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Posted: 03 May 2013 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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The cosmos is vast, incomprehensible. We live in a world of uncertainty, ambiguity and the unknown. Life is a grand mystery. We are a mystery unto ourselves. Time and control are grand illusions. The only moment is now. Arguing about whether there is a god or not is truly a blatant misuse of time and energy. I think those were the points I was trying to make.


Ruth, you just defined the term. An apatheist (see John Shook’s “The God Debates”) is someone who has no need to debate the issue as it is personally unimportant to them, as your post indicated to me. And we are a mystery unto ourselves until we reach the pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy, self actualization. Something we, well some of us strive to accomplish in our lives. I agree that control is an illusion but IMO not time. You see it unfold in the history of human development and watch the passage of your own. And I’m glad that life is a mystery; it makes it that more interesting, like trying to complete a puzzle. You’ll never finish but you can have a hellova fun time trying.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 03 May 2013 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Ruth Hochman - 03 May 2013 05:15 PM

Hi Cap’t JacK,

I absolutely believe god is a human invention and not the other way around. To say “were someone to come to you with proof otherwise” is to imply you are more of an Agnostic than an Atheist. To presumptuously state “I am not sure” would suggest your need to define me and therefore label me and imply I am an Agnostic. To suggest “I cannot be bothered one way or another” and therefore label me an Apatheist is rather audacious.

I am a Non-theist as I declared in my intro. There is no god. There never was a god. There never will be a god. The idea of gods abounded through myth and folklore through the ages and morphed over time.

The cosmos is vast, incomprehensible. We live in a world of uncertainty, ambiguity and the unknown. Life is a grand mystery. We are a mystery unto ourselves. Time and control are grand illusions. The only moment is now. Arguing about whether there is a god or not is truly a blatant misuse of time and energy. I think those were the points I was trying to make.

Respectfully submitted,

Ruth

Ruth

Ruth, can you tell me what is the difference between an atheist and a non-theist?

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Posted: 03 May 2013 09:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 03 May 2013 06:47 PM

The cosmos is vast, incomprehensible. We live in a world of uncertainty, ambiguity and the unknown. Life is a grand mystery. We are a mystery unto ourselves. Time and control are grand illusions. The only moment is now. Arguing about whether there is a god or not is truly a blatant misuse of time and energy. I think those were the points I was trying to make.


Ruth, you just defined the term. An apatheist (see John Shook’s “The God Debates”) is someone who has no need to debate the issue as it is personally unimportant to them, as your post indicated to me. And we are a mystery unto ourselves until we reach the pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy, self actualization. Something we, well some of us strive to accomplish in our lives. I agree that control is an illusion but IMO not time. You see it unfold in the history of human development and watch the passage of your own. And I’m glad that life is a mystery; it makes it that more interesting, like trying to complete a puzzle. You’ll never finish but you can have a hellova fun time trying.


Cap’t Jack

Jack,  Can you tell me the difference between an atheist and an apatheist?

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Posted: 04 May 2013 03:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Jack,  Can you tell me the difference between an atheist and an apatheist?

Lois, read the book I suggested to Ruth if you get a chance. BTW it clearly lays out all of the current creationist attack methods and provides excellent references to refute their spurious claims. The difference is subtle, one denotes action and the other is passive. The atheist IMO uses the term as a declaration that he/she has actively attempted to prove or disprove the existence of the supernatural and found nothing. And in finding no evidence proclaims themselves atheistic. You could even say that there are active and passive atheists such as a non-theist, i.e. passive like Occam who had the enviable privilege of having been raised in a non supernatural background, hence no axe to grind unlike me and many others here. Whereas an apatheist has no need to be an active atheist as most of the ones I know, as I stated earlier don’t know about the supernatural beliefs and really don’t care. It doesn’t matter enough to an apatheist to bother with careful study or contemplation. They simply live their lives without a concept of a personal deity, at least that’s how I interpreted it. It’s more passive than active; many people here watch NASCAR races, I know about them but don’t participate in discussions because I really don’t care about auto racing (burn gas, turn left). Is that as clear as mud?


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 04 May 2013 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Dear Occam,

Thank you for your response. Your answer regarding mythology and folklore and my thoughts re same after all are the simplest approach on the matter of the no-god thing.

To my relief I noted you are a/the moderator. I thought for sure my last post had earned me the boot.

But if by 41 one can’t be forthcoming about where one stands on principle and discuss their position freely, then what’s the point of calling a discussion such in the first place.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Kind regards,

Ruth

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Posted: 04 May 2013 11:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Ruth, you don’t have to worry.  The discussions here often get rather warm.  We do try to keep the insults and vulgarity down, but if you go back a while you’ll see that we have many more kooks who spout very strange stuff.  They’re usually the ones who are trying to convert us heathens, and they give up and leave after a few weeks or months.

And just because most of us are non-believers doesn’t mean we think exactly alike so you can expect arguments about various views (often nitpicking), but it can help us clarify the bases for our own thinking.

Occam

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Posted: 05 May 2013 02:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Ruth Hochman - 03 May 2013 08:28 AM

Good morning all,

I hope you are all doing well on this Friday morning. I am posting from my smartphone and for some awful reason unless I type at the most umbearable snail’s pace, replying to your awesome posts individually is an absolute pain in the posterior. For the sake of time, I will respond to the community as a whole.

First and foremost, thank you for your welcome. Now straight away into matters and at the risk of sparling incitement I will add my thoughts on things.

The only people, in my opinion, who talk about god more than the religious are Atheists. Kind of like the only people who talk about money more than the rich are the poor.

With all due respect, I truly don’t get Atheism. Saying “I don’t believe in god” is as irrational as saying “I do believe in god!

Agnostics are still not sure.

Which brings me to non-theism.

We are sure we don’t know. We are comfortable with ambiguity, uncertainty,  the unknown, and god talk is an irrelevant moot point, not mere semantics as someone suggested. Though, nontheism has somehow become an umbrella for the Atheists and Agnostics.

Respectfully,

Ruth

Geez..why don’t you tell us what you really don’t like about atheists. Or better yet write another 500 words on the difference between non-theists, agnostics, and atheists. There’s other threads on here where people make lists and have polls too regarding the definitions of atheists and agnostics and non-theists etc..
Those threads are filled with all kinds of gems like: I truly don’t get Atheism. Saying “I don’t believe in god” is as irrational as saying “I do believe in god!
I say- “I don’t believe in god”.  But silly me.  Taking such liberties with the English language.
If I say “tuna fish” are you going to remind me that there are no “tuna birds”?

[ Edited: 05 May 2013 02:05 AM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 05 May 2013 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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VYAZMA - 02 May 2013 11:52 AM
Lois - 02 May 2013 11:08 AM
VYAZMA - 01 May 2013 10:13 PM
Lois - 01 May 2013 06:57 PM
VYAZMA - 01 May 2013 11:44 AM

What is the difference between a non theist and an atheist?

Lois

Uh oh….
It’s just spelling.  And it signifies the way a person wants to project themselves.  The small semantic differences highlight the way a person wants to let others know about their logic and reasoning. Specifically in the area of probability and definition of the unknown.
That’s all.

If it’s just spelling it is a distinction without a difference. But here you imply that atheists don’t want to let others know about their logic and reasoning in the area of probability and definition.  How does the use of “non-theist” “non-believer” or any other euphemism do that, while “atheist”  does not?  You are playing into the hands of people who claim there is a difference between a “non-theist” and an “atheist.” There is no difference.  All non-theists are atheists, just as all “non-believers” and “agnostics” are atheists.  Why not be ready to explain exactly what atheism is and what it represents and doesn’t represent instead of promoting the fiction that there is a difference, and that, somehow, atheists are lesser non-theists and a little suspect, too?


Lois

Lois, are you sure you’ve responded to the right post here?


Yes, Im sure.  What seems wrong to you? 

Lois

What makes you think I am implying that ‘atheists don’t want to let others know….”?
Really I don’t know what the heck you’re talking about the rest of the way through.
I don’t care if there’s a difference or not. I’ve argued on this forum for pages and pages that agnostics are actually believers.  That’s my stance.
Agnostics, non-theists, etc etc….want to hold out openly declaring god doesn’t exist.  That’s what I gather from talking and arguing with theists, atheists, agnostics, Occamists,  Georgists,  Dougists,  GdBists, etc…
But to my consternation sometimes a self-identifying atheist will pop up on the forum and claim we can’t be 100% sure there is no god!!
So at that point…what difference does it make? It’s just labels…as George has reiterated above. People want to be put in boxes of classification.
And they want to classify things in boxes.

 


That’s true, but I also would like people to know what I mean and don’t mean when I describe myself as an atheist. I don’t see where I have claimed that “atheists dont want others to know.”  i have said that when anyone uses words such as non-theist instead of atheist and defines non-theist to mean someone who doesn’t want to argue a point that it looks as if atheism itself is creating a standard of behavior, when it doesn’t. Some atheists want to argue and some don’t.  There is nothing in the concept of atheism that makes ant statement on whether or not to argue a point.  But taking such a position makes it look as if one thinks it does.  It also makes it look as if one agrees that atheists are aggressive and argumentative. Atheists can be aggressive and argumentative, as can anyone, incliding theists. But it is incorrect to say that there is anything in the definition of atheism that inclides arggressiveness or argumentativeness, and would require a different term to “soften” the idea of atheism.

I tend to be a purist about language, specially religious language.  There is enough confusion and misinformation when discussing religion without atheists adding to it. I would rather not allow others to define my terms for me.  For the record, I’m an atheist, my position is atheism, and I define the word as without belief in god. (a=without, theism=belief in god)  I don’t claim there is no god because that is a statement on knowledge, not belief. Atheism is about belief only. Whether a god could exist is something neither I nor anyone else can know. Atheism is not a statement on knowledge. Since no one has shown any evidence of a god the default position is that there isn’t one. Nevertheless, I can’t in good conscience delare that I know there isn’t one.  However, I can and do declare that the god of the bible cannot exist because the biblical definition of god is contradictory and illogical, but that is my opinion and that does not define atheism. To me, non-theist, non-believer, agnostic, are all euphemisms for atheist—weasel words. They have their uses for atheists when speaking to believers or in mixed company, but i think we should keep in mind that they add to the confusion as to what an atheist actually is.  I prefer to set people straight whenever I can.  Most religious people define atheist as one who BELIEVES god does not exist. This is untrue in my view.  When we say an atheist BELIEVES anything, it puts us in the religious camp.  There is no need for belief among atheists.  Agnostic is another weasel word, maybe the worst of all.  People use it when asked whether they believe in god.  But “agnostic” speaks to knowledge, not belief.  It is not a third choice between theism and atheism. If someone says he is an agnostic he is also saying he has no positive belief that a god exists, so that makes him an atheist.  Atheism is not a statement of knowledge, but solely of belief. 

These are my standards, my definitions, my position. Many atheists agree with me, some don’t.  But I don’t set myself as an authority, which has no place in atheism or freethought. Other atheists, and certainly believers, may define the words and their position differently for their own reasons. But I see no reason that I shouldn’t explain my position to others. Whether they agree with me or not is their choice, but it remains my position and I intend to continue to reiterate it, especially when people make incorrect statements about it, and redefine it to mean something it doesn’t—in my view.

wink

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Posted: 05 May 2013 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 04 May 2013 03:57 AM

Jack,  Can you tell me the difference between an atheist and an apatheist?

Lois, read the book I suggested to Ruth if you get a chance. BTW it clearly lays out all of the current creationist attack methods and provides excellent references to refute their spurious claims. The difference is subtle, one denotes action and the other is passive. The atheist IMO uses the term as a declaration that he/she has actively attempted to prove or disprove the existence of the supernatural and found nothing. And in finding no evidence proclaims themselves atheistic. You could even say that there are active and passive atheists such as a non-theist, i.e. passive like Occam who had the enviable privilege of having been raised in a non supernatural background, hence no axe to grind unlike me and many others here. Whereas an apatheist has no need to be an active atheist as most of the ones I know, as I stated earlier don’t know about the supernatural beliefs and really don’t care. It doesn’t matter enough to an apatheist to bother with careful study or contemplation. They simply live their lives without a concept of a personal deity, at least that’s how I interpreted it. It’s more passive than active; many people here watch NASCAR races, I know about them but don’t participate in discussions because I really don’t care about auto racing (burn gas, turn left). Is that as clear as mud?


Cap’t Jack

No, it’s clear enough, but I disagree.  To me, there is only one definition of atheist: one who has no belief in god.  I don’t think it matters whether an atheist is active or passive, aggressive and argumentative, or quiet and thoughtful. The definition of atheist does not change according to the activism or passivity of the person.  In my view, adding anything beyond lack of belief in a god does not change the definition of atheist.  They are separate ideas.  When people redefine atheism to include activism or personality differences or other factors, they attack and dilute the actual meaning of atheism, they add to the confusion of what atheiism means, they demonize it the same time, even when they don’t intend to, and they play into the hands of theists who would define atheism as something it is not in order to win a point among other theists. Why should atheists help them to do that by accepting their definition of atheist and taking it on as their own (and even embroidering it themselves)?

LL

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Posted: 05 May 2013 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Lois - 05 May 2013 12:07 PM
VYAZMA - 02 May 2013 11:52 AM
Lois - 02 May 2013 11:08 AM
VYAZMA - 01 May 2013 10:13 PM
Lois - 01 May 2013 06:57 PM
VYAZMA - 01 May 2013 11:44 AM

What is the difference between a non theist and an atheist?

Lois

Uh oh….
It’s just spelling.  And it signifies the way a person wants to project themselves.  The small semantic differences highlight the way a person wants to let others know about their logic and reasoning. Specifically in the area of probability and definition of the unknown.
That’s all.

If it’s just spelling it is a distinction without a difference. But here you imply that atheists don’t want to let others know about their logic and reasoning in the area of probability and definition.  How does the use of “non-theist” “non-believer” or any other euphemism do that, while “atheist”  does not?  You are playing into the hands of people who claim there is a difference between a “non-theist” and an “atheist.” There is no difference.  All non-theists are atheists, just as all “non-believers” and “agnostics” are atheists.  Why not be ready to explain exactly what atheism is and what it represents and doesn’t represent instead of promoting the fiction that there is a difference, and that, somehow, atheists are lesser non-theists and a little suspect, too?


Lois

Lois, are you sure you’ve responded to the right post here?


Yes, Im sure.  What seems wrong to you? 

Lois

What makes you think I am implying that ‘atheists don’t want to let others know….”?
.....boxes.

 


That’s true, but I also would like people to know what I mean and don’t mean when I describe myself as an atheist. I don’t see where I have claimed that “atheists dont want others to know.”........redefine it to mean something it doesn’t—in my view.

wink

No we are getting buried here.  I completely agree with everything in this latest post of yours.  There was obviously a mis-communication above that led to this present exchange. I have the cause of this mis-communication bolded and italicized above. You said I was implying something. I must have written poorly(as is often the case) to give you the impression that I was implying that atheists don’t want others to know how they feel.
I did imply that people label themselves with loosely defined terms(atheists, agnostics, non-theists etc…) precisely so they CAN show others where they stand.
And I say loosely defined as an overall objective syntax.
Obviously my definition of Atheist is not loosely defined for me..and how I project myself. An atheists knows there is no god. And he or she knows why the concept of god exists. That’s my subjective definition of atheist.
The method of Internet Forum discussion is rife with opportunities for like minded people to talk past one another and create communication breakdowns.

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Posted: 05 May 2013 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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No, it’s clear enough, but I disagree.  To me, there is only one definition of atheist: one who has no belief in god.  I don’t think it matters whether an atheist is active or passive, aggressive and argumentative, or quiet and thoughtful. The definition of atheist does not change according to the activism or passivity of the person.  In my view, adding anything beyond lack of belief in a god does not change the definition of atheist.  They are separate ideas.  When people redefine atheism to include activism or personality differences or other factors, they attack and dilute the actual meaning of atheism, they add to the confusion of what atheiism means, they demonize it the same time, even when they don’t intend to, and they play into the hands of theists who would define atheism as something it is not in order to win a point among other theists. Why should atheists help them to do that by accepting their definition of atheist and taking it on as their own (and even embroidering it themselves)?


No, the definition doesn’t change but you’re blurring the meaning and drawing a line between those who are self proclaimed atheists and those who just don’t care and are not ACTIVE anti-theists. Apatheists aren’t attacking the concept of self proclamation, they have no argument either way. As I said before, religion in general has absolutely no impact on their lives or mode of thinking period. In other words, they don’t proclaim themselves to be part of any religion, anti belief or philosophy. How does this add to any confusion if you don’t even want to be bothered by the subject in the first place? In short, they don’t care what theists think about atheists or other theists for that matter. Most theists IMO would rather snipe at each other’s beliefs than to worry about us. And those theists who do would rather show up on our door for a fruitless debate. Btw, these aren’t theist labels e.g. Baptists label anyone who isn’t a baptist out of the circle of the godly and Catholics are idol worshippers bound for hell. For that matter how would you define a secular humanist? Are they also playing into the hands of the theists? How can any theist possibly be confused by anyone calling themselves an atheist when as you say it simpy means that there is no supernatural being or for that matter, the supernatural period. personally I don’t give a kitty if one theist convinces the other that I’m a devil worshipper. You can’t actually reason with a theist anyway because their argument isn’t built on it in the first place. I see no dilution here in defining the term among us; the godly will fill in the blanks about you no matter what you call yourself.

 

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 05 May 2013 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Don’t get upset with Vyazma’s snarkyness, Ruth.  He’s been here a long time and is quite familiar with the older threads and posts.  He forgets that when he joined almost five years ago he was a young innocent.  smile

I enjoyed his posts then and have also enjoyed at seeing how he’s changed over the years. 

Occam

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Posted: 05 May 2013 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Occam. - 05 May 2013 01:23 PM

Don’t get upset with Vyazma’s snarkyness, Ruth.  He’s been here a long time and is quite familiar with the older threads and posts.  He forgets that when he joined almost five years ago he was a young innocent.  smile

I enjoyed his posts then and have also enjoyed at seeing how he’s changed over the years. 

Occam

Yes….all of you have taught me much about myself and about the world.
Of note though Occam is Ruth’s own disclaimer about her “provocative comments”.  Hello?
She in fact postulated that feathers would be ruffled. She that she was gonna get banned!  That was laughable. I would have been banned years ago for that.
I hope you don’t ban Ruth. grin

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Posted: 06 May 2013 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Wow, Lois, you had a lot to say. I don’t “believe”, however, yours is the All Mighty Force to set us “weasels,” I believe you called us “lesser beings” straight.

Let’s see. Just a few counter points. First/foremost, I refer to my previous comment regarding the only people that discuss god more than the religious are Atheists. I have often wondered if that has something to do with polarities. Extremists, perhaps?

Your comments regarding aggressive and what was the other word, ah, argumentative were somewhat amusing, forgive me, considering your tone did flare off the page somewhat.

But on to a few matters.

1. I find your use of “without belief in” to equate to mere semantics since to say “I do not believe in god” is an illogical fallacy.

2. To say “you can not say you are certain there is no god” is to strongly suggest you have created a space for proof to the contrary. Is it possible you could be converted?

3. To make an assumption is to step out-of-bounds of intellectually honest discourse. To lose self-control and disrespect others are also against the rules.

4. Non-theism is not a “weasel” brand of Atheism. With all due respect, I truly do not get Atheism. I understand religion historically, culturally and mythologically. I am a Secular Humanist. Non-theism is in fact, an umbrella for the brands of ideas about this silly god notion that people become so inflamed by.

I am a most passionate being. For me god is a beautiful metaphor, a great idea of all the world mythologies, including that of creationism.

So what is Non-theism. No-god. Period. The end. Not dispassionate. Not awaiting further proof.

I still don’t know what Atheism is, but it seems really complicated.

I am in this world, right here, right now. This is what I know.

Respectfully,

Ruth

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Posted: 06 May 2013 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Captain Jack,

I won’t get caught up in your insistence on or need to label me an Apatheist.

Later, in Maslow’s career, he realized there were two more levels for the individual to reach in the hieararchy of his or her life on earth.

Level 6: Aesthetics

This has to do with beauty, order and symmetry and applies to every area of one’s life.

Perhaps our noblest aspiration is congruence.

We are 3-dimensional beings: mind/body/emotions.

Level 7: Self-potential

This differs and is higher than level 5. At level 5, achievement,  one’s ego is still a stumbling block to true fulfillment.


Brgds,

Ruth

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