1: Is not a belief system.
2: Cannot be called a religion as it has nothing to worship, no dogmas and no ceremonies.
3: Is purely an Epistemological (personal knowledge) Position, of Doubt, in the existence of Deities.
Even agnostics are actually atheists, because they don't believe in the deity in question, as they too doubt its existence, or believe it is not knowable (definition of agnosticism) by humans, thus they don't know of it and thus they are also atheists.
So, there is absolutely no valid alternative epistemological position to atheism.
The only alternative is Theism, or belief, and since there are no deities that have ever been validated, the position of theism is thus invalid.
It is indeed a dichotomy, either you believe in a deity or you doubt (not believe) in a deity.
David Silverman points this out in Loren's Blog.
Your Thoughts Please!
While I identify as an atheist for most purposes, I still argue for theological non-cognitivism, which is a fancy name for the viewpoint that religious claims make no cognitive sense—that is, they cannot be interpreted in any sensible way as assertions about the state of reality. The term God can be given no reasonable meaning and the supposed attributes of it are likewise incoherent. I like the statement of Charles Bradlaugh in his 1864 plea for atheism:
The Atheist does not say "There is no God," but he says: "I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God; the word 'God' is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. I do not deny God, because I cannot deny that of which I have no conception, and the conception of which by its affirmer, is so imperfect that he is unable to define it to me. If, however, 'God' is defined to mean an existence other than the existence of which I am a mode, then I deny 'God,' and affirm that it is impossible such 'God' can be. That is, I affirm one existence, and deny that there can be more than one."
I don't know that book—must check it out.
Allan, an excellent quote and reference. I found this paragraph in the same citation:
"Atheism, properly understood, is no mere disbelief: is in no
wise a cold, barren negative; it is, on the contrary, a hearty, fruitful
affirmation of all truth, and involves the positive assertion of action
of highest humanity."
The only real epistemological basis atheism has, at least from my POV, is the Null Hypothesis: the fact that there is no currently known positive evidence for ANY form of god, regardless of associated culture or religion. There are elements which suggest that the concepts of religions and deities have serious problems, like the fact that there are multiple religions with multiple, divergent messages, as opposed to one exclusive and universal belief system with worldwide and unopposed acceptance, or that religions demonstrate clear geographic and cultural roots and foundations. These and other disparities make the verity of any one religion questionable at best, though from a disciplined standpoint, they don't provide global disproof. Proving a negative remains an extraordinarily difficult proposition, in this case one which may never be fully satisfied.
Thus we are left with the need to point out the lack of logic or sense associated with irrational belief to those who subscribe to them. We must continue to analyze, criticize and ridicule beliefs and confront those who promote them with the facts, whether by direct debate or Socratic inquiry. If this is a war, it is likely a war of attrition as much as conquest, where they lose numbers as we gain them ... and it's going to be a long, hard road.
D.D., Outstanding! Clear, simple, precise, and is understandable by any who can reason and know how to differentiate fact from fiction.
1. Atheism is not a belief system.
2. There is no superhuman power, no one to hear or answer prayers, no heaven or hell, no sin or redemption, no sacrifice or savior, no death and resurrections, no dogma or litany, and no magic.
3. There is doubt in an existence of deities.
4. Agnostics doubt the existence of any deity, they don't believe in any, and they believe it is not knowable by humans if a god exists. Therefore, in practical terms, agnostics are atheists.
5. An Atheist is willing and able to believe god exists if and when he or she has evidence.
6. There is no valid alternative to atheism. Either no god exists, or god does exist. Because no valid, testable and shared evidence of deities exist, an atheist has no alternative, unless and until evidence appears.
I like the wiggle room of #6 because I would be a fool to deny the existence of a deity if evidence that was valid, testable, and shareable appeared.
I like the way you wrote your statement and I changed it to make it clearer for me to understand.
Maybe you are lucky, DD. I comment on You Tube and Google and get all these people wanting to convert me. After all, I'm an old man and don't have much time they say. (Yep, you better get Jesus while he's hot.) One man who has bad mouthed me now says he has a book coming out soon that will have all the proof of god in it. I told him that's why I'm atheist. There is no proof of god.
Another man told me that science has proven god. He must not be using the science that the rest of us go by. Maybe it's the 2+2=5 variety. The formula for his science wouldn't even allow you to order replacement parts for anything.
The people I deal with sound like religious psychics. One even told me his god had told him to stop speaking to me now. That's the most amazingly dishonest copout I've ever heard. LOL
Many of these people use the word proof quite loosely.
Yes, and they try anything. I have popup blockers on my computers and they work very well. Today when I closed the browser there is a page left and it talks about our "Christain nation" and shows our flag in the sign of a cross. Click here and learn the TRUTH it says before powers working against them take the website down.
I thought it was kind of silly. What did I click? I clicked to close the page and be done with it.