A Conversation for Atheism

It's time to reason...

Post 1

The Covenant

Good Day Atheists smiley - smiley.
I have had many discussions with atheists over the years and have come to the point where I believe atheists can be categorised in to four main branches.

1. Scientific Atheism smiley - earth
These claim that scientific evidence disproves a Creator
2. "Humanitarian" Atheism smiley - nurse
Claim that suffering disproves a Creator
3. Bitter Atheism smiley - steam
These are the ones who are bitter against a Creator for something happening in their lives.
4. Default Atheism smiley - erm
These atheists aren't interested in trying to rationalize creation from a perspective of a Creator because they simply don't see any logic in it or can't be bothered.

Am I right, or have I missed a category? If I've missed one, tell me and then I'll start new conversations for each branch explaining the illogicalness of atheism.

That's my challenge to you.
smiley - biro The Covenant.


It's time to reason...

Post 2

U173821

it's all a bit more complicated (or simple, depending) than that.
Most of the more vocal godless heathens can be found at
F19585?thread=4005961
which has nearly 20,000 posts and debated more than a few believers. You seem up for a debate so I hope you don't mind I link you/this thread back to that thread smiley - smiley


It's time to reason...

Post 3

The Covenant

Good day Shadow smiley - tea,
Thanks for the link. I'll be sure to check it out, appreciate it.
smiley - biro The Covenant.


It's time to reason...

Post 4

Taff Agent of kaos

<>

fundamental atheists.....lets kill all the god botherers and the world will be a better placesmiley - cheerssmiley - winkeye

smiley - bat


It's time to reason...

Post 5

Giford

Hi Covenant,

Welcome to the 'proper' bits of the BBC boards smiley - winkeye (Mind if I call you Cov?)

Yes - you missed me!

You're close with (1), but I don't think there is 'proof' - merely that in the absense of evidence, we should assume non-existence, as we would for any other controversial subject:
A21648783

I'll have a dollop of (2) also, but note that this only works for certain ideas of God. It's quite possible that an omnipotent creator exists but simply doesn't care (or even know) about us. It's only really the Christian, Islamic and Jewish ideas of God that have a problem here - more advanced theologies such as polytheism (yes, I'm being controversial to bait you in a good-humoured way - smiley - sorrysmiley - smiley) don't have that trouble.

Of course, if you feel you have actual evidence of God then you could quite easily change my mind. Feel free to post it to this thread - don't worry too much about Ictoan's link (sorry Ictoan). Though please note that I don't regard opinions as evidence in this case.

Gif smiley - geek


It's time to reason...

Post 6

Taff Agent of kaos


DING-DING

Seconds out

smiley - bat


It's time to reason...

Post 7

U173821

"don't worry too much about Ictoan's link (sorry Ictoan)"

Hey, I was only trying to provide some information on what has already been discussed and covered as there is a constant complaint that these discussions keep covering the same ground with no progress. Thought I'd help out by short cutting the usual basic arguments and if Covenant read some of that they'd see how things had gone before and maybe be able to jump to more advanced or involved ones.

smiley - shrug seems that trying to give new members a leg up on the history of such debates on hootoo isn't welcome, shall leave well alone next time.


It's time to reason...

Post 8

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

I guess I'd add something that says that god simply isn't a satisfying, coherent or meaningful explanation for the universe, a basis for ethics or generally a focus for life. It's not disimilar to Scientific Atheism - but not confined to matters of where galaxies and animals come from.

Aesthetic Atheism?

You'll find here, Covenant (any relation to the Scottish Covanenters?) that some people will be reflexively rude to you. Some will make sweeping assumptions that place all forms of religion somewhere betwee idiocy and the Taleban. Myself - I have no truck with religion and will give no quarter. But if you're prepared to take Atheism seriously, and provided you don't have silly assumptions about Atheists, then you may well be in for a stimulating debale.


It's time to reason...

Post 9

Taff Agent of kaos


hi Cov

can we inspect the battle field first

which corner of the religious group do you come from

smiley - bat


It's time to reason...

Post 10

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

Oh, dos it *have* to be a battle, Taff? smiley - yawn Can't we at least establish first whether s/he is a nice religious person or a nasty one?

Although, yes, some statement of religious belief would be useful.


It's time to reason...

Post 11

Giford

Hi Ictoan,

smiley - peacedove

I just meant that the goss on the Dawkins thread seemed to be along the lines of 'hey, we're having some really interesting debates now all the religious types have gone'.

I don't think Cov has any realistic chance of reading 18,000 posts (I saw you linked to a specific one but didn't check which, so apologies if it was relevant) and don't think the latest few really focus on the (non) existence of God. So I just thought it was worth 'preserving' the Dawkins thread. Not having a go at you personally.

Gif smiley - geek


It's time to reason...

Post 12

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

Well, yes...the discussions get more interesting when you start with the premise that there's no god and don't have to justify that every smiley - bleeping time.

God is really such a *dull* concept. Aesthetic Atheism.


It's time to reason...

Post 13

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.



Haven't you got a daughter to burp, smiley - geek? Or something?


It's time to reason...

Post 14

Giford

Why dja think I'm posting here at this un-hypothetical-mythical-entity-ly hour?

smiley - winkeye

Gif smiley - geek


It's time to reason...

Post 15

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

Yup. I recall watching an awful lot of fascinating OU progs. smiley - ok


It's time to reason...

Post 16

anhaga

The Covenant:

I have had many discussions over the years (as I'm sure you have) with grown ups who do not believe in elves (and a few discussions with grown ups who do believe in elves). Never have I come to a point where I feel obliged to categorise people who do not believe in elves into any 'branches'.

Do you feel obliged to so divide such people?

Why do you feel obliged to divide up people who don't believe in gods?


As for your particular categories, I would like to touch on your 1. Scientific Atheism:

I have met few in this tired life who have claimed that scientific evidence conclusively disproves the existence of some sort of item which might be termed a creator. I have, however, met and known of a great many who suggest that, while, like all things in science, the jury will never come in on the question of the existence of some sort of item which might be termed a creator, at this point in the history of humanity there is a profound lack of evidence for such an item, a profound lack of explanatory power in any theory of such an item, and a profound lack of predictive power in any such theory.

As with elves, the reasonable course when confronted with a profound lack of evidence and a lack of useful theories concerning an hypothesised entity is to proceed on the tentative assumption that the entity does not, in any meaningful sense, exist.

To my mind, the above, rather than 'These claim that scientific evidence disproves a Creator' would be a proper description of something one might term 'Scientific Atheism'.



now, since you offer little in the way of definition concerning your position -- for example, what precise characteristics would you suggest a 'god' would have? where do you stand? -- aside, of course, from your apparent certainty that any atheist position is necessarily illogical.

I look forward to your explanations of the 'illogicalness' -- an infelicitous wordsmiley - sadface -- 'of atheism'. I trust you will approach the subject with some degree more rigour than have the previous apologists I've encountered both online and in the real world.

I admit my expectations are somewhat reduced by you description of an atheist who is not 'interested in trying to rationalize creation from a perspective of a Creator'. What do you mean by 'rationalize creation'? Is there not a rather large assumption in the term 'creation'? As I see it, a wish to understand the universe might be termed a with to 'rationalize' the universe, but sticking the word 'creation' in there stacks the deck: a Creator is assumed. Why would anyone start from the position of such an assumption? I can certainly see that such an hypothesis could be structured logically (I won't get into your rather smug implication that there *is* in fact some sort of logic in the idea of rationalizing creations from a perspective of a Creator which atheists are simply too dim to see), and I certainly *can* be bothered considering such an hypothesis (and I have over the course of a great many years), but I certainly am not by any measure interested in 'trying to rationalize creation from a perspective of a Creator' without some evidentiary reason for multiplying entities. These facts about me certainly do not place me into your category 4. Default Atheism. (That term is a malaprop in my view: Default Atheism is the lack of belief we are all born into, not an inability to see logic or be bothered.)

The other two categories are fairly silly: your definition of 2 is simply transforming one of many arguments (the argument from suffering) into some sort of absolute defining characteristic of a set of human beings; the idea in 3, that (some) atheists are mad at their creator so they deny that creator is a little bit absurd: 'I'm so damn mad at the Troll that I'm going to stop believing he's under the bridge (unless I actually witness him taking one of my goats).'

Isn't it ironic that the early Christians in Rome where condemned for their atheism? Why don't you have a category for the Christian Atheists, like St. Peter and Thomas J. J. Altizer?


It's time to reason...

Post 17

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

1. Gullible Christians - the ones prepared to believe any old tosh.
2. Scared Christians - the ones scared of putting a food rong in case god punishes them.
3. High Horse Christians - they feel they must be better people because of their faith and can't accept that even Atheists can be decent people,
4. Smug Christians - they have a comfortable life and tink that this is something more than dumb luck.
5. Desperate Christians - they have shitty lives and want god to make it better.
6. Default Christians - It's just how they were brought up.

Is this categorisation any less insulting than the categorisation of Atheists?


It's time to reason...

Post 18

winternights

Bemused, indifferent and frankly don’t care. Thoughts have an attractive quality even if they mirror or oppose your own, the art is not to engage unless your contribution adds an insightful angle which in itself allows others to revisit there own agenda, or you could just simple p??s them off.smiley - evilgrinsmiley - winkeye


It's time to reason...

Post 19

Taff Agent of kaos

<>

now known in universities all over the world as "jedi knights"

smiley - bat


It's time to reason...

Post 20

Mr Jack

Amongst thinking people there are 3 types of atheism.

Agnostic Atheism/Weak Atheism -- a lack of belief in gods without a claim to absolute knowledge that this the reality, e.g Richard Dawkins (read "The God Delusion").

Gnostic Atheism -- claiming to know there are no gods, e.g Buddhist religion.

Default Atheism -- lacking a belief in gods as one has no knowledge of the concept or otherwise have had no cause to take a position, e.g. young children.


What you describe as "Bitter Atheism" is no atheism at all, it's a "crisis of faith" and is an experience most commonly described by the faithful perhaps when trotting out lines such "I used to be an atheist once" before going to use apologetics in an attempt to convert.
Atheists who go through such a "crisis of faith" tend to look back at such experiences as period when they were non-practising theists who the went on to find rational arguments that lead them to Agnostic Atheism.

What you describe as "Scientific Atheism" and "Humanitarian Atheism" are bad reasons to be an atheist. Though I don't doubt that some people could identify with them as you describe, there are indeed atheists that don't have cogent explanations for their atheism. Still it would be extraordinary characterisation to call either a "main branch" of atheism.

Science does not disprove a creator. But, it does show a dearth of evidence for and, more or less falsify accounts for a "Creation".
And, all human suffering shows is that if there are gods they not likely ones worth worshipping.

So, rather than showing by means of logical argument why the 4 branches of atheism you invented have no rational basis, why not tackle one or more of the 3 that are generally accepted?


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