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amortalman
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:29 pm  Atheism as a religion Reply with quote

The following excerpt is from the National Catholic Register, www.ncregister.com :

But the truth is, atheism is the farthest thing in the world from simple absence of belief. Indeed, atheism is a whole system of beliefs—a system that has its own philosophy (materialism), morality (relativism), politics (social Darwinism), and culture (secularism). It even has its own sacraments (abortion and euthanasia). And this system of beliefs has been responsible for more death, carnage, persecution and misery than any system of beliefs the world has ever known.

Topic of debate: Do you agree or disagree with the statement above and why.

Edit Note: The web address for the National Catholic Register is incomplete. The article I referenced can be read at http://www.ncregister.com/blog/guest-blogger/dawkins-is-wrong-the-fastest-growin...
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 81: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:36 pm
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[Replying to post 73 by 2timothy316]

Quote:
The religions you mentioned are god based religions, yours is godless based religion.

On this thread, this will be the last time I respond to you. It seems you are hell bent on not actually paying attention to what it is I say about myself.

I am an atheist. On this thread, I have divulged one thing and one thing only about myself - that I lack a belief in a god or gods.
Beyond that (in this thread) you know nothing else about me. To then say I have a religion is a non sequitur, it does not follow that I have a religion.
Do you know what else the religions I mentioned have all in common with one another? They have creeds, dogmas, groupings, they expel (whether formally or informally) those who do not agree with those things they positively state. Again, for example, the Roman Catholic Church will not allow someone who rejects that Jesus Christ is the resurrected Son of God to take part in Holy Communion, or a doctor who performs an abortion.

Quote:
That is where the differences stop.

With me, what are the similarities to a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist or as you mention, a Jainist? What similarities can you mention when the only thing I have told you about myself is that I lack a belief in a god or gods?
Again, for another time, your approach here is to insist that a person who plays no sports is still somehow a sportsman, just like those sports like tennis or football, that there is little to no difference between this person and a person who plays professional football.

Quote:
Everything else is very much like anyone or anything else. Like Jainism. The Jain religion teaches to strive for successive lives and no to hurt anyone or anything. There are no gods in Jainism, but it's still a religion. Jainism is a form of atheism.

I'm looking up Jainism, and I have to disagree.
https://sites.fas.harvard.edu/~pluralsm/affiliates/jainism/jainedu/jaingod.htm

"Hence Jainism does not believe in God as a creator, survivor, and destroyer of the universe.

However Jainism does believe in God, not as a creator, but as a perfect being. When a person destroys all his karmas, he becomes a liberated soul. He resides in a perfect blissful state in Moksha. He possesses infinite knowledge, infinite vision, infinite power, and infinite bliss. This living being is a God of Jain religion.

Every living being has a potential to become God. Hence Jains do not have one God, but Jain Gods are innumerable and their number is continuously increasing as more living beings attain liberation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_Jainism
"All souls who have achieved the natural state of infinite bliss, infinite knowledge (kevala jnana), infinite power and infinite perception are regarded as God in Jainism. "

I question why you stated that Jainism is atheistic.

Also, on the Wikipedia page I just linked to, do you see those things on the right? "Jain prayers" "Philosophy" "Ethics" and the rest. Does anything like that apply to me? You have insisted that I walk like a duck and quack like a duck, that the "differences stop" simply at the point of me not having a god, so again.
How. Am. I. Similar. To. Religions?

Quote:
Of course it's not like your version of atheism.

As I have just explained, it's not a version of atheism at all, since it has gods.

Quote:
There are people who are members of American Atheists.

Yes, there are groups of people whose common denominator is that they lack a belief in a god or gods. I am not a member of AA. For one reason, wrong continent.

Quote:
They even have a website. https://www.atheists.org/

Are you implying that I am somehow bound to them, share some sort of relationship with them or ought to?
I don't. I've never communicated with AA, at least not knowingly with someone who is a member.
I've never cared to check out their site, nor do I think I have any onus to. They could say anything at all, and it wouldn't impact me when I wear my "I do not believe in a god or gods" hat.

Quote:
They ask for funding, very religious of them.

So do Oxfam, or Médecins Sans Frontières. Are you going to call them religious? What about my local library, or a school?

The requirements you seem to have for what something has to have to count as religious, are very loose indeed.

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List there values they fight for, very religious of them.

Again, so do MSF, are they religions?

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They even have a section on ethics that should be followed. Sounds like a religion to me.

Banks have ethics. So do courts. Are they religions? An ethical rule that a banker must follow is that he cannot sell off stocks while he has knowledge of an impending down-size in their value (this is called insider trading), information that only he knows and not outside investors.

Quote:
Like other god-based religions, atheist are not all peaceful.

Are you trying to pin this on me? Remember, this discussion isn't just a discussion about atheists around the world. I in particular have come under scrutiny, with you insisting that if I walk like a duck and quack like a duck, then I must be religious.

Quote:
There are violent atheist just like in other religious beliefs.

Again, all you know about me on this thread is that I lack a belief in a god or gods. Where does the violence come from then?

Quote:
This is yet another way they are similar. Their beliefs sometimes go against another groups beliefs and there is conflict.

It would have to come from something other than the lack of a belief in a god or gods. I'd like to know the causal connection, the chain from thinking "I don't believe in the existence of gods" to "I'm a gonna kill that Christian over there!"

Quote:
The main point is, religion, dogma doesn't need a god to believe in.

I agree.
Which is why, after telling you that I lack a belief in a god or gods, where you see this dogma or religion within/from me. What dogmas do I have? What creeds? What ceremonies.
Sports don't need international leagues, so someone could just play baseball on the weekends for fun, but does this mean someone who sits on the couch and watches Netflix is very similar/identical to someone who plays baseball, whether amateur or professional?

Quote:
A religious belief doesn't need more than one person to believe a set of principles, ethics etc.

If I'm the only person on Earth, how is what I have a religion?

Quote:
Religion is a belief system and you have a godless belief system

Pay attention here.

What is my belief system?

All you know is that I lack a belief in a god or gods. Beyond that, you know nothing about me. So what can you say about my belief system?

Yes I have a belief system of sorts, there are things that I do believe, but on what grounds can YOU talk about them when I have not divulged them?

Quote:
Whatever that belief system is that you think you should live by makes it your personal religious system.

No. Nothing about me matches a religion. So far you have failed in your every endeavour to try to paint me as similar to/identical to a person who is religious like a Christian.

Quote:
Again as the dictionary put it, "a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices". That is the definition of religion and god doesn't have to be part of it so stop saying it does.

I never disagreed with whether God has to be a part of a religion for that thing to be a religion.
Are you not paying attention?

Quote:
You also have a dogma.

Which is...? Are you claiming to be a mind reader? Apart from me lacking a belief in a god or god (and that I exist), what do you think I am dogmatic about, in the way a Christian is dogmatic about Jesus Christ being the resurrected Son of God?

Quote:
If you believe there is no God or gods to be incontrovertibly true,

When did I say that? Go on, quote me on it. It is incontrovertibly true that I lack a belief in a god or gods, but that there are no gods, period? That it is dogmatic with me, something I demand to be true?

Nope.

Quote:
If you thing that is incontrovertibly true then your agnostic.

Wrong on both counts. Agnostics lack a knowledge of a God or gods, the root word being the Greek for knowledge gnosis. That speaks not at all as to anything being incontrovertibly true. It could very well be that there is a god, but a person who is agnostic lacks any knowledge of that god. Knowledge of a thing is separate from the status of that thing's existence.

In all, I'm going to close by stating that you have been factually incorrect on practically all counts in this discussion of ours.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 82: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:43 pm
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2timothy316 wrote:

[Replying to post 66 by rikuoamero]

I see you have avoided my question in post 64. Why is that?

https://debatingchristianity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=941779#941779


As a last reply from me to yourself in this thread, I have to call out your hypocrisy. You have avoided many of my questions. I have asked dozens in the course of our discussion.

The difference between you and I is that I do not demand that you do answer all questions. If you don't want to, fine. That's up to yourself. I do find it to be rank hypocrisy to avoid many of my questions, and then to complain to me that I am avoiding yours.

First cast the beam out of your own eye.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 83: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:22 pm
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[quote="2timothy316"]
[Replying to post 54 by amortalman]

Quote:
Apparently, you've tossed the dictionary out the window and without your agreement of the definitions of the English language there will never be an agreement. You conceded the argument when you denied the definitions set by the English language and only accept your own definitions of words.


How can you say I've conceded the argument? How can you say I've tossed the dictionary out the window when I clearly posted Merriam-Webster's definitions of unbelief (post 35 & 51) and religion (post 51)? Both definitions support my arguments. I also argued against your claim that atheists have a dogma and that not believing in god is a faith. It looks like you are the one tossing out the dictionary and want to disagree with definitions.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 84: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:34 am
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[Replying to post 82 by rikuoamero]

You are to be commend, you stayed longer than I thought you would. You tried to take on the English language by attempting to ignore what is plainly in the dictionary and though that was a failure, good try.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 85: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:40 am
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[Replying to post 83 by amortalman]

Whatever you need to tell yourself. Yet you still do not accept the definition that names atheism as a religion. And you believe that something doesn't exist yet that's still faith. I have faith there is no such thing as ghosts. I have faith ghosts don't exist. Replace ghost with God and that is your exact same argument. If you are not willing to see that clear truth you are being what is called intellectually dishonest with yourself and me. You can't get it past yourself that these words, faith, dogma and religion can only be applied to god-based things. You're wrong. They are used in non-god sentences all the time.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 86: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:54 am
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rikuoamero wrote:


Quote:
Religion is a belief system and you have a godless belief system

Pay attention here.

What is my belief system?

All you know is that I lack a belief in a god or gods.

You answered your own question. You just named one of your beliefs, your belief that there are no gods or god. That makes it one of your 'personal set' of 'beliefs'. Which the MW dictionary states that a religion is a personal set of beliefs.

Seriously, this can't be any simpler or clearer. It's not what you believe in that makes something a religion. It is the fact you have beliefs and since you have beliefs that makes it your religion. Do you understand?


Last edited by 2timothy316 on Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:05 am; edited 4 times in total

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 87: Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:00 am
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marco wrote:

2timothy316 wrote:


Please state for the record that you reject the other definitions of the word religion as stated by the dictionaries above. And do you understand that these are not my words.


I am not involving myself in the tennis returns of definitions. I have made my position abundantly clear and if you wish to argue against my viewpoint, do so.

In the title of this website you'll read, "The pursuit of knowledge and truth". You're not in pursuit of these things, if you were than you'd have no trouble being bold in standing by what is written in the dictionary or refusing it. You lack to commit to what has been established as a reference for us English speaking folks. If you did accept what it said, the tennis match would be over and you know it. So really, it's your tennis match because you will not tell me if you accept the dictionary's definitions. This shows truth is not your concern, just fighting. That is a waste of time and trying to get your acceptance of the English dictionary is off topic.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 88: Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:24 am
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2timothy316 wrote:

In the title of this website you'll read, "The pursuit of knowledge and truth". You're not in pursuit of these things, if you were than you'd have no trouble being bold in standing by what is written in the dictionary or refusing it. You lack to commit to what has been established as a reference for us English speaking folks. If you did accept what it said, the discussion would be over and you know it. This shows truth is not your concern, just fighting. That is a waste of time and trying to get your acceptance of the English dictionary is off topic.


I pursue knowledge and truth in places where I have a likelihood of finding them. I've spent many years consulting dictionaries in many languages; I have no problem extracting a meaning. We are discussing "Atheism is a religion" and naturally we want to know what religion means in this context. In its original Latin form, religio does pertain to worship of gods and eventually by metonymy it is the object of that worship or indeed any worship.

Your discovery of the various dictionary meanings does not entitle you to assume that each meaning applies in spirit to the statement being discussed. I accept that if we say "religion is any avid interest" then all likes and dislikes fall under religion. Even then it's hard to say that atheism is a religion since atheism is simply a denial of religion. We cannot be A and not-A at the same time.

If you have further information to offer on this fascinating study, I shall submit myself as an attentive student. I suspect I shall learn very little, however.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 89: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:42 pm
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[Replying to post 88 by marco]

Is there a point in this post? Perhaps I get your ruling on the following definition?


Oxford Dictionary: Religion
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/religion
1.2 A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.
‘consumerism is the new religion’

Agree or disagree?

You said, "atheism is simply a denial of religion."

Oxford says of Atheism
"Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods."
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/atheism

Not a denial of religion. In fact I checked 4 major dictionaries and none use the word religion. Care to rephrase? Or direct me to the dictionary that you use. If you don't use one, then how is a discussion possible if there are no words I use that you understand?

Atheism can certainly lead to one denying religion as true. Yet atheism is not a denial of what religion means in the dictionary, which is what it seems everyone on this thread is trying to say atheism means.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 90: Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:25 pm
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2timothy316 wrote:



Is there a point in this post? Perhaps I get your ruling on the following definition?


Oxford Dictionary: Religion
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/religion
1.2 A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.
‘consumerism is the new religion’

Agree or disagree?



Am I debating with you or have the authors of the OED decided to join us? I have absolutely no quibble with any dictionary definition.

2timothy316 wrote:



You said, "atheism is simply a denial of religion."

Oxford says of Atheism
"Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods."
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/atheism



When I say: Paris is a lovely city I am not defining Paris. TS Eliot said, April is the cruellest month - but this is no definition of April. You are simply confusing an ordinary statement with a definition. Of course you won`t find what I say in a list of definitions because I didn`t give a definition.

2timothy316 wrote:


Not a denial of religion. In fact I checked 4 major dictionaries and none use the word religion. Care to rephrase? Or direct me to the dictionary that you use. If you don't use one, then how is a discussion possible if there are no words I use that you understand?



I have enough to do correcting my own errors without being held accountable for yours. If you go around arbitrarily consulting dictionaries, I'm sure there's some benefit but in the present circumstances your labours seem pointless. I repeat, my statement is not a definition. You will note that in the past few posts you have completely disregarded the proposition, while giving extraneous information about some dictionaries.

I know what religion is. I know how one can use the word figuratively. If you need to remind yourself of definitions, do so, but you don't have to inform me. Cicero discussed one possible root of the word, religio, in his treatise on gods, while the later author Lactantius found another root for the word, based on Lucretius. The word crossed the Alps as religionem and having lost its accusative ending, gave us the word "relgion". Observation of religious people led to the deduction that religion was linked to zeal, enthusiasm, deep interest and so these figurative meanings became acceptable. I comprehend this with not the slightest problem.


Now, to the relevant question: Is atheism a religion? An honest answer is - it is not a religion in the sense that the author of this statement would mean. Searching out a wide range of meanings for religion is wasting my time and, I dare say, your own, though I agree there are concomitant blessings attached to looking through a dictionary. If I am described as an atheist, then the point to note is my rejection of Yahweh, principally, and any of his relatives. Address that, though I don`t suppose you`ll find dictionaries useful here. It would be interesting to hear if you have any of your own thoughts on the OP.

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