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View Poll Results: What type of non-believer are you?
Intellectual Atheist/Agnostics (IAA) 27 52.94%
Activist Atheist/Agnostics (AAA) 3 5.88%
Non-theists 10 19.61%
Seeker Agnostics (SA) 3 5.88%
Ritual Atheist/Agnostics (RAA) 2 3.92%
Antitheists 6 11.76%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-15-2013, 05:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
The thesis writer appears to be bringing an assumption of the activist's atheism being the basis for that person's positions on all of the listed issues. I would toss a generalization penalty flag except that I suspect the assumptions are valid. If introduced to a person and told that he or she was a activist Christian fundamentalist, would you not feel confident in being able to predict that person's positions on that same list of issues?

Your point that the description fits activist behavior regardless of theological beliefs, is valid.
So, what would my lack of belief in god have to do with my being for women's right to vote, for instance, or anti-abortion? Atheism does not dictate any particular beliefs.....just the lack of one (belief in gods).
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
So, what would my lack of belief in god have to do with my being for women's right to vote, for instance, or anti-abortion? Atheism does not dictate any particular beliefs.....just the lack of one (belief in gods).
In the case of the franchise for women, the relationship would be between the rejection of a god who has ordained an inferior place for women in society and the embracing of responsibilities previously reserved for males.

In the case of your being anti-abortion, that would be the thesis writer making a false assumption, lumping all opposition to abortion within religious motivations and not making allowances for exceptions.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Sorry. There is only one kind of atheist: the kind who does not believe in a god.

True, there are those who are militant and those who are not, but that is more to do with the person or their circumstances than with the sort of atheism they have.

Atheism is not having a god -belief. That is all it is. Anything else is to do with the individual.

I don't deny that the researches are finding out some interesting thisng about atheists, but this should never be interpreted as some kind of denominations within the church of Athe.

I sadly suspect that the researchers are falling into the stamp -collectors' fallacy.

'What kind of stamp -collector are you?'

I dunno about this, Arequipa. In my mind at least, there's a pretty profound difference at least between an agnostic (not sure yet), atheist (doesn't believe), non-theist (never really thinks about that stuff), and antitheist (hates theism with a passion).

They're different types of people, with different value systems. Religious denominations are much the same as value systems, the Catholic believes "every life is sacred" and in the value of works, the Protestant says "screw works, it's all faith", the Calvinist believes in predestination, etc.

That's just beliefs, different practices is also part of each, if you have both different beliefs and practices than other atheists, you are a different type of atheist.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Sorry. There is only one kind of atheist: the kind who does not believe in a god.
<snip>
Yep.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
In the case of the franchise for women, the relationship would be between the rejection of a god who has ordained an inferior place for women in society and the embracing of responsibilities previously reserved for males.

In the case of your being anti-abortion, that would be the thesis writer making a false assumption, lumping all opposition to abortion within religious motivations and not making allowances for exceptions.

I take it from your response that you are assuming that I support a woman's right to vote as a rejection of god (I assume you are only thinking of the judeo-christian god or some such paternalistic deity). I lack belief in all deities whether they are gods, goddesses, or the non-participatory deistic god. I don't support social causes as some kind of rejection of gods. Gods do not come into play since they are not a part of my life to begin with. I don't reject them or HAVE to reject them if I have no reason to believe they do in fact exist.

As for abortion, I don't think the thesis writer addressed it, unless one assumes it falls under the feminism umbrella.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
I take it from your response that you are assuming that I support a woman's right to vote as a rejection of god (I assume you are only thinking of the judeo-christian god or some such paternalistic deity). I lack belief in all deities whether they are gods, goddesses, or the non-participatory deistic god. I don't support social causes as some kind of rejection of gods. Gods do not come into play since they are not a part of my life to begin with. I don't reject them or HAVE to reject them if I have no reason to believe they do in fact exist.

As for abortion, I don't think the thesis writer addressed it, unless one assumes it falls under the feminism umbrella.
Those have not been my assumptions. I have been explaining what I believe were the assumptions of the study author.

In my first response to you I included:
Quote:
Your point that the description fits activist behavior regardless of theological beliefs, is valid.
Your subsequent posts make me suspect that you missed this. You are arguing with someone who is not disagreeing with you.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:39 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,025,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Those have not been my assumptions. I have been explaining what I believe were the assumptions of the study author.

In my first response to you I included:

Your subsequent posts make me suspect that you missed this. You are arguing with someone who is not disagreeing with you.
Those may not have been your assumptions, but you stated (below) that you suspected that they were valid. And then you compared it to activist christian fundamentalists (who actually hold specific beliefs about god and take their position based on the bible). Atheists, who lack a belief in god, do not have any "atheistic position" (since there is no such thing) to act upon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander
"I would toss a generalization penalty flag except that I suspect the assumptions are valid. If introduced to a person and told that he or she was a activist Christian fundamentalist, would you not feel confident in being able to predict that person's positions on that same list of issues?"
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
NoCapo and AREQUIPA, you are right. This was someone's PHD thesis. I am really not sure why every major newspaper is running this ....
I would suspect that it is grist to mill of showing atheism to be denominational and thus being a religion. That was probably not the intention and as the excellent Capo pointed out he could be fitted into one of the categories as indeed I could myself, and it is easy to do so as atheists do tend to look like different kinds of atheists. As Grandstander said, the assumptions are valid - but they could easily be misconstrued as indicating different kinds of atheism. There is only one kind - disbelief in any gods.

As has been pointed out, atheist can also disbelieve in fairies, Bigfoot or UFO's but they do not do so as atheist, because Faries, bigfoot and UFO's are not gods. Yet the same evaluation could be applied, either to look carefully at the evidence and not buy into the claim or just to say 'It's all nonsense' or 'I find all that stuff boring'.

You can also get those who are sick of religion and loathe the control, authority and interference of religion in our affairs...but they still believe in God and even Jesus. They may be very much like the militant atheist as regards organized religion, but atheist they are not.

You can also have the kind who believes in all sorts of supernatural stuff, even Karma, which can be regarded as a sort of God -claim (if one decides that it has to be intelligent, or how does it know what is a good or bad deed? On the basis of what the doer thinks it is? ) but whether that makes them atheist or not depends on whether a god -claim is involved or not.

And maybe that is significant because Buddhism and indeed scientology (and the Jains, too) do not have gods as such and yet the atheist reaction is the same - the claims made for the religion do not stand up and our reaction is to the religion, gods or not, and the extent to which it is a nuisance or whether we rather get along with it.

It just gets very complicated and confused and it is far the best to stick to a simple 'No god-belief' and whether that makes one an atheist or not much depends on what 'god' is taken to mean.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 07-16-2013 at 02:37 AM..
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulmabriefs144 View Post
I dunno about this, Arequipa. In my mind at least, there's a pretty profound difference at least between an agnostic (not sure yet), atheist (doesn't believe), non-theist (never really thinks about that stuff), and antitheist (hates theism with a passion).

They're different types of people, with different value systems. Religious denominations are much the same as value systems, the Catholic believes "every life is sacred" and in the value of works, the Protestant says "screw works, it's all faith", the Calvinist believes in predestination, etc.

That's just beliefs, different practices is also part of each, if you have both different beliefs and practices than other atheists, you are a different type of atheist.
I do sympathize with your comments, Bulginbriefs. What I would say is that agnostic is simply not knowing whether there is a god or not (knowledge position) and atheism is the response to that -to not believe until we do know, or there is persuasive evidence.

And indeed some do regard the evidence as persuasive and are agnostic theists. In fact it has been well observed (by me ) that we are all agnostic, but some persuade themselves that the evidence for the god -claim (pick your own) is good.

And that is really why the debate goes on.

Non theist, (I use the term 'Irreligious') could apply to a theist who is bored by religion (My Peruvian pal is like that) and may be atheist or not. An atheist may be anti -theist or tolerant. In some ways I am both and it really depends on what the theism is like, not what I am like and certainly not what my atheism is like.

So I really think the categories are misleading especially if they are seen as somehow showing doctrinal divergences within the tenets, creed and dogma of atheism. because it has none. All it has is non- belief in any gods. That's all.

Now that study or thesis means well and it's nice that it is asking questions about us and that the wider media is taking an interest and, with a bit of tweaking, perhaps to say it's about the ways atheist reacts to theism (because it is true that without a theism to react to, there would be no atheism) rather than different kinds of atheism, it would be a perfectly good questionnaire.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 07-16-2013 at 02:46 AM..
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:23 AM
 
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What type of non-believer are you?
Intellectual Atheist/Agnostics (IAA)
Activist Atheist/Agnostics (AAA)
Non-theists (N-T)
Seeker Agnostics (SA)
Ritual Atheist/Agnostics (RAA)
Antitheists (AT)

I'd suggest that the questions are more about religious doubters or questioners. They may be Theist, atheist or 'agnostic' (an inaccurate term which is used to mean someone who hasn't made up their mind whether they declare for theism or disbelief).

Perhaps what I call the Atheist Avalanche isn't about atheism at all but about disenchantment with religion, even by those who actually still believe in a god or even Jesus.

Let's then consider the categories.
Intellectual Atheist/Agnostics (IAA)
The first and most frequently discussed type is what could be termed The Intellectual Atheist/Agnostic or IAA. IAA typology includes individuals who proactively seek to educate themselves through intellectual association, and proactively acquire knowledge on various topics relating to ontology (the search for Truth) and non-belief. They enjoy dialectic enterprises such as healthy democratic debate and discussions, and are intrinsically motivated to do so.

This can apply to to Theist and atheist alike (of course!) and for a lifetimer like me, it was needing to look at the claims for religion and study (and I am still doing so) whether the evidence is good. For the theists, they are studying the claims, in order to prove them to disbelievers or to answer their own doubts. So I'd say that the category 1 is about those who address the challenge to religious claims, whether from the theist or atheist side.

Activist Atheist/Agnostics (AAA)
These individuals are termed the Activist Atheist/Agnostic. Individuals in the AAA typology are not content with the placidity of simply holding a non-belief position; they seek to be both vocal and proactive regarding current issues in the atheist and/or agnostic socio-political sphere. This sphere can include such egalitarian issues, but is not limited to: concerns of humanism, feminism, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered (LGBT) issues, social or political concerns, human rights themes, environmental concerns, animal rights, and controversies such as the separation of church and state.

There are many who are disenchanted by religion and its authority and indeed there can be as much bitterness between religions or even denominations as between Theists and unbelievers. That said, it is true that many atheists coming to understand the enormity of the con and scam that has been pulled and is still being pulled are angry about it. I am angry about it and when it hangs from its battlements for the sport of its own crows, I will have peace with it.

Non-theists
For the Non-Theists, the alignment of oneself with religion, or conversely an epistemological position against religion, can appear quite unconventional from their perspective. However, a few terms may best capture the sentiments of the Non-Theist. One is apathetic, while another may be disinterested. The Non-Theist is non-active in terms of involving themselves in social or intellectual pursuits having to do with religion or anti-religion. A Non-Theist simply does not concern him or herself with religion.

Yes. They may believe or not. They are simply not interested. That is their choice and, while we reckon we are working in their interests and deserve their support, I respect their right to have other priorities.

Antitheists
While the Anti-Theists may be considered atheist or in some cases labeled as “new atheists,” the Anti-Theist is diametrically opposed to religious ideology. As such, the assertive Anti-Theist both proactively and aggressively asserts their views towards others when appropriate, seeking to educate the theists in the passť nature of belief and theology. In other words, antitheists view religion as ignorance and see any individual or institution associated with it as backward and socially detrimental.

I have always seen the 'New Atheist' label as irrelevant (whether or not pejorative) as there is no such thing as 'New atheism'. The only thing that is 'New' about us old atheists (and believe me I am pretty old) is that we are coming out, spreading the word and refusing to be shut up.

Seeker-Agnostic (SA)
Seeker-Agnostic typology consists of individuals attuned to the metaphysical possibilities precluding metaphysical existence, or at least recognizes the philosophical difficulties and complexities in making personal affirmations regarding ideological beliefs. They may call themselves agnostic or agnostic-atheist, as the SA simply cannot be sure of the existence of God or the divine. They keep an open mind in relation to the debate between the religious, spiritual, and antitheist elements within society.

If I get this correctly, this touches on the agnostic basis of atheism. We do not know whether there is a god or not...and so we will not believe until we do know.
Now it is not a believe -or not -situation. It is not (correctly) a faith matter but an evidence matter - which way does the evidence point? Well, that depends upon what one means by 'God'.
If we are talking about the personal gods of the holy Books, we can say: 'They do not exist'. The more I study the Bible (and I do) the more I find it falls apart as a credible record of anything but human polemic propaganda. And if it collapses, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Listed Buildings of the church of the latter days saints (even without the earthquake of the Abraham papyrus) sink with it.

But of course that god could still exist, though nothing really to do with the Bible. One could still find inspiration in that book about the real God as one could in the Bhaghavad gita and we are talking about a sorta god who is the god of all religions or none and the evidence for it is in the questions about the origins of the universe and life and the order of existence and Universal constants. They are good questions and the more experienced atheist will come to know that this cannot be dismissed with 'God doesn't exist' as easily as we can with Personal gods e. g biblegod. This isn't the place to go over the arguments again, but the bottom line is that we really don't know and atheism is more a suspension of belief until we do know rather than a rejection of the god - claims because we know they are bunk.

I might add that atheists might not have an objection to this Cosmic Mind or God of Einstein as such. It has nothing (to our mind) to do with any particular religion or the authority of its men in funny hats over us all.

Ritual Atheist/Agnostics (RAA)
This exploration termed this type The Ritual Atheist/Agnostic or RAA. The RAA holds no belief in God or the divine, or they tend to believe it is unlikely that there is an afterlife with God or the divine. They are open about their lack of belief and may educate themselves on the various aspects of belief by others. One of the defining characteristics regarding Ritual Atheists/Agnostics is that they may find utility in the teachings of some religious traditions. They see these as more or less philosophical teachings of how to live life and achieve happiness than a path to transcendental liberation. Ritual Atheist/Agnostics find utility in tradition and ritual. For example, these individuals may participate in specific rituals, ceremonies, musical opportunities, meditation, yoga classes, or holiday traditions.

I call those 'convalescent' or 'Patching' deconverts. There may be many reasons why they carry on with religious activity. That perhaps is not the same thing as the argument that we need religion, true or not, for the good it does. There is also the ongoing suggestion that, every time atheists get together, they are starting a church. I see this as an irrelevance to atheism whatever reason it is done.

So, there seems to be a (rather wrongheaded, I feel) division of three aspects - the varying degrees or doubt about the various god claims (depending on what one means by 'God') the disenchantment with religion (by either believers or unbelievers) and the perceived need to come out and say what needs to be said - into some categories which actually overlap.
degrees or doubt about the various god claims
Intellectual Atheist/Agnostics (IAA)
Seeker Agnostics (SA)
disenchantment with religion (by either believers or unbelievers) and
perceived need to come out and say what needs to be said
Activist Atheist/Agnostics (AAA)
Non-theists (N-T)
Ritual Atheist/Agnostics (RAA)
Antitheists (AT)

I do hope this is helpful.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 07-16-2013 at 03:38 AM..
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