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Susan Storm View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Susan Storm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 March 2008 at 11:42am
Originally posted by Jack Carver Jack Carver wrote:

I can't believe the arrogance of you atheists, convincing yourself that there is nothing in this universe that is greater or beyond yourself.

Ok. Thanks for responding.

Your statement goes wrong where you think that this is what "you atheists" actually believe.  It also goes wrong by assigning this rather specific set of beliefs to a very diverse group whose only common quality is their lack of belief in a god.

This is a strawman.

"No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jack Carver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 March 2008 at 11:44am
Well I guess it's just definitions then at that point. Can you be and 'atheist' and believe in the 'supernatural'? (Honest question)


Edited by Jack Carver - 31 March 2008 at 11:44am
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Susan Storm View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Susan Storm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 March 2008 at 11:55am

Originally posted by Jack Carver Jack Carver wrote:

Well I guess it's just definitions then at that point. Can you be and 'atheist' and believe in the 'supernatural'? (Honest question)

This is part of the reason I dislike the word "atheist".

That word has taken on so many cultural meanings that it has lost its original identity.

"A-Theism" literally simply means lack of theism.  It doesn't mean affirmative anti-theism, it just means that there is no affirmative theism.  "I do not believe in god" is different from "I believe there is no god".

Theism would be the belief in (a) god, and atheism is therefore simply the absence of that belief, not an affirmative denial.  Most people who self-identify as agnostic are, by the literal meaning of the word, atheist.

Moreover, "atheism" has incorrectly come to imply an identity, like "Christian" or "Muslim".  Atheism/atheist isn't something you ARE, it is something you are NOT.  A literal atheist does not identify himself by his lack of faith in a god any more than he identifies himself by his lack of faith in the existence of Santa Claus.  Both are equally irrelevant to his being.

A religious person, on the other hand, typically will identify "as" that religion, and include that religious belief in their identity.

Atheism isn't a belief.  It is the absence of a belief.  Any statement that begins "atheists believe" is by definition wrong.

So the answer to your question is yes.  One can be an atheist and believe in anything other than god - ghosts, Santa Claus, Barack Obama.

As a practical matter, many atheists tend to also be secularists, or humanists, or materialists, or hold similar belief systems, but the two do not necessarily go together.



Edited by Susan Storm - 31 March 2008 at 3:23pm
"No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable."
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