Let's settle this for once and for all...... is atheism a belief, a non-belief or an anti-belief?

by Quillsky 243 Replies latest jw friends

  • Essan

    Six sid: "what the holy fuck do you think the "ism" ism?"

    LOL. "What" it is in this context is "doctrine" or "philosophy" and where it is, is at the end.


    The "No-God-Doctrine", not "No-Belief in-God"



    1. Action; process; practice: terrorism.
    2. Characteristic behavior or quality: heroism.
    3. State; condition; quality: pauperism.
    4. State or condition resulting from an excess of something specified: strychninism.
    5. Distinctive or characteristic trait: Latinism.
    6. Doctrine; theory; system of principles: pacifism.
    7. An attitude of prejudice against a given group: racism.

    (formatting went wrong, no definitions are missing)

  • Essan

    Six - "Do you have aspergers btw?"

    Lol, I get that a lot. Yes, probably. Was that a serious comment or meant as a jibe? You can PM me if you'd prefer.

  • SixofNine

    Was that a serious comment or meant as a jibe?

    Serious. It was kind of obvious. But I don't mean to be harsh, just direct. Terry has it also, I believe, along with a few others on this board. I really believe a lot of the batshit crazy conversations that go down on this board have more to do with relatively smart people with mental tics - such as you demonstrate clearly in this conversation - not being able to open their perspective on some very narrow slice of argument>

    >Such as the common definition of atheism - no belief in god, not being a suitable definition for atheism because... because... because...

    .....because wrt to this tiny little issue, you're fucking nuts and you make reasonable people want to stab their eyeballs out and beat their heads into bloody stumps against their keyboards.

    The good news is that poster Leolaia has it also, and no one could armchair diagnose her from her writing here on this board; and in fact she gives us all something to shoot for wrt that whole intellectual agnosticism and honesty thing, imo. :waves at leo: love you honey:

  • Quillsky
    you make reasonable people want to stab their eyeballs out and beat their heads into bloody stumps against their keyboards

    Tangent, sorry, but I don't think it's physically possible to beat ones head into a bloody stump against a keyboard.

  • ziddina

    Essan: "Wow Zid, you really go for the jugular with insults and aspersions if someone doesn't agree with you. ..."

    Asking why you are behaving in this manner is not an insult, you MAROON...

    Essan to AllTimeJeff:

    "Stop trying to analyze me. Firstly, you're not very good at it, probably because you have no real data on which to base sound judgmentsand secondly, it's totally irrelevant to the topic..."

    Arrogant and condescending, much?? Besides, WHY would you be so sensitive about being "analyzed"??? That sounds like you've got something to hide... A hidden agenda, perhaps???

    Then you elicit apologies from other posters, when in fact YOU are the one who - as AllTimeJeff said, " ... takes pride in stirring the pot. That's a lot of negative energy you have to distribute. ..."

    Then you excuse your behavior by pretending to have a "noble" cause -

    "My resistance to posting my position is mainly because this can be used by JW's as an excuse to ignore you and dismiss any evidence you put forward and this is a JW related website. ..."

    Yeah, right...

    Then you have the unmitigated gall to make THIS claim:

    "I don't think our personal positions are relevant when we are discussing facts. ..."

    Problem is, DUUUDE, you kept denying the FACTS of the accepted definitions of "atheist" and "atheism" - and anyone who doubts that, can go back thru and count the number of posters and times we attempted to get you to accept the definitions as stated in numerous dictionaries...

    But I will give you this - you sure sounded like a die-hard Jehovah's Witness... Denying any and all facts that didn't fit YOUR special little mind-set...

    I used to read your posts with pleasure... But in this thread you've displayed an abrasive and arrogant side to your personality that has totally shifted my perception of you - for the worst.

    I won't be wasting my time reading any of your threads or comments in the future.


  • binadub


    Bin, if the word atheism had an element which signified belief between 'a' and 'theism' - as in: a-(belief)-theism, you might have a point. But it doesn't.

    It's a-the-ism, or "No-God-Doctrine" or "Without-God-ism" Not "No belief in God" nor "Without belief in God".

    There is no agreement on the definition, not even in the dictionaries, so trying to settle the question is an exercise in futility because it yields to the opinions of the people using the term.

    That being said, the ambiguity is that theists tend to side with the position of "a-thism" being simply the absense of belief.
    Theists tend to side with the position of "a-thism" being a belief--a definite belief that there is no god.

    In my opinion (o-pin-ion), there is a subtle but very distinct difference between a lack of belief and a specific belief.
    What you're saying is that atheism is a belief that there is no god. That's a belief.
    Imo that's different than the absense of belief, which is what the more astute atheists claim is their position.

    There may be aliens in outer space.
    Some people don't believe in aliens in outer space, but other believe there are not aliens in outer space.
    It's a trivial point of differentiation that astute atheists like to annoy people with.


  • ex-witness

    Read some Richard Dawkins if you want to know what an atheist is. The God Delusion for example.

    regarding Atheism in Hinduism check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism_in_Hinduism . Really good stuff there.

    Regarding my personal atheism, I do not believe in the existence of any deity, god, demon, or devil. All the accounts of gods and what-not in the ancient past - well... check out History.com's "Ancient Aliens" (Carl Sagan and Arthur C. Clarke have both concluded that any sufficiently advanced TECHNOLOGY would look like magic to a lesser advanced people. )

  • AllTimeJeff

    Essan, it is my opinion that you are a poor debater.

    You admit to being agnostic, after the fact. You find atheists hypocritical, yet disguise your own beliefs or stance in this debate. I find that digingenuous, as if by provoking others, you prove your point. The only thing that proves to me is, you get off on other people's perceived emotions.

    Allow me to respond to your relevant (and some of the irrelevant) remarks addressed to my last response.

    Jeff: "To sit behind your keyboard, knowing you were an agnostic, but morphing into a theistic position for the sake of "argument", is not in of itself a virtue."

    That's nonsense Jeff. What on earth makes you think that any challenge of the definition of "Atheism" means " morphing into a theistic position". This just reveals your own prejudiced assumption that any challenge to Atheism as you define is it a "theistic" thing to do.

    Essan, when one challenges a theistic position as you have, yet hides their agnostic stance, what choice is left for reasonable people reading this? That you are either a theist of some sort, or possibly, an @$$hole. Perhaps both. Don't get all snitty when you do not declare yourself at the door, and others, in a well meaning attempt to engage you, try to add context to your statements.

    In short, get over yourself. If you feel misunderstood somehow on that score, you have only yourself to blame.

    I find as a deist plenty to challenge atheists on. Specifically, I like to engage atheists on the matter of what it means to be a spiritual person, to have meaning in life without a god or organized religion to point a way to do so, etc. It also is apparant that the human experience yearns for higher meaning. I allow that to possibly mean a higher power exists on some plane......

    You as an agnostic challenge atheists simply because their attitude seems to piss you off. Since your attitude has obviously pissed me off, I can only mirror your "cleverness" by asking, WTF? Atheism IS limited. We agree on that, or seem to. What you seem incapable of doing is engaging an atheist at any level other then to say, "You can't prove god doesn't exist." So what do you want, for an atheist to stop being an atheist, or to stop pointing out that god doesn't exist?

    There are so many rich levels to this to discuss, but you seem determined to mock atheists instead of engaging them. I agree that theists can be similarly mocked. But it isn't the same thing. There is a lot more honesty on the atheist level, and on that score, I am solidly with the atheists.

    Jeff "Lastly, when one leaves everything to the imagination, one deserves what various imaginations casts upon them. In this case, you left no one a choice but to imagine you were a theist apologist in this discussion. What you really were, (with all respect) was a camaflouged debater, hell bent on arguing against atheists, just because, you know, they are so hypocritical. (to that I say, whatever, with all respect)"

    Sorry Jeff, but that's bollocks. There is no need to "imagine" anything unless one wants to indulge in the ad hominem, as you did.

    I am sorry, but this is absolute bullcrap. I engaged in no such thing. You keep missing the part about context in your statements. Any reasonable person would be asking "Why does Essan challenge atheism?" 99% of the time, it is because they are theists. The other 1% evidentally represent whatever you think you are. It isn't imagining. You just want to stimulate a discussion. (nothing wrong with that) by attacking the definition of atheism (nothing wrong with that). A task that is typically done by theists (nothing wrong with that) Except you are an agnostic. (nothing wrong with that either.) But you get pissed off because you were an assumed theist and you were *gasp* actually an agnostic. GOTCHA!!! Boy aren't you clever.

    Do you know why we didn't know you were an agnostic? Because you didn't say so you idiot!

    I'm not really interested in the relative merits of the Atheism and Theism.

    That much is now clear.

    I see Atheism and Theism as suffering from the same basic error, just to differing degrees.

    Well, it took you 10 pages and a lot of erroneous conclusions to get to your opinion. Conciseness is not your gift.

    Lastly, please allow me a poke at agnosticsm. I do find it a very honest place, and can respect that. It is also a much easier place to inhabit mentally. I don't find it a sort of intellectual throne though. This debate leaves me wondering whether or not it is people who make conclusions in life that offend you. Since it is clear that atheists and theists have done that, the one lack in agnosticism is that there is no conclusion to be drawn. It is the ultimate "whatever."

    I think that is fine. I am in no way condemning that. But there are good reasons to respect the moderate opinions of both sides of the argument. Esp with atheists, who are only pointing out that, in light of a lack of any evidence, god doesn't exist. I wouldn't argue with an atheist on that score. I would lose.

    Whats the point? To define atheism as a belief in something, when it is in actuality a statement based on available evidence that there is no god, is ridiculous.

    I don't agree with atheists. I don't rule out god. I see evidence of something, but hell, I am not arguing for it at all.

    What is more important to me is, where are we "spiritually." If you don't like that word, then to put it another way, where are we in pursuing meaning in our life, that adds quaility to our life, and to the lives that cross our path?

    Debates like this have limited value, other then revealing a little, of where we are.

    I don't doubt for a fact Essan that, like me and all others on this board, you will grow from your current position. I wish you well on that quest.

  • SixofNine

    Tangent, sorry, but I don't think it's physically possible to beat ones head into a bloody stump against a keyboard.

    Henri Stickman did it -

  • alice.in.wonderland

    While many of the world's smartest people are atheists, there is no wisdom to be found in atheism itself so it is not a belief. Atheism is just the condition you find yourself in when you recognize that many of the known arguments for gods are specious. However, many atheists have plenty of wisdom, and wherever wisdom can be found, atheists are there, including in churches.

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