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Liquid Gardens

Atheism - any contradictions or 'problems'?

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The discussion concerning the problem of evil in Christianity had me wondering if anyone thinks that atheism has a similar set of long-standing 'debates' or 'problems' that arise from its propositions? I'm not restricting that question to just ideas that are similar to the problem of evil, I'm just using 'the problem of evil' as an example of a potential contradiction or problem internal to Christianity's propositions that has been argued and debated about for centuries now. I'm guessing there aren't really any as the only main tenet of atheism is 'there is no god', but I was wondering if anyone thought there were some.

As an atheist it's tempting to bring up in discussions about the problem of evil, what 'grace' means, what parts of the Bible should be taken figuratively, etc, that all of these debates evaporate if God does not exist, and I'm not sure that it is then replaced by similar thorny problems that are somewhat inherent in atheism.

The term atheist, as it is defined as simply as you put it, 'there is no god' is a big problem from the start. According to the Bible, which mentions many gods, some of whom were men, like Moses, Jesus and the Judges of Israel, the term atheist doesn't make sense. It falls right on it's face. In the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and even modern English, a god can be anything or anyone considered mighty or is venerated. Atheism has to dismiss it's own basic premise from the start. Then it has to limit the meaning of god to apply only to the supernatural, which is incorrect. Then it has to account for the fact that even if a god doesn't literally exist it is still a god. Zeus, for example, isn't a real being, either supernatural or natural, but is still a god. I don't believe in Zeus, I don't worship Zeus, Zeus doesn't exist, but Zeus is still a God.

1 Corinthians 8:5-6 For even though there are those who are called “gods,” whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many “gods” and many “lords,” there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him.

Wikipedia: Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.

Merriam Webster: God 1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind 2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality 3 : a person or thing of supreme value 4 : a powerful ruler.

Examples Of God:

1. Does she believe in God?

2. I pray to God that no one was seriously injured in the accident.

3. the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt

4. a myth about the god of war

5. an offering for the gods

6. a professor who was regarded as a kind of god

7. a guitar god like Jimi Hendrix

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Nobody said that an atheist can never engage in bad behaviour. That is a false premise. But at least atheists, by definition, reject the malevolent teachings of the various inhumane religions out there.

An atheist who thoroughly thinks out his position should obviously not fall for the pseudo-religion of communism either, but that is obviously not the case. Which shows that humans are not perfect. But to claim that atheists are "just as vulnerable" is simply not true.

You don't think that the religous and spiritual don't reject the various inhuman religions and practices out there?

A religous person who thoroughly thinks about it should not fall into communism either, but they do. ( yet again the same). In fact I would say this is more true the religious because COMMUNUSM ADVOCATES ATHEISM.

Wait!?!?!?

"Nobody said that an atheist can never engage in bad behaviour."

"Which shows that humans are not perfect. "

"But to claim that atheists are "just as vulnerable" is simply not true."

Did you just say that all in one post? In a thread discussing contradictions in some atheists. How funny is that?

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Religions sure do seem to offer people an excuse for atrocious acts (such as burning people alive) when they are so inclined, but most religious people find their religion deters such things. I think much the same can be said of atheism.

Most atheists have thought through the consequences of their view on personal morality, and there are lots of different approaches (as there are among theists too). As a practical matter one finds far more believers in prisons and so on than atheists, although I would be reluctant to attribute that to their atheism but instead to the personality types more likely to become atheists.

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Nobody said that an atheist can never engage in bad behaviour. That is a false premise. But at least atheists, by definition, reject the malevolent teachings of the various inhumane religions out there.

An atheist who thoroughly thinks out his position should obviously not fall for the pseudo-religion of communism either, but that is obviously not the case. Which shows that humans are not perfect. But to claim that atheists are "just as vulnerable" is simply not true.

About six months ago, I met a person who's stated aim in life (he said this from his own mouth) was to *and I quote* - "rid the world of religions and religious people". How is this any different to the outlook of a religious adherent?
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About six months ago, I met a person who's stated aim in life (he said this from his own mouth) was to *and I quote* - "rid the world of religions and religious people". How is this any different to the outlook of a religious adherent?

It isn't. Such people often come from fundamentalist backgrounds and had a struggle to break free of the guilt and fear such denominations use to hold onto adherents. This produces anger and hate.

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Religions sure do seem to offer people an excuse for atrocious acts (such as burning people alive) when they are so inclined, but most religious people find their religion deters such things. I think much the same can be said of atheism.

Most atheists have thought through the consequences of their view on personal morality, and there are lots of different approaches (as there are among theists too). As a practical matter one finds far more believers in prisons and so on than atheists, although I would be reluctant to attribute that to their atheism but instead to the personality types more likely to become atheists.

Or maby just the fact that there are really not many atheists. Then probably not many atheists in low income circumstances. I don't think who is in prison has anything to do with religion or atheism.

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It may also have something to do with if you profess belief in God you tend to do better with parole boards.

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The term atheist, as it is defined as simply as you put it, 'there is no god' is a big problem from the start. According to the Bible, which mentions many gods, some of whom were men, like Moses, Jesus and the Judges of Israel, the term atheist doesn't make sense. It falls right on it's face. In the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and even modern English, a god can be anything or anyone considered mighty or is venerated. Atheism has to dismiss it's own basic premise from the start. Then it has to limit the meaning of god to apply only to the supernatural, which is incorrect. Then it has to account for the fact that even if a god doesn't literally exist it is still a god. Zeus, for example, isn't a real being, either supernatural or natural, but is still a god. I don't believe in Zeus, I don't worship Zeus, Zeus doesn't exist, but Zeus is still a God.

This is a non-argument. Atheists do not believe in the existence of gods, that is those that aren't made up or fictional.

Hard to tell if you are trolling or really oblivious to this fact.

Edited by Rlyeh

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This is a non-argument. Atheists do not believe in the existence of gods, that is those that aren't made up or fictional.

There is no tenet of atheism by definition that makes any such distinction. To say that atheists do not believe in the existence of gods only demonstrates either a desperate limitation of gods by definition or a profound ignorance on the subject.

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There is no tenet of atheism by definition that makes any such distinction. To say that atheists do not believe in the existence of gods only demonstrates either a desperate limitation of gods by definition or a profound ignorance on the subject.

Um, no. You've got it completely backwards. If something doesn't exist and one is reasonably sure of this, then it is fair to say one does not believe in its existence. Anything else would be dishonest. Since I would go further and say I am overwhelmingly sure of it, there is no way I could say anything else.

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But don't you see the double standard being applied?

Applied by whom? I don't recall mentioning the crusades.

What I do see is you pretending that the enforced abolition of religious worship by a totalitarian regime is exactly the same as an individual freely coming to the conclusion that there probably isn't a God.

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I live in an "totalitarian" officially atheist communist state, and there are churches and mosques and temples all over the place.

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Examples Of God:

1. Does she believe in God?

2. I pray to God that no one was seriously injured in the accident.

3. the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt

4. a myth about the god of war

5. an offering for the gods

6. a professor who was regarded as a kind of god

7. a guitar god like Jimi Hendrix

I can confirm that Hendrix was a guitar god - and I say that as an atheist.

The God that atheist's generally refer to not believing in, however, is the one roughly defined as: The maker of everything which is not God.

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I can confirm that Hendrix was a guitar god - and I say that as an atheist.

Truer words, never spoken.

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I live in an "totalitarian" officially atheist communist state, and there are churches and mosques and temples all over the place.

Do you have enforced abolition of religious worship?

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I can confirm that Hendrix was a guitar god - and I say that as an atheist.

The God that atheist's generally refer to not believing in, however, is the one roughly defined as: The maker of everything which is not God.

But that isn't an accurate intepretation of the actual definition of atheism. No god or gods.

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But that isn't an accurate intepretation of the actual definition of atheism. No god or gods.

Then feel free to continue railing against things that no-one else believes is true.

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Truer words, never spoken.

I guess I always more preferred Beck or Clapton.

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Do you have enforced abolition of religious worship?

Now what would all those churches and mosques and temples and so on be for if it weren't for religious worship and ritual and all the rest?

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I think in full disclosure I should point out the places where religions are restricted.

They have to stay out of politics.

They cannot proselytize except on their property, but they are free to invite people to come to their property.

They cannot build just anywhere (although it seems as though they are).

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Um, no. You've got it completely backwards. If something doesn't exist and one is reasonably sure of this, then it is fair to say one does not believe in its existence. Anything else would be dishonest. Since I would go further and say I am overwhelmingly sure of it, there is no way I could say anything else.

I agree, but that isn't to say by definition atheist isn't problematic. To me, the term Hitchens popularized is far more accurate. Antitheist. If the Bible calls Moses and the Judges of Israel gods, which it does, then there were gods. If a god can be anyone or anything mighty or venerated, which it can, then there are gods. If the existence of a god isn't necessary for it to qualify as a god, which it isn't, then the millions of gods there is and have been isn't dependent upon the belief of said existence by atheists or anyone else.

If I pick up a stick that looks like a bone and proclaim it to be my god then it is a god. It doesn't matter whether or not you believe in it.

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There is no tenet of atheism by definition that makes any such distinction. To say that atheists do not believe in the existence of gods only demonstrates either a desperate limitation of gods by definition or a profound ignorance on the subject.

Since you've brought up a definition of atheism that even atheists don't use, i.e. a straw man, I guess it is your ignorance on the subject that is to blame. Edited by Rlyeh

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You completely lost me, although I have to say I don't like the word "antitheist." I am not against theism, I just am not one.

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Since you've brought up a definition of atheism that even atheists don't use, i.e. a straw man, I guess it is your ignorance on the subject that is to blame.

Atheists are a peculiar thinking people. If you try and define atheism they will angrily tell you that to be an atheist simply means that one doesn't believe in the existence of a god or gods. If you tell them that you were once an atheist they will angrily tell you that you must not have been a "real" atheist. This has happened to me dozens of times.

The primary argument is that atheism is the disbelief of gods, it denies the existence of gods. The methodology consists of nothing more than the practical common usage of the word God, but no such distinction within the basic tenant of atheism is given, besides, the common usage of a word doesn't negate the other possible uses. The other defense is that the other gods are metaphorical. This is false, because all gods are equally metaphorical in application. The very root of the Hebrew and Greek words for gods indicates this.

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You completely lost me, although I have to say I don't like the word "antitheist." I am not against theism, I just am not one.

Antitheist is the perfect description for the person PA described earlier - somebody who wants to destroy all theistic belief.

They're the subset of atheists who want everyone else to believe exactly what they believe. Atheist fundamentalist's, essentially.

Obviously, not all atheists are antitheists, just as not all theists are fundamentalists.

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