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wildwood | 20:51 Tue 08th Mar 2016 | Religion & Spirituality
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I have always thought the meaning of atheism to be a lack of belief in the existence of a god that created all that is.

Since joining the R & S 'club' a couple of years ago, it has become apparent that there are quite a few people that are convinced that Atheism means anti-theism instead of a lack of belief in Theism.

How say you?


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I can't understand how you view scientific enquiry as fence-sitting. Science seeks fresh evidence to modify theory because it is all about *control*. When your theoretical model of how something works starts to resemble the reality then you can make predictions of future real-life behaviour and start testing ways to modify that and, thus, control it.

Science isn't interested in God because what practical day-to-day use could they make of it? By all accounts, he/she/it is going to be beyond control. had it right the first time.

I am an atheist because I don't believe in any gods, whoever they were invented by. If other people want to believe in their god, then let doesn't concern me at all.
Mikey > If other people want to believe in their god, then let doesn't concern me at all.

It does me Mikey when some folk take offence at polite challenge on their views. One does at times have to bite one's tongue. can be difficult at times, I will agree.

But I try not to challenge any religious person, unless I am provoked, then I am quite happy to debate. The JW's that come around our estate on a regular basis are just pests, although they rarely bother me any more !

We used to get some old biddies from the local chapel, although I don't see them very often now...perhaps they have all died off.....the Valleys are full of disused chapels.

I do have a colleague that insists that the Grand Canyon was only 6000 years old and she made such a nuisance or herself, that I now avoid like the plague.
Mikey > I do have a colleague that insists that the Grand Canyon was only 6000 years old and she made such a nuisance or herself, that I now avoid like the plague.

You mean you didn't want to get into a deep discussion with her? ;)
ag, your presence is required here please:

Apologies for the interruption, wildwood.
The difficulty with this colleague is that she is very reluctant to take a no for an answer ! She believes in all sorts of other weirdo things, so she really is best avoided. ( God was punishing all the Jews that ended up in Auschwitz, etc, etc.....God "allows" small children to die in disasters, for similar reasons )

Completely potty !
Ok thanks Naomi, will take a look ;)
Hypo gnosis, I don't see scientific inquiry as fence sitting, and I don't see agnosticism that way either. I just see people cautious about pushing theories when they're unpersuaded by the evidence either way. Science may be uninterested in God (though I suspect if they found evidence of his existence they would give it a mention) but it doesn't mean scientists aren't.
Frequently when I tell JWs I'm an Atheist or an Agnostic they answer by saying " What do you believe in then?" Which tells me they probably don't understand the words but on the other hand neither do most people whatever their beliefs.
That's why we get into tortuous discussions in AB on the meaning of words.

I prefer to use the word Rationalist i.e " Ideas and actions being based on
practical reasons and knowledge, instead of on emotions or religious beliefs "
But knowledge in turn is subjective !
modeler.....its virtually impossible to debate with JWs....I tried everything over the years, apart from being very rude and telling them to combine sex with travel !

But tell them you have been disfellowshipped, and they shoot off back down the garden path as if the devil himself was after them ::::
If you take the top-notch scientists, you find very few atheists among them.” Neither the advances of science nor the failure of religion need force us to abandon belief in a Creator.Type Your Answer Here...
//If you take the top-notch scientists, you find very few atheists among them//

Nonsense Goodlife. You shouldn't believe all you read in the Watchtower.
There was a study at the end of last year in which 9442 scientists were interviewed world wide about this subject.

An extract says “While it is commonly assumed that most scientists are atheists, the global perspective resulting from the study shows that this is simply not the case. "More than half of scientists in India, Italy, Taiwan and Turkey self-identify as religious," Ecklund said. "And it's striking that approximately twice as many 'convinced atheists' exist in the general population of Hong Kong, for example, (55 percent) compared with the scientific community in this region (26 percent)."
I taught science for many years and apart from two exceptions none of my science colleagues were religious and even the two believers did not believe in the Genesis version of creation nor the virgin birth. I should add when applying for a job or filling in a personal C.V most people tick the religion box. I did !
And in America I was told it was essential ! People in authority and especially teachers are expected to toe the party line ,so to speak.
Grasscarp, Goodlife claims that very few atheists will be found among ‘top notch’ scientists. Clearly, as your link indicates, that isn’t so.
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Thanks all for your input into this 'grey' area.
For those who ever doubted that religion continues to retain a tight grip where it hurts most . . . think again.

I do not subscribe to the 'atheist' title which was originally used pejoratively against anyone who did not subscribe to their own particular preferred delusion of 'god'. Nor do I consider myself so much an anti-theist as an 'anti-anti-nontheist', or for those who might have trouble breaking that down, I'm against those who are against those who are not theist.
goodlife //If you take the top-notch scientists, you find very few atheists among them.” //

To goodlife, top notch means "believing in God".
My own personal opinion on this question is that while I don't believe in god, I am not anti-theist per se. I honestly and wholeheartedly think that there is no creator deity that we know culturally as 'god' - to me, such a concept is simply absurd.

None of this makes me an 'anti-theist'. That would suggest that I am against a privately, personally held belief in god. What rational, free-speech advocate would claim to be an 'anti-theist'? If someone believes in a supreme creator deity, who am I to say they're wrong? By the same token, if someone were to proclaim they believe in fairies at the bottom of their garden, who am I to say they're wrong? Their belief in such things is their own personal choice. The lack of any physical or logical proofs are no barrier to delusions. And that's fine as far as I'm concerned.

However, when personal choice and superstition starts to influence concepts such as freedom of speech then no longer am I so lenient in my language and tone.

We have a problem - religious beliefs (that venerate murder) are, on the surface, benign, but once they reach a critical mass in a community, they become controlling paradigms which one transgresses at ones own personal risk.

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