1. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    21 Feb '14 20:341 edit
    "The Emptiness of Atheism"

    "Atheism is an answer to a very specific question (i.e., the question of whether one believes in gods). As such, it tends to be a rather limited portion of what we might call a worldview. This had led some atheists, correctly I believe, to assert that atheism by itself is rarely sufficient material from which to construct a worldview.

    There is a certain emptiness in atheism in the sense that it provides no answers to many of life's most important questions. For example, atheism tells us nothing about how one should live one's life. On this point, I can find agreement with some of the Atheism+ supporters in that I can see why people would say, "Great, we're atheists. Now what?" I certainly understand the appeal of wanting to go "beyond atheism."

    Many atheists experience a sense of freedom after they have crawled out from under the weight of theistic superstition. We realize that we were indoctrinated into a set of irrational beliefs and that much of the religious culture which surounds us is detrimental to human progress. Many atheists embrace their responsibility to make meaning and set about the task of doing so. Some may end up piecing together a highly idiosyncratic worldview from their search for truth. Others find that an existing secular ideology (e.g., secular humanism) provides an ideal alternative to a theistic worldview and fits them as well as anything they might come up with on their own.

    The point is that most atheists do not seem to reach the point of atheism and then stop. "I'm an atheist, and that's all there is to me" is not something we expect to hear. Atheism is part of someone's identity, but it is rarely the whole of someone's identity. The atheist has answered the question of gods, realizing that god belief is not going to be a part of his or her worldview. [*So what does the atheist believe?] This is where the freedom comes in and where you'll see so much diversity.

    We've got liberal atheists who devote themselves to social justice, conservative atheists who are far more interested in advocating personal responsibility. We've got atheists who embrace feminism, humanism, libertarianism, or other ideologies of their liking. While there may be a certain emptiness in atheism, there is nothing of the sort in the broader worldview of most atheists." [June 3, 2013] http://www.atheistrev.com/2013/06/the-emptiness-of-atheism.html (1 of 2*)
  2. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    21 Feb '14 20:41
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]The Emptiness of Atheism

    "Atheism is an answer to a very specific question (i.e., the question of whether one believes in gods). As such, it tends to be a rather limited portion of what we might call a worldview. This had led some atheists, correctly I believe, to assert that atheism by itself is rarely sufficient material from which to ...[text shortened]... eists." [June 3, 2013] http://www.atheistrev.com/2013/06/the-emptiness-of-atheism.html (1 of 2*)[/b]
    "Then What Do You Believe?"

    "Christians often have many questions when encountering an atheist. Many reflect a lack of scientific knowledge e.g., "Then how did we get here?", a lack of moral development e.g., "If there is no god, why should we be good?", or just a lack of imagination e.g., "Then what do you worship?". However, there is at least one valid question to which more of us should be prepared to provide meaningful answers.

    A Christian who recognizes that atheism refers only to the lack of theistic belief and not to some broad agenda, philosophy, or alternative religion, sometimes asks an excellent question: "I understand that you do not accept the existence of any gods, but I'm curious about what you do believe." Many atheists are too quick to dismiss this question as irrelevant or even provoking, but it is not necessarily either of these things. It may represent a genuine attempt to understand the worldview of the particular atheist being questioned.

    As we consider this question, one critical disclaimer must be offered at the outset. Because atheism has no doctrine, set of core values, or even shared vision of the world, no honest atheist will have much to say about how his/her fellow atheists think. Since atheism implies nothing besides a lack of theistic belief, one must expect tremendous diversity among atheists. I have met atheists who believe in ghosts and others who do not. All they necessarily share is that they do not believe in gods. This may be difficult for some Christians to grasp because they do have at least some shared doctrine.

    To understand the importance of the question we are considering, imagine that you encounter someone who informs you that he does not believe in fairies. Regardless of what you think about fairies, this man has told you very little. You know that he does not believe in fairies, but you know absolutely nothing about what else he may or may not believe. Such is the case with atheists. Those of us who think it is important to provide believers with an alternative worldview are going to need to offer something beyond atheism.

    To do my part, I am going to use this post as a springboard to periodically address what I do believe in and the values which inform my worldview. I will update it with links to relevant posts. That way, anyone wanting to know what besides atheism composes my worldview will find it here. I think this will be a useful exercise because it will force me to clarify my values and because it will demonstrate incompleteness of atheism... I believe that no gods exist; I believe in an awe-inspiring natural world; I believe that living in reality is preferable to living in fantasy; I believe in secular humanism; I value truth." (2 of 2)
    [February 10, 2007] http://www.atheistrev.com/2007/02/then-what-do-you-believe.html
  3. Zugzwang
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    21 Feb '14 20:47
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"The Emptiness of Atheism"

    "Atheism is an answer to a very specific question (i.e., the question of whether one believes in gods). As such, it tends to be a rather limited portion of what we might call a worldview. This had led some atheists, correctly I believe, to assert that atheism by itself is rarely sufficient material from which ...[text shortened]... eists." [June 3, 2013] http://www.atheistrev.com/2013/06/the-emptiness-of-atheism.html (1 of 2*)[/b]
    While I expect that GrampyBobby's incapable of understanding this simple
    point, *atheism does not claim to be a comprehensive 'worldview'*.
    Atheists (e.g. Karl Marx and Ayn Rand) have extremely diverse 'worldviews'.
  4. Cape Town
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    21 Feb '14 20:51
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    ..... in that I can see why people would say, "Great, we're atheists. Now what?"
    As always, you have it all wrong. I suspect you go out of your way to find quotes about atheism that you know are wrong and will draw a lot of comment. I guess you are a classic internet troll.
    But, I'm hooked anyway.
    The thing is, I am not an athiest first and a 'now what' later. The fact that I am atheist is a rather unimportant aspect of my life. Sure it can lead to some entertaining discussions on an internet forum, but thats about it.
    My life is about the fact that I am a single parent, so raising my son comes first. That involves earning a living, trying to get residence in a foreign country, etc. I am also trying to learn chinese and korean.
    I know a few Christians, and a few Muslims, but for a significant percentage of the people I know, I don't know what religion if any they are. It doesn't really come up. I also don't think most of them know what religion I am, or am not. Here in SA, skin colour tends to be a bigger factor than religion.

    So a more important question than your OPs one might be: "Great, I'm white, now what?"
  5. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    21 Feb '14 21:571 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    While I expect that GrampyBobby's incapable of understanding this simple
    point, *atheism does not claim to be a comprehensive 'worldview'*.
    Atheists (e.g. Karl Marx and Ayn Rand) have extremely diverse 'worldviews'.
    Would someone pls apprise D64 of the fact that the entire piece and its companion trailer were penned by an atheist. Merci.

    cc: twhitehead
  6. Zugzwang
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    21 Feb '14 22:482 edits
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Would someone pls apprise D64 of the fact that the entire piece and its companion trailer were penned by an atheist. Merci.

    cc: twhitehead
    It does not matter who wrote what GrampyBobby cut-and-pasted.
    GrampyBobby quoted it like he believes it must imply something negative
    (as usual for him) about atheism or atheists.

    Does GrampyBobby believe that atheism must represent a 'worldview',
    apart from disbelief in the existence of God(s)?

    Also, being an atheist does *not* obligate any one atheist to agree
    with or to support everything written or done by every other atheist.
    Sometimes an atheist can write nonsense, perhaps even about atheism.
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    21 Feb '14 22:59
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Would someone pls apprise D64 of the fact that the entire piece and its companion trailer were penned by an atheist. Merci.

    cc: twhitehead
    Actually, this fact validates D64's comment on the diversity and absence of unified world view of atheists.
  8. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    21 Feb '14 23:401 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    Actually, this fact validates D64's comment on the diversity and absence of unified world view of atheists.
    Originally posted by JS357
    Actually, this fact validates D64's comment on the diversity and absence of unified world view of atheists.

    "A Christian who recognizes that atheism refers only to the lack of theistic belief and not to some broad agenda, philosophy, or alternative religion, sometimes asks an excellent question: "I understand that you do not accept the existence of any gods, but I'm curious about what you do believe." Many atheists are too quick to dismiss this question as irrelevant or even provoking, but it is not necessarily either of these things. It may represent a genuine attempt to understand the worldview of the particular atheist being questioned." (2 of 2)

    Note: I happen to agree with the text related sentiments posited here so far while appreciating the author's objectivity.
  9. Donationrwingett
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    22 Feb '14 00:19
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"The Emptiness of Atheism"

    "Atheism is an answer to a very specific question (i.e., the question of whether one believes in gods). As such, it tends to be a rather limited portion of what we might call a worldview. This had led some atheists, correctly I believe, to assert that atheism by itself is rarely sufficient material from which ...[text shortened]... eists." [June 3, 2013] http://www.atheistrev.com/2013/06/the-emptiness-of-atheism.html (1 of 2*)[/b]
    Atheism is not any portion of a worldview. It tells you nothing about what I believe. It only tells you one thing that I do not believe.
  10. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    22 Feb '14 00:27
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Atheism is not any portion of a worldview. It tells you nothing about what I believe. It only tells you one thing that I do not believe.
    "The point is that most atheists do not seem to reach the point of atheism and then stop. "I'm an atheist, and that's all there is to me" is not something we expect to hear. Atheism is part of someone's identity, but it is rarely the whole of someone's identity."... precisely the author's point, rwingett; he then proceeds to elaborate the article's rationale.
  11. Joined
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    22 Feb '14 00:34
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "The point is that most atheists do not seem to reach the point of atheism and then stop. "I'm an atheist, and that's all there is to me" is not something we expect to hear. Atheism is part of someone's identity, but it is rarely the whole of someone's identity."... precisely the author's point, rwingett; he then proceeds to elaborate the article's rationale.
    IMO atheism is, for most people, a new starting point, excepting people who never believed otherwise. But what comes after it is not an intrinsic part of it, because it can be anything.
  12. Donationrwingett
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    22 Feb '14 01:57
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "The point is that most atheists do not seem to reach the point of atheism and then stop. "I'm an atheist, and that's all there is to me" is not something we expect to hear. Atheism is part of someone's identity, but it is rarely the whole of someone's identity."... precisely the author's point, rwingett; he then proceeds to elaborate the article's rationale.
    It's not 'most atheists' or 'rarely the whole of someone's identity.'

    There are NO atheists who reach the point of atheism and then stop, and it is NEVER the whole of someone's identity. It is categorically impossible for it to be thus.
  13. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    22 Feb '14 02:321 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    It's not 'most atheists' or 'rarely the whole of someone's identity.'

    There are NO atheists who reach the point of atheism and then stop, and it is NEVER the whole of someone's identity. It is categorically impossible for it to be thus.
    "Atheism is part of someone's identity, but it is rarely the whole of someone's identity." (1 of 2)

    Originally posted by rwingett
    It's not 'most atheists' or 'rarely the whole of someone's identity

    rwingett, you and the atheist author agree... [me, too]
  14. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    22 Feb '14 02:361 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    IMO atheism is, for most people, a new starting point, excepting people who never believed otherwise. But what comes after it is not an intrinsic part of it, because it can be anything.
    "Atheism is part of someone's identity, but it is rarely the whole of someone's identity. The atheist has answered the question of gods, realizing that god belief is not going to be a part of his or her worldview. [*So what does the atheist believe?] This is where the freedom comes in and where you'll see so much diversity." (1 of 2)... Agreement.
    ___________________________________________

    P.S. JS, here's quotation from this evening's television news:

    "Are you a Climate Believer or a Climate Denier [one who denies global warming]?"
    February 21, 2014 Evening News -Daryl Hannah, Climate Change Activist

    Idea: why not appropriate Daryl's construct as a means of replacing the often confusing/nebulous word 'atheist'.
    Example: "As far as I know, gb isn't a gd [god denier] even though he sometimes makes me gd angry." -JSReveal Hidden Content
    lol
  15. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    22 Feb '14 05:35
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"The Emptiness of Atheism"

    "Atheism is an answer to a very specific question (i.e., the question of whether one believes in gods). As such, it tends to be a rather limited portion of what we might call a worldview. This had led some atheists, correctly I believe, to assert that atheism by itself is rarely sufficient material from which ...[text shortened]... eists." [June 3, 2013] http://www.atheistrev.com/2013/06/the-emptiness-of-atheism.html (1 of 2*)[/b]
    Asasquatchism, Aunicornism, Atoothfairyism. My emptiness, how it multiplies with each new A I think of.
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