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Why do I see so many atheists reinvent the definition of "atheism" to push certain biased ideas?

Why do I see so many atheists reinvent the definition of "atheism" to push certain biased ideas? Topic: To reach or arrive at a conclusion
July 19, 2019 / By Cassie
Question: A recent example: "atheists think for themselves by rationally and objectively evaluating claims after which they then discard claims that are patently nonsense, which is why they are atheists" This is not true. At all. I'm sure some atheists have arrived at their conclusions this way, but this is NOT something you can say about all atheists or atheists in general. The ONLY definition of an atheist is: Someone who lacks belief in the existence of any gods/deities. That's it. There is nothing else attached. Any other belief that an atheist might have, or a method by which they reached a conclusion, cannot be assimilated as part of the definition of an atheist. Atheists believe all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons, outside their lack of belief in gods. Why is this seldom understood, especially by some atheists in this section? I mean, you guys get annoyed when ... (cont'd, sorry) ... I mean, you guys understandably get annoyed when theists mix up the definition of "atheist" as "someone who hates God and worships the devil" for example. Some of the answers here are actually insane. Ridiculous levels of cognitive dissonance. Thanks to those who have actually honestly answered my question.
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Best Answers: Why do I see so many atheists reinvent the definition of "atheism" to push certain biased ideas?

Annabelinda Annabelinda | 4 days ago
It's odd how atheists will add all sorts of complimentary things to the definition of "atheism", but the moment someone puts a negative idea into it, suddenly every atheist shouts, "it's only disbelief, nothing else." Item 10,001 on the "things atheists contradict themselves on" list. "Making up stuff for jeus is still MAKING UP stuff. It's usually MORONIC believers that have always struggled with the definition." - Then I guess it's a good thing I'm not making it up. Thanks for sharing.
👍 196 | 👎 4
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We found more questions related to the topic: To reach or arrive at a conclusion


Annabelinda Originally Answered: When I ask my new iPhone S "What is the definition of Atheism?", I get TWO results?
Yes, both definitions are correct.. Maybe you can help me with my problem.. whenever I look up "theist" on my ipad, it redirects me to "delusional." Crazy, huh?

Winfrid Winfrid
yep. I lack belief in a deity - that's it. I have not attached anything else to the definition. I do have interests in many other things, but those are outside the scope of atheism.... that is why I get understandably annoyed with questions about atheists and the big bang, or atheists and evolution. Cosmology and biology are science subjects.... and should be directed to those areas for answers. ( if, indeed, the asker is actually looking for an answer and not just spouting off.)
👍 80 | 👎 -2

Shallum Shallum
Why do I see so many atheists reinvent the definition of "atheism" to push certain biased ideas? - We don't, brain dead fundies do and blame it on atheists. A recent example: "atheists think for themselves by rationally and objectively evaluating claims after which they then discard claims that are patently nonsense, which is why they are atheists" - That is the basis. This is not true. At all. I'm sure some atheists have arrived at their conclusions this way, but this is NOT something you can say about all atheists or atheists in general. - How cute, a fundie making a sweeping statement about how atheists make sweeping statements and that is bad. That thinking stuff really throws you doesn't it. The ONLY definition of an atheist is: Someone who lacks belief in the existence of any gods/deities. That's it. - And you prove it. Any other belief that an atheist might have, or a method by which they reached a conclusion, cannot be assimilated as part of the definition of an atheist. - According to you making a sweeping statement about how atheists make sweeping statements. Why is this seldom understood, especially by some atheists in this section? - Because we can think, you obviously can't.
👍 77 | 👎 -8

Neville Neville
Not sure. But then again, I can't even explain why people watch "the view". Atheists KNOW the definition of atheism. But I guess FOR YOU, making up stuff is typical.
👍 74 | 👎 -14

Kip Kip
Because whoever wrote that was talking about the sub-set of atheists actually on that forum. The ones who simply do not believe in a god because it is convenient, and did not articulate their position on a rational analysis of religious claims, and have not reached the conclusion that a god is an impossibility from a logical intellectual and rational process, would most likely not be on this forum to defend and explain their position.
👍 71 | 👎 -20

Kip Originally Answered: Atheists: Let's say you had to "sell" atheism?
In my regular day job (lawyer), I frequently appear before groups of "undecided individuals" with the objective of presenting arguments and convincing them (or most of them) to agree with my client's view. But as an atheist, I would not use "selling points" to convince some group of fence-sitters to "embrace Atheism and reject the other options." I think that's a wrongheaded or short-sighted strategy. Atheism is not a "belief system" to which "undecided" people can be "converted." In my opinion, there is no such thing as "atheistic thinking." There is thinking based on sound principles (realistic a priori assumptions, healthy skepticism, guardiing against biases, intellectual curiosity, honesty, searching for evidence) and there is bad or unsound thinking (burdened by logical fallacies, confirmation bias, substituting wishes for reason, etc.). People who are currently religious but are increasingly unsatisfied with the "old answers" offered by their religion will often end up somewhere at the atheist / non-theist / agnostic end of the spectrum. They just take varying amounts of time to get there, sometimes with detours into other, less-familiar religions or vague New-Age "thinking." Why should I care how long these people take on their "journeys" or where they end up? The strategy that I favor the most when talking with undecideds is to urge them to increase their religious literacy by (a) seriously reading a good annotated Bible (preferably the Revised Standard Version, (b) reading about the history and origins of all the major monotheistic religions as well as some influential other religious systems (Zoroastriansim, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism); (c) reading about the REAL history of the compilation of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, and (d) reading about the REAL history of early Christianity and the principles of textual criticism. I'd also urge these undecideds to improve their basic scientific literacy. This strategy accomplishes absolutely nothing (in terms of "convincing" people to "embrace atheism") in an hour or 2 hours or even a day. But I think it encourages the habits of mind that any rational adult should cultivate, and I really don't care if these undecideds end up as atheists or not. But if my objective were to meet with a group of undecideds for some LIMITED period of time and to catalyze their thinking along a path that would lead them to atheism, I would use this strategy and urge each of them to do the following: (1) Ask them to commit to be honest with themselves and each other. (2) Make a list (a real, scribbled or written list) of ten important beliefs that they have (or that someone close to them has) about the universe and how they, as human beings, fit into that universe. (3) Go through the list and put a big checkmark beside each belief that is based ONLY on tradition (a belief that someone else taught as true) or personal revelation (an interior emotional experience or "spiritual feeling") or some statement by a person in authority (such as the Pope in the Vatican or some long-dead "saint" or "prophet"). (4) As them to think about each belief that has a checkmark. Is there any evidence (either direct observation or a report of past observation or experiment from a trustworthy source subject to testing or validation) supporting that belief? Has the individual believed that proposition to be true because it's emotionally comforting? Or out of fear or guilt or wanting to "belong"? (5) Ask them to draw a line through each of the checked beliefs that they decide are not supported by any credible evidence. (6) Then ask them to promise to investigate what evidence there is to support the beliefs that they checked but did not cross out.

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