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Atheism On The Rise In America


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#61 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:54 PM

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.


The core tenets of Buddhism mention "sentient beings", which the Buddha seeks to "enlighten"...the sentient beings are those who are confined to death and rebirth. If that's not a god, it's pretty damned close to it.

Edited by Slaytanic Wehrmacht, 14 August 2012 - 10:58 PM.

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#62 Sharpshooter

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:00 PM

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.


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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#63 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:02 PM

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

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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#64 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:03 PM

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.


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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#65 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:05 PM

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.

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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#66 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:08 PM

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.


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

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:09 PM

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.


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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#68 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:09 PM

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.

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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#69 Super19

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:11 PM

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

What is this I hear that only men can attain Nirvana whereas women have to wait to be reincarnated? It's in a branch of Buddhism - Theravada I think. I don't know, I've only heard this.
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#70 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:13 PM

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.

That's consistent with what I'd understood from what I've read. Thanks.
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#71 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:16 PM

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.


What you're arguing is that Buddhists are somehow atheists because they fit your own personal definition of the word, and that is simply bunk. Buddhism is a religion, plain and simple, that is just as dogmatic as the other major religions of this world, and atheists are people who reject the belief in the existence of deities. Now, you can hem and haw over your own personal definition of a deity or an atheist all you like, but they are not now, nor will they ever be, one and the same.
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#72 Sharpshooter

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:24 PM

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.


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.

Edited by Sharpshooter, 14 August 2012 - 11:27 PM.

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#73 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:25 PM

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What you're arguing is that Buddhists are somehow atheists because they fit your own personal definition of the word, and that is simply bunk. Buddhism is a religion, plain and simple, that is just as dogmatic as the other major religions of this world, and atheists are people who reject the belief in the existence of deities. Now, you can hem and haw over your own personal definition of a deity or an atheist all you like, but they are not now, nor will they ever be, one and the same.

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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#74 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:30 PM

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.


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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#75 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:53 PM

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.

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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#76 Lockhart

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:55 PM

IQ is on the rise........
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#77 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:59 PM

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.

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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#78 Sharpshooter

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:59 PM

I thought these charts were interesting:

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#79 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:01 AM

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.


He's not calling Nirvana a deity. If you read the entire post instead of just cropping it to see only what you wish to see he says that "just because it does not 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."
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#80 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:08 AM

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


Who gives a crap about the etymology of it? All you are doing now is parrying with semantics. The literal definition of a word is not a written rule that says that anything the word itself encompasses has to follow anyone's particular guidelines on what the word means.
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#81 Sharpshooter

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:15 AM

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.


I never suggested that Nirvana was a personal deity, nor that it was a being, nor that it was sentient. I suggested that the analogous deification through dogma, is a shared characteristic between the religions, regardless of whether it's directed to a person, place or thing(concept) After all....some religions don't refer to God as a person but as a force or energy, which is also a state of being, which is also what Nirvana is. The fact that they deify Nirvana as some religions deify the force or energy they refer to as a 'god' means little to me, as I look at the process of deification as the principle measurement by which I measure certain religions of supernaturality such as Buddhism as being theistic in that context while acknowledging that they don't have the concept of a walking talking god.

If love was your god....yes, it would be your deity. Is love your or anyone else's god?
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#82 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:22 AM

Who gives a crap about the etymology of it? All you are doing now is parrying with semantics. The literal definition of a word is not a written rule that says that anything the word itself encompasses has to follow anyone's particular guidelines on what the word means.

Haven't we been parrying with semantics from the start? We are arguing about the definition of atheism after all...
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#83 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:25 AM

Haven't we been parrying with semantics from the start? We are arguing about the definition of atheism after all...


We're actually foolishly arguing over what our own definitions of any of these incredibly broad terms are. I quit smoking this morning, and I'm just a little bit on edge....so I want to apologize for a lack of reasoning on my part to banter needlessly back and forth over the definition of a word. I may not have had a smoke today, but I'm still craving the nicotine...and it's shown.

Edit: **** me, it's 3:30 in the morning...good night.

Edited by Slaytanic Wehrmacht, 15 August 2012 - 12:28 AM.

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#84 GodzillaDeuce

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:27 AM

The literal definition of a word is not a written rule that says that anything the word itself encompasses has to follow anyone's particular guidelines on what the word means.


can I use this in real life?
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well I'm sorry that gd is soo perfect


#85 Lockhart

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:30 AM

can I use this in real life?


"are you a wizard"
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#86 GodzillaDeuce

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:34 AM

"are you a wizard"


"I put on my robe and wizard hat"
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well I'm sorry that gd is soo perfect


#87 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:38 AM

I never suggested that Nirvana was a personal deity, nor that it was a being, nor that it was sentient. I suggested that the analogous deification through dogma, is a shared characteristic between the religions, regardless of whether it's directed to a person, place or thing(concept) After all....some religions don't refer to God as a person but as a force or energy, which is also a state of being, which is also what Nirvana is. The fact that they deify Nirvana as some religions deify the force or energy they refer to as a 'god' means little to me, as I look at the process of deification as the principle measurement by which I measure certain religions of supernaturality such as Buddhism as being theistic in that context while acknowledging that they don't have the concept of a walking talking god.

If love was your god....yes, it would be your deity. Is love your or anyone else's god?

I suppose I misread your post then. My apologies. I guess in that case, we'll have to agree to disagree that deification of an ideal can negate atheism. The definition of a "god" is far from cut and dry.

Google "love is God". There is plenty of deification of it going on.
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#88 dajusta

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:43 AM

For all atheists, where do your morals come from?

Do you believe in evil?

What is the meaning of life? Or better, does life have meaning?
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I'm Christian
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#89 Lockhart

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:43 AM

God talks to me sometimes, says I should run for president.... stuff like that.
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#90 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:45 AM

We're actually foolishly arguing over what our own definitions of any of these incredibly broad terms are. I quit smoking this morning, and I'm just a little bit on edge....so I want to apologize for a lack of reasoning on my part to banter needlessly back and forth over the definition of a word. I may not have had a smoke today, but I'm still craving the nicotine...and it's shown.

Edit: **** me, it's 3:30 in the morning...good night.

It's okay. Sometimes some needless banter is an amusing way to pass the time. Best of luck to you in quitting smoking. I've had some family members try to kick the habit to varying levels of success and they've all said it takes a real toll on you. It's well worth it, though.
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