Why do atheists become atheists?
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01-02-2015, 12:11 PM (This post was last modified: 01-02-2015 12:17 PM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(01-02-2015 11:02 AM)bencandide Wrote:  What in heaven (as I am secret theist, I have to use this word) did make you so incredibly furious? I am only somebody who committed the deadly sin not to agree with you.

I am not furious. I am pointing out your pretentiousness.

Since you take issue with historical facts concerning the origins of atheism by claiming I posted a point that was "backed by nothing" this demonstrates to me your inability to be honest, as well as an inability to properly assess what I have actually said.

It's not a matter of whether or not you agree, but rather an issue of misrepresenting the quality of my post insomuch as to be completely dishonest about it.

Continuing to do so will result in more of the same demeanor.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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01-02-2015, 02:04 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(01-02-2015 12:11 PM)Free Wrote:  
(01-02-2015 11:02 AM)bencandide Wrote:  What in heaven (as I am secret theist, I have to use this word) did make you so incredibly furious? I am only somebody who committed the deadly sin not to agree with you.

I am not furious. I am pointing out your pretentiousness.

Since you take issue with historical facts concerning the origins of atheism by claiming I posted a point that was "backed by nothing" this demonstrates to me your inability to be honest, as well as an inability to properly assess what I have actually said.

It's not a matter of whether or not you agree, but rather an issue of misrepresenting the quality of my post insomuch as to be completely dishonest about it.

Continuing to do so will result in more of the same demeanor.

What I tried to say is, that
a) your information collected from Wiki concerning earlier definitions of ´what is an atheist´ are correct, why should I doubt it.
These historic definitions are all definitions from the side of the ruling parties –
be it Jewish, Christian or Greek. And those guys would tell you: Born to be a Jew or a Christian is the most natural thing, everything else is atheistic, heretic and so on and has to be punished.

b) Today the definition of atheist is just what the word means: without god. This is
obviously different to: having no god or having the wrong god

c) My point is, that all these cited historic facts don’t prove anything concerning the borne atheist position. For me it is obvious that a Baby is a blank, neither theistic nor atheistic, and the `environment` directs the poor child in this or that direction.
If you think, you are a borne atheist – believe it. I don’t. I think, this position leads to nothing.

More interesting is, how religious thinking came into the world (was born), and as animism (this could be the pre-stage of religions) is so wide spread in pre-civilized societies and tribes, one could assume that both (rationality and religiosity) belong to our genes and that the religious part becomes hopefully less and less important the more rationality gains room (and decent behavior in internet).

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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01-02-2015, 02:49 PM (This post was last modified: 01-02-2015 03:22 PM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(01-02-2015 02:04 PM)bencandide Wrote:  
(01-02-2015 12:11 PM)Free Wrote:  I am not furious. I am pointing out your pretentiousness.

Since you take issue with historical facts concerning the origins of atheism by claiming I posted a point that was "backed by nothing" this demonstrates to me your inability to be honest, as well as an inability to properly assess what I have actually said.

It's not a matter of whether or not you agree, but rather an issue of misrepresenting the quality of my post insomuch as to be completely dishonest about it.

Continuing to do so will result in more of the same demeanor.

What I tried to say is, that
a) your information collected from Wiki concerning earlier definitions of ´what is an atheist´ are correct, why should I doubt it.

Because you said that I "backed up nothing" that I was saying, when in fact the back up weres those links, which included those from Wiki.

Quote:These historic definitions are all definitions from the side of the ruling parties – be it Jewish, Christian or Greek. And those guys would tell you: Born to be a Jew or a Christian is the most natural thing, everything else is atheistic, heretic and so on and has to be punished.

That is meaningless. The point was to demonstrate how atheism was viewed 2000 + years ago. Aside from rival religions, those who did not follow any theistic teachings were considered atheists.

It's not so much of a label as it is a state of being. Those without gods were atheists. Now, just because a person finds out about any gods after he is born, and then rejects them, does not mean that person becomes an atheist.

He was already an atheist. He was born godless.

Quote:b) Today the definition of atheist is just what the word means: without god. This is obviously different to: having no god or having the wrong god.

That's merely a modern definition. It does not make the historical definition invalid. The historical definition is the original.

Quote:c) My point is, that all these cited historic facts don’t prove anything concerning the borne atheist position. For me it is obvious that a Baby is a blank, neither theistic nor atheistic, and the `environment` directs the poor child in this or that direction. If you think, you are a borne atheist – believe it. I don’t. I think, this position leads to nothing.

All are born without a god. No one is born believing in any kinds of supernatural gods. Since we are all born without gods, then we are all born into atheism.

You don't become an atheist because you left religion. You become a theist because you left atheism.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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01-02-2015, 03:49 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(01-02-2015 02:49 PM)Free Wrote:  It's not so much of a label as it is a state of being. Those without gods were atheists. Now, just because a person finds out about any gods after he is born, and then rejects them, does not mean that person becomes an atheist.

Revised:
It’s not so much of a label as it is a state of being. Those without gods were atheists. Now, just because a person finds out about any gods after he is born, and then rejects them, does not mean that person becomes an atheist, rather that person remains atheist.

(remove the “an” it’s superfluous)

(01-02-2015 02:49 PM)Free Wrote:  You don't become an atheist because you left religion. You become a theist because you left atheism.

Revised:
You don't become an atheist because you left religion. You become a theist because you had a brain fart.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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01-02-2015, 04:06 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(01-02-2015 03:49 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(01-02-2015 02:49 PM)Free Wrote:  It's not so much of a label as it is a state of being. Those without gods were atheists. Now, just because a person finds out about any gods after he is born, and then rejects them, does not mean that person becomes an atheist.

Revised:
It’s not so much of a label as it is a state of being. Those without gods were atheists. Now, just because a person finds out about any gods after he is born, and then rejects them, does not mean that person becomes an atheist, rather that person remains atheist.

(remove the “an” it’s superfluous)

(01-02-2015 02:49 PM)Free Wrote:  You don't become an atheist because you left religion. You become a theist because you left atheism.

Revised:
You don't become an atheist because you left religion. You become a theist because you had a brain fart.

Is Vosur on vacation?

Laugh out load

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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01-02-2015, 04:13 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(01-02-2015 03:49 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(01-02-2015 02:49 PM)Free Wrote:  It's not so much of a label as it is a state of being. Those without gods were atheists. Now, just because a person finds out about any gods after he is born, and then rejects them, does not mean that person becomes an atheist.

Revised:
It’s not so much of a label as it is a state of being. Those without gods were atheists. Now, just because a person finds out about any gods after he is born, and then rejects them, does not mean that person becomes an atheist, rather that person remains atheist.

(remove the “an” it’s superfluous)

(01-02-2015 02:49 PM)Free Wrote:  You don't become an atheist because you left religion. You become a theist because you left atheism.

Revised:
You don't become an atheist because you left religion. You become a theist because you had a brain fart.

Atheism is our natural state of being.
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01-02-2015, 04:27 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(12-01-2015 07:57 PM)mordant Wrote:  I'm sure that the real reasons are as diverse as the people involved, but I'll venture a few observations based on my experience.

There's a guy on another forum who has argued the theist position for several years and who recently issued a mea cullpa message in which he confessed he has been convinced of atheism. Now he has a problem with his wife, who basically refuses to consider his arguments because she's afraid it would deprive her of her faith, which she wants to hold on to (at least she's being honest!). I think this hapless duo demonstrates in microcosm why people let go of theistic ideas and why they don't.

Theism's basic product is certitude. It claims to know the origin and purpose of creation, provide an invisible friend who has your back, an afterlife to defer all the unresolvable lack of closure and injustice you encounter in life, etc. This is a leaky abstraction, but an adequate one that provides a degree of comfort so long as one's luck and / or stubbornness holds up sufficiently. It also (and this is key) delivers the "support" of group dynamics in spades. We are social creatures, and a community of others participating in the same shared fantasy is a powerful incentive to maintain buy-in as well as a powerful disincentive to break ranks.

Based on the principle that people don't change until the pain of change becomes less than the pain of not changing, it usually takes painful cognitive dissonance and/or personal issues or tragedy of some kind such that religion clearly isn't working to "fix" the problem, in order to shake people loose. For the above couple, the husband was responding to cognitive dissonance, and the wife was content to remain in her slumber.

As I said this is an over simplification, but basically, that is how it works. There's a cost to leaving theism -- loss of social support and acceptance, potentially outright shunning; fear of divine retribution or simply removal of divine support; the loss of cherished subjective comforts; the need to either sit with uncertainty or to find alternative certainties; more personal responsibility for one's actions and thoughts. There's a cost to staying in theism -- cognitive dissonance, inconvenient facts, unanswered prayer, questions that are not answered or not adequately answered, stifling aspects of dogma or ritual. Like everything else in life it is just a calculus of cost vs benefit. It's hard sometimes for people who have never been believers to understand this dynamic.

This group-dynamic you are speaking of is an important point.
And the inventors of religious systems know that very well.
A good example is Islam: in an Islamic ruled country, you are sentenced to dead, combined with eternal hell, if you dare to tell them, what you think. Maybe hell is not threatening you, but...
Not so long ago similar systems worked perfectly in Europe.
Look at the French revolution: aristocracy and clerisy worked hand in hand, and that system failed, when Paris starved. The pressure became so great that people got rid of both - combined with an enormous bloodshed.
Today it is much easier to change (in western countries), but still here are strong groups of believers, and the glue between them is still very sticky. You mentioned the most important ingredients of that glue. I experienced business relationship as an additional ingredient.
On the contrary the atheist: they don't exist as a party or group or community (with small exceptions).
It seems that atheists are humans which not necessarily need the warm nest which is offered by the communities of believers.

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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01-02-2015, 09:23 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Why am I an Atheist? Logic.
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01-02-2015, 09:46 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(01-02-2015 04:06 PM)Free Wrote:  
(01-02-2015 03:49 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Revised:
It’s not so much of a label as it is a state of being. Those without gods were atheists. Now, just because a person finds out about any gods after he is born, and then rejects them, does not mean that person becomes an atheist, rather that person remains atheist.

(remove the “an” it’s superfluous)


Revised:
You don't become an atheist because you left religion. You become a theist because you had a brain fart.

Is Vosur on vacation?

Laugh out load

It’s not technically wrong. One denotes a state of being the other denotes a position. I prefer the state of being as you so eloquently described.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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01-02-2015, 10:03 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Of course everyone is born pure and free from the pollution of religious belief, and would remain so if not for the influence of those around the child who heap upon her the old superstitions passed down from their own ancestors. One hopes that as they mature and think rationally upon the question of gods, those who were induced to believe in the gods thought their way clear to a position of atheism.

There are others, who get angry with the god they believe in for some perceived slight and out of anger or disappointment with that god, they start calling themselves atheist, but I'm not entirely sure if they are actually atheist as they seem apparently angry at a god. It is difficult to be angry with an entity which one does not believe actually exists, so THOSE atheists are probably just angry theists who are pissed off with the god they believe in, and these supposed atheists continually rant about how evil and nasty god (who they don't think is real) really is. Perhaps that anger is a stepping stone towards reading, and thinking and realizing that there are no gods to be angry with and they eventually emerge to a position of atheism.

God has done nothing shitty to anyone, nor has he helped some and forsaken others because gods do not exist. All that creating, and smiting and flooding the world stuff is just fictitious so there is nothing to be angry at.
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