U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-04-2012, 05:54 AM
 
5,462 posts, read 5,939,436 times
Reputation: 1804

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Theist View Post
It is my understanding that Atheism, by definition, is the denial of the existence of a God or gods.

The question then becomes what is a God or gods and do they exist.

It seems, that there is no more unstable position than to deny the existence of a thing.
So you're saying you accept the existence of unicorns and square circles? After all, by your "logic" anything else would be unstable.

Quote:
The obvious: what is a god, does a god need exist in order to be a god, and in the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin and English how do the definition of gods is there to deny?
Sounds like a variation of "you don't lack belief in the right type of god" argument. It's not the non-believers fault that theists can't agree on what their god-thingy really is. In fact, that's actually more evidence that those gods are just superstition and fairy tales.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-04-2012, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,087,623 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Theist View Post
Simply put . . . and I won't ask you again, because I think atheism is stupid . . . what is a god or gods. And think on this, it isn't dependent upon your acceptance or lack thereof.

Is a balcony in a theater a god? Those people therein? A mighty ruler? What is a godparent? Was Tammuz the Sumerian King deified upon his death not a god who existed? The Bible calls Moses, Jesus, and the Judges of Israel gods. They existed. Eric Clapton. Frodo. Gods.
It's hard to tell, frankly, but if you're saying that things, including any god(s), exist whether or not I accept that they do, this is true. Things also don't exist whether or not you accept that they don't. Such arguments are all heat and no light.

The only useful grain of truth here is that it's useful to define what god is for purposes of discussion or we might be talking past each other. A theist who believes in god might have in mind, the Abrahamic god, his son Jesus, Allah, Vishnu, Krishna, Odin, or Thor. Or, I suppose, Eric Clapton, though the term is normally only applied to supernatural / invisible beings.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that a-theists don't believe in supernatural / invisible beings, although most of us are open to actual empirical evidence of them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2012, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
75 posts, read 75,109 times
Reputation: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Theist View Post
The Bible calls Moses, Jesus, and the Judges of Israel gods. They existed. Eric Clapton. Frodo. Gods.
I would be interested in exactly where the Bible calls Moses and the Judges gods. Agnostic that I am, I have read the Bible in several versions and don't recall ever coming across such a reference in it. As for Jesus, well it is still debated over whether or not Jesus was or was not truly divine. Accepted Christian theology today has Jesus as one aspect of the Holy Trinity, not as God in his own right.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2012, 08:09 AM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,251,388 times
Reputation: 1315
I am assuming by your title that you are honestly seeking a better understanding of Atheism, and not trying to create a strawman based on your current misunderstandings. If I am wrong, please let me know so I don't waste my time, but assuming this is an honest question, here goes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Theist View Post
It is my understanding that Atheism, by definition, is the denial of the existence of a God or gods.
Let's stop here. Your question is already off the rails at this point. Atheism is the lack of belief in gods or deities. It is not required that one categorically deny the possibility of a god, or that one assume absolute knowledge in order to deny the actuality of a god. It is simply the lack of belief in such a being, usually precipitated by lack of evidence, or as you discuss below, the inability to even define logically such a being.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Theist View Post
The question then becomes what is a God or gods and do they exist.

It seems, that there is no more unstable position than to deny the existence of a thing.
This is true, which is why the vast majority of us atheists do not absolutely and categorically deny the possibility of the existence of a deity, only that it has not been adequately demonstrated at this time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Theist View Post
The obvious: what is a god, does a god need exist in order to be a god, and in the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin and English how do the definition of gods is there to deny?
This is a very good point. The definition of what a god or deity is is incredibly fuzzy. It is further muddled by the imprecision of language. Is Hashem a god? Is Allah a god? Are the Greek or Norse pantheons gods? In any case, I do not believe in any of the above, not because of a definition of godhood, but because the evidence for the existence of any of these is weak to non-existent. Is Clapton a god? It would depend on how you define godhood, but regardless I am still pretty convinced in the existence of Eric Clapton, by sheer weight of evidence.

We can in fact evaluate the existence of an entity without having to deal with their divinity at all. Once we establish that an entity exists, then we can quibble about what makes or does not make a deity, and whether that term applies to some entity we already know exists.

-NoCapo
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2012, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Central Indiana
167 posts, read 144,959 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
This is the kind of nonsense you get when you try to label people by what they are not rather than by what they are.
That's the most sensible thing I've heard so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
There either is a reason to think something exists or there is not. If there is not then you need to dismiss the concept and proceed without it.

There is currently no arguments, evidence, data or reasoning on offer to lend even a modicum of credence to the idea there is a god. That is all one needs to know.
There is an abundance of evidence for billions of Gods. The Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin and English word for God means anything or anyone considered mightier than the one attributing the might or anything or anyone venerated. Real or not. Existing or not.

Atheism, by definition is the denial of the existence of God or gods. Tammuz was a Sumerian king who existed historically. The Bible calls him a God.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
While it might be important to some the term "atheist" is superfluous to requirements therefore. There is no more reason to be atheist then there is to be a-unicornist or a-fairyist. These are just unsubstantiated ideas people came up with and there is no real need to define oneself as their negative though clearly people have to given the number of people who subscribe to the baseless concept.
Unicorns and fairies don't literally exist most probably, but you can't prove a negative. You can say that it is silly to believe they exist because they are fictional or mythological, but in that sense they do exist as such.

Santa Clause is my favorite example of this. You can't explain to your kid that there is no such thing as Santa Clause when you pass 10 of them on the way to the mall to see another. Does Santa Clause exist? Santa Clause exists as a mythological character possibly based upon a real person who lived centuries ago.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2012, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Central Indiana
167 posts, read 144,959 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe90 View Post
I go with the idea that god/gods, are invisible friends for grownups. Some people feel that they need someone/thing in charge and a master plan. I don't have a problem with that. It's the whole "your doomed" nonsense, that gets my goat.
We are all doomed, are we not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe90 View Post
Some people say they see evidence of a god all around them- thats fine by me. I don't see evidence of a god.
Have you looked? Some people see evidence where there is none and others see none where there is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2012, 09:21 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,282,434 times
Reputation: 2973
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Theist View Post
There is an abundance of evidence for billions of Gods. The Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin and English word for God means anything or anyone considered mightier than the one attributing the might or anything or anyone venerated. Real or not. Existing or not.
That would just be playing with definitions then. We should not define "god" into existence. When I say there is no evidence for "god" I am referring to a non human intelligence responsible for the creation and/or subsequent maintenance of our universe. I am not referring to some dilute definition such as "Whatever created the universe is 'god' whatever that might be". It just changes the term from one everyone knows into a dilute and empty placeholder for our ignorance.

There simply is no argument, evidence, data or reasoning available to me at this time to lend even a modicum of credence to the idea there is such an entity. If that leads people to want to call me "atheist" in order to define me by what I am not rather than what I am then so be it... it does not bother me a lot.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2012, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Central Indiana
167 posts, read 144,959 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Colonial Girl View Post
The 'question' was incoherent.

I also like to speculate on the fallout from a zombie apocalypse, but it's got the same odds of occurring. Do you deny the zombie apocalypse?
I've never heard of a zombie apocalypse and since a zombie is someone who has been drugged to have such diminished vital signs as to appear dead and therefore buried, I don't think that there will be a zombie apocalypse. They don't have the numbers for it.

Last edited by The Theist; 12-04-2012 at 10:02 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
2,435 posts, read 2,845,796 times
Reputation: 2581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Colonial Girl View Post
Could you restate that in English?

In any case, I'm pretty confident that if a deity has existed for the last few thousand years and yet not once as there been a hint of it, its not one that's ever going have any impact on our lives over the next 50-60 years I'll exist. Which makes it functionally non-existent.
Just because you dont comprehend or percieve something does not make it non nexistent or irrevelant, or there would be no wind, gravity, electricity or thoughts that appear in this thread. God is not defined or ruled by atheist nor anyone else's opinion. Use your mind's eye too 'see' him instead.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Central Indiana
167 posts, read 144,959 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
So you're saying you accept the existence of unicorns and square circles? After all, by your "logic" anything else would be unstable.
You can't prove a negative. Unicorns are mythological creatures and a square is not a circle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
Sounds like a variation of "you don't lack belief in the right type of god" argument. It's not the non-believers fault that theists can't agree on what their god-thingy really is. In fact, that's actually more evidence that those gods are just superstition and fairy tales.
A God is anything that is considered mighty or is venerated. The Hebrew word for God, El, comes from a root word meaning "strong; mighty."

It isn't dependent upon belief. Zeus is a God, he doesn't exist, I don't believe in him, he is a god.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top