Is atheism a belief system?

Are you claiming you have no beliefs? none at all? I put it to you that you do, you must have beliefs, presumed truths in order to reason about anything at all.

If you are claiming that adopting the position of atheist (“one who does not hold a belief in a deity”) is arrived at without any dependency on any beliefs then fine, say that and we can explore where that might lead.

If your mind is “absent a belief in God” then how do you differ from someone who “believes there is no God”? In each of these two scenarios there is an absence of belief in a deity in said minds.

Once again I did not tell anyone what atheist means, I have said there are several semantically different definitions which is true and easily verified.

I also referenced the very current Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. There are several materially distinct definitions this is fact so why deny a fact?

Moving on then to your questions - if I skip stuff it’s simply because you do make very long posts and my time if finite.

Your preferred definition “excludes” atheists who assert “There is no God” on what grounds do you claim they are not entitled to call themselves atheists as they have done for years? I’ve had some good debates with such atheists and some of them even agree with me on the glibly accepted Flewsian definition being without substance. You’re just presenting the famous “No true Scotsman” fallacy, nothing more.

Ha! there it is, unashamedly presented the famous “No true Scotsman” fallacy! A real atheist is one who shares your definition anyone else is a “clown” and who cares what a clown thinks!

Indeed so how do you differ from “I hold no belief in a deity” from “There is no deity” in each case there is an absence of a belief.

If I asked two such individuals “Do you hold a belief in God” they would each answer the same, with a “no”.

Note: I am fully aware Sherlock will totally ignore this. I am responding solely for the benefit of others who might be following this discussion.

WHAT EVIDENCE??? You have been asked REPEATEDLY by several members to provide just ONE example of this amazing plethora of evidence you continue to mention. Yet, you either totally ignore the request, or (most often) fabricate some type of woefully lame reason as to why it would be pointless for you to provide it. Funny thing, though, is that you are so full of yourself and your own bullshit that you are completely unaware of how glaringly obvious it is to the rest of us how severely amateurish and dishonest your “tactics” really are… :astonished:… OR, maybe you ARE aware. (And that just opens up a whole other can of worms. :thinking:) But I digress…

Anyway, as I have told you already (not that you paid attention), I’m personally not too concerned with the evidence stuff. Like I said, I figure if an omniscient/omnipotent god wants me to believe in it, then it should be more than capable of doing whatever is necessary to “make me see the light”… (cue angelic musicclouds parting)… Meanwhile, my being an atheist is based almost exclusively on the fact that the bible, the god within it, and the teachings from it are pretty much BATSHIT INSANE. It is so full of contradictions and inconsistencies that I was only SEVEN years old when I started noticing there is something FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG with the whole thing. Unfortunately, it took me another 40+ years before I was finally able to escape the indoctrination. (But that’s another story of its own.) Oh, and before you start blabbing, “But what about all the other gods?”, there is a very simple reason I do not believe in them. It’s because I was never TAUGHT (aka: forced) to believe in any of the other gods.

Anyway, back to the “evidence” about which you keep blabbering. Basically, put up, or shut up. I can’t make it any clearer than that.

(Edit for clues.)



Not sure why this needs explaining over and over to be honest, it is possible to be an atheist without holding any beliefs, newborn babies for example. This does not mean atheists don’t hold beliefs. Atheism however is not a belief, though atheists can and do have beliefs, and some of them hold the belief no deity exists, no one here has claimed to hold this belief, and the dictionary definition suggests this is true for the majority of atheists.

You’ve answered the question in the question? They hold a belief no deity exists and I do not.

Of course that’s because they are both atheists, so the definition that atheism is a lack or absence of belief encompasses both, the archaic definitions would exclude people who disbelieve in any deity but did not hold a believe that no deity exists, which is no doubt why the definition has evolved to be more accurate.

Yes you did I quoted you. You do know what the word cannot means right?

Right there, I have stated unequivocally that I have no belief in any deity, nor do I need to define any deity, so your claim is telling me my atheism cannot mean what I and the dictionary say it means.

Firstly it’s not “my preferred definition”, I don’t compile the dictionary, that is done through common usage; and no the dictionary definition obviously doesn’t exclude atheists who also hold a belief no deity exists, why would it since they would by definition lack belief in any deity?

I have never claimed this, in fact I stated precisely the opposite? That the dictionary definition would include all atheists, but the old definitions you are citing would not obviously. I and all the other atheists here would be excluded for a start. If someone believes there is no deity they would by definition also lack belief in any deity.

Not at all, if I lack belief in a deity, but don’t hold a belief no deity exists, then your archaic definitions would exclude me from being an atheist, and that is a No True Scotsman fallacy. Whereas the dictionary definition that atheism is the lack or absence of belief in a deity, would not exclude those who also held a belief no deity existed, why would it?

Sigh, that’s not a no true Scotsman fallacy, as I made no such claim, nor have I excluded anyone from defining themselves as atheist, by using the dictionary definition since it would apply to those who also held a belief no deity existed, not sure why you’re failing to understand that, is it deliberate? I even stated carefully more than once, that atheists are a subset of atheism, and might hold differing beliefs, but all fall into the category of atheism? You are the one insisting we use an archaic definition that excludes atheists, and even telling us we cannot define ourselves as having no belief in any deity, unless we express a belief no deity exists and or define a deity (which one one wonders?). Now that is a classic No True Scotsman fallacy, and a lame attempt to reverse the burden of proof from those making a claim, to those disbelieving that claim, the word clown was aimed at those using such idiotic and dishonest semantics, not at any atheists.

You do realise this correct assertion directly contradicts your previous ones right? Atheism is the lack of belief in any deity or deities, this then obviously would include atheists who also held a belief that no deity exists, why wouldn’t it?

Correct, since they are both atheists, and that is the definition of an atheist, and your question would impart this fact. Now paradoxically if you asked two people do you believe no deity exists, and one answered no and the other yes, you would be unclear using the archaic definition whether one of them was in fact an atheist. Hence the problem with using that archaic definition, and why common usage has now changed, where most people understand atheism to mean the lack or absence of belief in any deity. .

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@Sherlock-Holmes, do you understand the difference between a/theism and a/gnosticism?

Oh fuck, why do I have a deep deep sinking feeling? :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :innocent:

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Atheism is no more a belief system, than my lack of belief in invisible mermaids. It’s no more a belief system than not collecting stamps is a hobby.

Or that bald is a hair color.

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I guess it could be the world’s least comprehensive belief system. Provides 1 bit of information.

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Really? how was this claim about babies established? do you believe it?

Well you do believe that not holding a belief in a deity is the correct position to take.

Very well. So “not holding” a belief is a result, a purported state of mind and it is shared by those who

a. Choose to believe there is no God
b. Those who choose to not believe there’s a God
c. Those who do not know if there is a God
d. Those who make no choice, because they have never considered the question.

Therefore if you have ever considered the question to any degree, you cannot be in the latter category can you?

So you don’t know (don’t define) what it is that you don’t hold a belief in? In which case how did you decide to call it a “deity”?

It seems we’re getting close to the vacuity I mentioned, your position seems to be:

I do not hold a belief in things that I do not hold a belief in, is that it?

Well as to the meaning of “atheist” this is now all over the place, it seems to be nothing more than a long winded way of saying “I don’t believe in things that I don’t believe in”.

An atheist believes that its possible to “not hold a belief”. You cannot prove objectively that there’s a state of mind “not holding a belief”, you cannot test for it, it is not a scientifically testable claim.

Since you make no attempt to define “deity” then you have no idea that what you “don’t hold a belief in” is anything other than some imaginary concept.

Seriously to argue “I don’t hold a belief in X” and refuse to define X is the height of absurdity, aka the emperor’s new clothes.

Or maybe - being bald is a belief that having hair is impossible? :innocent:

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I was a baby, I had no beliefs, ipso facto I have to believe either I am unique among the entire human race, or believe this to be the case. The current scientific evidence also suggests that a foetus remains insentient until they are born, no memories are stored, thus storing beliefs would not be possible until we are born, ipso facto we are born without ANY beliefs, theism is a belief, you see where this going right?

I know you have an aversion to dictionaries, but look up belief and see if you can grasp how stupid a question that really is.

Sigh, it can be, but it need not be, for the gazillionth time.

What a spectacularly pointless and stupid question?

Can you define a wapadook please, oh one assumes you believe they are real then right?

Not to any remotely literate person, no.

You have again resorted to trolling and dishonesty, and evaded any part of the post that refuted your asinine semantics, well done.

Atheism is not a belief, it certainly is not a belief system. Atheists of course can hold beliefs, and hold belief systems, some Buddhists for example.


Uh :roll_eyes: there are many discussion regarding sexuality. Topics are open to everything.


Other than the fact I possess a state of mind, and simultaneously don’t hold certain beliefs you mean? Dear oh dear… :roll_eyes: Do you hold the belief no deity exists, do you possess a state of mind?

It’s not my belief, so if no one defines it then I would be unaware of it, and ipso facto would lack belief in it. If a deity exists outside of imaginary superstition then off you go, accurately define it, and demonstrate sufficient objective evidence for the definition, then that it is possible.

Oh that’s right, you don’t even have the integrity to specifically say what your religion is, I guess keeping your claims vague and simple makes it easier to pretend they’re real.

So what’s a wapadook? Define it please, or admit you believe it’s real?

Do take your time, for the record you have just described a belief you hold, that you cannot accurately define, and cannot objectively evidence, and you’re correct, the only rational position is to withhold belief from such absurdity.

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Just for the record…I don’t give a flying fuck how YOU want to define me. You’ve made up your mind and I don’t give a shit. IF you don’t accept what I say about myself, that’s YOUR problem, not mine.



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This is itself a belief, a belief you hold about the past.

Very eloquently put!

Why thank you :blush: I thought so too. :+1:

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Is that meant to mean something in the context of your question? Only it seems like more deflection to me.