I have had this discussion on other threads and I wanted to get your opinions on what most fellow Atheists consider an "Atheist".
I have always considered an "Atheist" as someone who does not believe in even the possibility of a God/Gods, an afterlife, reincarnation of any kind, energies "living on" or being "transferred to other forms" after death, ghosts/souls, and/or superstitious beliefs.
I have not considered Buddhists atheists as they still believe in "energies" and the sorts; and believe that people who say that they believe in the "possibility" of an afterlife as agnostics or the sorts - I have been an atheist for example since I was 15-16 and maybe an agnostic for a couple of years before then.
For example, I am sure that Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the likes all fit into the aforementioned definition of an "Atheist". So, what do you think?
"I don't consider people who believe in the supernatural as atheists either - since they still believe in irrationality."
And where in the word a-theism does it contain the word rationality or irrationality?
You're trying to invest the word with more meaning than both the etymology and the history of the word establish.
You're committing a No True Scotsman Fallacy of the same kind many Christians do.
Some Christians say: "I define a Christian as someone who believes in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour and treats people with love and respect".
And then an atheist may say: "Hang on a second: all that's in the word Christian is that you're a follower of Christ. It has nothing to do with treating people with love and respect or not; you can be a follower of Christ and be a douchebag or a murderer or a sadist".
And if he replies "Well I don't consider people who don't treat people with love and respect Christians - they don't really believe in what Jesus taught yet." are you going to tell him that (a) this makes perfect sense or (b) he's just redefining the word Christians to what he'd like it to be.
Sound familiar? It's exactly what you are doing.
"While this may not be the dictionary definition - sometimes the practicalities of the matter differ from dictionary definition."
My hypothetical Christian can say the exact same thing.
Would you be convinced if he said it?
If you don't concur with the definition then I simply don't consider you an atheist, or any one else that seeks to call them self one, and also does not concur. Its my definition (as given by American Atheists), if you don't understand it I can't help you.
"If you don't concur with the definition then I simply don't consider you an atheist, or any one else that seeks to call them self one, and also does not concur. Its my definition (as given by American Atheists), if you don't understand it I can't help you."
I understand the definition just fine (and I fall under it all the same), but it's still inaccurate. Atheism is a-theism: it's a rejection of theism, which is the belief in a God. That's it.
That's the way philosophers have used the term for centuries, that's the way it makes sense etymologically and epistemologically, and that's the way the term is actually useful.
You can't just say "Well, I know technically a-theism has nothing to do with the supernatural in principle and is just a rejection of theism, but really I don't think that's enough, so I'm just going to define it to mean a rejection of the supernatural as well."
You can't just define words as you see fit. As I just explained to Sassan, Christians do the exact same thing: redefining what it means to be a Christian whenever it's convenient. We don't allow it when they do it, so I'm going to allow you to do it either. That's intellectual honesty.
I say we stick to what words actually etymologically and philosophically mean. That works much better.
Philosophy is dead, if a philosopher said something as a philosopher than it's just that philosophy. Science replaced it, science makes a lot more sense because it is based entirely in reality, where as philosophy is not.
So the entire philosophy of morality can just pack up and go home? And which science department is going to take up this task? What about the philosophy of mathematics or alternate logic (departments that often lead to advances in algorithms by the way)?
All of that is dead because you said so?
Please Richard, you're clearly kidding yourself: philosophy is still a useful discipline in many respects.
If you believe in in supernatural phenomena then it is caused by something, evolution is caused by nature, it is a natural process, where as a supernatural phenomena has no explanation as to its cause, (in my opinion its doesn't exist so obviously there is no explanation for it, I make this statement with science at my back.)
That's some convenient reasoning to try to get the rejection of God and the rejection of all supernatural phenomena a little closer together, but unfortunately, it just doesn't correspond to reality. People don't think this way.
Many people that there is some form of "consciousness" floating around at the deepest level of reality, or consciousness is an innate property of all matter, and there they see the justification for ghosts and an after-life and reincarnation and many other kooky things.
And yet they don't believe in any form of God to justify all this.
Now you can complain all you want that you don't see how this is possible or how it doesn't make sense to you or how you don't find it rational... well big deal that you don't find it rational. I don't find the people that believe in UFO's or the 9/11 conspiracy or their racial superiority rational either, but that doesn't mean I can then deny that they're atheists.
Rejection of God.
Your reasoning is, again, no different from the Christian saying "Well Christianity is about love and respect and kindness, and so all the people who commit atrocities in the world clearly can't possibly be Christians because anyone who believes in Jesus should just obviously be loving and full of respect and kindness. Ergo no Christians ever commit atrocities."
The criticisms we would level against that Christian are the exact same criticisms I now level against you.
Yes science can replace those things.
People do think that way, (your just an idiot. (ad hominem) If you believe in the supernatural it is because of some sort mental disorder as the result of an illusion, delusion, or hallucination, or a combination.
Atheism is the rejection of all things supernatural including a god. Period.
My reasoning is different than what you say it is, as you have yet to respond to many things that I have mentioned and ignore them just so that you can repeat some trite nonsense or make another nonsense assertion, I consider the debate with you over, and I won.
And right now, Richard joins us for a nomination in the category "Weakest post ever on the Nexus":
"Yes science can replace those things."
Tactic #1 of weak internet debaters: bald assertions.
Whether or not science can replace those things is one question (though it's still total nonsense; inquiry into mathematics is simply not a scientific field because it does not fall under empiricism), but what you claimed was that philosophy was dead; and that's still patently false since scientists obviously haven't replaced those disciplines now.
"People do think that way, (your just an idiot. (ad hominem)"
Tactic #2 of weak internet debaters: insults (and more bald assertions).
People apparently don't think this way, and we can prove that emperically: many people believe in God, do believe in all kinds of other supernatural crap (ghosts, reincarnation, "universal consciousness") so your idea that a non-belief in God leads people to reject those other things is simply emperically false.
"Atheism is the rejection of all things supernatural including a god. Period."
More bald assertions to seal the deal!
"My reasoning is different than what you say it is, as you have yet to respond to many things that I have mentioned and ignore them just so that you can repeat some trite nonsense or make another nonsense assertion"
Projection at its finest.
This coming from a guy who has yet to respond to any criticism or offer anything that even looks like an argument, but instead relies on bald assertions and ad hominems.
And then, of course:
"I consider the debate with you over, and I won"
Tactic #3 of weak internet debaters: when you realise you're outgunned, run away as fast as you can while declaring victory as loudly as possible.
Run along now, Richard.
I would like to point out that to say "atheism speaks to the rejection of belief in gods and nothing else." is an opinion not a fact. Also, My opinion directly contracts yours so, I would like to point out that it is the consensus of the largest atheist organization in the world that my definition is correct, and it is also the consensus of the United States Justice system that my definition is correct as it is the one that would be used in legal matters.
So therefore you are not an atheist if you believe in the supernatural whatsoever period, no matter how much you want it to be true it is not.
Also, I thought it was funny that you skipped around my reasoning and did not directly address the point at hand, that being that to have supernatural events that are by their very name not natural, there has to be a cause and that cause "then is usually explained by the way of a god, spirits, angels, etc... So, if someone professes belief in a supernatural phenomena than they knowingly or un-knowingly, believe in a "god" defined as some sort of supernatural being or beings that control or create the phenomena, inversely if someone believes in a "god" they therefore knowingly or un-knowingly believe in the supernatural. That is why the lack of belief in a deity, implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena."
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts".
- Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"No one can be a great thinker who does not recognize that as a thinker it is his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead. Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study, and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think".
- John Stuart Mill
"People may have the finest talents, but if they are arrogant and stingy, their other qualities are not worthy of consideration".
"Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as a part of nature".
- Carl Sagan
"He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave."
- William Drummond
"I would like to point out that it is the consensus of the largest atheist organization in the world that my definition is correct, and it is also the consensus of the United States Justice system that my definition is correct as it is the one that would be used in legal matters."
Is an argument from authority.
"there has to be a cause and that cause "then is usually explained by the way of a god, spirits, angels, etc... So, if someone professes belief in a supernatural phenomena than they knowingly or un-knowingly, believe in a "god" defined as some sort of supernatural being or beings that control or create the phenomena, inversely if someone believes in a "god" they therefore knowingly or un-knowingly believe in the supernatural. That is why the lack of belief in a deity, implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena."
Is suggesting that all supernatural forces of any kind have derivation in a supernatural being because it is commonly believed that much of the supernatural stem from such a source. This is affirming the consequent.
Nowhere can I find the supernatural as defined as coming exclusively from an anthropomorphic supernatural being.
Your definition of atheism would demand that all supernatural beliefs be labeled as theistic even when no deity is explicitly presumed, thereby altering the definition of theism as well to mean belief in the supernatural.
The word Atheism is for the most part well understood to mean lack of belief in god or gods. Philosophical Naturalism or "Naturalism" fits your definition better.