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Ruth





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:58 am    Post subject: Atheism: Religion or Not? Reply with quote

This thread is so that every other thread doesn't get derailed into the "Atheism is a religion" "No it's not" debate.

So, since few people have strong feelings on the matter, vent away.


-Ruth
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

theatheistjew wrote:
cosmostein wrote:
kwlafayette wrote:
There are lots of religions today that the practitioners will deny to their last breath is a religion. Environmentology, Atheism (we have at least one example of of a religious Atheist here), Liberalism, Politics in general. A lot of partisans on both sides treat their party as the church.

Off the topic, but why are the majority of a so called atheist's posts all about religion? "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."


Global Warming is a religion with Al Gore as its Pope.

If atheism is a religion and global warming is a religion. What isn't a religion?
If we want to change the definition of the word religion just so we can make rhetorical insults, so be it.
Atheism isn't even a world view, it is simply a disbelief in God. And many atheists have different world views, and give their lives different purposes.
My favorite purpose is to inform the youngins that they've been brainwashed.


I am not sure if I consider Atheism to be a religion,
Although some Atheists can display religious qualities.

Personally I cannot paint "All" Athists or "All" Global Warming supporters are showing qualities similar to Organized Religion, but some clearly do.

It really depends how different you consider ideology from Religion,

Count Antoine Destutt calls Ideology a "science of ideas" whereas many could consider Religion to be a "Science of beliefs"

The main purpose behind an ideology is to offer change in society through a normative thought process. Whereas again you could argue that Religion is the same but through a belief process that originally was a thought process?

Then it becomes an issue of who I consider to be more of a Zealot?

Jehovah Witnesses who knock on my door on a Saturday afternoon trying to swat my faith/lack of faith/ideological and moral viewpoints

or

A Pro Kyoto Activist that dumps green paint off the top of a building onto the cars below as a way to bring awareness to CO2 emissions.

Buddhism and other such faiths show that Religion does not need to have a centralized "God" or "Gods" to make it a Religion simply a collection of Dogma or Dogmata centralized as the established belief or doctrine.

But again the we are basically arguing the "Definition" of the word Religion.

One of my close friends is a self described "Agnostic" and unless you asked him you would never know, he feels that if there is something greater we as a people are nowhere near smart enough to understand it and if not he had a good run.

But then I have another friend who is an atheists who has simply legendary arguments with another one of my friends who is a Deacon in the Catholic Church,

Every time I am in his presence its an attempt at conversion with anyone around him who even loosely believes in a God or Gods or even the ideals behind a faith with a Dogma or Dogmata,

Quoting science and books he had just finished reading in an attempt to shake loose the concepts and beliefs some people have.

In this case I fail to see any difference between the Missionary trying to convert Africans to Christianity and the atheist trying to make Religious folk see the "error of their ways"

If a person has a strong enough belief in anything, even if its nothing and they have a very strong and firm belief in their ideals that they need to "preach" then I cannot draw a line between Christianity and Atheism.

But again, its on a person to person basis painting in broad strokes is almost always incorrect.
Dauphin





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

God isn't a necessary element in religion. The denial of God's existence isn't necessarily an irreligious sentiment. It is conceivable that certain atheist organizations could be called "religions", or at the very least "cults".
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dauphin wrote:
God isn't a necessary element in religion. The denial of God's existence isn't necessarily an irreligious sentiment. It is conceivable that certain atheist organizations could be called "religions", or at the very least "cults".


I don't think that is an unreasonable statement.
gc





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on your definition of "atheism".

"Strong atheism" can be considered a religion, "weak atheism" is not a religion.

In other words, not believing in God is different than believing there is no God.

Strong atheism vs. weak atheism
theatheistjew





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
Depends on your definition of "atheism".

"Strong atheism" can be considered a religion, "weak atheism" is not a religion.

In other words, not believing in God is different than believing there is no God.

Strong atheism vs. weak atheism


I think it depends on your definition of religion. Most atheists I know just say there is no evidence for God so we don't believe in him/her.

Here is a good video on the topic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld80yLATiHA
gc





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

theatheistjew wrote:
I think it depends on your definition of religion. Most atheists I know just say there is no evidence for God so we don't believe in him/her.


That is my opinion as well. That is what I would consider to be the "weak atheist" position, which can not be considered a religion.

The "strong atheist" position would be to say that we know for certain that God does not exist. Since there is no evidence that God does not exist, I would consider this a religion*.

*My definition of "religion" is essentially believing in something without evidence (or with little evidence).
theatheistjew





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
theatheistjew wrote:
I think it depends on your definition of religion. Most atheists I know just say there is no evidence for God so we don't believe in him/her.


That is my opinion as well. That is what I would consider to be the "weak atheist" position, which can not be considered a religion.

The "strong atheist" position would be to say that we know for certain that God does not exist. Since there is no evidence that God does not exist, I would consider this a religion*.

*My definition of "religion" is essentially believing in something without evidence (or with little evidence).

If I said I'm 100% sure that Leprechauns don't exist, would that mean I'm religious? I still don't get how even a strong atheist would be considered religious.
Does it require faith to not believe in Leprechauns?
SmallCee





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My definition of "religion" is essentially believing in something without evidence (or with little evidence).

The above statement is wrong. Believing in something without evidence is 'credulity', believing in something after having considered the facts is 'faith'.

Ex: God's existence may not be proveable but when one considers the evidence in the world around us and what is written in scripture, one may conclude that God does exist.
theatheistjew





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SmallCee wrote:
My definition of "religion" is essentially believing in something without evidence (or with little evidence).

The above statement is wrong. Believing in something without evidence is 'credulity', believing in something after having considered the facts is 'faith'.

Ex: God's existence may not be proveable but when one considers the evidence in the world around us and what is written in scripture, one may conclude that God does exist.

After reading the scriptures and the OT and being wilfully ignorant to the evidence in the world around us may also have others conclude the earth is less than 10,000 years old and that there was a worldwide flood involving Noah.
gc





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theatheistjew wrote:
If I said I'm 100% sure that Leprechauns don't exist, would that mean I'm religious?


According to the definition that I am using, yes.

Quote:
Does it require faith to not believe in Leprechauns?


No, it doesn't require faith to not believe in Leprechauns, it takes faith to believe that Leprechauns don't exist. Just because there is no evidence for something does not necessarily mean that it doesn't exist. In other words, lack of evidence that something exists is not the same as evidence that it does not exist.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theatheistjew wrote:

If I said I'm 100% sure that Leprechauns don't exist, would that mean I'm religious? I still don't get how even a strong atheist would be considered religious.
Does it require faith to not believe in Leprechauns?


I think this is where we see the difference between Atheism and Fundamental Atheism.

You made a comment in another post that I could not disagree with, you stated something to the effect that "I comment online and speak openly because I want Children...to start questioning things" or something to that degree.

That is noble,

But calling the Christian Faith "Brainwashing" and to compare anyones God/Gods to a Leprechaun and actively attacking the faith or ideology is where its stops being about not believing in a God or I'll believe it when I see it and starts being about trying to convert others who have an opinion on faith to your viewpoint and to your fundamental beliefs that you believe.

I had a two hour long discussion while attending a conference last year with a Scientologist who had a series of Science to back the claims of his faith, now of course some of the more creative and interesting aspects he could not discuss with an "Outsider" to the faith but still none the less.

Everyone has some facts, but unless I slept through it no faith or non faith has all the answer to the questions I have.

Maybe I am dense, but I see some similarity in your views and mine but you have accused me of being a Christian or Catholic or whatever because I failed to agree with your facts or opinions in the past and I have been accused of being Jewish, Muslim, Hindu etc by men and women of religion in the past because I simply questioned what they were selling me.

In those instances you come off as more of a missionary then many missionaries dp.

You have made clear a very firm series of things that you believe to be true, now granted you like to support what you believe with videos and documentaries yet you still have a firm stance that:

God does not exist and Other Faiths are a means of Brainwashing.

Having that belief is one issues, going out and making an attempt to bring others to your frame of thinking well now we are really walking the fine line.

Many Non-Theist that I know want nothing to do with others because its their business and they have no interest in converting people because they are content in their beliefs and they generally dislike the tactics of the other faiths when it comes to "winning" and walk away from that aspect all together,

So are those atheists who are using similar tactics of mocking faiths and providing dogma or dogmata to support their claims that the earliest Christians did in North American with the Natives or Africa to this day still suppose to be considered not a faith and not a type of Religious Ideology?

As I see it, Not having faith and not having Dogma means that when the topic turns to Religion you smile and nod, but its normally faith or a belief that causes one to take their beliefs to the next level.
don muntean





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Important to know that while God is reflected in various religions - He is also beyond them. Sincere surrender to God is our first priority- religion is secondary...
theatheistjew





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

God does not exist and Other Faiths are a means of Brainwashing.
*********************************
There is no evidence for God, I can't say 100% for sure he or Leprechauns don't exist. I want people to understand this who may not have realized it up until now. They've been told from a very early age that there is overwhelming evidence. Many have been told that evolution is crap (that is because of brainwashing) or that the earth is young (again, this is because of brainwashing) or that gays are sinful (again, brainwashing) or that the great flood happened and included Noah (bigtime brainwashing).

I know there is no evidence for a historical Jesus or Exodus. It took me 40 years to realize this though. Maybe one day a few here will too.
don muntean





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theatheistjew wrote:
God does not exist and Other Faiths are a means of Brainwashing.
*********************************
There is no evidence for God, I can't say 100% for sure he or Leprechauns don't exist. I want people to understand this who may not have realized it up until now. They've been told from a very early age that there is overwhelming evidence. Many have been told that evolution is crap (that is because of brainwashing) or that the earth is young (again, this is because of brainwashing) or that gays are sinful (again, brainwashing) or that the great flood happened and included Noah (bigtime brainwashing).

I know there is no evidence for a historical Jesus or Exodus. It took me 40 years to realize this though. Maybe one day a few here will too.


Where is the evidence that He doesn't exist?
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