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Has Atheism Acquired Sectarian Conotations?


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In the first episode of "Atheism - A rough history of disbelief," Jonathan Miller made an interesting statement; he said, "Atheism itself has acquired almost sectarian conotations." He said that he is reluctant to call himself an Atheist partly due to this.

 

Anyone care to comment. Do you agree or disagree and why? Is Atheism in its way to becoming a sect?

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I wouldn't say atheism itself is becoming a sect. But it is becoming a swear word. Thanks to all of the wonderful christian oppression and propaganda, all non-atheists and even some atheists feel very uncomfortable with the term.

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In the first episode of "Atheism - A rough history of disbelief," Jonathan Miller made an interesting statement; he said, "Atheism itself has acquired almost sectarian conotations." He said that he is reluctant to call himself an Atheist partly due to this.

People are always coming up with various reasons not to call themselves an Atheist. Rarely does the reason have any validity. This one doesn't. Since Atheism is simply a lack of belief in gods, what in Atheism is there to adhere to?

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Being a sect would mean Atheism is part of a larger group or broken off from a larger group. Atheism is a belief. It's a way of looking at things, not a grouping. It would be just as silly to say Theism is a sect. Theism is the belief in gods, atheism is the non-belief in gods. You can have religious and political groupings formed out of those worldveiws, but you can't say they themselves are sects.

 

I really have no idea what this dude is talking about, other than he doesn't sound very informed or intelligent.

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Being a sect would mean Atheism is part of a larger group or broken off from a larger group. Atheism is a belief. It's a way of looking at things, not a grouping. It would be just as silly to say Theism is a sect. Theism is the belief in gods, atheism is the non-belief in gods. You can have religious and political groupings formed out of those worldveiws, but you can't say they themselves are sects.

 

I really have no idea what this dude is talking about, other than he doesn't sound very informed or intelligent.

 

 

Atheism is a belief. Would you care to explain that a little more?

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Atheism is a belief. Would you care to explain that a little more?

Atheism is a lack of belief. It's a default position for anyone that lacks a belief in god/gods for any reason. No statement need be made or adhered to. A "sect" is not a break away group, it is merely a group of people that adhere to a certain code or belief. Since Atheism has no beliefs, it is not a sect. As you can see just by reading this forum that Atheists are not of one code, belief, or mind.

 

As the saying goes; Atheism is a belief in the same way that bald is a hair color.

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Atheism is a belief. Would you care to explain that a little more?

Atheism is a lack of belief. It's a default position for anyone that lacks a belief in god/gods for any reason. No statement need be made or adhered to. A "sect" is not a break away group, it is merely a group of people that adhere to a certain code or belief. Since Atheism has no beliefs, it is not a sect. As you can see just by reading this forum that Atheists are not of one code, belief, or mind.

 

As the saying goes; Atheism is a belief in the same way that bald is a hair color.

 

Ah, now that makes far more sense. Something I can readily agree with.

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I think Kurari meant more like "atheism is a position regarding belief", because even though atheism isn't a belief in itself, it is a label referring to a certain state of mind towards belief, i.e. not having a belief.

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I think Kurari meant more like "atheism is a position regarding belief", because even though atheism isn't a belief in itself, it is a label referring to a certain state of mind towards belief, i.e. not having a belief.

 

That sounds better.

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I think Kurari meant more like "atheism is a position regarding belief", because even though atheism isn't a belief in itself, it is a label referring to a certain state of mind towards belief, i.e. not having a belief.

 

Yes, that is exactly what I meant. Thanks, Han. :)

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Kurari,

 

You're welcome. I make the same mistake all the time, because I try to be as short-worded as possible and sometimes it just comes out wrong.

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Atheism is a belief. Would you care to explain that a little more?

Atheism is a lack of belief. It's a default position for anyone that lacks a belief in god/gods for any reason. No statement need be made or adhered to. A "sect" is not a break away group, it is merely a group of people that adhere to a certain code or belief. Since Atheism has no beliefs, it is not a sect. As you can see just by reading this forum that Atheists are not of one code, belief, or mind.

 

As the saying goes; Atheism is a belief in the same way that bald is a hair color.

Ah, now that makes far more sense. Something I can readily agree with.

There are some that call themselves Atheists that would violently disagree with it though.

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I think Kurari meant more like "atheism is a position regarding belief", because even though atheism isn't a belief in itself, it is a label referring to a certain state of mind towards belief, i.e. not having a belief.

I like it explained even simpler; it's not even a state of mind towards belief, it is simply a lack of belief. After that lack of belief one can make any personal statement they like. That is a subtle, but important, difference that I like to make.

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Atheism is a belief. Would you care to explain that a little more?

Atheism is a lack of belief. It's a default position for anyone that lacks a belief in god/gods for any reason. No statement need be made or adhered to. A "sect" is not a break away group, it is merely a group of people that adhere to a certain code or belief. Since Atheism has no beliefs, it is not a sect. As you can see just by reading this forum that Atheists are not of one code, belief, or mind.

 

As the saying goes; Atheism is a belief in the same way that bald is a hair color.

Ah, now that makes far more sense. Something I can readily agree with.

There are some that call themselves Atheists that would violently disagree with it though.

But Bald is a hair style, and a lot of Atheism involves specific fashion statements; you can be an Atheist and a hard core sceptic, you can be Athiest and think Stitchen was right, you can be Atheist and thin UFOs are real, you can be Atheist and believe that the human brain can directly affect the Quantum field... Atheism is never alone.

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Funny thing that the Raelians are Atheists, and they don't "believe" in evolution. :twitch: But have no problems to believe aliens talked to "Rael".

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Funny thing that the Raelians are Atheists, and they don't "believe" in evolution. :twitch: But have no problems to believe aliens talked to "Rael".

QED

Yup. Him too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

...

 

 

 

 

 

 

:HaHa: j/k

 

I knew the Raelians were atheists, but it never occured to me until I heard an interview with them that they are against evolution and support intelligent design. I wonder if the flying saucers hit theirs heads and that's why they join?

 

And another strange thing, if one does consider this as a religion, they have a "return of a savior" idea just like many other mainstream religions. Muslims are waiting for Mohamed, Christians for Jesus, and the Jews for Messiah (I think?), and the Raelians are waiting for the alien representative to come back to Earth and create peace. (Of course. And I bet Rael himself will be the top-dog in that organization. No self interests there, oh no, not at all...)

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But Bald is a hair style,

But not a color.

 

and a lot of Atheism involves specific fashion statements;

It can involve a lot of personal statements. None of which define Atheism.

 

you can be an Atheist and a hard core sceptic, you can be Athiest and think Stitchen was right, you can be Atheist and thin UFOs are real, you can be Atheist and believe that the human brain can directly affect the Quantum field...

No one is trying to say that an Atheist cannot say any of that.

 

Atheism is never alone.

It can be; as a lack of belief in gods. I'm just trying to say that we are all Atheists first, and then divide after that instead of fracturing from the beginning.

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But Bald is a hair style,

But not a color.

 

and a lot of Atheism involves specific fashion statements;

It can involve a lot of personal statements. None of which define Atheism.

 

you can be an Atheist and a hard core sceptic, you can be Athiest and think Stitchen was right, you can be Atheist and thin UFOs are real, you can be Atheist and believe that the human brain can directly affect the Quantum field...

No one is trying to say that an Atheist cannot say any of that.

 

Atheism is never alone.

It can be; as a lack of belief in gods. I'm just trying to say that we are all Atheists first, and then divide after that instead of fracturing from the beginning.

Spend a day at JREF...

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I knew the Raelians were atheists, but it never occured to me until I heard an interview with them that they are against evolution and support intelligent design. I wonder if the flying saucers hit theirs heads and that's why they join?

How are the "aliens" that created us with their "intelligent design" and coming back to save us any different than a god or gods?

 

And another strange thing, if one does consider this as a religion, they have a "return of a savior" idea just like many other mainstream religions. Muslims are waiting for Mohamed, Christians for Jesus, and the Jews for Messiah (I think?), and the Raelians are waiting for the alien representative to come back to Earth and create peace. (Of course. And I bet Rael himself will be the top-dog in that organization. No self interests there, oh no, not at all...)

A definition of a religion that I like, and I wish I could find the Free Inquiry article I read it in, held that a religion includes a belief in a god/creator idea, a reliance on ancient texts, and a few other things, but those were the important ones. Raelins sure believed in those two things.

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Actually to say atheism is an absence of belief is possibly not a one size fits all remark. There are some atheist who believe in an absence... which is subtly different.

 

One size fits all statements are usually wrong...

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But Bald is a hair style,

But not a color.

But it has a skin color, and you can paint it too. :)

 

Atheism is never alone.

It can be; as a lack of belief in gods. I'm just trying to say that we are all Atheists first, and then divide after that instead of fracturing from the beginning.

True. That is our default position in life when we're kids.

 

I'm certain my belief in God, Jesus and that whole thing, was because my parents and siblings believed, and I trusted them and I trusted what they trusted. So when they said the pastor was right, or the "book" was to be believed, I believed them telling me this. So the first "gods" we believe in are the first people we trust at young age (most likely our parents). So Atheism is natural, beliefs in fantasy is un-natural. If there's any choice, the choice is to step away from the natural into the imaginary.

 

Atheism in itself is not a sect, but I do think it is possible that some take it to that level. (Like the Raelians etc.) I don't really know any (non-"religious") atheist that is so hard core to be labeled sectarian... Doesn't a sect require some kind of leader and mind control? Regular Atheists seems to be rather the opposite; refusing to obey any kind of leadership, and find a pride in thinking for themselves.

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I knew the Raelians were atheists, but it never occured to me until I heard an interview with them that they are against evolution and support intelligent design. I wonder if the flying saucers hit theirs heads and that's why they join?

How are the "aliens" that created us with their "intelligent design" and coming back to save us any different than a god or gods?

That's true. They claim to be atheists, since they don't believe in an all powerful being that is omni-maxed-out and infinite in all directions and time (etc). So they don't believe in the philosophical/judeo/christian/islamic god, but they believe in beings smarter and more capable than us.

 

But really, in one way, I believe there very well could be more intelligent and technologically advanced beings in the universe. I doubt any of that kind "created" us though, but just believing there could be creatures on other planets more advanced that us doesn't make them "gods" per se... at least not the way I see it. I don't pray to them or anything, because they're somewhere else, and I'm here, and I doubt they even can be of any help for humanity. We're pretty much on our own. The only "gods" we can rely on is ourselves.

 

A definition of a religion that I like, and I wish I could find the Free Inquiry article I read it in, held that a religion includes a belief in a god/creator idea, a reliance on ancient texts, and a few other things, but those were the important ones. Raelins sure believed in those two things.

True. And I do agree they should be considered a religion. I have a hard time placing them in atheist group or not, and they don't fit in the theist either, nor deist...

 

I'm not sure if they believe in supernatural things? I think they don't. They are naturalists and believe in the Big Bang, cosmology, most everything in science, except evolution.

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But Bald is a hair style,

But not a color.

But it has a skin color, and you can paint it too. :)

 

Atheism is never alone.

It can be; as a lack of belief in gods. I'm just trying to say that we are all Atheists first, and then divide after that instead of fracturing from the beginning.

True. That is our default position in life when we're kids.

 

I'm certain my belief in God, Jesus and that whole thing, was because my parents and siblings believed, and I trusted them and I trusted what they trusted. So when they said the pastor was right, or the "book" was to be believed, I believed them telling me this. So the first "gods" we believe in are the first people we trust at young age (most likely our parents). So Atheism is natural, beliefs in fantasy is un-natural. If there's any choice, the choice is to step away from the natural into the imaginary.

 

Atheism in itself is not a sect, but I do think it is possible that some take it to that level. (Like the Raelians etc.) I don't really know any (non-"religious") atheist that is so hard core to be labeled sectarian... Doesn't a sect require some kind of leader and mind control? Regular Atheists seems to be rather the opposite; refusing to obey any kind of leadership, and find a pride in thinking for themselves.

 

Belief in fantasy is un-natural, yet EVERY society - from the most primitive to the most advanced - believes in spirits, ghosts, and supernatural gods. :twitch:

 

Sects don't require there to be a leader or mind control. Your use of the term sect is from a Judeo-Christian perspective, in this case the term has a pejorative connotation referring to a movement committed to heretical beliefs that deviates from orthodox practices. A sect as used in an Indian, Chinese, Korean, or Japanese context refers simply to an organized tradition. That tradition may or may not have a leader, it may or may not have a founder and it certainly will not have mind control.

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