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Atheism - Is It A Belief Or A Position?

What is it exactly? Lack of belief in the existence of a supreme being; indifference to any such being which may exist; or belief in some other alternative?

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@Princezza;

So therefore, you need to read about True Singly Giod, from the pages of Qur'an!

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My question therefore to the Christians are two folds, which speaker should we believe, if one of them should be believed? Is there a possibility that both of them could be right at the same time, on the same subject of God and Lord, while partially disagreeing with each others and also partially agreeing with each other? Can both of the speakers be wrong at the same time?

To the athiests, am not one of you: The mere fact that you argue that God does not exist, is a direct proof that God does exist! If His existence does not exist and agreeable to your 'conscious part,' which is the source of your 'conscience,' you will have HIM written up in your source of materials, which you use to argue against HIS existence.

Let me give you an example: There is no TRINITY in the Bible, hence the argument for it does not make sense, from the Bible! So there is an idea developed, which the CHRISTIANs attached to TRINITY, trying desperately to give legitimacy to Trinity thereby. But you can not define a word that you are not even familiar with, in the first place. You can write a book/novel or present a material, on something you the presenter/writer does not know exist, because in your presented material to give definition to whatever you are trying to define, that thing was not written down in your presentation. If you are giving a speech to describe me: you never mentioned my name, no one will ever know that you are talking about me, unless I can be seen fitting your description!

In the case of TRINITY, the word never exist in the PAGES of the BIBLE! How could the 'Inspired writers,' have missed such an important 'word,' the center of what CHRISTIANITY stands for? How could anyone have known about the Jesus of the Bible, except that he existed, by name. In the Old Testament where there Christians try to onnect him, you rad and hear the Jes and the Muslims disareeing very firmly against such a claim! The reason is simply that the Christianswere just drawing up unsubstantiated conclusions. The samething can be argued against Trinity: the idea for it is really unsubstantiated.

By the way, I am a Muslim: In Qur'an the evidence of ONE GOD/LORD the CREATOR abounds! The evidence against TRINITY (more than ONE GOD/LORD, multiple gods (God and then something else Lord, as evidence in the above 1 Cor.)), abounds! Trinity as a word is writing to iconoclastically disprove it, while it is not written in the Bible to present it as a word that even exist, let alone develop an idea about it, before it is evidentially supported by reasonable proofs!

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It's not really nething. Atheists have no proof to suppport their so called theory that there is no God or supreme being or whatever. Look at the WORLD c'mon it's just too complicated that evrthing what happen by coincidence it doesn't make sense. Maybe you should grab the BIBLE and try reading some of it. It all adds up there's even evidence that it's not a bunch of crap!

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@Logical,

There's a slip in that line. Christians are not atheists, and to lean to the idea that they could be considered such is simply to ignore the core issue in the question - the existence of god(s). Not for one moment does the Bible deny the existence of 'gods', and any Christian who takes the Bible seriously knows that fact. The difference is in which 'god' they believe in: "For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth -- as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords" -- yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist." (I Cor. 8:5-6). Others may believe in other 'gods' (such as Zeus or Odin), but Christians believe in a different God as indicated in the verses above.

Even so, there's hardly a position without core beliefs and/or values. To assume and maintain a position requires that people have some sort of beliefs that form their values in any position they may take. There's no consensus among atheists themselves as to the definition of atheism; and depending on who's defining whatever, some atheists have some core values or 'beliefs' about questions of the existence of God, albeit such beliefs are antithetical to theistic beliefs.

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As we all know Atheism is an english word, with a meaning attached to it.

According to Wikipedia......

Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief in the existence of god(s). That is, all who do not have such a belief - whether they think of themselves as nontheists, agnostics or even Buddhists - are covered under this term. Atheism can also be defined more narrowly as the active denial of the existence of god(s), either of a specific or general kind, or even that god(s) can exist. Thus, even Christians can be considered atheists with respect to the question of the existence of Zeus or Odin. But, generally speaking, atheism refers to a lack of belief in all deities for any reason(s).

So it is a Position not a belief. Totally support the definition.

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People talking about social vices. I see all kinds of things in church. Some atheists are better

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My parents for example turned to atheism after extremely bad experiences with the church in the then still very Catholic Belgium. For me ont the other hand, it was the default position. That's why I find it so weird that so many intelligent people still believe in a supreme being. Logically, there is no reason to do so. There must be a very strong emotional driver (or strong peer pressure)

I personally take a strong humanist stance. I place human dignity very high in my ethical code. I am also strongly utilitarian in my approach to ethical problems and believe in situational ethics. That doesn't directly follow out of my atheism, though.

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@nferyn, I quite agree with you on the issue of diversity of society and the possibility of atheism being a norm in some societies, however in most societies, an atheist is regarded as strange. Hence it takes only a man with courage or someone who has had some terrible experiences that made him realise his foolishness (rightly or wrongly) as to have believed in a supreme being.

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Lot of people are like that. But it's not limited to christians only. You see that kind of attitudes all the time. Prejudice and ignorance are the worst people can possess. Good does get out of that too though. If we go on we can say that much good is done by non-religous persons too.

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I'm not saying christians cannot be intellectuals. Their belief however is a deliberate suspension of disbelief that they cannot possibly intellectually justify

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I agree with that. True. There are others of high intellectual status that are believers too. And it does not seem to contradict what they do either. Perhaps you know that the Director of the Genome Project is a Christian. Many people think that science has no human aspect. What a lot of nonsense. IT is the most human endevour one can get to. The EU is threating UGANDA because it wants it to withdraw the use of DDT. Because of DDT, 9 million lives are saved every year. That will be redused to under one million if it is to be witheld.

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I seen a lot of people that base their life on ONE AND ONLY ONE musty old book. Is not the best way to start off with. Maturity, I don't know about that, there have been the greatest philosophers and scientists of all time being atheists and that did not make them wrong either.

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Belief in the supernatural can, in my opinion have 3 sources:

* one is socialised in a society where belief in the supernatural is prevalent and thus accomodates the norms of that society

* one does not have the intellectual maturity to think things through

* one uses the supernatural as a sedative for the hardships society lays on them and ignores contradictory evidence

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I agree. There is no clear cut definition. People has different reasons. I once went to this church and the only thing i heard was Hell Fire this and Hell Fire that, and so on and on. I hated it. How can people live that kind of pressure. Just crazy.

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Perhaps they might see religous people acting like fundamentalists. I think spiritual persons can learn from natural men

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I believe in the supernormal

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Nicely said loco, nicely said.

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@nferyn

PHILOSOPHY means the understanding of reality. It has two aspects: first, the understanding, and second, the reality.

The principle of atheistic philosophy is: what is capable of verification and necessary for the individual should be tested and known; what is incapable of verification or unnecessary for the present need, should be respected as an opinion. To respect an opinion is not to accept it as a truth; it is a social norm to enable the growth of knowledge. Unless the free flow of opinions is permitted, while recognising them only as opinions, we lose the benefit of imagination. The danger is not in respecting an opinion but it is in mistaking it for a truth. Atheism, therefore, adopts the scientific method for acquiring knowledge. It promotes understanding through verification wherever possible and through respect for opinion wherever necessary.

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Looking at what the world as turned into today, one begins to wonder the effect "a supreme being" is having on it - if any exists. However due to the fact that man has an innate predisposition to subject himself to a greater power - seen or unseen, he has continued to accept the beliefs passed on to him by society and more profoundly his parents. An atheist is just someone who, standing outside the norm of the society, has decided to examine critically the possibilities of the existence of a supreme being and came to the conculsion that "Life is a chain of events linked together by actions and reactions[i][/i]" and whatever decisions we take and the consequent outcome is certainly not governed by any supreme being. He therefore takes charge of his life, believing only in one thing - HIMSELF.

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@elbaron

Many thanks for your definitions. So you don't believe in God or any gods. Do you describe yourself as an atheist therefore?

Well that's easy. Life on other planets, who gives a poo? (pardon my language) I always thought the people who mainly harp on about it are trekkies addicted to or over excited about some tv program. My point, not a situation which is as fundamental as how the whole world came to be and whether or not some superior being clicked it into place.  Point is I believe that for one to say no to a superior being who did all this, one must either have an alternative theory or must plain not care.

Which one are you and why.  

The issue of evidence is difficult with this subject particularly when talking to those who have already ruled it out. Babbling about miracles and pronouncement in some scriptures that have come to pass will just fly by you. Point is, so where did it all come from? Do you care to know? Do you already have another althernative or do you not care?

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the onus of proof lies on the person making the allegation to come forward with the said proof to substantiate his or her claims.

thank you.

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@Shredbaron, Joseph McCabe, a 20th century author on Atheism, Atheism is the absense of belief in a god of whatever nature and of whatever name so called. Chapman Cohen, the president of Britain's National Secular Society defined it as below:

To expand this debate a little, I am going to give you Flint's definition of Atheism. By the way, Robert Flint is an adent defender of theism. Here is his declaration regarding Atheism

Which leads me to the issue of the burden of proof. As an unbeliever in any god or gods, I believe that the onus of proof lies on the person making the allegation to come forward with the said proof to substantiate his or her claims. In this, therefore, I am totally in concurrence with Annie Besant who defined atheism as without God. Here it is in her own words

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Well, in order to think freely, you must be open to all arguments. How can you when you've closed your mind to some possibilities?

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I've always taken the word 'Atheist' to mean:

One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

an outright denial of anything greater than what we can see.

Personally I don't care, most atheists I know are what I prefer to call 'free thinkers'...

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@exu - I hear you!

@nferyn

You don't need to explain what they are, just why so many people subscribe to religions that are based on the existence of a supreme being? Delusion or not, there is a hankering by all humans to have an understanding if not access to this being.

I agree. Apart from the fear of death part, you may count me in. But why does this so often lead to the conclusion that there must be a superior being? Does not matter which part of the world you are in, the conclusion is the same.  As you know there is no country in the world that does not have some religious belief in a supreme being.

Something more I think. An innate awareness/consciousness of this being. There is a Ghanaian proverb that says: one does not need to tell a kid about God. Somehow they already know. I think I get that. This is built into the human framework. It's part of what we are. It is some evidence I think.

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Why is that? I know of no atheist that claims there is nothing greater than us. We're just grains of sand in the cosmos.

To positively proclaim there is a supreme being, possessing all of these qualities (omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenevolence, ...) takes a lot of faith (and twisted logic to make everything fit)

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maybe it's just me but atheism appears to require as much 'belief' as a religion (say Islam or Christianity)...

To say that current ideas on 'God' are misguided/wrong isn't hard, the evidence is there...but to say that there isn't something out there that is greater than us, something that man has not thought of yet requires a lot of faith in oneself...

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As far as I know, there is no mass conspiracy. There is a mass delusion. religion sticks for many people for a number of reasons:

* fear of death

* need for purpose

* need for an explanation for the less than perfect functioning of this world

* overall irrationality of the human race (which was evolutionary understandable for wandering hunter-gatherers, but no longer functional in our complex societies)

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Interesting! So how do you explain the various religions? The Bible for instance? Is it some sort of a mass conspiracy? If so who is behind the conspiracy?

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Agnosticism is a position in which you say that you cannot possibly have knowledge of a supreme being. You can believe in a supreme being and at the same time state that you cannot have knowledge of that being.

You have agnostic theists and agnostic atheists

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@seun

So which is it? Justify you inclusion.

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disinterest in God sounds more like agnostism?

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A belief does not need to be anchored on faith and conviction. It can be anchored on evidence and logic as well. Hence my belief in the Theory of Evolution.

I can indeed not relate to the principle of faith. Faith is belief without evidence. I cannot relate to such a concept

Conviction on the other hand, I can relate to. I am convinced that the monotheistic God does not exist.

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@nferyn

You must mean you are yet to be convinced that he does exist.

@seun

If you are in, there must be a reason. Lack of belief in the existence of a supreme being, period, as nferyn says or disinterest in any such being which may exist.

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What does the atheist philosophy tell us?

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@loco

@otitoloju

Gothya! So I guess what you are saying is that the best it can be is a position.

If it is, how does one come to arrive at this position? Another alternative, or like loco plain don't care?

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Whatever it is, I'm in. Problem is, how are we going to get married to nice, good-mannered Nigerian girls if we can't use the church as a dating arena?

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My dear,

Atheism is a philosophy. It is the lack of interest in a supreme being a Deity and any God or gods what so ever. Don't need the concept, don't care!

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It's definitely not a belief. A belief is anchored on faith and conviction. I doubt if an atheist can relate to such principles.

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The absence of belief in a supreme being, nothing more, nothing less.

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Atheism is a position...a shaky position.

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