Are you an atheist?

Truatheist
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Are you an atheist?

I am currently involved in a discussion with a fellow atheist who claims atheism is a belief. More specifically, he claims Atheism is the belief that there is no god, and those who simply lack a belief in a deity are not truly atheists. He claims the numerous dictionary definitions that state atheism is a lack of belief are all wrong.

Throughout my research of atheism (which spans nearly a decade),I have never encountered a fellow atheist who claimed atheism was a belief. Many, many atheists define atheism as a lack of belief in a deity; this includes George H. Smith, Micheal Martin, Dan Barker, Anthony Flew( I know he is no longer an atheist). etc.. etc... In addition, many articles from infidels.org, atheismabout.com, strongatheism.com, one by Todangst on this very site:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/am_i_agnostic_or_atheist


 

This person claims those who simply lack a belief are non-theists only, and not atheists. Atheist's must "hold the belief" that there is no god.  Am I loosing my mind here or what? 

Are things that are asymmetrical,  just non-symmetrical, are asexual individuals really just non-sexuals?  Just wanted to get a census as to your opinions on this matter. Thanks!

Truman

Reason, Observation, and Experience -- the Holy Trinity of Science.
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Truatheist wrote: I am

Truatheist wrote:
I am currently involved in a discussion with a fellow atheist who claims atheism is a belief. More specifically, he claims Atheism is the belief that there is no god, and those who simply lack a belief in a deity are not truly atheists. He claims the numerous dictionary definitions that state atheism is a lack of belief are all wrong.

Inform him what a no true scottsmen is and ask him what anti-theism is.

Quote:
This person claims those who simply lack a belief are non-theists only, and not atheists. Atheist's must "hold the belief" that there is no god. Am I loosing my mind here or what?

You no...

As for this non- vs a- bit whats the difference? Not in people to which he is trying to apply the words, but the words themselves.

Ok if you've been around the block a few times you have probably heard the argument that atheist have faith. One of the first steps is to strawman what an atheist is to only "belief there are no gods." I think if we look at why that is so important to the argument you might see why/how he came to think he has a belief.

Also there is always the possibility someone is just messing with you.


Truatheist
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I can assure you he is

I can assure you he is serious.

After I presented articles and dictionary definitions he stated this:

"When we state not P, we are not talking about P. Show me the logic book that says not P is P. The problem in saying "what an atheist is, is someone who doesn't believe in God", is that you are not talking about an atheist at all. The statement is true about what an atheist is not, not what an atheist is."

 

"You are not an atheist if you do not believe there is no God. If you do believe there is no God you are an atheist."

Here is a link to the thread:

http://www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=6cKnzI4VMlY

 

Here is a link to a youtube vid where he discusses the topic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGEw1yB_mlE

 

I encourage every atheist here to watch the video and see for themselves. If you simply lack a belief in a deity you are simply an "ingnorant non-theist" who lacks basic logic.

 

I informed him of this thread, maybe he'll come over here.

 

Reason, Observation, and Experience -- the Holy Trinity of Science.
Robert G. Ingersoll


wavefreak
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I am not an atheist. I am a

I am not an atheist. I am a highly advanced computer algorithm pushing the limits of the Turing Test.


Truatheist
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I really hope someone

I really hope someone honestly adresses this claim ...


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I don't see any evidence

I don't see any evidence that a god exists. I can't prove that a god doesn't exist but that's no evidence that one does. I refer to myself as an atheist because I think most people will agree that that's what I am. If somebody doesn't think I'm am an atheist, I don't give a damn. The  point is, I don't see any evidence that a god exists.

Frosty's coming back someday. Will you be ready?


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Yeesh!  Pardon my french,

Yeesh!  Pardon my french, but it take a lot of balls to stand there and say "The dictionaries are wrong".  You probably know this already, but you are not dealing with a simple definition issue anymore; you are dealing with a philosophy/ontology issue.  You might want to check the Rational Content section for essays by Todangst or Chaoslord for more help.  Strafio is another one that might be of assistance - you might want to send any one of them a PM to take a look at this thread.

(Sorry I was not of more help, but if it were me I would have shoved the dictionary up his rear and told him you wanted his brain to get a better look at it.)

 


Truatheist
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This is quite frankly a

This is quite frankly a little confusing to me. I have never had another atheist tell me I wasn't an atheist before.  I quoted numerous dictionary definitions as well as philosopher after philosopher who all define an atheist as one who lacks a belief in a deity.

 

He just repeats that not p can't be p.

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Hmm.  I had to think on

Hmm.  I had to think on this for a bit. 

I am not a philosopher so I will probably miss the mark only by about a mile, but....he states 'Nothing is defined by what it lacks' which is a positive definition for 'nothing'. (It is what it is not.)  The word 'atheist' merely narrows the 'nothing' by catagory.  Not sure if this helps or not. 


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Think about a-flarbism. You

Think about a-flarbism.

You are an aflarbist. So am I. Probably everyone on the planet is one.

Do you know what flarb is? No? You have no belief in a flarb, therefore. Easy enough to see?

Ok, how about this: A flarb is an invisible gremlin who lives in a teacup perched precariously on top of an interstellar starship that stays parked in my kitchen cabinet.

Now. You are no longer an a-flarbist because you know what it is. Therefore, since you actively don't believe in flarb, you are something else. You have an active belief in the non-existence of flarb. You have been fundamentally changed in the last ten seconds, and now you cannot say that you are an aflarbist.

****

See the flaw in the argument?

Fact is, you don't believe in flarb any more than before you read this thread. (I hope, sincerely! If I've started a new religion, I'm going to be pissed.)

You are an aflarbist.

To be less obscure, you are also an azeusist. So is your friend. Be very wary of those who will try to take away a word to win an argument. It doesn't matter if the syllables in "atheist" come out of your mouth. In the objective universe, there are people who have never been introduced to the concept of a "god." There are also people who have been told about the concept, and still don't believe it. Also, some believed for a while, and then realized their mistake. In all three cases, the thing they have in common is that they don't believe in the thing.

If your friend would like to split hairs over the precise definition of atheism, it is his right, but it is an exercise in futiliy, philosophically. Even if he mounts a successful coup against the Websters, the concept will still exist, and we'll call it "Smartness" or something else, and he'll still have to deal with the fact that his CLAIM of the existence of god does not dictate the reality of other people's beliefs.

 

 

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

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Truatheist wrote: I can

Truatheist wrote:

I can assure you he is serious.

After I presented articles and dictionary definitions he stated this:

"When we state not P, we are not talking about P. Show me the logic book that says not P is P. The problem in saying "what an atheist is, is someone who doesn't believe in God", is that you are not talking about an atheist at all. The statement is true about what an atheist is not, not what an atheist is."

 

"You are not an atheist if you do not believe there is no God. If you do believe there is no God you are an atheist."

Here is a link to the thread:

http://www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=6cKnzI4VMlY

 

Here is a link to a youtube vid where he discusses the topic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGEw1yB_mlE

 

I encourage every atheist here to watch the video and see for themselves. If you simply lack a belief in a deity you are simply an "ingnorant non-theist" who lacks basic logic.

 

I informed him of this thread, maybe he'll come over here.

 

This guy seems to be incorrectly applying the law of non-contradiction. When one says 'an atheist is one who does not have a god belief' they are not saying that P=~P. P, here, represents atheist, so ~P equals not atheist. While it is true that atheist can not = ~atheist this has nothing to do with the definition of atheism itself.

He says that the statement "what an atheist is, is  someone who doesn't believe in god" is saying what an atheist is not, but he is incorrect as any English speaker should realize by simply reading the statement. To say what an atheist is not would be to say "what an atheist is not is someone who believes in god" and in this circumstance even that is a sufficient definition as it rules out all possibilities from the universe of discourse except for the one which applies to 'what an atheist is'.

I didn't watch the videos but judging by the statements you quote here this guy seems to have no idea what he's talking about.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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A = Without Theism = A

A = Without

Theism = A belief in gods

Put them together and you get "without a belief in gods." It's that simple. Not having a belief isn't the same as having a belief. Some people, for some reason, just don't seem to get that. 


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I am going to have to

I am going to have to disagree with your friend her, though I understand where he is coming from.  My problem with the definition of atheism is that atheists are usually viewed as areligious as well.  I would not call a follower of a nontheistic religion an atheist, though technically he is.

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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xam thats attaching extra

xam thats attaching extra quilities that need not be there. Which is what the guy tru is arguing with is doing. Also you even admit they would be I guess this would mean all the theists who don't follow a religion aren't theists even though they are.


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Quote: Also you even admit

Quote:
Also you even admit they would be I guess this would mean all the theists who don't follow a religion aren't theists even though they are.

Uhhh... what??? 

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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Let me re-state, I said

Let me re-state, I said that a little funny.

Also you even admit the follower of a nontheistic religion would be an atheist. I guess this would mean the theists who don't follow a religion aren't theists even though they are.


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Ahhh - well, maybe.  But is

Ahhh - well, maybe.  But is it possible for a theist to be areligious?


wavefreak
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xamination wrote: Ahhh -

xamination wrote:
Ahhh - well, maybe. But is it possible for a theist to be areligious?

 

Religion is a classification on the same scale as mammal. There's so many kinds that you can't keep track and they eat each other. 


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Well, ignore the funny

Well, ignore the funny "Theist" tag under my name for some reason, guess they don't have other tags.

 

Ok, Well, I am more of a Buddhist, but by definition I am atheist, since I am definitely a-theist.

 

As for religious/areligious, I think that is a whole different thing. That can definitely be areligious theist, religious atheist and so on. The two qualities are not mutually exclusive.


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xamination wrote: Ahhh -

xamination wrote:
Ahhh - well, maybe. But is it possible for a theist to be areligious?

Yes, if they indeed don't worship, pray, or do anything else religious.


Little Roller U...
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"Religious Atheist"

GodHacks wrote:
As for religious/areligious, I think that is a whole different thing. That can definitely be areligious theist, religious atheist and so on. The two qualities are not mutually exclusive.

I completely agree. I myself am a "religious atheist." Also, the first chapter of The God Delusion is titled something like A Deeply Religious Non-Believer, or something like that. I don't have my copy of it with me right now, so I'm not sure of the exact chapter title.

Good night, funny man, and thanks for the laughter.


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GodHacks wrote: Well,

GodHacks wrote:

Well, ignore the funny "Theist" tag under my name for some reason, guess they don't have other tags.

 

Ok, Well, I am more of a Buddhist, but by definition I am atheist, since I am definitely a-theist.

 

As for religious/areligious, I think that is a whole different thing. That can definitely be areligious theist, religious atheist and so on. The two qualities are not mutually exclusive.

Hi GodHacks.  We only have "Theist" tags.  I'm confused.  You asked for one in the other thread so BGH gave you one.

We really only have one way of determining the Theist Badge.

Do you believe in any supernatural being or entity?

 

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The waters are not clear

The waters are not clear here.  As there is no unified definition of God, it really makes little sense to deny the existence of something ill-defined.  One could be, say, a transcendent atheist, immanent atheist, perhaps pan atheist.

There are as many definitions of God as there are sects, and then some.  I'm content with the rubric non believer.