definition of atheist (comment on 'definition' sticky)

Discussion in 'Religion' started by NMSquirrel, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    No thanks,i'm quite alright with ''imaginable''. As it's the concept of God you're giving me (regarding your own position) to work with, I figure we are contextually mutual.

    You forget to add every aspect of their life.

    Haven't got anything to add so you turn your attention to me?

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    Not answering? Again?

    Here's the question again. Why is it necessary?

    How would you know you have never experienced whatever you believe to be unimaginable? Unless of course you are aware of what is 'unimaginable'? You assert that God is unimaginable. My question is; Why is God unimaginable to you?

    I never stated that God was unknowable. I said that on top of not believing in God because of lack of evidence (atheist), you also Don the title ''agnostic'' (A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.). Mix that with God IS unimaginable and you've got yours some intellectual armory there.

    That is one way to look at it. Unfortunately it always leads to the same place. Nowhere.
    Another question to ask is; How is it they can imagine God, and I can't?

    You are.

    You're the one who decided God is unknowable (without evidence). Agnostic Atheist, remember?

    So your knowledge and experience leads you to not believe. Firstly, isn't that the criteria for people who do believe? Do you decide how some (if not all) experiences are interpreted? Secondly. Are you somehow lead automatically by your senses?

    For you maybe. I can certainly see how it be convenient.
    But for me, it's integral. And it's a fact.

    Why would you assume that some people don't have a choice, and some people do?
    Even if you decide to blindly follow the guy in front, thereby relieving yourself of a certain amount of responsibility, the choice was yours. What you appear to be implying is that people who believe, do so because they are programmed, or somehow conditioned into believe something you deem non-existent, and unimaginable. That comes from your air tight armory.

    If you don't know (which you don't), why post it up as if you do know?

    I said you 'generalize', not, 'I think you told someone they are 'wrong'.


    How I see what?

    So the only way someone believes is because they force themselves to?
    Do you equate accepting God with forcing oneself to believe in God?

    What makes you think that the 'surety' comes from their beliefs? Could the belief come the ''surety''? The ability to accept an idea, emotion without having to believe in it?

    Who really cares about His non-existence?

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    If you need to see God, in one of His original forms, in order to believe in Him. Then this whole discussion should have ended a while ago. But for most people His existence is not an issue.

    IOW you will accept on your terms.

    I'm saying you've built up a wall with the intention of keeping God out.

    Who cares? It's nonsense. If you are sincere in being open-minded about God, then a good place to start is to understand why it is a nonsense.

    Right. So waiting for evidence of God to materialize is a futile endeavor. Isn't it? Why do you do it?

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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    As I thought, you have nothing to offer in this regard except empty claims. If you truly wished to show how God is imaginable you would simply provide such an imagining, and something more than "I imagine God as imaginable".
    How does that alter or add to what I wrote?
    Only because you drag it that way by making unsupported claims and refusing to answer questions when posed to you.
    Apologies, I thought that you'd be able to follow the logic: if the universe sprang from something, then there must be something for it to spring from. That necessitates the something.
    Understand it now?
    As stated many times before, I do not know God. I have no knowledge of God. I have no experience of God. What more does one not need before one deems it unimaginable?
    Thank you for the clarification - however you still have it back to front: I lack belief because I am not aware of any evidence, and because I do not have experience or knowledge of God. Those things make God unimaginable (i.e. it is a conclusion, not a premise). Until I can imagine God, on what basis should I believe, and in what should I believe?
    Nowhere? Nowhere for who? And in reference to what?
    You would have to ask them.
    Ah, if only it worked that way. For me it doesn't. I would also know it is only a guess, and not something I could ever believe as being true. I simply could not force myself to believe in its truth.
    So round in circles we go.
    Unknown, yes. Whether or not he is ultimately unknowable to me... no idea. That is not an assessment I can make as, once again, I lack the knowledge, experience, etc.
    More it doesn't lead me to believe.
    We have something else to go on?
    Interpreted, yes. But interpretation does not equate to truth.
    You'll have to clarify what you mean before I could answer that.
    Why is it relevant then? What is the point / purpose of it?
    And convenience has nothing to do with it.
    As previously suggested, read up on doxastic involuntarism.
    I don't. That is just your biased interpretation of what was written.
    And that response was not in relation to your comment of generalising.

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    . But great evasion again.
    Anything and everything.
    Not in all beliefs, possibly.
    Given my knowledge and experience, yes. It is the only way I could accept something that I have no knowledge of.
    Because I have talked to them.
    Strong atheists.
    I don't need to see God. I just can't believe in something for which I have no knowledge, no experience. It is not a choice, I simply can not believe.
    And bear in mind that this thread is about atheism - so his existence or not is an issue, in as much as it is how we assess that that informs our position.
    I will accept on any terms that lead me to believe. I make no demands. I simply can not force myself to believe.
    You can say what you want, but there is no intention. The wall is built up from the foundations of how my thought processes work. I don't believe in many things, for the same reasons... but would you say that I have built it up with the intention of keeping them out as well? That belief in God can not seem to get through the wall is a by-product of the way my mind works. It results in me simply not being able to believe in God's existence.
    If God exists, would he not be capable of breaking through the wall?
    And once again you evade.
    Wait for what? I don't wait for anything. I don't wait for evidence for any other thing for which I have no knowledge or experience. And I don't wait for evidence of God.
    Given that I don't consider belief a choice, what is the purpose of waiting... I'll believe when and if I do. There is no waiting.
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Can someone explain why this willful action by God should be ignored by theists? Seems mankind had it right once and then God got pissed off and threw a wrench in the whole works.

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  7. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    the nature of the term 'anti-theist'??

    as in the context of this thread?
    I was just asking for inclusion of the word 'anti-theist'...
    to which write4you answered satisfactory (no sense adding qualifier)
    it was after that I decided to take the bait and argue with you guys to frustration (balerion didn't play nice, you did, congrats btw), thereby maybe you guys will learn where to start your debates instead of hi-jacking any thread you think is pro-God.(I highly doubt it)

    go back and find out who turned this thread into a debate on God, atheist/ism and the nature thereof..(or anything more than a thread to discuss the inclusion of the word 'anti-theist')
    it was an atheist.

    (which came first the anti-theist or the atheist?)
  8. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Indeed. Perhaps you think that one can address matters of definition of a term such as that without the notion of God somehow being included?
    Not the thread per se, but the use of the term in the context of the discussion (noting how discussions can drift from the thread), and also in the context of the situation described.
    And thus the discussion can move on with little or no issue, surely?
    Where was the hi-jacking, and why is it not merely a natural transition of focus of the topic, given that you think the question was answered satisfactorily?
    And is your method of "teaching" someone not to do something always to join in with what they want?

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    There is no real debate on God in this thread, only debates about the inclusion or not of "anti-theist", and then whether atheism is a choice or not. The latter is not a debate about God per se, but it is difficult to explain ones position (and thus why they might consider it a choice or not) without touching on those aspects.
    Rather depends on your understanding of the term atheist. One is a definite reaction against theism, and the other (some would argue) is merely anyone who lacks belief in God.
    And IF one considers God to be a man-made concept, atheists clearly came first, and anti-theists only arrived once theism did.
  11. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    More importantly, due to the topic of the thread, if you truly wished to explain why God is unimaginable you would simply provide such reasoning, something more than ''God is unimaginable''.

    You seem to forget that children generally rebel against their upbringing in their teens, if they want to. You could say it is a tradition.
    Hence they make their own decision about God. Even if they decide to believe what they learned from their environment.

    You don't have to apologise, I was just making sure of something.

    You're not aware of any evidence of something you deem non-existent, unimaginable, no knowledge of, and can not bring yourself to accept because of this? You have little, or no basis with that resume.

    Who decides whether ones imagination is accurate?
    How do we know their imaginations are accurate?

    It's a question you should ask?

    Never the less, you still are. If you can imagine God to be the chair, at least it's start. There's plenty of literature giving explanations of God, and His nature. Your imagination could eventually progress on to that.

    God isn't entirely unknown. It's the thing you know to unimaginable, and lacking in evidence of existence. You must at least know why you conclude there is no evidence of God.

    But it leads you to accept that there is a lack of evidence of an unknown, unimaginable, who knows what?

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    But you can draw conclusions, and make decisions.

    I mean do you simply follow your base instincts?

    Because it is integral to humans. The other alternative is, it is all made up. You don't believe that do you?

    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

  13. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    If you have no knowledge of God: How can you determine Him to be unimaginable? And how do you know you've never had any experience of Him?

    Why wouldn't they do so, if it's a natural part of their human growth?

    You just threw this in to take the attention away from you answer.

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    Basis to believe, as in, you don't have one. Not because you're incapable, because you don't want one.
    Your whole reasoning on this, is circular. You cannot believe in God, because of clauses you have made.
    Is the notion of God, non-different to you than the notion of the FSM?

    It sounds as if you're saying you have no control over what you believe, that you will automatically believe something if the circumstances are favourable to you. It sounds as if you are quite protective of this part of you that will just up and believe without your consideration.

    Chances are we have knowledge and experience of quite a few things, but are unaware of them. And sometimes these awarenesses can be triggered, or stimulated into our waking consciousness (as opposed to sub-consciousness). In this way, anything can be a catalyst, it doesn't necessarily have to be rational science.

    I mean it is a question you should ask yourself.

    I haven't said anything about what you believe. It's just not yet obvious to you that you give everything away in your explanations. You can't possibly lack belief in God because of lack of evidence, unless you know what would constitute evidence. How could you possibly know that there is a lack of evidence without knowledge of what the evidence is?

    Where is the evidence that one needs evidence to learn or grow from?
    And where is the evidence for that evidence?
    You see how you've concocted a never ending series of questions?

    If God is entirely unknown then how is it that people claim to know Him? How is it that there are ancient scriptures?
    Or is this just you not calling people delusional, irrational, or any other situation some would care to mention?

    Why are you incapable when most people are capable?

    To lack evidence of God is to say that there is something other than the material world that I can fathom with my senses, that can be brought unto this material atmosphere so I can decide. It is to say that everything that is written about God, and through God (inspirational) is not knowledge, therefore it can be denied. It is to say ''I am not prepared to accept anything other than my own conception of God, as God. It is to say that God is separate to me (contrary to any claims), to deny the only concept of God there is (Supreme Being).

    Of course. You'd expect that kind of completion from the mind of a Supreme Being.

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    For you, there isn't.

    Well we both know I was referring to God. But I see no reference here. Who or what are you referring to?

    And those reference points are activated or deactivated by the standard preset filters, and we all know what yours are;
    There is no evidence for God, God is not necessary because we have rational explanations to explain the inner workings of the universe. God is entirely unknown, and is unimaginable. It is impossible to believe in something that does not exist, and is unimaginable.

    I didn't see that one coming.

    I'm not using it as an argument. You asked me a question and I gave you my opinion, just like you're giving yours.

    I think you have that mixed up with non-belief. And yes you are correct, you have accepted terms.
    Your type of non belief is built upon, and maintained. As science and technology improve you will add more armoury to it.

    You may think that it's similar to belief in God, but it's not. I can't say it any clearer than that. So for me, it's a waste of time.
    Belief in God, is not the same as belief in anything one can think of. I don't know if that means anything to you, but you should at least understand that for me, using this kind of reasoning in theological discussion is probably no different than someone asking a neo-darwinist why there are still monkeys if we evolved from them (and please you don't need to explain it, or take it any further).
    It's a complete waste of time for me. Sorry!

  14. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    notion of God? atheist/atheism..
    now you are changing it again..
    what is next?
    you have come into this thread without determining intent and context from the OP author, you assumed the intent/context was an attack on atheist, and proceeded to argue such, regardless of any communication to the contrary, and as such have imposed your own opinions into it and turned it into a discussion on theology and belief rather than just the meaning or inclusion of the word anti-theist.

    natural transition? where was hijacking? denial is another form of justification.
    ignore any comments that would mean you are in the wrong.
    (or argue to justify them)
    (I am being sarcastic here)

    (hi-jacking, the attempt to change the original intent and context of a thread by imposing your own intent/context into the thread)

    cause you guys wont listen.
    your too busy rejecting our beliefs and making it a point to try and convince us your beliefs are more accurate/better than the believers.
    but when you guys are accused of any wrong doing, you ignore the comment and try and justify why you are right., in fact you guys tend to ignore anything that would even hint for you guys to drop it or STFU, you guys disrespect the beliefs of anyone who doesn't agree with you in this matter, and refuse to acknowledge any point for fear that we might convince you to believe(regardless of intent)
    your opinions change when confronted with certain topics/points, and you guys assume every believer believes exactly the same, and you argue to that. your arguments tend to be misdirected and full of fallicies, and any discussions to that point are met with hostility, and justification. and I wish you guys would lay off so I would have the opportunity to argue my points with the believers.(and accuse them of the same.)(if I had that opportunity AND you were to pay attention, you would find me argueing just as I do with the non-believer)
    most often I have found you guys are often full of predjudice and biases, and argue irrationally when confronted with a possibility of a believer being correct (regardless of belief in God)
    even minor points are not acknowledged as right by you guys (no term fits right) you argue as if everything they say is wrong, and only listening for points to argue with instead of trying to listen to understand, you turn every/anything they say into a major battle.

    with NO proof one way or the other, any hypothesis is possible.

    yet you would argue that the believer is wrong, regardless of any points that show you guys you are just as guilty as those you condemn.(speaking to that which you guys argue about the believer, not the truth)

    see, you changed it again.. after several times explaining this thread is about the term 'anti-theist' and you trying to change it to something it is not(and not acknowledging original intent), you are now changing your statement to include 'anti-theist'. and you changed it from a discussion on belief as a choice to atheism as a choice.. which although closely related is not quite the same.
    (which brings up the question: if you defend atheism, wouldn't that make it more than just a description of a person who does not believe?)

    you misunderstood the question, i was referring to you as the atheist and balerion as the anti-theist.. which one posted first?
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Changing what exactly? Atheism is a position of a lack of belief. If one, such as yourself, claims that position to be a choice, as you did, then of course the notion of God is going to form part of the discussion in as much as, as explained, there are few other questions of belief that come close to it, making analogy difficult when it is simply easier to discuss the issue head on.
    The discussion of notion of God might also include the notion that god is unknowable, unimaginable etc.
    So what is your issue here with discussing aspects of belief in God in a thread, given that it has/had already clearly moved away from the mere inclusion or not of "anti-theist".
    If you want the subsequent discussion moved to another thread, ask a mod to move it.
    If you want to broaden the discussion into whether any/all belief is a choice, open a thread in the philosophy forum and shovel this discussion across to there.
    But please stop whingeing!

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    Care to go back and read post #2 in this very thread.
    My second contribution (post #55) was once again a direct response to you, very much in keeping with the OP and some subsequent comments you made.
    My third contribution (post #69) was to dismiss an article that Arne linked to that I found rather biased, preachy, etc.
    Jan then picked up on that and from there the discussion (with you and him) has gone down the route it has.

    So please do not accuse me as you have, as it simply is not true, as evidenced above.
    I wouldn't call it hijacking, as the original thread, to your own admission, was satisfactorily answered. Further, it is not as though we (you, Jan or I) are insisting that everyone get on board our discussion... It is rather a self-contained exchange.
    Where have I said my belief is better or more accurate?

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    Different, yes. Better? Is there a better? For some, possibly, for others possibly not.
    Wrong doing? As in what. Supposedly hijacking a thread? There are better ways to resolve that, if it is of that much concern to you, than joining in as you have done.
    If it is other wrong doing, then what are you accusing me of now? And where is the evidence? Perhaps you think a mere accusation is sufficient??
    Where have I disrespected the beliefs of anyone? Where have I refused to acknowledge any point? Or do you see not agreeing with it as a refusal to acknowledge?
    Where on earth is all this coming from??

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    Where have I changed my opinion when confronted with certain topics?
    Where have I assumed every believer believes exactly the same, and where have I argued to that?
    Where are the arguments misdirected?
    Where are the fallacies that you claim they are full of?
    Or perhaps you see this as hostility, to ask the accuser for just a shred of evidence to support their case?
    You can argue your points with whoever you want. No one is stopping you. If you don't want to read responses from others just skip through them.
    Admittedly I nor Jan are not averse to long posts, but that is neither here nor there.
    What is stopping you? And don't say that I am, or that Jan is... I have only responded to your responses to me, and Jan's responses to me.

    But despite your rather weird way, by joining in, of showing that you would rather any/all discussions not relating to "anti-theist" cease within this thread, I shall bow out after this response.
    And if those minor points are not right? Or are not considered to be right? Why should they be accepted as they relate to us?
    Yet not all hypotheses are help by individuals to rational.
    Again with the unsupported accusation.
    Where is this change you accuse me of? Does this thread contain debate about the term "anti-theist" or not? Where have I ever said that this thread has not included such? I may have said that the current debate has moved on from that, but that does not delete previous debates in the thread.
    And I never changed it from belief as a choice to atheism as a choice: to me this matter of choice or not was always about atheism as a choice! I held it to be implicit from the thread title that the debate on belief was first and foremost about atheism as a choice. Which should have been obvious whenever I tried to explain how I saw belief in god as being rather different than mere belief I can beat my brother at poker. So let's just put that one down to an ironic lack of communication.
    No. You may want to add another descriptor in front of atheism, such as "argumentative", but that is separate to my atheism.
    Then the anti-theist did.

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  16. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member


    you,atheist,argumentitive atheist,anti-theist,they, whatever pronoun you are more comfortable with..
    with my arguments, that pronoun tends to become irrelevant, as whatever I tend to argue about ends up being applicable to most ALL ppl.
    IOW do not take my 'you' to be personal, sometimes I get caught up in the moment, please confirm I was actually talking about you personally before going defensive. not all my 'you' were generic, some were meant to you personaly, but I don't want to get into it as it tends to be a 'yes you are/no im not' fight, you do not have to agree or disagree with me, they are meant not for accusation but for contemplation (see next point) (confrontational contemplation??)
    IOW, sorry..

    and why would I have to support that statement? (actually I believe I have touched on it here and there)
    if you are honest with yourself, you would consider it before dismissing it.
    but then again, I tend to expect better out of ppl than what they actually are.. I tend to expect them to be more honest with themselves than they are. this is my delusion, (and actually one I like)

    so lets try to talk about something semi-neutral, phrased according to what you have told me about yourself, as my memory may be a little wack(see below), but I do listen,

    What does the average atheist accuse theists of?
    (actually I pry would be better to argue this with balerion..)

    <wack memory>
    my file clerk (the one that recalls memories) doesn't always bring back what I ask for(can't fire him, cause no one else wants the job!)..I think its an adhd thing, I also believe it is still all there, my brain records everything, its just accessing those recordings I have issues with.
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Supposed to be "not all hypotheses are held by individuals to be rational." ... I blame iPad auto-correct.
    Meh. Already forgotten.
    It's not a matter dismissing it, just of requiring accusations to be supported. As with any claim. That the accusation has been made is enough for me not to dismiss it out of hand. But too many accusations are thrown around without grounds, in an attempt to deflect, to obfuscate etc. By providing support you show that the accusation has ground.
    Don't worry, we'll weed it out of you eventually!

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    Probably, as my answer would be for you to ask the average atheist.

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    I'm not sure the average atheist would be on this forum, though.
    If I was to respond from what I perceive would be the expected stereotype, I would say the answer is "being irrational". But they judge the irrationality by their own experiences, i.e. what they really mean is "I find your position to be irrational". Which has a rather different meaning.

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  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    It isn't necessary, it's inevitable.
  19. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    not all irrationality is irrational, iow, rationality is in the eye of the beholder, even the most psychotic think they are rational.

    true enough..

    thought of another analogy for my file clerk.. he is out chasing butterflies.. (oh look, a butterfly..)

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