Poll: If you are an atheist, how do you define atheist?
1) Gods do not exist.
2) No gods exist.
3) Do not accept the claims that gods exist.
4) Do not accept the claims that gods exist due to lack of evidence.
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What do you mean by "Atheist"?
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27-08-2015, 02:30 PM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
#3. #4 is a subset of #3 so it's included, but there are people who are atheists and do NOT base that on lack of evidence.
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27-08-2015, 02:42 PM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
I picked number 3. Number 4 is how I arrived at number 3.

I define it as "lack a belief in a god or gods."

Saying that "I don't accept" is too close to saying there's a god but I'm in denial about it - gives too much credence to the theism side (kind of like the difference between pro-life/ anti-choice). There either is or isn't a god.

I choose to live in reality and leave "believing" to kids that think Santa's elves built all the toys under the Christmas tree dropped off by a fat man in a suit that dropped down the chimney after landing on the rooftop after being dragged around in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, one of which with a glowing, bright red nose.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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27-08-2015, 03:02 PM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
The "a" in atheist is understood to mean "without" as it pertains to a god or gods. I think that's pretty much my view, I don't claim to know with any certainty that there is or isn't; but I'm living without one in any case.
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27-08-2015, 04:10 PM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
(27-08-2015 12:17 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  What hesitation are you referring to?

The reluctance to consider oneself as believing that God does not exist, in the same way that I would say of Santa, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Unicorns, as opposed to defining oneself as lacking a belief in God's existence.

It seems to be primarily a reluctance to make a positive claim, though I'm not too sure why this reluctance?

Quote:Your anecdote based on your stereotypical view of atheists doesn't hold up even on this very thread.

In your experience atheists don't tend to define themselves as lacking a belief in God?
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27-08-2015, 04:13 PM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
(27-08-2015 04:10 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-08-2015 12:17 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  What hesitation are you referring to?

The reluctance to consider oneself as believing that God does not exist, in the same way that I would say of Santa, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Unicorns, as opposed to defining oneself as lacking a belief in God's existence.

It seems to be primarily a reluctance to make a positive claim, though I'm not too sure why this reluctance?

But it's not. It is the honest position of not having proof.

Santa is impossible, the FSM is invented, and unicorns are demonstrably mythical.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-08-2015, 05:08 PM
What do you mean by "Atheist"?
(27-08-2015 04:10 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-08-2015 12:17 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  What hesitation are you referring to?

The reluctance to consider oneself as believing that God does not exist, in the same way that I would say of Santa, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Unicorns, as opposed to defining oneself as lacking a belief in God's existence.

It seems to be primarily a reluctance to make a positive claim, though I'm not too sure why this reluctance?

Quote:Your anecdote based on your stereotypical view of atheists doesn't hold up even on this very thread.

In your experience atheists don't tend to define themselves as lacking a belief in God?

Lacking a belief in something, means you don't believe it exists.

They're the same fucking thing. Saying the former (lack a belief) is to point out to theists that they've got the burden or proof because theists don't understand atheists or atheism.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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27-08-2015, 05:10 PM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
Nurse, you mean you don't accept that Santa's elves built all the toys under the Christmas tree dropped off by a fat man in a suit that dropped down the chimney after landing on the rooftop after being dragged around in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, one of which with a glowing, bright red nose?

"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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27-08-2015, 05:16 PM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
Here's a helpful illustrated guide:

How theists see their religion -

[Image: AvXmRDV.jpg]

How atheists see theists' religion -

[Image: sNUyByH.jpg]

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27-08-2015, 05:37 PM (This post was last modified: 27-08-2015 05:54 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
(27-08-2015 05:08 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Lacking a belief in something, means you don't believe it exists.

I lack a belief in if you own an american car. If someone were to interpret this as "he doesn't believe you have an american car" they would be wrong.

Where as if I said I believe you don't own an american car, a claim that I "don't believe you own an american car" would be accurate. Believing something does not exists means you don't believe it exists.

When you tell someone you don't believe them, the implication is that you believe they are not telling the truth, that they're lying to you, or pulling your leg.

Quote:They're the same fucking thing. Saying the former (lack a belief) is to point out to theists that they've got the burden or proof because theists don't understand atheists or atheism.

Of course if you claim to merely lack a belief in something you don't have the burden of proof, duh. Where as a claim that Santa does or does not exist does.

I believe santa does not exist, if I want to convince those that believe in Santa of this, the burden of proof is on me.

I believe God does exist, if I want to to convince those that don't believe in God that he exists, the burden of proof is on me as well.

If I merely lack a belief, than I don't.

It seems to me that the "lack of belief" identifying marker, is driven by a phobia of the "burden of proof".
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27-08-2015, 05:47 PM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
(27-08-2015 07:03 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  So... I argue on YouTube a lot. <Waits for snickering to stop.>
I've said several times that "most atheists use the word atheist in a particular way"... but it occurs to me that I really don't have anything backing that. Sooo... what do you mean when you refer to yourself as an atheist?

1) Atheist: Someone who says gods do not exist.
2) Atheist: Someone who says no gods exist.
3) Atheist: Someone who does not accept that any gods exist.
4) Atheist: Someone who does not accept that any gods exist due to lack of evidence.
5) 1 and/or 2
6) 3 and/or 4

Four. I don't accept god(s) exist due to a lack of evidence, and I have no faith at all.
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