Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Antlerman

Is Being Atheist A Religious Belief?

Recommended Posts

Would a non-religious person also be considered religious?

 

Oops! I saw that you answered my previous post. Thanks. :) I think I know what you mean.

 

I think this might help clear up the differences a bit:

 

1. I don't believe there is a God

2. I believe there is no God

 

Replace "believe" with "know:

 

1. I don't know if there is a God

2. I know there is no God

 

It is very clear there are differences in how we approach the idea of "belief". Atheists consists of both "don't believe" and the "believe there is no" groups. And that's why there's a lot of confusion. Currently I believe there is no God, but this "belief" is very weak. Because the only thing I know, is that I don't know, but still I can "believe" one thing or the other. And when I say "God", I mean it in the traditional way, the all-powerful, all-knowing, do-it-all, and super-good-God that most monotheistic religious gladly try to push. If there's something else, that we can't explain or even put a label on, that is divine and beyond... who the heck knows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is being an atheist the same as someone having a religious belief in God, except it is a belief in no-god? I strongly assert that it is not.

 

Of course it's a religion!!!! See I gots da proof right here. It's a video my atheist church!!!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alLkRcQcwk0...theist%20church

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, obviously you know what you believe, but I disagree with two points in your statement concerning what "atheists" believe: (1) you imply that atheists are those who merely see no evidence for the deity, and (2) you imply that the deity in question is the Christian deity.

Thank you for addressing the points I brought up. I was looking forward to dealing with this issue first before going further.

 

Unfortunately the arguments you make rebutting that I see atheism as only disbelief in the Christian God, is perhaps a fault of my word choice. I was tailoring my statement to a Christian audience, as many times it has been presented to me with the Christian God as the issue. I see atheism in the narrow sense: a-theism, no deity. This means any deity.

 

Also from your definition, someone is an atheist merely if they are unconvinced of the existence of deity. By this definition someone who thinks there's a god, but isn't sure, is an atheist.

No, I didn't say it that way. I said it as those who see no evidence to believe. I would not say that are atheist if they "merely" "are unconvinced". Those word choices have a clear connotation of someone who is "unsure", as you state above. Those who see no evidence to believe, in the strict sense of those words have no reason to consider it, and therefore remain a-theist, with no-deity. This is why I said before and still say that a child born into this world is a-theist. They lack any information to consider, so they have no-god belief. They are a-theist.

 

Those who are undecided about the evidence are "agnostic". When it comes to the historicity versus the purely mythical Christ, I am "agnostic" in my opinion, though I have leanings in one way over the other. When it comes to deities (I'm being more careful with my word choice :grin: ), the evidence as presented has failed to remain convincing or persuasive, and I therefore drop God out of the equation and have no-deity. I am therefore a-theist.

 

You discount dictionaries, but how else are we to agree on the meaning of the term "atheism"? Language is a system of words whose meanings are agreed on by a culture. (etc)

Be careful in characterizing what I am doing. I do not discount dictionaries, but from what I am seeing in how you approach it, I am in disagreement. Is there only one meaning of believe? I tried to illustrate this multiple times in saying things like "I believe George Bush is President", or "I believe I'm hungry". Is this the same as saying belief in connection to a god? Dictionaries are reflective of cultural usage, but do you see no distinction in meaning here? If you don't, then that is what I am in disagreement with, and why we will never happily resolve this distinction :grin:

 

What I was actually hoping this thread would be about, when you so pleasantly agreed to start it, was the question of why so many here seem to have turned from fundamentalist Christianity to atheism. It seems to me an extreme reaction. One might decide that fundamentalist Christianity is erroneous, but how does that equate to denying all deity? What about other forms of Christianity? What about Islam, Judeism, pantheism, or even just generic theism? Is this atheism held by faith, or have these people actually disproved all deities? That's what I thought the thread would be about.

I actually do have a lot I can say to this, and will happily do so. But I think we need let this overly narrow dictionary readings slide aside, otherwise we will be quibble semantics endlessly and that is far from fruitful.

 

BTW, to help you see how I really think, if you have the inclination read these post on what atheism and agnosticism are defined as. I think you'll have a hard time pressing a narrow dictionary definition into the many facets of these subjects.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic

 

 

 

As to your second point, we agree. Religion is an idelogy coupled with worship, and therefore more than merely an idelogy. Atheism is an ideology only, which is why I make the distinction between religion (which atheism is not) and a religious belief (which atheism is).

I'll quickly respond to these here: First not all religion has worship as part of it, or a god necessarily. Theravada Buddhism in an atheistic religion.

 

Atheism is not an ideology. What are it's teachings? What are it's views? None. It's only a starting point. As an atheist I move into any one of many philosophies for my world view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And here's a long article about what religious belief is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_belief

I didn't see anywhere in that article where it spoke of atheism as a religious belief. It doesn't really fit the definition. I suppose if we must make a concession, atheism is a belief about religion (but still not really), but that isn't really the same thing as "a religious belief" is it?

 

It's not an ideology; a philosophy; a faith; a religion; it's simply having no-god in your other beliefs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Correct A-man.

 

I couldn't find atheism fit into the "Religious Belief" either, at least not in that sense. But like you said, the phrase could be interpreted as "belief about religion", but it's not a religion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is being an atheist the same as someone having a religious belief in God, except it is a belief in no-god? I strongly assert that it is not.

No. Atheism is the absense of belief in God(s)

 

Do atheists believe there is no God? Sure.

No again. atheism isn't "believing" there is no God. atheism is without belief in God. It is without theism.

 

Therefore, atheism is not a religion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do atheists believe there is no God? Sure.

No again. atheism isn't "believing" there is no God. atheism is without belief in God. It is without theism.

 

Therefore, atheism is not a religion.

To clarify the context in which I said "sure", the whole statement reads, "Do atheists believe there is no God? Sure. In the same sense as believing the entertainer Madonna is not the President of the United States, we believe that there is no persuasive evidence to support claims of a supernatural, omniscient deity that watches over mankind as defined by Christian doctrine. "

 

I was illustrating the different uses of the word "believe".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup.

 

I don't believe there is a God, which to me means I believe there's not enough evidence to support a belief in God. But it doesn't mean I have a religious faith system that I follow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do atheists believe there is no God? Sure.

No again. atheism isn't "believing" there is no God. atheism is without belief in God. It is without theism.

 

Therefore, atheism is not a religion.

To clarify the context in which I said "sure", the whole statement reads, "Do atheists believe there is no God? Sure. In the same sense as believing the entertainer Madonna is not the President of the United States, we believe that there is no persuasive evidence to support claims of a supernatural, omniscient deity that watches over mankind as defined by Christian doctrine. "

 

I was illustrating the different uses of the word "believe".

 

Sorry if I misunderstood ya bro. I see what you are saying. Thanks for clarifying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.