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Fri Mar 17, 2017, 10:42 AM

Is Atheism a Belief?

http://www.alternet.org/story/148555/is_atheism_a_belief

...The word "belief" has multiple meanings. It can mean a basic tenet -- in other words, a doctrine or dogma -- especially in a religious context. But it can also simply mean an opinion or conviction: something thought to be true or not true. It can mean "trust or confidence" -- such as, "I believe in my marriage." And, of course, it can mean "deeply held core value, something that's considered to be fundamentally good" -- such as, "I believe in democracy."

That's true for a lot of words, of course. Plenty of words have multiple meanings; some even have meanings that are almost the opposite of each other. But because this particular word is so central to religion and the debates about it, it come with an inordinate amount of problematic baggage.

When they're debating atheists or defending their religion, religious people often blur the lines between some or all of these different meanings, slipping back and forth between them. In trying to defend the validity of their own beliefs -- or to slur atheists with the appalling (if somewhat baffling) taint of having faith -- religious people often conflate these different meanings of the word "belief."

They mix up the "opinion or conclusion" meaning with the "doctrine or dogma" meaning, to make any reasonably plausible conclusion seem like unsupported dogma... or to make unsupported dogma seem like any other reasonably plausible conclusion. They mix up the "core value" meaning with the "doctrine or dogma" meaning, to make any passionate conviction seem like stubborn close-mindedness... or to make inflexible adherence to dogma seem like a strong moral foundation. They mix up the "trust and confidence" meaning with the "doctrine or dogma" meaning, to make any act of confidence without absolute certainty seem like irrational blindness... or to make belief in that for which there's no good evidence seem like a loving act of loyalty, and to make atheism seem suspicious and cynical.


An old but always relevant article from Greta Christina. The whole thing is worth a read.

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Reply Is Atheism a Belief? (Original post)
trotsky Mar 2017 OP
Act_of_Reparation Mar 2017 #1
nolabels Mar 2017 #2
Lordquinton Mar 2017 #3
trotsky Mar 2017 #4
Angry Dragon Mar 2017 #5
Angry Dragon Mar 2017 #6
AtheistCrusader Mar 2017 #7
Angry Dragon Mar 2017 #8
AtheistCrusader Mar 2017 #9
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #13
AtheistCrusader Mar 2017 #14
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #17
edhopper Mar 2017 #21
AtheistCrusader Mar 2017 #25
uriel1972 Mar 2017 #48
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #49
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #56
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #57
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #58
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #59
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #60
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #61
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #62
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #63
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #68
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #72
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #74
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #78
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #80
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #82
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #83
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #85
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #86
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #88
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #90
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #93
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #95
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #99
Goblinmonger Mar 2017 #65
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #69
Goblinmonger Mar 2017 #70
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #71
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #73
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #75
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #79
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #81
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #84
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #87
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #89
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #91
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #92
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #94
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #97
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #98
edhopper Mar 2017 #100
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #101
edhopper Mar 2017 #102
Goblinmonger Mar 2017 #103
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #104
Goblinmonger Mar 2017 #105
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #107
edhopper Mar 2017 #15
Doodley Mar 2017 #27
edhopper Mar 2017 #33
bobalew Mar 2017 #36
LostOne4Ever Mar 2017 #39
edhopper Mar 2017 #40
LostOne4Ever Mar 2017 #44
Warpy Mar 2017 #54
uriel1972 Mar 2017 #10
kwassa Mar 2017 #11
Goblinmonger Mar 2017 #42
trotsky Mar 2017 #109
hrmjustin Mar 2017 #45
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #12
edhopper Mar 2017 #16
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #18
edhopper Mar 2017 #19
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #20
edhopper Mar 2017 #22
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #55
edhopper Mar 2017 #64
guillaumeb Mar 2017 #67
trotsky Mar 2017 #110
edhopper Mar 2017 #23
dchill Mar 2017 #28
Warpy Mar 2017 #77
bobalew Mar 2017 #37
The Sand Reckoner Mar 2017 #106
Jonny Appleseed Mar 2017 #29
Lordquinton Mar 2017 #24
Bretton Garcia Mar 2017 #41
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #51
Doodley Mar 2017 #26
Jonny Appleseed Mar 2017 #31
uriel1972 Mar 2017 #66
edhopper Mar 2017 #34
Laffy Kat Mar 2017 #30
Lunabell Mar 2017 #32
JenniferJuniper Mar 2017 #35
edhopper Mar 2017 #38
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #43
uriel1972 Mar 2017 #46
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #47
hrmjustin Mar 2017 #50
beam me up scottie Mar 2017 #52
hrmjustin Mar 2017 #53
Motley13 Mar 2017 #76
Eko Mar 2017 #96
Iggo Mar 2017 #108

Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 10:57 AM

1. I've always found this topic fertile ground for pedantry and equivocation.

I am with Greta. Religious belief is something unto itself, so much that it is often distinguished as being not simply belief, but faith.

And I've never understood why some theists are so keen equivocate any belief with their faith. It's the rhetorical equivalent of saying, "I know you are but what am I".

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 11:14 AM

2. It's biodegradable!

It's also a byproduct of religion. As long as our species fails to take responsibility on own behalf we will need an imagined force from above or some other pie in sky idea to reign fear and intimidation on a general population. You cannot run a hierarchal grouping of people when anyone can have an effect by questioning the actions of those supposedly above them.

Trust and confidence can have vastly different meanings or be very similar depending on context. Some people need religion because the world is just too scary for them without it. It also seems that as more people understand that principle, then those atacks on people without similar beliefs become more predictable

Freedom of religion is just as important as freedom from religion.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 01:10 PM

3. Short answer

[center]NO[/center]

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 02:55 PM

4. this dude atheists. n/t

edit: well evidently you can't put up-arrows (carets) in subject lines. Who knew?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 04:59 PM

5. Used to be able to .............

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 05:01 PM

6. yes ........... atheists believe there is no god ............. that is a belief

and they live their lives accordingly
unlike many people who call themselves christian

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 05:19 PM

7. That is not a 'belief'.

Not believing or rejecting someone else's claim of X does not imply a 'belief'.

Disbelief is the LACK or ABSENCE of belief.



There are SOME 'strong' atheists that actively believe any sort of god/supernatural thing isn't possible, but most atheists are actually agnostic about it, rejecting all external claims of XYZ god(s), and not holding any pretense to knowledge of whether such a being could or does exist.

This has been explained to you before.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 05:39 PM

8. and atheist and agnostic are NOT the same

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 06:00 PM

9. No one suggested they were, until you protested about it.

A atheist can be gnostic or agnostic.
A theist can be gnostic or agnostic.


A quaker and many deists are theists. They believe in a god. But they are agnostic in that they do not believe we do, or can know much or anything about that god. They believe it is inaccessible or incomprehensible to us.

Theism is about belief. Gnosticism is about knowledge.

An atheist can be an Atheist(TM) and either Gnostic (asserts that we can/do know there is no such thing as god) or an atheist can be an Atheist(TM) that is Agnostic (rejects human claims of XYZ gods and the associated claimed evidence of such, while remaining open to the possibility there is a god but we can't or haven't yet directly perceived it, and that none of the people claiming to have done so, are correct about their claims.)

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 08:05 PM

13. When is an unprovable belief not a belief?

When it is convenient.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 08:27 PM

14. First I would have to invest in, or hold, the unprovable belief.

You know, like the one any religious person holds. Regardless of religion.

Belief is an investment. A positive claim. Like in a criminal case of conspiracy, it's an overt act, an effort, something you DO.
Declining to believe isn't a belief. To abstain from belief isn't a belief. To refuse to participate in a conspiracy doesn't constitute a conspiracy, etc.

IF I held an unprovable belief that gods certainly do not or cannot exist, then I would have to defend it.
I don't. I have freely acknowledged that a supernatural being, particularly one with the power and knowledge to create the universe, must also possess the ability to conceal itself from us, if it chooses to. (Though I argue the toolmarks of that being must be within our cognitive reach, if for no other purpose than to eliminate any other possible cause)

So, I was born an agnostic atheist, and I remain so until one of you religious people actually trot out some fucking evidence that withstands scrutiny.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #14)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 09:14 PM

17. I believe that there is a Creator.

If you believe that there is no Creator, that is also an unprovable belief.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #17)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 09:25 PM

21. there is no evidence of a Creator

Not accepting nonexisting things is not a belief.

No matter how much you want it to be.

I reject your false eguivallancy as a fallacy.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #17)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 10:45 PM

25. Fortunately that hill isn't mine to defend.

I don't believe there is a creator. That is my position. You have made a claim, and I have rejected it as unsupported.

I acknowledge there MIGHT be a creator, but I don't believe you when you claim to have identified one. As such, I am an agnostic atheist. I don't believe. I don't see one. I am not impressed by your claim nor your fellow travelers claimed evidence.

Unlike your hubris, I don't claim to know the answer. I leave open the possibility god or a god, or many gods might exist together, separately, simultaneously, etc. I just don't believe your claim, and decline to join you in making such an arrogant, unsupported, and thus far unproven claim.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 06:44 PM

48. I have seen no evidence for a creator...

I do not believe there is one =/= I believe there is no creator... slippery word tricks=/= actual convincing arguments.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 07:02 PM

49. How exactly is a lack of belief a belief? How is nothing something?

What about so called flat earth theory and 'intelligent' design, is a lack of belief in those things a belief?

If a lack of something is something my bank account should be overflowing.


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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #49)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 09:32 PM

56. As to your examples:

If someone believes that the earth is flat, that is a belief.

But the earth IS spherical, so belief is not necessary.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #56)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 09:38 PM

57. Nice try but I want to know if it's a belief to NOT believe the earth is flat.

Flat earthers insist the world isn't a sphere - they have a BELIEF that the earth is flat. It's up to them to prove that claim and if they can't we can dismiss it.

Now how do you define the rest of us? Are we round earth believers?

How about people who don't believe in the Easter bunny? Is that a belief? If so what's it called?



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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #57)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 09:41 PM

58. Belief is not necessary for something that is provable.

I know certain things. I have no need to say that I believe that water freezes at a certain temperature because it is provable.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #58)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 09:47 PM

59. Can you prove the Easter Bunny doesn't exist?

What if I say that the EB cannot be detected by using scientific methods? How are you going to prove he's not real?

Assuming you can't - how is not believing in Easter Bunnies different than not believing in deities?

What about other gods? Do you have a belief that thousands of other gods don't exist? What is that belief called?

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #59)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 09:50 PM

60. I have faith that a Creator exists, thus I believe in the Creator.

Others may have different beliefs and that is as it should be.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #60)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 09:56 PM

61. That doesn't answer my question. Why is lack of belief in your god special?

Why is lack of belief in your god defined as a gnostic belief when lack of belief in other mythological creatures isn't?

You guys can't even DEFINE your god yet you keep insisting we have a gnostic belief that Vague Hand Wavy Creator Dude doesn't exist.

Some are even insane enough to define that lack of belief as a religion. It's absurd.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #61)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 09:58 PM

62. My belief is special to me.

I do not expect you to share it. It is that simple for me.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #62)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 10:02 PM

63. That's nice. Can you answer the question?

Why does lack of belief in your god deserve a special category? Why can't it simply be defined as a lack of belief? What makes this particular lack different?

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #63)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 12:30 PM

68. I have never met anyone who claimed to have no beliefs.

If you believe that there are no gods, that is your belief. Belief and religious faith are not equivalent. It is not a lack, as you put it, it is simply an alternate belief.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #68)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 04:16 PM

72. You have 'met' plenty in this forum who told you they have no belief in gods.

Yet you insist we don't know how to define our atheism - we tell you it's agnostic and you claim it's gnostic. Even when a simple Google search shows you that the very word 'atheism' is defined as both.

Here is the very first defintion I found when I did as search:

disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.


Why should we accept your alternate definition when we know it's incorrect?

Deliberately misrepresenting others is both offensive and intolerant.

I don't really think you're incapable of understanding the concept of not believing in deities, after all it's not that difficult. I think you're being obstinate because you don't want to admit your god is no different than any other deity for which you lack belief. You seem to be certain that your god is different and 'special' yet the believers in all of those other gods thought the same thing. Their Osirus, Hera, Thor etc were no less special than your god.

You lack belief in those thousands of other gods both named and unnamed and we simply lack belief in one more - yours. See how simple that is?

Now back to the questions - is your lack of belief in those gods a belief? If so what is it called?

What is your lack of belief in other mythological creatures called? Are those beliefs? If so what are those beliefs called?

And why does your deity deserve a special category so that lack of belief in it is defined as a gnostic belief?

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #72)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 05:47 PM

74. "Met" in a literal sense.

Atheism is defined variously. Such as:

1) the doctrine or belief that there is no God.

2) disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/atheism

One is expressed as a negative, the other as an affirmation. If you prefer the negative that is your choice.

As to your other question:
I believe that the Creator exists.

I do not believe that unicorns exist. I could have said that I do not believe in unicorns, but the two statements lead to the same outcome.

Edited to add: This post by a self-identified atheist undercuts your definition of atheism:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1218246080

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #74)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 06:17 PM

78. So because you haven't 'met' us in meat space we don't get to define our own atheism?

You don't seem to be aware of the difference between gnostic and agnostic atheism even though it's been discussed here countless times.

This is a helpful breakdown that was posted in this forum before, the page doesn't exist any more so I can't link it:

An agnostic atheist is someone who does not believe in gods and also thinks that the existence of gods cannot be known. This might mean that they don’t believe in gods because they haven’t seen any evidence that supports their existence.

A gnostic theist is someone who believes in a god/gods and thinks that the existence of gods can be known. This position is usually referred to as just ‘theist‘, since people who believe in gods, usually also think that their existence can be known.

A gnostic atheist is someone who does not believe in gods, and who thinks that we can know that gods do not exist. A fairly unusual position, they might think they have found proof of the non-existence of gods, or might have been persuaded by life experiences.

An agnostic theist is someone who believes in gods, but thinks that they could not know for sure that their god exists. Another fairly unusual position, as people who have faith in gods usually also think that their god can be known to be real.


Agnostic atheists lack belief in gods, I do not have a gnostic belief that they don't exist. No matter how many times you try to redefine my atheism that fact will not change.


***

Getting back to unicorns and gods:

I do not believe that unicorns exist. I could have said that I do not believe in unicorns, but the two statements lead to the same outcome.


You have a gnostic belief that unicorns don't exist even though you can't prove it. That is a belief.

If you say you don't believe unicorns don't exist that's a LACK of belief. It's agnostic a-unicornism.

There is a difference even if you can't see it. Words mean things. Gnostic and agnostic atheism are defined differently. Allowing people to define their beliefs or lack of them is tolerant, denying them that right is intolerant.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #78)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 06:20 PM

80. If you reads the post that I referenced, a current post,

the post seems to contradict your position.

And one would assume that every atheist defines atheism for her/himself.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #80)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 06:38 PM

82. You linked to the op. Which is odd because I don't see where it includes a different definition.


Yes - every atheist should be allowed to define their own atheism.

So why are you trying to define it for all of us?

When I tell you I lack belief you call that a belief, when I object you insist I'm wrong. And you've done the same thing to other atheists here.

There's a word for misrepresenting a group of people when you know that your misrepresentation is incorrect and offensive to members of that group. Let's see if you can remember what it is.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #82)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 06:42 PM

83. I am defining atheism for myself,

and I have been informed that my definition is both wrong and offensive.

As to your insinuation that I am trying to deliberately offend, that insinuation is simply incorrect a d conflicts with your own position. Or are only atheists allowed to define what atheism is?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #83)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 06:55 PM

85. You are defining it for others.

When atheists tell you over and over again that they don't have a belief and your response is 'nuh uh, you're wrong, you DO have a belief' that's defining our atheism.

A tolerant person wouldn't try to define other people's beliefs or lack of them because those beliefs or lack of beliefs make them uncomfortable. Anyone who claims to be religiously tolerant wouldn't insist on repeatedly telling others that they don't understand their own belief or lack of it.

Would you tell a Muslim they support pedophilia because Mohammad had a child bride? That's bigoted and offensive, right? Your post would probably be hidden and you might get banned because this site doesn't allow posters to use bigoted stereotypes.

And how would you like it if I claimed you were really an atheist? And no matter how much you protest I keep insisting that you are wrong, you don't REALLY believe in God? Would you be offended?

I would be called intolerant and rightly so. But for some reason some theists seem to think it's perfectly acceptable to tell atheists they have a belief even though they've been told repeatedly that's not true.

Yes your attempt to redefine my atheism is indeed intolerant. And the fact that you keep trying to do so after being told your definition of my atheism is wrong indicates you're deliberately trying to offend.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #85)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 07:05 PM

86. You are attempting to define what I am saying.

I personally define atheism as a belief system.

You can disagree, but that does not mean that either of us is intolerant, it simply means we disagree. I have also posted links to dictionary definitions of atheism that support my view. So your quarrel is also with them.

And my view, based on the way you are repeatedly wording your objections, is that you are hoping someone will decide that my position is offensive and deserving of sanction.

Finally, I am not defining your atheism I am establishing how I view atheism. Or are you claiming that only atheists can define atheism? THAT sounds like intolerance to me.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #86)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 07:19 PM

88. No I'm actually being repeating your claim that atheism is a belief.

In this very thread you defined atheism when you posted this:

guillaumeb

12. If it cannot be proven, it is a belief.

Thank you for the easy question.


I'm sure there are many other examples but one is enough to establish that you are indeed defining my atheism. You didn't say some atheism is a belief or that some atheists believe - you defined atheism as a belief even though your own dictionary definition doesn't state categorically that it is one.

You have also seen other definitions that define it as a lack of belief but you keep ignoring those because that would mean admitting you're wrong.

'Viewing' all atheism as belief is obviously incorrect, countless definitions prove that including the one you cited.

And your insistence that we're wrong in spite of that fact is offensive and intolerant.

A tolerant position would be: some atheism, specifically gnostic atheism, can be defined as a belief and other atheism, specifically agnostic atheism is defined as a lack of belief.

Why is that so difficult.

And to address your absurd claim - why on earth would I want your posts deleted? I want people to understand why it's intolerant to define others.

This is a teaching moment for me, and you're not the only pupil.





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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #88)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 07:24 PM

90. I stated, as my position,

If it cannot be proven, it is a belief.


If you disagree with this, explain why.

As to my absurd question, I will not discuss specifics here.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #90)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 07:34 PM

93. What does that statement even mean? What is your source for that claim?

Is lack of belief in invisible garage dragons a belief?

Is lack of belief in compassionate conservatism a belief?

Is lack of belief in a conscious universe a belief?

Is lack of belief in fairies a belief?

By your 'logic' every opinion on anything that's not a provable scientific fact is a belief.

What a bizarre claim.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #93)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 07:50 PM

95. My claim is my opinion.

I can post a definition that supports it, but it is still only my view of atheism. I thought that I made that clear.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #95)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 08:03 PM

99. Your opinion seems to be a belief. You're claiming every opinion is a belief.

Again that's absurd.

I'm always amazed at the lengths theists will go to in order to 'prove' their claims about atheism. It's like watching a contortionist.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #62)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 11:54 PM

65. But my lack of belief in your god

 

is not different than my lack of belief in the tooth fairy, santa claus, and elves. Nobody in their right mind would say that my lack of a belief in elves is actually a belief. Why does your god get a special category where lack of belief in him means I have a belief. I realize that belief is special to you. To me, it's not different.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #65)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 12:32 PM

69. And my response, as always, is that you do believe.

You believe that there is no deity.

You frame your atheism as a denial, I frame it as a positive choice.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #69)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 02:39 PM

70. So you have a belief in Santa Claus?

 

You make a positive choice not to believe. And a belief in unicorns.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #70)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 03:05 PM

71. My beliefs in anything specific do not matter.

The point is that everyone has beliefs.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #71)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 04:18 PM

73. They absolutely do matter. What is your belief that Santa doesn't exist called?

ASantaism?

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #73)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 05:49 PM

75. I believe that Santa Claus does not exist.

Next.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #75)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 06:17 PM

79. So what do you call your belief?

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #79)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 06:22 PM

81. I simply call it my belief.

I also believe in human influenced climate change, and I do not call that belief anything either.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #81)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 06:45 PM

84. So you think belief in climate change is the same as belief in mythological creatures?

That's the same 'reasoning' used by climate change deniers who claim science is a belief system and/or religion.

That explains everything.

I think I understand why you're so invested in redefining lack of belief as belief now.


So, if lack of belief in Santa/unicorns/other mythological creatures isn't considered a specific form of belief why should lack of belief in gods be?

Why are gods special?

There is no proof that any of those things exist yet you think deities deserve to be treated differently than Santa, unicorns, etc. Why?

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #84)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 07:07 PM

87. Belief is something that is unproven.

If it were proven, it would be knowledge, or accepted fact.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #87)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 07:22 PM

89. Gods are unprovable, climate change is settled science, just like evolution and gravity.

Conflating science and faith is a tactic often used by fundamentalists. As is calling atheism a belief.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #89)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 07:25 PM

91. Evolution is a theory.

Or it was the last time that I read about it. But I do believe that evolution is correct.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #91)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 07:30 PM

92. Wow. Thanks for proving my point. That was easy.

Evolution is both a fact and a theory. It doesn't require faith. The only people I know who insist that it's not a proven fact are religious fundamentalists.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #92)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 07:49 PM

94. I must disagree.

A fact is not a theory. I believe in the theory, but that theory, (of evolution) is not considered provable or proven.

And not being a Biblical literalist, I have no quarrel with science, or with the theory of evolution. To me, science is knowledge about the created Universe, and thus to be welcomed because what increases our knowledge about Creation increases our appreciation for the Creator.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #94)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 08:00 PM

97. That's your opinion. I'll defer to scientists if you don't mind.

Conflating religious belief with science is a faulty logic. Evolution does not require belief, it is an easily proven theory. Belief in gods requires you to have faith in what cannot be proved.


Evolution is a Fact and a Theory
by Laurence Moran

When non-biologists talk about biological evolution they often confuse two different aspects of the definition. On the one hand there is the question of whether or not modern organisms have evolved from older ancestral organisms or whether modern species are continuing to change over time. On the other hand there are questions about the mechanism of the observed changes... how did evolution occur? Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution. Stephen J. Gould has put this as well as anyone else:

In the American vernacular, "theory" often means "imperfect fact"--part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is "only" a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): "Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science--that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was."

Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

Moreover, "fact" doesn't mean "absolute certainty"; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory--natural selection--to explain the mechanism of evolution.

- Stephen J. Gould, " Evolution as Fact and Theory"; Discover, May 1981


http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html


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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #97)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 08:02 PM

98. I stand corrected on evolution. Thank you.

Obviously I have not kept up on scientific theory since graduating in 1974.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #87)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 08:04 PM

100. but human caused climate change can be proven

yet you call that a belief as well.

Which is it? Unproven belief or accepted fact.

I accept it due to the evidence. The same way I don't accept a God due to lack of evidence.

Just as all known facts point to a Universe without any gods.

No belief required.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #100)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 08:06 PM

101. Is the evidence unequivocal that human caused warming is the cause of climate

change? Is it considered a scientific fact?

As far as I know, it is not, but I still believe it because scientific consensus supports it.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #101)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 08:44 PM

102. yes,

it pretty much is.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #71)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 08:50 PM

103. I have plenty of beliefs

 

None about gods. I have no beliefs in any gods. Nor do I have beliefs about Santa, the tooth fairy, and invisible dinosaurs.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #103)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 08:54 PM

104. Are all of your beliefs provable? eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #104)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 09:01 PM

105. Of course not

 

I believe Princess Bride is the best film every.
I believe baroque music is incredible.
I believe Mexican food is the best ethnic food going.
I believe Ulysses is the best novel ever written.

I do not have any beliefs in god, though.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #105)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 10:12 PM

107. Ulysses?

Princess Bride is a great movie.
I like lute music.
Chinese, especially dim sum, is my preferred favorite ethnic food.
Reading Ulysses in school was what convinced me to believe in Christianity. It was pure hell. Hell, I say. Plus, a foretaste of eternity.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 08:42 PM

15. I do not believe there is no God

I have not seen any evidence that such a being exists.
I do not accept that a god is real.
No faith required.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #15)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 11:01 PM

27. Do you believe in evolution?

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Response to Doodley (Reply #27)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 11:15 PM

33. no

I accept all the evidence and facts that show it to be true. No faith required.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 04:53 AM

36. No it isn't... it's a LACK of a belief...

No God no belief required. Facts & Knowledge replace the need for any "belief" or "Faith".

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 10:27 AM

39. Depends on the type of atheist you are describing.

[font style="font-family:'Georgia','Baskerville Old Face','Helvetica',fantasy;" size=4 color=#009999]A great many of us hold neither the position "there exists at least one or more gods" nor the position "there are no gods" to be true.

Some of us call ourselves agnostic atheists (or just agnostics), or implicit atheists, or numerous other terms. We are still atheists.[/font]

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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #39)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 11:47 AM

40. so you are an atheist

and hold no belief toward any gods.

Atheism is not a belief.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #40)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 04:31 PM

44. You got no argument from me :). Nt

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 07:39 PM

54. No, it's an absence of belief

I know the concept is foreign to believers but do stop insulting people you don't know.

Thank you.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 06:43 PM

10. I believe in my table and chairs...

but I don't worship them.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 06:47 PM

11. I've been on DU 12 years, and this group is still talking about the same thing.

Never fucking ends. Endless cycle.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 04:04 PM

42. Maybe if people would stop saying atheism is a belief

 

we wouldn't have to talk about it so much.

It gets pretty old for us, too.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #42)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:19 AM

109. It was nice of him to notice and chime in though.

LOL

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Response to kwassa (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 06:00 PM

45. Ain't that the truth!

 

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 08:03 PM

12. If it cannot be proven, it is a belief.

Thank you for the easy question.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 08:44 PM

16. one does not have to disprove

that for which there is no evidence.
Not accepting the existence of Bigfoot is not a belief.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #16)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 09:16 PM

18. Believing that there is no God IS a belief.

It can be expressed as a negative, but it is unprovable and a belief.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #18)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 09:21 PM

19. you just want a special category

for one of many, many things whose existence has no evidence.

Again I don't need to disprove something for which there is no evidence.

Is not accepting the existence of Zeus or Odin or Baal also just a belief?

What thongs that I don't accept and for which there is no evidence is simply a belief.

Or is God the only thing, just because.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 09:22 PM

20. You believe that there is/are no God/Gods.

And since you have no proof, it remains a belief.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 09:27 PM

22. I have plenty of evidnce that

the gods people believe in do not exist.

I don't need to prve non-existence

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Response to edhopper (Reply #22)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 09:23 PM

55. Evidence, or feeling?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #55)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 11:23 PM

64. evidence

that the Gods people believe in did not exist.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #64)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 12:28 PM

67. I eagerly await the forthcoming presentation of such evidence. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #67)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:47 AM

110. You've already seen it.

You have rejected belief in all gods except for yours. We also reject those gods - and just go one further. For the same reasons, basically.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 09:28 PM

23. It is not belief

it requires no faith.

There is simply no evidence to accept it.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 11:01 PM

28. If seeing is believing, then it's not a belief.

I do believe in evil. I do believe in good. These I have seen.

I have no belief in gods.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #20)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 06:05 PM

77. No, once again, very slowly

We have never seen any evidence of the existence of gods or unicorns or fairies or little green men coming out of UFOs.

Without evidence, we're not able to pretend those things exist.

There is no belief.

Oh, you can believe in anything you want to, we don't care. Just stop trying to define us in your terms. They don't fit and it's insulting.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #18)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 04:55 AM

37. BS!

NT

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 10:00 PM

106. Atheism does not require one

 

to believe there is no god.

So the answer is no.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #16)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 11:05 PM

29. By your logic everything is a belief

 

Lungs aren't the organ used in respiration! FAKE NEWS! The lungs could be aesthetic and it's actually magic elves tricking our medical scientists with mind control!

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 10:23 PM

24. You answered theism

And santa claus, and the easter bunny, and the invisible dragon over your shoulder. But nothing about atheism.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 01:52 PM

41. If it WAS, then: are all beliefs the same, or of equal status?

Is belief in God the same as 1) belief in the Easter Bunny? 2) Belief in gravity? 3) Belief that the car to the right of you is real?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 07:08 PM

51. Didn't read the article, did you?

You're mistaking opinions and belief.

Belief is not required to reject absurdities.

I don't believe that a man who was hundreds of years old collected millions of species from around the world, fit them all on a wooden boat and kept it afloat for months. That's an opinion not a belief.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 10:51 PM

26. It is a belief in something other than a God or Gods, so yes.

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Response to Doodley (Reply #26)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 11:07 PM

31. It's a belief in nothing.

 

It's the lack of theology. A (without) theism (belief in existence of gods).

Simple english.

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Response to Jonny Appleseed (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 12:46 AM

66. It's not a belief in nothing...

It's a lack of belief in something. Just a minor semantic quibble. Sorry , carry on.

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Response to Doodley (Reply #26)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 11:20 PM

34. What else

it is simply not accepting something for whichbthere is no evidence.
I don't believe faeries don't exist. They just don't exist. I don't need faith or belief.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 11:07 PM

30. Is science? nt

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 11:15 PM

32. Atheism is truth.

All else is belief.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 11:23 PM

35. Long ago, I thought I was agnostic

And then someone asked me "Do you believe in a god of any sort?"

No, I don't, I answered. And it was then I realized I was actually an atheist.

Instead of getting hung up on on the word "belief", perhaps "opinion" is more appropriate?

There is no evidence that the Bible was written by a supernatural being. However, some people believe it was. I believe it was written by long ago desert dwellers with various political agendas.

We are all entitled to our beliefs. They are all just opinions.

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Response to JenniferJuniper (Reply #35)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 09:20 AM

38. You put it correctly

The answer to do you believe in any god is no.

Not that you believe there is no God, But you don't have a belief.

Atheism is the lack of belief, not belief there is not a god.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 04:19 PM

43. It's amazing that we have to keep fighting for the right to define ourselves.

When bigots try to stereotype Muslims as radical jihadists they're called intolerant and rightly so. Deliberately misrepresenting any group of people is intolerant and illiberal.

One definition of intolerance from religioustolerance.org:

We consider the following actions as exhibiting religious intolerance:

Spreading misinformation about a group's beliefs or practices even though the inaccuracy of that information could have been easily checked and corrected.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #43)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 06:40 PM

46. Hello Cthulu!....

Nice to see you again.

You indeed have a point... will it be noted though.

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Response to uriel1972 (Reply #46)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 06:43 PM

47. Hello my friend!

Long time no see, thrilled to see you're still here.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #43)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 07:04 PM

50. I hope all is well with you!

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #50)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 07:10 PM

52. Hello hrmjustin.

I've been busy, I hope you and your mom are doing well.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #52)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 07:14 PM

53. We are well and I hope it continues.

 

Glad to see you here and I hope to see more of you.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 05:59 PM

76. Of course it is, they are as vehement as religious zealots



no one knows if there is a higher being, or NOT. To attest to one or the other, is dumb IMHO.

One thing, I do know, those that proclaim how they are such Christians, or any religion, are the most hateful.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 07:53 PM

96. Only if

Saying no, there is no santa claus is a belief. So,,,,,,nope.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 08:47 AM

108. Of course not.

And the "You're just as bad as we are" argument is sad.

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