NOTE: This thread does not flame against Atheism, but it does criticise it. It displays my definition of Atheism which seems to be not for the general public. If you can't deal with criticism towards Atheism you are in the wrong discussion.
Additionally the fear of extremism is directly linked to very seemingly possible distant futures NOT THE NEXT 2 YEARS.
First of all I would like to say I am mostly against all sorts of organized religions, but in fact I am agnostic. (meaning I dont admit defeat to any superpower untill there is enough evidence to support it)
In my opnion there is a big issue that does not tend to be adressed with religion in the right way. People always complain about how close minded religion really is and that most of their followers are just blindly pusuing the herd. Though how much "better" is atheism really?
Atheism is by my language's definition a religion itself. The translated definition of religion in German and Dutch state that a belief turns into a religion once the belief itself sets an definition of how the world works.
People think atheism is about the "we dont know" factor, but it is not. Atheism preeches the "We know YOU are wrong" factor.
I absolutely agree with the fact that atheism not being an organized religion (yet) gives it a higher level logical acceptance, but where is it going?
Atheism used to be the outcast lunatics hanged to death. Now there are groups forming all over the world with "logical leaders" behind it. I honestly think atheistm is goign in the same direction as all other religions are going right now. How far do you think you are of having atheism's jehovas whitnesses at your door? I have listened to my lesser educated/informed friends rampage about religion after having seen one biased documentary (Religulous). They were making statements such as, "I am gonna kill all those who believe in religion" etc. This is nothing more than atheist extremism. Even on this webiste it seems that some topics are purely places here ase a response to rage/anger against religious people.
This brings you to the discussion that should be here, maybe even istead of this entire website (not hating at the website, this place is great), "Are we too unintelligent?"
The reason people follow blindly what is set right infront of them is because they are uninformed and scared of complecated explanations that undermine the value of their own existence in this universe.
Religion is part of the problem, but education is in an infinitely worse state.
(Again I am not hating at atheism, as I am far more happy with it that even Buddism, but merely pointing out a more pressing issue. Next year Ill be attending univesity where I hope to find more who have brought themselves up to date with the real issues)
*EDIT: removed the word absolute from the definition of atheism, this is not correct.
Your question implies that one or the other is SUPPOSED to be "better."
Being an atheist isn't about being "better" it's about accepting reality as it is. It's about the truth. Whether I like it or not, whether it's better or not, there is no divine power whatsoever. It's that simple.
I used better for the lack of better term. You should understand what I really mean
Also a human always should try to better oneself
I see what you mean, but if you follow my trail of thought it all comes down to people being uneducated adn therefore atheism startign to fall into categories with religions containing deities.
But maybe its just me reading into things as I believe it is I see more reasons supporting my claim cause they stand out more.
Even if that is what I do the issue is complecated there is nothing that will change that. The arguement of atheism vs religion is invalid so long education at primary and higher levels up to below university does nto improve.
Kim, I am sorry, but as an "Agnostic" (Atheist in training), you do no seem to under stand just what an Atheist is.
As to whether we feel we are better, or smarter, it is like observing a hollow log and understanding that the tree died, rotted, harbored zillions of insect life, etc. etc. instead of being one of the herd who pick up sticks and poke the log to see if the "Unga Ka Pulla" will emerge and grant us wishes.
Atheism is the refusal to place any significance of some dogma that can not in any way prove the existence of a supernatural, anything.
Lastly don't blame us for occasionally displaying anger, when in some places we are still burned, hacked to death, buried alive, and in the Christian teaching, just Hated.
Good luck on your travel toward true rational thinking, we will be waiting for you.
Atheism is a non-belief in any type of external deity (or that evidence for the existence of such deity exists) and cannot be seen in any shape or form as a religion. Naturally you will get radical atheists, angry atheists, even disillusioned atheists who revert to religion; that is human but it does not imply that atheism is on the road to becoming a religion. Many theologians and philosophers even struggle to classify Buddhism as a religion; it certainly isn't one in the theistic sense and in fact is atheistic in the sense that Buddhists don't believe in external deities.
Religions require faith in something which is prescribed/described by means of scriptures (which may have been been an oral tradition earlier) of some sort; practiced in terms of rituals and traditions; contains philosophies steeped in mysticism etc etc. Religions are more often than not accompanied by a variety of forms of sanction and punishment if not adhered to; offer incomprehensible and impossible rewards if you do and try to manipulate the lives of adherents in a number of ways. Atheism fails in each case to qualify and will continue to do so. I cannot see how it will ever be possible to use a NON-belief to apply these sanctions etc.
Whether atheism is "better' is a judgement call; this depends on your subjective views, your expectations and your logic and grasp of reality. If your understanding of what atheism (and for that matter this includes your view of different religions) actually is, is faulty, so too will be your judgement of whether it is 'better' or not.
"better" is also a loaded term; better for what, whom, in what sense, when, etc etc.?
Thank you for this reply, this was absolutely true, but is it still?
Of course did the church have huge power over education not too long ago, but how much effect do they have on it now.
I think the infinite loop of religion corrupting education and hence more people being "people of faith" is starting to fade. Just check the educational materials provided for todays youth and compare it to before world war II.
I think expendatures such as defense should be eliminated almost completely and go into education and research, but hey who listens to the kids of the world.
I read four pages of responses, so I hope that I'm not repeating someone else's point here that came later. What often happens to get people fired up is the realization that they've been lied to about how the world works. In your friend's over the top claim of wanting to "kill", you'll often find that with people whom are new to the subject. Maybe they haven't really been paying attention before and now that they are aware of a sample of the information they assume that it's actionable. Reality is that it isn't actionable until you have a lot of information.
I've been an Atheist (or at least a non-believer) my whole life but I didn't get fired up until after 2001. The political rhetoric forced me out of my religious indifference cave. I was vocal and defensive at the time. Today I speak about it, get frustrated, but in no way do I want others to not have religion. I really think that it's fairly representative of the process that we go through. Of course, it is simply anecdotal.
That being, reacting to the reaction should be muted as well to bring it down to a normal conversation. The best way to fight the mob mentality is to speak more quietly so that people actually have to listen to hear what is being said. Just an opinion.
Any 'agnostic' can support anti-supernaturalism
'Atheism' is too ambiguous a word to be used without a context. As labels go 'atheist' covers too many possible, even inconsistent, descriptions. However “the anti_supernaturalist" (my label of choice) is reasonably precise.
• However, rather than strain at definition -- consider religious notions which disappear from an anti-supernaturalist's point of view. There are no supernatural agents, locations, states, events, or communication channels of any kind whatsoever:
1. No supernatural agents: minds, souls, spirits, ghosts, godlings, gods, God (Allah, YHVH), cosmic soul, absolute.
2. No supernatural locations: hell, purgatory, heaven, buddha realms, moral world order, transcendental existence
3. No supernatural states: the numinous, sin, grace, revelation, life after death, illumination, nirvana, buddha mind.
4. No supernatural events: mysterium tremendum, redemption, resurrection, rapture, mystical union, karma, or reincarnation.
5. No supernatural information channels: mediums, shaman, prophets, speakers in tongues, voices from drug induced visions, prayer, invocations, reading of natural signs, schizophrenic delusions, “gut” feelings, elevated emotional states, subjective certainty of some god's presence or action.
• Valuable roles of 'atheism' as anti-supernaturalism:
1. Anti-supernaturalism rejects all religions' fictional discourse and fictional scripture. It finds clerics to be illegitimate authorities on morality. It calls attention to totalitarian aims of religious institutions.
2. Anti-supernaturalists, by using good argumentation and methods of good research, demonstrate in practice what standards must be applied for there to be any (logically) convincing exchange of reasonable viewpoints.
3. Anti-supernaturalists find a secular state and an Open Society worth building and preserving.
4. Anti-supernaturalism focuses energy on de-deifying religions, showing them to be cultural constructs and morally degenerate atavisms.
• Religious institutions operate with tremendous overhead which believers finance only partially. The tax-free status of religious groups in the US imposes an illegitimate xian religious-tax burden on all citizens.
Government tax dollar support of so-called "faith-based" charities represents another illegitimate subsidy for xian institutions. Their properties, their income, investment portfolios should be subject to stringent taxation, enough to eradicate their pretensions to political power.