Why do atheists become atheists?
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29-01-2015, 10:38 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
That's exactly the point:
a theist takes it as given that a god (how ever he defines god) exists without any proof - and he is proud of not needing no proof, and this is called belief in the religious world.
Needing a proof is something what happens in a logic or scientific world.
Being religious is a complete different state of being.
Thats why all the disputes of atheist concerning this point run into Nirwana for ´hardcore theists` - and so this part of the thread is useless - atheist and deists will never come together on this level of discussion.
The so called proofs of god are only running between philosophers or `scholars`, the Christian church is not troubled by this.

Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
Thomas Paine
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29-01-2015, 11:30 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 07:23 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Also, I don't necessarily buy into the "born atheist" concept. We are certainly not born as "strong atheists" or "gnostic atheists". We are born agnostic, with no knowledge one way or the other about anything, including the existence or non-existence of God. Any strong "yes" or "no" answer on that question has to be learned or reasoned out.

The motivation of the "born atheist" concept seems to be that the only way to acquire religious belief is by indoctrination, but if that were strictly true, there would be no such thing as religion. Someone at some point in the distant past must have developed religious beliefs without being indoctrinated. Religion had to start somehow. And if it could happen once, it could happen again.

You don't believe babies are born not believing in Gods? I know what you're saying but by definition babies are born both agnostic and atheist. They have beliefs. For example: they believe mommy's tits are where to find milk. They believe sounds are real but not quite sure what's going on with them. They don't believe in a God. Atheists don't believe in a God. So if someone wants to say they were born not believing in God they are correct in doing so.
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29-01-2015, 11:35 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(29-01-2015 11:30 AM)dirtstar Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 07:23 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Also, I don't necessarily buy into the "born atheist" concept. We are certainly not born as "strong atheists" or "gnostic atheists". We are born agnostic, with no knowledge one way or the other about anything, including the existence or non-existence of God. Any strong "yes" or "no" answer on that question has to be learned or reasoned out.

The motivation of the "born atheist" concept seems to be that the only way to acquire religious belief is by indoctrination, but if that were strictly true, there would be no such thing as religion. Someone at some point in the distant past must have developed religious beliefs without being indoctrinated. Religion had to start somehow. And if it could happen once, it could happen again.

You don't believe babies are born not believing in Gods? I know what you're saying but by definition babies are born both agnostic and atheist. They have beliefs. For example: they believe mommy's tits are where to find milk. They believe sounds are real but not quite sure what's going on with them. They don't believe in a God. Atheists don't believe in a God. So if someone wants to say they were born not believing in God they are correct in doing so.

Correct but meaningless. As someone else pointed out, babies are atheists in the same sense that dogs are, or bacteria. You have to have some concept of what "God" means before not believing in him/her/it has any significance. And babies have no such concept.
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29-01-2015, 12:56 PM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2015 01:05 PM by Stevil.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(29-01-2015 09:57 AM)Blackout Wrote:  I don't like the idea that babies are atheists because babies are amoral and apolitical as well; babies are born without capacities to take a definitive stance on the god hypothesis, that's it, but to say they are born atheists, while technically correct, is not more truthful than saying my dog is an atheist.
It doesn't matter whether you like it or not.
If it fits the definition then that is what it is.
Lack of belief in gods makes an atheist.
Sure dogs, trees, goldfish and me, we are all agnostic atheists. I'm in good company.

(29-01-2015 09:57 AM)Blackout Wrote:  The majority of agnostic atheists are not atheists because they feel like there is no god, they are atheists because they have studied arguments for and against god and concluded there's low probability of god existing. Babies don't really do this, they are atheists out of naturalistic necessity only.
This isn't a requirement of being agnostic. All you have to do is lack knowledge of gods.
It isn't a requirement of being atheist. All you have to do is lack belief in gods.
Also, it isn't about calculating probabilities, how can one calculate probabilities of something that has never been observed?
It's about lacking belief in gods, either because one rejects the claims or because one has never heard or never bothered with the claims.


(29-01-2015 09:57 AM)Blackout Wrote:  
Quote:I have no knowledge of fairies, vampires, ghosts, gobblins, warewolves, dragons, the lochness monster, big foot...
God is no different.
If you don't wish to claim knowledge on any made up claim, that's perfectly ok.
It's not about my wishes.
Fairies have never been observed or examined. We have no knowledge of there size, weight, strength, temperature, fighting abilities, language, culture etc. It is a fact that I have no knowledge of fairies. I have heard conjecture about them, but have never read any science article detailing facts about them.

(29-01-2015 09:57 AM)Blackout Wrote:  But I don't see reasons for me to not claim, because it'd bring me to complete absurdities and I wouldn't be able to deny anything.
I think it is absurd that you think you have knowledge of them.

(29-01-2015 09:57 AM)Blackout Wrote:  
Quote:It's not inconceivable to me that somewhere in the universe are horse like creatures with a single horn on their heads.
No, and the same goes for any supernatural or mythological claim, but until proof is presented, I'll just assume the creature or being doesn't exist.
Yes, I also assume they don't exist. I make no claims as to knowing that they don't exist though, that would be absurd.

(29-01-2015 09:57 AM)Blackout Wrote:  
Quote:Does this mean that germs didn't exist until the time in human history as when they were proven to exist?
Did the wombat and the platypus only come into existence after they were discovered by humans?
Not at all, but until they were proven to exist, people just assumed they didn't.
If they claimed that they had proof that they didn't exist then they would have been dishonest. Their proof isn't worth the brain it's imagined inside of.

(29-01-2015 09:57 AM)Blackout Wrote:  I am not saying I am right or that god can never be proven, I am just saying that given the current state of affairs, god doesn't exist.
There are two ways to reword this.
" I am just saying that given the current state of affairs, I don't believe that god exist."
" I am just saying that given the current state of affairs, I believe that god doesn't exist."


(29-01-2015 09:57 AM)Blackout Wrote:  If there's some scientific fact that ought to be proven true in the future but it sill hasn't been, I assume it doesn't exist.
I am the same, I call it being unconvinced, lacking belief in the idea.
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29-01-2015, 03:21 PM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2015 09:19 PM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Atheism Defined Historically
Part 1

Over the many years I have seen many different interpretations of atheism. The point of this post is to demonstrate the history of atheism as it was understood in ancient times.

Wikipedia Offers this bit of history:

Quote:Western atheism has its roots in pre-Socratic Greek philosophy, but did not emerge as a distinct world-view until the late Enlightenment.The 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher Diagoras is known as the "first atheist", and is cited as such by Cicero in his De Natura Deorum. Atomists such as Democritus attempted to explain the world in a purely materialistic way, without reference to the spiritual or mystical. Critias viewed religion as a human invention used to frighten people into following moral order and Prodicus also appears to have made clear atheistic statements in his work. Philodemus reports that Prodicus believed that "the gods of popular belief do not exist nor do they know, but primitive man, [out of admiration, deified] the fruits of the earth and virtually everything that contributed to his existence". Protagoras has sometimes been taken to be an atheist but rather espoused agnostic views, commenting that "Concerning the gods I am unable to discover whether they exist or not, or what they are like in form; for there are many hindrances to knowledge, the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of human life." In the 3rd-century BCE the Greek philosophers Theodorus Cyrenaicus and Strato of Lampsacus[147] did not believe gods exist.

Socrates (c. 470–399 BCE) was associated in the Athenian public mind with the trends in pre-Socratic philosophy towards naturalistic inquiry and the rejection of divine explanations for phenomena. Although such an interpretation misrepresents his thought he was portrayed in such a way in Aristophanes' comic play Clouds and was later to be tried and executed for impiety and corrupting the young. At his trial Socrates is reported as vehemently denying that he was an atheist and contemporary scholarship provides little reason to doubt this claim.

Euhemerus (c. 300 BCE) published his view that the gods were only the deified rulers, conquerors and founders of the past, and that their cults and religions were in essence the continuation of vanished kingdoms and earlier political structures. Although not strictly an atheist, Euhemerus was later criticized for having "spread atheism over the whole inhabited earth by obliterating the gods".

Also important in the history of atheism was Epicurus (c. 300 BCE). Drawing on the ideas of Democritus and the Atomists, he espoused a materialistic philosophy according to which the universe was governed by the laws of chance without the need for divine intervention. Although he stated that deities existed, he believed that they were uninterested in human existence. The aim of the Epicureans was to attain peace of mind and one important way of doing this was by exposing fear of divine wrath as irrational. The Epicureans also denied the existence of an afterlife and the need to fear divine punishment after death.

The Roman philosopher Sextus Empiricus held that one should suspend judgment about virtually all beliefs—a form of skepticism known as Pyrrhonism—that nothing was inherently evil, and that ataraxia ("peace of mind") is attainable by withholding one's judgment. His relatively large volume of surviving works had a lasting influence on later philosophers.

The meaning of "atheist" changed over the course of classical antiquity. The early Christians were labeled atheists by non-Christians because of their disbelief in pagan gods. During the Roman Empire, Christians were executed for their rejection of the Roman gods in general and Emperor-worship in particular. When Christianity became the state religion of Rome under Theodosius I in 381, heresy became a punishable offense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

The oldest known written text referring to atheism is actually found in Papyrus 46, which is also known as The Epistle to the Ephesians in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. It is located at Eph 2:12:


Eph 2:12 and that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

The words "without God" written in the ancient Koine Greek are translated into English as "atheos," and then modernized to "atheists."

The earliest definition of "atheist" is "godless," and/or "Without God." As it is used by Paul in Eph 2:12, Paul is telling the Ephesians that before they recieved the Gospel, they were atheists. Here is Eph 2:12 written with atheists in place:

Eph 2:12 and that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and were atheists in the world.

So what does this tell us? It is the earliest use of the word "atheists," and it demonstrates historically that those who had no beliefs in any gods were regarded as atheists. This necessarily implies that they had absolutely no beliefs in any gods, and since Paul is speaking to the Ephesians themselves, and reminding them that they were once atheists, it clearly demonstrates that they were atheists before they became indoctrinated.

It was also very common for people of one religion to consider people of another religion as being atheists. Back in those days, if you did not belong to a specific religion, then any gods you believed in were considered false gods, and therefore you were godless. Since you were considered godless, you were recognized as being an atheist.

They did not become atheists, because they were already atheists before they got indoctrinated.

This tells us that the historical definition of atheism quite clearly demonstrates that it is not merely "one who has no beliefs in any gods"- as is the modern understanding of atheism- but rather it is "the state of being godless."

Therefore from the historical view, no one "becomes" an atheist, but rather it is in fact the state of being everyone has before they get indoctrinated with religious beliefs. You do not leave religion and become an atheist, but rather you leave religion and revert back to your original atheistic state of being.


Atheism is our most natural, and original, state of being.

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29-01-2015, 06:12 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(29-01-2015 03:21 PM)Free Wrote:  
Atheism Defined Historically
Part 1

Over the many years I have seen many different interpretations of atheism. The point of this post is to demonstrate the history of atheism as it was understood in ancient times.

Wikipedia Offers this bit of history:

Quote:Western atheism has its roots in pre-Socratic Greek philosophy, but did not emerge as a distinct world-view until the late Enlightenment.The 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher Diagoras is known as the "first atheist", and is cited as such by Cicero in his De Natura Deorum. Atomists such as Democritus attempted to explain the world in a purely materialistic way, without reference to the spiritual or mystical. Critias viewed religion as a human invention used to frighten people into following moral order and Prodicus also appears to have made clear atheistic statements in his work. Philodemus reports that Prodicus believed that "the gods of popular belief do not exist nor do they know, but primitive man, [out of admiration, deified] the fruits of the earth and virtually everything that contributed to his existence". Protagoras has sometimes been taken to be an atheist but rather espoused agnostic views, commenting that "Concerning the gods I am unable to discover whether they exist or not, or what they are like in form; for there are many hindrances to knowledge, the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of human life." In the 3rd-century BCE the Greek philosophers Theodorus Cyrenaicus and Strato of Lampsacus[147] did not believe gods exist.

Socrates (c. 470–399 BCE) was associated in the Athenian public mind with the trends in pre-Socratic philosophy towards naturalistic inquiry and the rejection of divine explanations for phenomena. Although such an interpretation misrepresents his thought he was portrayed in such a way in Aristophanes' comic play Clouds and was later to be tried and executed for impiety and corrupting the young. At his trial Socrates is reported as vehemently denying that he was an atheist and contemporary scholarship provides little reason to doubt this claim.

Euhemerus (c. 300 BCE) published his view that the gods were only the deified rulers, conquerors and founders of the past, and that their cults and religions were in essence the continuation of vanished kingdoms and earlier political structures. Although not strictly an atheist, Euhemerus was later criticized for having "spread atheism over the whole inhabited earth by obliterating the gods".

Also important in the history of atheism was Epicurus (c. 300 BCE). Drawing on the ideas of Democritus and the Atomists, he espoused a materialistic philosophy according to which the universe was governed by the laws of chance without the need for divine intervention. Although he stated that deities existed, he believed that they were uninterested in human existence. The aim of the Epicureans was to attain peace of mind and one important way of doing this was by exposing fear of divine wrath as irrational. The Epicureans also denied the existence of an afterlife and the need to fear divine punishment after death.

The Roman philosopher Sextus Empiricus held that one should suspend judgment about virtually all beliefs—a form of skepticism known as Pyrrhonism—that nothing was inherently evil, and that ataraxia ("peace of mind") is attainable by withholding one's judgment. His relatively large volume of surviving works had a lasting influence on later philosophers.

The meaning of "atheist" changed over the course of classical antiquity. The early Christians were labeled atheists by non-Christians because of their disbelief in pagan gods. During the Roman Empire, Christians were executed for their rejection of the Roman gods in general and Emperor-worship in particular. When Christianity became the state religion of Rome under Theodosius I in 381, heresy became a punishable offense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

The oldest known written text referring to atheism is actually found in Papyrus 46, which is also known as The Epistle to the Ephesians in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. It is located at Eph 2:12:


Eph 2:12 and that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

The words "without God" written in the ancient Koine Greek are translated into English as "atheos," and then modernized to "atheists."

The earliest definition of "atheist" is "godless," and/or "Without God." As it is used by Paul in Eph 2:12, Paul is telling the Ephesians that before they recieved the Gospel, they were atheists. Here is Eph 2:12 written with atheists in place:

Eph 2:12 and that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and were atheists in the world.

So what does this tell us? It is the earliest use of the word "atheists," and it demonstrates historically that those who had no beliefs in any gods were regarded as atheists. This necessarily implies that they had absolutely no beliefs in any gods, and since Paul is speaking to the Ephesians themselves, and reminding them that they were once atheists, it clearly demonstrates that they were atheists before they became indoctrinated.

It was also very common for people of one religion to consider people of another religion as being atheists. Back in those days, if you did not belong to a specific religion, then any gods you believed in were considered false gods, and therefore you were godless. Since you were considered godless, you were recognized as being an atheist.

They did not become atheists, because they were already atheists before they got indoctrinated.

This tells us that the historical definition of atheism quite clearly demonstrates that it is not merely "one who has no beliefs in any gods"- as is the modern understanding of atheism- but rather it is "the state of being godless."

Therefore, no one "becomes" an atheist, but rather it is in fact the state of being everyone has before they get indoctrinated with religious beliefs. You do not leave religion and become an atheist, but rather you leave religion and revert back to your original atheistic state of being.

Atheism is our most natural, and original, state of being.

You mingle historic facts and your opinion and the result is again an opinion, quite diffuse, backed by nothing.
For example, the very early humans could have been a bunch of superstitious tribes, thinking everything which they could not understand to be demonic (and maybe some of their leaders took advantage of this belief in demons). Next ´higher´ stage could have been the definition of gods as more powerful demons.
Anyway, some of the Greek philosophers became atheists in a religious environment. They risked punishment because atheism was forbidden in most Greek cities. In these Greece cities religion and politics was not separated - and so it was in most ancient societies.

Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
Thomas Paine
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29-01-2015, 07:13 PM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2015 07:23 PM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(29-01-2015 06:12 PM)bencandide Wrote:  
(29-01-2015 03:21 PM)Free Wrote:  
Atheism Defined Historically
Part 1

Over the many years I have seen many different interpretations of atheism. The point of this post is to demonstrate the history of atheism as it was understood in ancient times.

Wikipedia Offers this bit of history:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

The oldest known written text referring to atheism is actually found in Papyrus 46, which is also known as The Epistle to the Ephesians in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. It is located at Eph 2:12:


Eph 2:12 and that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

The words "without God" written in the ancient Koine Greek are translated into English as "atheos," and then modernized to "atheists."

The earliest definition of "atheist" is "godless," and/or "Without God." As it is used by Paul in Eph 2:12, Paul is telling the Ephesians that before they recieved the Gospel, they were atheists. Here is Eph 2:12 written with atheists in place:

Eph 2:12 and that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and were atheists in the world.

So what does this tell us? It is the earliest use of the word "atheists," and it demonstrates historically that those who had no beliefs in any gods were regarded as atheists. This necessarily implies that they had absolutely no beliefs in any gods, and since Paul is speaking to the Ephesians themselves, and reminding them that they were once atheists, it clearly demonstrates that they were atheists before they became indoctrinated.

It was also very common for people of one religion to consider people of another religion as being atheists. Back in those days, if you did not belong to a specific religion, then any gods you believed in were considered false gods, and therefore you were godless. Since you were considered godless, you were recognized as being an atheist.

They did not become atheists, because they were already atheists before they got indoctrinated.

This tells us that the historical definition of atheism quite clearly demonstrates that it is not merely "one who has no beliefs in any gods"- as is the modern understanding of atheism- but rather it is "the state of being godless."

Therefore, no one "becomes" an atheist, but rather it is in fact the state of being everyone has before they get indoctrinated with religious beliefs. You do not leave religion and become an atheist, but rather you leave religion and revert back to your original atheistic state of being.

Atheism is our most natural, and original, state of being.

You mingle historic facts and your opinion and the result is again an opinion, quite diffuse, backed by nothing.

Why do you some of you people think I am stating an opinion when the links to verify what I am saying take you precisely to the objects themselves?

Did you not see and click upon the words in blue colored text above which takes you to both the earliest historical records of atheist?

And do you not even bother to understand that I am a well studied historian? I don't post this stuff because its an opinion, but rather I post it because it is history.

And if you think history is wrong, then prove it. Otherwise, you haven't said a crap load of fuck all.

So now let me show you what an "opinion" is really like:

Quote:For example, the very early humans could have been a bunch of superstitious tribes, thinking everything which they could not understand to be demonic (and maybe some of their leaders took advantage of this belief in demons).

Next ´higher´ stage could have been the definition of gods as more powerful demons.

And you know this, how? Where's your references? What evidence can you provide to support this idea of yours at all?

You've said nothing here we can't dismiss wholesale, because you've provided no history to it whatsoever.

Your opinion is unsupported, unproven, and ridiculous.

How do you like those apples?

Drinking Beverage

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29-01-2015, 07:46 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Actually Paleo-anthropologists have a pretty good idea how religion(s) started.

I think I have a new favorite Hollywood actress, speaking of how atheists become atheists.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/29...7026921032

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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29-01-2015, 07:56 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(29-01-2015 07:46 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Actually Paleo-anthropologists have a pretty good idea how religion(s) started.

I think I have a new favorite Hollywood actress, speaking of how atheists become atheists.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/29...7026921032

Point is, "citation please."

I provided mine, and he calls it some kind of "unfounded" opinion, while he himself provided nothing.

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29-01-2015, 08:02 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(29-01-2015 07:56 PM)Free Wrote:  
(29-01-2015 07:46 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Actually Paleo-anthropologists have a pretty good idea how religion(s) started.

I think I have a new favorite Hollywood actress, speaking of how atheists become atheists.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/29...7026921032

Point is, "citation please."

I provided mine, and he calls it some kind of "unfounded" opinion, while he himself provided nothing.

This guy is not an anthropologist, but he's very well respected. I'll get some more.
(I happen to be reading this).
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?i...0674061439

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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