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You never see athiests doing this!


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Old 06-05-2013, 13:10
captainkremmen
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The bit in bold is obviously true, but it's also tautologous. An atheist can't use God as a reason, because by definition, they don't believe in God.

Atheists can however believe that "religion is a cancer and must be eradicated, even if that means killing the religious". And that is really a subset of the kind of thinking that says "beliefs other than mine are a cancer and must be eradicated, even if that means killing people of other beliefs".

What really matters is not whether people are theists or atheists, but whether they have totalitarian or violent interpretations of their worldviews.
Couldn't agree more.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:13
ishina
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Atheism is the belief that there are no gods.
This is a common misconception. Atheism in itself is not a belief, though. It just means god doesn't feature on a list of the person's beliefs.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:18
adam1968uk
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Atheists don't believe there is no god, we know there is no god(s).
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:21
towers
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That is not the nature of a vacuum.
Create a vacuum and it will be filled by the thing closest to it.
Take away the worship of a higher power (whether it exists or not) and what you are left with is self-worship.
When man worships himself all things become permissible.
Most atheists don't worship anything or anyone, they just get on with their lives. The whole point of atheism is that you recognise that humans aren't that special - as far as nature is concerned - even though we evolved a greater intelligence than any other mammal and are at the top of the food chain. We have empathy, which stops most people from wanting to cause harm and indeed, it serves us as a social species to help others - but I wouldn't call it self-worship.

I will say one thing for the Phelps family in the US, as nutty and obnoxious as they are - they've yet to resort to violence in the name of their cause.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:26
towers
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If it was nothing, it would be called nothing. Atheism is the belief that there are no gods. It says something fundamental about how that person sees the world they inhabit.

You have to go beyond mere theism to see cause for you to behave in a certain way too. That's what I meant when I referred to violent and totalitarian interpretations.
It's not just a belief though, it's what science is suggesting, science having changed our lives enormously.

OK, science can't disprove the existence of a 'God' but it can tell us about human origins and the age of the Earth, which doesn't match up with many religious beliefs - such as a young Earth and the story of Adam and Eve.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:29
ishina
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Take away the worship of a higher power (whether it exists or not) and what you are left with is self-worship.
A bizarre conclusion. Walk me through the logic please.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:30
ishina
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Atheists don't believe there is no god, we know there is no god(s).
Speak for yourself.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:35
Ulsterguy
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What's the penalty for apostasy in a muslim country?
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:40
Snozzcumber
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This is a common misconception. Atheism in itself is not a belief, though. It just means god doesn't feature on a list of the person's beliefs.
It must be a very common misconception, considering you'll find that definition in dictionaries.

Atheism is a belief that is relational to theism, in that it only makes sense as a negation of the proposition that there is a god, but that does not change the fact that it is a belief. You can have beliefs that some things are true, but you can also have beliefs that some things are not true.

Whichever way you want to say it, it essentially means the same thing. If a person is an atheist, it necessarily affects how they see the world when compared to the way a theist does.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:47
Snozzcumber
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That is not the nature of a vacuum.
Create a vacuum and it will be filled by the thing closest to it.
Take away the worship of a higher power (whether it exists or not) and what you are left with is self-worship.
When man worships himself all things become permissible.
Vacuums operate according to the laws of physics. You're making a comment about human behaviour. They're two completely different subjects. If radioactive decay is stochastic, are we supposed to take it to mean that the dissolution of a nation will be?

Humanism is a human-focussed ideology, and it does not lead to 'all things are permissible'.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:48
Ulsterguy
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It must be a very common misconception, considering you'll find that definition in dictionaries.

Atheism is a belief that is relational to theism, in that it only makes sense as a negation of the proposition that there is a god, but that does not change the fact that it is a belief. You can have beliefs that some things are true, but you can also have beliefs that some things are not true.

Whichever way you want to say it, it essentially means the same thing. If a person is an atheist, it necessarily affects how they see the world when compared to the way a theist does.

We can think for ourselves, we don't need book of myths to teach us!
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:54
vanzandtfan
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This is a common misconception. Atheism in itself is not a belief, though. It just means god doesn't feature on a list of the person's beliefs.
Atheism can mean either. There is no set single definition.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:56
Glyn W
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Atheists may not always go to that extreme, but they do try and trample all over people's beliefs eg (selective) banning of religious symbols or expressions.
Do I? That's news to me.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:57
2+2=5
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Closer to home, I am yet to have an atheist knock on my door and try and sell me their way of thinking.
Has a Muslim ever done that?
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:59
vanzandtfan
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My point is that atheism isn't a worldview at all, that it's nothing. You have to go beyond atheism to see cause for you to behave a certain way.
Theism isn't a world view either. For example, one may believe in a non-interventionist god.

No-one his ever been killed in the name of theism, but rather theistic belief systems. The same is true of atheism.
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Old 06-05-2013, 14:00
2+2=5
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What happened in Bangladesh is for me, an atrocious activity by a minority of Muslims who should know better. To say they shame all Muslims everywhere is an understatement.

I also need to say that just being atheist isn't an automatically better position. You do still get atheist murderers and burglars, etc. It's how you behave as a person that counts, not your religion (or lack of).
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Old 06-05-2013, 14:01
Glyn W
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That is not the nature of a vacuum.
Create a vacuum and it will be filled by the thing closest to it.
Take away the worship of a higher power (whether it exists or not) and what you are left with is self-worship.
When man worships himself all things become permissible.
And that 'argument' is not the nature of logic, it's an association fallacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy
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Old 06-05-2013, 14:02
ishina
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It must be a very common misconception, considering you'll find that definition in dictionaries.

Atheism is a belief that is relational to theism, in that it only makes sense as a negation of the proposition that there is a god, but that does not change the fact that it is a belief. You can have beliefs that some things are true, but you can also have beliefs that some things are not true.

Whichever way you want to say it, it essentially means the same thing. If a person is an atheist, it necessarily affects how they see the world when compared to the way a theist does.
But it doesn't necessarily affect how they see the world, though.

You could argue that an individual atheist might also happen to have other beliefs that happen to be in the same intellectual or philosophical territory as theism, such as certain theoretical models about the early state of the universe, the theory of evolution by natural selection, theoretical abiogensis, and so on, but those beliefs are not exclusive to atheism, nor certain to be found in all atheists.

Moreover, most atheists simply don't care about the subject of god enough to conclude they are holding a belief either way. It's only a relatively few believers and non-believers that enter into a discussion about it. They might elucidate when asked, but this superficial and momentary position isn't really enough for us to conclude that they are walking around with a belief in their head the rest of the time. And what if they say they don't know? There are many (most) atheists that arrive at atheism agnostically, i.e, they are atheists by extension of there being no evidence either way and that the proposition cannot be known for certain as it stands now. It's an extremely rare person that asserts there are no gods of any possible kind. I've never met one of those people. And as an atheist, I'm certainly not one of them.

Therefore, it's more practical (and more accurate) to refer to atheism as a simple lack of belief in gods. Atheism says nothing about what a person is or what they believe. It only says what they are not and what they do not believe. An atheist is just someone who is not convinced by those who believe in a god to believe in their god. They are a mixed bunch from all walks of life with all kinds of worldviews and lack belief in a god for many different reasons.

Atheism is mostly a term of convenience, since religion saturates society and the question comes up in so many avenues of life, even in legal documentation. It's basically "none of the above".
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Old 06-05-2013, 14:05
ishina
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Has a Muslim ever done that?
There are dawah merchants in most big cities in UK. In fact, they seem more common than Christian proselytizers these days.
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Old 06-05-2013, 14:13
2+2=5
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There are dawah merchants in most big cities in UK. In fact, they seem more common than Christian proselytizers these days.
I don't compare someone standing on a street corner handing out leaflets with someone going door-to-door. And I've had much more from other 'religions' come at me (confronting me in the street twice once at night in a park of all places and knocking on my door about 15 times over the last 9 or so years) than I've ever seen a Muslim standing somewhere on a high street.
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Old 06-05-2013, 14:16
ishina
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Just sayin'
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Old 06-05-2013, 14:19
Snozzcumber
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But it doesn't necessarily affect how they see the world, though.

You could argue that an individual atheist might also happen to have other beliefs that happen to be in the same intellectual or philosophical territory as theism, such as certain theoretical models about the early state of the universe, the theory of evolution by natural selection, theoretical abiogensis, and so on, but those beliefs are not exclusive to atheism, nor certain to be found in all atheists.

Moreover, most atheists simply don't care about the subject of god enough to conclude they are holding a belief either way. It's only a relatively few believers and non-believers that enter into a discussion about it. They might elucidate when asked, but this superficial and momentary position isn't really enough for us to conclude that they are walking around with a belief in their head the rest of the time. And what if they say they don't know? There are many (most) atheists that arrive at atheism agnostically, i.e, they are atheists by extension of there being no evidence either way and that the proposition cannot be known for certain as it stands now. It's an extremely rare person that asserts there are no gods of any possible kind. I've never met one of those people. And as an atheist, I'm certainly not one of them.

Therefore, it's more practical (and more accurate) to refer to atheism as a simple lack of belief in gods.
It necessarily means they don't believe in a god-influenced world, or a god-influenced human nature.

I'm far from convinced that "most atheists simply don't care about the subject of god enough to conclude they are holding a belief either way." Given that the vast majority of atheists are raised in societies which are predominantly religious, it almost always requires caring about the subject of god and religion.

When you are constantly confronted by a world full of people who believe God influences people, animals, places, times, physical laws, and morality, then not agreeing with them is a worldview which exists in relation to and negation of theirs. The subject of God comes up so often, that it is an active thought process that the atheist has, not just something they've never bothered thinking about.
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Old 06-05-2013, 14:22
ishina
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Yeah, I covered that in the part I added. I thought I had sneaked the addendum in quick enough before you quoted it.
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Old 06-05-2013, 14:22
PerpetualAscent
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And that's before you count Pol Pot, Mao, et al.
But did any of them have adulterers stoned to death?
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Old 06-05-2013, 14:44
Snozzcumber
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Yeah, I covered that in the part I added. I thought I had sneaked the addendum in quick enough before you quoted it.
The post-script agrees with the point I was making all along.
Whether you wish to call it belief in no gods, or disbelief in gods, atheism is something atheists actively think about on a regular basis because of the way theists discuss things - it is not something they've never considered. It's a negation of a proposition that pops up all the time.
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