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For everybody: what does being an atheist mean to YOU?
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Posted 2/17/12 , edited 2/17/12
To clarify to the people who aren't atheists, from your perspective what's the meaning of atheism that other people use as their outlook and philosophy?

I am an atheist and to me it means being just like everyone else. "Does not believe in anything" or "worships themself" are both false and inaccurate assumptions about me and pretty much every other atheist. I am aware of other people believing in a higher power of some sort, or worshiping some deity, and I think it's fine for them if they choose to do so. I don't think it's wrong to believe, it is just something I don't subscribe to myself. I believe it's very unlikely that a god or gods exist. And by "exist" I mean is present in our universe or some other plane that includes or excludes our universe. That last little detail can get a little tricky because of defining the relationship between god (if it existed) and the universe. Would god exist in a plane or separate universe that is outside our known/unknown universe, or does the universe include the plane that god inhabits+our universe? If the latter is the case then wouldn't that Universe>god? But to me the god part is still irrelevant because it's just the universe: us, everything else and lots of empty space. That's it.
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Posted 2/19/12
An 'Atheist' is a worshipper of the God 'Atheos', who, according to the Atheist Legendarium, Scriptures, Hagiography, their Acta Sanctorum, their Evangels, &c. was said to have been the prima mobile, and that all things, in its natural course after his first action, lead to all things else, including his similarly powerful erstwhile ally Agnostos, he who refuse to affirm. Together, they fight against the evil demon 'Theos', who seek to displace Atheos and rule over all of creation, leading a dark legion of fanatic souls, driven mad like the Maenads of old, to war against the Righteous Atheists. The Atheistic Eschatology, like many other faiths, consist of a final battle, wherein the souls of the Righteous Atheists is judged, meted, and then drafted to the Empyreal Army to wage terminal war against the Demonic forces of Theos, and bound him forever in Adamantine Chains.
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32 / M / Toronto, Canada
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Posted 2/19/12
an atheist is one don't believe in gods
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21 / F / Australia
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Posted 2/20/12
i'm agnostic... which is similar to atheism but i do believe that something caused the creation of life... but doubt the existence of a 'god'.. but then again, am unsure...
whereas atheists reject the entire idea and belief of a higher power creating life.
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Posted 2/20/12
I wasn't looking for definitions for atheism or similar philosophies. Please understand what I am asking here: what does it mean to *be* an atheist to you, even if you aren't one? In other words how does identifying as atheist affect your life and the decisions you make? The definition itself is irrelevant: some people identify as atheists but don't know what the definition is, and theists often misunderstand atheism but still have specific opinions of those with that philosophy. THAT is what I'm looking for in an answer.

DO NOT post with a definition of atheism.
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Posted 2/20/12 , edited 2/21/12
A lot of people use the word 'atheist' to mean different things. When talking about themselves I've taken a given 'atheist's' self definition at face value. But personally I've always perceived Atheism as a firm denial of god(s) and/or the supernatural that was in at least some cases, as dogmatic and ritualized as any other system of belief, As opposed to apathetic agnosticism (to which I adhere most days) which simply considers questions of faith to be irrelevant. By some of the more loose definitions of atheism I might qualify as one.. on a bad day. Certainly I am... Functionally atheist since I have no trust of, nor obedience to any human being or agency that derives it's a authority from a purported supernatural source.

That said. I'm also functionally ecumenical since I consider respecting and aiding the practice of one's faith to be a part of my profession as a nurse. It's not my place to tell my patients what to believe. In fact, it's the opposite. I feel obliged to honour and support their beliefs as best I can within the secular parameters of my country's laws.

Rereading the question. I'd have to say that, To ME, being Atheist would be much like being the adherent of a religion. since my understanding of the term includes a firm disbelief in god(s) as strong as any believer's faith. As I said before, I prefer the terms such Secular Humanist or Apathetic Agnostic to describe my own stance on matters of faith. I don't know if others would consider me an atheist for it, but to me the whole question of a god or god(s) is irrelevant.
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Posted 2/21/12 , edited 2/21/12
Ah interesting perspective on atheism, PGW and sharing your own flavor of personal philosophical standing of the world around you. I think people on both sides of the spectrum of theism sometimes get bothered by the strict nuances of ascribing to atheism that it does have dogmatic and ritualistic similarities to typical god-fearing philosophies (or religion). The atheism I label myself as, however is the type of atheism that is as far removed from anything resembling a religion possible.

Some theists claim it takes just as much faith to dis-believe in a god as it does to believe in a god. I believe that can't be further from the truth. A spoon is not a god but I don't even worship spoons yet I believe spoons exist. I don't believe gods exist so there is nothing to worship. Basically nothing exists that is worshippable other than the things around us which we can see and know exist, but I'm not worshiping any of those either. Call that something else or give it a different label, from my understanding of the term atheism, that's the word that describes it best.

As for how this affects me, it doesn't. Just like I said above I'm just like everybody else, except I lack the need or use for prayer, don't base any decisions on what someone else said about considering what their god thinks I should do, and I don't consult any type of written reference about many of life's choices other than logically plausible information that I can find online or at the library. It's a completely secular-based, un-dogmatic and self-fulfilling lifestyle and I'm perfectly happy with it
Posted 2/22/12
to me, atheism means a one way ticket to a dark eternity.
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Posted 2/22/12 , edited 2/22/12
To me, an atheist, atheism is the disbelief in a god/deity/higher power. To me it's not a big deal and isin't often an issue because I respect the fact that others worship a form of higher being. It can get a tad irritating when it gets out that I'm not a believer of ANYTHING and someone jumps on my case. This normally doesn't happen though and I'm glad for that.

Oh and posts like the one above mine are very ignorant and don't need to be stated, even if you believe it with all your being.
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Posted 2/22/12 , edited 2/22/12

tempfolder wrote:

To me, an atheist, atheism is the disbelief in a god/deity/higher power. To me it's not a big deal and isin't often an issue because I respect the fact that others worship a form of higher being. It can get a tad irritating when it gets out that I'm not a believer of ANYTHING and someone jumps on my case. This normally doesn't happen though and I'm glad for that.

Oh and posts like the one above mine are very ignorant and don't need to be stated, even if you believe it with all your being.
Very well said. Sometimes I wonder if people with the same type of closed-minded sentiment recall in their early philosophical ponderings whether it ever even occurred to them to NOT believe in a god. And now that they have devoted themselves to one, sling mud at us "clever" atheists as a form of insecure self-pity. But I'm not really suggesting that, since I simply wanted to hear opinions and thoughts on the matter just out of curiosity. Any signs that I'm trying to change or criticize another opinion is not intentional.
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Posted 2/22/12
You could say I'm atheist since I dont believe in anything...I dont even want to debate on god subjects because I won't argue anything since we are arguing on nothing...I dont dislike people that believe in god or other religions but I think it slows and blind them in life.
To me there is no good or bad, right or wrong, or anything...it all depends on the way you see things..perception is all there is.
We never know what could happen or could have happened if you did or didn't do some actions.
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Posted 2/26/12

longfenglim wrote:

An 'Atheist' is a worshipper of the God 'Atheos', who, according to the Atheist Legendarium, Scriptures, Hagiography, their Acta Sanctorum, their Evangels, &c. was said to have been the prima mobile, and that all things, in its natural course after his first action, lead to all things else, including his similarly powerful erstwhile ally Agnostos, he who refuse to affirm. Together, they fight against the evil demon 'Theos', who seek to displace Atheos and rule over all of creation, leading a dark legion of fanatic souls, driven mad like the Maenads of old, to war against the Righteous Atheists. The Atheistic Eschatology, like many other faiths, consist of a final battle, wherein the souls of the Righteous Atheists is judged, meted, and then drafted to the Empyreal Army to wage terminal war against the Demonic forces of Theos, and bound him forever in Adamantine Chains.


LOL that's good stuff! Manga material!


JustineKo2 wrote:
I think people on both sides of the spectrum of theism sometimes get bothered by the strict nuances of ascribing to atheism that it does have dogmatic and ritualistic similarities to typical god-fearing philosophies (or religion).


Here is my understanding:

Theism and Atheism relate to views on belief.
Gnosticism and Agnosticism relate to views on knowledge.

Regarding theism and atheism, there are only three possible positions you can take. You either believe, do not believe, or do not care. It is not a spectrum of subtle variations.

Regarding gnosticism and agnosticism, it is a spectrum of several varying positions. However the two outermost extremes are closed agnosticism and closed gnosticism. Closed agnosticism is the view that the existence/ non-existence of God is permanently unknowable. Closed gnosticism is the view that the existence/ non-existence of God is permanently known.



So both atheism and theism can be either gnostic (claiming knowledge) or agnostic (not claiming and possibly renouncing the ability to claim such knowledge universally).
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Posted 2/27/12 , edited 2/27/12
@ qweruiop (so as not to quote the whole thing), that actually put it in a better perspective for me. When someone tells me they are simply agnostic, I get frustrated because it tells me nothing whether they believe in god or not. But it kind of sets up a dilemma because an agnostic, who may also be logical, might still rely on belief since they admit to being unable to know whether God exists or not. In addition they assume an atheist is someone who believes god does not exist, rather than someone who lacks a belief in God.

On the knowledge scale I'd probably lean more towards being gnostic because I feel it is possible to know whether God exists or not. It's a logic based argument for oneself too; you seek evidence of his existence but find none, you weigh the chances of something so unlikely, unprobable, and fantastical existing and conclude it is extremely unlikely. All these lead to knowledge, since all knowledge comes out of our use of senses and reasoning. The reason many theists believe in God is because they are told to, and given an ultimatum to believe. These are not knowledge.
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Posted 2/27/12
Everybody is agnostic about everything...
... I can only say that I believe in God as much as I believe in Santa.

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Posted 2/27/12

specks wrote:

to me, atheism means a one way ticket to a dark eternity.


U Christian?
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