Questions tagged [atheism]

Atheism is (in a broad sense) a skeptic attitude towards the belief in deities. In a narrower sense, atheism rejects the existence of deities at all.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
37
votes
19answers
15k views

Why do atheist euthanasia proponents consider nothingness preferable to suffering? [closed]

I have heard some atheists support euthanasia, on the grounds that death is preferable to agony. But I don't understand this; if there is no afterlife, death isn't a relief. It's true nothingness, the ...
36
votes
23answers
13k views

Asserting that Atheism and Theism are both faith based positions

I am recently testing an assertion that I have concluded namely that atheism is a faith based position just like theism is a faith based position. The reason I arrived at this conclusion is that ...
33
votes
22answers
5k views

In what sense is atheism scientific?

I have been reading a bit of Dawkins and the like and they all seem to hold a very strong viewpoint on atheism and its associated ideology. I have not found a direct citation for this but he ...
32
votes
19answers
16k views

Is atheism just another form of dogma?

I was raised Catholic, and part of my motivation for leaving Catholicism was my dislike of any kind of enforced structure. However, to my surprise, it seems like Atheism is also dogmatic. Is this ...
27
votes
12answers
5k views

What arguments would support a secular pro-life position?

I've been thinking about the pro-life position (by "pro-life" I mean the position that abortion should be illegal. I.e. on par with murder) for awhile, and it is normally presented as a religious ...
26
votes
4answers
4k views

In what way(s) does popular New Atheism fail to be philosophical?

I've seen some derision against the popular New Atheism movement, in particular against Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris (particularly interesting since he makes a big deal that ...
23
votes
8answers
3k views

Is atheism a requirement for a consistent existentialist philosophy?

Søren Kierkegaard is generally considered to be the "father of existentialism". This always bothered me, since to me Sartre and Camus are the defining figures of the movement, and it seems that there ...
22
votes
15answers
4k views

Is there any rigorous philosophical basis for atheism?

Definition/Update In what follows I use the term God to refer to an entity that has at least one of the following properties: Has created the universe Is omnipotent Is omniscient Approaches to ...
22
votes
17answers
7k views

The “point” to an Atheists existence [closed]

I've recently become Atheist (I am 45). I've slowly transitioned from my childhood's strong Christian upbringing; through Agnostic; to the point where my rational brain has now extrapolated the ...
17
votes
5answers
7k views

Are we all ‘atheist’ or 'agnostic in a pandemic'? [closed]

Saudi Arabia is a deeply religious country. Most of the people in the Persian Gulf nation pray five times a day, 35 times a week, 140 times a month and 1,680 times a year. But they banned pilgrimages (...
15
votes
14answers
2k views

On Atheists who are sympathetic to religion?

Most Atheists I have encountered fall into 2 categories: New Atheists: People who don't believe in God and see religion as an evil to be eradicated given the harm it has caused humanity (i.e. ...
14
votes
14answers
2k views

How to prove you are an atheist?

I've been reading a conversation between two individuals - A claiming to be atheist and B asking him to prove it, since B does not believe that A is saying the truth and can't be sure if A is really ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

How does Schopenhauer maintain idealism without God?

In Berkeley's idealism God holds the world together, enabling us to avoid chaos and experience a shared, orderly reality. But Schopenhauer is an idealist and an atheist. How can we then explain the ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

What confirms the claim that Friedrich Nietzsche was an atheist from a christian perspective?

In reading some of Nietzsche's works, his disappointment with humanity and God is evident to me. But so far I haven't seen any text by him where he explicitly endorses atheism. At the same time, many ...
8
votes
9answers
2k views

Is it reasonable to arrive at a conclusion based on lack of evidence to the contrary?

I was having a discussion last night about my atheism, and it was suggested to me that agnostism is the only reasonable conclusion, as it leaves the door open for new information. This made me think, ...
8
votes
10answers
1k views

Why should atheists bother debating theists?

I am currently digging into atheism/agnosticism (I will use atheism for terms of simplicity). Before, I was not religious, I really did not give the subject much thought. I am reading Richard Dawkins ...
8
votes
13answers
1k views

Does being a moral atheist require being a vegetarian?

A semi-serious question: (a) Excluding the rare cases of atheists who are also dualists, most atheists are materialists who don't believe in souls. (b) Many such atheists are also moral/ethical ...
8
votes
4answers
6k views

St. Thomas Aquinas' Contingency Proof for the Existence of God

Frank Sheed is considered one of the best Thomistic theologians of the twentieth century. He is known for presenting St. Thomas' 5 proofs in a very clear way. If we consider the universe, we find ...
8
votes
2answers
630 views

Who are some contemporary philosophers outside of the “new atheism” authors who have responded to Plantinga's works?

I'm looking for contemporary philosophers other than those typically labeled as part of the New Atheism movement (i.e., Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Victor J. ...
8
votes
5answers
624 views

What are some moral principles that a secularist can base a moral system on?

What are some moral principles that a secularist can base a moral system on? Additionally, is there a coherent reason to adopt these principles? For example, anyone regardless of religion, ...
7
votes
1answer
417 views

Are there any scholarly critiques of Edward Feser's work?

Have there been any critiques of Feser in academia, particularly philosophy of religion? I'd also like to see if there have been critiques of Aristotelian-Thomism which is what Feser's framework is ...
6
votes
6answers
779 views

How does this New Atheist argument add up?

This is an argument I've heard from many New Atheists, including Dawkins and Hitchens. The conversation typically goes like this. NA stands for New Atheist, P is some other person. P: What's your ...
6
votes
3answers
895 views

Understanding Bertrand Russell on agnosticism and atheism as self-descriptions

I came across this very interesting quote, but it is giving me some confusion. Since Russel was a philosopher I thought it was best to come to the Philosophy stack exchange. And this is by no means a ...
6
votes
2answers
368 views

Why do some non-religious people reject artificial consciousness?

I use "artificial consciousness" as a broad term to describe the possibility that a computer may have the same experience of reality and of itself that we have. I guess that a religious view, more ...
5
votes
2answers
422 views

How do non-theists explain the reliability of our cognitive faculties given Plantinga’s EAAN?

Plantinga argued in his Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN) that given naturalistic evolution we cannot expect our cognitive faculties to be reliable. This contradicts our experience that ...
5
votes
4answers
890 views

Why is it more important in modern times to 'practise what you preach'?

I've started reading Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and something he wrote about the philosophers and religion made me think: In their writings and conversation, the philosophers ...
5
votes
2answers
337 views

Has the question of after-life been discussed in philosophy? [closed]

There are a lot of debates and arguments about religions without mentioning the possibility of the 'survival of one's mind and personality'. Wouldn't it be great if there were more debates about ...
5
votes
3answers
231 views

Can Thomas Nagel be considered a pantheist?

I have recently come across Thomas Nagel's book "Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False", which I've only skimmed. I've also just finished ...
4
votes
10answers
3k views

Isn't the knowledge of the non-existence of “God”, objective? [closed]

The term Objectivity can be defined as: of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of thought and perceptible by all observers : ...
4
votes
8answers
3k views

Where in the evolutionary chain did morality start to evolve?

One could argue that there is a common moral standard in dominant cultures, and most atheists conclude that morality is a social need gradually evolved in organisms. But at which stage of the ...
4
votes
10answers
3k views

Is atheism or agnosticism more rational?

While there is still widespread disagreement regarding the existing definition of atheism, it is normally considered as the "Rejection of belief in the existence of deities". One accepted definition ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did Voltaire think that deism would support an ethical social order better than atheism?

Voltaire advocated deism and vehemently opposed atheism. As far as I know, one of the most important reasons he gave was pragmatic, that the uneducated lower class must be kept believing in god, ...
4
votes
4answers
747 views

Argument for Classical Theism

I am an atheist. I would be interested in seeing what a metaphysical argument for theism would look like. I would also like a counter argument as well, so I can understand both the strengths and ...
4
votes
9answers
808 views

How compatible is atheism with agnosticism?

My question is about the presence of God in people`s lives. If we reject the form of God as a supernatural being with forces of punishing people, or providing them with afterlife rewards, are we ...
4
votes
5answers
482 views

How widely accepted is the “presumption of atheism” among philosophers?

The presumption of atheism is the idea that in debates between theists and atheists, the burden of proof is on the theist to prove that God exists. This principle appears to be taken for granted in ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How does Nietzsche disprove the existence of God?

Nietzche said: But let me reveal my heart entirely unto you, my friends: if there were gods, how could I endure it not to be a god! Hence there are no Gods. Though I drew this conclusion, now it ...
4
votes
2answers
515 views

Is Western atheism a kind of Protestant religion?

Alvin Plantinga, while setting up his evolutionary argument against naturalism in Where the Conflict Really Lies, writes (page 311): Now it is not clear that naturalism, as it stands, is a religion;...
4
votes
7answers
465 views

Is atheism about the existence of Deities or a personal perception of Sacredness?

Wikipedia on atheism: Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Now what about deities? A deity is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. ...
4
votes
7answers
311 views

Is there any difference of terminology between a person who would never worship God and one who will upon proof?

What I mean is that I've seen atheists being asked what would it take for them to worship God. Ultimately their answers amount to, "nothing will make me worship God - even if God exists - because I ...
4
votes
2answers
246 views

Who were the late renaissance/early enlightenment atheists?

Descartes (1596 – 1650) gave arguments against atheism, as did Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662). Yet the first prominent atheist I can think of is David Hume (1711 - 1776), and even he wasn't explicit. ...
4
votes
2answers
714 views

What are atheism and agnosticism? [closed]

(Apologies for the crazy length question) Whenever the thorny issue of theism vs. atheism comes up -- especially on the internet -- a further issue always seems to arise concerning what these ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

Is being omnipresent of each person of the Trinity contradictory? [closed]

Each person of the Trinity has all of God's attributes. Being omnipresent (not being bounded by any location, to be present everywhere) is one of God's attributes. So, each person of the Trinity has ...
3
votes
3answers
448 views

Why do people turn to atheism when they try to escape dogmas?

Sometimes people who were grown in some religious environment feel like they do not like that religion. Usually they do not like dogmas which tells them what is allowed and what's not. Since the ...
3
votes
3answers
589 views

Questions on the strange philosophical positions of Richard Dawkins

If the alternative that's being offered to what physicists now talk about - a big bang, a spontaneous singularity which gave rise to the origin of the universe - if the alternative to that is a ...
3
votes
4answers
555 views

“Saving” Nietzsche?

Nietzsche claims we must say "yes" to life, and be healthy and strong that way. But he also makes scathing remarks both in Zarathustra and in his late notebooks, about the Biblical maxim "thou shalt ...
3
votes
3answers
363 views

The philosophical relationship of morality, rationalism, atheism and physicalism

I am an atheist and I hold a physicalist view of the world, that the world is made but of one kind of stuff (call it "physical", if you want) and the universe is composed only of one kind of ...
3
votes
4answers
333 views

Naturalism under a neo atheist definition

The Free Dictionary defines Naturalism (in regards to philosophy) as... "A scientific account of the world in terms of causes and natural forces that rejects all spiritual, supernatural, or ...
3
votes
1answer
300 views

What did Hume and Russell have to say about atheists and morality?

I have heard Christian apologists argue that, since atheists view humans the same as other animals, they can therefore have no more of a moral compass than do animals. E.g., Greg Bahnsen argues this ...
3
votes
1answer
341 views

Pandeism vs. Atheism vs. Darwinism: Do they achieve the same result?

Is there any conceptual difference between "Pandeism" and "Atheism" and "Darwinism"? It seems they achieve the same result about the universe's creation. I mean Pandeists achieve the same result ...
3
votes
6answers
997 views

How can a non-Materialist Atheist explain the Universe's creation without God(s)?

If we define Atheism and Materialism as follows: "Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods." [1] "Materialism: the theory or belief that nothing exists except ...