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  1. #21
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Seek Kolinahr View Post
    ^ Styrofoam?
    HA! Good response.

    Of course we mean natural in the philosophic sense, being internal to the physical and temporal dimensions of this universe.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
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  2. #22
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by SEEK
    Atheism is a default because one does not believe in a god (pick a god, any god) until one is taught about a god from an external source.
    By that definition Dogs are atheists.
    by defining Atheism as a "lack of belief", I think you make it intellectually irrelevant and bankrupt.

    That is like saying "Every one starts of not liking hotdogs"(because no one starts off having eaten them). It is hardly a statement that helps us evaluate the culinary merits of hotdogs.
    I would say that if our goal is to evaluate the culinary merits of hotdogs, statements like the above should be excluded and discarded as irrelevant to the discussion.
    To serve man.

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  4. #23
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    By that definition Dogs are atheists.
    by defining Atheism as a "lack of belief", I think you make it intellectually irrelevant and bankrupt.

    That is like saying "Every one starts of not liking hotdogs"(because no one starts off having eaten them). It is hardly a statement that helps us evaluate the culinary merits of hotdogs.
    I would say that if our goal is to evaluate the culinary merits of hotdogs, statements like the above should be excluded and discarded as irrelevant to the discussion.
    That's a very good point. The argument is not particularly helped by appealing to some assumed "blank slate" of children's mind. Of course they are never really a blank slate and who knows what a baby truly "believes" if anything. Applying the concept of belief to a baby or child incapable of fully cognitive reasoning is to water the down the entire concept of belief or intellect. It certainly does not say much of atheism that it should be held by persons who lack cognitive reasoning abilities beyond hunger and sleep. The "default" argument is such a curious one, especially considering that atheists so often champion themselves as being the most reasonable and logical. That they should argue from a basis where reason and logic are largely absent seems contrary. To repeat myself, the only serious reason to posit such an argument is to attempt a to tap into the populace's inclinations towards the Naturalistic Fallacy.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  5. #24
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    That's a very good point. The argument is not particularly helped by appealing to some assumed "blank slate" of children's mind. Of course they are never really a blank slate and who knows what a baby truly "believes" if anything. Applying the concept of belief to a baby or child incapable of fully cognitive reasoning is to water the down the entire concept of belief or intellect. It certainly does not say much of atheism that it should be held by persons who lack cognitive reasoning abilities beyond hunger and sleep. The "default" argument is such a curious one, especially considering that atheists so often champion themselves as being the most reasonable and logical. That they should argue from a basis where reason and logic are largely absent seems contrary. To repeat myself, the only serious reason to posit such an argument is to attempt a to tap into the populace's inclinations towards the Naturalistic Fallacy.
    Define the Naturalistic Fallacy please

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  6. #25
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Mdougie View Post
    Define the Naturalistic Fallacy please

    Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
    I already have, if you read my my earlier posts. Furthermore, the Naturalistic fallacy is common knowledge, particularly in the world of logic/debate, I shouldn't have to define it, just as one shouldn't have to define a strawman or ad hom.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  7. #26
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    It certainly does not say much of atheism that it should be held by persons who lack cognitive reasoning abilities beyond hunger and sleep. The "default" argument is such a curious one, especially considering that atheists so often champion themselves as being the most reasonable and logical. That they should argue from a basis where reason and logic are largely absent seems contrary. .
    You're dancing around an ad-hominem there, hon.

    The term "atheism" is essentially one of convenience. It is not a philosophy, a worldview, or a belief system of any kind. Atheists are vastly different. Our only unifying trait is a lack of belief in deities. There are atheists who are members of Mensa and there are atheists with brain damage. There are atheists who came to their position through thought and research and inquiry, and there are atheists who simply never had a reason to attend a religious service.

    That's one reason I often refer to myself as an "apostate" instead of an "atheist". All "atheist" tells you is that I don't hold a belief. "Apostate" tells you I once held a sincere belief, and rejected it.

  8. #27
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Seek Kolinahr View Post
    You're dancing around an ad-hominem there, hon.

    The term "atheism" is essentially one of convenience. It is not a philosophy, a worldview, or a belief system of any kind. Atheists are vastly different. Our only unifying trait is a lack of belief in deities. There are atheists who are members of Mensa and there are atheists with brain damage. There are atheists who came to their position through thought and research and inquiry, and there are atheists who simply never had a reason to attend a religious service.

    That's one reason I often refer to myself as an "apostate" instead of an "atheist". All "atheist" tells you is that I don't hold a belief. "Apostate" tells you I once held a sincere belief, and rejected it.
    Hardly. There are atheist organizations. There are atheist philosophers, authors, leaders, etc for whom atheism is the defining characteristic of their philosophy and the unifying principle that binds them. While a lack of belief may seem at first to be quite inconspicuous, when it is so exceptional in a world where theism is the norm, then it actually is far more homogenous then one would suspect. Your claim of "mensa" atheists and "brain damaged" atheists, of atheists who came to their position through careful thought and those who never gave any thought; all these things apply in equal measure to Christians, to Muslims, to Jews, to Hindus....in this, theists are as diverse, if not more so than the atheists. There are theists who believe in one God and those who believe in many. Appealing to the diversity of atheists is not itself an argument because that diversity exists in as great, if not greater measure amongst theists. The diversity of religious beliefs is truly greater than that of atheists, who have necessarily restricted themselves. I am a Christian who accepts Evolution in its entirety. You can find Christians who reject it in its entirety. What you cannot find are atheists who accept a supernatural origin of life.

    It is not an ad hom to point out the truth and the truth is that atheists as a group, advocate themselves to be more reasonable and logical. One need only listen to any atheist podcast....I regularly listen to Penn's Sunday School and all its blasphemy. One need only pick up any book by any prominent atheist. I have read most of Dawkins' more scientific books, I admire them for the great popularizations of W. D. Hamilton that they are (the selfish gene is not Dawkins' original idea). I have recently been diving into Daniel Dennett's work. If you take issue with my assertion that atheists claim to be more reasonable and logical, then I suggest that you are rather unfamiliar with the works of your fellow atheists, because they all make the same claims.

    So pointing out the irony of championing reason and logic, while championing the supposed unthinking atheism of a newborn seems to me ironic. I of course reject the notion that children are born atheist anymore than a dog (thanks Mindtrap) is born atheist or that this is a somehow a default, as it is human nature to believe in the supernatural. Only through the conditioning of modern culture has man even began to reject his own natural inclinations towards the supernatural and belief in deities.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  9. #28
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    What are we even talking about anymore?

    I thought this was a discussion on the definition of "atheism", not an inquiry into the supposed doctrine of atheism (spoiler! There isn't one). If you'd like to discuss the merits of atheism as a worldview, I'd be happy to do so on a related thread. Though I am impressed that you can make it through Penn Jillette's podcast. Frankly, I find his views somewhat nauseating.

  10. #29
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Seek Kolinahr View Post
    What are we even talking about anymore?

    I thought this was a discussion on the definition of "atheism", not an inquiry into the supposed doctrine of atheism (spoiler! There isn't one). If you'd like to discuss the merits of atheism as a worldview, I'd be happy to do so on a related thread. Though I am impressed that you can make it through Penn Jillette's podcast. Frankly, I find his views somewhat nauseating.
    The "supposed doctrine of atheism" is of direct relevance as the debate over the definition of atheism is one driven by atheists themselves, in particular those are the most prone to treating atheism as a unifying principle. The "old" school of atheists, who were less evangelical in their atheism, did not seem to take much issue with the traditional definitions. All this insistence of atheism being a "lack of belief" as opposed to "disbelief", the rather meaningless distinction between "strong" and "weak" atheism, and most recently the attempts to claim atheism to be a sort of "default".....all of these add-ons and redefinitions have come to the fore only recently and it coincides directly with the rise of evangelical atheism of the sort advocated by individuals like Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Dennett, etc (i.e. the new atheists). It is not surprising. While the average atheist is either loath to admit it or unawares, these are efforts at "rebranding"...its a marketing ploy. Christians recognize it perhaps more easily for what it is, because evangelism has long been apart of our belief. The redefinition of atheism goes hand in hand with the rise of of a more unified and ultimately evangelical atheism...of course any such unification also entails the creation of a doctrine of core values/beliefs so as to more readily recognize insiders and outsiders/heretics to the orthodoxy.

    You may find it irrelevant, but on the contrary, we cannot truly recognize the changes being made to the traditional definition of atheism without first understanding why anyone would want to make such changes.

    P.S. I find Penn's podcast tolerable in that it is not solely about atheism and that Penn is very much a libertarian, in which I can find some common cause. Otherwise I find him amusing.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  11. #30
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    I think he should stick with the magic tricks. Mostly because he encourages very religious people to continue to evangelise.

    Perhaps as further fuel into the "we're all different" stance, I have no desire to "convert people to atheism". I just want the favor automatically granted to religious majorities to end. I want "In god we trust" off our money. I want to go to a hospital that isn't owned by a church, and wonder whether I'll receive the treatment I'll need when the time comes. I want elderly white Christian men to stop determining what I, a 20-something atheist woman, can legally do to my body. I want people to be allowed to enter into whatever marriage contract they so desire.

    In the USA, Christianity has lots of money and lots of political sway. In order for the nonreligious to have a voice at all, those of us who are willing to work for what we want have to band together. Have you ever been to an atheist or secular humanist meetup? It's boring as (insert expletive here). None of us have anything in common. It's like, "OK, here's an update on the lawsuit challenging the donation of Sheriff's Office property to a Baptist church... and... I guess we're done." To have any kind of get-together you have to break it down further. Atheist amateur astronomy groups are pretty awesome. Atheist parenting groups are good, mostly because regular ol' parenting groups land you with other parents in the group trying to convert your kids behind your back.

    I may be galloping away on a tangent here. I'm not really sure.

    I prefer the "lack of belief" definition, because I don't discount the idea that some day some god might be posited that I can believe in. I actively disbelieve in the god of the Abrahamic mythos. I am a "strong atheist" (I hate those terms) with regard to the Abrahamic god. I actively disbelieve in the Viking pantheon, and the Roman pantheon, because these myths posit things that are not true, i.e.: The world is not a disc resting in the branches of the great tree Yggdrassil. We've been up there. There's no tree. But I'm willing to give any god you can think of a fair bash. Show me the evidence, and I'll believe you.

  12. #31
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by SEEK
    I just want the favor automatically granted to religious majorities to end. I want "In god we trust" off our money. I want to go to a hospital that isn't owned by a church, and wonder whether I'll receive the treatment I'll need when the time comes.
    I'll bite on those two.
    First, why would you want a representative country to reject it's history and vast majority of it's population?
    Second, are you not happy that the church(various) has contributed to society as to build and run some 30-40% of the available hospitals? Certainly you are still free to go to any hospital you choose? Why would you want to force your view on others so as to close them down or regulate their free(as in expression of liberty) and voluntary exchange?

    Quote Originally Posted by SEEK
    I want elderly white Christian men to stop determining what I, a 20-something atheist woman, can legally do to my body
    In the case of abortion(which is what I believe you are referencing), that isn't the case they make at all. The case is that it is murder(the wrongful killing of another person), not that you can't remove your gallbladder if you like, or have cosmetic work done. Point is, it isn't about what you are doing with your body, it is about what you are doing to the body of another.

    Quote Originally Posted by SEEK
    I prefer the "lack of belief" definition, because I don't discount the idea that some day some god might be posited that I can believe in
    That makes you philosophically agnostic.

    The problem is labeling yourself with a philosophical term that doesn't apply to you is confusing.
    To serve man.

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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    I don't see the terms "agnostic" and "atheist" to be mutually exclusive.

    I do not believe in any gods. I do not claim to know that no gods exist.

  14. #33
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by SEEK
    I don't see the terms "agnostic" and "atheist" to be mutually exclusive.

    I do not believe in any gods. I do not claim to know that no gods exist.
    I'll go back to my taste example.
    Defined as you have above, what use is it for me to tell you "I don't like pizza".
    When I say it, you don't know if you should prepare pizza for me, because One hase just got to taste pizza.
    Or. If you should avoid preparing pizza because I have tried it and have formed the opinion that I don't like it.

    Certainly you could use the term as you have, but why would you? By doing so you fail to communicate any meaningful information. To me, claiming to be an atheist in the sense that you "lack belief" is not even worth mentioning. In the same way that saying "I don't like pizza" doesn't communicate anything worth saying, if I define it as "one who lacks a positive like of pizza".
    To serve man.

  15. #34
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Begging the question fallacy. You are assuming here that only phenomenon within the natural sphere can have objective support, as such your premise assumes the conclusion.
    Not at all. It just so happens that most people with woo woo world views can't seem to offer any objective support for them. Once they do, its not going to be considered woo woo any more. I am not saying that you cannot give me objective evidence for say, Ghosts. But I am saying that until anyone does, they will get very little respect from any naturalists because that is the kind of evidence we require to make claims about the natural world.

    It's not that we divide the universe into the natural and the supernatural. We simply say, "this is the universe" and if you can show us that a given phenomena is part of it then clearly it is, and if you can't then we will withhold acceptance of it.

    Like I said, show me a controlled experiment I can reproduce to demonstrate God and I'll be a theist, simple as that.

    Can you name a thing that, as a naturalist, you can say exists that is not natural?
    No. Supernatural is really just a term to describe things that people claim aren't bound by any real laws or rules. For me its really just stuff people claim that doesn't have any good objective evidence supporting it.

    Now you can define it in various ways. When talking about gods, you can take the "over nature" type take where supernatural is really just that which is over nature, defining it etc... So if God created all of nature he is super natural. The natural world is a subset of a greater reality with a wider range of possibilities. But that is not really how I tend to use it. For me its just a distinction between knowledge of phenomena that is supported by objective evidence and the silly stuff people believe based on less critical basis.

    You can also define it as beyond current scientific understanding. In that case things like nuclear fission or pregnancy were supernatural until we came to understand them in the scope of science. I don't find that a very useful definition though certainly if you talked to ghost hunters they might see ghosts as a subject of research that with enough study we will come to understand.
    (Though from what I've seen of such folk there is nothing very scientific about their work beyond some superficial trappings.)

    Perhaps you can share how you see the term or at least how you commonly use it.

    ---------- Post added at 01:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:03 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Seek Kolinahr View Post
    I don't see the terms "agnostic" and "atheist" to be mutually exclusive.
    I do not believe in any gods. I do not claim to know that no gods exist.
    I think most of us settle in somewhere around that. I like to say that philosophically I'm an agnostic. But for all practical purposes, I live my life as an Atheist, not worshiping gods and assuming there is no guiding mind behind the universe.

    I had a copy of the Holy Grail script and one of the fake critic blurbs on it was....

    "There's nothing an agnostic can't achieve if he's not sure if he believes in anything or not."

    Agnosticism doesn't really inform any action other than saying you are open to further evidence on a topic. But when you are talking philosophy that does matter.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I'll go back to my taste example.
    Defined as you have above, what use is it for me to tell you "I don't like pizza".
    When I say it, you don't know if you should prepare pizza for me, because One hase just got to taste pizza.
    Or. If you should avoid preparing pizza because I have tried it and have formed the opinion that I don't like it.

    Certainly you could use the term as you have, but why would you? By doing so you fail to communicate any meaningful information. To me, claiming to be an atheist in the sense that you "lack belief" is not even worth mentioning. In the same way that saying "I don't like pizza" doesn't communicate anything worth saying, if I define it as "one who lacks a positive like of pizza".
    Well, fortunately for all of us, vocabulary doesn't exist to convenience you.

    Atheist means "one with no gods", literally. It doesn't mean "one that tried a few gods and decided they didn't like it very much, thank you though".

  17. #36
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Seek Kolinahr View Post
    Well, fortunately for all of us, vocabulary doesn't exist to convenience you.

    Atheist means "one with no gods", literally. It doesn't mean "one that tried a few gods and decided they didn't like it very much, thank you though".
    And by definition it is also not:

    "the default position"
    "one that does not believe in a particular god"
    "weak" vs "strong" atheism

    It is not any of the redefinitions from which we see atheists try to introduce. I am glad you are willing to go with a somewhat more traditional usage of the word now.

    ---------- Post added at 01:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:25 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Seek Kolinahr View Post
    I think he should stick with the magic tricks. Mostly because he encourages very religious people to continue to evangelise.
    If that is what you dislike, then Penn is the least of your concerns. He is like a small town preacher in comparison to the giants of evangelical atheism like Dawkins, Harrison, Dennett, etc. At least Penn has a decent sense of humor and I might add is far more tolerant and less militant than these others. That being said, I cannot escape the amusement I take from the irony. Atheists have for years thrown in the face of Christians the comments of this or that preacher and called them to account. It is amusing to me that the shoe is now on the other foot, and we are able to call atheists to account for the absurd and bigoted statements of someone like Dawkins.

    Perhaps as further fuel into the "we're all different" stance, I have no desire to "convert people to atheism".
    Neither do many professed Christians have a desire to convert. Again, everyone of these aspects of diversity within atheism that you point out to me can be found in equal or greater measure amongst theists. Despite this diversity, you lump theists into a group, so why not atheists. I maintain, that as a whole, atheists are more uniform in thought than theists. You would be hard pressed to find an atheist who rejects Evolution. It is quite easy to find all degrees, from full acceptance to full rejection, amongst one group of theists...Christians.

    I just want the favor automatically granted to religious majorities to end.
    What is that favor? I have not experienced it.

    I want "In god we trust" off our money.
    Does money work any less for you whether it has "In god we trust" on it or not? What the money says is of little importance as long as it works. I have used money from all over the world, including those in Islamic nations with obvious Islamic references....I simply don't care as long as it gets me what I want. While you may disagree with the message such a statement sends its does not represent "favor" as American money in your hands or mine is the same, with the same worth, and same effect.

    And as Mindtrap rightly pointed out, welcome to our history. The Declaration of Independence makes reference to the Creator. Would you vandalize the Declaration in an attempt to wipe clean our history from any comment you find offensive?

    I want to go to a hospital that isn't owned by a church, and wonder whether I'll receive the treatment I'll need when the time comes.
    This is paranoia. Church-owned hospitals are in reality incredibly secular and given the doctrines of Christianity, one should be more trusting. Besides, there are plenty of non-Church hospitals, why not go to them? You are a free individual with the right to choose...unless of course you know you will get better care at the church-hospital. I know they give better care than the government run VA....which gives horrendous treatment.

    I want elderly white Christian men to stop determining what I, a 20-something atheist woman, can legally do to my body.
    What are they preventing you from doing? I'm assuming you are meaning specifically abortion and not the millions of other things you might do to your body without comment. In that case, characterizing this as "elderly white Christian men" is a hasty generalizaton. I am often more liberal on social policies as things go and have been amused to find that every young woman I've dated is far more conservative on most of these issues than me. My mother, my sister, my grandmothers are all far more adamant and vocal than my father or grandfathers on abortion. If you look into the pro-life movement the most vocal leadership is women.

    I understand its easier to be so polarizing when you portray your opposition as a small cabal of detestable old white Christian men. After all, its much harder when your opposition is a young woman who faces all the same challenges. Its the same strategy used in war propaganda. The US did not portray german soldiers as young men with the same fears and hopes as those drafted into the fight. Rather they called them "huns". The Nazi's did not portray the Jews as young children and women, going about their life, but as old sinister bankers part of a global conspiracy. Mischaracterization of ones opposition is classic propaganda.

    I want people to be allowed to enter into whatever marriage contract they so desire.
    I'm all for allowing homosexual marriage. Many other Christians of libertarian bent, like myself, agree....just to reinforce the greater diversity of theistic thought if you will. Now I assume you are referring to homosexual marriage, but given the generality of your phrasing....are you referring to something more general, like polygamy? What about the marriage of children?

    Like it or not, the issue of marriage is not so simplistic. It is a social contract, otherwise we would not bother. Nobody prevents me from cohabitating with my five female and two male lovers (I jest) yet I am prevented from marrying all. So why bother with marriage. Marriage is a social contract that carries with it social obligations to the spouse. One of my lovers may leave me with no legal recourse, marriage provides a framework for the raising of children and the transmission of physical property. Changing the cultural bounds of such a fundamental social institution should not happen without question or challenge.

    In the USA, Christianity has lots of money and lots of political sway. In order for the nonreligious to have a voice at all, those of us who are willing to work for what we want have to band together.
    This is true of anyone, including Christians. It is not enough for me as a lone individual to speak up and have my way. I have to get together with individuals of like mind. Welcome to democracy. Its how it has always worked. There is a reason political parties existed from even before the founding of the nation. If atheists are just now realizing this, then I'm sorry it took so long for you to realize how the world works.

    Have you ever been to an atheist or secular humanist meetup? It's boring as (insert expletive here). None of us have anything in common. It's like, "OK, here's an update on the lawsuit challenging the donation of Sheriff's Office property to a Baptist church... and... I guess we're done." To have any kind of get-together you have to break it down further. Atheist amateur astronomy groups are pretty awesome. Atheist parenting groups are good, mostly because regular ol' parenting groups land you with other parents in the group trying to convert your kids behind your back.
    Frankly I don't know what your point is here, unless you are trying to regain the argument that atheists are not homogenous in their thought and theists are. Except, I feel the same way at Christian meetings. I have next to nothing in common with most people at Church or small groups. Most of my friends, if not atheist, are agnostic or simply non-religious. I share with them common interests, but not common cause and it is ultimately common cause which is the true unifying force. A shared interest reading or scotch never changed the world. A shared cause is the force that shapes humanity. You are unified with a diverse group of atheists by your atheism and by your basic views of the world.

    I prefer the "lack of belief" definition, because I don't discount the idea that some day some god might be posited that I can believe in. I actively disbelieve in the god of the Abrahamic mythos. I am a "strong atheist" (I hate those terms) with regard to the Abrahamic god. I actively disbelieve in the Viking pantheon, and the Roman pantheon, because these myths posit things that are not true, i.e.: The world is not a disc resting in the branches of the great tree Yggdrassil. We've been up there. There's no tree. But I'm willing to give any god you can think of a fair bash. Show me the evidence, and I'll believe you.
    To paraphrase what you said at the start, I have no interest in evangelizing you. I have an interest in maintaining the traditional usage of the word atheist. Definitions are important and the attempt at redefinition is classical attempt at rebranding.

    As for agnostics.....words exist for a reason. If agnostics were identical to atheists, why necessitate a new word to distinguish them?
    Last edited by chadn737; December 14th, 2013 at 11:59 AM.
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  19. #37
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by SEEK
    Well, fortunately for all of us, vocabulary doesn't exist to convenience you.

    Atheist means "one with no gods", literally. It doesn't mean "one that tried a few gods and decided they didn't like it very much, thank you though".
    Indeed, because the entire language is a general inconvenience for me. all the spelling and grammer.. yuck.

    Still my point is about USEFUL use of the language. I don't think you answered that at all. Using words that do not convey meaning or relevant meaning into a conversation is what I question.


    But as we are appealing to the official meaning of words. I must point out that your definition is incorrect and incomplete.
    I don't doubt that is how some atheists use the word, but as chad points out, it is a re-definition and re-branding.

    Quote Originally Posted by link
    a·the·ist [ey-thee-ist] Show IPA
    noun
    a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/atheist

    Athiest conveys the idea of one who as REJECTED in an active sense the concept of God. It doesn't mean, as you mistakenly attributed to me, the idea of "trying" a god, but consideration is necessary.

    My taste example was easy to confuse "try" with "consider", because with taste one can not "consider" it without "trying" it.
    To serve man.

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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Supernatural is really just a term to describe things that people claim aren't bound by any real laws or rules
    Question 1: Would you agree that the definition of supernatural is: “of or relating to existence outside the natural world?” (American Heritage Dictionary)

    Question 2: Would you agree that the natural world constitutes the entire universe seen and unseen? (about 90 percent of the universe is invisible)

    Question 3: Why or why not is the supernatural, the natural not yet understood?
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    By that definition Dogs are atheists.
    by defining Atheism as a "lack of belief", I think you make it intellectually irrelevant and bankrupt.
    Not necessarily. I think the idea is that the definition being used here applies only to people. Humans. Essentially limiting the label to entities which have the capacity to believe in a god.

    In which case that definition might include young children, but not dogs.

    If the labeled applied only to humans (or other theoretical minds capable of people in gods), would you find it more useful?
    ~Zealous

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    Re: Definition of Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by ZD
    Not necessarily. I think the idea is that the definition being used here applies only to people. Humans. Essentially limiting the label to entities which have the capacity to believe in a god.

    In which case that definition might include young children, but not dogs.

    If the labeled applied only to humans (or other theoretical minds capable of people in gods), would you find it more useful?
    So you would like to add "when a human" to the definition... but why? Why specifically exclude animals when the definition clearly applies to them otherwise.
    That is like limiting the term "Bipedal"(adj) to humans, when it clearly describes all kinds of animals and robots.

    It seems to make less sense to arbitrarily exclude other animals, limit it to humans, but then try to re-expand it to include potential human like aliens.

    The fact is that "lack of belief" applies to just about everything.
    To serve man.

 

 
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