In regards to former Atheist.
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27-04-2015, 08:43 AM (This post was last modified: 27-04-2015 08:46 AM by TheBeardedDude.)
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 08:25 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I'd guess that many were more in the "apatheist" category where they just didn't think much about it either way. They lived their daily lives without any thoughts of god and would now consider that being an atheist.

On the other hand, it is all too easy to fall into the "no true atheist" fallacy. If they say they were atheists then fine. The main question is what evidence convinced them to become theists and why should that convince me. If they can't produce the evidence then I remain an atheist. What they used to be doesn't matter and if they are using it as an emotional lever to try to get me to listen then it failed.

Right, if they really did identify as an atheist that signifies that they considered arguments and opinions for and/or against their position. If they were more "apatheist" than anything else though, then they did not really think about it. Making their decision to call themselves retroactively an atheist, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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27-04-2015, 08:49 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 08:25 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I'd guess that many were more in the "apatheist" category where they just didn't think much about it either way. They lived their daily lives without any thoughts of god and would now consider that being an atheist.

Wouldn't this be an atheist? You basically described a person who lacks a belief in God.

I do think one part is right though. I think it's easier to transition from atheism to theism, if one is an apatheist, or is not particularly hostile towards the concept of religion, unlike if one were an anti-theist, or holds a very negative view of religion.
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27-04-2015, 09:14 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 08:49 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-04-2015 08:25 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I'd guess that many were more in the "apatheist" category where they just didn't think much about it either way. They lived their daily lives without any thoughts of god and would now consider that being an atheist.

Wouldn't this be an atheist? You basically described a person who lacks a belief in God.

I do think one part is right though. I think it's easier to transition from atheism to theism, if one is an apatheist, or is not particularly hostile towards the concept of religion, unlike if one were an anti-theist, or holds a very negative view of religion.

It would I think, but more fitting description would be religiously indifferent. Atheism could mean taking more active stance that "I don't care", but in the end I don't think that it is really important.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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27-04-2015, 09:22 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 09:14 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  It would I think, but more fitting description would be religiously indifferent. Atheism could mean taking more active stance that "I don't care", but in the end I don't think that it is really important.

Taking a more active stance in regards to lacking a belief? How does that work?

Or do you mean more along the lines of taking a more active stance and holding a belief here?
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27-04-2015, 09:29 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 08:49 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-04-2015 08:25 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I'd guess that many were more in the "apatheist" category where they just didn't think much about it either way. They lived their daily lives without any thoughts of god and would now consider that being an atheist.

Wouldn't this be an atheist? You basically described a person who lacks a belief in God.

I've known many people who say they believe god exists but never attend services or pray or mention god or do anything that would exhibit that belief. If you didn't ask them specifically you would never know what they believed. They are theists but it isn't an active part of their lives. It isn't necessary to lack the belief to pay no attention to it.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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27-04-2015, 09:36 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 09:22 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-04-2015 09:14 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  It would I think, but more fitting description would be religiously indifferent. Atheism could mean taking more active stance that "I don't care", but in the end I don't think that it is really important.

Taking a more active stance in regards to lacking a belief? How does that work?

Or do you mean more along the lines of taking a more active stance and holding a belief here?

I mean this like that - not ignoring the issue of god but rather taking a stand for example - since there is no convincing evidence I lack a reason for believing.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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27-04-2015, 09:37 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 09:29 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I've known many people who say they believe god exists but never attend services or pray or mention god or do anything that would exhibit that belief. If you didn't ask them specifically you would never know what they believed. They are theists but it isn't an active part of their lives. It isn't necessary to lack the belief to pay no attention to it.

You mean believers who are not particularly religious? There's plenty of people who believe in a God of some sort, but are non-religious for the most part.

I don't think non-religious theist, apatheist, weak atheists, are one and the same here.
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27-04-2015, 09:43 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 09:36 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(27-04-2015 09:22 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Taking a more active stance in regards to lacking a belief? How does that work?

Or do you mean more along the lines of taking a more active stance and holding a belief here?

I mean this like that - not ignoring the issue of god but rather taking a stand for example - since there is no convincing evidence I lack a reason for believing.

So the difference here would be between someone who actively explored religious claims, and beliefs, and recognized that there was no merit in them. That God is just a bad argument, a fiction, a lie, a delusion adults believe in, etc...

..and between a person who didn't bother considering this, and just sort of lacked belief as a default? Sort of like how I lack a belief in if you are married or not.
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27-04-2015, 09:50 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 09:43 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-04-2015 09:36 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  I mean this like that - not ignoring the issue of god but rather taking a stand for example - since there is no convincing evidence I lack a reason for believing.

So the difference here would be between someone who actively explored religious claims, and beliefs, and recognized that there was no merit in them. That God is just a bad argument, a fiction, a lie, a delusion adults believe in, etc...

..and between a person who didn't bother considering this, and just sort of lacked belief as a default? Sort of like how I lack a belief in if you are married or not.

Yes, I would think so.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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27-04-2015, 10:04 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 09:37 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I don't think non-religious theist, apatheist, weak atheists, are one and the same here.

It is difficult to define a wide spectrum of beliefs, strengths of conviction, actions, etc into just a few words. I don't even think it is generally important as long as the terms are defined for any specific discussion.

When I say "apatheist" I mean somebody who doesn't think much about they question. They may believe a god exists, think it likely, think it unlikely, or believe no gods exist. The word doesn't tell me what they believe, only that they haven't thought about it and don't seem to care much about it. It is a useful term, but one that has to be qualified.

"Non-religious theist" and "weak atheist" tell me something about what the person believes. "Apatheist" tells me only how much they care about it so you are right that they aren't the same. They are describing different attributes.

YMMV

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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