A Conversation for Atheism

Being Picky

Post 1

Uncle Monty (nothing much going on here then)

Atheism means "without belief in God" - theism meaning "belief in God". Therefore an atheist could acknowledge the possibility that God exists (which you have incorrectly classified as agnosticism), and still be an atheist. Atheism and theism are about belief. Agnosticism (a term coined by Thomas Henry Huxley)is about knowledge. One may claim that it is not possible to *know* anything about the nature of God, and still either believe or disbelieve, for you have said nothing about your beliefs. You still have not answered the question "do you believe in God". You either believe or you do not believe - you cannot hover in some kind of suspension between these two states.


Being Picky

Post 2

Martin Harper

Atheism comes from the greek word theos, meaning god. The -ism affix implies a belief or belief system. The A- prefix is a negation or abscence. Now, technically, the a- prefix could either apply to the theos root, or to the -ism affix. The former means "belief in the absence of any God", while the latter means "the abscence of any belief in God". Myself, I tend to call the first "strong atheism", and the second "weak atheism".

Agnosticism, I suggest, has come to mean two things: the first is its meaning as a technical term in philosophy, which is as you say the belief that one cannot know if God exists or not; the second is its laymans meaning, which is the belief that God might exist, or uncertainty as to the existance of God. Again, I tend to call the former "strong agnosticism", and the later "weak agnosticism".

But that's the problem with words - their meaning changes faster than a squirrel on an adrenaline overload. smiley - erm


Being Picky

Post 3

Sick Bob. (Most recent incarnation of the Dark Lord Cyclops. Still lord and master of the Anti Squirrel League and Keeper of c

I see the Atheism/Agnostic divide quite clearly.

I see all atheism as what you call "strong" atheism. It is a belief in the lack of God. To be an atheist you must not just doubt the existence of God but actively disbelieve. It is a faith as much as Christianity is.
Agnostisism is not a belief or a faith at all. Agnostisism is the abscene of any specific faith. Therefore all beleifs are doubtful and sceptisism prevails.
I used to be agnostic. I am now an atheist. I have no proof for this belief but it is my belief I hold on to it just like a religious man would hold onto his beleifs. I, however, do think that agnostisim is the only logical system as it is not clouded by faith. Even Science is a religion. It happens to be mine. I won't pretend that it is proven truth though. Nothing is, or ever will be.


Being Picky

Post 4

Clarke The Cynic -Keeper of all things darned (socks/souls).

Actually, the claim that ahteism requires as much faith as belief in god is not, under ANY circumstances, valid. I am an atheist. I am an atheist because I have been exposed to religious dogma, and find it as difficult to believe as a fairy tale. Religious works and writings contradict eachother, and themselves. If I had a sheaf of statistical papers which did that, I would dismiss them all as being, if not completely erroneous, but incorrectly prepared or created. Or lies. There is not, in my mind, a god, but if there was, how do people propose to understand their god? Why would she force people to take everything on faith, put them under strict regimes of belief and behaviour? Why would she attempt to drive people away from her? The premise is ridiculous. Unless god hates us completely, then there would have been some pretty definitive proof. I have, also, yet to see a religious writing that refers to the world as having the age that it has been proven to have. Christianity, for one. If Christ was so overweeningly god, how could people reject him? They would be shown that he is god without any room for them to manouvre out of it.

Anyway, that's why I don't believe in god, or spirits, or whatnot.


Being Picky

Post 5

Clarke The Cynic -Keeper of all things darned (socks/souls).

Actually, the claim that ahteism requires as much faith as belief in god is not, under ANY circumstances, valid. I am an atheist. I am an atheist because I have been exposed to religious dogma, and find it as difficult to believe as a fairy tale. Religious works and writings contradict eachother, and themselves. If I had a sheaf of statistical papers which did that, I would dismiss them all as being, if not completely erroneous, but incorrectly prepared or created. Or lies. There is not, in my mind, a god, but if there was, how do people propose to understand their god? Why would she force people to take everything on faith, put them under strict regimes of belief and behaviour? Why would she attempt to drive people away from her? The premise is ridiculous. Unless god hates us completely, then there would have been some pretty definitive proof. I have, also, yet to see a religious writing that refers to the world as having the age that it has been proven to have. Christianity, for one. If Christ was so overweeningly god, how could people reject him? They would be shown that he is god without any room for them to manouvre out of it.

Anyway, that's why I don't believe in god, or spirits, or whatnot.

Oh, and the reference of science as a religion is pretty silly. Science is observation and testing. There's nothing remotely religious about it.


Being Picky

Post 6

Martin Harper

Not sure about religion, but there's a good deal of philosophy behind science, though, especially if you want to claim that scientific fact corresponds with some notion of truth. Interesting stuff, if you take the time to look into it. smiley - smiley


Being Picky

Post 7

Clarke The Cynic -Keeper of all things darned (socks/souls).

Dammit, that's true. What is truth? The statement of reality, past or present? Can we really percieve the true reality of anything...blahblah blah. Got me there. Touche, other words that mean, good one.


Being Picky

Post 8

Sick Bob. (Most recent incarnation of the Dark Lord Cyclops. Still lord and master of the Anti Squirrel League and Keeper of c

Of course science is a religion. Just as Christianity is the religion for the faith of Christ and Islam is the religion of the faith of Allah, science is the religion of the faith of logic.

Logic is a faith because we cannot prove it. Why not? because we prove everything else based upon logic. You can't prove something with itself. To try and prove that logic is the truth would create a vicous circle of self-prophesising that would cause most brains to melt.
Science is my religion. Nothing more but nothing less and I have faith in it's truth.


Being Picky

Post 9

Clarke The Cynic -Keeper of all things darned (socks/souls).

That's not science. As I said before, science is observation. You want to find something out, you observe it, and record the results. Logical thinking is actually unnecessary for scientific research. Science is not a religion because it is based completely on things that are observable or provable, unless it's one of those, "Wierd" sciences. Theories are based on logical thinking, though, and they have their basis in the scientific process, but they aren't the core of it.


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