Is atheism a religion?

Jan 2010
4,272
Atlanta, Georgia USA
This brings up the demarcation principles found in various philosophical discussions.

Characteristics of testing methodologies would preclude me, as an atheist from having this type of evidence for my beliefs. To wit: verification standards, repeatable performance testing, third party agreement, positive causality identification.

The way I am trained to think about this, is not to reject Churchill's belief. Because, how can I with certainty say exactly what happened ? All I can do is apply some demarcation to determine if it is testable or not. If it is testable then we test it and provide some evidence. Even then we cannot prove something with 100% certainty. What we can do is falsify items though when something is testable. Otherwise, universally, we can't say one way or the other with certainty. Internally, with my biases in tow I have a definite opinion. However, my internal biased opinion is not scientific.

Via statistical inferencing I would view the event as a random "lucky" event. But I cannot declare that with certainty because there is no way to test it.

Edited to add: Highlighted section
I agree with all of that except that I’m not an atheist and I think that the hand of Providence protected Churchill for a reason. But if you don’t that’s OK.

In your view, do all atheists share the position that evidence of God ( or of a creator) has to be falsifiable? If so, only by scientific means?
 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,814
Romania
But I believe Kierkegaard also originated the idea of the”leap of faith.” I am much of a Christian existentialist.
When I was half of my age of today I much appreciated his works that I read, especially lesser known ones, like In vino veritas, but at that time I didn't believe in Christ and His Church. In fact my healing of a Kierkegaard's type of existentialism was the beginning of the road that led me to where I am now. BTW, is Cornelio Fabro known to you?
 
Jan 2010
4,272
Atlanta, Georgia USA
When I was half of my age of today I much appreciated his works that I read, especially lesser known ones, like In vino veritas, but at that time I didn't believe in Christ and His Church. In fact my healing of a Kierkegaard's type of existentialism was the beginning of the road that led me to where I am now. BTW, is Cornelio Fabro known to you?
No, but I’ll check him out. Thanks


PS—just read the link. He looks interesting. I’m learning Italian and may try one of his works after I finish what I’m reading now. Much of what he wrote about relates to my interests. Thanks
 
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Jan 2015
855
England
As someone who regularly converses, every week, with numerous different people of different viewpoints, I can say from my personal experience that the majority of atheists do not simply hold the viewpoint that "I don't actively believe in God because I have not seen any evidence in support of his existence." No, the majority, in my experience, are people who actively disbelieve in God, due to reasons like "How could a loving God exist, with all the suffering in the world?" That's the most common one, but there are others. It most certainly is not the case, as many have claimed here, of simply a lack of belief. No, in my experience with people from door to door, it is most definitely an active belief (but an active belief in the nonexistence of God, for reasons such as the aforementioned).
 
Jun 2016
1,665
England, 200 yards from Wales
As someone who regularly converses, every week, with numerous different people of different viewpoints, I can say from my personal experience that the majority of atheists do not simply hold the viewpoint that "I don't actively believe in God because I have not seen any evidence in support of his existence." No, the majority, in my experience, are people who actively disbelieve in God, due to reasons like "How could a loving God exist, with all the suffering in the world?" That's the most common one, but there are others. It most certainly is not the case, as many have claimed here, of simply a lack of belief. No, in my experience with people from door to door, it is most definitely an active belief (but an active belief in the nonexistence of God, for reasons such as the aforementioned).
Of course I can only speak for myself, and I suppose in the context of discussion like this one is more precise about belief and doubt than many people are in more casual conversation.
I am sure most atheists would at least say it is more (or far more) likely that there is no god ( and something like the existence of unmerited suffering may well come into that calculation), but people don't always consider belief that carefully, and not just in relation to theistic belief, don't scientists often complain that news media (especially the more 'popular' ones) have no time for proper scientific caveats about weighing evidence, probability etc, they want certainty - this is good or bad for you simply, for instance.
 
Oct 2013
5,897
Planet Nine, Oregon
Suffering is a necessity for all of the enjoyable things to happen, too. It's funny how if it's not a good shepherd kind d of a guy, no one wants or is able to believe in it.
 
Oct 2009
3,416
San Diego
While I agree with your first and last sentences, I disagree with your second unless it is qualified to “evidence acceptable to science.”
ALL evidence is acceptable to science-
Evidence is defined as DEMONSTRABLE or REPLICABLE.

Anything that is NOT demonstrable is not evidence, its anecdote.


The difference is that Science- based on actual evidence really DOES make your computer reliably work and your refrigerator reliable in slowing the spoiling of food.
Your doctor using evidence acceptable to science really CAN make the lame walk and the blind see and resuscitate the dead. Again, with a replicable expectation of success.

No amount of Faith can RELIABLY and demonstrably accomplish Anything.
 
Oct 2009
3,416
San Diego
But, this is not the case with a "worldview" which can be based on valid logic.

Aspects or components of the "religious worldview" may be based on faith that may be irrational, non-rational or rational.

Atheism only means non-belief in a god.

Atheism at its core does not say that there is no god. Only that there is no evidence for god.

This leaves open a wide area for non-rational beliefs and doctrines that have a valid logical unity. Of course, and I agree with you here, truth-claims cannot be made one way or the other if there is contrary evidential claims.

RE:
Karl Popper: the problem with induction
Thomas Kuhn: paradigms in thought, scientific revolutions
Raoul Vaneigem: religious/economic forces shaping western culture, non-traditional religious movements

There is no valid logical argument for God- everyone that has been forwarded was soundly defeated.

Atheism does not merely believe there is no proof of God- it states that the absolute lack of proof- in the face of religious claims about the nature of God- is sufficient to conclude that there is no such thing.
Absence of Evidence actually IS evidence of one thing... All things that do not exist leave no evidence of existence.

It is one thing to state that there are things we have no evidence of that do exist- because that subset is things we have never looked for.
We were not LOOKING for a coelacanth- but we stumbled upon it ( evidence) No one when looking for an Okapi- but we stumbled upon one of those, too. Those are examples of things we never suspected existed- but guess what changed our minds? FINDING ONE.

Evidence.


But when you actively search for a thing you suspect to be there, or claim to be there and can not find any actual evidence at all... that is an experimental result.

Humans lived for millenia seeing no evidence for radio waves... and yet no one believed in radio waves, because no one had conceived of such a thing. But when we DID finally find radio waves- it was by developing technologies that uncovered Evidence. A trail of evidence we followed until we found the phenomena responsible.

And humans have hunted for decades for Bigfoot and Nessie- true believers certain such a thing is out there, and never found the slightest trace- not a single hair- or pile of Bigfoot poo.
Given that we have found fossilized feces from dinosaurs 100 million years extinct- it is ludicrously illogical to continue to believe in a bigfoot that is somehow alive and surviving without eating nor crapping.

It is Agnoticism that makes no claims as to God existence- but then agnosticism is not a philosophy about God- its a philosophy about Knowledge. the Agnostic view is that you do not form beliefs about things for which you have no knowledge.
That does not "leave room for God"- it means that, without actual knowledge, there is Nothing there in which to have faith.
 

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