What is atheism?
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14-09-2010, 05:42 AM
 
What is atheism?
Hey fellow atheists.......I think?

A bit about myself.
Up until I was in year 8 of high school, the thought of god had never entered my mind. I would have been about 12 or 13 when all the students in the school were divided up, placed into rooms with total strangers, who then started questioning us about god. When the question of "where we came from" was asked, I put my hand up and said "my parents had sex and my dads sperm entered my mums egg I came out a baby" Everybody laughed, including the Christians. The Christian said that is not what he meant. One then asked: where did the first man and woman come from. I had little knowledge of evolution also but at that time I thought we came from monkeys, so I said "we come from monkeys", everybody laughed louder. And so did the Christians.

They asked everybody to settle down and listen, because they had a story to tell us. And so the indoctrination began.

For me, after about 365 x 12 = 4380 days of having zero contemplation of god to suddenly have been ask to believe these stories was unbelievable. After the class, one of my friends asked me if I believed in god. I said no, and what the Christians said was the biggest load of B*LL SH*T I had ever heard in my life. My friend then told me I was an Atheist. I asked what an Atheist was and he explained it to me. He said an atheist is somebody who doesn't believe in god. I asked him if he believed in god. He said "yes". He then said "There is a god but you just don't believe in him". I found this insulting. I looked up the word Atheist in the dictionary and found that it came from Greek. 'A' meaning no. 'theist' meaning god. I agreed NO GOD. For me atheism has always meant 'NO GOD'. It had nothing to do with belief. It was a fact.

Recently while surfing the net, I found an atheist web site and thought I'd enter for a bit of fun to see what was happening. But I was shocked by the stance they took. Their position was not absolute. They had blended 'science' with atheism and said there is no credible evidence for the existence of god. They did not believe in god but they also did not deny gods existence. Suddenly I was thrust back to that day at school. And I fought them over the meaning of the word Atheist. They mockingly asked me if I knew what a dictionary was and they told me to look the word up. At first I didn't, but later I did. And yes, the dictionary mentioned the word "believe", much to my regret. I have since been banned from their web site.

Rather than cause any more disturbances on the internet I have decided not discuss the topic but rather ask a question:
What does atheism mean? I want to poll the question. for example:

What does atheism mean?
1.I don't believe in god because there is no credible evidence for his existence.
2.There is no god, there never has been, there never will be.
3.God? never heard of it, I'm of the the pub, bye, have a nice day.
4.....your suggestions?

I'm not looking for a right or wrong answer, I'm just wondering what does atheism mean to you. If you have any answers that are different from the above please tell me. But I want to limit the number of answers to about 3 to 5 maximum. But more if necessary. Also if you have a better way of framing the question please include that also.

If I can get over 1000 responses I'll post it on Wikipedia or you-tube.

Thanks for listening.

This what I originally posted in my introduction but have since found the following HawkinsAtheistpoll

One problem I have with defining Atheism is that it brings separation between like minded people. If Atheism is defined then the atheistic nature of atheism may disappear. It will then be defined by a set of man made rules, not too different from Religion.

Even though, I'm still interested in hearing what people have to say about atheism. Because I honestly don't know what it is anymore.
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14-09-2010, 07:43 AM
 
RE: What is atheism?
I suggest you browse through some of the existing threads ... there's already been a lot of discussion related to your question. In my opinion, atheism is not a belief system. It's the denial of a belief system.
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14-09-2010, 09:14 AM
RE: What is atheism?
Not only do I second 2bucks suggestion, I would also recommend looking closely at a few of the threads in this category. This exact post was moved here, minus the few lines at the end, a few days ago. Please post here to let me know you've seen this so I can delete this thread.

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22-09-2010, 01:38 AM
 
RE: What is atheism?
Atheism is commonly defined as the position that there are no gods. It can also mean a rejection of belief in the existence of gods. A broader definition is simply a lack of belief that no gods exist.
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22-09-2010, 04:22 AM
RE: What is atheism?
I think of it as a lack of belief in God due to lack of evidence. Matt Dillahunty compares it to the Loch Ness Monster: he won't believe it exists until its existence is proven.

I commonly say that no one would believe that I could fly unless I sprouted wings and flew in front of them, and even then they'd be skeptical.

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25-09-2010, 02:03 PM
RE: What is atheism?
The word atheist was originally used as a derogatory to refer to those who did not believe in the pantheon. By this definition, Christians are atheists. Today, it means what we commonly understand it to mean. This is the case with all words after all, and it's why dictionaries are continually being updated. Words only have value if we agree on their meanings.

My understanding of the word as it is currently employed is a disbelief in all gods one has knowledge of. There are also qualifiers in common usage such as weak and strong atheism. A weak atheist is one who does not actively believe in any gods while a strong atheist actively believes no gods are possible. To clarify, a weak atheist has rejected all arguments that any gods exist but has not ruled out the possibility that something which he or she might consider god could exist. A strong atheist has determined that no gods are possible and is not open to the possibility that an argument for god which he or she might accept can be made.

For myself, I am open to the possibility that such an argument could be made, but have so far been completely unimpressed by all such attempts and doubt that such an argument might ever exist. I see no necessity for a god and cannot imagine any argument that could circumvent the problem of infinite regress. I further reject any descriptions of god that reduce the concept to pantheistic or scientific-deistic philosophical masturbation. For these reasons, I place myself on the cusp of the divide between weak and strong atheism.
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25-09-2010, 06:49 PM
RE: What is atheism?
I would, by definition of the last post, consider myself a strong atheist. A strong arguement is not good enough. I need proof that is at least as good as all the best evidence science has for evolution, plate tectonics, continental drift etc.
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05-10-2010, 01:33 AM
 
RE: What is atheism?
I have read this all of the stuff and I would like to say you that according to me Atheist is a person from whose life a belief in the supernatural is absent. There is no denial of, no failure to recognize.
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05-10-2010, 06:58 AM
RE: What is atheism?
(05-10-2010 01:33 AM)nikjerry Wrote:  I have read this all of the stuff and I would like to say you that according to me Atheist is a person from whose life a belief in the supernatural is absent. There is no denial of, no failure to recognize.

Now I think "nikjerry" is a real person. If that's the case:
Nikjerry, please delete the link from your signature. I have asked this in a couple threads, recently posted a sticky about it, and sent you a private message. Everyone else has complied with this small request, and I ask one last time that you do as well. I will not edit someone elses profile, so my only other option is to delete your account.

IF nikjerry is just a convincing bot....well now don't I look like a dumbass huh?

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