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Definition of Atheist
Posted: 29 July 2013 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 271 ]
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Unless you’ve talked to James Madison from the grave, I don’t know why you think he was agnostic.

It’s called history. You don’t actually need to have been there to have an opinion about someone. Direct personal experience can be just as distorting anyway. The fact that many teachers were priests and ministers, and that colleges at the time required religious studies has led to much confusion on this issue. I would say the lack of evidence of his feelings about religion is pretty good evidence that he was open minded.

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Posted: 29 July 2013 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 272 ]
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L.Smith-The Founding Father who renounced Christianity and embraced Deism was Thomas Paine when he went to take part in the French Revolution.  Upon his return to America he was unwelcomed and called an atheist. If you’re interested in a revolution led by Deists and atheists, and the reign of terror that followed, the French Revolution is for you.

Oh, c’mon.  Revolutions are revolutions. They are often bloody and heinous. Are you ascribing the bloodiness of that particular revolution because it was led by atheists and deists?  Plus I’m sure the impetus for that revolution was more than just a reaction of atheists and deists.

L.Smith-Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli makes claims about the US government, not the nation as a whole.  No one is saying the US government is based on Christianity since, unlike Islam, Christianity has no outline or call for an earthly government or set of laws to define a government.  That’s not its function.  Christianity is about man’s relationship to God.

Enter millenialism as interpreted by Americans shortly after that time…1810’s onward.(onward to today in many instances)and it is obvious that
churches, politicians, business, and people in general felt that the US was an earthly Government(land) ordained by god.

[ Edited: 29 July 2013 01:41 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 29 July 2013 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 273 ]
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Lausten - 29 July 2013 12:55 PM

Unless you’ve talked to James Madison from the grave, I don’t know why you think he was agnostic.

It’s called history. You don’t actually need to have been there to have an opinion about someone. Direct personal experience can be just as distorting anyway. The fact that many teachers were priests and ministers, and that colleges at the time required religious studies has led to much confusion on this issue. I would say the lack of evidence of his feelings about religion is pretty good evidence that he was open minded.

I’m sure that you are not assuming that being “open minded” means that one is agnostic.

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Posted: 29 July 2013 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 274 ]
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Post # 264


Good!  Atheism SHOULDN’T be an “movement” for that very reason.  Secular Humanism, now that’s a different story.  That’s a movement because it has a positive message to project.

Yes, I agree, I think that atheist worked find as a communication word until the end of the battle between Evolution and Creationism. As the meaning of the word Christian expanded to include Evolutionists, atheist does not work so well today. I do like Humanism better.

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Posted: 29 July 2013 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 275 ]
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How about,

Atheist believe the demiurge of God to be false.

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Posted: 29 July 2013 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 276 ]
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Post #264

Right!  But the Pope still believes that God “Created” the universe.  He just used evolution as a tool.  Just because they don’t believe in a literal six-day creation doesn’t mean they aren’t at heart Creationists.

Isn’t this thinking outside of the bible’s teachings?

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Posted: 29 July 2013 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 277 ]
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VYAZMA - 29 July 2013 01:23 PM

Enter millenialism as interpreted by Americans shortly after that time…1810’s onward.(onward to today in many instances)and it is obvious that
churches, politicians, business, and people in general felt that the US was an earthly Government(land) ordained by god.

Millennialism says that when Christ returns, he will set up a government and rule over the earth for a thousand years before the final judgment.  The millennium is in the future according to Christian teaching.  You may have it confused with Dominionism which is the belief of a small number of Christians that the church is to rule over the US now before the coming of Christ.  They have to piece together some laws from the Hebrew Scriptures to have something to go by since no law exists in the Christian Scriptures.  I believe at last count there were about 5 people in this country that hold this belief—not very well received.

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Posted: 29 July 2013 07:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 278 ]
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LilySmith - 29 July 2013 06:39 PM
VYAZMA - 29 July 2013 01:23 PM

Enter millenialism as interpreted by Americans shortly after that time…1810’s onward.(onward to today in many instances)and it is obvious that
churches, politicians, business, and people in general felt that the US was an earthly Government(land) ordained by god.

Millennialism says that when Christ returns, he will set up a government and rule over the earth for a thousand years before the final judgment.  The millennium is in the future according to Christian teaching.  You may have it confused with Dominionism which is the belief of a small number of Christians that the church is to rule over the US now before the coming of Christ.  They have to piece together some laws from the Hebrew Scriptures to have something to go by since no law exists in the Christian Scriptures.  I believe at last count there were about 5 people in this country that hold this belief—not very well received.

There was 2 types of millenialism. One stated to set up a heaven on Earth to prepare for the coming of christ.(the example I stated..the one that was predominant
in the early to mid 19th century)
The other form is that nothing matters here on Earth and the end is coming soon.
I’m typing on the run here so my examples are brief and simple.
In the Early to mid 18th century that was exactly the overarching design and platform of Americans..rich and poor.  They felt that America was a place to set up
god’s kingdom and that they as Americans were predestined or ordained to set up America as this “land” or “altar”.
They got this from their isolation from the rest of the world, “Roman Popery”, and the size and sheer area of the US.
Also from their newly evolving religious views, which were transforming into evangelicalism.
There can be no doubt that the US considered itself ordained by god as a special place in the World and that the Millenial was going to “kick off” from the US as a product of the US’s sheer goodness and piety.
This is evident in countless writings, paintings, hymns, songs, and laws that were written.
This is your statement:Christianity has no outline or call for an earthly government or set of laws to define a government.
That’s what I am rebutting.
The history I have recalled here, shows different from your statement. And let’s keep in mind that the US really started growing big at the same time. It began to
get a national identity around 1812 or so. The beginnings of one. The christian millenialism/evangelical thing moved it forward and reinforced that identity to a degree.

[ Edited: 29 July 2013 07:23 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 29 July 2013 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 279 ]
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Unless you’ve talked to James Madison from the grave, I don’t know why you think he was agnostic.  He was educated as a Presbyterian minister, but later in life didn’t reveal his religious views.  He saw the persecution of Baptist ministers by the Anglican church and was resolved to stand for religious freedom in America.  Because he didn’t voice his views on religion, doesn’t mean he didn’t have any.

The Enlightenment itself came on the heels of the Protestant reformation.  John Locke was at the forefront of questioning in such ideas, but at that time Deism was just beginning to separate from theism in its meaning and become a belief that God does not meddle in this world.  John Locke never held those views.  Deism died out quickly.

The Founding Father who renounced Christianity and embraced Deism was Thomas Paine when he went to take part in the French Revolution.  Upon his return to America he was unwelcomed and called an atheist. If you’re interested in a revolution led by Deists and atheists, and the reign of terror that followed, the French Revolution is for you.

Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli makes claims about the US government, not the nation as a whole.  No one is saying the US government is based on Christianity since, unlike Islam, Christianity has no outline or call for an earthly government or set of laws to define a government.  That’s not its function.  Christianity is about man’s relationship to God.

No, I haven’t talked to him but he talks to me, through his letters, speeches, polemics and autobiographical vignettes. I’m surprised though that he hasn’t talked to you. As to his education, his Princeton Degree included the law, math and literature. He was heavily influenced by the Enlightenment thinking of the Dissenter John Witherspoon. He did stay in for religious training, learning Hebrew but at no time did he contemplate becoming a preacher. In fact he enjoyed the study of law and read Montesquieu, Rousseau Hobbes, etc. and no, deism didnot DIE out quickly. Where did you get that idea? Most of Madison’s contemporaries were Deists (e.g. Jefferson) and BTW there are still Diests today. And concerning Locke, he inadvertently gave deism a boost in his Book “On the Reasonableness of Christianity” and was labeled an antrinitarian by his critics.

Ah, yes Thomas Paine, a hero of mine for publically espousing atheism in his book “The Age of Reason”, parsing the bible as did Thomas Jefferson. BTW all of those espousing the Deist philosophy would have denounced xtianity as the philosophy existed then by denouncing the concept of the trinity and such miracles as the virgin birth so singling out Paine as the ONLY founding father to renounce the faith is patently false. So it’s your contention that Deists and Atheists began the French Revolution and not the Third Estate of Enlightened Catholic professionals coupled with starving Catholic peasants who actually brought down the absolute monarchy bolstered by the Church? Or do you mean the excesses of factionalism by Girondists and Jacobins vying for control of the new government? Paine and Jefferson’s involvement amounted to assist in the writing of the “Declaration of the Rights of Man”. Then Jefferson was recalled to the US and Paine fled back to England for being to moderate. And I might add that for his efforts to promote the Revolution here he received nothing! No monument, no medal struck in his honor, zip. I often wonder why?

Yes, Article 11 of the Treaty specifically states that the Government of the United States was not founded on the xtian religion but is it your contention that the Government of the United States doesn’t in any way reflect the views and wishes of the nation as a whole?  Are you separating us from our own representatives contending that the U.S. at the time of the signing was a xtian nation with a non xtian government? No. The tripolitans knew exactly that it meant the PEOPLE of the United States, Remember, a democratically elected government that represents the wishes of the people. And in the 18th Century xtianity meant much more than a personal relationship with a supernatural deity; it also represented a cultural attribute for a conquering people. The cross went before the sword to every Native Ameican village in the eastern US.

 

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Posted: 30 July 2013 06:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 280 ]
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[quote author=“VYAZMA”]This is evident in countless writings, paintings, hymns, songs, and laws that were written.

I realize you’re writing from a phone, but come on, not even a name? Gimmee some kinda reference here. Otherwise, expect to be ignored.

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Posted: 30 July 2013 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 281 ]
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VYAZMA - 29 July 2013 07:20 PM

There was 2 types of millenialism.

I believe you’re talking about the Second Great Awakening that took place in America between about 1790 to 1840.  It was a religious revival and took place in the mainline Protestant Churches which had a postmillennial view of the world.  Mainline Protestant Churches at that time were call “evangelical.”  This view, held by Catholics, mainline Protestants and Judaism, is that the faithful to God will work on earth to help purify society in both moralilty and faith in order to bring about a time of peace and prosperity on earth so that the Christ/Messiah will come.  One of the outcomes of this religious revival was the preaching to slaves and slave owner of the South which led to the movement to abolish slavery and contributed to a rise in Black Churches.  It focused on education and reading in order to further the Gospel.  But I see nothing in this where those holding the view looked to government, or to set up a theocracy to accomplish this task.  On the contrary, it was to prepare the way for the coming Kingdom of Christ which is not of this earth.  Christian allegiance is to a heavenly kingdom.  I did find this from Wikipedia which indicated some sought to better America through social activism—“Social activism influenced abolition groups and supporters of the Temperance movement. They began efforts to reform prisons and care for the handicapped and mentally ill. They believed in the perfectibility of people and were highly moralistic in their endeavors.”

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Posted: 30 July 2013 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 282 ]
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MikeYohe - 29 July 2013 02:28 PM

How about,

Atheist believe the demiurge of God to be false.

Wrong. Atheists know that such claims have no evidence to support them and therefore reject them. No belief is necessary, just a refusal to embrace all claims that have no empirical support. It’s not that hard.

Lois

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Posted: 30 July 2013 07:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 283 ]
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Lois,

RE: Post #282

Wrong. Atheists know that such claims have no evidence to support them and therefore reject them. No belief is necessary, just a refusal to embrace all claims that have no empirical support. It’s not that hard.

Lois, I see it differently, the proof is in the churches, institutions, gathering of people, books, songs, buildings, prayer and people commitment. How can we avoid the fact the billions of people believe in something that does not physically exist but exist in the form of a power in the minds of people? Is this power real? I believe so.

Is the 2% just going to say that these billions of people are (loss for a word).

Or are we going to recognize this “Power of God” as part of humankind’s makeup in the majority of people and stop the Intelligent Design from being miss used. The way Intelligent Design is moving, an Atheist is just part of God’s method of dealing with poor misguided souls.

As an Atheist, you should look at the facts, and the facts are here.

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Posted: 30 July 2013 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 284 ]
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MikeYohe - 02 June 2013 02:15 AM

Sr. Member,
“An atheist is one who LACKS a belief in any god or gods.”

That’s good.
And I have always seen and understand what you are saying.

But,

In ten thousand years of religion, we have had atheist for what, a couple hundred years.

I am just saying, mankind created gods. History shows us that man needed gods before he need pottery.

And look at the red ochre burials, that show up everywhere on earth, some going back over 100,000 years.

I just think that there is the possibility that as gods have changed so much that people do not believe in today’s gods. I know I don’t.

I called myself an atheist for years. Mainly because I don’t believe in belief. I want facts and knowledge. 

Today I have a harder time calling myself an atheist, mainly because of the studying of the Gnostic word and older religions history. I just get a feeling that I am not 100% correct in calling myself an atheist.

So, what has changed?  Well mainly my views of what god is and should be.

Now, look at the Gnostic Jesus, just a man. A man telling us to learn and seek knowledge.  And that we are all part of god.
The Gnostic Jesus never said god created everything or there was a heaven or hell.

So, if the Gnostic Jesus’ god is built on knowledge and not belief, and you and everyone on earth is part of god. Then god is found by using knowledge.

Then your statement
“An atheist is one who LACKS a belief in any god or gods.”

Will work for everyone except the Buddha, Hindus and Gnostics.
Now I might be 100% wrong on that last statement. But I would have a hard time calling the above groups atheists because their thinking itself is in a way god like.

Sorry for using so many words to get my thoughts out. It’s the first time I’ve been vocal about these thoughts.

There were atheists since man first claimed there was a god.  Most kept a low profile because the theists were likely to kill or maim them for being so audacious as to deny their god.  Theists have proven since the beginning of theism that they can’t be trusted.  Where their god is involved, they have no compassion and no morals. Anyone would have to be insane to speak up against their beliefs. It took until the 20th century for the world to be safe enough for atheists to speak up. To do it beore would have been like going to a violent fundamentalist Muslim country today and saying that Allah doesn’t exist.  Would you do it? Would you go there and start preaching your religion?

Gnostics were theists. Buddhists and Hindus are not atheists.  They are polytheists.  They believe in hundreds of gods. There is a strain of Buddhism that does not but there are few of them. It’s up to them to call themselves atheists or not.  It certainly isn’t up to you. In ancient times you would have been one of the ones who would have killed or maimed any atheist who admitted he was one. Keep that in mind.

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Posted: 30 July 2013 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 285 ]
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MikeYohe - 30 July 2013 07:04 PM

Lois,

RE: Post #282

Wrong. Atheists know that such claims have no evidence to support them and therefore reject them. No belief is necessary, just a refusal to embrace all claims that have no empirical support. It’s not that hard.

Lois, I see it differently, the proof is in the churches, institutions, gathering of people, books, songs, buildings, prayer and people commitment. How can we avoid the fact the billions of people believe in something that does not physically exist but exist in the form of a power in the minds of people? Is this power real? I believe so.

Is the 2% just going to say that these billions of people are (loss for a word).

Or are we going to recognize this “Power of God” as part of humankind’s makeup in the majority of people and stop the Intelligent Design from being miss used. The way Intelligent Design is moving, an Atheist is just part of God’s method of dealing with poor misguided souls.

As an Atheist, you should look at the facts, and the facts are here.

You have not presented one fact.

Billions of people believe in some kind of god or many and those gods number in the hundreds. To say that billions of people believe in god is a false claim because they do not believe in one god.  Besides that, it doesn’t matter how many people believe in anything, it has no bearing on the truth of the claim. None at all. Yours is an argument from popularity, a fallacious argument. 

You should not only look at the facts, you should learn the difference between a fact and a claim with no evidence. You have shown here that you don’t know the difference.  When you do, come back and we can talk.

Lois

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