* a belief

* centralised

* dogmatic

* ritualised

* purposeful

...so atheists shouldn't be

* dependent

* in agreement

* following any rules

* repetitive

* aiming towards a goal

* nor should they preach


Tags: purpose, reason

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no running in the hallway

But it's OK poolside?

So basically...atheism isn't really and ism at all.  Agreed.  However, that doesn't mean that atheists are completely devoid of isms.  They can follow other isms, such as naturalism or skepticism or secularism, and they may even feel that these isms align well with the world view that there is no god.  They may even take it a step further and feel that the lack of a belief in a god is an important component or part of these other isms.

Absolutely - so a community of atheists, drawn together by lack of belief or even stating oneself to be "an atheist", thereby setting oneself as part of a crowd seems incongruous to me in addition to any symbolism or any core belief. 

Atheism is love

Perfect counter to when theists say "God is love"

Hehe - I take that as ironic.  I certainly don't love everyone else.  There's a few people I'd admit to hating but apathetic in my feelings toward most people on the planet, who are strangers.

I guess I don't agree with the argument that atheism isn't a belief. Yes, it is a lack of belief there are/is a gods/god. But, if you change the sentence around, you can also say you believe there are no gods. Is this not true? Do you not also believe there are no gods while simultaneously lacking a belief in their existence?

@Cara Coleen

I'm glad you disagree.  I disagree with you though also; the sentence is not equivalent in both directions.

An analogy is if I have £7.50 and someone makes that up to £10 for me, I have gained 33.3% of what I had.  If I then spend 33.3% of what I have but I now only have £6.66. 

...Perhaps a better way to point out the incongruity of your superfically "obvious" statement is that a lack of belief cannot be referred to as  a "belief", or a belief in nothing cannot be a belief, like zero is not a "value", it is the absence of a value.

Alright, I can appreciate that. So atheism itself is a lack of belief there are gods, and saying you believe there are no gods is taking it a step further, or something else entirely?

I mean, believing there is NOT something specific (fairies, gods, the supernatural) is a belief. You can believe there is nothing. For instance, Lawrence Krauss has written an entire book on how there is not "nothing" (the absence of all matter), as in "nothing" has never been observed. He believes there is not "nothing". That "nothing", or total emptiness, is an unstable state and that matter necessarily arises out of it. The book is called A Universe from Nothing.

I feel like I'm tossing word salad here, but the point is: you can believe there is NOT something. Perhaps to believe there are NOT gods is not atheism, but it is a belief nevertheless.

No - non-existence is the default.  Otherwise, you'd have to believe that Chewbacca doesn't exist, rather than just know it...or every being ever imagined by anyone.  Your power of belief would have to be infinite.

Put simply belief defies or opposes evidence.  If you believe a god exists; that belief goes against all known facts.  If you don't believe a god exists; that is a natural conclusion based on current evidence, simmilarly with a wookie or Bertrand Russel's teapot.

It took me a while to understand this distinction as well Cara.

The distinction is similar to an opinion VS knowledge and facts. 'I believe there is no god' is like saying 'My opinion is that there is no god'. It's what seems true. 'I lack belief in god' is the same as saying 'There is no god'. This is how I understood it.

Although many will not notice the distinction, hence the constant confusion.

I lack belief in god' is the same as saying 'There is no god'

Mmm... I think I still disagree. Lacking a belief isn't the same as making a positive claim there is no god. That's gnosticism. If you're a gnostic atheist you [think you] know there is no god, AND you lack a belief in one. If you're an agnostic atheist, you don't know if there is a god, AND you lack a belief in one.

Gnosticism/agnosticism deals with knowledge. Theism/atheism deals with belief or, as you said, opinion. The addition of the statement "there is no god" would make it a gnostic statement, or "I know there is no god."

My problem has been seeing that "I lack a belief in gods" is actually different from "I believe there are no gods." For instant, I lack a belief (or opinion) on whether there are multiverses; I don't feel qualified to form a solid opinion, so I have none (yet). It would be entirely different for me to say I do not believe there are multiverses. Doing so would mean I've taken a position on the matter; I'm no longer neutral.

^coming up with my own example for you has clarified in my brain why lacking a belief is not the same as saying I do not believe. :P


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