Is Atheism just another religion under guise of "non-religion"?
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05-02-2017, 04:12 AM
RE: Is Atheism just another religion under guise of "non-religion"?
(04-02-2017 09:20 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(28-12-2016 11:12 PM)Disciple 21x Wrote:  Is atheism just a religion of nonreligion?

To me, atheism is not a belief system, but rather a position against religious belief systems.

Quote:What I mean is are atheists especially ones in this forum just trying to proselytize people into atheism?

No, I don't think so. From what I see, they seem to persuade people- especially believers- into applying objective reasoning, rationality, and critical thinking towards their religious beliefs. In short, they merely want believers to question their beliefs.

Quote: And objectively could evolution and the views of Richard Dawkins be seen as just atheist doctrine?

Excluding Dawkins' atheists views and pertaining to his scientific views on evolution, they can only be seen that way if one chooses to see it that way. But that would be a non sequitur as both are mutually exclusive of the atheistic position.

Quote:But really haven't atheists just replaced God with no god or just themselves as gods? What I mean by that is instead of worshiping a cosmic being whose existence cannot be proven or even disproved (Much like a flatlander attempting to prove the existence of a space lander or debunk the existence thereof) you just merely worship science, technology, the laws of physics, or simply yourselves. Could you be doing this without even realizing it?

This appears to be a false comparison, an apples to oranges thing. You see, you are attempting to compare a belief in a supernatural entity which has no observable/testable/falsifiable evidence, to a method which repeatedly tests and verifies its data which leads to a plausible and falsifiable hypothesis.

Quote:And aren't atheist beliefs just as outrageous and incredible as any religious beliefs? My case in point is the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. He admits in his forward he isn't truly an atheist but rather a scientific pantheist. He has no problem attributing god-like qualities to the universe or even the multi-verse. In fact his only logical argument against the existence of God kinda falls apart in the fourth chapter. He says he cannot accept God as a theroy because he is a "skyhook" and an "infinite regression." And he rejects outright something as "complicated as God" as self existent and eternal. Yet he has no problem with a Darwinian multi-verse (which is infinity regressive not to mention must be very complicated by it's very nature) or a big bang/big crunch multi-verse (which is also very complicated and eternal/self existent by it's nature). Really by the same maxim Dawkins reject God as a theory, so is his counter argument rely.

But my point is let's say I buy Dawkins case. Isn't that just as if not more so incredible than any creator? And wouldn't that take the same measure of faith as belief in any god? Or is it different because we replace a god with a universe or even a non-anthropomorphised force of nature. I don't know atheists help me out here.

I do not find his position incredible at all. You see, since we have never found out if the universe is finite, yet it exists nonetheless, we still can reasonably postulate that it very well could be infinite. Since the existence of the universe is observable, but the existence of God is not, then Dawkins' position is not in the same ballpark as "incredible" as the religious position of God is. In fact, they cannot be reasonably and fairly compared.

Dawkins rejects God as a theory because there is absolutely no evidence to support such as theory. He accepts a Big Bang because there is evidence to support such a theory, and he accepts a Big Crunch because the effects of gravity (Black Holes et al) support such a theory. Perhaps a greater understanding of such physics would enable you to understand the "why" in regards to these held positions?

Also, what's wrong with "I don't know why x. Let's find out! " That's what science DOES.
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10-02-2017, 12:51 PM
RE: Is Atheism just another religion under guise of "non-religion"?
(28-12-2016 11:12 PM)Disciple 21x Wrote:  Is atheism just a religion of nonreligion? What I mean is are atheists especially ones in this forum just trying to proselytize people into atheism? And objectively could evolution and the views of Richard Dawkins be seen as just atheist doctrine? Am I even allowed to ask these questions or are they too inconvenient? I know atheists don't see themselves as religious. But really haven't atheists just replaced God with no god or just themselves as gods? What I mean by that is instead of worshipping a cosmic being whose existence cannot be proven or even disproven (Much like a flatlander attempting to prove the existence of a space lander or debunk the existence thereof) you just merely worship science, technology, the laws of physics, or simply yourselves. Could you be doing this without even realizing it? And aren't atheist beliefs just as outrageous and incredible as any religious beliefs? My case in point is the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. He admits in his forward he isn't truly an atheist but rather a scientific pantheist. He has no problem attributing god-like qualities to the universe or even the multi-verse. In fact his only logical argument against the existence of God kinda falls apart in the fourth chapter. He says he cannot accept God as a theroy because he is a "skyhook" and an "infinite regression." And he rejects outright something as "complicated as God" as self existent and eternal. Yet he has no problem with a Darwinian multi-verse (which is infinity regressive not to mention must be very complicated by it's very nature) or a big bang/big crunch multi-verse (which is also very complicated and eternal/self existent by it's nature). Really by the same maxim Dawkins reject God as a theory, so is his counter argument rely. But my point is let's say I buy Dawkins case. Isn't that just as if not more so incredible than any creator? And wouldn't that take the same measure of faith as belief in any god? Or is it different because we replace a god with a universe or even a non-anthropomorphised force of nature. I don't know atheists help me out here.

I think there are philosophies that are taken on faith by many atheists (in some cases very dogmatically), but neither definition of atheism (old or new) fits the definition of religion. The denial of a god is not a religion. The lack of faith in a god is not a religion. Beliefs, even if held dogmatically, are not equal to religions. Atheism has no doctrine or theology. It has no collection of required philosophical stances to choose from. A label that indicates a lack of belief or denial of something is not capable of having it's own tenets. It is, by its nature, a reaction to another system. In this case, atheism is a reaction to theism.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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10-02-2017, 05:58 PM
RE: Is Atheism just another religion under guise of "non-religion"?
(10-02-2017 12:51 PM)Naielis Wrote:  I think there are philosophies that are taken on faith by many atheists (in some cases very dogmatically), but neither definition of atheism (old or new) fits the definition of religion. The denial of a god is not a religion. The lack of faith in a god is not a religion. Beliefs, even if held dogmatically, are not equal to religions. Atheism has no doctrine or theology. It has no collection of required philosophical stances to choose from. A label that indicates a lack of belief or denial of something is not capable of having it's own tenets. It is, by its nature, a reaction to another system. In this case, atheism is a reaction to theism.

Hence why I identify as "Non-theist" as I find the words more accurate as a self descriptor.

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10-02-2017, 06:19 PM
RE: Is Atheism just another religion under guise of "non-religion"?
Atheism is just the absence of belief. So disbelief can't be another religion. There are some so called atheists though who turn it into a crusade.
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11-02-2017, 01:38 AM
RE: Is Atheism just another religion under guise of "non-religion"?
I'm sure this has already been covered but...

No.

Some atheists may produce their own dogmatic beliefs, and try and preach them. That's on them. That is not atheism. Atheism is not a club or a group. I answer to no atheist, nor do I try to represent any other atheist.

To say that it is, is as ridiculous as saying people who don't believe in Puff the Magic Dragon are a religion in the guise of sane people.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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11-02-2017, 02:57 AM
RE: Is Atheism just another religion under guise of "non-religion"?
(10-02-2017 06:19 PM)abaris Wrote:  Atheism is just the absence of belief.

Please don't take this as me trying to pick on you or single you out, you just had the most recent post that echoed this common sentiment; and my post is to address the sentiment itself.


Except, that it's not. Atheism is a belief, and we do nothing but hamper our own message when we try to dance around that. Our belief simply boils down to that those making deistic claims have failed to meet their burden of proof, and therefore we believe the claims to be false. If you truly lack an opinion one way or another, that's being agnostic; insofar as the majority of dictionary definitions and the common usage is concerned (when asked about politics, and someone says they're agnostic on the issue, do you really think they mean that the answer is unknowable?).

[Image: Agnostic+v+Gnostic+v+Atheist+v+Theist.png]

I know this image meme is super popular, but I don't think cherry picking Huxley's usage a century out of time is doing us much favors. When we say that atheist is 'not a belief, but a lack of one', we have to realize just how stupid and dishonest that sounds from the other side. So we make our little graphs and prattle on about definitions as we try our best to create boxes to justify us separating ourselves from everyone else; but it misses the fundamental point, which is that atheism is a belief. I believe that every deistic, religious, or otherwise supernatural claim that has ever been made has been demonstrated to be either not evidently true or evidently not true. So yeah, atheism is a positive belief; and I think trying to act like it isn't is both detrimental to our arguments and intellectually dishonest.

But is atheism a religion? Fuck no.

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11-02-2017, 03:09 AM
RE: Is Atheism just another religion under guise of "non-religion"?
I disagree.

Atheism is the lack of belief. We don't simply believe that theists haven't met their burden of proof to our personal satisfaction, we know that they haven't. We know, because we don't believe.

To say we only have beliefs about what we believe, or don't believe, is a semantic rabbit hole which produces infinite regression. If we don't know what our own beliefs are, or lack of beliefs, we don't know anything.

I know that no one has convinced me "gods" are real. I don't simply believe it. I know the evidence is not good enough, for me.

Now, I do believe the evidence is objectively not good enough. That's fair enough. But that's not what atheism is.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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11-02-2017, 03:24 AM
RE: Is Atheism just another religion under guise of "non-religion"?
Also... you're assuming that you are dealing with a sceptic atheist. There are plenty of non-sceptics, for which evidence is of little concern.

Me: "Why are you an atheist, atheist A?"

Atheist A:" I just don't feel like there is a god."

Me: "What about you, atheist B?"

Atheist B: "I only believe in things I like. I don't like god. So I don't believe in it."

Me: "Uh huh. You? The other guy?

Atheist C: "I dunno."

Me: "You're all cunts. But I respect your right to have pithy, poorly though out methods, because you're supporting my argument. Now fuck off."

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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11-02-2017, 04:03 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2017 04:45 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Is Atheism just another religion under guise of "non-religion"?
(11-02-2017 03:09 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I disagree.

Atheism is the lack of belief. We don't simply believe that theists haven't met their burden of proof to our personal satisfaction, we know that they haven't. We know, because we don't believe.

To say we only have beliefs about what we believe, or don't believe, is a semantic rabbit hole which produces infinite regression. If we don't know what our own beliefs are, or lack of beliefs, we don't know anything.

I know that no one has convinced me "gods" are real. I don't simply believe it. I know the evidence is not good enough, for me.

Now, I do believe the evidence is objectively not good enough. That's fair enough. But that's not what atheism is.

Belief is an acceptance of truth, that the thing or sentiment being believed is true. Whether you accept a proposition on faith or evidence, if you think it is true, you believe it. So while it is a fact that every supernatural claim has failed to meet it's burden of proof, that fact doesn't remove it from being a belief; if you take that fact to be true, you believe in it, it is a belief.


Theists believe in their unevidenced supernatural claims. Atheists don't just have a 'lack of belief' in their claims, we believe their claims to be spurious and invalid. We, as atheists, believe that their claims hold no water; because they evidently do not. Once again, someone who has given such claims little to no thought and is undecided, would rightly be labeled 'agnostic' in this instance. But beliefs don't require evidence, and to act like evidence somehow makes a belief into a non-belief (which is the real semantic rabbit hole) is silly. There are opinions, and informed opinions; some opinions carry a greater weight. There are justifiable beliefs, and unjustifiable beliefs; but they are both still beliefs. Pretending that atheism is a non-belief is dishonest, a bad argument, and appears to be silly at face value to both neutral observers and our opposition; making it a terrible means for trying to convince someone else to agree with you.


Simply put, if you have an opinion, you have a belief. 'Nonbelief' is short hand for believing (accepting a statement as true) that the belief in question is false, unsupported, or otherwise lacks the rigors of truth and authenticity. I am of the opinion that god does not exist, that is my belief, which is why I self identify as an atheist. That belief is bolstered by the fact that every supernatural claims has failed to meet it's burden of proof, but that's doesn't make my atheism (my belief) into a 'lack of belief' in theism; instead it remains a justifiable belief that the claims of theism are themselves unjustifiable. Atheism is the sound, reasonable, and justifiable belief that the the claims of theism are unfounded; therefore atheism is a belief, not a 'lack of belief'. Trying to hide our belief (that theistic claims are false) under the semantic word game of 'lack of belief' is intellectually dishonest.


The argument shouldn't be derailed by who has 'belief' and 'lack of belief'. Both sides have beliefs (both side have sentiments they hold to be true), but only one side has facts and evidence; and that's where the focus of the argument should be, rather than on word games.

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11-02-2017, 04:19 AM
RE: Is Atheism just another religion under guise of "non-religion"?
(28-12-2016 11:12 PM)Disciple 21x Wrote:  Is atheism just a religion of nonreligion? What I mean is are atheists especially ones in this forum just trying to proselytize people into atheism? .. I don't know atheists help me out here.

Atheists are free, in most societies, to tell anyone else who volunteers to listen that they find the tenets of religious faiths to be superstitious and often repulsive nonsense on which no sane person would want to build a humane and rational society. The atheists I listen to on podcasts are all aware of the fact that people are free to believe anything they want and, more importantly, that it's unlikely that anything an atheist says will change the opinions of any theists in the audience.

Atheists, however, don't have churches to go to or imams and bishops to obey. They are not religious in the same way that people who don't give a **** about sports are not sports fans. Atheism is not a religion in the same way that baldness is not a particular hair colour.
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