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Are you atheist?


kirishima666
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3 hours ago, Dis n Dat said:

I don't know who this "we" and "us" group is. Sounds like some tribalistic group to me. 

Or it could just be referring to the other people participating in the discussion.

3 hours ago, Dis n Dat said:

Nevertheless, an atheist is a person who "does" atheism. Thats the default.

Whatever.

Since you're hung up on the phrasing, all it means is that people don't believe in most deities, and if you don't believe in them, i.e. you don't think they really exist, your position must be that they are made up. 

Better? 

3 hours ago, Dis n Dat said:

So your argument defending this common meme on the internet is not valid. 

I don't know what "common meme" you're referring to; I was just explaining the rationale behind a comment.

3 hours ago, Dis n Dat said:

I think you have a much bigger capacity so you should reach higher than delve in this type of apologetic. It's nonsensical and is useless. 

What apologetic? You seem hell-bent on making this about something that not evident in the original statement, or subsequent commentary.

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4 minutes ago, TheVat said:

Second, please understand no one is saying you reject theism with other gods but rather you reject the definition of theism used by other religions.   This is a significant distinction.  

I was translating the word atheism directly. Not bringing in concepts upon concepts to a sentence. Hope you understand. 

10 minutes ago, TheVat said:

First, please read the link on global v local atheism.

 

Most atheists, if not all have a particular model of God when rejecting God. Of course. So do theists. This is the idea behind this global vs local atheism. This is not the definition or the meaning of atheism, but a modern day construct. In fact, just a few years. Local Atheism and Global atheism actually comes from Middle eastern scholarship where they defined theism differently, not atheism. In theism you can worship your children, your wealth or your own ego or Havah. That's another type of theism which they perceived as local theism. This is also called shirk or idolatry. Global theism is to deny all forms of deities but "The God". This definition is not atheism but monotheism. Then came the 21st century internet debate realm and they just a few years ago started using the word atheism for it. It's arbitrary.

13 minutes ago, TheVat said:

For example, I am not a metaphysical atheist (universe is just matter and energy, plus physical laws) but am open to a Buddhist notion of a consciousness that transcends individual brains.  So, with respect to a western definition of theism (omnipotent omniscient personal being), I'm atheistic.  I.e. local atheism.  But with respect to a Buddhist definition of divinity (transcendent consciousness permeating all spacetime and perhaps beyond, with some possible karmic mechanism) I'm agnostic and open to epiphanies, aha! moments, or whatever might present itself.  So I don't embrace global atheism. 

Local v global, this is key to defining any position on the nature of the divine.

This monotheistic concept of God is not a western concept. It's eastern and middle eastern, and African. I have heard many people call it a western concept but it's not. All of these concepts are immigrations. As you probably know, even in Hinduism in chandogya upanishad God is called one, and of course Islam and Judaism are middle eastern theologies. Christianity too. So it's not a western concept. 

Nevertheless, I have not read anywhere of a transcendent consciousness in Buddhism. Is that Mahayana? Because I am pretty sure it is not in the Tipitaka. But if you do have a direct reference in the Tipitaka I am fully willing to read up. But if it's Mahayana, then it has too many philosophers and difficult to catch up. 

Thanks in advance. 

20 minutes ago, swansont said:

Or it could just be referring to the other people participating in the discussion.

Whatever.

Since you're hung up on the phrasing, all it means is that people don't believe in most deities, and if you don't believe in them, i.e. you don't think they really exist, your position must be that they are made up. 

Better? 

I don't know what "common meme" you're referring to; I was just explaining the rationale behind a comment.

What apologetic? You seem hell-bent on making this about something that not evident in the original statement, or subsequent commentary.

Somehow the topic has evolved swansont. Maybe it's beyond what you originally meant it to be. 

Anyway, I do agree with you that it's just phrasing. 

Sorry if I am merging different posts together. I am not used to posting in a forum like this so when I post two different comments I forget to press the Submit button and the second post ends up merging with the post. Not intentional @swansont @TheVat

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24 minutes ago, Dis n Dat said:

Then came the 21st century internet debate realm and they just a few years ago started using the word atheism for it. It's arbitrary.

Correct. It is arbitrary and subject to change over time. So perhaps you can try to understand how people are using it and stop trying to hold everyone to YOUR arbitrary definition.

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Just now, zapatos said:

Correct. It is arbitrary and subject to change over time. So perhaps you can try to understand how people are using it and stop trying to hold everyone to YOUR arbitrary definition.

It's not "My Definition". It's the common definition of atheism. Unless you can find a different scholar or someone who explains "atheism" as "disbelieving in other Gods not mine". Not loaded sentences, but the word "atheism". 

Thank you,

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17 minutes ago, Dis n Dat said:

 

Nevertheless, I have not read anywhere of a transcendent consciousness in Buddhism. Is that Mahayana? Because I am pretty sure it is not in the Tipitaka. But if you do have a direct reference in the Tipitaka I am fully willing to read up. But if it's Mahayana, then it has too many philosophers and difficult to catch up. 

 @swansont (argh..., I'm not tagging you, Swanson!  Can't seem to remove this tag from my quote of Dis n Dat)

Dis, I was speaking broadly of the enlightened consciousness that can end human suffering, AKA the "Buddha nature." My reference would be mainly to Chan Buddhism (and the Japanese sect that also derived from that, Zen), where there is the practice of avoiding conceptual thought and the awakening of mind which transcends, as it recognizes the illusions of the mundane world.  Here's a clip from the Stanford encyclopedia again...

 

Quote

In sharp contrast with more scholastically-inclined schools of Buddhism, Chan did not see dispelling ignorance of our own true nature as something to be accomplished by studying canonical texts and commentaries. On the contrary, in keeping with the Buddha’s claim that the wise “do not hang onto anything, anywhere” and “do not enter into the mud of conceptual thinking” (Sabhiya Sutta, Sutta Nipāta III.6), Chan came to insist that we cannot read or reason our way out of conflict, trouble and suffering. And, in contrast with more ritually-defined schools of Buddhism, Chan also came to deny the merit of seeking help from supramundane sources. Dispelling ignorance of our own Buddha-nature does not involve cultivating or acquiring anything; we need only end the relational paralysis that prevents us from conducting ourselves as enlightening beings. This does not require special conditions or implements. It does not require extensive study or training. It can be accomplished here and now, in the midst of our own day-to-day lives.

 

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21 minutes ago, Dis n Dat said:

It's not "My Definition". It's the common definition of atheism.

If it so common then why are we having pages of debate about it? No commonly used word means the same thing to all men. (And by 'men' I am not referring to just people with XY chromosomes. It also includes women. Although some say 'women' means what is on your birth certificate and others see it more broadly. But of course not everyone receives a 'birth certificate'. In this sense 'birth certificate' simply means how you were viewed by others at birth. But I fully expect everyone here to only use terms the way that I define them. Because that is how I "commonly" use them.)

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47 minutes ago, TheVat said:

Dis, I was speaking broadly of the enlightened consciousness that can end human suffering, AKA the "Buddha nature." My reference would be mainly to Chan Buddhism (and the Japanese sect that also derived from that, Zen), where there is the practice of avoiding conceptual thought and the awakening of mind which transcends, as it recognizes the illusions of the mundane world.  Here's a clip from the Stanford encyclopedia again...

 

I would like to learn more about it. I have never had any clue about the Mahayana Buddhism. I mean, I have heard about it but only recently I learned a little about the most basic differences between Mahayana and Theravadha. It will be my honour to learn more about it from you. Maybe in a different thread. Yet, thank you very much. 

 

39 minutes ago, zapatos said:

If it so common then why are we having pages of debate about it? No commonly used word means the same thing to all men. (And by 'men' I am not referring to just people with XY chromosomes. It also includes women. Although some say 'women' means what is on your birth certificate and others see it more broadly. But of course not everyone receives a 'birth certificate'. In this sense 'birth certificate' simply means how you were viewed by others at birth. But I fully expect everyone here to only use terms the way that I define them. Because that is how I "commonly" use them.)

Again you are making it "I". Well that's just a projection. 

Nevertheless, this will be another rhetorical exchange so I respectfully withdraw from this particular one. Cheers and thanks. 

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7 hours ago, TheVat said:

Very helpful SEP entry, thanks.  That's section 3, if anyone wants to delve in there.  And if we allow this distinction into this chat, then the dispute goes away

Yeah, but why would a person who necromanced a thread by quoting a post I made over 2 years ago only to then spend the next 4 pages arguing with everyone and their grandmothers that ONLY his dictionary and his dictionary alone is correct… why would they ever allow that?

The dispute is the point, regardless how specious. The faith being expressed here isn’t good. 

Edited by iNow
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Let's try a rephrasing without the term "atheist/atheism" to capture the original point: 

"Most people don't believe in most versions of God. A Christian doesn't believe in Brahma, and a Hindu doesn't believe in Yahweh. An non-believer doesn't believe in either. 

Many of the demands, predominately made by Christians at least in Western countries for non-believers to justify their non-belief in Christianity might be answered by introspection by the Christians on why they don't believe other faiths." 

I recently went through this with a relative at a wedding who was (after many tequilas) pressing me on my lack of belief. When I asked why he wasn't Buddhist he was actually reasonably taken aback, but then fell into the circular logic that Buddhism wasn't in the Bible, and the Bible was the word of God, so that was why. (circular because the bible is the proof of the Christian God, and the reason it is proof is be cause it is the word of God, etc.). But at least it did get him to think, and maybe a bit more tolerant of other systems of belief, including atheism. 

 

Edited by Arete
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2 hours ago, Arete said:

Let's try a rephrasing without the term "atheist/atheism" to capture the original point: 

"Most people don't believe in most versions of God. A Christian doesn't believe in Brahma, and a Hindu doesn't believe in Yahweh. An non-believer doesn't believe in either. 

Many of the demands, predominately made by Christians at least in Western countries for non-believers to justify their non-belief in Christianity might be answered by introspection by the Christians on why they don't believe other faiths." 

I recently went through this with a relative at a wedding who was (after many tequilas) pressing me on my lack of belief. When I asked why he wasn't Buddhist he was actually reasonably taken aback, but then fell into the circular logic that Buddhism wasn't in the Bible, and the Bible was the word of God, so that was why. (circular because the bible is the proof of the Christian God, and the reason it is proof is be cause it is the word of God, etc.). But at least it did get him to think, and maybe a bit more tolerant of other systems of belief, including atheism. 

 

Interesting. Does not that apply to you? If not, how?

Thanks. 

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23 hours ago, TheVat said:

Because he's looking for precise definitions here, a perfectly legitimate quest in a philosophic chat.

I'd have been happy with that answer, it's a very good reason.

However he seems determined to find excuses to dodge legitimate questions, rather than get caught in a rational cul-de-sac.

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9 hours ago, Dis n Dat said:

Interesting. Does not that apply to you? If not, how?

Thanks. 

Does what apply to me? 

Introspection leading to empathy? 

Circular reasoning? 

Tolerance toward other belief systems? 

Edited by Arete
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41 minutes ago, Arete said:

Does what apply to me? 

Introspection leading to empathy? 

Circular reasoning? 

Tolerance toward other belief systems? 

None of that. The exact thing you said in your post that I responded to. 

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2 minutes ago, Dis n Dat said:

None of that. The exact thing you said in your post that I responded to. 

Thanks for the clarification. All of the above were in my post. Care to clarify what you're asking as the question is not clear to me. 

If the question relates to whether introspection would lead me to understand why a Christian has different beliefs to me: 

a) I've never in my life demanded a Christian justify their beliefs as I strongly support the right to spiritual self determination. Their justification for belief is up to them personally and I don't have a role to play in their rationale. 

b) The beliefs of others are therefore not my business insofar as they do not impact me or others. I honestly don't really think about the justifications of others for beliefs I don't share - they are welcome to any justification they like, at least until they try and force their beliefs and values on others whom don't share them. 

c) I'm always open about the rationale for my lack of belief if someone is interested, but I'd never engage on the topic with a party not actively inquiring and interested. 

 

Hope that answers the question. 

Edited by Arete
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1 minute ago, Dis n Dat said:

Okay. No problem. So cannot all of them apply to your worldview as well? 

1) Yes. introspection can lead to empathy for pretty much anyone. 

2) No. I don't use circular reasoning to justify my belief system. I could in other circumstances if I chose to, sure. 

3) See above. 

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9 minutes ago, Arete said:

1) Yes. introspection can lead to empathy for pretty much anyone. 

2) No. I don't use circular reasoning to justify my belief system. I could in other circumstances if I chose to, sure. 

3) See above. 

The person you spoke to at this wedding has used an illogical argument. This is not the type of argument that theologies generally make at a philosophical level. 

But also you should know that God can be your money, property, children and/or your own ego or desire. That too is a type of theology taught within theology. Even an atheist can fall into that. As you addressed a Christian who would not believe in Brahma, it is a model of God each would reject. True. But that does not prove anything but the fact that each are rejecting a model of God. Same as an atheist. 

Making the argument that a Christian rejects Brahma and vise versa is an attempt at a generalisation. It's used as if everyone is the same. You too, him too, thus both are in the same boat. Well, one of them could be right, thus in order to dismiss them one will have to explore each thoroughly. If not, it's also logically fallacious. 

Cheers. 

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5 minutes ago, Dis n Dat said:

Making the argument that a Christian rejects Brahma and vise versa is an attempt at a generalisation. It's used as if everyone is the same. You too, him too, thus both are in the same boat. Well, one of them could be right, thus in order to dismiss them one will have to explore each thoroughly. If not, it's also logically fallacious. 

By that reasoning, belief in Christianity/Islam/etc without thoroughly vetting all other possible religions would be logically flawed, right? Do you think the average Christian/Muslim/etc has a working understanding of Candomblé and Jainism? 

That said all belief systems contain flaws, including atheistic ones. As I alluded to the problem arises when one claims perfection and moral authority over everyone, despite its flaws. 

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6 hours ago, Arete said:

By that reasoning, belief in Christianity/Islam/etc without thoroughly vetting all other possible religions would be logically flawed, right?

Not necessarily. This using the same logic you and many others have used in this thread. 

6 hours ago, Arete said:

Do you think the average Christian/Muslim/etc has a working understanding of Candomblé and Jainism? 

Not at all. 

6 hours ago, Arete said:

That said all belief systems contain flaws,

Now you are making an absolute statement. To make that kind of statement you have to have a model to dismiss all of them. 

So what's your model?

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29 minutes ago, Dis n Dat said:

Not necessarily. This using the same logic you and many others have used in this thread. 

I don't see how that follows at all. What logic? 

29 minutes ago, Dis n Dat said:

Now you are making an absolute statement. To make that kind of statement you have to have a model to dismiss all of them. 

I didn't dismiss anything. I simply stated that any system of belief is flawed. If I had to apply a "model" I'd point to two specific points:

1) All human belief systems are implemented by human minds, which are flawed, in the sense that cognition evolved for survival, not precision and there are well defined ways in which recollection and sensory processing by the human brain differ from reality. Any belief system held by a human is one derived from a sensory perception and recollection of reality that that deviates from objective measurement of reality. 

2) Stochastic probability and chance. No belief system can accurately account for all possibilities in past, future and present reality. Therefore any belief system necessitates a degree of filling in the blanks. Projection and extrapolation of existing principles generally generates higher rates of error than interpolative deduction. 

Again, I didn't dismiss anything. Flawed belief systems (like models themselves) are still valuable, especially if one is aware of their limitations. 

Edited by Arete
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3 minutes ago, Arete said:

I don't see how that follows at all. What logic? 

31 minutes ago, Dis n Dat said:

The same logic you used. 

3 minutes ago, Arete said:

I don't see how that follows at all. What logic? 

I didn't dismiss anything. I simply stated that any system of belief is flawed. If I had to apply a "model" I'd point to two specific points:

1) All human belief systems are implemented by human minds, which are flawed, in the sense that cognition evolved for survival, not precision and there are well defined ways in which recollection and processing by the human brain differ from reality. e.g. short term sensory processing and long term memory retrieval. Any belief system held by a human is one derived from a sensory perception of reality that that deviates from objective measurement of reality. 

2) Stochastic probability and chance. No belief system can accurately account for all possibilities in past future and present reality. Therefore any belief system necessitates a degree of filling in the blanks. Projection and extrapolation of existing principles generates error. 

Again, I didn't dismiss anything. Flawed belief systems (like models themselves) are still valuable, especially if one is aware of their limitations. 

How do you know for sure that all belief systems are merely created by human beings? That's a universal statement.

 

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9 minutes ago, Dis n Dat said:

The same logic you used. 

You repeated the same statement three times now without elaborating. It remains nonsensical to me. You'll have to elaborate as to how the two points are logically connected. 

10 minutes ago, Dis n Dat said:

How do you know for sure that all belief systems are merely created by human beings? That's a universal statement.

Good thing I never made the statement then. If one was to claim that a belief system has a supernatural origin, then the burden of proof would lie on the one making that claim. Otherwise what's the suggestion, some religions were created by lizards? 

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19 minutes ago, Arete said:

All human belief systems are implemented by human minds, which are flawed,

 

2 minutes ago, Arete said:

You repeated the same statement three times now without elaborating. It remains nonsensical to me. You'll have to elaborate as to how the two points are logically connected. 

Good thing I never made the statement then. If one was to claim that a belief system has a supernatural origin, then the burden of proof would lie on the one making that claim. Otherwise what's the suggestion, some religions were created by lizards? 

I am referring to the above statement you made. 

So if that does not mean all human belief systems are made by humans, what do you actually mean. Sorry if I misunderstood you. 

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13 minutes ago, Dis n Dat said:

 

I am referring to the above statement you made. 

So if that does not mean all human belief systems are made by humans, what do you actually mean. Sorry if I misunderstood you. 

Are you saying there is a human belief system that was made by something other than humans? 

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13 minutes ago, Arete said:

Are you saying there is a human belief system that was made by something other than humans? 

No. I am asking you for your evidence why you think all are human made if that's what you are thinking. 

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