Blackfish - Yes or No: do you believe in any gods* or goddesses*? Hello Spider
* - where god/goddess refers to a deity that:
- is transcendental
- has some sort of responsibility for existence, such as a creator
- has some kind of divine authority, particularly over the souls of beings within the universe
- is conscious and has the ability to intervene in the universe
- is supernatural
I am a Buddhist and therefore do not believe in a God. Buddhists believe that Buddha was a mortal man and not a God.
I am not opposed to the belief in a God however. Buddha taught that everyone makes their own paths and that we are to respect those paths, even if we disagree with them. I respect God belief in others; but I find it unnecessary in my own path.
Thank you for your question.
Thanks for answering. This clarification is pertinent. You understand that you are actually an atheist. I think this was pointed out to you already by either Goodkat or Hermes, but I want to elaborate on this.
Whatever you think about other people's belief in god, your opposition or support of it, your respect, are additions beyond your atheism and not a necessary consequence of it. The same goes for any antipathy or just an intellectual opposition to theism. Antitheists are usually atheists, but that doesn't mean atheists are antitheists. Apples are usually red, but red things aren't defined as apples.
The reason I say this is because if your respect and compassion for theism is in the extreme - as I would imagine is the ideal in Buddhism following the example of boddhisattvas like Quan Yin or Avalokiteshvara, then if we follow your reasoning, you would also be an extreme atheist. And sure, that works, you're an atheist with something extreme about you. However, technically this is misleading because your views on theists are little to do with your lack of belief in god and more to do with your belief system as a Buddhist or just your own personality.
By the same token, if Davedave is in deed an extreme antitheist, either violently so or just as a matter of strong intellectual, moral or political opposition, it's because of his own opinions and beliefs, not because of lack of belief. It's easy to call that an "extreme atheist", but to be perfectly honest, I think what you're asking about here is "extreme antitheism".
If your definition of extremism requires advocation of violence, then Davedave, from what I've read from him, is no extremist, not even as an antitheist.
For the record, I'm also an antitheist and I've called myself a militant atheist at times to illustrate that point, but I do not by any means advocate the initiation of violence. I've been accused of being too weak, too tolerant, and I've accused of being intolerant. This isn't a contradiction - what's "extreme" seems to be decided relative to what's considered moderate, but as soon as you discover something beyond what you used to know as "extreme", it moves the standards along. So if you think Davedave is extreme now in his ideas, I'd be happy to show you some religious extremists to put it into perspective. They don't wear balaclavas or wield machine guns like the extremists we see on the news, but their ideas advocate means well beyond what I've heard Davedave propose. I think it's put my qualms about being too "extreme" into perspective.