Misused labels of Atheist and Atheism


You can acknowledge someone exists separately from having a relationship with them. I first acknowledged my wife exists in the chior before getting to know her. I also acknowledge that Trump exists and would not want a relationship with him. Relationships are not the same thing as just acknowledging someone exists.
Just like the religious reject worshiping a devil over a deity based on either’s moral involvement with the worshiper.


Okay, so the conversation has evolved. It still doesn’t change what I am describing about who I am and what I am trying to communicate does it? If you don’t like the words I use, then let me know what words to use so that I know you got the point I was trying to communicate. Thats all I care about doing. I don’t bother with being a philosopher since those conversations bore me to tears. I just care about clear communication for understaing so theists stop falling for the pulpit biogotry they are taught.
As I understand it, you do not start off at being convinced of someone else’s claim about reality. That is every jury member’s basic starting point. They have to become convinced and that means you can fail to convince them. You can have direct knowledge of the event though, like a witness if the event. Thats all I’m talking about for the difference. Since I have never directly witnessed an event that I have been convinced was a supernatural event, I am stuck being convinced by other’s claim of the supernatural is true and they still fail to convince me.

There are three answers to the question of, Does a diety exist?
Yes, No, I don’t know. You can have bad evidence either way for the Yes and No response, so I an stuck at I don’t know. I am unconvinced either way.


Of course the term ‘atheist’ is useless for a philosophical discussion. It cannot BE discussed. There is nothing there TO discuss. It can only be referred to in opposition to theism.

If you want to discuss God then we can talk all day and the subject matter stands on its own. And we can do it on the assumption that God exists (almost all my discussions here are on that basis). But if you want to talk about atheism then there is nothing there. You might want to discuss morality but you cannot do that in isolation. You have to start ALL questions with ‘in the absence of God…’.

From my point of view, the prefix to the question is irrelevant. It’s JUST a discussion about morality. But you need to bring God into every discussion that you consider having with an atheist.


Ah. So classic agnosticism.


“No god” is still a posit Bradski. That’s makes it anything other than useless in philosophical discussion. How many “problem of…” arguments have been forwarded in critique of theism?

Those are philosophical problems. Seems like quite a bit to discuss…


But the discussions are about God. Not atheism. If you want to discuss atheism, there is nothing there. I am quite content to discuss moral problems for example in the absence of God, but that is not discussing atheism. Atheism is just me saying that the reasons you give for believing in a specific deity are not convincing.

If you want to discuss that, then you have to give your reasons. I have nothing to offer except a rebuttal of those reasons.


If you rejected in favor of agnostic uncertainty, that would be all good and well. I respect completely the position of uncertainty as an academic matter. But you typically don’t. It’s usually in favor of “no god”. Which is “atheism”.

Now if I’ve misunderstood your position…


Before. Gabriel said συλλήμψῃ (“you will conceive” – future tense), not “you are conceiving” or “you have conceived”.

Even once she asked “how can this be?”, Gabriel responded in the future tense, as he described what would happen.

Moreover, Mary’s response (γένοιτό μοι κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου), in the optative voice, is an expression of a prayer – “let it be”, which explicitly means she’s not affirming an event that already occurred, but rather, is giving her fiat to an event which will occur.

So, yeah… you’re quite a bit off-base with your ‘lack of consent’ notion.

The Church which the Incarnate God founded and upon which promised inspiration and protection. :wink:


So the church has the answer to all moral problems? So where can I find out if factory farming should be allowed? And no personal opinions need be posted. I want to know what the church says.


The Church provides the principles by which moral questions may be resolved.

I really hope you’re not suggesting that there’s some sort of laundry list of ‘problems’ with accompanying ‘answers’, are you? :roll_eyes:


V: Does God exist?
B: It’s a question that can’t be answered with certainty.
V: But do you live your life as if God does not exist?
B: Yes
V: So if I asked, to all intents and purposes, does God exist, you would say…?
B: No.
V: So you reject God.
B: No. I reject the arguments people make for His existence.
V: So that makes you…?
B: An atheist.
V: Can we discuss atheism?
B: We just did.


I asked where the answers might be found to a ‘specific’ moral problem. You said the church. Now you say that they only offer ‘principles’. So you were incorrect in your first answer.

So now we can discuss factory farming in light of these principles. Do you think there is a definitive answer to the problem using these ‘principles’? And if your answer is different to another Catholics, then could you propose how we decide?

It seems like personal opinion comes into it. But you’ll shed light on it no doubt.


No. The Church can provide the answer. If you’re really interested in a particular answer to a particular moral dilemma, ask someone trained as a moral theologian by the Church.

So, if you really want an answer you can trust, stop asking anonymous posters on internet fora. :wink:

And, instead, ask someone who has the credentials to give you a proper and correct answer.

If my personal answer is different than some other random person’s personal answer, then you would decide based either on your knowledge of whether we are speaking from the mind of the Church or not, or on your knowledge of whose training and experience makes him more qualified to answer. It’s not a matter of being hopelessly lost, or of finding yourself in an intractable quandry. Ask the appropriate person… get a correct answer.

On the other hand, if you ask random people… you get rather scattered answers. Hasn’t your experience of discussion boards demonstrated that to you yet? :rofl:

It’s not a matter of ‘personal opinion’. There are principles and standards and proper approaches. Glad I could shed light on that for you. :wink:


Yet, that’s only a stepping stone along the path to an answer. The rest of the discussion goes something like…

V: So, based on the fact that you have rejected all the arguments you’ve ever heard for the existence of God, therefore you have concluded that God does not exist.
B: Yes.
V: So that makes you…?
B: An atheist.

Or, alternatively …

V: So, based on the fact that you have rejected all the arguments you’ve ever heard for the existence of God, therefore you have concluded that God does not exist.
B: No. I don’t have an answer to the question; I just know that I haven’t heard a convincing argument.
V: So that makes you…?
B: An agnostic.


And that from the OP of the thread, who opened the discussion by telling us that we mis-define atheism! :rofl:


So if I want to know if the number of chickens I keep in my shed is too large (that is, am I being unecessarily cruel), I should ask a theologian.

Just to make sure I get the right answer, I’ll ask three. And wouldn’t you know it…I get three entirely different answers. Which leaves me with a problem. Either only one of these church experts (on the theological aspects of chicken farming) is right. Or they are all wrong.

If I need to find out which is which then maybe I should ask another theologian (Warning Will Robinson! Infinite regress approaching!).

And let’s not be so trite as to assume this question is just about the ideal size of poultry sheds. It is relevant to all moral problems. If you like we can return to our terrorist. The clock is still ticking. After our three chicken experts have worked out what constitutes cruelty to our feathered friends then they can tell me what constitutes unreasonable means in obtaining the code to disarm the bomb.

We can torture and slaughter his family one by one or we can send him to his room after dinner with no TV. Or anything in between.

The church has the answer? No, it doesn’t. There are an infinite number of moral problems that we all face each and every day and to suggest that there is a single correct answer to every one and that we can turn to the church for an answer in each case is nonsensical.

This is not a game of sudoku. There are very rarely simple and staightforward answers to the problems we face. Because life is messy and unpredictable. Morality is hardly ever black and white. The best the church can do is suggest that we follow our conscience, which never fails to prompt a chuckle.

Conscience simply tells us that we are doing something that we personally think is right or wrong. I’ll repeat that: what we PERSONALLY think is right or wrong. Not what IS right or wrong.

According to you, we need theologians. Who are apparently also experts in factory farming and interrogation techniques.


To tell you the truth, I have never, nor do I necessarily plan on asking a so called “moral theologian” much. That is, for my own spiritual direction.

We have a God given conscience and plenty of Church Teaching, between Scripture and current Catechism, regarding the revelation of Jesus to guide us into truth. Not to mention the gift of the Holy Spirit who helps us to truly understand these things!

You have common sence, access to practical knowledge about the health care of domestic livestock, and a conscience to know what is right.

Doing what is right, instead of justifying ourselves despite a righteous conviction of sin is where we depart from the source of life. The source of life is a Person who will judge our thoughts and deeds after the time we were given here is up.


James 4

Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.


Yes to the question put to me about the idea of a deity. But what was left out there is the atheist responce to the theistic reasons why they believe there is a deity. I am unconvinced if a deity’s existance based on the bad reasons and evidence the theist put forth. The atheist, like me, is unconvinced of the existence of a deity in reference to the bad evidence and reasons the theist claim to believe there is one. There I am only responding to the belief claim. I am currently unconvinced. But I also don’t actually know why if there is one or not. That is the knowledge claim, the agnostic claim. And I actually believe no one actually knows this for certain. Give this conversation another 50 responces and we’ll loop back around to having to point this out since this is the third time I’m having to point this out. This conversation just reenforces to me that theist need an enemy, an outside group to point to, to hide in their tribalism.


And as I told Bradski above, if you reject to “uncertainty/undefined”, then you’re agnostic on the issue (which is the scientific position). If you reject to “no theos”, then you’re an atheist and should stop trying to bend the word in a way that attempts to shadow your posit from actually being a posit.

The difference between “knowing” and “believing” is arbitrary. The Gettier Problem proves this.

50 years ago, we “knew” massive bodies directly created gravity. It was in school books. Now we “know” that isn’t true.

This is fairly well understood by most folks as it’s rather intuitive, which is why this necessary preemption to the subsequent attempt to redefine atheism generally falls flat on its face.

“‘Knowledge’ and ‘belief’ being clear and discrete” is nothing more than quasi-religious tripe.

No need. I’m comfortable admitting there may not be a god and have said as much many, many, many times. Yet, oddly, I persist as a theist.

I do think tribalism drives a lot of it, but not on the Christian side.

You’re just going to always have this dogged problem where community is tough to generate around a negative, even if you succeed in removing the posit from your posit. Generating community is just something religions are always going to do a better job of, by and large, in comparison.

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