Who is an atheist?

Who is an atheist?

There are 9494 comments on the The Sydney Morning Herald story from May 30, 2010, titled Who is an atheist?. In it, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that:

In my last blog there was a moderately spectacular blue between various parties .

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald.

LCNlin

United States

#9481 Aug 20, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
There are only three positions POSSIBLE regarding existence of god
1. God exists = theist.
2. God doesn't exist = atheist.(absence of god, not absence of belief of god)
3. Don't know = agnostic.
That is how majority use the words theist, atheist and agnostic.
Dictionaries should be updated, to keep things simple and clear and unambiguous.
Philosophy of religion a bit more complicated than a dictionary,
just saying.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9482 Aug 20, 2013
LCNlin wrote:
<quoted text>
Philosophy of religion a bit more complicated than a dictionary,
just saying.
Religion is not a real philosophy. The theologians don't even claim it to be a philosophy. They instead are those who are well versed in the art of 'double think'.

The position that a god can not exist (and hence does not exist) is well known to many since three millenia now. But is society ready for such knowledge? That is the question.

We have much to do before that. We need another source of morality (reason to be good in personal life) other than god and god fear, before we can bring down god.

So it is time we embark upon the scientific discovery of goodness and develop the subject of goodness (RATIONALIZED CIVICS) ie reasons why and how rules of society or constraints of behaviour make society most progressive, happy and peaceful. That is those (set of) rules that maximize the well being of society and its individuals ( and also of the unborn), for longest together constitute what is GOOD. It must be a learning process, like drug trials that do populations studies, ie we introduce a rule on a study population and observe the effects over a period of time. Hence I use term SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY OF CIVICS.

Further when children are made aware how a law / rule/ behaviour effects society, we finally are a rational civilized society.

Then religion and god wont be needed anymore.

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#9483 Aug 20, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
You cant define primal cause as you failed defining cause itself. You can't use the word 'cause' in the definition of cause itself. That makes the word very meaningless, as the definitation is meaningless.
Once cause if well defined, Primal Cause would be easy.
(No offense intended, just being direct, Have become very mellowed in my approach while conversing with people lately, but slip off to my old ways sometimes!, just that I don't know how else to out it, and not be rude).
-----

I guess you are right about being easy to define the Primal Cause. The first to cause then as the universe proceeded into expansion other things were caused. It's like the Biblical injunction to grow and multiply. To fill the universe and subdue it.(Gen.1:28)

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#9484 Aug 20, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
One can not 'not know' if god exists or not, and simultaneously also know that a god does not exist.
The positions agnostic and atheist,(as well as theist) are all mutually exclusive positions.
-----

Surely you must not be an atheist with this testimony that one cannot know if God exists or not. Actually atheists do claim to know that God does not exist.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9485 Aug 20, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Esperanto.
Very Interesting. I did not know much about this, thank you. Why only European tho?

DO not know much about this lang, if rules are rational or how formal.

Also-
No need for A priori languages, much easier have a language with words already in use in other prevalent languages. Easier to gradually change rules of existing languages into more rational ones.

Vedic Sanskrit was once constructed for philosophers and thinkers out of words from prakrits and pali languages (pra = older, krit = lang)(root for polis ie town. so = lang. of city). The grammar was then developed by linguists after much discussion and applied to this accumulated vocabulary, which was made highly formal and canonical, with strict constraints like all words need be well defined, ie use other well defined words in their definitions recursively, and there should be one to one correlation between word symbols and their meanings. Thus no synonyms possible. Only words with SIMILAR meanings possible.

[Even the Devnagri Script is highly rationalized, with every human phones (phonemes?/ smallest units of human sound) having unique symbol assigned to it, and every symbol denotes only one sound (smallest unit of human sound). Here the inconsistencies like 'go' and 'to' are not possible.

Further all vowels are understood to be pronounceable separately like 'a'(rum) or 'A'(barn) or 'e'(See) or 'o'(go) or 'oo'(to) or 'ae'(cat) or 'ea'(fate). 13 vowels are known and represented by unique symbols. Also all known consonant sounds (those that can only be pronounced in conjunction with a vowel) like 'ba'(ba, baa, bea, bae, bo, boo, bee). You can replace consonant 'b' with any other like 't' or 'k' or 'm' or 'n'....

So Devnagri Script can be very effectively used to exactly express any sound or combinations of sounds humanly possible, thus any phonetic language can be written unambiguously and perfectly using this script.]

So we already have the science, we just need to use it, or develop it further.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9486 Aug 20, 2013
Ben_Masada wrote:
<quoted text>
-----
Surely you must not be an atheist with this testimony that one cannot know if God exists or not. Actually atheists do claim to know that God does not exist.
Nowhere in that post is there a declaration of MY position on existence of god. So how did you reach such a conclusion?
.
It ws just logical exposition that the two positions of- "dont know" and "know does not exist" are mutually exclusive.(as in one person can not hold both positions).
.
=======
.
I was an agnostic, when I had no proof either way, and used to be aligned to the "kettle on the moon" argument (or Bertrand Russell's "teapot in orbit around the earth" example).

But now that I have definite conclusive proof that a god (omniscient omnipotent entity) CAN NOT exist, I am confident that a god does not exist (god as defined earlier, not creator or prime cause or first cause).
.
I got to three conclusive proofs fairly easily as soon as I defined god properly, like in any thesis, you need to spend time on definitions first before anything else.
.
So I am a rational atheist.(WHICH IS STRONGLY ATHEIST).
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9487 Aug 20, 2013
Ben_Masada wrote:
<quoted text>
-----
I guess you are right about being easy to define the Primal Cause. The first to cause then as the universe proceeded into expansion other things were caused. It's like the Biblical injunction to grow and multiply. To fill the universe and subdue it.(Gen.1:28)
Easy????

You haven't even defined cause yet, and defining primal cause is easy for you?

Dear, all you have is the (your) definition of 'primal'= first.(as in before all others. Cause could be a horse or elephant, without a proper definition. I had already given you a hint, but you cared not for it.(Is 'cause' a physical entity, if not what is its nature,...).

You are far from defining "First Cause", if you have no idea what "cause" is.(NO 'cause' is that which causes things to happen- wont do!)

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#9488 Aug 20, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
Very Interesting. I did not know much about this, thank you. Why only European tho?
DO not know much about this lang, if rules are rational or how formal.
One goal of the language is that everything is regular: even the verb 'to be' is conjugated the same way as all other verbs. It is European mainly because the people who invented it were.
Also-
No need for A priori languages, much easier have a language with words already in use in other prevalent languages. Easier to gradually change rules of existing languages into more rational ones.
I am not sure I agree. It would seem to be easier to make things regular right at the beginning rather than have gradual changes. All natural languages are filled with 'exceptions' to their general rules. The verbs for 'to be' and 'to go' are particular messy in many cases.

Of course, another issue is whether to use an alphabet and whether it should be the Roman one. If you want a language that is 'universal' in the sense of having aspects of ALL existing languages, you will have basic issues with this and how it is written: right to left, left to right, top to bottom, etc.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9489 Aug 20, 2013
Ben_Masada wrote:
<quoted text>
------
Cause is either the result of being caused or the agent that causes
"A CIRCULAR DEFINATION is one that uses the term(s) being defined as a part of the definition or assumes a prior understanding of the term being defined. Either the audience must already know the meaning of the key term(s), or the definition is deficient in including the term(s) to be defined in the definition itself. Such definitions lead to a need for additional information that motivated someone to look at the definition in the first place and, thus, violate the principle of providing new or useful information."
.
You may also want to check out "Infinite regress" which is similar but harder to catch
.
"An INFINITE REGRESS in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3,..., and the truth of proposition Pn-1 requires the support of proposition Pn and n approaches infinity."
.
The religious are of course well versed with such tactics!
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#9492 Aug 20, 2013
thanks for the learned rebuttal to the simplistic assertions! I doubt it will crack his certainty - since I doubt that his certainty is based on rational thinking.
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
"A CIRCULAR DEFINATION is one that uses the term(s) being defined as a part of the definition or assumes a prior understanding of the term being defined. Either the audience must already know the meaning of the key term(s), or the definition is deficient in including the term(s) to be defined in the definition itself. Such definitions lead to a need for additional information that motivated someone to look at the definition in the first place and, thus, violate the principle of providing new or useful information."
.
You may also want to check out "Infinite regress" which is similar but harder to catch
.
"An INFINITE REGRESS in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3,..., and the truth of proposition Pn-1 requires the support of proposition Pn and n approaches infinity."
.
The religious are of course well versed with such tactics!

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#9493 Aug 20, 2013
Jedi Mind Trick_ wrote:
The white European has no desire to look beyond the Greeks and Romans, because he then is faced with the massive mother continent, Africa, that birthed him.
Racial and geographical generalities are almost always wrong.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9494 Aug 20, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
One goal of the language is that everything is regular: even the verb 'to be' is conjugated the same way as all other verbs. It is European mainly because the people who invented it were.
<quoted text>
I am not sure I agree. It would seem to be easier to make things regular right at the beginning rather than have gradual changes. All natural languages are filled with 'exceptions' to their general rules. The verbs for 'to be' and 'to go' are particular messy in many cases.
Of course, another issue is whether to use an alphabet and whether it should be the Roman one. If you want a language that is 'universal' in the sense of having aspects of ALL existing languages, you will have basic issues with this and how it is written: right to left, left to right, top to bottom, etc.
Re: European
. OK, understand that, but non Europeans may not accept it, so defeating the idea of it being universal.

Re:easiness of apriory lang.
. Agree, apriory lang. ie new from scratch is easy to form, ie easy for the developers of the new lang., but will be extremely difficult to get people to use it if all words are new. I may be wrong, but only if all governments came together and simultaneously started teaching the lang. to all children in 1st class (grade) will it not be difficult to start off for a total apriory lang. But that seems unlikely. Then, the spontanious and gradual introduction may have its own demerits as many corruptions by various countries and cultures might be difficult to avoid. So point in favor for aproiry: more pain, more gain!

re: aspects of all existing lang. is important for the cultural egotists, and since they are in plenty, this is important. But to rationalists like me, imbibing in the new lang. other aspects like being rational, formal, canonical etc are much more important.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9495 Aug 20, 2013
Jedi Mind Trick_ wrote:
<quoted text>Good question.
Here is the reality, the atheist is always in the state of know nothingness. With the Christian, at first he believes but if he is resolved to that he soon knows.
Here is an example. Do you believe that man walked on the moon? If so, why? If not, why not? I have watched many movies where the actors were on the moon. Wait, no they were not. What you believe is that it was not staged. Has anyone confirmed to you that is was not staged or do you just not require that proof.
okay, now I tell you or someone else that they have experienced the knowing of God, He has spoken and talked with us or them. Do you believe or do you choose to not believe. Why would they stage such a lie?er
To further examine. Does a random lay person who tells you about God have more or less to prove or a need to deceive, or does the government has this need or desire. Read Hitler's Mein Kampf. It is man's belief in God and authority rested there, which hinders any man or government which wishes world dominance and due to that alone the Jews became subjects of extermination. Why? They could never be deceived by Hitler or a pope.
Now, I am not suggesting such a trickery concerning the moon. I am simply asking why you have not explored such a possibility of trickery.
"The Big Lie Technique"

Just one of many propaganda techniques. Some of those ancient vedic texts are extremely dangerous, and rightly strictly restricted.
xianity is EVIL

Wheatley, Canada

#9496 Aug 20, 2013
Jedi Mind Trick_ wrote:
<quoted text>Good question.
Here is the reality, the atheist is always in the state of know nothingness. With the Christian, at first he believes but if he is resolved to that he soon knows.
Here is an example. Do you believe that man walked on the moon? If so, why? If not, why not? I have watched many movies where the actors were on the moon. Wait, no they were not. What you believe is that it was not staged. Has anyone confirmed to you that is was not staged or do you just not require that proof.
okay, now I tell you or someone else that they have experienced the knowing of God, He has spoken and talked with us or them. Do you believe or do you choose to not believe. Why would they stage such a lie?er
To further examine. Does a random lay person who tells you about God have more or less to prove or a need to deceive, or does the government has this need or desire. Read Hitler's Mein Kampf. It is man's belief in God and authority rested there, which hinders any man or government which wishes world dominance and due to that alone the Jews became subjects of extermination. Why? They could never be deceived by Hitler or a pope.
Now, I am not suggesting such a trickery concerning the moon. I am simply asking why you have not explored such a possibility of trickery.
get back to your padded cell,chunky boy,,your BS posts are boring!!

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9498 Aug 20, 2013
UidiotRaceMAKEWORLDPEACE wrote:
<quoted text>Chinese - MAndarin or Cantonese
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Migration Policy Institute
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•The "Brain Gain" Race Begins with Foreign Students
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http://www.migrationinformation.org/USfocus/d...
Thanks!

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9499 Aug 20, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
There are only three positions POSSIBLE regarding existence of god
1. God exists = theist.
2. God doesn't exist = atheist.(absence of god, not absence of belief of god)
3. Don't know = agnostic.
That is how majority use the words theist, atheist and agnostic.
Dictionaries should be updated, to keep things simple and clear and unambiguous.
You got things **exactly** backwards.

You seem to think dictionaries **control** definitions.

That is the exact opposite-- they ***report*** common definition usage.

Simplifying a dictionary would sever no useful purpose, except to render it less accurate.

**People** control how words are used, not dictionaries.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9500 Aug 21, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
You got things **exactly** backwards.
You seem to think dictionaries **control** definitions.
That is the exact opposite-- they ***report*** common definition usage.
Simplifying a dictionary would sever no useful purpose, except to render it less accurate.
**People** control how words are used, not dictionaries.
The Irony!

Agree that dictionaries report usage, which is why I posted the prevalent usage of the words theist, atheist, and agnostic. And think the definitions in the dictionaries are outdated and NOT reporting correct usage.
(however did you miss that!)

How you conclude the way you do about me (and Ben Masada too), is totally beyond me. If you read carefully the post you qouted, how did you follow this post from that. The exact opposite should be evident to anyone versed in critical thought, as I gave you the prevalent usage and asked the dictionaries be updated, as people are not about to change their usage and go back a fifty years so as to conform to backdated definitions of the 3 words in question.

Where as it is you that happily foresake prevalent usage to resort to digging up obviously obsolete (and ambigious) definitions in the dictionary of your liking, to absurdly argue that one can be both agnostic and atheist at the same time,(ie both know and not know of gods nonexistence at the same time).
.
====÷=÷
.
[Also note the con, as children learn the meanings of words from dictionaries too many a timea, as well as from contemporary usage, so things are not totally black and white.]
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9501 Aug 21, 2013
The ambiguity:
Is
Atheism= absence in the BELIEF in god
or is it
Atheism=(position of) ABSENCE OF GOD

(to believe= hold an arument as valid without need for supporting logic or empirical evidence)

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Leicester, UK

#9502 Aug 21, 2013
I think there are two forms of atheism and three ways to arrive at them.
First there is weak atheism, it is the disbelief in the existence of God due to either no good evidence for God (weak agnosticism) or no way to get good evidence for God (strong agnosticism).
The former weak atheism due to weak agnosticism makes a negative claim, a claim which requires no evidence just like the evidence from the other side. Where as the latter weak atheism due to strong agnosticism, makes a positive claim that there is a boundary to human knowledge, and thus must prove it's self through evidence of its truth and not the absence of falsifying evidence.

Second there is strong atheism the atheism of my preference, it is the belief that God does not exist.

Finally a point which must be repeatably shoved down the throat a fundamentalists and lying apologists, the majority of people who call themselves atheists are atheists due to weak agnosticism. Do not say that all atheists believe that God does not exist you can say it about me, but I am a minority in a minority do not paint everyone with the same brush, don't get me wrong I know you won't listen and you'll try to anyway just don't cry to me when people call you a liar. Thank you.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9503 Aug 21, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
The Irony!
Agree that dictionaries report usage, which is why I posted the prevalent usage of the words theist, atheist, and agnostic. And think the definitions in the dictionaries are outdated and NOT reporting correct usage.
(however did you miss that!)
How you conclude the way you do about me (and Ben Masada too), is totally beyond me. If you read carefully the post you qouted, how did you follow this post from that. The exact opposite should be evident to anyone versed in critical thought, as I gave you the prevalent usage and asked the dictionaries be updated, as people are not about to change their usage and go back a fifty years so as to conform to backdated definitions of the 3 words in question.
Where as it is you that happily foresake prevalent usage to resort to digging up obviously obsolete (and ambigious) definitions in the dictionary of your liking, to absurdly argue that one can be both agnostic and atheist at the same time,(ie both know and not know of gods nonexistence at the same time).
.
====÷=÷
.
[Also note the con, as children learn the meanings of words from dictionaries too many a timea, as well as from contemporary usage, so things are not totally black and white.]
Did you know, that the word "gay" when originally applied to homosexual men, was a derogatory term?

That is-- it was used by mainstream people to denigrate homosexuals.

But the gay men turned the tables and **owned** that word-- they took it over, and re-defined what it means.

Now? They happily embrace the term used to describe them.

----------

The same thing is happening with the word 'atheist'.

It **used** to be that godbots tried to force-fit a Strawman onto non-believers with the word.

There are very, very few people in the world who have **faith** in the idea of "no gods".

Yet, religious folk keep trying to **force** that false claim onto **all** atheists, everywhere, regardless.

But-- modern atheists (the correct usage: they do not have faith at all of gods, and are non-believers by **default**) are fighting that false image. They are no longer content to remain silent by the wayside while bigoted theists have their way with the world.

As a result, the word "atheist" has taken on the correct--**descriptive** meaning of the majority of folk it should apply to.

Atheist means not having any faith in any superstitious things, including (but not limited to) gods.

Having **faith** that there are no gods? Is a kind of theism all of it's own: a theism of no gods. Almost Zen, really...

But it's not atheism according to people who self-identify as "atheist".

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