Is atheism a belief system?

The sheer stupidity of this claim needs another airing. He is inferring that if we can’t define X, then we can’t withhold belief X exists, ipso facto we would have to believe X exists, even though we can’t define it.

I asked him to define every single deity he did not believe was real, even the concepts of deity that are as yet undefined of course, the same thing he was asking atheists to do, unsurprisingly he refused to even acknowledge the question. We shouldn’t be surprised as he is using an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy here, as he did relentlessly throughout his rhetoric. Insisting belief in X is justified unless one can provide contrary evidence by defining X, his argument is both irrational and dishonest.


A couple of thoughts:

This seems to be a way to shift the burden of proof. We all know what “X” is if it is in the dictionary. If it is not something in the dictionary, then the “no belief” needs to be specifically called out by "what is “X” or “I don’t think your meaning of “X” is according to the dictionary”.

But on a slightly different subject, the idea that atheism has a belief system can be countered by the fact that theism doesn’t have a belief system. There are many belief systems that count as theistic, and the only thing they have in common is a belief in a deity. The only thing common in atheism is a lack of belief - which is different than a belief that deities don’t exist.

Theism by definition is a belief, that also entails a belief system. Atheism is simply the absence or lack of theism, like asymptomatic or amoral or asexual. The word defines the absence of something, the absence of theistic belief.

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It would not matter. What matters is, “This is what I am calling X.” Yep, it may not match the dictionary. Well, that is probably men’s you will need to do some explaining. It’s also not Zeus, Thore, or Dionisis, who would all be described differently. Dionisis for example is the guy Jesus stole the ‘water into wine’ trick from. Can Spiderman steal from Superman? It makes an interesting book. I say, “Go with it.”

I’d like to explore this a bit.

Doesn’t a belief system imply more than one belief? I bring this up because most theists that make the claim that atheism is a belief system seem to think that atheists reject their entire belief system, point by point, when, in fact, atheists are rejecting the theism and the rest of the theist’s belief system fails because of it. If they could understand that theism has but a single tenet, then maybe they could understand why atheism isn’t a system and it only has one belief (or more exactly, lack of belief.)

Yes, and I should have qualified that maybe, as theisms generally involve a collection of beliefs. I’m certainly not aware of theistic belief that isn’t also a belief system. Though if anyone knows of one that would be helpful.

Ok, so atheism is literally the lack or absence of belief in any deity. What atheists may or may not reject beyond that is a personal choice, and can vary.

As I said I am not sure theism is only a single tenet, but generally involves doctrinal teachings and religious dogma. Atheism does not, though an atheist might of course.

In my opinion, when theists begin rejecting atheism, they don’t know what they are talking about.

They begin with, 'You’re a materialist." “That’s materialism, not atheism.”
“What about Mao, Stalin, Marx,?” “Those are political ideologies or history, not atheism.”
“How can atheists be moral?” “That is an argument about being a human being, and not about atheism.”
“Well, how do you think we got here?” “That’s an argument about cosmology, not atheism.”
“You just want to sin.” “This leads to a discussion about what sin is and not about atheism.”
“Atheists think they are so smart.” “Now they are arguing skepticism and logic.”
“Well, I didn’t come from no monkey.” “Now they are arguing biology.”

Have you ever seen a theist, “Honestly” discuss atheism? Most who enter this site, have absolutely no clue what the word means. The problem is that they have a system of belief. All the people in their worldview have systems of belief. All these systems of belief are competing with each other and each is the one true way to think and believe. They live in a world of beliefs and can not even imagine, setting the belief down and walking away from it. They can not grasp the idea of just ‘not believing.’ As simple of an idea as that is, the religions of the world want to insist that atheists must believe in something. Atheism is not a belief system. It is a reaction to religious claims. It looks at the claims of theism in all its forms and concludes, "the evidence that would warrant belief is just not there.’ That’s it. There is no more. That is atheism. Atheists set their religious beliefs down and walk away from them. Anything else an atheist believes is ‘that thing’ and not atheism.


There is no tenet in atheism. There is listening to assertions made by Theists. Sifting through their assertions and carefully. Looking for the soundness and validity of their claims, and not finding it. It is the realization that theist claims can not stand against simple inquiry and examination. Religions profess to answer the big questions of life, but of all the religions on the planet, each answer is different while the justifications remain the same. “Believe and have faith.” There is no position and no belief that I can not hold based on faith. Faith is not a reason for belief. The majority of atheists, if they believe anything at all, probably believe this. “Faith” just isn’t enough."


Looking back the endless dishonesty of his contradictions really needed a lot more derision.


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This post has been saved. In my view, a powerfully succinct encapsulation of mythology fanboy failure.

Even a blind turnip finds a pig once in a while.

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I just knew someone would try lumping Saint Nick (AKA Santa) with the other unfalsifiable imaginary characters. All he is guilty of is bringing joy to all the good boys and girls in countries he is allowed to visit. And he has been known to kiss the odd mom who ventures downstairs after midnight.
Oh and by the way I’ve read almost this entire thread and have yet to see any of @Sheldon’s, @CyberLN, @Tin-Man, @Cognostic, @Old_man_shouts_at_cl or anyone else’s questions answered even though they all have answered Sherlock’s OP.