Sunday, October 23, 2005

Clarification

Okay, just to make sure I've got this right. I want to know about your definitions of atheism. Like what specifically don't you believe in.

Example:
I don't believe in a biblical interpretation of God, as in, that guy with a beard who micromanages and controls our everyday lives.

I don't believe God is a physical or spiritual omnipotent reality either.

What I do believe is that "God" is an ideal and a moral standard to which we hold ourselves. I'm a religious humanist. To me, "God" is merely a useful term to describe an idealism that hopefully humans want to strive toward. To be godly instead of know "God."

The purpose of life is to understand yourself and your relationships with other people and with nature. Whether or not you believe in God is irrelevant; one should just attempt to be godly. This is still a Jewish theology that's widely accepted in more liberal movements.

My point being, it's highly possible that the more a-religionistic of us have condemned religion as being a horrible thing without properly looking at all of its more flexible aspects. Atheism and religion can coexist.

14 Comments:

At 10/23/2005 7:55 PM, Blogger seth said...

A) No creator god/gods
B) No sentient, powerful being watching over us.
C) No strange, powerful force guiding life.
D) Life's purpose is to procreate and keep the gene/species in existence.

As long as people worship a creator god and believe it makes them better, atheism and theism cannot coexist.

 
At 10/23/2005 8:05 PM, Blogger Advocate of the Browns said...

I think i will refrain from discussing my views on theology with you considering what happened last time... *shudders*

 
At 10/23/2005 8:13 PM, Blogger Enil Edam said...

life = death, obviously.

So Seth, can religion with out theistic association coexist with atheism?

And do you think there's any sort of higher moral standard? Like, do you hold yourself to ideals with some physical basis in text?

 
At 10/23/2005 8:17 PM, Blogger seth said...

Define life, and define death.

What's good for the species is what's good. It does not help the species if I start murdering people. so murder is 'morally wrong.' Et cetera.

I think that religion without theism is basically spiritualism, and spiritualism is still irrational. Irrationality cannot coexist with rationality. It may be good for some people, but they can live happily without it.

 
At 10/23/2005 8:21 PM, Blogger Pyro_Shark said...

Atheism is simply the lack of theism. The purpose of life is whatever you want to do with your life - reproduce, worship God, cure cancer, die, whatever.

 
At 10/23/2005 8:29 PM, Blogger Enil Edam said...

Sorry, the life-death thing was a Rohan reference, unrelated to the topic...

Anyway, how is spiritualism irrational?

And so basically, if you steal from a bank, that doesn't really hurt the species in the same way, so is that morally sound?

 
At 10/23/2005 8:35 PM, Blogger Advocate of the Browns said...

Well there is a question i always wanted to find the answer to. Is atheism a school of thought or a religion? I think it is a school of thought because it is a way of thinking. But it is also religious or a lack thereof for the reasons associated with the definition. So which is it? We don't have moral standards based on physical objects. Most of them come from our previous religions and such. Others are just our opinions and such.

The life death thing is an insider. ARSENIC!

good time... good time...

 
At 10/23/2005 8:39 PM, Blogger Enil Edam said...

That it was.

Atheism isn't a religion, I agree.

Which is why I think they can coincide.

And I find it hard to believe that moral standards are solely based on the survival of the human race.

 
At 10/23/2005 8:47 PM, Blogger seth said...

Stealing from the bank can disrupt an economy. That disrups the lives of those who take part in it.

Atheism, at its simplest (lack of theism), is not a religion. I would not even say that I make a religion out of it; it does not require blind faith.

 
At 10/23/2005 8:52 PM, Blogger Enil Edam said...

Neither does all religion, to assume so is to generalize.

So you mean to tell me that if something doesn't hurt the human race, it's okay?

That means lying, on the smallest of scales, is okay.

 
At 10/23/2005 10:39 PM, Blogger Caleb said...

Religion is a way to see the world. We, as atheists, see the world as a collection of atoms that make up molecules that make up formations that we call people, rocks, whatever. Some of us (like Seth) think of religion as a way of explaining why someone does a bad thing, but others, myself included, think that religion can't be blamed for how people interpret it. I think it can be one of the following, depending on who you are.

- A set of guidelines to live life by in order to be rewarded during or after life
- Something to help us tell right from wrong, and/or something to try to achieve to live a better life, as [eyes look better in sepia] so eloquently puts it.
- Something to explain phenomena that cannot be explained with simple logic (see my previous "How Religion was Invented" post)

As for me, I believe that

1) There is no god
2) I don't believe in following rules stated without a reason in a book by "god."
3) We have complete control over ourselves. Free will is not something I'd like to debate right now, so I'll leave it at that.
2) Religion and atheism can coexist. What do you think they're doing right now?

 
At 10/24/2005 1:03 PM, Blogger Mesoforte said...

Let me have a shot at this-

1. Good and bad depend on where you stand, what is good for some is bad of others and vice versa. This being said, good and evil are human viepoints. That being said, I have to focus on the "good" that protects the most people.

2. If there is a god, it is a part of nature, and follows specific laws, we just don't know them yet.

3. Even if there is a "god", so to speak, I doubt highly that humans could transend to its realm. I'm certainly not that arrogant. My reality ends in this dimension.

 
At 10/24/2005 5:38 PM, Blogger Nauticashades said...

The "higher moral standards" is a big moral agrugement. There is Moral Absolutism and Moral Relativism, the two main parties, but there are also many other divisions and subdivisions. However, in this case, morality is not important to this discussion. Morality is more or less exclusive to Non-Monothiests, since the lattter believe that moral values are dictated by God.

 
At 10/24/2005 5:41 PM, Blogger Nauticashades said...

(by the way, Moral Absolutism is a subdivison of Moral Objectivism, so you may have heard it that way)

 

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