Thought I'd repost after thinking about your post for a while.
The bottom line is that god-belief is a severely debilitating delusion.
Simple non-belief in gods frees up the mind to better engage reality. This is enormously important personally and societally.
I haven't even disputed your definition of atheism,
My point all along has been that simple disbelief in god is intrinsically highly valuable.
I basically agree with you.
But, I don't think Atheism came first. I think it is our ability to think for ourselves that comes first and from that we become atheists.
I think you already had it in you to realise the "consequences and results of the debilitating delusion of God". And from this you decided not to believe in God and were therefore an Atheist. In don't think you became an atheist and then after becoming an Atheist you realised God was a delusion.
I think you were already able to think freely and engage in reality. And because of this ability you became an atheist.
I agree "that simple disbelief in god is intrinsically highly valuable", but you do not think the way you think because of your disbelief. Your brain allowed you to think for yourself and from that brain of yours you gained disbelief.
There is certainly a chicken-or-egg debate to be had about the role of supernatural beliefs in the development of human society. And you may well be correct that I always had it in me to divest myself of religious delusion. But it took me the better part of two decades to finally be rid of it, and there are still some lingering aftereffects that annoy me from time to time. On the whole, I resent what religion has done to me personally, to my family, and to my society.
Moreover, as has been pointed out in this thread, while atheism is an inevitable conclusion, given the evidence and reason, many atheists do not arrive at atheism via critical thinking skills. Even so, it is one fewer nonsensical belief they are burdened with.
The bottom line is that I have seen too many examples of otherwise intelligent people rejecting reality in favor of god-belief when reality has intruded too closely. Many creationists are otherwise highly capable people, but for emotional reasons, they reject the evidence in favor of fantasy. It really is a damaging trait that can dominate a person otherwise capable of dealing with reality.
This is probably more a semantic argument than anything, but atheism, whether hard-won or casually acquired, frees people. Even if they do most of the freeing themselves, the mental liberation is breathtaking.
Rejecting our history of variegated and baseless superstition requires rationalism and encourages more of the same. For most adherents it is the notion of faith as an unassailable philosophical world view whereas atheists recognize that faith is anathema to reason and ethics. Implications aplenty.
Glad we got that cleared up. Many atheists do somehow seem to believe that atheism is automatically packaged with attendant beliefs and even political ideals, which isn't the case at all.
"Rejecting god(s) does not require rationalism. Fortunately, most atheists have come to this position through critical thinking but it's not required."
This is actually something I wanted to bring up. If someone becomes atheist without it being the result of critical investigation - if they just 'feel' that atheism is right; if they just 'feel' that god doesn't exist, does that make them as guilty of 'faith' as religious people?
In many ways I believe so. Atheism is not an untested position; it's the result of an active rational investigation.
Aaron, I find your statement fits my experiences. To hold onto an idea that god does not exist, nor the safety net, nor the community leaves a big, huge hole. Thinking things through, experimenting, exploring, discussing are processes that move one from faith to reason. The reality is, there are people with whom one can share atheistic thinking and build community.
I do wonder, however, if the great works of art and music and books could have been created without the financial support of churches. Art is a luxury that hungry people often don't/can/t produce. Would wealthy atheists be motivated to support a hungry artist?
Yes, Aaron you are correct. I was however examining atheism as a bowel movement, not a case of constipation.
Isn't it all obvious, there are no gods. I mean no one is treated better than others religious or not. Everybody dies. Every atom in your body will disintegrate. Why does this discussion go on?
Because many atheists on this thread are suggesting that there is a possibility, albeit a small one, that god does, in fact, exist.
If you cannot claim to know that there is no god, then you must believe that it is possible. This is wrong. It is not possible and we can know that. This also goes, for the same reason, for souls and spirits. It is not baseless. It is consistent with, and dependent on, identity, causality and reason. I never stated that anyone hopes anything.
One, metaphors don't make things more precise, just the opposite, especially when we already have concrete terms to discuss in. Two, this isn't a vote; it's a recognition of the existent nature of reality. And three, the metaphor supports my case. Not guilty is the same thing, to be consist with your metaphor, as possibly innocent (and implies much more than). If you wish to call someone not guilty, then you must admit that they may be innocent. If you are a gnostic atheist, you know there is no god. If you are an agnostic atheist, you don't know it, but think it anyway.
Religious constipation precludes or discourages ism-production. When one worships shit one is unwilling to let it go. Atheistic bowel movements, on the other hand, leave the faithless the freedom and or inclination to ratiocinate and produce isms.
It is a sliding scale of constipation. The greater the degree of constipation the less likely it is that isms will result. It truly is a matter of constipation being the barometer for the actor's mindset.
Dont even have to look to history to support my point. Although it does not hurt. Oh wait Augustine and Aquinas were great ismisers. Never mind fascism and constipationism. I am talking about progressivism. This is a shitty topic.
100% sure there is no god..... apart from the fact that no one has the same definition of god...... god is a made up story, with absolutely no evidence to support it.
99.999999% = That's like saying that I'm not although I know there is no monster in my cupboard, there is still a slight possibility because science and me don't yet know everything......