Is Atheism a (Religion/Faith/Belief System/etc)?

[This post has been moved to Thinking-Critically.com]

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About Rodibidably

Jeff Randall is a frequent volunteer for free-thought organizations, including the Center For Inquiry – DC. Having been blogging since January 2008, he decided that a community of bloggers would be an interesting new experience (or at the very least a fun way to annoy his friends into reading his posts more frequently). Since finding out about about the existence of, and then joining, the atheist/skeptic community in 2007 he has been committed to community activism, critical thinking in all aspects of life, science, reason, and a fostering a secular society.
This entry was posted in Debate, Religion, Science, Skepticism. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Is Atheism a (Religion/Faith/Belief System/etc)?

  1. dave groom says:

    RELIGIOUS SELF-TORTURE TORMENTED BY FRUSTRATION.

  2. jackie4joy says:

    Hey, it’s not that I have let the argument drop, but have been incredibly busy over the last while and have pretty much neglected all aspects of my blog for the time being. (note that in the last month I have posted 6 times with most of them being fluff, or saying that I am away)

    So it is rather unfair to say that I am just ignoring your comments (that’s like twisting the truth to fit your point, something many atheists claim that christians do)…I just have not had time to respond. Your last comment also did not leave much in the way of needing a response, but I will respond, when I have the time and energy and desire.

  3. Rodibidably says:

    I’m sorry if you took thast as a personal attack.
    I’ve had many similar discussions on many blogs where all of a sudden I was either “amazingly” unable to post anymore, or I left a comment with a number of points and got no reply.

    Yours happened to be one of many where this seemed to happen. I understand that things come up, and replying to some schmuck on a blog is not your top priority, it just seems to be a pattern on many different forums/blogs which I was pointing out.

  4. jackie4joy says:

    No problem, I am not annoyed (honestly, I can see that it might seem I am annoyed with my bad sentence/paragraph structure, the hey was actually hey as in hi), just wanted to point out the fact that there are other things that need to be considered.

    Just thought that I needed to do this since you did use my blog as an example to get your point across (the point I understood being that theists do not defend their points but instead walk away if the discussion gets too hard), but did not seem to investigate all possibilities as to why responses have stopped.

  5. Rodibidably says:

    The one that ticked me off just before I write this was the “the blog owner blocking further comments”. I only mentioned the other sites I had similar discussions to show it was not an isolated incident.

    Perhaps I was not clear in my point, and if so, I blame the blog that blocked me from further replies :-). But to be clear:
    Blocking = inexcusable
    Ignoring on purpose = lame
    Ignoring due to life = totally understandable

    I do understand some theists have very sound arguments for their beliefs and are willing to defend them to. In fact on one of my posts (An Open Question…) a theist, Moot, and I have been going back and forth for 4-5 months or so.

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  8. Marcus says:

    Great blog you got here. It would be great to read something more about that matter.

  9. stillhere4u says:

    Atheism may well be spurred on by the refusal of religions to engage in self-criticism. I’ve just read http://deligentia.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/263/ on how foreign self-criticism is to religion, and, moreover, how religion misunderstands itself. You might be interested in it.

    • Jeff Randall says:

      If somebody actually believes that their religion or their holy book comes from an all knowing deity, then it shuts out criticism and inquiry by definition.

      Very few people feel themselves to be qualified to question the mind of god. Except those with no god.

      That is an interesting article, although I’ve only just started reading it. I look forward to reading the rest. Thanks for the heads up…

  10. j rep says:

    I feel that you are a very humble atheist, and I appreciate that. I would like to make a few comments, which and I will do my best to return for dialogue.
    I think there is an unaddressed reason that people say atheists have “faith” in their position.
    Atheists, including Richard Dawkins have no idea about the origin of life. The fact that there is not even a plausible counter-theory for where the matter derived from to initiate the evolutionary process leads to atheists having to believe that it happened somehow, yet in a way that cannot be fathomed or imagined.
    No theory of origin can be proven or disproven; therefore it is all faith-based.
    Also, because theism forms the basis of Christian morality, Christians feel the need to defend their position. Defense and offense is a matter of perception. What you consider offense, they consider defense in the same way that you consider this blog defense while Christians would see it as antagonistically offensive.
    What do you think?

    • Jeff Randall says:

      j rep,
      I’m always open for a good dialog / debate. Perhaps we’ll both be able to learn from each other…

      Atheists, including Richard Dawkins have no idea about the origin of life.

      Well the origins of life have nothing to do with atheism.
      In fact atheism has nothing to do with evolution either.
      Or with the creation of matter in the universe or the creation of the universe itself.

      As I said above, Atheism is no more, and no less than a lack of belief in god.

      Not believing in Thor or Ra or Allah or Mithra says nothing what somebody does believe regarding the origins of life, the universe, or anything else.

      The fact that there is not even a plausible counter-theory for where the matter derived from to initiate the evolutionary process

      I assume that you’re not aware of any idea from the last 30 or so years of astrophysics, or you’d have not said this. The fact is that there are many plausible ideas ab out the formation of the universe and the matter within it. For a simple easy to read primer, I’d suggest Steven Hawking’s Brief History Of Time and Universe In A Nutshell…
      Once you’ve familiarized yourself with at least one of the working ideas about this subject you’ll be much more prepared to delve into a discussion on the topic.

      —–

      But for a brief moment, let’s look into your idea that atheist SHOULD have one single coherent idea about the origins of the universe.

      There are a few issues I have with this line of reasoning.

      The first is one I’ve touched on before in a previous post: https://potomac9499.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/i-dont-know/
      In my opinion, not only is there nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know”, and in many cases it’s better to acknowledge ignorance than to fake knowing. Just because something may not be known now, does not mean it won’t be known in the future. And even if something is never known in the future, is pretending a lie is true, better than admitting your limitations?

      But that leaves out the idea that we (and by “we” I mean humanity and in particular scientists) have a number of different ideas about the origins of the universe and matter within the universe.
      And none of these ideas are “atheist” ideas, they are the best available explanations for the evidence using the scientific method. These ideas are generally accepted by atheists and theists alike, and say nothing about the existence of non-existence of god.

      But as I said earlier, it will be much easier to discuss these ideas with you if you’ve taken the time to look into them first.

      No theory of origin can be proven or disproven; therefore it is all faith-based.

      Can you PROVE there is not an invisible dragon in my garage?
      Have you scowered every inch of the globe to PROVE there is no bigfoot, or “Nessie”?
      Or can you DISPROVE Russell’s teapot?
      Do you consider it “faith” that you do not accept these ideas?
      Of course not. The default assumption is to not include the existence of something without clear evidence pointing to the existence of it.
      As somebody who believes in “god”, it’s inherent on you (or other believers) to prove the existence of this “god”. The default position is ALWAYS the “Null Hypothesis”.

      Does this show you how you’re misusing the word “faith” in this issue?

      Also, because theism forms the basis of Christian morality, Christians feel the need to defend their position. Defense and offense is a matter of perception. What you consider offense, they consider defense in the same way that you consider this blog defense while Christians would see it as antagonistically offensive.

      I would argue that if christians ARE correct, there is no need for them to defend their position. At least in the US they are the overwhelming majority and they get special privileges (including tax exempt status, religious holidays, etc). If they are correct, they should live their own lives secure in this knowledge, and not try to force it on the rest of us.
      Perhaps your bible tells YOU not to marry a man, but it doesn’t tell ME who I can or can not marry. And when christians try to use the government to enforce their ideas of “biblical morality” on others, they are violating not only my rights, but the US Constitution.

      As for finding my blog offensive. I’m sure many christians would take offense to many things I’ve said here. And frankly, I don’t care. If they are offended, they are free to close their browser. There is no “right to not be offended”, and there most certainly is a right of “free speech”. If somebody does not like what I say, then frankly my only response to them, is to tell them to go fuck themselves. They don’t have to agree with me, and I would not expect many christians to agree with me.

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