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what is an atheist?


T man831
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Lol. You don't know what an atheist is, yet you have the old atheist symbol as your avatar.

 

Theists often caricature atheists as all being strong atheists(similar to an argument that all theists are Mormons) with no moral compass, and thus have given the word a sort of social stigma. It has, in fact been quite successful. One only has to see the abundance of various words atheists will use to describe themselves while dancing around the word "atheist." The core of atheism is just a response to theism. Theists say "One or more deities exist". And atheism is just people saying "I don't believe you." This can take on varying degrees of forcefulness(ranging from Weak Atheism: "I don't believe deities exist" to Strong Atheism:"I believe that no deities exist.") Weak Atheism(the core of atheism) obviously requires no faith and as such is often blatantly ignored by theists. Strong Atheism, on the other hand, requires just as much faith as theism. All that defines an atheist is that they do not answer "yes" when asked "Do you believe in the existence of one or more deities?".

 

"Agnostic" is a term that is misused as nausium. I suspect that it is mostly due to the social stigma(which is thankfully somewhat receding) that I wrote of above. Agnostic is a modifier of the terms Theist and Atheist, and as such cannot stand on it's own. You either believe in the existence of one or more deities, or you don't; there is no middle ground. Atheism and Theism are the only options. Agnosticism is merely one flavour of the choices. "Agnostic" merely means that one believe that one cannot know whether or not deities exist. Thus, one can be an Agnostic Theist(believe one or more deities exist, but it is impossible to know for a fact that this is the truth) or one can be an Agnostic Atheist(lack a belief in deities, but also believe it is impossible to know whether or not deities exist), but one cannot JUST be an Agnostic. There is no middle ground between belief and disbelief; you either believe or you lack belief.

 

can some one clear me up on the beliefs and thought process of an atheists?

One cannot give you what you are asking for, as it isn't the same for everyone. Atheists are not grouped by what they believe; they are grouped by what they don't believe. Atheists lack a belief in god(s). That's all you can say about the beliefs of atheists as a group. Individual atheists believe a lot of things. Some are purely naturalistic. Some are New Agers. Some are Utilitarians while others are Libertarians. Some believe in ghosts. Some believe in UFOs. Beyond lacking a belief in the existence of deities, atheists are diverse in what they believe.

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I think that the new denomination, ANTI-DOGMATISM, is more encompassing in questioning unverified claims and blind and rigid beliefs than atheism. Because it questions all dogmas and unverified beliefs, not just the religious ones.

 

You can watch a brief explanation of that in this video:

 

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I think that the new denomination, ANTI-DOGMATISM, is a more encompassing in questioning unverified claims and blind and rigid beliefs than atheism. Because it questions all dogmas and unverified beliefs, not just the religious ones.

 

You can watch a brief explanation of that in this video:

 

 

I find it odd that this guy claims to be an "Anti-Dogmatist" yet he spreads Strong Atheism dogma.

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I find it odd that this guy claims to be an "Anti-Dogmatist" yet he spreads Strong Atheism dogma.

 

Why strong atheism ?

 

He simply proposes to question anything that lacks scientific evidence.

 

He does not propose a rigid belief of non-existence of gods. This would be an unverified belief.

 

Any rigid belief without evidence is a dogma.

 

Anti-dogmatism? Isn't it enough to just be a skeptic?

 

Hum...

 

1) Anti-Dogmatism is more explicit than the term "sceptic".

 

 

2) I have the impression that sceptics are too much linked with a position that question only things that are not compatible with the established science.

 

With such conservative position they may end up opposing new ideas and new paradigms in science. In other words, they might contribute for scientific dogmatism.

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can some one clear me up on the beliefs and thought process of an atheists?

I have been pronounced atheist by many of my friends... but have found almost no information about it.

 

 

:doh: (other than they don't believe in god...):doh:

 

You nailed the issue with your first statement - "what my friends call me". Say a French man goes to America. People may call him a foreigner. Should he start calling himself a foreigner? I would think it would be better to tell people that he is from France. Now, he may find it interesting to meet and talk with other foreigners, but that does not mean he is from a country called "foreigner" or identifies with this grouping in any way. He just will share the experience of being a foreigner in America with them, that is it.

 

You might want to check out something like secular humanism to see if you share those values.

 

 

Strong Atheism, on the other hand, requires just as much faith as theism. All that defines an atheist is that they do not answer "yes" when asked "Do you believe in the existence of one or more deities?".

 

I am not sure I agree with that statement, but I concede to avoid yet another lengthy thread on the issue. However, I think you would agree with the following: If strong atheism requires as much faith as theism, this by no means implies that it even remotely takes as much faith as being a Christian.

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can some one clear me up on the beliefs and thought process of an atheists?

I have been pronounced atheist by many of my friends... but have found almost no information about it.

 

Depends. If you believe that gods don't exist, then you are a strong atheist. If you don't believe gods exist, but aren't sure, you are a weak atheist. If you believe that it is impossible to tell whether or not gods exist, then you are a strong agnostic. If you are unsure whether gods exist or not, but believe that it might be possible to find out, then you are a weak agnostic. There are finer distinctions as well.

 

:doh: (other than they don't believe in god...):doh:

 

That's right. Atheists are defined by not believing in gods.

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I am not sure I agree with that statement, but I concede to avoid yet another lengthy thread on the issue. However, I think you would agree with the following: If strong atheism requires as much faith as theism, this by no means implies that it even remotely takes as much faith as being a Christian.
x2. It might take faith technically to be a strong atheist but it makes a hell of a lot more sense than something like Christianity. There are very few people who are actually "theists" and nothing more, but technically I would say theism by itself and strong atheism could be construed as requiring the same amount of faith.
You either believe in the existence of one or more deities, or you don't; there is no middle ground. Atheism and Theism are the only options.
Weak atheism is considered a default position, so is the middle ground between strong atheism and theism. Many people who call themselves agnostic because they want to be in the middle are actually weak atheists, because the middle is essentially what weak atheism is.
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Serious question now, does anyone actually CARE what Title X or Y entails to 8 million decimal places?

 

it`s not like you`re running for some Political office and require a word perfect manifesto or agenda!

 

What is the big deal about????

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Serious question now, does anyone actually CARE what Title X or Y entails to 8 million decimal places?

 

it`s not like you`re running for some Political office and require a word perfect manifesto or agenda!

 

What is the big deal about????

 

If you don't know exactly what categories you fall under, how are you going to know which generalizations to find insulting?

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I think that the new denomination, ANTI-DOGMATISM, is more encompassing in questioning unverified claims and blind and rigid beliefs than atheism. Because it questions all dogmas and unverified beliefs, not just the religious ones.

 

You can watch a brief explanation of that in this video:

 

 

And humanism is a positive movement that's not about being a dick...

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We really need a term for people who are not strong atheists (i.e. weak atheists and theists), so that we can make our crass generalizations more efficient. Any ideas?

 

Which crass generalizations are you talking about?

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We really need a term for people who are not strong atheists (i.e. weak atheists and theists), so that we can make our crass generalizations more efficient. Any ideas?

 

how about just "regular run-of -the-mill everyday Scientists"?

such as myself, I`m a theist but not a Strong one (I`ll not Evangelise or be dogmatic about it).

and I`m a Scientist at the same time.

 

 

so as a generalisation, The "Average Joe" of the Science world.

although I don`t find it insulting, so maybe I`m Missing something here????

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When a strong theist bombards me with fundie dogma, I automatically respond in kind as a strong atheist, because he pisses me off. If a moderate and reasonable theist engages in interesting discourse, I respond as a weak agnostic to keep it friendly.

 

What I actually am is between me and my maker, whoever or whatever it is.

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We really need a term for people who are not strong atheists (i.e. weak atheists and theists), so that we can make our crass generalizations more efficient. Any ideas?

 

They are generalizations, but:

 

religious = strong theism

 

non-religious = atheism and weak theism. :)

 

From a world impact standpoint, there is no difference between strong and weak atheism, since atheism has no value system. But, there is a difference between strong and weak theism.

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From a world impact standpoint, there is no difference between strong and weak atheism, since atheism has no value system.

To clarify, they all have various value systems, but none which are specifically grounded in their self-identification as atheist. I believe strongly that you agree with this and that you intended the same in your post, but I also foresee attack from a well-intentioned theist going tangent to this conversation and wanted to head that off at the passe.

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