Without theism, atheism is like Garfunkel without Simon

Algor

Well-known member
That's entirely false, and a mischaracterization which is beneath you. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods, and where it is a denial, it is nothing more than a denial of the existence of gods. It has no position on Good or Evil or anything other than gods.


I became an atheist because of theists. Some of them were fundamentalists, but others were just garden-variety believers. Sure, religious fundamentalism creates more atheists, but you're dismissing the obvious: some people come to reject the claim that gods exist simply by testing the claims of religion and its adherents.

Fundamentalism throws fuel on the atheism fire, but it was never needed to start that fire.
Yes: extreme positions validate each other, though they don't start each other, and they act continually to consolidate each other's positions.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
That's entirely false, and a mischaracterization which is beneath you. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods, and where it is a denial, it is nothing more than a denial of the existence of gods. It has no position on Good or Evil or anything other than gods.

Apparently, you don’t know what a-theism is. It includes those who deny or reject any deities. From Wikipedia.

Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief in the existence of deities.

Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist.

In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.”


Atheism is contrasted with theism which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.

I became an atheist because of theists. Some of them were fundamentalists, but others were just garden-variety believers. Sure, religious fundamentalism creates more atheists, but you're dismissing the obvious: some people come to reject the claim that gods exist simply by testing the claims of religion and its adherents.

Fundamentalism throws fuel on the atheism fire, but it was never needed to start that fire.
I agree that religious fundamentalism grows or feeds into a-theism.
 

Furion

Well-known member
On the face of it, I don't need theists. At all. They're welcome to exist, and the extent to which they treat me with respect is the extent to which I'll return the civility.

Atheism wouldn't exist without theism, but that doesn't then create any "need" for theism to exist. Cold doesn't need heat, negative doesn't need positive, up doesn't need down, etc ad nauseum.

Opposites don't in any reasonable sense need each other. They're consequential, not symbiotic.
You never would know atheism without God.

Post hoc rationalizations can't erase the symbiotic nature.

In the same way you would not know evil without good.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
Apparently, you don’t know what a-theism is.
It's not apparent at all. Being an atheist, I know precisely what atheism is, and what it isn't.

Theists are the ones who are confused...

It includes those who deny or reject any deities. From Wikipedia.

Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief in the existence of deities.

Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist.

In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.

Atheism is contrasted with theism which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.
All of this is consistent with what I've said (?). What exactly are you objecting to?
 

Algor

Well-known member
I mean: I agree - but are you calling atheism an extreme position?
In one sense it is definitionally, but no, I wasn't really referring to that. I'm just saying like there are varieties (and extremes of dogmatism and affect brought to doctrine) in Christianity, there is variation and ar extremes of rhetorical excess and affect brought to atheism.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
In one sense it is definitionally, but no,

…that was so politician like... either side could agree with it…but obviously the denial of God would ”by definition” be the opposite of believing in God. Ha Ha!
I wasn't really referring to that. I'm just saying like there are varieties (and extremes of dogmatism and affect brought to doctrine) in Christianity, there is variation and ar extremes of rhetorical excess and affect brought to atheism.
 

Algor

Well-known member
…that was so politician like... either side could agree with it…but obviously the denial of God would ”by definition” be the opposite of believing in God. Ha Ha!
Well, yeah. I'm not trying to be slimy, lol. Just trying to look at it differently.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
It's not apparent at all. Being an atheist, I know precisely what atheism is, and what it isn't.

Theists are the ones who are confused...


All of this is consistent with what I've said (?). What exactly are you objecting to?
Let us recap.

Docphin: A-theism is an irrational position. (Set aside its relation to religious fundamentalism)

Whateverman: No, a-theism is entirely rational.

Docphin: By definition, a-theism includes those who reject or deny the existence of any god or gods, to include a Cause of Good in the universe despite there being a Cause of Good in the universe. Therefore, a-theism is irrational. Agnosticism would be a more rational position.

But since religious fundamentalism is so extreme and out-there then a rejection of all gods or God seems perfectly rational to some people, although it actually is not rational. It is just an extreme reaction to the former.
 

Algor

Well-known member
Let us recap.

Docphin: A-theism is an irrational position. (Set aside its relation to religious fundamentalism)

Whateverman: No, a-theism is entirely rational.

Docphin: By definition, a-theism includes those who reject or deny the existence of any god or gods, to include a Cause of Good in the universe despite there being a Cause of Good in the universe. Therefore, a-theism is irrational. Agnosticism would be a more rational position.

But since religious fundamentalism is so extreme and out-there then a rejection of all gods or God seems perfectly rational to some people, although it actually is not rational. It is just an extreme reaction to the former.
Why can't the cause of good be material? If the mind is material dependent, then good is as well.
 

Mr Laurier

Well-known member
The worldwide percentage of those claiming to be atheists is estimated at 7%. Just for fun let's imagine a world in which it were near 100%. Would people gather to discuss their atheism? Are there currently gatherings of people discussing their agreement that the earth is not flat? Are we spheroid earthers as a general rule angry enough at the <.001% of flat earthers to spend hours a day vehemently railing against their beliefs?

I guess my thoughts may have once again gone misleading, but it seems to me that you atheists need us theists to spark any conversation about your lack of belief. Your philosophy is essentially negative in nature. Even if in one of these "atheist clubs"of which Gus was a member (though he may have been kidding), the members were to discuss the atheist philosophy of Nietzsche versus that of Voltaire, devoid of those two guys' rabid polemics against theism, there would be little to discuss.

Atheists: Sadly, your philosophy of life needs theism in order to have any meat on its bones. It is a scavenger philosophy eating away at that meat, but with a couple of exceptions I am quite fond of y'all and constantly pray that even the exceptions may ultimately find the Peace that will never come with what is little more than lack of belief.
Paul Simon has a decades long career as an independent recording artist.
Without religion, we just go to work in the morning, and go on vacation in the summer. We have sex with our girlfriends, and we go for walks in the park.
We do all this, without fear that some religions loon will force a law that requires us to profess belief in a god.
The only reason atheists are politically active in defense of the right to be atheists, is that there are religious people trying to make atheism illegal.
Read about the Dominionist movement. These people want to legislate their religion onto the rest of us, and they will not be polite about it.
Many dominionist leaders are very open about what they want to do to atheists. I dont particularly want to be burned to death.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
Let us recap.

Docphin: A-theism is an irrational position. (Set aside its relation to religious fundamentalism)

Whateverman: No, a-theism is entirely rational.

Docphin: By definition, a-theism includes those who reject or deny the existence of any god or gods, to include a Cause of Good in the universe despite there being a Cause of Good in the universe. Therefore, a-theism is irrational. Agnosticism would be a more rational position.

But since religious fundamentalism is so extreme and out-there then a rejection of all gods or God seems perfectly rational to some people, although it actually is not rational. It is just an extreme reaction to the former.
Atheism isn't an extreme reaction to fundamentalism. It's a reaction to claims made by theism.

And really, where's the evidence that a reaction to extremism is, itself, extreme? You're assuming this without making any effort to support it...
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
In one sense it is definitionally, but no, I wasn't really referring to that. I'm just saying like there are varieties (and extremes of dogmatism and affect brought to doctrine) in Christianity, there is variation and ar extremes of rhetorical excess and affect brought to atheism.
OK, I can agree with that.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Why can't the cause of good be material?

Because the material is being moved by a Cause. The material does not move itself, intelligence or reason animates it. Just as a human body is moved by a Cause, or an intelligent thought, so is the sensible cosmos moved by a Cause, an intelligent thought (aka Greek: Logos). There is an intelligent Mover and that which is being moved.
If the mind is material dependent, then good is as well.
Can you weigh Good on a scale? Can you enclose Good in a container? Nope, therefore, it cannot be mere material.
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member

Algor

Well-known member
Because the material is being moved by a Cause. The material does not move itself, intelligence or reason animates it. Just as a human body is moved by a Cause, or an intelligent thought, so is the sensible cosmos moved by a Cause, an intelligent thought (aka Greek: Logos). There is an intelligent Mover and that which is being moved.

Can you weigh Good on a scale? Can you enclose Good in a container? Nope, therefore, it cannot be mere material.
Well, we've beaten causal vs acausal to death so I don't want to revisit that, but I don't think mind is material, but it does seem to arise or depend on the material. It isn't clear that one needs to invoke another mind to explain it: that just leads to how do you explain (or even locate) that other mind, etc.
 

Mr Laurier

Well-known member
Who implied otherwise?



Who implied otherwise?



Never heard of it. Do you feel threatened by them? Do they scare you?
You.


You.


Its only the most powerful and influential force within the American far right evangelical faction.
Given that they want to kill all natives and people of mixed "race"... plus all atheists. .
Given that they OWN almost half of the American Republican Party, and have placed their members in the American police, courts, and general staff.
 
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Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
The worldwide percentage of those claiming to be atheists is estimated at 7%. Just for fun let's imagine a world in which it were near 100%. Would people gather to discuss their atheism? Are there currently gatherings of people discussing their agreement that the earth is not flat? Are we spheroid earthers as a general rule angry enough at the <.001% of flat earthers to spend hours a day vehemently railing against their beliefs?
No, people wouldn't discuss their atheism. There'd be no point - they wouldn't even realise/think about the fact that they were atheists. Why would you even ask such a question?
I guess my thoughts may have once again gone misleading, but it seems to me that you atheists need us theists to spark any conversation about your lack of belief. Your philosophy is essentially negative in nature.
Atheism isn't a philosophy. It's a lack of one particular belief and, like all lacks of belief, is completely negative in nature. So what?

Even if in one of these "atheist clubs"of which Gus was a member (though he may have been kidding), the members were to discuss the atheist philosophy of Nietzsche versus that of Voltaire, devoid of those two guys' rabid polemics against theism, there would be little to discuss.
So what?
Atheists: Sadly, your philosophy of life needs theism in order to have any meat on its bones. It is a scavenger philosophy eating away at that meat, but with a couple of exceptions I am quite fond of y'all and constantly pray that even the exceptions may ultimately find the Peace that will never come with what is little more than lack of belief.
Again, it's not a philosophy. I don't see what the point of this thread is. Are you going to start a thread about how apolitical people rely on political people to exist?
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
Let us recap.

Docphin: A-theism is an irrational position. (Set aside its relation to religious fundamentalism)

Whateverman: No, a-theism is entirely rational.

Docphin: By definition, a-theism includes those who reject or deny the existence of any god or gods, to include a Cause of Good in the universe despite there being a Cause of Good in the universe. Therefore, a-theism is irrational. Agnosticism would be a more rational position.
This does not follow. Firstly, if atheism includes some people who take an irrational position regarding something, then that makes those people and their position irrational, not atheism itself irrational. To show that atheism is irrational you would need to show that a lack of belief in the existence of gods (and not anything that you think that lack of belief implies) is irrational. Good luck.

You have not demonstrated that there is a 'Cause of Good' in the universe, so you've not demonstrated that the lack of belief in such a 'Cause of Good' is irrational.
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
No, people wouldn't discuss their atheism.

Exactly.

Atheism isn't a philosophy.

Correct. Neither is lack of belief that the earth is flat.

Again, it's not a philosophy.

You're repeating yourself.



I don't see what the point of this thread is.

I can tell.

Are you going to start a thread about how apolitical people rely on political people to exist?

No, especially since I never said that atheists rely on theists to EXIST.
 
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