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# How many posters here are Atheist?

## I am an...   1 member has voted

1. ### 1. I am an...

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25
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6
• Agnostic
14
• Other Answer (please state)
5

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Actually if you don't really believe in anything in a certain sense, do you belong to some other category, and not agnosticism as I have alluded to?

People whom lack belief in God(s) as well as those that disbelieve in God(s) are atheists. Agnosticism is not about one's belief in a deity but ones belief in man's inability to know the absolute truth. Theism is about deities, agnosticism about knowledge thus, agnosticism is not a position on the line running from atheism to theism. Neither is exclusive of the other. IMO it sounds like you are an agnostic atheist.

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Actually if you don't really believe in anything in a certain sense, do you belong to some other category, and not agnosticism as I have alluded to?
Technically speaking people who call themselves agnostics are usually atheists (weak/agnositc atheists). There's this meme going around that agnosticism is sort of the middle between theism / atheism. But you can be an agnostic and a theist or atheist -- it really doesn't answer the question "do you believe in God." If you cant make up your mind whether you're an atheist or a theist then you're technically not an agnostic. I think it's called like noncognitivist ignosticism or something. But so many people misunderstand what agnosticism really is that it's hard to argue this point.

http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/atheism/definitions.html

Another point to illustrate is that the term "athiesm" is really unnecessary except when a large portion of the population are theists. [Weak] atheism is a default position. You only become a theist when you're indoctrinated as a child but when you're born you're actually an atheist. It's not like people go around calling themselves "a-astrologists" for lack of belief in astrology because astrology is a minority position. Not believing in astrology is a fairly normal thing. This is why science is technically "weak atheistic" towards the notion of gods instead of the popular definition of "agnostic" as some people erroneously think, the popular definition of course that is confused with weak atheism.

--Oops, doG got there first

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i think its possible that there is a god but i believe specifically that there isn't.

that makes me a strong atheist, right?

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I much prefer the alternative definition of My beliefs: "feel-good atheism".

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I much prefer the alternative definition of My beliefs: "feel-good atheism".

that sounds like a good idea

as a natural man one has certain urges and hungers including spiritual ones

and so one ought to be able to have one's atheism feel satisfying

and if that means having an EMOTIONAL relation to the universe, well that's OK

we have evolved over millennia to relate to things emotionally as well as logically---it is just the way our minds work and it has survival value if your species lives in groups because you have to understand and bond with others in the group and cooperate to survive

so instead of being constrained to be purely logical in ones relation to the natural universe (which would be like always wearing shoes)

one might allow oneself to LIKE the universe at times, and be in AWE of it, and so relate to it on some emotional plane as well as purely practical.

and so I think this is one way of arriving at a FEEL-GOOD Atheism, which could in some people, depending on their nature, be spiritually deep.

interesting term

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Actually if you don't really believe in anything in a certain sense, do you belong to some other category, and not agnosticism as I have alluded to?

Yes. Like Carl Sagan, I'm a humanist.

Bee

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Yes. Like Carl Sagan, I'm a humanist.

Bee

To that extent I would say that I am a secular humanist in addition to being an agnostic atheist. Some might even refer to secular humanism as my religion since it is effectively a belief system...

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I accidentally clicked theist instead of atheist. I practice lab-vodoun on a regular basis, though

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I had to pick 'Other'.

What is the term for someone that does not believe in faeries?

The reason I ask is that I do not like the idea of a label being applied to me because I do not believe in something that does not exist; there would need to be a lot more labels. It seems to give a certain credibility to those that do believe in things that do not exist.

Non-delusional would, perhaps, be a better label.

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It doesn't have to be a label, just a description. Theists believe grand-pappy faeries in the sky and not·theists (atheists) don't. I don't mind anyone calling me a not·theist and I'd rather them know that than assuming that I might be in the other camp...

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Ill confess to being a Theist Celebration whore too, whether its Christmas, Chinese new year, Hanuka, Diwali, Easter, Equinox or Solstice, whatever...

count me in, I see no sense in missing a good Party and having fun, for the sake of prejudice!

Life`s all about enjoying stuff as much as you can I recon

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Agnostic describes me perfectly....

1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.

Seems to me if you don't have the ultimate knowledge of the ultimate cause then atheism is a matter of faith, just as theism, which has nothing in common with the scientific method at all. We clearly don't have that knowledge so how do you scientists that claim atheism reconcile that?

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Seems to me if you don't have the ultimate knowledge of the ultimate cause then atheism is a matter of faith, just as theism, which has nothing in common with the scientific method at all.

That depends. One that simply lacks belief because of the lack of supporting evidence for a God theory, a requirement of the scientific method, is not acting out of faith but is still an atheist.

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I just wondered as Religion and Science see to be in a constant tussle to provide answers.

So which side of the fence does everyone sit on?

Religion and science are NOT two sides of a fence.

Can anyone truly sit in the middle?

Of course. Science does. Science is agnostic. Individual scientists can be theists, atheists, or agnostics. But science is agnostic:

" To say it for all my colleageues and for the umpteenth millionth time (from college bull sessions to learned treatises): science simply cannot (by its legitimate methods) adjudicate the issue of God's possible superintendence of nature. We neither affirm nor deny it; we simply can't comment on it as scientists." SJ Gould, Impeaching a self-appointed judge. Scientific American, 267:79-80, July 1992.

I am Atheist. I just trust in science

Too bad. Because science won't support atheism. See above.

.. it seems completely alien to me that people can take the Bible as true or believe in a supernatural being.

Argument from Personal Incredulity. We know how faulty that is. Also, have you considered that your viewpoint is completely irrelevant to the existence or non-existence of a supernatural being? Such a being either exists or does not exist irregardless of how "alien" that is to you.

That depends. One that simply lacks belief because of the lack of supporting evidence for a God theory,

That "lacks belief" is a semantic dodge. You have the question: does deity exist? You've got 3 possible answers:

1. I believe deity exists.

2. I believe deity does not exist.

3. I do not know whether deity exists or not.

Now, "lacks belief" cannot stand. It either reduces to 2 or 3.

because of the lack of supporting evidence for a God theory, a requirement of the scientific method, is not acting out of faith but is still an atheist.

1. There is support for ANY theory if you look only for it. And yes, theists do have supporting evidence. It's evidence YOU don't consider as valid, but that is a very different claim from saying the evidence isn't there.

2. A famous scientific principle is "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" Carl Sagan Demon Haunted World, pg 8. Don't you find it ironic that you cite science as backing when you are violating it? This is the danger of atheism to science: it wants scientific backing so has to misrepresent the basic principles of science.

i think its possible that there is a god but i believe specifically that there isn't.

that makes me a strong atheist, right?

It makes you an atheist. Period. The concept of "strong" vs "weak" atheism was invented by atheists to try to disguise that atheism is a faith.

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It makes you an atheist. Period. The concept of "strong" vs "weak" atheism was invented by atheists to try to disguise that atheism is a faith.

I'd say we've learned the hard way, through the now-defunct philosophy and religion subforum, that in topics relating to religion, the line at which something becomes unacceptably provocative is quite a bit easier to cross than in other subjects. Perhaps what you meant to say is, "I do not think there is a fundamental difference between weak and strong atheism." You'd still be wrong, but you'd be much less likely to devolve a simple survey into an all-out religious flame war.

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"A famous scientific principle is "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" Carl Sagan Demon Haunted World, pg 8."

It may be famous, but it isn't true. How do you sleep at night with that elephant in the room?

I realise there is no evidence of an elephant but you say that's no reason not to believe in it.

If you look hard for evidence of something and there isn't any then you can start to justify the idea that the something doesn't exist.

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It makes you an atheist. Period. The concept of "strong" vs "weak" atheism was invented by atheists to try to disguise that atheism is a faith.

im not concerned with the specifics in that regard. as doG described above, its a description, not a label. if i understand it correctly, weak atheist means you dont see a need for a diety and so you dont assume the existance of one. strong atheist means you specifically believe that there isnt a god for some reason.

obviously both fall under the category of atheism, hence the "atheist" in both phrases. If you want to call it faith thats fine, but it doesn't really describe my thoughts accurately.

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"A famous scientific principle is "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" Carl Sagan Demon Haunted World, pg 8."

It may be famous, but it isn't true. How do you sleep at night with that elephant in the room?

I realise there is no evidence of an elephant but you say that's no reason not to believe in it.

If you look hard for evidence of something and there isn't any then you can start to justify the idea that the something doesn't exist.

I'd say that would be a misuse of the maxim. Absence of evidence where evidence would be expected is evidence of absence. As in, I can walk all around my room without encountering any sign of an elephant. I know elephants to be massive creatures who would definitely make their presence in the room known in a variety of obvious ways. Hence, I justifiably take the absence of such evidence as very strong evidence that there is no elephant present.

This is as opposed to something like extraterrestrial life. We have encountered no evidence of its existence. But we do not know what evidence there would actually be aside from, as with elephants, walking up and touching it or something similar. Since we only as yet have the capability to perform that experiment on Earth and to a limited degree on the other planets of our own solar system, our lack of evidence is to be expected whether elephants exist around other stars or not. All we can do is make the best-educated guesses we can about the probability of such things, which admittedly in the case of elephants is extremely small, but in the case of anything which might be called "life" is completely unknown.

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yes, religion has you comming and going: if god exists, there'd be no evidence of his existance; else if he doesn't exist, there'd be no evidence of his existance. so what can we deduce from the lack of evidence of god?

I know elephants to be massive creatures who would definitely make their presence in the room known in a variety of obvious ways.

this bit's induction, which is never 100% reliable (which makes you're whole argument unreliable)*; espescially as if there did exist non-detectable eliphants, then we'd not have any evidence of them.

john has a point -- the possibility that an invisable eliphant/unicorn/god/whatever could exist, and that we can't disprove this, don't mean that we should rationally refrain from reaching the conclusion that they don't exist; however, he's also shot himself in the foot somewhat if he's trying to pass it off as science: scientifically, we shouldn't accept the invisable elephant/unicorn/god/etc due to the lack of evidence, but we certainly can't scientifically disprove them; the invisable elephant, unicorn, and god all remain valid scientific possibilities that are not currently accepted due to a total lack of evidence that they actually exist. iow, science is agnostic to them.

otoh, science is just one way of thinking, and in some areas (such as this) doesn't do much to answre the question.

----

* but only if we're being pedantic

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That depends. One that simply lacks belief because of the lack of supporting evidence for a God theory, a requirement of the scientific method, is not acting out of faith but is still an atheist.

You know, that's a better point than I first gave credit for...

Because, while we can't prove or disprove a deity, we also can't prove or disprove the spaghetti monster, or unicorns, or flying lions on neptune. That means everything that can't be proven, but can be dreamt up becomes a "belief" in its non-existence or existence.

Hmm....

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That "lacks belief" is a semantic dodge. You have the question: does deity exist? You've got 3 possible answers:

1. I believe deity exists.

2. I believe deity does not exist.

3. I do not know whether deity exists or not.

Now, "lacks belief" cannot stand. It either reduces to 2 or 3.

No, I don't have the question at all. I have a claim, theory, hypotheses by theists that there is a God. I say I don't believe them. This does not mean that I claim there is no deity(2) or that I don't know(3). I simply do not believe their claim. OTOH, lump me into 2 if it makes you happy but I think you need a 4 because "I do not believe in ...." is not the same affirmative denial that "I believe there is no ...." is. The second is an affirmative belief but the other is not.

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Personally i don't believe in anything supernatural, like deities or ghosts, but as for Jesus and Buddha and Confucius and the like i believe these people were all great philosophers and i support most of the beliefs they promoted. probably i would support even more of them if i had lived in their period of history because things are slightly different now, and also Christianity was slightly compromised since Jesus died. So then i guess i am a little in a gray area because there would have been a point in history where i would have strongly promoted a religion ad been a part of it though i would still have not believed in the supernatural. Nowadays though religion can do more bad than good because of its dogmatic nature and the fact that the world constantly changes. So i don't consider myself directly affiliated with a single religion.

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No, I don't have the question at all. I have a claim, theory, hypotheses by theists that there is a God. I say I don't believe them. This does not mean that I claim there is no deity(2) or that I don't know(3). I simply do not believe their claim. OTOH, lump me into 2 if it makes you happy but I think you need a 4 because "I do not believe in ...." is not the same affirmative denial that "I believe there is no ...." is. The second is an affirmative belief but the other is not.

So 4 would be "I'm not going to say what I believe, but I don't believe what you believe"...

Your argument seems to rest on the idea that you are merely rejecting someone else's claim. But the question is, what do YOU believe. Deity? No deity? Or don't know?

"Deity" or "No deity" requires faith. "Don't know" requires humility.

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You need quite a bit more than 4 choices, I think.

First, you need to establish what it is whose existence is being questioned. "God" or "deity" are extremely ambiguous terms that mean very different things to different people. Do universal physical laws count as "God?" Can God be synonymous with "universe?" With "continuity of existence?" Does a vague universal benevolence count? Does God have to be a conscious being? Does He have to be omnipotent? Perfect? Does He have to be the creator of the universe? Does He have to take an active role in the world, respond to prayer, etc., etc.?

Once an acceptably unambiguous definition is established, there could still be lots of different answers, many of which have overlaps between them and subcategories to divide them. Insisting that everyone conform to 3 rigid categories is going to get you nowhere. For example:

strong theism: "God exists."

weak theism: "I think/assume that God exists."

strong agnosticism: "It is impossible to know whether God exists."

weak agnosticism: "I do not know whether God exists, but it might be possible to possess such knowledge."

nontheism: "God? I've never heard of such a thing!" or "I'm aware of religion, etc., but I've never considered the question."

apatheism: "I do not care whether God exists."

weak atheism: "I do not have any belief in God."

strong atheism: "God does not exist."

noncognitivism: "The statements 'god exists' and 'god does not exist' are meaningless, because there is no cognitive correspondence to the word 'God'."

positivism: "The statements 'god exists" and 'god does not exist' have no meaning because neither proposition is empirically verifiable."

Clearly, not all of these answers are mutually exclusive, and some might even arguably be sub-categories of others. For example, weak atheism and weak theism could both be subcategories of either strong or weak agnosticism. Yet one is a "de facto theist," the other a "de facto atheist," and each would give opposite answers if limited to a "yes" or "no" reply.

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"Deity" or "No deity" requires faith. "Don't know" requires humility.

Oh, so my lack of belief in leprachauns, santa clauses, tooth fairies, etc requires faith? There's absolutely no evidence and no reason to believe in any of these. There's no reason to affirmatively deny their existance and doing so would even raise a burden of proof to prove they don't exist.

I do not need faith to say I don't believe in God but I do think one needs faith to say I believe there is no God. We wouldn't be having this conversation if some human hadn't dreamt up the whole hypothesis of God in the first place and not buying his theory for lack of evidence is not an act of faith.

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