lack of belief = rejection of belief?
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01-04-2012, 10:17 AM
lack of belief = rejection of belief?
This is pretty much just a shorty.

I was online at mmo, not even to play but to meet someone there. So while I was there in the city, whispering to that person I briefly followed the open chat.

Someone said that "Atheism is the rejection of belief"
I told him that this is not correct. I said that atheism is the lack of belief and that lack and rejection is not the same.
He got aggressive, told me to read about it, told me to look at wikipedia, and told me that he is a writer.

So because he got very aggressive I did not talk to him a lot. But I told him that I as Atheist do not reject belief, I simply lack it because there is a lack of evidence.

I think that if I reject something my opinion is set and I am unwilling to change my opinion.
But if I simply lack belief it means that my opinion can still be changed.
He said that this is Agnosticism and not Atheism but I don't see it like that.

I think there is a slight difference, or is that just me?

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01-04-2012, 10:42 AM
RE: lack of belief = rejection of belief?
Lack is passive, rejection active. Wink

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05-04-2012, 12:36 AM
RE: lack of belief = rejection of belief?
I have no idea why some people have the nerve to think that they know what you are and what you believe better than you do. They don't ask more questions about it, they just know.

Not to mention that atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive. One is about belief and the other is about knowledge. It's quite reasonable to be both, but he knows better because he's a writer.

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05-04-2012, 12:55 AM
RE: lack of belief = rejection of belief?
(01-04-2012 10:17 AM)Leela Wrote:  This is pretty much just a shorty.

I was online at mmo, not even to play but to meet someone there. So while I was there in the city, whispering to that person I briefly followed the open chat.

Someone said that "Atheism is the rejection of belief"
I told him that this is not correct. I said that atheism is the lack of belief and that lack and rejection is not the same.
He got aggressive, told me to read about it, told me to look at wikipedia, and told me that he is a writer.

So because he got very aggressive I did not talk to him a lot. But I told him that I as Atheist do not reject belief, I simply lack it because there is a lack of evidence.

I think that if I reject something my opinion is set and I am unwilling to change my opinion.
But if I simply lack belief it means that my opinion can still be changed.
He said that this is Agnosticism and not Atheism but I don't see it like that.

I think there is a slight difference, or is that just me?

Leela, you are correct. Period. The guy was a jerk.

(01-04-2012 10:42 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Lack is passive, rejection active. Wink

Indeed. I'm in the rejection camp myself, haha.

(05-04-2012 12:36 AM)Malleus Wrote:  I have no idea why some people have the nerve to think that they know what you are and what you believe better than you do. They don't ask more questions about it, they just know.

Malleus, you just described me to a tee.
I do have the nerve to think I know what christians are and what they believe better than they do.
I don't ask more questions about it, I just know. Bowing

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08-04-2012, 10:23 PM
RE: lack of belief = rejection of belief?
I think it is worth separating out your stance toward belief from your recognition of what you do and don't have evidence for.

It sounds like you are an atheist by virtue of not currently holding any belief in gods. It seems you are not a gnostic atheist, one that claims to know with certainty that gods cannot exist. The fact that you recognize you haven't seen the evidence to prove gods don't exist makes you also an agnostic. They aren't mutually exclusive categories at all.

It is also possible to maintain the minimal agnostic stance that you have not seen the evidence to justify claims that no gods exist. In other words, you can remain open to the possibility of finding such evidence even while you know you haven't yet seen it. Some people seem to hold it almost as a matter of faith that no such evidence can exist. I'm definitely agnostic but I don't hold that evidence against the existence of gods cannot exist. It is actually very important to remain clear with yourself on what you do and don't have reason to believe. Theists like to accuse atheists of having a kind of faith, and atheists who claim to know more than they do will give this impression. No need to become one of them.

I'm 100% atheist since I harbor no belief in gods whatsoever.

I'm 100% agnostic since I know I have no objective basis for my lack of belief.

I'm for peaceful coexistence between atheists and theists of all stripes.
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11-04-2012, 03:23 PM
RE: lack of belief = rejection of belief?
In order to reject something, it has to exist. If your belief in a deity or higher power does not exist, you cannot reject it. Ergo, lack of belief is not rejecting belief.

However, in order to de-convert from theism to atheism, one must reject their previous belief in a deity. Then, once they no longer believe, it is simply a lack of belief.

At least, that's how I see it.

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