All Forums > General Discussion > Non-Sports > THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!!!!
12/17/2012 9:01 AM
1.a set of beliefs concerning the cause, natureand purpose ofthe universe, especially when considered as the creation of asuperhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional andritual observances, and often containing a moral code governingthe conduct of human affairs.
2.a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generallyagreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christianreligion; the Buddhist religion.
3.the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs andpractices: a world council of religions.
4.the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.

Of these, atheism fits the first three perfectly. It is clearly a set of beliefs about the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe (specifically, that no deity or deities were involved). It is clearly a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons (specifically, the belief there is no deity or deities and the refusal to take part in anything that does recognize those things). It is clearly a body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices (again, the idea that there is no deity or deities).
Atheists believe in something. We have a doctrine and a belief structure.
That's call religion.
Bis- if I told you I believed in god, what religion am I a member of?
That would depend upon what else you believe, the same way saying you don't believe in God doesn't define your religion in and of itself, as other things you believe could determine what religion you specifically are a part of. Religions are diverse that way.
I believe Atheism is a religion. I believe there is a difference between no religion and Atheism.  I believe that all religions should work together to make the world a better place.
There are groups of people from most religions who band together and take part in activities which do help other people and make the world a better place. I have yet to hear of any group of atheists doing this, however. I'm not saying it hasn't happened or couldn't happen, but it's not a commonplace thing the way it is with several other religions.

In fact, I'm sure it's a far more common thing to hear of atheists causing problems - such as with complaints about religious symbols and the like being located on government property - than it is to hear about atheists getting together to help make the world a better place. I hear about those things all the time, but I have yet to hear a single report of atheists helping anyone as a group.
Is this EXACTLY what EVERY atheist believes? If not, can't be a religion per badluck.   It's only a religion if ALL members abide by ALL beliefs.
This isn't true. Many religions, including Christianity, have one or more common beliefs which identify them as part of the religion, but also have a vast array of differing beliefs which set some of them apart from others. In the same way, atheism is still a religion even if not everyone agrees on every belief.
I try to look away but dumbassness amuses me.
Then you must have one wild time looking at the mirror.

Even though I agree with you (which is quite a shock) on your general points made here, MikeT23, it seems to me you just jump into debates and arguments for the sheer fun of arguing.

I think it's funny that you'll argue simple points on your own terms when you can dictate what happens, but as soon as someone comes along and has more knowledge than you, then you ignore them and effective give up while making excuses, such as they are "long winded".
An agnostic is one who believes it impossible to know anything about God or about the creation of the universe and refrains from commitment to any religious doctrine.

Agnostics are essentially ignorant of the world around them. At least atheists stand for a belief based on a claim they have observed things and come to the conclusion no deity or deities are involved. Agnostics think it is impossible to know, which isn't true. You can easily come to a conclusion of some sort about religious matters if you only take some time to look at the world around you and think about it.

Agnosticism is ridiculous in my opinion. Look at what is around you and draw a conclusion rather than refusing to deal with it. I hope none of them are scientists because they'd never make it. As soon as they began the scientific method on anything, they'd give up and say it's impossible to know anything so why try.

12/17/2012 11:20 AM
Great. Another trademarked bistiza nonsense novel.

Instead of going through it line by line, I'll ask you a question.

Would you say it's possible for someone to be without religion?


12/17/2012 11:39 AM
Great. Another trademarked bistiza nonsense novel.

I'll translate this line: I can't refute any of that. I'd better resort to calling it nonsense and claiming it's "a novel" so I can try to make sure no one realizes I have no argument here.
Would you say it's possible for someone to be without religion?

Sure, if you have and express no beliefs at all with regard to any religious topics, ever. Atheists obviously don't fall into that category. I have yet to hear of anyone who does, actually.

12/17/2012 11:41 AM
Bistiza, I don't think you understand science very well.
I hope none of them are scientists because they'd never make it. As soon as they began the scientific method on anything, they'd give up and say it's impossible to know anything so why try.
If you spent any time whatsoever reading scientific journals I think you would find very quickly that it is extremely rare for anyone to claim that they understand a phenomenon or its clause explicitly.  In general you see things stated as likely or probable, or that something "may well be caused" by a known phenomenon.  In fact, the general rule is that a scientific theory typically cannot be proven, only disproven.  That's the criterion for a scientific statement - that it can be proven wrong.  Not that it can be proven right.  And within a universe governed by quantum mechanics, the idea that it's impossible to know anything exactly isn't exactly a long way from the truth...
12/17/2012 11:45 AM
Sure, if you have and express no beliefs at all with regard to any religious topics, ever. Atheists obviously don't fall into that category. I have yet to hear of anyone who does, actually.

Perfect! In your world, everyone is a member of a religion.

That is completely ridiculous. Religion isn't just the awareness and opinion of things spiritual. It's an active choice. You can believe in god and not be a member of a religion. And if you don't believe in any god, you are most certainly not a member of any religion.
12/17/2012 11:54 AM
Posted by bad_luck on 12/17/2012 11:45:00 AM (view original):
Sure, if you have and express no beliefs at all with regard to any religious topics, ever. Atheists obviously don't fall into that category. I have yet to hear of anyone who does, actually.

Perfect! In your world, everyone is a member of a religion.

That is completely ridiculous. Religion isn't just the awareness and opinion of things spiritual. It's an active choice. You can believe in god and not be a member of a religion. And if you don't believe in any god, you are most certainly not a member of any religion.
Ummm, Buddhists don't believe in a god.
12/17/2012 11:59 AM
Great. What's the difference between an atheist and a buddhist?
12/17/2012 12:52 PM
If you spent any time whatsoever reading scientific journals I think you would find very quickly that it is extremely rare for anyone to claim that they understand a phenomenon or its clause explicitly.

And I never said otherwise, so I'm not sure why you're even discussing this in this manner.

My point is an agnostic wouldn't even attempt to explain anything at all and would rather throw up their hands and saw "it can't be explained" than actually look at the evidence and make a determination. In short, they are indecisive.
Perfect! In your world, everyone is a member of a religion.

Let's not jump to conclusions.

First, it's not my world. Take that kind of reference out of your vocabulary.

Second, you asked if it is possible to be without religion, and I answered your question. Nowhere in that answer did I say everyone was a member of a religion. You might want to go re-read it.
Religion isn't just the awareness and opinion of things spiritual. It's an active choice.

Any opinion you have on religion is an active choice, and those collective choices can be said to describe your religious beliefs. Any opinion on religion is to therefore have a religion, even if you don't agree with everyone else who shares your general beliefs (as often happens).
You can believe in god and not be a member of a religion.

The belief in god, coupled with your other religious beliefs, will define your religion. You may not consider yourself an "official member" of a religion, but you can't get away from the fact that you have a religious opinion and that defines you as having a religion itself, even if you aren't an "official member" of a known religious organization.
And if you don't believe in any god, you are most certainly not a member of any religion.


Sure you are. You believe there is no god, which is a religious idea. Couple it with other ideas you have on religious issues and that will tell you what your religion is. Again, you don't have to be an "official member" of a religion in order to have a religion.
12/17/2012 1:05 PM
We're obviously talking past each other and this is pointless.

Just having an opinion about the existence or non-existence of god does not qualify as belonging to a religion. I think religion is more than that. And I think if you were being honest you'd admit the same.

Now, like everyone else, I'm done with you.
12/17/2012 1:28 PM
Just having an opinion about the existence or non-existence of god does not qualify as belonging to a religion.

No. Your opinion on a variety of religious issues can tell you what your religion is.  Your beliefs in that regard are, however, one of the key issues to determining what your religion is.

Whether you "belong to" a religion is an entirely different issue.
I think religion is more than that. And I think if you were being honest you'd admit the same.
I think having a religion and "belonging to" or being an "official member" of a religion are two different things. You have a religion identification if you have any opinion at all on religious matters, and the sum total of your opinions can tell you what religion you IDENTIFY WITH.  Being an "official member" or "belonging to" a religion is something else and depends upon the determinations of that religion.
Now, like everyone else, I'm done with you.
The only people who have determined they are "done with" me are those who have found out the hard way I'm not a pushover when it comes to debating points. I back up my opinions with solid logic, and it's understandably frustrating for some people.

Still, there's no need for hard feelings no matter our opinions. In fact, I've tended to agree with you on here more often than I've disagreed with you. So really, there's no need to be "done with" me. If you'd like, we can be done with this argument, which is probably a far better solution.

12/17/2012 1:42 PM
"I think having a religion and "belonging to" or being an "official member" of a religion are two different things."

This is where we differ. I don't think you can "have a religion" and not "belong to a religion" at the same time. In my mind, those are the same things. 
12/17/2012 2:39 PM
Posted by bad_luck on 12/17/2012 11:59:00 AM (view original):
Great. What's the difference between an atheist and a buddhist?
They have different religious beliefs.
12/17/2012 2:40 PM
Or...one group belongs to a religion and the other doesn't.
12/17/2012 2:49 PM
You can have whatever religious beliefs you'd like and not "belong to" or be an "official member" of any particular religion or even any religion at all.

That doesn't mean you are somehow "without religion" - it just means you haven't done whatever is necessary to "belong to" or be an "official member" of any particular organized religion.

I could choose to believe in a whole host of religious things that form my religious identity and that would be my religion,  and yet I might not "belong to" or be an "official member" of any particular organized religion.

Trying to say you have to "belong to" something means you're trying to put religious ideas into a box, and I think that's a ridiculous notion. Religion isn't limited to the concept of "official membership" or "belonging" - it's about your own beliefs, and if you have any, then you have a religious identity.
12/17/2012 3:03 PM
Posted by bistiza on 12/17/2012 2:49:00 PM (view original):
You can have whatever religious beliefs you'd like and not "belong to" or be an "official member" of any particular religion or even any religion at all.

That doesn't mean you are somehow "without religion" - it just means you haven't done whatever is necessary to "belong to" or be an "official member" of any particular organized religion.

I could choose to believe in a whole host of religious things that form my religious identity and that would be my religion,  and yet I might not "belong to" or be an "official member" of any particular organized religion.

Trying to say you have to "belong to" something means you're trying to put religious ideas into a box, and I think that's a ridiculous notion. Religion isn't limited to the concept of "official membership" or "belonging" - it's about your own beliefs, and if you have any, then you have a religious identity.
Let's take me, for an example.

I don't believe in god. In my mind, he is as holy/spiritual/real/religious as santa claus. Other than the time I've spent arguing with you, I don't think about god at all or his role in the creation of the universe. I have no idea how the universe came to be.

I don't pray. I don't go to any sort of religious meetings.

Am I religious?
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