4 Important Things That Atheists Wish Everyone Knew About Them

Mar 10, 2015

By Zeeshan Aleem

In 2014, the Pew Research Center asked Americans a series of hypothetical questions about how they would feel about a relative’s potential spouse. When asked if they would be upset by a family member marrying someone of a different race, 11% said they would object. When asked the same question about a relative marrying someone of a different political party, 15% of Democrats and 17% of Republicans said they would be unhappy with the prospect. But when asked to consider a family member marrying someone who doesn’t believe in God, 49% of Americans disapproved.

Atheists are widely distrusted and disliked in the United States, even as the number of Americans who consider themselves religious has declined. A 2011 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that Americans consider atheists about as morally suspect as rapists in some scenarios, and in 2014 a Pew poll showed that Americans prefer an adulterer or a marijuana smoker to a non-believer for president.

What’s the source of this animosity toward atheists? Religion, primarily in the form of Christianity, is inextricable from U.S. history, but the Founding Fathers were primarily deists who held a complex and skeptical relationship with the Christian faith and set into motion one of the most successful experiments in secular governance in history. Antipathy toward atheism today is more likely a vestige of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union’s atheism was presented by the U.S. as proof of communism’s moral bankruptcy. More recently, the rise of a haughty and combative “New Atheism” movement has tarnished the reputation of the godless.

But the religious shouldn’t fear atheism. Popular misconceptions about atheism have presented a distorted view of what most atheists actually believe, while obscuring the areas where religion and godlessness overlap. There’s a significant number of things the religious can learn from atheists without discarding their own beliefs altogether.


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54 comments on “4 Important Things That Atheists Wish Everyone Knew About Them

  • Can’t read past this quote or the link to the other article by this author within it

    More recently, the rise of a haughty and combative “New Atheism” movement has tarnished the reputation of the godless.



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  • @OP – link One of the most frequent distinctions between the religious and the non-religious is characterized in a binary framework surrounding the word “faith.” If you believe in God, you have faith, if you don’t, then you don’t have it.

    But godlessness should not be conflated with faithlessness. Faith is not the province of holy books and higher beings — it is also vital to powering the pursuit of lofty ideals and unreachable goals that are essential to running a world always teetering on the edge, lurching from crisis to crisis.

    This article has some very poor arguments in trying to attach a nicey philosophy to atheism’s absence of belief in gods.

    “Faith” is a very poor choice of word in regard to “objectives”, “confidence” or “altruism”!
    “Faith” is “belief without evidence or proof”, which is the opposite position to reasoned views.

    Atheism encourages people to cultivate their faith in worldly aspirations in a productive and ethical manner.

    This seems to be confusing “atheism” with “Humanism”!



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  • OP :

    More recently, the rise of a haughty and combative “New Atheism” movement has tarnished the reputation of the godless.

    Hah ! Classic ! Unlike the old fashioned atheists who went meekly to the stake to be burnt by those Jesus loving, meek and mild Christians!

    Judging by the statistics in the article it seems atheism doesn’t have much of a reputation to be “tarnished ” anyway, – at least in the USA. Elsewhere in the developed world, atheism is not a problem for most people. I wish the author would just look at how religion is dying out in western Europe. Spain, Portugal, Ireland, France for e.g. , once Catholic strongholds. Seville Cathedral is in a terrible state compared with its counterparts in relatively godless England. Here they are mainly tourist resorts, sites for concerts, craft fair etc. Yes the faithful are allowed in free , but not the tourists !



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  • Christians assert that only they are truly moral. Yet when you look at the statistics, it is the very opposite.

    Disproportionately more Christians are in jail.

    Christians commit disproportionately more murders. Louisiana, the most religious state, has double the murder rate. Presumably, part of the problem is Christians don’t take murder seriously, since they believe nobody actually dies.

    Christians have disproportionately more divorces.

    Christians have disproportionately more teen pregnancies and more repeat teen pregnancies.

    Christians have disproportionately more abortions.

    Christians have disproportionately more sexual offences involving children.

    This represents a complete failure of Christian morality.



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  • ….”Setting aside the fact that some non-believers sound obnoxious in the tone of their arguments”…. Classic value judgement. Suppose I said ALL religious types ARE obnoxious in the tone of their arguments. Would that be acceptable ? A lot closer to the truth, methinks.



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  • Most of the problems you have listed stem from Christian denial of the realities of human sexuality. Many seem to think, for example, that young people won’t engage in sexual activity if they are not told about “the facts of life.” No serious sex-ed for their kids! So hormones frequently triumph over abstention rules and the result is unintended pregnancy of ignorant teenagers—and all of the social calamities that are associated with it. Common sense and practical knowledge would go a long way to bring about the positive results that do not proceed from doctrinal moralizing.



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  • I’m pretty sure this article was written by a believer, trying to subversively confuse everyone about atheism. “Atheism is about humility and patience”? No. It’s not. Atheism is about not believing in a god. “Atheism is about cultivating other kinds of faith.” Maybe for you. “Atheism mandates that we discover the world relentlessly.” No, atheism doesn’t mandate anything.

    Sorry, but any of these phrases just prop up what many believers have been saying for years, that atheism is a religion, that atheists are all alike, etc. It seems to be conflating atheism with some other “isms”, and it damages the assertion so many of us need to make: “Atheism is just the answer to one question: ‘do you believe in god(s)?'”



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  • 9
    Trondesson says:

    What is this, an attempt by some religious nutcase to show atheists their place and shut them up by making them seem meek and ineffevtive?

    Let them fear us!

    History of monotheistic religion, where fear was the single most effectice way to keep their followers in line, shows that that is the only way atheists will be noticed at all. After all the time of religion persisting despite better knowledge and against all reasonable judgement I have long given up hope that they are able of being swayed by reason, let alone beginning to grasp the concept of atheism against the fear induced by the human indoctrinators of their non-existent, manmade gods.



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  • @OP – More recently, the rise of a haughty and combative “New Atheism” movement has tarnished the reputation of the godless.

    But – only in the eyes of the “feeling threatened” deluded, and their apologists!

    Those haughtily scientifically educated and combative “New Atheists” are certainly not going to put up with being lectured or preached at, by deluded ignoramuses such YECs, and will demolish their lame arguments in no uncertain terms.
    In fact to such an extent, that the haughty and pompous preachers of ignorance, will be rated at their REAL educational level of capability, rather than at their personal Dunning-Kruger delusions of their illusory superiority!

    Naturally they will defensively respond with psychological projections of “haughty arrogance”, as the bigoted ignorant usually do when met with strongly evidence knowledge.
    To the profoundly ignorant, learning inhibited, all knowledge which is beyond their abysmal levels of comprehension, is “haughty arrogance”!

    But the religious shouldn’t fear atheism.

    Those making a fat living out of milking the poor to feed the church coffers, certainly should! – as should any of the faith peddling charlatans!

    In many parts of the more educated parts of the world, the time when atheists could be bullied into pretending to be sheeples, is over!

    Ranting preachers are laughed at, and pompous theocrats are regarded as the lame-thinking superstitious buffoons they are!



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  • I would really like to know through what amazing “channel” did an article written by a guy named Zeeshan Aleem… found its way up to our most appreciated RDF site, and could have been published as if it was under “www.richarddawkins.net” ‘s endorsement.

    Given that this guy spends half of his time claiming he is a “devout atheist” (can anybody explain to me what the word ‘devout’ has to do with the word ‘atheist” ?)……. and the other half, moaning dewy-eyed about the wonderful benefits religion brings to the faithful… and even to the faithless !

    Given that Aleem is also a regular staff writer at Mic, a site in which he has recently (less than 3 months ago) signed another article beginning –no joke– by these words : “Pity the godless.”

    Second degree humour, one might think. Wait until you read a few statements he utters in the core of his article : ” “New Atheists,” a band of belligerent public intellectuals including evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, the neuroscientist Sam Harris and the late but still influential journalist Christopher Hitchens. The trio has [ fervently ] pushed for a venomous strain of atheism” (sic)… Then “[..] the New Atheists harbor a deeply militarized attitude toward the religious. Their combative demeanors have afforded them an outsized amount of airtime and a disproportionate role in shaping the debate about atheism”

    Even better : this meek (?) atheist (?) goes on and refers to an article written by a certain “Luc Savage”, in a very.. er.. “friendly” sentence for Dawkins, Harris and the like : “As Luke Savage notes in an insightful article for Jacobin, for this mission [ meaning : “promoting neo-cons war-mongering western imperialism against poor countries”, no less ! ] they have “variously embraced, advocated, or favorably contemplated: aggressive war, state violence, the curtailing of civil liberties, torture and … genocidal preemptive nuclear strikes against Arab nations.”

    Wow… What a nice RDF contributor… I hope this is a misunderstanding…



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  • Zeeshan Aleem is describing his own brand of atheism. It is not nearly big enough a tent. All atheism means is rejecting the notion of gods. That’s all. Allem is Disneyfying it:

    Atheism is about humility and patience. Craig Venter is hardly humble. I don’t think Voltaire was known for his patience.
    Atheism is about cultivating other kinds of faith. (Nonsense. It is about rejecting faith)
    Atheism reminds us of the power of the individual. (It is compatible with Communism or Ayn Randianism)
    Atheism mandates that we discover the world relentlessly. (Atheists are allowed to be incurious and lazy)
    Atheism is about being kind to puppies and squirrels. (I tease).



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  • “Until now,” our dollar says In God we Trust?
    All our money says it! More than that, it is actually, through Congress and TSCOTUS, “America’s Motto”. Changed from Latin “E Pluribus Unum”, “One from many”.

    The money change was also in response to the godless communists, slowly, until our whole motto was a trust in god!

    No separation of church and state issue here! The SCOTUS agreed with Congress’ lame BS that it doesn’t choose a particular religion so it isn’t unconstitutional…but it is! We just have rolled-over on this issue, but isn’t what the country stands for the most important message we are sending about ourselves to the rest of the world!

    I too think this article is not at all what we expect from Dr. Dawkins’ recommendations.



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  • (English may not be Marcos’ first language), and brings up a good point.

    Ten years ago, Michael Newdow strived to have in god we trust removed from u.s. currency. I remember overhearing a woman’s exclamation after reading a newspaper article about this – “the day in god we trust is taken off money, is the day I leave this country”.

    what the country stands for…

    Perhaps a new motto could be forged also, if a group’s website contest to have a woman replace A. Jackson on the twenty dollar bill is successful.



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  • Yes, this is a poor article that reeks of wishy-washy accommodationism, makes sweeping generalisations about atheists (err, excuse me, actually I and a lot of atheists are extremely angry about religion, and for very good reasons), tries to associate atheism with concepts it has nothing to do with (“different kinds of faith”, my arse) and makes at least one outright error: “Atheism is not anti-theism — opposition to the existence of god.” Embarrassing that he follows this false definition with an appeal to etymology. Anti-theism is not “opposition to the existence of god”, to theos, it as opposition to theISM – theistic religion. Not the same thing at all.

    As for his lazy dismissal of new atheism, well, that puts the whole thing beyond the pale for me.



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  • But you should also consider that until now the Dollar bill, saying
    continued on its back. In God I trust

    Why should we consider this? What relevance does it have to the article or the discussion?



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  • It’s an interesting concept of atheism, but is it representative of reality? I venture to say that it is more like an extreme idealism that the writer has invented and thinks should be a practicing atheist’s doctrine. The simple definition of “atheism” is: “the doctrine or belief that there is no God”. Whatever else an atheist may choose to be identified by seems therefore, to be up to the individual practitioner of atheism and I suspect there are about as many ways of practicing atheism as there are those practicing it.
    I think it should be noted that atheism is, after all, a reactionary entity, which only exists because organized religion (theism) does and if theism were to cease existence, so would atheism. In essence, each is on the opposite side of a two sided coin and each vehemently eschews the beliefs of the other, all of which are concerned with the unknowable. It seem unfortunate, in my opinion, that “atheism” has been chosen as the word to identity of members of a group professing belief in reason, logic and science, while at the same time, tying them to a belief in the non-existence of a God, which is unknowable and thus illogical. Rather that different identifying nomenclature had been adopted, such as “realism”, rationalism, or perhaps “pragmatism”, for instance, to avoid the being tied to “theism”, which I suggest hampers the objective of furthering reason and science, independently from religious criticism and unnecessary backlash.



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  • Faith is all about belief in the unknowable. What you have is belief that your chair will keep your ass 20″ above the floor, based on knowledge about past experience using the chair and its soundness of condition.



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  • Bad use of the word “faith” there, Stee.

    It’s like saying you have faith that the sun will come up the next morning. No. Based on scientific evidence, as well as past experience, I have a reasonable expectation that the sun will appear tomorrow morning.



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  • Wow Nary, you arrived at all of the above from my brief musings? Amazing! Instead of getting into theism and atheism, perhaps I should have referred to the concept of God as an entity and then gone on to suggest that if such a concept did not exist, there would be no concept of no God, because it would make no sense. The point is, that attempts to have sensible arguments about the existence or non-existence of a God are pointless. The answer is unknowable, based on current knowledge, and likely to remain so. Personally, I have little or no use for any of the organized religious institutions of our world, along with their tremendous baggage of doctrine, which as dogma must be considered unquestionable and unassailable to any logical questioning or assessment. As far as atheism goes, my only issue with it is its no God doctrine, which of course is unknowable, and thus unscientific and unreasonable, for a group that espouses reason and science, in my opinion. I would say agnosticism is a more sensible way of shedding the burden of organized religion and its dogma, along with avoiding the God vs no God issue by admitting unknowability and thereby able to promote reason, logic and science in a less provocative and more acceptable manner, hopefully.



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  • Doug Mar 12, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    The simple definition of “atheism” is: “the doctrine or belief that there is no God”.

    Nope! The simple definition of “atheism” is: “An understanding of the improbability of the existence of gods”.
    Your confusion comes from your preconception that there is a “default god”.

    Whatever else an atheist may choose to be identified by seems therefore, to be up to the individual practitioner of atheism and I suspect there are about as many ways of practicing atheism as there are those practicing it.

    As there are about practising a-leprechaunism, a-fairyism, and non-stamp-collecting.

    I think it should be noted that atheism is, after all, a reactionary entity, which only exists because organized religion (theism) does and if theism were to cease existence, so would atheism.

    The word “atheism” would be redundant, in the absence of a theist background in populations. As for being “reactionary” it is just as “reactionary as “non-stamp-collecting” in hobbyists corner – but has no need to be reactionary in the world at large unless confronted by theism.

    In essence, each is on the opposite side of a two sided coin and each vehemently eschews the beliefs of the other, all of which are concerned with the unknowable.

    This is the usual false dichotomy of pretending atheism and some “default god” are the only options. There are thousands of versions of theism making conflicting claims about the unknown.

    It seem unfortunate, in my opinion, that “atheism” has been chosen as the word to identity of members of a group professing belief in reason, logic and science, while at the same time, tying them to a belief in the non-existence of a God,

    There are no “default gods”. The onus of proof is on those making claims their gods exist.

    belief in the non-existence of a God, which is unknowable and thus illogical.

    You got it backwards again! Challenging negative-proof fallacies is entirely logical.

    Rather that different identifying nomenclature had been adopted, such as “realism”, rationalism, or perhaps “pragmatism”, for instance, to avoid the being tied to “theism”, which I suggest hampers the objective of furthering reason and science, independently from religious criticism and unnecessary backlash.

    It is only the word which is tied to “theism”. “Atheism” actually means “free of theism” so science and reason can operate without supposed magical supernatural insertions of woo!



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  • I agree. It seems that believers brain can only function on “believers wavelength” so to speak, as if they simply can not understand concept “without believes”. So, for them, atheism must be some sort of belief. What idiots!
    And another thing,… Americans love to invent all sorts of enemies, they love “isms”, their government has managed to wash their population brains with fear of “different” in order to manipulate them. They like imagining enemies and constantly keep in fear american inhabitants.



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  • You are completely right. Now we have some New Atheism movement! Those religious idiots are inventing all sorts of “movements”, and those movements are especially “militant” or some sort of “isms” like political movements in order to prove to the general public that they are under attack from such. What rotten minds.



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  • > x-bone Mar 11, 2015 at 6:30 pm I would really like to know through what amazing “channel” did an article written by a guy named Zeeshan Aleem… found its way up to our most appreciated RDF site, and could have been published as if it was under “www.richarddawkins.net” ‘s endorsement.

    Articles posted here are not "endorsed" by RD net. They are posted for critical analysis and comment.



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  • As far as atheism goes, my only issue with it is its no God doctrine…agnosticism is a more sensible way

    Doug, there is no doctrine involved. Does your emerging doubt about the existence of your particular imaginary deity extend to include Zeus? Are you agnostic towards ghosts and fairies?

    Zeeshan Aleem’s article is pathetic.



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  • 31
    billium says:

    There is a perfectly logical explanation for religion in human society. Someone somewhere did an experiment, it was on TV, Where a man stuck his butt in the air and stared through his legs at nothing for a while. People who walked by though he was crazy. But when The man has some of his friends do it with him, then people who walked by joined in.



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  • Alan4discussion,
    Thank you for your dissection of my commentary above and your opinions which are interesting but nevertheless opinions only. I think we may have an issue with semantics perhaps and I choose to stay with my particular definition of atheism, for instance. You have chosen to define atheism as free of theism, as I note in your final sentence. I would suggest it might be more accurately defined as non-theism or possibly un-theism. In any case, we seem to agree that if theism did not exist then neither would atheism, because it would make absolutely no sense. I think you used the term “redundant” somewhere above to make essentially the same point.



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  • Len, of course it’s doctrine. What else would you call it? Are ghosts and fairies part of this discussion and if so, relevance please?



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  • Doug Mar 13, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    You have chosen to define atheism as free of theism, as I note in your final sentence. I would suggest it might be more accurately defined as non-theism or possibly un-theism.

    Is there any material difference?
    Your comment seems to be missing the key point which I picked up in your earlier comment :-

    Rather that different identifying nomenclature had been adopted, such as “realism”, rationalism, or perhaps “pragmatism”, for instance, to avoid the being tied to “theism”, which I suggest hampers the objective of furthering reason and science, independently from religious criticism and unnecessary backlash.

    Thinking using theistic “faith” (belief without evidence or proof), is the opposite process to the evidence-based reasoning of science or history.
    Other than guessing right, by unusual coincidences, it is inevitable that faith-thinking will clash with accurately determined science.

    In the absence of theism and “faith-thinking”, realism, and rationalism are the normal thought processes.



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  • Doug Mar 12, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Faith is all about belief in the unknowable.

    There is no evidence that anything is “unknowable”.
    There can be no evidence for unknown unknowns.

    “Faith” (belief without evidence or proof), is belief in things unknown to the individual person making the claim.

    That is why science keeps refuting gods-of-gaps claims, as frontiers of knowledge advance.



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  • bonnie Mar 12, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I remember overhearing a woman’s exclamation after reading a newspaper article about this – “the day in god we trust is taken off money, is the day I leave this country”.

    Perhaps she should go to Saudi Arabia – as long as she chooses the “right” god!

    Perhaps a new motto could be forged also, if a group’s website contest to have a woman replace A. Jackson on the twenty dollar bill is successful.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23424289

    Jane Austen to be face of the Bank of England £10 note

    Author Jane Austen is to feature on the next £10 note, the Bank of England says, avoiding a long-term absence of women represented on banknotes.

    The Pride and Prejudice author will be the next face of the note, replacing Charles Darwin, probably in 2017.

    In April, the Bank prompted a high-profile campaign against the prospect of having no female characters, besides the Queen, on the UK’s currency.

    It had announced that Sir Winston Churchill would be put on the £5 note from 2016, replacing social reformer Elizabeth Fry.



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  • Articles posted here are not “endorsed” by RD net. They are posted for
    critical analysis and comment.

    Well… It’s not clearly indicated on top of the article. When we see all the replies posted on this thread, people comment the article as if it was the work of an “ingenuous” contributor. The fact that it’s linked to the site where it was originally published doesn’t mean that RD Net doesn’t endorse its contents…

    Besides, I find it a bit masochistic for RDFRS to relay writings from such a guy, who pounds so grossly (and so fallaciously) against R. Dawkins himself, claiming that he (among others) “approves curtailing of civil liberties, torture and war-mongering”, and delusional to do it without at least warning its readers about who speaks, and from where



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  • @OP – Zeeshan Aleem

    Zeeshan Aleem is clearly preaching his own version of nicey, rosy-spectacles, accommodationist, “Tttrrrroooooo atheism”, – not to be confused with that critical thinking “New Atheism”!



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  • Doug Mar 13, 2015 at 3:31 am

    As far as atheism goes, my only issue with it is its no God doctrine,

    Which is an attempt to shift the burden of proof on to the sceptic by using the negative-proof fallacy – and which, as has been pointed out in replies to your posts on other threads, is a false dichotomy between atheism and some assumed default god!
    In the reality of diverse world views there are thousands of gods with thousands of conflicting claims about them.

    which of course is unknowable,

    Claiming something is “unknowable”, is the asserted ploy of the GAPOLOGIST, who hides claims behind an assertion of negative proofs against unknown unknowns.
    Nobody can possibly have ANY evidence about unknown unknowns, or any means of identifying which ones may be understood in future!

    and thus

    Is a pseudo-deduction, pretending assertions are logic or evidence.

    unscientific and unreasonable, for a group that espouses reason and science, in my opinion.

    Are assertions:- showing psychological projection of your irrational pseudo-“deductions”, on to those who actually use science and reasoning. “Reasoning” is a logical deductive process. Not a badge to stick on to comments agreeing with your personal assertions.

    I would say agnosticism is a more sensible way of shedding the burden of organized religion and its dogma,

    Having erected the the false dichotomy of “atheism” Vs a “default religion”, you have now presented the FALLACY OF THE MIDDLE_GROUND https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/middle-ground as a “moderate in the middle” position. There is NO middle-ground between the thousands of world religions, apart from each claiming the others are false (as atheists do!), and the neuro-psychology which drives the brains of believers.

    along with avoiding the God vs no God issue

    There is no merit in “avoiding false-dichotomy strawman positions”, which don’t exist in the world of reality.
    The imagined “god – no-god issue”, is only an issue to a theist, or a “theist-with-slight-doubts”, who is fixated on some assumed personal “default-god”!

    by admitting unknowability

    “Unknowability” is an unevidenced assertion. (see above)

    and thereby able

    And therefore no rational deductions about reality, can be made on the basis of this gapologist assertion.

    to promote reason, logic and science

    Promoting reason, logic and science, has nothing to do with using unevidenced assertions, or using logical fallacies.

    in a less provocative and more acceptable manner, hopefully.

    Acceptable to whom???
    More accommodating to religions and irrational “faith-thinking”, perhaps?
    Less thought provoking to those hiding from reality in religious fantasy worlds???
    Scientific evidence is not decided by popularity polls, compatibility with cultural beliefs, or happy feelings.

    Scientific logical thought is about solving problems – not ducking and dodging issues, so deluded people can feel good about their ignorance!



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  • Len Walsh Mar 13, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Does your emerging doubt about the existence of your particular imaginary deity extend to include Zeus? Are you agnostic towards ghosts and fairies?

    It’s funny how assertive agnosticism, usually seems to apply only to one assumed default god and the “doctrines of negative-proof fallacies regarding this assumed one god”!

    Surely a “True agnostic” would suspend judgement on all the gods – supported as they ALL are, by the usual absence of evidence! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_deities, and believe in the possible existence of all of them, – (with all their thousands of contradictions), – IF that was the way to rational understanding of reality, rather than mere semantic obfuscation!?

    Doug, there is no doctrine involved.

    I seem to have missed out on the doctrines of a-fairyism, and on the doctrines of non-stamp-collecting!!



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  • Alan4discussion, I guess I’m done here. You’re so far up on your very high horse that I fear I am unable to communicate further in any way that will make any sense to you. I thus bid you adieu, and wish you all the best.



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  • Doug Mar 15, 2015 at 1:51 am

    Alan4discussion, I guess I’m done here. You’re so far up on your very high horse that I fear I am unable to communicate further in any way that will make any sense to you. I thus bid you adieu, and wish you all the best.

    It is unfortunate that you feel unable to look at the issues raised, and engage in an evidenced debate of those issues. I am well aware of what you are claiming, but am unconvinced by your arguments for the reasons I have explained.

    Some discussions here do require a fairly high level of knowledge of the subject matter, the evidence supporting it, and the deductive processes of of logical reasoning.
    Many find these discussions help them raise their standards.
    Others sit in assertive denial and learn nothing about reason, religions, or science.



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  • 45
    Light Wave says:

    Ive just realised why America has such a problem accepting atheists…I assume that when Russia was the enemy to fear the national psyche was all about hating and distrusting the communists…who happened to be atheist….USA still equates atheism with communism….hahahah thats it …thats it…
    That really explains a lot of otherwise unnatural opposition to atheism…..unlike Communists Cold War Russians who were against USA but it was mutual……Not all atheists have communist views……..Most atheists are against all religion and hope that people be treated as equal humans regardless of any differences…..we dont need religious bosses…..to say the very least



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  • 46
    Light Wave says:

    Alan ive just joined this discussion but you and your high horse are welcome to critique my last point….the comment should be at the end of the thread but it jumped up here…..



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  • Light Wave Mar 15, 2015 at 8:36 am

    That really explains a lot of otherwise unnatural opposition to atheism…..unlike Communists Cold War Russians who were against USA but it was mutual……Not all atheists have communist views……..Most atheists are against all religion and hope that people be treated as equal humans regardless of any differences…..we dont need religious bosses…..to say the very least

    True – and we don’t need communist bosses or McCarthyist bosses!

    My perceptions of the USSR communist regime are perhaps a little different from those “informed” by the US media and Hollywood. – Having visited the USSR with a group of British scientists in the 1970s, been shown features that regime showed off with pride, and been followed around Moscow by the KGB, when looking at other things they were not showing off.



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  • Doug, “Are ghosts and fairies part of this discussion and if so, relevance please?”

    the default (bible)god you privilege (and have begun to doubt) is just as knowable as are ghosts and fairies.

    “In essence, each is on the opposite side of a two sided coin and each
    vehemently eschews the beliefs of the other, all of which are
    concerned with the unknowable.”

    Does your imagined doctrine vehemently eschew belief in ghosts and fairies, or only Yahweh? Why?

    “tying them to a belief in the non-existence of a God”

    You have it back to front Doug, as Alan so patiently and clearly explained to you already.

    After our previous arguments over your imagined values for atheism and your redefinition of obstetric terms I remain convinced atheism isn’t suitable for militant biblical agnostics.



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    The simplest way round the issue would be for at least one of the Dougs to either add an avatar or, better still, to go to their profile and edit their display name to something clearer.

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  • OK, I am moved to make a further response Alan4discussion, simply to say that I feel entirely able to debate the issues raised and have no doubt that you well understand my opinions and arguments respective thereto. Clearly we disagree on many of the issues, which is certainly not a problem for me and I hope not for you, as well. A simple agreement to disagree is a reasonable outcome, I think and leaves the opportunity to re-engage at some future time if moved to do so. In discussion and argument such as in which we have been engaged, I think it important for both sides to remain charitable, respectful and non-condescending. Furthermore, I detect a tendency for you to slip into sophistry at times, at which I am impressed by your considerable skill. But, it is a complete turnoff for me and leaves me resentful regarding time wasted to little or no avail.



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  • Doug Mar 15, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Clearly we disagree on many of the issues, which is certainly not a problem for me and I hope not for you, as well. A simple agreement to disagree is a reasonable outcome,

    No problem with that.

    I think and leaves the opportunity to re-engage at some future time if moved to do so. In discussion and argument such as in which we have been engaged, I think it important for both sides to remain charitable, respectful and non-condescending.

    In a scientific debate using evidence and reasoning, arguments can be flawed in logic, and shown to be false by evidence. Not all opinions are equal, Evidence backed expert opinions trump personal speculative views.

    Furthermore, I detect a tendency for you to slip into sophistry at times, at which I am impressed by your considerable skill.

    Not really sophistry! I usually link available evidence from reputable sources to support claims I make, and do try to be strictly rational.

    But, it is a complete turnoff for me and leaves me resentful regarding time wasted to little or no avail.

    Those “flogging a dead horse”, on a science site, are likely to be proved wrong. Scientists accept this, and learn from their mistakes, becoming better informed in the process. Dogmatists usually don’t update their views in the light of new evidence!

    Where I have pointed out and linked fallacies in your arguments, (These are not “just my personal opinions”, as you suggested in an earlier post), I would hope you look at the referenced links and clarify your views.
    On a site for reason and science, many other people will recognise well known logical fallacies – especially after they have been pointed out in the course of a discussion.

    Many things are known by science specialists, where others are uncertain or totally unaware (or “agnostic”).



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  • Doug Mar 13, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Amazing! Instead of getting into theism and atheism , perhaps I should have referred to the concept of God as an entity and then gone on to suggest that if such a concept did not exist, there would be no concept of no God, because it would make no sense.
    The point is, that attempts to have sensible arguments about the existence or non-existence of a God are pointless. The answer is unknowable, based on current knowledge, and likely to remain so.

    I think another example would clarify the logical flaws in that!

    Doug Mar 13, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Amazing! Instead of getting into little Irish folk people, and a-leprchaunism, perhaps I should have referred to the concept of a leprechaun as an entity and then gone on to suggest that if such a concept did not exist, there would be no concept of no leprchauns, because it would make no sense.
    The point is, that attempts to have sensible arguments about the existence or non-existence of a leprechaun are pointless. The answer is unknowable, based on current knowledge, and likely to remain so.

    Unless a clear definition and evidence are produced, they can simply be dismissed.

    There are however deluded people who do have concepts of leprechauns and believe in them! Mythological concepts do exist, but sensible debates can quickly identify them as purely myths and dismiss fantasy claims.



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