• Marcus de Brun
    434
    I have used this statement in another thread as a reply to a theist on the subject of morality. However I think it is deserving of some analysis. So lets begin as such:

    Q: What is a theism?

    A: A personal theology.

    Q: What is theology?

    A:The study of the nature of God and religious belief. (google-dictionary)

    Q What is religion or religious belief?

    A: A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion. (google dictionary)

    Q: Do atheists have beliefs about the self and the universe which they follow with great devotion?

    A: Yes all atheists must have such beliefs and follow those beliefs with great devotion.

    Q: Do Atheists have religious beliefs?

    A: Yes if they are to continue to live, they must have beliefs, and those beliefs must be followed 'with great and particular devotion'.

    Q What becomes of an atheist who does not follow the beliefs essential to his/her/it's continued existence?

    A: The atheist becomes a dead atheist!


    Ergo: The only real Atheist is a DEAD atheist.

    M
  • Baden
    6.6k


    So everyone who existed before the advent of religion was... dead. Bit of a miracle there are any of us here at all, isn't it? Anyway, it's not so much of an analysis as an attempt at word play taking advantage of the inherent vagueness of dictionary definitions. We could probably prove God is a Panda using similar methods.
  • Marcus de Brun
    434


    So everyone who existed before the advent of religion was... dead.Baden

    What kind of an odd-ball statement is that. Religion did not 'advent' at a given point in human history, it is essential to human history.

    Neanderthal man buried his dead as a 'ritual'. He had a theism.

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131216-la-chapelle-neanderthal-burials-graves/

    (Try to engage with the thread rather than your personal dislike of the poster... its more philosophically fun that way! :) )

    M
  • Michael
    7.2k
    Neanderthal man buried his dead as a 'ritual'. He had a theism.Marcus de Brun

    Burying your dead isn't an indicator that you believe in one or more deities.
  • Baden
    6.6k


    I don't have anything against you that I know of or remember or care about and if you take offence at such mild criticism then you're being over-sensitive imho. Anyway, no, humans did not always have religion. The fact that ritual is very old and embedded in human history doesn't refute that simple fact. The earliest evidence of religion comes after the earliest evidence of humans, so there's no evidential basis for your claim. Besides, your contention that because atheists have beliefs they must have 'religious' beliefs is obviously false because it results in a classing of all belief as religious. It would be a much more justifiable and interesting angle to take to argue that many atheists' beliefs are influenced by religion. But again, as things stand, no better than claiming God is a Panda.
  • Marcus de Brun
    434
    Burying your dead isn't an indicator that you believe in one or more deities.Michael

    So up until the magical " advent" of religion (dates yet to be provided): the burial ritual should be considered as an irreligious exercise; one of empty futility? Decorating manure, or some primitive scatological practicality?

    For real?

    M
  • Michael
    7.2k
    So up until the magical " advent" of religion (dates yet to be provided): the burial ritual should be considered as an irreligious exercise; one of empty futility? Decorating manure, or some primitive scatological practicality?Marcus de Brun

    What a bizarre non sequitur.
  • Marcus de Brun
    434


    "What a bizarre non sequitur. "

    If the ritualistic burial of the dead, dressing the dead and furnishing them with jewels or material objects, is not a clear indication of a 'religious' or extra-corporeal belief system, then what does the ritual indicate?


    It follows logically that the decoration of corpses (who have no religious or extracorporeal value or nature) is: nothing more than the practical decoration of manure; which is precisely what a corpse IS outside of some (religious) belief system.

    M
  • Michael
    7.2k
    If the ritualistic burial of dead, dressing the dead and furnishing them with jewels or material objects, is not a clear indication of a 'religious' or extra-corporeal belief system, then what does the ritual indicate?Marcus de Brun

    Respect for the dead.
  • Michael
    7.2k
    Elephants bury their dead, too. I wonder what kind of god(s) they believe in? My money's on Ganesha. :roll:
  • Marcus de Brun
    434
    Respect for the dead.Michael

    Is that the same kind of "respect" that rappers often refer to?

    M
  • Michael
    7.2k
    What are you talking about?
  • Baden
    6.6k


    By the way this is the actual primary Google definition of religion:

    "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods."

    Which atheists don't have. And there's no way to reasonably gerrymander that into claiming they do. But maybe you can approach whatever point you want to make from a more plausible angle. I'm struggling to understand what you want to get across here re atheism.
  • Marcus de Brun
    434


    Perhaps your google is different to mine here is the entire definition:

    religion
    rɪˈlɪdʒ(ə)n/
    noun
    noun: religion

    the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
    "ideas about the relationship between science and religion"
    synonyms: faith, belief, divinity, worship, creed, teaching, doctrine, theology; More
    sect, cult, religious group, faith community, church, denomination, body, following, persuasion, affiliation
    "the right to freedom of religion"
    a particular system of faith and worship.
    plural noun: religions
    "the world's great religions"
    a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.
    "consumerism is the new religion"


    Why the semantics?

    M
  • Michael
    7.2k
    a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.
    "consumerism is the new religion"
    Marcus de Brun

    When an atheist claims to be an atheist he isn't claiming not to have a pursuit or interest which he follows with great devotion; he is claiming not to believe in the existence of one or more deities.

    Your "argument" conflates definitions (with the one you're using more of a metaphor).
  • Baden
    6.6k


    Yes, but cherry picking one shade of meaning and ignoring the rest in order to make your comparison is a word game that we all can engage in to draw false equivalences between distinct terms. That aside, what I'm more interested in is what you want to get at re atheism. It seems to me you're overstating your case, but there may be something there worth discussing regardless. Rappers and Pandas aside.
  • Marcus de Brun
    434
    "cherry picking"

    :(

    Perhaps there is an element of the game of words in the distinction between theist and atheist. The point that is being attempted at is an engagement with the word game that is too often played at the expense of the a-theist.

    That, he/she is somehow lacking in something or devoid of something when this is not the case. Atheists do not generally consider corpses as manure, and as such have a 'respect' for the dead and this "respect" is dependent upon a belief in some immaterial or extracorporeal quality within or associated with the material corpse itself. 'Respect' is dependent upon an established belief system it has an entirely moral basis, that is no different to the moral basis afforded by a scribbled theology.

    The failure of modern philosophy has been its failure in the construction or formulation effective theistic reality that is the theism of all men; the functional basis of the atheist's intellectual, moral and philosophical life. This theism predates established religions and predates most religious formal God-constructs.

    A-theists are often considered to have moral code that is distinct from the theist who has a substantive (usually cherry picked) theology to 'substantiate' his morality. Yet it is impossible for humans to exist upon absolute atheistic terms.

    The athiest (more often than not) has a Philosophy, whilst the Theist has a religion or a belief in God, and then a subservient and (generally obsequious) Philosophy. The a-theist however is considered to be party to the (A) absence of a theism; when the contrary is in fact true; in that the Theist is the one with a contained and contracted view of the Universe, as a deduced product of his ridiculous God-thing.

    Any notional concept of 'God' is borne out of or arises out of Philosophy; the inverse is NOT equally true. The theist's 'God' is the ne-plus ultra for the Theists Philosophy. The atheist does not suffer from an absence of a 'God' or 'Gods', but affords it/them, the greater possibility of 'a' Philosophy, which is unfortunately contaminated and contained within the 'God' thing.

    As such the correct term for the Theist should perhaps be: the A-philosophical.

    M
  • Marcus de Brun
    434



    Mod question

    Has this thread been closed or shifted as it is gone from, or not present under the heading All Discussions?

    M
  • Baden
    6.6k


    It's open. But there wasn't enough philosophy in it to justify staying in General Phil, so I moved it to the lounge. Maybe philosophy of religion is a better place for it though. So, moved again.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.3k
    Q: Do atheists have beliefs about the self and the universe which they follow with great devotion?

    A: Yes all atheists must have such beliefs and follow those beliefs with great devotion.

    Q: Do Atheists have religious beliefs?

    A: Yes if they are to continue to live, they must have beliefs, and those beliefs must be followed 'with great and particular devotion'.

    Q What becomes of an atheist who does not follow the beliefs essential to his/her/it's continued existence?

    A: The atheist becomes a dead atheist!
    Marcus de Brun

    I don't have a problem with your assumption that atheists must have religious beliefs, provided religion is sufficiently broadly defined, like "where do I stand in the cosmos?" kind of thing. One can wonder where one stands without assuming that there is a deity also standing around.

    "The only real Atheist is a DEAD atheist"

    Everybody ends up dead, eventually. It's one of God's great mercies that eventually we get out of here.

    We don't have a lot of evidence that Neanderthals buried their dead with rituals. I hope they did, and if they did, I hope they got some comfort out of it. But there is only a few finds (after all these thousands of years) that could indicate ritual burial.

    There are a few (1? 2?) skeletons that have been found that also show that very disabled children were cared for into adulthood. Neanderthals weren't baboons, so sure -- they deployed various cultural behaviors. Just like homo sapiens did/do.

    Have a nice day.
  • Marcus de Brun
    434


    The censorship, or particular attention to my "not enough philosophy"... contains a nice little validation and a 'little Philosophy'.


    M
  • Pattern-chaser
    375
    We could probably prove God is a Panda using similar methods.Baden

    ...then I think we should! Let's do it! :smile: :smile: :smile:
  • Baden
    6.6k


    According to my dictionary, a panda is something which is "increasingly rare". And judged by his prevalence in modern philosophical considerations, so is God, "increasingly rare". Coincidence, I think not. Ergo, God is a Panda.
  • Pattern-chaser
    375
    Your logic is irrefutable! I therefore joyfully accept your conclusion. :up:
  • Baden
    6.6k


    *Bows gracefully* Is there money to be made from this type of thing, do you think?? :nerd:

    (Anyhow, in the absence of knowing what all this is about, I'll leave Marcus to it... [Exit])
  • Baden
    6.6k


    Just saw this reply. As you didn't quote me properly, I missed it. Anyhow, that makes significantly more sense to me than the original.
  • StreetlightX
    2.9k
    lol dictionary philosophy
  • Marcus de Brun
    434


    If God=Panda. then Panda=God

    Most religions would agree that the Panda is indeed a manifest form of God.

    And indeed, from the perspective of the Panda (whatever that might be),

    If a Panda could paint a picture of his God...., it would very likely look like a Panda.


    M
  • Baden
    6.6k


    OK, look, I think the objections here arose from a confusing and unconvincingly argued OP. Your recent long post seems to be an effort at making a more recognizably philosophical point, and pursuing that might make for a more fruitful conversation.
  • Marcus de Brun
    434


    "When an atheist claims to be an atheist he isn't claiming not to have a pursuit or interest which he follows with great devotion; he is claiming not to believe in the existence of one or more deities."

    I suspect you are missing the point.

    The atheist has a 'godless' theism of sorts. One that is denied him through the impossible notion of atheism. Primitive man may well have had a godless theism of sorts.

    Current and historical theistic notions of God have arisen from the mind of man, have been expressed verbally and through art, and have evolved concomitant with the evolution of the human intellect.

    Theism therefore is the evolution of a process that represents the formal material and collective refinement of a primordial thought construct upon the immaterial.

    These notions of the immaterial begin as thought constructs, arising from experience. They are then formalized into reasoned expressions of the original thought-construct, and are then transmitted to others, via language and symbols, following which they are collectively agreed upon (within the relevant cultural or social grouping) and become the basis of an established belief system.

    What happens to the original (primordial) thought construct through this process evolution? We believe that it (the primordial thought-construct) has become more refined and more sound? But what if in fact it becomes more diluted and less refined as a consequence of the process 'evolution'? It is after all, thought upon the immaterial, and the immaterial may not be equally subject to refinement by progressive usage, on the contrary it might become more materially functional, and hence less immaterial, as the process continues its evolution.

    It is therefore arguable that neanderthal man may have had a less refined but more valid or pure theism than modern man's general theistic notions.

    During this process, the original thought construct is codified into a theology one that persists in time and is amenable to recording and a graphic historicity. This confirms the persistence of the original thought construct, but goes no distance to confirming its modern validity or continued purity. It may well have been entirely contaminated by the process.

    The primordial or original thought construct persists in all men, it may be a fundamental ingredient to mans reasoning in toto.

    God is merely a refinement of the original thought-construct and is non-essential to a Theism or belief system that is constructed upon a notion of the immaterial.

    In the beginning there was only a private theism, that has since been socially refined into its various (often repugnant) forms. Atheism therefore, is simply a label applied to those who do not adhere to the collectively refined formal construct of a 'universal theism' that no man can escape. It cannot be escaped because thought itself is immaterial, and thinking or recollecting is an entirely immaterial or metaphysical experience.

    To refer to one as an atheist, is simply to assert that he does not agree with a particular exogenous refinement of his own thought. There is no such thing as an atheist, as no man can deny the inescapable metaphysical experience of himself.

    The only real atheist is a dead atheist.

    M
  • Michael
    7.2k
    To refer to one as an atheist, is simply to assert that he does not agree with a particular exogenous refinement of his own thought. There is no such thing as an atheist, as no man can deny the inescapable metaphysical experience of himself.Marcus de Brun

    No, the atheist just claims not to believe in the existence of one or more deities.
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