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Frank Segro

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Abolishing the use of the term Atheism.

We all know that the term "atheist" means without god. However, as an atheist I often find it annoying when people talk about it as a belief system. Lack of belief does not constitute belief in anything else. No one would call me an a-paleontologist simply because I'm not one. Simultaneous to being an atheist I may be a rational empiricist or follow some other set of beliefs. I believe that we should stop using convenient designators such as atheism when we "classify" ourselves to others or are classified by them, because there is simply nothing behind it.


Thoughts?

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    Nov 10 2011: Im sory to say but atheism is a belief system since it does not rely on testable facts.

    Atheist "believe". Therefore, you guys are a religion, albeit loosely organized one.

    The biggest problem you guys have is that you claim that there is no gods or "A GOD" at all - and you cannot know that and you cannot prove that.

    Now wait a minute... i know what you will retort to this statement but thats not what i mean.
    I DO NOT MEAN to say that anyone should believe in anything based on the lack of evidence.

    But i do mean that you should not believe in something based on the lack of evidence. Unfortunately for you guys, that particular trick works both ways.
    And there is no evidence that "A God" does not exist.

    Which is a totally different kind of game then observing that, for example, a bible has many, many silly things written in it that are mutually exclusive or simply insulting or gross etc. And that by observing our reality we can deduce that indeed a god that is described in the bible does not exist.

    That does not mean some kind of "god" doesnt exist, only that the biblical version is very likely not true.

    The problem you atheists have is that you go on and extrapolate that no god whatsoever exists.
    And you have no proof for that. Simple as that.

    Its even funnier seeing how you guys constantly use the word "belief" in your statements, without ever stopping for a second to see what youre doing.

    You are people that simply cannot accept that you dont know something. Or that something is not yet proved true or false. You make absolute statements without any proof and you quite often state that you "believe there is no god".
    And then you get angry when someone calls you out on this.

    To me, this burning desire to be certain and to "know" with certainty, regardless of the evidence or lack of it is in some ways interesting because it is the same fountain from which religious fervor originates.
    • Nov 10 2011: No. Somebody quoted before, "Atheism is as much a religion as not collecting stamps is a hobby." Albeit using the quote in an argument to say Atheists ARE religious, the quote stands in my favor at this moment. A lack of belief is not equivalent to a belief system. A belief system requires ideologies, dogmas, etc. etc. To be Atheist is simply to not accept things without prove. A true Atheist, or at least a true "agnostic atheist" will never say, "I KNOW god is not real." Richard Dawkins himself said that on a scale of 1-7, his lack of belief is a 6 because to be a 7, you would have to know. Atheists that say "I KNOW god isn't real" can be accused of having a religion, I suppose, but most Atheists are agnostic atheists in the sense that if sensible proof of god's existence is presented to them, they will accept it.
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        Nov 10 2011: A baby is born atheist... As you would describe "a lack of" belief, therefore they are still developing them. But belief systems are constant, no one person has one belief system even if they are fundamentally religious.

        A grown person whom has reflected on the idea of "God" (More directly an Omni-being) and rejects that idea and has arguments for it, are gnostic-atheist. You're atheist to the idea of gnosticism. You can't just have a lack of something without something else to be a comparison. Atheist, wouldn't exist without theist, agnostic without gnostic. So to say "a lack of belief is no equivalent to a belief system" is a foul statement. In fact the lack of belief is supported by many other beliefs that support it, thus it is a composite belief. Now a belief is simply a conformity to "knowing" something. 2+2=4. Is the human consensual conformity or belief. Because truly 2+2 does equal 22, just not in mathematics but in semantics.

        http://freethinker.co.uk/2009/09/25/8419/

        Also, everyone, stop generalizing "atheist" like there is a super class of atheist... Atheism is a quality as well as a factor in belief systems. The majority of Eastern religions practice gnostic-atheism or agnostic-atheism.

        Naturalism, humanism, (some of) animism, natural pantheism (Jedi faith), the list goes on... all have atheistic qualities. To be solid "atheist" is abstract...

        I don't know if you agree with the premise of the conversation Charles, but truly Western Academic have tainted the word "atheism" and polluted it. And, the fact Neo-atheism is rising... shows total unawareness in respects of world religions (and the history of religions).

        And I am sorry, but any evidence of a superior being, is going to come up alien to me. As alien-life is far more likely the reason of our existence than a non-physical being. God's existence is another foul statement... What, who and why is "God" - irreligious practices should be championed, not "atheist."
    • Nov 11 2011: siniša karađole, [EDITED here: added the name of person to avoid confusion]

      I am sorry, but your comment is pure nonsense.

      Atheism is not "a belief system." Atheism can influence the person's "belief system" but it is not itself one. Atheism is just the rejection of beliefs in gods. Anything else is up to the person. Also, a "belief system" is not something "not based on testable facts," it is the background on which you base what you accept as part of reality.

      I don't know of many atheists who claim that there are no gods (I might have known but one or two). Go listen to Dawkins, he does not say that there is no gods, he says that's untestable, but that the probability for there being one is very small. And that's a militant atheist. So, please, verify what you claim before claiming.

      Few atheists make "absolute statements." That might be why you get angry answers.

      Also, if someone claimed to "believe there is no god," that would not be an absolute claim. Anyway, the atheists I know claim that they don't believe in gods, not that they believe there is no god. Quite different, one is a rejection of a belief, the other a belief. None is absolute.
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        Nov 11 2011: I find that you selectively read my comment..

        First, I state no one person has ONE belief system, but a mixture of belief systems. Even a fundamentally religious person has other belief systems affecting/effecting their fundamental beliefs.

        Now again a new definition of what atheism means to someone else... Okay it is the rejection of beliefs in Gods. So you are premeditating on the rejection... You have arguments, logic and claims to defend that rejection... If it looks like a duck...

        And again, atheism is a quality or trait. It in postmodern philosophy practices, it became an individualized dictation of overall belief systems, some how. But like someone said here, an "atheist" probably does think naturally, humanistic, trans-humanistic, whatever. But the FACT they dictate purely "atheist" is belittling human spirituality and limiting existential thinking. It's fundamentalism on scientific terms, creating an unorganized religion.

        And when I addressed, everyone, I am addressing the rise in Neo-atheism, which practices militant ideals when sharing of their beliefs.

        I don't care if all of you do not appreciate me saying "belief" but it is, there is no question. Every list of belief systems... guess what, they have atheism on there... and yeah, I think scholars whom write about religions, philosophies, humanities and anthropology have a bigger say here.

        Your belief systems are "atheistic" they cannot be just atheist. So, again to say "it's a lack of a belief" is dumb founded. Only unaware people can lack something, because they have no idea about it, their ignorant. You guys are not ignorant towards the term and usage of atheism. It is a rejection, you do have something do with the theism, you have the arguments against it.

        It's just a pop-culture fade/trend to be JUST "atheist" to divide yourself from others. Then claim theist are trying to bring you "down" to their level... Because everyone doesn't conform blindly time to time..
        • Nov 11 2011: Nick,

          Your comment? I did not answer your comment my friend. I answered the top one in this thread (siniša karađole). If that were an answer to your comment I would get a complete fail in reading comprehension (and would deserve a few good insults).

          Still, do you want me to answer your comment to me? Seems like we agree on most stuff, and disagree only in a few points (maybe, but it might be a matter of semantics), but it would be an exchange founded in a mistake of identity . :)
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        Nov 11 2011: Apologies,

        By all means disagree!
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        Nov 11 2011: to Gabo moreno.

        I see nothing but nonsense in your reply.

        If a person is claiming something for which he does not have any evidence and that claim cannot be tested - then it is a belief. Regardless if that person is an atheist a theist or any kind of gnostic or whatever.

        The fact is that there is many, many so called atheists that do claim over and over that "there is no god" which is an absolute statement based on nothing. Thats the kind i usually meet.

        All props to Richard Dawkins. More atheists should look up and follow that example.

        I would also suggest you dont start your replies by insults because it makes you look like a moron even before you prove you didnt understand the argument you were replying to.
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          Nov 12 2011: Saying, there is no God is an approximation. How many times have you claimed something and then been shown wrong. Were you not aware that you might be wrong? Of course you were, but to spend life addind "probably" and "almost certainly" and "as far as I can tell" at every single occasion is something nobody would ever bother to do...as far as I can tell.

          Next time you meet those gnostic atheists which you judge us all by, ask them what it would take for them to believe in God. You'll notice most of them will answer that rather than brush it off by saying "nothing, because there's definitively no God!"

          At any rate, it's not a religious belief.
        • Nov 12 2011: siniša,

          Sorry, but calling nonsense nonsense is not an insult. But if I called you, or insinuated you to be, anything similar to moron, or fool, or idiot, show me and I will apologize.

          You might have met lots of atheists who claim "there is no god." But it does not matter because your claims were generic, not specific. You did not say "those atheists who claim absolute knowledge ..."

          Let me recap:
          1. Atheism is not believing in gods. Nothing wrong about it. If we define it as rejection of beliefs in gods, there is still nothing wrong about it either, because it does not claim to **know** that there's no gods.
          2. That something is "not testable" does not mean it is a "belief system." It might be a belief, but not a system in and of itself.
          3. A belief system is not the same as a belief.
          4. A belief system is a basis for what you will accept and what not as part of reality. Atheism might influence such base, but it is not a system by itself.
          5. That people may have "belief systems" does not mean they follow a religion.
          6. That people have "beliefs" does not mean they follow a religion either.
          7. That we can't prove that there's not any kind of god(s) does not mean that their possible existence is on equal terms with their possible nonexistence. (So, no, it does not "work both ways," otherwise you would have to remain neutral about any ridiculous proposition for as long as you could not "prove it" false, because of a philosophical technicality.)
          8. When atheists argue with believers, the god in question is quite specific, often one easy to dismiss with a "there's no God." Context is important before claiming that atheists claim absolute knowledge about any imaginable, or unimaginable, gods.

          Since your argument contains categorical and logical errors, it was nonsense.

          But if you still think that I did not understand your argument, show me, because, your answer seemed to confirm that I got it all right.

          Have a good weekend.
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      Nov 12 2011: belief =/= belief system, it's as simple as that. I believe that today I'll get a call from my parents, the probability of that happening is high. Is that a belief system, is that a religion? No way. I don't believe I'll see a unicorn from another dimension in my lifetime, is that a religion?

      To know is gnosticism. To not know is agnosticism. Atheists, who do not believe in God, are by definition also agnostics. Only religious people claim to know for certain (some at least) that there is a God.
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        Nov 12 2011: Only religious people claim to know for certain?

        Lol, so false.
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          Nov 12 2011: You have a point, it might be an oversimplification, there are atheists who do claim to know there is no God. By and large though, atheism is not defined by these people. Atheism is a claim of belief. Agnosticism is a claim of knowledge. The important point is that, by its very nature, atheism is not a belief system. It is simply a belief in its purest form about something. Something so specific (the existence or otherwise of God), that to elevate atheism to the level of other belief systems, with all their complexity and intricacies, should really feel like an insult to religions rather than atheism.

          As I said in previous posts, the only reason they're equated is so that when one side argues something, the other can argue the same in retort. There's a desire of symmetry where there is no symmetry. Just like the evolution vs. creation debate where evolution is branded a worldview, evolution is expected to explain the origin of life, evolution is assigned to a lack of belief of that. It has none of these characteristics, but it helps the Creationist side to think of evolution as symmetrical to creationism in what it addresses.

          So yes atheism a belief, but no it is not a belief system.
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        Nov 12 2011: As long as you "believe" there is something or that there is no such something - you are a believer.

        end of story.
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          Nov 12 2011: I'm guessing you must be replying to someone else because this reply suggest you haven't even read the first four words of my post.

          [EDIT] having read Gabo's answer, I'm confused to whom your post is directed to.
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        Nov 12 2011: To both.

        Gabo continues to misunderstand and gets entagled in semantics. I dont care for that.
        You are not much different.

        If i said "system" it was in most general terms. Its not like im claiming that atheism is a organized religion with Richard Dawkins as a pope. Please.

        btw these are your words from the reply above:
        "Atheism is a claim of belief."

        As far as your argument that people just go a bit absolutist in their speech even though their real precise opinion is not that absolutist - i dont care. Its their problem and im not telepathic.
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          Nov 12 2011: Yes these are my words, but you ignore them. Why? This is precisely my point. your reply brings nothing to what I've said, neither in opposition or in agreement.

          Your initial claim, even though you have dropped the "system" in a few places, was that atheism was a belief system, which it is not. Even in general terms. A belief system requires an organised set of beliefs, whether they be religious or otherwise. Not one discrete belief such as that of there being no God or the Sun coming up every day. Sure the belief that there is no God could have some effect on other beliefs held by an individual, but atheism is certainly not a set of rigid beliefs. It has nothing that would make it a belief system.

          Also, I was thinking of our exchange on atheism saying "there is no God" and I wanted to ask, given that atheists believe there is no God, shouldn't you expect them to say "there is no God"? or do you really expect them to preface this with "I honestly believe". Should we preface ALL we say with "I honestly believe"? If I say "Sarkozy is a terrible president", will you honestly perceive that as me trying to make an objective claim about my president or will you see in it an opinion and a belief.

          I suspect that like everyone else, you don't take what people say at face value. There is nuance to be found in words. Some of us who think about how our position could be misinterpreted put a lot of thought into what we say. Gabo and I, go out of our way to say: 'you know, when we say there is no God, we can't claim that for certain, for that would suggest we have the kind of absolute knowledge nobody can have'. But in daily life, nobody puts these kind of disclaimers on what they say. Good thing too, conversations would be painfully long-winded and full of digression. We are smart enough to make abstraction. Think about it, if ever somebody said "this is true" and they meant it in an absolutist way, why debate them? How is it they sometimes change their mind if they know?
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        Nov 13 2011: For Christ sake... arguing with people like you is the same thing as arguing with some religious fanatic.
        Bilnd, deaf and totally impervious to logic and common sense.

        No, i dont ignore your arguments.
        Its just that they are wrong. WRONG!

        You believer!

        And yes you should take care of what youre saying because people will take what you said as what you said - not as something else that you were thinking but didnt say!
        For christ sake...
        • Nov 14 2011: siniša,

          You said:
          "And yes you should take care of what youre saying because people will take what you said as what you said - not as something else that you were thinking but didnt say!"

          Isn't it a bit curious that I took what you said as what you said, yet you said that I kept misunderstanding without clarifying what you were thinking but didn't say; that now you got all worked out about meaning, that being worked out about meaning means being worked out about semantics, yet you accused me of being entangled in semantics, which you said you didn't care for?

          Sorry siniša. I know this is now beating a dead horse. Maybe I shouldn't keep at it, but I wanted to say that I have made huge mistakes. Worse than yours here. Probably much more often than you. At some point I started to learn from those mistakes. Maybe, hopefully, you learned something. If you still think that I misunderstand, feel free to show me. If you rather not say anything, have a happy life.
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        Nov 20 2011: "To know is gnosticism. To not know is agnosticism."

        I'm pretty sure just about everyone who calls themselves an agnostic would disagree with this statement. Agnosticism can be most broadly defined as the position that matters dealing with the universe's origin or purpose, including all possible concepts of God, are absolutely unknowable. This is an entirely different position than the one atheists like Dawkins take. Most atheists are pretty damn sure there isn't a God.

        Agnosticism, in both etymology and semantics, pins itself against cults that were described as gnostikos by Irenaeus. These cults claimed to have a secret knowledge about God and the universe, mainly the idea that the material world was evil and created by some kind of demiurge. The greek word "gnosis" means experiential knowledge as opposed to theoretical knowledge, or in some later cases "spiritual knowledge". Gnosticism isn't at all a term to denote someone who knows something, especially not in the context of theoretical belief (for example: there is no God). Agnosticism is not at all a term to describe someone who is ignorant, nor is it a quality of being atheist.

        "Atheists, who do not believe in God, are by definition also agnostics."

        Baruch Spinoza, Thomas Huxley, almost every great naturalist and biblical critic probably rolled in their graves as you typed this. To deny all possibilities of a higher consciousness is to dismiss not only recognition of the unknowable, but all philosophies and free-thinking pertaining to it. It might as well dismiss free-thinking all together. Naturalism and agnosticism were never about atheism. Without these philosophies, atheism is nothing but dogma.

        A quote from a man much loved by atheists, Robert Ingersoll:

        "Now, understand me! I do not say there is no God. I do not know. As I told you before, I have traveled but very little -- only in this world. I want it understood that I do not pretend to know. I say I think."
        • Nov 20 2011: Fred,

          I don't care what "agnostics" would say, agnostic is a position about knowledge, and it is not incompatible with atheism.

          We had already established that you have no idea what position Dawkins takes (you have not listened to the guy). Now you confirm that you don't read what we tell you. Is it worth repeating or will you ignore it again?

          If you capitalize "God", you are being dogmatic yourself, and far from agnostic, since you don't know if there would be one of many gods, or if there might be layers and layers of gods one on top of another, if they might have names, rather the be called by their "job description," or whatever. After all, we can't know. Right?

          ---
          You said: "Baruch Spinoza, Thomas Huxley, almost every great naturalist and biblical critic probably rolled in their graves as you typed this."
          My answer: I doubt it. Unlike you, I think they would understand the difference between "not believing" and "knowing that no possible gods are out there."

          You even failed to note that, in you quote, Ingersoll agreed with us. We don't pretend to know. We say we don't believe.
          ---

          In your self-righteous "agnosticism" you fail to reason beyond the mere "we can't know about any imaginable gods," only to keep yourself trapped in both semantics and philosophical technicalities. We go beyond that. Example: it is a fact that humans have been inventing gods out of anthropomorphizing whatever goes beyond our understanding, from thunder to physics constants. Regardless of whether we can know, I don't see why we should not reject such beliefs. Similarly, I will reject any gratuitous gods, no matter how beautiful the rhetorics, no matter how shielded from testing. But give me evidence, and I will reconsider. Stop your self-righteous, and barely researched, claims. We understand your "neutral" agnosticism. But we have reasons to be less neutral. Listen for once.

          Again: "not believing" does not mean "knowing." We understand that. Will you ever?
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          Nov 21 2011: All I'm pretty damn sure about is that you don't know Dawkins' position on the matter is. In his book "The God Delusion", Dawkins makes the point that a thinking atheist cannot be absolutely sure and would change his mind should there be an obvious reason to.

          This might help: http://atheistpictures.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/eU3bj.jpg I found it the other day.
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        Nov 21 2011: Gabo, it seems you've really hardened into your beliefs and how you justify them. If you still really believe atheism is in line with agnosticism, I think I'll just let it go. If at any time you actually want to refute my points, I'm open ears.

        The capitalization of God, and the ineffability of symbols given to a supreme creator (like YHWH) are what separate it semantically from the idea of a demigod. Where demigods anthropomorphized different forces within the universe, there was always a distant creator that stood behind the universe and anthropomorphized the infinity, the unknowable.

        The idea of a creator that ascended the gods was present in every pantheon. As I stated in an earlier post, Mesopotamian pantheons (Canaanites, Akkadians, the ancient Jews) had El Elyon, the supreme being that remained beyond and detached from the other gods. Monotheism is just an elimination of the demigods with a focus on the supreme one. Elyon was a name for God in Genesis.

        Atheists usually get upset about the capitalization of God because they don't approve of the ineffability, of giving a supreme deity importance. Nothing I said above would be of interest to someone frantically upset that religion still controls parts of the world. Instead they might be more interested in making tongue in cheek statements like "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do." But such statements are dogmatic, in that they're fueled by a consensus reality that doesn't value understanding the etymology. By capitalizing God, I'm just making it clear that I'm talking about the objective infinite and however it's been deified, and not about some storm god.
        • Nov 21 2011: What's there to answer Fred? All you have done so far is insist on "atheism is dogmatic," and "agnosticism" is the only reasonable option, while ignoring why we insist that while we don't know, we reject the belief, and that there's reasons to reject such beliefs.

          Give me any other point, and I shall answer. But so far ...

          You just confirmed that you capitalize "God" because you think there is "a" god. If you were neutral about gods, you wouldn't do that. Meaning you are bounded by a belief in some supreme being. I don't care which culture(s) you cite, with "supremer" gods to other gods, that does not make any of them real. The thing is, you defend "agnosticism" while engaging in theism (or deism, I don't remember which is which). Fine by me if you will accept yourself as being dogmatic. As for me, I won't capitalize the unknowable. I am not "upset" Fred. I just point to the hypocrisy of calling atheists "dogmatic" for stating a rejection of beliefs, while you engage into a belief that seems just as dogmatic if you are to stand by your words. Unless, of course, you have a different standard for yourself than for the rest of us.

          (An "objective infinite" is as much a god as any storm.)

          Edit: It also seems quite dogmatic to pretend that you own the word "agnostic" and that it can only mean a completely neutral position regardless of how may explanations you are given. It seems quite the double standard for you to say that it is me who is "hardened in his beliefs."
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        Nov 21 2011: @Gabo 'Again: "not believing" does not mean "knowing." We understand that. Will you ever?'

        Much of your responses haven't had any points or substance, but instead just unbacked statements with a few insults. What's real to you is what you believe, what you think you know. The difference between believing and knowing is that we believe everything and we know nothing. ;) Do you believe you're on your computer? Do you believe there is a God? There's little difference. An atheist doesn't abstain from a belief about God, the reality they choose to live in is that there is no God. This is why they call themselves an atheist, and not an agnostic. Robert Ingersoll called himself an agnostic, not an atheist.

        An apology to Matthieu, I replied to your comment to keep it organized.
        • Nov 21 2011: Show me exactly how belief is the same as knowing, and you will show that I made "unbacked" statements. For now it seems like your unwillingness to listen prevails.

          I don't choose to live in a reality where there is no god(s). This reality has not shown me that there's any so far.

          It does not matter what Ingersoll called himself. His comment supported my stand. If he thought there were no gods, he was an atheist for all practical purposes.

          So, if you now make a point, or show me exactly what's what I did not answer ...
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        Nov 21 2011: "All I'm pretty damn sure about is that you don't know Dawkins' position on the matter is. In his book "The God Delusion", Dawkins makes the point that a thinking atheist cannot be absolutely sure and would change his mind should there be an obvious reason to."

        Dawkins has made up his mind that human reasoning is sufficient for understanding the universe and that our senses are sufficient for discovering all that is true. This is an entirely different position than agnosticism takes, which maintains a neutral position on the grounds that such things are unknowable.

        Dawkins is a militant atheist. While his lips say that he can't be sure there isn't a God, his career says something else.
        • Nov 21 2011: "Dawkins has made up his mind that human reasoning is sufficient for understanding the universe and that our senses are sufficient for discovering all that is true."

          There you go again with ignorant statements about somebody's stance on a matter you have no idea about ... (there is a little talk by Dawkins, I don't know, but maybe in TED, something about a queer universe, where he talks about things we may never understand just by reasoning, let alone by our senses. But who cares. Fred must know better than Dawkins what Dawkins has made up his mind about.)
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      Nov 13 2011: Dear siniša,
      Look carefully at some of your statements:

      "Therefore, you guys are a religion, albeit loosely organized one".

      You are telling "them" what "they" are. How about listening, rather than pointing fingers?

      "The biggest problem you guys have is that you claim that there is no gods or "A GOD" at all - and you cannot know that and you cannot prove that".

      To the best of my knowledge, siniša, you cannot prove the opposite, so what is your point?


      "But i do mean that you should not believe in something based on the lack of evidence. Unfortunately for you guys, that particular trick works both ways".

      You're right siniša, the "trick works both ways", so what are you arguing about? Do you honestly think it is productive to tell "you guys" what they "should" believe? You know better than they do what is good for them?

      "The problem you atheists have is that you go on and extrapolate that no god whatsoever exists.
      And you have no proof for that. Simple as that".

      The "problem" siniša does not appear to be theirs. It appears to be your "problem" for not accepting other people's beliefs?

      "You are people that simply cannot accept that you dont know something"

      Interesting label for all those "people huh? I wonder if you can say that while looking in a mirror?

      "To me, this burning desire to be certain and to "know" with certainty, regardless of the evidence or lack of it is in some ways interesting because it is the same fountain from which religious fervor originates".

      I totally agree siniša, wanna check the mirror again?
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        Nov 13 2011: My point (didnt read after that line, sorry), was that one at the basic level shouldnt be so fired up and eager to take one very specific position if we currently really just dont know yet. It seems that humans have a problem with saying simply : "well, we just dont know for sure, yet. In the sense that there is no enough data about it to make such an absolutist idea and stance."

        But then i look at this conversation and its funny, right?
        How both sides are completely convinced that their "theory" or arguments or whatever - is the really correct one.

        It seems its some kind of human affliction. :)
        And strictly speaking i dont like seeing it on myself.
        Its much better to spend energy on something more positive.
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          Nov 13 2011: Yes, I find it amusing:>)
          It's a "human affliction" only if one wants it to be part of the way s/he functions. It's a choice. I agree with you...I don't like seeing it on myself, so I don't do it:>) Yes...in my humble opinion...much better to spend energy on something more productive:>)
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      Nov 22 2011: I hate when people tell me what an Aethist is when they aren't one. An Aethist is someone who does not believe in a god. That is it. Other people have classified us into one group, Aethist. From there, people began to think that being Aethist is a religion or a belief, or a culture, or an organization, etc. Aetheism is not any of that. We are people that do not believe in a god. I choose to believe in scientific reasoning over unexplained stories written into a book. I mean no offense to any religion, however, there has been no proof that Jesus proformed these miracles, there is no proof that there is a god, there is no proof that we will go to heaven.

      You said that we do not know there is a god because we can not prove it. And that is true. We can not prove there is or isn't a god. But, neither can you. So, instead of believing in something which has no proof what so ever, we choose to not believe in that until there is proof.

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