Dumb Atheist Sayings
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15-05-2016, 04:28 PM
RE: Dumb Atheist Sayings
(15-05-2016 04:14 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(15-05-2016 04:09 PM)ImFred Wrote:  I do? I feel like it's absolutely my prerogative not to give a rat's ass what anybody believes. I'm glad I never wasted my time considering whatever cockamamie belief systems passed my way.

In your statement you acknowledge they exist, you obviously rejected it.

Whatever. Drinking Beverage

That kinda proves the point one must be first aware of something to reject it.

I think it was that you said I have to "care" that startled me. And you said you're pissed because you studied religion or something close. It felt like you were saying it bothers you that a brother like me never did.

Do I got you twisted?
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15-05-2016, 04:29 PM
RE: Dumb Atheist Sayings
Atheism = "No God Beliefs", it does not require you to know the concept of god to not believe it. It only requires that you not have a belief in gods. Seems simple enough to me. I don't see why it's such a mystery to others.

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15-05-2016, 04:33 PM
RE: Dumb Atheist Sayings
"Now what is the message there? The message is that there are no "knowns." There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well that's basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns."

-Donald Rumsfeld
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15-05-2016, 04:36 PM
RE: Dumb Atheist Sayings
(15-05-2016 04:16 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  
(15-05-2016 03:55 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I'll admit I'm not fond of the whole "we are all born atheists" argument.

We are all born unbelievers. That's really not the same. We're also not aware of color. Does that mean we don't believe in blue?

Atheism is a tag or label.

There are many people who are currently beleivers who claim to be former atheists.

Not ever attending church doesn't really make someone an atheist tho. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that god exists -- you first have to understand and care that people do believe in god to reject the premise. Many in the "former atheist" camp don't make that assertion unless it sounds better than, "my family was never religious, we never went to church or were involved with any religion. Then I heard about the Flying Spaghetti Monster (insert any religion) and became a believer in noodles"

It pisses me off because my atheism came from a different place, where I actually studied religions and didn't want the atheist label.

I get what you're trying to say, but it's hard for me to attach "belief" in the word. I know it doesn't mean a lot to English speakers, but for me it brings up a kind of cognitive dissonance to attach meanings to this word other than what it clearly means (to me). Considering the Greek origin of it, I see the English word just as I see the Greek one; without any need for belief in its meaning.

However, I wouldn't mind the argument worded as "We are all born unbelievers". It works quite the same.

I don't like attaching the word "believe" or "belief" either. But I certain lack the omnipotence to assert that I know no god has ever existed or does exist.

My assertion is that there is no credible evidence of a god. I can totally assert that all religions were begun by people. I can understand how religions began based on human anthropology and sociology.

If there were such compelling evidence to a god's existence, I would change my opinion.

Religious people come here all the time asserting that god exists. But they have no evidence aside from their "feels" and they believe what they're told.

It all does boil down to "belief" and suspension of "belief".

I prefer evidence before I believe in something -- and in my case (can't speak for all) the lack of evidence was compelling enough to sway me away from belief in god.

But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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15-05-2016, 05:31 PM
RE: Dumb Atheist Sayings
(15-05-2016 03:55 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  Of course, the word "atheist" only applies to humans since all the other things you mentioned cannot "have a god".


(15-05-2016 03:14 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  If I was born an atheist, what was I a minute before I was born? An atheist. And a minute before that? Still an atheist. And nine months before that? Was the freshly fertilized ovum that would become me an atheist? It certainly didn't believe in god.

What then of the unfertilized ovum and the lucky sperm? Are we to consider them atheists too? Neither of them believe in god. This poses a problem though. My father was an atheist but my mother was a theist. At what point did part of her body become the atheist ovum that would become me? All of my grandparents were theists so at what point did my paternal grandparents' gametes become the atheists that my father would be?

This example is quite irrelevant because atheism is not the only thing we can't pinpoint at an exact time during the first months of a human's life.

When does the embryo acquire self-awareness? We don't know exactly. It's unclear when someone becomes a person, but that's not what matters in this argument. Bear with me, I'll explain. What you are presenting here is in the realm of philosophy.

If we define an atheist as a person who does not believe in god then it is necessary that they be a person in order to be an atheist. If you claim that a newborn is an atheist you are also claiming that they are a person. Since you cannot easily show when a human achieves personhood that claim is difficult to back up and it undermines any argument that you base upon it.

(15-05-2016 03:14 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  We have arrived at an absurd answer. Biology has failed us. Precious little surprise. Atheism deals wth theology, philosophy and thought so looking to a biological process such as birth for a proper definition is going to produce some very odd results.

We don't really look at this biological process to define atheism. The argument could perfectly work with a 1 year old child. It's not the birth itself that is important in this argument.

Then it would be best to stop saying that we are all born atheists.

(15-05-2016 03:14 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Undergroundp has the most effective definition that works well. The emphasis is mine.

So now we must take a trip down the rabbithole of personhood.

Is a newborn a person? My dog is disqualified from atheism by virtue of not being human. Dog does not believe in god, but dog is not an atheist. That aside, my dog displays a number of traits that the newborn lacks. It responds to it's name, learns tricks and doesn't shit on the carpet. By many benchmarks my dog is more of a person than any newborn.

If an atheist is a person, then if dog is not an atheist but dog is more person than the newborn, then the newborn has a hard time qualifying as either person or atheist. By this yardstick I would suggest that it is unreasonable to state that we are born atheists. Neither are we born theists. We are born blanks, some genetic predispositions waiting to suck up our surroundings.

A dog cannot be more person than a baby because the baby will eventually grow up and be a person, but the dog won't. And that is what is important with this argument. See my conclusion.

What the baby might grow up to do isn't the point. The term "born" refers to the moment of birth. The rest of its life is another matter. At the moment of birth, a baby has less personality than my dog. To say that we are born atheists then says that an individual with less claim to personhood than my dog is a person and an atheist. Do you see why this seems wrong to me?

(15-05-2016 03:14 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  When then do we become atheists? Hard to say since there is almost certainly no hard and fast line where we can say, "This is a person but this is not." My opinion is that we can put an upper limit on it with one of the staples of atheism, and skepticism as a whole.

Any statement made without evidence may be dismissed without evidence.

The capacity to accept or dismiss religion is sufficient to demonstrate that a person is an atheist. This capacity need not be exercised, merely present. The person need never be exposed to religion in order to think it daft if it were ever put to them. For me this represents an upper boundary and the newborn below the lower boundary. Personhood and atheism occur somewhere betwixt and between.

Just because we can't pinpoint the moment we become a person it does not mean that we are not born atheists.

If we aren't born a person then we aren't born an atheist. Pinpointing the moment of personhood is futile. It's a gradational process. Unless you can provide a reasonable benchmark for personhood that a baby has obviously passed then stating that they are an atheist only makes a weak argument that is easily undermined.

Quote:You do not need to know about religion to be an atheist. It is a state. A baby has no god. It cannot even grasp the concept of a god.

Neither does my dog. The newborn's capacity to comprehend god is at or below that of my dog. My dog at least understands object permanence. If my dog lacks the faculties to be an atheist then so must the newborn.

Quote:Now, your whole post here is ignoring the point of the argument. You keep talking about when someone becomes a person. You don't need that.

You do if you want to show that the newborn is a person and thus an atheist.

Quote:The same argument could be used for a 1 year old, a 5 year old or even a 10 year old. If a 10 year old grows up in a secular environment (not taught that there is no god, but without the concept of god being present), he or she will be an atheist. No matter the genetic tendency for religion or the sense of a "higher power". If no god concept is introduced to the child, he or she will be an atheist. Even though there is a tendency for religion in our genes, there is no such tendency for a god. That is the whole point of the argument.

That is the point of your argument and I agree with it entirely. You are arguing about what we will become, while I am arguing what we are at the moment of birth. Different topics. By needlesly including the individual's status at birth, you've weakened your argument. Better to say that we are not born believers. That is entirely accurate and much more sound.

Quote:And it can serve an atheist quite well. As I mentioned before, it can be used in the case of a theist claiming that babies are born with religion in them or whatever. I've heard the line so many times that it does make sense to me. Using this argument, you can demonstrate that kids cannot be born religious, since they don't even know the concept of god. They will grow up being without the concept of god unless someone teaches them otherwise; which is contrary to most theists' beliefs about their own belief.

No argument here. Theists typically invoke the soul to try and pass that balderdash off. I'm fine with, "We are not born believers." It's unassailable short of invoking the supernatural. Stating what we are born is fraught with problems.

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15-05-2016, 05:35 PM
RE: Dumb Atheist Sayings
(15-05-2016 09:05 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:  
(14-05-2016 09:15 PM)Chas Wrote:  It is not about imagining the non-existence of gods, it is simply not having a belief in them. If one has never been introduced to the concept, one can't have the belief.
Atheism is the default.

That doesn't really apply if you lack the capacity for belief.

It's like pointing to a computer and saying, "This button makes it go and this button makes it stop. Stop is the default." Until that computer is plugged in neither button does anything and there is no default.

Off is the default, plugged in or not. Facepalm

You insist on making a distinction without a difference.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-05-2016, 05:49 PM
RE: Dumb Atheist Sayings
(15-05-2016 03:22 PM)jabeady Wrote:  
(15-05-2016 02:51 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  As I said before, atheism is a state, not an opinion.

"If it can't be expressed in figures it's not science, it's an opinion." Lazarus Long

Theism = 1
Atheism = 0

Go figure.


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15-05-2016, 05:58 PM
RE: Dumb Atheist Sayings
(15-05-2016 03:55 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  prefer whatever you want, I don't care. The conversation itself is about atheism in babies...

The actual quote was, "I maintain that most of us would prefer to begin the conversation at a more advanced, adult, point." My assertion is that more people than just me share the preference.

The conversation is not about "atheism in babies," it is about whether claiming babies are atheist is a stupid statement. Given the difficulty you've had convincing more atheists than myself of your point, I submit it's effectiveness with believers, and therefore its utility, is problematic, at best. I'm willing to relegate any perceived stupidity to your audience.

Quote:if you don't like that, you can move to another part of the forum.

Back atchya.

Oh crap!
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15-05-2016, 06:14 PM
RE: Dumb Atheist Sayings
(15-05-2016 03:55 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  It pisses me off because my atheism came from a different place, where I actually studied religions and didn't want the atheist label.

Me, too. I prefer the term "unbeliever. My own studies were as a Wisconsin Synod evangelical Lutheran (think Michelle Bachman - and I think one of my classmates is currently her pastor).

I'm coming around to the opinion that there really is an Atheist (not atheist-small"a") religion. It has its own teachings, dogma and opinionated, knee-jerk, reactionary members. I won't join any formal atheist groups for pretty much the same reason I won't join the NRA. I just don't see much difference between them.

Oh crap!
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15-05-2016, 06:16 PM
RE: Dumb Atheist Sayings
(15-05-2016 04:29 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  Atheism = "No God Beliefs", it does not require you to know the concept of god to not believe it. It only requires that you not have a belief in gods. Seems simple enough to me. I don't see why it's such a mystery to others.
OK. Let's say "active atheist." How then?

Oh crap!
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