3
   

If you had to choose between atheist or theist...

 
 
Maraso
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 12:50 pm
I have been reading this thread with much interest but have hesitated to jump in because of my novitiate status here. I'll probably get over it.

It seems that the point of definition of terms needs to be raised again. Given the two options in the original question, both terms need definitions upon which we all agree or it is an apples-and-oranges attempt at comparison.

Since most Americans can accept definitions from something with Webster's name on it, let's use Webster's Dictionary: The New Lexicon of the English Language, 1989, Lexicon Publications.

The first meaning for atheism is, "The denial of the existence of God, particularly with regard to theistic formulation (cf. AGNOSTICISM, cf. SKEPTICISM) ll godlessness in belief or as a guide in conduct. atheist n. and adj...."

Since the first reference is to "God," capitalized, let see what Webster says. We find that there is no entry for "God," but we find "god."
"godn. (in polytheistic religions) a being to whom worship is acribed ll an unage if such a deity ll an idolized person or thing, money is his godGod[/i](in monotheistic religions) the supreme being, seen as the omnipotent creator and ruler of the universe...."

"theist n. someone who believes in theism...."

And theismn. the belief in a god or gods, esp. the belief in the one God who created and rules the universe (cf. ATHEISM cf. DEISM) [fr. Gk theos, god]."


So, it would seem that the key phrases in the definitions are "supreme being," omnipotent creator," and "ruler of the universe."

Then the question is fairly precisely whether or not one believes in an entity which fits those defining characteristics.

Based on that question, I would have to say that I must choose atheist because those characteristics represent arcane concepts no longer truly applicable in a time when they have clearly been revealed so.

Were we all to agree on some other definition of the terms, then some other response might be possible. However, those are reasonably standardized meanings for the words in the English speaking Western world and, based on those concepts, no, I do not believe in theism, either monotheism or polytheism.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 01:33 pm
One of the practices of religion is to pray to god to thank him for the food which they are preparing to partake. Many children in this world are starving, and the fact that 'some' are lucky enough to have food to eat is not based on any god. c.i.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 01:35 pm
kinda like when grandma told me to eat all my spinich because of all the starving children in China, i could not follow that logic any more than i can the logic of thanking god for the food on my table.
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 03:23 pm
One thing I seem to notice is that theist voting but not speaking up?? Ok everyone knows about me. So where's everybody else on my team?

An I never said anything about anyone being damned!
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 03:32 pm
I am an atheist because the entire concept of a God makes no logical sense to me. That is not to say that human beings are at the top of the heap. There may be forces out there which are unknown, but not unknowable. It is just that we are not sufficiently evolved to understand all the workings of the universe, but I don't concern myself about that. It does not matter to me.

The idea of "worship" is one that I find quite aversive!
0 Replies
 
Maraso
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 04:04 pm
Very well said Phoenix.

Many years ago in an undergraduate philosophy course the instructor lamented the absence of a word to identify those who had no interest in the hypothetical existance of g(G)od at all.

In a moment of chraracteristic brashness I suggested "apatheist." He loved it and was still using it in his class and writing at least ten years later.

I offer it for my position. I am an apatheist. While the debate of the topic may engage me, I really find little real concern for the outcome. I think I have known the answer to this one since I was about seven or eight years old and gave it some serious thought for the first time.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 04:32 pm
I don't believe anyone can profile their god or, in fact, determine that there aren't multiple gods. One would have to believe that some wandering Hebrew scribes were getting their instruction directly from Yahweh to determine that a god "wrote" the Bible. Day after day I see the egotism of religions around the world and the Christians and Muslems are the worst offenders. No wonder the world is in the state we are in right now Iand it hasn't changed much over many centuries). Even Christian sects batttle over the interpretation of the good book.

Aristotle had an abstract idea of God as The Great Mover. It is, for me, as difficult to comprehend what God is as it is to comprehend infinity.

Fran Lebowitz put it this way, as far as organized religion:

"People fear randomness -- religion is one way to explain randomness."

Is it metally healthy to get outside ourselves in some metaphysical way? Depends on this person, of course, and the need.

That's the crux of the matter -- the need.

Haven't we all seen someone put their faith in another person, a group or a, perish the thought, political figure (among many others)? They soon learn that they have set themselves up to be dissapointed. There's a need there.

I'm a thiest only in recognizing that intelligence doesn't just mean what goes on in our brain. It can be metaphysical but the effort to describe it often looks foolish to me -- as foolish as imagining Santa exists.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 04:33 pm
(And, Phoenix, I don't worship The Great Mover, cause it ain't listenin')
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 06:47 pm
najmelliw wrote:
But Craven, what are you then? What's yer own choice?

I'm a born again atheist.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 06:54 pm
Craven, How does one become a "born again atheist?" c.i.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 07:02 pm
'Twas a joke, I mean that I "converted" I used to convert people to Christianity but am sorry for my sins.
0 Replies
 
Lash Goth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 07:22 pm
husker wrote:
One thing I seem to notice is that theist voting but not speaking up?? Ok everyone knows about me. So where's everybody else on my team?

An I never said anything about anyone being damned!


Didn't mean to leave you hanging. I didn't think I belonged here. I got out the dictionary, and see my beliefs fit in the 'theist' description.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 07:51 pm
How interesting! 50-50 between atheist and theist. The majority in the US is christian/theist. Can we conclude that most people of religion do not internet? Wink c.i.
0 Replies
 
Lash Goth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 09:36 pm
Just a guess here, but

This Realm was created for and by artists. (Though through the powers of Craven and others, it has grown into a multi-interest board.)
Artists are generally liberal minded people.
Liberal minded people are generally atheists, or agnostic, or of some belief that does not include God.

Please note the words 'generally'.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 11:41 pm
One doesn't become a 'born again' anything - more damn weasel words.

I am an atheist and assert unequivocally that there is no God/Supreme Being. There has never been any proof of the existence of such an entity or that idea that humankind is somehow the supreme achievement of it.

Needless to say that precludes any consideration on my behalf on the rightness/wrongness or authority of any religion. As far as I am concerned, saying that religion A is better than religion B is nonsense - if one's right, then they're all right, or then they're all wrong.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 11:45 pm
Mr Still, If there is no god, what 'created' this universe? c.i.
0 Replies
 
Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 11:53 pm
Cicero,

Can you prove that anything exists? An infinite universe can have no beginning, no ending, no boundry. It is true that the universe seems to be one of multiplicity, but at the most basic level nothing seems to exist. The very atoms that make up things are not solid, but are instead sets of something that we relate to energy. Mostly the universe is empty space if science and physics is on the right track, and it seems to be.

Your dreams are filled with multiplicity, creatures, things, time and space. Are those elements of your dreams "real"? If they are, where do they go when you awaken? Where will we go when the dream ends? Because there is a dream, only an analogy after all, there doesn't have to be a dreamer. There is no creator, and no creation. All is illusion.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 11:57 pm
I'll stick to the stated theme of this discussion for now - do you identify yourself as a-/theistic - and I'm sure we'll be picking up any other questions in other threads.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jan, 2003 07:11 am
c.i. -- if god created the universe, who created god? Just eliminating the middle man there . . . or, i should say, the middle deity . . .
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jan, 2003 07:23 am
It is turtles (and elephants) all the way down!
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

700 Inconsistencies in the Bible - Discussion by onevoice
Why do we deliberately fool ourselves? - Discussion by coincidence
Spirituality - Question by Miller
Oneness vs. Trinity - Discussion by Arella Mae
give you chills - Discussion by Bartikus
Evidence for Evolution! - Discussion by Bartikus
Evidence of God! - Discussion by Bartikus
One World Order?! - Discussion by Bartikus
God loves us all....!? - Discussion by Bartikus
The Preambles to Our States - Discussion by Charli
 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 10/17/2021 at 08:11:10