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What is an atheist fundamentalist?
Posted: 27 November 2008 08:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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LordofLords - 28 November 2008 12:31 AM
Beam_Me_Up - 27 November 2008 09:40 PM

Imodium Suppression,

The biggest difference between you and other peddlers of woo is that the organized religions actually con people. You haven’t even figured out what you are selling but you keep throwing out addled shad and getting mad when it attracts sharks instead of flounder. At least add some saccharin and red dye to the Kool-Aid before you open your stand for business.

That is a typical hateful response from an atheist.

Please point specifically what is “hateful.”

Satan has filled this poor soul with hate and darkness and sin.

There’s an elf in your belly filling you with those words. They are not your own, and I feel sorry for you.

God will not beam this hardened heart anywhere except to the fiery pits of Hell.

How loving of you. “Hateful” anyone?

Jesus will forgive you if you will repent and accept him as your savior.

But not you, sir!

Please accept him or you are doomed to eternal regret. Lord God, forgive him for he knows not whence he doeth.

Your own wishes only, you poor indoctrinated soul.

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Posted: 28 November 2008 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Aaron - 28 November 2008 01:53 AM
LordofLords - 28 November 2008 12:31 AM

That is a typical hateful response from an atheist.

Please point specifically what is “hateful.”
etc ...

Come on now Aaron, you know better than to agitate the “special” kids.

Byron

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Posted: 28 November 2008 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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I’ve never seen a more idiotic statement than the one in the first post, i.e., that some atheists believe in god. It’s akin to stating that not all protons are positively charged. Just as a particle not positively charged would not be a proton, so a believer in god would not be an atheist, by definition.

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Posted: 28 November 2008 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Abu Sayf Al-Naziri - 28 November 2008 03:26 PM

I’ve never seen a more idiotic statement than the one in the first post ...

Stick around.

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Posted: 28 November 2008 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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In my view atheism is the denial of gods, afterlife’s, magic etc. not “lack of belief”, knowledge or understanding of them. Denial of gods based on “lack of belief” is no different then acceptance of god based on faith. I “lack of belief” therefore gods do not exist is no more sensible then I “lack of belief” therefore UFOs do not exist. You can no more prove that gods, an afterlife or magic exists then those who believe they do not. I deny gods, an afterlife and magic not because I can disprove them but because the evidence and arguments for them have failed to meet the/any criteria of my belief system.  If having a more sensible, reasonable and rational belief system then others makes me a fundamentalist, so be it.

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Posted: 29 November 2008 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Jefe - 27 November 2008 03:18 PM

So basically, if I understand you, you think that pairing the term fundamentalist (used in a non-traditional pejorative sense - signifying dogmatism and inflexibility of thought) with the term atheist (meaning a variety of things - but mainly absence of believe in god(s)) makes for a useful descriptive term that will aid in ongoing discussion?

Atheist fundamentalism isn’t involved with dogma, since atheists have no set dogma.  It is fundamentalist in the sense that atheists fundamentalists have absolute certainty in their beliefs, and that they are intolerant of those who have opposing views.

Jefe - 27 November 2008 03:18 PM

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m still having trouble seeing the value of a term that appears to be inflammatory (whether intentionally so or not) and inaccurate for much more than a general (and thus inaccurate) conceptual sorting process.

The value of the term is in differentiating different types of atheists, just as there is value in differentiating between different types of religious groups.  Whether the word has an inflammatory image is up to perception.  Though some Christians don’t like being called fundamentalists, others have embraced the term.  It is also likely that not all atheist fundamentalists will resent the term.  GAD expresses this sentiment in his most recent post:

GAD - 28 November 2008 09:36 PM

If having a more sensible, reasonable and rational belief system then others makes me a fundamentalist, so be it.

Jefe - 27 November 2008 03:18 PM

Now using this clarification and going back to your original post, basically you’re using some assumptive categorization that is not necessarily correct, and appears to be largely opinion based to segregate a portion of the overall atheist demographic and describe them as dogmatic.  Then you conclude by asking if being a ‘fundamental atheist’ is harmful or not, and go on to link those you’ve defined as such with limiting or stifling critical and/or scientific inquiry.

My aim is not to describe them as dogmatic, since atheism has no set dogma, It is also not an assumptive categorization, it is based upon factual evidence: statements which atheists have made in this forum.  As I said in my first post, which I have have now expanded in an effort to prevent misunderstandings like this one, atheist fundamentalism applies to atheists who are absolutely certain in their beliefs on certain issues, and who express intolerance for those with opposing views.

Jefe - 27 November 2008 03:18 PM

I’m forced to wonder what the the point of this post ultimately is?

To assist in differentiating between the variety of types of atheists, as I have already mentioned.

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Posted: 29 November 2008 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Immediate Suppression - 29 November 2008 01:49 PM

Atheist fundamentalism isn’t involved with dogma, since atheists have no set dogma.  It is fundamentalist in the sense that atheists fundamentalists have absolute certainty in their beliefs, and that they are intolerant of those who have opposing views.

You keep saying that “It is fundamentalist in the sense that atheists fundamentalists have absolute certainty in their beliefs,” but I have no idea what those “beliefs” are.

If someone says, “I am a fundamentalist christian,” then I know several things that person positively believes:
jesus is the son of god
jesus was lifted up to heaven after he was crucified
mary was a virgin
the bible is the inerrant word of god

If someone said, “I am a fundamentalist atheist,” I would know one thing that person did not believe, but absolutely nothing about what that person positively did believe.

Can you tell me two or three things that a fundamental atheist positively believes?

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Posted: 29 November 2008 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Immediate Suppression - 29 November 2008 01:49 PM

. . . It is fundamentalist in the sense that atheist fundamentalists have absolute certainty in their beliefs, and that they are intolerant of those who have opposing views.

Your attempt at differentiation equates to nonsense if you examine it a bit. For instance, if I want to hire someone to build a fence and I tell the fence builder that I’d prefer he not dig into the ground but instead hang the posts from sky hooks, that fence builder, if he doesn’t become visibly intolerant, will probably walk away with an entertaining story to tell his friends. He knows certain things about how the world works—for instance, sky hooking may work for certain types of in-flight exchanges, but otherwise they’re part of fairy tales. He and his friends will laugh at you whether or not directly in your presence. They will certainly act intolerant, mocking, and very likely make use of abusive language in their behind-your-back ranting and joking. They are absolutely certain about their knowledge and they’re intolerant of those who see things differently.

Such knowledge/intolerance has nothing to do with one’s philosophical or religious way—or lack of any way—of viewing the world.

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Posted: 29 November 2008 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Immediate Suppression - 29 November 2008 01:49 PM
GAD - 28 November 2008 09:36 PM

If having a more sensible, reasonable and rational belief system then others makes me a fundamentalist, so be it.

That was a bit tongue-in-cheek. My point was that your labeling of me as a fundamentalist to meet your own personal ideals is lost on me.

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Posted: 29 November 2008 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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teuchter - 27 November 2008 04:11 PM

Here is your problem:

Immediate Suppression - 26 November 2008 04:40 AM

These atheists who believe in God, 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.  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.

If you know I am an atheist, you know nothing about what I believe; you only know something that I do not believe. You know that I do not believe in any supernatural beings that can do me favors when I’m alive or punish me when I’m dead.

Therefore, your concern about what you call atheists who “are open to an afterlife don’t believe the same things as many other atheists” put you on the wrong track at the outset. It is not possible to discuss what things an atheist believes positively, when the only thing you know about him or her is one thing the atheist does not believe.

It is possible to do so when they have expressed statements that are fundamentalist in nature; expressing absolute certainty and an intolerance for other views.

teuchter - 27 November 2008 04:11 PM

Sure, atheism is circumstantial evidence that the atheist is rational, but atheism is entirely consistent with Ayn Rand Objectivism, Free-Market Libertarianism, Goldwater Conservatism, Middle-of-the Road Independence, Liberalism, Socialism, and Marxism.

In other words, atheism is not an ideology in and of itself, any more than opposition to the war in Iraq is.  Opponents of that war include Quakers, Socialists, Muslims, pacifists, militant Palistinians, opponents of violations of international law, and people who simply feel the invasion of Iraq is wrong.

I have no idea why you are insistent on identifying “atheists who believe in god,” a group you estimated elsewhere constituted 20% of all atheists.  This is meaningless, like saying 20% of all males are females, or 20% of all Christians don’t believe in Christ.  Some things are definitional.

You are defining atheism only as a non-belief in Gods, which is inaccurate.  I know that is what many atheists want to define it as, but it is not completely accurate.  Examine the word atheist, and it becomes hard to deny it also applies to those who are opposed to theistic ideas; or who are atheistic.

teuchter - 27 November 2008 04:11 PM

Therefore:

Immediate Suppression - 26 November 2008 04:40 AM

These atheists who believe in God […]you have no other option but to take them at their word when they say they are an atheist.

Yes I do; if language is to have sufficient meaning to allow any discussion at all, I have no option but to ignore them as either insufficiently learned in the English language to communicate with or as disturbed in some fashion, or as too immature to take seriously.

What you are ignoring is the complete definition of the word atheist.

teuchter - 27 November 2008 04:11 PM

You’re effort to define into existence a positive atheist ideology has led to some pretty extreme positions:

Immediate Suppression - 27 November 2008 12:56 AM

And I’m certainly not the first to segregate atheists into different groups.  There is also axiological, or constructive atheism, deistic atheism(btw Sam Harris, Albert Einstein may have been one of these people you essentially call nonsensical),practical or pragmatic atheism, theoretical, or contemplative atheism, affective atheism, logical atheism, theodicean atheism, metaphysical atheism, and epistemological atheism.

Theodicean atheism,?  Is theodocity not a vindication of God’s goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil?  Did you find this on some random oxymoron generator?.


And “contemplative atheism?”  Shouldn’t you break this branch into its constituent sects:  brooding atheism, musing atheism, pensive atheism pondering atheism, reflective atheism and ruminative atheism.

Here are the definitions that wikipedia provides for these types of atheists which you are apparently not aware of:

Theodicean atheists believe that the world as they experience it cannot be reconciled with the qualities commonly ascribed to God and gods by theologians. They argue that an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God is not compatible with a world where there is evil and suffering, and where divine love is hidden from many people.

Theoretical, or contemplative, atheism explicitly posits arguments against the existence of gods, responding to common theistic arguments such as the argument from design or Pascal’s Wager. The theoretical reasons for rejecting gods assume various psychological, sociological, metaphysical, and epistemological forms.

[ Edited: 29 November 2008 11:49 AM by Immediate Suppression]
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Posted: 29 November 2008 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Jefe - 29 November 2008 04:42 PM
Immediate Suppression - 29 November 2008 01:49 PM
Jefe - 27 November 2008 03:18 PM

Now using this clarification and going back to your original post, basically you’re using some assumptive categorization that is not necessarily correct, and appears to be largely opinion based to segregate a portion of the overall atheist demographic and describe them as dogmatic.  Then you conclude by asking if being a ‘fundamental atheist’ is harmful or not, and go on to link those you’ve defined as such with limiting or stifling critical and/or scientific inquiry.

My aim is not to describe them as dogmatic, since atheism has no set dogma, It is also not an assumptive categorization, it is based upon factual evidence: statements which atheists have made in this forum.  As I said in my first post, which I have have now expanded in an effort to prevent misunderstandings like this one, atheist fundamentalism applies to atheists who are absolutely certain in their beliefs on certain issues, and who express intolerance for those with opposing views.

Wouldn’t you term “absolute certainty about personal beliefs” as a dogmatic structure?

Dogmatic structure?  Yes, on a personal basis, possibly, so maybe atheist fundamentalists are dogmatic to a certain degree, which would only reinforce my assertions, and weaken yours.  But atheism in general is clearly not dogmatic.

Jefe - 29 November 2008 04:42 PM
Immediate Suppression - 29 November 2008 01:49 PM

To assist in differentiating between the variety of types of atheists, as I have already mentioned.

Or to assist yourself in imposing an arbitrary set of variables with which to differentiate.

It is not arbitrary, it is not based upon my discretion; atheist fundamentalism is based upon certainty in one’s beliefs and intolerance for opposing views.

Jefe - 29 November 2008 04:42 PM

Have you compiled a personal list of fundamental atheists you’ve encountered on this forum?  Would you care to share it with us?

If you insist.  I’ll start another thread, keep an eye out for it.

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Posted: 29 November 2008 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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I define myself as a hard atheist, which is to say that I am as certain that there are no gods or magic as I am the the Sun will rise tomorrow (which is a probability not a certainty).

See “You Can Prove a Negative” at

http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/07-12-05.html

Now you say that if my probabilities of certainty are too high then I am intolerant which in turns makes me a fundamentalist, what nonsense! And what is the bases of Your claims of intolerance and fundamentalism, anyone who doesn’t agree with your baseless ideals that there could an afterlife(s).  Please!

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Posted: 29 November 2008 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Greetings All,

Is not the meaning of the word ‘fundamentalist’ in fundamentalist christian clearly different to the term fundamentalist atheist? In the first instance it describes the type of belief held.  As teuchter writes:

If someone says, “I am a fundamentalist christian,” then I know several things that person positively believes:
jesus is the son of god
jesus was lifted up to heaven after he was crucified
mary was a virgin
the bible is the inerrant word of god

In the second instance it merely describes a personality trait of the atheist (i.e. intolerance) but does not add to the meaning of the word ‘atheist’. It adds nothing but potential confusion. If ever the need arises I don’t see why you can’t use the term intolerant atheist or arrogant atheist or even nice atheist. I acknowledge that fundamentalist christians are intolerant but I think the distinction is made.

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Posted: 29 November 2008 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Aussie Allan - 29 November 2008 09:38 PM

Greetings All,

Is not the meaning of the word ‘fundamentalist’ in fundamentalist christian clearly different to the term fundamentalist atheist? In the first instance it describes the type of belief held.  As teuchter writes:

If someone says, “I am a fundamentalist christian,” then I know several things that person positively believes:
jesus is the son of god
jesus was lifted up to heaven after he was crucified
mary was a virgin
the bible is the inerrant word of god

In the second instance it merely describes a personality trait of the atheist (i.e. intolerance) but does not add to the meaning of the word ‘atheist’. It adds nothing but potential confusion. If ever the need arises I don’t see why you can’t use the term intolerant atheist or arrogant atheist or even nice atheist. I acknowledge that fundamentalist christians are intolerant but I think the distinction is made.

Good grief! So every atheist that doesn’t except that “everything” is possible, is intolerant! If everything is possible then so is god and we wouldn’t be atheists, we’d be something else, and we might as well be talking about souls and afterlives.

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Posted: 29 November 2008 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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GAD - 29 November 2008 09:50 PM

Good grief! So every atheist that doesn’t except that “everything” is possible, is intolerant! If everything is possible then so is god and we wouldn’t be atheists, we’d be something else, and we might as well be talking about souls and afterlives.

Your intolerance is not defined by your beliefs but your acceptance of the right of others to their beliefs. Your non-acceptance of the possibility of supernatural things better described as irrational.

I accept the possibility of the existence of the supernatural but that possibility is so small that it isn’t worth my time in serious consideration. I’ll wait for any evidence to surface and then I’ll consider it. Until then there are more important things to do and think about.

Am I intolerant to others beliefs? No, they can waste their lives however they choose as long as they don’t get in my way.

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