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Sharpshooter

Atheism On The Rise In America

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Once again, that's a false definition. The etymology is pretty clear in the fact that the term "atheism" deals specifically in gods, and not any other supernatural beliefs, supernatural or otherwise.

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The Greek root word "theos" means "god". Knowing this, how could Buddhists have a theology? Their religion has nothing to do with a god. Their beliefs are a-theos, "without a god". Therefore, they are atheists.

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The core tenets of Buddhism mention "sentient beings". If that's not a god, it's pretty damned close to it.

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From Wiki:

"Sentient beings is a technical term in Buddhist discourse. Broadly speaking, it denotes beings with consciousness or sentience or, in some contexts, life itself"

That doesn't sound anything even close a god to me. I'm not overly familiar with Buddhism, though, so someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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You seemed to have glossed over my point about the attainment of Nirvana, and the attainment of a 'oneness' with a deity......something shared by other theologies and which runs similarly with the Buddhists goal of reaching Nirvana.

Buddhism is a religion that has its own dogma set up around a similar theistic goal of being one with whatever it is they look to as the end state of being. Christians reunite with God and Jesus, Muslims with Allah, Sikhs with their God, Buddhists with a state of being known as Nirvana.

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Nirvana in Buddhism refers to an ultimate peace of mind, no? That's stretching the definition of "deity", if you want to refer to nirvana as one.

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From Wiki:

"Sentient beings is a technical term in Buddhist discourse. Broadly speaking, it denotes beings with consciousness or sentience or, in some contexts, life itself"

That doesn't sound anything even close a god to me. I'm not overly familiar with Buddhism, though, so someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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You misread. I said the Buddha was what sounded like a god, not the sentient beings. I know what the sentient beings are, my ex fiancee was a Buddhist.

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In the last part of the post he did say "a state of being known as Nirvana"...

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Depending on the context, we can think of sentient beings with a narrow context as us(humans). We are the sentient beings stuck in the cycle of rebirth and suffering until we let go of the causes of our suffering and attain enlightenment to break the cycle.

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You only mentioned "sentient beings" in the post I replied to, not Buddha. Still, Buddha is acknowledged as a person by Buddhists, albeit a rather enlightened one, and not as a god. He's more analogous to someone like Muhammad, a Sikh guru, or Joseph Smith, if you want to compare his role to those of theistic religions.

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Nirvana in Buddhism refers to an ultimate peace of mind, no? That's stretching the definition of "deity", if you want to refer to nirvana as one.

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Of course it's a religion and it's dogmatic. That, however, does not have any bearing on whether or not an adherent to the religion is an atheist or not. Once again, the word "atheism", as indicated by its etymology, is referring specifically to gods. You can't just throw out the root Greek meaning because it doesn't fit the definition you've made for yourself. There's a word for people who aren't religious, too, irreligious. It's not a synonym for atheism. Not all atheists believe and reject the same things. Atheism isn't a dogma or a belief system, it's a response to a singular question on the existence of deities. If you're looking for a term that encompasses people who reject all supernatural beliefs, then maybe "naturalist" (in the philosophical sense) or "skeptic" fit your needs better.

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You're clinging to the concept of deity in this discussion, and i'm suggesting that the religious practice, faith and experience of Buddhism is dogmatically akin to other theologies in that they both pursue an end state of being. One(Buddhism calls it Nirvana) another (Christianity calls it heaven) another (Sikhism calls it being One with God again)

I'm suggesting that Nirvana is their version of being in a state of being with that which is their spiritual source or religious end-goal, as being with a deity is the end goal or source for other theologies, except that Buddhism doesn't subscribe to a Creator deity. Just because it doesn't subscribe to a deity doesn't mean it doesn't treat the attainment of Nirvana with less theistic constructs of dogma than those other religions do in relation to their theistic construct around a deity.

That's the best I can do to explain my point to you.

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As a member of the US's largest group of atheists, American Atheists Inc., I will object to your insinuation that it is just MYSELF who views atheism as the rejection of not only deities but any other supernatural occurrences as well. We believe in the laws of nature, in natural selection, evolution, so it would stand to reason that anything outside of a "natural" realm we would reject belief in also.

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I thought these charts were interesting:

top+10+atheist+pop.jpg

notable+decline.jpg

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I agree that it's certainly analogous to the concept of heaven in theistic religions, but that doesn't mean that it's a deity in itself. It is not a being. It has no sentience. Just like whale flukes and shrimp swimmerets are different structures that provide similar roles, nirvana and a deity are different things that provide a similar role within their respective belief . If we stretch the definition of "deity" to include nirvana, then what else falls under the definition? Is love a deity? People certainly can treat the concept of love with similar religious reverence to that of nirvana. I'd argue that such treatment of love would certainly fall under this definition. If so, would such a person cease to be an atheist,? I've seen almost religious, reverential treatment of the concept of science advancing human knowledge by some people. Is it a deity?

In short, calling nirvana a god is far too inclusive a definition in my eyes.

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Then "naturalism" is the word you're looking for. Its etymology accurately encompasses all of the views you attribute to atheism.

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