Who is an atheist?

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Since: Apr 08

Mission Viejo, CA

#1 May 30, 2010
I am admittedly a man in the grey area and I think unwittingly we all are. For those who say there is a God/SuperBeing involved in every minute aspect of our lives I say "where is the evidence?" and for those who say the opposite and we are merely products of Mother Nature I say "who is Father Nature?".(Every woman requires a man to procreate).
The point is that it's not a straight forward debate from either standpoint. Perhaps the way to look at it is to examine ourselves. Are we merely a collection of cells arranged in a certain way by chance that somehow produces consciousness? Or are we conscious beings covered by matter that allows us to interact in a material world with other members of this world?

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#2 May 30, 2010
discocrisco wrote:
for those who say the opposite and we are merely products of Mother Nature I say "who is Father Nature?".(Every woman requires a man to procreate).
Who says that "Nature" has any gender at all?(Besides, many living things reproduce *asexually*. They are females procreating without males.)

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Sevierville, TN

#3 May 30, 2010
We're going to see a huge range of opinion in this thread. It's shared by the World News, Opinion, Top Stories, United Kingdom, England, United Kingdom, Cambridge, England, Cambridgeshire County, England, and Atheist forums. I post from the atheist forum, and I think it will be interesting if people identify their home forums as they post.

On the atheist forum, we tend to come down rather hard on believers, mostly because of the mostly fundamental Christians who post in obsessive attempts to prove us wrong and gather us into their folds. When rebuffed with our characteristic vigor, they resort to predictable patterns of arguments laced with contempt and threats of hellfire, but utterly devoid of the one thing that we respect: logic.

But from our lives OUTSIDE of Topix, we all know Christians of the real world as friends and neighbors, and family neighbors. We go fishing with them, drink beer over sports on TV, play cards, and even work on a civic project or two here and there. Likewise, in that same real world, most of us are more laid back about our beliefs or lack of them and even come to church services when invited.

In one of his inaugural addresses, FDR said "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." I'd like to add a corollary to that: we have no enemies but enmity itself. No two people share exactly the same belief structure, but we can always share a mutual respect.

We have no enemies but enmity itself.
NotBuyingIt

Mesa, AZ

#5 May 30, 2010
discocrisco wrote:
The point is that it's not a straight forward debate from either standpoint.
I suspect that depends on standards of 'evidence' and psychological needs.

For some, denial of something they fear helps them deal with that fear.
For some the utter lack of evidence FOR gods existence is compelling enough to be 99.9% certain the bible god does not exist.

You are not looking to debate the existence of pink unicorns are you? why not?
discocrisco wrote:
Perhaps the way to look at it is to examine ourselves. Are we merely a collection of cells arranged in a certain way by chance that somehow produces consciousness?
Its not chance at all if its a result of nature... its more of a certainty over time.

Consider: this puddle, its exact size, shape, location -*seems* to be an astronomical improbability to have been created... but there it is.... because its the result of nature, it HAD to be formed.
discocrisco wrote:
Or are we conscious beings covered by matter that allows us to interact in a material world with other members of this world?
We are a result of nature... with a brain that grew over time, that eventually allowed us to be self aware enough to ask such questions, and ponder many other subjects - and, we find we are pondering concepts that are more and more complex.

'life'- is what you make of it - or not. No matter what ones philosophy may be - this time on earth is limited.
jack13

United States

#6 May 31, 2010
What an odd question. It seems simple at first. Someone who can find no evidence of any god ever existing. But there are many ways to arrive at that conclusion. My great grand father came from Ireland with a burning hatred of both the catholic and protestant church. So my background is an atheist family and I can tell you about some fights I got into as the only atheist teen in school. When I first went into the army, I met a lot of atheists on Sunday. We had to pull all the KP while the religious went to church. But that was OK. Sunday was the best food for the week, and we ate first. Met a bunch in combat. But also, met some church types that really lived their religion. One was a priest who went with the troop into hot LZ's. Many a man went in believing in a god, but came out an atheist. It also seemed that the highly religious got shot more often. I've always suspected that they spent to much time praying and not enough time shooting. But I really must be honest. I've not spent much time in my life thinking about being an atheist, let alone talking about it. Religion just seems to be such a great waste of time I hate to lose.
Richard

Ashfield, Australia

#7 May 31, 2010
It seems to me that atheists tend to reach their position through a conscious application logic, where as godbots just accept what they are told because they are too lazy to think.

“I can see my house from here!”

Since: Oct 09

Nazareth, Israel

#8 May 31, 2010
I tend to agree with the author of the article that it is too simplistic to divide the human race into the black-and-white categories "atheist" / "theist".

Just using Topix as one example, it is easy to see that there are people who assign themselves to all locations along the continuum that starts at stark raving goofy fundamentalist and ends at militant atheist.

Compartmentalization of beliefs into boxes labeled "believer" and "non-believer" is about as effective and logical as compartmentalizing all people into the categories "Caucasian" and "non-Caucasian". I also think that this tendence to place people into discrete, simplistic "belief boxes" is where a lot of the nastiness starts between people who are not in different boxes, but simply on different places on the belief continuum. When people don't realize we are all part of a sort of continuous color spectrum of spiritual belief, we fight, because we look at it as an "our box" vs. "their box" sort of thing.

Personally, with regards to the continuum of belief, I am probably about 80% of the way to the atheist far right, somewhere in the "agnostic zone". I do not believe in any gods, especially man-made ones (which all are), but since I am an advocate of the principle "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", I do not automatically reject out of hand the existence of some sort of extremely advanced creator being (although I think it is extraordinarily unlikely).

I would never worship or pray to such a being though, because, well, that would just be silliness to the nth degree. I do not believe the scientist cares about being worshiped by the bacteria in the petri dish, nor do I think that, in the extremely unlikely event some advanced super-being created the universe by starting the Big Bang, it would want us to worship it, or care if we did (assuming it knew of our existence at all).

My 2 cents.
NotBuyingIt

Mesa, AZ

#9 May 31, 2010
Beavis Christ wrote:
I tend to agree with the author of the article that it is too simplistic to divide the human race into the black-and-white categories "atheist" / "theist".
Fundamentally I agree, when talking about most any other subject..

BUT.. in the subject of theism/atheism... it *is* that easy - it is by definition the positions taken, you either do or don't... there really is no 'middle ground'. Any doubt in theistic beliefs makes you atheist - as 'belief' has little room for doubts, ask any clergy, its often referred to as an 'crisis'.
Beavis Christ wrote:
Just using Topix as one example, it is easy to see that there are people who assign themselves to all locations along the continuum that starts at stark raving goofy fundamentalist and ends at militant atheist.
How do you equate ones passion for their positions as 'militant?
Militant infers violent activities... you can not possible know this from posts.
Beavis Christ wrote:
Compartmentalization of beliefs into boxes labeled "believer" and "non-believer" is about as effective and logical as compartmentalizing all people into the categories "Caucasian" and "non-Caucasian".
That depends on what you are attempting to differentiate.
Sure, for a census, it makes no sense....
If you were looking for a count of all caucasions, its perfectly logical, it may appear racist, but not illogical at all.

If differentiating believers from non-believers its also logical.
Beavis Christ wrote:
I also think that this tendence to place people into discrete, simplistic "belief boxes" is where a lot of the nastiness starts between people who are not in different boxes, but simply on different places on the belief continuum.
I am thinking you may be confusing, and mixing in factors theists often do... like why one is an atheist, or what presumptions can be rationally made from that label - which is often abused.
That nastiness stems from those presumptions used to demonize atheism, from what I seen anyway.
Beavis Christ wrote:
When people don't realize we are all part of a sort of continuous color spectrum of spiritual belief, we fight, because we look at it as an "our box" vs. "their box" sort of thing.
Well I *argue* over points made... if it were not for the intrusion of theism in politics, I would not be sharing my position here.
Atheism is a reaction... keep this in mind.
Beavis Christ wrote:
Personally, with regards to the continuum of belief, I am probably about 80% of the way to the atheist far right, somewhere in the "agnostic zone".
gnosticism has nothing to do with 'belief' but about 'knowledge'... again I think you may be confused....

A christian can acknowledge that fact no evidence exists to conclude their god exists, and still have a position of absolute certainty that their god exists, and would technically be an agnostic christian, tho they would not likely admit it, or want to have that label assigned to them.
These labels tend to be stigmatic and many understandably avoid it.

“Jesus forgives..... ”

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#10 Jun 1, 2010
Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>
Who says that "Nature" has any gender at all?(Besides, many living things reproduce *asexually*. They are females procreating without males.)
God is a homo!!!

“Jesus forgives..... ”

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#11 Jun 1, 2010
Atheists are people who refuse to accept the fact that there's God.
overrated drivel

UK

#12 Jun 1, 2010
Most organised religion has become a massive playground for backward, emotionally abusive and the mentally derranged. Most religious leaders are fakes and make no effort to earn the respect they demand. They make satan look cute.

“Behave Yourself”

Since: Jul 07

Fort Worth, Texas

#13 Jun 1, 2010
Richard wrote:
It seems to me that atheists tend to reach their position through a conscious application logic, where as godbots just accept what they are told because they are too lazy to think.
You can probably add the term "stubborn" as well, when it comes to sheeple, or as you put it, "godbots." Ha!

“Come into my Parlour”

Since: Jul 09

Santiago, Chile

#14 Jun 1, 2010
NightSerf wrote:
We're going to see a huge range of opinion in this thread. It's shared by the World News, Opinion, Top Stories, United Kingdom, England, United Kingdom, Cambridge, England, Cambridgeshire County, England, and Atheist forums. I post from the atheist forum, and I think it will be interesting if people identify their home forums as they post.
On the atheist forum, we tend to come down rather hard on believers, mostly because of the mostly fundamental Christians who post in obsessive attempts to prove us wrong and gather us into their folds. When rebuffed with our characteristic vigor, they resort to predictable patterns of arguments laced with contempt and threats of hellfire, but utterly devoid of the one thing that we respect: logic.
But from our lives OUTSIDE of Topix, we all know Christians of the real world as friends and neighbors, and family neighbors. We go fishing with them, drink beer over sports on TV, play cards, and even work on a civic project or two here and there. Likewise, in that same real world, most of us are more laid back about our beliefs or lack of them and even come to church services when invited.
In one of his inaugural addresses, FDR said "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." I'd like to add a corollary to that: we have no enemies but enmity itself. No two people share exactly the same belief structure, but we can always share a mutual respect.
We have no enemies but enmity itself.
Well said ...

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#15 Jun 1, 2010
Divine Alien wrote:
Atheists are people who refuse to accept the fact that there's God.
What evidence is there for its being a "fact"?
NotBuyingIt

Mesa, AZ

#16 Jun 1, 2010
Divine Alien wrote:
<quoted text>God is a homo!!!
And you are supposedly his image...

??

We suspected as much, you must be relieved to finally 'come out'... congratulations!
jack13

El Paso, TX

#17 Jun 1, 2010
Divine Alien wrote:
Atheists are people who refuse to accept the fact that there's God.
Come on now. We have been down this road before. For something to be a fact, there has to be some physical evidence supporting thye statement. Last time you failed to supply thye evidence. Have you new physical evidence of a god? Then what is it? We skeptics look forward to your new evidence.
Paul Revere

United States

#18 Jun 1, 2010
Any one who does not believe in me is an atheist. Follow me my children and I will deliver you from all evil. I am GOD and GOD is me. We use to do Lady Di after burning that chronic. She squeels like a li'l pig when I do her in the butt.

“Jesus forgives..... ”

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#19 Jun 1, 2010
Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>
What evidence is there for its being a "fact"?
One must understand that God is invisible/imaginary.

“Jesus forgives..... ”

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#20 Jun 1, 2010
jack13 wrote:
<quoted text> Come on now. We have been down this road before. For something to be a fact, there has to be some physical evidence supporting thye statement. Last time you failed to supply thye evidence. Have you new physical evidence of a god? Then what is it? We skeptics look forward to your new evidence.
Yes...this universe and the fact that you are here are all evidence!!!

“Jesus forgives..... ”

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#21 Jun 1, 2010
NotBuyingIt wrote:
<quoted text>And you are supposedly his image...
??
We suspected as much, you must be relieved to finally 'come out'... congratulations!
Kah kah kah kah ha ha ha ha..........

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