I'm an Atheist.... Buuuut........
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08-08-2015, 03:38 PM
I'm an Atheist.... Buuuut........
At my work, I have a fellow atheist, and we pretty much agree on a lot of things.

One of the things that we agree on is the frustration we have toward people who say they are atheists, but... on other things, not s'much. Since I'm rather new to atheism, I'm still a little confused about the very simple qualifications to be an atheist: don't believe in god or gods. And.... that's it. Specifically god or gods. Deities.

And I know that there are some like that here, so I don't want to step on any toes. I don't want to make it seem like my beliefs are more valid. I know that as atheists, we're only guaranteed to agree on one thing: the existence of deities.

So that being said, I guess I'll come at this with just a question: why are you an atheist?

And after that question is asked answer this one: what faculties are you using to define your atheism that you can or cannot use for other belief systems? Spiritism (that doesn't require a belief in gods)? Ghosts? Unicorns? Conspiracy theories? Political views?

When I made the full declaration to myself and to others as an atheist, by that time I had come to the conclusion that skepticism was the way to go. And skeptic until there's evidence provided for proof. Now I thought that's what defines atheism. And maybe if it still is, then the "what is evidence" I guess seems to be on a personal level.

Ugh! I don't want to give credit to those in religion who say atheist views are no better than religious views. But well, I guess maybe they're not. If there can be an atheist who also believes 9/11 was an inside job, or that fluoride in water is making us gay, or that ghosts exist, or alien abductions are a thing, then... well... Huh

Sorry, that last though just trailed off.

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08-08-2015, 03:48 PM
RE: I'm an Atheist.... Buuuut........
"qualifications" is the operative term Drinking Beverage

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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08-08-2015, 03:57 PM
RE: I'm an Atheist.... Buuuut........
My epistemological journey to truth started as a Christian, and I was debating some atheists, and they brought up some points that got me to thinking, so I did research and sought academic education in religion in order to be able to defend my faith, and strengthen it through knowledge. The opposite happened, the more I learned, the less I believed. Then I went to "more spiritual then religious", then agnostic, and finally atheism...it is an informed choice. All gods of religion can be traced back to their creator; man. It is a complete fabrication, and this is why it requires faith. Faith is the belief in something without any evidence. If it had evidence, it wouldn't require faith, it would simply be fact. Faith and belief in the transcendental world, magic, and miraculous events even in the face of superior evidence to the contrary, is the definition of delusion. As an intelligent, educated adult, I do not believe in magic, universe creating super deities, or a magical transcendental world. All religion's creation stories are equally ridiculous, yet billions purport to believe it.

So after a long contemplative and introspective analysis of world history, archaeological evidence and biblical historicity, I have come to the conclusion it is false, and since no evidence of deities exist, and the known universe is the opposite of what one would surmise would exist if an intelligent designer created it, then one must accept no gods exist. Just my opinion, everyone has their own.

"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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08-08-2015, 04:08 PM
RE: I'm an Atheist.... Buuuut........
Most of us say we're "agnostic atheists", meaning "I don't think it's possible to know the answer, but that said, it seems pretty fucking unlikely to me, from the versions I've heard".

Essentially, there's nothing else atheists have in common except that we think the god-concepts of man are just made up. Period. We are apt to disagree on just about anything else; we even disagree about how certain one can be that there are no gods.

But as you pointed out, a skeptical/rationalist mindset does preclude certain notions (or should), such as the ghosts and 9/11 conspiracies you mentioned. It doesn't always, but humans are fallible creatures. It's why we had to invent the scientific method, to try to eliminate human error in our thinking.

I highly, highly recommend you read The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, which includes several excellent essays on how to detect pseudoscience and other bullshit, and to insulate your mind against them.

To answer your question, I became an atheist after my church started teaching demonstrably wrong "scientific fact" on the subjects of evolution and astrophysics, and started using the anti-apologetics weapon they'd handed me on "how to disprove other, Wrong Religions" on the tenets of my own faith, finding them equally ridiculous. Having run out of gods to believe were anything but human inventions, I eventually realized this meant I was an atheist. By then, I'd picked up a degree in biology (minors in chemistry and history), and was well-aware of religion's shortcomings.

Lost my faith at 17, and have been happier about this fact each year thereafter.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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08-08-2015, 04:09 PM
RE: I'm an Atheist.... Buuuut........
GwoG - Damn, you posted way better than my post, while I was writing. Excellent phrasing.

Y'know, if we weren't both straight, and I wasn't in love with an amazing woman, I'd marry you. Big Grin

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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08-08-2015, 04:16 PM
RE: I'm an Atheist.... Buuuut........
(08-08-2015 04:09 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  GwoG - Damn, you posted way better than my post, while I was writing. Excellent phrasing.

Y'know, if we weren't both straight, and I wasn't in love with an amazing woman, I'd marry you. Big Grin

hehe I enjoy the inner twisting of your mind as well Thumbsup

I have been at this awhile now, kind of have my thoughts and convictions well organized...or at least I like to tell myself I do Big Grin

"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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08-08-2015, 04:17 PM
RE: I'm an Atheist.... Buuuut........
(08-08-2015 03:38 PM)WalkingSnake Wrote:  So that being said, I guess I'll come at this with just a question: why are you an atheist?

Because I haven't yet found any reason to believe in a god other than as a way to account for things I don't understand and that's not a good reason.

(08-08-2015 03:38 PM)WalkingSnake Wrote:  If there can be an atheist who also believes 9/11 was an inside job, or that fluoride in water is making us gay, or that ghosts exist, or alien abductions are a thing, then... well... Huh

People aren't always consistent in their skepticism. There are plenty of people who can look at various conspiracy theories critically and yet seem to turn of all logical thinking when asked the god question. The reverse is also true.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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08-08-2015, 04:24 PM
RE: I'm an Atheist.... Buuuut........
I haven't come across any evidence that convinces me of supernatural anything. I find the idea of a personal, interfering god as expressed in Christianity/Judaism/Islam both highly implausible and unworthy of worship. I don't find anything needing my worship in the (slightly) more plausible concept of a First Mover. But most of all, I don't feel any need for a god, personally. Atheism is a good fit for my personality. I call myself an agnostic intellectually and an atheist pragmatically, under the broad category of agnostic atheist.

I'm not a conspiracy nut, nor do I think there's a spiritual realm of some kind coexistent to us.

Inevitably, some of my ideas will be irrational and/or incorrect. I try to stay sharp and honest enough to recognize evidence that suggests an idea is wrong, although that's sometimes a painful process.
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08-08-2015, 04:26 PM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2015 04:36 PM by Gilgamesh.)
RE: I'm an Atheist.... Buuuut........
I think I know where you're coming from with this. Maybe you thought atheists were mostly intelligent, and found that some hold opinions that are in contrast with what you find to be intelligent.

Every atheist probably thinks themselves a skeptic. Hell, if you ask anyone if they are a skeptic, even if they don't know what that is and you define it for them on the spot, they will probably identify as one. "No, I don't let emotions determine my positions things; I'm logical."

But we all know not everybody is a skeptic.

I used to think, when I first became an atheist (always was but didn't know the word, or others who identified as one), that all atheists were skeptical, like I think I am, and that we'd agree on everything. To me; for every stance on a thing, there is one that is more consistent with objective reality than the others, and if we were all skeptical about everything, this would necessitate that we all arrive at the same stances, presumably the ones being closest to objective reality. What I found when I joined atheist boards is that while I do agree with most of them on most things, there is definitely a lot more than I would like, and would have originally suspected, that I disagree with them on.

I used to think being an atheist meant being a free-thinker about all things, not necessarily just religion or theism. I do no longer. Now, I still think that atheists are overwhelmingly more free-thinking than theists on most things, and if this is true, it is probably because just accepting a given religion is to accept many things as true across a wide spectrum of things all at once, and even on the things a given religion doesn't touch upon - well, if you swallowed something as big as a religion, you will probably swallow just about anything.

But yeah, atheists definitely can be idiots.

inb4 "of course they can look at you."
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08-08-2015, 04:27 PM
RE: I'm an Atheist.... Buuuut........
I was born an atheist and never experienced religious belief. That's why I'm such a nice goddamn person. Big Grin

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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