As a young theist I ran onto lots of people saying they were atheist. Mostly they annoyed me or made me angry. None of them could really back up what they believed.
Some would claim they could not believe in god because god would not allow people to suffer. Others might claim a real god would not allow their grandfather to die. I came to believe that many were using the “atheist excuse” simply to avoid religious subjects because this was unpleasant to them. Possibly something left over from childhood that they did not want to believe in.
We break it down as “a” and theos” from older languages. It means without god. If I have arrived at a point in my life to be atheist, I am a person with an absence of belief in deities. It simply means I do not believe in god for lack of evidence. Belief in god involves belief in the supernatural which means “something” beyond the natural. Belief in the paranormal means there is “something” beyond the normal. There is no evidence for belief in either of these last two ideas. If you have no empirical evidence then it does not exist. You are somewhere in the wind here to say otherwise.
So, you are an atheist and you believe in spirits. You have an atheist friend who believes in life after death. What have you been smoking? Other atheists believe in ancient aliens, sasquatch, vampires, séances, and advice from the beyond. Where is the evidence? There simply is no evidence other than ways of fooling people changing as years go by. If you believe in any of this bullshit then you might as well believe in god! There is no evidence on any of it.
Trust me here please. The dead do not bite or scratch you. They cannot move and after a time have nothing to hold their bodies together. They cannot speak to you because they have no voice box. How would they communicate with you? If they do so it’s only because you have become one of the gullible.
Back now to where I started. Are you a true atheist? Leave comments here.
Yes, I don't believe in "God." I don't believe in spirits, either, BUT there was the one experience I had as a kid with the Ouija board that has always impressed me.........though now, I'm figuring there HAD to be another explanation, odd though it seemed.
Me, my sister and her friend decided we'd try the board, and agreed not to move the planchette on purpose, we were all curious. Sat on the floor in my sister's room, where the cat was curled up asleep on the bed.
We pulled the shade down (it was afternoon but her room had the thick shades that blocked all the light) and got started. "Is there a spirit present......is there a spirit present........" the planchette started to move a few minutes into this.
We heard a "HISSSSSSS" and were startled at that same moment. Turned on the light, and there was the cat, waiting to be let out of the room with her tail swishing, clearly agitated. At the moment the planchette started to move, she had gone from napping to hissing and wanting OUT.
Ouija board went under the couch and was never played with again.
I watch "Celebrity Ghost Stories," but that's it. I believe that other people have experienced strange things as I have, only I'm more curious about trying to understand what exactly these experiences are. I don't believe there are actually souls of the dead roaming around in limbo, but clearly things happen that defy explanation, at least based on what we know now.
Figure it was a coincidence that the cat suddenly wanted out of the room at that moment; she was startled by something else. At the time, though, it sure was eerie.
We also used to do "levitation" at slumber parties, though I'm sure that's also easily explained. We did try to levitate somebody without the "backstory" and mysticism, and couldn't do it.
As a child I had an experience or two with a Quija board, but later as an adult could not duplicate it. Somehow the "magic" had gone. In my lifeltime I have had many experiences that qualify as mysticism or paranormal in some way, but it is all a point of view. Why would one assume that something you cannot explain at the time means "a ghost did it?" One might as well claim "god did it" and then you will be just like the chrisitans. In many of these cases with me, an explanation seemed available years later. This is because a younger man thinks differently and might even want to be fooled. His experience falls in line with his supernateral or paranormal belief.
In stage magick we have had many great ones in my lifetime. If other living magicains do not know and understand their tricks, often the act cannot be explained as they take the secret with them when they die. D. D. Hume was one of these. If you saw him as a true spiritualist, then you have to admit the lonely spirits have not manifested properly since his death. Wake up people. These things are tricks.
I , too, watch ghost stories and the paranormal on TV sometimes. I am surpised at how gullible people really are. It's amazing. One time I watch a program showing the aerial phenomenon of a UFO that many claimed was genuine and had to be a craft of some kind. Then a man came along and said it was all an out of focus VHS camera. He was given such a camera and he reproduced the flying phenomena.
I am an atheist and a monist. I do not believe in dualism, which all these paranormal (supernatural) beliefs are based upon. I do not believe that mind is independent of the brain or that mind survives the death of the brain. I have no supernatural beliefs at all. No gods, angels, demons, devils, djinn, ghosts, spirits, esp, reincarnation, or any such bunk. I agree with you Dennis. If an atheist claims to believe any of the above paranormal phenomena he/she might as well be a believer in God.
I'm the same as you two.
Yes, if every human being died tomorrow, the Earth would flourish in ways it can't with humans caring so little for the health of the planet, let alone life.
In my personal experience, I see what I expect to see, not what is. It takes concentration, attention, looking for what is real to be free of delusions.
Just last week my daughter asked me if I actually heard the words of another as I reported them. On closer examination, I realized my perception was impacted by my expectations. I did not hear what I thought I heard.
Well as you pointed out, the definitive word "atheist" simply means without god/gods. Period. In this strict sense, it does not specify the various conjectural cultural beliefs (auras, reincarnation, zombies) at all. I would say that, actually, it IS possible to call oneself an atheist while still believing in supernatural things. My argument with this kind of atheist, of course, would be that it is very stupid to apply all of one's empirical, objective might toward discerning the existence of a god, but at the same time compartmentalize whatever scant evidence allows them to keep those supernatural beliefs. As aggravating as it might be, some people simply do not think very deeply about certain things.
It's also worth noting that many theists misuse the word "atheist". The people you mentioned seem to have problems dealing with suffering/death. I would hedge a guess that they still believe that there is a cause for human suffering (even if they no longer believe in "God" per se); perhaps they are still struggling with one of the darker realizations of atheism: that much death and suffering has absolutely no rhyme or reason to it at all.
But I also have to be frank here and say that asking if someone is a "true atheist" smacks of the same hauteur as the question "are you a true Christian?" Is rigorous self-analysis toward all areas of existential belief a prerequisite to becoming an atheist? I think that is what we often WISH people would do, and perhaps it would make for a more homogenous label. But in the end I think the answer is "No". I definitely think that people who have pondered these areas have thought longer, more deeply, and with greater objectivity and skepticism, but again I don't think it's required.
And I say that some of you want to pick and chose. There is no evidence for anything supernatural or paranormal. If you fail to see this now, you might see it in time.