Atheism, theism, deism... the ism's.

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Atheism, theism, deism... the ism's.

Allright, I need some help with some definitions since dictionaries tend to not be accurate of common phrasing in regards to these subjects. Please correct me on any definition I have wrong and please add any other words or definitions that would help me understand these terms in the best way possible.

Atheism - The belief that there is no God(s).

Theism - The belief that there is a God(s).

Deism - The belief that there was a creator who is no longer a part of anything.

Feel free to collect, add, or contribute to these definitions.

My goal is simple. I want two definitions for the words. A short, powerful definition and a long and even more powerfull definition for those wordy debates. 


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Atheism isn't the belief

Atheism isn't the belief there is no god, it's not believing in any god. It's a subtle difference but there is one.

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MattShizzle wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:
Atheism isn't the belief there is no god, it's not believing in any god. It's a subtle difference but there is one.

Then what would be defined as the belief that there is no God?

Edit: I'm looking for something better than strong atheism. A term, or word, that denotes something stronger and can be unrelated to no belief in any god. 


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Possibly anti-theism?

Possibly anti-theism?


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MattShizzle wrote: Possibly

MattShizzle wrote:
Possibly anti-theism?

I like that. Anti-theist describes my stance on the subject simply without confusion.


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Keep in mind that

Keep in mind that "antii-theism" is seen by many to be just as irrational as theism.  By saying that you believe there is no god you are making a positive claim and as such should be backed by evidence.  It is impossible for you to conceive of every possible being that would be considered a god and therefore you can't really say that you know that no gods exist.

We can all say that we know the judeo-christian god doesn't exist because he is contradictory by definition.  I would say that the probability of a god existing rests somewhere inbetween the existence of faries and unicorns.  However, I would never say that no god exists.

This is why I consider myself an atheist.  I live without (a) a god (theist).  I see no reason to believe in one so I live my life as if there were no god.  I do leave open the possiblity (however small) that one will be discovered in the future, but until there is any evidence to suggest that there is one I find no reason to live like there is.

Make sense? 

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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V1per41 wrote:

V1per41 wrote:

Make sense?

Yes. I do not reject the possibility that a God exists, however, I am against the organized belief in a God, or better yet, I'm against any notion that the God presented by any religion exists.

This is why I'd like to discuss these definitions as I don't like terms such as Strong and Weak atheist as they mean different things. Also, the word weak brings about a sort of, well, weak stance on the subject. Technically I'm a weak atheist, however, I'm strong in my belief.

Edit: After reading my post I realized that it could be read that I'm a deist. I'm not. I don't believe in a God and I stand very firm in my belief, however, I do not reject the notion that a God or Gods may exist... although I find such a thing very unlikely. 

In other words, I'd need a lot of proof. And by proof, I mean a handshake and a slap on the ass.


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CrimsonEdge

CrimsonEdge wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:
Atheism isn't the belief there is no god, it's not believing in any god. It's a subtle difference but there is one.

Then what would be defined as the belief that there is no God?

Not quite.  Matt is right, the difference is subtle but it is there.

Having a belief in something is a positive stance, even if it is a belief that something does not exist.

Not believing something exists is slightly different; more of a negative stance.

I realize that I am not explaining this very well, but I am hoping Todangst or maybe Strafio will show up soon and explain this more clearly.

As far as definitions go, I prefer to say Atheism is the lack of belief in a god.   


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V1per41 wrote: Keep in

V1per41 wrote:

Keep in mind that "antii-theism" is seen by many to be just as irrational as theism. By saying that you believe there is no god you are making a positive claim and as such should be backed by evidence.

Indeed and strong athesim (not anti-thesim) can be backed up and justfied. The correct term is strong atheism BTW anti-theism is generally regarded as being against theists so if one has a realy problem with theists abnd theistic belief then one woudl be anti-theist e.g. if one is of the opnion that thesim is force of oppression and evil and shoudl be eliminated then this would be an anti-theist stance. A devil worshiper could very well belive in God but still be anti-theist, an atheist may will not believe in God but could think that religion and theism was actually a good thing and hence not be ant-theist or they could, like myself, be opposed to theistic thought and see it as a force for great evil

I am a strong atheist and an anti theist.

On some days I'm a weak agnostic with regards to certain definitions of God. Not he Christian God though as I do know that such an entity does not exist. 

Quote:
It is impossible for you to conceive of every possible being that would be considered a god and therefore you can't really say that you know that no gods exist.

Indeed. But this does not say anything about strong atheism which a belief that God does not exist. Its got nothing to do with knowledge or knowing that God does not exist. The belief "God does not exsit" can be justfied for pracically any definintion of God. I agree that its hard to provide such strong jsutfication that the belief enters the realm of knowledge.

Quote:
We can all say that we know the judeo-christian god doesn't exist because he is contradictory by definition.

I agree this is one god I am happy to say I know does not exist.

Quote:
I would say that the probability of a god existing rests somewhere inbetween the existence of faries and unicorns. However, I would never say that no god exists.

I would. I'm happy to say faries do not exsit and I'm happy to say unicorns do not exsit. I am equally happy to say God does not exist. I may not know this for certain but I do believe it to be true that God does not exist.

Quote:
This is why I consider myself an atheist. I live without (a) a god (theist). I see no reason to believe in one so I live my life as if there were no god. I do leave open the possiblity (however small) that one will be discovered in the future, but until there is any evidence to suggest that there is one I find no reason to live like there is.

Indeed I accept that there is small possibility that we may discover a God in the future. But based on the current evidence I think it is entirely rational and justfied to make the statement "god does not exist".


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jce wrote: As far as

jce wrote:
As far as definitions go, I prefer to say Atheism is the lack of belief in a god.

I see the point, however, both stances are based on belief, or in retrospect, a lack thereof.

For example, an atheist lacks a belief in god while a theist lacks a non-belief in god. However, can't this be flipped around to mean the same thing, but in a positive connotation?

An atheists believs in no god.

A theist believes in a god(s). 

Same thing, no?


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CrimsonEdge wrote: I see

CrimsonEdge wrote:

I see the point, however, both stances are based on belief, or in retrospect, a lack thereof.

For example, an atheist lacks a belief in god while a theist lacks a non-belief in god. However, can't this be flipped around to mean the same thing, but in a positive connotation?

An atheists believs in no god.

A theist believes in a god(s).

Same thing, no?

Not exactly, but I knew I would not be able to explain it - LOL 

I will search for threads where Todangst has explained this.  I know what you are saying, but I think it ulimately comes down to the difference between atheism and theism:  theism holds to a positive position and the atheism hold to a negative one.  (This is one of those ontology things that I struggle to understand.)


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  Weak atheist - does not

 

Weak atheist - does not have a belief in God

Strong atheist - belives that there is no God (this also means that they have no God belief and are also a weak atheist)

Strong agnostic- belives that knowledge of Gods exsitence either way is impossible (they can still be atheists of both flavours or theists). They really know that the can never know!

Weak agnostics - belives that knowledge of God is currently impossible but may be possible at some time (they can still be atheists or theists). They know that they don't know at the momment but hold out that they might be able to one day.

Theist - one who belives that there is a God

Anti-theist- one who is against theistic thought (this is not a metaphsyical position it more of a socialogical position and one that could feasibly be held by all of the above - although a theist / anti theist might be a bit odd but still possible, they would believe in God but think that their belief was destructive and dangerous)


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jce wrote: Not exactly, but

jce wrote:
Not exactly, but I knew I would not be able to explain it - LOL

I will search for threads where Todangst has explained this. I know what you are saying, but I think it ulimately comes down to the difference between atheism and theism: theism holds to a positive position and the atheism hold to a negative one. (This is one of those ontology things that I struggle to understand.)

Funny thing is, I know exactly what's trying to be said by both of us, and it's the same thing, I just can't word it properly. I mean, I'm trying to be able to define the difference between the two (strong and weak atheism) without both terms meaning the same thing. I also want to do this in a very simple way without bringing in ontologys (ontologies?) 

*sigh* What I'm getting at is that I realize fully the difference between strong and weak atheism, however, I can not put it into easily definable terms without bringing in things that anyone who doesn't know anything about ontology stuffs (like me) can understand. I also think that making these definitions as simple as possible AND making them in such a way that EVERYONE has to agree to them will make debate much easier, as well as make thinking about the subject vastly easier... atleast for me.


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evil religion wrote: Weak

evil religion wrote:

Weak atheist - does not have a belief in God

Strong atheist - belives that there is no God (this also means that they have no God belief and are also a weak atheist)

Both of these definitions are the same. If you have no belief in god then you believe that there is no god.


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I am an Atheist. I lack

I am an Atheist. I lack belief in a god.

George Bush is a theist. He believes god exists.

I am an agnostic, I do not know if god exists for sure.

An honest theist will also admit he is agnostic, no one knows for sure if god exists.

 I also lack belief in bigfoot (abigfootist), nessie (anesseist),  paranormal (aparanormalist)..... etc.

I do not know if any of these things exist for sure but I also withhold belief.

I think 'Atheist' is a fitting term. 


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BGH wrote: I am an

BGH wrote:
I am an agnostic, I do not know if god exists for sure.

This is the problem I find with the word agnostic. No one knows if god exists for sure. By this definition, everyone is an agnostic regardless of what they say, so labeling yourself as such seems kind of pointless.


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CrimsonEdge wrote: BGH

CrimsonEdge wrote:

BGH wrote:
I am an agnostic, I do not know if god exists for sure.

This is the problem I find with the word agnostic. No one knows if god exists for sure. By this definition, everyone is an agnostic regardless of what they say, so labeling yourself as such seems kind of pointless.

Did you read that sentence and stop?

I did say, "an honest christian will admit he is agnostic also because no one can know for sure."

Please read the the full post before you pick out part to dispute. 


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BGH wrote: CrimsonEdge

BGH wrote:
CrimsonEdge wrote:

BGH wrote:
I am an agnostic, I do not know if god exists for sure.

This is the problem I find with the word agnostic. No one knows if god exists for sure. By this definition, everyone is an agnostic regardless of what they say, so labeling yourself as such seems kind of pointless.

Did you read that sentence and stop?

I did say, "an honest christian will admit he is agnostic also because no one can know for sure."

Please read the the full post before you pick out part to dispute.

I wasn't disputing, I was stating that agnostic is an irrelevant term as everyone is an agnostic. It's like describing everything in a glass shop as glass. It simply seems redundant to say you are an agnostic.


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By the way I don't like

By the way I don't like saying it's the "lack of belief in god." Makes it sound like we are somehow lacking something. I'd prefer "absence" to "lack."

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CORRECTED:   Atheism - The

CORRECTED:

 

Atheism - The ABSCENCE OF or LACK OF belief that there is a  God(s).

Theism - The belief that there is a God(s).

Deism - A qualfiying term for a theist.  The belief that there IS a creator who started it, but doesn't necessarily continue to play with it.

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An antitheist is defined by

An antitheist is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "One opposed to belief in the existence of a God." The earliest citation given for this meaning is from 1833. Furthermore, an antitheist may be opposed to belief in the existence of any god or gods, and not merely one in particular.

 

I am an antitheist, yet I am still an agnostic atheist as well.  You can be agnostic and antitheist at the same time.

 

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CrimsonEdge wrote: evil

CrimsonEdge wrote:
evil religion wrote:

Weak atheist - does not have a belief in God

Strong atheist - belives that there is no God (this also means that they have no God belief and are also a weak atheist)

Both of these definitions are the same. If you have no belief in god then you believe that there is no god.

 

That's not true Crimson.  Think of a baby.  A baby is born without a belief in a god, yet he/she doesn't have an actual belief that no god exists.

 

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CrimsonEdge wrote: BGH

CrimsonEdge wrote:
BGH wrote:
CrimsonEdge wrote:

BGH wrote:
I am an agnostic, I do not know if god exists for sure.

This is the problem I find with the word agnostic. No one knows if god exists for sure. By this definition, everyone is an agnostic regardless of what they say, so labeling yourself as such seems kind of pointless.

Did you read that sentence and stop?

I did say, "an honest christian will admit he is agnostic also because no one can know for sure."

Please read the the full post before you pick out part to dispute.

I wasn't disputing, I was stating that agnostic is an irrelevant term as everyone is an agnostic. It's like describing everything in a glass shop as glass. It simply seems redundant to say you are an agnostic.

We think everyone is agnostic, yet it's hard to tell without being in their heads.  We can see that those who claim to know God exists like Ray Comfort are obviously frauds, but how do we know for sure someone hasn't been given real knowledge of some actual god either in our time or in the past.

I actually agree that we're all agnostic, however I only call people agnostic who are willing to call themselves agnostic.

 

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Sapient wrote:

Sapient wrote:

I am an antitheist, yet I am still an agnostic atheist as well. You can be agnostic and antitheist at the same time.

This is very exact and it matches exactly what I am perfectly. This is also the first application that the word agnostic has had a meaning that wasn't pointless to express that I've seen.

 

Sapient wrote:
That's not true Crimson. Think of a baby. A baby is born without a belief in a god, yet he/she doesn't have an actual belief that no god exists.

Something about that doesn't seem correct. I understand what's being said entirely, however, it doesn't seem the right way to say it, which is what I'm after.

If one has a belief in God then they are without belief that there is no God. If one has a belief that no God exists, then they are without belief that a God exists. If one has no belief in God, then they are...?

Edit: Finished off a sentence. 


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CrimsonEdge wrote: If one

CrimsonEdge wrote:

If one has no belief in God, then they are...

... disbelievers.

 disbelieve vb vt : to hold not to be true or real : reject or withold belief in vi : to withold or reject belief

(withold belief is what pertains)

 

Furthermore this "disbeliever" could be referred to as someone "lacking belief in god" or being "withou belief in god" or furthermore simply... ATHEIST.
 

 

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Crimson,   I feel like

Crimson,   I feel like you are still failing to see the difference between "I don't believe in a god" and "I believe there is no god".

If you hold the 2nd quote to be true, then you do also hold the 1st to be true.  But it doesn't work the other way around.

As an atheist I don't believe in a god because no evidence has ever been presented to show that there is a god. 

I would not say I believe there is no god because I have yet to hear about, or be presented with evidence for, every possible god.  You can make this claim if you like, but it's not a rational claim to make.

The most important thing about these definitions is that when you are discussing religious topics with a theist you need to make sure you have your definitions straight.  There are a lot of people out there who think that atheist means devil worshiper.  Before you really get into a debate or discussion you need to lay down what you mean by atheist just as they should lay down what their specific beliefs are. 

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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V1per41 wrote: Crimson,

V1per41 wrote:

Crimson, I feel like you are still failing to see the difference between "I don't believe in a god" and "I believe there is no god".

If you hold the 2nd quote to be true, then you do also hold the 1st to be true. But it doesn't work the other way around.

As an atheist I don't believe in a god because no evidence has ever been presented to show that there is a god.

I would not say I believe there is no god because I have yet to hear about, or be presented with evidence for, every possible god. You can make this claim if you like, but it's not a rational claim to make.

The most important thing about these definitions is that when you are discussing religious topics with a theist you need to make sure you have your definitions straight. There are a lot of people out there who think that atheist means devil worshiper. Before you really get into a debate or discussion you need to lay down what you mean by atheist just as they should lay down what their specific beliefs are.

Here is the falacy of that logic that I see. If one believe in a God, due to whatever reason, then one MUST also believe there is no God. This does NOT mean you throw out the possibility that a God exists, but your belief, in it's current state, says that you do not believe in the existance of God.

Again, this does not mean you toss out the possibility. 

And no, I do understand the difference of what is trying to be said. I'm trying to be able to clarify the difference clearly in an easy to write and read format. What I'm saying is that a belief that no God exists is the same as not believing in any God. Neither of these reject the notion of a God, it's just that the belief in it's current state goes against the existance.

FOR EXAMPLE, one who does not believe in unicorns also rejects the notion of a God. However, because of the word belief, one does not deny the chance of unicorns existing, just the current state of mind suggests that "Hey, I don't think they are real."

The keyword here is belief. By saying that I do not believe a God exists does not mean that I throw out the possibility. If I said "I know for a fact that no God exists" then yes, it would throw out the possibility regardless of whether or not I actually know if a God exists.

The difference between the two is the level of conviction into the belief of the unixestance of a God. People who say they do not believe in a God aren't as strong in conviction as those who do say "I do not believe a God Exists." However, dont confuse conviction with knowledge or hard headedness.

I'm simply saying that if one says that they do not believe in a God then one believes that God does not exist. This does not mean they throw out the possibility. The same applies to the opposite.


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CrimsonEdge wrote:

CrimsonEdge wrote:

I'm simply saying that if one says that they do not believe in a God then one believes that God does not exist. This does not mean they throw out the possibility. The same applies to the opposite.

It's kinda hard to follow, but I believe that is incorrect given the current use of the English language.

Atheist - I do not believe in any gods, due to lack of evidence or logic.

Strong Atheist - I believe gods do not exist.

The positive use of the word believe denotes a conviction, whereas the negative use of the word believe leaves open the possibilities that have not yet been proven or disproven.

They do not retain the same meaning if you reverse the negatives. For instance, if you say "I do not believe aliens have been proven to exist." That is not the same thing as "I believe aliens have been proven to not exist." Lack of belief is not the same thing as believing in non-existence.

I agree that it would be nice if there were a better term than "Strong Atheist". It's just as irrational as theism, imho, and not really a strong position to hold.

In order to avoid the confusion in real life, I generally tell people "I don't believe in religion." This will generally give people the correct understanding that while I doubt others claims of knowledge, I make no claims of knowledge myself. It also implies that I disapprove of religion in general, which I do.

Also remeber that Agnostic refers to the ability to have knowledge of god(s), not a position on the existance of a god.

Agnostic - I don't think anybody can really know what god is or isn't.

Agnostics are by definition atheist, because to be a theist you must claim to have knowledge of god.

True believers are not agnostic. They believe they have knowledge of the true god through scripture or their own personal rationalizations.

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CrimsonEdge wrote: I

CrimsonEdge wrote:

I wasn't disputing, I was stating that agnostic is an irrelevant term as everyone is an agnostic. It's like describing everything in a glass shop as glass. It simply seems redundant to say you are an agnostic.

To me being agnostic is not just lacking knowledge it's being aware of, accepting and admitting the lack of knowledge.

I'm a strong agnostic so I agree that everyone lacks the knowledge but they certainly don't all admit that lack of knowledge.

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Max Wilder wrote: It's

Max Wilder wrote:
It's kinda hard to follow, but I believe that is incorrect given the current use of the English language.

Atheist - I do not believe in any gods, due to lack of evidence or logic.

Strong Atheist - I believe gods do not exist.

Help me define what I am then. I'm a Strong Athiest as I do not believe that God(s) exist, however, I do not believe they exist because of a lack of evidence and the use of logic... HOWEVER I do not throw out the possibility of a God existing.

Would this make me an Agnostic Strong Atheist? Does this even make sense? 


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CrimsonEdge wrote: Max

CrimsonEdge wrote:
Max Wilder wrote:
It's kinda hard to follow, but I believe that is incorrect given the current use of the English language.

Atheist - I do not believe in any gods, due to lack of evidence or logic.

Strong Atheist - I believe gods do not exist.

Help me define what I am then. I'm a Strong Athiest as I do not believe that God(s) exist, however, I do not believe they exist because of a lack of evidence and the use of logic... HOWEVER I do not throw out the possibility of a God existing.

Would this make me an Agnostic Strong Atheist? Does this even make sense?

"Strong Atheist" implies that you know for sure, so I don't think you can be an Agnostic Strong Atheist. You are contradicting yourself. That's like saying "There are no such things as unicorns, but maybe there's one out there somewhere that nobody's ever seen."

If you are open to the possibility that god may or may not exist and we just don't know for sure one way or the other, but you are leaning toward non-existence, just call yourself an atheist. I think you are trying to pack too much meaning into too few words.

I've been calling myself an agnostic atheist, but that's really redundant. It sounds better than weak atheist though. 

 

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Max Wilder

Max Wilder wrote:
CrimsonEdge wrote:
Max Wilder wrote:
It's kinda hard to follow, but I believe that is incorrect given the current use of the English language.

Atheist - I do not believe in any gods, due to lack of evidence or logic.

Strong Atheist - I believe gods do not exist.

Help me define what I am then. I'm a Strong Athiest as I do not believe that God(s) exist, however, I do not believe they exist because of a lack of evidence and the use of logic... HOWEVER I do not throw out the possibility of a God existing.

Would this make me an Agnostic Strong Atheist? Does this even make sense?

"Strong Atheist" implies that you know for sure,

No it does not. Athesim is a position on what one belives not what one knows. They two different things. I belive all sorts of things about the world without knowing for certain that they are true. I believe that my girlfriend has never cheated on me, I believe that when I press the switch the light will come on etc etc. At no point do I know for certain that any of these things are true. Strong atheism if defined as the belief that God does not exist. I belive that god does not exist but do I know for certain? Well probably not for most Gods. 

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 so I don't think you can be an Agnostic Strong Atheist. You are contradicting yourself. That's like saying "There are no such things as unicorns, but maybe there's one out there somewhere that nobody's ever seen."

Indeed I don't see why this is problomatic. I do not believe that unicorns exsit but there is a very tiny possaibility that I could be wrong. So do I do not know for certain that unicorns do not exsit but I still belive it. Interestingly enough I would actually be happy to say I know unicorns don;t exist but do not know for certain....... but thats going to get into definitions of knowledge and notoriously tricky area of philosophy.

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If you are open to the possibility that god may or may not exist and we just don't know for sure one way or the other, but you are leaning toward non-existence, just call yourself an atheist.

Indeed and if you lean a bit further then you are strong atheist. 

 

Quote:
I think you are trying to pack too much meaning into too few words.

I've been calling myself an agnostic atheist, but that's really redundant. It sounds better than weak atheist though. 

You are probably an agnostic weak atheist.

To simplify

Agnotism is a position one what do or can know

A(theism) is a position on what we believe

Knowledge and belief, although linked concepts, are different. One can believe something without knowing it but not visa versa odly enough. 


Max Wilder
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This English language of

This English language of ours is just too f'ing imprecise sometimes.

How about this:

Weak atheist - I have not decided whether or not to believe in god, there is not enough evidence.

Strong atheist - I have decided there is no god, I don't need any more evidence.

To me, the second statement implies that you know for sure, or as sure as anything intangible can be known. Of course a rational person may change their mind if confronted with additional evidence, but that doesn't change the fact that they have made a decision based on the evidence so far, or lack thereof.

Weak atheist may also include a decision that the world's current religions are a bunch of crap, but not a position on the existence or non-existence of god.

And being agnostic implies "weak" atheism. If you admit to not knowing, then how can you make a decision? There may be people who do this, but they would simply be contradicting themselves.

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I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.
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Hambydammit
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Forgive me if I'm repeating

Forgive me if I'm repeating what's already been said, but I figure this point of view needs to be expressed. Maybe it will explain clearly the difference between "I believe there is no god" and "I don't believe in a god."

As most of you have probably read ad nauseum, everything that exists has an ontology, that is, an identity -- a description of what it is. In order to believe in something, you must be able to say what it is you believe in. If I say that I believe in chom-chom, but in my own head I don't have a concept of what chom-chom is, then my statement is literally meaningless, as I cannot believe in something with no identity. It's philosophically meaningless.

The words, "supernatural, immaterial, transcendent, et al" are broken concepts, in that they have no ontology. They are described as "outside of nature" but this is nonsense, since nature is described as "everything that exists." In philosophical lingo, these words have a negative definition without providing anything left over for them to be -- a universe of discourse.

Therefore, any god who is defined using any of these words is necessarily nonsensical, and nonexistent. First, to say that one believes in such a being is philosophical nonsense, despite the fact that it is quite possible for people to believe that they believe in it. In fact, they believe in something, but not what they think they believe in! (kind of makes your head spin, doesn't it?)

So, an atheist who understands this simply places any supernatural being in the category with Phipphleblats and chom-chomdumples. We can't even discuss it because it's philosophical nonsense.

So, here's an example of the difference between lack of belief and belief in non-existence:

LACK OF BELIEF:

T: Do you believe in chom-chomduple?

A: I dunno. What is it?

T: It is phipphleblats, of course.

A: What's that?

T: You know... chom-chomduple!

A: Um... how could I believe or disbelieve? I still don't know what the damn thing is!

 

BELIEF IN NON-EXISTENCE:

T: Today I saw a dinosaur. A live one.

A: Where?

T: In my living room.

A: What kind?

T: A Tyrannosaurus Rex

A: How big was it?

T: 90 feet tall.

A: How tall is your living room?

T: 9 feet.

A: That's impossible!

T: Yeah, but it was there.

A: I don't believe it.

 

See the difference? To believe in something's non-existence, you must first know what you're talking about. We know what a dinosaur is, but we don't have a definition for god that is coherent.

So, technically, EVERYONE who speaks of a supernatural god is an agnostic, since the term is meaningless... of course, that kind of makes agnostic a useless, if not meaningless, term... Once again, thinking you know what you're describing doesn't mean that what you're describing has a description that makes any sense!

Atheist: no belief in god.

Anti-theist: opposition to theists/theism.

Agnostic: the belief that there is no knowledge of god.

Theist: belief in god.

 

{edit: To make sure the point is driven home properly, if one properly concludes that "god" is a meaningless term, it is just as meaningless to say "I believe it doesn't exist" as it is to say "I believe it does exist!"  The word "it" needs to refer to something, and since "god" is a broken concept that doesn't refer to anything, both statements are actually meaningless.  The only statement that makes any sense is "I can't have a belief in something that doesn't have a definition that makes sense."

All of this is sort of beyond what is necessary.  I notice it's almost always the theists that have a fit over what an atheist is or isn't.  In practical day to day terms, saying, "No," when someone asks if you believe in god makes you an atheist, regardless of the philosophical basis of the answer.}

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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On a side note.... I have

On a side note....

I have known many theists who where 'week' atheists.

During the week there is no mention of god and no thoughts of god. On sundays they become devout believers. I do not particularly like this type of theist because they give weight and shelter to the extremists and fundamentalists.

They call themselves rational theists but they seem to attend church and profess a 'god' belief out of habit and fear. It is a very sad waste of a mind to have beliefs without challenging them.


lester ballard
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dancing on the head of a pin . . .

Best not to get bogged down with defining labels--that's how evangelicals operate (e.g., one of their favorite hate mantras is secular humanism).

Non-belief can be grounded in any number of ways: empirically, ideologically, phenomenologically, etc.  It's a big tent.


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Hi, lester ballard! Even

Hi, lester ballard!

Even though you've been a member for awhile, we'd like to get to know you a little better.  When you get a minute, we'd love it if you'd hop over to the General Conversation, Introductions and Humor forum and introduce yourself.

 

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