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Atheism The Default Position


Mythra
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Most christians that wish to denegrate Atheism would agree too. Most Atheists define Atheism as a lack of belief in gods.
No fucking difference. Who cares what Christians think?
Apparently you do. You constantly use their arguments and "logic."
After that lack of belief you can divide them into any catagory you can make up.... but the one thing that all Atheists (and agnostics) share is a lack of belief in gods. You do not have to make a claim or statement that you believe a god does not exist in order to be an Atheist.
Agnostics can be theists.
If you have no knowledge of a god or believe that such knowledge is unobtainable, then you cannot be a theist. An agnostic theist would be an oxymoron.
Lack of belief is the same thing as having no belief is the same thing as believing something doesn't exist.
No, it is not.
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Apparently you do. You constantly use their arguments and "logic."

 

Naked assertion, why don't you fucking back up a thing you've said in any thread, then maybe you'll have some credence to any claims you make.

 

If you have no knowledge of a god or believe that such knowledge is unobtainable, then you cannot be a theist. An agnostic theist would be an oxymoron.

 

No it wouldn't you fucking moron. A theist believes that God exists, that's it. It has nothing to do with knowledge of God.

 

No, it is not.

 

Yes, it is.

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Apparently you do. You constantly use their arguments and "logic."
Naked assertion.....
Yep, lots of them around here. It seems that quite a few of them are in bold letters.
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Apparently you do. You constantly use their arguments and "logic."
Naked assertion.....
Yep, lots of them around here. It seems that quite a few of them are in bold letters.

 

Chalk up another meaningless response by dave.

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Apparently you do. You constantly use their arguments and "logic."
Naked assertion.....
Yep, lots of them around here. It seems that quite a few of them are in bold letters.
Chalk up another meaningless response by dave.
Get used to it. I'm not going to play your games or play into your double standards.
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Get used to it. I'm not going to play your games or play into your double standards.

 

Another completely unsupported assertion. When will it end, dave? Never?

 

What's the weather like up your own ass?

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Get used to it. I'm not going to play your games or play into your double standards.

 

Another completely unsupported assertion. When will it end, dave? Never?

 

What's the weather like up your own ass?

 

Windy and cock-filled.

 

Someone doesn't have to lack belief in everything to lack belief in God. Idiot.

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Get used to it. I'm not going to play your games or play into your double standards.
Another completely unsupported assertion. When will it end, dave? Never?
It will end when you quit playing games.

 

 

Windy and cock-filled.
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. :lmao:
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Yet another fine thread on the ExChristian forums turned into a shambles by a foul-mouthed Troll and his troll-buddy. When is this going to stop?

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Yet another fine thread on the ExChristian forums turned into a shambles by a foul-mouthed Troll and his troll-buddy. When is this going to stop?
I've stopped even trying to have an intelligent conversation with them. Does this forum have an "ignore" file? I'll have to check. that's where they belong and that's the only way to end their games. Plonk them.
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Yet another fine thread on the ExChristian forums turned into a shambles by a foul-mouthed Troll and his troll-buddy. When is this going to stop?
I've stopped even trying to have an intelligent conversation with them. Does this forum have an "ignore" file? I'll have to check. that's where they belong and that's the only way to end their games. Plonk them.

 

Lol...take your ball and go home.

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To ignore a user, click on their name, then in the right corner there are options available in the pull down. Choose ignore user and you won't see its posts. The other option in the future when you are subjected to foul-language and abuse in violation of the rules of the forums, click in the lower left corner of the offending post the !Report button. A mod will look at it and evaluate whether to delete the post, warn the user, or ban them after repeated violations and warnings.

 

Personally, it's really unfortunate some members have such little regard for other members as to behave in ways that create this sort of turmoil. I wonder how many people are driven away by this continuing?

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To ignore a user, click on their name, then in the right corner there are options available in the pull down. Choose ignore user and you won't see its posts. The other option in the future when you are subjected to foul-language and abuse in violation of the rules of the forums, click in the lower left corner of the offending post the !Report button. A mod will look at it and evaluate whether to delete the post, warn the user, or ban them after repeated violations and warnings.

 

Personally, it's really unfortunate some members have such little regard for other members as to behave in ways that create this sort of turmoil. I wonder how many people are driven away by this continuing?

I don't suffer fools well. I figured out the ignore user things and he's there permanently. There is no need for that kind of behavior in adult conversations.
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I don't suffer fools well. I figured out the ignore user things and he's there permanently. There is no need for that kind of behavior in adult conversations.

I agree. I just wish there was a way to have a not-allow option on topics for certain users who have a history of socially disruptive behavior. There's no reason eveyone has to be forced to deal with those sorts of antics while they're trying having a productive converstation with each other. I hate to do that, but if they can't particpate respectfully, then they should either go away or not be allowed in one way or another. (You can tell I've pretty much reached the end of my tolerance of this).

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I don't suffer fools well. I figured out the ignore user things and he's there permanently. There is no need for that kind of behavior in adult conversations.
I agree. I just wish there was a way to have a not-allow option on topics for certain users who have a history of socially disruptive behavior. There's no reason eveyone has to be forced to deal with those sorts of antics while they're trying having a productive converstation with each other. I hate to do that, but if they can't particpate respectfully, then they should either go away or not be allowed in one way or another. (You can tell I've pretty much reached the end of my tolerance of this).
Don't let them control your emotions. They get a kick out of manipulating your emotions. Don't feed the trolls and they'll go away.

 

But we have to keep this on topic..... I don't like to divide Atheism up into little kingdoms where one area thinks one way and another thinks differently and they end up at war with each other. All Atheists lack a belief in gods. Why not just stick with that?

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Don't let them control your emotions. They get a kick out of manipulating your emotions. Don't feed the trolls and they'll go away.

 

But we have to keep this on topic..... I don't like to divide Atheism up into little kingdoms where one area thinks one way and another thinks differently and they end up at war with each other. All Atheists lack a belief in gods. Why not just stick with that?

Yes, good advice. I have to remind myself to put this into context. This isn't the behavior of a participating member, but is that of an attention-seeking troll. It's no longer worth me expending my thoughts to it. There are much more interesting and productive thoughts to pursue.

 

Back on topic, I very much agree that atheism should really be taken in its broadest sense, just as theism is. For me, there are times when I am a "strong" atheist when it is asserting the position of a lack of proof in the face of logic-based arguments by the apologists, in other words the lack of evidence makes it the most-likely possible conclusion. But for the most part I just assume the "weak" or default position of atheism: in that since there is no apparent or evidential reason to believe in a god, my actions follow suit in just living life as it appears.

 

Philosophically, I am compelled to consider anything as possible, even the existence of God, but it is such an unsupportable belief that for all intents and purposes it has no bearing on choices in the world (outside of recognizing it as an active belief in others). This is not an agnostic position. I consider it too remote of a possibility to be "undecided" or ambivalent about it. Like I tell my son (who's a fundi BTW), "It's not that I have 100% proof of anything. It's all about 'degrees of probability'". We act of what is most probably, not "what we know".

 

Humans are incapable of knowing anything with absolute certainty. But we all act on degrees of probability. Those who have faith in the "improbable” are making a conscience decision to believe in something for reasons other than the weight of evidence. This is to me what defines being "theist" is, versus being atheist. I want to be clear that I am not judging or criticizing those who choose to see beyond the purely natural. I can appreciate that there are many valid reasons for making that personal choice for that individual. I am simply trying to delineate how these are simply different approaches to living; how that they are either naturalistic, or materialistic languages, or they are theistic or mythological languages.

 

Language is how humans define reality for themselves. What makes a language valid or invalid in use, depends on what you're trying to accomplish. You don't use the language of mathmatiics to tell someone you love them. :grin: , and you don't use the language of myth to build a highway. Yet each language is a valid "truth" about something.

 

I guess for the most part I would not consider myself a "strong" atheist in living. To assert that position for me personally in my daily life feels like the religious mindset I left behind in Christianity.

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Don't let them control your emotions. They get a kick out of manipulating your emotions. Don't feed the trolls and they'll go away.

 

But we have to keep this on topic..... I don't like to divide Atheism up into little kingdoms where one area thinks one way and another thinks differently and they end up at war with each other. All Atheists lack a belief in gods. Why not just stick with that?

Yes, good advice. I have to remind myself to put this into context. This isn't the behavior of a participating member, but is that of an attention-seeking troll. It's no longer worth me expending my thoughts to it. There are much more interesting and productive thoughts to pursue.
Also remember that this is just a forum and not the real world. Nothing said here will have any effect on anything what so ever. This is not a place for strict rules of debate but a place for conversation and sharing of ideas. What is said here ends up only as colored dots on your computer screen. Any emotions involved are ones you add. I used to teach REBT. :grin:
Back on topic, I very much agree that atheism should really be taken in its broadest sense, just as theism is. For me, there are times when I am a "strong" atheist when it is asserting the position of a lack of proof in the face of logic-based arguments by the apologists, in other words the lack of evidence makes it the most-likely possible conclusion. But for the most part I just assume the "weak" or default position of atheism: in that since there is no apparent or evidential reason to believe in a god, my actions follow suit in just living life as it appears.
Often the divisions invented are based on a misrepresentation of the logic of those the person disagrees with. All Atheists lack a belief in gods. Agnostics too. There is no reason to believe that gods exist. There is a complete lack of evidence that there might even be evidence a god exists. All the arguments, that I've seen, for a god all start with the a priori assumption that a god exists. I see the only logical expression coming from that is that gods do not exist. That can all change once evidence is presented and examined. Until then I see no reason to put gods in the same class as ghosts, goblins, faeries, sprites, and so on.
Philosophically, I am compelled to consider anything as possible, even the existence of God, but it is such an unsupportable belief that for all intents and purposes it has no bearing on choices in the world (outside of recognizing it as an active belief in others). This is not an agnostic position. I consider it too remote of a possibility to be "undecided" or ambivalent about it. Like I tell my son (who's a fundi BTW), "It's not that I have 100% proof of anything. It's all about 'degrees of probability'". We act of what is most probably, not "what we know".
I agree. With what we know today, the probability of a god is so close to zero it's not worth worrying about. But not all things are possible. It's an absurd example, but my computer chair cannot design, build, and fly a 747. To me the existence of a god is just as absurd.
Humans are incapable of knowing anything with absolute certainty. But we all act on degrees of probability. Those who have faith in the "improbable” are making a conscience decision to believe in something for reasons other than the weight of evidence. This is to me what defines being "theist" is, versus being atheist. I want to be clear that I am not judging or criticizing those who choose to see beyond the purely natural. I can appreciate that there are many valid reasons for making that personal choice for that individual. I am simply trying to delineate how these are simply different approaches to living; how that they are either naturalistic, or materialistic languages, or they are theistic or mythological languages.
Sometimes I don't think they can use reason, or make a choice, in their religious beliefs. Some people are trained from an early age to believe. It seems the human brain at a young age is "designed" to absorb and hold on to what the parents teach it. It could be part of some survival instinct to learn quickly what to eat and so on. Religion gets programmed into their brain and it takes a great effort to get it out. For some there is also the herd instinct. They need to go along with the herd in order to survive. If they dump the gods they will be kicked out of the herd. That might not even be a consious thought for them.
Language is how humans define reality for themselves. What makes a language valid or invalid in use, depends on what you're trying to accomplish. You don't use the language of mathmatiics to tell someone you love them. :grin: , and you don't use the language of myth to build a highway. Yet each language is a valid "truth" about something.
Yet in religious language that truth is distorted into a crooked highway that goes nowhere. Many stuck in a religion cannot understand the secular language that would help them find the nearest offramp. :grin:
I guess for the most part I would not consider myself a "strong" atheist in living. To assert that position for me personally in my daily life feels like the religious mindset I left behind in Christianity.
I call myself an Atheist, with a capital "A". I'm not weak or strong, just an Atheist. Others have a problem with that, but that's their problem not mine. I've read enough books, taken enough philosophy courses, to feel confident in my position.
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Also remember that this is just a forum and not the real world. Nothing said here will have any effect on anything what so ever. This is not a place for strict rules of debate but a place for conversation and sharing of ideas. What is said here ends up only as colored dots on your computer screen. Any emotions involved are ones you add. I used to teach REBT. :grin:

Interesting. Of course though, that through the discussions that occur here I do take away new perspectives that help me grow as an individual in the real world. In the same sense, couldn't a virutal community with its personal interactions be viewed as a reflection of reality? In other words, those who choose to create on online persona of say, "a jerk" are trying to live out something in themselves in a virutal world, that in the real world would result in broken bones and black eyes? :grin:

 

REBT... just looked that up. Very interesting. Sounds like cognitive therapy. Would that be correct? We think, therefore we become (for good or for bad)?

 

I agree. With what we know today, the probability of a god is so close to zero it's not worth worrying about. But not all things are possible. It's an absurd example, but my computer chair cannot design, build, and fly a 747. To me the existence of a god is just as absurd.

 

I guess maybe I am projecting a little further than I should the Existentialist doctrine of "all things are possible". That is more refering to the persons actions, I belive. I guess I am saying that since it isn't possible to know all things, that nothing can be ruled out absolutley. This is the approach science takes, an open-ended system as opposed to a closed system like religion which holds to absolutes, thus closing out possiblities.

 

Yes you are correct, your chair will never being able to fly an airplane (at least for public safety we sure hope not! :grin: ). In practical application it valid to say something is "impossible", though I'm sure with enough LSD that impossiblity could become reality to someone.

 

Sometimes I don't think they can use reason, or make a choice, in their religious beliefs. Some people are trained from an early age to believe. It seems the human brain at a young age is "designed" to absorb and hold on to what the parents teach it. It could be part of some survival instinct to learn quickly what to eat and so on. Religion gets programmed into their brain and it takes a great effort to get it out. For some there is also the herd instinct. They need to go along with the herd in order to survive. If they dump the gods they will be kicked out of the herd. That might not even be a consious thought for them.

I agree with this, but we should consider that there are factors on a personal level (perhaps even biologically) that compell someone towards finding "meaning" on an emotional, abstract level. Are you familiar with Neo-orthodoxy within Christianity, or even Secular Existenstialism? I am planning at some near point to start a thread on "Absurdsim", that addresses these "leaps" into upper-story, non-rational experience. (I make a distinction between non-rational and irrational.)

 

These sorts of leaps of faith are always on an individual, personal level, and have less to do with the herd.

 

Yet in religious language that truth is distorted into a crooked highway that goes nowhere. Many stuck in a religion cannot understand the secular language that would help them find the nearest offramp. :grin:

True! When that language tries to exert itself over the language of science. It worked fine when that's all there was. No however, with the level of knoweldge and degree that language moves into the general population, you have a competition of language systems and this move into - the irrational (versus non-rational).

 

I call myself an Atheist, with a capital "A". I'm not weak or strong, just an Atheist. Others have a problem with that, but that's their problem not mine. I've read enough books, taken enough philosophy courses, to feel confident in my position.

In speaking of my postion, I likewise just say "I'm an Atheist", without qualification. I think when trying to differentialte it from those who seem to make it a religion in their lives, I make the distinction. It's usually the apologists who latch onto those who are Atheistic missionaries, and I prefer to distance myself from that.

 

BTW, thanks for this converstaion. It's refreshing.

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odd.... i always thought athiests beleive that there are no gods at all, where agnostics believe that there may or may not be a god(s).
Even if that were the case, does the agnostic have a belief that a god exists? If they believe a god exists, then they are not an agnostic, but some brand of deist. If they do not have a belief that a god exists, then what is the word for those that do not have a belief that a god exists? Atheist.
Anyways, I like the KISS approach... Keep It Simple Stupid! :)
That is the KISS approach. Even those like me that say gods do not exist would change instantly upon presentation of proper evidence. Based on the info we have now, I see that as the only logical position.
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Interesting. Of course though, that through the discussions that occur here I do take away new perspectives that help me grow as an individual in the real world. In the same sense, couldn't a virutal community with its personal interactions be viewed as a reflection of reality? In other words, those who choose to create on online persona of say, "a jerk" are trying to live out something in themselves in a virutal world, that in the real world would result in broken bones and black eyes? :grin:
What's said here may change someone ideas a few degrees one way or another, but it won't change history. In the whole scheme of things, this forum is small potatoes. Fun, interesting, and a break from the real world, but not anything to make yourself upset over.
REBT... just looked that up. Very interesting. Sounds like cognitive therapy. Would that be correct? We think, therefore we become (for good or for bad)?
Yes, that's it. REBT is cognitive therapy. Dr. Albert Ellis came up with, or at least expounded on, the concept of cognitive therapy and developed REBT. It's the fastest growing modality because it works and works fast. The only problem is that pills work faster and too many people want the quick, easy, fix.
I guess maybe I am projecting a little further than I should the Existentialist doctrine of "all things are possible". That is more refering to the persons actions, I belive. I guess I am saying that since it isn't possible to know all things, that nothing can be ruled out absolutley. This is the approach science takes, an open-ended system as opposed to a closed system like religion which holds to absolutes, thus closing out possiblities.
I'd agree with that. A theist cannot change (easily anyway) when presented with facts that counter their beliefs. One based on science can. To one based on science, and logic, all facts are temporary. That doesn't mean they are wrong, just changeable when new facts are presented. A quote from Gould says it best; "In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent."
Yes you are correct, your chair will never being able to fly an airplane (at least for public safety we sure hope not! :grin: ). In practical application it valid to say something is "impossible", though I'm sure with enough LSD that impossiblity could become reality to someone.
I've talked to people that don't need drugs to believe in really strange things.
I agree with this, but we should consider that there are factors on a personal level (perhaps even biologically) that compell someone towards finding "meaning" on an emotional, abstract level. Are you familiar with Neo-orthodoxy within Christianity, or even Secular Existenstialism? I am planning at some near point to start a thread on "Absurdsim", that addresses these "leaps" into upper-story, non-rational experience. (I make a distinction between non-rational and irrational.)
I've not heard of those ideas. People can believe some pretty strange things. My favorite is crop circles. Some people actually believe that aliens made them. They believe these hyper advanced beings flew here in some ship that would break the laws of physics (as we know them) and the only way they could communicate with us is by rolling in the hay? How about Scientology? That's about as irrational, non-rational, as one can get!
These sorts of leaps of faith are always on an individual, personal level, and have less to do with the herd.
It just puts them in a smaller herd, and these people often draw their whole identity from their herd.
True! When that language tries to exert itself over the language of science. It worked fine when that's all there was. No however, with the level of knoweldge and degree that language moves into the general population, you have a competition of language systems and this move into - the irrational (versus non-rational).
Religions, and their language, act as a drag on society. That may serve a purpose in a way since some cannot keep up with change. Some actually fight any change and some just cannot grasp change.
In speaking of my postion, I likewise just say "I'm an Atheist", without qualification. I think when trying to differentialte it from those who seem to make it a religion in their lives, I make the distinction. It's usually the apologists who latch onto those who are Atheistic missionaries, and I prefer to distance myself from that.
Sticking with the language thing, in different conversations I use different language. In a strictly philosophical exchange, it might be proper to speak of different approaches to Atheism and lack of beliefs. In a general conversation, especially with believers, I just stick with plain old Atheist. Maybe in discussions with Atheists I'd bring up Secular Humanism. I was born an Atheist and a Secular Humanist. It wasn't until I got into my teens that I learned what those words meant and what whas behind them. When I read my first SH article I said; "Hey! They agree with me." I did not study to become an Atheist or Secular Humanist, it's what I thought all my life.
BTW, thanks for this converstaion. It's refreshing.
Thank you. It is refreshing.
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odd.... i always thought athiests beleive that there are no gods at all, where agnostics believe that there may or may not be a god(s).

 

Anyways, I like the KISS approach... Keep It Simple Stupid! :)

 

That's what I used to think, too, until the first time I identified myself as agnostic on this board and practically got cussed out by a certain long-time member who is deeply into quibbling over semantics. I now understand that an agnostic really is an atheist because he or she lacks a positive belief in a diety, but, if asked, I still identify myself as agnostic rather than atheist because of how the latter word is commonly misunderstood.

 

But, you know what? I really don't give a damn!

 

On the other hand, a discussion about whether atheism is the natural state of human beings until they are programmed into believing in some deity could be interesting.

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That's what I used to think, too, until the first time I identified myself as agnostic on this board and practically got cussed out by a certain long-time member who is deeply into quibbling over semantics. I now understand that an agnostic really is an atheist because he or she lacks a positive belief in a diety, but, if asked, I still identify myself as agnostic rather than atheist because of how the latter word is commonly misunderstood.

 

But, you know what? I really don't give a damn!

It is kind of like arguing should the toilet paper hang down the front or back of the roll. Maybe fun to discuss, but not worth getting all upset over. I used that example because the most controversial topic ever raised in Ann Landers columns was about how to hang the toilet paper. She said it generated more mail than anything else.
On the other hand, a discussion about whether atheism is the natural state of human beings until they are programmed into believing in some deity could be interesting.
Wouldn't that fit under this topic? From what I understand, the "blank slate" isn't completely blank but contains some pre programming. The god idea is not one we're born with, it is a learned idea, but the need to learn such ideas to survive may be "pre wired." Maybe all those that did not believe, and did not have that "pre wiring," were killed off by those that believed.
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Well...it seems this thread has turned interesting again. I'm glad to read Dave's posts, and I'm in full agreement. I don't care whether my own atheism is strong, weak, open minded, or whatever by someone else's perspectives. A person who was never a christian (like Asimov) cannot possibly think of unbelief in the same way that those of us who were at one time fundie christians...no way. I'm simply an atheist because I see no compelling reason to believe any gods exist. Why complicate matters?

 

I used to think the agnostic position was the real default, but Thackerie raised an interesting point. If you go by the Huxley definition, that the human mind cannot know whether god exists or not, then the question becomes unanswerable and therefore irrelevant. So, agnosticism is really atheism equivocated.

 

I joined up here not to defend atheism, or argue over the fine points, but to help fellow ex-christians on their way out of the mind-killing cult of christianity.

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