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 Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.

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Hguols

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PostSubject: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:31 pm

I think most of you know, I've been trying to understand some of the logic involved with atheists on their WWGHA forum. (WWGHA stands for Why won't God Heal Amputees?) I posted something that interests me at least, and I wanted to know other people's views on this. (am I way off? Am I right on?)

Sorry DoL if this is a rehash from the forum.

Atheists insist that atheism isn't a belief. It's a lack of belief. Its the antithesis of belief.
They claim their lack of belief in God is comparable to my lack of belief in Santa Claus or Zeus. There's nothing there.

They've used a few witty sayings to assert their claims,
"Atheism is to belief as bald is to hair color"
"Is not collecting stamps a hobby? Is atheism a belief?"
..however, I find these examples to lack true correlation to each other.

Truth aside, it's just as legitimate of a statement to say
Atheism is to open-mindedness as bald is to hair color
Is not collecting stamps a hobby? Is atheism openminded?
....it's a poor parallel, and a witty analogy at best.

The argument I made in regards to atheist being a BELIEF goes to the definition of the word Believe.

Quote :

(Webster.com) Believe

intransitive verb

1a : to have a firm religious faith b : to accept something as true, genuine, or real
2: to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something
3: to hold an opinion : think

transitive verb

1a : to consider to be true or honest b : to accept the word or evidence of
2: to hold as an opinion : suppose

They were seeing the word belief/believe as defined by the underlined 1 definitions, with the context of religion and their debates. However, there's a problem with that.

They've said so themselves that Atheism is not a firm religious faith. They've also said Atheism is not about accepting something as true, genuine or real - as it is about rejection of a proposition.
Would the 1 definitions really be in context to Atheism?

I pointed to the definition 3, what's in bold. While I'm here, I might as well define opinion. I bolded what I believe to be in proper context to belief.

Quote :

(Webster.com) Opinion

1a : a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter b : approval, esteem
2a : belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge b : a generally held view
3a : a formal expression of judgment or advice by an expert b : the formal expres​sion(as by a judge, court, or referee) of the legal reasons and principles upon which a legal decision is based

In other words, a belief can be an opinion, a personal view, a statement, a conclusion drawn.

By the definition of belief, atheism is a belief. ....it is something that can be chosen and it is tronger than an impression.
_________________________________

While I was researching a few things as far as atheism being a belief, I stumbled upon this.

Court rules atheism a religion - from the World Net Daily in 2005.

It's also mentioned in this 2007 article.

"The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described "secular humanism" as a religion."

They have their worldview.
They have their own orthodoxy.
They have their own brand of Apostasy.
They have their own brand of prophets. (Darwin, Russell, Nietzsche)
They have their own "evangelists". (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens are literally seeking to convert people)
They believe. (whether you want to call a thought, and opinion, it's still a form of belief.)

Sounds religious to me. Though, I have found another source that it's actually seen as "the equivalent to religion".

This Wikipedia article states, "In the United States, atheism is considered equivalent to religion under the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism_and_religion

....which I can accept, but "like religion" is certainly not the nothing they're trying to portray it as.

I know what you're perhaps wondering.
Out of all I posted, what were their responses?

One of the moderators gave me a "caveat". (that's how he put it) and stated:
"If you wish to categorize atheism as a 'not belief system' belief then go right ahead."

I stated, a non belief system belief is still a belief. ....and the moderator accused me of neglecting other points mentioned in the thread. Other people accused me of "goalpost shifting" in regards to not answering what they said in regard to Russel's teapot, me being a Deist, and their dissection of Barron's quote of "Not choosing is a form of choice; not believing is a form of belief".

I did ignore what was off topic to "Atheism being a belief/religion" (Deism, Russel's teapot) but addressed what was said about Barron's quote. They apparently didn't like the answer.

The responses to the court ruling Atheism as a religion weren't surprising.
The court is WRONG.... Ultimately because a little community of thinkers know more, and are more correct in logic than the judges in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

....and this is why I still have the impression that their "belief" isn't about what's really correct or true, but that they want to think a certain way, and most of all, they want to be right.

Knock knock....
Who's there?
God....
Who?
God....
Who?
God....
Who?
God....
Must be the wind....

Sadly, there is probably some truth to that. If there was empirical evidence of God, it would be dismissed in one of the "debate faults" or some other loophole they've coined.

Oh, and one more thing. Why do atheists recoil at the word "belief"?
It lies in the philosophical burden of proof.... (something I understand, but don't understand the purpose of)

If I state, "I believe unicorns don't exist" - apparently, I'm subject to the burden of proof.
Why? (if someone has a better explanation or understanding of the philosophical burden of proof, your enlightenment would be much appreciated.)

Anyway, I've typed long enough.
Hope someone gets something interesting out of this.



Last edited by Hguols on Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:42 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Walter Kovacs

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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:37 pm

Burden of Proof:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof

The comparison of atheism to religion is pretty interesting. It does sound as if you're starting to strike closer to home, from what you've said some of the replies are. You may want to take them to task about reason, and how the very concept of reason requires faith seeing as how reason is not something that can be proven scientifically.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:51 pm

Walter Kovacs wrote:
Burden of Proof:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof

The comparison of atheism to religion is pretty interesting. It does sound as if you're starting to strike closer to home, from what you've said some of the replies are. You may want to take them to task about reason, and how the very concept of reason requires faith seeing as how reason is not something that can be proven scientifically.

Like I said, I understand the burden of proof.... I just don't understand why.

....and what you've talked about in regards to reason is interesting.
I believe I'll gather some notes on that and start a new topic there.

I went from trolling them to actually making a point. ^_^
(I think they preferred me as a troll though)

By the way, they closed the thread. They stated everyone was just going in circles. *rolls eyes*

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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:58 pm

Praise God for you Walter/Whitefrozen!!! Extremely True words right there!

Also, they have started the specific debate thread between Parking and I, with a separate commentary thread where the entire board can comment.

I'm going to create an answer to the beginning, but with what you said, I'm personally pming you the 1st post of the debate. Debate is going to be about the accuracty/historicity/validity of Christ.

The reply to His' atheism and Him being more moral than God, will have to wait for a little bit. I have a ton of work to do.

I was also considering taking the thought process of order and chaos with them as well, since they live like they have an order, yet order and chaos are subjective to them.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:03 pm

Here's a post from Firestream that gave me some more to chew on regarding reason:


DaveAndrea wrote:

"There are also those who do not distinguish between faith and reason because they view reason itself as a leap of faith. In most disciplines reason is taken for granted, but an actual philosophical justification of it is ridiculously hard to make (unless you're a Christian of course). How could one go about explaining or discovering the nature of reason? It's not something you can see or touch, so you would have to arrive at it by rational arguments. But if we need to use rational arguments to prove the validity of Reason (aka rational argumentation) then we are clearly being circular because we assume the very conclusion at the outset that we wish to try to prove. So in effect, reason actually has no justification.

Now one could say that reason reflects the rational part of God's character, which is a non-circular way of justifying reason. But the existence of God is generally taken to be a matter of faith, so reason becomes bound up in faith. Reason could be attempted to be justified atheistically but it runs into a pile of problems such as the necessity of them being universal, or the reduction of them to bio-chemical reactions in the brain. If reason is not universal then it does not behave how we know it should, and if logic and reasoning is reducible to reactions in the brain, then what's to say that people have the same types of reactions in their brains. Why use rational arguments? Why not just spray something in their eye that will upset their brain reactions to match your own. And also, how can bio-chemical reactions come to know bio-chemical reactions; They are non-intelligent.

Due to the lack of progress in defining Reason atheistically, some have then suggested that the existence of God is a necessary condition for the existence of Reason. This means that we all know that reason exists and how to use it, but there is no fruitful discussion of its origins unless God is taken into the picture. This would be the transcendental argument for God's existence taken from a logical perspective. God is the entity that validates reason. We can use reason without acknowledging him, but we can never explain it apart from him. So going back to the beginning, faith and reason are inseparable.

Although I disagree with William Lane Craig and even Thomas Aquinas on many things (and I hardly have a complete knowledge of their works) both are very intelligent men with much to say that is worth hearing. I really should read more of Craig to get a better idea where he is coming from. I had to read some Aquinas for a class this year and I was blown away by what I read. I don't think I've ever read something so intelligent in all my life. It's dense stuff, but worth reading, even if you have to rely on a secondary source to be able to understand it."

I also recommend looking into Anselm and Aquinas's ideas.

Anselm developed the idea of proving God from reason alone, or the Ontological argument, and Aquinas offered Five Proofs for God which were primarily grounded in Aristotle ideas.

Taken from a random googled result:

"Aquinas's Proofs 1 to 3
1 - FIRST MOVER: Some things are in motion, anything moved is moved by another, and there can't be an infinite series of movers. So there must be a first mover (a mover that isn't itself moved by another). This is God.
2 - FIRST CAUSE: Some things are caused, anything caused is caused by another, and there can't be an infinite series of causes. So there must be a first cause (a cause that isn't itself caused by another). This is God.

3 - NECESSARY BEING: Every contingent being at some time fails to exist. So if everything were contingent, then at some time there would have been nothing -- and so there would be nothing now -- which is clearly false. So not everything is contingent. So there is a necessary being. This is God.

Aquinas's Proofs 4 and 5
4 - GREATEST BEING: Some things are greater than others. Whatever is great to any degree gets its greatness from that which is the greatest. So there is a greatest being, which is the source of all greatness. This is God.
5 - INTELLIGENT DESIGNER: Many things in the world that lack intelligence act for an end. Whatever acts for an end must be directed by an intelligent being. So the world must have an intelligent designer. This is God."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquinas#Theology

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anselm_of_Canterbury#Proofs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:59 pm

tl;dr.
ROFL
But yeah, Atheism is whack.
It makes no sense.
Listening to Dr. Dawkins explain atheism is like listening to a horse play Guitar Hero.
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The Last Firstborn

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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:45 pm

Hguols wrote:
Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief

wat
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:53 am

The Last Firstborn wrote:
Hguols wrote:
Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief

wat

It's true. They say what they have, is not a belief.
*shrugs*
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:49 am

I used to try to define how others should identify, too - but then I realized that makes me a dickhead. You want to know why they hate it when you say the "believe" in something? It's because you're attempting to decide something they've already decided for themselves.

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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:54 am

Let's also not lose sight of the fact that the term atheism means not-theistic. Whatever ideologies or other beliefs they may hold should be utterly irrelevant in your strives to debate theism with them.

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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:02 am

Belief and disbelief are two sides of the same coin. Neither necessarily entail knowledge.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:29 pm

Unicorns? Real.




Santa Claus? Real.


Pink Elephants? Real.


Green bunnies? Real.


God is Real.

Romans 1: 19-20

"Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."

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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:43 am

Kan-o-sushi wrote:
You want to know
why they hate it when you say the "believe" in something? It's because
you're attempting to decide something they've already decided for
themselves.

Look, if they want to discredit dictionaries because they want to coin their own definitions, and come up with other conclusions, there's not much I can really do.

If I get one person to seriously think about their logic regarding that, then that's the best I can hope for.

Kan-o-sushi wrote:
Let's also not lose sight of the fact that the term atheism means not-theistic.

I think you might want to read this in regards to the etymology of the word.

Kan-o-sushi wrote:
I used to try to define how others should identify,
too - but then I realized that makes me a dickhead.

In effect, you're trying to define how I should identify right now - so I
agree with that dickhead statement.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:59 am

Yeesh, bitter much?
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:11 pm

The Last Firstborn wrote:
Belief and disbelief are two sides of the same coin. Neither necessarily entail knowledge.

What about "belief" in the opinion, personal view definition of the word?

Isn't a disbelief in religion/God/faith still an opinion/personal view?

The Last Firstborn wrote:
Yeesh, bitter much?

Just droppin' it like its hot, chief. ^ _ ^
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:09 pm

Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Disbelief is the absence of belief, but as such it can't exist without belief. Both theists and atheists believe and disbelieve. So basically, saying atheism is not a belief (but rather a disbelief) is a completely moot point.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:28 pm

The Last Firstborn wrote:
Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Disbelief is the absence of belief, but as such it can't exist without belief. Both theists and atheists believe and disbelieve. So basically, saying atheism is not a belief is a completely moot point.

If they claim atheism as a belief, they're subject to the burden of proof.

This is their trump card to theists.... This is how they claim the supreme order is:

Theists: There is a God (belief)
Atheists: Prove it.

....as they put it, its now our move - like this is some giant psychological game of chess.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:33 pm

It really does rile them up when it's presented any other way, namely a way in which they also have to do some legwork. William Lane Craig is quite good at that, and it's probably one of the reasons he's so disliked by the atheist community. He spent about 10 minutes in his debate with Christopher Hitchens trying to get him to define his position. I'm pretty sure Hitchens knew if he did he'd be subject to providing proof of some kind.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:36 pm

Hguols wrote:
The Last Firstborn wrote:
Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Disbelief is the absence of belief, but as such it can't exist without belief. Both theists and atheists believe and disbelieve. So basically, saying atheism is not a belief is a completely moot point.

If they claim atheism as a belief, they're subject to the burden of proof.

This is their trump card to theists.... This is how they claim the supreme order is:

Theists: There is a God (belief)
Atheists: Prove it.

....as they put it, its now our move - like this is some giant psychological game of chess.

I'd suggest countering that with "no u prove there isn't a God", but that might imply agnosticism instead of theism, haw.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:47 pm

Hguols wrote:
Kan-o-sushi wrote:
Let's also not lose sight of the fact that the term atheism means not-theistic.
I think you might want to read this in regards to the etymology of the word.

Point taken. But what do you think about the rest of that post you quoted? Ultimately what I am asking is, why are you looking to tear down or dispute how they are identifying their already established world-view? Obviously you would want to tear down the world-view itself, but why bother with how they are identifying it? It should be irrelevant if you are trying to get them to understand theism as the only logical option. It is of no issue to the that debate, and the only reason for attempting to try to convince atheists their views are religious beliefs is so that you can win an argument. Further, attempting to forcefully redefine how someone identifies is a dehumanizing action because you are seeking to put your beliefs and decisions above their own autonomy. The principle is still that there is no reason to pursue a debate of this topic besides the desire to win an argument and put yourself in the position of the decision maker for someone else. If there is a legitimate reason, tell me.

Hguols wrote:

Kan-o-sushi wrote:
You want to know
why they hate it when you say the "believe" in something? It's because
you're attempting to decide something they've already decided for
themselves.

Look, if they want to discredit dictionaries because they want to coin their own definitions, and come up with other conclusions, there's not much I can really do.

If I get one person to seriously think about their logic regarding that, then that's the best I can hope for.

The atheist community is an active group of people who are trying to understand the world around them, and as such, everything they do in/for their community and themselves is an act of both world-view and identity building for said community and said self. Regardless of what they call their position (and I say your comments on the definition of atheism are fair) - and, they shouldn't call it atheism if they are to be literally accurate in terming it (nonetheless, it is still the name they have adopted for it) - the bottom line is that they have formed their own identity and their own views, no matter what it is called. They get angry because you are intruding on their personal/"spiritual", and intellectual identity, attempting to define it as something which it is opposed to.

Hguols wrote:

Kan-o-sushi wrote:
I used to try to define how others should identify,
too - but then I realized that makes me a dickhead.

In effect, you're trying to define how I should identify right now - so I
agree with that dickhead statement.

Touché. I guess one cannot point out another is being a dickhead without being one themselves. Laughing

To Sum It Up
1. Atheists become angry with the theist not because the theist is backing them into a corner (I sense ego), but because the theist is intruding on personal territory.
2. Any attempt to define how the Atheist is self-identifying which contradicts and overrides their identity is done purely out of self-interest. Doing so does not demonstrate theism as more logical or correct. (Unless you can give me a good reason to do so. Other wise I do not understand your need to try and do this.)
3. Everyone can be a dickhead. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:59 am

Kan-o-sushi wrote:

Point taken. But what do you think about the rest of that post you quoted? Ultimately what I am asking is, why are you looking to tear down or dispute how they are identifying their already established world-view? Obviously you would want to tear down the world-view itself, but why bother with how they are identifying it? It should be irrelevant if you are trying to get them to understand theism as the only logical option. It is of no issue to the that debate, and the only reason for attempting to try to convince atheists their views are religious beliefs is so that you can win an argument. Further, attempting to forcefully redefine how someone identifies is a dehumanizing action because you are seeking to put your beliefs and decisions above their own autonomy. The principle is still that there is no reason to pursue a debate of this topic besides the desire to win an argument and put yourself in the position of the decision maker for someone else. If there is a legitimate reason, tell me.

Well, here's an example.

Say you and I were having a debate on the existence of woodland creatures in a local forest. The point you're trying to make is that rabbits exist in the woodland. I not only say they don't exist in that woodland, but, I make the claim that there are really so such things as rabbits, as they're just a type of squirrel.

Are you going to provide your evidence in accordance with how I identify rabbits? (as a type of squirrel) ....or are you going to try to explain to me what a rabbit is before you actually provide evidence of their residency?

I'd like to mention, these people actually dismiss dictionary definitions in regards to Atheism. They say there's not a one of them "nuanced" enough. Red flag anyone?

It's really hard to get someone to look at the views of someone else when they've coined their own terminology.

Kan-o-sushi wrote:

Touché. I guess one cannot point out another is being a dickhead without being one themselves. Laughing

I didn't expect you to claim the title.

It all has to do with approach, interpretation and if its necessary.
"You've got something hanging out of your nose" might be received completely different than "Oh my God you're disgusting, get a ****ing Kleenex" even though the message is essentially the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:09 pm

kan-o-sushi wrote:
If there is a legitimate reason, tell me.

If a belief (or lack there-of) can't stand a little weathering, then you have to ask yourself if it is a position worth holding. It is no less dehumanizing than what Atheists tend to do which is attempt to disprove God and change a theistic world-view of a believer to that of an atheistic-world view. It's not dehumanizing at all. It's debate, and there is no trace of Hguols using any fallacies in his arguments. So his posts are in the clear, ethically speaking.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.   

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Atheists claim non-theism isn't a belief or a religion, but I found evidence against both.

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