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Author Topic: Atheism does not exist or atheism redefined  (Read 44870 times)
Lykos
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« Topic Start: October 18, 2009, 06:45:07 pm »

 For the sake of being perfectly clear I will begin by giving a few definitions according to the Random House unabridged English dictionary.

"God - 1. The one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe."

"atheism - 1. The doctrine or belief that there is no God"

Now, if we dig no deeper than this we see that there are, obviously, atheistists all around us. It is my contention, however, that it is contrary to our human nature and impossible to be a true atheist.

If one reads only the first definition of a word in the dictionary one is completely missing what language really is. Having said that I present a few more definitions and my own argument in this issue.

"God - 7. Any deified person or object.
9. To regard or treat as a god; deify; idolize."

"deity - 4. A person or thing revered as a god or goddess: a society in which money is the only deity."

"atheism - 2. Disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings."

"Supreme Being - see 'God'"

If we look at these definitions we have a basic foundation for my statement that therebare no true atheists. In the second definition of "atheism" we see that the terminology is slightly adjusted. When lookinf at the concept with this definition we are led to the term "Supreme Being" for which I also procided a definition for. Looking to "Supreme Being" we see a simple reference to the word God for which I have now offered three defintions. Looking at the most recent two we see a god defined twice (once in print and once in an impled manner) as a person OR thing made into a deity or object of worship. Going further than this we are brought to the definition provided for "deity." By this defition we see yet a third reference to a god or deity as a person or thing. This forms the basis for my point.

An atheist, one who subscribes to "atheism," can not, by definition, exist. This is becausd a god is any thing or being madd into a deiry. Everyone by their very nature as a human offers belief and worship to soneone or something. For some proclaimed "atheists" their god is money, or pleasure, or simply a belief in the world as the only truth. This is why I say there are no atheists.

Now, please, discuss and debate the points I have put forth.

P.S. I am well aware of the existence and definition of connotative meanings in language. As such, I understand that connotatively, at least as understood by today's cultures, does exist. I still deny however that these "de facto" non-believers are denotatively atheists.
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« Reply #1: October 18, 2009, 07:03:02 pm »



This does not seem well thought out to me.  For instance, can you explain why you make the assumption that

Quote
Everyone by their very nature as a human offers belief and worship to soneone or something.

Can you prove that offering belief and worship to someone or something actually is a part of human nature?  What studies are you using as your base?

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« Reply #2: October 18, 2009, 07:27:00 pm »

This does not seem well thought out to me.  For instance, can you explain why you make the assumption that

Can you prove that offering belief and worship to someone or something actually is a part of human nature?  What studies are you using as your base?

Absent
Every person is predisposed to hold something in a higher esteem than himself or herself. I can't site a specific study, but in my experience I've never met anyone that didn't. I think it has something to do with the fact that we all want someone to follow or someone we can at least blame for things when they fo wronf. Just look at history as an example, every culture on earth that I have ever heard of has spiritual beliefs of some kind that include something or someone as deserving of reapect and worship.

It is a simple fact that what you spend most of your time or energy on is that which you most value or worship
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« Reply #3: October 18, 2009, 07:38:43 pm »

This does not seem well thought out to me.  For instance, can you explain why you make the assumption that

Can you prove that offering belief and worship to someone or something actually is a part of human nature?  What studies are you using as your base?

Absent
Dictionary dedinition:

"worship - 1. Reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
3. Adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success.
7. To feel an adoring reverencw or regard for (any person or thing)"

That which we value the most and expend the most energy on is sacred to us.
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« Reply #4: October 18, 2009, 08:02:54 pm »

Every person is predisposed to hold something in a higher esteem than himself or herself. I can't site a specific study, but in my experience I've never met anyone that didn't. I think it has something to do with the fact that we all want someone to follow or someone we can at least blame for things when they fo wronf. Just look at history as an example, every culture on earth that I have ever heard of has spiritual beliefs of some kind that include something or someone as deserving of reapect and worship.

It is a simple fact that what you spend most of your time or energy on is that which you most value or worship

Just because I hold someone to a higher esteem than myself does NOT mean that I worship them as a god.  It just means I hold them to a higher esteem than myself.
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« Reply #5: October 18, 2009, 08:19:02 pm »

Every person is predisposed to hold something in a higher esteem than himself or herself. I can't site a specific study, but in my experience I've never met anyone that didn't.

By that same logic, since I've never been to space, and I've never met anyone who has been to space, I can conclude that no one has ever been to space.

Direct experience is extremely limited, and is a highly questionable basis for this kind of argument.
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« Reply #6: October 18, 2009, 08:27:09 pm »


Hey, look, my mom doesn't exist!

... so why the hell am I knitting a sweater for her?

Sorry, not buying the premises, not buying the result.  And I think there's a LOT of atheists that would be rather pissed to be told they believe in things they actually don't.
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« Reply #7: October 18, 2009, 08:40:22 pm »

By that same logic, since I've never been to space, and I've never met anyone who has been to space, I can conclude that no one has ever been to space.

Direct experience is extremely limited, and is a highly questionable basis for this kind of argument.
Have you ever met anyone who didn't worship something in some way? This isn't my only reasoning. Did you read the history part?
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« Reply #8: October 18, 2009, 08:54:15 pm »

Hey, look, my mom doesn't exist!

... so why the hell am I knitting a sweater for her?

Sorry, not buying the premises, not buying the result.  And I think there's a LOT of atheists that would be rather pissed to be told they believe in things they actually don't.
Flawed conclusion. I am not saying that the people who claim to be atheists do not exist, I am questioning their claim that they do not believe in or at least worship SOMETHING.

I also was not trying to say that she believes something she doesn't and I wasn't attempting to imply that about any atheist. It is not that everyone believes in a deity, it is that everyone worships or reveres something or someone.

As far as the comment about not worshipping something you hold in high esteem, I could have been more clear. What I meant to say is that thing/person or those things/persons you hold at the highest esteem over and above all else is what you worship. What is a sacrifice? Giving of yourself. If there is anything in this world you would give your all for (which, trust me, you do whether you know it or not) is what you sacrifice to or would be willing to sacrifice for and has therefore gained reverence and worship from you. Even things that you would still sacrifice for but to a lesser extent can be seen to receive at least a portion of your honor and worship, at least in my opinion.

Please do keep in mind this is my personal opinion and belief in this matter. Your own views are no less valid and I respect them and acknowledge their value.

I realize this throws a lot of salt in the eyes of self-proclaimed atheists, but it is not my intention to insult or deliberatley anger anybody. My opinion is no more set in stone than the moon is. If I see good enough points and evidence I may well change my current beliefs.
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« Reply #9: October 18, 2009, 09:15:14 pm »


This is purely Socratic logic (and a not too great example of it at that). By which I mean, you're making what sounds like a perfectly logical argument, but it's based on false premises. The main false premise here being that every dictionary definition of a word must apply to the particular use of that word you are talking about. Separate dictionary definitions are not "and" clauses, they're "or" clauses. That the word "worship" is used in the definition of an atheist does not mean that the definition of "worship" which is sometimes used when someone wants to demonstrate extreme admiration of another human being is the definition of worship being used in that sentence.

Basically, the whole argument of whether we worship other human beings (and I see absolutely no reason to think that everyone does) is entirely beside the point unless you wish to argue that we all deify somebody since that is that the "the" in a-the-ism is referring to...
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« Reply #10: October 18, 2009, 09:26:06 pm »

This is purely Socratic logic (and a not too great example of it at that). By which I mean, you're making what sounds like a perfectly logical argument, but it's based on false premises. The main false premise here being that every dictionary definition of a word must apply to the particular use of that word you are talking about. Separate dictionary definitions are not "and" clauses, they're "or" clauses. That the word "worship" is used in the definition of an atheist does not mean that the definition of "worship" which is sometimes used when someone wants to demonstrate extreme admiration of another human being is the definition of worship being used in that sentence.

Basically, the whole argument of whether we worship other human beings (and I see absolutely no reason to think that everyone does) is entirely beside the point unless you wish to argue that we all deify somebody since that is that the "the" in a-the-ism is referring to...
Right, I can see the concept of connotation and word usage. I disagree slightly with your concept concerning seperate definitions in the dictionary. To my mind, where the part of speech is the same, the seperate definitions operate more closely to an "and/or" clause. Its not that the multiple dedinitions are mutually exclusive (when you say "or") but can have two definitions depending on context. I see no reason why I cannot apply a definition other than the first one if we are operating out of the context of that definition.

I'm not, and do not believe I ever did, saying that we all worship other human beings. What I am saying is that we all, without exception worship somrthing(s) and/or someone(s).
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« Reply #11: October 18, 2009, 11:13:25 pm »

Have you ever met anyone who didn't worship something in some way? This isn't my only reasoning. Did you read the history part?

Um, yeah, actually. Several people.


And I assume this is what you mean by "the history part"--

Quote
Just look at history as an example, every culture on earth that I have ever heard of has spiritual beliefs of some kind that include something or someone as deserving of reapect and worship.

--to which I can only reply that while this claim is vague and probably not completely true (and probably a shaky piece of evidence to back your opinions on), I can see how there may be enough there for you to have reached your conclusions.

It's true that humans have a natural (perhaps even genetic) disposition to place meaning upon their surrounding world. It is, perhaps, even natural to look beyond one's self for meaning, purpose, and decide to worship that which is beyond you in order to give yourself purpose and meaning. This does not, however, necessarily prove the conclusion that "we all, without exception worship something(s) and/or someone(s)". 

Quote
It is a simple fact that what you spend most of your time or energy on is that which you most value or worship

Actually it isn't a simple fact. It's not a fact at all; it is your opinion and the application of your chosen definition of "worship", which here, you seem have to chosen to equate with "value", which I'm afraid a lot of people would take issue with, including myself.
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« Reply #12: October 19, 2009, 12:54:18 am »

Have you ever met anyone who didn't worship something in some way? This isn't my only reasoning. Did you read the history part?

Yes.

Have you got an argument that doesn't strongly resemble, "If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have?"
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« Reply #13: October 19, 2009, 01:02:43 am »

Yes.

Have you got an argument that doesn't strongly resemble, "If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have?"
Give me a person who does not worship something or someone and I will give you a vegetable. I am not talking about formal "get on your knees and pray" worship here. I am talking about the fact that actions speak louder than words and in my opinion (and to my knowledge the opinion of many others) what one puts forth the most energy to nuture, develop, please, or otherwise give attention is an object of one's worship.
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« Reply #14: October 19, 2009, 01:10:48 am »

Um, yeah, actually. Several people.


And I assume this is what you mean by "the history part"--

--to which I can only reply that while this claim is vague and probably not completely true (and probably a shaky piece of evidence to back your opinions on), I can see how there may be enough there for you to have reached your conclusions.

It's true that humans have a natural (perhaps even genetic) disposition to place meaning upon their surrounding world. It is, perhaps, even natural to look beyond one's self for meaning, purpose, and decide to worship that which is beyond you in order to give yourself purpose and meaning. This does not, however, necessarily prove the conclusion that "we all, without exception worship something(s) and/or someone(s)". 

Actually it isn't a simple fact. It's not a fact at all; it is your opinion and the application of your chosen definition of "worship", which here, you seem have to chosen to equate with "value", which I'm afraid a lot of people would take issue with, including myself.
Yes, it is my opinion and my belief that we all, without exception give honor and worship to something/one.

Yes, I am not using the conventional dedinition of formal worship. As I mentioned, this is not formal "get out you hymnal and sing it from a mountain top" worship. I am talking about the belied I have that the things or persons you most value and do or would be willing to sacrifice for is/are what you offer reverence and worship to. I might have been more clear I think. "Worship" succeeds "value," it is not interchangeable with it.
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