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Atheism: a faith based belief.


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Except that religion may not only be about a god or gods but was designed to describe a better way to live.

 

The god element, for me, just provides a means to provide those that don’t understand concepts such as forgiveness and acceptance, an anchor that simulates meaning.

Why must we complicate matters further by redefining the term 'religion', it's unnecessary and confusing.

 

Forgiveness and acceptance comes from being a half decent person, regardless of whether you're religious or not. We shouldn't have to redefine the usage and meaning of the word 'religion' and be PC about it because some don't understand that religion and morality are not synonymous; why must we make excuses for ignorance?

 

 

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Then report them to the moderators.     Except atheism is a lack of belief, not a faith-based belief. I have no idea why some many people persist in this stupid idea. Would you say not playing foo

Rational!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   How do I report the moderators to the moderators. Are you serious?

 

 

Except that religion may not only be about a god or gods but was designed to describe a better way to live.

 

The god element, for me, just provides a means to provide those that don’t understand concepts such as forgiveness and acceptance, an anchor that simulates meaning.

Those are fast and loose concepts within religion though. Some religions demand women accept a submissive role in life and demand they forgive men who lord over them with misogynist world views. Other religions refuse to accept gay people and demand they change their ways and ask for forgiveness. Demanding people to ask for forgiveness is contradictory to the meaning of forgiveness.

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Those are fast and loose concepts within religion though. Some religions demand women accept a submissive role in life and demand they forgive men who lord over them with misogynist world views. Other religions refuse to accept gay people and demand they change their ways and ask for forgiveness. Demanding people to ask for forgiveness is contradictory to the meaning of forgiveness.

Although religion and morality are not synonymous, religion and inconsistency sure seem to be synonymous. :P

 

Edited by Sirona
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Although religion and morality are not synonymous, religion and inconsistency sure seem to be synonymous. :P

 

Good point.

 

A step further; is there true morality or is it purely a social construct based of culture and need within society?

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Why must we complicate matters further by redefining the term 'religion', it's unnecessary and confusing.

 

 

It was more an attempt to explain the origins of religion and why god/s were useful at the time; it’s hardly the designers fault that time, translation and avarice have scrambled that design to what we see today (as an example look at the US constitution and how that’s been distorted to support guns).

 

 

Forgiveness and acceptance comes from being a half decent person, regardless of whether you're religious or not.

 

 

 

Agreed but what about the less than half decent people? Without an anchor they tend to create the kind of poverty and deprivation we see on the news.

 

 

We shouldn't have to redefine the usage and meaning of the word 'religion' and be PC about it because some don't understand that religion and morality are not synonymous; why must we make excuses for ignorance?

 

 

 

Ignorance has many guises, for instance, I know how to drive a car but I couldn’t repair/build one.

Demanding people to ask for forgiveness is contradictory to the meaning of forgiveness.

 

 

Forgiving oneself is just as important as forgiving others, although forgiving oneself for being born is a bit of a stretch.

Edited by dimreepr
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  • 4 weeks later...

First of all you need to look-up the definition for the word "Atheist."

 

And when you do you will find that it has nothing to do with a belief system. Especially a faith-based one.

 

Now then...........

 

The beliefs we Atheist DO have that you might term as being faith-based are believed by us for a good reason:

 

Past experience.

 

Observation.

 

Trial and Error.

 

The Empirical Method.

 

None of which the religious people have utilized to from their faith-based beliefs.

 

Example..............

 

I fully expect the sun to rise tomorrow morning. (sunrise being a misomer, of course).

 

I fully expect to get wet in the rain.

 

I have faith I can run a mile in under 12 minutes.

 

Why have faith in all these things?

 

Because numerous past experiences has shown me that they are all true.

 

But the religious folks have none of this.

 

No proofs. No evidence.

 

Only a book of Hebrew Bronze Age Mythology.

 

One totally devoid of ANY credible science.

 

One that, hell, was never even meant to a a single, comprehensive work in the first place.

 

They have no reason to have faith that their prayer works. Since there has never been ANY evidence of the power--or even the slightest effect--of Intercessory prayer.

 

This is how the Faith of Atheists and the Faith of the Theists differ.

 

One is a justified Faith.

 

And one is NOT. Except, again. (yawn)..if they consider their Bible to be the justification.

 

Hope this helps clear it up for you, amigo.

 

Thanks.

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Again!! This thread is about how a atheist reacts when ever the word God is seen. It is not about if there is a God, or about what you believe. It is about how you express what you believe. My point in this thread is that I have witnessed atheist react the same way to the word God for 10 years. Atheist react as if they have very strong faith based beliefs that shall not be challenged, and to do so, one shall receive their raft. They react the same way a religious person does, if their faith is challenged.

 

Its about mannerism of actions and speech.

Except that no atheist has ever burned a non-atheist at the stake for challenging their belief's (or lack thereof) or beheaded someone for not declaring their atheism.

Exactly! But atheist have a lot to say on the subject.

However they are not the same thing.

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...no atheist has ever burned a non-atheist at the stake for challenging their belief's (or lack thereof) or beheaded someone for not declaring their atheism.

 

 

Soviet persecution of Christians.

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Soviet persecution of Christians.

...was to do with standing up to authority, and nothing to do with atheism.

The fact that you had to say "soviet persecution" rather than, "atheist persecution ... in ..." is the give-away here.

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I'd like to be able to amend the title with a bracketed NO! at some point, indicating a consensus in the discussion. Is there anyone following who still thinks a lack of belief constitutes a belief? Does anyone think atheists are practicing some kind of religion?

 

Let's wrap this up, shall we?

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...was to do with standing up to authority, and nothing to do with atheism.

The fact that you had to say "soviet persecution" rather than, "atheist persecution ... in ..." is the give-away here.

 

That sounds like a 'no true atheist...' type argument to me. Other kinds of 'beliefs' (or ideologies or loyalties or fears) may well have been involved but by the definitions put up by posters here the perpetrators (with absence of belief in God) appear to have been atheists - and they were persecuting theists.

 

Earlier in the thread people called out the use of absolutes; that looks applicable to this also. I'm not sure it's logically possible to show that no atheist has ever harmed a theist over their beliefs - and there looks like evidence showing otherwise is there if we look for it. I seriously doubt that lack of belief in God, any more than the opposite, prevents bigotry or hatred.

 

(I'd probably label myself as agnostic, leaning towards atheistic - in case my small contribution gets interpreted as something it's not.)

 

It sounds like moderators will draw a line under this thread at any moment - no objections from me.

Edited by Ken Fabian
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It's not that no atheists have ever committed atrocities. It's that those atrocities were not inspired by nor intended to promulgate atheism.

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Not true atheists or no true intention to promulgate atheism? I suspect many atrocities, including religious ones have had mixed motivations and amongst the motivations in this case there was an intention to promulgate atheism.

 

Treating belief in God as mental illness, as one of prong of Soviet efforts to eliminate the influence of religion did, is not a big step for people who have concluded that it is indeed a form of mental disorder - which many atheists do; the lack of evidence based rigour and the ethics of involuntary treatment are other questions of course. The curative and deterrent powers of punishment are widely believed and practiced and whilst I don't doubt it can influence behaviour I suspect a large part of it's popularity is in the satisfaction and pleasure generated in perpetrators and onlookers rather than based on evidence of effectiveness.

 

Where religion is widely seen as aberrant and damaging to society - and that is how many atheists view it - the potential of progression to the States regulating, intervening and punishing is there.

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Except that religion may not only be about a god or gods but was designed to describe a better way to live.

 

The god element, for me, just provides a means to provide those that don’t understand concepts such as forgiveness and acceptance, an anchor that simulates meaning.

 

 

I think a case can be made that religion was invented to allow people to be controlled, not as a better way to live...

 

Dreams exist while your brain is generating them.

 

 

So the Star Ship Enterprise is real when I am dreaming of it?

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The term "atheist" (as commonly used) typically refers to those who think, believe, or claim that there is no God(s). Sure, it is not possible at this point to provide evidence that God does not exist, anymore than it is possible to provide evidence that he/she/it/they exist. So yes, one might say that atheism involves a blind belief. I think that is inverting the term "faith" to suggest that believing that something does not exist is a faith, since the term "faith" implies trust and confidence, or, at least a belief in the existence (not non-existence) of something.

 

That a few atheists are so zealous in their claims that a God does not exist as to seem almost "religious" in their zealotry really proves nothing as far as an attempt to define "atheism" as a faith or faith-based belief.

In reality, many if not most atheists, I suspect, are not all that adamant about the non-existence of God as many would make out is the case. Indeed, a common claim made by religious adherents is that atheists hate or must hate God.

I think that this is really an exaggeration used to attempt to ridicule nonbelievers. Whom are such hateful atheists directing their hate at? Why assume that they are hating a Christian God, or Hindu Gods/Goddesses, or any number of the thousands of other possible God(s), spirits, sprites, elves, goblins, ghosts, and what have you that various people claim exist?

 

Similarly, it is unfair to equate atheists with scientists. The ongoing war over the centuries between science and orthodox religious beliefs is obviously, it seems to me, is being "won" by science (or at least forcing many religious adherent to alter their worldviews)...but that really is a rather different issue. But perhaps more importantly, a faith-based belief in theories that can't be falsified or verified, as are many religious-based theories, is contrary to the foundational precepts of science, pretty much by definition. I do find it astounding that, oddly enough, many scientists say that they have no problem believing that God does not exist when they are at work (on the basis that faith in supernatural explanations tends to stultify and distort scientific investigation, but then say they believe in God when in church (on the basis of faith).

 

A lot of the confusion surrounding this issue results from the fact that the term "atheist" (in common parlance) either suggests that a person believes that God(s) does not exist, or else it means that the person does not believe that God does exist, and perhaps just do not particularly care one way or the other about the question as to whether or not God(s) exist. A person who is an atheist because he or she does not have a belief in God need not be called an agnostic, perhaps, because the term "agnostic" tends to focus on the notion that he or she openly acknowledges that he or she does not know one way or the other, or does not have enough evidence to make a decision yet, or is in the process of sorting out the evidence, etc.

 

So even if we invert the definition of the word "faith," it is not accurate to say that "all" atheists have a belief (aka faith in the idea) that God(s) does not exist (no matter what God or Gods one is referring to). Many atheists don't believe that God does not exist, they just don't have the belief that God does exist. This is not splitting hairs...it makes quite a difference. If one says that atheists don't believe that God exists, it becomes much easier to disparage them by saying that they have no proof that God does not exist and are just assuming (on faith perhaps) that he/she/it doe not exist...and so, perhaps must hate God. But I suspect that most atheists are not so adamant that God does not exist....they just do not have a place for God in their world view, aren't particular preoccupied about the issue, and don't use scripture and religious ritual as a source of knowledge and/or ethical direction. In short, just because one does not have a belief in ghosts, or fairies, or in Thor, or in Yahweh, or whomever, does not mean that one actively insists that they don't exist. Just because one doesn't believe in ghosts, for example, does not mean that one has an active belief or faith (to use the term incorrectly) that they don't exist or can't possibly exist, or never existed. I don't think that it is fair to assume or suggest that all beliefs (whether they are beliefs that things exist or do not exist) should be thought of as being of equal value. Such an assumption is certainly not scientific..as science has several criteria for determining the worth of various theories. I find it hard to understand how some can claim that explanations such as the notion that UFOs are responsible for the pyramids, or that women were made from the rib of a man, or that Jack Frost is responsible for the white trees outside my windows in the winter, are as credible as other more rational explanations that fit in with the combined and integrated data collected by scientists and academics over the centuries.

 

Ultimately,the claim that atheism is a faith goes hand in hand with the claim that atheism itself is a religion (which is even more semantically incorrect). I think that such claims are often made to make the point that a non-belief in something, even if it is as preposterous as a tooth fairy, is still just a belief, and therefore no better than a belief in such a tooth fairy (or whatever). Well, I think that such an approach is being overly abstract.....The distinction between belief and fact is a fine line. Many people, for example, reject the theory of evolution, because we cannot watch evolution in action because no one can produce the video footage to show what happened over the several millions of years. For scientists, however, their belief or faith (if you like) that evolution took place is a fact (and point out that the very word "theory" is misleading.

 

Bottom line, once one takes out the semantic confusion and the exaggerations, this question quickly resolves itself. My vote is that one must rather violently distort the meaning of the word "faith" in order to claim that the atheism is a faith. Perhaps some actively believe that certain Gods don't exist, but that is hardly a "faith." By the line of reasoning of those who claim that atheism is a faith, most of them, I strongly suspect, are theists when it comes to a belief in their own particular God, but atheists with regards to the thousands of other God or Gods that other humans have or now believe in. Therefore, their faith (as in its usual meaning of an unified religious view of reality) is both theistic and atheistic at the same time. I fail then, to see their (or anyone elses point, for that matter) of labeling atheism as a faith in the first place.

Edited by disarray
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I think a case can be made that religion was invented to allow people to be controlled, not as a better way to live...

 

I think that could be argued for the institutions of religion, but not for religion itself; the need (for some people) to believe in gods, or higher powers of some sort, seems innate.

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If I may interject, Weber, among others, argues that religion performs the function of validating tribal, state, national (etc.) values. It is hardly a coincidence that one finds that religious institutions and their values indeed mirror the values of the society in which they occur...so that the question as to which one creates the other becomes a chicken and egg question. The fact that religious/spiritual yearnings (be they institutionalized or not) are so universal perhaps suggests that religious impulses are innate...but just what one means and concludes from this is quite open to interpretation. Some suggest that it might be offered as proof that what they yearn for (i.e., God) must exist, but I think that this is a bit of a stretch, particularly since all Gods are not alike and some are quite odd and divergent from the norm, e.g., a character such as Loki in Norse mythology. Others conclude that the religious impulse is merely an expression of the survival instinct.

 

In terms of the question topic, does the concept that a religious impulse is almost universal, and therefore perhaps innate and "normal" suggest that those who do not believe (i.e., atheists) are somehow mistaken, or, at best "ab-normal." Perhaps the faith of atheists should be seen as the normal faith (aka impulse to believe) gone wrong. It's similar to saying that there are no atheists in foxholes as if atheists are really theists when it comes to the crunch, whether they admit it or not.

 

Atheism, therefore, can be seen as being just a perversion of the innate impulse to believe something about the universe, just a thwarted attempt to have a grand belief or faith about the existence of the universe and a higher power...a stage that many adolescents in particular supposedly go through, but eventually grow out of when they become wiser and more mature. The idea that everyone deep down has faith in a higher power, I think, is quite similar to the claim that everyone, even hardened criminals, deep down actually have a conscience.

 

Such reasoning on the part of theists can put atheists in a no-win situation. If atheists persist in their atheism, so the reasoning goes, they are still regarded as having spiritual yearnings, but yearnings that refelct a twisted faith as if their non-belief (because it is about the universe and nature as a whole) is still a belief, even though it is a belief that what others believe does not exist. Such logic falters under examination...that is, it is absurd to say that a belief (or faith, if you must) that a higher power does not exist is just the bad side of the coin of the natural impulse to believe in such a higher power, as if, given time and circumstances, atheists will realize, like, Augustine, the error of their ways, and become like Satan, less hateful and rebellious towards God. This line of reasoning, I think, is not only illogical, but really a very unfair and subjective characterization of what goes on in the mind of most atheists.

Edited by disarray
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I just stumbled onto this thread and I would like to ask the OP a question, and I expect an answer. The reason I say this is because there are so many positive assertions in his OP about atheism that are just flat out wrong. So here's the question:

 

Since we are dealing with the question of which side has the burden of proof here, I must ask you this. If you come to me claiming that leprechauns live in your backyard and possess magical powers, which person has the burden of proof, you or me? If I ask you for evidence and you don't provide it, and there is no apparent reason for me to think you have good justification for your belief in these leprechauns, which one is engaging in faith-based belief, you or me? The lack of belief in things for which there is no sound empirical evidence is called reason. In fact, empiricism is the very lifeblood of logic and reason.

 

You basically rattled off a list of things in your original post that atheists DON'T think or say, so if that was your purpose then thanks for pointing that out!

 

Atheists don't believe in God(s) simply because the evidence is not forthcoming. When we ask for evidence, usually the type of evidence that is given are things like emotional appeals, faith, and the words of poorly-written and highly-discrepant ancient books. Religions don't present evidence to their subscribers. Instead they present themselves as an authority in people's lives, commanding that a certain lifestyle be lived, and certain propitiations be made at the threat of eternal torture. There is just no evidence for such things, so at the end of the day, there is no reason to adopt beliefs like that, in much the same way as there is no good reason to adopt beliefs in things like Atlantis, unicorns, fairies, or any other mythological things of which there is no evidence for.

 

Don't put words in our mouths. Hardly any of us say that "no god exists" as if it were a known fact. As many people here have pointed out already, religions don't provide testable, falsifiable evidence which science can evaluate or investigate. Instead, they offer a bunch of botched, incoherent scriptures which attest to outlandish events that supposedly happened in ancient times for which there are no contemporaneous accounts or physical evidence. I would argue that the people who created these religions knew that what they were writing was total BS. When claims scale with the evidence and are logically sound, there is no need for threats of Hell or damnation in order to get people to subscribe to them. Religions know this, and they understand that the claims they make, when put under the microscope of proper scrutiny and investigation, fall flat on their face. This is why they play on people's fear of the unknown by proposing things like hell in order to gain adherents. The people who dare think for themselves know that Christianity and other big religions today are just like any other nonsense claim. They are unreasonable and immoral, and they pose a direct threat to civilization as attested to by exhausting evidence that occurs daily.

 

This is why I don't like the term Atheism in some cases. It sounds like a type of cult or faith, when really it is just an unnecessary word describing an aspect of other people's minds which is not an aspect of mine. I don't need to label myself an "a-Santa Clausist", I just don't believe in him.

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I just stumbled onto this thread and I would like to ask the OP a question, and I expect an answer.

 

 

The OP has not popped up in more than a month; more time gone than time here. You might want to adjust your expectations accordingly.

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hi ;

(if you do not understand every part of this text or think that it is not understandable,I request you to report me with using private message)

 

I think we should give respect to everybody.everybody deserves it.

I am muslim. but intimately love/give regards to atheists.

I have not thought that I am more valuable than them, or any others. it is true , it should be true.

I am equal with them and of course love them.

although every muslim does not know ,I think this is confidently correct.

think please ; how do you feel when someone hurts you?? [everyone has equal emotion system , (I do not mean I agree them , I only would give emphasis we have to give respect and give freedom to every people to explain their ideas,or else it will be impossible to help each other,in assumption one of them is true,too]

atheists are humans like us (and also,in my opinion some of them are intelligent !..: most of them love to research why they should believe.)

think this point please ;if we believe firmament religion ( we are not able to learn actual ideas that our god thinks!..)

if you trust my last sentence , I would ask you this question..

 

how will we be able to learn that we are more estimable than others in GOD's mind!?? (it is impossible!)

and because of this ,I think that we can not compare somebody with another ones [instead of GOD]. and it is not also important whom they are,what their genders, or nationality. [-->>theese are not important to love someones]

 

I do not express that there is no difference between humans , I do not mean everyone have the same competence everytime or we will, but I am sure ,they have the same competence still they are able to take breathe.

 

everyone deserves respect still he/she lives.[--->> this contains (already) the main reason]

we should love everyone,I love :)

 

regards

Edited by blue89
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how will we be able to learn that we are more estimable than others in GOD's mind!?? (it is impossible!)

and because of this ,I think that we can not compare somebody with another ones [instead of GOD].

 

This could also be stated differently, as follows:

 

how will we be able to learn that any of our beliefs (in reference to a god, a religion, spiritual or secular) are more estimable than those of others?

and because of this, I think that we can not compare somebody's personal or cultural belief with those of others [as all beliefs are man-made].

Edited by Memammal
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This could also be stated differently, as follows:

 

how will we be able to learn that any of our beliefs (in reference to a god, a religion, spiritual or secular) are more estimable than those of others?

and because of this, I think that we can not compare somebody's personal or cultural belief with those of others [as all beliefs are man-made].

 

yes sure!..

 

I congratulate you. I have forgotten to say but actually this ones you had given by making additional expression ,is completely great!..

yes, we can also not be sure just from what we believe ,too. like this : you are able to say I am muslim ,but maybe you are not. you are able to say I am christian ,but maybe you are not. ..etc.

for instance in our belief [islam] ve accept that if someone refuse only one of rule in our valuable religiouus book, we will be able to say that he/she is not muslim anymore then. but this point generally does not known and probably lots of people change their religion in a day :) :-) (there is so another more points available too,and some of are very sensitive)

 

because all of this, I think especially to love or give regards somebody ,it should not be important what he/she believes ,what her /his gender is and what his/her nationality is.of course just because of this ,I am proud of using this sentence:

:) :-) I love everyone :)

Edited by blue89
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