Sunday, June 28, 2009

Atheism is believing too!

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:22 AM Permalink

Anyone who says they are an atheist is as much a believer* as, well, a believer.
Budding atheists will be given lessons to arm themselves in the ways of rational scepticism. There will be sessions in moral philosophy and evolutionary biology along with more conventional pursuits such as trekking and tug-of-war. There will also be a £10 prize for the child who can disprove the existence of the mythical unicorn.
Think about it. A believer says "I know that there is a God. No doubt about it. It is knowledge, I possess it and I've internalized it. And I can prove it with my doctrine."

An atheist says "I know that there isn't a god. No doubt about it. It is knowledge, I possess it and I've internalized it. And I can prove it with my doctrine."

The only difference is the word "isn't" and that's not much of a difference, is it. Atheists are claiming to have knowledge of the unknowable, just as much as anybody who strongly believes there is a God.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem if someone says they are an atheist, just like I have no problem with some who says they're a believer. It just seems to me that atheism is just as much of a dogma as believing is.

I, personally, am an agnostic. I have no idea if there is a god or not. How can one claim to have any knowledge of god, either of his existence or lack thereof, if it's unprovable either way?

*The reason I use the term "believer" instead of religio-nut or religious believer--or anything using the word pertaining to religion for that matter--is because there are believers in God who don't consider what they do as practicing a religion. Pentacostals, if you ask them, for the most part, won't say they're practicing a religion. They tend to prefer to describe it as having a personal relationship with God. They converse with him, they worship him and give him praise. To them, it's not a dogma or a religion, but rather it's having and maintaining an actual relationship with the Almighty.

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At 12:18 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

"There are no atheists in foxholes"

My beliefs are complicated and I came by them via math and fractals and chaos theory. But I believe.

I don't believe in religions or any rigid structured system that refuses to acknowledge facts. I also don't believe in proselytizing.

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need some caveats here (... and maybe a little Worcester sauce too).

As far as "belief" is concerned, just as everybody else (of at least marginal sanity) does, for the most part, I believe what my senses tell me. Under that paradigm, we are all to some small degree believers in our own personal reality.

As far as the Abramic "beliefs" are concerned, I am absolutely certain (just from the impirical evidence) that the "He" of the Torah is just an ancient consequence of literary political expediency which was initially composed by the (comparatively) educated class of a scientifically undeveloped culture. From that line of site on the firing range, I am an Atheist.

So, if your definition of "God (G_d)" is Hebraically derived, well, with all the Indiana Jones movies nothwithstanding, go ahead, show me the physical evidence that I'm wrong.

"Faith" however is a horse of a different stripe. There are basically two brands of faith. One involves logically relating deductively evident corollaries of the physical universe that are (mostly) devoid of fantasia insanities ... the other involves the politically self-deceptive expediency of realistically undisiplined imagination (e.g., blind faith).

Since both belief and faith are advanced intellectual practices, so is the self-reflective human circumstance of projecting the surrealistic existence of a creationist superman. Since deity is fundamentally insubstancial, in this universe, it is also substancially unprovable.


At 12:59 PM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

Your analysis ignores those of us who firmly believe that the bible and its stories are complete fiction with no foundation in fact. Priests controlled what books were published until the Gothenburg Press was invented, allowing the publishing of books by anyone with the money to pay or whose books would sell well and make someone money.

The entire construct of the churches was to control men through 'god-fearing' means, making them confess their sins and provide priests with the blackmail evidence need for control, they looted the world of its treasures and upheld the authority of obedient leaders who would bow and kiss the ring of frauds. They convince those same leaders that land should be given to churches and churches be exempt from paying taxes. How many TRILLIONS of dollars of untaxed real estate do you reckon that netted them?

The pope wears silk robes with gold brocade, dines from real gold and silver plates and goblets while gazing upon the priceless art they have stolen or conned innocents into providing with promises of eternal life and a seat at the table with 'god'. He lives in the most luxurious accommodations imaginable, waited upon hand and foot, pronouncing edicts which can, supposedly, allow some into heaven and condemn others to hell.

I admit I was fooled as a child, but when I came to think critically I realized that god was a complete and total sham, I don't ask anyone to agree, and I am very mildly offended at being put in the same category of people who worship an apparition and drink the blood of christ and eat of his flesh as would a cannibal.

You say: "An atheist says "I know that there isn't a god. No doubt about it. It is knowledge, I possess it and I've internalized it. And I can prove it with my doctrine." I claim no special insight, no special knowledge I have internalized. I espouse no doctrine, believe what you will.

I just recognize BS when I see or smell it and your generalization is no more or less valid than any other generalization, but it remains a generalization nonetheless. With no special inside knowledge I can only analyze empirical evidence to form my beliefs and nowhere, at any time, under any circumstances, can ANYONE say they have talked with, shaken hands, broken bread, or poured the mead when they had lunch with a deity whom cannot by any logical, scientific means, or even anecdotally be proven to exist.

You may initially believe you have proven your point in the line I quoted above. I do not believe in god and I do believe, as far as I am concerned, I possess naught but ordinary commonsense, normal powers of observation, and I have never seen, heard of, or witnessed any so-called 'miracles' of the type christians claim god has wrought, and I hold no doctrines.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger The Vidiot said...

Strident atheists claim to have knowledge that there is no god. Strident believers claim to have knowledge that there is a god. They both claim knowledge of the unknowable.

That was my point. Not made well, but my point nonetheless.

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

Yeah, I know. This is a touchy subject for many so I learned the hard way to keep my opinions to myself. (Apparently it is ok for any 'good' christian to resort to physical violence to prove their point – look how many abortion providers that have been murdered.)

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Strident atheists claim ..." This involves the very foundation of Humanity's economic predisposition. Whether it be strident atheists, or strident theists, or strident Walmart conquistadors is of little difference.

The "Founding Fathers" of the United States were strident constitutionalists of the republic mode. All "strident" endorsers of any flavor have something to sell, even if the coin is simply the surrender of one's own belief.

While the purely "non-believing" Atheist passively requests some minimal proof for a deity's (any deity's) existence, invariably, the theist pre-empts this inquiry with demands instead that one must first prove the negative of non-existence.

Fact is, until the theist commands that people believe, the atheist remains unchanged by his(/her) lack of belief.

On the other hand, the term "strident atheists" ultimately is oxymoronic, consequentially suggesting in its composition that there is either/or (both) a proactive political/economic affiliation. Most all strident atheists also have something relative to their atheism that they want you to buy. Most often, to complete this particular brand of quasi-economic transaction, a casual proselyte must first proactively endorse some kind of atheistic belief.

Regarding any established belief, for the most part, at least half of the whole argument (wherever there is an argument) is mostly contrived by the believer first.

It is this manner in which God(/G_d) first intellectually entered the argument of human existence.


At 12:54 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

IRT: faith v. believing
I don't have faith in an anthropomorphic being that sees every sparrow fall.

I certainly don't have faith in any religion, most all claim to be peaceful but people keep fighting and dying over, what appear to me, to be minor differences in agreement and outright lies about what the other religion believes. (e.g. what's up with the 72 virgins? AFAIK, that doesn't appear in the Quaran.)

I believe because it seems thru my studies that fractals and chaos theory, and evolution, imply a weighted outcome that physics and math don't. I don't see strictly randomness or entropy rule our universe.

Interesting exchange, thanks DanD and anon for participating. Please keep doing so. Everyone needs different points of view and facts, not everyone is receptive to changing. Keep it up, it made me think, and I like that.

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want my ... I want my ... I want my 72 virgins (bop, be-dop-bop, dadadadadop-bop ~ hmmm, it just don't scan).

Actually, I'd prefer 72 trollops, but that's just a matter of taste.

As it is, do you also realize that the "Bible (TM, pre-Schofield)" has absolutely nothing to say about "The Rapture?" Yup, Rapture theology was just something dreamed up during the tail-end half of the 19th Century by a young woman who was tripping on some ergot (or something like that).

It was then picked up by a conniving Bible salesman and budding Zionist shill who was looking to reinvest his dream of a re-branded Christianite movement with the Family RedShield's version of new-wave Judaism.

Oh yeah, you will find it printed about in a majority of modern bibles, but only in those peanut gallery comment sections relegated at the bottom and in the margins. But prior to the 20th Century, Rapture Theology -- as with Zionist Theology -- was strictly considered by Orthodox Judaism and all the major Christian sects as nothing more than cultic fantasies(notwithstanding the fact that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam themselves all also began as nothing more than cultic fantasies).

Religion ... it's what started the institutional menu of corporatism.



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