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      06-06-2015, 11:20 PM   #89
tony20009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlausPA View Post
....

Any word and definition is opened to debate, throughout the years the meaning or words have changed due to the progress in society. On a personal level I do not limit myself by saying "words are not opened for debate, they are what they are..."

Let's take your definition of religion (the one you are defending) and run with it: "something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience". Please correct me if this definition is not the right one.

Every human being on the planet has some point or matter of ethics or conscience since it is hardwire in our brains. Does that mean every person on the planet has some sort of religion?

I'm 100% sure you do not believe in Santa, the Easter bunny or the Tooth Fairy, Elves, etc... does that mean your faith in not believing in the previous mentioned makes it a religion?

What about your disbelief in other Gods? Say there are 2700 Gods in the world, you believe in just one which means you are rejecting the other 2699 Gods. You need to have faith that they do not exist. I just go one God further than you...

Ethics and conscience is given to every animal in the planet and they have some sort of ethic and belief system. How do you reconcile your definition with this statement?

Now let's take your statement where you try to prove that Atheism is a religion: "In the case of Atheism, the whole thing starts and stops at step one, but having step one is all it takes for a belief system to be a religion. There is no requirement that a religion have more than one key principle or article of faith."

I assume step one is the fact that Atheism is the believe that no gods exist. There's no need to have faith to go against the claim that God exists, yes I said claim. The statement "I believe God does not exists" is not based on the lack of evidence, it is based on the claim that there's is a God.

First comes the claim of the existence of a God, then the disbelief of that claim. I justify my disbelief by not having direct evidence that supports the claim. The subject has been studied and researched and there's still no evidence that there's a God, therefore the claim cannot be proved.

I'm sure you can find real life example of a claim and how to support it.

The above brings me to the science vs. religion. In science you start with a claim "the world is round" then you need proof to support your claim.

The term belief and faith are related to each other, even in science. I'm sure you are old enough to take it from here.

Thanks for the challenging discussion.

Youngster KlausPA.
Red:
All that's not open to debate is that the definition I referenced is an accepted one. By that definition, I would call Atheism a secular religion as opposed to godly/holy religion. The key is that religions don't require god, but a god requires religion.

I don't know what sort of Atheism you espouse, but I'm guessing it's the form characteristic in Western culture whereby the following statements are accepted:
  • There is no god.
  • There is no afterlife.
The two preceding tenants are consistent with the typical modern definition of Atheism:
Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspension of belief.

The thing is that religion need not offer (or deny) only one or more gods and an afterlife. Religion provides social positives like community, entertainment, and so on. Some Atheists have recognized that their belief system is every bit a religion and have created churches around it. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/us...home.html?_r=1)


What we're discussing is the nature of religion. As is clear from this thread, comparing Atheism to theist systems of belief result in one's highlighting what distinguishes Atheism from any number of popular theist religions. Interesting and authentic as such comparisons may be, they don't shed light on whether Atheism is in fact a religion.

Why? Because a religion is a belief system that exists and the various named systems of belief either have the traits of a religion or they don't. Consider religions such as Taoism or Janism that have nothing to say about a supernatural entity, or Mayan religion that worshiped the Sun -- hardly a supernatural entity -- as a deity itself rather than as a thing associated with a deity. Thus the approach of using religions like Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism to focus on points of contrast with Atheism is, while convenient, fails to establish that Atheism is not a religion.

What is needed is to establish clearly what constitutes religion and then determine what belief systems meet the definition. Anyone seeking a definition of what comprises a religion unavoidably finds Roderick Ninian Smart's seven dimensions (http://danbhai.com/wr/l01.htm; Dimensions of the Sacred: An Anatomy of the World's Beliefs. Berkeley, CA. University of California Press, 1998.) that define a religion. Critical to understand (assuming one hasn't read Smart) is that not every trait must exist in a belief system for it to be considered a religion. Smart's dimensions of what traits make a system of belief a religion are discussed below within the context of their applicability to the premise that Atheism is a religion.
  • Narrative
    Every religion has its stories. Almost all religions have stories explaining where the universe came from and what humanity’s part in it is. Smart calls this Narrative. Narrative is a particularly important aspect of western Atheism. As the prominent Atheist Richard Dawkins said, referring to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” (Dawkins, R., 1986. The Blind Watchmaker. Penguin Books, London.)

    Evolution is an explanation -- the story -- of where everything came from: the cosmos (came out of nothing at the big bang—nothing exploded and became everything); humans evolved from non-human creatures, hence humanity’s place in the cosmos is being just another species of animal.

    Atheism is also taught to children in many science classes as evolution. As atheistic philosopher Michael Ruse admits, “evolution is a religion”, and it could be considered the narrative dimension of Atheism. (http://www.americanscientist.org/boo...b/michael-ruse)
  • Experiential
    There are two aspects to the experiential dimension. The first is the events experienced before someone founded a religion (for example the Disciples physically saw and touched the bodily resurrected Jesus). The second aspect of the experiential dimension concerns the experiences of latter adherents.

    (It is often asserted that Charles Darwin, after observing evidence from around the world during his voyage on HMS Beagle, developed the theory of evolution. In reality, he had already learned a version of evolution from his grandfather Erasmus’s book Zoonomia and similar ideas were around at the time. http://creation.com/darwinism-it-was-all-in-the-family)

    Many people feel certain emotions when they participate in certain religious ceremonies. Atheists often believe that Atheism is freedom from religion, and some Atheists have reported feeling liberated after converting.

    In Christianity, faith is seen as rational as expressed in Hebrews 11:1 as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” This is not blindly believing the impossible (which is how many Atheists define faith), but rather trusting the promises of God, whose past promises have all been fulfilled. I would classify Christian faith as part of the doctrinal dimension rather than experiential. On the other hand, Atheism requires "faith" (using their own definition) that the laws of chemistry, physics and biology were once violated, and life arose from non-life via chemical evolution.
  • Social
    The social dimension of religion looks at the hierarchies and power structures present within the religion, such the Hindu caste system. In missionary religions, it also includes how people get converted and how missionaries go about their work.

    Contemporary Atheism has been fueled largely by authors promoting their Atheistic beliefs. In the preface to The God Delusion, Dawkins says, “If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down.” Dawkins clearly intends that his book converts people to his worldview—exactly what a missionary of any theist religion hopes to do. Communist countries often made the state religion Atheism, often to the point of persecuting (other) religions. Marxists saw the removal of religion as a step toward true happiness for the common people, although in practice this did not occur, and contemporary critics see Marxism itself as a religion. (Smart, N. Dimensions of the Sacred: An Anatomy of the World's Beliefs. Berkeley, CA. University of California Press, 1998. )
  • Ethical
    Atheism is a morally relativist religion. Most Atheists adhere to one ethical system or another, but in Atheism there is ultimately no foundation for morality, as atheists Dawkins and Provine admit. Many systems of ethics have been proposed; utilitarianism is probably the most popular one. Some people have taken a further step by creating ethical systems based on the evolutionary narrative and the principle of “survival of the fittest."

    People who have lived by such principles include the perpetrators of the Columbine Massacre, the Jokela School Shooting in Finland, and on a much larger scale, the Nazis. Most people (Atheist or not) inherently know that systems that lead to such atrocities must be wrong, but Atheists cannot give a logical reason for why it is wrong. This contradiction was highlighted by Dawkins when he said, “I’m a passionate Darwinian when it comes to science, when it comes to explaining the world, but I’m a passionate anti-Darwinian when it comes to morality and politics.”

    It was also graphically shown when two evolutionists, Craig Palmer and Randy Thornhill, wrote A Natural History Of Rape: Biological Bases Of Sexual Coercion (summarized here: http://www.csus.edu/indiv/m/merlinos/thornhill.html) claiming that rape is an evolutionary mechanism to spread male genes — and see how one of them squirmed to justify why he agreed that rape is objectively wrong under his philosophy. (https://answersingenesis.org/why-doe...and-evolution/) A world governed purely by Atheistic, evolutionary ethics has been shown by history to be a horrible place to live. Most Atheists recognize this and choose to live by the ethical systems of other religions instead, or at the very least, live by the laws enforced by the government.
  • Doctrinal
    Doctrines are the beliefs and philosophies that develop out of a religion (not necessarily being specifically stated in the religious narratives, etc). For example, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, while not directly stated in the Bible, is logically derived from it. Contemporary Atheism gained popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries, after the "enlightenment." In 1933, some prominent Atheist philosophers realized the effects the lack of a belief in a god would have on the morals of society and wrote what they believed would be a suitable set of beliefs and goals for a secular society in the 20th century. In doing so, they formed the branch of Atheism known as Secular Humanism. By and large, Atheists believe and adhere to the things written in the Humanist Manifesto, even if they don’t know the specifics of the document. After all, many Atheists do want to do what is good.
  • Ritual
    Ritual is the only dimension which on the surface might appear to be absent from the religion of Atheism. In some religions, rituals have meanings attached to them, such as Passover commemorating the Israelites’ escape from Egypt. Because Atheism is a relatively recent movement, it doesn’t have much of a history to commemorate.

    In other religions, rituals such as sacrifices and dances are done to appease the gods or the spirits. Because Atheism denies the existence of gods and spirits, it doesn’t have the second type of ritual either.

    Many Atheists do practice ‘secular rituals’ such as their birthday celebrations, or the "ritual holidays" of other religions such as the Christmas and Easter public holidays of Christianity, but this is usually to simply maintain the tradition of a public holiday, and the original meaning of the celebrations are rejected.

    It’s noteworthy that in recent years, the atheists’ public commemoration of the anniversary of Darwin’s birth each February (and even of the publication of his Origin of Species in November), along with calls for the general public to do the same, is rapidly becoming something of an annual ritual. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...a45_story.html)
  • Material
    The material dimension of religion, says Smart, includes all the physical things created by a religion such as art and buildings, and also natural features and places treated as sacred by adherents. While Atheism by its nature of denying the divine can’t have objects that represent the divine (such as icons or idols), nature is treated as sacred by some Atheists in and of itself.

    There are two extremes in the range of ideas held by Atheists on the ‘material’:
    (1) natural resources are here to be exploited because of ‘survival of the fittest’ and humans are obviously the fittest species; or
    (2) we should respect all of nature, particularly living things because to kill them is tantamount to murdering a cousin. This second view essentially holds that all life is "sacred."

    Both ideas can be derived from the evolutionary narrative, but views tending towards the second idea are more prevalent than the views tending towards the first.
What's central to Smart's seven part definition is that it distinguishes religion from theology. Therein, two specific theological tenants found in some religions -- the positions on the divine and the afterlife -- is found all that distinguishes Atheism from any other religion. Why then is Atheism not a religion? On the contrary, it is.



Purple:

Yes. Insofar as a religion need not have all seven dimensions discussed above and ethics is one of the seven, absolutely, yes.

Blue:
As established earlier in this post, comparisons of systems of belief don't make any given system be or not be a religion. Were comparison and contrast a valid means for defining the nature of things, one could show that plants can move their limbs just as animals do. Similarly, there are sessile life forms. Sessile animals, however, are not plants and motile plants are not animals.

Orange:
There is certainly a difference between inspiration and justification. Despite what you wrote seeming contradictory (are basis and a justification are essentially the same things), I think that's the difference you meant to point out.

Green:
No, animals do not have codes of ethics and morality. Animals certainly have emotions, but emotions, feelings, aren't ethical and moral systems that regulate behavior and that define what behavior is acceptable and what isn't. They don't have a sense of right and wrong, morally. They have awareness of whether they should run or fight. They know whether to show submission or dominance. And they are efficient, that is, for example, a lion doesn't refrain from killing a zebra because it's wrong, he does so because he's not hungry and thus doesn't need to kill one.

Humor:
Neither good Christians or Jews allow women to make coffee for in the Bible is clearly written, "Hebrews." LOL

All the best.

P.S.
Sorry for the delay in replying to you.
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      06-06-2015, 11:52 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwmsport View Post
The first days of creation were as long as God made them. They could have been 6 24 hour days, they could be billions of years. The universe can be as young as 6000 to 10,000 years old. I believe God made the universe with the appearance of age, but in reality it is not that old.

The Bible is roughly 3400 years old.

I hope there is a point to your questioning.

I've answered all of yours, yet you haven't answered my ONLY question. Show me proof there is no God. Still waiting.
Note: the blue text existed in Bmwsport's post to which I'm replying.

Red:
First off, what you are asking for is that KlausPA provide you with a fallacious proof. The specific fallacy for which you've asked for an example is called the "argument from ignorance." I would hope he won't enjoin in a specious line of discussion by responding to your request.

Second, to show proof is to provide a deductively developed evidence, a case, that something is or isn't so. One can no more do that with the premise that there is a god than one can with the premise that there is not a god. I can claim to see God in all manners of things, but I cannot, for example, pull God out of my pocket or reliably point to him/her in the sky.

Every argument that supports and refutes both those premises is an inductive one. They are accepted or rejected on the basis of their congency, robustness, to those who encounter them. The fact is that for every inductive argument, no matter how convincing, there remains always a possibility that in spite of all its "sense," empirical evidence may someday be found to show it was, quite simply, wrong.

All the best.
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      06-07-2015, 03:58 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlausPA View Post
The Bible clearly states that a day or "yom" is a day/night cycle... You fail sir.

Let me answer your question, for sure it will get under your skin, you have been warned.

Science has already killed the very foundation of Christianity. According to the Bible God created Adam and Eve 6000 to 10,000 years ago, Adam and Eve sinned and Jesus sacrificed himself for those sins. Science has proven that Earth is 4.5 billion years old and humans have evolved over a period of 2 billion years. Modern humans have descended from a group of at least 10,000 primates. This proves that the story of Adam and Eve is false which means there was no original sin and thus no reason for Jesus to die on the cross.

To me Christianity is no more real than the ancient myth it is based upon. If your God really existed then the whole world would have just one religion.

Have you thought about the fact that until Columbus your God didn't exist in the American continent? Or that the Vikings didn't believe in your God until the 1100's? Or if you were born in the middle east most likely you would be Muslim?

We are all atheists, including you... I just don't believe in one more God that you. When you understand why you dismiss the other Gods then you will understand why I dismiss yours.

With this I have answered your question.

The Judeo-Christian view recognizes that God created an actual existing material realm wherein cause is followed by effect in a linear manner. However, also affirming that God is not subject to, is not constrained by, the linear continuum—“In the beginning God [a preexisting being outside of, beyond time, space, matter] created [employed mind so as to volitionally infuse it with energy] the heavens and the earth.” So how can He be bound by His own natural laws? I think the God you think we believe in is quite small, impotent and unimaginative. Claiming that the 6000-1000 years claimed by scripture “proves” Christianity wrong may sound reasonable, but to those of us trained by God’s vastness, it seems a bit foolish to throw in the towel per se. God created Adam at full age, why not create the universe at full age? Ready to support life? But again, we are talking about origins. Science will never have a bleacher seat view of creation and again is incapable of proving or disproving how the universe/world was created. Even linguists would agree we couldn’t put that kind of certainty on the meaning of those words as to prove or disprove a whole religion.

The following is a small article I found some time ago, don't remember the author but he echos my own thoughts.

When we consider the issue of life’s origins this becomes very clear. Some Darwinists abscond from such discussions by asserting that Darwinism in particular and evolution in general have nothing to do with the origins of life but only with how life developed after it came into being. This is good news for those of us dealing with atheists who also want to claim that evolution proves that God did not create life as they have obviously argued; how could evolution make God superfluous when it does not really deal with life’s origins?

Life “just happened” has had many permutations from when lightning struck a pond (feel free to plump this up with impressive sounding scientific language) to that life came into being on the back of crystals or that it came from elsewhere in space, somewhere where conditions were just right for it to just happen. The problem is, is that we obviously have life, but science, as it fundamentally is handicapped by principle, cannot answer “why”. They espouse their scientific method as infallible, and in its context, it can be, but they continue to apply it out of context to the origins of life, which scientific method will never be able to do unless we discover time travel and send someone back to actually use the scientific method on observable events. Until then, science will forever remain silent.

The correct, proper and accurate conception of complexity within Creationist and Intelligent Design is not the talking points version, but the evidence of the universe being fine-tuned for life. Upon being confronted with this evidence, and accepting it, what do Atheist-Darwinian-Evolutionists do? They adhere to their materialistic, mechanistic, reductionist worldviews and have thus far only come up with two “explanations” or “answers”:

1. We see it’s fine-tuned for life, and it just happened and became that way randomly from the less-complex to the fine tuning we see and cannot really explain how (beyond theory) or why (but we’re still looking).
2. An assent to something even more speculative—the multiverse—in order to explain something less fine-tuned and less complex—the universe.

The real debate isn’t about science and religion; it’s about what actually “caused” the universe to happen? Was it an intelligent designer (someone), or an unaware process that was started by an unknown unanimated event (something)?
The underlying presuppositions that apply to each camp cannot be ignored. The creationist camp presupposes (from God’s word) that we are observing a “broken” universe. The atheistic evolutionary camp presupposes (from scientific method) that we are observing a “perfect” universe that operates with some unexplainable “broken” processes.

Both viewpoints come to light in the following scientific observation - the Second Law of Thermodynamics – Entropy; the apparent lack of any “new” energy in the universe. It’s like someone pulled the plug after creation.

The creationist explanation for the “brokenness” of the universe is rooted in the fall in Genesis; the withdrawal of God’s hand in creation, the introduction of death and decay. The universe was left to itself, with no power to keep supplying itself with new energy. It began to decay; the universe was not designed to support itself without God.

The atheistic evolutionary camp has no real explanation for the existence of entropy other than the observable reality that it’s happening and a lot of detailed information on what it is. They accept death as a natural part of life, because they have to, it’s a reality; however, the existence of death (entropy) in the universe is a real crux for the Darwinist origins explanation. So we are left with one real question, why do we die? I do not find it difficult to believe that this question still remains unanswered by science, but is still only answered by God.

Thanks Klaus for the debate. The horse isn't dead and the fat lady has yet to sing!
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      06-07-2015, 04:05 PM   #92
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I some time back recorded the Futurescape series that ran on the Discovery Science. It's no longer on the schedule, but I think you may be able to watch them here: http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/futur...ason-1/603303/ .

Two of the episodes "Replacing God" and "Robot Revolution" should for thinkers who can bring themselves to consider the implications (as opposed to the simple fact of the current state of things) of the topics discussed may find a great many ideas that hold relevance for discussions about theism and atheism.

If nothing else, watching it should inspire one to ask a ton of questions, questions for which there aren't clear answers today, and inspire as many varied thoughts. One thought that came to my mind when I watched those episode is that it's no wonder that God didn't want Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge.

I don't think the Futurescape series faith shattering, but it certainly asks one to consider the possibility that men may some day acquire enough knowledge/information that whether there are one or more gods may become something that can be empirically demonstrated. I doubt that day will come in my lifetime, but if it were to do so, I think (like to think) that I could accept the answer, regardless of what I believed prior to new facts coming to light.

I happen to be of the mind that faith must be questioned for in questioning it, it is either strengthened or weakened as appropriate. Assuming there is one all powerful god, I seriously doubt s/he would want me to be blind follower. I, everyone, is a much better disciple when we apply the most rigorous means available in assessing whether the tenants to which we ascribe can withstand sound and rational arguments refuting our beliefs.

A question that came to mind as I watched one of the Futurescape episodes (don't recall which one) had to do with life and a god's role in effecting and influencing it. I thought about the fact that there are literally billions of galaxies in the known universe and thus trillions of stars, any number of which may have planets or moons that support life as we know it, to say nothing of the bodies that may support life that we don't yet imagine exists or how it could. In thinking of that, I asked myself:
  • Did God create life on any of those worlds?
  • If God didn't, who/what did? If God did, why make it so difficult for us to know that he did?
  • What did God do with the life S/He created in those worlds?
  • Did S/He find it wanting and send a flood or some such disaster to in effect hit the "reset" button?
  • On Earth, why did God hit the "reset" button? Are we not told that all he created was "good?" If so, why did he find men wanting to the extent that he wanted eradicate the vast majority of us (with a flood)? Does it make any sense at all to create something one thinks "good," and then all but annihilate it?
  • Was not free will among the things God created and gave to men? Perhaps free will wasn't such a good thing the first time round?
I don't know the answers to my questions. Fortunately for me, I don't need to. As I said before, religion for me provides a framework for determining how I deal with other people. The dogma of Christianity is somewhat ancillary to what I get from spirituality. Is there a God? Sure, why not. I can't show there isn't, and accepting that S/He exists is, at the very least, a safe choice given the current uncertainty overall.

After all, God didn't stipulate how one come to believe in Him, He only required that one believe in Him in order to receive his bounty. Right now, I can believe in Him. So far, my life has been pretty bountiful, so apparently it's working.

All the best.
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      06-07-2015, 04:17 PM   #93
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      06-07-2015, 04:56 PM   #94
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In the End. All things will be known.
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      06-07-2015, 09:17 PM   #95
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You don't need a Bible to look up at the stars in the sky. Open yourself to that "AWE". Once you start limiting God to your own understanding, you are limiting His Grace. Only when you open yourself to God will you really realize the great feeling that you know so little.
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      06-07-2015, 09:28 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
Red:
All that's not open to debate is that the definition I referenced is an accepted one. By that definition, I would call Atheism a secular religion as opposed to godly/holy religion. The key is that religions don't require god, but a god requires religion.

I don't know what sort of Atheism you espouse, but I'm guessing it's the form characteristic in Western culture whereby the following statements are accepted:
  • There is no god.
  • There is no afterlife.
The two preceding tenants are consistent with the typical modern definition of Atheism:
Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspension of belief.

The thing is that religion need not offer (or deny) only one or more gods and an afterlife. Religion provides social positives like community, entertainment, and so on. Some Atheists have recognized that their belief system is every bit a religion and have created churches around it. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/us...home.html?_r=1)


What we're discussing is the nature of religion. As is clear from this thread, comparing Atheism to theist systems of belief result in one's highlighting what distinguishes Atheism from any number of popular theist religions. Interesting and authentic as such comparisons may be, they don't shed light on whether Atheism is in fact a religion.

Why? Because a religion is a belief system that exists and the various named systems of belief either have the traits of a religion or they don't. Consider religions such as Taoism or Janism that have nothing to say about a supernatural entity, or Mayan religion that worshiped the Sun -- hardly a supernatural entity -- as a deity itself rather than as a thing associated with a deity. Thus the approach of using religions like Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism to focus on points of contrast with Atheism is, while convenient, fails to establish that Atheism is not a religion.

What is needed is to establish clearly what constitutes religion and then determine what belief systems meet the definition. Anyone seeking a definition of what comprises a religion unavoidably finds Roderick Ninian Smart's seven dimensions (http://danbhai.com/wr/l01.htm; Dimensions of the Sacred: An Anatomy of the World's Beliefs. Berkeley, CA. University of California Press, 1998.) that define a religion. Critical to understand (assuming one hasn't read Smart) is that not every trait must exist in a belief system for it to be considered a religion. Smart's dimensions of what traits make a system of belief a religion are discussed below within the context of their applicability to the premise that Atheism is a religion.
  • Narrative
    Every religion has its stories. Almost all religions have stories explaining where the universe came from and what humanity’s part in it is. Smart calls this Narrative. Narrative is a particularly important aspect of western Atheism. As the prominent Atheist Richard Dawkins said, referring to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” (Dawkins, R., 1986. The Blind Watchmaker. Penguin Books, London.)

    Evolution is an explanation -- the story -- of where everything came from: the cosmos (came out of nothing at the big bang—nothing exploded and became everything); humans evolved from non-human creatures, hence humanity’s place in the cosmos is being just another species of animal.

    Atheism is also taught to children in many science classes as evolution. As atheistic philosopher Michael Ruse admits, “evolution is a religion”, and it could be considered the narrative dimension of Atheism. (http://www.americanscientist.org/boo...b/michael-ruse)
  • Experiential
    There are two aspects to the experiential dimension. The first is the events experienced before someone founded a religion (for example the Disciples physically saw and touched the bodily resurrected Jesus). The second aspect of the experiential dimension concerns the experiences of latter adherents.

    (It is often asserted that Charles Darwin, after observing evidence from around the world during his voyage on HMS Beagle, developed the theory of evolution. In reality, he had already learned a version of evolution from his grandfather Erasmus’s book Zoonomia and similar ideas were around at the time. http://creation.com/darwinism-it-was-all-in-the-family)

    Many people feel certain emotions when they participate in certain religious ceremonies. Atheists often believe that Atheism is freedom from religion, and some Atheists have reported feeling liberated after converting.

    In Christianity, faith is seen as rational as expressed in Hebrews 11:1 as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” This is not blindly believing the impossible (which is how many Atheists define faith), but rather trusting the promises of God, whose past promises have all been fulfilled. I would classify Christian faith as part of the doctrinal dimension rather than experiential. On the other hand, Atheism requires "faith" (using their own definition) that the laws of chemistry, physics and biology were once violated, and life arose from non-life via chemical evolution.
  • Social
    The social dimension of religion looks at the hierarchies and power structures present within the religion, such the Hindu caste system. In missionary religions, it also includes how people get converted and how missionaries go about their work.

    Contemporary Atheism has been fueled largely by authors promoting their Atheistic beliefs. In the preface to The God Delusion, Dawkins says, “If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down.” Dawkins clearly intends that his book converts people to his worldview—exactly what a missionary of any theist religion hopes to do. Communist countries often made the state religion Atheism, often to the point of persecuting (other) religions. Marxists saw the removal of religion as a step toward true happiness for the common people, although in practice this did not occur, and contemporary critics see Marxism itself as a religion. (Smart, N. Dimensions of the Sacred: An Anatomy of the World's Beliefs. Berkeley, CA. University of California Press, 1998. )
  • Ethical
    Atheism is a morally relativist religion. Most Atheists adhere to one ethical system or another, but in Atheism there is ultimately no foundation for morality, as atheists Dawkins and Provine admit. Many systems of ethics have been proposed; utilitarianism is probably the most popular one. Some people have taken a further step by creating ethical systems based on the evolutionary narrative and the principle of “survival of the fittest."

    People who have lived by such principles include the perpetrators of the Columbine Massacre, the Jokela School Shooting in Finland, and on a much larger scale, the Nazis. Most people (Atheist or not) inherently know that systems that lead to such atrocities must be wrong, but Atheists cannot give a logical reason for why it is wrong. This contradiction was highlighted by Dawkins when he said, “I’m a passionate Darwinian when it comes to science, when it comes to explaining the world, but I’m a passionate anti-Darwinian when it comes to morality and politics.”

    It was also graphically shown when two evolutionists, Craig Palmer and Randy Thornhill, wrote A Natural History Of Rape: Biological Bases Of Sexual Coercion (summarized here: http://www.csus.edu/indiv/m/merlinos/thornhill.html) claiming that rape is an evolutionary mechanism to spread male genes — and see how one of them squirmed to justify why he agreed that rape is objectively wrong under his philosophy. (https://answersingenesis.org/why-doe...and-evolution/) A world governed purely by Atheistic, evolutionary ethics has been shown by history to be a horrible place to live. Most Atheists recognize this and choose to live by the ethical systems of other religions instead, or at the very least, live by the laws enforced by the government.
  • Doctrinal
    Doctrines are the beliefs and philosophies that develop out of a religion (not necessarily being specifically stated in the religious narratives, etc). For example, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, while not directly stated in the Bible, is logically derived from it. Contemporary Atheism gained popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries, after the "enlightenment." In 1933, some prominent Atheist philosophers realized the effects the lack of a belief in a god would have on the morals of society and wrote what they believed would be a suitable set of beliefs and goals for a secular society in the 20th century. In doing so, they formed the branch of Atheism known as Secular Humanism. By and large, Atheists believe and adhere to the things written in the Humanist Manifesto, even if they don’t know the specifics of the document. After all, many Atheists do want to do what is good.
  • Ritual
    Ritual is the only dimension which on the surface might appear to be absent from the religion of Atheism. In some religions, rituals have meanings attached to them, such as Passover commemorating the Israelites’ escape from Egypt. Because Atheism is a relatively recent movement, it doesn’t have much of a history to commemorate.

    In other religions, rituals such as sacrifices and dances are done to appease the gods or the spirits. Because Atheism denies the existence of gods and spirits, it doesn’t have the second type of ritual either.

    Many Atheists do practice ‘secular rituals’ such as their birthday celebrations, or the "ritual holidays" of other religions such as the Christmas and Easter public holidays of Christianity, but this is usually to simply maintain the tradition of a public holiday, and the original meaning of the celebrations are rejected.

    It’s noteworthy that in recent years, the atheists’ public commemoration of the anniversary of Darwin’s birth each February (and even of the publication of his Origin of Species in November), along with calls for the general public to do the same, is rapidly becoming something of an annual ritual. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...a45_story.html)
  • Material
    The material dimension of religion, says Smart, includes all the physical things created by a religion such as art and buildings, and also natural features and places treated as sacred by adherents. While Atheism by its nature of denying the divine can’t have objects that represent the divine (such as icons or idols), nature is treated as sacred by some Atheists in and of itself.

    There are two extremes in the range of ideas held by Atheists on the ‘material’:
    (1) natural resources are here to be exploited because of ‘survival of the fittest’ and humans are obviously the fittest species; or
    (2) we should respect all of nature, particularly living things because to kill them is tantamount to murdering a cousin. This second view essentially holds that all life is "sacred."

    Both ideas can be derived from the evolutionary narrative, but views tending towards the second idea are more prevalent than the views tending towards the first.
What's central to Smart's seven part definition is that it distinguishes religion from theology. Therein, two specific theological tenants found in some religions -- the positions on the divine and the afterlife -- is found all that distinguishes Atheism from any other religion. Why then is Atheism not a religion? On the contrary, it is.



Purple:

Yes. Insofar as a religion need not have all seven dimensions discussed above and ethics is one of the seven, absolutely, yes.

Blue:
As established earlier in this post, comparisons of systems of belief don't make any given system be or not be a religion. Were comparison and contrast a valid means for defining the nature of things, one could show that plants can move their limbs just as animals do. Similarly, there are sessile life forms. Sessile animals, however, are not plants and motile plants are not animals.

Orange:
There is certainly a difference between inspiration and justification. Despite what you wrote seeming contradictory (are basis and a justification are essentially the same things), I think that's the difference you meant to point out.

Green:
No, animals do not have codes of ethics and morality. Animals certainly have emotions, but emotions, feelings, aren't ethical and moral systems that regulate behavior and that define what behavior is acceptable and what isn't. They don't have a sense of right and wrong, morally. They have awareness of whether they should run or fight. They know whether to show submission or dominance. And they are efficient, that is, for example, a lion doesn't refrain from killing a zebra because it's wrong, he does so because he's not hungry and thus doesn't need to kill one.

Humor:
Neither good Christians or Jews allow women to make coffee for in the Bible is clearly written, "Hebrews." LOL

All the best.

P.S.
Sorry for the delay in replying to you.
One of the most BRILLIANT posts I have seen in these types of discussions ever...
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      06-08-2015, 01:27 AM   #97
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In the End. All things will be known.
I don't even know that to be so, but I do know if "the end" happens within most of the timeframes that scientists currently estimate humanity will go extinct, odds are we almost certainly by then won't "know all." (http://www.viralnova.com/human-race-extinction/) What if "the end" comes tomorrow in the form of a extinction level asteroid strike or gamma ray burst (GRB)? Surely you don't think we will have great epiphanies between now and the moment it strikes us all dead?

Of course, I don't expect the world to end tomorrow, but then again, I don't either expect any great discoveries on the order of "all will be known" tomorrow. That said, when something like an Earthward bound GRB having enough energy occurs, it may as well be tomorrow for we wouldn't know the damn thing is coming until it gets here, despite the fact that our scientists may have already seen the star that effects it and rightly predicted it would one day emit a GRB toward us. It's one of those things that, by traveling at light speed, if we see one that's aimed our way, it's too late.

The other thing is that regardless of when "the end" occurs or what "know all" entails, afterlife or no afterlife, I'm suspect knowing everything will be of little value one each of us cast off this moral coil. After all, damn near everything we seek to know as corporeal humans sooner or later focuses around something physical. For the things that pertain exclusively to the spiritual, one doesn't need to know any more than one knows now. We all already know everything we need to know in order to achieve spiritual contentment and harmony with one's fellow man and the world in which we live. Attaining those states of being call for nothing other than willing to make it happen not learning something new.

All the best.
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      06-08-2015, 02:20 AM   #98
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      06-08-2015, 02:56 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCR View Post
hehehe
LOL

Well, arguably, waiting 2000 years for the Messiah's second coming is somewhat better than waiting some 3500+ years for his first appearance. LOL Some say "better late than never." I think in this case "better once than not at all" is equally fulfilling to those who adhere to the premise that the Messiah came at all. Even Jews would surely agree that, all other things being assumed equal, waiting less long is better than waiting longer.

On the upside, if nothing else, Judaism teaches one patience as shown in the Book of Job, to say nothing of waiting for their Messiah's arrival. One need not be Jewish even to see and appreciate the virtue of patience.

And therein lies yet another example of what I find good and useful about the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments. (More or less the same can as well be said of the scriptures of most other theist belief systems.) Accept the dogma or don't as befits one's sensibilities, there's still no shortage of daily useful insights on the largely unchanging nature of humanity and how one can live one's life so as to find peace in it.

Those elements of the Bible's teaching are applicable to everyone's life, and it really doesn't matter if one lives that way because of God's command to do so or simply because it "just makes sense." If one does the "right" things, even if for the "wrong" reasons, one is still doing the "right" things. That alone is bound to pay off.

All the best.
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      06-08-2015, 03:03 AM   #100
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Bump so I don't lose this thread. I'll post after I read most of the post on here
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      06-08-2015, 06:37 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by avantegardestyle View Post
One of the most BRILLIANT posts I have seen in these types of discussions ever...
That's very nice of you to say. TY.

All the best.
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      06-08-2015, 06:44 AM   #102
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No one addressed would G-D be pleased with the direction BMW has taken becoming less of a drivers car?
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      06-08-2015, 07:03 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Jbrock22 View Post
No one addressed would G-D be pleased with the direction BMW has taken becoming less of a drivers car?
Probably not for Jesus said, "You must be born again."

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      06-08-2015, 08:51 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlausPA View Post
The Bible clearly states that a day or "yom" is a day/night cycle... You fail sir.

Let me answer your question, for sure it will get under your skin, you have been warned.

Science has already killed the very foundation of Christianity. According to the Bible God created Adam and Eve 6000 to 10,000 years ago, Adam and Eve sinned and Jesus sacrificed himself for those sins. Science has proven that Earth is 4.5 billion years old and humans have evolved over a period of 2 billion years. Modern humans have descended from a group of at least 10,000 primates. This proves that the story of Adam and Eve is false which means there was no original sin and thus no reason for Jesus to die on the cross.

To me Christianity is no more real than the ancient myth it is based upon. If your God really existed then the whole world would have just one religion.

Have you thought about the fact that until Columbus your God didn't exist in the American continent? Or that the Vikings didn't believe in your God until the 1100's? Or if you were born in the middle east most likely you would be Muslim?

We are all atheists, including you... I just don't believe in one more God than you. When you understand why you dismiss the other Gods then you will understand why I dismiss yours.

With this I have answered your question.
I never said I disagreed with the concept that "yom" refers to a day/night cycle, how does that mean I fail exactly?

Would you like to show me some proof of evolution? Science HAS NOT killed the foundation of Christianity.

In all of that, you gave no proof for anything, you just made a blanket statement of what you believe with nothing to back it up.

Science not only has not, but CANNOT prove earth is that old.

I dismiss other gods because they are irrational. The same cannot be said for the God of the Bible.

See blue. What's your point here? I've already said numerous times that God has placed knowledge of him on everyone's heart so that they have no excuse on judgement day.

+1 for even though thats what I am doing

Let me ask you this last thing: if I can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that God exists and the Bible is reliable and authoritative, would you convert to Christianity?
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      06-08-2015, 11:27 AM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
Note: the blue text existed in Bmwsport's post to which I'm replying.

Red:
First off, what you are asking for is that KlausPA provide you with a fallacious proof. The specific fallacy for which you've asked for an example is called the "argument from ignorance." I would hope he won't enjoin in a specious line of discussion by responding to your request.

Second, to show proof is to provide a deductively developed evidence, a case, that something is or isn't so. One can no more do that with the premise that there is a god than one can with the premise that there is not a god. I can claim to see God in all manners of things, but I cannot, for example, pull God out of my pocket or reliably point to him/her in the sky.

Every argument that supports and refutes both those premises is an inductive one. They are accepted or rejected on the basis of their congency, robustness, to those who encounter them. The fact is that for every inductive argument, no matter how convincing, there remains always a possibility that in spite of all its "sense," empirical evidence may someday be found to show it was, quite simply, wrong.

All the best.
My main problem with atheists is that they accept on faith that God doesn't exist, yet they expect everyone else to have reasons for what they believe, but hold themselves exempt from that rule. I don't expect him to provide proof (since to disprove God's existence you would have to be everywhere at all points of time and space ). I just expect him to recognize what he's doing.
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      06-08-2015, 02:35 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwmsport View Post
My main problem with atheists is that they accept on faith that God doesn't exist, yet they expect everyone else to have reasons for what they believe, but hold themselves exempt from that rule. I don't expect him to provide proof (since to disprove God's existence you would have to be everywhere at all points of time and space ). I just expect him to recognize what he's doing.
Well, that's not unreasonable to expect. Unfortunately, "knowing what one is doing" (or talking about) -- in the sense of being well informed and using the information to effect sound arguments -- has, in my adult years of observation, shown itself to be a quality not found in many things folks do and say. I haven't found that to be something unique to Atheists.

All the best.
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      06-08-2015, 03:10 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by bmwmsport View Post
I dismiss other gods because they are irrational.



Care to elaborate on your statement here ? What, specifically about Christianity is more plausible and rational than any of the other major worlds religions?

I have to ask because as a non-believer myself, I can't say that I find many of the verses in the bible to be any less or more rational or logically defensible than stories from other holy texts.

They all seem to demand a great big "leap of faith" to accept the premises they put forth, and offer nothing in the way of proof, as Tony2009 has mentioned. Not trying to be a shit disturbing troll, but I'm genuinely baffled by the notion that one can possibly be more rational than the other.

As someone who does not subscribe to the preachings of any 1 book over the other, and thus doesn't really have any "skin in the game", I find it really fascinating when one person suggests that their collection of impossible-to-prove far fetched stories is somehow more rational than someone else's collection of impossible-to-prove far fetched stories.
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      06-08-2015, 03:45 PM   #108
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This is quite a debate going on...

Christianity is the dominant religion in today's world due partly due to the aggressive nature of spreading the word of God done by missionaries and others.

I grew up in a Buddhist family and the overarching idea is tolerance and balance in everything - it is a way of living one's life to achieve self-enlightenment rather than professing a faith and preaching it to the world. Unlike Christianity, Buddhism does not condemn people to hell who do not follow Buddhism.

There are many religions in the world with people of many faiths. Christianity needs to learn to accept others rather than ram their religion down people's throats and brainwash the young to follow rather than think for themselves.
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      06-08-2015, 03:52 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleAgedAl View Post



Care to elaborate on your statement here ? What, specifically about Christianity is more plausible and rational than any of the other major worlds religions?

I have to ask because as a non-believer myself, I can't say that I find many of the verses in the bible to be any less or more rational or logically defensible than stories from other holy texts.

They all seem to demand a great big "leap of faith" to accept the premises they put forth, and offer nothing in the way of proof, as Tony2009 has mentioned. Not trying to be a shit disturbing troll, but I'm genuinely baffled by the notion that one can possibly be more rational than the other.

As someone who does not subscribe to the preachings of any 1 book over the other, and thus doesn't really have any "skin in the game", I find it really fascinating when one person suggests that their collection of impossible-to-prove far fetched stories is somehow more rational than someone else's collection of impossible-to-prove far fetched stories.
See red. It comes down to the reliability and authority of the Bible over and above other "holy books." I posted an extensive section on this on page one or two of this thread. Where other "holy books" fail, the Bible succeeds. Consider this one fact: the Bible has 66 books, 40 different authors, and was written over a 1500 year period, yet contains no internal errors or inconsistencies?

See blue. It depends on how you define "prove." I can prove logically that God must be necessary, but that fact can't be proven scientifically. To be proven scientifically, something must be "observable, testable, and repeatable."

In any case, your idea that God doesn't exist is an impossible-to-prove far fetched story, so be careful where you throw stones.
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      06-08-2015, 03:58 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
This is quite a debate going on...

Christianity is the dominant religion in today's world due partly due to the aggressive nature of spreading the word of God done by missionaries and others.

I grew up in a Buddhist family and the overarching idea is tolerance and balance in everything - it is a way of living one's life to achieve self-enlightenment rather than professing a faith and preaching it to the world. Unlike Christianity, Buddhism does not condemn people to hell who do not follow Buddhism.

There are many religions in the world with people of many faiths. Christianity needs to learn to accept others rather than ram their religion down people's throats and brainwash the young to follow rather than think for themselves.
Excuse me for NOT ignoring the law of noncontradiction. Truth isn't relative to what one believes, truth is objective. With that in place, only one view can be right.

Atheists do more "ramming their religion down people's throats" than Christians do. I was brought up in a part Christian, part atheist home and was forced to decide empirically which one to decide because they obviously can't both be right. I thought for myself and chose the more logical of the two.

If you have anything intellectual you'd like to bring to the table, have at it. Until then, let's try and keep the laws of logic in place.
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