Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

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Realworldjack
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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 #31

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Difflugia posted= "Sure. To extend my horse analogy, if I look in my garage and don't see a horse, I might decide that I really, really, really wish I had a horse, so I do. I hang a saddle on the wall and buy a bale of hay to feed it. When a horse-atheist asks me why my horse never eats any hay, I ask them a bunch of nonsense questions ("Are you suggesting that there's no such thing as horses? A bunch of people that you've never met saw my horse once, so how do you explain that, Mr. Science Man?") and then smugly announce that they actually know that I have a horse and they're just jealous. Besides, they can't actually prove that I don't have a horse."

That's just how they argue. Same analogy is dragon in the garage or banana in the drawer or apple in the box. It's trying to counter the argument for an undisproven possibility (one of many, note) made to look like a credible probability. There is no validity for this position other than their having an a priori godfaith to start with, and that skews the whole debate as they think (I can swear to this) that it is the duty of the atheist to disprove the existence of a god (1) and not the duty of the Theist to validate the god -claim.They are used to assuming a god as a Given. That of course is why they can (in the end) dismiss everything including science and logic as mere 'human opinions' and rely on Faith. Which may be why they think rationalist reliance on the validated results of science as Evidence as 'beliefs', is not Faith or even a religion.

Which is damn'odd as - for those people - isn't Faith based beliefs considered a Good thing? It's almost like they knew that Faith - belief is invalid.

(1) and another red herring is asking the atheist to define 'God'.It is for the Theist to say what they mean by 'God' and then the atheist reviews the evidence or arguments in the light of what that particular god - claim is. Obviously if it was Shiva or Vishnu I wouldn't refer to the Bible to try to debunk them. Only a Bible believer would do that.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #32

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Erratum. it should of course read 'think that reliance on science as evidence Is a Belief, Faith or even a religion'. Which gives me the pretext for again posting the classtic mustwatch atheist explanation of the fallacy of presenting a claim without good (or debunked) or indeed contradictory evidence as nevertheless somehow valid.


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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #33

Post by POI »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:14 pm Erratum. it should of course read 'think that reliance on science as evidence Is a Belief, Faith or even a religion'. Which gives me the pretext for again posting the classtic mustwatch atheist explanation of the fallacy of presenting a claim without good (or debunked) or indeed contradictory evidence as nevertheless somehow valid.

I all but forgot about this video. It certainly does seem quite relevant to the topic.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #34

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Glad you think so.Of course, these discussions tend to go a bit wider but anything that clarifies the logical position of atheism and the various misdirections like agnosticism is a milder form of atheism or atheism is a Faith - belief or that atheism now is somehow a different beast from the old classic atheism, can be addressed, as a lot of atheists seem to have got confused about it, too.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #35

Post by Realworldjack »

brunumb wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:06 am
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:49 pm 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?
I fail to see why so much weight is given to the opinions of the author of that blog or whatever it is. When one reads a statement like "One of the biggest surface differences between atheism and agnosticism is that atheists tend to be more outspoken", one has to wonder just what evidence the author has compiled to make their case. And what sort of case would be based on how outspoken one group is compared with another? Laughable. Also, just because the author makes a vague claim regarding "their set of beliefs", that does not mean that the statement is actually valid. Atheists obviously have all sorts of beliefs, but with regard to gods, the existence of said beings is not one of them. That's all it takes to be an atheist. Why people get their knickers in such a twist over labels like atheist and agnostic is a real puzzle. Their motivations in doing so would make for an interesting discussion in itself.

By definition, all people who admit to a belief in god(s) are theists. Everyone else by default is an atheist. Simples. Agnostic is really an irrelevant and useless term that only muddies the waters. As pointed out many times, it refers to knowledge rather than belief. As far as I am concerned, no one actually knows if there are gods or not, so everyone is essentially agnostic in that regard.

I am going to allow this post to answer several of the others.
I fail to see why so much weight is given to the opinions of the author of that blog or whatever it is.
I fail to see how in the world you could imagine I was giving this author any weight at all? I do not know this author in the least. If we go back to the OP we will see, I am asking for some clarification on this matter. Moreover, did you happen to read the question of mine you actually quoted? READ CAREFULLY NOW!
realworldjack wrote:My question is, would this author be correct to say there would be Atheists who would have "a set of beliefs"?
If I were giving this author "weight", there would be no need in my question as to whether he would be correct.

So let us start over. Are there folks who believe there to be no gods? Assert there to be no gods? Claim all gods to be myth, legend, etc.? If there are such folks, then I would suggest these folks hold certain beliefs about gods, and do not simply "lack belief". The next question would be, if there are such folks, would they be considered to be atheist? Or, is atheism only for those who "lack belief", who make no certain claims about gods?

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #36

Post by benchwarmer »

Realworldjack wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:37 pm So let us start over. Are there folks who believe there to be no gods? Assert there to be no gods? Claim all gods to be myth, legend, etc.? If there are such folks, then I would suggest these folks hold certain beliefs about gods, and do not simply "lack belief". The next question would be, if there are such folks, would they be considered to be atheist? Or, is atheism only for those who "lack belief", who make no certain claims about gods?
How is this so complicated? One really has to wonder what the agenda here is.

Atheist: I don't believe any god claims
Theist: I believe at least one god claim

Agnostic: I don't KNOW if a god actually exists
Gnostic: I KNOW a god actually exists.

These are orthogonal.

Agnostic Atheist: I don't believe any god claims, but I don't actually KNOW one way or the other. (Most atheists likely hold this position)
Gnostic Atheist: I don't believe any god claims and I KNOW there are no gods. (good luck holding this position, but some will claim this)

Agnostic Theist: I believe at least one god claim, but I don't actually KNOW one way or the other. (Most theists likely hold this position if they haven't actually come in contact with a god)
Gnostic Theist: I believe at least one god claim and I KNOW there is a god (good luck holding this position, but some will claim to have seen/felt/sensed/heard god)

So, what is the point of this and other similar threads?

I believe that theists want to bring atheists onto the same playing field where beliefs can be pointed out to being used on both sides. This fails to advance anything though.

It usually goes like this:

Theist: I believe in a god.
Atheist: Great, what evidence to you have for this god.
Theist: <provides whatever they have>
Atheist: I can't verify a god exists based on that. I don't believe your claim.
Theist: Well, you claim god doesn't exist! You have an unsupported belief too!
Atheist: No, I don't. I don't know if gods exist and neither do I believe in your claim.
...
Theist: Lets debate what an atheist is.....

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #37

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Realworldjack wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:37 pm
brunumb wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:06 am
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:49 pm 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?
I fail to see why so much weight is given to the opinions of the author of that blog or whatever it is. When one reads a statement like "One of the biggest surface differences between atheism and agnosticism is that atheists tend to be more outspoken", one has to wonder just what evidence the author has compiled to make their case. And what sort of case would be based on how outspoken one group is compared with another? Laughable. Also, just because the author makes a vague claim regarding "their set of beliefs", that does not mean that the statement is actually valid. Atheists obviously have all sorts of beliefs, but with regard to gods, the existence of said beings is not one of them. That's all it takes to be an atheist. Why people get their knickers in such a twist over labels like atheist and agnostic is a real puzzle. Their motivations in doing so would make for an interesting discussion in itself.

By definition, all people who admit to a belief in god(s) are theists. Everyone else by default is an atheist. Simples. Agnostic is really an irrelevant and useless term that only muddies the waters. As pointed out many times, it refers to knowledge rather than belief. As far as I am concerned, no one actually knows if there are gods or not, so everyone is essentially agnostic in that regard.

I am going to allow this post to answer several of the others.
I fail to see why so much weight is given to the opinions of the author of that blog or whatever it is.
I fail to see how in the world you could imagine I was giving this author any weight at all? I do not know this author in the least. If we go back to the OP we will see, I am asking for some clarification on this matter. Moreover, did you happen to read the question of mine you actually quoted? READ CAREFULLY NOW!
realworldjack wrote:My question is, would this author be correct to say there would be Atheists who would have "a set of beliefs"?
If I were giving this author "weight", there would be no need in my question as to whether he would be correct.

So let us start over. Are there folks who believe there to be no gods? Assert there to be no gods? Claim all gods to be myth, legend, etc.? If there are such folks, then I would suggest these folks hold certain beliefs about gods, and do not simply "lack belief". The next question would be, if there are such folks, would they be considered to be atheist? Or, is atheism only for those who "lack belief", who make no certain claims about gods?
And let's wind it up as it has been. Perhaps there are such folks. I'm inclined to think that way myself. But it is based on how I see the evidence. Take Genesis. On the basis of evidence I think it is wrong. I think it is a creation -myth. From what I have seen, all the Creation - stories are like myths. That looks like the best conclusion based on that evidence. Call that a 'belief' if you like. I'd see it as the hypothesis that best fits scientific fact (if one believes scientific results). I tends to address other matters including the god - claims in the same way.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #38

Post by alexxcJRO »

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.
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.
Its pretty laughable how can someone with 2143 posts on this forum to ask "Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?".
Q: Were you really ignorant? :?

Q: Did you not received this past years you been a member on this forum ad nauseam responses that for the most part atheists simple lack a belief in god?

They may be few that are strong-gnostic atheists. Claim to know a certain God is non-existent or no gods exist(this is pretty rare).
For the most part most atheist are agnostic atheists. Claim they don't know that a God does not exist but they lack a belief that a God exists.

I know the passive agnostic atheist position bothers the religious who because of their active position are often back into a corner to prove their positive claim, but common! :shock:
"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets."
"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."
"God is a insignificant nobody. He is so unimportant that no one would even know he exists if evolution had not made possible for animals capable of abstract thought to exist and invent him"
"Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer."

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #39

Post by TRANSPONDER »

I agree. A lot of this often repeated argument is because it ticks theism off to have the burden of proof (of their god -claim) and they expend much effort on trying to argue that atheism has the burden of proof of there being no god.

It is also very common for the Theist side to refuse to see that the findings of science about how the natural and physical world works is a valid materialist basis in which no god plays any evidential part. It is thus for Theism to evidence any god -claim. ID of various kinds addresses that so they HAVE accepted the burden of proof, but the discussion of ID has not made the case for a god. Not just because atheism has said 'I don't care what evidence you have, I still believe..' No. The ID case has gone down. DNA is not a written software program. No, Evolution does not need a god because of irreducible complexity. No, Abiogenesis has a sufficient natural mechanism without the need for a god. No, The 'random chance' objections are based on a misunderstanding that unplanned natural laws are not Random Chance and that assuming an intended outcome skews the odds. In short, ID has no persuasive case.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #40

Post by Realworldjack »

alexxcJRO wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 7:22 am
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.
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.
Its pretty laughable how can someone with 2143 posts on this forum to ask "Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?".
Q: Were you really ignorant? :?

Q: Did you not received this past years you been a member on this forum ad nauseam responses that for the most part atheists simple lack a belief in god?

They may be few that are strong-gnostic atheists. Claim to know a certain God is non-existent or no gods exist(this is pretty rare).
For the most part most atheist are agnostic atheists. Claim they don't know that a God does not exist but they lack a belief that a God exists.

I know the passive agnostic atheist position bothers the religious who because of their active position are often back into a corner to prove their positive claim, but common! :shock:

Okay? The following is from the web, a site which is dictionary.com,
Atheist vs. agnostic
There is a key distinction. An atheist doesn’t believe in a god or divine being. The word originates with the Greek atheos, which is built from the roots a- (“without”) and theos (“a god”). Atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no god.

However, an agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves in a god or religious doctrine. Agnostics assert that it’s impossible for human beings to know anything about how the universe was created and whether or not divine beings exist.
Now, the thing is, I don't care either way. Rather, I am simply attempting to understand when I am addressing one who refers to themself as an "atheist" exactly what I am dealing with? When one refers to themself as an agnostic, I am pretty sure I am dealing with one who claims not to know. However, there now seems to be those who refer to themselves as atheist, and they seem to have the very same stance, or at least very close. So please allow me to ask these questions again,

1. Are there folks who believe there is no gods?

2. If there are such folks would they be considered atheist?

3. If there are such folks, and they are to be considered atheist then would this mean, there are atheist who go beyond simply a "lack of belief"?

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