Author Topic: Are there any atheists here?  (Read 2659 times)

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Online Add Homonym

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Are there any atheists here?
« on: March 11, 2014, 09:37:54 AM »
Astute persons will notice that the site asks "Why won't God heal amputees?". It's not titled the "Atheist Hangout", and even it it was, "atheism" is such a vague term, that it could mean just about anything, because God could be just about anything, or nonexistent, so it's hard to be precise about what's being negated, or not believed.

God could simply choose not to heal amputees, because he is a mean-minded bastard, or even a logical bastard, who is just being consistent.

All Christian trolls who come to this site, seem to do so with an immutable belief that this is where 'atheists' hang out, and an 'atheist' is someone who thinks he has proof that god does not exist. Arguing around this point seems to take about 70% of any thread.

The Dawkin's scale of atheism, although seemingly precise, has a hideous ambiguity

    1- Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung: "I do not believe, I know."
    2- De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. "I don't know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there."
    3- Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."
    4- Completely impartial. Exactly 50 per cent. "God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable."
    5- Leaning towards Atheism. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. "I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical."
    6- De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. "I don't know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."
    7- Strong atheist. "I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one."


.. that is, it uses the word God, without mentioning whether it is talking about a Christian God, or some pantheistic concept, where "God" is the universe. In this case, I plead guilty. I believe in God, because the universe appears to exist. I am a strong theist. Having said that the universe may be God, I still have no beliefs about what paranormal, or as-yet-undiscovered properties it may have - pervading human existence.

Dawkins has said that he was a 6, or maybe as a joke, 6.9 (wikipedia). That's all very well, but I don't know what he is talking about. Is he talking about Islam and Christianity? Or all Gods presented by world religion? Does he have armchair thoughts, like Einstein, about a pan-dimensional intelligence that has a quantum dice throwing existence? He would probably never go there, on camera, because teh Christian trolls would get confused, and there would be immediate headlines : DAWKINS BELIEVES IN GOD.

Is it just the Christian trolls that make us take the rhetorical position we do? Is it they who actually create atheists, with their bloody-minded agenda?

Einstein had the same problem as Dawkins:

The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. (Albert Einstein)

I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.
(Albert Einstein, responding to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein who had sent Einstein a cablegram bluntly demanding "Do you believe in God?" Quoted from Victor J. Stenger, Has Science Found God? 2001, chapter 3.)


...contrasted with, how he felt about being persecuted by Jew and Christian trolls

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954, The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press)

So, what do you do about it? It's not just that trolls ruin the conversation; just about everybody does. If we get a pantheistic New Ager in here, they seem to be spouting just as much crap as a Christian. Atheism seems to be summarized, as "If you have no evidence, then you should STFU." There is a distinct convergence with the attitude of scientists.

Is anybody here an atheist? If so, how have you managed to convince yourself that your definition is meaningful?
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 10:27:26 AM »
Is anybody here an atheist? If so, how have you managed to convince yourself that your definition is meaningful?

For what its worth, I've always contended that I am an atheist towards each specific god that I have examined in detail, and agnostic towards any I have not.  As time goes by, and more and more move from one side of the equation to the other, I feel more and more comfortable just describing myself as a plain old atheist.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline penfold

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2014, 10:43:37 AM »
Is anybody here an atheist? If so, how have you managed to convince yourself that your definition is meaningful?

I would say I am. Here's how. Imagine any question of the form "do you believe in god(x)?" my answer would be "no".

A couple of caveats.

i) Saying I do not believe is not the same thing as saying I am certain. I believe I am awake but I cannot be certain I am not dreaming, yet I feel no need to qualify the statement "I believe I am awake." Similarly it may be that god(x) exists but I do not feel the need to qualify the statement "I do not believe in god(x).

ii) "god(x)" - it may be that one can try to define a 'god' which I would be happy to accept, so the type of Spinozistic 'god' that Einstein believed in, ie a poetic term for 'natural order', or possibly a definition along the lines of god as 'being' or 'existence' abstracted. Having said that these borderland cases are not sufficiently serious that I feel any need to abandon the label of atheist.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Offline bertatberts

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2014, 10:49:36 AM »
I am a humanist.

I don't label myself atheist, because an atheists isn't something you so much are, as it is something you are from a theist perspective, which is negative.
You only have to hear the vitriol spewed from some of the theist of this forum. I can be guilty of the same. When I hear them either patting themselves on there backs or flaming other theist and atheist, for being different. Preaching hatred only breeds hatred.

I hold humanity higher than any imagined concept. My fellow man isn't something to be wiped of something shoes.
Theism brings with it so much hatred, so much cruelty, so much death, nothing good comes from theism. IMHO.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2014, 11:07:18 AM »
Is anybody here an atheist? If so, how have you managed to convince yourself that your definition is meaningful?

By evaluating the multitude of definitions that have come under the label "god" and concluding that I don't believe in the existence of any of them.
If you keep on living your life as though your purpose is to be saved and go to heaven, you are missing the heaven that you are living in right now.

Offline Nam

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 11:32:27 AM »
I don't care.

-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: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 12:14:58 PM »
If the discussion gets far enough to use the "a" word (which I rarely use in real life for practical reasons and the negative aspects of it - not wanting to define myself by what I am not) ... I say that I've not yet heard of a god who makes any sense to me.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 12:25:22 PM »
I am a gnostic atheist (or a 7 on the scale you posted in the OP).
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 Mrjason

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2014, 12:32:39 PM »
I am a gnostic atheist (or a 7 on the scale you posted in the OP).

you need to believe in yourself more  ;D

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2014, 12:52:05 PM »
I too am a 7, but if a real god does show up, I'm willing to change my mind. Currently I see no evidence of such things. And I feel no need to run around undoing every specific religion before I use such broad strokes to dismiss them.

Gods are so clearly a human invention that all I have to do is look at the source.

Show me a religion that doesn't require some variation on the faith theme, show me a religion with tangible god components, show me a religion that gets the results it claims, and I'll be happy to rethink my position. But if the only benefit of believing in a god is feeling better about things, that isn't enough for me. I'd rather my feelings be reality based.

We all have to put up with a lot of human bullsh*t. Religiously elevated bullish*t doesn't smell any better. Nor does sit prevent, fix, satisfy or feed. Why bother.
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Offline wright

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2014, 01:36:11 PM »
For what its worth, I've always contended that I am an atheist towards each specific god that I have examined in detail, and agnostic towards any I have not. 

Pretty much what Anfauglir said. I consider myself a gnostic atheist with regard to any kind of omni (all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving) or interventionist god. Even a superficial look at the universe and human history shows that they're fiction. For more deistic, hands-off gods, I'm agnostic; evidence for such a being might yet be discovered.

But until then, there's no reason to let myself be constrained by the mere possibility they exist.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline RED_ApeTHEIST

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2014, 02:59:17 PM »
I think a definition of god is required to answer the OP's question properly. I'll rate myself at between a 3 and a 7 depending on how god is defined.

Bible god: 7
Allah: 7
Thor: 7
Athena: 7
Non interventionist Deist god: 6
Beings with powers or abilities beyond current human science: 3 (Please note, this would only include my thoughts on the probable existence of beings of this type, not a belief regarding said beings knowledge of, or interaction with, humans. Both of which would be highly unlikely.)
The relevant equation is: Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass; a good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read." - Terry Pratchet

Offline Jesuis

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2014, 03:30:22 PM »
According to the true meaning That theists know God and atheists don't then I am a true atheist.
There is no vagueness in this statement. You either know or you don't. It is very clear.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2014, 04:00:27 PM »
According to the true meaning That theists know God and atheists don't then I am a true atheist.
There is no vagueness in this statement. You either know or you don't. It is very clear.

According to the true meaning of the word 'clear', this is bullsh*t.
"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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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2014, 04:25:04 PM »
According to the true meaning That theists know God and atheists don't then I am a true atheist.
There is no vagueness in this statement. You either know or you don't. It is very clear.

Well, if that is true, you are so frickin' close to an absolutely instantaneous conversion to the other side that you should be wearing a seatbelt 24/7.
Jesus, the cracker flavored treat!

Offline dloubet

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2014, 04:42:32 PM »
Okay, imagine a tribe that declares the big nearby mountain is their god. They make no supernatural claims regarding the mountain, and don't even claim it thinks or is conscious. They've basically taken the word mountain and replaced it with the word god.

Do I have to admit that I believe in their god and am therefore a theist, or do I retreat to the old "calling a tail a leg don't make it a leg." aphorism?
Denis Loubet

Online wheels5894

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2014, 05:22:48 PM »
I'm not sure why this is such a big deal. We find theists or all sorts and sizes and mostly have little in common with other believers in the same god. Nonetheless, all theists are atheists in so far as any other god than their own is mentioned - Christians are atheists when Thor comes round for example.

So far as I am concerned,  am just an atheist in respect of one more god than any theist. I do not dismiss the idea that there are any gods - only suggest given the lack of evidence it is extremely unlikely but who knows what we might find out one day.

Oh, of course, I believe in Lord 'One Above All.'
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 Jesuis

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2014, 06:09:26 PM »
I'm not sure why this is such a big deal. We find theists or all sorts and sizes and mostly have little in common with other believers in the same god. Nonetheless, all theists are atheists in so far as any other god than their own is mentioned - Christians are atheists when Thor comes round for example.

So far as I am concerned,  am just an atheist in respect of one more god than any theist. I do not dismiss the idea that there are any gods - only suggest given the lack of evidence it is extremely unlikely but who knows what we might find out one day.

Oh, of course, I believe in Lord 'One Above All.'

Chuckle!  That makes you a theist and an atheist claimant.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2014, 06:15:58 PM »
On the Dawkins scale I am a 6.
I call myself a non believer.
I do like the term humanist but I would like to research more what that implies.
I shy away from the title atheist because too many people equate it with "anti-theist."
I do not attack any one else's beliefs (or lack of) if that individual does not actively use it to oppress, or harm or shame others.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 06:22:54 PM by LoriPinkAngel »
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Nam

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2014, 06:55:02 PM »
I'm 8. There is a/not god/s and I still don't give a shit.

It's not "god/s" I actually have a problem with; it's religion and those that follow that specific religion.

A god[1] is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something[2] forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compells it physically to move.

-Nam
 1. from the viewpoint they are real since the example actually is real
 2. such as nature
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Jesuis

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2014, 07:35:36 PM »
In order for me to be an atheist - theist has to exist. If I take away theist there is no atheist.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2014, 07:56:26 PM »
In order for me to be an atheist - theist has to exist. If I take away theist there is no atheist.

No, the only reason we have to be atheists is because theists exist. If there were no theists, then neither the concept or the term atheism would be needed.

It is not our fault.
Jesus, the cracker flavored treat!

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2014, 08:08:38 PM »
In order for me to be an atheist - theist has to exist. If I take away theist there is no atheist.

And you can't have manslaughter without laughter.

Based on the way you wrote your post, I'm getting the sneaking suspicion that you're confusing words - you know, the symbols humans use to help us communicate thoughts and ideas with each other - with reality - the external world that we occupy.

Edit: language
"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 SevenPatch

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2014, 09:07:18 PM »
In order for me to be an atheist - theist has to exist. If I take away theist there is no atheist.

No, the only reason we have to be atheists is because theists exist. If there were no theists, then neither the concept or the term atheism would be needed.

It is not our fault.

You know, it is funny, Jesuis isn't exactly wrong.  I want to say Jesuis is 'not even wrong'.

PP, you almost said exactly the same thing as Jesuis (if not exactly, just in a different order).  Although, really, atheists and theists are just people who hold the positions of atheism and theism.   The position of atheism wouldn't exist without someone first holding a position of theism.

I have a distinct impression that Jesuis is using some warped logic though, implying that because he exists and he considers himself to be an atheist, that means that theists ( "who know God" ) must also exist.

What a strange world it would be if all we had to do was define ourselves as something in order for the opposite to also exist.  Ah, Jesuis, unfortunately, reality doesn't work like that.
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline Nam

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2014, 09:30:56 PM »
Atheists would still exist it's just the word would be different but the meaning the same. Let's say aliens came, and they were (in their language) "theists" then "we" would still be atheists to their ideology.

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

Let's get back on topic, please.


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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2014, 09:36:51 PM »
Currently 2 people have answered that they define atheism the same way as a Christian troll does: One Above All, and PP. However, PP defines God as a human invention, and OAO has an undisclosed definition. Nam states that he operates on a different axis, and doesn't care about Gods, whether they exist or not, so if one turned up and said that they were going to give him the joy ride of his life, and show him orgasmic wonders he couldn't conceive of, let him rule his own planet, and this was obligation free, he would tell them to fuck off. Presumably he would be motivated to tell them to fuck off, because of his spite towards human-invented Gods, clouding his judgement.
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Offline Jesuis

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2014, 10:13:47 PM »
In order for me to be an atheist - theist has to exist. If I take away theist there is no atheist.

No, the only reason we have to be atheists is because theists exist. If there were no theists, then neither the concept or the term atheism would be needed.

It is not our fault.
That is true theists even give you purpose.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline Jesuis

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2014, 10:19:57 PM »
Atheists would still exist it's just the word would be different but the meaning the same. Let's say aliens came, and they were (in their language) "theists" then "we" would still be atheists to their ideology.

-Nam

And the weird gets weirder.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline Jesuis

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Re: Are there any atheists here?
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2014, 10:21:23 PM »
According to the true meaning That theists know God and atheists don't then I am a true atheist.
There is no vagueness in this statement. You either know or you don't. It is very clear.

Well, if that is true, you are so frickin' close to an absolutely instantaneous conversion to the other side that you should be wearing a seatbelt 24/7.
If the wormhole exists in me then no seat belt is required.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.