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I'm not an atheist, I just don't believe in gods


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Initial post: Oct 21, 2012 12:10:02 PM PDT
As a non-believer, I have a problem with the word "atheist". It think that it confuses some believers and makes a positive statement that should instead be neutral.

I prefer to call myself a non-believer in gods as it would be closer to reality. As mentioned in here and other places, i'm not a stamp acollector if I don't collect stamps, I'm not an aufologist if I don't believe in ufos and I'm not an afaerist if I don't believe in faieries. I just don't collect stamps, don't believe in UFOs or faieries. That's all.

As a non-believer in gods, I think that we should try to avoid the term atheist as it is in a sense meaningless and gives the impression that it actually is something. For an example, it is often confused as a religion or a belief by believers.

So, that's pretty much what I wanted to say on the topic. Thanks for your attention and have a nice day.

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 12:17:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2012 12:18:40 PM PDT
I agree with you. Often times believers will use the tired worn out thread bare assertion that atheism is some kind of religion. The implication being that is it is some fringe cult with spooky rituals that you need to keep your kids away from at all costs. Then there are those who have gone completely over the cliff who equate atheism with communism, satan and any other such nonsense that can or will put the non-believer in a negative light. The most often used line of attack is the false accusation that the non-believer lacks morality or as they put it "lacks a moral compass." It is really, really twisted thinking that seems to be drilled into some Christian's brains. Bizarre to say the least.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 12:26:49 PM PDT
Joe W says:
I don't think that the term is confused for belief, nor do I think it gives the impression that it is actually something. I think that the conflation of atheism with belief is entirely intentional. And that the impression is *taken* that it is actually a thing. This is just part and parcel of the anti-atheist propaganda package spread in churches. It is not confusion. It is intent.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 12:28:38 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Joe, I think people who are "believers" find atheism confusing, giving them nothing to fight against, so they have to make it into some kind of "belief". Otherwise it doesn't fit into their tidy little cupboard of dogmas.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 12:32:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2012 12:32:43 PM PDT
It is not true of all believers. I don't think of atheism as a belief, but as a negation of God.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 12:34:02 PM PDT
Clarissa

How so?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 12:34:40 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
You're right, Clarissa, I shouldn't have made that into an allness statement.

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 12:34:53 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 12:38:14 PM PDT
Joe W says:
Sure. I can go with that. Why are you putting believers in quotes?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 12:38:39 PM PDT
Clarissa

I do not believe in god(s). The idea of 'negation' from an atheist seems to be entirely active and indicative of anti-belief. A theist may take it as a negation, but as an atheist I certainly don't. Is nonbelief a negation? It implies intent.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 12:40:45 PM PDT
Joe W says:
It's a non-acceptance of a given claim that a god exists. It is not necessarily a negation of the possibility that the universe is an artifact crafted by intent.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 12:43:29 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Joe, I just don't take "belief" seriously, because it seems to me to be the ultimate in wishful thinking. That's why.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 12:46:53 PM PDT
Joe W says:
Ah, that's right. We do not define belief in the same way. I hold that you can believe something with good reasons and that you can believe something with no reason, and that of the two, only the latter qualifies as wishful thinking.

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 12:48:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2012 12:59:02 PM PDT
Both Mark and Joe W have used the word "intent". This would have to be from a mastermind, surely? I would have thought that natural forces are random, but perhaps I am wrong.

How would you reply, Mark Allen and Joe W?

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 12:57:32 PM PDT
Clarissa:
<<I would have thought that natural forces are random, but perhaps I am wrong.>>

In deed you are. They follow what we call "laws of physics". But they are not laws like our man-made laws. They are physical reactions that are constant and can be described as laws. But if someday something were to do something that was not in these "laws", we would have to rewrite them. They are based on our observation of the world.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 1:03:02 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 1:11:49 PM PDT
Joe W says:
Personally, I believe that the products of natural forces are stochaistic (not purely random). But I do not make an absolutely claim that an intent is impossible. I can certainly conceive of us using technology to generate a universe, so sure, this universe my be in a garage somewhere...the long forgotten fifth grade science project of some kid who grew up to be professional surfer.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 1:27:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2012 1:27:41 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Joe, and I think that when you have good reason to accept something it's called "knowledge", and that knowledge makes "belief" completely unnecessary and redundant.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 1:30:43 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 1:32:44 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 1:34:11 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 1:34:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2012 1:37:16 PM PDT
The term atheist means "without theism", aka "without a belief in the existence of deities."

The fact that you don't like the term is, frankly, irrelevant. You may not like the color of the sky being called "blue", but no one will stop calling it that just to accommodate you.

I have not had breakfast, therefore I am cranky.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 1:38:01 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 1:42:07 PM PDT
Joe W says:
In increasing levels of certitude:
I have good reason to believe that my car keys are on the hook upstairs because that is part of my normal pattern, but there have certainly been times when I have broken my pattern unawares and put my keys on the kitchen counter.
I have good reason to believe that my girlfriend is monogamous due to her exhibition of personal integrity and of her feelings towards me.
I have good reason to believe that I cannot pass through a solid wall.

I have doubts on the first, and would call it belief with good reason, but not knowledge.
I have no doubts on the second, but would still call it belief with good reason, and not knowledge.
I have no doubts on the last and would call it belief with sufficient reason to be classified as the special case of belief that we call knowledge.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 1:44:22 PM PDT
Joe W says:
Not in any meaningful use of the word "God".
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  45
Total posts:  806
Initial post:  Oct 21, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 5, 2012

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