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Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
#1

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
Atheist critics are constantly informing us lowly, ignorant Christians that atheism itself is, alas, not a formulated position, but only the absence of a position (belief in God). It’s not a worldview, etc. I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that. It’s not true, but we hear it all the time. 

Lo and behold, I discovered an atheist on a prominent Christian-bashing atheist website, who addressed this very topic and stated that “an atheist is one who is not a theist.” But he denied that atheism was “itself a belief.” No one doubts that that is the literal meaning of the word. It doesn’t follow, however, that the atheist believes nothing in a positive sense, or that he or she possesses no worldview or sets of beliefs (which is my topic). 

They certainly do — as virtually all sentient human beings do, whether they acknowledge it or not. Someone wisely said: “The most dangerous philosophy is the unacknowledged one.” Briefly stated, almost all atheists are empiricists, positivists,  philosophical materialists,  methodological naturalists, enraptured with science as supposedly the sole valid epistemology — making it essentially their religion (“scientism”) — all of which are objectively identifiable positions, that can be discussed and either embraced or dismissed.

So it’s not so much that we are saying that there is an “atheist worldview” per se. Rather, we make the observation (from long personal experience, if one is an apologist like myself) that every self-described “atheist” will overwhelmingly tend to possess a particular worldview (whatever they call it or don’t call it) that is an amalgam of many specific, identifiable things that themselves are worldviews or philosophies or ways of life.

Whatever one thinks of the above analysis, it remains highly likely that atheists will hold to one or more the (usually clustered) belief-systems outlined above. And they will often be blind to the fact that they are doing so, and will talk in terms of their simply following “science” and/or “reason” (with the implication that the non-atheist usually does not do either or is fundamentally irrational or “naive” or “gullible” simply because they reject atheism). 


I’m not discussing a mere word (atheism); I’m talking about what atheists do in fact believe, and asserting that atheists hold to beliefs and belief-systems (usually quite predictable ones at that). In other words: atheists are just as likely to hold worldviews as anyone else.


The same atheist went on to decry the title atheist itself and lament that its widespread use was “a game with language.” This is downright comical; as if atheists don’t massively choose to call themselves this name? They could reject it if they like. They’re free to do so. No one is forcing them at gunpoint to use this name for themselves. 


In conclusion, here are some of the many things that atheists en masse believe:
  • that matter exists.

  • that he or she exists.

  • that matter can be observed according to more or less predictable scientific laws (uniformitarianism).

  • that we can trust our senses to analyze such observations and what they mean (empiricism).

  • in the correctness of mathematics, which starts from axioms as well.

  • in the laws of logic, in order to even communicate (not to mention argue) anything with any meaning at all.

  • in presupposing that certain things are absolutely true.

  • that matter has the inherent “God-like,” in effect “omnipotent,” capability of organizing itself, evolving, inexorably developing into all that we observe in the entire universe. There is no God or even any sort of immaterial spirit that did or could do this, so it has to fall back onto matter. The belief in this without any reason whatsoever to do so is what I have called "atomism."

  • that the universe began in a Big Bang (for who knows what reason).

  • that the universe created itself out of nothing (for who knows what reason), but it’s deemed more rational than the Christian believing that God is an eternal spirit, Who created the universe.

  • that science is the only method by which we can objectively determine facts and truth (extreme empiricism + scientism).

I’m sure I could come up with many more things if I sat and thought about it a while, but this is more than sufficient to demonstrate my point: atheists (as people) have worldviews, even though the word atheism itself means (literally) “rejecting a belief in God.” 
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#2

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
Let's say you're correct, atheists en masse believe these things. It does not follow from this that atheism entails these beliefs. I'd say it's a fact that all people have worldviews.

And the word atheism has multiple meanings, just as atheists have multiple worldviews. Weren't you the person recently cautioning against the dangers of incorrectly assessing an adversary?
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#3

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 04:20 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Atheist critics are constantly informing us lowly, ignorant Christians that atheism itself is, alas, not a formulated position, but only the absence of a position (belief in God). It’s not a worldview, etc. I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that. It’s not true, but we hear it all the time. 

Lo and behold, I discovered an atheist on a prominent Christian-bashing atheist website, who addressed this very topic and stated that “an atheist is one who is not a theist.” But he denied that atheism was “itself a belief.” No one doubts that that is the literal meaning of the word. It doesn’t follow, however, that the atheist believes nothing in a positive sense, or that he or she possesses no worldview or sets of beliefs (which is my topic). 

They certainly do — as virtually all sentient human beings do, whether they acknowledge it or not. Someone wisely said: “The most dangerous philosophy is the unacknowledged one.” Briefly stated, almost all atheists are empiricists, positivists,  philosophical materialists,  methodological naturalists, enraptured with science as supposedly the sole valid epistemology — making it essentially their religion (“scientism”) — all of which are objectively identifiable positions, that can be discussed and either embraced or dismissed.

So it’s not so much that we are saying that there is an “atheist worldview” per se. Rather, we make the observation (from long personal experience, if one is an apologist like myself) that every self-described “atheist” will overwhelmingly tend to possess a particular worldview (whatever they call it or don’t call it) that is an amalgam of many specific, identifiable things that themselves are worldviews or philosophies or ways of life.

Whatever one thinks of the above analysis, it remains highly likely that atheists will hold to one or more the (usually clustered) belief-systems outlined above. And they will often be blind to the fact that they are doing so, and will talk in terms of their simply following “science” and/or “reason” (with the implication that the non-atheist usually does not do either or is fundamentally irrational or “naive” or “gullible” simply because they reject atheism). 


I’m not discussing a mere word (atheism); I’m talking about what atheists do in fact believe, and asserting that atheists hold to beliefs and belief-systems (usually quite predictable ones at that). In other words: atheists are just as likely to hold worldviews as anyone else.


The same atheist went on to decry the title atheist itself and lament that its widespread use was “a game with language.” This is downright comical; as if atheists don’t massively choose to call themselves this name? They could reject it if they like. They’re free to do so. No one is forcing them at gunpoint to use this name for themselves. 


In conclusion, here are some of the many things that atheists en masse believe:
  • that matter exists.

  • that he or she exists.

  • that matter can be observed according to more or less predictable scientific laws (uniformitarianism).

  • that we can trust our senses to analyze such observations and what they mean (empiricism).

  • in the correctness of mathematics, which starts from axioms as well.

  • in the laws of logic, in order to even communicate (not to mention argue) anything with any meaning at all.

  • in presupposing that certain things are absolutely true.

  • that matter has the inherent “God-like,” in effect “omnipotent,” capability of organizing itself, evolving, inexorably developing into all that we observe in the entire universe. There is no God or even any sort of immaterial spirit that did or could do this, so it has to fall back onto matter. The belief in this without any reason whatsoever to do so is what I have called "atomism."

  • that the universe began in a Big Bang (for who knows what reason).

  • that the universe created itself out of nothing (for who knows what reason), but it’s deemed more rational than the Christian believing that God is an eternal spirit, Who created the universe.

  • that science is the only method by which we can objectively determine facts and truth (extreme empiricism + scientism).

I’m sure I could come up with many more things if I sat and thought about it a while, but this is more than sufficient to demonstrate my point: atheists (as people) have worldviews, even though the word atheism itself means (literally) “rejecting a belief in God.” 

Rolleyes You're waving big brush laden with bullshit.
If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.
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#4

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 04:20 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: I’m not discussing a mere word (atheism); I’m talking about what atheists do in fact believe, and asserting that atheists hold to beliefs and belief-systems (usually quite predictable ones at that).
Name a SINGLE belief ALL atheists have in common.
Ill wait....
R.I.P. Hannes
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#5

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 04:20 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: [*]that matter has the inherent “God-like,” in effect “omnipotent,” capability of organizing itself, evolving, inexorably developing into all that we observe in the entire universe. There is no God or even any sort of immaterial spirit that did or could do this, so it has to fall back onto matter. The belief in this without any reason whatsoever to do so is what I have called "atomism."

You might be interested to know that I ran a poll at an atheist forum a few years ago and the result was that only 15% of the respondents considered disbelief in the supernatural as essential to atheists or atheism.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#6

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
Yet another thread...?
I suspect that when the holiday break is over, this kid will disappear and go back to his busy high school schedule.
Formerly WiCharlie Sun
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#7

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:10 PM)WICharlie Wrote: Yet another thread...?
I suspect that when the holiday break is over, this kid will disappear and go back to his busy high school schedule.

Trolls gonna troll for as long as they will be fed.
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
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#8

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:00 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 04:20 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: I’m not discussing a mere word (atheism); I’m talking about what atheists do in fact believe, and asserting that atheists hold to beliefs and belief-systems (usually quite predictable ones at that).
Name a SINGLE belief ALL atheists have in common.
Ill wait....

Lack of belief in the theistic God. That's what the term literally means. If one thinks there is insufficient proof or doesn't claim to know and remains neutral on the question, that's agnosticism, meaning literally "not knowledge [of the question of God]". That's still a belief. If someone says, "I don't believe n leprechauns," that's a belief, not just a lack of belief. It's a belief in a world in which leprechauns, a species of mythical creature, don't exist (or in some cases, belief that they can't exist, or can't possibly exist).

It's difficult to even take such a question seriously, but I answered.

If you desire to be known as folks who make no reference to what you think is an imaginary fiction (God) -- "god" never crosses your mind AT ALL! Yeah, right . . . --, then call yourself materialists. But you don't do that. Book titles by famous atheists have that word in the title. This forum is "Atheist Discussion," etc.

Y'all make some very strange arguments about your own beliefs . . .

We Christians are very literal in our self-titles. A Christian is a follower of Christ (Greek for "Messiah").
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#9

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:11 PM)Szuchow Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 05:10 PM)WICharlie Wrote: Yet another thread...?
I suspect that when the holiday break is over, this kid will disappear and go back to his busy high school schedule.

Trolls gonna troll for as long as they will be fed.

Two people have now kindly and graciously thanked me for being here, and stirring up the pot a bit. One said I was responsible for many more interesting threads to respond to.

I guess my fate will be determined either by those who think I am a "liar" and a troll (perhaps I can be banned!), or those who think I am a good and challenging nemesis to bounce ideas back and forth with. This always occurs in atheist forums. The majority are simply name-callers with little substance to offer, and a small minority actually wants to engage in dialogue with someone who believes in different things than they do. But all hell always breaks loose when I arrive. It usually settles within a week, and then some good conversation is able to be had. So all this is "ho hum" / "what else is new?" stuff to me.

I'd also note that I have just as much trouble in Christian forums. I stopped doing them many years ago; the discussion was mostly worthless.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#10

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:36 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 05:00 PM)Deesse23 Wrote: Name a SINGLE belief ALL atheists have in common.
Ill wait....

Lack of belief in the theistic God. That's what the term literally means. If one thinks there is insufficient proof or doesn't claim to know and remains neutral on the question, that's agnosticism, meaning literally "not knowledge [of the question of God]". That's still a belief. If someone says, "I don't believe n leprechauns," that's a belief, not just a lack of belief. It's a belief in a world in which leprechauns, a species of mythical creature, don't exist (or in some cases, belief that they can't exist, or can't possibly exist).

It's difficult to even take such a question seriously, but I answered.

If you desire to be known as folks who make no reference to what you think is an imaginary fiction (God) -- "god" never crosses your mind AT ALL! Yeah, right . . . --, then call yourself materialists. But you don't do that. Book titles by famous atheists have that word in the title. This forum is "Atheist Discussion," etc.

Y'all make some very strange arguments about your own beliefs . . .

We Christians are very literal in our self-titles. A Christian is a follower of Christ (Greek for "Messiah").
Is there a non-theistic god? Honest question. I have never heard any god qualified as "theistic".

Agnosticism is the knowledge position; atheism is the belief position. They have some overlap with, and influence on, each other, but vary independently. I would characterize myself as an agnostic or "soft" atheist. I cannot claim to "know" that there isn't at least one deity hiding under the carpet somewhere; I just think it vanishingly unlikely, such that I live pretty much the same as if I "knew" god didn't exist.

I do not lead however with some declaration that "there is no god" because theists like to make the technical (and technically correct) argument that I'd have to be everywhere and everywhen to say that. Rather than get bogged down in that I just say that I have never seen a good reason to think some specific god I'm having sold to me is likely to exist, much less to believe in it. And in my lived experience, literally everything I've observed is totally consistent with one of the following:

Absent god
Indifferent god
Non-interventionist god
Non-existent god

... and I have no clue how you'd tell any of those four apart, so I mostly go with the last one as getting more directly to the central question of whatever god we're talking about (typically the Christian god).

More importantly IMO I also am an unbeliever because I regard religious faith as a failed epistemology that does not lead to greater knowledge or understanding about god or anything else, and in fact leads to all sorts of cognitive dissonance and bad decisions and ridiculous expectations in one's lived experience. I do realize SOME of that goes away in less illiberal parts of Christianity than the one I came from, but still ... I had a choice when I left the fundagelical world -- either find a better fit somewhere within theism or leave altogether. And because all of theism essentially works off the same epistemology (accept assertions from various authoritative sources without requiring substantiation for them, even sometimes in direct conflict with well substantiated facts in science or very persuasive philosophical arguments), I felt that further adventures in TheistLand would be a waste of valuable time.
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#11

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:09 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 04:20 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: [*]that matter has the inherent “God-like,” in effect “omnipotent,” capability of organizing itself, evolving, inexorably developing into all that we observe in the entire universe. There is no God or even any sort of immaterial spirit that did or could do this, so it has to fall back onto matter. The belief in this without any reason whatsoever to do so is what I have called "atomism."

You might be interested to know that I ran a poll at an atheist forum a few years ago and the result was that only 15% of the respondents considered disbelief in the supernatural as essential to atheists or atheism.

That is very interesting. I know of a very good atheist philosopher who is a dualist: David Chalmers. But it could be that in this poll, they were noting that the essence of atheism is disbelief in the theist's God, rather than the supernatural per se. One must often have to dig deep into polls.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#12

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:44 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Two people have now thanked me for being here, and stirring up the pot a bit. One said I was responsible for many more interesting threads to respond to.

So? Was I supposed to be impressed by it? 

Quote:I guess my fate will be determined either by those who think I am a "liar" and a troll (perhaps I can be banned!), or those who think I am a good and challenging nemesis to bounce ideas back and forth with. This always occurs in atheist forums. The majority are simply name-callers, and a small minority actually wants to engage in dialogue with someone who believes in different things than they do.

Masturbate some more over your persecution complex, always fun to see. I hope you will end banned as as trolls like you bring nothing of substance to the forum. It's not like crap you write is new.

By engaging you and your verbal vomit I'm doing what you want but try to be a little more subtle. Apart from all that deeply idiotic claims about atheists (which perfectly fits with garden variety christian ignorance on the subject) you're claiming that god is talking with you. You're either insane or troll or some mix of both.

Quote:I'd also note that I have just as much trouble in Christian forums. I stopped doing them many years ago; the discussion was mostly worthless.

Discussing things with christians is worthless, that I will grant you.
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
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#13

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 04:30 PM)Dānu Wrote: Let's say you're correct, atheists en masse believe these things.  It does not follow from this that atheism entails these beliefs.  I'd say it's a fact that all people have worldviews. [Dave's bolding added there]

And the word atheism has multiple meanings, just as atheists have multiple worldviews.  Weren't you the person recently cautioning against the dangers of incorrectly assessing an adversary?

PRECISELY! "All people" includes atheists. That's exactly the point I am trying to make in this post. So we agree! Break out the champagne on new year's day!

This ties into my point that atheists and Christians must start discussions with a common premise. You and I just found one. And that's progress in terms of the potential for future constructive and fun dialogue.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#14

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
I'll admit I have a world view, I'll also admit it doesn't include theism/religion. It also contains the view that both atheists and theists have the right to exist or believe as they want. 

Take the chip off your shoulder Dave.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#15

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
STOP EATING THE LEAD PAINT CHIPS!!!!!!!!!
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#16

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 04:20 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Atheist critics are constantly informing us lowly, ignorant Christians that atheism itself is, alas, not a formulated position, but only the absence of a position (belief in God). It’s not a worldview, etc. I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that. It’s not true, but we hear it all the time.

No, atheism is not a worldview. Atheists have worldviews of course, but everybody does. The worldview of atheists is not informed specifically by their lack of belief in deities and can be very varied. For example, I am a secular humanist who largely subscribes to philosophical naturalism, rational skepticism, I am a social-liberal in terms of politics and economics, a feminist, largely an economical institutionalist when it comes down to geopolitics, etc. These are my worldviews. You will notice that they are secular worldview as in people who are religious can also adopt them, but belief in god is superfluous for their adoption. Since atheism doesn't posit anything else beside "doesn't believe in deities/doesn't have a religion" (though there is such a thing as an atheistic religion as in a religion without God like some version Buddhism and Daoism) it's not a worldview.
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#17

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:55 PM)Szuchow Wrote: It's not like crap [Dave writes] is new.
This is essentially true as to newness but for me the novelty is not in Dave's content but in his style. I think he sincerely attempts, despite some probably unconscious lapses into stereotype and cliche, to actually discuss.

That said ... IDK how long the novelty will last but this place has become moribund of late. There's a lot more volume of discussion elsewhere but I really like the permissive and tolerant moderation style here. And I am not talking mainly about overuse of the ban-hammer. On another forum I'm on for example, the lead moderator refuses to deal with political topics, so there's no direct way to discuss the influence of religion on politics or vice-versa; any thread heading that way gets closed. His counterpart on the political forum prohibits religious discussion. I left that site for a few years over this issue (that and the rather prudish and clumsy redaction of the slightest profanity).

I returned and put up with this because there are several dozen regulars, enough to keep things stimulating, even if probably 65% of them are either insane fundamentalists or cherry-picking spiritual-but-not-religious iconoclasts, one can have some intelligent discussion on demand usually. Here some days I sometimes see no substantive new posts in a given day, even a few days in a row.

This is why I am willing to see what Dave writes as not total crap and to engage with some of it. I've spend more enjoyable time here in the past few days than I probably did in the prior 3 months. And that's a good thing IMO.

Block Dave if he bugs you that much. I have blocked a few trolls here myself but IMO Dave is not one of them. Being wrong by my lights <> trolling. It may well become repetitive and then I will just make different choices who I spent time talking to. Or it may not.
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#18

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 06:13 PM)mordant Wrote: This is essentially true as to newness but for me the novelty is not in Dave's content but in his style. I think he sincerely attempts, despite some probably unconscious lapses into stereotype and cliche, to actually discuss.

As far as I am concerned he came here to shit all over the carpet and not a post he wrote supports other conclusion (in my view that is). It's a garden variety mix of ignorance, delusion and general clownishness.

Quote:That said ... IDK how long the novelty will last but this place has become moribund of late. There's a lot more volume of discussion elsewhere but I really like the permissive and tolerant moderation style here. And I am not talking mainly about overuse of the ban-hammer. On another forum I'm on for example, the lead moderator refuses to deal with political topics, so there's no direct way to discuss the influence of religion on politics or vice-versa; any thread heading that way gets closed. His counterpart on the political forum prohibits religious discussion. I left that site for a few years over this issue (that and the rather prudish and clumsy redaction of the slightest profanity).

This forum is dying but that's the fate of outdated things. Accepting trolls with open hands will not solve the issue.

Quote:I returned and put up with this because there are several dozen regulars, enough to keep things stimulating, even if probably 65% of them are either insane fundamentalists or cherry-picking spiritual-but-not-religious iconoclasts, one can have some intelligent discussion on demand usually. Here some days I sometimes see no substantive new posts in a given day, even a few days in a row.

This is why I am willing to see what Dave writes as not total crap and to engage with some of it. I've spend more enjoyable time here in the past few days than I probably did in the prior 3 months. And that's a good thing IMO.

Block Dave if he bugs you that much. I have blocked a few trolls here myself but IMO Dave is not one of them. Being wrong by my lights <> trolling. It may well become repetitive and then I will just make different choices who I spent time talking to. Or it may not.

He is somewhat entertaining with idiocy he spouts but giving trolls a free run will not turn the wheel of time and return this forum to it's (imaginary) greatness.
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
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#19

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:56 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 04:30 PM)Dānu Wrote: Let's say you're correct, atheists en masse believe these things.  It does not follow from this that atheism entails these beliefs.  I'd say it's a fact that all people have worldviews. [Dave's bolding added there]

And the word atheism has multiple meanings, just as atheists have multiple worldviews.  Weren't you the person recently cautioning against the dangers of incorrectly assessing an adversary?

PRECISELY! "All people" includes atheists. That's exactly the point I am trying to make in this post. So we agree! Break out the champagne on new year's day!

This ties into my point that atheists and Christians must start discussions with a common premise. You and I just found one. And that's progress in terms of the potential for future constructive and fun dialogue.
This little victory lap you do when you can construe the slightest agreement or common ground I provisionally accept as humor and an attempt to find common ground, but note that it often serves as a deflection from the actual point. If I correctly recall, Danu was countering your implication that atheism entails or should be conflated with worldviews that an atheist might hold. I see this as a gambit to expand the "attack surface" of atheism (using an IT security term here). Atheism really literally dictates nothing but declining to believe in even one god. That unbeliever might also happen to be a materialist or rationalist, or politically liberal, or nonconformist-oriented. For structural reasons (not least the minority position that atheism currently represents) these things are also likely to be true, but that does not mean that atheism requires them.

We have had Trump-loving politically conservative atheists here in the past. We have libertarians. We have had people who believe in or admit the possibility of ghosts. There are atheists who are Buddhists or Daoists. Do not try to broaden atheism into something more than it is; it is stereotyping and, potentially, leads to straw-manning.
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#20

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:44 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 05:11 PM)Szuchow Wrote: Trolls gonna troll for as long as they will be fed.

Two people have now kindly and graciously thanked me for being here, and stirring up the pot a bit. One said I was responsible for many more interesting threads to respond to.

I guess my fate will be determined either by those who think I am a "liar" and a troll (perhaps I can be banned!), or those who think I am a good and challenging nemesis to bounce ideas back and forth with. This always occurs in atheist forums. The majority are simply name-callers with little substance to offer, and a small minority actually wants to engage in dialogue with someone who believes in different things than they do. But all hell always breaks loose when I arrive. It usually settles within a week, and then some good conversation is able to be had. So all this is "ho hum" / "what else is new?" stuff to me.

I'd also note that I have just as much trouble in Christian forums. I stopped doing them many years ago; the discussion was mostly worthless.

Bolding mine; QFT.
If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.
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#21

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:36 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 05:00 PM)Deesse23 Wrote: Name a SINGLE belief ALL atheists have in common.
Ill wait....

Lack of belief in the theistic God. That's what the term literally means. If one thinks there is insufficient proof or doesn't claim to know and remains neutral on the question, that's agnosticism, meaning literally "not knowledge [of the question of God]". That's still a belief. If someone says, "I don't believe n leprechauns," that's a belief, not just a lack of belief. It's a belief in a world in which leprechauns, a species of mythical creature, don't exist (or in some cases, belief that they can't exist, or can't possibly exist).

It's difficult to even take such a question seriously, but I answered.

If you desire to be known as folks who make no reference to what you think is an imaginary fiction (God) -- "god" never crosses your mind AT ALL! Yeah, right . . . --, then call yourself materialists. But you don't do that. Book titles by famous atheists have that word in the title. This forum is "Atheist Discussion," etc.

Y'all make some very strange arguments about your own beliefs . . .

We Christians are very literal in our self-titles. A Christian is a follower of Christ (Greek for "Messiah").
Thanks for demonstrating that you don't know knowledge from belief, or belief from disbelief. Educate yourself a bit and come back, before you bend over backwards again to pretend atheism does entail a belief.

Your fanciful exercises are telling all one needs to know about you.
R.I.P. Hannes
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#22

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:53 PM)mordant Wrote: Is there a non-theistic god? Honest question. I have never heard any god qualified as "theistic".

Agnosticism is the knowledge position; atheism is the belief position. They have some overlap with, and influence on, each other, but vary independently. I would characterize myself as an agnostic or "soft" atheist. I cannot claim to "know" that there isn't at least one deity hiding under the carpet somewhere; I just think it vanishingly unlikely, such that I live pretty much the same as if I "knew" god didn't exist.

I do not lead however with some declaration that "there is no god" because theists like to make the technical (and technically correct) argument that I'd have to be everywhere and everywhen to say that. Rather than get bogged down in that I just say that I have never seen a good reason to think some specific god I'm having sold to me is likely to exist, much less to believe in it. And in my lived experience, literally everything I've observed is totally consistent with one of the following:

Absent god
Indifferent god
Non-interventionist god
Non-existent god

... and I have no clue how you'd tell any of those four apart, so I mostly go with the last one as getting more directly to the central question of whatever god we're talking about (typically the Christian god).

More importantly IMO I also am an unbeliever because I regard religious faith as a failed epistemology that does not lead to greater knowledge or understanding about god or anything else, and in fact leads to all sorts of cognitive dissonance and bad decisions and ridiculous expectations in one's lived experience. I do realize SOME of that goes away in less illiberal parts of Christianity than the one I came from, but still ... I had a choice when I left the fundagelical world -- either find a better fit somewhere within theism or leave altogether. And because all of theism essentially works off the same epistemology (accept assertions from various authoritative sources without requiring substantiation for them, even sometimes in direct conflict with well substantiated facts in science or very persuasive philosophical arguments), I felt that further adventures in TheistLand would be a waste of valuable time.

You elucidate your beliefs clearly and eloquently and I appreciate that. I hope to discuss many of these aspects with you and others in due course. It's becoming clear who wants to dialogue here and who don't want to. You asked:

Is there a non-theistic god? Honest question. I have never heard any god qualified as "theistic".

The deist "god" is one example. It starts the universe in motion and then appears to be utterly indifferent to it after that. 

There are different versions of theism (why I said I was a classical theist). Some think God doesn't have all the "omni" qualities and isn't outside of time (therefore doesn't know the future). This is seen in the theologically liberal beliefs in process theology and open theism. Allah in Islam also doesn't have all of the qualities of the Christian and Jewish God. And of course Judaism and Islam deny trinitarianism.

Then there is pantheism ("god is all or all is god") and panentheism ("god is in everything or everything is in god"). Those are basically variants of eastern religious concepts, which deny the transcendence of God.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#23

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:59 PM)brewerb Wrote: I'll admit I have a world view, I'll also admit it doesn't include theism/religion. It also contains the view that both atheists and theists  have the right to exist or believe as they want. 

Take the chip off your shoulder Dave.

I have no chip on my shoulder. I have strongly held viewpoints which I elucidate with vigor, rigor, and passion. Many folks immediately assume that I have an "attitude" in so doing or am angry or, as you say, have a chip on my shoulder. I don't. I'm just discussing ideas. My temperament is very calm, cool, easy-going. People here will learn that as time goes on. But at first I seem different from many. Maybe I am. But my outlook is what I just described.

You agree with my central point in this OP. All people have a worldview. I also agree with you that every human being has a right to exist and has religious freedom and freedom to believe whatever they like. Vatican II (binding to me as a Catholic) emphasized religious freedom and ecumenism: attempting to get along with and find common ground with those of different beliefs. I think that's great, and I am an enthusiastic proponent and defender of both things.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#24

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 05:53 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 05:09 PM)Dānu Wrote: You might be interested to know that I ran a poll at an atheist forum a few years ago and the result was that only 15% of the respondents considered disbelief in the supernatural as essential to atheists or atheism.

That is very interesting. I know of a very good atheist philosopher who is a dualist: David Chalmers. But it could be that in this poll, they were noting that the essence of atheism is disbelief in the theist's God, rather than the supernatural per se. One must often have to dig deep into polls.

My poll was very specific. It was prompted by an atheist who insisted that denying the supernatural was a necessary part of atheism.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#25

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview
(01-01-2024, 06:08 PM)epronovost Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 04:20 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Atheist critics are constantly informing us lowly, ignorant Christians that atheism itself is, alas, not a formulated position, but only the absence of a position (belief in God). It’s not a worldview, etc. I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that. It’s not true, but we hear it all the time.

No, atheism is not a worldview. Atheists have worldviews of course, but everybody does. The worldview of atheists is not informed specifically by their lack of belief in deities and can be very varied. For example, I am a secular humanist who largely subscribes to philosophical naturalism, rational skepticism, I am a social-liberal in terms of politics and economics, a feminist, largely an economical institutionalist when it comes down to geopolitics, etc. These are my worldviews. You will notice that they are secular worldview as in people who are religious can also adopt them, but belief in god is superfluous for their adoption. Since atheism doesn't posit anything else beside "doesn't believe in deities/doesn't have a religion" (though there is such a thing as an atheistic religion as in a religion without God like some version Buddhism and Daoism) it's not a worldview.

I think most of this description is harmonious with what I was arguing. There are some fine points to disagree on, but not enough to do it at this juncture. I'm happy to find significant agreement on this point with several people. I enjoy hearing atheists explain in more depth the nature of their own beliefs.

Following your reasoning, I think we could say something like, "atheism is a category that tends to have certain clusters of 'mini-wordviews' that are associated with it" (I majored in sociology, and one can see that here). You mentioned several: "philosophical naturalism, rational skepticism, . . . social-liberal in terms of politics and economics, a feminist." None of these are surprising. It's what I would expect to see. It depends on how one defines "worldview." I could say, for example, "most atheists tend to hold sub-beliefs a, b, c, d . . " without using the words "worldview" or "philosophy." Or you could say, "most Christians / Catholics / theists tend to hold sub-beliefs a, b, c, d . . "

So yeah, my thought on this has been influenced by your comment. Thanks!
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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