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Definition of Atheist
Posted: 28 July 2013 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 241 ]
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Write4U - 27 July 2013 07:43 PM

Personally I have no objection to the term God as a linguistic term for the Wholeness of the Universe. I have no objection to the term Brahma as the dynamic but “implaccable” condition and expression of Universal Potential (a term which I personally prefer to use) which may become reality. This is adressing the same unknown creative process with different terms.

But to assign human shape, emotions, and behaviors to God is a vain and simplistic attempt at defining that which has escaped the greatest scientists and philosophers, so far. Yet each interpretation of God is confused, contradictory, and/or false.
How can a theist expect to find common denominators, when another theist disagrees in the details and an atheist is automatically excluded by virtue of non-belief in a particular God?

My general response to this mess is to advocate for “cleaning up your own backyard” before accusing anyone of having a messy back yard.
Scientists at least are honest enough to say “We don’t know, but your “known” definitions of the same God are divergent and therefore are false” (all of them!).

Wait just a minute.  Simply because different religions believe and understand God in different ways doesn’t make them all false.  That’s not a logical conclusion.  If scientists are saying that, which I doubt they all are, then they aren’t very scientific.

If you prefer to think of God as the “Wholeness of the Universe,” then that is your choice and faith.  It does not make it so.  And because you don’t like the idea that many view man as being made in the image of God and understand it to be God who has assigned them human shape, emotions and behaviors, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.  It just means you don’t like that idea.

Who says all theists have to find a common denominator?  Why can’t they embrace the belief they desire without having to compromise with others with whom they disagree?

It would surely simplify life if everyone would agree to agree and conform to the belief that you’d like to assign them.  But this is not realistic.  At its worst it’s controlling and dictatorial.  Why not instead embrace a complex world where people will not always agree and many thoughts and ideas, even about God, abound?  I say stop trying to simplify and accept the world and mankind as it is.

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Posted: 28 July 2013 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 242 ]
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LilySmith,
Who says all theists have to find a common denominator?  Why can’t they embrace the belief they desire without having to compromise with others with whom they disagree?

Because each religion excludes (negates) the other in spirit as well as in practice.  Every religion is engaged in positive endeavors, which is a good thing. OTOH, they have also been responsible for the greatest wars and atrocities in the name of their exclusive God. These are facts.

The question should not be why can’t we freely embrace a belief. The question should be “why don’t we”?  Don’t blame atheists.

[ Edited: 28 July 2013 03:56 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 July 2013 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 243 ]
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Lausten,

I see you are agreeing with LilySmith, Who has stated the standard definition of
Atheist and has been unable to comprehend the problem that is being addressed here.

Really? “Unable to comprehend”? Are you that sure of your viewpoint? Is there any room in there for the idea that there is something YOU are missing?

But I expect more from you, I have been to your website and can see that you have a brilliant mind and are quite capable of deep thought.

If you wanted to you could be a big help in viewing the paradox and help come up with a logical and common sense answer that would bring the Atheists and Christians closer together instead of this “you’re the enemy” type of mentality that exists today.

Nice try with the buttering up. If you’re goal is to bring anyone closer together, making rash accusations is not the way to do it. I have offered meaningful and well thought out input. You’ve slammed it.

What ever we do, let’s have fun in doing it.
Mike

You’ve got some weird idea of fun.

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Posted: 28 July 2013 04:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 244 ]
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Lausten,
I do not mean to slam any one or any thing. If I slammed you I am sorry with sugar and cream.
One of the reasons I am attempting this issue is to also help improve my writing and communication skills.
What I like about this Form is that people are direct and to the point and not off subject so much and do not take disagreements personally.

The thought is the meaning of Atheist.

The definition needs to be updated to be better understood.

You know one thing that surprised me in talking with several Christians about Atheists is a couple of them said, that if a person does not believe in God, what is going to stop them from killing their neighbor and thinking it is OK.

They see Christianity as being the guardian of morality.

It was then I understood that many Christians think Atheist are unmoral. 

Anybody else get these types of responses?

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Posted: 28 July 2013 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 245 ]
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Write4U - 28 July 2013 03:19 PM

Because each religion excludes (negates) the other in spirit as well as in practice.  Every religion is engaged in positive endeavors, which is a good thing. OTOH, they have also been responsible for the greatest wars and atrocities in the name of their exclusive God. These are facts.

What does it matter if religions do not agree and reject the beliefs of the other religion?  The solution does not have to be forcing everyone into one belief.  A better solution is to allow each man his own choice and accept that we will not all agree.

Most wars are fought for land, wealth and power, but yes, some are fought because of ideology.  In the last century, millions of people died at the hands of atheistic Communists in their effort to force their beliefs on everyone else. Atheists are not above using force to gain power and promote their own ideology.  Why didn’t these atheists allow others to embrace a belief different from theirs?  Perhaps that is the back yard an atheist needs to clean up.  It isn’t religion that causes war, it is the nature of man.  It is not simply religious belief that causes division, but ideological belief as well.

[ Edited: 28 July 2013 05:13 PM by LilySmith ]
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Posted: 28 July 2013 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 246 ]
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Lausten - 28 July 2013 03:46 PM

Lausten,

I see you are agreeing with LilySmith, Who has stated the standard definition of
Atheist and has been unable to comprehend the problem that is being addressed here.

Really? “Unable to comprehend”? Are you that sure of your viewpoint? Is there any room in there for the idea that there is something YOU are missing?

smile

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Posted: 28 July 2013 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 247 ]
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I do not mean to slam any one or any thing. If I slammed you I am sorry with sugar and cream.

Apologies are nice, but they don’t override a lack of change in the original behavior that led to the need for the apology in the first place.

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Posted: 28 July 2013 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 248 ]
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LilySmith - 28 July 2013 05:10 PM
Write4U - 28 July 2013 03:19 PM

Because each religion excludes (negates) the other in spirit as well as in practice.  Every religion is engaged in positive endeavors, which is a good thing. OTOH, they have also been responsible for the greatest wars and atrocities in the name of their exclusive God. These are facts.

What does it matter if religions do not agree and reject the beliefs of the other religion?  The solution does not have to be forcing everyone into one belief.  A better solution is to allow each man his own choice and accept that we will not all agree.

Most wars are fought for land, wealth and power, but yes, some are fought because of ideology.  In the last century, millions of people died at the hands of atheistic Communists in their effort to force their beliefs on everyone else. Atheists are not above using force to gain power and promote their own ideology.  Why didn’t these atheists allow others to embrace a belief different from theirs?  Perhaps that is the back yard an atheist needs to clean up.  It isn’t religion that causes war, it is the nature of man.  It is not simply religious belief that causes division, but ideological belief as well.

I agree. That’s why the question “why don’t religions get along”. We can understand the individuality of political power, but that is not what we are discussing. Communism is not a religion.  Atheism is not a causal belief system, it’s very nature is secular.

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Posted: 28 July 2013 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 249 ]
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MikeYohe,
They see Christianity as being the guardian of morality.
It was then I understood that many Christians think Atheist are unmoral. 
Anybody else get these types of responses?

Yep, often.  Every religion believes that they are the guardians of morality, but they all have different morals and the morals they do share are also shared by atheists.

LilySmith,
What does it matter if religions do not agree and reject the beliefs of the other religion?  The solution does not have to be forcing everyone into one belief.  A better solution is to allow each man his own choice and accept that we will not all agree.

Now you are touching on the crux.  In a Theocracy, everyone IS forced into one belief or at the very least forced to follow the theocratic laws.

The problem is that Religions do not stay in the spiritual realm. They meddle in “worldly affairs”, but have no business there..

[ Edited: 28 July 2013 06:10 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 July 2013 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 250 ]
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Write4U - 28 July 2013 05:36 PM

I agree. That’s why the question “why don’t religions get along”. We can understand the individuality of political power, but that is not what we are discussing. Communism is not a religion.  Atheism is not a causal belief system, it’s very nature is secular.

I think people of differing religions can and do get along.  It is not religions, in most case, that have laws, law enforcement and militaries.  That’s the realm of nations.  Nations go to war.  Religions are a set of beliefs concerning God.  Communism is a set of beliefs concerning social order.  The Communists were willing to kill millions for their set of beliefs.  They were atheist.  So atheists can be just as responsible for war and killing as theists.

I would say that theism is not a causal belief system either.  Just as atheism is a belief that there is no God, theism is a belief that there is a God.  It’s the ideology and the set of beliefs that go along with those two positions that will define what the people are willing to do and what kind of people they strive to be.

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Posted: 28 July 2013 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 251 ]
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Write4U - 28 July 2013 05:59 PM

Now you are touching on the crux.  In a Theocracy, everyone IS forced into one belief or at the very least forced to follow the theocratic laws.

The problem is that Religions do not stay in the spiritual realm. They meddle in “worldly affairs”, but have no business there..

That depends on the religion—the set of beliefs a particular group embraces.  Not all religions call for a theocracy and force those under its control to follow theocratic laws, and not all religions meddle in government affairs.  In the US, all people are given their constitutional right to vote and choose the representatives who they want to represent them in government.  That’s not the religion, that’s US law.  In that case anyone of any religion, and those of no religion do indeed have a right to take part in “worldly affairs.”

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Posted: 28 July 2013 07:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 252 ]
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LilySmith - 28 July 2013 06:56 PM
Write4U - 28 July 2013 05:59 PM

Now you are touching on the crux.  In a Theocracy, everyone IS forced into one belief or at the very least forced to follow the theocratic laws.

The problem is that Religions do not stay in the spiritual realm. They meddle in “worldly affairs”, but have no business there..

That depends on the religion—the set of beliefs a particular group embraces.  Not all religions call for a theocracy and force those under its control to follow theocratic laws, and not all religions meddle in government affairs.  In the US, all people are given their constitutional right to vote and choose the representatives who they want to represent them in government.  That’s not the religion, that’s US law.  In that case anyone of any religion, and those of no religion do indeed have a right to take part in “worldly affairs.”

True, but to prevent Religion itself from having political power we have the “separation of church and state”. This is why everyone is now free to vote.

And I stipulate that I am talking about the 3 Abrahamic religions which are founded on the same book and the same god but don’t seem to get along very well and have not for a few millennia, which I find very odd.

[ Edited: 28 July 2013 07:32 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 July 2013 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 253 ]
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Why would anyone want to be an Atheist if people think Atheists have no morals? In today’s world you can watch sports every Sunday and go to church every Easter. Believe in Evolution and tell yourself that someday you will take the time to learn the Ten Commandments and you are still considered a good Christian.

You can have the thoughts of an Atheist and not have to make any commitments and easily get by as a Christian in today’s world. 

After all, the definition of an Atheist is not a belief in God as the Creator. As half the Xians believe in Evolution then all you are required to believe is that there is the Power of God that exists.

Something is not right.

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Posted: 28 July 2013 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 254 ]
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MikeYohe - 28 July 2013 08:59 PM

Why would anyone want to be an Atheist if people think Atheists have no morals? In today’s world you can watch sports every Sunday and go to church every Easter. Believe in Evolution and tell yourself that someday you will take the time to learn the Ten Commandments and you are still considered a good Christian.

You can have the thoughts of an Atheist and not have to make any commitments and easily get by as a Christian in today’s world. 

After all, the definition of an Atheist is not a belief in God as the Creator. As half the Xians believe in Evolution then all you are required to believe is that there is the Power of God that exists.

Something is not right.

Atheists do have morals, which prevents them from faking it. This is why you will never find an atheist on your doorstep trying to convert you.
“Be true to yourself” is a common but secular moral, equally valid to theists and atheists.
The “golden rule” is a secular moral, equally valid to theists and atheists.
Atheists have many values in common with everyone else. That usually covers some of the Ten Commandments.

But on a lighter note,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPQj5ITva9k  (some crude language)

[ Edited: 28 July 2013 09:32 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 July 2013 11:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 255 ]
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MikeYohe - 28 July 2013 04:32 PM

Lausten,
I do not mean to slam any one or any thing. If I slammed you I am sorry with sugar and cream.
One of the reasons I am attempting this issue is to also help improve my writing and communication skills.
What I like about this Form is that people are direct and to the point and not off subject so much and do not take disagreements personally.

The thought is the meaning of Atheist.

The definition needs to be updated to be better understood.

You know one thing that surprised me in talking with several Christians about Atheists is a couple of them said, that if a person does not believe in God, what is going to stop them from killing their neighbor and thinking it is OK.

They see Christianity as being the guardian of morality.

It was then I understood that many Christians think Atheist are unmoral. 

Anybody else get these types of responses?


Yes, but it doesn’t mean Christians know what they’re talking about. They need educating.  As I’m sure you and most atheists know,  morality comes out of human interaction, humans’ sense of compassion, humans’ desire to create strong and safe environments for themselves and their loved ones.  It does not require a supernatural instruction book, purported to be inspired by a god.  Humans create morality every day, on our own, and this goes for Christians, as well. They simply don’t realize where it is actually coming from and misattribute it to their false religion. 

A Christian audience member, at a debate with Michael Shermer some years ago,  made a similar statement about nothing stopping atheists from killing their neighbors and thinking it was ok.  Shermer advised him that if his religion was the only thing preventing him from going on a killing spree, that he should stay in his religion. To do otherwise would be dangerous.

Lois

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