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What is a deistic atheist?
Posted: 02 December 2008 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of teh world; it is simply an administration of the obvious.
Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation, p. 51


While that is what most atheists agree upon, it is not that simple.  The term atheism originated as a pejorative epithet applied to any person or belief in conflict with established religion(source: wikipedia).  The term later became associated with not believing in a God, but is still associated with those who reject theism.

A deistic atheist is an atheist who believes in God, or what might also be called a higher power or universal spirit. 

There needs to be a designation between different types of atheists, just like are for different types of Christians.  Other examples for designating different types of atheists are the terms militant atheists, passive atheists, and atheist evangelicals, to name just a few.


Many of them likely do simply reject religion, and that is why they call themselves atheists.  Remember that the definition of an atheist doesn’t only apply to those who reject Gods, it also applies to those who reject religion.  Some Christians feel that other Christians are also confused since they don’t actually follow Christianity, yet they call themselves Christians.  The atheists who believe in a higher power are deistic atheists, labeled as such to differentiate them from the atheists who aren’t.

Sam Harris wrote a recent article in which he asserted that atheists who believe in God aren’t really atheists.  Whether other atheists like it or not, there are many atheists who believe in some type of deity or higher power. Of course you don’t consider them atheists, nor would many other atheists.  But they consider themselves atheists, and they call themselves atheists.  Keep in mind that many other atheists wouldn’t consider Sam a “real” atheist, based upon his views of death, consciousness, mysticism, and spirituality.

The definition of the word atheist isn’t strictly confined to an acknowledgment of the nonexistence of Gods.  It also is defined, as the word itself implies, as the rejection of theism.

Atheists like Sam Harris who say other atheists aren’t really atheists remind me of Christians who say some other Christians aren’t really Christians, for various reasons.

These atheists who believe in God, a higher power, or some other form of a deity, or who are open to an afterlife don’t believe the same things as many other atheists, but they still call themselves atheists, just like the Christians whom not everyone agrees are Christians call themselves Christians.  Many of them most likely call themselves atheists because they are opposed to theology, and are associated themselves with that opinion by correctly identifying themselves with a label which most accurately describes that stance:  Atheist.  Question them if you want, make fun of them if you want, but you have no other option but to take them at their word when they say they are an atheist.  And when the polls are taken, they are counted as atheists.

[ Edited: 04 December 2008 12:24 AM by Immediate Suppression]
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Posted: 02 December 2008 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Dennis Campbell - 02 December 2008 06:57 PM

From Wikepedia,

Deism is the belief that a supreme natural God exists and created the physical universe, and that theological truths can be arrived at by the application of reason and observation of the natural world. Deists generally reject the notion of supernatural revelation as a basis of truth or religious dogma. These views contrast with the fideism found in many Christian[1], Islamic and Judaic teachings.

“Atheists” as a general rule, DO NOT seem to believe in any “supreme natural god,” in the sense that the “god” part of that definition is somehow a sentient entity.  All(?) gods posited by religions are self-aware, sentient entities.  “Natural laws” do not imply a “lawgiver,” just physical governing principles that have no regard for human at all, any more than a rock or one celled creature.


Yes, but as I said in my original post, The term atheism originated as a pejorative epithet applied to any person or belief in conflict with established religion(wikipedia).

Some atheists have embraced the label atheist because they view it as being defined by a non-belief in God.  But other atheists have embraced the word atheist because they define it as a rejection of theology, as the name itself implies.  Some of these atheists also have deistic views, making them deistic atheists.

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Posted: 02 December 2008 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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What is a deistic atheist? Confused!

IS what’s your game? Divide and conquer? You came here stated splitting atheism into groups that are along mainly theist lines, gods, guiding hands, souls, afterlives, fundies etc.. Then you post a link to a nut job website and ask, do we really want to be like this. As if you presupposing that we are like that and implying that we to be fixed (to be more like theists?)!

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Posted: 02 December 2008 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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GAD - 02 December 2008 09:55 PM

What is a deistic atheist? Confused!

Go ahead and tease them, like I mentioned earlier.  But when the polls are taken they are counted as atheists, since they call themselves atheists.

GAD - 02 December 2008 09:55 PM

IS what’s your game? Divide and conquer?

No, more like educate and illuminate regarding terminology which people aren’t familiar with.

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Posted: 02 December 2008 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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GAD - 02 December 2008 09:55 PM

What is a deistic atheist? Confused!

Damn! Beat me to it!

I was just going to make it a one-word post though.

A “deistic atheist” is kind of like a “square circle.” It doesn’t matter if someone is confused enough to believe the square circle is his favorite geometric shape. It’s still an oxymoron. What’s really amazing (well, to some, apparently) is that contradictions and impossibilities and other rationally vacuous nonsense actually remains contradictory, impossible, and vacuous even if someone says it’s not. In fact contradictions and impossibilities and other rationally vacuous nonsense still remain contradictory, impossible, and vacuous even if several people, or even a lot of people, really, really want to think otherwise, for whatever reason.

It’s amazing to consider how someone who can’t figure that one out managed to survive into adulthood ... makes you question the wisdom of some social services (well, maybe on a bad day anyway).

Byron

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Posted: 02 December 2008 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Hi,

I just joined up to this site and this is the first thread viewed. Is this the usual standard of discussion or is it part of a running joke? Seems like this site needs a glossary for the simpletons.

SkepticX - 03 December 2008 12:23 AM

In fact contradictions and impossibilities and other rationally vacuous nonsense still remain contradictory, impossible, and vacuous even if several people, or even a lot of people, really, really want to think otherwise, for whatever reason.

Good description of the reality of religious belief!

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Posted: 03 December 2008 03:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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The term atheism originated as a pejorative epithet applied to any person or belief in conflict with established religion(wikipedia).

Wikipedia is a religion?

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Posted: 03 December 2008 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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‘A deistic atheist is an atheist who believes in God, or what might also be called a higher power or universal spirit’

Incoherent, nonapplicable and assinine. It is also wrong.

By mere definition an atheist cannot believe in god, thus there is no coherent discussion possible here.

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‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 03 December 2008 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Argonaut - 03 December 2008 12:54 AM

Hi,

I just joined up to this site and this is the first thread viewed. Is this the usual standard of discussion or is it part of a running joke?

IS is just an intellectual wiffle ball we bat around when we are bored.

Welcome aboard.

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Posted: 03 December 2008 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Jeeez, Champ!

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Posted: 03 December 2008 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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goodgraydrab - 03 December 2008 01:03 PM

Jeeez, Champ!

GGD has (most likely) correctly guessed the troll’s alternate identity.
A transvestite may call himself a woman.  He may look like a woman. Underneath the costume and the makeup, lies a penis which gets excited about role playing. Immediate, call yourself whatever you want. Play whatever bizarre pedantic games you choose. But, please, do not get your feelings hurt if someone gets mad about what they find underneath your panties.

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 03 December 2008 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Kinky stuff there, Beamer!

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Posted: 03 December 2008 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Hey batter, batter,batter,batter, SWING!

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 03 December 2008 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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What of the person who chooses to discuss such fuckwittery?

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Posted: 03 December 2008 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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little baby cheeses - 03 December 2008 06:33 PM

What of the person who chooses to discuss such fuckwittery?

Mea culpa.

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 03 December 2008 01:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Taking the piss is not discussion :-)

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