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Talk:Atheism

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Post-theism[edit]

I think a recent post added this section with the comment:

"Though the belief system is independent from organized religions, some post-theists posit a specific religion as formerly true and relevant. A most notable example is Frank Hugh Foster, who in a 1918 lecture announced that modern culture had arrived at a "post-theistic stage" in which humanity has taken possession of the powers of agency and creativity that had formerly been projected upon God. Another instance is Friedrich Nietzsche's declaration that "God is dead.""

So the argument is that some people believe that a specific religion was previously (I guess) "true and relevant"?

The two examples given are not examples of religions - they are examples of general theism. Simple belief in god is not a "religion".

So should the section refer to "beliefs" rather than religions? Or something?--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:05, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Types of atheist[edit]

On the radio recently '... a lapsed atheist.

And there are jokes of which the punchline is to the effect 'I am a (Catholic) atheist and you are a (Protestant) atheist.' Anna Livia (talk) 15:47, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Atheism as a religion[edit]

This whole section seems to sidestep the question completely. It should be focussing on negating the comparisons between atheism and religion, rather than quibbling whether it can actually be termed a religion. If atheists are organised in such a way that mirrors religion, isn't that an issue?

It says that you can't say anything about all atheists as the group is too disparate. Surely not as disparate as some religions?

Atheism often seems to have a web of supporting beliefs, a belief structure, beyond simply 'I don't believe in God'. Atheists do tend to gather and discuss their beliefs, attend conventions, read the same books, listen to particular speakers that they respect, become defensive when their views are questions - hell, some of them even go to a 'Sunday Assembly' and wear T-shirts. When you can say the same for people who DON'T collect stamps, then maybe that particular argument holds water.

There are even moderators on here that will remove a comment merely for challenging atheism. If that's not a religious way of behaving, what is? — Unsigned, by: Star Gazer / talk / contribs

@Star Gazer On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 15:11, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
@GrammarCommie When you repeatedly undo someone's edit and ask them to suggest it on a Talk page instead, please have the decency / intellectual rigour to respond when they do as you ask. It promotes healthy discussion and debate. Thank you. Star Gazer (talk) 15:17, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
Atheism is not a religion in the same way that not believing that the Loch Ness Monster exists is not a religion. The only thing that Atheists have in common with each other is their lack of belief in one particular magical being. There is no worship, no common moral code, no holy book, no church, no ministers, no congregation, no mythology, no pantheon, no shared positive religious belief. Just no Loch Ness Monster, sorry, "God".Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:27, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
@Bob M Interesting. That would be a really valid comparison, if it wasn't for the fact that people who don't believe in the Loch Ness Monster don't identify as a group, which has to be the very starting point. If there were hundreds of associations, organisations etc. where Anti-Loch-Nessians met, that would be strange right? If they started getting together in to share their beliefs about Loch Ness not having a monster, then suddenly they'd become a belief-based community, which is bordering on a religion, isn't it?
Atheism has no singular holy book, but it has texts that are pretty universally revered and referred to constantly. It has no 'church'? Other than the hundreds of conventions that happen worldwide, other than the 'First Church of Atheism' (http://firstchurchofatheism.com/), and even the Sunday Assembly that occurs in at least 7 countries? It has no ministers other than the so-called Four Horsemen of Atheism, along with the preachers that promote Atheism at the aforementioned conventions and 'Churches', plus thousands of self-appointed devotees who regularly create TV broadcasts, Youtube videos, radio stations, to discuss literally nothing other than Atheist topics. So can you give me any more accurate comparisons where a community with supposed passive lack of belief behaves in this way? I am not saying Atheism is literally a religion, but if you do not notice the increasing similarities then I'm genuinely surprised.
Soft atheism is just as you say - no shared positive belief, just an absence of belief. However, that doesn't hold with hard atheism, and most atheists nowadays do seem to have a shared network of interlocking beliefs. As atheists, how many of the following atheistic beliefs would we agree with? There is no god; there has never been a god; the universe 'started' and developed without anything that could be called a god; god is an impossible concept; god has been made up by human beings; religion is destructive; religions are 'untrue'; if a god existed, we would know about it; absence of evidence is evidence of absence; we can determine the probability of a metaphysical being (and it's VERY unlikely); science precludes religion (or more broadly theism), etc. etc. etc. Of course being an atheist doesn't mean you agree with any of the above beliefs, but if you do believe in any of them (and I suspect a large number of atheists do), then that is very much an active belief, and part of a network. Claiming it is a mere absence of belief seems like apologetics. Star Gazer (talk) 17:29, 17 May 2018 (UTC)
"So can you give me any more accurate comparisons where a community with supposed passive lack of belief behaves in this way?"
Sure. People who don't believe that homeopathy works. OK, Those are linked to skepticism in general, and there are loads of skeptical organisations and outreach.
But more importantly, what you seem to be doing it making a very broad definition of religion by reinterpreting various aspects of stuff people do as "religious". You then narrow your definition of atheism and fit one into the other.
But I disagree with you and I suspect that most atheists would too. (But as atheists disagree about everything except for lacking one particular supernatural belief, you could probably find some who agree with you.)
But so what? Although almost all atheists would disagree with your way of characterising their lack of belief, let's say, for the sake of argument you are right. What difference would it make? Where does using this word to describe atheism lead you?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:09, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
@Bob M OK, I think I'm missing something here; Can you show me the organisations that people who specificially DON'T believe in homeopathy can join? Can you show me what conventions, weekly fellowships, radio stations, TV channels etc. exist purely to promote NOT believing in homeopathy? Have another go, because even I think there must be better examples than that. No, skepticism doesn't count because it is a distinctive attitude, and not a disbelief in a single concept.
No, I am not trying to redefine 'religion', nor trying to discuss what the word actually means... that's just playing semantics. My question (one that I feel the article deliberately avoids), is whether modern atheism is genuinely comparable. For the extensive reasons I have mentioned, I think it is. If you disagree, feel free to say why. Why does the 'First Church of Atheism' not count, for example? Why is some who evangelically promotes Atheism different from someone who evangelically promotes Judaism?
What difference does it make? It depends. If you feel that the traits of a religion are by definition negative, then it may lead you to the uncomfortable position of having to scrutinise your own belief set, and seeing where it overlaps with those that you condemn. That's where it led me, personally. Awkward, but healthy. If however you have no problems with the concept of religion in the first place, and your atheism is just a passive lack of belief, then no problem, the similarities are fine so there's nothing to see here, move along. But is that you? Is that your atheism? Is that most atheists? Star Gazer (talk) 19:49, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Well if you don't like examples from the skeptical community we can go the other way. (Though the 10:23 Campaign was specifically targeted against homeopathy) Consider groups like Moon Landing Deniers: Vaccine Deniers and those who don't believe the Earth is more-or-less spherical. I seriously hope you are not going to ask for examples of conventions or books supporting these causes.
You presented your "So can you give me any more accurate comparisons where a community with supposed passive lack of belief behaves in this way?" argument as if the presentation of such organisations would be a clear argument against the atheism being a religion. In fact, it is trivially easy to find such cases. Are they "exactly like" atheism? Of course not, as the only thing exactly like atheism would be atheism.
For all I know the people in the First church of Atheism might think atheism is a religion. As I mentioned previously the only thing atheists have in common is one small lack of belief. Beyond that I have absolutely no idea what they might believe. But that fact that some atheists might believe or do X pretty obviously does not ,mean all atheists believe or do X. So I'm not really sure why you mention the church at all as it is not even slightly representative of all atheists. (In fact nothing is representative al all atheists except ...)
I think that religions in general are negative. Especially as or when they constrict the way people think. It could be argued this thought control is one of the defining attributes of religion. But as atheists are free to believe any true or untrue thing they like (including whether or not atheism is a religion) it pretty obviously does not fall into this trap whether it is a religion or not.
Now I have a question for you. Consider deism, theism and atheism. As you will know - in broad strokes - the first considers a non-interventionist god, the second a personal god and the third rejects both the other claims. You maintain that one of these - "atheism" - is a religion. Do you maintain that deism and theism are also, in themselves, religions? Obviously I feel that none of them are "religions" explicitly as, in themselves, as they lack the trappings of religion but I would be interested in your opinion.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:50, 19 May 2018 (UTC)


@Bob M Thanks for your reply. The question I thought you were trying to answer is "Can you give me any more accurate comparisons where a community with supposed passive lack of belief behaves in this way?", or to use your extraordinary claim, "one small lack of belief". This was in response to me denying a rather trite example about the Loch Ness monster, trying to claim that if not-believing-in-Nessie isn't similar to a religion, neither is Atheism, because they're both a lack of belief. Isn't that your point?
So it's not that I don't like your new examples - they're not examples. Actually, I didn't ask for "exactly like", but your ideas are all affirmative belief sets with nothing like the infrastructure of a religion, not even close. 10:23 apparently have only had one event, ever, and disputing all the principles of homeopathy isn't a 'small lack of belief', is it? Flat Earthers have a positive belief the Earth is flat, and moon landing deniers think it was staged; neither is the simple lack of belief that you (and others) use to try and define Atheism and shutdown criticism. If it's "trivially easy" to find cases, then please find one.
OK, you now seem to accept that actually, despite what you said before, Atheism does have a church (at least one) - so your claim has changed to just the fact that you don't feel this particular church is representative of your entire group, in the same way I guess a Coptic Christian can say the Mormon church isn't representative of Christianity (the fact that some Christians might believe or do X does not mean all Christians believe or do X, right?) So any further changes you'd wish to make? Personally, I don't think having a 'church' is the most defining characteristic of a religion, but it was you who unfortunately chose that as one of your lines in the sand.
I am not here to discuss your beliefs on whether religion is negative - I already presumed you believed that; I was simply using that as just one example of a supporting and affirmative belief that is integral to the Atheist community, as you have so helpfully shown. I'm afraid in the very next paragraph you managed to undermine your claim that "the only thing atheists have in common is one small lack of belief."
This really isn't sinking in; I repeat... "I am not saying Atheism is literally a religion, but if you do not notice the increasing similarities then I'm genuinely surprised." So no, I don't think deism, theism, or Atheism are literally religions - no semantics thanks. But are any directly comparable? Deism? Theism? I don't think so; no one meets to promote deism as a whole and very few people define themselves in that way. But it's an interesting point - the reason seems to be that deists and theists aren't a remotely homogeneous group; what could they discuss or promote? There is too much variation within those belief sets - in fact, they're not even belief sets but categories of belief set. In contrast, despite your protestations, Atheists in reality have incredibly similar world views - there aren't a myriad of belief sets within Atheism - and they tend to share a wealth of supporting beliefs as you've demonstrated. That's why it makes sense for them to congregate, enjoy fellowship, promote their shared belief-set, proselytise, and behave... like... a religion. Star Gazer (talk) 18:57, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
You write: "I am not saying Atheism is literally a religion". My apologies. Sometimes I read to quickly. I see you did make that point. I must admit that I thought that was your argument. In which case ... well. Enjoy the weekend.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:01, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Conservapedia[edit]

https://www.conservapedia.com/Talk:Atheism No, no, it's too much Tabula Rasa (talk) 21:51, 31 December 2018 (UTC)

@Tabula Rasa So true! In fact, here's one comment that explained why CP's atheism article is the steaming pile of bullshit that it is- and of course, it was reverted, because Andy's blog just can't stand opposing views, or, according to their parlance, "liberal censorship". --Goatspeed. How's my editingCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I'm planning 23:50, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

Balance and Wikipedia[edit]

Ok, so, first off please see the article on the balance fallacy, as calling for "balance" generally translates to "remove stuff that makes me feel uncomfortable whether it's true or not". Second, rather than poach Wikipedia's sources (a legitimate option) you're sourcing to the Wikipedia article itself is a bad move, given wiki articles are in a constant state of flux. Third, if you encounter resistance to an edit do not accuse others of being dishonest, as there may be multiple reasons why they may rejected to disputed edit. I hope you will discuss these matters on the talkpage (you can't edit the article, it's locked) like an adult, rather than throwing around insults and playing tug-of-war like a child. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 18:49, 9 February 2019 (UTC)

Trying to be "balanced" by saying that discrediting Christianity because of Falwell is like trying to discredit Atheism because of Mao\Hitler is just a terribly flawed analogy. I really hope I don't have to explain why. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 20:13, 9 February 2019 (UTC)
@LeftyGreenMario I hope that was aimed at the edit warring BoN and not myself. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:31, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
@GrammarCommie Apparently you've never heard of liberation theology. Go figure. Palaeonictis Fossil beds 15:10, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
@GrammarCommie Not at you, I was the first to revert it, after all. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 03:31, 12 February 2019 (UTC)