Is there such a thing as an atheist worldview?

In a word, yes. Everything else is extraneous, the only common thread that connects all atheists is a lack of belief in a deity.

Yes and no, it really depends on the individual, all of the above can equally apply to the religious as well.

Here’s a very crude example

My objection was it tried to stuff messy things into boxes and you helpfully provided a diagram of the boxes so thank you :smiley: But again people don’t have “categories” of worldviews they just have how they view the world. We may stick them in boxes to study them but that describes what we see, it doesn’t define them.

Let me ask you this, what do you think the worldview of the person to made this chart was? Do you think the chart contains any assumptions because of this worldview?

I’m with Dan…I could answer yes to several of these categories. I’m a Humanist AND I’m a Naturalist AND I’m a Relativist…

I lost my faith many many years ago. When I finally accepted my agnosticism, I didn’t even know there was a word for it or that there were any others that held my view…yet, I had a world view, im sure. I just didn’t have categories to put them into yet. Those developed over time and have shifted around a bit , too.

I’d have to agree that first and foremost, I’m a naturally skeptical person. I’ve always had trouble with authorities, also. I accept some authorities but on my terms, not defined by others.

I think society and our interactions with other people, especially those with views different than ours, shape us in a variety of ways. Im sure my morality was partially developed by being raised an Orthodox Jew but so did going to college, marriage and children.

Later, when I began hooking up with other atheists online, I had an explosion of ideas that further shaped me…first of all, that I wasn’t the only one out there! It’s where I first read of Humanism and agreed with most of it…same with materialism and Naturalism. I already had the world views contained in much of them, I just now had a name to attach to it…and not one alone defines my views though they come pretty close.

I agree as well with Five Linden…situational ethics/morality is the only school that made sense to me. Absolute morality never did as it’s always interpreted by people…ie. Subjects…and becomes subjective in reality.

The problem with the questions in the boxes is that it’s too black and white. Atheism allows a whole lot of shades of gray. I’m certainly not JUST an existentialist…which is where I ended up the first time, as I’m also a Humanist and a materialist. I think many of the answers shouldn’t be yes/no but also allow partially or both/and. :joy::joy::joy:

Because the religious often have such certainty of their views, it’s hard, perhaps, to understand that many atheists aren’t at all uncomfortable with uncertainty. Often, we can also answer, I don’t know!

I really believe that if we are going to have meaningful discussions about our different views of the world then we need to have a language and concepts around which these can happen.

Definitely Christian!

I would agree…which is why I said it was not a particularly good example!

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This is true but it won’t be the same for all of us. You’re never going to get a single “Atheist world view”. Do you think you could nail down just one world view for Christians?

I would argue these two things aren’t neccessarily in conflict, but run a bit perpendicular to each other. Asking to understand the worldview of atheists and then saying “where do you fit on this Christian chart of ‘others’” is kind of tainting the results.

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That’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to understand, broadly speaking, the diversity of what atheists and theists by definition DO believe in.

For example, by definition all Christians believe in the Trinity, because that is part of the creed. If you don’t believe in the Trinity you are not a Christian.

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But also is that a worldview? It’s a belief but I don’t see how that’s a worldview or even a significant part of one.

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I can immediately think of several sects that claim Christianity as their belief yet aren’t Trinitarians…you are using your Catholic definition. See the problem?

But there may be some general categories for atheists…I’ve never rally though about it. But, just like defining Christians as believing in the Trinity, you are going to have to allow exceptions for every idea.

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What you may want to look into Ian are things like secular morality systems, I think that may yield answers closer to what you’re asking for since as discussed above atheism isn’t in and of itself a worldview.

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So I follow my chosen path and I get to the box that says atheist and straight away there’s only one option: ‘meaning is found in the world’. And I immediately assume that the diagram was assembled by a religious person. An atheist wouldn’t ask ‘what is the meaning?’ At least this one wouldn’t. Because it implies purpose: 'Why are you here? (and Googling ‘What’s Your World View?’ gets me to Amazon and a book by a guy named Anderson, who is a minister. So is the chart from his book?).

I can tell you what I’ll do while I’m here. But why I am here just doesn’t make any sense. The answer might as well be 42.

‘Look on my works ye mighty and despair’. But nothing was left except trunkless legs and a shattered visage. And ‘the lone and level sands stretch far away’. What Shelly was talking about was the sands of time. And how they wear away even the memories of us.

For the life of me I can’t remember who said this (but I read a short book a few months back that he wrote online where the quote came from), but paraphrasing, he said that there would come a time when someone would have the last ever thought of you. And then you would be gone forever.

That’s the destiny for each of us. It doesn’t matter what we do, those sands of time will erase all evidence that we were ever here. And you’ll be remembered as much as you remember your great great etc grandfather from 20 generations ago.

Which kinda sounds depressing. But it focuses the mind on making the most of the time that we have.

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Exactly, to me that’s a belief rather than a worldview.

I would argue that Christian belief was formalised in the Nicene Creed and has been adopted by the vast majority of Christians. As you scientists know you always get outliers!

Freddy, it’s a question, not a statement of fact.

The chart’s just a bit minimalist for space I imagine. For example even the first questions I’m not sure if I should say I don’t know, because I don’t know if God exists, or No, because I don’t believe God exists. Or frankly at any given time that I’m not here on CAF a little bit of don’t care.

Yeah, that’s how I took it. ‘Here are the options for determining meaning in life - which path do you take?’ Which I understand to be: ‘What is the purpose of life?’ As opposed to what makes life meaningful. Which is something entirely different.

I can say what I want out of life. I can say what will make me happy and/or contented. What makes my life meaningful for me. But purpose? It’s to pass on my genes.

That’s interesting Patty…how does holding those worldviews shape your thinking and choices?

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