Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

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Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #1

Post by Realworldjack »

From another thread,
An atheist, by definition is someone who lacks belief in a god or gods. Full stop.
So, I'm sort of confused, and was wondering if I may get some help here? Can anyone explain the above quote to me? From the same thread we read,
Lack of belief is quite clearly not a belief.
Is the above quote suggesting, Atheists simply lack belief in god, but do not insist there would be no god?

I am honestly asking these questions in order to get a better understanding, because I do not believe all Atheists would identify with the above. In other words, I believe there are folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods. If the folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods are not Atheists, then what would they be referred to as? If these folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods are to be considered Atheists, then we do not have a "full stop" as stated above.

For further consideration, and discussion, I would like to post a quote from the web, along with supplying the full article this quote derived from.
Atheists are not agnostic. The most important factor that differentiates an atheist from an agnostic is that atheists have firm disbelief in God, while agnostics are merely doubting.
https://www.cyberateos.org/are-atheists ... 20at%20all.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #11

Post by Realworldjack »

[Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #4]

I do not think you are answering my questions? The author of the article I supplied claims there are folks who are convinced, (hold the opinion, believe, make the claim) that god, nor gods, exist. Is he correct? Or, would it be impossible for one to hold to such a position? If the author is correct, the question would be, would these folks who hold such views be considered, Atheist? If we should not consider them to be Atheist, then what should we refer to them as? If we should consider these folks Atheist, then we would have to say there would NOT be a "full stop" when one makes this statement,
An atheist, by definition is someone who lacks belief in a god or gods. Full stop.
Because if we are to consider said folks as Atheist, then there are Atheists, who hold a different position than simply a, "lack of belief" and rather make certain claims.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #12

Post by Realworldjack »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 5:16 pm Yes. Atheism is simply a lack of belief. Specifically in the god -claim. An atheist can have belief in ghosts and even an afterlife, but if they don't believe in any god -claim, they are atheist.

However in practical terms, Thinking atheists tend to be rationalists, humanists, skeptics, logically critical, tend towards the Liberal and are flexible in matters of sexual morality, but none of these thing are Rules that you get in a 10 point list with with the atheist party -card and demand for donations.

Aside 'what is a god?' (it's up to the god -claimant to define it. If they want to call the Eiffel tower 'God' and argue that proves God exists, we'll refer them to dictionaries of accepted usage (1) the argument has two trouser -legs:
'A cosmic creator' (not necessarily identical with one of any particular religion), or a Deity as described in a particular religion, probably with a Holy Book. The point being that an atheist can say that they are not convinced by the cosmic creator arguments but they positively disbelieve that Biblegod could be possible - at least as described. Thus when atheists say 'There is no God' they are usually referring to the god of the Bible (given that nothing is 100% sure) but they admit more of a possibility of a cosmic creator. (in my case about 2-3% more credible).

It gets a lot more complicated than that, friend :roll: trust me, but keep those basics in mind and you won't go far wrong.

(1) if they want to play the Humpty dictum and invent their own language, it's nobody's fault but theirs if nobody understand them.

That's arguable. Mainly because the logical position of atheism being now based on agnossticism (we don't know whether a god exists)
And this is my question? Is Atheism, and Agnosticism, one, and the same now? The way in which I understand it is, the Agnostic claims not to know. Are we now saying this is the position of the Atheist? If not, then what would be the difference between Atheists, as opposed to Agnostic? Next, how should we refer to those who may claim to be convinced there are no gods, and gods do not exist?

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #13

Post by David the apologist »

brunumb wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:48 pm
David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 5:40 pm
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:32 am From another thread,
An atheist, by definition is someone who lacks belief in a god or gods. Full stop.
Apparently, my left sock is an atheist.

You learn something new every day.
I'm assuming that you regard your left sock as 'someone'. Do you have a personal relationship with your left sock? Just wondering.
Hey, if "lack of belief" is all it takes to be an atheist, why require that atheists be people? Everything that lacks belief in God is an atheist, regardless of whether or not it has - or even could have - other beliefs.
"The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed to say it, because it is most shameful.
And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
-Tertullian

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #14

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to Realworldjack in post #13]
And this is my question? Is Atheism, and Agnosticism, one, and the same now? The way in which I understand it is, the Agnostic claims not to know. Are we now saying this is the position of the Atheist? If not, then what would be the difference between Atheists, as opposed to Agnostic? Next, how should we refer to those who may claim to be convinced there are no gods, and gods do not exist?
I can only speak for myself as an "atheist", but I refer to myself using that term because I am personally about 99.999% convinced there are no such thing as gods simply because there is no evidence for them in my view. Does that 0.001% reclassify me as an agnostic?

I usually consider an agnostic as someone who has the attitude that we can't prove with certainty whether gods exist or not, so they basically ignore the issue and don't bother to form an opinion one way or another (maybe an apathetic agnostic?). They are around 50/50... on the fence or don't care. Whereas an atheist seriously doubts the existence of gods and gives them a very low probability of existing, but not necessarily zero probability. That is, they lack a belief in gods but don't go so far to deny their existence entirely, or claim that they absolutely do not exist. Someone in that category I would classify as something besides a garden variety atheist, because they are claiming more than just a (however strong) lack of belief but rather a definitive claim of nonexistence when (as far as I know) that negative can't be absolutely proven beyond any doubt. Probably boils down to semantics.
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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #15

Post by Realworldjack »

Difflugia wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:35 pm
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:42 pmHowever, I am attempting to understand how one who takes such a stance would be under the impression, they would have any sort of advantage over the Christian who makes no certain claims they cannot demonstrate to be fact?
The main advantage for the atheist would be a shorter list of magical things that they believe in. Whether that helps in an argument or not, I'm not sure, but it certainly can't hurt.

I can't in principle say that there are no gods, but I believe it with the same level of certainty that I believe there are neither leprechauns nor extraterrestrial teapots in solar orbit. There's little reason beyond "you can't prove otherwise" to believe any of those things. In fact, there's objectively more evidence for either of the latter propositions than for a god's existence in that sincere people claim to have seen leprechauns and we actually know that teapots exist.

Whether it helps in an argument or not is perhaps an open question, but if one can eliminate possibilities that are mere "you can't prove its," then in a practical sense, solving problems becomes much easier. A mechanic that doesn't waste time ruling out gremlins, evil wizards, and Jesus for every single car problem, for example, will be much more efficient at their job.
The main advantage for the atheist would be a shorter list of magical things that they believe in.
Are you insisting the Christian claims involve, "magic"? Or, would this simply be a "figure of speech"? In other words, are you suggesting there is something to the Christian claims, and it involves magic? Or, would it be better to say you believe there to be nothing to the claims, other than myth, legend, etc.?
I can't in principle say that there are no gods
Why is this? Is it because you do not know (Agnostic)? Or, is it, you cannot demonstrate, (burden of proof)?
but I believe it with the same level of certainty that I believe there are neither leprechauns nor extraterrestrial teapots in solar orbit.
Right! And there are many Christian who would say, "I believe the Christian claims, with the same level of certainty that I believe there are neither leprechauns nor extraterrestrial teapots in solar orbit". It means nothing when they say it?????????? SOOOOOOO????? What?
There's little reason beyond "you can't prove otherwise" to believe any of those things.
OPINION noted! But not a very good opinion, in my opinion. Can you see the point? All you are doing is to share an opinion. You are not demonstrating anything at all, other than your opinion. With this being the case, it would seem you, and I, are in the same boat. You have your opinion, while I have my opinion. I am fine with this being the case. What say you?

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #16

Post by Tcg »

Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:32 am In other words, I believe there are folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods.
Sure, there are. And those folks lack belief in god/gods. That is the definition of atheism. Yes, atheism is simply a lack of belief in god/gods. Why do some try to confuse it?


Tcg
To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

- American Atheists


Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

- wiploc


I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

- Irvin D. Yalom

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #17

Post by brunumb »

David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:00 pm Hey, if "lack of belief" is all it takes to be an atheist, why require that atheists be people? Everything that lacks belief in God is an atheist, regardless of whether or not it has - or even could have - other beliefs.
Seriously? Based on that line of thinking one would have to call into question all the other arguments and claims you (and your sock?) have made on this forum.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #18

Post by Tcg »

David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:00 pm
Hey, if "lack of belief" is all it takes to be an atheist, why require that atheists be people?
Oh, my. Is this going to lead us to the watermelons or rocks or chairs are atheists too argumentation? Atheists are people who lack belief in god/gods. Hamburgers are neither atheists nor theists by the simple fact that they are not people. Yes, atheists are people.


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To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

- American Atheists


Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

- wiploc


I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

- Irvin D. Yalom

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #19

Post by Tcg »

Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:38 pm If not, then what would be the difference between Atheists, as opposed to Agnostic?
Well, the similarity is that both begin with lowercase "a." The difference is that atheism addresses belief while agnosticism addresses knowledge. One can be both an atheist and an agonistic.


Tcg
To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

- American Atheists


Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

- wiploc


I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

- Irvin D. Yalom

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #20

Post by Realworldjack »

Tcg wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:56 pm
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:32 am In other words, I believe there are folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods.
Sure, there are. And those folks lack belief in god/gods. That is the definition of atheism. Yes, atheism is simply a lack of belief in god/gods. Why do some try to confuse it?


Tcg
Okay, back to the article I supplied,
One of the biggest surface differences between atheism and agnosticism is that atheists tend to be more outspoken. Their outspoken nature is mostly due to the fact that they have more conviction in their set of beliefs.
Notice, it does not say, "the lack of belief", but rather, "their set of beliefs". My question is, would this author be correct to say there would be Atheists who would have "a set of beliefs"? In other words, if there are folks who claim to believe (which is not lack of belief) there is no god, or gods, should we consider these folks to be Atheist? If they are not to be considered Atheist, then what should we consider them to be? If they are to be considered Atheist, then we cannot make a "full stop" on this statement,
An atheist, by definition is someone who lacks belief in a god or gods. Full stop.

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