The Atheist logo is a circle with a line crossing out a picture of God. So, essentially, its just a line in a circle.
Derleth, those cites aren’t really contradicting what I said. I was only taking issue with Panache45’s statement that atheism is only an expression of what someone doesn’t believe, not what they do believe.
An atheist believes that there is no god.
An agnostic believes we cannot know.
Take religion: Somebody with faith is expected to believe in their god even if there is no concrete evidence to suggest that he (she, it?) actually exists.
The way I see it, an atheist has faith (a belief in the non-existance of God). Therefore, in the event of some evidence of god’s existance - let’s say he actually came down from the sky amid a host of angels in the middle of trafalgar square during the rush hour - the true atheist (assuming this wasn’t enough to convert him to religion) would adhere to his belief and explain it away as being some sort of optical illusion etc…
The agnostic, however, doesn’t believe in god simply because it hasn’t been proven. But under the circumstances described above would presumably simply add the existance of a god to his world view or join the appropriate religion…
No, this is just plain wrong; the atheist, faced with conclusive evidence of the existence of God, would believe in his existence; the position of atheism is occupied by a person who observes a distinct lack of evidence for the existence of God, no a person that will stubbornly go out of their way to deny things that are supported by evidence.
The issue of whether atheists express faith has been done to death here on the boards; the only way in which (the majority of) atheists can be described as expressing faith is to redefine the term ‘faith’ to be so broad and wishy-washy as to be completely useless; the faith of a religious person is usually a matter of conscious reinforcement of thought and meditation; the ‘faith’ of an atheist (if such exists) is the simple absence of the same.
I can’t think of any ‘conclusive evidence’ of God that would convince me that one exists, and I’m not really closed minded…it’s just that I could think of a non-supernatural explanation for almost any ‘miracle’ that would fit with what we know of the universe. If I turned on the news today and saw that Jesus Christ just descended from Heaven on live television and various miracles from the Book of Revelations were happening, I would assume one of three things…that my mind had become separated from reality (either dreaming or suffering from a severe schizophrenic episode), that the universe as I know it is an advanced simulation and someone is playing with the rules, or that it is an elaborate hoax by an extremely advanced alien civilisation, and I would probably lean towards the first explanation. All of these explanations are a lot more rational than the idea that an ancient, bizarre mythology is a more accurate description of how the world works than what has been determined by rational thought and science over the millenia.
I don’t think this is faith…it’s just the logical way to view the world.
Sorry, we’ll just have to agree to differ here. You can consciously reinforce and meditate on a belief in the non-existence of god. I could imagine it would take a lot of faith for someone subjected to a highly religious upbringing, for example, to maintain a belief that god doesn’t exist.
In which case he would no longer be an atheist.
That’s an agnostic, no? An atheist believes that there is conclusive evidence pointing to his non-existance.
Since this is totally off-topic, I’ll be brief:
If you are equating “believing” with “having faith,” then you apparently have never heard of reason. You need to take Epistemology 101.
**exactly, but irrelevant, since your initial point was that atheists would stubbornly cling to their position in the face of evidence.
Not if they lost their faith…
Nope; you’ve completely lost me now; is this some kind of No True Scotsman thing?
Direct, close exposure to the detonation of an atomic weapon weapon is not harmful or fatal to living people, because after it explodes, they are dead.
Don’t worry, I lose myself sometimes.
Yes, but they were alive before it went off. Those that were wearing a (hypothetical) protective suit survived the blast…
Following trabi’s amazing logic, I suppose an agnostic would also have faith if he had faith that purple monkeys create universes that come complete with a human civilization to sell for a $1,000 bucks each. They also have faith that Santa Clause, Zeus, and goblins don’t exist.
Trabi do you think that every belief or disbelief requires faith? The way I see it, faith is only needed when there is no evidence. No one in Heaven would have faith that Yahweh exists, he would be there. Just as no one on Earth would need to have faith that the Sun exists.
You can have a belief or disbelief with or without proof. But you can only have faith without proof. And I am talking about real proof, not the kind of proof that every religion thinks they have. Your argument is nothing but semantics. You’re treating belief and faith as being the same word, when in fact they have two different definitions.
Damnit, those purple monkeys are blue. Who ever heard of a blue monkey anyways.
Er… An agnostic wouldn’t believe that unless it was proven to him. Someone who does believe in the purple monkey thing would have faith in whatever religion sprang up around that theory. An agnostic would reject the notion outright. What’s so illogical about that?
Even in order to believe that up is up and down is down, etc., I need a certain amount of faith in the basic laws of physics, that we aren’t simply brains being stimulated in a jar, etc. etc…
That’s right and atheists presented with evidence of God and coming to belief would be atheists before the evidence was presented.
As far as I’m aware, the stance of most atheists is one of skepticism; they don’t believe because they see no good reason to believe; if they were presented with a good reason to believe, they would - and they would at that point stop being atheists - but they are atheists at the moment.
Sure, assuming the atheists accept the evidence as conclusive. Show a religious person something that they could accept as irrefutable proof of the non-existence of god, and they too would cease to be Christians or whatever.
What you describe as atheism is what I have always considered to be agnosticism.
**If they didn’t, then I suppose we’d have to wonder whether conclusive was the right descriptor for the class of evidence.
I’m not an atheist myself, but my understanding is that an atheist is one who lacks belief in the existence of God(s) (as subtly distinct from someone who actively believes in the [non-existence] of God(s)).
I thought that the term agnostic referred to someone who believed that it isn’t possible to know for sure.
I wish I could reply but I have to go to the DATC
Intellectually rigorous ones might. Others might merely insist that their mind had separated itself from reality, or that the universe was imaginary and “Someone” was playing with the rules, or that it was an elaborate hoax by space aliens. This is the difference between skepticism (open-minded) and cynicism (not).
On Symbols for Atheists
Why pi? It is not readily apparent how the relationship between the circumference and diameter of a geometric shape symbolizes anything about one’s belief or disbelief in a divine Creator. And the idea that a given number, in this case 3.14159…, has any sort of mystical or magically symbolic quality would seem ironically out of place in a discussion about an emblem for people who typically eschew magic and mysticism.
Moreover, it seems hasty to bestow the mantle of logic and rationality on atheists. It is not automatically more rational to assume that the universe, life and especially consciousness simply burst into existence than to consider that they were deliberately designed and created by a superior, infinite and rational Being, which already possessed consciousness in order to pass it on. The fact that our brains and minds lack the capacity to grasp how and why such a Being could exist eternally or create life is not in doubt, but it’s irrelevant as to which explanation is more plausible. Man’s thousands of years of collective scientific knowledge and technology have yet to create even one simple non-nucleated living cell from inorganic matter, let alone a blade of grass or an animal. He has not decoded the original design of the spark of life—how can he be certain it happened accidentally?
Some interesting quotes…
”I’m not an atheist, and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations."
–Albert Einstein, from Einstein and Religion by Max Jammer, Princeton University Press
“Once cannot look at this Universe with all living productions and man without believing that all has been intelligently designed…”
“Have we any right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man?”
“There is grandeur in this view of life…having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one…”
–Three quotes by Charles Darwin
Sorry, folks…Darwin was NOT an atheist. <sounds of jaws hitting ground, anti-fish-with-feet stickers being peeled from bumpers>
He was a deist, in about the same league as Albert Einstein, Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and a few other noteworthy rational-mined folk. Darwin just didn’t think you had to swallow creationism (individual creation of each and every life form, esp. man) in order to accept the idea that somebody probably put all this stuff here and then had some of it start moving around and thinking.
Having been raised Catholic, I became agnostic in my teens (meaning apparently no one knows, nor even can know, with any objective certainty about God’s existence). Examining deism carefully, I found no preachers, holy books, martyrs, revelations, fantastical fables, mythology, voices in the head, mindless rituals or supposed conversations with invisible spirits. No power-crazed Mad Scientist sadistically punishing the objects of His creative mind FOREVER for perceived transgressions committed during their eye-blink of a lifetime. No easily enraged, bloodthirsty, irrational, White-Headed Dragon in need of heavy weekly financing. Just a Creator, a creation (universe), our fellow creatures, and God-given consciousness, reason and logic with which to observe and ponder them. Seems relatively rational, especially in light of the alternatives offered by atheism and religionism.
Also, no symbol needed.