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Old 01-24-2014, 04:50 AM
 
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With all the banter going on about atheists i need to define myself.
I'm some one who never had an interest in going to church, thought the bible was a bunch of fairy tails, dont believe in God, think the idea of creationism is absurd, I dont think about religion,i dont talk about religion and religion plays no role in my life and i have no wish to convert any one to my non religious ways of thinking.
I've always assumed this way of life described an atheist but reading many posts seem to imply atheism as some kind of alternate religion If thats the case what designation am i if not an atheist?
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:25 AM
 
39,172 posts, read 10,865,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
With all the banter going on about atheists i need to define myself.
I'm some one who never had an interest in going to church, thought the bible was a bunch of fairy tails, dont believe in God, think the idea of creationism is absurd, I dont think about religion,i dont talk about religion and religion plays no role in my life and i have no wish to convert any one to my non religious ways of thinking.
I've always assumed this way of life described an atheist but reading many posts seem to imply atheism as some kind of alternate religion If thats the case what designation am i if not an atheist?
Atheism is a lack of belief in any god.

That is simply what it is and that is all it is. I have seen many arguments about introducing other elements or changing the name, but that always leads to problems and the original and still the best is

atheist - one not having a god - belief.

...I was going on to discuss, but let's keep it simple. If anyone wants to ask questions about what atheism is, what it isn't, what its relationship is with agnosticism, humanism and irreligion, or indeed satanism, and whether it implies a particular political philosophy or a love of logic and science, do so, and I'm sure that we goddless bastards will be happy to answer.

...but, you do make some points and perhaps I should comment

If I may put in order...



(I) dont believe in God, I dont think about religion,i dont talk about religion and religion plays no role in my life and I'm some one who never had an interest in going to church,

(I)thought the bible was a bunch of fairy tails, (I) think the idea of creationism is absurd
,

The claims of god and religion are not good. The are dressed up with a load of waffle and hootenanny, but the basis is that there is no good reason why we should believe in any of the gods of the religions.

The case for some sort of creative mind is a bit better but really adds to 'we don't know' and it is simply Faith -based bias to insist that the only way It All could happen is with a Cosmic Mind. Aks 'God'. And that is a long way from any of the personal gods of the religions.

The Bible does have an edge of the others as it purports to be recorded reliable history. I won't go into the pros and cons but if you just see it as unbelievable tales, then there is no reason to believe in God or religion. Similarly, this is not the place to go into the 'evilooshun' debate, but if you don't believe that a god had to be responsible for It All then no god - belief is intact.

I have no wish to convert any one to my non religious ways of thinking. That still leaves you an atheist. I do. I consider that religious belief is unfounded and disbelief of any god is logically correct in the case of not knowing one way or the other, and the reasons to believe there probably isn't a god - not one that concerns us, anyway - are pretty strong and, this is the correct belief -view that it would be better if we all had. So I am working for this end and, while I think it would be good for those of views that might find themselves under pressure if a religion got worldview dominance to support us, I respect their choice to not be 'militant'.

I've always assumed this way of life described an atheist but reading many posts seem to imply atheism as some kind of alternate religion.

It is not. It is an alternative to religion, and indeed freedom from religion. Making atheism a religion relies on reinterpreting what a religion is. Even if the definition in some book or other could be made to fit, it is still a 'religion' without a god in the sense of s divine being), without rites, without tenets and without dogma and most differently to any other religion, not based on belief as fact something without a shred of sound evidence.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 01-24-2014 at 05:58 AM..
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:58 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,283,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
I've always assumed this way of life described an atheist but reading many posts seem to imply atheism as some kind of alternate religion
Do not worry about it. Calling atheism a religion is just one of those troll conversation derailing techniques a small pocket of theists use to deflect a conversation that is not going their way. It is a common tactic in many realms of discourse, not just on the subject of atheism. The tactic basically is "If you are losing the conversation then derail it by suggesting the winner of the conversation is an example themselves of the thing they are arguing against".

I call it the mirror deflection technique. Actually I do not, I just made that up right now, but I shall call it that henceforth.

The idea, clearly, is to get the opponent to drop the line of discourse that you no longer like, and instead go on an unrelated defensive. It is classic debate 101 trickery and little more.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:35 AM
 
Location: South Africa
5,563 posts, read 6,322,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
With all the banter going on about atheists i need to define myself.
I'm some one who never had an interest in going to church, thought the bible was a bunch of fairy tails, dont believe in God, think the idea of creationism is absurd, I dont think about religion,i dont talk about religion and religion plays no role in my life and i have no wish to convert any one to my non religious ways of thinking.
I've always assumed this way of life described an atheist but reading many posts seem to imply atheism as some kind of alternate religion If thats the case what designation am i if not an atheist?
The word atheist carrys so much baggage that it is defined by what it is not rather than by what it actually is.

Rationalist may be a better pigeon hole if you really need a label.

Once you tell folk you are an atheist, the horror that you are not open to coercion means that most of what theists hold dear suddenly is threatened even if you make no comments as to their religion or beliefs.

A personal conversation with a mild theist went sour and all she asked me where I went to church. I should have said none rather than tell her I was an atheist.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:05 AM
 
39,172 posts, read 10,865,034 times
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Yes, I should have specifically said to Jambo's

Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101
With all the banter going on about atheists i need to define myself.
I'm some one who never had an interest in going to church, thought the bible was a bunch of fairy tails, dont believe in God, think the idea of creationism is absurd, I dont think about religion,i dont talk about religion and religion plays no role in my life and i have no wish to convert any one to my non religious ways of thinking.
I've always assumed this way of life described an atheist but reading many posts seem to imply atheism as some kind of alternate religion If thats the case what designation am i if not an atheist?"

And atheist is clearly what you are. It's what Prof Dawkins is, too, but he (incorrectly) shrinks from that and prefers to call himself an agnostic.

That only says that he doesn't know whether there is a god or not - nor does any other atheist (or indeed Theist, though they may believe they do ) but it says nothing about the belief position resulting from that. Prof. Dawkins does not believe so an atheist is what he is.

That is what I call myself, but I take Seeker's point that this can cause a very bad reaction in some areas. Here in the UK, if someone gets a stroke on hearing that I am an ATHEIST then tough and don't send me the hospital bills.

In other places, one may want to find euphemism for being atheist - but atheist is most definitely what Jambo is.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,091,096 times
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Nozz is right, rationalist or empiricist or humanist probably are terms that will not put the ignorant so much into mental vapor-lock. "Atheist" simply means not believing in any gods, which is only one god less than most theists. But the knee-jerk reaction is often to connect "atheist" with "depraved and morally off the rails". Someone just the other day mentioned that they came out as an atheist and their father objected that he didn't raise the poster that way, why did they want to become morally depraved? Obviously, the poster was not declaring themselves morally depraved, but it's telling that this was the father's reaction.

In meatspace I would seldom see any percentage in overtly labeling myself "atheist" and would go with humanist or empiricist or even non-religious. These are less precise, technically, but less distracting due to people's prejudice and ignorance.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:26 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,533 posts, read 2,451,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
With all the banter going on about atheists i need to define myself.
I'm some one who never had an interest in going to church, thought the bible was a bunch of fairy tails, dont believe in God, think the idea of creationism is absurd, I dont think about religion,i dont talk about religion and religion plays no role in my life and i have no wish to convert any one to my non religious ways of thinking.
I've always assumed this way of life described an atheist but reading many posts seem to imply atheism as some kind of alternate religion If thats the case what designation am i if not an atheist?
It's only an alternate "religion" to those who are religious, they just can't imagine someone not having religion so they assign atheism as religion, which it's not. That's just absurd. You are an atheist for sure but you'll have to learn to ignore those super religious people who can't seem to grasp the concept of atheism.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,091,096 times
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Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
It's only an alternate "religion" to those who are religious, they just can't imagine someone not having religion so they assign atheism as religion, which it's not. That's just absurd. You are an atheist for sure but you'll have to learn to ignore those super religious people who can't seem to grasp the concept of atheism.
If you have a life-long habit of thinking in terms of "there MUST be a god", "there MUST be a correct concept of God" then you will not credit someone who doesn't believe at all. The MUST in these statements is the begging of the question that locks people out of true freedom of thought.

There MUST be a god ... or what? What, exactly? The implication is that "or life would be meaningless" or some variation thereof. The truth is, "or life would be whatever it is and I'd be able to see it for that". "or life would not have someone else's predetermined meaning and it'd be up to me to find my own meaning".

When you are told from the cradle that life without god is unthinkable, that god is a necessity rather than a superfluity, then even when you are surrounded by unbelievers living the unthinkable and dismissing the superfluous, you assume that if YOU didn't have god, your head would explode or your moral compass would throw a rod. It may be that convincing people that god is necessary is religion's greatest accomplishment and its most fundamental deception. More generically, since some religions don't really have gods, it's convincing people that the supernatural exists and is necessary to explain anything.

My way out of this thought-pattern was the repeated experience that god never once proved himself necessary in my life. Experiencing, as I did, the consistent life-pattern that unfolded as one would expect if god were non-existent or at least absent or indifferent, the superfluity of god was self-evident after awhile.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:41 AM
 
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Thanks...it's always useful for lifetimers like myself (who can only surmise how the god-bods are thinking) to hear from those who Been it.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 7,283,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekerSA View Post
The word atheist carrys so much baggage that it is defined by what it is not rather than by what it actually is.

Rationalist may be a better pigeon hole if you really need a label.

Once you tell folk you are an atheist, the horror that you are not open to coercion means that most of what theists hold dear suddenly is threatened even if you make no comments as to their religion or beliefs.

A personal conversation with a mild theist went sour and all she asked me where I went to church. I should have said none rather than tell her I was an atheist.
I say I am an atheist. And I explain that I simply do not believe in any deity.

Then they get to square their notions of atheism with the reality of who and what I am.

I'm happily married for 18+ years, no criminal record (the more nonsensical amongst them can't quite comprehend being decent and law-abiding but for the threat of divine retribution), good job, three great children, and a rather ordinary and pleasant life.

It's easy to dislike and fear the caricature of atheism conjured by the usual suspects. It's much harder to dislike and fear the reality of a typical atheist.
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