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Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
#76

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 12:50 AM)Free Wrote:
(02-15-2021, 12:15 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-15-2021, 12:01 AM)Free Wrote: Cherry picking? How about challenging the rest of it as shown below?

"What is it about these gods that causes our disbelief? Could it be that these gods are proposed to exist in a supernatural state, and we have no evidence of anything whatsoever existing in a supernatural state? Therefore, to be atheistic about the proposed existence of any supernatural gods is based upon the lack of evidence of not just the gods, but the supernatural state they supposedly exist in.

Therefore, as atheists we are rejecting the existence of the supernatural whenever we reject the existence of these gods. You simply can't have one without the other."

Category error. Try again.

Imagine your post as a Venn diagram and you'll get my point.

There is no error here.

Atheism began as a response to the claims of the existence of supernatural gods. This is at the exclusion of actual historical persons who were claimed to be gods, for how does one disbelieve in the existence of an actual historical person?

Therefore it is implicit that atheism is indeed a response to the claims of the existence of "supernatural" gods, not natural ones.

"SUPERNATURAL gods."

We are atheists because we do not believe in the supernatural existence of a god. 

So again, why do we not believe?

Answer that and you'll begin to understand my position.

You don't understand sets, then. Got it.

Here: belief in a god is belief in supernatural things. Belief in the power of crystals to align and heal folks is supernatural. Now, does that mean believing in the power of crystals to align and heal folks means one believes in a god or gods?

[Image: cIX7ihN.png]

There's your category error. Theism is a subset of supernaturalism, but it doesn't encompass supernatural thinking.

Not all atheism is rational, because atheism is not the equivalent of rationality. It can be, but is not necessarily so. There are other superstitions: triskaidekaphobia, walking under ladders, blowing on the dice before shouting seven-come-eleven. None of those superstitions are theistic.

One can be an atheist, and still be a dumbass.

I am not a rationalist because I don't believe in god. I do not believe in god because I am a rationalist.
Freedom isn't free.
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#77

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
Interesting discussion. I am inclined to agree with Thump if any concept of agency is ruled out, and inclined to agree with Free if all allegations of "supernatural" are believed to have agency behind them. Blowing on dice for good luck, for example, is there behind the "luck" belief in some supernatural agent accepting the blowing as an offering of some kind? What does one really believe when one blows on dice, or purposely walks around a ladder, or seeks out a four leaf clover in anticipation of good fortune? Do they imagine some conscious agency behind it? It's easy to imagine there is little or no conscious thought behind it at all, I suppose.
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#78

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 03:18 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-15-2021, 12:50 AM)Free Wrote:
(02-15-2021, 12:15 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Category error. Try again.

Imagine your post as a Venn diagram and you'll get my point.

There is no error here.

Atheism began as a response to the claims of the existence of supernatural gods. This is at the exclusion of actual historical persons who were claimed to be gods, for how does one disbelieve in the existence of an actual historical person?

Therefore it is implicit that atheism is indeed a response to the claims of the existence of "supernatural" gods, not natural ones.

"SUPERNATURAL gods."

We are atheists because we do not believe in the supernatural existence of a god. 

So again, why do we not believe?

Answer that and you'll begin to understand my position.

You don't understand sets, then. Got it.

Here: belief in a god is belief in supernatural things. Belief in the power of crystals to align and heal folks is supernatural. Now, does that mean believing in the power of crystals to align and heal folks means one believes in a god or gods?

[Image: cIX7ihN.png]

There's your category error. Theism is a subset of supernaturalism, but it doesn't encompass supernatural thinking.

Not all atheism is rational, because atheism is not the equivalent of rationality. It can be, but is not necessarily so. There are other superstitions: triskaidekaphobia, walking under ladders, blowing on the dice before shouting seven-come-eleven. None of those superstitions are theistic.

One can be an atheist, and still be a dumbass.

I am not a rationalist because I don't believe in god. I do not believe in god because I am a rationalist.

I understand all that, but that has nothing to do with my point. Read my previous post.

Q: Why do we disbelieve in the existence of a deity?

A: Because the proposed existence of a deity is supernatural.

We are atheistic towards deities due to the supernatural aspect. That means we are atheistic to the supernatural regardless if it applies to a god or not. It's necessarily implicit.
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#79

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 03:18 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-15-2021, 12:50 AM)Free Wrote:
(02-15-2021, 12:15 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Category error. Try again.

Imagine your post as a Venn diagram and you'll get my point.

There is no error here.

Atheism began as a response to the claims of the existence of supernatural gods. This is at the exclusion of actual historical persons who were claimed to be gods, for how does one disbelieve in the existence of an actual historical person?

Therefore it is implicit that atheism is indeed a response to the claims of the existence of "supernatural" gods, not natural ones.

"SUPERNATURAL gods."

We are atheists because we do not believe in the supernatural existence of a god. 

So again, why do we not believe?

Answer that and you'll begin to understand my position.

You don't understand sets, then. Got it.

Here: belief in a god is belief in supernatural things. Belief in the power of crystals to align and heal folks is supernatural. Now, does that mean believing in the power of crystals to align and heal folks means one believes in a god or gods?

[Image: cIX7ihN.png]

There's your category error. Theism is a subset of supernaturalism, but it doesn't encompass supernatural thinking.

Not all atheism is rational, because atheism is not the equivalent of rationality. It can be, but is not necessarily so. There are other superstitions: triskaidekaphobia, walking under ladders, blowing on the dice before shouting seven-come-eleven. None of those superstitions are theistic.

One can be an atheist, and still be a dumbass.

I am not a rationalist because I don't believe in god. I do not believe in god because I am a rationalist.
It is also possible, if uncommon, to not believe in any gods for non-rational reasons: one doesn't like the idea, hates ritual or other church trappings or strictures, or is simply ignorant about / disinterested in deities.

Humans defy easy categorization, which is why keeping the definition of "atheist" strictly limited to one topic is extremely useful.

Fortunately I know of no one but Free who wants to expand the definition of god-belief into anything broader, or to conflate disbelief in the supernatural with a completely consistent and coherent application of that across the board. If people always gave up all of the supernatural like pulling the main breaker in your house kills all the lights and appliances, that might be practically an okay approach, but the simple fact is that people can have an unreasoning fear of walking under ladders and still not believe in god. Indeed, refugees from authoritarian religion can be TORMENTED by their newfound lack of belief in the Christian god, as they still possess the terror of hellfire. It isn't rational, or consistent, but it's human.
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#80

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 03:36 AM)mordant Wrote:
(02-15-2021, 03:18 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-15-2021, 12:50 AM)Free Wrote: There is no error here.

Atheism began as a response to the claims of the existence of supernatural gods. This is at the exclusion of actual historical persons who were claimed to be gods, for how does one disbelieve in the existence of an actual historical person?

Therefore it is implicit that atheism is indeed a response to the claims of the existence of "supernatural" gods, not natural ones.

"SUPERNATURAL gods."

We are atheists because we do not believe in the supernatural existence of a god. 

So again, why do we not believe?

Answer that and you'll begin to understand my position.

You don't understand sets, then. Got it.

Here: belief in a god is belief in supernatural things. Belief in the power of crystals to align and heal folks is supernatural. Now, does that mean believing in the power of crystals to align and heal folks means one believes in a god or gods?

[Image: cIX7ihN.png]

There's your category error. Theism is a subset of supernaturalism, but it doesn't encompass supernatural thinking.

Not all atheism is rational, because atheism is not the equivalent of rationality. It can be, but is not necessarily so. There are other superstitions: triskaidekaphobia, walking under ladders, blowing on the dice before shouting seven-come-eleven. None of those superstitions are theistic.

One can be an atheist, and still be a dumbass.

I am not a rationalist because I don't believe in god. I do not believe in god because I am a rationalist.
It is also possible, if uncommon, to not believe in any gods for non-rational reasons: one doesn't like the idea, hates ritual or other church trappings or strictures, or is simply ignorant about / disinterested in deities.

Humans defy easy categorization, which is why keeping the definition of "atheist" strictly limited to one topic is extremely useful.

Fortunately I know of no one but Free who wants to expand the definition of god-belief into anything broader, or to conflate disbelief in the supernatural with a completely consistent and coherent application of that across the board. If people always gave up all of the supernatural like pulling the main breaker in your house kills all the lights and appliances, that might be practically an okay approach, but the simple fact is that people can have an unreasoning fear of walking under ladders and still not believe in god. Indeed, refugees from authoritarian religion can be TORMENTED by their newfound lack of belief in the Christian god, as they still possess the terror of hellfire. It isn't rational, or consistent, but it's human.

I am merely exploring the state of atheism. Merely disbelieving in gods is not the sum total of the equation. Once you explore why we disbelieve you will find it explains the reasoning and the rationality behind it.

We disbelieve in deities because deities are supposedly supernatural and we disbelieve in the supernatural due to a lack of evidence.

Therefore, being a "true atheist" implies the rejection of the supernatural along with the deity.
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#81

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 03:30 AM)Free Wrote: I understand all that, but that has nothing to do with my point. Read my previous post.

Q: Why do we disbelieve in the existence of a deity?

A: Because the proposed existence of a deity is supernatural.

We are atheistic towards deities due to the supernatural aspect. That means we are atheistic to the supernatural regardless if it applies to a god or not. It's necessarily implicit.

Firstly, I don't disbelieve in god because it's supernatural. I disbelieve in god because 1) it's unevidenced and 2) it's irrational by its own internal logic.

Secondly, your implicit assumption is that rejection of one superstition means rejection of all superstitions.

You've already claimed that your personal experience of not seeing any superstitious atheists is evidence that none exist. I've already said that I've seen and known superstitious atheists. If you wish to go with only your own personal experience, fine, no sweat. But that in itself is not rational, because any solid thinker knows that anecdotes aren't evidence.

I never saw Abe Lincoln alive. Does that mean he doesn't exist? Or should I take reports from others who did see him alive and consider that perhaps my personal experiences do not define reality?

This is slipshod thinking on your part. You need to come up with something better than category errors and personal experience if you want to construct a convincing argument. Until then, your screed reads an awful lot like self-congratulatory thinking. Sorry to be so blunt, but you're not hawking a ware I'd spend any money on. After all, my own experience has shown me that atheists too can be irrational; this thread is only adding to that store.
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#82

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 03:48 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-15-2021, 03:30 AM)Free Wrote: I understand all that, but that has nothing to do with my point. Read my previous post.

Q: Why do we disbelieve in the existence of a deity?

A: Because the proposed existence of a deity is supernatural.

We are atheistic towards deities due to the supernatural aspect. That means we are atheistic to the supernatural regardless if it applies to a god or not. It's necessarily implicit.

Firstly, I don't disbelieve in god because it's supernatural. I disbelieve in god because 1) it's unevidenced and 2) it's irrational by its own internal logic.

Secondly, your implicit assumption is that rejection of one superstition means rejection of all superstitions.

You've already claimed that your personal experience of not seeing any superstitious atheists is evidence that none exist. I've already said that I've seen and known superstitious atheists. If you wish to go with only your own personal experience, fine, no sweat. But that in itself is not rational, because any solid thinker knows that anecdotes aren't evidence.

I never saw Abe Lincoln alive. Does that mean he doesn't exist? Or should I take reports from others who did see him alive and consider that perhaps my personal experiences do not define reality?

This is slipshod thinking on your part. You need to come up with something better than category errors and personal experience if you want to construct a convincing argument. Until then, your screed reads an awful lot like self-congratulatory thinking. Sorry to be so blunt, but you're not hawking a ware I'd spend any money on. After all, my own experience has shown me that atheists too can be irrational; this thread is only adding to that store.

Whatever page you're on has nothing to do with me.

Have no idea what you're even talking about.

To sum, the rejection of a deity also means you reject the supernatural.
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#83

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 03:51 AM)Free Wrote: Have no idea what you're even talking about.

Yeah, that's pretty obvious.
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#84

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 03:54 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-15-2021, 03:51 AM)Free Wrote: Have no idea what you're even talking about.

Yeah, that's pretty obvious.

When you manage to find the page I'm on, I'll let you know.

Dance

Again, atheists reject the existence of a deity due to the supernatural attribute. Because of the supernatural attribute, we reject the existence of deities.

Therefore ... we reject the supernatural.

When people say they are atheistic towards a deity, but still believe in the supernatural, then they cannot claim to be truly atheistic towards a deity because they have not expressed disbelief in the supernatural. If they believe that the supernatural exists, then they have no justification to express disbelieve in a supernatural deity. They must accept the possibility that a deity exists since they believe in the supernatural. Their more true state would better be categorized as agnostic, not atheist.

They are not truly atheistic until they express disbelief in the supernatural, since the deity is supernatural.

I am an atheist because there are no fucking deities, because the supernatural does not exist.
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#85

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
That smiley doesn't offend me. Nor does your "logic", such as it is, convince me. You're still making a category error.

Here's a little reading that might -- might -- pull you out of your shell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_Buddhism
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#86

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 04:12 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: That smiley doesn't offend me. Nor does your "logic", such as it is, convince me. You're still making a category error.

Here's a little reading that might -- might -- pull you out of your shell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_Buddhism

Is there anything supernatural in that?

Hmmm?

If you so much as accept even the possibility of the existence of any supernatural thing, you cannot make the positive claim of being an atheist for the simple reason that because you accept the possibility of the existence of the supernatural you cannot possibly exclude the possible existence of a supernatural deity.

You can say, "There are no gods," but until you can also say "There is nothing supernatural" then you cannot exclude the possibility of the existence of a supernatural deity, and your words are meaningless and irrational.

There are no deities for the simple reason that there is no supernatural.

Atheism 101.
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#87

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
No True Scotsman 101.

Atheism means not believing in gods. It doesn't mean being a Brilliant™, or whatever Dawkins was trying to pawn off.
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#88

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 04:36 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: No True Scotsman 101.

Atheism means not believing in gods. It doesn't mean being a Brilliant™, or whatever Dawkins was trying to pawn off.

Let's test this.

Why do you not believe in a supernatural deity?
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#89

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(02-15-2021, 05:07 AM)Free Wrote: Why do you not believe in a supernatural deity?

1.  Why must a deity be supernatural?  There's no reason that compels it.  The most powerful deity that can be imagined is more likely natural than unnatural.

2.  There is no possible means by which a human mind could positively distinguish natural from unnatural.  To do so would require full knowledge of the entire body of nature.  That's permanently beyond reach.  Everything ever observed and experienced by the whole of humanity is natural, for the simple reason that what was affected was natural.  No competent investigation into the cause of anything has ever indicated unnatural elements - largely because no one could possibly identify any phenomenon as only unnatural.

3.  Most of humanity makes a fundamental error without realizing the error - something any particular person is too ignorant to explain (or even describe) is NOT supernatural, it is only a natural phenomenon that person lacks the knowledge to comprehend.  It is our greatest bane, the fact that we're able to form an opinion makes us think the opinion is valid.

Here's a test:  by what means would you attempt to distinguish unnatural (or supernatural) from natural?  The only thing you can bring to the task is your personal fund of knowledge, and any additional knowledge obtained by research, which by the sheer fact of being obtainable, is natural.

And you cannot apply the false dichotomy that anything that can't be proved NOT supernatural must therefore be supernatural.  All that's provable is that no one yet can explain the nature of some things observed and experienced.  That they're natural is already proved by their existence.
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#90

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 04:36 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: No True Scotsman 101.

Atheism means not believing in gods. It doesn't mean being a Brilliant™, or whatever Dawkins was trying to pawn off.

Bright™
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#91

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-15-2021, 05:07 AM)Free Wrote:
(02-15-2021, 04:36 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: No True Scotsman 101.

Atheism means not believing in gods. It doesn't mean being a Brilliant™, or whatever Dawkins was trying to pawn off.

Let's test this.

Why do you not believe in a supernatural deity?

Define 'supernatural'.  If it exists, it is part of nature.


Also, in response to the OP: no fucking way. Deadpan Coffee Drinker
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#92

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
I ran a poll at AF asking if being an atheist meant rejecting the supernatural. 15% said yes. Apparently Free is in that 15%. You can't really argue the definition of words as people are free to mean whatever they like with them. So long as there are others who share that usage, there's nothing particularly wrong with it. If you were to argue that being atheist necessarily means rejecting the supernatural, you would be wrong by virtue of that other 85%. For some atheists (and others), being atheist means rejecting the supernatural. But it doesn't have to mean that, and for the majority, it doesn't.

And for Free, plenty of atheists are atheists by default, having never believed in a god. There is no 'why' to their disbelieving, it's just a brute fact.
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#93

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
https://www.pewforum.org/2018/04/25/when...they-mean/

Pew Research - What Americans believe about God.

19% do not believe in God. But of that 19%, 9% believe in higher power or spiritual force.
Atheism is not really that simple when you take all of this into consideration. Atheism in the wild is a different animal.

I do not believe in the supernatural or existence of a supernatural realm. Not because I am an atheist. But for the same reason I do not believe in God. Lack of evidence and consideration of supernaturalism show that has a lot of problems that make belief in that to be unsupportable. But not all atheists are metaphysical naturalists. what do people mean when they claim no belief in God, but belief in a higher power or spiritual force? who knows. There simply has not been much work done on surveying this 9% segment of the population and finding out what people mean by that.

Further more, of the 80% who claim to believe in God, 23% also note they do not believe in the God of the Bible et al, but Gods as a higher power or spiritual force. I have no idea how many people percentage wise do not believe in the existence of a supernatural realm.
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#94

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(02-14-2021, 04:24 PM)Aegon Wrote: A religion can be atheistic.

Nope. Not in the generally accepted meaning of the word.

Religion, noun: —the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

Atheist, noun: —a person who does not believe in the existence of God, or any gods.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#95

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(02-15-2021, 12:07 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(02-14-2021, 04:24 PM)Aegon Wrote: A religion can be atheistic.

Nope.  Not in the generally accepted meaning of the word.

Religion, noun: —the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

Atheist, noun: —a person who does not believe in the existence of God, or any gods.

I'm guessing you didn't see my link above about secular Buddhism, or my pointing out that there are atheist Buddhists and Taoists? Practicing a religious doctrine doesn't necessarily mean believing in a supernatural deity.
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#96

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I did not deconvert based on my (dis)belief in the supernatural. It was simply the fact that the explanations and predictions of theism were not descriptive of lived experience and were in fact nearly always 180 degrees wrong.

Later I built a philosophical case based not directly on supernaturalism itself but on the fact that you cannot falsify and therefore cannot (dis)prove a god because gods aren't available for inspection or observation. They either inhabit an inaccessible realm (the supernatural or the special case of an alleged afterlife) or have left the scene (deism).

While you can't reject supernaturalism in a logical and self-consistent manner if you don't reject it in an all-or-nothing fashion, again, humans aren't entirely (or even very) self-consistent or logical.

Is there anywhere in this world someone who disbelieves in any deities yet believes in ghosts, communication from dead ancestors, avoids walking under ladders so as to avoid bad luck? Yes, there is. You can't really dispense with that by saying that they aren't, by your private definition of the very clearly-defined label "atheist", truly atheists. Atheism is being without a god, not without ANY unjustified or unproven belief.

Is there anywhere in this world someone who applies beliefs to one thing and via some form of special pleading or category error does not apply that same belief to one or more other things to which it should also apply? Yes.

Atheists tend to be more rational and more self-consistent, but there are irrational atheists, asshole atheists, crazy atheists, all kinds of atheists.
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#97

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We all engage in religious rituals without giving it a second thought - like celebrating xmas with trees and feasts...while we remain atheists.
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#98

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(02-15-2021, 02:22 PM)Dom Wrote: We all engage in religious rituals without giving it a second thought - like celebrating xmas with trees and feasts...while we remain atheists.
I hope the definition of atheist isn't watered down and broadened to the point of uselessness like agnostic has been since the days of Huxley. Agnostic started out meaning "without knowledge of god" meaning that such knowledge isn't obtainable. Now it has come to imply that it is at least in theory obtainable, and has in way too many people's minds morphed into the notion that agnostic = an open-minded, noble, curious, impartial seeker of truth, implying that theists and atheists are closed-minded, ignoble, incurious, partisan defenders of mindless dogma.

I have all but dropped out of circle jerks about how I can be both agnostic and atheist at the same time, how in fact being an agnostic inevitably informs and leads to my atheism, because agnostic no longer has a clearly and generally accepted definition that's philosophically sound; it no longer describes the knowledge claim while letting atheism handle the belief position. It's become either a way to virtue-signal as described above, or some imagined middle ground of uncertainty between belief and unbelief, rendering it basically useless as a point of discussion. It's like an overly broad case definition for a disease that brings in all the malingerers and psychosomatics so that people who actually have the disease can be dismissed as crackpots.

If that happens to "atheist" as well then we might as well talk to brick walls about what atheism is because there will be no real agreement about it.
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#99

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I have always considered myself a freethinker, not an atheist, because atheist is too limited for me. But - I stopped calling myself that because a lot of people see it as a cop-out, someone unwilling to say the word atheist.

In reality:

Freethinkers hold that knowledge should be grounded in facts, scientific inquiry, and logic. The skeptical application of science implies freedom from the intellectually limiting effects of confirmation biascognitive biasconventional wisdompopular cultureurban mythprejudice, or sectarianism.[5]

That describes me, and it also takes the supernatural into account. But, alas, all this labeling has gone berserk.
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(02-15-2021, 12:07 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(02-14-2021, 04:24 PM)Aegon Wrote: A religion can be atheistic.

Nope.  Not in the generally accepted meaning of the word.

Religion, noun: —the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

Atheist, noun: —a person who does not believe in the existence of God, or any gods.

I'd push back on that definition of religion. There's a gap between your definitions. One explicitly mentions "personal gods" while the other rejects "any gods." The second definition of religion you get via Google is "a particular system of faith and worship" seems more accurate to me. 

Even if you look at the role of gods in most schools of Buddhism, for example. Considering Buddhism's origins in Vedic India, the mythological wires of Hinduism and Buddhism cross often, so god figures do appear in the texts. However, gods in most schools of Buddhism exercise little to no control over humans. To some extent they're essentially just superhumans living in another dimension entirely separate from us. You don't pray to them. You can't communicate with them. They have no interest in human life. The main role they play is as one type of sentient being your essence could be reborn as in the next life. Both the Samkhya and the Mimamsa schools of Hindu philosophy also reject the existence of a creator god, making them explicitly atheistic. At the very least, these belief systems reject the existence of personal gods, that much you must admit. 

They are certainly not materialistic/naturalistic belief systems, but that's not the question at hand.
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