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90

We must draw a distinction between atheism and agnosticism. Atheism is not believing in the existence of a God (or Gods), regardless of whether conclusive evidence is available, while agnosticism is the view that conclusive evidence for whether a God or Gods exists cannot exist1. There can be an agnostic atheist, a gnostic atheist, an agnostic theist, or a ...


87

Nomenclature You don't explain why you get the impression that atheism is dogmatic, but it appears that you mix terms which are not interchangeable. If you leave catholicism because of your dislike of any kind of enforced structure, it means you're antireligious and probably anticlericalist. You didn't say anything about your faith, or lack thereof. It's ...


68

No, atheism is not a faith based position. This has been debunked time and time again and there are numerous resources on the internet that cover this error in logic. If theism claims the existance of a god, an atheist is one who is not convinced of that claim and rejects it. An atheist has no responsibility to disprove the claim that god does exist because ...


49

"Atheism" is a lack of belief in deities. As such, it can come about in two ways. You can decide that you aren't convinced that any theory of the world which requires a deity is correct. You can become convinced that there cannot exist any correct theory of the world which requires a deity. It is perfectly possible to adopt position #1 as a scientist, in ...


34

The only requirement of meeting the definition of "atheist" is that you do not have belief in any god(s). Computers, rocks, and newborn babies are all, by definition, atheists; because they do not believe in any god(s), notwithstanding that they do not understand what is meant by "god", nor that they have never even thought about the question, nor that they ...


27

Off the top of my head, I think it's better to look at the criteria you've proffered for identifying "God". Working backwards, Omniscience. It's an untenable idea, especially since David Wolpert's proof against Laplace's Demon. We can see this easily, as we can break down omniscience over the universe as these four possibilities: a. God is omniscient and ...


24

I think the simplest and most succinct answer to the OP's question ("Is there any rigorous philosophical basis for Atheism?") is yes, the scientific method is the basis upon which atheism—and in general, religious skepticism—rests. There is no "Atheist Treatise" or codified book that sets the standard for atheism; it is merely the rational acceptance of the ...


24

To make the argument valid, you'd need to say something like: Human life is intrinsically valuable. A human life begins at conception. To destroy anything intrinsically valuable is always wrong. Since abortion is the destruction of something that counts as "a human life" by (2), then by 1 and 3 it will follow that it is wrong. Secular arguments against ...


24

Alvin Plantinga, a Christian philosopher, presents a similar question regarding an extreme form of atheism that he calls "naturalism". Rather than asking whether the atheism of naturalism is faith-based, he asks whether naturalism might be a "religion" (page 311): Now it is not clear that naturalism, as it stands, is a religion; there is enough vagueness ...


23

At its core, atheism is not an active position, it is merely a passive position. Two atheists can have nothing in common other than that they do not believe in a god. There cannot be a dogma as there are no teachings or philosophy where things like religions are built around. However, some people tend to take things a bit further and actually establish a ...


22

This isn't really a philosophy question, but there is no atheism stackexchange and so it seems philosophy is the next best bet (we do address the philosophy of religion/religiosity and the lack thereof, but a question phrased like this is more of a psychology and/or cultural question). However, psychology wouldn't take this question and since I can't think ...


22

Both positions, the theist and the atheist made a claim: The theist claimed the existence of god, the atheist claimed the non-existence of god. History shows: Neither of them could prove his claim. Having learned the lesson, today’s atheists make a weaker claim: The traditional god-concept - god being omnipotent, omniscient, all-good - is inconsistent. The ...


21

Atheist conceptions of the idea of God often rest on a straw man fallacy that portrays a theistic view of God as Russell's teapot or as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Both of these conceptions view God as an object which is easy to argue against. These analogies of God as an object floating about in a gravitational field are weak, hence logical fallacies. ...


20

Defining Atheism "Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. The etymological root for the word atheism originated before the 5th century BCE from the ...


18

Non-contradiction is significant, but non-contradiction can only apply to that which can actually be known. To be known, as opposed to simply being a concept which is a floating abstract, something must have some grounding in reality. It must exist and it must be provable to exist or at least shown that the basis for belief in the existence has basis in ...


18

Whether atheism can be reached by scientific reasoning depends on whether scientific reasoning is the only way to form justified true belief. Can I only say that I know something if it can be scientifically demonstrated? More weakly, can I only know that a deity exists if that deity can be demonstrated scientifically? I cannot see an analytic argument which ...


18

First of all, I'm removing the references to evolution as this has been removed from the OP. The rest of this answer should directly address the relationship between the evolution of the brain, social development and the emergence of morals... Morals don't evolve (biologically at least); they are more of an emergent property of social development. If humans ...


17

Perhaps a better question to ask is the inverse: whether traditional religion is compatible with existential philosophy; Kierkegaard's existential beliefs certainly affected his view of the role of religion, to the point that his theology was extremely controversial among his contemporaries. Existentialism doesn't necessarily require the outright rejection ...


17

Dawkins and Hitchens aren't particularly philosophically sophisticated. Dawkins often attacks straw man versions of theistic arguments. (Search on this site for some discussion why his understanding of Aquinas's arguments for the existence of God miss the mark.) Further, they utterly fail to take into account criticism of their own epistemology. One crucial ...


17

Whether or not God exists is an objective question with an objective answer, however the argument beginning Is it true that "X" exists in reality only when we are aware of having experienced it, or are aware of our potential of experiencing it is starting with a baseless assumption. It's kind of like assuming the strongest form of the anthropic principle....


16

Is it that New Atheism isn't philosophy? Yes -- it is not a philosophy; wikipedia describes it as "a social and political movement" first associated with Sam Harris, an American writer who holds a B.A. in philosophy and a Ph.D in neuroscience but does not practice either professionally in the sense of having academic tenure. Harris's works appear to be ...


15

The dichotomy you state between agnosticism and atheism is false. This is perhaps one of the most misunderstood terms of the 21st century. You can be an agnostic atheist and an agnostic theist. In general, the split between agnostic vs. gnostic theists is more in the middle (closer to 50/50), whereas most atheists are agnostic atheists (there's just no way ...


15

The atheist position(s) The most reasonable atheist position is the following position. They might say "People say that some supernatural being exists, and they call this 'God.' Until they provide sufficient evidence for this claim, I choose not to accept the claim." This position is often called weak atheism (contrasted with strong atheism), negative ...


13

I've been an atheist for as long as I can remember (I never quite believed anyone could rise from the dead, walk on water and stuff without documented, repeatable proof) and I've never struggled with this question, for the simple fact that life is awesome. I love many things: Photography, gadgets, my wife, my cat, my family, helping people. I get much ...


13

No, atheism is not just another form of dogma. Atheism is defined as a certain answer to a particular question. Namely the answer: No, there is no god. The term „atheism“ does not refer to the manner how one expresses this answer. While dogmatism is a certain manner how to express one‘s own answer to a given question. Expressing a position in a dogmatic ...


13

More complex answer: It depends on the meaning of the word "atheism" I know two very different definitions of the word - both used by people calling themselves "atheists": "Atheism" means that someone does not explicitly believe in god. A person who has never heard that a god may exist therefore must be an atheist because it is not possible to believe ...


11

I think Shane captures the basic structure of the standard secular arguments, but there are a few more that can be offered -- some of which run contrary to the usual political divisions at least in the American sphere. Regarding your initial formulation, there are a few gaps that I don't really get: Human existence is inherently good. A human exists at ...


11

The quotation is incomplete and Russell's thought is cut off right in the middle. The full quote by Russell continues thus: "… None of us would seriously consider the possibility that all the gods of Homer really exist, and yet if you were to set to work to give a logical demonstration that Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, and the rest of them did not exist you ...


11

Lot: What an amazing day this is! How lucky I am! How jubilant! Baye: What has your spirits up so high today? Lot: You would never have guessed! I'm going to win the lottery! I just know it! Baye: (sighing) You know that's unlikely. What makes your ticket special? Lot: Oh, I don't have a ticket. (Baye headdesks) Baye: Ouch. You're not going to win the ...


11

Is it true that "X" exists in reality only when we are aware of having experienced it, or are aware of our potential of experiencing it through our five sense organs, namely - eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin? I do not accept that proposition, or at least I do not accept that the definition of "reality" it implies is equivalent to common-use definitions ...


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