Talk:Atheism/Archive4

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Atheism as an organized religion[edit]

I would like have a word about the paragraph "Atheism as an organized religion"

This paragraph explains an argument often used by atheists in discussions. Namely that atheism can not be associated with any bad acts because "evils done throughout history are not inextricably fused with the values of atheism in reality." This is the case because;

  1. it is a lack of beliefs
  2. atheists are not an organized group.

Therefore blaming them of evil would be an association fallacy.

It is implied that religion however can be associated with bad acts because:

  1. it does shares beliefs
  2. religion is organized

Therefore its actions can be explained as resulting from these beliefs and from the organization.


I'm thinking this method is too scholastic and disconnected from reality. To me it misinterprets both religion and atheism.


A religion like Christianity does indeed share some beliefs. Belief in the trinity, a moral code, the importance of scripture...

At the same time, there are many different Christianities. They have different interpretations of the trinity, disagreements on what moral rule is most important (compare liberation theology with fundamentalism for example), different opinions on how to interpret scripture (allegorical vs literal),...


Christianity also comes in many different structured organizations and less structured movements. However, one is also able to believe in the shared beliefs of Christianity but refrain from joining a church in the same way an atheist does not need to be part of a structured organization to call himself an atheist.


Blaming Christianity for a bad act is therefore only possible when it is either the logical result of the small set of shared beliefs or that all organizations are doing the same thing. Which will on practically all accounts lead to a fallacy of association as well.

It still remains possible to blame certain Christian organizations or movements for doing something wrong. Or to disapprove of a religious tenet brought into practice in some way or another by certain Christian groups. For example, robbing homosexuals of certain rights by fundamentalists.


Atheism it is said is merely a lack of belief. Like not collecting stamps is a hobby. I claim it is not like that at all, but rather like not believing in communism in the Soviet Union. Because society doesn't care about your hobbies, it does care whether you believe in God. What I'm trying to say is that the difference between a lack of believe or a believe essentially does not exist, when it has consequences as a result. To not believe is most of the times an active thought, an active choice. Unlike the choice of not collecting stamps. Unless you're part of a stamp collecting cult.


The second point, claims that atheism is not a structural organization. Still, atheist organizations do exist. Many even feel the need to actively spread atheism. (Something that btw can't be explained if atheism is merely the lack of belief in something). The only way this argument rings true is in the same way Christianity isn't one organization that comprises all the Christians. There is indeed no organization that comprises all atheists, and which can be blamed for actions done by atheists. Of course unlike Christianity, the majority of atheist are not part of a structural organization. But the only difference it seems, is the ratio.


Throughout history, atheism has been composed of different movements that add moral, political, social and cultural implications to this simple lack of beliefs. In the same way these has been added to the Christian shared beliefs by Christian movements.

For example:

  • Certain ideas are shared by a majority of "New Atheists" like evolution and generally a pro science attitude.
  • Atheists during the French Revolution shared anticlerical, liberal, revolutionary ethics
  • Atheists during the Russian revolution shared anticlerical, Marxist, revolutionary ethics.

Their atheism inspired these ideas and these ideas in their turn inspired atheism.

Therefore, in my view, the killings of priests during the French Revolution (Though the French Revolution was mainly Deist) and the persecution of the Orthodox Church in Soviet Russia can as a matter of fact be blamed on an atheist movement bound in time and space (so not atheism as a whole). The deaths under Stalinism, or the French terreur can of course still not be blamed on an atheist movement. These deaths had many, many different reasons. To blame these on atheism would indeed be the same as to blame them on Stalin's mustache or Robespierre's wig.

But the idea that atheism is some kind of purely rational disbelief disconnected from the real world should be put in the trashcan.

In fact, I think an atheist movement would be useless without an ideology connected with it. If it didn't had that, it wouldn't even matter if there was indeed no God.


While it may seem this way, this is not an attempt to equalize religion with atheism. It is only an attempt to bring atheism to the plain of real life. — Unsigned, by: 109.131.4.141 / talk / contribs

Have you seen our article on doxastic voluntarism? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:14, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Look, 109.131.4.141, nobody here is trying to argue against Christianity on the basis of what some Christians did (such as "evils done throughout history" or whatever). That would be silly. You may have seen such arguments from random atheists here and there, but you probably haven't seen it in this article. So no need to take the discussion down such a silly route.
In the end, there are many types of Christians just like there are many types of Atheists. And yes, there are various organizations and isolated people for both (not a far stretch to imagine a lone Christian not part of any church, but believing in Jesus). Thus it would be silly in both cases to accuse the label on the basis of the actions of some of those who happen to be eligible for the label.
But the difference is that you have to be introduced to Christian belief to be Christian, whereas with Atheism it suffices to not have been raised under any specific belief at all. Thus Atheism is not a religion. That was all the section was trying to say, not really much more. Nullahnung (talk) 17:26, 20 July 2013 (UTC)


I realize I did read some things in the paragraph that I made up from assumptions of atheists I have.
Just a thing, you say, you have to be introduced to Christian beliefs be a Christian. That's certainly true, whether you are introduced to them unwillingly, or seek them out willingly. But, in today's society, doesn't that count for atheism as well? In some sort of fantasy conception of the first men one might assume that they were born and lived as atheists. Even then, they still felt the need (be it out of material, societal or biological conditions) to invent religious thoughts. In today's society, religious thought surrounds us, and many have to be introduced to atheist ideas to become an atheist. People don't become atheists by flashes of sudden rational thought. It is after all a simple idea.
Anyway, I guess the article is fine as it this. This comment of mine can be removed. — Unsigned, by: 109.131.4.141 / talk / contribs

Words[edit]

'Nullifidian' is a posh version of atheist.

Is there a version of 'yottacryptohypopseudohypercaesaropapaloanarchodextrolaevelozeptoantidisestablishmentarianism that can be applied to atheism?— Unsigned, by: 171.33.222.26 / talk / contribs

The autobot IP does not 'match' that of the machine used. 171.33.222.26 (talk) 18:25, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Succinct definition of atheism?[edit]

Hello,

I'm currently editing the Wikipedia 'atheism' article, and came up with this definition of atheism. I'm not arguing anything, I just wanted to have your thoughts on this.

Atheism is not a 'belief': it is a position that, due to a lack of evidence about the existence of any deities, sees no reason to confirm or deny that any deities exist. In other words, atheists do not accept affirmations (about any gods) without proof, and in absence of this, do not even consider the question (about the existence of any gods) valid or worth considering.

The above is pure atheism. The term 'gnostic' is used to provide variations on this theme: a 'gnostic atheist' is one who affirms that there are no gods (and this is arguably a belief); an agnostic atheist is one who, dispite the fact that he sees no evidence for any god(s), considers the question of there being (a) god(s), but won't (or thinks he "can't") make an affirmation either way.
—THEPROMENADER 18:28, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, and thanks for a great website! SirSefu (talk) 18:58, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

There are a number of ways to look at the issue but I would say that your first paragraph is mostly correct though I would substitute "evidence" for "proof".
I'm not entirely sure that athiests do not consider the question of the existence of god worth considering. It's something that many are quite vocal about so they obviously think it's worth considering at some level - so your final section is, I would venture, about Apatheism.
As far as your second paragraph is concerned you are really getting into shades of meaning which probably shouldn't be part of the prime definition. For example there are agnostic theists as well as agnostic atheists.
But all this is my personal opinion and I am not speaking on behalf of the website in any way. Cheers.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 15:27, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
No, thanks for your input. You're right, the 'without considering the question' part could be taken away, it complicates things.
What I'm trying to do is to determine a "base meaning" to atheism... IMHO it could be simply 'living without god(s)' with no added meaning.
The added meaning, only comes with whatever one chooses to add to it... 'gnostic' and 'agnostic' (in their original base meaning of 'knowledge' and 'without knowledge', and a consideration of the question 'are there god(s)?) would mean, as 'gnostic atheist', 'living withought god(s) with a knowledge (is this even possible?) that there are no god(s)', and 'agnostic atheist' would be 'living without god(s), but doesn't (or thinks he can't) know either way'.
Perhaps with the 'not even considering the question' we are going into realms above simple atheism, aka 'the rejection of affirmations without proof' that could englobe most everything. If there were a title for that, I would take it.
Anyhow, thanks for your input, cheers ; ) SirSefu (talk) 18:58, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm not even sure that any mention of "living without" is necessary. Take Bigfoot.
I don't believe that there is a giant hairy simian hiding somewhere in the countryside. So I'm an "Abigfootist" - the lack of evidence means that I can reasonably reject the proposition "bigfoot exists".
But I also accept that I could be wrong - though I think it's pretty unlikely. But evidence would persuade me. So, in one sense I'm also a Bigfoot agnostic.
There is no real difference in the way I think about Bigfoot or God. And any reference to "living without God" would make as much sense to me as "living without Bigfoot". So atheism and agnosticism are by no means exclusive - one speaks to belief and the other to knowledge.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:17, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
I totally agree with you! It does annoy me to no end when people use 'agnostic' on its own as if it means something.
By 'living without god' I meant 'not a thought paid to (even the question of) (a) god(s)', but there has to be a more succinct way of saying that. SirSefu (talk) 18:54, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Disinterested?--Miekal 18:58, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Apatheism Nullahnung (talk) 11:53, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Self Refuting?[edit]

I came across this comment:
It is irrational for one to believe in an atheistic position and at the same time that person to have unbelief in God, as it is impossible for the self-same to believe and disbelieve at the same time, and in the same respect; this it is self-refuting. If one believes they are an atheist, then they must have something to believe in, but atheism is unbelief, so they don’t and can’t. And if one disbelieves in God (atheism), then that thing disbelieved in must be thought to of not to exist beforehand and prior to their unbelief, as nothing can be rationally thought to exist in atheism including atheism itself. The only way that atheism could exist, is if it doesn’t exist, because if unbelief exists then it isn’t unbelief in the first place. Given that; non-existence necessitates prior unbelief, and belief is required for existence to be realized. Therefore, atheism is in contradiction of itself; it is presumed unbelief and thus excludes what is required to experience the existence of God in advance.

Is this true?--174.25.0.220 (talk) 05:28, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

I also don't believe in the existence of Father Christmas or the Incredible Hulk. By the above logic this is also an impossible contradiction.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 06:17, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

"Evil atheists"[edit]

When atheists speak about the "evils of religion", they point to things which aren't (or weren't) necessarily "part" of the religion itself, for example the Crusades or Buddhists attacking Muslims. As a Buddhist I think it's unfair to say that religions can be blamed for totally heretical events in history, whereas atheists cannot be blamed for actions definitely tied to atheism in one way or another. If, for example, the Buddhist attacks on Muslims can be tied to Buddhism, then the hatred against Christians (which is now common for atheists; see yahoo answers as an obvious modern example), can most certainly be tied to atheism.

The problem is hatred and attachment to views and ideals. Some Buddhists hate muslims due to their attachment to the prosperity of Buddhism, and some atheists hate Christians in the same way. This can't go unacknowledged...— Unsigned, by: 67.184.220.149 / talk / contribs 23:12, 17 October 2014‎ (UTC)

Atheists getting ostracised[edit]

I found For atheists of color, ‘coming out’ can be painful which includesblack people being ostracised for being openly atheist. I haven't put it into the article as it's a blog. Has anyone got anything similar from a source I can use? Proxima Centauri (talk) 00:01, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Why does blogginess preclude use as a source? Herr FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 00:49, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Because jesus fucking christ it's a blog. You use a blog as a source and you're worse than Wikipedia citing Gawker or Jezebel or Breitbart.— Unsigned, by: 74.88.46.21 / talk / contribs

Websites[edit]

Should [1] be mentioned? 86.147.207.246 (talk) 14:26, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

In what context? It's a major web page advocating atheism, but that alone doesn't make it interesting. Ikanreed (talk) 15:32, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Just in case anyone feels the need to know why the BoN's external links were removed[edit]

Some BoN inserted these links and accompanying text in the External links section:

The last links are interesting research papers from journals with high impact factor!!!

These links have now been removed twice in an action which I happen to agree with, so to forestall any accidental reinstatements, I'll just point out that while they do refer to scientific articles the links are at best of tangential relevance.
First of all, the four links reflect duplications, since they only refer to two actual articles (Atheists Become Emotionally Aroused When Daring God to Do Terrible Things in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Volume 24, Issue 2, 2014 and Anger toward God: social-cognitive predictors, prevalence, and links with adjustment to bereavement and cancer in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 100(1), Jan 2011, 129-148).
Secondly, the first article simply suggest that making a dare against God gives believers and non-believers alike "a kick", but this may be a function of how a dare works in general (as sort of general "What if...?"-anxiety).
Thirdly, the article about anger towards God is irrelevant to atheism, since atheists by definition can't be angry at a deity they don't think exists. Note that the abstract actually seems to agree with this: "Some atheists and agnostics reported anger involving God, particularly on measures emphasizing past experiences (Study 2) and images of a hypothetical God (Study 3)." This suggests that these atheists' reports deal with either atheists humouring the questioner with a "For the sake of the argument"-response by pointing to a "hypothetical God"; or, in the case of "past experiences", may well refer to a time when the atheists in question were believers.
In sum, it seems to me that the links were posted by the "Atheists actually do believe in God, but are just angry at Him"-crowd (see for instance Lee Strobel and William Lane Craig). ScepticWombat (talk) 11:57, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

I think it's a bit dishonest to dismiss the possibility of "anger toward God" as if the latter would require belief in the physical existence of a "God". It's totally possible to be angry at God for not existing or angry at the idea of God or a specific conception of a "God" for inspiring so much war and oppression throughout human history. Anger doesn't need to be pointed at things that are "real" for the anger to be real. And I'm sure there's plenty of agnostic atheists out there of the sentiment "I don't think there's a God out there, but if there is, he's a fucking ass." 141.134.75.236 (talk) 14:49, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, your objection seems to fall into the "hypothetical God"-case which is indeed not an affirmation of belief, but instead a "Well if God does exist"-hypothetical scenario. Again, this is not the same as the "straw man atheist" who is depicted as truly believing in God (or even knowing God to exist) and rejecting God due to being angry with Him (or wishing to live in sin - depending on the version). ScepticWombat (talk) 15:06, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
OK, so here's a scenario based on real experiences.
  • Jo Soap was born and bought up in the CofE and was a regular church goer.
  • Major tragedy strikes
  • Jo questions how the god she learnt about in Sunday School could possibly have allowed this to happen
  • As part of this Jo re-examines her faith and realises just how much she had taken on trust.
  • The more she questions the more absurd the whole god thing seems.
  • Jo is now a firm atheist.
So, is Jo an atheist becuase she's angry at god for allowing the major tragedy or was that just the catalyst that led to the thought processes that led to her rejection. For me it's the latter, for those who want to use the "atheists are angry at god" it's an obvious calse of the former. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 15:19, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
And that would, as far as I can see, conform to the "past experiences"-scenario - again unlike the "straw man atheist" who retains belief in God while being angry with Him. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:47, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

I removed those links to. Unclicked on and unread. . Because dumping a bunch of links with no context, explanation or rationale into an article is no good for the wiki. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 15:26, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Don't you know? Impact factor is equal to context. They're the same thing. Ikanreed (talk) 15:50, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Funny BON Edit.[edit]

I feel that the following BON edit in italics sufficiently funny to be recorded here:

  • Atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of gods the homosexuals or the left share.

It gives so much weird insight into the mind of the poster that it has me laughing out loud. Furthermore, it unintentionally implies lack of belief in the god of homosexuals and the left.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 18:29, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Or the left. He/She/Goat is an indecisive god. PacWalker 18:34, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Theistic homosexual communism. Is that a thing? Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 18:39, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Let's make it one! 141.134.75.236 (talk) 18:40, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Fun page? PacWalker 18:41, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Sure, why not? ;) 141.134.75.236 (talk) 18:52, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
pls no Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 18:57, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Whoops, didn't see that; must've been busy creating something... PacWalker 19:10, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Should We Fear the Nothing After Death[edit]

The more I have studied Atheism the more I seems to be associated with spreading the fear of death. If we are only born to die then why live at all?--106.68.144.55 (talk) 15:30, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

"The more I have studied Atheism the more I seems to be associated with spreading the fear of death." Freudian slip, much? Queexchthonic murmurings 15:36, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
"then why live at all?" Off you go, then. Don't expect me to come along willingly. I have things to do right now. MaillardFillmore (talk) 15:39, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I think that's backwards. The fear of death, and what happens after it, is the entire point of many apologist arguments like Pascal's wager and Ways of the Master. Do what we say or you'll BURN IN HELL FOREVER for every small mistake you ever made. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 16:01, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I would be interested in seeing where the person (guy?) who started this thread has gone in his (?) study of atheism. Probably all the 10 THINGS ALL ATHEISTS BELIEVE strawman websites that could be found? Carptrash (talk) 16:22, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I doubt even that. I went to a funeral recently where the pastor detailed a book about "what atheists, secularists and humanists REALLY believed" and what was actually coherent enough to understand didn't even make sense. There's many things out there that seem to be more about keeping people from questioning than understanding...and projection is one of those tools. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 16:44, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
@OP We will all one day die. All of us. Stop being. Cease. It's comforting for some people to think they'll continue on (for some people I know, it's a necessary crutch to get them the day, and I'm not lying. Datapoint of one: I know someone whose Christian 'beliefs' are entirely motivated out of a desire to avoid Hell, which she's absolutely terrified of the idea of). But if death is really the end--and we honestly have no solid reason to believe otherwise--than any meaning in life must be in how it's lived and what we do while we're taking care of business.
Similarly, if there's no god looking out for us--and there's no solid reason to believe there is--then it's up to us to make sure things get fixed and people are taken care of appropriately and problems get solved. I don't know if you've heard of the Just World Fallacy, but realizing I didn't believe in god came along with realizing I don't believe the world is inherently just. Which meant making sure I create a bit of justice and fairness and kindness in the world along the way. Nutt's definition of worth, and all that.
So there you have it. One atheist's viewpoint on atheism and death, why he does as he does, cobbled together with a couple of lines from fantasy novels and random bits before he heads off to work. It seems an earnest question, so I gave an earnest answer. If it wasn't an earnest question, oh well. I'm not being the asshole here. --Maxus (talk) 16:54, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I was not alive for billions of years before my birth and this causes me no fear. Why should I be afraid of the fact I will not be alive for millions of years after my death?
As others have mentioned - people who fear death are more likely to be religious people whose religion includes some kind of ghastly hell. Clearly though, they are only afraid of their own religion's hell - because all the other hells are absurd imaginings which don't really exist.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:49, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

"Burn in Hell for eternity?" Most religions don't believe that all crimes are equal, they don't think that their gods are like Pol Pot.--106.68.144.55 (talk) 03:50, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Some Christian sects certainly believe people will burn in hell for all eternity. Do you really want or need evidence for this? --Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 06:10, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Stealing a loaf of bread is the same as killing someone?--106.68.144.55 (talk) 06:13, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

To God, it could be! Religions don't need to be reasonable. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 06:20, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I believe that both stealing and killing each break one of the Ten Commandments, which can send one to Hell, so , , ,,, that makes them pretty much the same in the long run. Carptrash (talk) 06:24, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Then everyone either goes to hell for not being perfect or suffers an eternity of nothingness? This is why I don't think atheism is much more cheerful then some religions.--106.68.144.55 (talk) 06:57, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Obviously, in reality, nobody goes to any of the pagan or Christian hells which have been invented. And nobody "suffers an eternity of nothingness" either. If you are dead it's pretty obvious that you are not "suffering" anything - what with you being dead and all. Did you "suffer an eon of nothingness" before you were born?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 14:34, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

There is no here and now there is only the nothing that was and the nothing to come.--106.68.144.55 (talk) 14:45, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Nope. If you want to learn about Atheism please read the article you are commenting on. Also, learn how to indent. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:49, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally, atheism isn't a religion. Apart from not being convinced by arguments in favor of the existence of gods, you can an be an atheist and believe whatever you like. See here
In fact you can be an atheist and believe in life after death - as long as Gods are not involved. For example Buddhism is arguably an atheistic philosophy which believes in life after death.
Of course I would expect that the majority of western atheists are almost certainly materialists who believe in no form of afterlife.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 14:50, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I believe there will be life in my body consuming its delicious delicious hydrocarbons and proteins after my death. That's a kind of life after death. Mostly mold and bacteria. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:56, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
As I intend to give my body to science - assuming they take such wrecks - my 'life after death' will be the education and edification of future medical professionals. Otherwise it's the Crem fire. In the meanwhile, because I don't focus on some sugar mountain afterlife, I focus on the fact that this is it and we all ought to make the most of it. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 15:01, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
(EC) The thing is everyone is an atheist on faiths they don't believe in. It's not like people have an alter to Zeus for his protection or observe Kosher to stop eating unclean things. The only thing is applying that filter to Christianity as one applies it to others. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:05, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
"focus on the fact that this is it and we all ought to make the most of it."
Amen, hallelujah! It takes some contemplative work to realize this, as in make it a real part of one's everyday activity. @Bob, the Buddhists I've paid attention to will tell you that, while rebirth may be a thing, what makes it to the other side of the "death" milestone is not "you" in any sense. Further quibbles to be had about what it is that your "self" is, bla bla bla.
BoN 106 used the word "cheerful." Grumpiness sometimes comes with contemplation, partly in the form of impatience with wordy hair-splitting or other unskillful styles. Compassion is held out as one of the fruits of a contemplative practice, and may coexist with grumpiness. I don't see cheerfulness as dispositive one way or another, unless one makes their livelihood as a salesman or entertainer. Cheers, Alec Sanderson (talk) 15:24, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
@Alec. I wouldn't doubt you are right. My point was about atheism not Buddhism. I was stressing the fact that the only thing upon which atheists agree is that there is insufficient evidence to believe in the existence of gods. Beyond that you can believe whatever you like and still be an atheist.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:41, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
My Dad was a famous atheist (in a very small pond, but his picture is in this article) who was also a member of an international atheist organization that, of lack of a better idea, we’ll call the International Atheist Organization (IAO). The IOA published a color glossy monthly magazine that we’ll call the IOA Monthly Magazine. One month it published an article entitled something like, ’10 Things All Atheists Believe.” Dad was outraged and immediately cancelled his subscription and quit the organization. I looked over the list and asked, “It seems as if this is all stuff that you believe, what is the problem?” and he replied, (I paraphrase) “The problem is that as an atheist no one can tell me what I believe in.” Ahhh? And he took that attitude with him, completely unafraid, to the grave. Carptrash (talk) 19:45, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
You dad was FUCKING AWESOME!--Arisboch (talk) 19:51, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
'Cause living is fun, that's why. Only when you're alive, you can do fun things such as watching Turn A Gundam, eat spicy peanuts from Aldi and troll people on wikis such stuff!--Arisboch (talk) 16:41, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

I deleted the Nobel Prize stuff, what do you think?[edit]

I deleted the BoN addition on Nobel Prize data (small is substituted for ref):
"Statistical data on Nobel prize winners in science between 1901 and 2000 revealed that Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers have won 7.1% of the prizes in Chemistry, 8.9% in Medicine, and 4.7% in Physics and 35% in Literature; while Christians have won a total of 72.5% of the prizes in Chemistry, 65.3% in Physics,University of Nebraska–Lincoln: Nobel prize winners in physics from 1901 to 1990 62% in Medicine.Baruch A. Shalev, 100 Years of Nobel Prizes (2003),Atlantic Publishers & Distributors , p.57: between 1901 and 2000 reveals that 654 Laureates belong to 28 different religion Most 65.4% have identified Christianity in its various forms as their religious preference. While separating Roman Catholic from Protestants among Christians proved difficult in some cases, available information suggests that more Protestants were involved in the scientific categories and more Catholics were involved in the Literature and Peace categories. Atheists, agnostics, and freethinkers comprise 10.5% of total Nobel Prize winners; but in the category of Literature, these preferences rise sharply to about 35%. A striking fact involving religion is the high number of Laureates of the Jewish faith - over 20% of total Nobel Prizes (138); including: 17% in Chemistry, 26% in Medicine and Physics, 40% in Economics and 11% in Peace and Literature each. The numbers are especially startling in light of the fact that only some 14 million people (0.02% of the world's population) are Jewish. By contrast, only 5 Nobel Laureates have been of the Muslim faith-0.8% of total number of Nobel prizes awarded - from a population base of about 1.2 billion (20% of the world‘s population) and Jews have won 17.3% of the prizes in Chemistry, 26.2% in Medicine, and 25.9% in Physics.Shalev, Baruch Aba (2005). 100 Years of Nobel prizes (3rd ed., updated for 2001-2004. ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Americas Group. ISBN 0935047379. "
The reason is that these data are presented without context and the text doesn't actually say that much beyond simply listing percentages (NPOV at its worst...). For instance, it's important to factor in the historical and socio-cultural background: The period covered included the age of European imperialism and it's hardly surprising that Muslims are under-represented as comparatively few would've had access to the educational and research systems that "produce(d)" Nobel laureates (mainly in the US and Europe). Conversely, the over-representation of Jewish Nobel laureates reflects their (former) status as an intelligentsia in Western and Central Europe. Similarly, the high percentages of various flavours of Christianity is hardly surprising, given that the proportion of "Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers" has historically been low (remember that the period under scrutiny is 1901-2000) and that even today these group are clearly small minorities, including when looking at Europe where they make up a larger share of the population than elsewhere.
I deleted the section simply because it verges on pub quiz trivia and needs context and explanation to actually work, so feel free to revert it back in once these are provided. Alternatively, it might go in a separate article (with simply and RW link here). ScepticWombat (talk) 09:24, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

I would prefer it not be added back in its current form. Its plagiarised from [6] and [7]. I was about to remove it on those grounds but you beat me to it. WatcherIntheDark (talk) 09:36, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Atheism and Obesity[edit]

So I just got back from Matt Dillahunty and I introduced my position here and he would like us to write a counter to Conservapedia's lovely Atheism and Obesity. Between the losses of Matt and Penn Jilette, I'm sure there's enough to talk about here. Any thoughts? Should it be a section or its own article? Zero (talk - contributions) 05:43, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Another Famous Atheist[edit]

Hey, in the "What an atheist looks like" section, can we add Mother Teresa? Her personal letters suggest she lost faith in God a few decades before her death. Yikes. Zexcoiler Kingbolt (talk) 04:13, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Zexcoiler Kingbolt

Ignoring Criticism[edit]

Okay, all your circlejerking is fucking done. Two things: When WIKIPEDIA disagrees with you, you know you've done something fucking wrong. RATIONAL wiki? Fucking hell, none of you are willing to answer criticism of the very religion that keep your head in your asses: Atheism! Read that Wikipedia and become enlightened, buds. Also? A bonus. Suck on this, Atheists~--75.164.161.42 (talk) 09:28, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Troll ScepticWombat (talk) 13:00, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  1. Circlejerk? Your resistance is only making us harder.
  2. Atheism is not a religion.
  3. We have the better Wikipedia article.Wikipedia's W.svg
  4. You thought this was supposed to be RATIONALwiki.
  5. Regarding that "bonus" you linked;

There were many deranged prophets roaming Palestine at the time, but this one reportedly believed himself, at least some of the time, to be God or the son of God. And that has made all the difference. Make just two assumptions, that he believed this and that he also promised his followers that he would reveal his kingdom before they came to the end of their own lives, and all but one or two of his gnomic remarks make some kind of sense. This point was never put more frankly than by C. S. Lewis (who has recently reemerged as the most popular Christian apologist) in his Mere Christianity. He happens to be speaking about the claim of Jesus to take sins on himself: Now, unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic.

We can all understand how a man forgives offenses against himself. You tread on my toes and I forgive you, you steal my money and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden-on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men’s toes and stealing other men’s money? Asinine fatuity is the kindest description we should give of his conduct. Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offenses. This makes sense only if he really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. In the mouth of any speaker who is not God, these words would imply what I can only regard as a silliness and conceit unrivalled by any other character in history. It will be noticed that Lewis assumes on no firm evidence whatever that Jesus actually was a “character in history,” but let that pass. He deserves some credit for accepting the logic and morality of what he has just stated.

To those who argue that Jesus may have been a great moral teacher without being divine (of whom the deist Thomas Jefferson incidentally claimed to be one), Lewis has this stinging riposte: That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman and something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

I am not choosing a straw man here: Lewis is the main chosen propaganda vehicle for Christianity in our time. And nor am I accepting his rather wild supernatural categories, such as devil and demon. Least of all do I accept his reasoning, which is so pathetic as to defy description and which takes his two false alternatives as exclusive antitheses, and then uses them to fashion a crude non sequitur (“Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.”). However, I do credit him with honesty and with some courage. Either the Gospels are in some sense literal truth, or the whole thing is essentially a fraud and perhaps an immoral one at that.

Well, it can be stated with certainty, and on their own evidence, that the Gospels are most certainly not literal truth. This means that many of the “sayings” and teachings of Jesus are hearsay upon hearsay upon hearsay, which helps explain their garbled and contradictory nature. The most glaring of these, at least in retrospect and certainly from the believers’ point of view, concern the imminence of his second coming and his complete indifference to the founding of any temporal church. The logia or reported speeches are repeatedly cited, by bishops of the early church who wished that they had been present at the time but were not, as eagerly solicited thirdhand commentaries.

Let me give a conspicuous example. Many years after C. S. Lewis had gone to his reward, a very serious young man named Barton Ehrman began to examine his own fundamentalist assumptions. He had attended the two most eminent Christian fundamentalist academies in the United States, and was considered by the faithful to be among their champions. Fluent in Greek and Hebrew (he is now holder of a chair in religious studies), he eventually could not quite reconcile his faith with his scholarship. He was astonished to find that some of the best-known Jesus stories were scribbled into the canon long after the fact, and that this was true of perhaps the best-known of them all. - Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (p. 118-120)

Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:40, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Fuck I'm late to this party again. Oh well. Drink! Zero (talk - contributions) 06:09, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Worth addition?[edit]

https://mocartoons.com/2016/11/13/a-venn-diagram-of-the-big-three-monotheisms/ αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 19:57, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Seems a bit strawmanny for my tastes. Lacks snark, filled with venom, and kinda oversimplifies all three groups without adding anything meaningful. I'm pretty opposed. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:34, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

What It’s Like to Be Black and Atheist[edit]

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/20/what-it-s-like-to-be-black-and-atheist.html FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 19:12, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

"lies" versus "misconceptions"[edit]

Reverend Black Percy and ScepticWombat want the atheism article to falsely state that various lies about atheists (such as that atheism is a religion; atheists hate the christian god; and atheists have no morals) are mere "misconceptions". But it is impossible for such obvious falsehoods to be honest mistakes. I corrected the article to state that the lies are lies, but Percy and Wombat reverted my revisions.

So then, I ask you, the rest of the Rationalwiki community (people other than myself, Percy, and Wombat), to vote on which version of the article you prefer. Do you want the "lies version" or the "misconceptions version"? Socket wrench (talk) 21:01, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Lies[edit]

Misconceptions[edit]

  1. Most people who think those things simply aren't educated and don't know. Applesauce (talk) 03:53, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
  2. Surely it's only really a "lie" if the people who say these things actually know the facts and are deliberately saying something something they know to be untrue. I doubt that this is generally the case and that the majority of people who repeat these things believe them to be true.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:07, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
  3. We should point out that atheists are being lied about by Christian propagandists in various contexts. Those lies then result in the misconceptions held by your average Christian. But to allege that every Christian who has been lied to about Atheists is suddenly a liar himself is most derp indeed. Don't shoot the messenger. See also, Hanlon's razor. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:14, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Goat[edit]

Pope: It's better to be an atheist than a bad Christian[edit]

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/23/world/pope-atheists-again/index.html?sr=fbCNN022317pope-atheists-again0400PMStoryLink&linkId=34805927 Reverend Black Percy (talk) 03:17, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Trump Gives Evidence Of Being An Atheist![edit]

Atleast according to this guy. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:32, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

He may well be, however, the reasons given aren't exactly satisfactory. 1) since when did Christians know anything about the bible? (Psalms 137:9 and Exodus 21:20 come to mind) 2) his religion may be very unimportant to him 3) same as previous (he could only go on Christmas and Easter for example) 4) if Richard Brand is suggesting that because he (presumably, from the tone of the article he doesn't seem to be a Trump fan) doesn't like Trump's policies he isn't a Christian that sounds a bit like a no true Scotsman to me. I don't know what he believes, if he is an atheist then it shows that the idea that if you're an atheist you're a rational human being is nonsense. Christopher (talk) 15:50, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Christopher (assuming that that is, in fact, Christopher's sig I'm looking at). But one of the problems is: "What is a Christian?" If it's anyone who presently self-identifies as a Christian then Trump is one.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:29, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Big bang and evolution arguments[edit]

Big Bang is a theist argument as far as I can understand. Trying to find the atheist position on the issue, I 've found only Quentin Smith's argument which, to be honest, I didn't exactly understood. Would anyone care to elaborate it for me, or inform me on other arguments concerning Big Bang? Thanx— Unsigned, by: 87.228.187.138 / talk

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 indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line.) Thank you. Christopher (talk) 13:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I thought signing in was not mandatory. — Unsigned, by: 87.228.187.138 / talk
By "sign your comments" I didn't mean sign in, I meant add this: ~~~~ at the end of your post, which you also did. Christopher (talk) 14:48, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

"The Big Bang disproves God"[edit]

I'm not quite sure what you mean, all sane people whether or not they're atheists accept the big bang. Christopher (talk) 13:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I mean, how does big bang disproove god? I need a valid argument or pls explain me Quentin Smith's Argument. Τζερόνυμο (talk) 14:11, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I've never heard anyone claim the big bang disproves god. Christopher (talk) 14:34, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
It says so in the page of atheism, in here. "Atheists often cite evidence that processes attributed to a god might also occur naturally as evidential arguments. If evolution and the big bang are true, then why would a creator god have needed them?[7] Occam's razor makes theistic explanations less compelling."— Unsigned, by: 87.228.187.138 / talk
Let's not forget that the term "big Bang" was coined by a steady-stater to discredit the new "it all began in one instant" theory by making it sound slightly theistic. "The reason why scientists like the "big bang" is because they are overshadowed by the Book of Genesis. It is deep within the psyche of most scientists to believe in the first page of Genesis." 85.234.65.51 (talk) 15:25, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@87.228.187.138 That's a rather poor argument for atheism in my opinion, but what it's trying to say is that as we don't need god to explain stuff anymore there's no need to believe in him. The problem is there was never a need to believe in him in the first place. Christopher (talk) 15:31, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is where religious opinion divides — to paraphrase the late Hitch — between irrelevancy ("Science is right but God originally set the scientific account in motion!") on the one hand, and outright reaction ("Hovind Theory explains why the Big Bang couldn't have happened") on the other. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:38, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Yeap, but what you are saying are not arguments FOR atheism, as Quentin Smith's arguments claims to be. — Unsigned, by: Τζερόνυμο / talk / contribs
Atheism entails no positive claims. Atheism is the default position resulting once all positive claims in favor of religion have been shown to be spurious. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:20, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
It does entail positive claims, they are called atheological arguments. Check infidels.org. Τζερόνυμο (talk) 17:57, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
You appear to be conflating "atheism makes positive claims" with "there are arguments for atheism" (despite atheism being the default position). Infidels.com is just an advert to buy the domain. Christopher (talk) 18:09, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, it's infidels.org. Check this out https://infidels.org/library/modern/nontheism/atheism/arguments.html — Unsigned, by: Τζερόνυμο / talk / contribs
In point of fact they define themselves as naturalists. Which is slightly different to the position of most (though not all) modern atheists.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:45, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Keeping in mind that "naturalism" more or less translates to "far less incoherent than any other option". See also: Philosophical naturalism. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:51, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes. I remember contributing to that article back in the day.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:00, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Great stuff, old timer! As have I, though, more recently. And yet it sorely needs more love. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 20:21, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

In a nutshell[edit]

Just FYI. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:20, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

it wasn't the atheists, it was the communists[edit]

Once again we have this ridiculous notion before us. Basically it amounts to not wanting to have atheism tainted by a nasty thing. Communists are atheists, therefore if they ban or censor religion, it's in the name of atheism. please don't deny this simply because it makes atheism look bad. Every movement has its bad side to live down. Arguing that "it wasn't the atheists, it was the communists" amounts to no more than #notallatheists. 85.234.65.51 (talk) 15:47, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

But Atheism isn't a movement; it's the lack of one. Is this finally clear? Have we got this across? Thank you! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:55, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I didn't say it was a religion, I said it was a movement. BicyclewheelToxic mowse.gif 16:03, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
*Is confused* Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:04, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
You're confused by the idea that movements aren't necessarily religions? BicyclewheelToxic mowse.gif 16:11, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm even confused about what exactly I'm confused about. For one — are you at work again (posting as 85.234.65.51)? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:21, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Historically nearly all communists were atheists, however, in North Korea it's mandatory to believe that the Kim dynasty are gods. This doesn't change the fact that the religious persecution mentioned in the article was done by atheists and that whilst not everything a commie does can be attributed to atheism, religious persecution under communist regimes often can. Christopher (talk) 17:29, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

I must certainly be misreading what you wrote, because surely your argument couldn't be that Communism (or, more specifically: the perspecution of non-Communists by Communists, and/or the imposing of Communist ideals onto a given population by Communists in power) is in any sense a "function of Atheism", as it were? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm looking at Social movement on wikipedia and and I'm wondering if atheism is one.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:49, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

I would be surprised if a term that broad couldn't be applied to almost any socially organized unit of human beings for basically any intent or purpose. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I would agree. Which leaves me wondering ... and? I guess that animal rights is a "movement" - and probably a better example of one than atheism. But it's not a religion... But now I'm confused by what the point is as well.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:31, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
There is much confusion going on in this thread, indeed. Not least of which is, did Bicycle Wheel mean to imply she was the initial BoN all along? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 20:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)


Atheism, social cohesion and national identity[edit]

Does atheism threatens social cohesion or national identity?This is a common argument I meet when discussing Atheism. While it doesn't claim to prove that God exists, or atheism is philosophically false, it is a popular argument that, I guess, makes a lot of people disdain from Atheism.vWhat is your answer on that subject? If you could please provide a link with extended texts, I 'd be grateful.May the Invisible Pink Unicorn guide your life.— Unsigned, by: Τζερόνυμο / talk / contribs

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 indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line.) Thank you.
Blasphemy! you didn't say "may Her holy hooves never be shod". Christopher (talk) 14:49, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
It 's not a blasphemy! I am not a heretic to say that! I believe that her holy hooves are shod and that shows her humanistic spirit! Oh! you infidels! I call for a holy war! Τζερόνυμο (talk) 10:57, 23 May 2017 (UTC)