming that atheism is a religion seems to make religious people feel better. I don't understand why. If all people who believe in religion are foolish and delusional, that makes you still all of those things, even if it also makes me all of those things. I don't mind being shoe horned into the role of an hypocrite in order to make a point.

When people acknowledge the ridiculousness of their own faith, then I am happy to talk about what distinguishes atheism from all of those.

Most people don't understand atheism to begin with. By calling it a religion, they label and categorize it as a subset of something they do understand. By saying atheism is a religion, they automatically have a means to compare it to something they know.

And FYI, their religion is right, and yours is wrong.

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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06-08-2014, 08:50 PM
RE: Atheism as a religion and/or philosophy
(06-08-2014 05:29 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(06-08-2014 05:28 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  IRL, I have only observed people who associate either nothing with atheism (most) or negative things (a few) with atheism.

Negative as in they try to equate us with Hitler? I mean....that makes sense because we are clearly similar to Catholics.
Nah, negative like expecting us to be less kind, or more cruel. During college and highschool I was told about 10 times total, "Wow, I can't believe you aren't Christian! You are just so nice!" Dodgy

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