Author Topic: Christians get to define atheist the way they want to...according to Christians  (Read 721 times)

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Offline Hatter23

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http://www.christianpost.com/news/reclaiming-the-definition-of-atheism-disbelief-in-god-115657/


For too long atheists have been granted a free pass to deliberately dilute the definition of atheism. Too many active and passive atheists are quick to assert the informationally deficient definition of atheism widely known as "a lack of belief in God" or the "absence of belief in God." They would like nothing more than to believe they have no beliefs about God and merely possess an "absence" of a belief. After all, that is the regrettable definition found in some dictionaries (UrbanDictionary.com, Definition 1), and is, conveniently for the atheist, much easier to defend than saying what you actually believe about God. Consequently, today's atheists are more eager to tell you their beliefs about atheism than they are their beliefs about God.

The lack of substance in the popularly held definition of atheism among atheists makes it altogether unsatisfactory when discussing beliefs about God. The only information this definition conveys is that atheists have no positive belief in God. Atheists like to propose that a "lack of belief in" absolves them from possessing any belief whatsoever. However, an "absence of belief" doesn't negate the prospect of other beliefs or disbeliefs around the subject. In fact, it actually demands it. Stating you have an absence of belief in God says nothing about what you believe about the God.

Perhaps this is why some dictionaries also define atheism as "a: a disbelief in the existence of a deity. B: the doctrine that there is no deity." (Merriam--Webster) "A person who believes no god or gods exist." (Urban Dictionary, Definition 2). This is a meaningful definition of atheism one can sink their teeth into. This accurately informs me and the world what atheists actually do believe about God. Most important for the atheist, it is in line with reality. Atheists do have beliefs or disbeliefs regarding God, just as they have beliefs and disbeliefs regarding heaven, the soul, and the afterlife.

When approached with such celestial concepts, an atheist does not try to conceal their actual beliefs by saying they have a "lack of belief in" a soul. They properly state either a positive belief that there is no soul, a negative belief that they don't believe in a soul, or on rare occasion, a belief in a soul. The atheist is perfectly willing, and able, to state their beliefs regarding this and other supernatural propositions. Should God be an exception? Of course He shouldn't be.

Whether it be heaven, a soul, God, or a favorite atheist god, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, one takes a belief or disbelief on the concept. The introduction of the idea forces the conscious and intelligent human brain to automatically deliberate the proposition, especially ones of such magnitude. We then formulate and hold beliefs or disbeliefs in our mind. Atheists have had many years to deliberate the concept of God and have formulated numerous beliefs and disbeliefs over their lifetime. Unless an atheist's head has been buried in the sand all their life, it is impossible in our civilization for them to have not acquired some actual beliefs about God. In reality, atheists either believe there is no God, or don't believe in God, in addition to having a "lack of belief in."

If atheists applied their own definition of atheism to their divine creation the Flying Spaghetti Monster, an atheist would proudly state they merely have an "absence of belief in" the FSM. Just as with the theist's God, they would neither concede to having a disbelief or belief . I have no qualms confessing that not only do I have a "lack of belief in" the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I also positively believe the FSM God does not exist. Are atheists willing to concede a theist has more conviction that the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't exist than an atheist does? Perhaps now atheists can fully see how incomplete and wanting their definition of atheism is in practice.

In truth, atheists have much more than simply a "lack of belief in" the Flying Spaghetti Monster and would concede they don't actually believe in him. Since the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the atheist equivalency to the theists' God, they should similarly admit their beliefs or disbeliefs about God.

Atheists stating atheism is nothing more than a "lack of belief in God" are simply using that definition as a copout. They are hiding behind an insufficient definition of atheism so they won't have to confront what they actually believe about God. Atheists are quite willing to accept they have disbeliefs regarding other supernatural phenomenon and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It is time they became reconciled to the fact that they they don't believe in God as well.

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.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline One Above All

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Jesuis (a theist) also believes he gets to redefine the terms "atheist" and "theist". I'd pay (metaphorically speaking, seeing as how I have about 20 cents at the moment) to see him and christianpost decide whose definition is better.
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Offline jdawg70

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Wow.  He cited urbandictionary.com.  Twice.

Mike Dobbins is an idiot.  I suspect he has a cadre of people that help him do things like tie his shoes.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Online Dante

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Quote
Atheists stating atheism is nothing more than a "lack of belief in God" are simply using that definition as a copout. They are hiding behind an insufficient definition of atheism so they won't have to confront what they actually believe about God. Atheists are quite willing to accept they have disbeliefs regarding other supernatural phenomenon and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It is time they became reconciled to the fact that they they don't believe in God as well.

Theist: "There is a god."
Atheist: "Why should I believe you? Do you have evidence? Can you prove it?"

/end discussion
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline Hatter23

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The thing is, I sort of agree with the author. The adective 'atheist' means lack of belief, such as the atheism of babies; but those the lay claim to the title 'atheist' do disbelieve in gods. A class of being, god; not the capital 'G' peppered across the article as clear flashing signals that this is the groundwork for a reversal of burden of proof.

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.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Ataraxia

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Yes, I sort of agree too. I understand the distinction between lack of belief and disbelief. However, as Hatter as pointed out, this article is an attempt to shift the burden. Not once is god defined in this article, so what exactly is it that I'm disbelieving in?
This is the thing, the author, like many theists before him, has this expectation that by default, we know what is meant by god and therefore have beliefs about what this god is supposed to be. This is not the case - I have no direct beliefs about god that are born from how I define it. I take the definition that theists supply me with and work with that.

In a nutshell, I don't have beliefs about god, I have beliefs about the theist supplying me with what god means to them, primarily the belief that they have failed to meet their burden of proof.

Such theists try to make atheism so damn complicated to create this level playing field - to attempt to share the burden, "Aha! You're atheism means you've got as much faith as me, so you have to prove it too!" Horse shit.

Look, it's really simple - take the definition of theism:

Belief in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe:.[1]

Then, add the prefix "a", which means:

Not; without:[2]

Finally, add them together to make "without belief in the existence of a god or gods". As can clearly be seen, the prefix "a" does not mean "opposite to".

So, due to the way theism is defined, atheism is just an adoption of the null hypothesis with regards to theism. The burden of proof is clearly on the shoulders of the theist alone. End of.
 1. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/theism
 2. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/a-
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Offline SevenPatch

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Isn't it ironic that some Christians get all upset if you accidentally imply what they believe yet have no problem telling you what you believe.

Perhaps Mike Dobbins should look up the word "hypocrite".
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 06:03:35 PM by SevenPatch »
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Offline churchgoingatheist

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I do have lots of beliefs and opinions about the concepts that other people give the name "god" to.  In that sense the writer is not wrong. 

But I fail to believe in the existence of any of them.  In that way, I simply have a lack of belief in the existence of their gods. 

Apples and oranges.

This writer is using semantic games.  Unfortunately, I've had many conversations with friends that boil down to something very similar: "your atheism is also just a belief."  I get pretty tired of trying to explain the difference.

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Too many active and passive atheists are quick to assert the informationally deficient definition of atheism widely known as "a lack of belief in God" or the "absence of belief in God."

An informationally deficient definition of atheism is a reply to an informationally deficient definition of god. Now if he says precisely which god he believes in, I will say precisely that I don't believe in it.
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Offline jaimehlers

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When Christians allow atheists to define the word 'Christian' the way they want to, then I'll worry about his complaints about how atheists choose to define atheism.

By the way, it's a truism that when you allow someone else to dictate how you define yourself, you've gone a long way towards allowing them to declare whatever they want about you.

This is pretty much the same pointless argument I got into with Jesuis a few days back (and which he still insists on defining his way) - he doesn't get to redefine words to suit his convenience, and if he somehow did, all that would happen is that the people formerly described by those words would pick (or coin) a new one instead.  Like I did with the word 'apatheist'[1], since I don't feel that the definition of 'atheist' precisely applies to me.
 1. apathy + theist, one who doesn't care about having a belief in god or gods

Offline natlegend

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Quote
Since the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the atheist equivalency to the theists' God, they should similarly admit their beliefs or disbeliefs about God.

I have yet to meet a theist who understands the actual concept behind the FSM. It boggles the mind. Are they ALL really that thick?
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Offline natlegend

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If Christians get to redefine the word atheist, then I choose to redefine Christian as paedophile. Seems only fair.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Online wheels5894

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OK, here's a video to help



It seems to make things clear though I doubt that is the case for all the Christians who come here.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline One Above All

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If Christians get to redefine the word atheist, then I choose to redefine Christian as paedophile. Seems only fair.

Christianity isn't about fairness. YHWH punishes the children of the sinners "to the third and fourth generation"[1].
 1. Source: http://biblehub.com/exodus/34-7.htm
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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Online wheels5894

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If Christians get to redefine the word atheist, then I choose to redefine Christian as paedophile. Seems only fair.

Christianity isn't about fairness. YHWH punishes the children of the sinners "to the third and fourth generation"[1].
 1. Source: http://biblehub.com/exodus/34-7.htm

One,

As my Lord and God, II expect you to be right on everything but it isn't just the 3rd and 4th generations is it? No, Original Sin teaches that everyone born since A and E are infected with this nasty sin that has to be forgiven so, in fact, that much of the apple may be costing billions of people their happiness in heaven if they don't accept Jesus to cure them.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline One Above All

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One,

As my Lord and God, II expect you to be right on everything but it isn't just the 3rd and 4th generations is it? No, Original Sin teaches that everyone born since A and E are infected with this nasty sin that has to be forgiven so, in fact, that much of the apple may be costing billions of people their happiness in heaven if they don't accept Jesus to cure them.

One thing: I am not YHWH. YHWH is your (humanity's) creation. I am no one's creation.
Anyway, the sin is there, but YHWH's rage subsides after "a few" generations, which is why "only" three or four are punished.
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.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Nam

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I am the the god of fuck[1].

;)

-Nam
 1. that's right! Manson bitches!
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline natlegend

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OK, here's a video to help



It seems to make things clear though I doubt that is the case for all the Christians who come here.

Sweet video. A great comeback for the theist catchcry "Atheism is a religion!"
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Online wheels5894

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Brilliant! I was looking for the video yesterday but couldn't find it!
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline summersolstice

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actually technically "Atheism" has been redifined (diluted) from "belief that there is no God to" to "Lack of belief in a god" however the change in definition doesn't mean what they think it means:

People who believe/know that there is no God are called atheists but in the new definition people who are "undecided" are also called atheists aswell (formerly called "agnostics")that's all that's happened:D

in other words there's just another "type" of atheism

the article I wrote and posted in my first post received a bit of a bashing (though like I said I'm not offended) explains all this and I got the info about the "dilution of the definition of atheisms" elsewhere

Offline Nam

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So...agnosticism no longer exists? Another memo I didn't get.

-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 nogodsforme

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I always thought that "agnostic" was the wimpy way to say you were an atheist, but did not want all the hassle. I called myself an agnostic for a while. But is there anyone who really fits the common lay definition of "agnostic" as one who does not know if there is a god-- and who therefore treats all gods as equally likely or equally unlikely?

My suspicion is that an "agnostic" will, when pressed admit that there are a whole bunch of gods that they are pretty sure about. IE they do not exist. Thor, Ra, Quetzacoatl, Pan, Corn Mother, Shango, Mithra, Ganesha, Xenu, the FSM and whoever the Moonies worship are probably off the list.

They are still likely to be entertaining the possibility of Jehovah, Allah, and Buddha. Maybe the term polypossibilist would be more accurate, as long as we are making up words to define what other people are. &)
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 Nam

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I believe in Namgod.

-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 jdawg70

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the article I wrote and posted in my first post received a bit of a bashing (though like I said I'm not offended) explains all this and I got the info about the "dilution of the definition of atheisms" elsewhere

Post you are referring to: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,833.msg606248.html#msg606248

What you refer to as 'a bit of bashing' was more like 'criticism' or 'response to the content of your article'.  It's great to not be offended and all, but did you happen to have any interest in discussing those criticisms/responses to your article?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline Hatter23

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Isn't it ironic that some Christians get all upset if you accidentally imply what they believe yet have no problem telling you what you believe.

Perhaps Mike Dobbins should look up the word "hypocrite".

For having nothing in common definition wise, there does seem to be a great deal of overlap between the categories of; "Christian" and "hypocrite"

 
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.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Nam

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Only if you listen to the Christian.

;)

-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 nogodsforme

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Also when we point out that lots of Christians do x or y bad thing, they say well, those people are not really Christians. Even if the people we mention are well-known for being Christians, televangelists, mega church leaders, pastors, priests, etc. Nearly every person in history, good or bad, was religious because people were not given the choice not to be. Kings, inquisitors, crusaders, mullahs, dictators all did horrible things with the complete support and encouragement of the religious establishment of their day.

If those people are "not really Christians" then are the millions of their followers who were taught Christianity by them, who were healed of diseases by them and were brought to Jesus by them also "not really Christians"? Can you learn true Christianity from a false Christian?[1]

The number of Christians gets whittled down quickly from 2 billion worldwide (can all of those people be wrong? it must be true then) to just the person posting and a few of the people they like. Heaven will be a ghost town (heh) with tumbleweeds and tavern doors banging in the wind. Hell will be standing room only. Everyone will have to take a number and wait eternally until a demon is available to serve us. Makes sense. Hell as the DMV, or maybe Costco the week before Christmas.

On the other hand, when theists try to grab every evil SOB dictator and say see, they were atheists, we say, yeah they were atheists, and they were evil SOB's. We don't start back pedaling and saying that Pol Pot or Mao or Stalin were "not real atheists" because a real atheist never does anything bad. Atheism just means no belief in gods. Atheists are just human beings, no better or worse than anyone else.[2] What you do with your lack of belief, good, bad, neutral, is up to you, your genes, your environment, whatever.

Exactly the same as religious people.
 1. I asked a similar question about the (clearly not really Christian) American slave masters who forced their black slaves to accept their religion before torturing them and killing them. Are the devoutly believing descendants of the slaves also "not really Christians"?  I got no answer.
 2. Of course, we also know that rational secular policies using science and technology tend to make a better overall society than religious policies using sacred texts and prayer. Compare Japan or Sweden with Haiti or Iran....assuming a good middle class salary, where would you prefer to raise your kids?
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 natlegend

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I believe in Namgod.

-Nam

How quaint! I believe in Namgod too!
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Online wheels5894

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Yes, nogodsforme, it is too often a sight seen on these forums. Theists wriggling their way out of awkward situations with the not a True Christiantm line. The trouble is that, so far as I know, there is only one True Christiantm at any one time as everyone has slightly different beliefs and can easily tell us where they are wrong!

What is a shame is that they cannot conceive that anyone could manage without a religion of some sort - even the religion of athiesm[1].
 1. Tip, if you are reading this, theists - atheism is only the absence of belief in one less god that you and nothing else.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)