Is the glass half full or is it half empty?
What is the true aim of such a question? There is one, and only one, aim of such a question and that is, an attempt to force the respondent into giving an answer that can only
be subjective. The question seeks to ascertain whether the respondent is an optimist or a pessimist. In sales they call that the alternate of choice close. For example,
"which car do you like better, the blue one or the red one?" It could be considered a form of framing. You, the salesperson, set the frame for the customer, and the frame you
have set is an either/or choice, which tricks the customer's mind into believing that there are only those two choices. The customer "forgets" that there are other choices and
they respond to the question in the affirmative, one way or the other. The human mind makes emotional decisions first, and rationalizes after. What follows rationalization is
typically demonstration. Having rationalized the emotional decision that was made initially, the individual then feels compelled to demonstrate the strength of the conviction.
Which, in my example, results in the customer buying a car, and all because they failed to recognize that the first question was a set-up, which set a frame that far too many
people are not cognizant enough to escape from.
The fallacy you refer to above is called the fallacy of the false dilemma. Example: You are either with us or against us. This fallacy atempts to exclude those who do not care, those who have not made up there minds yet and those who are not even aware of the situation.
Now then, is the glass half full or half empty? As for me, I've always refused the choices, or more specifically, denied the inquisitor the opportunity to frame my thoughts into an either/or choice. I am neither optimist nor pessimist, I am a realist. It is what it is. It is a glass which has 1/2 of its storage capacity occupied by liquid.
This begs the question though - it assumes to be true precisely the point in question. What is actually meant by the word "Atheist"? That is the question. It is a question of form. A question about what do all forms or types of atheism share in common. It is an answer that can only be discovered by dialectics.
1) A person who denies or disbelieves the existence of God or gods. Opposite of a theist, (formerly) deist.
2) A person who denies God morally; a godless person.
To me an atheist is someone who subscribes to sense 1 above - they either deny the existence of God or gods or they simply disbelieve the existence of God or gods. They cannot, however, reasonably state with certainty that there is/was no creator of the universe. I think it is highly unlikely that the sun will fail to rise tomorrow as I think it highly unlikely that our universe was "created" - none the less, these are induced conclusions which it is impossible to be absolutely certain of. We can only think in trms of probabilities.
What has that to do with atheism? It should be apparent by now, but I'll explain anyway.
Atheism is what it is. As noted in one of the quotes from the original post, atheism is nothing more than - without god, or let's say, without a god. That's it. Anything else is an attempt to frame the definition in a subjective context.
What does "without God" mean to you? I read your definition and suddenly my mind overflows with questions. What does it imply? What assumptions does it draw upon - what are the secondary implications of those assumptions? You have an aweful lot of explainaing to do, Dash
An atheist is someone who is without a god. Whether that stems from disbelief or belief is actually irrelevant.
Okay, so now suddenly you are attempting to join in with the dialectics - you are pertaking in mans greatest gift - the ability to reason and share the reasoning process with others to the point where each can critique each others reasoning to dispense with all false reasoning and eventually hopefully all be left with only true or valid reasonings.
Why then do you think it is irrelevent whether it stems from disbelief or belief? Before you answer could you confirm what sense of the word disbelief you are employing and then also what sense of the word belief you are employing.
Why is that important? I'll get to that in a minute, but first let me make one other point.
I have little doubt that all of us have observed someone who has gone from drugs...SNIP...or drowns it out.
Yes, I can understand the exchanging from one fix to another fix. I often see the preferance for Jesus' teachings (Greek philosophy watered down with sophism) as a quick fix version of the more noble activity of reading the original greek philosophy works.
So now, why is it important that atheism mean nothing more than "without a god"? Well, it's quite simple actually. Theists, as a general rule, run around believing and
claiming that their beliefs are the one, and only, true and correct beliefs. Each believes that they are "God's chosen people". It seems to me that I recall reading an article
by Acharya addressing the inherent arrogance and condescension that go along with being one of "God's chosen people".
I'm sorry, but this is the fallacy of composition. It is similar to the fallacy of equivocation. The greek sophists used to commit this fallacy often. It is the fallacy of accidental similarities of words. For instance this dog is YOUR dog and this dog is also a FATHER of puppies. That makes the dog YOUR FATHER and the puppies your brothers and sisters.
Atheism is honesty - see my first reply above. What atheists are doing when they are active is to philosophise. Philosophy is the critical examination of ours and others convictions, prejudices and beliefs. The man who has no tincture for philosophy (Dialectics/Debate/Discussion) goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation and from convictions that have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason. To a person without philosophy (Dialectics/Debate/Discussion) the world tends to become definite, finite, obvious where common objects rouse no questions and unfamiliar possibilities are contemptuously rejected. To seek a universally accepted definition of the word atheist is to philosophise.
So why do atheists fight amonst themselves over what is the true and proper definition of atheism?
Atheist do not fight over this? Do they? Where is there an atheist "fighting" over the definition of atheism?
As outlined in the original post, atheism can stem from disbelief, or from belief, and each side wants, dare I say, needs, their version to be the correct version. It is nothing more than a variation on the tired old battle about whose definition of God is more accurate. And excuse me for saying so, but just as with the arguments over whose version of God is more accurate, so too it is with arguments over whose version of atheism is more correct --- it is little more than an adult version of, "my dad can beat up your dad".
Utter nonsense, the matter of gods and the belief in them is precisely only because of a bewitchment of words. There is absolutely no evidence of any gods and too a negative cannot be disproved which means the battle to establish only true beliefs and to dispense with all false beliefs can only be won with words. And it is a very very very important battle to win. Islamification of Europe is only being allowed to happen because too many people take your mistaken view on the matter.
Some Christians are Catholic, some Christians are Methodists, some Christians are Lutheran, and so on, ad nauseum. Atheism should remain what it is, simply, without a god. If you feel a need for a finer definition from there, you can come up with a prefix, such as, I am an "N" atheist, or, I am a "Z" atheist.
Well, maybe, maybe not. Maybe there should not be an atheism and instead many atheisms. But also perhaps all atheisms can be en-captured by a single definition. And perhaps they already are. I'm interested to know where things are so far on the matter.
But you don't seem to realise that one minute you are suggesting that no debate should be had on the question but then in the next minute you suggest that there should be some sort of prefixed categorising of the spectrum of atheisms. You are hardly consistent and actually of no help to the matter at all. We haven't even established a solid agreement on a definition or whether a universal definition is possible and yet you already want to jump onto a categorising system.