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IV ● XxX

Atheism

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IV ● XxX

Would you call atheism a belief, religion or a state of denial? Just curious, my personal opinion is a state of denial in most cases.

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ilikensrs
Would you call atheism a belief, religion or a state of denial? Just curious, my personal opinion is a state of denial in most cases.

Uh, could you explain how not believing in something that has never been proven to exist constitutes a state of denial? I don't believe in god, much as I don't believe that there is an invisible man standing on my shoulders pouring cups of tea for his pixie friends, and wouldn't consider myself to be in a state of denial. The burden of proof belongs to the nutjobs who would make such ridiculous claims. smile.gif

To answer the question, I suppose I'd describe atheism as living in reality unblinded by the lies of those who seek power over men. It's not a religion, as there's no central dogma, traditions, or superstitous beliefs. It requires no faith, on logic so I wouldn't describe it as a belief, and I've explained why it's hardly living in denial, so it seems that living in reality is the best way to describe it.

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Demarest

I was raised in "The Book" and was even fanatical about it at one point (scary stuff). Life's been harsh to me and I can't help but think that I was looking for answers like most of us do. Religion in general strikes me as a control device. Don't get me wrong; the Bible has a lot of good lessons in it. But FORCING people to abide by scaring them? Hard to respect that.

 

If I had to choose today, I'd probably best be described as agnostic. I believe in fate and karma. How could I not after SOME of the stuff I've been through? It sort of goes back to looking for answers though. The truth is that none of us KNOW. We only know what FEELS right to us. If it helps keep us goal oriented, nice people, or whatever, then great. When people use it divide one another though, there's nothing respectable about that.

 

Today's entry from my George Carlin calendar: "Spirituality: the last refuge of a failed human. Just another way of distracting yourself from who you really are." I rather like that. Mostly becuase I'm in touch with who I am more than most people.

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DeusExMachina

It's simply a belief. It may be a state of denial for fake atheists, but for real atheists, its their own personal belief.

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ilikensrs
It's simply a belief. It may be a state of denial for fake atheists, but for real atheists, its their own personal belief.

Once again, how can atheism be a state of denial? A state of denial is one in which one vehemently denies, against all available evidence, something which is known to be true. Since no proof of a god or gods exists, atheism is far less a state of denial as theism is.

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Rown

Rown rampage_ani.gif

Edited by Rown

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Snares
I'm agnostic. I do believe there is a greater force than us out there, but I do not believe it to be a "God". Atheism is not a belief, belief is having faith in something. It's most definitely not a religion, as they have rituals, traditions and such. I think I myself as an agnostic, is in a state of denial.

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DeusExMachina
It's simply a belief. It may be a state of denial for fake atheists, but for real atheists, its their own personal belief.

Once again, how can atheism be a state of denial? A state of denial is one in which one vehemently denies, against all available evidence, something which is known to be true. Since no proof of a god or gods exists, atheism is far less a state of denial as theism is.

Yeah, that was wrong choice of words. Couldn't think of anything else.

 

I'm like CSM, an agnostic who believes there is a greater "force" out there, but not necessarily a "God."

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K^2

I think, it depends on a person. I have met some people who will zealously try to prove that there is no god by every reasonable and unreasonable argument. For these people, it is definetly a religion.

 

I, personaly, just don't care. I suppose, that puts me closest with agnostics, though, if I did have to bet on one or the other, I'd say there is no god, just because there doesn't seem to be a reason to believe otherwise, and I can see how everything in this world can work just fine without any greater force.

 

 

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spoof

The agnostic belief is simply that there is no objective evidence to prove whether "God" does, or does not exist; therefore there is no opinion.

 

Religious beliefs are entirely separate. Whether "God" does, or does not exist has nothing to do with faith, nor religion.

 

Religion is entirely a man-made / societal construct and faith is an entirely individualistic issue. If "God" does exist, there will still be religion. If "God" doesn't exist, there will still be those who believe the contrary and I'm sure religion will still prosper.

 

 

All I know is that water is wet and if I stick my hand in fire, then it will get burnt. That is all the faith and religion I have ever needed in my life.

 

If I were ever to espouse a particular religion, no doubt it would be called "the Church of the later day perceptionists", because I know how the minority religious groups like to have grandiose titles monocle.gif

 

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Demarest
To add to what spoof said, EVERYBODY has a religion. Your belief structure IS your religion. If a person chooses to work structured worship of a higher power into that, that's their choice. How vehemently they'll follow up and or eminate a particular stance on a subject is also a part of it. Therefore each person posesses a truly unique religion. Part of MY religion is live an let live. I do not like division amongst people and THAT is why I tend to frown upon organized religion that not unlike a football fan, will put you own if only in his own mind for rooting for "the wrong team".

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K^2
To add to what spoof said, EVERYBODY has a religion. Your belief structure IS your religion.

And if I have no beliefs? I do not believe in god, I doubt what I see, and I do not consider "cogito ergo sum" to be a sound proposition. I act based on certain assumptions, axioms of sorts, that define what is "reality" and how it can be modified, but I do keep in the back of my mind that they are just assumptions.

 

I think, it is best to define religion as some set of beliefs that we hold that are not supported by evidence derived from any universally accepted method. Exampli gratia, we all trust our senses, at least to some degree, but not all of us trust what is written in books. Therefore, believing that cats exist based on seeing them is not religion. Believing that god exist based on a sacret text is. Seeing things that nobody else can should be classified as insanity for simplicity.

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Jow

In my eyes atheism is neither a belief, a religion, nor a state of denial.

 

My reasoning for this is simple. Atheism pre-dates theism.

 

It's the natural and original state of mind. It is only the emergence of theism that caused non-belief to be defined.

 

I don't like to dignify theism by allowing it to define or label my thoughts as a 'belief'.

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TheJkWhoSaysNi

If athiesm is a religion then 'not playing football' is a sport.

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DeusExMachina

A religion is nothing more than a belief. Christianity, Judaism, and the like are beliefs.

 

So technically, yes, Atheism can be seen as a religion. There isn't any "rituals" or anything, but its a belief that there is no God so...there ya go.

 

I had a pretty lenghty conversation about it with my Anthropology teacher. I disagreed that it was a religion, but eventually, I began to see what he meant.

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Saggy
A religion is nothing more than a belief. Christianity, Judaism, and the like are beliefs.

 

So technically, yes, Atheism can be seen as a religion. There isn't any "rituals" or anything, but its a belief that there is no God so...there ya go.

 

I had a pretty lenghty conversation about it with my Anthropology teacher. I disagreed that it was a religion, but eventually, I began to see what he meant.

A religion isn't something that's just believed in, though. Religion is more complicated that... It has a set of doctrines and principles, and it has tradition. A muslim may fast for a few weeks, but that's not a belief, it's a relgious practice. He may be doing it because of his belif in his religion, but simply beliving in something is not religious. For example, I believe that the author J.K. Rowling is crap, but that doesn't in any way make that a religious belief.

 

Whenever I've read or listened to someone talk abou atheism, they describe it as more of a category of relgions. The one thing these relgions have in common, is that they lack the belief of a deity, or god, or any omnipotent figure. In that sense, then agnostics, buddists, and many other religions (beliefs accompanied by a set of doctrines and principles) are all atheist relgions.

 

Basically, atheism isn't a denial, a state of mind, a relgion, or anything... It' simply a term that describes a recurrent theme that appear in some religions. In its specific case, it's describing the lack of a power higher than one's self in certain relgions.

 

The question that can still be asked, though, is if someone can be atheist without being religious. If one doesn't believe in god, but doesn't have a professed religion, then how does it fit them? Personally, I agree with what Dem had to say:

 

"To add to what spoof said, EVERYBODY has a religion. Your belief structure IS your religion. If a person chooses to work structured worship of a higher power into that, that's their choice. How vehemently they'll follow up and or eminate a particular stance on a subject is also a part of it. Therefore each person posesses a truly unique religion. Part of MY religion is live an let live. I do not like division amongst people and THAT is why I tend to frown upon organized religion that not unlike a football fan, will put you own if only in his own mind for rooting for 'the wrong team'."

 

So, if atheism is just a lack of the belief of god, then can one call logically assuming there is no god atheism? In a weird way, we as a society have more of a cause to believe there is a god than we do to disbelieve—that's probably the reason 80% of America believes in a god. We have the bible, we have people telling us about god, we have wonderful and mysterious things happening that need explanations, and the idea of a god usually reveals itself to people in those mediums. In that way I think that it can be a form of denial, since there really isn't any proof that god doesn't exist—there's not proof that he does, but more of a suggestion.

 

That depends on your definiton of denial. I liked ili's: "A state of denial is one in which one vehemently denies, against all available evidence, something which is known to be true." In all truth, though, how much evidence do we really have that god doesn't exist?

 

That's actually a question, I've always just myself not believed that humans could live thousands of years, and thus I've never believed in a Biblical god. But, I don't think our universe is void of some kind of omnipotent force. Weather that force is sentient or even aware of its influence, I don't think so. There's no proof one way or the other where there is a force like this, and weather its aware of what it's doing. In the same sense, there's no proof that there isn't... There's really no proof of anything, so it doesn't seem like one can have denial in terms of religion.

 

Honestly, I don't really have an opinion on what atheism is, but I figured I'd cut myself off before I rambled for too long. It certainly seems like it's a belief, or at least part of a belief. But, I just felt like bringing these points up.

 

 

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K^2
Basically, atheism isn't a denial, a state of mind, a relgion, or anything... It' simply a term that describes a recurrent theme that appear in some religions. In its specific case, it's describing the lack of a power higher than one's self in certain relgions.

This, I think, is the best description so far, so I'd stick with this, unless someone wants to counter it with a good argument.

 

However, I think before we go on with the question of whether atheism has to be a part of some religion, we should descide on whether we define atheism as a blief that there is no god or the lack of belief in god. If it is the belief that there is no god, then it is a part of one's own system of beliefs, and therefore, a part of their religion, the destinction with organized religion being kept in mind.

 

In other word, would an agnostic qualify as an atheist?

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DeusExMachina

There are agnostic-atheists (or atheist-agnostics).

 

In reality, isn't everyone technically an agnostic?

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K^2

If you take something on faith, you are not an agnostic. I'd say, there are a lot of people in every religion that have some agnostic views, but I would not call anyone who belongs to an organized religion an agnostic. Every organized religion requires you to believe one thing or another. Some religions might not say anything in particular about existance of God, in which case the members of that religion may be somewhat agnostic in that sense, but since they believe in something else, it prevents them from being completly agnostic. The only way to be completly agnostic is to doubt absolutly everything. It is also the only way never to be wrong about any of your beliefs. As soon as you believe something to be true, no matter what it is, you are falling into religion of some sort, and you are automatically wrong.

 

Just a side note, before anyone else comments on it: no, I do not believe a word I am saying. I'm not even sure I'm saying anything, or even that there is "I" to be saying anyting. However, if I'll start putting things in text hinting at the doubt of everything I write, the fact that I write it, and existance of me and the readers of the questionably existing text, the text will end up very long and boring.

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TheJkWhoSaysNi

 

As soon as you believe something to be true, no matter what it is, you are falling into religion of some sort, and you are automatically wrong.

 

I disagree entirly. I believe the sky is blue. Now 'blue' could be subjective. (Hell, what i see as blue you could see as green, but nevermind all of that, that's a completley differnt topic) Does believing that make me automatically wrong or a part of some sort of religion? No. The sky is blue beyond resonable doubt. The same as belief that 2+2 = 4. Based on the definitions of 'blue' and '4' we can show that the sky is 'blue' and 2 + 2 = 4. Does believing this make me part of a religion? The same is true for belief in God. Saying 'I don't believe in God' does not make you part of a religion any more than saying 'I dont believe in unicorns'. Religion is more than a single belief that there (is a|are) God(s). It's a way of life. A moral code. Being an athiest means you dont believe in God. Nothing more. Not all athiests have the same morals or neccicarily share anything with one another than not believing in god(s).

 

If believing strongly in something makes you automatically wrong, then the only things that are right are the things nobody believes in.

 

 

 

 

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DeusExMachina

Well there are agnostic-theists too so you can still have faith in religion or God and still be an agnostic.

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K^2
I disagree entirly. I believe the sky is blue. Now 'blue' could be subjective. (Hell, what i see as blue you could see as green, but nevermind all of that, that's a completley differnt topic) Does believing that make me automatically wrong or a part of some sort of religion?

It does, though. First of all, as you yourself noted, someone else may see the sky differently. So saying that the sky is blue cannot be true. It isn't blue. It may appear blue to you. Or maybe you just think it appears to you blue. Maybe you imagined the whole thing, I cannot know. The point is, you can't say that the sky is blue and insist that it is the truth. Nevertheles, you do that. You keep insisting on the fact that the sky is blue without even getting into details of what is sky, what means for it to be blue, and how others percieve it. If that's not a religious belief, I do not know what is.

 

 

If believing strongly in something makes you automatically wrong, then the only things that are right are the things nobody believes in.

The number of things that nobody believes in infinitly outnumber the things that somebody believes in. If we also agree that the number of things that are true are infinitly outnumbered by the number of things that are false, than the probability that something you believe in is true is exactly zero.

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TheJkWhoSaysNi

 

So saying that the sky is blue cannot be true. It isn't blue. It may appear blue to you. Or maybe you just think it appears to you blue. Maybe you imagined the whole thing, I cannot know. The point is, you can't say that the sky is blue and insist that it is the truth. Nevertheles, you do that. You keep insisting on the fact that the sky is blue without even getting into details of what is sky, what means for it to be blue, and how others percieve it. If that's not a religious belief, I do not know what is.

 

 

Yes, but we all have a definition of 'blue'. To everyone the sky is what they percieve as blue. Blue light has a wavelength of ~475nm. Whether we all perceive this the same is irrelevant. That is 'blue'. It's definatly not a religious belief. Take a look at the definition of the word 'religious'. It's a belief yes. There's nothing religious about it.

 

 

The number of things that nobody believes in infinitly outnumber the things that somebody believes in. If we also agree that the number of things that are true are infinitly outnumbered by the number of things that are false, than the probability that something you believe in is true is exactly zero.

 

Then what you just said is wrong because you believe it.

 

What about stuff I don't believe in? Is that automatically right? This arguement is absurd. When someone says "I believe in dragons" they suddenly move from 'possibly exist' to 'not exist'? We can show some things to be true, such as 2 + 2 = 4, due to the definitions of 2, + , = and 4. I believe that 2 + 2 = 4. By your logic that makes it automatically wrong.

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jheath

I've heard the "everybody is religious" mantra repeated many times, usually by people who want to justify their own religious beliefs by denying the very existence of non-religious belief. They do it either by claiming that belief in God is at the core of every psyche, and atheists are just suffering from self-delusion, or by diluting the term 'religious belief' to the point where the term is useless since it covers literally anything, such as belief in external reality or deductive reasoning.

 

One of the stories I've heard used by the "everyone is religious" crowd is of an atheist who confronts a priest before a sermon. The man tells the clergyman: "I don't believe in the supernatural. I don't believe in God. I most certainly don't believe in prayer." The reverend father nods his head, and starts his his service a few minutes later with the following: "Brothers and sisters... tonight we have a man in our company who doesn't believe in the supernatural, doesn't believe in God, and most certainly doesn't believe in prayer. So, I want all of you to concentrate, and pray for God to strike down this man before he leaves this room." With that, the atheist leaps to his feat, blanched with fear, and runs from pew to pew screaming "Don't you do it! Don't you do it!"

 

I'm not sure who originated this story, but I suspect it was made up by a religious man trying to convince himself that it's not at all abnormal or absurd to believe in the supernatural, invisible forces of good or evil which can be invoked by reciting the right formulas. (What one religion calls prayer would be considered another religion's blasphemous witchcraft.) At any rate, the story strikes me as resoundingly false. After all, if I were the atheist in the story, the prospect of having a room full of idiots wasting their breath by pointlessly praying for my demise would probably amuse me. Before leaving, I might even take the time to sneer at their supposed 'moral superiority'... after all, what does praying for the death of a stranger say about the morality all those who would heed the priest's summons? I think I would only feel fear if one of those imbeciles took it upon themselves to "execute" God's will.

 

Of course, there are many atheists so obsessively convinced that they are right that their disbelief takes on an aura of religious mania. For me, however, my atheism is simply predicated on the fact that I've seen no evidence to date of any kind of divine being. Indeed, the notion of the 'supernatural' seems to go against every finding of the physical sciences, which has thus far revealed a structure to the universe which is suprising in its orderliness and resistance to violation. The fact that mathematics and physics work as successfully as they do seems evidence to me that events in the universe aren't subject to the chanting of prayers or spells.

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K^2
Yes, but we all have a definition of 'blue'. To everyone the sky is what they percieve as blue. Blue light has a wavelength of ~475nm. Whether we all perceive this the same is irrelevant. That is 'blue'. It's definatly not a religious belief. Take a look at the definition of the word 'religious'. It's a belief yes. There's nothing religious about it.

Lets begin with the fact that human eye is not capable of reading frequencies. It has 3 types of detectors with peak responces to 420nm, 534nm, and 564nm. However, 475nm will trigger all 3 to some extent, and the ammount will vary from person to person.

 

Now, when you look at the sky, all that happens is that a certain combination of 3 color recepting rod cells on your retina are being triggered. That is all the information you trully receive. There is absolutly nothing in it to make a conclusion that sky is blue. You simply have been told that the cause of your responce is the "blue sky". This is no different than someone telling you that the cause of your existance is that God created this earth and humans on it. Furthermore, "sky is blue" explanation to your responce is very false. You say that an object has a color if that object either reflects that color or absorbs color complimentary to it in transmission. The "sky" does neither of these. The responce in your eyes is caused by air scatering the light of different frequencies differently. Similar effect to a rainbow. You aren't goign to claim that the droplets of water that you observe as a rainbow are actually of different colors, are you?

 

So in other words, "sky is blue" is simply an explanation you've been told to the responce of your eye to an optical effect caused by the atmosphere, which makes it no different from any other religius belief.

 

With this in mind, I can take any other explanation, and twist it arround making it seem like nothing more than a religious belief. That's why any belief is in some way religious, and anything you believe is false.

 

Then what you just said is wrong because you believe it.

I don't actually believe it. As I said, I don't really believe anything. I am inclined twoards it, however, and it is most probably false in some way. I never claimed that anything I say is the eternal truth. That would be a sure way to tell that it is false.

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Tom Toole

What is a belief? What is a thought?

 

If you believe in nothing, if you know nothing, if you think nothing, then perhaps you are not a human being after all.

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K^2

A thought is a cascade of neuron impulses. It has nothing to do with beliefs.

 

I would define a belief as any knowledge that is presumed to be certain.

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mase69

Atheist is nothing. it does not classify as anything.

 

Although it should be what the world is about.

When thought about. which is true. Religon is the Central CORE of WAR. Religon (although this sounds ridiculous) is what kills more people than anything. A minor Example, is the drawing of the muslim god pictured as a terrorist that the dutch artist Drew. It causes Riots THIS WHAS BECAUSE OF RELIGON, IF THERE WAS NO MUSLIM THEN PEOPLE WOULDNT RIOT! beacuse there would be no muslim god to make fun of and there would be no debates on that drawing! but this is on a lower scale for it has not caused a war. yet? so as it should if there were no religons, war would be highly cut down, causing a major cut down of deaths. EVERYWHERE!

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Lazzo

I've always seen atheism as a belief in that there is no belief. Belief is essentially the acceptance in a truth as we see it.

 

 

The agnostic belief is simply that there is no objective evidence to prove whether "God" does, or does not exist; therefore there is no opinion.

I concur. People have always argued with me when I've said that.

 

Most atheists I've met have a lack of faith in a higher divinity because they feel that they've been treated unfairly in life. I always respect an atheist who believes that there is no higher divinity when they use objective analysis through observations that they've made. Unfortunately, this type of atheist is in the minority, in my opinion.

 

We all have a different depiction of reality when you cut the fat off of everything. A zealous preacher may have legitimately felt a presence in his life where as an atheist may just dismiss whatever the preacher felt as a particular sensation that he's confusing with something else or even as utter bullsh*t.

 

It's all relative in my opinion. Every person is different.

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Tenacious G
i'm an atheist, but I was rised the catholic way, only that I didn't believe in god then, and I never will. I even went to a catholic school and was fed 'Worship GOD' every day, and every thursday we had to go church for a 2 hour service, and I never felt the presence of god, when everyone else said that they could.

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