Atheism: One Belief System Among Many?

 
In “Risky business: The world is out of control, sociologist Ulrich Beck tells Stuart Jeffries” (Feb. 11, 2006), Jeffries, the Guardian’s feature writer and columnist, published his interview with Beck, a professor for sociology at the University of Munich whose lectures converges on sociology of risk, social inequalities, modernization theory and transformation of work. This 6 years old interview caught my attention and made me ponder if Beck is correct in thinking that atheism is one belief system among many.

Jeffries wrote:

On the controversial cartoons depicting Muhummad, Beck invoked the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas’s distinction between secular and post-secular societies. “The basic assumption of the secular society is that modernity overcomes religion. In this sense most continental European countries seem to exist as secular states, while Britain and America seem to be post-secular – they see atheism is only one of the belief systems and that religion still is an important voice of humanity.”

The dialogue that followed, which I re-edit to capture the interview, left me pondering if atheism could be considered a belief system.

Jeffries: Would you have published the cartoons?

Beck: “No. It’s important to fight for freedom of speech, but it has to be related to principle. You can’t play with these freedoms. You have to be very careful not to hurt religious feelings.”

Jeffries: Are you religious?

Beck: “Not at all. Max Weber [the German sociologist] said he was unmusical when it comes to religion. I’m like that, too. But it’s important to understand that not everybody is going to be an atheist.”

Jeffries: Was that assumption ever plausible?

Beck: “It was the assumption of most social theory. All theory of modernity in sociology suggests that the more modernity there is, the less religion. In my theory we can realise that this is wrong: atheism is only one belief system among many.”

Question: Is Beck correct in viewing atheism as one belief system among many? Give reasons

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80 thoughts on “Atheism: One Belief System Among Many?

  1. WOW! Absolutely mind boggling. I think me stick to FAITH. Blessed are those who believe without sight and believe in _Faith. The heavens declare the Glory of the Lord. Please dont expect me to respond to your human views. i love the simplicity of the words of Jesus. Unless you are like a simple child you cannot enter the Kingdom of God. But on saying that I know we are all different. Pray I leave these arguments to you. I’ll stick to my simple faith. Jesus is real Hehe just in honesty ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Be blessed. and I hope you come to know Him as there is no greater love that will ever be shown to you than the love of God through His Son, Hope to read one day that you got it.

  2. Atheism is a “belief system” as abstinence is a sex position.

    “We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further”.- Richard Dawkins

  3. heh. I’ve written and re-written a comment a dozen times, and now I erase it for the last time, and leave you with only this: Thanks Prayson and HeHe both for the engaging conversation.

  4. I just took the liberty of asking the Google machine to define the word “system” for me. Here’s what it said:

    sys·tem/ˈsistəm/
    Noun:
    A set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole, in particular.
    A set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.

    So what’s a set? Turning to Google again: “A group or collection of things that belong together or resemble one another or are usually found together”

    Combining these two definitions, we see a clear standard by through we can answer your question: Is atheism a group of interconnected things (i.e., beliefs) that form a complex whole? Let’s find out.

    What is “atheism?” Google brings me “The theory or belief that God does not exist.” (I think this definition is flawed, but that’s neither here nor there. Héhé has already voiced my feelings on the definition.)

    So to answer the question, no, atheism is not a belief system. Atheism corresponds to precisely one belief about the world, and as such, it cannot be a system. It is also not a philosophy or a worldview. It is simply the rejection of god claims.

  5. Loved the Project Steve video.
    They mentioned the list put out by creationists.
    Here’s the video that does the analysis and crunches the numbers.

    List of Scientists Rejecting Evolution- Do they really?

    • Really nice video…pretty pathetic from the movement’s part, I don’t know how to say it more nicely…I wonder what Prayson would have to say about that, haha…

  6. Your argument is that of a child and wholly unrealistic hehehaha. You can list hundreds upon hundreds of things that God could have warned us about. If He would have revealed the date of the second coming all the non-believers could repent the day before…just in case it’s true…

    But you admitted that there is a possibility God exists and that gives me hope for you.

    • Oh no, haha, I had the impression my argument made perfect sense, and was pretty simple…my point about not warning us was that just as he didn’t include those warnings in the Bible, he may not have discussed evolution even if it were true…but I’ll drop this subject, I guess…

  7. Exactly. Thank you brother. Finally we understand using simple word substitution!

    I fail to accept the existence God [of some red car parked outside my apartment] because I have no knowledge of it, don’t see it (being inside right now), but I don’t deny God’s [such a car’s] existence because He [one] might actually be REAL [there]…it’s that simple.

    So, using your own philosophical argument, you proclaim that although you have no knowledge of, and can’t see God, He just might be real.

    For myself, I would not do the word substitution using the word [evolution] because my God, in his user manual, did not mention I am here by evolving from monkeys…it’s that simple.

    Feeling is were we are different. I have felt Gods breath and heard His voice. I have been places and seen things that most never will. God has carried me on His back, or maybe it was Angels He sent. It’s very personal. I would choose death before ever denying Him.

    And yes, I’m very sincere, there are souls searching for reason..

    • Yes, I do accept the possibility that God exists, Roy…and that’s what I mean by “fail to accept”, I’m glad to see you understand what I’m saying…I’m not sure you felt those things, but I’m pretty sure you think you have…look, God didn’t talk about taking aspirins for headaches either, do you therefore not believe they work?…The Bible doesn’t mention that it’s possible for humans to go to the moon, is that therefore impossible?…I mean…is reality confined to what is discussed in the Bible?…Is it possible to acquire knowledge outside of it, like how to use a computer (I see you know how), like the fact that water has 1 atom of oxygen and 2 of hydrogen (I hope you believe that)?…The fact that germs exists isn’t in the Bible either, and God didn’t think it necessary to mention AIDS or cancer…do those diseases not exist?…Is something automatically false because the Bible doesn’t mention it?…

  8. I read it 5 times because in one short paragraph there was a lot of info. The writing style is not what I’m used to. If you read any of her posts here, and at stottilien.wordpress. com, you would understand.

    I’m pretty sure I am not the only one who thinks injecting hehe and haha in sentences is stupid. How old are you Mr. Grown Up?

    Failing to accept the existence of something is the same as denying its existence.

    I have admitted to ignorance many times but when it comes to why I’m here, what my purpose is, and where I’m going, I’m very clear.

    • Haha…I’m 24, Roy…as I said under the other post, I’d be waisting my time…I’m starting to realize you’re actually sincere, haha, I take the “defensive”-part back…my bad…

      I’ll just show you how “Failing to accept the existence of something is the same as denying its existence.”…it’s not science, it’s just philosophy, maybe you’ll understand that…I fail to accept the existence of some red car parked outside my apartment because I have no knowledge of it, don’t see it (being inside right now), but I don’t deny such a car’s existence because one might actually be there…it’s that simple, tell me if that’s too complicated and I’ll simplify that, haha…

  9. Wow, is that it? I give the win to Prayson, if only for how stupid sounding, all the hehe and haha’s are placed into your sentences.

    In my mind those who fail to accept the existence of God must admit they are here because ?

    To be a ? must really suck.

    I think atheism is exactly what hehe haha said…the conscious decision to deny the existence of God.

    There is a lot of wisdom in what FallenAngel said. I’ve read it 5 times. great knowledge/insight!

    “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.”
    ― C.G. Jung

    Indeed

    • Haha…you read FallenAngel’s (I thought she was a nonbeliever, initially, when I read that name, héhé) statement 5 times ’cause it gives you a warm feeling inside, haha…you probably “give the win” to Prayson because of the same reasons, haha, and in addition, I suspect, you likely don’t even understand what’s being discussed between us grown-ups (haha…that’s mostly due to your answer under that Darwin-article, you don’t seem to understand science/logic and such at all)…haha, though the fact that you’re trying to insult me makes me wonder if you do understand some of it (seeing your worldview shattered could explain being defensive)…

      Haha, I’m guessing I’m “hehe haha”…I never said nonbelief (I prefer that term to “atheism”) is “the conscious decision to deny the existence of God”, héhé, as I’m sure Prayson could confirm…I said it’s when you “fail to accept the existence of God” as you said in the previous part…YES, when you do so you don’t know why you are here (I guess that’s what you mean by the “?”, Roy)…you know, héhé, some of us actually think admitting to ignorance is a good thing, but I can understand if you find that strange and terrifying…I mean, I’m sure many wouldn’t like to admit they can’t solve a math problem when asked by someone, héhé…it takes some honesty and humility to just say: “I can’t do it, man…I’ll think about it”…most people might play around with the paper containing the problem, make up a solution and push it all away, haha…not all of us have those qualities, and it’s understandable…

  10. When the Big Bang idea was discovered by George Lemaître, I think the priest was named, he was the one to send a letter to the pope to ask him not to use it in order to preach Catholicism, to say “We were right all along”…Darwin was a Creationist before making his discoveries…there are plenty of religious scientists, you know…how is modern science being driven by nonbelievers and their supposed “agendas”?…Michio Kaku was one of the folks criticizing “The Grand Design”, and he doesn’t believe in God…I guess it might indeed be difficult, I guess, to be as critical as a scientist has to be and simultaneously believe in God, though…but you used to provide lists and lists of Christian scientists yourself, I remember…

      • Héhé…you won’t get away with trying to mess with my memory, I have a very good one (well…at least for events)…

      • You posted about the below article…here’s a scientist speaking about it all: “Such a statement could easily be agreed to by scientists who have no doubts about evolution itself, but dispute the exclusiveness of “Darwinism,” that is, natural selection, when other mechanisms such as genetic drift and gene flow are being actively debated. To the layman, however, the ad gives the distinct impression that the 100 scientists question evolution itself”…:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Scientific_Dissent_From_Darwinism

      • Well…I mean you posted about the idea in that article, haha…you were always scared of Wikipedia…I sometimes see Richard Dawkins recommending the site to folks who ask questions about biology on his website…

      • You should use them, haha…a lot of the stuff on Wikipedia is correct, and if you’re listening to a scientist speak on Youtube, he’s no more a scientist (and therefore more reliable than you or me) ’cause someone uploaded his talk to Youtube…

        • Well, the problem is Hehe, I can do the same. Point you to real scientists saying the opposite. Darwin On Trial.

          I listen to both sides and found out that it is not about evidences per se, but the interpretation of that evidences thats the problem.

      • Maybe you’re right about most of them being non-Christian…that doesn’t change the low percentage of scientists they belong in…it is a little surprising to me, though, I don’t understand their motives…that’s why I find that pretty doubtful…

    • You used to give lists of Christians who are scientists, as if to prove by that list that science wasn’t anti-religion…you cited Darwin, Einstein (you were going a little too far there) and many others…I remember we used to debate about all that…you provided a list of scientists (some of which were lured into signing that paper for the Discovery Institute), and I don’t think we know that the majority were Christians…I forgot that other nonbeliever’s name who used to come on your site and comment himself, but we both provided the Steve project to show how just scientists by the name of Steve who accept evolution were more than double those of all who signed that other paper…here’s the Wikipedia article about it…don’t start complaining, trust Wikipedia on this one, haha, Prayson…:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Steve

    • Haha…their motive is usually religious in nature, the fact that they realize that the idea of us being so ape-like, that we share common ancestors with apes makes it strange that God would have designed us so “specially”…

  11. Scientists are very far from having any evidence for those types of things, don’t make any mistake about it…it’s speculation…their point is not that the eternal questions are now answered, it’s simply that “now we don’t HAVE to conclude before working things out that God HAD to have created everything, there might be other possibilities at the end of the tunnel if we look a little longer”…I don’t think most people realize they aren’t actually providing the actual answers and such…

    • We should equally avoid “we-dont-know-yet” of the gap. New atheism is now driving science and I am sad that it is destroying it.

      No philosopher argues that we do not know the cause of the universe therefore God did it, but simply argues that the universe began to exist and its cause has to be timeless, spaceless, immaterial and nonphysical since time, space, material and physical objects came into existence when the universe began to exist.

      When Hawking say the universe created itself, I am ashamed since the universe needed to exist to create/ bring itself to existence.

      New atheism is driving science, it is my hope that Christian theist or classical atheist will save science. 🙂

      • What do you mean ” “we-dont-know-yet” of the gap”?…Haha…”new atheism is now driving science”?…
        Prayson, that’s my whole point: “No philosopher argues that we do not know the cause of the universe therefore God did it, but simply argues that the universe began to exist and its cause has to be timeless, spaceless, immaterial and nonphysical since time, space, material and physical objects came into existence when the universe began to exist.”, philosophers DON’T know all that…they should line up like you or me and listen to scientists (haha, I should just say “me” there, I guess…I think you don’t even accept evolution)…they’re speaking out of their field when they say things like that, héhé, and it’s just William Lane Craig and a couple other people, not all philosophers…there are plenty of nonbeliever philosophers…

        Hawking didn’t literally mean “it created itself”, Prayson…haha, I’ve heard many religious folks, wanting to not sound anti-scientific, claim that science is anti-scientific, haha…claim that any science that clashes with their personal beliefs isn’t science in order to seem rational and scientific while speaking out against science…he explains that “science doesn’t REQUIRE that there be no God, science just doesn’t REQUIRE that there BE a God” in the video…but I’m sure you’re talking about any science that disagrees with religion, especially evolution in your case…and, as many religious folks would do, you’ll probably say it’s unbelievable, while you’re ready to believe (without questioning) any other strange science that doesn’t imply the Bible had it wrong (like relativity and such…I find it even stranger)…

        • In my article “Was Charles Darwin Theistic Evolutionist?” I showed two places which Darwin believed that God set evolution into motion. I also share my position at the end of the post. 🙂

    • Haha…I think I see what you mean by “we don’t know yet” of the gap…you’re trying to take the word “God” out and replacing it with “we don’t know yet”, haha…that’s the type of trick I’m talking about, trying to turn science/nonbelief into a belief system by looking for what is substituted for blind beliefs and trying to transform them into blind faith in themselves…we SHOULD use “we don’t know yet” of the gaps, Prayson…THAT’s what we should do when we don’t know something, say: “We don’t know something”…stating REALITY isn’t wrong, Prayson…you can’t just turn everything into a belief system like that, haha, Prayson…it was so absurd that I didn’t even understand what you meant at first…

      • Haha…I agree, Prayson, that’s why I’m talking about “lacking a belief in God”, “failing to accept God exists”, not “knowing God doesn’t exist”, and, in your case, “knowing God exists”…the evidence available doesn’t imply God exists, but it doesn’t imply he exists either…of course, given past discoveries and such, the fact that everything that we have not known so far has been explained should give us a feeling that that might very well happen for the other things we don’t know…

        • I sadly disagree. I believe from cosmology, ontology, morality, historical Jesus and personal experiance I do have good reasons to believe God exist.

          In turn, its a nonbeliever who have not address these cases and set their own give reasons and evidences for their unbelief.

          Brilliantly things that are explained align with what Christians have known all along. Example leading cosmology Alexander Vilenkin recently stated “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”

          So more evidence will point people to God as it did to Antony Flew and many more. Francis Bacon was right “a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”

          What reasons Hehe do you have for your nonbelief?

      • Haha…do you mean you’d like to hear me address why your personal experiences don’t convince of the existence of the Almighty?…Why should I be convinced by the historical existence of Jesus, Prayson?…I also believe St Francis of Assisi existed, even if I don’t believe in his miracles…should his existence imply to me that God is real?…Cosmology?…Haha, my whole point here is that it makes God unnecessary…so you think I should explain why the things that point away, or at least leave space for the non-existence of God, I should explain why they don’t CONVINCE me of his existence?…Do you remember our conversation of yesterday?…Héhé, it’s like you blocked it or something, forgot what we were saying to make that statement…

      • Haha….you just asked me why your personal experiences, Jesus’ historical existence, cosmology and those other things didn’t convince me there was a God, I was answering that…I already told you why I fail to believe God exists, haha…we’re playing with words again…I’ll repeat myself another time: there is no evidence that God exists, there is no reason to accept that something which I have no direct experience with, which I don’t see, which cannot be measured, which is reminiscent of many of the myths we have concocted in the past, I don’t see any evidence to believe that such a thing exists, and as science advances it even looks like such a thing isn’t even necessary for things to exist as they do…

    • I’ll look into that, Prayson…I was thinking about our past discussions, you didn’t accept evolution back then…we’re much, MUCH more advanced than Darwin, you know, haha, Prayson…I know he thought God had a hand in a couple things (I think that belief was in the process of dissipating as years went by), but that doesn’t mean that with modern science (genetics, molecular biology, etc) his position on the matter has any consequence on what we should think in 2012…

      • I am at lostbecause the same much evidences for Neo-Darwinian Evolution is the same much evidences for ID. ID and NDE are simply interpretation of these data. I think ID has a more powerful explanation than NDE 🙂

      • Prayson, you or I aren’t qualified to discuss the evidence for those scientists…biologists are, and 99.99% of them line up on one side, think the evidence does to…guess which that is?…

        • I am not sure about that. I follow Evolution News and I think there is always new problem given by evolutionist as new evidences pop up telling a different story.

          Example evolutionist Kevin Peterson and colleagues research showed that the evolution tradition tree is false. He wrote: “I’ve looked at thousands of microRNA genes,and I can’t find a single example that would support the traditional tree.” Another adds “What we know at this stage, that we do have a very serious incongruence”(http://www.nature.com/news/phylogeny-rewriting-evolution-1.10885)

          The Telegram assembled evolutionist scientists who said “concept misleads us because his [Darwin’s] theory limits and even obscures the study of organisms and their ancestries.” and that ” Researchers say although for much of the past 150 years biology has largely concerned itself with filling in the details of the tree it is now obsolete and needs to be discarded” and “For a long time the holy grail was to build a tree of life. We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality .” and “More fundamentally recent research suggests the evolution of animals and plants isn’t exactly tree-like either . […]The tree of life is being politely buried – we all know that. What’s less accepted is our whole fundamental view of biology needs to change .” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/4312355/Charles-Darwins-tree-of-life-is-wrong-and-misleading-claim-scientists.html)

          So I remain skeptical about DE 🙂

      • Prayson: you are quoting a very small minority of scientists, part of the 0.01% of biologist (I didn’t look into those folks, I’m assuming they exist and are really biologists) who don’t accept the theory…there are more historians who don’t accept the Holocaust happened than biologists who don’t accept evolution…do you ever watch the History channel?…Ever see those UFO/government alien conspiracy/aliens visited us in the past-people?…Do you think because they get air-time to speak about their conspiracy theories (I guess ’cause that’s what the public wants to hear…héhé, just like those who want to cling on to Creationism need to hear the rare scientists who hold the same views as they do) that their views reflect those of the majority of scientists?…

        Héhé, you really need to watch those videos I posted instead of fleeing them…

      • Haha…my bad, but that’s still not the view of most scientists (concerning the family tree)…they still belong in the tiny minority…I hope you don’t think I’m claiming evolutionary theory is complete, that there aren’t any more questions being asked?…There are ongoing debates about the specifics of evolution, but those folks you’re quoting are going a little too far…

      • Haha…you must be looking in very carefully selected places then, Prayson…don’t expect a Creationist source to tell you the truth…

      • Haha…I just call all the non-science “Creationism”…if you watched “Intelligent Design on Trial” you’d realize that I actually have good reasons to do so, other than my disdain (héhé, I don’t mean that in a bad way…I’m sure you have disdain for flat-Earth groups…and, yes, they exist to this day…they’re just taken less seriously than Creationists, though the latter aren’t too far ahead of ’em)…I can assure you that scientists (I mean: “most scientists”) aren’t putting the idea of the tree of life in doubt…on the contrary, they believe in it more than before…

  12. Haha…just as usual, Prayson (I was acting as if “Daniel” was your first name, sorry about that)…a long article like the old days…I read the first paragraphs, it’s the same sort of criticism over semantics…YES, he’s not talking about the same nothing that has been discussed since the beginning of time by arm-chaired philosophers…he’s talking about something else…but why does the nothing philosophers talk about have to be the REAL nothing, Prayson?…I mean, who decreed that?…Does the fact that we’ve had that in mind since the beginning of time mean that it has some bearing on reality?…Why do the laws of physics have to come from somewhere?…Isn’t that what religious folks love to say, haha, that God always existed?..If it could be shown that the laws of physics along with empty (as he sees it) space by themselves caused everything as we know them, then why is that less likely than an intelligent, complex God?…Which is more simple?…Why can’t the laws themselves be “God”?…He explains it clearly in the video I just posted, Prayson: he’s not explaining HOW things happened, he’s explaining how they COULD have happened, showing that God isn’t REQUIRED anymore…he’s offering a candidate to our eternal question that doesn’t involve any magic, héhé…

  13. Noel: you should read “the Grand Design” by Stephen Hawking, and/or “A Universe from Nothing” by Lawrence Krauss, both astrophysicists, and learn that stuff come out of nowhere ALL THE TIME in science, héhé, instead of just a billboard…

    • Thank you Hehe,

      Krauss, Mlodinow and Hawking avoid the tough question: why there is something rather than nothing, by equivocation. Their re-definition of “nothing” is not what is traditionally meant by the term viz.: non-being but “the quantum vacuum”.

      This maneuver of a bookkeeping trick, namely the amount positive energy and the negative energy of the universe add up to zero, errs because their nothing is something: positive and negative charges.

      Ponder it. How can true “nothing” be unstable. Nothing cannot be (un)stable because it is a non-being. If it is a being(charges) then it is something. I do not know why they cannot grasp the metaphysical understanding of nothing, viz.: non-being, thus no positive-negative charges, no vacuum, no laws of physics.

      Sadly, from their re-definition of nothing, our brilliant physicist friends do not begin postulation something from “nothing” but something from something: “balanced, unstable positive and negative charges”.

      Prayson

      • I’ve heard Krauss address your concern many times, héhé, Daniel….haha, he likes to say (because of that type of criticism), and I agree: “Philosopher and theologians really do seem to be experts at nothing”…why do we HAVE to talk about the “nothing” of philosophy and theology?…How do we know that “nothing” even exists?…Why do we know that things had to start out as “nothing” in that sense?…What “nothing” is William Lane Craig talking about when he “proves” God’s existence as he likes to do in his debates?…What gives philosophers and such the right to impose on reality that “nothing” they talk about?…Here he is talking about it all, I’m not gonna post a long video where he’s addressing that precise point…the shortest one I could find in these last few minutes…:

      • Haha…I’m gonna look at that, but I’m not going to just listen to him because he’s a nonbeliever, héhé, Daniel…I’m not just criticizing the religious, I’m also talking about philosophers in general…I mean, you can’t sit in an armchair and DECIDE what reality is…you have to look into things and accept that they might not conform to your preconceptions; that’s what many philosophers fail to do, whether religious or not…

      • Haha, Prayson…Hawking probably meant (if he didn’t, then I agree that he was wrong) “naked philosophy” in the sense: “philosophy not aided by science”…that type of philosophy is blind…it’s like “thinking skills”, sitting in your windowless room trying to figure out the intentions of someone who wrote a letter to you…the philosopher leaves the letter unopened and thinks hard about it, haha, thinks it’s not necessary to look inside; the scientist READS the actual letter but still thinks hard about it…the “think hard about it” is philosophy…Hawking probably meant that doing that ALONE while ignoring the evidence is dead…

    • Haha…I’m not completely sure what you mean, Prayson, but if you’re saying that “naked philosophy” IS “philosophy” then, yes, it’s dead, I agree with those folks…we shouldn’t be using that type of thing anymore, héhé…

      • Sadly then they used naked philosophy to pronounce the death of philosophy. Since they did not give an evidence that philosophy is died but simply asserted it.

    • I read “The Grand Design”, Prayson, and I don’t remember if he explains himself about philosophy being dead…but even if he didn’t, to me it seems fairly obvious…you don’t need to explain why “two parallel lines never meet” in math, and that doesn’t make the statement a purely philosophical one…it’s supposed to be obvious…

  14. Héhé…it’s me, Héhé, again Prayson…I think atheism (I prefer say “nonbeliever”) isn’t a belief system…to be an atheist, you just don’t buy into the claim that a god exists…you don’t “believe God doesn’t exist”, you just “fail to believe God exists”…that said, there are many atheists I meet who seem to take their views pretty personally, héhé, get overly defensive and, yes, all that does look pretty religious as far as I can tell…

      • Haha…what do you mean “believe atheism is true”?…If you mean “do you fail to accept the existence of God”, then yes, I fail to…

      • I think it’s wrong, given the evidence (lack of evidence) surrounding us to ACCEPT the existence of God, yes…haha, I’m translating what you’re saying to more correct language (as I see it), I guess…often enough religious folks seem to attempt to turn nonbelief into a belief system…

      • But Beck is not a religious person Hehe. If I may define “believe” so I can ask again. I use believe as “accept the statement of (someone/thing)as true”

        So, Hehe do you accept that nonbelief position on existence of God is true?

      • Prayson,

        We must be careful not to misconstrue words or it looks like we’re conversing in dishonest ways. Atheism does not necessarily make any claims about the existence of God. At its base, atheism is a response to the claim “God or gods exist.”. Just like not believing in the tooth fairy is not inherently a claim that the tooth fairy does not exist, so is not believing is a god or gods.

        The fact that you attempt to argue that atheism is inherently a claim by your incorrect rewording tells me that you recognize this, but don’t want to accept it as true.

    • Haha…I didn’t see your answer until now, I don’t get notifications like you probably do…to accept something as true would imply that that thing is a statement about reality and such…”nonbelief” isn’t a statement about reality, it’s a state of some folks’ minds…I can’t talk about accepting that “thinking that tolerance is a good thing” is true, haha…but I can talk about accepting that “tolerance is a good thing” is true…you can talk about whether I “accept that God’s nonexistence is true”, but I’ve already explained that that’s not what a nonbeliever does, he just fails to do something: he (/she, let’s not be sexist, héhé) fails to accept that God exists, that’s all…and I do think that’s the position most in line with our current evidence…but I”m just playing around with words, Prayson…I see what you mean, and I already answered that question and just did, héhé, though in different language (for the reasons explained)…

  15. Like I read somewhere on a billboard, an Atheist is a person who believes that everything came from nothing. Scientifically, this is impossible.

  16. Seen from Europe, the question is who and when. During the area of enlightenment in 18th century, science, literature and philosophy tried to reform society and mankind by reason.Religion was oposed as superstition abused by church (institutions). Everything was thought to be explainable (positivism) by cause and effect or by logic. I regard Voltaire and maybe Kant, among others, as outstanding atheists by reason but most of todays atheists of a different kind. For the great numbers it seems indeed mor of a belief system. Born hundred years ago many of the spiritual unmusical might have vaguely believed in a personal God, eighty years ago in Hitler as magician, today many believe in the magic power of the “market”. Habermas addressed the public sphere as egalitarian, driven by common concern and reason. Today he argues for a non-public supra-national European “soft monster”. Looking in any blog or newspaper, one can hardly find this atheism of the (bourgeois) intellectuals anymore, but instead is confronted with a spiritual void (of the masses). As I said before, I respect any atheist who derives this by reason, but most of the current atheism is actually even less than a belief system, it deteriorated to an opinion system. Its hard to think, even harder to experience god and belief but easy to have opinions.

    “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.”
    ― C.G. Jung

    P.S. There is a little book about the discussion 2001 between Joseph Ratzinger (now pope Benedict XVI) and Jürgen Habermas about the correlation of reason and belief an what philosophy can learn from religion.

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