Maybe you could provide an alternate definition of religious belief.
Better yet, if I am not definition religious belief-- I am defining something. What is a good term for the set of things that are accepted as fact and as universal truth even though there is it is not testable.
((extra credit if you can come up with a definition that Edgar would agree with)).
The truth here, perhaps, is that a belief isn't religious just in itself. The property of being religious isn't intrinsic to a belief; it is rather one a belief acquires when it functions in a certain way in the life of a given person or community. To be a religious belief, the belief in question would have to be appropriately connected with characteristically religious attitudes on the part of the believer, such attitudes as worship, love, commitment, awe, and the like. Consider someone who believes that there is such a person as God, all right, because the existence of God helps with several metaphysical problems (for example, the nature of causation, the nature of propositions, properties and sets, and the nature of proper function in creatures that are not human artifacts). However, this person has no inclination to worship or love God, no commitment to try to further God's projects in our world; perhaps, like the devils, he hates God and intentionally does whatever he can to frustrate God's purposes in the world. For such a person, belief that there is such a person as God need not be a religious belief.
But there are many other types of truth-- and science can't even say whether any of them have any relevance at all. In fact science can't even say that science has any relevance.
As soon as you start talking about meaning... you leave the realm of questions that science can answer.
It does not answer perfectly every question, but gets us closer than anything I could think of.
Once again, when you talk about atheism there is only one thing that you can infer from it. That the person does not believe in the existence of a god or gods. Anything else you assume about the person will be just that, an assumption based off nothing. You can not determine a persons morality or beliefs based off them saying they are an atheist. Atheism does not say that you believe in the big bang, or evolution. You can be an atheist and not believe in either one so why do people keep making these assumptions, because they lack education.
Educate yourself. Atheism is only a lack of a belief in the existence of a god or gods. That is it. You can't determine anything else about a person from that title. If you do then you are being an idiot.
I don't see anythig particularly scientific in your responses, ebrown.
Quote:I don't see anythig particularly scientific in your responses, ebrown.
I don't claim to be scientific. I am quite religious-- just as you are. The difference is that I admit that I hold many values and beliefs that can't be supported (or denied) by science.
While I dont think atheism can be called a religion, atheists can certainly be as dogmatic as theists, although they tend to be more open-minded.
If an atheist lives as if human life is sacred, but doesn't believe in any deity-- isn't this a religious belief?
That's because you are so steeped in religion you can't fathom one who lives without it.
My personal experience is that atheists are no more open-minded. If we could define a measure of open-mindedness (I am assuming we will let people self-identify whether they are atheists or not), we could test this hypothesis scientifically.