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

  • Terry
  • tec

    That link doesn't work Terry. at least it didn't for me.

  • Leolaia

    Maybe we should have an aspie thread (as this has nothing to do with atheism).

    I had that eureka moment in high school, recognizing how well autism fit my childhood. When when I asked my mom about it when I came home from school, she told me that when I had my assessment in kindergarten, I was described as autistic-like and I shared practically every trait of autism (you name it, I had it) but I was much too socially able to fit the classic diagnosis, so I was never diagnosed. This was in the '70s before autism was understood as a spectrum, and before AS became a possible diagnosis in the '80s. I have no doubt that if I were born in the 2000s, I would have been readily diagnosed; I think the current "epidemic" is partly epiphenomenal because there were many in earlier generations who never were labelled.

  • Terry

    Asperger's Syndrome in Adults
    Feb 17, 2009 ... Typical adult symptoms. More males than females have Asperger syndrome. While every person who has the syndrome will experience different ...
  • JWoods

    I think the current "epidemic" is partly epiphenomenal because there were many in earlier generations who never were labelled.

    I think the current "epidemic" may have occurred because there are now expensive drugs to sell in order treat it.

    BTW - you are right - this thread is certainly not about the meaning of the word Atheism any more and so this is not hijacking it.

  • cyberjesus

    So if I am A-asperger means I dont believe that disease exists :-) I think I rather talk about that disease than if you cant find the word belief in "theism" really!

  • Leolaia

    No that would be an Aspiapistontolist. Try saying that fast five times in a row.

    BTW I was suggesting a separate thread in case we were derailing this one.

  • Leolaia
    Using these definitions, I guess it could be said that I'm actually a "soft atheist", not an agnostic. However, I feel that "agnosticism" is a more accurate definition. I am "without god", so that qualifies me for the label of "atheist." However, I'm without god only because of a lack of evidence for god, a lack of knowledge, and that qualifies me for the label "agnostic." In my mind, the later title trumps the former in terms of accuracy and usefulness. Another element in the discussion, at least in my mind, is one of attitude. The atheist can display a certain militant attitude about the subject, an aggressiveness that comes fro having an actual position to defend and propogate. This can result in them manifesting actual distain for those who believe in a god.

    I think like you do. That is why I said earlier that agnostic is a better label for me than atheist because of this social baggage that the latter term has.

  • JWoods
    BTW I was suggesting a separate thread in case we were derailing this one.

    Nothing much to see here or derail, anymore.

  • Essan

    Zid said: "Asking why you are behaving in this manner is not an insult, you MAROON ..."

    LOL Zid, while I don't know what a "maroon is" I gather by the context of your recent posts that it's another insult. You need to calm down and quit the personal attacks. You weren't "asking" anything, you were having a meltdown because someone disagrees with your position. In fact, the post I was responding to wasn't even addressed to me so you could hardly have been asking me a question - it was just you bitching about me rudely to someone else.

    Zid said: "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???

    Zid, I said that to Jeff with understandable frustration after about the third off topic post of his aimed at discussing ME and casting aspersions on my motives rather than addressing the topic, a tactic you have also adopted. It was a response to a lengthy lecture at me by Jeff in which he proclaimed - wrongly - that I was a Theist, because he assumed that anyone critical of atheism must be a theist. So I think I'm absolutely justified in responding that Jeff's attempts to analyze me were wrong, irrelevant and off topic, as are yours, and in asking that he get back to the topic.

    Zid said: "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..."

    OK, well this claim is on topic and can be dealt with factually. Great. Please do go back through the thread to count the references to dictionary definitions and who provides them. In fact, that's my challenge to you Zid, to back up your claim. As I recall, I was referencing and quoting dictionary definitions before other posters, in the first few pages and long before you did on page seven. So I don't think you have a case here.

    And I did address dictionary definitions provided. You make it sound as if the dictionary definitions actually weaken my case and strengthen yours. They absolutely don't! In almost all dictionary definitions the PRIMARY meaning of 'Atheism' is the 'DENIAL of the existence of God' and the secondary meaning is "lack of belief in God". So your 'facts' are pretty weak. I already addressed this pages back, acknowledging that common (mis)usage is steadily adulterating the original and still PRIMARY meaning of atheism, as some "atheists" try to redefine "atheism" to suit their agendas, and this was reflected in dictionaries which acknowledge new trends in language as well as recording the original and primary meanings of words. This secondary meaning is being falsely touted by some "atheists" as the primary, and often, ONLY meaning of "atheist" today, which is complete self-serving fraud.

    Also, let's look at those "facts" and definitions you and Zoiks provided that you imply disprove my interpretation of atheist and which you claim I later "denied" and "co-opted" (despite the fact that I provided definitions and discussed them long before you did).

    Zoiks quoted Wikipedia's reference to the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy: "Atheism. Either the lack of belief in a god, or the belief that there is none". And his quote ends there. But at Wikipedia the quote continues: "Most dictionaries first list one of the more narrow definitions."

    I wonder which? In fact this is one of the relatively few dictionaries that list 'lack of belief' first. Generally the primary meaning given is the one that was given in the very definition you provided and which you bizarrely claim I denied because it proved your point. Let's see how honestly you deal with the evidence `(I've underlined to highlight):

    Zid said: "On the definition of "atheist" or "atheism", my Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1973, states: "atheist - one who denies the existence of God".

    Wow. OK, so the first definition you provide as evidence completely destroys your point! Atheists DENY the EXISTENCE of God. This is what I have been saying all along. You continue:

    "OK, so Under "atheism", it states: " [MF athéisme, fr athée atheist, Gk atheos godless, fr a- + theos god] 1 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity... b: the doctrine that there is no deity... "

    Congratulations, you have one of the minority of dictionaries which inaccurately lists your preferred definition first, and the original and etymologically correct definition second. But let's see how you deal with this definition. You continue:

    "So, what part of "a person who... dis-believes the existence of a supreme being or beings... " do you NOT get??? "DIS - belief..." NOT belief..."

    What don't I get? Maybe the part where you breeze past and ignore the fact that your own dictionary lists "Atheism" as " the doctrine that there is no deity" and list "Atheist" as " one who denies the existence of God"!

    And you claim I've ignored facts???

    The etymology, the original usage and the historical common usage and present primary usage and definition of 'Atheist' and "Atheism" all support the argument I am presenting. As I said much earlier in the thread, I KNOW that increasing numbers of professed "Atheists" chose to define the word differently or even fraudulently claim that the recent secondary meaning arising through common (mis)usage is the ONLY real meaning of "Atheist". I just don't agree that this trend reflects accuracy or honesty.

    You continue:

    "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...."

    I've disagreed with you and debated your philosophy, that's what "I've". And you clearly can't stand it. Chill out. I didn't attack you personally so why are you and others doing do and trying to make me the focus? You and others have fallen back almost totally on Ad Hominen and false accusations, such as those above, which don't stand up when examined. I must admit I've been shocked at the degree to which some "Atheists" have reacted exactly like Theists when their philosophy was questioned. Not all, but some.

    Speaking of which...

    Jeff, you said:

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

    Thanks for that Jeff. You the launch into yet another epic epistle aimed totally at me and totally off topic. You are running on Pure Ad Hominem. And then you criticize me for not being a good debator? The debate is about "atheism" as a belief, non-belief or anti-belief. It's not about me. So how can your long, totally off-topic and irrelevant critiques of me and your 'firehosing' of aspersions about my supposed "motives" etc be "Good debate". You're derailing the debate.

    I'm not the topic. Address the thread topic and the data and stop getting personal.

    So, Atheism. What that all about then?

Share this