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Old 29th December 2012, 11:58 PM   #1
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Atheism Revised

Why would atheism be in need of some revision? Or did I miss watching the press conference wherein the news reporters would almost stampede God flat to the floor? Be it that case, then the meaning of the word "revision" amounts to a lovely wreath on the tombstone of the position that some folks assume toward the existence of deities.

We don't revise furniture; we dust it off!

Alrightalright, let's do some dusting instead by using definitions.

Not so fast. That decision opens the door to the place where definitions live and that place may not be as tidy as one could expect. It happens all the time that arguments take on a shape of chaos just because the premises on which the arguments stand are bolted together by poorly formed definitions. In order to avoid a complete disintegration of a given topic, definitions should be stated beforehand and accepted. Here is an example:

Atheism: a complete rejection of belief in the existence of deities.

That definition is a virtual copy of what appears in Wikipedia and what is referred to as a broad definition.

It is desirable to agree on the source of definitions to assure consistency. Since Wikipedia hasn't been really criticized for its possible lay content, let's use it - unless there are too many objections for doing so.

There is another prerequisite: A given definition should be agreed upon under a certain condition. Taking the broad definition of atheism as an example, a sample of atheists is asked whether its members agree with the proposed definition, which sets the boundaries the arguments should stay within. If two thirds or more of the respondents mark the box YES, then the definition is accepted as valid for the purpose.

Suppose now that the broad definition of atheism cleared the necessary requirements. That means it can be expanded to give it a more narrow meaning.

Atheism: a complete rejection of belief in the existence of DEITIES.

The expansion solely involves the definitions of the term "deity."

Deity: a being with natural, supernatural, or preternatural superhuman powers or qualities, and who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred.

The definition is an exact copy of the version stated in Wikipedia. Note that the being may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred; and not that it must be regarded as such. Also note one of the included sources of the powers or qualities, namely the "natural" option.

The key word in the definition is "superhuman," which functions in there as a prefixed adjective. The prefix "super" should be specified and agreed upon, because the literal translation from Latin is not adequate for the purpose of narrowly defining the term "deity." In common usage, the prefix "super" functions as a superlative denoting special events, for example, like the Super Bowl. In connection with deities, however, superhuman ability means an ability that humans cannot verifiably possess. For example, the current physiology of human body doesn't allow a person to run a 100-meter dash in 5 seconds flat. Does that mean that a cheetah who can outrun the fastest humans is a natural deity? According to the definition of deity, it could be chosen as such and cheetah do exist. But that's not the constructive point. Humans are capable of moving faster than the speed of sound using their intellect to device a technology that enables them to do so. And that brings about the other aspect of human ability: the intellect. If someone claims that there is no person in the world with IQ=800, the scientists would agree, even though they have not measured the IQ of each and every human being who have ever lived on this planet. So does IQ=800 qualify to fall into the category of superhuman abilities? I don't see any reason why not.

Now enter the intellect of species. The Neanderthals would survive such adverse conditions where an average and current Homo sapiens couldn't. However, Homo sapiens could use its advanced mental property to device defense strategy against those harsh conditions. And that implicitly means that the IQ of mankind has been going up. How far would it go?

In order to answer it, one need to tackle the problem of "impossible." Is it possible that, given the vastness of the universe, other life forms possessing intellect exist in there?

If this option were considered impossible, we wouldn't see this web page.

Is it impossible to consider the following scenario? Suppose, there are enough civilizations in the universe to form a town where each civilization represents a person living in some town of ours. The IQ distribution of the population in our town has such an effect that some folks live on the "West Side," but some folks need an assistance. Where do we stand in this cosmic town? Are we the ones who need an assistance, or have an average income, or drive a Bentley around?

There is no way of knowing yet, but given the head start some civilizations in the universe may have due to the way nature evolved them, the deities, given their definition, may be out there and there is no way of disproving the hypothesis and therefore there is no way of not believing that they exist.

When the core definition of atheism was being conceived, not all considerations were taken into account, because SETI was founded in the second half of the twentieth century.


That thing had three eyes, was allegedly packing IQ=1225 of mental power, and was shaking its head upon learning that the atheists can easily debunk the Santa Klaus myth. That thing argued that IQ=100 is just enough for every adult person not to believe in Santa Klaus.

Do you mean that the atheists try to argue with little children in order to debunk the myth? Lordy, that just short of eating them! What did they evolve from and how come they are still around?

The little children?

No. The atheists.

Last edited by epix; 30th December 2012 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 30th December 2012, 12:08 AM   #2
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Old 30th December 2012, 12:13 AM   #3
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There is a reason why the Argument From Definition, a.k.a., dictionary fallacy, is a fallacy. While dictionaries are a good way to make sure everyone talks about the same thing (if I talk about java beans as the programming jargon term, and you think I'm talking about coffee, we won't get far), you don't get to redefine something just because a vague dictionary definition by a layman can be rules-lawyered to sorta sound like something else.

Point in case, the study of religions, and what different people expected from different deities, is something where whole tomes have been written. Expecting to be qualified to pull stunts like that some super-smart guy would qualify as a god just because a one-liner definition in a dictionary is vague and unclear about it, is kinda silly.

If you don't understand what something means there, e.g., the word "superhuman", then you don't understand. It means you can't draw a conclusion, not that you're free to confabulate. You can't base anything on a LACK of knowledge and information.
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Old 30th December 2012, 12:28 AM   #4
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Old 30th December 2012, 12:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
Why would atheism be in need of some revision?
Good question. It isn't.

End thread.
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Old 30th December 2012, 12:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
Why would atheism be in need of some revision? Or did I miss watching the press conference wherein the news reporters would almost stampede God flat to the floor? Be it that case, then the meaning of the word "revision" amounts to a lovely wreath on the tombstone of the position that some folks assume toward the existence of deities.

We don't revise furniture; we dust it off!

Alrightalright, let's do some dusting instead by using definitions.

Not so fast. That decision opens the door to the place where definitions live and that place may not be as tidy as one could expect. It happens all the time that arguments take on a shape of chaos just because the premises on which the arguments stand are bolted together by poorly formed definitions. In order to avoid a complete disintegration of a given topic, definitions should be stated beforehand and accepted. Here is an example:

Atheism: a complete rejection of belief in the existence of deities.

That definition is a virtual copy of what appears in Wikipedia and what is referred to as a broad definition.

It is desirable to agree on the source of definitions to assure consistency. Since Wikipedia hasn't been really criticized for its possible lay content, let's use it - unless there are too many objections for doing so.

There is another prerequisite: A given definition should be agreed upon under a certain condition. Taking the broad definition of atheism as an example, a sample of atheists is asked whether its members agree with the proposed definition, which sets the boundaries the arguments should stay within. If two thirds or more of the respondents mark the box YES, then the definition is accepted as valid for the purpose.

Suppose now that the broad definition of atheism cleared the necessary requirements. That means it can be expanded to give it a more narrow meaning.

Atheism: a complete rejection of belief in the existence of DEITIES.

The expansion solely involves the definitions of the term "deity."

Deity: a being with natural, supernatural, or preternatural superhuman powers or qualities, and who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred.

The definition is an exact copy of the version stated in Wikipedia. Note that the being may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred; and not that it must be regarded as such. Also note one of the included sources of the powers or qualities, namely the "natural" option.

The key word in the definition is "superhuman," which functions in there as a prefixed adjective. The prefix "super" should be specified and agreed upon, because the literal translation from Latin is not adequate for the purpose of narrowly defining the term "deity." In common usage, the prefix "super" functions as a superlative denoting special events, for example, like the Super Bowl. In connection with deities, however, superhuman ability means an ability that humans cannot verifiably possess. For example, the current physiology of human body doesn't allow a person to run a 100-meter dash in 5 seconds flat. Does that mean that a cheetah who can outrun the fastest humans is a natural deity? According to the definition of deity, it could be chosen as such and cheetah do exist. But that's not the constructive point. Humans are capable of moving faster than the speed of sound using their intellect to device a technology that enables them to do so. And that brings about the other aspect of human ability: the intellect. If someone claims that there is no person in the world with IQ=800, the scientists would agree, even though they have not measured the IQ of each and every human being who have ever lived on this planet. So does IQ=800 qualify to fall into the category of superhuman abilities? I don't see any reason why not.

Now enter the intellect of species. The Neanderthals would survive such adverse conditions where an average and current Homo sapiens couldn't. However, Homo sapiens could use its advanced mental property to device defense strategy against those harsh conditions. And that implicitly means that the IQ of mankind has been going up. How far would it go?

In order to answer it, one need to tackle the problem of "impossible." Is it possible that, given the vastness of the universe, other life forms possessing intellect exist in there?

If this option were considered impossible, we wouldn't see this web page.

Is it impossible to consider the following scenario? Suppose, there are enough civilizations in the universe to form a town where each civilization represents a person living in some town of ours. The IQ distribution of the population in our town has such an effect that some folks live on the "West Side," but some folks need an assistance. Where do we stand in this cosmic town? Are we the ones who need an assistance, or have an average income, or drive a Bentley around?

There is no way of knowing yet, but given the head start some civilizations in the universe may have due to the way nature evolved them, the deities, given their definition, may be out there and there is no way of disproving the hypothesis and therefore there is no way of not believing that they exist.

When the core definition of atheism was being conceived, not all considerations were taken into account, because SETI was founded in the second half of the twentieth century.


That thing had three eyes, was allegedly packing IQ=1225 of mental power, and was shaking its head upon learning that the atheists can easily debunk the Santa Klaus myth. That thing argued that IQ=100 is just enough for every adult person not to believe in Santa Klaus.

Do you mean that the atheists try to argue with little children in order to debunk the myth? Lordy, that just short of eating them! What did they evolve from and how come they are still around?

The little children?

No. The atheists.
Yours is a dishonest post, as the actual definition from Wiki is as follows:

"Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3][4][5] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[4][5][6][7] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9]"

The rest of anything that springs from the dishonest definition is therefore null and void, as it requires the dishonest definition to create the straw man that stalks the rest of the post.
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Old 30th December 2012, 01:07 AM   #7
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epix, would you be so kind as to share some of that stuff you're smoking?
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Old 30th December 2012, 02:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
epix, would you be so kind as to share some of that stuff you're smoking?
Dude, we don't want any of that getting into the general population!
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Old 30th December 2012, 03:47 AM   #9
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Why is it that, when confronted with the fact that a large (and increasing) proportion of humanity can cope with life perfectly well without resorting to an imaginary deity, believers resort to shrill, nonsensical arguments to bolster their belief?
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Old 30th December 2012, 03:52 AM   #10
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I stand ready to believe in any god who presents himself before me.
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Old 30th December 2012, 03:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
Why would atheism be in need of some revision?

<etc.>
What a bunch of drivel.

Epix is gunning for yet another epic fail.
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Old 30th December 2012, 04:35 AM   #12
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Another epix fail thread! Break out the popcorn.
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Old 30th December 2012, 05:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
Atheism: a complete rejection of belief in the existence of deities.
Wrong.
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Old 30th December 2012, 07:12 AM   #14
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Fallacies heaped upon erroneous assumptions heaped upon false claims heaped upon erroneous assertions heaped upon straw men heaped on misunderstanding does not constitute a point, epix.

FYI
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Old 30th December 2012, 07:42 AM   #15
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I'm not sure what he's suggesting. I'm a virulent atheist regularly savaging God-as-portrayed by the religious; on their terms one should not worship God excepting as a cowed person with a gun to their head might. Ethically, no.

And anything less than some "infinite" being would merely be a superhuman, and thus also not ethically deserving of worship (assuming even a perfect one was, whatever that means.)


Nobody is saying there couldn't be other more advanced civilizations, or that humanity won't raise itself up to even further heights. Speculation on both is in fact a cottage industry around here!


It's the exact opposite of theism -- all these differences and changes are well-grounded (if speculative) in real-world science and physics.
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Old 30th December 2012, 07:54 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Good Lt View Post
Fallacies heaped upon erroneous assumptions heaped upon false claims heaped upon erroneous assertions heaped upon straw men heaped on misunderstanding does not constitute a point, epix.

FYI
I think what you're trying to say is, "It's a steaming pile of Epix."
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Old 30th December 2012, 09:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
Atheism: a complete rejection of belief in the existence of deities.

That definition is a virtual copy of what appears in Wikipedia and what is referred to as a broad definition.[/i]
Why do you try to mislead using so easily accessed sources?

Quote:
Atheism Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3][4][5] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[4][5][6][7] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9][10]
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Old 30th December 2012, 10:43 AM   #18
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I honestly have no idea what Epix is trying to say or ask.
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Old 30th December 2012, 10:52 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by gabeygoat View Post
I honestly have no idea what Epix is trying to say or ask.
Another epix fail.
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Old 30th December 2012, 11:04 AM   #20
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You seem confused as to what atheism is, epix.

Allow me to show you a Venn diagram which describes, in its entirety, theism, atheism, and the complex and multi-layered relationship between the two.

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Old 30th December 2012, 12:13 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Foster Zygote View Post
Wrong.
As usual.
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Old 30th December 2012, 01:01 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
There is no way of knowing yet, but given the head start some civilizations in the universe may have due to the way nature evolved them, the deities, given their definition, may be out there and there is no way of disproving the hypothesis and therefore there is no way of not believing that they exist.
As I translate it, your argument is:
God is a space alien because space aliens are supernatural?
And we can't not believe in god without also not believing in space aliens?

Seriously weak.
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Old 30th December 2012, 01:40 PM   #23
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It is a load of compost commonly found in the pastures of dairy farms and cattle ranches.
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Old 30th December 2012, 02:28 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
It is a load of compost commonly found in the pastures of dairy farms and cattle ranches.

That might be why some people think it needs to be revised.
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Old 30th December 2012, 05:00 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
Yours is a dishonest post, as the actual definition from Wiki is as follows:

"Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3][4][5] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[4][5][6][7] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9]"

The rest of anything that springs from the dishonest definition is therefore null and void, as it requires the dishonest definition to create the straw man that stalks the rest of the post.
Dishonesty: 1.Deceitfulness shown in someone's character or behavior.
2.A fraudulent or deceitful act.

You didn't explain the merit of my "dishonesty." You just imply that incompletness=dishonesty without bothering to prove the validity of your equation. If you could fully understand the meaning of the definitions, you would find out that the complement in no way contradicts the broad definition nor adds anything that would render the first part insufficient.

"Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9]"

Do you believe that by not including the above view, I was dishonest, because I deliberately left out the fact that theism and atheism are positions that face the given subject from the opposite direction? Please don't insult your atheist brethren - most of them are very well aware of what theism basically means and how theism relates to atheism. Moreover, the OP stays clear of any issues that the interaction between theists and atheists may bring about.

Last edited by epix; 30th December 2012 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 30th December 2012, 05:02 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
Dishonesty: 1.Deceitfulness shown in someone's character or behavior.
2.A fraudulent or deceitful act.

You didn't explain the merit of my "dishonesty." You just imply that incompletness=dishonesty without bothering to prove the validity of your equation. If you could fully understand the meaning of the definitions, you would find out that the complement in no way contradicts the broad definition nor adds anything that would render the first part insufficient.

"Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9]"

Do you believe that not including the above view, I was dishonest, because I deliberately left out the fact that theism and atheism are positions that face the given subject from the opposite direction? Please don't insult your atheist brethren - most of them are very well aware of what theism basically means and how theism relates to atheism. Moreover, the OP stays clear of any issues that the interaction between theists and atheists may bring about.
and yet you remain blissfully ignorant about the definition of atheism.
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Old 30th December 2012, 05:15 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
Moreover, the OP stays clear of any issues that the interaction between theists and atheists may bring about.
Such as why you worship an imaginary being?
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Old 30th December 2012, 05:19 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
It is a load of compost commonly found in the pastures of dairy farms and cattle ranches.
If you prefer this definition of atheism instead of the one stated in OP, then it's your choice which you are free to make.
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Old 30th December 2012, 05:31 PM   #29
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OK, epix, taking your OP seriously just makes one wonder where you are going with this. You think atheism needs revision; nobody agrees with you. So far you've dealt with that disagreement with argumen ad dictionary. What's your point? Specify the revisions you want to make and tell why they make atheism better. Stop screwing around with word games.
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Old 30th December 2012, 05:38 PM   #30
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I see no way of revising my atheism. As an atheist you either believe that a god or gods exist or you don't.
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Old 30th December 2012, 05:56 PM   #31
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If you aren't an atheist, why do you care?

There's nothing to be 'revised'. Are you threatened by the fact that there are people who do not believe in your god?
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Old 30th December 2012, 06:00 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Shalamar View Post
If you aren't an atheist, why do you care?

There's nothing to be 'revised'. Are you threatened by the fact that there are people who do not believe in your god?

Lord Vader, I care because I love my enemy. If it wasn't for the whetstone of atheism my personal mythology wouldn't be sharp enough to blow a hole right through the roof of the night. Which it is. Thanks secularism!
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Old 30th December 2012, 06:07 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Shalamar View Post
If you aren't an atheist, why do you care?

There's nothing to be 'revised'. Are you threatened by the fact that there are people who do not believe in your god?
Or the fact that they don't believe in other people's gods too?
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Old 30th December 2012, 06:13 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Limbo View Post
Lord Vader, I care because I love my enemy. If it wasn't for the whetstone of atheism my personal mythology wouldn't be sharp enough to blow a hole right through the roof of the night. Which it is. Thanks secularism!
That is a very odd comment. As far as I can tell, you are claiming that atheism can prove your beliefs?
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Old 30th December 2012, 06:23 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Limbo View Post
Lord Vader, I care because I love my enemy. If it wasn't for the whetstone of atheism my personal mythology wouldn't be sharp enough to blow a hole right through the roof of the night. Which it is. Thanks secularism!
That's a funny way of describing drug-induced hallucinations.
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Old 30th December 2012, 08:35 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Shalamar View Post
That is a very odd comment. As far as I can tell, you are claiming that atheism can prove your beliefs?
There was a time when while religious, hearing atheists criticisms lead me to what I considered a more profound understanding of my faith.
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Old 30th December 2012, 08:37 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
If you prefer this definition of atheism instead of the one stated in OP, then it's your choice which you are free to make.
"Wrong. Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without"

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Old 30th December 2012, 08:52 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
Dishonesty: 1.Deceitfulness shown in someone's character or behavior.
2.A fraudulent or deceitful act.

You didn't explain the merit of my "dishonesty." You just imply that incompletness=dishonesty without bothering to prove the validity of your equation. If you could fully understand the meaning of the definitions, you would find out that the complement in no way contradicts the broad definition nor adds anything that would render the first part insufficient.

"Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9]"

Do you believe that by not including the above view, I was dishonest, because I deliberately left out the fact that theism and atheism are positions that face the given subject from the opposite direction? Please don't insult your atheist brethren - most of them are very well aware of what theism basically means and how theism relates to atheism. Moreover, the OP stays clear of any issues that the interaction between theists and atheists may bring about.
So maybe it isn't necessarily dishonest to take an incomplete definition and then to argue against the ideas you forgot to include, with a combination of poor understanding and irrelevant imaginings, but if it's honest then it's seriously stupid. I'm willing to view either alternative as equally possible if you are.
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Old 30th December 2012, 11:09 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
Dishonesty: 1.Deceitfulness shown in someone's character or behavior.
2.A fraudulent or deceitful act.

You didn't explain the merit of my "dishonesty." You just imply that incompletness=dishonesty without bothering to prove the validity of your equation. If you could fully understand the meaning of the definitions, you would find out that the complement in no way contradicts the broad definition nor adds anything that would render the first part insufficient.

"Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9]"

Do you believe that by not including the above view, I was dishonest, because I deliberately left out the fact that theism and atheism are positions that face the given subject from the opposite direction? Please don't insult your atheist brethren - most of them are very well aware of what theism basically means and how theism relates to atheism. Moreover, the OP stays clear of any issues that the interaction between theists and atheists may bring about.
Actually, I find that now it's even more dishonest, since it omits a bit in the middle of that paragraph while pretending that, oh, you only omitted something else. There are two more whole sentences between what you quoted in the OP and what you now handwave as, oh, just not that important that you cut out.

And those ARE relevant. You effectively have three definitions there, yet you choose to continue to mis-represent it as being just the first one.

It's as bogus as pretending that, say, the only definition of bachelor is an unmarried man, mom has bachelor's degree (among other things), hence mom is an unmarried man Excluding the other more relevant definitions and clarifications, so you can proceed to confabulate your own, IS dishonest arguing.

Or at the very least it's broken logic, since it's exactly what the dictionary fallacy is all about.
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Old 30th December 2012, 11:51 PM   #40
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That said, to actually address the OP, first the problem is that, as I mentioned before, there are more expectations of a deity than just being for example smarter than usual or stronger than usual. As I was saying, the topic is very complex and vast, and whole tomes have been written about comparative religions and their deities, but if I'm to do it injustice in a couple of paragraphs, the common denominator of what makes a religion or its deities is more like needing all of the following:

1. Magical thinking and revealed knowledge. It's not just sufficient to believe there is an alien out there with 500 IQ or super-strength, you need him or her to do so in a way that is basically a promise that he isn't restricted by known natural cause-effect laws if he or she were to act. Superman probably would qualify. Iron Man would not, because his exoskeleton is supposed to be rather physics-conform (if advanced) technology. Q from Star Trek most definitely would. The Borg would not.

But anyway, you don't need just super-human as in outside the range of normal human strength or speed or intelligence, but super-natural or at least unexplainable and/or unsupportable by existing knowledge about the natural world. If you don't have the "magic", it's not really a religion or a deity as it's been conceived by any humans ever.

Basically if I use a condom to not get a woman pregant, it's not religion, although it's far more advanced technology than back when gods were invented. If I pray to some entity to keep her from getting pregnant, by some unfathomable way of intervening to change reality, then it is magical thinking enough to qualify.

2. It must somehow know and care about what everyone does. It might be a full time surveillance like the Christian God, or it can just be knowing when you pour a libation and if you're worthy of some help. But basically you must have an entity, be it a God or spirits or the whole universe, who is Santa by any other name who makes a list and checks it twice and knows whether you've been naughty or nice.

3. It must include some element of reward and punishment. Even if the punishment may be just getting some coal in your sock instead of what you asked for.

Said deity has to be expected to DO something for you, just because you've been nice (by their standards), did the right rituals, and asked the right way. It might be giving you eternal life, or miraculously helping in battle, or poisoning the rivers of your enemies, or getting the missus pregnant with a son, or just getting some toys if you leave the proper offerings of milk and cookies.

There has to be some Santa factor in it, if nothing else, for why you should bother with said deity at all.

4. Optionally, though overwhelmingly common, it has to deal with what happens when you die.


So basically when you have 3 of those, you have a deity. When you have all 4, you most definitely have one.

And that is what atheists "reject". And you'll find that that hasn't changed all that much in the millennia since the word "atheist" was coined. Sure, nowadays we can imagine extraterrestrials acting as deities by any other name, or believe in some techno-babble or pseudo-science that fulfils the same role, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... And incidentally even that isn't new. Buddhism for example is a very ancient attempt at pseudo-science that makes the universe be that kind of Santa, instead of just having an anthropomorphic God that does the judging. So, you know, even that isn't new enough to warrant revising the words and definitions. We've dealt with it before just fine.

Or more to the point for the OP, just having some weird or advanced alien civilization is not enough to have a religion or a deity. Having a telepathic alien civilization who magically knows if you've done what they like, and will go out of the way to reward you somehow, preferably by beaming you up to some planet where you'll live forever, well, that's a religion and deities. (And yes, one actually exists.) If they're alien Santa, that's magical religious thinking. And that doesn't need any particular redefining words to reject.

And that is basically the difference between looking at what people actually reject, and just taking a phrase out of context and confabulating your own strawman.
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