Is Atheism considered a "worldview?"

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  • #1890

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    Simple, atheism is an aworldview worldview, and that settles it.

    Word games aside, I don’t mind if it’s called a worldview. What does that even mean? As far as atheism being against God or not believing in God, I’m in the latter group.

    Them: “Atheists don’t believe in god….”

    I’m not sure if I’d say that’s incorrect. I think atheism and science don’t by definition mean to disprove God’s existence, but show that the world can be explained without God. That is a worldview, in a way… but I think atheism is really only relevant as long as theism exists.

    It’s even difficult for some atheists to not speak like they’re angry at God, which makes it near hypocritical for them to then say God doesn’t exist. Again, God is not the problem, but theists who arrogantly define God and intentionally exclude non-believers from their worldview.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by  PopeBeanie.
    #1894

    .
    Spectator

    I am curious why for some it would be a little offensive to say that atheism IS a worldview…would there be anything wrong with that?

    I’m not taking a stance either way right now….just asking the questions 😉 I’m not sure I’ve totally formed my own opinion on the issue…

    I do sort of like what Arcus was saying…being somewhat of a linguist myself…it was an interesting perspective….

    #1896

    Unseen
    Participant

    I am curious why for some it would be a little offensive to say that atheism IS a worldview…would there be anything wrong with that?

    Could it be because a lot of atheists insist that atheism isn’t a belief and it’s hard to imagine an woreldview devoid of belief.

    #1899

    .
    Spectator

    @unseen:
    RE: Could it be because a lot of atheists insist that atheism isn’t a belief and it’s hard to imagine an woreldview devoid of belief.

    I don’t know. A part of me thinks it’s a knee-jerk reaction to be the antithesis of everything religion stands for, and so the hesitancy of allowing certain words (such as “worldview”) to be a descriptor that encompasses an atheist position is in and of itself an emotional (subconscious) reaction so that a point can be proven that gods do not need to be part of the equation when defining an ethically outstanding society. I think it may be that some people sling-shot in the opposite direction to try to balance the scales of the bullshit fanaticism of religion….maybe…lol….

    I really like what @regthefronkeyfarmer said…and I really like what @arcus said….and I don’t know one way or the other yet for myself how I feel on the issue, or if it’s even important to draw the disctinction…but I do think a reality check, and thinking about stuff like this is always pertinent.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by  ..
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by  ..
    #1903

    Strega – At least the evidence for leprechauns is more compelling and they don’t demand obedience 🙂

    #1906

    .
    Spectator

    LOL!!!!

    #1909

    Davis
    Moderator

    I am curious why for some it would be a little offensive to say that atheism IS a worldview…would there be anything wrong with that?

    I’m not taking a stance either way right now….just asking the questions ? I’m not sure I’ve totally formed my own opinion on the issue…

    I do sort of like what Arcus was saying…being somewhat of a linguist myself…it was an interesting perspective….

    It’s probably offensive to call it a world view…just as it is offensive to tell someone who supports a sport team that they have a “Toronto Maple Leafs” world view. How could you possibly generalise about their world view…based on one tiny attribute? The only thing Leaf Fans have in common is that they like the team the Toronto Maple Leafs…nothing else. You may find many of them are sporty or working-class-like or a mans-man but you can hardly generalise about them. The only thing atheists have in common is their rejection of the existence of God. Atheists are more likely to embrace science, hold humanistic values etc. but again you can hardly generalise. Let’s try it this way:

    Profile of Maple Leafs Fans:

    *Lawyer. Muslim. Shy. Friendly. Doesn’t believe in sharia law. Meat eater. Likes the leafs because his friends do too.
    *Waiter. Agnostic. Loud and annoying. Doesn’t vote. Drinks too much beer. Likes the leafs because he is from Toronto.
    *Student. Overly athletic. Flirty. Gay. Wears white and blue all the time. Likes the leafs because he is an English speaker in Monteal.
    *Lives in Bangladesh and loves the Leafs for some reason she cannot explain. Vegetarian. She lives in a one room house. 9 years old.

    Profile of Atheists:

    *Chinese. Member of communist party. Believes in Karma. Helps hunt down internet-activists and incarcerate them. Doesn’t believe in God because to be a party member…you don’t believe in God.
    *Brazilian. Drug dealer in the Favelas. Vegitarian. Donates his profits to his dying grandmothers health fund. Doesn’t believe in God because his parents didn’t either.
    *American. Closeted atheists in farm country. Enjoys everything about church except prayer. Likes ice-hockey. Doesn’t believe in God because the whole idea seems rediculous.
    *French. Serial sociopathic womaniser. Avoids any conversation about religion. Cruel to most people. Loves animals.
    *Swedish. Humanist. Lives a godless life in a town where almost everyone else is atheist and humanist. Doesn’t believe in God for lack of evidence.
    *Yemen. Closeted atheist. Holds onto this secret with all of his might. Terrified he will be found out. Still agrees with most of sharia law. Leaves his wife in the kitchen most of the time and keeps an obsessively close eye on his daughters. Secretly chews qat. Has a caché of 20 guns in his house. Doesn’t believe in God because God never answered his prayers and let his parents die. Since there is no morality…he believes he can do anything he likes and it is still technically moral.
    *Canadian. Hunter. Hunts polar bears and clubs baby seals for sport. Volunteers in a soup kitchen. Believes that with meditation and nature adventuring you can become one with the universal conciousness. Doesn’t believe in God because of pedophilic priests.
    *Mexican. Atheist because God never caught his interest. Doesn’t agree with the scientific method and believes that magnetic healing crystals will cure his mothers cancer. Makes a very good bean dip. Is married with two children. Good father. Secretly reads romance novels when no one is watching. His family actually knows.

    These are all extremely limited profiles of Leaf Fans and Atheists. I could go on and on. Note that there are many cases of atheists who see the world in utterly and totally different ways. They are almost polar opposites in every way imaginable. Same with leaf fans. How can you call either a lack of belief in God or a preference for one sports team…a world view?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by  Davis.
    #1962

    SteveInCO
    Participant

    Atheism is a world view like not having a radiator is a car.

    It may be that not having a belief is one characteristic of your worldview, but it cannot be the whole thing.

    The vast majority of cars do have that radiator, but some do not. [I point out, in case you are scratching your head, that the original VW Beetle was air cooled, with no radiator to cool the coolant it didn’t use, and that electric cars also have no radiator.] The vast majority of people (leastwise here in the US) have that belief in god, but others do not.

    Incidentally, I don’t think “believing in god” is a worldview either, it is part of many people’s worldviews.

    #2408

    Thadoren
    Participant

    It’s even difficult for some atheists to not speak like they’re angry at God, which makes it near hypocritical for them to then say God doesn’t exist.

    A lot of people, particularly those who have recently adopted an atheistic view of the world, are angry at god, but not god so much, just the people who represent the god in question. Even I, after all these years of freedom from the church, find it very difficult to not confuse the imaginary mythical being with the massive flock of delusional people that worship it. I don’t think it’s hypocritical to be angry at a god that doesn’t exist so much as it’s just misplaced rage at the ones wielding the scriptures and dogmas as if they were sword and shield. You can’t very well go out and cull the stupid, so the frustration manifests itself in a different way. ie.-Anger at god.

    #2429

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    Yeah, you’re probably right about misplaced rage. Maybe similar to getting angry at a tool or a machine that doesn’t work. And I know a pretty easily “disturbed” uber-theist who wants to blame somebody, anybody, whenever anything goes wrong. (Heh, he even yells at some characters in dramas on the TV, as if they’re real.)

    #2432

    Davis
    Moderator

    It must be pretty difficult to some Americans (and Canadians living in Alberta) to place themselves outside of the U.S. anti-atheist narrative where daily life can be peppered by religious lunatics and where so many Christian-driven injustices happen…but the far far far majority of atheists live in a rather different world.

    You have many Northern European atheists who don’t believe in God and live their lives (visiting beautiful cathedrals while vacationing in other European countries. You have communist-land atheists who do not believe in God (though there may be idol-worship of their dictator or there may be some kookey superstitions that is part of their daily lives). This includes millions upon millions in China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea and the holdovers from former communist countries. Those holdovers may or may not face new problems with the growing Churches/faiths in their new countries. But anger towards God? God wasn’t in their face for decades and is only now slowly beginning to gain influence.

    Let’s not forget about the many animists in African cultures where there is no god to speak of (though they do have some extremely funky beliefs in spirits and witches etc.)

    The far majority of Atheists do not live in bible-land and a significant quantity of them do not encounter God-narratives enough to ever be angry with God.

    #2442

    SteveInCO
    Participant

    For what it’s worth, I’ve never been angry at god, not even as a fictional character (I’ve read other fiction where I’ve been furious with one of the characters; methinks the author did a better job there), and I do live in an area where god-bothering is quite prevalent.

    I’ve been pissed off as hell at some of “his” followers though. So maybe I just don’t mis-direct my anger as some do.

    #2833

    JPH
    Participant

    No no no… it is an answer to a single question. Do you believe in god(s)? – Yes or no… if you answer no, then your an atheist…

    how on earth could that be a world view. My worldview is much more broad than an answer to a yes no question.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by  JPH.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by  JPH.
    #3889

    mikerussell
    Participant

    I’m finding it hard to understand why someone would need the term ‘worldview’ to express their ‘atheist’ standpoint – surely ‘atheist’ is enough?  Why bother with all this definition?  For me, at least, I simply don’t think that there is a god and have never heard any argument that convinces me otherwise and so I don’t need a word to define what I don’t worry about, but I see that people do want some sort of label, because they often ask for one and ‘atheist’ is short, to the point and conveys the message to most people that no gods exist for me.

    #3894

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    As with most labels, atheist is convenient but imprecisely used. I take on the atheist label, but because of my larger world-view. If it weren’t for the history and current state of theism, atheism per se would not even be a necessary word in our culture.

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