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 agree completely with the brief video on epistemology when she states that if a person relies completely on an authoritative 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 onwards to the next short video.

Stormy
Sorry, in attempting to edit my first reply it seems the two changed places.

Stormy
You know, that's exactly what I was thinking about recently. I have a blog in Wordpress, and usually I comment on a Christian blog. The guy who owns it tried to prove that Atheism doesn't really exist because of it's definition, which includes "belief (lack of)" and "denial". But this is an epic fail. We Atheists obviously don't have ANY belief, nor deny god. We simply think such entities as "Gods" don't exist. And that's all. What that Christian guy was lacking is common sense, and obviously don't know anything about Semantics and of course, about what really is Atheism and the Atheist people. He only has the awfully wrong view on Atheism that Christian have: "Bad, Atheist, Bad! You're going to Hell! OBEY GOD NAO!"

You're right, we NEED to change the meaning of the word "Atheism" and "Atheist", because it treats them as to be a non-belief, which in the end, is a belief. Denial of God of just whinny, no one will deny God, because it would imply that there IS a God, but you're simply a whinny little angry boy/girl...and that's not true, for sure (maybe Atheist emos are, but normal people not). Anyway, with a change on meaning of the words Atheism and Atheist, we would have a better image of ourselves, not the little devils we supposedly are. Change the language, and you will change people's views and ideas. So powerful is language!
An atheist is NOT a person who "believes" there is no god
An atheist does not believe that god exists.

Atheism is not a belief, it is a lack of belief.

You say, "I think we need a new way to define atheism in a very short concise sentence as much as possible." and then you say:

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.

I simply repeat,
"An atheist does not believe that god exists."
That's all we need.
Whilst I don't have a problem in principle with your inclusive definition of "atheism", I suspect that weak atheists are rare. Judging by the disdain expressed towards theists in other discussions on AN, I think that most contributors to these discussions must be strong atheists and strong agnostics (as I think I am). I think that it is probably also true of atheists in general that most of them are strong atheists and strong agnostics. This would explain why to many people the term "atheism" does not include weak atheists.
I would not want to use the word "rationalist" because it does not particularly mean absence of the belief of god. I suppose I could simply say "I don't believe in god". However, the negative baggage of the word "atheist" doesn't bother me that much.
I am not fond of the statement, "I don't believe in god," because "god" in the statement gets more attention this it deserves. If there is no god, then there is no god to even not believe in. I prefer, "I don't believe a god exist to believe in or to disbelieve in." This addresses our stance without making it seem like "god" is actually something but we just happen to not believe it. God isn't something and therefore doesn't deserve such acknoledgement. Either we can state, "I don't believe a god exist to believe in or to disbelieve in." or make it clear that what we don't believe in the idea of god as theists define it.
Yes, that is what we "MEAN" but that is not what we are speaking. I am simply suggesting we SAY what we MEAN. We agree, We deny the theist concept of god, but saying, "I don't believe in god." could be interpeted as god exist, but I don't believe it. That is why the theist say they think we really do believe in god, but we are in denial. I think the clarification I am suggesting may help to correct that misunderstanding.
Anyone who believes that there really is a supernatural god who knows all of our thoughts and actions and who punishes any transgression of his will with eternal torture is not going to pretend that the god does not exist, because he would know that he is bringing eternal torture upon himself. So Christians who assert this are just engaging in psychological science fiction. It is as if a career criminal did not like police, and so decided that police do not exist.

Members of our community describe themselves as atheists, agnostics, skeptics, humanists, freethinkers, rationalists, non-believers, brights and a great many more terms. I'm fine with any of these as long as it is clear what the person means. I do object to people selecting labels to confuse others about their actual beliefs. But in my experience, those in our community usually devote some serious thought to the label they select for self-description.

I like to think that the way that I use the terms strong atheist and weak agnostic will be useful to others, but it is fine if they select other terms. TJ, you have selected a weak definition of atheist because you have had problems with a particular argument some Christians offer. It is interesting to hear your solution, but other self-descriptions work, too.
I like to think that the way that I use the terms strong atheist and weak agnostic will be useful to others, but it is fine if they select other terms. TJ, you have selected a weak definition of atheist because you have had problems with a particular argument some Christians offer. It is interesting to hear your solution, but other self-descriptions work, too.

I have selected a weak definition of atheist? Tell me, what is my definition of atheist?

I like to think the way I define and try to clarify the term will be useful to others too! LOL. It is interesting to hear your solution, but I am not as bold as you to label other peoples attempts at clarifing the term as "weak."
I think this is convoluted. Are you saying that you cannot disbelieve in gods because they do not exist? So, in order for you to disbelieve in gods, someone would have to first prove to you that they exist?

Rather than seriously engaging dialogue, you are just sending a message to someone who might disagree that you are just playing word games. I don’t even understand your concern. If anyone says to you that your disbelief in gods implies that they exist, you can yourself call “word games!”
read above for more "word games" as you call it.

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