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Thread: Athiests and their supposed "lack of belief"

  1. #1 Athiests and their supposed "lack of belief" 
    Time Lord
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    Athiests are always trying to split this hair. Why not just admit they believe against? Why parse words so carefully? Couldn't Thiests just as easily argue that they have a "lack of disbelief"?

    To try and argue that an athiest has the absence of a positive, instead of the presence of a negative, is exactly the same as saying that an athiest is an agnostic.

    An agnostic has the absence of a belief in god. He/she also has the absence of a belief against the existence of a god. They are what's called "undecided"? Athiests are not undecided, are they?

    I understand if athiests believe that the burden of proof should fall on the shoulders of thiests. That's at least a sensible thing to claim, whether it's true or not. (Because the core difference between athiesm and thiesm really is just where you set the burden of evidence.)


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  3. #2  
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    I think that atheists who think nothing about god and just get on with their lives could have no belief in God but those who constantly rave and fight about it seem to have a DISTINCT belief against it.


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  4. #3  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i used to be one of those wishy-washy atheists / agnostics who just went through life not really caring whether there was a god or not because for all intents and purposes he might as well not exist

    it's only since i've started discussing religious issues in this forum that my attitudes have hardened and, although not exactly an activist, i'm now convinced that there is no god - it does not, however, turn me into a religion-hater

    imo agnosticism is but atheism that doesn't dare or care to speak its name, just like intelligent design is creationism that doesn't dare speak its name
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Forum Professor captaincaveman's Avatar
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    why do thiests have such an issue with people calling themselves athiests?? they seem to be desperate to make them agnostic, maybe it makes them feel better about being religious, maybe they just feel threatened, but its funny either way
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    Forum Masters Degree geezer's Avatar
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    it's because to an atheist belief in god/gods is not rational, so a theist needs to label us as agnostic, as they feel it makes their belief more rational.
    skinwalker put it best in another thread here " those deluded by the superstitions of religious belief: they refuse to accept that "atheist" is simply a clinical and logical term which describes a state of being. Instead, they want to believe that "atheist" means that one is in denial of gods in spite of "truth" to the contrary. Whatever that "truth" might be. " so you see they have to label us, agnostic, so as to alleviate their irrationality.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor captaincaveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    it's because to an atheist belief in god/gods is not rational, so a theist needs to label us as agnostic, as they feel it makes their belief more rational.
    skinwalker put it best in another thread here " those deluded by the superstitions of religious belief: they refuse to accept that "atheist" is simply a clinical and logical term which describes a state of being. Instead, they want to believe that "atheist" means that one is in denial of gods in spite of "truth" to the contrary. Whatever that "truth" might be. " so you see they have to label us, agnostic, so as to alleviate their irrationality.


    sounds spot on to me :-D
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    I strongly believe there is no God. Am I an atheist?
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    I strongly believe there is no God. Am I an atheist?
    that make you a definite one, like me


    The thread topic makes my laugh, especially the use of the term "supposed", i take it your also a dawkins hater too kojax
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    I strongly believe there is no God. Am I an atheist?
    oh, you just used believe and god in one sentence - you must be religious !

    btw, have you ever seen this clip ? atheists obviously have a hard time at christmas because no-one invites them / gives them presents etc.etc.

    + you don't get to go to church either
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    I strongly believe there is no God. Am I an atheist?
    oh, you just used believe and god in one sentence - you must be religious !

    btw, have you ever seen this clip ? atheists obviously have a hard time at christmas because no-one invites them / gives them presents etc.etc.

    + you don't get to go to church either
    how funny is that video, thanks for that :-D
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  12. #11 Re: Athiests and their supposed "lack of belief" 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Athiests are always trying to split this hair. Why not just admit they believe against? Why parse words so carefully?
    Do you really not appreciate the difference between a jury saying "we found him innocent because the prosecutor didn't present convincing evidence that he was guilty" vs. "we found him innocent because the defense attorney presented evidence that proved his innocence"? Would you consider differentiating between those two statements to be "splitting hairs"?
    To try and argue that an athiest has the absence of a positive, instead of the presence of a negative, is exactly the same as saying that an athiest is an agnostic.
    False. You need to look up the definition of "agnostic". An agnostic person believes that it's impossible to know if a god exists or not. It's not merely a person who is undecided or has not yet been convinced. "Agnosticism" literally translates as "unknowable".
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    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    it may just be the bad phrasing of the start of this topic but I believe this is my answer.
    Atheists don't say that they 'believe against' because it allows the possibilty of God. Atheism is about believing and thinking there is no God so stop trying to argue semantics
    Come see some of my art work at http://nevyn-pendragon.deviantart.com/
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    " those deluded by the superstitions of religious belief: they refuse to accept that "atheist" is simply a clinical and logical term which describes a state of being. Instead, they want to believe that "atheist" means that one is in denial of gods in spite of "truth" to the contrary. Whatever that "truth" might be. "
    I think it has more to do with the theists wanting to reduce both sides of the argument to "faith". They have a belief that they know they can't support with evidence, so they want to put atheists in the same position. Since it's impossible to prove that there isn't a god (since you can't prove a negative), defining atheism as an active belief that there is no god (rather than simply a lack of belief in god) allows them to characterize both sides as having a belief in something that isn't supported by evidence. In their minds it then boils down to "we both have faith, we just have faith in different things, so both of our positions are equally valid."

    It also makes things much easier for them in discussions. If a theist wants to discuss god with an atheist who is merely not convinced of a god's existence, the burden is entirely upon the theist to provide evidence to support their views. The atheist doesn't have to prove or defend anything, since atheism isn't a belief - it's merely a lack of belief. But if the theist is arguing with an atheist who actively believes that god does not exist, now the atheist has a burden of proof that's just as daunting as the theist’s; since the atheist has a belief (rather than a lack of belief) he now has to support and defend his views in the same way as the theist.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    " those deluded by the superstitions of religious belief: they refuse to accept that "atheist" is simply a clinical and logical term which describes a state of being. Instead, they want to believe that "atheist" means that one is in denial of gods in spite of "truth" to the contrary. Whatever that "truth" might be. "
    I think it has more to do with the theists wanting to reduce both sides of the argument to "faith". They have a belief that they know they can't support with evidence, so they want to put atheists in the same position. Since it's impossible to prove that there isn't a god (since you can't prove a negative), defining atheism as an active belief that there is no god (rather than simply a lack of belief in god) allows them to characterize both sides as having a belief in something that isn't supported by evidence. In their minds it then boils down to "we both have faith, we just have faith in different things, so both of our positions are equally valid."

    It also makes things much easier for them in discussions. If a theist wants to discuss god with an atheist who is merely not convinced of a god's existence, the burden is entirely upon the theist to provide evidence to support their views. The atheist doesn't have to prove or defend anything, since atheism isn't a belief - it's merely a lack of belief. But if the theist is arguing with an atheist who actively believes that god does not exist, now the atheist has a burden of proof that's just as daunting as the theist’s; since the atheist has a belief (rather than a lack of belief) he now has to support and defend his views in the same way as the theist.

    exactly, spot on :-D
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by captaincaveman
    why do thiests have such an issue with people calling themselves athiests?? they seem to be desperate to make them agnostic, maybe it makes them feel better about being religious, maybe they just feel threatened, but its funny either way
    The real reason it bugs me is because I find the subject of people who specifically disbelieve in god to be an interesting topic for discussion.

    The problem is that anytime I go to discuss this topic (the topic of people who specifically disbelieve in god) I'm at a sudden loss for words. It seems there is no word in the english language to describe them.

    Of course, I want to discuss them even though I'm not aware of any word in my language that could be used accurately,......... so........ I naturally turn to the word in my vocabulary that most closely approximates this concept: the word "athiest"

    This seems a fair enough semantic strategy at first, especially since many people who *do* fall into this category (the category of people who specifically disbelieve in god) actually refer to themselves as "athiests"

    So.......... I get about one sentence into a discussion, and BAM!!!! somebody interjects that my use of the word "athiest" isn't an absolutely perfect use of the term from the perspective of an English professor, and instead of discussing what I'm actually interested in discussing, the whole conversation turns to semantics (something I couldn't be more bored by)

    So................... let's get out ahead of this problem. Let's try and settle the issue once and for all so we can go onto discussing things much more important and interesting than the clinical definition of a stupid word.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by captaincaveman
    why do thiests have such an issue with people calling themselves athiests?? they seem to be desperate to make them agnostic, maybe it makes them feel better about being religious, maybe they just feel threatened, but its funny either way
    The real reason it bugs me is because I find the subject of people who specifically disbelieve in god to be an interesting topic for discussion.

    The problem is that anytime I go to discuss this topic (the topic of people who specifically disbelieve in god) I'm at a sudden loss for words. It seems there is no word in the english language to describe them.

    Of course, I want to discuss them even though I'm not aware of any word in my language that could be used accurately,......... so........ I naturally turn to the word in my vocabulary that most closely approximates this concept: the word "athiest"

    This seems a fair enough semantic strategy at first, especially since many people who *do* fall into this category (the category of people who specifically disbelieve in god) actually refer to themselves as "athiests"

    So.......... I get about one sentence into a discussion, and BAM!!!! somebody interjects that my use of the word "athiest" isn't an absolutely perfect use of the term from the perspective of an English professor, and instead of discussing what I'm actually interested in discussing, the whole conversation turns to semantics (something I couldn't be more bored by)

    So................... let's get out ahead of this problem. Let's try and settle the issue once and for all so we can go onto discussing things much more important and interesting than the clinical definition of a stupid word.

    I have no problem with the word athiest and call myself a proud one, so i hope thats not pointed at me, my comment was purely down to one or two members who keep bringing it up everytime the athiest word is mentioned, athiest is the correct term so carry on using it


    I dont personally care if im called athiest, non-theist, infidel etc, all these words are fine to me and lets face it the majority on here know what these generally mean but a few do seem to want to use othe terms cause i dont think they can understand that there are people out there with no interest in a god, with the exeption of the social and psychological side and some have to try and adjust it to agnostic(for whatever personal reasons), but then my argument would be for an athiest to be classed as agnostic then all theists would also have to be agnostic for the same reasons
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  18. #17  
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    After my experience on this forum, I've decided that the definition of atheism is purely subjective, but it all comes down to atheism being against the idea pf God.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

    http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php

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