Author Topic: What do you mean by "Atheist"?  (Read 3168 times)

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Offline Quesi

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2013, 06:48:34 AM »
I think that I am in the minority here in that I identify with the terms "secular" or "secular humanist" more than the term atheist. 

Offline Nam

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2013, 06:54:13 AM »
I looked at the Oxford English Dicitionary, it is a poor entry for atheism

Quote
atheism, n.
Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of a God. [EditGB: this should, of course, be "the existence of a god or gods."]

agnostic, n. and adj.
 1. A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of immaterial things, especially of the existence or nature of God.

2. In extended use: a person who is not persuaded by or committed to a particular point of view; a sceptic. Also: person of indeterminate ideology or conviction; an equivocator.

These two definitions of agnostic should be kept separate. As far as religion is concerned, only definition 1 applies.

Remember the dictionaries that listed the definition of atheist/sm as being "immoral"? I'm sure some still list such a thing.

-Nam
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Offline DumpsterFire

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2013, 06:59:25 AM »
An Atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work for now – here on earth for all men together to enjoy.

So heaven is a place on earth? Looks like Belinda Carlisle was right all along!
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Offline Nam

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2013, 07:00:45 AM »
An Atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work for now – here on earth for all men together to enjoy.

So heaven is a place on earth? Looks like Belinda Carlisle was right all along!

NO! Tracy Chapman was right!

;)

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

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Offline bertatberts

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2013, 10:19:27 AM »
An Atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work for now – here on earth for all men together to enjoy.

So heaven is a place on earth? Looks like Belinda Carlisle was right all along!

NO! Tracy Chapman was right!

;)

-Nam
"Heaven here on earth" was from her 1995 album "new beginnings" so sorry Dumpsters correct Belinda got there first. from her 1987 "Heaven on Earth" album.
However personal preference is allowed.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 10:21:59 AM by bertatberts »
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline Nam

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2013, 10:22:54 AM »
An Atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work for now – here on earth for all men together to enjoy.

So heaven is a place on earth? Looks like Belinda Carlisle was right all along!

NO! Tracy Chapman was right!

;)

-Nam
"Heaven here on earth" was from her 1995 album "new beginnings" so sorry Dumpsters correct Belinda got there first.  18

Belinda Carlisle may have sung about it first (though I doubt that is true) but Tracy Chapman did it better.

;)

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Traveler

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2013, 10:24:11 AM »
I think that I am in the minority here in that I identify with the terms "secular" or "secular humanist" more than the term atheist.

Me too. I call myself many things, depending on the context. Atheist is only one of them, and often the last, because its a negative claim. I prefer open-minded skeptic, secular humanist, and others. Secular humanist at least begins to talk about things I do support, rather than just referring to something I don't believe at all. If religions went away, atheist would be a meaningless term.
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Offline Jag

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2013, 10:30:18 AM »
I think that I am in the minority here in that I identify with the terms "secular" or "secular humanist" more than the term atheist.

Agreed. But in a way that's even more confusing, as most people have no idea what it means. I find it almost more difficult to explain, because eventually, the conversation still ends up on god-beliefs, or lack thereof. It's easier to just get it out of the way, for me (my subjective experience, YMMV).

I think humanism is a better description of me and my beliefs than atheism is, simply because it identifies what I am rather than what I am not. It doesn't come up all that often, but I'm taking Comparative World Religions as an online class for summer semester and humanist is how I intend to describe myself, should I need to do so.
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline Nam

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2013, 10:32:25 AM »
I think there's quite a different definition of Atheist from the atheist and the theist.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

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Offline Quesi

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2013, 10:37:49 AM »
I think that I am in the minority here in that I identify with the terms "secular" or "secular humanist" more than the term atheist.

Agreed. But in a way that's even more confusing, as most people have no idea what it means. I find it almost more difficult to explain, because eventually, the conversation still ends up on god-beliefs, or lack thereof. It's easier to just get it out of the way, for me (my subjective experience, YMMV).



Yeah.  I often get blank, polite looks.  If they are interested enough, they can go home and look it up.  Sometimes folks look downright shocked.  I mean, I'm so nice!  How could I possibly be "secular," which is a very dirty word in some religious circles.  But much of the time I get "me too!" or "my dad is secular but I...."

I think humanism is a better description of me and my beliefs than atheism is, simply because it identifies what I am rather than what I am not. It doesn't come up all that often, but I'm taking Comparative World Religions as an online class for summer semester and humanist is how I intend to describe myself, should I need to do so.

This!!!!

Offline bertatberts

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2013, 01:11:33 PM »
An Atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work for now – here on earth for all men together to enjoy.

So heaven is a place on earth? Looks like Belinda Carlisle was right all along!

NO! Tracy Chapman was right!

;)

-Nam
"Heaven here on earth" was from her 1995 album "new beginnings" so sorry Dumpsters correct Belinda got there first.  18;)




Belinda Carlisle may have sung about it first (though I doubt that is true) but Tracy Chapman did it better.

-Nam
I happen to agree with you. never liked Miss Carlisle.

 
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 01:14:11 PM by bertatberts »
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline Tero

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #40 on: May 22, 2013, 01:50:01 PM »
Oh no, not this again!

I have not had to think about it since I made my leap of faith: all supernatural things are imaginary.

Offline neopagan

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #41 on: May 22, 2013, 01:54:36 PM »
What do you call someone like myself - a closeted agnostic atheist (I know, besides a fraud)?

If I attend church with my family, but stay out of the fundy-babble and generally dodge the issue "publicly" - am I a atheistic-pseudo-xian?

It's maddening... but it keeps the peace at home and the home "together"
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Jag

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #42 on: May 22, 2013, 02:07:49 PM »
What do you call someone like myself - a closeted agnostic atheist (I know, besides a fraud)?

If I attend church with my family, but stay out of the fundy-babble and generally dodge the issue "publicly" - am I a atheistic-pseudo-xian?

It's maddening... but it keeps the peace at home and the home "together"

Nothing of the sort! There are a lot of us here (but certainly not all) who are only open about this to a comparatively small group. For me, my boyfriend and kids know, but I'm not inclined to discuss it with any other family members. I'm sure my mother has some questions, but she seems to have chosen to pretend and I'm more than happy to go along with her - there's nothing of value to be gained and she would be distraught if I forced her to know that I dismiss her god out of hand. Some of my friends know, most do not. I'm also lucky to have a very active atheist community in my local area, so I have access to people with whom to talk freely about this. We're pretty active politically as well as socially - I tend to be more involved with the political/social activism gatherings, but the purely social ones are a lot of fun when I can make the time.

Frankly, I'd be lost without the forums I'm a member of online.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #43 on: May 22, 2013, 02:27:18 PM »

Nothing of the sort! There are a lot of us here (but certainly not all) who are only open about this to a comparatively small group. For me, my boyfriend and kids know, but I'm not inclined to discuss it with any other family members. I'm sure my mother has some questions, but she seems to have chosen to pretend and I'm more than happy to go along with her - there's nothing of value to be gained and she would be distraught if I forced her to know that I dismiss her god out of hand. Some of my friends know, most do not. I'm also lucky to have a very active atheist community in my local area, so I have access to people with whom to talk freely about this. We're pretty active politically as well as socially - I tend to be more involved with the political/social activism gatherings, but the purely social ones are a lot of fun when I can make the time.

Frankly, I'd be lost without the forums I'm a member of online.

This forum has been a "blessing" to use some of the old vernacular... otherwise, it's the closet for me.  The few folks outside my family I've discussed it with have been sympathetic - or at least listen and even agree with some of my points, but it's a non-starter at home and I won't go there.
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline neopagan

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #44 on: May 22, 2013, 02:28:58 PM »
^^^^^  I horribly screwed up jag's post above - it was here wise comment I tried to copy and speak to - sorry for the confusion
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #45 on: May 22, 2013, 04:33:03 PM »
What do you call someone like myself - a closeted agnostic atheist

I'd probably just go with "atheist", myself, although in your case "closeted" and "agnostic" are also both correct adjectives to attach to it.  It's just that, most of the time, I don't feel much of a need to qualify it at all when I call myself an atheist.  It's kind of like if someone were to ask me my gender.  I would just say "male", not "right-handed, five-foot-eleven male" or something like that.

Quote
(I know, besides a fraud)?

There might be a few "closeted atheists" out there whom I would consider frauds, but you're definitely not one of them.  You're doing what you feel you need to do to keep yourself safe in various ways, and I'm with Matt Dillahunty in that I don't fault you for that.  The simple fact of the matter is that some atheists need to stay closeted due to their circumstances because in our society today, being openly atheist can be risky or even dangerous.

I'll also echo what Matt Dillahunty said in another area: Allow those of us who can be openly atheist to do so, to continue interacting with society, and to help change people's views about atheism until people in general understand atheists and atheism better and stop treating us the way gays used to be treated, and blacks used to be treated before gays.  That is, let us do some work to help make society safer for you, and then you can come out.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #46 on: May 22, 2013, 05:39:24 PM »
^^^^That's why I cheer extra-loud for the older gay couples marching in the pride parades. They did the heavy lifting of just surviving so the younger gays can complain about not having enough states where marriage is legal.

I am not trivializing the need for universal federal marriage rights. But there is a big difference between that and having to stay closeted to keep from being killed by a gang of morons. And knowing the police will not even investigate, because it's your own fault.

And as athiests, we have come a long way from being automatically burned at the stake by a gang of morons. Because, unfortunately, the morons will always be with us.  :o



Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline neopagan

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #47 on: May 22, 2013, 06:48:38 PM »
Thanks for the words of wisdom pianodwarf and nogodsforme.  It maysound trite but I needed that...

I have certainly drawn a bit of a line in the sand that although hidden away in my closet, I will not repeat xian nonsense. I either shut up in church circles or I "gently" question the thought processes I cannot stomach (when relatively safe to do so). 


If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Hatter23

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #48 on: May 23, 2013, 10:20:22 AM »
What does atheist mean?

It means exactly what christians think about Zeus. Ra, Thor, Mithra et al.

Not always. There are some Christians who state that these were demons with demonic powers that Satan used to mislead humans. Strange how scarce they become recently; oh that's because of the power of Christ vanquishing them (eyeroll)
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #49 on: May 23, 2013, 02:21:49 PM »
Interesting how there are all these other powerful supernatural beings like angels and demons interfering with humans, but only one for really true bona fide GOD. Because we are completely monotheistic, don'tcha know. &)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline epidemic

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #50 on: May 23, 2013, 02:57:05 PM »
I don't know what technical term to use for myself.

I believe that god is unlikely.  At least the god described by any of the texts I have read or been exposed to.

I believe we either live in a natural universe or one created by a big bang at the will of god. But beyond that I think he has not paid attention to his creation beyond entertainment.

Much like a scientist watching a colony of ants or a petri dish.

I only allow for a hands off god because I am at a loss to describe the universes existance.  It would seem to defy physics of cause and effect.  But that is likely just my ignorance.

So I am 90% believer in natural universe

10% hands off god

99.9999% sure Torah, Christian bible and Quran is not an indication of god's will (if he exists).  They are too petty and obviously product of simple human minds and cultures.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #51 on: May 23, 2013, 03:11:09 PM »
^^^That's a description of a Deist belief, where a god started the universe off and then left. But there is no more evidence for that god than any other.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #52 on: May 23, 2013, 03:21:48 PM »
^^^That's a description of a Deist belief, where a god started the universe off and then left. But there is no more evidence for that god than any other.

Also, in a practical sense, there's really no difference between a god who does nothing and a god who doesn't exist.  That's why I don't have a "beef" with deistic beliefs.  One of my closest friends self-describes as a "Wiccan deist", and I rarely ever even think about it, which is definitely not true of friends I have who belong to various xian denominations.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #53 on: May 23, 2013, 03:28:06 PM »
Exactly my point. Why posit a deist god who does nothing? The universe runs just as if the deist god is not there. You don't need a deist god; it just adds complication and explains nothing. Occam's Razor.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #54 on: May 23, 2013, 04:24:52 PM »
Exactly my point. Why posit a deist god who does nothing? The universe runs just as if the deist god is not there. You don't need a deist god; it just adds complication and explains nothing. Occam's Razor.
It's the way to fill a certain cognitive void is all.  Those who believe that a deistic god exists are the type that need an answer to "Why am I here?" but don't really care all that much whether the answer is correct or not.

For some reason the answer "I don't know" is unpalatable to them.
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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #55 on: May 23, 2013, 04:26:09 PM »
For some reason the answer "I don't know" is unpalatable to them.

To paraphrase House:
Quote
We're hard-wired to find answers. When we can't find rational answers, we settle for stupid ones.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline magicmiles

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #56 on: May 25, 2013, 08:48:57 PM »
^^ Who did the hard-wiring mentioned in the House quote? It seems to assume a deliberateness of purpose.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
« Reply #57 on: May 25, 2013, 09:21:32 PM »
No, your question assumes a deliberateness of purpose.  Natural processes that lead us to have hard-wired instincts are no different, in principle, from ones that don't.
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