How does Atheism work?

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My question is if Atheism is that you hate religion, or that it is just a non believing group.

Some people hate religion. Some people are born with no belief in God. Just ask a few hundred million Asians what they think about believing in god.

The same way not collecting model trains work. As for terminology:

Atheism = not subscribing to theistic religion (i.e. religions featuring living god(s), which can interact with the world if it/they so chooses).

Anti-theism = dislike of theistic religion.

Anti-religious = dislike of the concept of religion.

Atheism is, at it's core, a belief that there is no higher power. Agnosticism, in it's popular form (as opposed to it's technical form, as it can be applied to any religion) is the idea that knowledge in a higher power is unknowable (or inherently unknown) and thus speculation on it is effectively futile.

How one becomes an atheist or agnostic is like describing every road to Rome. A small number do it out of hatred of religion, but more often than not, in my experience, it came down to a question of "do I really need a god?"

atheism has one required belief

1. there is no god

and that's it you can be liberal or conservative or libertarian or communist it doesn't matter. You can hate religion or love it it doesn't matter. There is no doctrine, there is no "church" or "pope" of atheism

It's lack of belief in gods. Anything else, like hatred of religion, having particular moral views like secular humanism, holding to scientific theories like the big bang and so on are separate, additional issues. People are Atheists for all sorts of reasons and it really says very little about them. While many are so because they are skeptics and hold with scientific understandings of the world, quite a few do nothing of the sort but believe in other supernatural things. Just not in gods.

The latter definition, for me, goes to Agnosticism. Atheism is the belief of non-belief - or, as I see, the religion of non-religion.

HAHAHAHA. I am loving this. Suddenly you ask this question and everybody is standing on both feet eager to answer. Everybody here must be an atheist... oh wow. I can't wait to see people disagreeing with each other over petty differences and dragging this to page 4.

(If you're curious, I'm Catholic.)

This is going to be brilliant.

Glasgow:
(If you're curious, I'm Catholic.)

This explains so much.

But yeah, welcome to the internet. In general, the religious are a minority here.

Glasgow:
HAHAHAHA. I am loving this. Suddenly you ask this question and everybody is standing on both feet eager to answer. Everybody here must be an atheist... oh wow. I can't wait to see people disagreeing with each other over petty differences and dragging this to page 4.

(If you're curious, I'm Catholic.)

This is going to be brilliant.

Things can get petty around here, but they don't usually start in threads like this until somebody instigates something, usually with some snide or bitter remark whose only purpose is to insert unrelated negativity into the thread. Looks like you are going to be a great contender for that role in this thread.

Atheism at its core is a lack of belief in God. That is it. There are those who like to hate religion or religious people within the group but that is not the group itself. Everything besides not believe in God is basically tacked on.

Glasgow:
Do you feel clever now? I'm not going to bother, because this is clearly bait.

Not really, I'm just made very curious by people who wield "I'm a Christian!" in one hand, an "Oh look at all these stupid people I disagree with! I'm so much better than them, ha ha ha!" in the other. Honestly, I'm a Methodist and I admit sometimes I say things I shouldn't here, but to be able to wave both at the same time so proudly? I feel like that would cause a lot of cognitive dissonance.

Lilani:

Glasgow:
Do you feel clever now? I'm not going to bother, because this is clearly bait.

Not really, I'm just made very curious by people who wield "I'm a Christian!" in one hand, an "Oh look at all these stupid people I disagree with! I'm so much better than them, ha ha ha!" in the other. Honestly, I'm a Methodist and I admit sometimes I say things I shouldn't here, but to be able to wave both at the same time so proudly? I feel like that would cause a lot of cognitive dissonance.

I think Methodism are an offshoot of an offshoot of Catholicism, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not that good with Protestant movements.

I wanted to break the monotonous rut of hearing a lot of atheists define what they think is atheism by stating that the sudden outburst of comments (just look at how many people responded in so little time to this thread) is funny. I don't think I'm better than them, I know I'm better than them I don't know them.

Glasgow:
I think Methodism are an offshoot of an offshoot of Catholicism, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not that good with Protestant movements.

I wanted to break the monotonous rut of hearing a lot of atheists define what they think is atheism by stating that the sudden outburst of comments (just look at how many people responded in so little time to this thread) is funny. I don't think I'm better than them, I know I'm better than them I don't know them.

Methodism is a Protestant religion, and Protestantism broke off oc Catholocism, so yeah you're right there.

And I hate to break it to you, but there isn't anything you can say here to get people to stop being atheists. Yes this is the Internet, and yes religious people are a minority here. And nobody comes to forums like these to have their minds changed--if anything they come to have their beliefs confirmed and solidified. The best thing you can do is spare yourself the bitterness and just let them be. Lingering in threads like this and letting yourself become the bitter and antagonistic Christian (which is what always will happen if you spend too long discussing religion on the Internet) is not going to prove your case.

Also, I think I can shed some light on that Asian situation you shared in your first post. The big religions of Asia are Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism. These religions are very different from Christianity at a fundamental level. They aren't strictly monotheistic, and they ask very different of from their followers. Japan is a very good example of why Christianity just hasn't caught on. Japan's most local religion is Shinto, and even calling it a "religion" is a bit of a stretch. Basically it's a belief in things that are sort of like guardian spirits, called kami. There aren't any specific dogmas to Shinto, and nor does it have much of a hierarchy of people (no bishops, no cardinals, nothing like a pope).

Buddhism eventually made its way over from China, and rather than just "switching over" to Buddhism they sort of took their favorite parts and made their own flavor of Buddhism, now called zhen Buddhism. Buddhism and Shinto coexist very nicely together in Japan. And even though most people in Japan say they're not religious, a lot of them still visit Shinto shrines and do little things, because it's more a part of their culture than a set religious establishment.

And that is why Christianity just hasn't been able to take off in Asia. Their cultures and histories are wrapped around religions very different from Christianity. So when we come over there with our strict rules and dogmas and absolute definition of God, it just doesn't jive well with them. It's not that they're born without the capability to believe in God, it's just they are a very different case from the people who have been successfully converted to Christianity in the past[1], and they need to be approached from a different angle. Unfortunately there aren't many denominations that are willing to change the way they do things and adapt to new situations, so that's why Christianity has a bad rep in many parts of Asia. Too many missionaries have come and gone trying to beat them with the "God" stick without stopping to get to know them or their culture.

[1] When Christianity began to take over Rome, many figures from Romany mythology were re-used in early Christian art to make the transition easier. Sculptures were renamed to be saints and disciples, Roman figures and symbology were repurposed into paintings of Jesus' stories, etc. Also, since Judaism was already around, they were already familiar with the concept of one, absolute God and religious dogmas.

Orange12345:
there is no "church" or "pope" of atheism

Despite my constant volunteering to take that mantle it still remains a vacant position.

How does atheism work? Well you wake up one day and decide you want to get rid of manger scenes during christmas and yell about muslim extremists./jk

Personally I'm a non-believer, I don't care about religion but I don't hold anything against religious people. I don't believe in things I can't see or prove and that makes sense to me but to each his own.

"How does Atheism work?"--very well, thank you :D

The only defining characteristic of atheism is a lack of belief in any deities. An atheist may also hate religion, but it's not necessary (in fact one can be an atheist while still being religious--Buddhism is a religion without a deity, for instance).

Orange12345:
atheism has one required belief

1. there is no god

and that's it you can be liberal or conservative or libertarian or communist it doesn't matter. You can hate religion or love it it doesn't matter. There is no doctrine, there is no "church" or "pope" of atheism

That's incorrect.

What atheism requires is the lack of belief that there is a god. Some atheists subscribe to the belief that there is no god, that's gnostic athesim. Others, myself included, simply stay with the lack of belief, agnostic atheism isn't a religion to us, the same way as "not collecting stamps" isn't a hobby. It's not religion the same way not believing in unicorns isn't a religion.

It's basically just not taking things at face value, and requesting evidence for claims. Or in other words, if a gnostic atheist tells me "I know there is no god", I'm going to ask him to back that statement up as well, how does he know it and all. I don't know whether or not there is a god, but among fact I do know, I see none that would make me inclined to believe there is one.

Gold:
/snip

My opinion of the poster aside, I would suggest revising that. You're the only who will get in trouble and that would just make him happy.

Frission:

Gold:
/snip

My opinion of the poster aside, I would suggest revising that. You're the only who will get in trouble and that would just make him happy.

That would be very strange indeed, considering he broke a rule and I did not.

Glasgow:
HAHAHAHA. I am loving this. Suddenly you ask this question and everybody is standing on both feet eager to answer. Everybody here must be an atheist... oh wow. I can't wait to see people disagreeing with each other over petty differences and dragging this to page 4.

(If you're curious, I'm Catholic.)

This is going to be brilliant.

Perhaps you should read the catechism of your church a little more closely.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:
..."Believers can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion.

I'll let you take your pick in which of those departments you've failed. Still strangely amusing to see somebody who actively cherry picks the less sympathetic parts of their religion though.

Well, you know how most religious people disbelieve in most religions not their own? It's like that, but a little further along.

Like others have said: lack of belief in a higher power. One day when I was approximately 12 I simply sat down and concluded that based on current evidence there is no empirical proof whatsoever that any kind of god exists.

Gold:

Frission:

Gold:
/snip

My opinion of the poster aside, I would suggest revising that. You're the only who will get in trouble and that would just make him happy.

That would be very strange indeed, considering he broke a rule and I did not.

The mods aren't so dense as to not see what you're trying to do. They have brought down wrath on similar posts to yours. I'd suggest editing your post and then commenting in the mod group with a link to his post so you can give an explanation as to why it's wrath worthy, since it's not a particularly clear cut case.

LetalisK:

Gold:

Frission:

My opinion of the poster aside, I would suggest revising that. You're the only who will get in trouble and that would just make him happy.

That would be very strange indeed, considering he broke a rule and I did not.

The mods aren't so dense as to not see what you're trying to do. They have brought down wrath on similar posts to yours. I'd suggest editing your post and then commenting in the mod group with a link to his post so you can give an explanation as to why it's wrath worthy, since it's not a particularly clear cut case.

Thanks for the concern, but I don't really mind how it goes. I think I'll leave it as it is.

for most atheists ive seen and it explains quite well how it works for them. religion isnt normally an issue for them unless someone puts it in their face, and frankly they dont even think about religion at all.

just a lack of belief and different priorities. with an atheist, religion isnt any sort of priority in their life

Vegosiux:

Orange12345:
atheism has one required belief

1. there is no god

and that's it you can be liberal or conservative or libertarian or communist it doesn't matter. You can hate religion or love it it doesn't matter. There is no doctrine, there is no "church" or "pope" of atheism

That's incorrect.

What atheism requires is the lack of belief that there is a god. Some atheists subscribe to the belief that there is no god, that's gnostic athesim. Others, myself included, simply stay with the lack of belief, agnostic atheism isn't a religion to us, the same way as "not collecting stamps" isn't a hobby. It's not religion the same way not believing in unicorns isn't a religion.

It's basically just not taking things at face value, and requesting evidence for claims. Or in other words, if a gnostic atheist tells me "I know there is no god", I'm going to ask him to back that statement up as well, how does he know it and all. I don't know whether or not there is a god, but among fact I do know, I see none that would make me inclined to believe there is one.

I understand what your saying and your right, obviously anyone who claims to know for sure whether god exists or not is talking out of their ass. The main point I was trying to make to OP is that atheism is not a "group" that hates religion, hatred for religion or any beliefs other then god's existence/nonexistence is irrelevant to and not predicated on being atheist

Casper Thostrup:
My question is if Atheism is that you hate religion, or that it is just a non believing group.

Most hardcore, "hateful" atheists are resent non-believes. Personally, I have no issue with religions unless:

A. Religion is used to slander science, especially biology and medicine.

B. Religion is used as a vehicle for racist, sexist, and homophobic ideas.

Atheism works just fine. Anti-theism, on the other hand, now THAT is hard work.

Orange12345:
atheism has one required belief

1. there is no god

Very close, but it's not a belief, it is more like an observation. It could only become a belief (in the religious sense) if the existance of fictional gods was proven because then it would involve clinging to an idea despite evidence of the contrary.

Honestly, the best explanation I can give is in regards to western religion. People follow christianity largely out of a perceived need to have something greater than themselves to look up to. Atheism works by realizing that there is no one up there to look up to so following the religion in question in pointless. So we each individually build our own moral framework from what remains of our sanity and proceed on with our lives.

...Work?
Is..Is this an actual question?
Okey, fine, going to take it seriously: It 'works' by simply not making unvalidated assumptions about things we lack basis for assuming.

Edit: Man, that derailed within ten posts. Way to go.

Atheism is a LACK OF BELIEF.

Just think of all the GODS you don't believe in, and the minus one more.

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