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  1. #21
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Prisoners looked around, saw that their fellow inmates were being given study groups for Islam, Christianity, etc. and wanted their own for atheism. The prison said no. The courts said the prisons were wrong based on existing precedent that a religion need not have a god figure to be considered a religion (which is silly).

    This is a matter of equality. Prisoner group X had right Y. Prisoner group A did not have right Y and was unjustly being denied said right.

    Easter & Christmas displays are banned on public property because it means that the state is endorsing Christianity over other religions.

    This is not a matter of equality. It's a matter of the state violating the establishment clause.



    What exactly is the debate? All I see is a scary / silly precedent and a lot of apples & oranges.

  2. #22
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Apok - Calling atheism a religion just seems as some sort of pragmatic legalistic ploy to give the atheist prisoner the same rights and protections as someone setting up a theistic study group. They probably viewed it as less hassle than going through the time and expense of entirely new legislation.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    So now is it the case that it's legally impossible to be a-religious?
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

  4. #24
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyshhed
    So now is it the case that it's legally impossible to be a-religious?
    no it ain't ....webster's defines it as ...."a religion lack thereof.." but that's only my fact over fiction analyses.

  5. #25
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by Iluvatar
    Riiiiight, one foolish court makes all liberals hypocrites. Seriously, KB, you seem to be doing this more and more, deciding that anything one person you disagree with says/does must speak for every person you disagree with. This is not the case.
    I don't ever recall saying all liberals are hypocrites. Maybe you could link to the post in which I claimed that.

    "I'll criticize who I wish, thanks." KB, I hearby criticize your mother. How can she be so hypocritical! What's wrong with her, the conservative fool! Of course, your mother has nothing to do with this, but then, you don't seem to care whether the people you criticize had anything to do with what you criticized them for. Let's start blaming KB's mother for this! And the Pope! And my third cousin twice removed! And the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals! Well, maybe not that last one.
    Uh, I'm criticizing not only the judges of that court but all atheists who agree with them.

    "What? I recall every atheist saying atheism is not a religion" It's possible that I am wrong, but I'd be most interested to see some links on that. I don't recall any atheists here saying that, outside of Doppler and Starcreator.
    What? Clear your mind, and read my statement slowly and carefully. Almost every atheist I've known has said that atheism is not a religion. Doppler and Starcreator were saying it is. They're exceptions, and also obviously wrong. Atheism is simply lack of belief or disbelief in God. Period. It doesn't necessarily mean anything else. An atheist can have a religion in some sense, albeit one with no gods, but atheism itself isn't a religion. And most often, it means the exact opposite, that one has no religion. Spiritual people who don't believe in God don't often call themselves atheists.

  6. #26
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning
    I don't ever recall saying all liberals are hypocrites. Maybe you could link to the post in which I claimed that.
    So you're not implying (all) when you say "Liberals are hypocrites!" then?


    Quote Originally Posted by The KevBro
    Almost every atheist I've known has said that atheism is not a religion. Doppler and Starcreator were saying it is. They're exceptions, and also obviously wrong. Atheism is simply lack of belief or disbelief in God. Period.
    And not just yours, but everyone else's too!

    It doesn't necessarily mean anything else. An atheist can have a religion in some sense, albeit one with no gods, but atheism itself isn't a religion.
    Exactly what is a "godless religion" and where can I find one? Any examples? I think that's a classic oxymoron.
    And most often, it means the exact opposite, that one has no religion. Spiritual people who don't believe in God don't often call themselves atheists.
    No belief in deities? Yeah that qualifies as a-theist. They call themselves such quite properly.
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

  7. #27
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok (from article)
    A federal court of appeals ruled yesterday Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate's rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion.
    Hmm, happened in Wisconsin. If only I lived there...

    More seriously, I have mixed feelings about the ruling, though mostly against the court. Atheism is not a religion as evidenced by the two definitions:
    a·the·ism
    n.
      1. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
      2. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.
    1. Godlessness; immorality.
    re·li·gion
    n.
      1. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
      2. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
    1. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
    2. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
    3. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
    So, in that sense, the court's ruling is absurd. However, it would seem fair (not necessarily legally accurate) for atheist groups to have as much right to meet in prisons as any religious group. However, judicial activism is the wrong route in the case, and if there is an issue about the current legal status, it should go to the legislature.
    Quote Originally Posted by KB
    Lmao. Crazy freakin' liberals. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.
    I know Iluv and Fysh have touched on this, but this really isn't a liberal vs conservative issue. It may elicit partisan reactions, but I think it folly to assume that all that disagree with you to be "liberals".
    Quote Originally Posted by KB
    You know why? Because they're the same people, apparently.
    No, they are not. I really hope that you are not lumping "atheists" into a sort of misguided collective mind (like the Borg in Star Trek), though your language in this thread seems to suggest that that is your perception. I don't consider atheism to be a religion, but rather a philosophy or position that relates to religion. The whole problem lies in semantics IMO, so I don't like to touch it much.
    Quote Originally Posted by JDNWF
    no it ain't ....webster's defines it as ...."a religion lack thereof.." but that's only my fact over fiction analyses.
    I think you missed the point completely. Fysh used the term "legally", so he was not refering to the actual normal use of language but legal language. I'm sure you can defend yourself in seven days time.
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  8. #28
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyshhed
    So you're not implying (all) when you say "Liberals are hypocrites!" then?
    They usually are.

    And not just yours, but everyone else's too!
    What?

    Exactly what is a "godless religion" and where can I find one? Any examples? I think that's a classic oxymoron.
    Um, Buddhism maybe?

    No belief in deities? Yeah that qualifies as a-theist. They call themselves such quite properly.
    Yeah, they could, but they don't, because it has a connotation of no belief in the spiritual or supernatural. Whether you want to play semantics and call Earth-worshippers or whatever religious or spiritual, the fact is that "atheism" is not a religion, and in fact is not anything, but the lack of something. "A-" means without. "Theos" means God. There's the etymology, I guess the 7th Court didn't bother to check Dictionary.com.

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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    I would like to come to the defense of KB here. He is absolutely right that as a whole Liberals are hypocritical. This is simply a fact. Where I think that KB is in ignorance is that he does not recognize that conservatives are also hypocritical on the whole. It is a human condition, not a political one. So, a stick to the eye of all political parties from us anarchists. (what do you mean that is a political party? Nuh-uh!)
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  10. #30
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyshhed
    So now is it the case that it's legally impossible to be a-religious?
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????
    ?Try teetering on the needle sharp point of the cusp of agnosticism ?
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
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  11. #31
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    KB, if your etymology is true, then atheism is a religion. It contains a belief about God--that there is no god. If someone is "a-theist", it means they hold that there is no god. Atheism is not areligious. If theism is a belief in God, then atheism is the opposite: a belief in no God. If religious is holding to a religion, then areligious is holding to no religion. The word "atheist" might mean something else to an American in the 21st century, but the word construction itself suggests to me that atheism is the belief that there is no God. The agnostics opposed the gnostics; they didn't simply say "we are a group apart; we don't believe the opposite of you, we just don't believe what you do". Instead, agnostic means holding to the beliefs of agnosticism. Unless there is some way to distinguish atheist from agnostic--at least in terms of etymology--then I believe that analogy holds true.
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  12. #32
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    KB, if your etymology is true, then atheism is a religion. It contains a belief about God--that there is no god. If someone is "a-theist", it means they hold that there is no god. Atheism is not areligious. If theism is a belief in God, then atheism is the opposite: a belief in no God. If religious is holding to a religion, then areligious is holding to no religion. The word "atheist" might mean something else to an American in the 21st century, but the word construction itself suggests to me that atheism is the belief that there is no God. The agnostics opposed the gnostics; they didn't simply say "we are a group apart; we don't believe the opposite of you, we just don't believe what you do". Instead, agnostic means holding to the beliefs of agnosticism. Unless there is some way to distinguish atheist from agnostic--at least in terms of etymology--then I believe that analogy holds true.
    That (highlighted part) is not the correct interpretation of the prefix a-. It does not mean "the opposite of" it means "without". Athism is not the opposite of theirsm, it is the lack of theism. It literally means "without theism". Therefore, the term not only describes those who believe there is no God, but also those who have no opinion on the subject, or are unclear on what they believe, but are not theists.
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  13. #33
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by PerVirtuous
    That (highlighted part) is not the correct interpretation of the prefix a-. It does not mean "the opposite of" it means "without". Athism is not the opposite of theirsm, it is the lack of theism. It literally means "without theism". Therefore, the term not only describes those who believe there is no God, but also those who have no opinion on the subject, or are unclear on what they believe, but are not theists.
    Really? So agnostics are just "without gnosticism"? And amillenialists (you may not know that term, but I'm sure many Christians here do) are simply "without millenialism"?

    What you miss is that "theos" means "God". So "atheism" means "without God". An atheist must therefore be of the belief that there is no God; a nontheist would be what is called a weak atheist.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  14. #34
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    KB, if your etymology is true, then atheism is a religion.
    Well, it seems like this is basically semantics, but the point is that using common sense, it's rather simple to me that atheism is simply no belief in God. Lots of varieties of atheists as far as how open minded they are towards the idea, how much thought they give to it, if they consider themselves spiritual nonetheless, etc. The fact is that basically this is hypocrisy at its most blatant. Atheists are always whining about separation of church and state, but now they want to be recognized as a religion just to get the benefits of one.

    It's a cliche, but it bears repeating: classic example of wanting to have your cake and eat it too. They want both the advantages of not being a religion, and of being one. It's really quite mind boggling, considering all the outrage against school prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, etc., on religious grounds. It's like doublespeak or something, tailored to the elitist desires of the couple percent of hardline anti-Christians in this country.

  15. #35
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by KB
    It's really quite mind boggling, considering all the outrage against school prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, etc., on religious grounds.
    I can see the validity of objecting to school prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Think of it: the government instructs your child to pray. In fact, the government leads your child in prayer. And it is a lawful mandate that your child must be in school and must obey the teacher. Alternatively, it is the case that the government makes a prayer. In either case, the government is infringing on the right of those children to freely exercise their religion. There should be no test oaths for schoolchildren, nor compulsory prayer, nor a state-created prayer. An invocation to God (e.g., "under God") is also an intolerable government intrusion upon the freedom of religion. That said, "under God" is a phrase, much like "In God We Trust", that has no theological significance. Lest atheists object, I also note that this development (that is, "God" becoming of no theological importance) a grievous violation of the Third Commandment.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  16. #36
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    CS - While I can see where you are coming from in terms of atheism being a belief that there is no god(s), surely a religion is more than just a one line statement. Much as in culture and society religion harbours whole belief 'systems'. In the case of religion it embodies ceremonial, structured doctrine, and recognised heirarchical systems.
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  17. #37
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Furthermore, as Fysh pointed out, criticize the court, not simply your favorite ranting-bag.

    I'll criticize who I wish, thanks.

    Just don't expected to be taken seriously, especially when your opinions can be found in the neo-con handbook..................:O)
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by CC
    Furthermore, as Fysh pointed out, criticize the court, not simply your favorite ranting-bag.

    I'll criticize who I wish, thanks.

    Just don't expected to be taken seriously, especially when your opinions can be found in the neo-con handbook..................:O)
    My point was that my criticisms were actually against most atheists and liberals (usually the same), not just the judges of that court, but of course, not against all atheists and liberals either. Do you have a point, or just ad homs?

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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    apok: Isn't it then, if we do so (remove such programs and activities in the name of atheism), isn't that an endorsement of religion? The very claim made by these same atheists about Christianity?
    Claim? Claim? I see a whole lot more discrimination toward atheists than christians. The only reason a minorty of atheists are bothered by christians is when they (christians) want their cake and to eat it too, which is pretty much the case.
    If places of religion or exempt from property taxes then shouldn't there be atheist's centers who get the same tax break? Yeah, christians sure have it rough having to hear a few atheists "whining" about god in the pledge and on our money. I hear a heck of a lot of christians whining through the media for every one atheist who does...


    and atheists fight against religious holidays, doesn't this pose a problem in that it is the endorsement of one religion (atheism) over another (Christianity)?
    That's the way it is right now. If you consider (by law) that atheism is a religion then christianity is being endorsed over atheism. So we claim by law that atheism is a religion too. Then what would be the best solution for all, believers and non-believers as well? By taking religious celebrations and endorsements out of school that is not endorsing atheism unless it also is given the same status and recognition now found in public schools. Simply do not "teach" atheism".

    Snoop: As far as fighting against religious holidays - I'd like to see them try
    Some atheists are always trying. Do not fear though, as they are in the minorty while the faithful majority mangle the 1st amendment and call atheists non-patriotic for wishing the 1st to be their right as well.

    Iluvatar: Quote: Originally Posted by KB

    Lmao. Crazy freakin' liberals. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

    Iluvatar:
    Do you have to bash liberals in EVERY thread? Or is there one somewhere back in the depths of time that I missed, in which you did not?


    Libbies and atheists are to KB what anti- contraception is to sam. They are too wrapped up in their own opinions to listen to any others who may differ.

    KB: No, only the ones in which they are more hypocritical and two-faced than usual. For my entire tenure here at ODN, I have listened to liberals scream: "Atheism is not a religion! It's not! It simply means lack of a belief in God! Not a religion!" Then this idiotic activist libbie court decides that because an atheist has brought a lawsuit in which he wants the privileges of a religious group, well heck, yes it is a religion.

    With this post you are flat out stating that ONE court because of ONE atheist's complaint that all the "libbies" are atheists? KB thinking alright.

    atheism, i.e. the lack of a belief in a deity, means that atheism is somehow a religion now, and whatever brainless leftist judge shoveled that load ought to be removed.
    I agree..

    PV: Taking this ruling out of context and saying it is a religion for everybody at all times, simply has not been suppported by the evidence seen here.
    No, but if you buy into the slippery slope notion, it's a begining.

    Iluvatar: Riiiiight, one foolish court makes all liberals hypocrites. Seriously, KB, you seem to be doing this more and more

    Yep, he and sam should form a club. It would be a very exclusive one.....

    KB:
    Atheists are always whining about separation of church and state,

    ONE atheist whines, then ONE HUNDRED christians whine. Not ALL atheists whine about seperation of church and state.......

    besides:
    "[T]he Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"-- Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797
    Darn those atheistic founding fathers of ours! What were they thinking? I'm sure they meant to leave out the word, "NOT"...................

    The "they" that you mentioned are just a few from the whole. Does Pat Robertson speak for all christians? Going along with your line of thought he surely does....................

    of the couple percent of hardline anti-Christians in this country.

    Now you finally narrow it down. Although your topic of choice to do so is pared too much. MANY atheist would prefer we did not pray in school or have the word "god" stamped on our pledge or currency.........It's amazing how so many of the neo-cons don't understand the atheist position on this. Also, you say that atheism now ruled a religion by law and that they cannot rule out christian doctrines in school because that would be giving in to the religion of atheism. Yet you have no problem using the religion of christians to ban atheism in schools....THAT'S having it both ways............

    Do you have a point, or just ad homs?

    You do not excuse the countless when you say "those libbies" instead of "some libbies"....ad homs are becoming your mode of debating.....more and more.............:O)
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    Re: Atheism is OFFICIALLY a religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by CC
    Claim? Claim?
    Yes...that is the proper term. A "claim". A claim can be true or it can be false. Claims were made.

    I see a whole lot more discrimination toward atheists than christians.
    Fallacy of tu quoque. Just because it was wrong for someone else to do, doesn't mean it is right for another to do.

    The only reason a minorty of atheists are bothered by christians is when they (christians) want their cake and to eat it too, which is pretty much the case.
    If places of religion or exempt from property taxes then shouldn't there be atheist's centers who get the same tax break? Yeah, christians sure have it rough having to hear a few atheists "whining" about god in the pledge and on our money. I hear a heck of a lot of christians whining through the media for every one atheist who does.
    This doesn't address the question.
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