Atheists who love Science!

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Atheists who love Science!

A group for science enthusiasts of all types -- professionals, amateurs, students, anybody who loves science.

Website: http://www.thinkatheist.com/group/science
Members: 928
Latest Activity: 5 hours ago

Discussion Forum

CuriosityStream, anyone?

Started by Pope Beanie. Last reply by TJ Jul 13. 2 Replies

Neanderthals used fire in caves:

Started by JadeBlackOlive. Last reply by TJ Jun 29. 9 Replies

Fossil Dog

Started by JadeBlackOlive. Last reply by Unseen Jun 8. 13 Replies

Pre-Clovis civilization in Florida

Started by JadeBlackOlive. Last reply by Belle Rose May 15. 4 Replies

Teeth vs. Tools

Started by JadeBlackOlive. Last reply by JadeBlackOlive Apr 28. 2 Replies

‘Trickle of food’

Started by JadeBlackOlive Apr 15. 0 Replies

Diet affects the evolution of birds

Started by JadeBlackOlive Apr 14. 0 Replies

How Dinosaurs Grew From Hatchlings to Adults

Started by JadeBlackOlive. Last reply by JadeBlackOlive Apr 6. 18 Replies

Think your DNA is all human?

Started by JadeBlackOlive. Last reply by SteveInCO Mar 27. 9 Replies

Small, Brainy T-Rex Discovered

Started by JadeBlackOlive Mar 14. 0 Replies

Fossil analysis pushes back human split

Started by JadeBlackOlive. Last reply by Reg The Fronkey Farmer Mar 11. 3 Replies

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Comment by Pope Beanie on January 20, 2011 at 12:59am
Therefore, one who lacks a belief in gods is missing something that is ostensibly needed.
I'm actually not so sure about what Fred meant.
Comment by NuKrit on January 20, 2011 at 12:14am
Lol Don, that is some awesome dissection.  Good to know.
Comment by Don on January 19, 2011 at 8:45pm

Rocky writes, "What's wrong with simply, 'an atheist is one who does not believe in a god or gods'?"

 

Nothing.  But that's what "absence of belief" means--it means there is not a belief.  It is not there.  Period.  Absence equals non-existence.  When something is described as absent, there is absolutely no implication that it "should" be present.

 

In the phrase "lack of belief," by contrast, the pejorative connotation is plain and unarguable.  A lack is deficiency--by definition.  Therefore, one who lacks a belief in gods is missing something that is ostensibly needed.  That's why the definition is flawed; it reflects an obvious bias.

Comment by RockyTIJ on January 19, 2011 at 7:35pm

Personally, I don't see a lot of improvement with "absence of" over "lack". Both imply something that "should" be there but that's missing. 

 

What's wrong with simply, "an atheist is one who does not believe in a god or gods"?

Comment by Don on January 19, 2011 at 6:01pm

Fred writes, "Take the definition of being an atheist.  What is it now.  All in Chorus.  Atheist: a person that lacks belief in gods or a God."

 

This common definition is NOT a definition that any atheist should accept.  

 

Please let me take this opportunity to point out here that it's a mistake for us (or anyone) to define atheism as a "lack of belief in gods."  Why?  Because that is the theists' definition of the word.  Many dictionaries offer this definition--but dictionaries are largely written by theists who fail to recognize their implicit bias. 

 

The word "lack" carries the connotation of deficiency, the sense that what is lacking is something to be desired. By definition, to lack something is to be in need of whatever one lacks.  Atheists know that belief in god is nothing to be desired.   We don't lack theistic belief; instead, we simply do not have it. 

 

The better and more accurate definition is: "the absence of [belief in] gods." It's from the Greek; "a" meaning "not" or "without," and "theism" meaning [belief in] gods.

 

As George Smith has written:

 

"Atheism, therefore, is the absence of theistic belief. One who does not believe in the existence of a god or supernatural being is properly designated as an atheist.  Atheism is sometimes defined as 'the belief that there is no God of any kind,' or the claim that a god cannot exist. While these are categories of atheism, they do not exhaust the meaning of atheism--and are somewhat misleading with respect to the basic nature of atheism. Atheism, in its basic form, is not a belief: it is the absence of belief. An atheist is not primarily a person who believes that a god does not exist, rather he does not believe in the existence of a god."

 

Atheism: The Case Against God (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1989)
Comment by Don on January 19, 2011 at 9:33am

Lee comments: "The intelligent design crowd holds that all ordered systems must be the product of design, which is obviously false. Robin Hanson is making the same error in the opposite direction: he’s claiming that even systems that weren’t designed by humans can be treated as “designed” by evolution. I think this claim is equally fallacious, for roughly the same reason."

 

He's right.  The brain cannot have been "designed," because to design something is to engineer it purposefully with a plan already in mind.

Comment by Messenger on January 10, 2011 at 2:31am
Im sorry you feel that way. Forgive me if Im wrong but the technological ideas which the Venus project consists of has a lot to do with science. The Zeitgeist is the only the political arm. If you do not agree thats fine however, the idea of a self-sufficient cybernated city which is ran by an economy based on resource distribution requires scientific input. Or am I way off? I dont mean to sound arrogant. Let me know what you think.
Comment by Messenger on January 10, 2011 at 1:16am

Im not sure if anyone here is familiar with the Zeitgeist Movement or the Venus project. Please check it out. It is very much the future we hope for. '

 

www.thevenusproject.com        www.thezeitgeistmovement.com

Comment by Jaume on January 8, 2011 at 5:29pm

I'm going to print myself a grand piano...

Comment by Doug Reardon on January 3, 2011 at 8:26pm

Beer and monogamy?  Of course, contrary to Jimmy Buffett's song, if you can't have sex, you get drunk!

 

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