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Sorry, I accidentally before I could elaborate. I feel like this statement applies to me because when I was eight I decided that people would evolve out of the concept of God, but that I really liked religious language and what it expresses. I am beginning to realize that many people that I know who don't name their lack of belief feel the same way I do.

So I don't believe it's untrue, just that the truth of it is allegorical and not supernatural.

I want to say that because I want to draw a distinction between nontheistic traditions like buddhism, and mono/polytheistic traditions.

What do you think about that?

Hi peacemaker. 

There is a group on this site called religion for atheists.  They discuss Alain de Botton's book of the same name among other things. (see his ted talk for more info on him)  I agree with many of the opinions they express, sort of don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Many atheists are against the idea because  religion is the thing they are trying to get away from and I can also see their point in many cases.

I like the term humanist also even though lately I'm trying out the term naturalist. 

Afrikans are said to be notoriously has been analyzed again and again, by afrikans and non afrikans..!

Okot p Bitek, an Afrikan renaissance man from Uganda (anthropologist, dancer footballer, teacher, educator, lecturer, novelist, social activist) also saw to it that while we are are "religious" and yet we are atheistic at the same time..!

that our gods are in fact deities only...strong but not omnipotent, great but not omnipresent,wise but not omniscient, old but not eternal...

according to p bitek, it was the eurocentric theologians and some anthropologists who "hellenised" afrikan deities to make them look/like their own Abrahamic one..!

so from those ground, I an Afrikan freethinker feel justified to see that while i can be religious, yet i am atheistic. Adding Ludwig feuerbach that our ideas of god are in fact our mind projection of a wish, that then we come to believe as true..!

thus there are god...but created by human beings, and not other way round..!

thus an atheist who believes in god...god created by human being..!

I find it pointless to add qualifiers to atheist. Atheism is a stance on a single issue: the belief or non-belief in a God. When you add qualifiers such as "humanist" or "naturalist" etc., you are invoking other ideas that are totally unrelated to atheism. I am of the opinion that this leads to confusion when theists are forming views about atheists. They automatically associate us with these other qualifiers, even when they are not a part of atheism.

Now, I am also against religion as well because I want to have as many demonstrably true beliefs as possible. I will admit that some religions are much more benign than others, but this doesn't change the fact that their beliefs are not only not demonstrably true, but certainly false. As your beliefs inform your actions, this is not a desirable state of mind to have.

I will also add that any benefit brought forth from religion can also be obtained through purely secular means. Weather charity or a sense of community, religion is not required.

I think that one of the common terms for this is a "cultural" theist (e.g. cultural Jew, cultural Christian, cultural Muslim, etc).

There are a whole gang load of culturally religious folks out there. I just heard an interesting call-in from one on this week's "Ask An Atheist" podcast.

If we counted those folks as atheists in census data, Atheism wouldn't be the extreme (but fast growing) minority it's considered to be in the mainstream.

Oh! my goodness! I hope it is not possible to be a religious atheist! No dogma, no litany, no hymns to some power. 

the definition of religion: 

  1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
  2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.

Atheism is not a belief in a superhuman controlling power, it is not a personal thing, it is not a belief and it is not taught;  It is thought. Critical thinking brings one to the realization that we live from birth to death,  that when death occurs, it is a change of form from skin, bone, blood, organs and consciousness to atoms. Change! That is what death implies and there is no notion of a mansion or seeing loved ones. Life has no meaning or purpose, therefore, what we experience, how we live, how we relate, how we reason and think critically is what it is all about. There is no god, personal or otherwise, and our bodies and senses inform us about our function as part of the living universe. Homo sapiens have a consciousness and that, too, ends upon death. What lives on are the memories of those who love and know us. That is all. 

Chris Ruegg stated: 

"Atheism is a stance on a single issue: the belief or non-belief in a God."

Well, I'm beginning to think religious naturalism might be a good description.

I know that many people find what they are looking for in a secular discourse, but I don't. I am attracted to the language of religion, but what I am describing with that language is not supernatural.

"A religious naturalist adopts as her/his core narrative our understandings of nature as made manifest by scientific inquiry, and develops integrated religious responses … interpretive, spiritual, and moral/ethical … to that narrative."
Joan, I think that would be a problematic definition of religion for many. I am think especially of Derek's example of buddhism as many buddhists do not believe in a personal god of supernatural controlling power.

An atheist is an atheist because he is a freethinker and a rationalist. Buddhists do not believe in a creator or a personal god but they have religious rituals, they worship Buddha's idol, they have monks and monastries and a prescribed relogious code. This is quite against atheist beliefs, and is quite irrational. An atheist won't burden his brain with this kind of trash. I do not know what sort of religious language peacemaker likes. To my knowledge, all religious language is hypocritical.

I would disagree that an atheist is an atheist because they are freethinkers or rationalists. Although I do believe that being a freethinker and a rationalist naturally leads to atheism, it is not a necessary condition. Many religions do not believe in a god or gods, but do have supernatural ideas, rituals, etc.; therefore I will still oppose them as irrational. By saying "An atheist won't burden his brain with this kind of trash", I believe you are making a "no true Scotsman" fallacy. As I said earlier, it is a position on a single issue. You can not believe in a god, but hold any number of other dumb ideas as true, such as homeopathy.

peacemaker, you undoubtedly correctly state that my definition of religion is problematic. I shall happily read any other definition that others will be willing and able to share. I am not in a contest here, or a debate. I state my belief and expect others to be honest with me. I don't really care if others agree or disagree; I would like to read other ideas. Perhaps I will decide to change my mind ... I have been known to do that. 

peacemaker, I like the teachings of Buddhism, and they work for me to make my life calmer and have more "equanimity".  Jeeze! I still can't spell it and pronouncing it is not so easy either. Where I can't follow Buddhism's mystical, magical, supernatural aspects of the stories about him. They just don't make sense to me. Buddha may have been a great teacher, and maybe he had nothing to do with the stories that grew up about him (disciples have a way of creating magic out of nothing). 




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