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 associate my Atheism with philosophy rather than disbelief in gods and religions. I think it implys that I use reason, logic. knowledge and science. To me it is the natural state that we are in at the beginning of life, until indoctrinated, or brainwashed. Theists are born into the religion of their choice, they are Christians because their parents are Christians and indoctrinate them into this belief. Had they been born in Pakistan they would be Muslims and they could have been indoctrinated into being one of the terrorists who blew up the trade centers, they fail to grasp the total hypocrisy of this. They fail to realize that their seeimng 'choice' is simply an matter of location and the nationality of their parents, thus this relegates religion to the realm of politics.
I openly use the term Atheism because I don't care to waste my time delving into the relam of fantasy unless the individual seems to have a capacity to think and reason.
"Holy books' are so vile that were I to touch one I would feel the need to wash my hands, althought I have read some mnay times, just to be informed, I am beyond that. Religions are all based on these so named 'holy books' and the irony is that so many of them are beginning to see the ignorance and trying to dissociate from those books, this gives them no basis for their religions or beliefs, although they are still trying to redefine their purpose for believing.
Stormy
Sorry I have not been here to really write on this site like I had planned. Couldn't get this site to load properly on my older computer for some reason this site kept freezing up.

To go back a bit to my original point I still feel the word needs to be changed in regard to it's definition to be honest, because words have great meaning and more importantly connotation. I take offense that the word "Atheist" is often times summed up as a "non-belief or lack of belief". To me letting the religous consistently define this word is why we have yet to to been able to form a structure to counter-balance atleast politically the force of which they can muster so easily and at the ready against us. We as atheists do not have to easy identifier to rally around behind. Diversity is a good thing don't get me wrong, but not being able to conform to same basic guidelines and principles to which we can heavily majority agree on overwhelming in my view is what is stopping us from attaining the political currency in which we are so in need of in these current times.

I just really hate the wording "lack of belief" because the word "belief" is in it because the suggestion is a person unwilling to recognize something as the truth. When the reality is it's not a failure of recognition, but realization that no truth or evidence of GOD has ever been present since the dawning of the bronze age beliefs.
I am borrowing this expression for someone on another forum and I have used it in the past.

"We are all Atheist, I simply believe in one fewer god than you do."

Stormy
Thanks for that bit of information, Don!

I thought of several quotes myself and than later discovered someone else had already made those famous.

1. Can god make something too heavy for him to lift?

2. Describe nothing (this is one of my favorites)

I have another one I can't think of now.

If you know who made the two above famous please inform me.

Thanks
Stormy
1. is of course an Omnipotence paradox, specifically the paradox of the stone.

"Could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even that being could not lift it?" If so, then it seems that the being could cease to be omnipotent; if not, it seems that the being was not omnipotent to begin with"

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnipotence_paradox
Some have evolved more than others.
I'm about to put yet another spin on all the great ideas we've had in this thread. Evolution is still occurring and will continue to occur.


Could people that do not believe in religion and gods be at the top of the evolutionary chain?
Could this be why the majority of the population still cling so fanatically to superstitions and have such a desperate need for gods?

Stormy
I can't understand why this is such a re-occurring theme here and why so much time is wasted on it ?

To me, it is the same question as "re-defining zero". Why ?

To quote Sam Harris (for the umpteenth time) -

I think that “atheist” is a term that we do not need, in the same way that we don’t need a word for someone who rejects astrology.

If push comes to shove, I wrote in another of the MANY similar threads -

I like "post-theological" as a fancy term and simply "godless" for mundane use. I tend to try to avoid using "atheist" at all - its almost become a brand, like Nike or Tommy Pigfucker. People use it (atheist) as a label or a fashion statement that have never really sat down and pondered it properly. Its lost meaning through overuse, misuse and abuse.
Fletch,
I do not like the implications of 'post theological' as this implies that one was once theological and I do not think this is so. I more appropriately think that we are born Atheist and indoctrinated, brainwashed into the religion of our parents. My quote is "You are born into the religion of your choice."

I see indoctrination as brainwashing into not only an unnatural state but an ignorant one with dangerous characteristics that those who gain 'force' (notice I do no use the word power for there is a difference) can use and psychologically lead the herd, the indoctrinated, into any direction he/she/it wants.
People like Hitler had an open endorsement from the pope who knew what Hitler was doing. WWII, like most wars were one of one religion against another.

The indoctrinated have rings placed in their noses and those that want to and know how can lead them to commit horrific acts of brutality in the name of religion, just as they can use religion to cause the flock to hate and discriminate against certain people such as homosexuals and Atheists.

Besides this some Atheists were never indoctrinated into any religion.

Post theological would be a great term to use should the world suddenly come out of the dark ages and shed the shackles of religion.

As to atheism defining me as being opposed to religions and gods, then I wear the label proudly. There are other terms such as Brights that some prefer, I think this assumes an air of arrogance somewhat, in that it makes the statement that we are super intelligent simply because we have shed the shackles of religions and gods. I think that a person must strive further and develop a philosophy which allows one to see how limited intelligence is in infinity and that all the knowledge we gain on earth would sit on the point of a universal pin point compared to all that is possible in truth for all eternity.

While I think that the pursuit of knowledge is certainly an extremely desirable pursuit and enhances all of the life, I am well aware that knowledge changes as circumstances change and eternity is a long time for change. I do enjoy the study of epistemology as this lends a proper aspect of just how educated a person can become and tends to leave that person with an awe for truth and keeps that person from becoming arrogant.

So, while it is sad that we have to be considered anti something as ridicules as ancient superstitions, I still consider myself lucky to be anti rather than blissfully ignorant in believing instead of valuing knowledge.

Stormy
Hi Stormy,

I do not like the implications of 'post theological' as this implies that one was once theological and I do not think this is so.

I was thinking of the term post theological as a transitional phase as a species - more along the lines of moving from the bronze to the iron age. Like it or not, we are living in the theological age. The personal usage is that you have made the transition to the next age and haven't been struck down by lightning.

I still don't like "atheist" though. Its probably entirely subjective to me - just met too many wankers that throw the term around without actually thinking or reading about it. I find them to be quite embarrassing, even detrimental to promoting true godlessness.
Don: The term's unsavory connotations are well entrenched in the minds of most people. There will be no getting rid of them, not in our lifetime.

That's why I make a point of using "godless" instead of "atheist" wherever possible. I only really use the term "atheist" with people that are too dumb to sit the right way around on a toilet.

As for redefining "atheism," even if it were possible, there's no point.

Like I said in an earlier reply, its as pointless as re-defining zero (the numeric concept zero).
As to atheism defining me as being opposed to religions and gods, then I wear the label proudly.

That sounds more like antitheism.

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