Reasonable Faith Forums

Archived => Craig vs Carroll => Topic started by: dorel on July 20, 2014, 02:12:47 am

Title: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 20, 2014, 02:12:47 am
a situation
i ask you
-the number of coins in the glass is even or odd?
(god exist or not)
you have two possibility
1)to answer the question
2)to not answer the question
if you want to answer the question, your answer will be a "belief", a belief without proof, because you don't know the answer, we exclude the gnostics
in order to answer the question you have to hold a believed position

then
your answer to the question "is odd or even?"can be

the number of coins is odd (god exists)
or
the number of coins is even (god doesn't exist)

suppose that your answer is
-i don't believe that is odd (god exists), apart from it being not an answer to the question
i will than ask you
so, you believe that is even(god doesn't exists)?
you answer with
-no, i don't believe that is even(god doesn't exists) neither
i ask you again
the number of coins in the glass is even or odd?
what you believe, is odd or even?
if you don't believe that is odd nor that is even, is that you don't want to commit yourself with a believed position.
if you have a not committed attitude about the number of coins you are an agnostic
quote oxford dictionary>
agnostic=having a doubtful or non-committal attitude towards something
the answer that often gives (wrongly) agnostic atheists
-I don't know and I don't believe that god exists nor that he doesn't
is a fully agnostic answer
is nothing more than agnosticism
the right agnostic-atheist answer will be
- I don't know if god exists or not, but in my opinion, or I think or, I believe that god does not exists
this answer is distinct from  "fully agnostic" answer
the person makes a commitment, even if he is not sure
so, in part he is an agnostic
but also an atheist because without being certain he hold the atheist position that there is no god
an agnostic-atheist
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 20, 2014, 03:33:41 am
I do not see that we, inside the universe / everything, necessarily should be equipped to understand the universe --  there just might not be any full explanation that any human could state, less comprehend. A very poor analogue would be that I cannot explain the existence of a book to the characters in it.

In math there exists true statements that cannot be be proven true within any consistent axiomatic setup (Gödel).

So maybe the sentence "creation of the universe" is just not valid, since these are words created by mankind to describe stuff and relations inside the universe.

Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 20, 2014, 04:29:33 am
"creation of the universe"
nowadays cosmology tells us that the universe, all "the natural" has a beginning.
may be the word "creation" is inappropriate, can be changed by "what cause" the universe to begin to exist.
the theist-believers expectation is that the answer is god "cause the beginning of the universe"
the atheist-believers expectation is that "a natural process" cause the beginning of the universe.
question
is one of this expectation more reasonable than the other?
depends
atheism is more reasonable white an eternal universe
atheism is last reasonable white an universe that has a beginning.
if the prediction of the big bang theory is true, the space-time, matter and energy has a beginning, even the laws of nature.
so, no longer can be argued that everything has a natural cause, because the "all natural" has a beginning, and cannot cause himself before he existed.
atheist-believers can say that what was before the beginning of the universe was an "other natural" which cause "our natural"
this can be believed only based on faith, because not exist the  evidence that exist something like "other natural"
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 20, 2014, 05:19:35 am
I'm not sure that cosmology tells us that the universe had a beginning. Only that the equations break down when the universe becomes too dense. It is one of the questions a unified theory of quantum physics and relativity hopes to resolve -- quantum loop gravity theories etc... I don't know anything about these.

But suppose that there WAS a beginning. (the Hartle-Hawking model is such a model), then what if time also was started there... Then the word "before" only works after the Big Bang. And, if you cannot talk of concepts like before and after, then how do you define a "cause", when you cant time-order cause and effect? "Before the Big Bang" may not make any sense.

I guess this all ends in the ongoing? debate about the nature of time (A/B series, what is the "present", difference between measurement of time and time itself.)

Einstein said:
Quote
Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent "now" objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.

- I am just pointing out that we should be extremely careful, when applying these words to so extreme events and situations. Situations which are so unlike our everyday life, where we normally use these words and intuitively agree on their meaning.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 20, 2014, 09:56:09 am
the big bang theory has predictions.
in the light of the evidence we have nowadays, is more likely that the universe has a beginning, that has not.
is true that many atheist-scientist try to explain away those evidence that point to a beginning of the universe, by inventing or imagining multi-verses, parallel universes, bubble universes etc.
i believe science, but not an imaginative one.
if you say that my god is the fruit of my imagination, than you do come with an hypothesis imagined by you, and arguing that your more reasonable than me, i will laugh in your face.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 20, 2014, 12:49:34 pm
I cannot see how you can assign probabilities for and against a beginning, given the current science. And in the case there was a beginning, by the well-established theory of relativity,  space and time are intertwined, so how only time can precede a Big Bang is beyond my compehension (space being created in the Big Bang). I am not attacking your belief, merely trying to find out what you are actually stating.

Your two only alternatives
1) god create the universe
2) a natural process create the universe
does not seem exhaustive to me. Therefore your argument that atheism is a belief, does not seem convincing to me.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: aleph naught on July 20, 2014, 01:05:38 pm
If atheism means "doesn't believe God exists", then no it's not a belief system (since atheism doesn't commit one to holding any particular belief). If atheism means "believes God doesn't exist", then yes it is a belief system and commits you to the belief "God does not exist".

Either way, they're not faith based positions. The former sort of atheist doesn't have any belief that he's taking on faith (since he doesn't actually believe God doesn't exist). The latter sort of atheist has a belief, but again he probably doesn't take it on faith since there are decent reasons to believe there are no gods.

Ultimately, I think this sort of debate over what 'atheism' means is stupid. I don't get why people find it interesting, it just distracts from actually arguing over whether or not God exists.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Rick Dawkins on July 20, 2014, 03:39:52 pm
If atheism means "doesn't believe God exists", then no it's not a belief system (since atheism doesn't commit one to holding any particular belief). If atheism means "believes God doesn't exist", then yes it is a belief system and commits you to the belief "God does not exist".

Either way, they're not faith based positions. The former sort of atheist doesn't have any belief that he's taking on faith (since he doesn't actually believe God doesn't exist). The latter sort of atheist has a belief, but again he probably doesn't take it on faith since there are decent reasons to believe there are no gods.

Ultimately, I think this sort of debate over what 'atheism' means is stupid. I don't get why people find it interesting, it just distracts from actually arguing over whether or not God exists.


rick dawkins doesnt  believe hitler existed- btw thats not a belief.

 all you are doing is asseint ing  that god doesnt exist as a fact in the first premise , and then decalring its not a belief system

l
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 20, 2014, 04:33:08 pm
What if someone has never heard about any God or deity, and has never thought about it. Is this person then a member of the "I don't believe that God exists" belief-system?
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: aleph naught on July 20, 2014, 05:07:55 pm
If atheism means "doesn't believe God exists", then no it's not a belief system (since atheism doesn't commit one to holding any particular belief). If atheism means "believes God doesn't exist", then yes it is a belief system and commits you to the belief "God does not exist".

Either way, they're not faith based positions. The former sort of atheist doesn't have any belief that he's taking on faith (since he doesn't actually believe God doesn't exist). The latter sort of atheist has a belief, but again he probably doesn't take it on faith since there are decent reasons to believe there are no gods.

Ultimately, I think this sort of debate over what 'atheism' means is stupid. I don't get why people find it interesting, it just distracts from actually arguing over whether or not God exists.


rick dawkins doesnt  believe hitler existed- btw thats not a belief.

 all you are doing is asseint ing  that god doesnt exist as a fact in the first premise , and then decalring its not a belief system

l

Huh? It's perfectly compatible to neither believe P nor ~P, and withhold judgement all together. Such a person wouldn't make any assertions at all.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 21, 2014, 12:30:03 am
christian-believer = a person who believe that in the world exist natural processes, but the same world was created by a christian interpretation of god
muslim-believer = a person who believe that in the world exist natural processes, but the same world was created by a muslim interpretation of god
atheist-believer = a person who believe that the world exist only with natural processes, and was created by a natural process,  without god or gods
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 21, 2014, 02:56:47 am
What if someone has never heard about any God or deity, and has never thought about it. Is this person then a member of the "I don't believe that God exists" belief-system?
somebody who don't know about god is in a group of those who don't know about god.
if you speak them about the universe having a beginning he have three options>
1>believing that somebody, a superpower creates the universe, theist-believer
2>believing that a natural process creates the universe, atheist-believer
3>does not committing himself with either of this two, expecting for more data, agnositic
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Rick Dawkins on July 21, 2014, 10:03:36 am
What if someone has never heard about any God or deity, and has never thought about it. Is this person then a member of the "I don't believe that God exists" belief-system?

They would fit it the not knowing ie agnostic, but thats still not true, the fact is they logically and theoretically at least not have any belief system ... pertainint to and gained from the word God.

but i dont think it lasts long, not for any child deemed normal and healthy for long , simply because questions like " where did mummy come from" where did i come from , seemingly are common .
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jubilee on July 21, 2014, 10:44:33 am
Not in itself, but atheism entails the rejection of classical metaphysics, a self-existent entity, etc, and so the philosphical moves available to an atheist are limited.

I'm inclined to think that atheism entails naturalism or pragmatism, because those are the only viable philosophies once pre-modern philosophy, and it's postulation of God, is rejected.

Partly because of the emphasis on specialization and the death of systematic philosophy in the 20th century, people have the naive and, I think, wrongheaded view that atheism can be a position in a vacuum.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Rick Dawkins on July 21, 2014, 10:48:05 am
If atheism means "doesn't believe God exists", then no it's not a belief system (since atheism doesn't commit one to holding any particular belief). If atheism means "believes God doesn't exist", then yes it is a belief system and commits you to the belief "God does not exist".

Either way, they're not faith based positions. The former sort of atheist doesn't have any belief that he's taking on faith (since he doesn't actually believe God doesn't exist). The latter sort of atheist has a belief, but again he probably doesn't take it on faith since there are decent reasons to believe there are no gods.

Ultimately, I think this sort of debate over what 'atheism' means is stupid. I don't get why people find it interesting, it just distracts from actually arguing over whether or not God exists.


rick dawkins doesnt  believe hitler existed- btw thats not a belief.

 all you are doing is asseint ing  that god doesnt exist as a fact in the first premise , and then decalring its not a belief system

l

Huh? It's perfectly compatible to neither believe P nor ~P, and withhold judgement all together. Such a person wouldn't make any assertions at all.

Erm no, at miniumum ,they are making the assertion belief to themself - God doesnt at exist,
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Rick Dawkins on July 21, 2014, 11:03:33 am
If atheism means "doesn't believe God exists", then no it's not a belief system (since atheism doesn't commit one to holding any particular belief). If atheism means "believes God doesn't exist", then yes it is a belief system and commits you to the belief "God does not exist".

Either way, they're not faith based positions. The former sort of atheist doesn't have any belief that he's taking on faith (since he doesn't actually believe God doesn't exist). The latter sort of atheist has a belief, but again he probably doesn't take it on faith since there are decent reasons to believe there are no gods.

Ultimately, I think this sort of debate over what 'atheism' means is stupid. I don't get why people find it interesting, it just distracts from actually arguing over whether or not God exists.


rick dawkins doesnt  believe hitler existed- btw thats not a belief.

 all you are doing is asseint ing  that god doesnt exist as a fact in the first premise , and then decalring its not a belief system

l

Huh? It's perfectly compatible to neither believe P nor ~P, and withhold judgement all together. Such a person wouldn't make any assertions at all.


"If atheism means "doesn't believe God exists", then no it's not a belief system (since atheism doesn't commit one to holding any particular belief)""""


Atheism is a belief system  coming from  1 belief , it is a word which is showing your stance on the word God.

Meaning that the person who is an atheist doesn't believe  God exists, we are not talking about agnostic atheists we are not talking about gnostic atheists , we are talking about Atheism and atheists ,

not agnostic atheism - or gnostic atheism .

Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 21, 2014, 02:11:06 pm
Quote
They would fit it the not knowing ie agnostic, but thats still not true, the fact is they logically and theoretically at least not have any belief system ... pertainint to and gained from the word God.

but i dont think it lasts long, not for any child deemed normal and healthy for long , simply because questions like " where did mummy come from" where did i come from , seemingly are common .

This demonstrates the existence of a human state where you simple do not have any deity in your radar, not even the question for and against existence exists in your mind. To me this is the extreme atheism, it is a non-belief, not a belief that "x does not exist". I do not think that agnosticism or gnosticism cover these, since they entail some sort of knowledge about the question. Similarly, to some extremely pragmatic naturalists I imagine the concept of God is so silly that, like flipping through a advertisement for useless stuff... If they hear about God, they simply forget the idea and move on to occupy their mind with something important and relevant. A mental front-door rejection of the God-question before it is evaluated in any sense.

Another example is: I am pretty sure there are deity's in the amazon that I I have not checked out. So i am aware in a very vague sense, of this deity -- I am aware that i COULD book a flight and travel into the jungle to find out what this god was all about (say the 40'th tribe you will meet if you start going up the amazon, to make it concrete). I choose not to make this travel, ... it is simply not worth the mental(and/or) physical effort to even educate myself about this God-question. BUT, I do not actively believe this God does not exists. I do not know enough to pose this God-question -- I am in a state of non-belief.

This is also atheism to me. non-belief.

Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Rick Dawkins on July 21, 2014, 02:58:57 pm
Quote
They would fit it the not knowing ie agnostic, but thats still not true, the fact is they logically and theoretically at least not have any belief system ... pertainint to and gained from the word God.

but i dont think it lasts long, not for any child deemed normal and healthy for long , simply because questions like " where did mummy come from" where did i come from , seemingly are common .

This demonstrates the existence of a human state where you simple do not have any deity in your radar, not even the question for and against existence exists in your mind. To me this is the extreme atheism, it is a non-belief, not a belief that "x does not exist". I do not think that agnosticism or gnosticism cover these, since they entail some sort of knowledge about the question. Similarly, to some extremely pragmatic naturalists I imagine the concept of God is so silly that, like flipping through a advertisement for useless stuff... If they hear about God, they simply forget the idea and move on to occupy their mind with something important and relevant. A mental front-door rejection of the God-question before it is evaluated in any sense.

Another example is: I am pretty sure there are deity's in the amazon that I I have not checked out. So i am aware in a very vague sense, of this deity -- I am aware that i COULD book a flight and travel into the jungle to find out what this god was all about (say the 40'th tribe you will meet if you start going up the amazon, to make it concrete). I choose not to make this travel, ... it is simply not worth the mental(and/or) physical effort to even educate myself about this God-question. BUT, I do not actively believe this God does not exists. I do not know enough to pose this God-question -- I am in a state of non-belief.

This is also atheism to me. non-belief.

well atheism is a non belief in the sense "they dont have the positive belief God exists", but the atheist to themselves  also has the belief God doesnt exist, so it is a belief system.

like you surely must know , behind a belief is a reason, atheists dont just not believe in God for no reason at all.

and if they do they cannot be even attempting to be rational on that matter.

a person who has no concept cannot hold a belief on said concept they simply do not have any belief  it is no beliefs regarding the concept.

atheism cannot be applied to it, the closest that can be applied is agnostic simply because they do not know, but like i said agnostic cannot really be logically applied - because being an agnostic or theist or atheist, entails that you do know of the concept of God.


Atheism is simply not rationally and logically a non belief only, it is not just an absence of belief .If atheism was  just an absence of belief , then they wouldn't be atheists, because  they wouldn't even know about the concept of God and therefore have no beliefs .




Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Rick Dawkins on July 21, 2014, 03:27:45 pm


Atheism: The Definition That Will Not Die! - William Lane Craig, PhD
 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W4GDXBNwbs)
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 21, 2014, 06:00:54 pm
I will agree on that not all atheists are per definition believers, but some (probably many) believe in certain reasons why theists are wrong. But I would like to put on record that atheists in general do not go to "science-mass", and do not "worship" science any more than most theists do study science. Atheism is in that sense not a competing "belief of science" (in a broad sense, globally. - locally people can end up taking sides and going to extremes of course, it happens, sadly). Many believers on these forums probably know more science than the average Danish secular-atheist just going about his/her everyday business.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Rick Dawkins on July 22, 2014, 12:52:19 am
I will agree on that not all atheists are per definition believers, but some (probably many) believe in certain reasons why theists are wrong. But I would like to put on record that atheists in general do not go to "science-mass", and do not "worship" science any more than most theists do study science. Atheism is in that sense not a competing "belief of science" (in a broad sense, globally. - locally people can end up taking sides and going to extremes of course, it happens, sadly). Many believers on these forums probably know more science than the average Danish secular-atheist just going about his/her everyday business.

science ruins many people , the lay people , who believe science as gospel truth, when things are stated as a fact some people are susepitble to it and believe it as fact.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 22, 2014, 02:55:44 am
our reality needs an explanation,
for a theist, god is the best explanation.
the discussion is not about if a person exist or not.
example:
i believe that bigfoot exist
you not believe that is true that bigfoot exist .
what if bigfoot exist? nothing
what if is not true that bigfoot exist? nothing
why? because bigfoot is not an explanation for anything.
with god is different.
if i believe that is truth that god exist, a set of propositions will has to be accepted being true,example: god created the universe
if i don't believe that is true that god exist, a set of other propositions has to be accepted being true, a natural process created the universe.
it can be stated without invoking "the belief" that the universe was created by a natural process
i think not.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 22, 2014, 05:41:46 am
@Rick Dawkins:
How do you support:
Quote
science ruins many people , the lay people , who believe science as gospel truth, when things are stated as a fact some people are susepitble to it and believe it as fact.

If this is true, then I wonder why WLC bother at all to build these "scientific" proofs of the pillars of belief? Is he not then contributing to the ruining of lay people?

Is the goal of science not to infer "facts" from nature, in the form of models and nature laws, etc...

Of course any honest teacher of science should tell the students, that all scientific "facts" are only the
BEST MODEL SO FAR. A science "law" typically should only be used within a certain regime (Newtons equation for macroscopic earthly calculations, QM for electrons, GR for predicting the behavior of interstellar light, etc...), and in the strictest sense no science law is "a fact", but its the law  (or maybe be a better word is "pattern") with the maximal predictive power.
Science can be viewed as a minimal collection of patterns that fits nature and allow us to consistently manipulate nature to our meet our needs. The old truth holds: Gravity cannot be proven true, only be falsified;
AND in order for a falsification to be scientifically acceptable, it should be reproducible.

Of course, lazy teacher do exist, and also lazy teachers that bully anyone challenging their authority exists, sadly. But I do not believe this is a property of what we call "science",  I believe this is a property of the human psyche.

In my opinion the assertment: "X ruins many people , the lay people , who believe X as gospel truth, when things are stated as a fact some people are susceptible to it and believe it as fact." is probably true for certain cults where cult leaders are using all tricks at their disposal to enlarge their flock of cult-followers, the ends (big flock) justifying the means. Scientific knowledge does not ruin people, but maybe it ruin some cult-members peace of mind.

It is unscientific (but human) to let the end justify the means, scientists who do this in their research are consistently kicked out and fired from their positions. Of course, a scientific status can be viewed as a way
of gaining authority which can be used for other gain, and science is in this sense always under the attack of ambitious people trying to piggy-back, just see the case of the politicians in Hungary, for instance. A reason
for these constant attacks could be that ... science works, and therefore to be associated with science is to be associated with efficiency.

Furthermore, some of the most successful scientists seek only understanding, maybe not even the recognition of their colleagues, less the recognition or worship of lay people. The mathematician Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman declined the Millenium prize of $1,000,000 (and the fields medal), for instance, for his proof of the Poincare conjecture.

To conclude: I do not believe there is a dichotomy science<->theism. There are humans that are theists
and do not know much science, and theists that know a lot and contribute to science's advancement -- there are atheists that know little science, and atheists that know a lot about science. You cannot split humanity in two in science<->theism.




Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 22, 2014, 05:53:06 am
Quote
our reality needs an explanation

Are you saying, "I need an explanation for our reality", or "reality can only exist explained"?
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Rick Dawkins on July 22, 2014, 08:56:01 am
@Rick Dawkins:
How do you support:
Quote
science ruins many people , the lay people , who believe science as gospel truth, when things are stated as a fact some people are susepitble to it and believe it as fact.

If this is true, then I wonder why WLC bother at all to build these "scientific" proofs of the pillars of belief? Is he not then contributing to the ruining of lay people?

Is the goal of science not to infer "facts" from nature, in the form of models and nature laws, etc...

Of course any honest teacher of science should tell the students, that all scientific "facts" are only the
BEST MODEL SO FAR. A science "law" typically should only be used within a certain regime (Newtons equation for macroscopic earthly calculations, QM for electrons, GR for predicting the behavior of interstellar light, etc...), and in the strictest sense no science law is "a fact", but its the law  (or maybe be a better word is "pattern") with the maximal predictive power.
Science can be viewed as a minimal collection of patterns that fits nature and allow us to consistently manipulate nature to our meet our needs. The old truth holds: Gravity cannot be proven true, only be falsified;
AND in order for a falsification to be scientifically acceptable, it should be reproducible.

Of course, lazy teacher do exist, and also lazy teachers that bully anyone challenging their authority exists, sadly. But I do not believe this is a property of what we call "science",  I believe this is a property of the human psyche.

In my opinion the assertment: "X ruins many people , the lay people , who believe X as gospel truth, when things are stated as a fact some people are susceptible to it and believe it as fact." is probably true for certain cults where cult leaders are using all tricks at their disposal to enlarge their flock of cult-followers, the ends (big flock) justifying the means. Scientific knowledge does not ruin people, but maybe it ruin some cult-members peace of mind.

It is unscientific (but human) to let the end justify the means, scientists who do this in their research are consistently kicked out and fired from their positions. Of course, a scientific status can be viewed as a way
of gaining authority which can be used for other gain, and science is in this sense always under the attack of ambitious people trying to piggy-back, just see the case of the politicians in Hungary, for instance. A reason
for these constant attacks could be that ... science works, and therefore to be associated with science is to be associated with efficiency.

Furthermore, some of the most successful scientists seek only understanding, maybe not even the recognition of their colleagues, less the recognition or worship of lay people. The mathematician Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman declined the Millenium prize of $1,000,000 (and the fields medal), for instance, for his proof of the Poincare conjecture.

To conclude: I do not believe there is a dichotomy science<->theism. There are humans that are theists
and do not know much science, and theists that know a lot and contribute to science's advancement -- there are atheists that know little science, and atheists that know a lot about science. You cannot split humanity in two in science<->theism.

i didnt mean it for everyone ,when i was at school i was put right off science , because the text book said, the possibility of life existing on other planets was  impossible.

It wasnt explained corectly,still,i am not  against science, its very interesting .

Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 22, 2014, 09:01:28 am
Quote
our reality needs an explanation

Are you saying, "I need an explanation for our reality", or "reality can only exist explained"?
people who are interested to find an explanation to the question "how or who caused the beginning of the universe" seek for an explanation.
"reality can only exist explained"?
i cannot see meaning behind this question.
the reality exist.
is up to us if we want to explain it or not
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 22, 2014, 09:43:41 am
Quote
our reality needs an explanation

Are you saying, "I need an explanation for our reality", or "reality can only exist explained"?
people who are interested to find an explanation to the question "how or who caused the beginning of the universe" seek for an explanation.
"reality can only exist explained"?
i cannot see meaning behind this question.
the reality exist.
is up to us if we want to explain it or not

Hi, the last was not a question in itself, the question started with "Are you...". I think I understand you now.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 28, 2014, 02:23:47 am
I cannot see how you can assign probabilities for and against a beginning, given the current science. And in the case there was a beginning, by the well-established theory of relativity,  space and time are intertwined, so how only time can precede a Big Bang is beyond my compehension (space being created in the Big Bang). I am not attacking your belief, merely trying to find out what you are actually stating.

Your two only alternatives
1) god create the universe
2) a natural process create the universe
does not seem exhaustive to me. Therefore your argument that atheism is a belief, does not seem convincing to me.

is very simple.
an atheist-believer believe that the universe has a natural cause
an theist-believer believe that the universe was caused by god
in order that this affirmations not to be based on faith is need to be proved.
and dis debate is important because the atheist-believers are convinced that they have a position based only on reason, and we theists are guided only and just by faith.
and this is absolutely wrong.
we are not guided just by faith
and they are not guided just by reason
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 28, 2014, 05:06:38 am
I cannot see how you can assign probabilities for and against a beginning, given the current science. And in the case there was a beginning, by the well-established theory of relativity,  space and time are intertwined, so how only time can precede a Big Bang is beyond my compehension (space being created in the Big Bang). I am not attacking your belief, merely trying to find out what you are actually stating.

Your two only alternatives
1) god create the universe
2) a natural process create the universe
does not seem exhaustive to me. Therefore your argument that atheism is a belief, does not seem convincing to me.

is very simple.
an atheist-believer believe that the universe has a natural cause
an theist-believer believe that the universe was caused by god
in order that this affirmations not to be based on faith is need to be proved.
and dis debate is important because the atheist-believers are convinced that they have a position based only on reason, and we theists are guided only and just by faith.
and this is absolutely wrong.
we are not guided just by faith
and they are not guided just by reason

You are quoting me for your answer also (the last half of the text inserted).

I do not know how the universe and everything got here. To me, maybe it existed forever, I have not seen anything but speculation about what was there before the time when the standard model and general relativity breaks down.
That God can be cause-less but the universe and time not, seems a bit ad hoc to me.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 29, 2014, 02:58:19 pm
You are quoting me for your answer also (the last half of the text inserted).

I do not know how the universe and everything got here. To me, maybe it existed forever, I have not seen anything but speculation about what was there before the time when the standard model and general relativity breaks down.
That God can be cause-less but the universe and time not, seems a bit ad hoc to me.
[/quote]

the problem is not that the universe cannot be cause-less
the universe in order to be cause-les has to be eternal, without beginning.
if the universe is eternal, appears another problem
the problem of an infinite numbers of events in the past.
if we have an infinite number of days in the past, from this infinite past we never can get to today.
suppose that the big-bang will be followed by a big-crunch, an than a big-bang and again a big-crunch
this series cannot occur infinitely in the past because, from this infinite past you cannot get to our big-bang
god is a better theory because he can exist eternally and changeless, and by his will to produce the "first change of all changes" the first cause of all causes.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 29, 2014, 03:39:23 pm
the problem is not that the universe cannot be cause-less
the universe in order to be cause-les has to be eternal, without beginning.
if the universe is eternal, appears another problem
the problem of an infinite numbers of events in the past.
if we have an infinite number of days in the past, from this infinite past we never can get to today.
suppose that the big-bang will be followed by a big-crunch, an than a big-bang and again a big-crunch
this series cannot occur infinitely in the past because, from this infinite past you cannot get to our big-bang
god is a better theory because he can exist eternally and changeless, and by his will to produce the "first change of all changes" the first cause of all causes.

Suppose time is eternal and was there before big bang, but somehow matter and space was not there...
Was it Leibniz that asked "why did he not create the universe any sooner?". How can God exist eternally, does he not have the exact same problem with getting to the big bang, time-wise? (this is a question to someone using the "no infinite regress"-argument and argues that there was a first time for the Universe, but God was there before, just sitting around in the void until he suddenly, for no reason (in time) decides to make a universe.)

Conversely, suppose time began at the big bang:
If there is no time before his creation, why does God then exist in time and intervene during the history of mankind, is he not outside?
How does causation outside of time work?
In the time-less void "before" time -- why does the causation point from God-> universe and not the other way, when there is no time to separate "intent to make universe" -> "creation of universe", did God originate in the first moment of the big bang (if he exists)?
How can he exist eternally outside of time, and still hold us responsible for our choices, does he not know them beforehand then?
Is this compatible with being benevolent?
Is this compatible with free will of humans?

I really do not see the difference between asking "God, how did he get here?" and "The universe and everything except God, how did it get here?". To allow God to not have a cause, and insist that the universe should have one -- is simple having double standards, in my opinion.

Why not just say; "The was an early time when the universe was so dense and so small. That is what we know, and after that we have theories and models" -- and perhaps also say "We believe that there is a God, because it feels good, and
because of [insert non-Big-Bang related proofs of God]"?

The world is full of puzzles - the wave/particle duality, for instance -- which we may never know the answer to. What precisely happened early in the Big Bang might be one of them. Because scientific knowledge has a gap, I do not see any reason to fill it with God. The Cristian church has a distinguished history of doing this (Copernicus, Galilei...), which sort of gives me inductive evidence for Christian apologetics  being wrong about the cosmological arguments.

Was it a Cardinal who said "The Holy Ghost intended to teach us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go", he could be right.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 30, 2014, 04:09:43 am
the problem is not that the universe cannot be cause-less
the universe in order to be cause-les has to be eternal, without beginning.
if the universe is eternal, appears another problem
the problem of an infinite numbers of events in the past.
if we have an infinite number of days in the past, from this infinite past we never can get to today.
suppose that the big-bang will be followed by a big-crunch, an than a big-bang and again a big-crunch
this series cannot occur infinitely in the past because, from this infinite past you cannot get to our big-bang
god is a better theory because he can exist eternally and changeless, and by his will to produce the "first change of all changes" the first cause of all causes.

Suppose time is eternal and was there before big bang, but somehow matter and space was not there...
Was it Leibniz that asked "why did he not create the universe any sooner?". How can God exist eternally, does he not have the exact same problem with getting to the big bang, time-wise? (this is a question to someone using the "no infinite regress"-argument and argues that there was a first time for the Universe, but God was there before, just sitting around in the void until he suddenly, for no reason (in time) decides to make a universe.)

Conversely, suppose time began at the big bang:
If there is no time before his creation, why does God then exist in time and intervene during the history of mankind, is he not outside?
How does causation outside of time work?
In the time-less void "before" time -- why does the causation point from God-> universe and not the other way, when there is no time to separate "intent to make universe" -> "creation of universe", did God originate in the first moment of the big bang (if he exists)?
How can he exist eternally outside of time, and still hold us responsible for our choices, does he not know them beforehand then?
Is this compatible with being benevolent?
Is this compatible with free will of humans?

I really do not see the difference between asking "God, how did he get here?" and "The universe and everything except God, how did it get here?". To allow God to not have a cause, and insist that the universe should have one -- is simple having double standards, in my opinion.

Why not just say; "The was an early time when the universe was so dense and so small. That is what we know, and after that we have theories and models" -- and perhaps also say "We believe that there is a God, because it feels good, and
because of [insert non-Big-Bang related proofs of God]"?

The world is full of puzzles - the wave/particle duality, for instance -- which we may never know the answer to. What precisely happened early in the Big Bang might be one of them. Because scientific knowledge has a gap, I do not see any reason to fill it with God. The Cristian church has a distinguished history of doing this (Copernicus, Galilei...), which sort of gives me inductive evidence for Christian apologetics  being wrong about the cosmological arguments.

Was it a Cardinal who said "The Holy Ghost intended to teach us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go", he could be right.

you say maybe was that way or other way.
why an eternal god and not an eternal universe.
you also say that maybe we never get an answer.
if we never get an answer how can be different one believe from another?
my claim is that the atheist-believers acusaciones that we theists are guided by believes and they are guided by reason is ridiculous.
what we believe is influenced by our world view.
if you are an atheist-believer, when you face the problem of how life arose is probable that you believe that a unknown natural process created the first life form, because you believe that the world exist without god or gods
atheism is a belief system
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on July 30, 2014, 04:26:12 am
the problem is not that the universe cannot be cause-less
the universe in order to be cause-les has to be eternal, without beginning.
if the universe is eternal, appears another problem
the problem of an infinite numbers of events in the past.
if we have an infinite number of days in the past, from this infinite past we never can get to today.
suppose that the big-bang will be followed by a big-crunch, an than a big-bang and again a big-crunch
this series cannot occur infinitely in the past because, from this infinite past you cannot get to our big-bang
god is a better theory because he can exist eternally and changeless, and by his will to produce the "first change of all changes" the first cause of all causes.

Suppose time is eternal and was there before big bang, but somehow matter and space was not there...
Was it Leibniz that asked "why did he not create the universe any sooner?". How can God exist eternally, does he not have the exact same problem with getting to the big bang, time-wise? (this is a question to someone using the "no infinite regress"-argument and argues that there was a first time for the Universe, but God was there before, just sitting around in the void until he suddenly, for no reason (in time) decides to make a universe.)

Conversely, suppose time began at the big bang:
If there is no time before his creation, why does God then exist in time and intervene during the history of mankind, is he not outside?
How does causation outside of time work?
In the time-less void "before" time -- why does the causation point from God-> universe and not the other way, when there is no time to separate "intent to make universe" -> "creation of universe", did God originate in the first moment of the big bang (if he exists)?
How can he exist eternally outside of time, and still hold us responsible for our choices, does he not know them beforehand then?
Is this compatible with being benevolent?
Is this compatible with free will of humans?

I really do not see the difference between asking "God, how did he get here?" and "The universe and everything except God, how did it get here?". To allow God to not have a cause, and insist that the universe should have one -- is simple having double standards, in my opinion.

Why not just say; "The was an early time when the universe was so dense and so small. That is what we know, and after that we have theories and models" -- and perhaps also say "We believe that there is a God, because it feels good, and
because of [insert non-Big-Bang related proofs of God]"?

The world is full of puzzles - the wave/particle duality, for instance -- which we may never know the answer to. What precisely happened early in the Big Bang might be one of them. Because scientific knowledge has a gap, I do not see any reason to fill it with God. The Cristian church has a distinguished history of doing this (Copernicus, Galilei...), which sort of gives me inductive evidence for Christian apologetics  being wrong about the cosmological arguments.

Was it a Cardinal who said "The Holy Ghost intended to teach us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go", he could be right.

you say maybe was that way or other way.
why an eternal god and not an eternal universe.
you also say that maybe we never get an answer.
if we never get an answer how can be different one believe from another?
my claim is that the atheist-believers acusaciones that we theists are guided by believes and they are guided by reason is ridiculous.
what we believe is influenced by our world view.
if you are an atheist-believer, when you face the problem of how life arose is probable that you believe that a unknown natural process created the first life form, because you believe that the world exist without god or gods
atheism is a belief system

Sure the difference between atheism and agnosticism is the belief that God does not exist. Maybe God is hiding in all the gaps of science, maybe not, but every time science closes a gap there is less room for any deity to hide in. This closing of gaps happens, and the gaps do not tend to open up again.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 30, 2014, 11:12:13 am
actually only exist two 4000 years old gaps.
number 1> everything that exist was created by god
number 2> god put life in the ordinary matter
so, all the gaps that science closed so far was a gaps in our knowledge, nod a "god of the gaps"
before we know why objects follows down, nobody thought that god push him down, and by discovering the force of gravity this god disappears.
the christian god is the creator of the whole show, he created everything even the laws that govern our universe
in order to close this gap you have to refute this huge gap, not thousand of small gaps
the problem is not that the universe cannot be cause-less
the universe in order to be cause-les has to be eternal, without beginning.
if the universe is eternal, appears another problem
the problem of an infinite numbers of events in the past.
if we have an infinite number of days in the past, from this infinite past we never can get to today.
suppose that the big-bang will be followed by a big-crunch, an than a big-bang and again a big-crunch
this series cannot occur infinitely in the past because, from this infinite past you cannot get to our big-bang
god is a better theory because he can exist eternally and changeless, and by his will to produce the "first change of all changes" the first cause of all causes.

Suppose time is eternal and was there before big bang, but somehow matter and space was not there...
Was it Leibniz that asked "why did he not create the universe any sooner?". How can God exist eternally, does he not have the exact same problem with getting to the big bang, time-wise? (this is a question to someone using the "no infinite regress"-argument and argues that there was a first time for the Universe, but God was there before, just sitting around in the void until he suddenly, for no reason (in time) decides to make a universe.)

Conversely, suppose time began at the big bang:
If there is no time before his creation, why does God then exist in time and intervene during the history of mankind, is he not outside?
How does causation outside of time work?
In the time-less void "before" time -- why does the causation point from God-> universe and not the other way, when there is no time to separate "intent to make universe" -> "creation of universe", did God originate in the first moment of the big bang (if he exists)?
How can he exist eternally outside of time, and still hold us responsible for our choices, does he not know them beforehand then?
Is this compatible with being benevolent?
Is this compatible with free will of humans?

I really do not see the difference between asking "God, how did he get here?" and "The universe and everything except God, how did it get here?". To allow God to not have a cause, and insist that the universe should have one -- is simple having double standards, in my opinion.

Why not just say; "The was an early time when the universe was so dense and so small. That is what we know, and after that we have theories and models" -- and perhaps also say "We believe that there is a God, because it feels good, and
because of [insert non-Big-Bang related proofs of God]"?

The world is full of puzzles - the wave/particle duality, for instance -- which we may never know the answer to. What precisely happened early in the Big Bang might be one of them. Because scientific knowledge has a gap, I do not see any reason to fill it with God. The Cristian church has a distinguished history of doing this (Copernicus, Galilei...), which sort of gives me inductive evidence for Christian apologetics  being wrong about the cosmological arguments.

Was it a Cardinal who said "The Holy Ghost intended to teach us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go", he could be right.

you say maybe was that way or other way.
why an eternal god and not an eternal universe.
you also say that maybe we never get an answer.
if we never get an answer how can be different one believe from another?
my claim is that the atheist-believers acusaciones that we theists are guided by believes and they are guided by reason is ridiculous.
what we believe is influenced by our world view.
if you are an atheist-believer, when you face the problem of how life arose is probable that you believe that a unknown natural process created the first life form, because you believe that the world exist without god or gods
atheism is a belief system

Sure the difference between atheism and agnosticism is the belief that God does not exist. Maybe God is hiding in all the gaps of science, maybe not, but every time science closes a gap there is less room for any deity to hide in. This closing of gaps happens, and the gaps do not tend to open up again.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Nightvid Cole on July 30, 2014, 02:03:39 pm
No, for the same reason lack of belief in unicorns, leprechauns, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc. is not a belief system.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on July 31, 2014, 01:15:00 am
No, for the same reason lack of belief in unicorns, leprechauns, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc. is not a belief system.

i'm a christian
suppose that you are an atheist
you believe that the world exist without god or gods, this is what atheism means, atheism = without god
if I Don't believe that atheism is true, if I reject the atheist affirmation " the world exist without god or any gods"
my christian belief is no more a belief?
your lack of faith in god not make you a believer.
>your believe without any proof that the life arose through a natural process makes you a believer, an atheist-believer
> your believe without any proof that the universe was caused by a natural process makes you a believer, an atheist believer.
what responsibilities have your unicorn?
if I say >bigfoot exist
you say> bigfoot do not exist
and what if is true that bigfoot exist?
nothing
and what if is not true that bigfoot exist?
nothing
whit god is different
if god exist a set of propositions has to be believed like truer
if you reject that god exist an other set of propositions has to be believed like truer
i accept god, i accept that god put life in ordinary matter, i cannot prove it , i'm a believer
you reject even the possibility that something like god exist, you think that life arose through a natural process, you cannot prove it
so you are a believer, an atheist-believer
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Nightvid Cole on July 31, 2014, 01:56:56 pm
No, for the same reason lack of belief in unicorns, leprechauns, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc. is not a belief system.

i'm a christian
suppose that you are an atheist
you believe that the world exist without god or gods, this is what atheism means, atheism = without god
if I Don't believe that atheism is true, if I reject the atheist affirmation " the world exist without god or any gods"
my christian belief is no more a belief?
your lack of faith in god not make you a believer.
>your believe without any proof that the life arose through a natural process makes you a believer, an atheist-believer
> your believe without any proof that the universe was caused by a natural process makes you a believer, an atheist believer.
what responsibilities have your unicorn?
if I say >bigfoot exist
you say> bigfoot do not exist
and what if is true that bigfoot exist?
nothing
and what if is not true that bigfoot exist?
nothing
whit god is different
if god exist a set of propositions has to be believed like truer
if you reject that god exist an other set of propositions has to be believed like truer
i accept god, i accept that god put life in ordinary matter, i cannot prove it , i'm a believer
you reject even the possibility that something like god exist, you think that life arose through a natural process, you cannot prove it
so you are a believer, an atheist-believer

A single position on a single issue is not a belief system.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Scott Morgan on July 31, 2014, 08:31:05 pm
Before making my first contribution on the RF forums, I want to say "hello" to everyone including theists, atheists, casual observers, etc. 

Is atheism a belief system?  Well, the word "system" would seem to imply functional, interworking parts or ideas constituting a more complicated whole.  As far as I know, atheism is simply an absence of belief in God.  I suppose atheists have their various reasons for disbelief, but I'm not so sure there's anything systematic about it.  They don't believe in deity and they simply do with life what they want to.

On the other hand, does it take faith to believe that the universe came about on its own accord from absolutely nothing?  Yes, I think so.  I've heard intelligent nonbelievers rationalize this viewpoint (because time began with the Big Bang, there was no time for a creater to create the universe) but I have doubts that many of these invidivuals really feel comfortable with the notion that our world simply exploded into being uncaused.

At any rate, have any of you among the christian audience ever had a profitable conversation with an atheist in trying to convince him/her that their viewpoint is a belief system (or a religion, for that matter)?  Personally, I think its a terrible ice-breaker.

Thanks for reading.   
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: jakswan on August 01, 2014, 02:00:19 am
Before making my first contribution on the RF forums, I want to say "hello" to everyone including theists, atheists, casual observers, etc. 

Is atheism a belief system?  Well, the word "system" would seem to imply functional, interworking parts or ideas constituting a more complicated whole.  As far as I know, atheism is simply an absence of belief in God.  I suppose atheists have their various reasons for disbelief, but I'm not so sure there's anything systematic about it.  They don't believe in deity and they simply do with life what they want to.

Theists in life do what they want to, many seem to have invented a version of God that makes their wants extra-special.

Quote
On the other hand, does it take faith to believe that the universe came about on its own accord from absolutely nothing?

Maybe it takes no faith as they may have come to that position based on reason and logic. "Universe from nothing believers" have also nothing to do with atheism, not collecting stamps, or not being a communist.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on August 01, 2014, 06:44:13 am
No, for the same reason lack of belief in unicorns, leprechauns, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc. is not a belief system.

i'm a christian
suppose that you are an atheist
you believe that the world exist without god or gods, this is what atheism means, atheism = without god
if I Don't believe that atheism is true, if I reject the atheist affirmation " the world exist without god or any gods"
my christian belief is no more a belief?
your lack of faith in god not make you a believer.
>your believe without any proof that the life arose through a natural process makes you a believer, an atheist-believer
> your believe without any proof that the universe was caused by a natural process makes you a believer, an atheist believer.
what responsibilities have your unicorn?
if I say >bigfoot exist
you say> bigfoot do not exist
and what if is true that bigfoot exist?
nothing
and what if is not true that bigfoot exist?
nothing
whit god is different
if god exist a set of propositions has to be believed like truer
if you reject that god exist an other set of propositions has to be believed like truer
i accept god, i accept that god put life in ordinary matter, i cannot prove it , i'm a believer
you reject even the possibility that something like god exist, you think that life arose through a natural process, you cannot prove it
so you are a believer, an atheist-believer

A single position on a single issue is not a belief system.
actually if you are an atheist-believer you have to believe a set of afirmaciones not just that god not exist.
- free will not exist
- good and evil not exist
- universe com out from nothing
- life arose from mud
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: jakswan on August 01, 2014, 09:22:09 am
actually if you are an atheist-believer you have to believe a set of afirmaciones not just that god not exist.
- free will not exist
- good and evil not exist
- universe com out from nothing
- life arose from mud

No you could be an atheist and believe in none of those things. You could also believe in other deities and believe in all of those things.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on August 01, 2014, 10:09:58 am
actually if you are an atheist-believer you have to believe a set of afirmaciones not just that god not exist.
- free will not exist
- good and evil not exist
- universe com out from nothing
- life arose from mud

No you could be an atheist and believe in none of those things. You could also believe in other deities and believe in all of those things.

actually is not so.
if atheism is true and things like god or gods don't exist, all that is, is a material world.
it means that everything that you do is predetermined by physical and chemical reactions, you have just an illusion of free will, because you not have control over this reactions.
if you believe in any kind of other deities you are not an atheist-believer.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 01, 2014, 03:50:25 pm
Quantum theories are not necessarily deterministic. In some interpretations it is the probabilities that propagate by deterministic rules. It it also not a given that if you are an atheist you believe that the universe came out of nothing. There are other possibilities, and to me, you could even imagine that the thruth is unimaginable by human brains.  It seems like the last hiccup of heliocentricism that we humans should be able to understand everything if we just make a big enough metaphysical castle of concepts.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Scott Morgan on August 01, 2014, 04:43:11 pm
Before making my first contribution on the RF forums, I want to say "hello" to everyone including theists, atheists, casual observers, etc. 

Is atheism a belief system?  Well, the word "system" would seem to imply functional, interworking parts or ideas constituting a more complicated whole.  As far as I know, atheism is simply an absence of belief in God.  I suppose atheists have their various reasons for disbelief, but I'm not so sure there's anything systematic about it.  They don't believe in deity and they simply do with life what they want to.

Theists in life do what they want to, many seem to have invented a version of God that makes their wants extra-special.

Quote
On the other hand, does it take faith to believe that the universe came about on its own accord from absolutely nothing?

Maybe it takes no faith as they may have come to that position based on reason and logic. "Universe from nothing believers" have also nothing to do with atheism, not collecting stamps, or not being a communist.

Fair enough--theists do what they want to do also.   I guess you might say we all do what we want to based on who we are and the confinements of our circumstances. 

As for the last part about "Universe from nothing believers" having nothing to do with atheism, I don't think I entirely understand what is meant here (based on the context of my original text).  I would think that the idea of a universe spontaneously arises by itself would have everything to do with atheism (not that ALL atheists would buy into this particular idea, however).
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Scott Morgan on August 01, 2014, 04:54:57 pm
I, personally, don't see atheism as a belief system.  But lets suppose a Christian were to pursuade an atheist that, "Yes, atheism is a belief system".

Then what?  Has something useful been accomplished?
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on August 02, 2014, 01:29:39 am
I, personally, don't see atheism as a belief system.  But lets suppose a Christian were to pursuade an atheist that, "Yes, atheism is a belief system".

Then what?  Has something useful been accomplished?

the only useful thing that may come from this discussion is that maybe some atheists convinced that they are guided just by reason, realise that in those two question where i have to use my faith to believe it named>
the universe was created by god
god put life in the ordinary matter
they also use faith to believe what they believe
when we look in the nature we see life coming from life, and we believe that the living god put life in this corner of the universe, and maybe in other places to
but they believe that the first life arise from non life, without any evidence, they had to believe so, because god or gods do not exist.
the atheist-believer may say that is not yet proven that the life arose from non life, but in a few years the proof will come.
so, they have faith that one day will come the proof what they need, in order to support what they believe.
it sound familiar.
a believer how expect the day in which he finally will meet god
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Scott Morgan on August 02, 2014, 04:50:07 pm
I, personally, don't see atheism as a belief system.  But lets suppose a Christian were to pursuade an atheist that, "Yes, atheism is a belief system".

Then what?  Has something useful been accomplished?

the only useful thing that may come from this discussion is that maybe some atheists convinced that they are guided just by reason, realise that in those two question where i have to use my faith to believe it named>
the universe was created by god
god put life in the ordinary matter
they also use faith to believe what they believe
when we look in the nature we see life coming from life, and we believe that the living god put life in this corner of the universe, and maybe in other places to
but they believe that the first life arise from non life, without any evidence, they had to believe so, because god or gods do not exist.
the atheist-believer may say that is not yet proven that the life arose from non life, but in a few years the proof will come.
so, they have faith that one day will come the proof what they need, in order to support what they believe.
it sound familiar.
a believer how expect the day in which he finally will meet god

I'd agree that there's areas where they utilize faith, and I think you touched on some key areas.  So I definitely think there's room for dialogue with atheists regarding such.   I would caution, however, that Christians be careful in their talks with atheists and avoid the "Atheism is a religion, too" cliche.  Also, instead of generalizing atheism as a belief system, its probably better to inquire of atheists their own individual belief systems.  You and I might rationalize that atheism doesn't allow for freewill, for example--and there's good arguing to be made there--but, surprisingly, not all atheists see it that way.

Thanks for responding.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on August 03, 2014, 02:27:47 am
I, personally, don't see atheism as a belief system.  But lets suppose a Christian were to pursuade an atheist that, "Yes, atheism is a belief system".

Then what?  Has something useful been accomplished?

the only useful thing that may come from this discussion is that maybe some atheists convinced that they are guided just by reason, realise that in those two question where i have to use my faith to believe it named>
the universe was created by god
god put life in the ordinary matter
they also use faith to believe what they believe
when we look in the nature we see life coming from life, and we believe that the living god put life in this corner of the universe, and maybe in other places to
but they believe that the first life arise from non life, without any evidence, they had to believe so, because god or gods do not exist.
the atheist-believer may say that is not yet proven that the life arose from non life, but in a few years the proof will come.
so, they have faith that one day will come the proof what they need, in order to support what they believe.
it sound familiar.
a believer how expect the day in which he finally will meet god

I'd agree that there's areas where they utilize faith, and I think you touched on some key areas.  So I definitely think there's room for dialogue with atheists regarding such.   I would caution, however, that Christians be careful in their talks with atheists and avoid the "Atheism is a religion, too" cliche.  Also, instead of generalizing atheism as a belief system, its probably better to inquire of atheists their own individual belief systems.  You and I might rationalize that atheism doesn't allow for freewill, for example--and there's good arguing to be made there--but, surprisingly, not all atheists see it that way.

Thanks for responding.

the other reason, and most important, to debate this topic is for those who are undecided to knowing that the other option is also a believe, not a fact.
is not a scientific fact that god not exist, is not even a scientific question.
is not a scientific fact that life arose from non-life through a unguided natural process, you can believe it by faith if you want
is not a scientific fact that the beginning of the universe was caused by an unguided natural process.
you can believe it if you want.
the game is not decided yet.
arguments exist in the both sides
the question is why to change a belief for another?
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: jakswan on August 04, 2014, 01:21:57 am
actually if you are an atheist-believer you have to believe a set of afirmaciones not just that god not exist.
- free will not exist
- good and evil not exist
- universe com out from nothing
- life arose from mud

No you could be an atheist and believe in none of those things. You could also believe in other deities and believe in all of those things.

actually is not so.

Actually it is so.

Quote
if atheism is true and things like god or gods don't exist, all that is, is a material world.

Atheism is not the position that God(s) do not exist, it is a lack of belief in any. They could still exist.

Quote
it means that everything that you do is predetermined by physical and chemical reactions, you have just an illusion of free will, because you not have control over this reactions.

No there could be invisible space aliens, Gods could still exist, magic, soul, etc.

Quote
if you believe in any kind of other deities you are not an atheist-believer.

Like you are a non-communist communist?
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on August 04, 2014, 02:25:03 am
actually if you are an atheist-believer you have to believe a set of afirmaciones not just that god not exist.
- free will not exist
- good and evil not exist
- universe com out from nothing
- life arose from mud

No you could be an atheist and believe in none of those things. You could also believe in other deities and believe in all of those things.

actually is not so.

Actually it is so.

Quote
if atheism is true and things like god or gods don't exist, all that is, is a material world.

Atheism is not the position that God(s) do not exist, it is a lack of belief in any. They could still exist.

Quote
it means that everything that you do is predetermined by physical and chemical reactions, you have just an illusion of free will, because you not have control over this reactions.

No there could be invisible space aliens, Gods could still exist, magic, soul, etc.

Quote
if you believe in any kind of other deities you are not an atheist-believer.

Like you are a non-communist communist?
"Atheism is not the position that God(s) do not exist, it is a lack of belief in any. They could still exist."
wrong again.
the position " may exist god or gods, but i believe that they don't exist" is not the atheistic position. The "I Don't know" is an agnostic position.
if you call yourself "atheist" which simply means "without god" a world without god, you commit yourself to the position "there is no god or gods"

"No there could be invisible space aliens, Gods could still exist, magic, soul, etc."
actually this is the case, god exist, because atheism is false
you cannot believe in the same time both position.
you cannot say that you refuse to believe that god or gods exist, but you see the possibility that god or gods exist.
you may believe that invisible aliens created our universe, but if you are an atheist-believer, you have to believe that what caused the existence of the aliens was a natural process.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: jakswan on August 04, 2014, 05:48:41 am
"Atheism is not the position that God(s) do not exist, it is a lack of belief in any. They could still exist."
wrong again.
the position " may exist god or gods, but i believe that they don't exist" is not the atheistic position. The "I Don't know" is an agnostic position.
if you call yourself "atheist" which simply means "without god" a world without god, you commit yourself to the position "there is no god or gods"

"No there could be invisible space aliens, Gods could still exist, magic, soul, etc."
actually this is the case, god exist, because atheism is false
you cannot believe in the same time both position.
you cannot say that you refuse to believe that god or gods exist, but you see the possibility that god or gods exist.
you may believe that invisible aliens created our universe, but if you are an atheist-believer, you have to believe that what caused the existence of the aliens was a natural process.

Atheism\ Theism - relates to what you believe.
Agnostic \ Gnostic - relates to what you know.

I'm an agnostic atheist, I hope this will help you not misrepresent my position in future.  :)
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on August 04, 2014, 01:40:00 pm
"Atheism is not the position that God(s) do not exist, it is a lack of belief in any. They could still exist."
wrong again.
the position " may exist god or gods, but i believe that they don't exist" is not the atheistic position. The "I Don't know" is an agnostic position.
if you call yourself "atheist" which simply means "without god" a world without god, you commit yourself to the position "there is no god or gods"

"No there could be invisible space aliens, Gods could still exist, magic, soul, etc."
actually this is the case, god exist, because atheism is false
you cannot believe in the same time both position.
you cannot say that you refuse to believe that god or gods exist, but you see the possibility that god or gods exist.
you may believe that invisible aliens created our universe, but if you are an atheist-believer, you have to believe that what caused the existence of the aliens was a natural process.

Atheism\ Theism - relates to what you believe.
Agnostic \ Gnostic - relates to what you know.

I'm an agnostic atheist, I hope this will help you not misrepresent my position in future.  :)

if you are an agnostic, nothing that i wrote refers to you.
you're agnostic position is clearly a believed position, you not know if god exist or not, but you believe that most probably doesn't exist any god.
i spoke about those who are atheist and claim that they have no beliefs or faith at all, that they are guided just by reason and knowledge.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 05, 2014, 05:36:40 am
Because you have certain questions, they could be "where did it all come from?" and "is there a supernatural power that control the world?", which you use a lot of energy thinking about -- other humans might never ask these questions. It is logically conceivable that humans exist -- or might some day-- and live their whole life only thinking non-theistic thoughts and questions. You cannot know that all people have taken a position in these questions. You cannot know that all people ask themselves these questions.

That is one argument against all faiths, to me: if all life on earth was wiped out and a new intelligent species arose, I can imagine them rediscovering electrodynamics. Because electrons and charge will be for them exactely as for us. I have doubts, though, that they will rewrite the old testament or koran... Logically, since big civilizations have flourished and perishef already on earth, we should have found such old religious textst with some resemblance to modern day holy texts, but where are they?
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on August 05, 2014, 03:46:28 pm
Because you have certain questions, they could be "where did it all come from?" and "is there a supernatural power that control the world?", which you use a lot of energy thinking about -- other humans might never ask these questions. It is logically conceivable that humans exist -- or might some day-- and live their whole life only thinking non-theistic thoughts and questions. You cannot know that all people have taken a position in these questions. You cannot know that all people ask themselves these questions.

That is one argument against all faiths, to me: if all life on earth was wiped out and a new intelligent species arose, I can imagine them rediscovering electrodynamics. Because electrons and charge will be for them exactely as for us. I have doubts, though, that they will rewrite the old testament or koran... Logically, since big civilizations have flourished and perishef already on earth, we should have found such old religious textst with some resemblance to modern day holy texts, but where are they?

actually almost all big civilizations have or had a concept of a higher power.
the supposition that other intelligent life form on earth may get another conclusion about how god is, is a speculation, and dependent if god revealed himself to this life form or not.
the judeo-christian god is a god who reveals himself to the mankind.
i know that this has to be believed, but those who believe it believe that god is not an invented theory, is a revelation.
what you say is like this>
maybe other people INVENT an other god.
this is because you believe that god is an invention, and is not reliable to you that god revealed himself to us.
because exist thousands of copies of Picasso, is not means that real Picasso artwork does not exist.
maybe exist 1000 invented gods
this not means that not exist one real god.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 09, 2014, 01:51:11 pm
I voted YES, atheism is a belief system, but I think that it is important to point out that atheism is primarily a belief system about other people's beliefs, or minimally, what atheists believe that other people believe. Atheism is a dissenting opinion about God, without, of course, clearly defining what the atheist means by the name/term/label "God" and based on their definition, what it means for this "God" to either "exist" or not "exist", which points out that atheism also fails to define the term "to exist." Atheism is a belief "system" because we can see systematic patterns of reasoning and discourse based on conceptualizations in atheists' arguments against other people's understanding of God. Atheism creates a variety of straw man gods to "burn at the stake" in an attempt to assert that "God/god/gods" (as they understand God/god/gods) does/do not "exist."
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 10, 2014, 03:34:15 pm
I voted YES, atheism is a belief system, but I think that it is important to point out that atheism is primarily a belief system about other people's beliefs, or minimally, what atheists believe that other people believe. Atheism is a dissenting opinion about God, without, of course, clearly defining what the atheist means by the name/term/label "God" and based on their definition, what it means for this "God" to either "exist" or not "exist", which points out that atheism also fails to define the term "to exist." Atheism is a belief "system" because we can see systematic patterns of reasoning and discourse based on conceptualizations in atheists' arguments against other people's understanding of God. Atheism creates a variety of straw man gods to "burn at the stake" in an attempt to assert that "God/god/gods" (as they understand God/god/gods) does/do not "exist."

I can state that a supernatural being exists, if I can see convincing evidence that it exists. To be supernatural it should be able to do things that are unnatural, i.e. faster than light, be a 2000 year old human, levitate or shoot fireballs from the hands... And for these extraordinary claims there should be extraordinary proof. That is, there should be multiple independent testamony recorded right away, not 40 years later -- a recording or video would be nice.

A big booming voice in my head telling me the comming superbowl winner would also be acceptable, to me...it need to be something that I can verify.

Until such proof, with only weaker mouth-to-mouth evidence, I will claim to be agnostic humanist and naturalist, borderline atheist,

Also, the only thing dorel really can argue, is that atheism is a belief, not a belief system... There is no organized way of not believing in supernatural beings. There is nothing more to it than that, no big system, just the belief that no supernatural beings or powers exist. Period. But to make such a belief fit with modern science takes a very very big system, and huge leaps of faith...
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on August 11, 2014, 02:01:07 am
I voted YES, atheism is a belief system, but I think that it is important to point out that atheism is primarily a belief system about other people's beliefs, or minimally, what atheists believe that other people believe. Atheism is a dissenting opinion about God, without, of course, clearly defining what the atheist means by the name/term/label "God" and based on their definition, what it means for this "God" to either "exist" or not "exist", which points out that atheism also fails to define the term "to exist." Atheism is a belief "system" because we can see systematic patterns of reasoning and discourse based on conceptualizations in atheists' arguments against other people's understanding of God. Atheism creates a variety of straw man gods to "burn at the stake" in an attempt to assert that "God/god/gods" (as they understand God/god/gods) does/do not "exist."

I can state that a supernatural being exists, if I can see convincing evidence that it exists. To be supernatural it should be able to do things that are unnatural, i.e. faster than light, be a 2000 year old human, levitate or shoot fireballs from the hands... And for these extraordinary claims there should be extraordinary proof. That is, there should be multiple independent testamony recorded right away, not 40 years later -- a recording or video would be nice.

A big booming voice in my head telling me the comming superbowl winner would also be acceptable, to me...it need to be something that I can verify.

Until such proof, with only weaker mouth-to-mouth evidence, I will claim to be agnostic humanist and naturalist, borderline atheist,

Also, the only thing dorel really can argue, is that atheism is a belief, not a belief system... There is no organized way of not believing in supernatural beings. There is nothing more to it than that, no big system, just the belief that no supernatural beings or powers exist. Period. But to make such a belief fit with modern science takes a very very big system, and huge leaps of faith...

A belief system is a set of mutually supportive beliefs. The beliefs of any such system can be classified as religious, philosophical, ideological, or a combination of these. Philosopher Jonathan Glover says that beliefs are always part of a belief system, and that tenanted belief systems are difficult for the tenants to completely revise or reject.
in this context atheism is a set of mutually supportive beliefs>
atheism = world without god, if you believe this, you have to believe that everything that exist has a natural cause

life = arose through a natural process, no evidence support this

universe = was caused by a natural process, no evidence support this

objective morality do not exist

free will is just an illusion, everything is predetermined by physical and chemical reactions

so, a set of mutually supportive beliefs.
an yes, atheism is not a organised religion, but is a organized ideologi.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 11, 2014, 02:54:46 am
I voted YES, atheism is a belief system, but I think that it is important to point out that atheism is primarily a belief system about other people's beliefs, or minimally, what atheists believe that other people believe. Atheism is a dissenting opinion about God, without, of course, clearly defining what the atheist means by the name/term/label "God" and based on their definition, what it means for this "God" to either "exist" or not "exist", which points out that atheism also fails to define the term "to exist." Atheism is a belief "system" because we can see systematic patterns of reasoning and discourse based on conceptualizations in atheists' arguments against other people's understanding of God. Atheism creates a variety of straw man gods to "burn at the stake" in an attempt to assert that "God/god/gods" (as they understand God/god/gods) does/do not "exist."

I can state that a supernatural being exists, if I can see convincing evidence that it exists. To be supernatural it should be able to do things that are unnatural, i.e. faster than light, be a 2000 year old human, levitate or shoot fireballs from the hands... And for these extraordinary claims there should be extraordinary proof. That is, there should be multiple independent testamony recorded right away, not 40 years later -- a recording or video would be nice.

A big booming voice in my head telling me the comming superbowl winner would also be acceptable, to me...it need to be something that I can verify.

Until such proof, with only weaker mouth-to-mouth evidence, I will claim to be agnostic humanist and naturalist, borderline atheist,

Also, the only thing dorel really can argue, is that atheism is a belief, not a belief system... There is no organized way of not believing in supernatural beings. There is nothing more to it than that, no big system, just the belief that no supernatural beings or powers exist. Period. But to make such a belief fit with modern science takes a very very big system, and huge leaps of faith...
atheism = world without god, if you believe this, you have to believe that everything that exist has a natural cause

life = arose through a natural process, no evidence support this

universe = was caused by a natural process, no evidence support this

objective morality do not exist

free will is just an illusion, everything is predetermined by physical and chemical reactions

so, a set of mutually supportive beliefs.
an yes, atheism is not a organised religion, but is a organized ideologi.

This is a strawman,  you can believe that no god exists, and that the world is eternal, no cause needed. At the same time you can believe that there is a widespread common moral foundation that coexistent humans share which has developed by evolution. At the same time you can believe that  free will exists and is a product of physical and chemical reactions (the scientific laws of nature, are not deterministic, see quantum mechanics, Bells experiment, no hidden variables...) So no, there is no atheist-system, just a single thought: nature is everything there is, supernatural beings do not exist. The rest of the parts of your atheist-system do not follow, many atheists might share them, but the points do not follow, these parts are you putting words in atheists mouths. There is no atheist organization that defines atheists...
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 11, 2014, 09:53:05 am
I am continually amazed when atheists attempt to reduce their ideology to a single belief that God does not exist, when, as I said above, they have not defined what they mean by the term "God" nor what it means for God as they define God to "exist." You speak of God as "supernatural being" sort of like a gigantic Casper the Friendly Ghost hovering over the universe. This is not at all the understanding of God of monotheism. Ask yourself this essential question: What does monotheism deify? If you really contemplate and address this question, you will see why atheism's single belief is wrong and when it falls, as it inevitably does, so does the system of beliefs and ideology known as atheism.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 11, 2014, 10:12:37 am
I am continually amazed when atheists attempt to reduce their ideology to a single belief that God does not exist, when, as I said above, they have not defined what they mean by the term "God" nor what it means for God as they define God to "exist." You speak of God as "supernatural being" sort of like a gigantic Casper the Friendly Ghost hovering over the universe. This is not at all the understanding of God of monotheism. Ask yourself this essential question: What does monotheism deify? If you really contemplate and address this question, you will see why atheism's single belief is wrong and when it falls, as it inevitably does, so does the system of beliefs and ideology known as atheism.

thank you,

please explain or define the understanding of God of monotheism.

Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 11, 2014, 11:28:52 pm
It is atheism that is the belief that there is no evidentiary basis for monotheism and rejects all forms of theism, but most especially, monotheism. It is not up to the monotheist (Christian, in my case) to explain monotheism to an atheist who states this belief, most especially since according to the rules of discourse, it is up to the person who makes the claim to define his/her terms. Tell me what you mean by "God" and what you mean when you say that "God does not exist" (the fundamental belief of atheism.)
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 12, 2014, 02:49:56 am
It is atheism that is the belief that there is no evidentiary basis for monotheism and rejects all forms of theism, but most especially, monotheism. It is not up to the monotheist (Christian, in my case) to explain monotheism to an atheist who states this belief, most especially since according to the rules of discourse, it is up to the person who makes the claim to define his/her terms. Tell me what you mean by "God" and what you mean when you say that "God does not exist" (the fundamental belief of atheism.)

It seems this burden of definition / burden of proof, is a very much used way of going in the defense.  I do not like this tactic, so I will try to be precise.

I believe nature is all that there is. I believe that there is no valid evidence that the  natural laws that humankind have distilled from experience has been broken, that is after they seperated in the hot dense energy soup of  the big bang. I believe that there is no valid evidence for any all-powerful, all-knowing, undying intelligence. Therefore it is not one God I am sceptic about, it is all Gods.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 12, 2014, 12:09:46 pm
It is not a "tactic" to ask for definitions of terms in an argument or debate. It is standard procedure. When atheists and monotheists discuss "God" we must start from a base of agreement about what it is we are talking about. This is called stipulation in formal argumentation, where the parties involve stipulate as to what important terms and concepts mean. This avoids futile discussions where the two parties may already agree but have not articulated their agreement. In this instance, neither you, an atheist, nor I, a monotheist, believe that there are many gods. Monotheists reject both polytheism and atheism. Atheists reject both monotheism and polytheism. So, we can stipulate that neither of us believe in and we both reject polytheism. Therefore, to continue the discussion, we need to reach agreement on the question I posed: What is it that monotheism deifies?

You tell me that you believe that there is nothing but nature. As I understand it, this means that don't believe that miracles can occur or have occurred.  Therefore, you claim that there is no evidence of miracles because by definition, a miracle is an occurrence that has no scientific explanation. But you must realize that it is impossible for you personally to say that there is no evidence of miracles because this is an assertion of a null, aka the null hypothesis. You are not omniscient and have no way of knowing all of the possible evidence of miracles throughout human history or in the lives of every human being who ever lived who have experienced miracles. Your null hypothesis regarding miracles requires you to deny all the evidence of miracles that are a matter of public knowledge and belief, such as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. And since you personally have no way to say with any certainty of your own personal knowledge that the miracle of Jesus' Resurrection did not occur, you cannot credibly claim that there is no evidence of miracles.

I hope that you are beginning to see the very precarious position in which atheism places its proponents.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 12, 2014, 01:50:10 pm
It is not a "tactic" to ask for definitions of terms in an argument or debate. It is standard procedure. When atheists and monotheists discuss "God" we must start from a base of agreement about what it is we are talking about. This is called stipulation in formal argumentation, where the parties involve stipulate as to what important terms and concepts mean. This avoids futile discussions where the two parties may already agree but have not articulated their agreement. In this instance, neither you, an atheist, nor I, a monotheist, believe that there are many gods. Monotheists reject both polytheism and atheism. Atheists reject both monotheism and polytheism. So, we can stipulate that neither of us believe in and we both reject polytheism. Therefore, to continue the discussion, we need to reach agreement on the question I posed: What is it that monotheism deifies?

You tell me that you believe that there is nothing but nature. As I understand it, this means that don't believe that miracles can occur or have occurred.  Therefore, you claim that there is no evidence of miracles because by definition, a miracle is an occurrence that has no scientific explanation. But you must realize that it is impossible for you personally to say that there is no evidence of miracles because this is an assertion of a null, aka the null hypothesis. You are not omniscient and have no way of knowing all of the possible evidence of miracles throughout human history or in the lives of every human being who ever lived who have experienced miracles. Your null hypothesis regarding miracles requires you to deny all the evidence of miracles that are a matter of public knowledge and belief, such as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. And since you personally have no way to say with any certainty of your own personal knowledge that the miracle of Jesus' Resurrection did not occur, you cannot credibly claim that there is no evidence of miracles.

I hope that you are beginning to see the very precarious position in which atheism places its proponents.

I have never claimed omniscience, in fact, as I stated, I believe that no omniscient being exists. I have never seen or heard any evidence of miracles that I, personally, believe. I never said anything other than what I believe in my post.

To me, and I am no expert at all in the bible and the ressurrection -- I'll be the first to consent to that, to me, the ressurection is a story in a book. A book written by man. I do not know if it is true, but if it is true then it is truly fantastic. A story so fantastic that I would think that there would be more evidence for it. Evidence independent from the bible (the new testament was written how many years after the events occurred?).

To me, if God was in the business of doing miracles, why is he so shy of doing them on camera? Why is he so shy of doing them today where we can test it, now, where we can obtain and preserve trustable data?  Why should we have to believe in 2000 year old stories? If I had good evidence of present day miracles, I would be more inclined to believe stories of miracles happening in ancient times. Heck, in medieval times, people still believed in the Kraken, people in the north on some maps were depicted as monsters with their eyes on their stomach, and the proof for being a witch was to float in water! It did not take much, then, for stories to be considered true by the public.

Regarding tactics: This is your post:
I am continually amazed when atheists attempt to reduce their ideology to a single belief that God does not exist, when, as I said above, they have not defined what they mean by the term "God" nor what it means for God as they define God to "exist." You speak of God as "supernatural being" sort of like a gigantic Casper the Friendly Ghost hovering over the universe. This is not at all the understanding of God of monotheism. Ask yourself this essential question: What does monotheism deify? If you really contemplate and address this question, you will see why atheism's single belief is wrong and when it falls, as it inevitably does, so does the system of beliefs and ideology known as atheism.

-- then I asked you to clarify what you meant by your statement about the understanding of God of monotheism, and you answered by telling me to define it. First you tell me that I do not understand something, then you refuse to explain how your answer is the correct one, and proceed to ask me to explain the very statement I asked you to clarify... This is not a very good way of spreading the word, it seems more like debating tactics, to me. It seems to be more comfortable to hang back and shoot down definitions, than to expose yourself by being precise about your position.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 12, 2014, 03:07:34 pm
Here are two dictionary definitions of God that, although overly brief as dictionary definitions must be, fairly reflect a concise definition of God that is acceptable to me as a monotheist.


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/god
"Definition of GOD
1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as
a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe
b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit: infinite Mind."

Here is a brief and general definition of God that describe my global understanding of God:

JB "God" is a term or name used within the limitations of human language to signify the whole unified array of forces, energies, processes, natural laws and events that created/create the universe and life as evidenced by the existence of everything, seen and unseen, material and spiritual, in the heavens and on earth; a universal creative force.

So what evidence of a universal creative force, a supreme or ultimate reality, and/or an incorporeal divine Principle or eternal spirit do you claim is absent (your null hypothesis of God)?



Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 12, 2014, 03:40:42 pm
Here are two dictionary definitions of God that, although overly brief as dictionary definitions must be, fairly reflect a concise definition of God that is acceptable to me as a monotheist.


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/god
"Definition of GOD
1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as
a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe
b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit: infinite Mind."

Here is a brief and general definition of God that describe my global understanding of God:

JB "God" is a term or name used within the limitations of human language to signify the whole unified array of forces, energies, processes, natural laws and events that created/create the universe and life as evidenced by the existence of everything, seen and unseen, material and spiritual, in the heavens and on earth; a universal creative force.

So what evidence of a universal creative force, a supreme or ultimate reality, and/or an incorporeal divine Principle or eternal spirit do you claim is absent (your null hypothesis of God)?

I do not understand what you mean by "in the heavens".

I am very sceptic and unconvinced of the existence of some intelligent Being that transcends what you beautifully cites "the whole unified array of forces, energies, processes and natural laws and events that constitutes the universe and life". Note my changing "create/created" by "constitutes", as I do not know if the universe ever was created or if it not just is an eternal brute fact.

What I am really sceptical about is any kind of parental type of omniscient omnipresent all-poweful God or Gods, burning bush, or golden cow, that we humans can communicate with or pray to, to any effect.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 12, 2014, 04:35:23 pm
Surely you realize that what you are saying is that you don't accept or agree with or don't approve of various and sundry verbal accounts of other people's ways of conceptualizing, imagining, understanding and interacting with the reality that many/most of us signify linguistically through the name/word/term and idea of God. So be it. However, you must recognize that this has nothing to do with evidence or a lack thereof. The fact is that fundamentally, the understanding of "God" that atheists reject is their own.

Consider what the ancient Hebrews meant by "the heavens" from Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 12, 2014, 05:02:59 pm
Surely you realize that what you are saying is that you don't accept or agree with or don't approve of various and sundry verbal accounts of other people's ways of conceptualizing, imagining, understanding and interacting with the reality that many/most of us signify linguistically through the name/word/term and idea of God. So be it. However, you must recognize that this has nothing to do with evidence or a lack thereof. The fact is that fundamentally, the understanding of "God" that atheists reject is their own.

Consider what the ancient Hebrews meant by "the heavens" from Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

I respectfully totally disagree, Jenna Black. My lack of belief in what I hear people signify by the word "God", is directly due to the fact that I have never seen any first-hand evidence of anything supernatural. I have only seen and heard books and tales claiming to have supernatural origin. I know that a very many people believe, but the fact is that truth is not on election. I believe that the scientific process is the only way to obtain useful knowledge, and I have not seen any scientific data that indicates the existence of any Omniscient All-powerful Intelligence.

As it is with scientific "knowledge", you can never prove my position true, but it is the best I can do right now. This is why I see myself as an agnostic, not an atheist. And still, I do not see this position on Omniscient All-powerful Intelligence's as being a belief-system, it is merely one of the foundations of my reasoning and everyday life. There are no parts in my agnostic position that fits together, it it is simple me drawing the line on what I think is "out there", coming in through my senses.

Edit: to conclude; I put up a dichotomy:
Things that fits inside nature as described by science, and things that do not. I believe the first category of things exist, while I put things in the complementing category aside as irrelevant to my life. If things in the second category do exist, I believe they will exist totally disjunct from my existence. If your God fits in the second category, then I also consider that God irrelevant.
 
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 12, 2014, 06:10:43 pm
I find it puzzling when someone declares him or herself to be an agnostic because of what s/he cannot know and then in the very next breath, declare that science is the only epistemology for knowing all that is to be known about our reality. This is a contradiction since obviously there is much that cannot be known through science, which is, after all, simply a systematic methodology for investigating how God's creation works. You seem to be saying that if anything cannot be known through scientific inquiry, it is irrelevant to you in terms of your world view and how you relate to reality. What does science tell you about love? about morality? about your relationships with other people? Science is a very limited and self-limiting epistemology, as evidenced by the fact that scientists espouse a professional ethic that states that science is silent on meta-physical, spiritual issues, as articulated by the US National Academy of Sciences in its statement of professional ethics: “Science is a way of knowing about the natural world through natural causes. Science can say nothing about the supernatural. Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.” 

So if you limit yourself to science as your sole tool for acquiring knowledge about reality, it is no wonder that you are agnostic. I, as a Christian, and all people of faith, on the other hand, have at my disposal a full range of epistemological tools for knowing reality and knowing God.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 12, 2014, 06:33:49 pm
I find it puzzling when someone declares him or herself to be an agnostic because of what s/he cannot know and then in the very next breath, declare that science is the only epistemology for knowing all that is to be known about our reality. This is a contradiction since obviously there is much that cannot be known through science, which is, after all, simply a systematic methodology for investigating how God's creation works. You seem to be saying that if anything cannot be known through scientific inquiry, it is irrelevant to you in terms of your world view and how you relate to reality. What does science tell you about love? about morality? about your relationships with other people? Science is a very limited and self-limiting epistemology, as evidenced by the fact that scientists espouse a professional ethic that states that science is silent on meta-physical, spiritual issues, as articulated by the US National Academy of Sciences in its statement of professional ethics: “Science is a way of knowing about the natural world through natural causes. Science can say nothing about the supernatural. Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.” 

So if you limit yourself to science as your sole tool for acquiring knowledge about reality, it is no wonder that you are agnostic. I, as a Christian, and all people of faith, on the other hand, have at my disposal a full range of epistemological tools for knowing reality and knowing God.

Cool, we agree, you have faith. I do not. That is the only difference as I see it, I can still behave decently. I do not see religion as the parent of humanity and morality, I actually think it is the other way round. To put it bluntly; a bible is a neat way to sell a particular moral package that could have developed through eons. To separate the halls of learning from religion is just good secular practise, which I as agnostic of course approve of.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 12, 2014, 08:06:15 pm
The difference is that you only have science. I as a Christian have faith and science without any conflict between the two.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 13, 2014, 02:44:27 am
The difference is that you only have science. I as a Christian have faith and science without any conflict between the two.

I think that a case can be made that the only way to eliminate these conflicts between religion and science is to keep the religion very watered down and metaphysical. Often when you flesh out the religion with doctrines, books, rituals and a possible a clergy, the inconsistencies starts to build up, and you need more and more elaborate metaphysics to patch these rifts, rifts between the experienced world and what the religion preaches. The globalization and the availability of information in modern day favours the scientific method, while theistic explanations of "everything" is challenged by the sheer abundance of data it needs to explain.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 13, 2014, 09:35:03 am
I repeat. There is no incompatibility between science and religion. What you are doing is like comparing a hammer to a saw. Saws are not a great tool for driving nails and hammers are next to useless when the goal is to cut a board. Saws don't have to try to be hammers and hammers are perfectly fine without trying to be saws. Science is science. Religion is religion. Science can inform and enlighten religion, just as we discuss the theological implications of science here in this forum. Science has nothing to do with the functioning and purpose of religious doctrine, ritual or clergy. The only reason you seem to think so is because, as you have stated, for you, science is the only valid and legitimate epistemology for inquiry into reality. You live in an intellectual and spiritual world with only hammers and no saws.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 13, 2014, 10:15:57 am
If you take the bible to be literally true, I think there are quite a few issues. Miracles is in conflict with science because they break the natural laws, it only takes a single counter-example to disprove an entire theory in science. Water changing into wine, for instance -- If you accept this story to be true, then in your world chemistry is based on bad foundations, the nature laws are no more unfalsified laws, but more of a guiding principle that God can choose to overwrite on a whim. Miracles makes the scientists job next to impossible. This I see as a conflict. And there are many examples like this.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on August 13, 2014, 12:33:25 pm
If you take the bible to be literally true, I think there are quite a few issues. Miracles is in conflict with science because they break the natural laws, it only takes a single counter-example to disprove an entire theory in science. Water changing into wine, for instance -- If you accept this story to be true, then in your world chemistry is based on bad foundations, the nature laws are no more unfalsified laws, but more of a guiding principle that God can choose to overwrite on a whim. Miracles makes the scientists job next to impossible. This I see as a conflict. And there are many examples like this.
science tells us how we operate in this world, and how the universe works.
the miracles that god do, don't affect the work of science and don't make impossible to do science because is not a scientific question how god do miracles.
on the other hand if god is the creator of the universe, for him to change laws or to suspend for a period of time some laws, is not a miracle at all.
if your laptop is a universe, perhaps for things that are in your laptop is a miracle when you put a new software in your laptop, but surely you don't consider that you do a miracle.
if god exist, making the effort to disprove him is ridiculous.
the belief or disbelief in god is not based on proof, is a choice
you choose to not believe in god
i choose to believe in god
and your choice makes you unable to know god, if he exist

the typical question>
what event would make you to change your mind?
Einstein chose to believe that the universe is eternal.
in order to make sense to his eternal universe he put a constant in his formula in order to avoid a beginning of the universe.
the choice that we do, have a great influence in what we can or cannot believe.
i suppose that if tomorrow in the night sky the stars forms the phrase "I exist" all the atheist-believers will spend the rest of their lives trying to prove how the religious people was able to do a trick like this, and how much money they spent to do so.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 13, 2014, 12:55:55 pm
demosthenes,

You condition your analysis on this statement: If you take the Bible to be literally true..." I think I know what you mean by "literally true" but you might want to define this term for me, since  am not a biblical literalist. As I stated before and as we appear to agree, miracles are by definition events and phenomena that cannot be explained by/through science. The atheists' (perhaps agnostics' tending toward atheism) position on miracles must be one or both of the following: 1) miracles cannot happen because it is impossible for there to be any "violation of the laws of nature" and/or 2) people who claim that they witnessed or experienced a miracle are not telling the truth.  I don't know of any Christians who believes that God performs miracles "on a whim." In fact, we believe that miracles are a form of communication from and with God as part of an on-going relationship with God that we call revelation, whether these miracles are public and witnessed collectively or are private, personal and individual.

As dorel suggests, belief or disbelief in God, and consequently, in miracles is a choice. Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits (1959, 2004) in his book "God, Man and History" calls these experiences "encounters" with God and says this about "proof."

“If the encounter is experienced in reality, what need of proofs? If, however, the encounter is not part of possible human experience, what use all proof?”
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 13, 2014, 01:44:17 pm
I cannot see how I can be more clear about what I mean by "literally true"... of course you could graduate it, as I think many people do. For instance, no translation of a text is truly one-to-one, hence bibles in different languages are bound to differ in the fine detail. But if you think that all the events and persons in the bible really did exist and the that the characters really did say what they are cited for (up to some translational error)  etc. -- If you also are interested in science, then I think you must somehow put this into agreement with Newton and Einsteins laws, Maxwells equations, Quantum theories, and so forth. And I only see one way to do this; to accept that the natural laws are not fixed but sometimes trumped by the will of God.

I hope that I am brave enough that, If I saw some evidence that miracles did happen, then I would accept it. And I also like to believe (this is purely hypothetical), that I would try to figure out what rules and boundaries, if any, that this God were bound by. I would try to figure out this new full picture of the world. I think my response would be to extend nature to include a big daddy in the sky who really knew how things worked, and do my best to device experiments to find these new natural laws. I am sure that such laws must exist -- It does not make any sense to me that we all just float in some sort of will, or dream of a God, with no rules where anything he/she/it can imagine goes, not when everything around me seems to follow unbreakable patterns. How can any thought be thought if there is no substance and governing patterns to form and manipulate these lumps of information in? That is perhaps the foundation of my thoughts; there must be unbreakable laws.

I cannot honestly state that no miracles has ever happened, since I am not omniscient.  But I have never seen any evidence of any miracle that were sufficiently credible for me to believe it. The theists probably hate this quote but "extraordinary claims requires extraordinary proofs"!  I have made experiments on the natural laws, and I have not been able to prove them wrong.

Finally. I do not think you choose what you believe, just see the thread about Pascals wager for the debate on this. I cannot see how anyone has any choice about what they think is true. Either you accept something as true, you are uncertain, or you do not accept it as true, and if you hold one of these positions, you need to bring something new to the table to change the position. You cannot simply say "ok, maybe I was wrong, let me believe something else for a while". Of course, serious focused thought can change my mind about something, but that is something more than just making a choice, like when choosing coffee or chocolate.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 13, 2014, 02:31:10 pm
Thank you for your thorough and honest response in which you bring up several important issues. First, the literal interpretation of the Bible: You seem to imply that if the Bible cannot be found to be "literally" true, then the Bible is not truth. This assumption is false for several reasons, the most important being that the Bible (or rather, the many books of the Bible) were written for the purpose or with the intent of conveying truth through interpretation (the tradition of midrash in Judaism). The different books of the Bible are written in a variety of literary genre, including myth, allegory, poetry, and historical accounts. You can go into any synagogue today and observe whether or not modern Jews approach their study of the Torah in search of a literal interpretation. Their forefathers, who wrote and preserved their sacred text, most certainly did not. 

Second, you express your willingness to change your mind about God should you experience a miracle directly and personally. Many people have. Miracles and spiritual experiences are often an element in conversions. I can attest to this fact myself. These miracles are extraordinary evidence. We identify a miracle as a miracle because it does break a pattern or exhibit extraordinary power and knowledge above and beyond our human abilities. That's why miracles are so powerful and so life-enhancing since they fundamentally alter a person's view of reality.

AS for choice, of course we have a choice about what we believe and what we don't. The very nature of a belief is that it is a reasoned conclusion about something that is of value and importance to us. The name of WLC's website is Reasonable Faith. Faith is God is reasonable because it is arrived at through reason and to reason about ideas, concepts, and truth is a voluntary act of free will. Without choice there is no free will and without free will, there is no choice.

Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 13, 2014, 02:40:55 pm
Thank you for your thorough and honest response in which you bring up several important issues. First, the literal interpretation of the Bible: You seem to imply that if the Bible cannot be found to be "literally" true, then the Bible is not truth. This assumption is false for several reasons, the most important being that the Bible (or rather, the many books of the Bible) were written for the purpose or with the intent of conveying truth through interpretation (the tradition of midrash in Judaism). The different books of the Bible are written in a variety of literary genre, including myth, allegory, poetry, and historical accounts. You can go into any synagogue today and observe whether or not modern Jews approach their study of the Torah in search of a literal interpretation. Their forefathers, who wrote and preserved their sacred text, most certainly did not. 

Second, you express your willingness to change your mind about God should you experience a miracle directly and personally. Many people have. Miracles and spiritual experiences are often an element in conversions. I can attest to this fact myself. These miracles are extraordinary evidence. We identify a miracle as a miracle because it does break a pattern or exhibit extraordinary power and knowledge above and beyond our human abilities. That's why miracles are so powerful and so life-enhancing since they fundamentally alter a person's view of reality.

AS for choice, of course we have a choice about what we believe and what we don't. The very nature of a belief is that it is a reasoned conclusion about something that is of value and importance to us. The name of WLC's website is Reasonable Faith. Faith is God is reasonable because it is arrived at through reason and to reason about ideas, concepts, and truth is a voluntary act of free will. Without choice there is no free will and without free will, there is no choice.

thank you,

I am sorry if I was unclear. I do not mean that it is hit or miss with the bible, I merely pointed out that the extreme viewpoint of taking every word as true, certainly would land you in conflict with modern day science. And I am really not sure that I could will myself into believing. I believe what I do as the sum of the info avaiable to me, through my faulty memory, I cannot will my information into a different state, in the lack of better word. But I will grant you, that I can choose to seek new information, or choose to shut my door and sing "la la la la la..", in this sense it is a matter of free will to update your current position with more information , or not.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 13, 2014, 03:14:59 pm
Do you also think that the position that science refutes or cancels out religion is an extreme position, similar in many ways to misguided biblical literalism?

You might find this book interesting. It is research on common patterns of faith development.

James W. Fowler (1981) Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning. New York: HarperCollins.

Professor Fowler documents how faith is not what can be described as "willing oneself into believing" but a life-long process of evaluating and re-evaluating our beliefs as we acquire knowledge and more life experiences. What Dr. Fowler's research confirms is the Christian notion of the "faith journey" that lasts a life-time.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 13, 2014, 03:29:14 pm
Quote
Do you also think that the position that science refutes or cancels out religion is an extreme position, similar in many ways to misguided biblical literalism?

I think that is very dependent on which religion you are talking about. If you mean that science cancels out all religions, I do think it to be an extreme position. Some religions, maybe even some very vague interpretation of Christianity, could be held without cognitive conflicts. But I do not think it extreme to claim that science refutes the old nordic religions of Thor and Odin. For instance, we have a better explanation for lightning than Thor swinging Mjølnar.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Jenna Black on August 13, 2014, 05:55:02 pm
 I thought we had already agreed that there is no sense in discussing polytheism since both atheists and monotheists reject polytheism. I venture to say that it is monotheism that "cancels out" polytheism, not science. Of course you realize how ridiculous it is to discuss whether or not Thor and Odin "exist." Thor, for example, is the deification of lightning and thunder and other phenomena of weather. No one really argues that thunder and weather don't exist simply because the Nordic peoples deified them through the mythology of the polytheistic god Thor. Which brings me again to the question: What does monotheism deify? And the answer to this question leads to another: Why does monotheism (as in Judaism and Christianity) prohibit idolatry?
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 14, 2014, 02:56:17 am
I thought we had already agreed that there is no sense in discussing polytheism since both atheists and monotheists reject polytheism. I venture to say that it is monotheism that "cancels out" polytheism, not science. Of course you realize how ridiculous it is to discuss whether or not Thor and Odin "exist." Thor, for example, is the deification of lightning and thunder and other phenomena of weather. No one really argues that thunder and weather don't exist simply because the Nordic peoples deified them through the mythology of the polytheistic god Thor. Which brings me again to the question: What does monotheism deify? And the answer to this question leads to another: Why does monotheism (as in Judaism and Christianity) prohibit idolatry?

I just discuss theism vs. atheism as a belief-system.

Quote
Why does monotheism (as in Judaism and Christianity) prohibit idolatry?
Is this not because God gave the Commandment to not hold other Gods, from Mount Sinai, accompanied by smoke, earthquakes and the blast of a trumpet?
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on August 14, 2014, 03:01:57 am
obviously we cannot choose to believe if 2+2=4 or 5
but we choose what we believe when the answer is not provable.
the difference between an atheist-believer and a christian-believer is not a difference in knowledge.
everything that you can no by science, i also can know it.
the difference is in what we choose to believe, and the choice makes us to encourage or to suppress certain answers.
if you are an atheist-believer, every time when you front a question and will have a doubt you will encourage the "no god" response and will suppress  the "yes god" response.
and a christian will do at reverse.
[quote author=demosthenes"Either you accept something as true, you are uncertain, or you do not accept it as true, and if you hold one of these positions, you need to bring something new to the table to change the position."

is not so.
for example
if i throw a coin is not obvious that it will be heads or tails
i may believe that will be heads
you may believe that will be tails
other may say, i don´t know what will be.
you may support your belief by statistics and probabilities, but the answer is unknown.
is a mater of chose what you believe that will be, and not depend on acceptation.   



Thank you for your thorough and honest response in which you bring up several important issues. First, the literal interpretation of the Bible: You seem to imply that if the Bible cannot be found to be "literally" true, then the Bible is not truth. This assumption is false for several reasons, the most important being that the Bible (or rather, the many books of the Bible) were written for the purpose or with the intent of conveying truth through interpretation (the tradition of midrash in Judaism). The different books of the Bible are written in a variety of literary genre, including myth, allegory, poetry, and historical accounts. You can go into any synagogue today and observe whether or not modern Jews approach their study of the Torah in search of a literal interpretation. Their forefathers, who wrote and preserved their sacred text, most certainly did not. 

Second, you express your willingness to change your mind about God should you experience a miracle directly and personally. Many people have. Miracles and spiritual experiences are often an element in conversions. I can attest to this fact myself. These miracles are extraordinary evidence. We identify a miracle as a miracle because it does break a pattern or exhibit extraordinary power and knowledge above and beyond our human abilities. That's why miracles are so powerful and so life-enhancing since they fundamentally alter a person's view of reality.

AS for choice, of course we have a choice about what we believe and what we don't. The very nature of a belief is that it is a reasoned conclusion about something that is of value and importance to us. The name of WLC's website is Reasonable Faith. Faith is God is reasonable because it is arrived at through reason and to reason about ideas, concepts, and truth is a voluntary act of free will. Without choice there is no free will and without free will, there is no choice.


Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 14, 2014, 03:32:04 am
Quote
if i throw a coin is not obvious that it will be heads or tails
i may believe that will be heads
you may believe that will be tails
other may say, i don´t know what will be.

I think you mix in hope in your definition of belief.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: bippy123 on August 14, 2014, 03:41:33 am
Quote
if i throw a coin is not obvious that it will be heads or tails
i may believe that will be heads
you may believe that will be tails
other may say, i don´t know what will be.

I think you mix in hope in your definition of belief.
Demosthenes, I would be very intrigued as to what kind of evidence would you need to tilt your worldview over?
For instance, what do you think of an object like the shroud of turin?
I know it isn't a subject that Doctor Craig has spoken about most but what are your opinions on it?
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 14, 2014, 03:48:46 am
Quote
What does monotheism deify?

This is actually a very intriguing question. It resonates with me that any scientifically inclined modern person will not believe in lightning has a supernatural cause, because science has a coherent explanation which the majority of all current people hold as true.

In the same way most physical events in the daily life is well explained by science. What is left in the human experience is the question of mind / mental processes. After only a few hours of pondering, my hypothesis is that the majority of western monotheist deify blissful joy, misery and the ego. Let me explain:

1) Blissful joy: when I play music with a good band, we can once or twice every year do a concert were everything just is perfect and where we enter a state of high joy in the music. I can only imagine that these kinds of feelings are somewhat akin to the "personal experience" of God some people have, that is they contribute a great feeling of joy and bliss to the deity of choice.

2) Misery: Religion can ease the pain of some misery by inserting Gods grand plan as a reason. Some or all of the seemingly random misery in the world, is really humans feeling the divine wheels turning in an unfortunate and unavoidable way.

3) The ego: I think that many people think that "me, myself, must surely be more than just this collection of atoms!" hence the concept of "soul", something that lives in the same plane of existence as God, and if lucky, might spend the afterlife in a state/place called "heaven".

A coupling of 2) with 3) could be the concept of Hell; some badly behaving person might cause some good persons misery, but there will be a reckoning in the afterlife -- life might seem unfair, but his is only apparent, the great picture is that any choice has consequences and there is a perfect all-knowing judge: God.

Jenny Black: What do you think of these ideas?



Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 14, 2014, 04:30:49 am
Quote
if i throw a coin is not obvious that it will be heads or tails
i may believe that will be heads
you may believe that will be tails
other may say, i don´t know what will be.

I think you mix in hope in your definition of belief.
Demosthenes, I would be very intrigued as to what kind of evidence would you need to tilt your worldview over?
For instance, what do you think of an object like the shroud of turin?
I know it isn't a subject that Doctor Craig has spoken about most but what are your opinions on it?

Hi, I don't think I require more than what any rational person requires. If I see some person I know to be dead walk around alive, I would think that there was more to reality than just "nature". I would believe in a book if it predicts something beyond reasonable doubt. If it said in the bible "When the sun has risen 400.000 times after the death of Jesus, a meteor will strike just outside Bethlehem" and it did happen, then I would believe the Bible to be more than just a collection of tales and moral principles. If there were many independent (from Christianity) statements testifying to the resurrection, for instance, which beyond any doubt originated from first-hand knowledge - then I would believe it. I require an experience of an event or process or believable data about such event, which cannot be explained by science, where the divine cause is really necessary and more probable than not.

As for the shroud, I do not know so much about it, I have watched a few documentaries etc. but the Nature article concluding on the Shroud Of Turin Research Project claims that it is only max 700 years old (roughly), so how this could be connected to Jesus I cannot see. I base my information on:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiocarbon_14_dating_of_the_Shroud_of_Turin
- At least I think it is safe to say that the evidence for the divine origin of the shroud is not beyond reasonable doubt.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: bippy123 on August 14, 2014, 06:43:29 am
Demosthenes, If your basing your opinion on the shroud from a Wikipedia post then don't you think that maybe you should look deeper into the evidences than that?

Agnostic thermal Chemist Ray Rogers, senior fellow at los Alamos labs completely invalidated the 1988 c14 dates for the shroud and he did this with his peer reviewed chemical analysis.
Rogers was part of the famous STURP team that was given permission by the Vatican to study the shroud for 5 straight 24 hour days. I would assume that some of the scientists did their studies while others took sleep and vice versa.

Anyways Rogers who is an agnostic and a man of science initially accepted the c14 results and called anyone who doubted them "part of the lunatic fringe of science". Rogers was as far from a believer as you can get and in fact was responsible for helping to push forth legistlation for teaching evolution in schools.

Anyways one day he read an article from a lady named Sue Benford and her partner Joe Marino. In that article they proposed the theory that the corner piece of the shroud that was dated was part of a reweave.
Rogers flew off the handle and showed the article to his buddy Barrie Schwortz ( a secular non believer Jew at the time) and was railing about how the lunatic fringe was at it again.

Rogers told Barrie that he could debunk their article in 5 minutes. Schwortz said "go for it Ray", and Ray did.
30 minutes later Rogers calls Schwortz back and tells him "my gosh I think they were right" Rogers found a cotton splice interwoven with regular shroud linen. Rogers then looked further and found Madder Dye which was a a dye used by expert French socalled invisible reweavers during medieval times.

Remember also that the secular group in charge of the 1988 c14 tests violated one of several major protocals and didn't perform a chemical analysis on the corner area to see if it chemically matched the rest of the shroud. Rogers, a true man of science didn't forget and when he did his chemical test he saw that the corner area did not match the rest of the shroud at all chemically.

Rogers then finished his research by doing a vanillin test on the corner area and the rest of the shroud. a positive vanillin test would indicate a much younger cloth while a negative vanillin test would indicate a much older cloth. The corner area came back positive for vanillin 37% while the rest of the shroud came back negative for vanillin which meant the the rest of the shroud was much older then that corner area tested in 1988. Rogers , if my memory serves me correctly (and it has failed many times lol) dated the corner area to about the 16th century and dated the rest of the shroud to between 1300 and 3000 years old. The reason for such wide dates is that Rogers had to account for the many different storage conditions that the shroud could have been stored in which he also factored into his dating.

His research was accepted after 7 months in the secular chemical specialist journal Thermochimica Acta
http://www.shroud.it/ROGERS-3.PDF

This is one of many peer reviewed papers of which almost all point towards the authenticity of the shroud. Now as far as peer reviewed papers prove the resurrection, that is outside the realm of science but studying the totality of the evidences you can then make a reasonable claim that the resurrection makes the most reasonable sense given all of the evidences that point towards it being the historic Jesus and the technology needed to create this image was simply beyond the knowledge of any ancient scientist and in fact it is beyond any 21st century scientist to replicate.

The one who came closest to replicating it was Doctor August Accetta who ingested radioactive particles into his body (what was he thinking lol) and passed gamma rays through his body. He was able to replicate many of the unique features of the shroud but failed in replicating features like an actual face or the focus of the image of the shroud. Anyone know of a gamma ray machine in medieval times or the first century? I sure don't? The image also has xray quality info in the areas of the fingers, wrists, left femur jaw, gums and teeth.
where were they hiding that 14th century xray machine when everyone needed it? ;)

Doctor Accetta was born a Catholic but left the faith in his twenties when he started to believe that religion was a crutch used by people top help them deal with death. His peer reviewed nuclear radiation research into the shroud is what helped to bring him back to Faith.

I could go on and on into areas like the sudarium of Oviedo and the mandylion etc but that would take a book lol, but you get the general idea my friend. hopefully this info will make you rethink this and do some serious research neyond a few documentaries and a Wikipedia link.

Now Rogers stayed an agnostic , but Schwortz who was non practicing secular jew stayed a skeptic for 18 years but eventually came to believe in the authenticity of the shroud and his study of the shroud as one of the members of the STURP team brought him back to belief in God and he became an orthodox Jew Again.

Schwortz talked about it here in this TedX talk named the shroud and the Jew.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G4sj8hUVaY
and here he gives a lecture to an evangelical Christian audience. What most people don't know is that evangelical Christians are more fervent unbelievers of the shroud's authenticity then atheists are.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0N9cMUQrZI

There was also a great presentation to a group of high school students by a doctor who is in daily email contact with the STURP team where he is privy to the latest research on the shroud. Here he goes into mostly what science knows so far about the shroud.

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

Coincidently I owe my coming to knowledge of the shroud to a group of atheists that came storming into the catholic forum I was on in 2009 and they exclaimed that the shroud had been replicated and it was a fraud.
I thought "what the heck is a shroud of turin and why were they celebrating so much, so I decided to start researching it myself and the more I researched it the more I started to believe in its authenticity. By the way the 2009 replica was made by an atheist chemist named Luigi Garlaschelli which was funded by an Italian atheist organization. A few months after he allowed other scientists to look at the replica it was quickly debunked and everyone went silent again .

Im on my 5th year of studying the shroud and I still find new things out about it that I didn't know before.
Wish I could go to the St Louis shroud conference in October but most like I wont be able to make it.

Anyways , hope this info helps you to take a deeper look into it :)
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: demosthenes on August 14, 2014, 07:04:10 am
Demosthenes, If your basing your opinion on the shroud from a Wikipedia post then don't you think that maybe you should look deeper into the evidences than that?

Agnostic thermal Chemist Ray Rogers, senior fellow at los Alamos labs completely invalidated the 1988 c14 dates for the shroud and he did this with his peer reviewed chemical analysis.
Rogers was part of the famous STURP team that was given permission by the Vatican to study the shroud for 5 straight 24 hour days. I would assume that some of the scientists did their studies while others took sleep and vice versa.

Anyways Rogers who is an agnostic and a man of science initially accepted the c14 results and called anyone who doubted them "part of the lunatic fringe of science". Rogers was as far from a believer as you can get and in fact was responsible for helping to push forth legistlation for teaching evolution in schools.

Anyways one day he read an article from a lady named Sue Benford and her partner Joe Marino. In that article they proposed the theory that the corner piece of the shroud that was dated was part of a reweave.
Rogers flew off the handle and showed the article to his buddy Barrie Schwortz ( a secular non believer Jew at the time) and was railing about how the lunatic fringe was at it again.

Rogers told Barrie that he could debunk their article in 5 minutes. Schwortz said "go for it Ray", and Ray did.
30 minutes later Rogers calls Schwortz back and tells him "my gosh I think they were right" Rogers found a cotton splice interwoven with regular shroud linen. Rogers then looked further and found Madder Dye which was a a dye used by expert French socalled invisible reweavers during medieval times.

Remember also that the secular group in charge of the 1988 c14 tests violated one of several major protocals and didn't perform a chemical analysis on the corner area to see if it chemically matched the rest of the shroud. Rogers, a true man of science didn't forget and when he did his chemical test he saw that the corner area did not match the rest of the shroud at all chemically.

Rogers then finished his research by doing a vanillin test on the corner area and the rest of the shroud. a positive vanillin test would indicate a much younger cloth while a negative vanillin test would indicate a much older cloth. The corner area came back positive for vanillin 37% while the rest of the shroud came back negative for vanillin which meant the the rest of the shroud was much older then that corner area tested in 1988. Rogers , if my memory serves me correctly (and it has failed many times lol) dated the corner area to about the 16th century and dated the rest of the shroud to between 1300 and 3000 years old. The reason for such wide dates is that Rogers had to account for the many different storage conditions that the shroud could have been stored in which he also factored into his dating.

His research was accepted after 7 months in the secular chemical specialist journal Thermochimica Acta
http://www.shroud.it/ROGERS-3.PDF

This is one of many peer reviewed papers of which almost all point towards the authenticity of the shroud. Now as far as peer reviewed papers prove the resurrection, that is outside the realm of science but studying the totality of the evidences you can then make a reasonable claim that the resurrection makes the most reasonable sense given all of the evidences that point towards it being the historic Jesus and the technology needed to create this image was simply beyond the knowledge of any ancient scientist and in fact it is beyond any 21st century scientist to replicate.

The one who came closest to replicating it was Doctor August Accetta who ingested radioactive particles into his body (what was he thinking lol) and passed gamma rays through his body. He was able to replicate many of the unique features of the shroud but failed in replicating features like an actual face or the focus of the image of the shroud. Anyone know of a gamma ray machine in medieval times or the first century? I sure don't? The image also has xray quality info in the areas of the fingers, wrists, left femur jaw, gums and teeth.
where were they hiding that 14th century xray machine when everyone needed it? ;)

Doctor Accetta was born a Catholic but left the faith in his twenties when he started to believe that religion was a crutch used by people top help them deal with death. His peer reviewed nuclear radiation research into the shroud is what helped to bring him back to Faith.

I could go on and on into areas like the sudarium of Oviedo and the mandylion etc but that would take a book lol, but you get the general idea my friend. hopefully this info will make you rethink this and do some serious research neyond a few documentaries and a Wikipedia link.

Now Rogers stayed an agnostic , but Schwortz who was non practicing secular jew stayed a skeptic for 18 years but eventually came to believe in the authenticity of the shroud and his study of the shroud as one of the members of the STURP team brought him back to belief in God and he became an orthodox Jew Again.

Schwortz talked about it here in this TedX talk named the shroud and the Jew.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G4sj8hUVaY
and here he gives a lecture to an evangelical Christian audience. What most people don't know is that evangelical Christians are more fervent unbelievers of the shroud's authenticity then atheists are.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0N9cMUQrZI

There was also a great presentation to a group of high school students by a doctor who is in daily email contact with the STURP team where he is privy to the latest research on the shroud. Here he goes into mostly what science knows so far about the shroud.

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

Coincidently I owe my coming to knowledge of the shroud to a group of atheists that came storming into the catholic forum I was on in 2009 and they exclaimed that the shroud had been replicated and it was a fraud.
I thought "what the heck is a shroud of turin and why were they celebrating so much, so I decided to start researching it myself and the more I researched it the more I started to believe in its authenticity. By the way the 2009 replica was made by an atheist chemist named Luigi Garlaschelli which was funded by an Italian atheist organization. A few months after he allowed other scientists to look at the replica it was quickly debunked and everyone went silent again .

Im on my 5th year of studying the shroud and I still find new things out about it that I didn't know before.
Wish I could go to the St Louis shroud conference in October but most like I wont be able to make it.

Anyways , hope this info helps you to take a deeper look into it :)

Thank you for that in depth explanation. I took my info from the Nature article, not the wikipedia, I did find the article through wikipedia, along with a long account on this controversy regarding the reweave. I surely do not know a fraction of what you know about this, so I will try to find time to look deeper into the subject. I cannot do this right now, though, because I need to finish my Ph.D. thesis :)
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: bippy123 on August 14, 2014, 07:21:56 am
Wow, Congrats on getting this far in School my friend. A Phd is nothing to sneeze at. I wish you all the best in getting there. Good luck :)
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: bippy123 on August 14, 2014, 11:02:26 am
Another little piece of evidence for the shroud is that forensic experts have determined that the Body is in a state of rigor mortis. How is this a clue to the historic Jesus and the empty tomb?

Rigor mortis is known to last up to around 40 hours.
How long did the gospels say Christ was in that tomb?
He was buried Friday evening and sunday morning the tomb was empty.
You guys do the math ;)

Here is an autopsy done on the man of the shroud by retired and former LA chief coroner Robert Bucklin.

https://www.shroud.com/bucklin.htm


The body structure is anatomically normal, representing a well-developed and well-nourished individual with clearly identifiable head, trunk, and extremities. The body appears to be in a state of rigor mortis which is evidenced by an overall stiffness as well as specific alterations in the appearance of the lower extremities from the posterior aspect. The imprint of the right calf is much more distinct than that of the left indicating that at the time of death the left leg was rotated in such a way that the sole of the left foot rested on the ventral surface of the right foot with resultant slight flexion of the left knee. That position was maintained after rigor mortis had developed.

After an overall inspection and description of the body image, the pathologist continues his examination in a sequential fashion beginning with the head and progressing to the feet. He will note that the deceased had long hair, which on the posterior image appears to be fashioned into a pigtail or braid type configuration. There also is a short beard which is forked in the middle. In the frontal view, a ring of puncture tracks is noted to involve the scalp. One of these has the configuration of a letter "3". Blood has issued from these punctures into the hair and onto the skin of the forehead. The dorsal view shows that the puncture wounds extend around the occipital portion of the scalp in the manner of a crown. The direction of the blood flow, both anterior and posterior, is downward. In the midline of the forehead is a square imprint giving the appearance of an object resting on the skin. There is a distinct abrasion at the tip of the nose and the right cheek is distinctly swollen as compared with the left cheek. Both eyes appear to be closed, but on very close inspection, rounded foreign objects can be noted on the imprint in the area of the right and left eyes.

Upon examining the chest, the pathologist notes a large blood stain over the right pectoral area Close examination shows a variance in intensity of the stain consistent with the presence of two types of fluid, one comprised of blood, and the other resembling water. There is distinct evidence of a gravitational effect on this stain with the blood flowing downward and without spatter of other evidence of the projectile activity which would be expected from blood issuing from a functional arterial source. This wound has all the characteristics of a postmortem type flow of blood from a body cavity or from an organ such as the heart. At the upper plane of the wound is an ovoid skin defect which is characteristic of a penetrating track produced by a sharp puncturing instrument.

There seems to be an increase in the anteroposterior diameter of the chest due to bilateral expansion.

The abdomen is flat, and the right and left arms are crossed over the mid and lower abdomen. The genitalia cannot be identified.

By examination of the arms, forearms, wrists, and hands, the pathologist notes that the left hand overlies the right wrist On the left wrist area is a distinct puncture-type injury which has two projecting rivulets derived from a central source and separated by about a 10 degree angle. As it appears in the image, the rivulets extend in a horizontal direction. The pathologist realizes that this blood flow could not have happened with the arms in the position as he sees them during his examination, and he must reconstruct the position of the arms in such a way as to place them where they would have to be to account for gravity in the direction of the blood flow. His calculations to that effect would indicate that the arms would have to be outstretched upward at about a 65 degree angle with the horizontal. The pathologist observes that there are blood flows which extend in a direction from wrists toward elbows on the right and left forearms. These flows can be readily accounted for my the position of the arms which he has just determined.

As he examines the fingers, he notes that both the right and left hands have left imprints of only four fingers. The thumbs are not clearly obvious. This would suggest to the pathologist that there has been some damage to a nerve which would result in flexion of the thumb toward the palm.

As he examines the lower extremities, the medical examiner derives most of his information from the posterior imprint of the body. He notes that there is a reasonably clear outline of the right foot made by the sole of that foot having been covered with blood and leaving an imprint which reflects the heal as well as the toes. The left foot imprint is less clear and it is also noticeable that the left calf imprint is unclear. This supports the opinion that the left leg had been rotated and crossed over the right instep in such a way that an incomplete foot print was formed. In the center of the right foot imprint, a definite punctate defect can be noted. This puncture is consistent with an object having penetrated the structures of the feet, and from the position of the feet the conclusion would be reasonable that the same object penetrated both feet after the left foot had been placed over the right.

As the back image is examined, it becomes quite clear that there is a series of traumatic injuries which extend from the shoulder areas to the lower portion of the back, the buttocks, and the backs of the calves. These images are bifid and appear to have been made by some type of object applied as a whip, leaving dumbbell-shaped imprints in the skin from which blood has issued. The direction of the injuries is from lateral toward medial and downward suggesting that the whip was applied by someone standing behind the individual.

An interesting finding is noted over the shoulder blade area on the right and left sides. This consists of an abrasion or denuding of the skin surfaces, consistent with a heavy object, like a beam. Resting over the shoulder blades and producing a rubbing effect on the skin surfaces.

With this information available to him, the forensic pathologist can come to a reasonable conclusion as to the circumstances of death, including the posture of the deceased at the time the injuries were incurred. Chronologically, the whip like injuries to the back would have occurred earlier than other injuries which the pathologist has found. The individual would have been upright and with his arms above his head at the time the whipping occurred since no whip marks are found on the upper extremities.

The position of the puncture defects in the wrist, coupled with the blood flow towards the elbows, and also associated with the punctures of the feet, permit the pathologist to conclude that the victim was in an upright position with his arms extended when the blood flow took place. A crucifixion type posture would be the most plausible explanation for these findings.

The wound in the right side, since is comprised of both blood and non-blood components, suggests to the forensic pathologist that the puncturing instrument released a watery type fluid from the body cavities as well as blood from the heart area. One potential consideration would be that there was fluid in the chest cavity which was released by the penetrating instrument and this was followed by blood issuing from an area as the result of the heart being perforated.

At this point, the pathologist has garnered much information about the injuries to the body from a purely objective point of view. As a knowledgeable and expertly trained forensic pathologist he has the right and obligation to rely upon available historical and other evidentiary information in order to support or deny his impressions. He will avail himself of other scientific testing, including radiological studies and hematological and chemical testing of the substances which he has found on the body. By these tests, he will be able to confirm the presence of blood. He may also make other observations based on microscopic and genetic studies.

It is the ultimate responsibility of the medical examiner to confirm by whatever means are available to him the identity of the deceased, as well as to determine the manner of this death. In the case of Man on the Shroud, the forensic pathologist will have information relative to the circumstances of death by crucifixion which he can support by his anatomic findings. He will be aware that the individual whose image is depicted on the cloth has undergone puncture injuries to his wrists and feet, puncture injuries to his head, multiple traumatic whip-like injuries to his back and postmortem puncture injury to his chest area which has released both blood and a water type of fluid. From this data, it is not an unreasonable conclusion for the forensic pathologist to determine that only one person historically has undergone this sequence of events. That person is Jesus Christ.

As far as the mechanism of death is concerned, a detailed study of the Shroud imprint and the blood stains, coupled with a basic understanding of the physical and physiological changes in the body that take place during crucifixion, suggests strongly that the decedent had undergone postural asphyxia as the result of his position during the crucifixion episode. There is also evidence of severe blood loss from the skin wounds as well as fluid accumulation in the chest cavities related to terminal cardio-respiratory failure.

For the manner of death to be determined, a full investigation of the circumstances of death is necessary. In this case, it would be determined historically that the individual was sentenced to death, and that the execution was carried out by crucifixion. The manner of death would be classed as judicial homicide.

In summary, I have presented a scenario, based on reasonable medical probability, as to how a forensic pathologist medical examiner would conduct an examination of the Shroud of Turin image and the conclusions that he would reach as the result of such studies.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: dorel on August 14, 2014, 11:55:07 am
Quote
if i throw a coin is not obvious that it will be heads or tails
i may believe that will be heads
you may believe that will be tails
other may say, i don´t know what will be.

I think you mix in hope in your definition of belief.
"Either you accept something as true, you are uncertain, or you do not accept it as true, and if you hold one of these positions, you need to bring something new to the table to change the position."
here we try to answer a question with an uncertain response namely if god exist.
you have right we can accept, reject or be uncertain when we try to answer this question
the uncertain or "i don't know" posicion is not a committed posicion.
if you are an atheist-believe, you choose to commit yourself to the "god not exist" position, obviously you cannot prove it.
if you are an theist-believer , you choose to commit yourself to the "god exist" position, obviously this also is unprovable.
the choice is obvious in each case
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: TylerBlack on August 15, 2015, 11:28:36 am
No because atheism is just the absence of belief in any deities. Therefore it isn't a philosophy, ideology or world-view. It doesn't tell you to do anything, it's a response to a claim.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Math on October 07, 2015, 03:38:37 pm
Is atheism a belief system?

I think so.  Although I realize that not all atheists embrace the same belief system, no more than all theists. 

Unless a person makes no distinction between atheism and agnosticism, atheism is definitely a view that believes that there is no god.  I don't see any way of getting around this for the non-religious atheist who argues for a naturalistic worldview. 

There are reputable dictionaries, including writings of renown atheists, who would also agree with what I've stated.  Unless a person makes no distinction between atheism and agnosticism, with reference to deity, I don't see how it's rational to not think of atheism as being a belief that affirms that there is no God or gods.  And atheists who disagree, I think should call themselves agnostics.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: lucious on October 19, 2015, 01:44:39 am
Is it a "system"? Not sure. It's a belief--belief that God does not exist.


Does this entail various corollary positions, philosophically? Yes. Must these be examined for plausibility and coherence? Yes.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Asherah-deceased on November 03, 2015, 08:45:48 pm
I think atheism is an ontological commitment, but not a belief system.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Huskqa on December 31, 2015, 09:35:48 am
No, off course it is not. By definition Atheism is the lack of a belief. Atheism is as much of a belief as a lack of money is also some kind of money.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Lion IRC on January 04, 2016, 05:26:08 am
Atheists think there isnt a God.

Theists think there is a God

Why is one a belief and not the other?
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: jakswan on January 04, 2016, 07:32:16 am
Atheists think there isnt a God.

Theists think there is a God

Why is one a belief and not the other?

because not playing football isn't a sport.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Lion IRC on January 04, 2016, 01:32:40 pm
Hang on.
It's not as though atheists aren't kicking the ball around the same AvT 'football field' as the theist.
It is a contest of ideas.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: jakswan on January 04, 2016, 06:00:58 pm
Hang on.
It's not as though atheists aren't kicking the ball around the same AvT 'football field' as the theist.
It is a contest of ideas.

No atheism is a lack of belief. Secularism and humanism are beliefs. The Romans called Christians atheists, you I presume are an atheist relative to Islam. 
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Lion IRC on January 04, 2016, 09:00:53 pm
How is it that atheists can write entire books/volumes about what they 'lack' belief in?
Why the need for conferences to discuss non-stamp collecting?
What do you make of the word "atheology"? Michel Onfray wrote an entire book about it.

...and no, I'm not an atheist in respect to Islam. They think Noah was a real person. (Just like Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abraham, Job, Lot, etc.) They think God gave Moses the 10 commandments. They actually revere Jesus more highly than Moses.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: jakswan on January 05, 2016, 03:33:02 am
How is it that atheists can write entire books/volumes about what they 'lack' belief in?
Why the need for conferences to discuss non-stamp collecting?
What do you make of the word "atheology"? Michel Onfray wrote an entire book about it.

You seriously don't understand or are you being obtuse?

Quote
...and no, I'm not an atheist in respect to Islam. They think Noah was a real person. (Just like Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abraham, Job, Lot, etc.) They think God gave Moses the 10 commandments. They actually revere Jesus more highly than Moses.

Ok someone who claims to be Muslim and a Christian, not come across that before.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Lion IRC on January 05, 2016, 05:59:20 am
obtuse
adjective
- annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand.

And please don't verbal me. I never claimed to be both a Christian and a Muslim.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Huskqa on January 09, 2016, 03:15:42 am
How is it that atheists can write entire books/volumes about what they 'lack' belief in?
Why the need for conferences to discuss non-stamp collecting?


Because of people like Ken Ham.....
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Lion IRC on January 09, 2016, 04:18:17 pm
I don't see the connection.
Why would atheists complain about someone else's beliefs as against their own LACK of belief in anything.

If you don't even eat pizza, why does it matter to you what Ken Ham puts on his?
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Huskqa on January 10, 2016, 11:58:47 pm
I don't see the connection.
Why would atheists complain about someone else's beliefs as against their own LACK of belief in anything.

If you don't even eat pizza, why does it matter to you what Ken Ham puts on his?

Because they are selling pizza to Kids like if it where healthy food, and it isn't.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiV39cR2jgc

Video's like this say: do not think for your self, god is alway right and the scientist is always wrong. etc etc....you need an opposing force. A strong one at that.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Lion IRC on January 11, 2016, 01:57:56 pm
Sorry, I don't do argumentum ad Youtubem. (Didn't watch it.)

And I'm asking about why atheist "non-stamp collectors" proselytize.

I already know why evangelists do it.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Huskqa on January 11, 2016, 02:26:00 pm


And I'm asking about why atheist "non-stamp collectors" proselytize.


Because it needs an opposing force. Before you know it they start teaching creationism in highschools. So there is a good reason why you would want to spread the idea that the idea of god is basically very poorly defined and there is no reason to think it is any more true than any other poorly defined proposition.

I understand this does not make sense if you have a strong belief in god.....
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Iwantaconversation on January 20, 2016, 10:47:02 am
Naturalism is a belief system which atheists must hold to.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Lion IRC on January 23, 2016, 05:39:41 pm
You mean they 'must' if they want to avoid some otherwise awkward alternatives?

To avoid the fine-tuning hypothesis they have to contrive multiverse theory.

To avoid biblical Genesis being taught in the classroom they have to contrive panspermia and spontaneous abiogenesis and random mutation...."of the gaps".

Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Architecto on February 11, 2016, 12:19:29 pm
Sorry, I don't do argumentum ad Youtubem. (Didn't watch it.)

And I'm asking about why atheist "non-stamp collectors" proselytize.

I already know why evangelists do it.

He used it as an example. You don't need to watch it to know what he is talking about.

Theists vote. Their vote impacts other peoples lives. Therefore, we all have a reason to question their reasoning if it's based on unverifiable claims.

Would you want a Muslim voting for policies that would impact your children's education, you freedoms?  Maybe, maybe not, right?

If you disagree with a vote that forces women to wear head-coverings, wouldn't you speak up - and attack their fundamental belief that God wants women to wear head-coverings?

After all, if they claim it is a command from God, it's not enough to say "Hey, we live in a pluralistic society. We have to accept different views", because the Muslim would say "but it's not me saying it, it's God."

Now you have to PROVE he is wrong.  How could you even begin?  Even WLC doesn't claim to prove Christianity, he only says his arguments make it rational to believe in. (If I only presented positive arguments for Islam, I too could claim it is rational to believe).

Learn to accept: Your beliefs (in God) impact other people.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: john doe on February 11, 2016, 12:26:51 pm
I do not see that we, inside the universe / everything, necessarily should be equipped to understand the universe --  there just might not be any full explanation that any human could state, less comprehend. A very poor analogue would be that I cannot explain the existence of a book to the characters in it.

In math there exists true statements that cannot be be proven true within any consistent axiomatic setup (Gödel).

So maybe the sentence "creation of the universe" is just not valid, since these are words created by mankind to describe stuff and relations inside the universe.

All good points which apply as well to God as they do to the universe.  Some things are beyond us. 

That is why the far full of coins fails as an analogy.  There being an odd number or even number of coins is a very plain statement which is easily understood.  There being a god or not being a god isn't like that.  No one can say clearly what the sure signs of a god's existence might be.  Even if one tried there is every likelihood that there would be no general agreement.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: Architecto on February 25, 2016, 09:03:01 pm
It's not a "System". It's a belief (or lack of).

It wouldn't be a problem if it was a belief system, it just doesn't fit the criteria of a "system".
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: lucious on February 26, 2016, 12:40:41 am
The difference is that the gumballs are a denumeration, and the only possible piece of evidence which could alter the probability from a dead heat would be a complete count of the gumballs--after which, one side would be proven necessarily true and the other false, and nothing further could possibly be said.

This is in no way analogous to a philosophical or metaphysical discussion, which for lack of a better word, can be resolved as "cheaply" as this. It has nothing to do with a single, quantitative magnitude.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: john doe on February 26, 2016, 03:08:24 pm
The difference is that the gumballs are a denumeration, and the only possible piece of evidence which could alter the probability from a dead heat would be a complete count of the gumballs--after which, one side would be proven necessarily true and the other false, and nothing further could possibly be said.

This is in no way analogous to a philosophical or metaphysical discussion, which for lack of a better word, can be resolved as "cheaply" as this. It has nothing to do with a single, quantitative magnitude.

To make the gumball analogy better fit the god question one must make the gumball container cloaked and completely unscannable.  Furthermore the nature of the 'gum ball' must be a complete unknown with no measurable attribute.  In short, it must be impossible to know if there is actually anything in the gum ball container or if there actually is a container.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: lucious on February 27, 2016, 01:25:39 am
There is no way to make the gumball comparable to God.

The gumball question has nothing to do with metaphysics or philosophy, it is an everyday question of denumeration, a count of physical objects.

Nice atheist rhetoric though. Really full of positivism.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: john doe on February 27, 2016, 06:20:39 am
There is no way to make the gumball comparable to God.

The gumball question has nothing to do with metaphysics or philosophy, it is an everyday question of denumeration, a count of physical objects.

Nice atheist rhetoric though. Really full of positivism.

Funny you should say that.  I first heard it here put forth by a theist as an argument for God' existence.  I was disparaging the argument, not endorsing it.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: ArcSky on April 16, 2016, 02:06:33 am
Unless you're all-knowing, faith/belief is inevitable.
Title: Re: is atheism a belief system?
Post by: jayceeii on March 09, 2020, 09:08:58 am
I do not see that we, inside the universe / everything, necessarily should be equipped to understand the universe --  there just might not be any full explanation that any human could state, less comprehend. A very poor analogue would be that I cannot explain the existence of a book to the characters in it.

In math there exists true statements that cannot be be proven true within any consistent axiomatic setup (Gödel).

So maybe the sentence "creation of the universe" is just not valid, since these are words created by mankind to describe stuff and relations inside the universe.
The real trouble is in understanding “what-is,” that invalidates asking what existed before “what-is.” All minds do not think alike, and minds hunched over the material realm think only in crude physical analogies. For instance, a man wondering, “How was the universe created?” may secretly be wondering how his breakfast of eggs and croissants happened to appear on his plate, guessing vaguely it had something to do with a cook. Mankind has not known “what-is,” if they have not seen the soul, and that the creation is in essence spiritual with a material overlay. Unless the soul is known, man is not a profound being.