Isn't being an Atheist a religion?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by iHaveNoIdea, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Deliberate ad hom (and thereby, again, giving the lie to your contention "Will never ever entertain ad hominem in any discussion." - once more highlighting your continuing hypocrisy).
    You have ALREADY, many times, been given links and definitions that do indeed state "absence of belief".
    Your persistent attempts to ignore or dismiss these is transparently childish.

    In other words: Lixluke doesn't think it's correct, therefore it isn't and that's final.
    One day you will realise that you, personally, are not the sole and final arbiter of what is. I imagine it will come as a rather severe shock to you.
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  3. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Here is an article from infidels that most people will agree is a complete joke.
    1. They are stating that atheism is specifically absence of belief in God.
    2. They use the word "disbelief" in a way other than as a rejection of a claim.
    3. They use terms such as "strong atheism", "weak atheism", "agnostic atheism" etc. None of which any sane person takes seriously.

    The information in that site is total rubbish. It's not atheism. It has no legitimacy. In the real world, we don't take that twaddle seriously. In the real world, we have the following:
    1. People who believe that God exists.
    2. People who believe there is no God.
    3. People who don't make either claim.
    4. People who lean towards #1 or #2 without necessarily taking them.
    5. People who claim there is no way man can know whether or not there is a God.
    6. A plethora of different ideas on the matter.

    These perspectives exist regardless of any semantics or bickering about terminology.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
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  5. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Show me where I try to insist on using something personal about somebody as support for an argument being true or false?
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  7. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    No they aren't:
    Disbelief is not necessarily a rejection of a claim: it's also a non-acceptance a lack of belief.

    By your personal definition of "sane" that is.

    And once more we have Lixluke's definitions of reality that MUST be correct because he said it.

    How amusing: you attempt to define it precisely and still end up with "some other stuff I can't fit into it".

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    The only joke here is you.
  8. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Ah, another deliberate misinterpretation.
    Ad hominem:
    Raising the subject of crack smoking is neither pertinent nor required, yet because you introduced it it signifies the possibility (in gullible reader's minds) that that could be an explanation.
    Ad hom.
    I also note that in quoting Sarkus's post where you raised "crack smoking" you also managed to quote his (valid) complaint that you deliberately misquoted him: yet failed completely to address that point, let alone apologise or retract the misrepresentation.
    Lixluke: so right he's never wrong...
    So dishonest he can't even see his own dishonesty, more like.
  9. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Your own quote:
    Hence I have no interest in linking a characteristic about somebody to the validity of a premise. Nor do I entertain questions directed about me when discussing the validity of a subject matter.

    I brought up the particular individual's habits as an incidental factor. I don't go around prodding individuals about personal characteristics as if they could be used to prove anything. That is what irrational people like to do. Shift focus away from the topic and onto the person.
  10. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Well, you know... when the person is being irrational.....
  11. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    When they start shifting focus to the individual as if it has even the slightest relevance to the topic.
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I'm not following your intention there, with that pattern.

    Lessee: Hairless is lack of any hair, pointless is lack of any point, so godless is lack of any god. I'm good with that, and it fits the dictionary definition quoted, and it's how I and others use the word, but it doesn't seem to be your intention.

    Alternatively: hairless is obviously not disbelief in hair, pointless is obviously not disbelief in point, so godless is obviously not disbelief in god. So when the reputable dictionary gives "godless" as a definition of "atheist", you seem to agree that disbelief in god is not asserted thereby. Again, I'm good with that, but somehow doubt that we are in agreement.

    There seems to be an issue around separating belief in a deity from having a deity. To what extent does a disbeliever or nonbeliever "have" a god? I would say none.

    And the last sentence there, if it isn't a joke finish to the pattern, seems to imply that the "godless heathen" so many good Christian missionaries set out to save, are people maintaining the position that there is no god. It seems an odd philosophical position for the typical missionary to ascribe to the benighted natives, especially when you recall that they also commonly assert that they are bringing the "Good News" to these godless. If the godless are already maintaining positions in the matter, it can hardly be "news", eh?

    Meanwhile, where do we file people like Dawkins, who do not maintain the position that there is no God, but call themselves atheists to universal agreement anyway?
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  13. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    No you brought it up as a way of dismissing the validity of his argument.

    Which is exactly what you did.
    You have no evidence that Sarkus uses crack yet you saw fit to raise the possibility in order to undermine his point.
  14. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Well whatever it is he's smoking lacks the belief in legitimate dictionaries.
  15. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    You continue to espouse this ridiculous belief of yours that if a dictionary doesn't agree with you it's not legitimate.
    He gave quotes from legitimate dictionaries, which you then misquoted deliberately to make your (incorrect) point.
    I can only conclude that you either have serious intellectual deficiencies or have trouble telling reality from fantasy.
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Why do you say that? You've finally piqued my interest so I read the whole thing and it's not that bad. I would be much more comfortable letting this person be the spokesman for atheists than some asshole like Dawkins, who has a very superficial understanding of theism and religion, as well as an even more hostile attitude than my own, and makes us all look like assholes. I disagree with a few of his points, and like most people he is ignorant of the concept of archetypes and the collective unconscious and their key role in religion, but still, on the balance, the things he says are reasonable and not terribly misleading.
    Oh give it a rest, dude. you keep hammering away at these points and they are trivial. I'm the Linguistics Moderator around here and it's my job to start annoying, pedantic arguments over the subtle differences in meaning between similar-looking expressions. This difference is not important and has virtually no bearing on the question in the title of this thread, "Is atheism a religion?" So please let it go and allow this discussion to move forward instead of stalling its forward motion, which is a textbook case of trolling. What you are arguing about would be meaningful on the Linguistics subforum, but if you choose to have this discussion here instead, it is of virtually no importance. Move along folks, nothing to look at here!
    So you're calling me "insane" now? I'll let the personal insult pass since you felt that you weren't addressing anyone specific, but now you are. If you say anything like that again I'll ban you for violating the rule against personal insults. DIAL IT BACK! Your rhetorical style is getting in the way of accomplishing anything on this thread.
    I am one of the oldest, best-educated, most articulate and outspoken atheists on SciForums, perhaps even the patriarch of our atheists. I am also one of the very few atheists who was raised in a total absence of religious/antireligious information and regarded atheism as normal, natural and unremarkable and fell over laughing when I first encountered theism, certain that it was a joke. I assure you that for some of us the terms "strong," "weak" and "agnostic atheism" are quite meaningful and important. I would not use those precise terms, but as I cautioned you already, this is not the right subforum to quibble over exact choice of words so long as their meaning is clear, and it is.
    And the difference between your paradigm and anyone else's is mostly a matter of semantics. If you want to argue about semantics then please bring it to the Linguistics subforum where you will be carefully moderated by a professional writer and editor. There's nothing wrong with your paradigm and there's nothing wrong with the other. Stop arguing over the subtle differences before your audience falls asleep from boredom or leaves in disgust.

    You have lost the point of the discussion, which is to examine the question, "Is atheism a religion?" In this subforum that is a philosophical question so please stick to philosophy. If you want to argue over words and semantics instead of philosophy, then as I said above, do so on the Linguistics subforum.

    This is not my turf but I still have the authority to enforce the rules against trolling, especially since I'm the local expert on language as well as an atheist who has spent many more years arguing about theism and atheism with many more people than you have.

    So consider yourself on notice. This is a good discussion but you are derailing it.
  17. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

    Mods - time to consider a thread closure?

    the main proponent of the argument has has the correct information supplied to him on numerous occasions but either lacks the capacity to assimilate it - or just doesnt want to.

    so he's basically just trolling now
  18. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    That aritcle is terrible. Furthermore, I'm not the one keeping this derailed discussion here. If it belongs in another thread, then people should discuss it in another thread. I've even linked other threads in order to migrate this particular deviation from this thread.

    This isn't merely a semanitc argument about how something should be said. It's a contextual argument about incorrect conclusions being drawn from what is said. This is why I have been stating "all words aside" and "all semantics aside" in order to clarify the matter.

    To group somebody who is 'technically' not atheist with "atheism" automatically brings with it the association of being "without God/Godless". That is no different from calling somebody who is not a theist "with God".

    1. People who believe that God exists. (With God.)
    2. People who believe there is no God. (Without God. Godless.)
    3. People who don't make either claim. Lack/absence of belief either way. (Neither with/without God.)

    All words aside, you cannot group #3 with #1. Nor can you group #3 with #2. This mistake including the dribble from backwards websites is why people don't take atheism seriously, and consider such doctrine (which isn't even real atheism) a religion. That website is specifically claiming that #2 and #3 are without God.

    Let's take a look at the essay again:
    To clarify for anybody that worships this article or finds it any way appealing. What they are refering to as "strong atheism" is a disbelief in God which is an explicitly held belief that God doesn't exist. They are claiming that "weak atheism" is simple skepticism towards the matter which is the very definition of agnosticism. Agnosticism is skepticism towards the idea of the existence of God ("we are not making a claim that God does or doesn't exist"). Atheism is a disbelief in God ("we are claiming that God doesn't exist"). An atheist typically will compare God to mythology, tooth fairies, vampires, spaghetti, etc.

    Here is a good essay all about "lack of belief" from a real atheist site that doesn't remotely entertain the garbage on frivolous websites:
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Yet another variety of atheistic person - obviously not one of my co-religionists.
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    That part is a sound-bite description of Dawkins.
  21. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Nonsense, Dawkins doesn't lie. To be sure, some of his statements would make your religious mother or girlfriend uncomfortable, but sometimes those things need to be said.
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    If the quotes that were posted on SciForums and in the Libertarian magazines back when Dawkins was in the news were truly representative of his prose, he:
    • Misrepresents the average theist,
    • Makes a number of errors in his historical analysis that help lead him to that misrepresentation,
    • Assumes that the assholes among them speak for all of them, just as they now assume that he, the asshole among us, speaks for all of us,
    • Has never read Jung and has no understanding of archetypes and the collective unconscious, which is fundamental to any scholarly discussion of theism and religion in the 21st century,
    • Has not seen Jung's model through the new microscope of genetics,
    • Therefore doesn't have a clue as to why theists are theists and more generally why supernaturalists are supernaturalists,
    • Is also--if for the sake of the discourse theism is defined as a problem--clueless about how to attempt to solve it,
    • And finally, is equally clueless about how successful any proposed solution is likely to be in the short and long run.
    No, I don't have notes on this from so long ago, so feel free to disagree. But I have zero respect for Dawkins and in fact I despise him for what any theist who has been exposed to his ideas may now think of me.
  23. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    He has spoken at length on the subject of moderation in religion, not just religious extremeists. In fact, he has made a compelling case that moderates provide cover for fundamentalists, in that both accept the premise of faith without evidence.

    What's the point about archtypes? So what if religious ideas represent archtypes? We don't have to be slaves to the concept, and it doesn't justify religious belief.

    Perhaps he doesn't have a clue why people believe supernatural things because there is no legitimate reason to do so.

    Reason is the solution to theism. I find him to be the perfect representative to explain modern atheism to the world.

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