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How do you define atheism for your purposes?


Forums Forums Humanism How do you define atheism for your purposes?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Citizenschallenge-v.3 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #295603

    Seems to me that since “God” is so poorly defined and basically anything to anyone – that its equally impossible to give a serious answer to the question.  Or at least one ought to define God first before even raising it, then you’ll have something to play with.

    Me, I’m fine with the notion of an unknowable God, something more, that’s beyond our reach and timeless.

    Where people cross over into poison-KoolAid territory is when the presume their petty little human minds grasp the god security blanket by convincing themselves that they have a personal relation with a god who’s actively looking down on them and who’s all concerned about them and how much they worship their designated god of the universe.

    The notion that dedicating your life to studying manmade scriptures (perhaps enlightened, perhaps just high, no matter, still self-obsessed human musings) will somehow get you closer to god, I find ludicrous, no matter how seriously these religious ‘scholars’ take themselves.  All that study does is take people into their own human mindscape.

    For me God is in her ongoing Creation, billions and billions of dynamic years unfolding one day at a time.

    I’m convinced you’ll get closer to universal truths (and “god”) by spending your time simply absorbing the unfolding reality of nature, particularly in this age of fantastic scientific insights and visualizations.  Of course, if you want to see our human god experiment gone horribly wrong, there’s always human history to learn about and weep.  Consider today’s self-certain absolutists those  god-fearing trumpkins with their wannabe totalitarian president whom they embrace with such self-created fear & hate driven passions that have totally unhinged them from recognizing fundamental physical reality.

    #295639

    Lausten
    Participant

    When asked, I usually start with the short answer, the absence of belief. I might expand a bit, saying I have researched many existing religions, experienced them, read them, road tested them, and can’t find one I like. If they don’t wig out, I follow up saying I’m always open to something new, even if it’s just their description of whatever old religion they are following. If the conversation continues for a minute or more, I usually mention something about awe and wonder and discovery and openness to hearing what the universe is “saying”, but I’m clear that I’m reading the book of nature, not listening for voices in my head.

    What I’d like, is to be around more people who see the universe as something that exists and follows laws that keep it existing as it as and that can be traced back to help us understand how we got here, and, we have a limited capacity to experience it through our senses and our ability to reason. That’s a key point of the scientific method, that we never have certainty. I like to point out that every major religion has some scripture that says we can’t know the mind of God (or something similar), so we actually all agree on that point.

    #295739

     

    Lausten: “… I usually mention something about awe and wonder and discovery and openness to hearing what the universe is “saying”, but I’m clear that I’m reading the book of nature, not listening for voices in my head.

    What I’d like, is to be around more people who see the universe as something that exists and follows laws that keep it existing as it as and that can be traced back to help us understand how we got here, and, we have a limited capacity to experience it through our senses and our ability to reason. That’s a key point of the scientific method, that we never have certainty. I like to point out that every major religion has some scripture that says we can’t know the mind of God (or something similar), so we actually all agree on that point.”

    That’s pretty spot on.

    I’ve latched on to the concept of our MINDSCAPES  because the concept encompasses the idea that we are interpreting the world around us.  Further that our interpretations depends on the quality and amount of knowledge we’ve absorbed.  Seems to me you are saying pretty much the same thing.

     

    #296518

    AMH – I don’t define atheism at all. Defining atheism gives credibility to theism. The argument in itself is totally inutile for either side.

    I think that’s pretty much where I’m at.  For me personally “atheism” is an irrelevant concept that’s totally dependent on agreeing on one’s concept of god.  But other’s concept of god is totally irrelevant to me, done my learning on my own, so know a thing or two.

    A personal God that listens to your prayers, that’s absolute fantasy – An unknowable something within the fabric of creation, now that’s my kind of “God” – Some ethical impulse that makes me live a forthright honorable proud life, beyond any description, there again, if someone wants to refer to that as “God” fine, no harm done.

    But, someone tell me they know who God, and I know they know nothing, and that they mistake their own EGO’s for god.

    #296581

    LoisL
    Participant

    A=without

    theism=belief in god

    There is the definition. It’s all anyone needs. If a person has no belief that a god exists he or she is an atheist. It doesn’t matter if a person is not sure. If the person can’t claim a positive belief in a god he or she is an atheist. There are no gradations of atheism. Everyone on earth is either an atheist or a theist. It is not complicated.

     

     

     

     

     

    #296592

    Lausten
    Participant

    “It is not complicated.”

    If only that were true. While working on a blog series about this, I looked up the dictionary definition. Something I kinda hate doing, but had to in this case. In the #1 definition, it said what you said, then “… or a strong disbelief in gods.” If we could make everyone agree on a definition, many of the problems of the world would be solved. But atheism is currently a subjective term. A lot of people take it to mean you feel strongly enough about this question to adopt this term, and your term makes a statement about there choice to believe. Words are defined by what the culture says they mean, not by any one person’s logic.

    #296631

    LoisL
    Participant

    That’s why I added “for your purposes.” I wanted to get a feel for what people on this forum think atheism means.

    #296634

    Lausten
    Participant

    I feel like I’m missing some part of this thread Lois. You say you added “for your purposes”, but the thread starts with CC. Then you say you want to get a feel for what we think, and I did give my thoughts back on Oct 14, but you seem to be shutting that down with your definition instead of keeping the conversation open.

    #296648

    Lois writes:

    “A=without

    theism=belief in god

    There is the definition. It’s all anyone needs. If a person has no belief that a god exists he or she is an atheist. It doesn’t matter if a person is not sure. If the person can’t claim a positive belief in a god he or she is an atheist. There are no gradations of atheism. Everyone on earth is either an atheist or a theist. It is not complicated.”

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    And I suggest that brings us right back to the chicken and egg problem –  “belief in god”  –  Well, what the heck is “god” ?

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