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Is atheism a relic of modernism?

Politesse

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After we recently had a go over the old auteur theory/death of the author scuffle, I was thinking about something: I have noticed a strong preference among atheists for the philosophies and even aesthetics (thinking back to the art contest I used to run on SC) of modernism, and a noticeable disdain for postmodernism and everything connected to it. Is there a logical connection, or is this merely a meaningless correlation?
 

rousseau

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Can you give an example of the modernism atheists prefer, and the postmodernism they disdain? Those seem like two broad descriptors.
 

Cheerful Charlie

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Define modernism. For many in the world of philosophy, Descartes is the where the old world of scholasticism and the modern era of philosophy begins. Or perhaps what is meant is the enlightenment. Or the Renaissance. Or the rise of logical positivism and it's progeny, analytical philosophy. maybe the modern era of physics, relativity and quantum mechanics.

Magic eight ball says, "Unclear - Try Again Later".

Postmodernism? An utter waste of time. Masses of gibberish enveloping small ideas which may or may not be worth considering, but not in a pomo manner.
 

steve_bank

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Metaphysical pointless mumbo jumbo.

Without theism there is no atheism. Period. Atheism is a reaction to theism.

Which came first the theist or the atheist?
 

Wiploc

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Which came first the theist or the atheist?

Atheists came first. Every child is born without theism. Until theism was invented, all were atheists.




Without theism there is no atheism. Period. Atheism is a reaction to theism.

Nonsense. Without theism, everyone is atheist by definition.
 

rousseau

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After we recently had a go over the old auteur theory/death of the author scuffle, I was thinking about something: I have noticed a strong preference among atheists for the philosophies and even aesthetics (thinking back to the art contest I used to run on SC) of modernism, and a noticeable disdain for postmodernism and everything connected to it. Is there a logical connection, or is this merely a meaningless correlation?

relic - an object surviving from an earlier time

I'd argue no. Atheism/Agnosticism is the logical conclusion of materialism.

Theism exists because, historically, living things were presumed to have a spiritual essence, which was a natural extension of a creator/divine nature of the universe. In lieu of a materialistic answer, people just presumed a spiritual world because it was apparently obvious.

Enter science where we realize living things can be explained via the laws of nature. This is the materialistic answer that our ancestors didn't have available to them.

Basically, our new technical capacity was able to give us answers we didn't previously have. Atheism is just a natural extension of that, it has nothing to do with philosophy or any fields.
 

steve_bank

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Which came first the theist or the atheist?

Atheists came first. Every child is born without theism. Until theism was invented, all were atheists.




Without theism there is no atheism. Period. Atheism is a reaction to theism.

Nonsense. Without theism, everyone is atheist by definition.

An I witnessing the birth of an atheist scripture and ideology? Wiplocism.

- - - Updated - - -

Metaphysical pointless mumbo jumbo.

Without theism there is no atheism. Period. Atheism is a reaction to theism.

Which came first the theist or the atheist?

Palpable poppycock.
How are you defining "atheism?"

I define it as a-theism....
 

Politesse

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Define modernism. For many in the world of philosophy, Descartes is the where the old world of scholasticism and the modern era of philosophy begins. Or perhaps what is meant is the enlightenment. Or the Renaissance. Or the rise of logical positivism and it's progeny, analytical philosophy. maybe the modern era of physics, relativity and quantum mechanics.

Magic eight ball says, "Unclear - Try Again Later".

Postmodernism? An utter waste of time. Masses of gibberish enveloping small ideas which may or may not be worth considering, but not in a pomo manner.

I had modernism, not "modernity", in mind -- usually characterized as a 19th-20th century push toward technological advancement, philosophical objectivity, and anti-authoritarian attitudes. A very positivistic outlook that saw great promise in the power of humanism and materialism to remake humanity into a technology-fueled new era of prosperity and general profitability. Self-consciousness, parody, and satire abounded, as well as an almost fetishistic love of, and trust in, science.
 

Politesse

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After we recently had a go over the old auteur theory/death of the author scuffle, I was thinking about something: I have noticed a strong preference among atheists for the philosophies and even aesthetics (thinking back to the art contest I used to run on SC) of modernism, and a noticeable disdain for postmodernism and everything connected to it. Is there a logical connection, or is this merely a meaningless correlation?

relic - an object surviving from an earlier time

I'd argue no. Atheism/Agnosticism is the logical conclusion of materialism.

Theism exists because, historically, living things were presumed to have a spiritual essence, which was a natural extension of a creator/divine nature of the universe. In lieu of a materialistic answer, people just presumed a spiritual world because it was apparently obvious.

Enter science where we realize living things can be explained via the laws of nature. This is the materialistic answer that our ancestors didn't have available to them.

Basically, our new technical capacity was able to give us answers we didn't previously have. Atheism is just a natural extension of that, it has nothing to do with philosophy or any fields.

"Laws of Nature"? That seems more like an Enlightnment mode of thinking than a modern one even. I mean, given your handle that is not surprising... But I don't hear a lot of people talk about "Laws of Nature" these days. Do you think these are actual laws? What enforces them? Because the implication used to be that there was some sort of Deistic Lawgiver, but I assume that is not what you are going for.
 

rousseau

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After we recently had a go over the old auteur theory/death of the author scuffle, I was thinking about something: I have noticed a strong preference among atheists for the philosophies and even aesthetics (thinking back to the art contest I used to run on SC) of modernism, and a noticeable disdain for postmodernism and everything connected to it. Is there a logical connection, or is this merely a meaningless correlation?

relic - an object surviving from an earlier time

I'd argue no. Atheism/Agnosticism is the logical conclusion of materialism.

Theism exists because, historically, living things were presumed to have a spiritual essence, which was a natural extension of a creator/divine nature of the universe. In lieu of a materialistic answer, people just presumed a spiritual world because it was apparently obvious.

Enter science where we realize living things can be explained via the laws of nature. This is the materialistic answer that our ancestors didn't have available to them.

Basically, our new technical capacity was able to give us answers we didn't previously have. Atheism is just a natural extension of that, it has nothing to do with philosophy or any fields.

"Laws of Nature"? That seems more like an Enlightnment mode of thinking than a modern one even. I mean, given your handle that is not surprising... But I don't hear a lot of people talk about "Laws of Nature" these days. Do you think these are actual laws? What enforces them?

Laws of Nature aren't a mode of thinking, they're a repeatable aspect of reality, proven by scientific technology. They are not philosophy, nor modernism, nor post-modernism, or anything else.

If you want to talk about science as a cultural mode of thought, fair enough, but that doesn't make science as an amoral tool to reveal things about our world any less real. And what science has revealed is that the universe can be defined mathematically, and that there is no evidence of anything besides material substance.
 

steve_bank

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After we recently had a go over the old auteur theory/death of the author scuffle, I was thinking about something: I have noticed a strong preference among atheists for the philosophies and even aesthetics (thinking back to the art contest I used to run on SC) of modernism, and a noticeable disdain for postmodernism and everything connected to it. Is there a logical connection, or is this merely a meaningless correlation?

relic - an object surviving from an earlier time

I'd argue no. Atheism/Agnosticism is the logical conclusion of materialism.

Theism exists because, historically, living things were presumed to have a spiritual essence, which was a natural extension of a creator/divine nature of the universe. In lieu of a materialistic answer, people just presumed a spiritual world because it was apparently obvious.

Enter science where we realize living things can be explained via the laws of nature. This is the materialistic answer that our ancestors didn't have available to them.

Basically, our new technical capacity was able to give us answers we didn't previously have. Atheism is just a natural extension of that, it has nothing to do with philosophy or any fields.

"Laws of Nature"? That seems more like an Enlightnment mode of thinking than a modern one even. I mean, given your handle that is not surprising... But I don't hear a lot of people talk about "Laws of Nature" these days. Do you think these are actual laws? What enforces them? Because the implication used to be that there was some sort of Deistic Lawgiver, but I assume that is not what you are going for.

What we call laws of natures are descriptions of observations. Newton's Laws Of Motion. In electricity Ohm's Law and Kirchhoff's Laws. They are used and demonstrated to the point we rely on them without question. There is no intent or implied cosmic design in the use of the term natural laws. There in is no creation to a set of laws and rules is implied.

Genetic inheritance. Newtonian gravity.
 

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Atheists came first. Every child is born without theism. Until theism was invented, all were atheists.






Nonsense. Without theism, everyone is atheist by definition.

An I witnessing the birth of an atheist scripture and ideology? Wiplocism.

- - - Updated - - -

Metaphysical pointless mumbo jumbo.

Without theism there is no atheism. Period. Atheism is a reaction to theism.

Which came first the theist or the atheist?

Palpable poppycock.
How are you defining "atheism?"

I define it as a-theism....

In that case we're all born a-theists; my cat is an a-theist.
 

rousseau

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If we're talking cultural modes of thought I'd be comfortable calling science a relic of modernity and atheism an artefact of science.

Not sure where postmodernism comes into play, though. Mostly atheism is a product of scientific thought entering our collective consciousness.
 

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"Laws of Nature"? That seems more like an Enlightnment mode of thinking than a modern one even. I mean, given your handle that is not surprising... But I don't hear a lot of people talk about "Laws of Nature" these days. Do you think these are actual laws? What enforces them? Because the implication used to be that there was some sort of Deistic Lawgiver, but I assume that is not what you are going for.

What we call laws of natures are descriptions of observations. Newton's Laws Of Motion. In electricity Ohm's Law and Kirchhoff's Laws. They are used and demonstrated to the point we rely on them without question.

Speak for yourself! I'm a question-asking kind of guy.
 

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This is kind of complicated, but it seems like that the Abrahamic religions got halfway there by killing the infusion of spirit (sort of like Japanese Kami) into the natural world - or at least having independent spirits in different aspects of nature.

Is an atheist coming from an Abrahamic religious background different from an atheist raised in a religion that has hints of Animism?
 

steve_bank

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An I witnessing the birth of an atheist scripture and ideology? Wiplocism.

- - - Updated - - -

Metaphysical pointless mumbo jumbo.

Without theism there is no atheism. Period. Atheism is a reaction to theism.

Which came first the theist or the atheist?

Palpable poppycock.
How are you defining "atheism?"

I define it as a-theism....

In that case we're all born a-theists; my cat is an a-theist.

That sounds like a cat-astrophe.
 

steve_bank

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"Laws of Nature"? That seems more like an Enlightnment mode of thinking than a modern one even. I mean, given your handle that is not surprising... But I don't hear a lot of people talk about "Laws of Nature" these days. Do you think these are actual laws? What enforces them? Because the implication used to be that there was some sort of Deistic Lawgiver, but I assume that is not what you are going for.

What we call laws of natures are descriptions of observations. Newton's Laws Of Motion. In electricity Ohm's Law and Kirchhoff's Laws. They are used and demonstrated to the point we rely on them without question.

Speak for yourself! I'm a question-asking kind of guy.

It is what it is is. Sconce does not answer why thing snare as they are in terms of a cosmic reason why. It bios models to explain observation and extrapolate based on experiment and observation. Why the universe exists is not within the pursue of science. That is philosophy and religion. If you really understand science there is no conflict between science and religion.

Science makes some theists uncomfortable, but that is not the problem of science to reconcile.

The trick and key to understanding is being able to question yourself. Why do I believe in a god allegedly of love who killed off almost all of humanity in a flood out of displeasure?
 

steve_bank

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This is kind of complicated, but it seems like that the Abrahamic religions got halfway there by killing the infusion of spirit (sort of like Japanese Kami) into the natural world - or at least having independent spirits in different aspects of nature.

Is an atheist coming from an Abrahamic religious background different from an atheist raised in a religion that has hints of Animism?

From an old thread on agnosticism there is a range of shades of atheist.

One can be atheist and believe in a cosmic spirit or ghosts. One can be atheist and believe in animism I suppose.

Bare bones atheism is the simple rejection of gods. That is where I am. I am also a naturalist or freethinker. There can be no supernatural. Whatever exists and manifests in our reality is by definition natural.
 

Politesse

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This is kind of complicated, but it seems like that the Abrahamic religions got halfway there by killing the infusion of spirit (sort of like Japanese Kami) into the natural world - or at least having independent spirits in different aspects of nature.

Is an atheist coming from an Abrahamic religious background different from an atheist raised in a religion that has hints of Animism?

Japan has an atheist majority, so it is said. A natural case study?

- - - Updated - - -

Speak for yourself! I'm a question-asking kind of guy.

It is what it is is. Sconce does not answer why thing snare as they are in terms of a cosmic reason why. It bios models to explain observation and extrapolate based on experiment and observation. Why the universe exists is not within the pursue of science. That is philosophy and religion. If you really understand science there is no conflict between science and religion.

Science makes some theists uncomfortable, but that is not the problem of science to reconcile.

The trick and key to understanding is being able to question yourself. Why do I believe in a god allegedly of love who killed off almost all of humanity in a flood out of displeasure?
I'm not afraid of those questions either. I am in the business of questions.

And well aware that the question I have posed is not a scientific one, though it concerns science in some ways.
 

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Here's an example of atheist who disdains Postmodernism.

This argument is purely a semantic one and can be dismissed as such. However, thanks to this site, I know of a number of atheists who have adopted Postmodernism's fascination with semantics.

Just because many of the classic writings to do with a movement are written during a particular period, does not mean that the movement dies when the era passes. Anyone with any knowledge of history will know this; Christianity was not discarded with the fall of the Roman Empire, and Judaism did not expire with the bronze age. It is insulting, and I must note, trivial, for you to engage in such petty and obviously hypocritical arguments.

Just because making decisions based on fact and evidence is out of fashion these days does not mean that it is invalid. Having failed to come up with any evidence to support your position or disprove ours, you are again playing a semantic game of trying to define us out of existence.
 

steve_bank

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Here's an example of atheist who disdains Postmodernism.

This argument is purely a semantic one and can be dismissed as such. However, thanks to this site, I know of a number of atheists who have adopted Postmodernism's fascination with semantics.

Just because many of the classic writings to do with a movement are written during a particular period, does not mean that the movement dies when the era passes. Anyone with any knowledge of history will know this; Christianity was not discarded with the fall of the Roman Empire, and Judaism did not expire with the bronze age. It is insulting, and I must note, trivial, for you to engage in such petty and obviously hypocritical arguments.

Just because making decisions based on fact and evidence is out of fashion these days does not mean that it is invalid. Having failed to come up with any evidence to support your position or disprove ours, you are again playing a semantic game of trying to define us out of existence.

Atheist is one thing. Atheists who have different philosophies and beliefs are another. What is the point of saying some atheism are xxxisms...

I had a thread on post modern vs analytic

To me the rejection altogether of the supernatural would be more analytic, investigation of reality comes from science.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_philosophy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic_philosophy
 

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Which came first the theist or the atheist?

Atheists came first. Every child is born without theism. Until theism was invented, all were atheists.




Without theism there is no atheism. Period. Atheism is a reaction to theism.

Nonsense. Without theism, everyone is atheist by definition.

I think the numinous belief that some entity 'did it' predates the much more recent idea that nobody dit it - that 'IT' has always existed or caused ITself.
 

Politesse

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Here's an example of atheist who disdains Postmodernism.

This argument is purely a semantic one and can be dismissed as such. However, thanks to this site, I know of a number of atheists who have adopted Postmodernism's fascination with semantics.

Just because many of the classic writings to do with a movement are written during a particular period, does not mean that the movement dies when the era passes. Anyone with any knowledge of history will know this; Christianity was not discarded with the fall of the Roman Empire, and Judaism did not expire with the bronze age. It is insulting, and I must note, trivial, for you to engage in such petty and obviously hypocritical arguments.

Just because making decisions based on fact and evidence is out of fashion these days does not mean that it is invalid. Having failed to come up with any evidence to support your position or disprove ours, you are again playing a semantic game of trying to define us out of existence.
I hope you do not think I meant to disdain anything that is not hip and new. I have a good deal of respect for ancient wisdom, as you rightly point out. As for the modern period in science and philosophy, I would hardly have a job if it were not relevant in a continuing way.
 

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Atheists came first. Every child is born without theism. Until theism was invented, all were atheists.






Nonsense. Without theism, everyone is atheist by definition.

I think the numinous belief that some entity 'did it' predates the much more recent idea that nobody dit it - that 'IT' has always existed or caused ITself.

I agree that magical thinking predated theism, and that it's been with us a long while. That doesn't mean that such thinking predated the lack of such thinking.

It also doesn't mean that people who believe in numinous agents believe in gods. Many atheists believe in ghosts, fairies, reincarnation, and such. In most people's minds, most numinous agents aren't gods.

The absence of theism came before the presence of theism.
 

steve_bank

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Here's an example of atheist who disdains Postmodernism.

This argument is purely a semantic one and can be dismissed as such. However, thanks to this site, I know of a number of atheists who have adopted Postmodernism's fascination with semantics.

Just because many of the classic writings to do with a movement are written during a particular period, does not mean that the movement dies when the era passes. Anyone with any knowledge of history will know this; Christianity was not discarded with the fall of the Roman Empire, and Judaism did not expire with the bronze age. It is insulting, and I must note, trivial, for you to engage in such petty and obviously hypocritical arguments.

Just because making decisions based on fact and evidence is out of fashion these days does not mean that it is invalid. Having failed to come up with any evidence to support your position or disprove ours, you are again playing a semantic game of trying to define us out of existence.
I hope you do not think I meant to disdain anything that is not hip and new. I have a good deal of respect for ancient wisdom, as you rightly point out. As for the modern period in science and philosophy, I would hardly have a job if it were not relevant in a continuing way.

Don't know the current culture words, I believe hip is a bit out of the times....
 

steve_bank

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From the link one aspect of post modernism is rejection of absolute morality. The theists generally claim without an absolute moral authority from god expressed in the bible atheists are free to do anything without a moral conscious.

Atheist equates to no restraint on behavior.
 

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Here's an example of atheist who disdains Postmodernism.

This argument is purely a semantic one and can be dismissed as such. However, thanks to this site, I know of a number of atheists who have adopted Postmodernism's fascination with semantics.

Just because many of the classic writings to do with a movement are written during a particular period, does not mean that the movement dies when the era passes. Anyone with any knowledge of history will know this; Christianity was not discarded with the fall of the Roman Empire, and Judaism did not expire with the bronze age. It is insulting, and I must note, trivial, for you to engage in such petty and obviously hypocritical arguments.

Just because making decisions based on fact and evidence is out of fashion these days does not mean that it is invalid. Having failed to come up with any evidence to support your position or disprove ours, you are again playing a semantic game of trying to define us out of existence.
I hope you do not think I meant to disdain anything that is not hip and new. I have a good deal of respect for ancient wisdom, as you rightly point out. As for the modern period in science and philosophy, I would hardly have a job if it were not relevant in a continuing way.

Don't know the current culture words, I believe hip is a bit out of the times....

on fleek :D

or woke
 

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Moral absolutism has been up for debate at least since Socrates. To claim that it is a postmodern idea is not correct. The postmodernists might have embraced it, but people have been debating these things for a while.

I've always associated postmodernism with semiotics. A rejection of empiricism in favor of a system of understanding based on symbols, and with them, words. While semiotics is a field worth studying, and the postmodern criticism of epiricism based on the idea that one cannot dispassionately judge anything is more or less correct, it does not lead to fruitful ways of thinking. The flaw of empiricism relates to our ways of interpreting the world around it, but does not alter the fact that this world exists, and the best way to live in it is to produce the best attempt to understand it. Postmodernism can do nothing but critique our understanding, and in that respect, it can be a useful servant to empiricism. As a movement of its own, it is a failure.
 

steve_bank

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Would Chomsky be an example of post modern?
 

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Which came first the theist or the atheist?

Atheists came first. Every child is born without theism. Until theism was invented, all were atheists.

It could be considered a retronym. Like acoustic guitar and manual transmission.

Sure, I assume that the word "atheist" came after the word "theist." But the question is about the people, not about the words that characterize them. Atheists were here before theists.
 

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It's not correct to say we are all born atheist.
The tabula rasa does not default to a positive or negative view about the existence of God/gods.
We aren't born 'believing' that there's no God.
 

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I agree with Steve Bank and Lion IRC about the word atheist.

I think it's a mistake to treat it like it's descriptive of anything or any person outside the context of theism. You can say anything's atheist for not being a theist, but that's absurd because it's not descriptive outside the context.

There is no "ism" or "ology" that is the default of thoughtless minds or mindless things. Atheism is not a state to default to. It's not a thing in itself; it's a mistake to reify it into a state or a thing that one can "be". It's wholly relative to another state (of belief).

I wouldn't be an atheist if there weren't theists, and would be glad if that were the case. I don't wear the stupid label as a badge of identity. I use it strictly for saying "I don't believe in gods", which only makes sense to do when discussing theism.
 

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It's not correct to say we are all born atheist.
The tabula rasa does not default to a positive or negative view about the existence of God/gods.
We aren't born 'believing' that there's no God.

Nor are we born believing that there are gods. So that puts babies in the middle, between the two kinds of believers.

What do we call those people in the middle? Some call them agnostics. That's awkward and confusing, but it isn't indefensible. Common usage and dictionaries support that usage, so it isn't exactly wrong.

But there's also another popular system of nomenclature. According to this usage, all non-theists are atheists. The atheists who believe gods don't exist are called strong atheists, and the atheists in the middle, the ones who don't believe either way, are called weak atheists.

This usage is also supported by common usage and dictionaries. So it can't be called wrong either. And it is overwhelmingly popular among those who identify as atheists. So, when you're talking to atheists, there's a presumption that "all non-theists" is what they mean by "atheists."

Further, it wouldn't make sense to claim that babies are born believing that gods don't exist. So, clearly, anyone claiming that babies are born atheist is using the all-non-theists definition of "atheists."

You wouldn't go to a website frequented by black people to claim something like, "You are not blacks. You are Browns." They get to decide how they want to think of themselves and what they want to be called.

Likewise, you wouldn't go to a male-to-female transexual website and insist, "You are not women; you are men." That would be the height of bad taste. They get to choose their own identities and labels. You may elect to think of them as men, but you wouldn't tell them that they should think of themselves as men.

So, unless this was an oops-I-didn't-understand-that moment, I think your post wasn't tactful. We atheists don't need a lecture on what our label means.

If you wanted to point out that you use the word differently than we do, so you don't call babies atheists, that would be fine. But that isn't how your post struck me. It seems to me that you were correcting us, straightening us out, telling us how we ought to describe ourselves.

That's not a move I recommend.
 
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Politesse

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This usage is also supported by common usage and dictionaries.
Dictionaries don't "support" common usage, they only report on it. If many printed sources imply a definition, dictionarians will report it as one of the potential definitions whether or not they agree with the "claim." That is their job. And since both your definition and the other poster's are generally included in any definition of atheism, I cannot see that the dictionary is taking a side at all. As well it should not.
 

Wiploc

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This usage is also supported by common usage and dictionaries.
Dictionaries don't "support" common usage, they only report on it. If many printed sources imply a definition, dictionarians will report it as one of the potential definitions whether or not they agree with the "claim." That is their job.

a) You've overstated your case.

b) Nothing in the above conflicts with what I said.
 

Sarpedon

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The argument that theism must precede atheism because there must first be a statement before a negation can be made is just another stupid semantic argument.

You could just as easily say there was never a time before the existence of cars, because such a state would be called 'carless,' and you need 'cars' before you can be 'carless.'

Reality is not a word game, and does not obey the rules of grammar. It existed before humans started forming ideas and using words to describe them. The words and definitions are conventions which are useful only in communicating ideas. There is nothing else to them.
 

Lion IRC

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Getting back to the Op...

After we recently had a go over the old auteur theory/death of the author scuffle, I was thinking about something: I have noticed a strong preference among atheists for the philosophies and even aesthetics (thinking back to the art contest I used to run on SC) of modernism, and a noticeable disdain for postmodernism and everything connected to it. Is there a logical connection, or is this merely a meaningless correlation?

I think there is a noticeable disdain for postmodernism.

They don't like to accept that - far from delivering us the enlightenment we were promised - modernity has delivered truck loads of uncertainty.

The age of mass communication (internet) has left us drowning in a sea of competing fact claims such that we don't know who to believe. So we retreat to that most trustworthy basis of belief - our own intuition. Atheists used to think the Information Age would liberate us from belief. But look what we have. Fedeism.

The age of scientism science has given us uncertainty principles and quantum weirdness. God of the Gaps? Those gaps are getting bigger and more numerous thanks to scientific discovery. And science has (ironically) discovered that we simply don't have and will never have the resources or time to answer those newly discovered questions before the visible universe effectively 'disappears'. Atheist scientists are writing books about things coming into existence out of nothing, not by divine fiat, but by the invisible hand of random chance.
We haven't progressed past the problem of ontological contingency. Verificationism/ logical positivism has been replaced by "elegant theories'. Come back Spinoza, all is forgiven.

Post modernism is defined by moral relativism and autonomous self-selection of ones own preferred 'truth'. (And loving tolerance of everyone else's 'truth') Listen to the tentative way we all... like you know... kind of put stuff like..out there... and like... speak like about stuff in a sort of like... 50:50 kind of way... so that we can like... test the market of ideas to see if what we think is "on trend" and won't provoke the cause de jour outrage junkies.

Atheists can't be all emphatic about Leviticus' error calling a bat a bird when Bruce Jenner can call zirself a Caitlin. And when Pluto is/isn't/is/isn't a planet. The objective truth atheists can't quibble about bible contradictions and Jesus having both Joseph and Heli as fathers, while those same atheists simultaneously affirm and embrace the LGBTQ two-dads husband and husband love fest.
 
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Lion IRC

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It's not correct to say we are all born atheist.
The tabula rasa does not default to a positive or negative view about the existence of God/gods.
We aren't born 'believing' that there's no God.

Nor are we born believing that there are gods. So that puts babies in the middle, between the two kinds of believers.

What do we call those people in the middle? Some call them agnostics. That's awkward and confusing, but it isn't indefensible. Common usage and dictionaries support that usage, so it isn't exactly wrong.

But there's also another popular system of nomenclature. According to this usage, all non-theists are atheists. The atheists who believe gods don't exist are called strong atheists, and the atheists in the middle, the ones who don't believe either way, are called weak atheists.

This usage is also supported by common usage and dictionaries. So it can't be called wrong either. And it is overwhelmingly popular among those who identify as atheists. So, when you're talking to atheists, there's a presumption that "all non-theists" is what they mean by "atheists."

Further, it wouldn't make sense to claim that babies are born believing that gods don't exist. So, clearly, anyone claiming that babies are born atheist is using the all-non-theists definition of "atheists."

You wouldn't go to a website frequented by black people to claim something like, "You are not blacks. You are Browns." They get to decide how they want to think of themselves and what they want to be called.

Likewise, you wouldn't go to a male-to-female transexual website and insist, "You are not women; you are men." That would be the height of bad taste. They get to choose their own identities and labels. You may elect to think of them as men, but you wouldn't tell them that they should think of themselves as men.

So, unless this was an oops-I-didn't-understand-that moment, I think your post wasn't tactful. We atheists don't need a lecture on what our label means.

If you wanted to point out that you use the word differently than we do, so you don't call babies atheists, that would be fine. But that isn't how your post struck me. It seems to me that you were correcting us, straightening us out, telling us how we ought to describe ourselves.

That's not a move I recommend.

My post struck you? Or you walked right into it face first? Sorry about that.
You of course have the option to think of yourself (identity atheism) how ever you want.
What you can't do is tell me how I must see you. So despite what you may recommend I do or don't do, I'm going to think what I like and say what I think about atheism.

There's only 3 options.
God? Yes (theist)
God? No (atheist)
God? Maybe (agnostic/undecided/indifferent)

Atheism is not the default option. It didn't come "first". It didn't come "second".
It, like theism, is a position one takes with respect to the existence or otherwise of divinity.

You said that plenty of atheists can freely believe in angels and fairies and souls and karma and the afterlife and magic and....(stop me now before I start laughing.) But you aren't born DISbelieving in those things. The belief (claim) that God does not exist is just as much a self-asserting proposition as its negation - the claim that God does exist. These are two opposite claims, not one default position versus a brand new competing theory.
 

abaddon

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Post modernism is defined by moral relativism and autonomous self-selection of ones own preferred 'truth'. (And loving tolerance of everyone else's 'truth') Listen to the tentative way we all... like you know... kind of put stuff like..out there... and like... speak like about stuff in a sort of like... 50:50 kind of way... so that we can like... test the market of ideas to see if what we think is "on trend" and won't provoke the cause de jour outrage junkies.

Atheists can't be all emphatic about Leviticus' error calling a bat a bird when Bruce Jenner can call zirself a Caitlin. And when Pluto is/isn't/is/isn't a planet. The objective truth atheists can't quibble about bible contradictions and Jesus having both Joseph and Heli as fathers, while those same atheists simultaneously affirm and embrace the LGBTQ two-dads husband and husband love fest.
When I read the bit about talking in "sort of like... 50:50 kind of way", the first person to come to mind was Learner trying to make science into an issue of perspectivism so he can have unscientific opinions about science.

I agree with perspectivism, but I recognize some perspectives are better than others. Some are silly, and others "work". But none are wholly and finally definite.

That's not a total wash regarding what's true-enough and what isn't. It's just recognition humans cannot be wholly aware of the framework in which their concepts work. They can't know what's past the edges of their conceptual maps. The choice is being aware it's more complex than we can know. Or choosing to not even acknowledge that. "Believers" (dogmatists) are people that choose to not acknowledge there are contingencies they don't know.

So certainty feels certain thanks to a limited awareness that won't acknowledge its limits.

There's no solution to that, it's something to learn to live with. But you're calling it a problem that needs a solution. You think atheists solve it hypocritically, by allowing relativism in things like social conventions but acting certain in others. Your superior solution is total certainty, as if that's even a reasonable goal. But it cannot be achieved except by what I described above: by unawareness of how many assumptions went into forming the feeling of certainty.
 
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steve_bank

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Well lion, you must not be lightening to all the commentary on religion forum.

The problem we have with Christianity is a fundamental hypocrisy. Contrary to being an absolute morality, Christians invariably practice a moral relativism, or perhaps situational ethics. Given a situation find a verse that can be made to fit a situation.

We see it in politicians. Something fundamental like thou shalt not lie or bear faslse witness or commit adultery.

Fred Thompson the actor and politician who divorced and remarried when questioned on divorce said 'I am right with god and god is right with me'. There is little real adherence to any scriptural morality. Faith and scripture mean little. Conservative Christians pick homosexuality in Leviticus to focus on and ignores the rest.

You do not have a leg to stand on labeling a secular philosophy moral relativism as a pejorative give the long history of Christianity to today.
 

lpetrich

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I had modernism, not "modernity", in mind -- usually characterized as a 19th-20th century push toward technological advancement, philosophical objectivity, and anti-authoritarian attitudes. A very positivistic outlook that saw great promise in the power of humanism and materialism to remake humanity into a technology-fueled new era of prosperity and general profitability. Self-consciousness, parody, and satire abounded, as well as an almost fetishistic love of, and trust in, science.
If that's what you meant, then why didn't you say so in the first place? Like put it in your OP. Don't expect everybody to instantly understand your special meanings of words.
 

Politesse

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I had modernism, not "modernity", in mind -- usually characterized as a 19th-20th century push toward technological advancement, philosophical objectivity, and anti-authoritarian attitudes. A very positivistic outlook that saw great promise in the power of humanism and materialism to remake humanity into a technology-fueled new era of prosperity and general profitability. Self-consciousness, parody, and satire abounded, as well as an almost fetishistic love of, and trust in, science.
If that's what you meant, then why didn't you say so in the first place? Like put it in your OP. Don't expect everybody to instantly understand your special meanings of words.

I did not invent the concept of modernism...
 

Lion IRC

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...Don't expect everybody to instantly understand your special meanings of words.

In fairness to both you and Poli the word modernity isn't exactly a fixed goal post.
Did the modern era start with Baconian principles? Did it start with the investiture controversy? Did it start with the invention of writing and the wheel?
 

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I don't think anyone says they are the same thing.
 
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