It's so easy to get bogged down in definitions on this site, but I think it's important to keep in mind the following:
Considering yourself an atheist does not automatically mean you think once we die it all goes dark, flatline, worm's-meat etc....It does not have to have a belief in what happens after you die as the default secondary definition. Atheist means you do not believe in a god or gods. That's it. Some atheists are agnostic in the fact they they just don't know. Some atheists are, I don't know the word, that when you die, it does in-fact just go black and the evidence we have in terms of the mind-body connection ending upon death is an indicator to the fact that this will most likely occur. Maybe a bio-physiological atheist? So when we are throwing around spirituality and what is atheism I feel that we all should agree that religion and knowing with certainty yet without evidence, is what we are against. The idea of not knowing is perfectly acceptable. I think even saying that "with all the evidence I have in front of me, knowing what I know", is also perfectly acceptable. Ergo I know that god(s) do not exist. O.k., should've kept it short, now I'm rambling.
What are your thoughts? Do we get too caught up in trying to define who we are? Do we get lost in semantics?
No. I tend to tell people that because of the laws of conservation of mass and conservation of energy (which are really different aspects of the same thing), that as far as an afterlife goes the energy/mass will be converted into something else.
I think Stephen Hawking recently said something like: I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.
Mass and energy will continue on into the "afterlife". Consciousness, not so much. I tell people that believing in an afterlife is an excuse for being an incompetent human. It makes them angry.
Whatever death is, it is apparently so fascinating that those who have died don't want to tell me about it or it's completely slipped their minds. It can't be bad, people never get tired of telling about whatever bad things have befallen them, so if there's anything to be experienced, it's got to be pretty damn awesome.
It's OK though, I hate spoilers. :)
StumbledUpon this excellent explanation of denfinitions.
Too many times I have informed someone that I am an atheist, only to have them reply, “Oh, but how could you know that God doesn’t exist? You’re taking a faith position!”
Many headaches later, we finally come to an agreement over the definitions of these words.
This arrangement is an attempt to clarify and classify these words, so that their rogue meanings no longer confuse and muddle religious debate.
To begin with, here are the four key terms arranged on a graph with their opposites across from them. This should allow a very rough placement of one’s theological position. It will be refined in greater detail later.
Now here are the terms defined. If the terms are new to you, refer up to the graph to get an idea of how they relate to one another.
The horizontal axis concerns WHAT YOU BELIEVE:
The vertical axis concerns WHAT YOU THINK WE CAN KNOW:
So, to restate:
These four labels can be very useful in describing the way we feel about gods. They can combine together to make more precise labels.
An atheist agnostic is someone who does not believe in gods and also thinks that the existence of gods cannot be known. This might mean that they don’t believe in gods because they haven’t seen any evidence that supports their existence.
A theist gnostic is someone who believes in a god/gods and thinks that the existence of gods can be known. This position is usually referred to as just ‘theist‘, since people who believe in gods, usually also think that their existence can be known.
An atheist gnostic is someone who does not believe in gods, and who thinks that we can know that gods do not exist. A fairly unusual position, they might think they have found proof of the non-existence of gods, or might have been persuaded by life experiences.
A theist agnostic is someone who believes in gods, but thinks that they could not know for sure that their god exists. Another fairly unusual position, as people who have faith in gods usually also think that their god can be known to be real.
In terms of numbers, the main positions are represented here, and the fringe positions minimized. Though the corners are cut, these positions are by no means impossible. For example, absolute atheist gnostic would express: “I know with absolute certainty that no Gods exist.” And absolute agnostic theist would express: “There is absolutely no way to know God’s existence for certain, but I have no doubt whatsoever that there is one.”
The direction of the arrow represents the direction of skepticism on the graph. The upper-most left is the position of the most doubt, whilst the lower-right displays the position of the most certainty.
The absolute central position is one of apathy or indifference. An apatheist, perhaps. *
Someone who does not know what they think yet cannot be placed on the graph, and should make up their mind if they wish to find a theological label for their views.
A very important point is that claims to knowledge are only made in the bottom half of the graph. Only gnostics make claims to knowledge.
A quirk of the theist/gnostic box is that the concept of God changes from corner to corner. (Click images to enlarge)
So, to get an idea of what all this means, here’s some common positions located on the graph:
It’s important to remember that these terms can still be misleading.
When talking about different gods that people believe in, we could pick different positions on the graph depending on which god is under discussion. For example, Christians will be on the theist axis when it comes to Jesus, but on the atheist axis when it comes to Zeus.
People who refer to themselves in casual usage as atheists usually mean that they are atheists for all possible gods, whilst a Muslim would be an atheist for all gods except Allah.
Finally, here’s the graph in its final form. Where do you fit?
* Note: Such a person will act as if there are no gods, since they are utterly indifferent to the idea. For all intents and purposes, they are an atheist. This is a non-trivial point. Babies are born indifferent to the idea of gods – indeed – they cannot conceive it, and accordingly are atheists: they do not believe in gods because they can not.
By Peter Brietbart
It was the Christians that were called "atheists" as they did not believe in the gods of Roman theology.Over 50 mil lost their lives for belief in Jesus Christ over the centuries.
And I read todays'atheists cry blubber baby over being persecuted for not believing in God!!!Try being slaughtered by the millions someday and then you can cry like a little child.LOL
Jews constituted around 10% of the Roman population until it was Christianized. Those who have made some projections say that would constitute around 200m Jews today if they had not been persecuted and forcefully converted. That's around 187m more than exists today, caused in major part by Christian forefathers.
In addition, it was the Mongols who were the world leaders in slaying, killing so many humans that it can be traced in the CO2 levels of the planet.
"Dr", you fail at general knowledge.
Evidence of the 50 million please.
Oh and on top of that christians reaped what they sowed with the romans. For all of the roman empire religious tolerance was an acccepted rule. So much that the jews in rome were given free reign to hand down legal judgements on their own people.Roman theology, all manner of foreign tribal, pagan, and jewish religions lived in harmony in Rome
Christian upstarts after a while decided they could not do the one thing that all other religions were able to do and that was make offering to Cesar.
The reason they were persecuted was for breaking the law.. they didnt pay their tax to the Roman Emperor because they decided it was blasphemous using jewish commandments that the jews had no problem doing.
And to this day in our country religious cults like christianity do not pay their taxes.
Personally im thinking the coliseum and lions are not such a bad idea.
50 million would be almost the whole population of the Roman Empire
eh. that's equivocation & magical thinking.
"live on in the memory of others" <> "live on"