I don't know about the rest of you but I am of the mind that Atheism needs a new definition. I think we need to get away from the word "BELIEF" as much as humanly possible. Belief for us I think sends the wrong connotation and message because "RELIGION" is far too closely, attached to the word as well. "Belief, and Religion" are semantical cousins when it comes to how people interpret their meanings...no matter how many times you try and use the standard cold definition of each word. I think we need a new way to define atheism in a very short concise sentence as much as possible.

The definition of Atheism as it currently stands is as follows; Atheism: "The BELIEF that there is no GOD; DENIAL of the existence of a supreme being.

Atheist: A person who BELIEVES there is no god.

You do see the inherent problems with the words contained in these definitions?

They suggest that WE as ATHEIST's are simply in denial that there is a GOD.

First, I do not think any of us DENY there is a GOD. We state there is NO GOD. PERIOD.

We simply have not been convinced there has been any empirical, logical, or physical evidence proving the existence of a supernatural deity that is the existential driving force behind existence of the universe and mankind.

So my new definition of ATHEISM goes as follows:

ATHEISM: the stated contention that there is no empirical, logical, or physical evidence proving the existence of any supernatural deity that is the existential driving force behind the existence of the universe and mankind.

In my view...my definition lends far more credence to our hold that ATHEISM is more philosophy than religion. And like I said it eliminated the words commonly associated with religious minded persons. So that when you state your an ATHEIST and defend it...you don't use the word BELIEF. Because this to me is where the battleground truly is in society. Because the idea itself, the concept simply while it is the most fundamental and important..is just not how humans interpret and think about such matters. Different words true do not always convey different meaning because they are dependent on context...but different words convey different connotations different thoughts..different arguments..and may thusly lead people to new ways of thinking about religion/GOD. Which is what I think our point is...THINK. JUST THINK. That's all we want you to do, THINK. No more no less, you don't have to get up off the couch.

Tags: belief, re-defining atheism

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I think that being an Atheist does not completely define a person. I'm beginning to see that I've entered another chasm, which is not much different from the one I tired of which was arguing with Theists. Atheists are defined by their various philosophies. I have mine and could easily find issues to disagree with concerning various philosophies. Surely there is a truth in one philosophy. I know I have not been posting much lately and this is because I was in for a rude awakening when I discovered those varying philosophies can be considered beliefs just as religions are.

I really thought that my rejection in religions gave me a more solid relationship with others who have rejected the obvious fantasy of religion but I am beginning to see that we are really more different from we are alike due to the beliefs in differing philosophies. Surely there must be a truth and in that truth there would not be belief as there appears to be in differing philosophies.

Stormy
Atheists tend to be a diverse group. We don't generally have a dogma or a "holy text". Because of this, this lack of an authority or a set of codified rules to follow, we have to figure things out for ourselves. We have to decide for ourselves who we are, what we believe, why we believe it.

As for truth, truth is a complicated beast to grasp. It's a fuzzy word. There may be some objective truth, but for the vague ambiguous areas we are able to grasp with our limited abilities there may not be a truth that is not subjective. Whether it is morality, culture or taste in food, there may not be an objective answer... just preference. Enter philosophy: the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.

All atheists share one simple thing... lack of a belief in god. Beyond that, it is fair game. We may have far more disagreements then theists will due to the fact that we aren't following some imposed game plan. We have to choose. We choose what we believe for a variety of reasons (good and bad), and finding common ground can be rough.

I tend to advocate critical thinking, logic and reason far more than I do atheism. I feel that with the ability to disagree, debate and discuss, the differences in "philosophy" and belief are smoothed under the sandpaper of rational discourse.

~BB
Don,

Your suggestion that Atheists had to believe in their acquired knowledge started me thinking about the word 'believe' and I discovered that Atheists do 'believe' as we all share differing philosophies.

Since all differing philosophies cannot be a complete truth, and surely there must be an objective truth, then it would be correct to say that Atheists believe in something, their philosophy.

I think that only a real truth could be a true knowledge which requires no 'belief' system and be considered knowledge which I think requires only acceptance.

Would you agree that Atheists have beliefs?

I think those varying philosophies can be just as much fantasy as religions unless there is an objective truth.

I find it fascinating that our minds can create such situations that escaping 'belief' becomes such an odyssey.

What is your philosophy? Rhetorical question.

Stormy
I think we do, but it isn't always viewed as the best form of critical thinking.
The Atheist Nexus site is exceedingly difficult to follow because there are so many folders on similar or overlapping topics. So please excuse me if this point has been raised recently, but atheist belief is of the everyday type, like a belief that the sun will rise or that the economy will continue to decline in 2009. That is, it is an empirical conclusion based on available evidence, while religious belief is based on faith in entities for which there is no evidence.

The important difference between the two is that every empirical conclusion could possibly be wrong, even if the odds of it are very small. Any atheist will tell you that they will abandon the atheist conclusion if real gods ever show up, and prove their existence. But I have never gotten a straight answer from any Christian to the question of what would prove to them that their god-belief is wrong.

So it is a significant error to equate religious faith with the atheist conclusion. People must change their empirical conclusions to accommodate new evidence. If they alter their religious beliefs to accommodate new evidence, then their faith has failed.
Yes, this helps me inform my opinions.
I've accepted the fact that we all 'believe' in our acquired knowledge and I'm making an attempt to move beyond this.

The question I am asking you is "Do you realize that Atheists have 'beliefs' the same as Theists, and those beliefs are their opposing philosophies. Not all philosophies are the same and I am thinking that there must be an 'objective' truth that most philosophies do not grasp, that said, then Atheists would hold 'beliefs' just as Theists do.

I realize that we believe the knowledge we have is valid but must be willing to advance when theories advance.

I AM using the word 'belief' in the same context as 'religious belief.'

Stormy
I agree completely with the brief video on epistemology when she states that if a person relys completely on an authorative source rather than using their four thought functions, thinking, feeling, intuition and sensation, then there is no knowledge gained. I assume you've read books on this topic as well. I like Ayn Rand's book on epistemology.

Now owards to the next short video.

Stormy
The second video was not as interesting as the first. I found it curious that it did not begin with how a hypothesis was formed and developed into a theory, a theory being only as close to a true fact as we are able to attain given our limitations to our own galaxy at this time.

This was not even science 101.

Stormy
I have no arguments with the theories of gravity and evolution!
I think I'll pass on QualiaSoup as there are other sources which are more accurate. Thanks anyway!

Stormy
I think it would be 'closed minded' not to question theories like the big bang and an expanding universe. The universe is infinite and you cannot make infinity 'more infinite.'

One of my main interest is physics and I don't need any prodding to investigate theories here.

Thanks teacher, I reserve the right to use my own brain as well as considering 'authoritative' sources.
Stormy

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