Atheist religions?
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09-09-2010, 03:23 AM
 
RE: Atheist religions?
(08-09-2010 04:13 AM)aulen Wrote:  I guess ignorance is bliss. Not understanding how they work makes you just as bad as them, especially when the differences mean a theistic and atheistic belief system, which is important in this entire website.
I'm not ashamed to be ignorant about some things. Everyone is ignorant about many things. No one is an expert in everything, after all. I don't see that as bliss, contrary to your comment, but I don't see it as some glaring moral lapse, either.

As bad as them in what way? Sorry, but your response makes no sense to me. Why would all the doctrinaire debates within christianity matter to me or any other atheist? If we don't believe in the christian god, all of those differences within christianity are of no significance to us. Suppose that believers in sasquatch have split into different sects, based on their beliefs about the color of saquatch's toenails. Would it be of any value for me as a nonbeliever in sasquatch to be aware of this internal argument?

I choose to remain ignorant about all of those things, whereas you apparently see it as necessary for us to investigate these petty differences thoroughly. Why do you think this way? Is it because you're interested in cultures? I might be interested in some aspects of some cultures, but I see no value to this thread's topic in knowing all the doctrinaire details about religions in which I don't believe. ...

(08-09-2010 04:13 AM)aulen Wrote:  
(08-09-2010 03:23 AM)2buckchuck Wrote:  The rationalizing here is pretty intense. A war fought in defense or to reclaim what was taken is war nevertheless. And wars are not noble and honorable ... they're nasty, brutal, and dehumanizing. I know of no reason why Buddhists would be exceptions, as I believe all of them are human. War affects humans in predictable ways.
Lets take away your freedoms and torture you and see how you react.
An irrelevant point. You still seem to be rationalizing heavily, portraying buddhists as the ultimate peaceniks, but they seem quite willing to engage in warfare, and if I investigated their history more thoroughly, I might find more obvious examples where they may have fought aggressive wars. Buddhists are human, not some sort of magical creatures having only serene thoughts of peace and love all the time. Are you simply being defensive in an argument or do you truly believe that buddhists are all saint-like, all the time?

(08-09-2010 04:13 AM)aulen Wrote:  The outcome based on someone else's actions are not based on Buddhists. Some people, not Buddhist, took advantage of the situation these monks brought up in order to further their agenda. We're debating Atheist religions and their direct implications, not their distant impacts. If this was the case, well, would there be a point for this forum at all? In the end, having this would widen the impact of religion, which, we can all assume, we don't want. As for self-centered, when was the last time you killed yourself, or even thought about it, to make a point about the freedoms of others?
Let's see ... the last time I killed myself ... hmmm! Interesting. I can't seem to recall ever killing myself. Maybe it was in a previous incarnation?

OK - back on point - did the buddhists in Vietnam kill themselves on behalf of overthrowing the regime in South Vietnam or not? Were the buddhists prepared to do the overthrowing, or did they think the corrupt regime in Saigon simply would be overwhelmed with remorse over buddhist suicides and leave voluntarily? If the buddhists weren't going to do the overthrowing, and they wanted the regime removed, it was necessarily going to have to be someone else to do it for them, no? Surely they understood that - I'm assuming that being a buddhist removes none of one's capacity for rational thought. If you're protesting for political change, and the consequences of that change include war, then you are necessarily complicit in that war. Or are the ostensibly 'peaceful' Buddhists being given a free pass because of their universal sainthood?

(08-09-2010 04:13 AM)aulen Wrote:  Don't mean to get nasty or snippy. I can get rather defensive, especially when it deals with culture and the ways of other people. Saying all Buddhists are the same would be like saying you act the same way as someone from the Philippines, the Middle East, or someone from Tanzania. Different thoughts, morays, social norms, common practices, and environment make you different people completely, and you value and look at things completely different.
I've never actually claimed that all buddhists or all christians are the same. What I have said is that their religious doctrinaire disputes are of no interest to me. I can lump them together not because I believe them all to be clones of each other, but because I have no need to become involved in their internal debates. If you choose to be offended by that, it's your choice, not my goal.
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09-09-2010, 04:00 AM
 
RE: Atheist religions?
(08-09-2010 02:00 AM)aulen Wrote:  Umm, Shinto, buddy. The Divinity of the Emperor is within Shinto, which, within Japan, is indeed deeply tied with Buddhism, but that's the Shinto in it. As for being trained by Buddhist monks, who was controlling the religious shrines and temples? Government. Proclaiming someone is something doesn't make it true. I can call myself a duck all I want, but I'm not.

I have already been corrected on this. See earlier postings. Thank you though, I am always looking for new knowledge. Smile
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09-09-2010, 06:10 AM
RE: Atheist religions?
I just want to take a minute to point out that sasquatch's toe nails are obviously mauve and anyone who thinks otherwise is a heathen and should be hung by their ankles and beaten like a pinata until they break open.

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10-09-2010, 04:35 AM
 
RE: Atheist religions?
(08-09-2010 06:06 AM)BnW Wrote:  
Quote:Saying all Buddhists are the same would be like saying you act the same way as someone from the Philippines, the Middle East, or someone from Tanzania

Not trying to jump into your debate, especially when I am not knowledgeable to add anything of value, but I do think I can maybe help with a communication breakdown here.

I don't believe that 2Buck is saying all Buddhists are the same. I believe his point here is that they all fall under a fundamental belief and that the nuances between them are not relevant to the point you are discussion. So, in the context of Christianity, you can safely lump all Christians together in the sense that they all believe that Jesus was the son of God, died on the cross and was resurrected. That is the core universal belief. The various nuances that split them into 10,000 or whatever different sects are irrelevant when discussing the basics of Christianity. That is the point he is making, or at least how I read it.

There are a couple of other examples of this type of communication breakdown I think is going on here as well. Feel free to get defensive, but I just think you may be getting defensive on the wrong issues is all.

Ok, don't mind me. Carry on.

I understand what is going on, but like I said, when debating the ideals of RELIGION, the "nuances" are important, at least in the context of Buddhism, especially when said nuances mean the differences between a theistic religion and atheistic religion.

(09-09-2010 06:10 AM)BnW Wrote:  I just want to take a minute to point out that sasquatch's toe nails are obviously mauve and anyone who thinks otherwise is a heathen and should be hung by their ankles and beaten like a pinata until they break open.
Fallacy. Obviously burgundy.

And as for the immolation of the Buddhist monks, obviously their purpose was misconstrued. They weren't protesting FOR war, or to HELP the cause in the south, they were protesting against it. Buddhists were being persecuted by Diem's American-backed regime and this was an act of protest against the persecution of Buddhists, Diem's regime, and, essentially, the war itself, but more-so the U.S.'s puppet government, which was run by a completely incompetent ruler who was only in power because he did what every good little boy does; listen.
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13-09-2010, 11:57 PM
RE: Atheist religions?
I don't think there are such things as atheist religions since they all believe in the supernatural. They may not believe in a theistic god, but still believe in a supernatural power
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14-09-2010, 12:00 AM
RE: Atheist religions?
(13-09-2010 11:57 PM)sosa Wrote:  I don't think there are such things as atheist religions since they all believe in the supernatural. They may not believe in a theistic god, but still believe in a supernatural power

I agree.
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20-09-2010, 08:18 AM
RE: Atheist religions?
(13-09-2010 11:57 PM)sosa Wrote:  I don't think there are such things as atheist religions since they all believe in the supernatural. They may not believe in a theistic god, but still believe in a supernatural power

Atheism is not a synonyme with naturalism.

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20-09-2010, 03:05 PM
RE: Atheist religions?
Here is the definition from Encyclopedia Brittanica: "atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings"

According to this definition, and the topic at hand, scientology cannot be atheistic

"Atheism, however, casts a wider net and rejects all belief in “spiritual beings,” and to the extent that belief in spiritual beings is definitive of what it means for a system to be religious, atheism rejects religion. So atheism is not only a rejection of the central conceptions of Judeo-Christianity and Islām, it is, as well, a rejection of the religious beliefs of such African religions as that of the Dinka and the Nuer, of the anthropomorphic gods of classical Greece and Rome, and of the transcendental conceptions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Generally atheism is a denial of God or of the gods, and if religion is defined in terms of belief in spiritual beings, then atheism is the rejection of all religious belief.

It is necessary, however, if a tolerably adequate understanding of atheism is to be achieved, to give a reading to “rejection of religious belief” and to come to realize how the characterization of atheism as the denial of God or the gods is inadequate.

To say that atheism is the denial of God or the gods and that it is the opposite of theism, a system of belief that affirms the reality of God and seeks to demonstrate his existence, is inadequate in a number of ways. First, not all theologians who regard themselves as defenders of the Christian faith or of Judaism or Islām regard themselves as defenders of theism. The influential 20th-century Protestant theologian Paul Tillich, for example, regards the God of theism as an idol and refuses to construe God as a being, even a supreme being, among beings or as an infinite being above finite beings. God, for him, is “being-itself,” the ground of being and meaning. The particulars of Tillich’s view are in certain ways idiosyncratic, as well as being obscure and problematic, but they have been influential; and his rejection of theism, while retaining a belief in God, is not eccentric in contemporary theology, though it may very well affront the plain believer.

Second, and more important, it is not the case that all theists seek to demonstrate or even in any way rationally to establish the existence of God. Many theists regard such a demonstration as impossible, and fideistic believers (e.g., Johann Hamann and Søren Kierkegaard) regard such a demonstration, even if it were possible, as undesirable, for in their view it would undermine faith. If it could be proved, or known for certain, that God exists, people would not be in a position to accept him as their sovereign Lord humbly on faith with all the risks that entails. There are theologians who have argued that for genuine faith to be possible God must necessarily be a hidden God, the mysterious ultimate reality, whose existence and authority must be accepted simply on faith. This fideistic view has not, of course, gone without challenge from inside the major faiths, but it is of sufficient importance to make the above characterization of atheism inadequate.

Finally, and most important, not all denials of God are denials of his existence. Believers sometimes deny God while not being at all in a state of doubt that God exists. They either willfully reject what they take to be his authority by not acting in accordance with what they take to be his will, or else they simply live their lives as if God did not exist. In this important way they deny him. Such deniers are not atheists (unless we wish, misleadingly, to call them “practical atheists”). They are not even agnostics. They do not question that God exists; they deny him in other ways. An atheist denies the existence of God. As it is frequently said, atheists believe that it is false that God exists, or that God’s existence is a speculative hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability.

Yet it remains the case that such a characterization of atheism is inadequate in other ways. For one it is too narrow. There are atheists who believe that the very concept of God, at least in developed and less anthropomorphic forms of Judeo-Christianity and Islām, is so incoherent that certain central religious claims, such as “God is my creator to whom everything is owed,” are not genuine truth-claims; i.e., the claims could not be either true or false. Believers hold that such religious propositions are true, some atheists believe that they are false, and there are agnostics who cannot make up their minds whether to believe that they are true or false. (Agnostics think that the propositions are one or the other but believe that it is not possible to determine which.) But all three are mistaken, some atheists argue, for such putative truth-claims are not sufficiently intelligible to be genuine truth-claims that are either true or false. In reality there is nothing in them to be believed or disbelieved, though there is for the believer the powerful and humanly comforting illusion that there is. Such an atheism, it should be added, rooted for some conceptions of God in considerations about intelligibility and what it makes sense to say, has been strongly resisted by some pragmatists and logical empiricists.

While the above considerations about atheism and intelligibility show the second characterization of atheism to be too narrow, it is also the case that this characterization is in a way too broad. For there are fideistic believers, who quite unequivocally believe that when looked at objectively the proposition that God exists has a very low probability weight. They believe in God not because it is probable that he exists—they think it more probable that he does not—but because belief is thought by them to be necessary to make sense of human life. The second characterization of atheism does not distinguish a fideistic believer (a Blaise Pascal or a Kierkegaard) or an agnostic (a T.H. Huxley or a Leslie Stephen) from an atheist such as Baron d’Holbach or Thomas Paine. All believe that “There is a God” and “God protects humankind,” however emotionally important they may be, are speculative hypotheses of an extremely low order of probability. But this, since it does not distinguish believers from nonbelievers and does not distinguish agnostics from atheists, cannot be an adequate characterization of atheism.

It may be retorted that to avoid apriorism and dogmatic atheism the existence of God should be regarded as a hypothesis. There are no ontological (purely a priori) proofs or disproofs of God’s existence. It is not reasonable to rule in advance that it makes no sense to say that God exists. What the atheist can reasonably claim is that there is no evidence that there is a God, and against that background he may very well be justified in asserting that there is no God. It has been argued, however, that it is simply dogmatic for an atheist to assert that no possible evidence could ever give one grounds for believing in God. Instead, atheists should justify their unbelief by showing (if they can) how the assertion is well-taken that there is no evidence that would warrant a belief in God. If atheism is justified, the atheist will have shown that in fact there is no adequate evidence for the belief that God exists, but it should not be part of his task to try to show that there could not be any evidence for the existence of God. If the atheist could somehow survive the death of his present body (assuming that such talk makes sense) and come, much to his surprise, to stand in the presence of God, his answer should be, “Oh! Lord, you didn’t give me enough evidence!” He would have been mistaken, and realize that he had been mistaken, in his judgment that God did not exist. Still, he would not have been unjustified, in the light of the evidence available to him during his earthly life, in believing as he did. Not having any such postmortem experiences of the presence of God (assuming that he could have them), what he should say, as things stand and in the face of the evidence he actually has and is likely to be able to get, is that it is false that God exists. (Every time one legitimately asserts that a proposition is false one need not be certain that it is false. “Knowing with certainty” is not a pleonasm.) The claim is that this tentative posture is the reasonable position for the atheist to take.

An atheist who argues in this manner may also make a distinctive burden-of-proof argument. Given that God (if there is one) is by definition a very recherché reality—a reality that must be (for there to be such a reality) transcendent to the world—the burden of proof is not on the atheist to give grounds for believing that there is no reality of that order. Rather, the burden of proof is on the believer to give some evidence for God’s existence; i.e., that there is such a reality. Given what God must be, if there is a God, the theist needs to present the evidence, for such a very strange reality. He needs to show that there is more in the world than is disclosed by common experience. The empirical method, and the empirical method alone, such an atheist asserts, affords a reliable method for establishing what is in fact the case. To the claim of the theist that there are in addition to varieties of empirical facts “spiritual facts” or “transcendent facts,” such as it being the case that there is a supernatural, self-existent, eternal power, the atheist can assert that such “facts” have not been shown.

It will, however, be argued by such atheists, against what they take to be dogmatic aprioristic atheists, that the atheist should be a fallibilist and remain open-minded about what the future may bring. There may, after all, be such transcendent facts, such metaphysical realities. It is not that such a fallibilistic atheist is really an agnostic who believes that he is not justified in either asserting that God exists or denying that he exists and that what he must reasonably do is suspend belief. On the contrary, such an atheist believes that he has very good grounds indeed, as things stand, for denying the existence of God. But he will, on the second conceptualization of what it is to be an atheist, not deny that things could be otherwise and that, if they were, he would be justified in believing in God or at least would no longer be justified in asserting that it is false that there is a God. Using reliable empirical techniques, proven methods for establishing matters of fact, the fallibilistic atheist has found nothing in the universe to make a belief that God exists justifiable or even, everything considered, the most rational option of the various options. He therefore draws the atheistical conclusion (also keeping in mind his burden-of-proof argument) that God does not exist. But he does not dogmatically in a priori fashion deny the existence of God. He remains a thorough and consistent fallibilist."
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21-09-2010, 10:56 AM
RE: Atheist religions?
So, what do we call someone who does'nt believe in a god, but believes in metaphysical stuff, like metaphysical souls and ghosts, since he's not an atheist and not a theist nor agnostic? I've always though that atheism is just not believing in a god, and this is the first time I've bumped into the kind of definition you're offering. So a naturalist and an atheist are really the same thing?

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25-09-2010, 02:15 PM
RE: Atheist religions?
This is just my personal opinion and position, but...

If a religion has any metaphysical or spiritual dogmatic underpinnings, it is in fact not atheistic as I employ the word in reference to myself. Consequently, since Buddhism is at it's root Vedic and since it also allows for ancestor worship and prayer for intercession, it is not truly atheistic. In my opinion, there are atheistic religions such as pantheism and scientific deism even though they use the word "god." However, their reinterpretation of the word god is in no wise metaphysical nor personally spiritual.
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