Monday, June 27, 2011

Discussion: Meaning of Atheism

What does atheism mean to you? I encourage you to go beyond a dictionary-like definition, and I will be grading on a curve...


  1. I think it is misleading to go beyond the dictionary-like definition in this case. Atheism refers to a lack of belief in gods. While I can expand that quite a bit to capture the importance of atheism to me, all of that would go far beyond what atheism means. For example, I am both an atheist (i.e., I do not accept the theistic belief claim) and a materialist in the sense that I do not believe in ghosts, demons, angels, souls, etc.

  2. Well, just as an example (and I didn't put this in the question because I didn't want to steal anyone's thunder):

    Atheism is obviously the lack of a belief in gods, but it's also about skepticism. I can't recall for certain which came first, atheism or skepticism, but I think it was skepticism. I feel the two are inexorably linked. Because I was raised with religion, I had to question in order to reach the point of being an atheist, and this skepticism has carried over into many other aspects of my life.

    I do not attribute this all to atheism, but atheism is a defining moment in my life of skepticism.

    Just an example.

  3. I think atheism is merely not believing in god, any of them.

    I think trying to define beyond that might lead to it becoming dogmatic. How can I define what it is someone else believes? We may share a commonality in our lack of belief in god(s), but many other aspects differ.
    I know atheists who consider themselves spiritual. I personally don't get it, but they feel a kinship with nature that they describe as "spirituality".
    Some atheists eschew religious holidays. Me, I don't celebrate them, but I will use the excuse as a day from work. Of course, only Christmas and Thanksgiving are reasons at my job (assholes!).

    You're onto something with the skeptism angle. Obviously, most atheists are, at least, a bit skeptical. How else would we come to our ideas?
    But, even that has varying degrees. Some atheists (and you know who they are) buy into the political propaganda machines (it goes both ways, left/right). Yet others among us can see the total BS that is politics....varying degrees?

  4. How else would we come to our ideas?

    Second-generation atheist. If you're raised atheist, atheism is your tradition. Scary thought.

    I'm wonder if it's the politics that are bullshit, or if it's the politicians. Seems to me if we had one party actually pushing for social change and one party actually pushing for fiscal responsibility, we'd be fine. That just isn't what our leaders are doing, because they're too busy making life easier for the wealthy folks who paid for their campaigns.

  5. Whoops, did I say "folks?" I meant "fucks."


If your comment is too long, break it into multiple comments and post them all.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...