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Godless Ones: Are You Atheist Or Anti-Theist?


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Are you an atheist, simply referring to someone who does not believe in any gods, or Anti-Theist, meaning that you are someone who actively opposed to the belief in god/religion and try to fight this belief whenever you can?

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Atheist here. Non-theist is also another good word, particularly since I keep finding useful things in Buddhism and it likes that word (it's used in the sense that gods may exist, but they're irrelevant to your "salvation"/enlightenment). I have no gods, highly doubt that any exist, but if other people have some then it's live and let live. If they get evangelical or dominionist about it, or treat other people poorly because of it, then it's fighting time.

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You should have included "Agnostic" in the list.

 

Atheist and agnostic are not mutually exclusive. One refers to belief in god, one refers to knowledge. One can be an agnostic atheist or a gnostic atheist. One can also be an agnostic theist or a gnostic theist.

 

For clarification

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Atheist here. Non-theist is also another good word, particularly since I keep finding useful things in Buddhism and it likes that word (it's used in the sense that gods may exist, but they're irrelevant to your "salvation"/enlightenment). I have no gods, highly doubt that any exist, but if other people have some then it's live and let live. If they get evangelical or dominionist about it, or treat other people poorly because of it, then it's fighting time.

 

What would the difference be between an atheist and a non-theist, other than the misconceptions around the word "atheist"

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Atheist here. Non-theist is also another good word, particularly since I keep finding useful things in Buddhism and it likes that word (it's used in the sense that gods may exist, but they're irrelevant to your "salvation"/enlightenment). I have no gods, highly doubt that any exist, but if other people have some then it's live and let live. If they get evangelical or dominionist about it, or treat other people poorly because of it, then it's fighting time.

 

What would the difference be between an atheist and a non-theist, other than the misconceptions around the word "atheist"

 

There's a lot of overlap, so it depends on who's using it and what they mean by it. Specifically in Buddhism, some writings claim that the gods really do exist, which is a non-atheistic position, but they don't worship the gods because the gods are subject to the same delusions that humans are and need enlightenment as much as humans. So the cosmology may include gods and heavens, but the practice of the religion doesn't involve worshiping them.

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Atheist. I really don't care what most people believe so long as it doesn't bother me.

 

I know a hindu lady who is the sweetest person I've ever known. She doesn't push her beliefs on me. She and I have had plenty of discussions and I quite enjoyed them. Same with alot of people with alot of religions.

 

That being said, if you're pushy with your religion, then I don't like your religion and am antitheist in regards to it. And if you try to convert me, I'll warn you right now, I don't play nice. XD

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Hello DrNo.  I've always been an atheist, with a little bit of anti-theism in me when I was in middle school.  Then through highschool and stumbling into adulthood I have been very accepting or at least apathetic towards religion.  However recently, I've been moving more towards anti-theism (I marked anti-theist on your poll).  It seems the more I learn about theism, the more I dislike it.

 

I guess my current stance is getting close to my middle school stance.

 

1.  If you fully believe in a scriptured religion that tells you certain supernatural things happened in history, are still happening, and there is a pre-determined way that we must live life.  I'm totally AGAINST that.  I think you are abandoning your rational mind to accept the many claims made by these religions.  I think it is a sad way to go through life, following scripture that is just plain wrong, deceptive, and manipulative.  I call it living a lie.  And I hate it.

 

2.  If you believe in a scriptured religion on the surface, but at least question some of the supernatural claims that are being made..but you still hold onto some belief that there is magic and/or gods.  I think it's unfortunate, but at least not as sad as the people I describe in point 1.  I'm mostly apathetic towards this type of belief.  Although I don't like it.  I can still respect it to some extent.

 

3.  If you believe in no specific religion, but hold onto some supernatural beliefs or possible deity beliefs....then my feelings towards this thought process is similar to my feelings towards thought process 2.  At least you are thinking for yourself.  Obviously I think your thoughts are wrong.  But at least you aren't buying into the damaging systems that is (most) religions.

 

Overall I think it is wrong for people to be "taught" religion as a fact or way of life.  And I'm against people living their lives as if they must do certain behaviors, rituals, or offerings to appease the supernatural forces of the universe.

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I am going to second VacuumFlux on this.

 

I am agnostic in that I maintain it is impossible to either prove or disprove the notion of "God". In my view, it can not be decided so the choice "still deciding" does not apply, nor does "atheist" which denies the notion. Deist is yet another choice that should be present as it is distinct from both theist and atheist.

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Atheist here. Non-theist is also another good word, particularly since I keep finding useful things in Buddhism and it likes that word (it's used in the sense that gods may exist, but they're irrelevant to your "salvation"/enlightenment). I have no gods, highly doubt that any exist, but if other people have some then it's live and let live. If they get evangelical or dominionist about it, or treat other people poorly because of it, then it's fighting time.

 

What would the difference be between an atheist and a non-theist, other than the misconceptions around the word "atheist"

 

There's a lot of overlap, so it depends on who's using it and what they mean by it. Specifically in Buddhism, some writings claim that the gods really do exist, which is a non-atheistic position, but they don't worship the gods because the gods are subject to the same delusions that humans are and need enlightenment as much as humans. So the cosmology may include gods and heavens, but the practice of the religion doesn't involve worshiping them.

 

theism and the variants of the word just involve belief.  Worship isn't necessary to be a theist.

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I am in much the same position as Vaccumflux but would edge a little into theist.  Not sure if god is that important. But one or more may exist.

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And it is worth re-iterating that theism and gnosticism are on different planes.  The plane of belief vs the plane of knowledge.  They are not mutually exclusive whatsoever.  I have yet to fully understand how so many people do not seem to "know" what they believe. 

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I am going to second VacuumFlux on this.

 

I am agnostic in that I maintain it is impossible to either prove or disprove the notion of "God". In my view, it can not be decided so the choice "still deciding" does not apply, nor does "atheist" which denies the notion. Deist is yet another choice that should be present as it is distinct from both theist and atheist.

 

Atheism does NOT deny the possibility of god. That is why I provided the link above. It simply means without belief in god. A minority of atheists might be considered "strong atheists" or "atheist-gnostics", meaning that they believe that they can disprove the existence of god. But this is a minority. On the theism scale, you either believe or you don't or you are still deciding. (A)gnosticism does not enter into this. Again, please see the link above for clarification.

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And it is worth re-iterating that theism and gnosticism are on different planes.  The plane of belief vs the plane of knowledge.  They are not mutually exclusive whatsoever.  I have yet to fully understand how so many people do not seem to "know" what they believe. 

 

I too am amazed. We need a PR campaign.

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VacuumFlux put it quite well. I edge a little more toward anti-theist because I oppose religion in government and schools, long a world problem and still bubbling here.

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500x463xfinal1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.CU5wGLLW

For those too lazy to click the link. Theism-Atheism refers to what you BELIEVE. Gnosticism-Agnosticim refers to what you think we can KNOW. Most atheists don't believe that there is a god, but would say that there is no way to know for sure. Most Christians would say they believe in god and KNOW this to be true. Few people fit into the other categories, but they are NOT mutually exclusive.

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And it is worth re-iterating that theism and gnosticism are on different planes.  The plane of belief vs the plane of knowledge.  They are not mutually exclusive whatsoever.  I have yet to fully understand how so many people do not seem to "know" what they believe. 

 

I too am amazed. We need a PR campaign.

 

Haha!

 

I just read the link.  It explains pretty well, although I don't agree with it 100%.  I agree with it pretty close to 100%.

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Most of the "debates" that occur here with believers are usually, if not always, with those who have no concept of what they actually believe.or where it came from, let alone the full implications.

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Most of the "debates" that occur here with believers are usually, if not always, with those who have no concept of what they actually believe.or where it came from, let alone the full implications.

 

 

If you are talking about OC and the like.  I think they know what they believe.  They just don't have a solid grasp on why they believe it...and try their best to explain it (usually with scripture which is an immediate fail, because that assumes the scripture has meaning or is divinely inspired..begging the question).

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I think they know the words that say what they think they believe, but I'm not sure they have the understanding to go with it. And I won't even say that they are incapable of critical thinking, it's more that critical thinking is not acceptable behavior for anyone other than approved theologians who wish to derive a known position in advance in most cases.

 

But we digress.

 

More on topic, I would also have to claim a bit of the anti-theist stance in that I am fully against any law that is based upon religious dogma instead of rational need. I have often said that any belief or rule that derives its morality solely from religious dogma is probably immoral.

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Atheist here. Non-theist is also another good word, particularly since I keep finding useful things in Buddhism and it likes that word (it's used in the sense that gods may exist, but they're irrelevant to your "salvation"/enlightenment). I have no gods, highly doubt that any exist, but if other people have some then it's live and let live. If they get evangelical or dominionist about it, or treat other people poorly because of it, then it's fighting time.

 

What would the difference be between an atheist and a non-theist, other than the misconceptions around the word "atheist"

 

There's a lot of overlap, so it depends on who's using it and what they mean by it. Specifically in Buddhism, some writings claim that the gods really do exist, which is a non-atheistic position, but they don't worship the gods because the gods are subject to the same delusions that humans are and need enlightenment as much as humans. So the cosmology may include gods and heavens, but the practice of the religion doesn't involve worshiping them.

 

theism and the variants of the word just involve belief.  Worship isn't necessary to be a theist.

 

My current belief is that no gods exist, thus the atheism. The non-theist part is more related to the idea of apatheist; if a god or gods happen to exist, it would be irrelevant to me and the way I live my life. I referenced buddhism because there can be theistic and non-theist buddhists without them calling each other not-true-buddhists, because buddhism is a non-theistic religion that isn't generally dogmatic about that point. Christians think that the question of god's existence is the most important thing ever and that that's what everyone bases their life around, whereas buddhism says just the opposite. I find it relevant to this discussion because it's part of why I didn't mark anti-theist; I don't think the question is particularly relevant to who a person is and how they live their life. I don't think it's always a measure of their acceptance of reality either, even though in the USA right now there's a lot of people basing their rejection of reality on specific beliefs about a specific deity.

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Atheist here. Non-theist is also another good word, particularly since I keep finding useful things in Buddhism and it likes that word (it's used in the sense that gods may exist, but they're irrelevant to your "salvation"/enlightenment). I have no gods, highly doubt that any exist, but if other people have some then it's live and let live. If they get evangelical or dominionist about it, or treat other people poorly because of it, then it's fighting time.

 

What would the difference be between an atheist and a non-theist, other than the misconceptions around the word "atheist"

 

There's a lot of overlap, so it depends on who's using it and what they mean by it. Specifically in Buddhism, some writings claim that the gods really do exist, which is a non-atheistic position, but they don't worship the gods because the gods are subject to the same delusions that humans are and need enlightenment as much as humans. So the cosmology may include gods and heavens, but the practice of the religion doesn't involve worshiping them.

 

theism and the variants of the word just involve belief.  Worship isn't necessary to be a theist.

 

My current belief is that no gods exist, thus the atheism. The non-theist part is more related to the idea of apatheist; if a god or gods happen to exist, it would be irrelevant to me and the way I live my life. I referenced buddhism because there can be theistic and non-theist buddhists without them calling each other not-true-buddhists, because buddhism is a non-theistic religion that isn't generally dogmatic about that point. Christians think that the question of god's existence is the most important thing ever and that that's what everyone bases their life around, whereas buddhism says just the opposite. I find it relevant to this discussion because it's part of why I didn't mark anti-theist; I don't think the question is particularly relevant to who a person is and how they live their life. I don't think it's always a measure of their acceptance of reality either, even though in the USA right now there's a lot of people basing their rejection of reality on specific beliefs about a specific deity.

 

that's cool.  I should also note that I am not nearly as anti-theist as I am anti-(religions that base their practices on theism)-ist.  :)

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Are you an atheist, simply referring to someone who does not believe in any gods, or Anti-Theist, meaning that you are someone who actively opposed to the belief in god/religion and try to fight this belief whenever you can?

 

It's not as cut and dried as that for me. I'm for fighting injustice. Injustice does not always come in the form of religion. Religion does not always take the form of injustice. For example, for many people, their religion is just a way of life and being, of seeing the world. They go their way quietly living their beliefs without interfering in the lives of others. I don't fight this kind of belief so long as they live and let live. But let one of these break their regular quiet ways and impose their beliefs on me, I'm quite prepared to take them on in such a way that will make them sorry they brought up the issue. I'll do this by asking them questions they can't answer--questions that naturally occur to me, not trick questions or anything, just logical stuff that must be the natural outcome if their claims are true. Or I ask for evidence to back up their claims. That kind of thing.

 

If they ask where we come from, I'll suggest that we don't need to get into the technicalities of how babies are made. Etc. They want to know where life comes from? I can direct them to speculative scientists such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson and his panspermia theories. I can also argue that I was taught we don't have to know everything--with which they agree--and that origins of life and the universe fall into the category of things we don't have to know. At that point, agreement goes down the drain. And they won't look up Tyson and panspermia. They're likely at that point to write me off as a hard-hearted intellectual with a natural mind that can be softened only by the Holy Spirit.

 

Whose existence is highly suspect, since in my decades of seeking I have been unable to uncover an iota of evidence either for his existence or for the work he is credited for doing.

 

If I venture to raise these issues, the Christian is no longer listening.

 

It's not really worth the effort to fight, though once in a while I get the urge for the intellectual stimulation.

 

So am I an atheist or anti-theist? I seem to remember being called anti-theist simply for persistently asking some of these hard questions. In my mind, I was simply seeking information, and that does not by any means make me anti-theist. In my mind, I'm just an atheist. Most of the time.

 

But let religion make laws that get between me and my rights as a human beings, then you can see me out there doing what I can to fight said religion.

 

For these reasons, I ticked neither box.

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Chalk me up as an atheist with a side order of anti-theist.  I don't like debating religion with people, but I would be happy to see the world be rid of it.  I do like to compare praying to God with talking to imaginary pink unicorns when talking with my husband, though.  But it's all in good fun and no one's feelings get hurt.

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