Atheism

Deftly dodging the bullets of theistic adversaries, the courageous few, mistaking retribution for self-definition, began to maintain to the world that their failure to conform to theistic norms itself constituted an ideology. From this, the paltry faux posture of 'atheism' was born.

For the above reasons most of those who identify as 'atheists' don't understand that there is actually no consistent structural integrity to the philosophical facet which promotes itself as more extensive due to theistic projection. Conventions such as 'Atheists come in "Hard" and "Soft" varieties', distinction from agnostics and from anti-theists have been duly required, and the seemingly never-ending emergence from theistic parameters of thought while conceiving of oneself as having left them firmly behind, are standard fair in the innumerable 'Theist vs Atheist' battle rings thoughout the internet.

Typical atheistic blindnesses include a reference to 'God' as if this were meaningful, an insistence that the Big Bang proves that everything was created, but we have no evidence (yet!) for a Creator, a belief that the Jewish, Christian and Muslim deities are all the same, and a willingness to endlessly sift through Bibles to justify anti-theistic assertions.

Prejudicial, unfounded postures giving those using this identifier a smug sense of self-importance include belief that:
* 'the Christian God does not exist'
* 'no deity of any type exists'
* 'no supernatural phenomena exist'
* 'religion is a useless sham benefitting the few through deception'
* 'scriptures are all composed of false mythology'
* 'there is no essence, or subtle body energy (e.g. life force, kundalini, chi, prana, etc.)'
* 'it is possible to "verify" ideas, hypotheses, through scientific procedures'
* 'the lack of evidence constitutes evidence of disproof'
* 'worship of anything is self-destructive and a waste of time'
* 'mysticism is a language of obfuscation intended to confuse otherwise reasonable people'
* 'there is a "true perspective" which we can arrive at if we rudely challenge those who have beliefs of any kind, but particularly those featuring deities'
* 'everything in religion has already been examined by scientists and turned up nothing'
* 'civilization "progresses" and this includes the development of atheism as part of maturity'
* 'theists are all morons who haven't been taught how to think coherently'
* 'vibrant figures in science history were "beyond" theism or belief in the supernatural'
* 'religious superheros existed, but were probably blown out of proportion through time'
* 'the Big Bang was the Beginning of All Things, and this has been proven by science'
* 'theists reject all scientific standards and evidence'

While hardcore anti-theists have at times taken up the identifier of 'atheist' in order to rattle, dispute with, and reject, faith-based claims about the cosmos from religious seeking to infiltrate and erode the standards of educational systems, real philosophers have undermined what has been advanced based on biology, for instance, language studies, the sociology of religion, anthropology, and psychology of consciousness studies in order to examine the processes and realities underlying religious activities in a truly scientific manner. Atheists by and large find this activity to be reprehensible and futile, and are convinced that the only relevant information is that God is dead (Nietzsche), doesn't play at dice (Einstein), and will never be found or understood by empirical methods.

Added by Cora'Sahn: 5/24/11

Atheism, is often understood to mean a disbelief in gods, or super-natural beings. This is based in an interpretation of reference texts. I have provided some of those texts in the body of the commentary below. Atheism is so much more, which is why there is a misunderstanding that Atheists can not be religious.

There are a variety of terms used to describe Atheism:

Atheism

Soft-Atheism

Weak-Atheism

Hard-Atheism

Strong-Atheism

Implicit Atheism

Explicit Atheism

Positive Atheism

Negative Atheism

Strong-Agnosticism

Hard-Agosticism

Ignosticism

Non-theism

Hard Polytheism

Soft Polytheism

The term Atheism, is drawn from the Greeks. In Greek culture, if you lived without gods, you were aethos, with out god. This term was derogatory, in a culture which relied heavily on the assistance of gods. In fact, beliefs existed that your mere existence was for the gods pleasure, so to reject them would anger the gods and bring their wrath on the entire society. To be called aethos, was a calling out. To be called out, often meant persecution by your peers, and often resulting in death. Remove the person posing the threat, the threat is removed from the society.

As time progressed, and people were more free to criticize the religion of their culture, Atheist shows up in the English language about 18th century (give or take). This century was full of new philosophies and literature which appealed to the more skeptical citizens of that given culture. This paved the way for people to proudly proclaim they did not believe in a God or gods, and considered themselves non-religious. This was also a time of more scientific innovation, which explained past events and laws in the universe which had previously been attributed to some form of the divine. This varies from culture to culture.

There are major world religions which are both Atheistic and religious. Buddhism, for instance while often muddied by the religiosity of human beings, is an Atheist religion. The idea is to take the teachings of Buddha and live life in accordance to reaching a more heightened awareness, thereby achieving true wisdom and happiness. Buddha is not a god, but a central figure in the teachings. Some Buddhist fall subject to their own human trappings by worshiping Buddha but this is not the foundation for Buddhism. A Buddhist proverb which states: If you see a Buddha in the road, kill it. Means to communicate that if you see Buddha outside of yourself, you should regroup, review your thought processes, and realize your misinterpretations of the teachings of the Buddha. You are falling subject to worship vs. becoming.

There are some forms of Buddhism which do have a belief in god(s) however this is a more modern evolution of a historical religion. Forms of Hinduism, and Jainism also hold no belief in gods, therefore are Atheistic religions.

The French, also had a term which addresses the issue of living without God. This term means to communicate a godless existence, and is also a term meant to demean a person. For without God, you are immoral. That term is atheisme. It predates the English form of atheist.

Implicit Atheism, addresses a rejection of theism without conscious knowledge of it. Children, for instance would be considered Implicit Atheists, if exposed but wholly reject belief in it. They are not necessarily making a conscious rejection, they have been exposed but are not effectively indoctrinated into believing it. I would be considered an Implicit Atheist, having rejected the theology introduced to me in early childhood but never believed in it. Even if I tried.

Explicit Atheism, addresses a rejection of theism with conscious knowledge of it. Adults, embracing Atheist ideas are often considered Explicit Atheists. Even if they believed as children and young adults. At some point, the belief is rejected as well as the theism of their earlier religion.

Hard Atheism, is a strong position that no gods exist, and a rejection of the supernatural, firmly. A Hard Atheist will claim that they know, vs. they think that gods do not exist. Hard Atheism is compared to Explicit Atheism, as well as Positive Atheism.

Strong Agnosticism, is similar to Hard Atheism in that it claims they do not exist but does not claim knowledge of gods. Soft Atheism and Strong Agnosticism are similar and often interchangeable.

Soft Atheism, addresses the term 'god' specifically but not exclusively. The term 'god' is abstract. Once could believe in 'god' as an abstract idea, to exist. Is the definition of 'god' as an absolute? What about absolute knowledge of God(s)? Could you accept absolutes with regard to abstract ideas, philosophical principles? Does philosophy provide answers, or are philosophies a modality for seeking answers?

Soft Atheism, is compared to Implicit Atheism as well as Negative Atheism.

Hard & Soft Polytheism, directly address the issue of gods. There are issues involving whether or not the gods are supernatural beings, and should be worshiped equally. As well as the assumed knowledge men believe they have about what the gods are, and their role in the universe.

The terms Atheist and Agnostic, are not exclusively about the existence of supernatural beings, such as God(s). One can hold an Atheist or Agnostic viewpoint, about any subject. Such as the weather.

Example:

Hard Atheist: Its going to rain

Strong Agnostic: It doesn't look like rain, so I don't believe it will rain but I'm not sure, so I can't say if it will or will not rain.

Soft Atheist: I don't believe what the weather man says about rain. I think it could go either way.

Soft Agnostic: I don't know anything about the weather, I'll wait to see what happens.

Atheism, is a subject that perplexes people due to their narrow understanding of a broad subject. There is also the issue of contemporary usage vs. historical usage. When studying the past, modern ideologies are often attached to past cultures and events. This further complicates modern understanding of Atheism.

This directly addresses whether or not Atheist paradigms are or are not religious.

Religious Atheism is widely misunderstood and often discarded as ridiculous. This is so, because people aren't looking at the broader definitions of what it means to be an Atheist.

This leads me to the definition of religion. What religion means is rather broad, and contextual. One can be rather religious about doll collecting, for instance.