C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Humanist Draws Line Between Atheism and Anti-theism

“While atheism is the lack of belief in any god, anti-theism means actively seeking out the worst aspects of faith in god and portraying them as representative of all religion. Anti-theism seeks to shame and embarrass people away from religion, browbeating them about the stupidity of belief in a bellicose god.” - Greg M. Epstein

Would this not mean that there are atheists, and then there are atheist extremists, aka anti-theists?

As in many atheists’ blogs which I have seen (not all), there has been the use of terms such as moderate Christians and Christian extremists (labeled as fundamentalists). In following suit, there must also then be moderate Atheists and Atheist extremists. For there is the atheist which lives their life with a “lack of belief in any god”, then there is the atheist which appears to actively spend their life speaking, writing, blogging, and ranting against every religious thing that takes place.

The definition of moderates seems to be, they may concern themselves with belief or lack of, but do not interpose their beliefs onto others.

So we are left with the Christian extremists asking the Atheist to, “repent of your sin and believe in Christ for salvation”, and the Atheist extremists asking the Christian to, “turn away from Christianity and believe no longer in God.”

You just have to love the labeling system....

5 comments:

Spanish Inquisitor said...

NO. Atheism is like pregnancy. You either are or you ain't.

There are no fundamentals of atheism, to be fundamentalist about, as there is in many religions, Christianity included.

Your definition of moderates is actually the definition of all atheists.

they may concern themselves with belief or lack of, but do not interpose their beliefs onto others.

Find me an atheist who "interposes his belief onto others." Since atheism is not a belief, there is nothing to "interpose".

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

I don't recall saying atheists were fundamentalists. I was merely noting that atheists (at least some) consider Christian extremists fundamentalitsts, hence is why I wrote, "As in many atheists’ blogs which I have seen (not all), there has been the use of terms such as moderate Christians and Christian extremists (labeled as fundamentalists). In following suit, there must also then be moderate Atheists and Atheist extremists."

I would have to say that a fundamental (being an essential part of, a foundation or basis)of atheism is a lack of belief in God.

And to find such posts as Imagine there was no religion, and the continued calling Christians simply delusional, and demanding (or encouraging) we replace our faith with logic and reason, seems to be yet another fundamental of atheism.

So yes, atheism has a lack of belief concerning God (or gods), but yet a belief in that no one should believe in the supernatural or religions (concerning God (or gods)). I believe there are those which do not want to believe in Christianity, and then those which also do not believe Christianity should exist.

Francis said...

Wait a minute. Whether you call yourself a theist or an atheist, you are using language that presupposes that there is meaning to "theos." Absent meaning, it would be mere noise.

I am a scientist. My language, and my thought, rests on things known or at least knowable as part of nature studied by natural methods.

Therefore I am not an atheist. Or a theist. Or an agnostic. Or a believer. Or an unbeliever. I accept no label which derives from a concept you cannot define in language that describes nature - which by definition excludes the supernatural.

If you want to ask me - Are you a believer? Are you an atheist? - or whatever, you must first convince me - by evidence - that there is a possibility that a real question is being asked because the subject of your inquiry may be real.

Wittgenstein, in his Tractatus, says something like this: It makes no sense to be skeptical of something unless you know there is something to be skeptical about.

The atheist, accepting that word as his identifying label, thereby concedes that there's potentially a *theos*, without which the word "atheist" has no content of meaning. I do not so concede. Show me!

The believer may assert that indeed there is something to believe or disbelieve in, yet this assertion can rest only on faith.

And faith must go beyond what can be demonstrated by evidence. Some Protestants fail to understand this, and imagine that observation of reality can lead them to faith.

The Catholic churches are wiser; they understand that this would not be actual faith. If you can't say "It's absurb, so by faith I accept it as true," then you are not exercising faith.

So as for me and my house, we will live free from faith. And repudiate belief, unbelief, theism, atheism and agnosticism.

rick said...

Francis,

What is your relationship to leprechauns then?

Do you believe in them? Or do you treat leprechauns as you do theos as something unknown and unknowable, and hence beneath disbelieving?

Or using Wittgenstein, is it pointless for us to be skeptical of leprechauns since there is nothing to be skeptical about? And if that is the case, isn't that a skepticism by default? ISTM that the opposite of skepticism in this case is not necessarily faith but gullibility. A person who is not skeptical about leprechauns could be:
a. Naive.
b. Experienced with respect to leprechauns.
c. Gullible.
d. Lazy.
e. Uncritical by nature with a live-and-let-live default setting.

I find your lack of alternative postures rather disquieting.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Francis,

As a scientist, which views creation, why do you suppose, upon viewing creation, that some persons come to believe in God and others to a denial of God? Even sometimes, against their supposed religious or nonreligious upbringing.

How then, are you able to stay seemingly, completely neutral to the idea of faith or unbelief, as you view creation?

How do you refrain from affirming or dening the supernatural, when the natural leaves you without answers in certain areas of study?

Do you affirm or deny the Jesus Christ written of in Scripture? Surely you must believe Him to have existed as Scripture claims, or deny that He is real and Scripture is but a fairy tale.

How then can you remain neutral, from believing or not believing, in that which is sumbitted to your inquiry?

I present to you this question:

Do you believe in God, as told by the Christian Scriptures?

You know that the Scriptures are real, for they are tangible and available for you to read.

Do you believe that which is written concerning God, within its pages?

-----
P.S. Good point Rick.

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.