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Author Topic: What generally characterizes an atheist?  (Read 1518 times)
zolace
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September 16, 2014, 10:46:46 AM
 #1

Is atheism a sign of intelligence?  Is it a superior system of thought?  The expected outcome of rational thought?

It does seem on these boards that any form of theism is looked down on by most atheists.  But, is that do to actual thoughtful consideration - or is it just plain arrogance - or even insecurity?

Or some combination of the above?

How might atheistic thought be superior to theistic thinking?

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September 16, 2014, 11:05:44 AM
 #2

Atheists are realists and require evidence before they believe something, so they've usually thought about religion or god and decided there's either no evidence or not enough. It's not arrogant to require some before you believe something; it's just common sense.  



sana8410
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September 16, 2014, 02:29:28 PM
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When you eliminate a source of knowledge…You become an idiot…People behave the same today as they behaved than, strangely every things the same…Actually one of the best arguments against evolution is the fact that we haven't changed…Still full of greed, envy, all of the vices…Behaviors have remain the same.

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September 16, 2014, 02:43:17 PM
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My road to belief led to the point that god did not exist.  If god doesn't exist, nothing matters.  Loving, striving, doing the right thing are all purposeless.  There is not enough in any one of them to keep going.  Also, if god doesn't exist, how did everything come to be?  Whatever rationale, god had to have come up with it.  Either evolution, the big bang, no matter what, someone had to have designed it.

Otherwise, why bother.  Let it all hang out.  Anything goes.  You only live once.

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September 16, 2014, 02:52:09 PM
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When you eliminate a source of knowledge…You become an idiot…People behave the same today as they behaved than, strangely every things the same…Actually one of the best arguments against evolution is the fact that we haven't changed…Still full of greed, envy, all of the vices…Behaviors have remain the same.

My road to belief led to the point that god did not exist.  If god doesn't exist, nothing matters.  Loving, striving, doing the right thing are all purposeless.  There is not enough in any one of them to keep going.  Also, if god doesn't exist, how did everything come to be?  Whatever rationale, god had to have come up with it.  Either evolution, the big bang, no matter what, someone had to have designed it.

Otherwise, why bother.  Let it all hang out.  Anything goes.  You only live once.

What does either of these have to do with what characterizes an atheist? Not to mention they're both pretty naive reasons for belief. Also, it always makes me laugh to see you two 'debating' when you're obviously the same person  Roll Eyes.

zolace
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September 16, 2014, 04:03:45 PM
 #6

 Another question on this, or another way to reword the OP (more folk may end up weighing in on this) is what characteristics stand out about atheists?


Is it intelligence?  Is it something else?


For example - I think (I would have to verify) that atheists are more likely to be found in the Democratic party than the Republican (and perhaps other) parties.



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Mr Crabs
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September 16, 2014, 04:06:48 PM
 #7

I guess some athiests will look down on believers but the opposite is also true. Infact, I'd say it happens more the opposite.
umair127
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September 16, 2014, 04:13:53 PM
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I guess some athiests will look down on believers but the opposite is also true. Infact, I'd say it happens more the opposite.

I can agree on that, and the beleivers will look down on the athiest or judge them.    Just the same judgement I got from a staff member IMAO.

zolace
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September 16, 2014, 04:16:15 PM
 #9

Also, some one,in other topic has noted that the percentage of atheists in American jails are well below the percentages of them found in the American population as a whole.  Be that causation or correlation - it is a characteristic.

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September 16, 2014, 04:20:35 PM
 #10

I guess some athiests will look down on believers but the opposite is also true. Infact, I'd say it happens more the opposite.

I can agree on that, and the beleivers will look down on the athiest or judge them.    Just the same judgement I got from a staff member IMAO.

*waits for sana8410 to chime in with a response too*  Grin.

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September 16, 2014, 04:24:57 PM
 #11

Atheists are people who don't want to follow a religion because it's a pain in the butt.
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September 16, 2014, 04:31:11 PM
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Well, today I learned that by definition, I'm an atheist. I originally thought that atheism meant that you didn't believe in anything other than what you can prove through science, but apparently it just beans that you don't believe in deities. I'm a scientist primarily, but if I know something in my heart and have seen personal evidence that I cannot prove, I classify those views as spiritual views.

I know through personal evidence that the cosmos does speak, (not verbally, of course) and you only need to know how to listen. For instance, the other day I was debating what happens when you realize karma for what it is. Does the karma become invalid if you're happily going through it so that no longer have that karmic consequence to deal with even though negative karma is not supposed to be enjoyable? I had to deal with perceived karma that would overdraw my bank account. My ATM pin wasn't working, the bank was closed, and everything was blocking me from making a deposit. Usually when something isn't working no matter how hard you try, it's a sign that it's not meant to happen. I realized that that was probably karma from something that I did. (I know what it was that caused the karma.) I called my dad and he suggested making a night drop deposit. I needed an envelope to do it, so I stopped into the store behind me and got a gift card envelope to deposit the funds and I used a blank check as the deposit slip.

So, I debated that if I didn't make the deposit, then the karma would be purged. If I made the deposit, would it still complete the karmic consequences or would it mean that I'd have to revisit those consequences another day? Well, while I was thinking about it, two people walked past talking about investment banking and I took it as a sign that I was meant to make the deposit. I went and made that deposit and the next day I found out that the bank gives me a $5.00 cushion before they start charging me fees up the wazoo, so being over by a few pennies wouldn't have hurt me. My guess is that sometime that knowledge will come in useful, so I needed it as a dependency for some future project rather than as a lesson to be leaned in karmic consequences.

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umair127
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September 16, 2014, 04:33:54 PM
 #13

Another question on this, or another way to reword the OP (more folk may end up weighing in on this) is what characteristics stand out about atheists?


Is it intelligence?  Is it something else?


For example - I think (I would have to verify) that atheists are more likely to be found in the Democratic party than the Republican (and perhaps other) parties.



No, not intelligence.  But they may know how to get away with crime.

noviapriani
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September 16, 2014, 04:43:38 PM
 #14

I watched the Unbelievers last night with Theoretical Physicist Lawrence Krauss, Steven Hawking, Richard Dawkins and others.  At the beginning and end they interviewed celebrities...I have no idea why, but Ricky Gervais was funny." Someone tells me that everyone is entitled to their religious beliefs so just keep your atheism to yourself" that sort of says it all doesn't it?  RG.

 I need to read Lawrence Krauss Book the Universe from Nothing.  I saw him on Colbert and of course Colbert was brilliant and asked him if God was nothing, couldn't something come from him?

In any event, Krauss explained better than I was capable in this thread as what is fulfilling to an atheist.  A celebration of not being dead mentally.  A celebration of a universe much grander than the petty one described in our religion that we arrogantly believe was created just for us.  Celebrate the existence of these complicated brains that allowed us to contemplate the existence of this place that made us,  It is far more wondrous than any religion.....to us.   This is why it cannot be grasped or explained to someone who has a priori decided to turn off their brain and put a halt to any further investigation in that arena.  They started with answers.....why go any further.  To us, that is akin to being dead and far more full of hopelessness.

In any event, Dawkins said he doesn't think nearly as many people believe as claim to believe.  He made a few good points.  Ask someone if they believe when the priest says "body of Christ", that it turns into the body of Christ?  Of course that can be argued as a symbol, but why do so many more people sob uncontrollably at funerals then when they say goodbye to their kids who they go off to college or to live abroad for instance.  If you truly believe you will be together again, what is the difference really?  Why the need to sob uncontrollably at a funeral if you believe that a) they are in a better place and b) you will see them again in this better place?   What the hell are you all crying about if you really believe?

Dawkins was also asked what the future of atheism is and he said he hopes it dies. "We don't call ourselves Ahorists or Azeusists any longer, why should we continue to call ourselves A-theists as we become enlightened?

The other interesting point Dawkins brought forward is that the common misperception that new species come out of old.  They don't.  Every species ever born was the genetic offspring of its parents.  Its the imperceptible change over time ......when applied to 3.5 billion years.  So there is no "first man"   There can be no first man.  So religion teaches us Jesus died for the original sin of first man who we now know never existed.  Brilliant.  God gave man free will but will send him to hell for using it.  Don't question it. He works in mysterious ways.  Ricky Gervais also asked what is the difference between a god that allows all the horrible things to occur (works in mysterious ways) and no god at all?  None of course because he aint there.

One funny but not so funny point Krauss makes in his book is that while the Universe can make something out of nothing, religion can make nothing out of something.  It happened in the 1100s in Islam, the then center of art, music, mathematics and culture and the islamic relgious fundamentalists turned it into nothing.  Likewise the enlightenment of europe was turned into the dark ages.  It can happen again as other threads portend.

It was an interesting enough documentary with excerpts from Hawking and others.  Some of it was crap but I would love to sit down with those guys.

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September 16, 2014, 04:47:40 PM
 #15

Atheists are the people who have given up on believing in any version of God for whatever reason. That's basically it though, naturally, some are more loudmouthed about it than others. If you want to see atheists in action, this is a decent subreddit to hang out in. http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism
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September 17, 2014, 10:41:55 AM
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Everyone deep down is agnostic to some degree. Even those that believe, must at some time have doubts...as goes for those nonbelievers.

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September 17, 2014, 11:30:44 AM
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A sane brain.
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September 17, 2014, 03:24:32 PM
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The lack of belief in god or gods... That's it!

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September 17, 2014, 03:26:55 PM
 #19

For me it's the complete lack of any evidence of a God. The same reason I don't believe in mermaids despite the fact that some do. 

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September 17, 2014, 03:32:39 PM
 #20

Atheists are reasonable people who are able to understand the world that surround them without the need to appeal to magic/mystic.

They have the clear mind to seek reason in order to understand reality.

TLDR, atheists are not lazy people: they use their brain.
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