Talk:Atheism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Primary Discussion[change source]

This article is HIGHLY biased. Communist and free countries? Communists "want everybody to be atheist" so the "church can't compete with the state for power over the people"?

Keep feeding ignorance, jeez. Commies are evil, huh?

You mean it's not true? Blockinblox 18:34, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

If you think that you are able to improve this article, please feel free to do so. For help editing, please click here and for suggestions about how to write Simple Articles, please click here. Billz 19:00, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Blockinblox, I'm not saying anything. This is an encyclopedia, for crying out loud. It must show a NEUTRAL point of view. The article didn't. And yes, I modified the article, but thankfully, someone made a better modification. And sorry, I didn't sign earler --SWEVEN

I know this article is supposed to be written in a simple style, but that does not excuse red herrings about morality or other nonsense. For crying out loud, I am a Muslim and I am offended by the very obvious anti-atheist bias in this article. --Ibn Tumart 23:54, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Ibn, an admin deleted your comment before because it was considered a personal attack. And also, this is a Wiki; edit the page to make it better if you think it can be better. PullToOpen π/φ 02:10, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

I understand that I went overboard---I modified my comment afterwards. Also, I did edit the page several times. --Ibn Tumart 07:03, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

I added in a bit about strong atheism. Should I cite in the simple English articles? It doesn't seem to be needed. Anyhow, I'm getting that from the inverse of Voltaire's famous epigram, reinterpreted by Bakunin as "If God did exist, it would become neccessary to abolish him."

I've replaced a line saying that atheism is 'not a body of belief in itself'. It seemed to be saying both that all atheists don't believe the same thing, and that atheism isn't a belief system (which isn't always true - strong atheists apparently belief no god exists). Something additional could be said about how atheism doesn't have to involve an entire worldview - e.g. lack of belief in a God doesn't imply a high regard for science or a high regard/low regard for human life - but I think the likes of Dawkins would disagree.--NZUlysses 06:49, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I also mentioned morality that draws itself from non-spiritual sources. It looks like all references to communism were removed from this page. I think Marx and similar materialists form the primary anti-theist persepctive and should be present in a NPOV form. 141.140.6.66 16:40, 25 October 2006 (UTC)Brendan

I removed the line about god meaning no freedom as it came across as 'not following a god because you dont like the outcome' which is basically the acception that a god exists but chosing not to follow him. Creol 17:20, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Uh, not at all. Despite what you may personally feel, the vast majority of hardline atheists hold this as their view. Please put it back in, or at least edit it to make sense while keeping the key to the opinion. I think Bakunin, in God and the State, talks about it (I'm paraphrasing here) as: "God is antithetical to freedom. But men can and must be free. Therefore, God cannot exist."
The radical/hardline atheist perspective is NOT that there's no proof of God. That's the soft atheist perspective. God cannot exist, argue hardliners. Brendan141.140.123.117 20:36, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

This is my first talk page edit in simple english. Should we write in simple english on talk pages, too? I'll try to do so. I think that the article is being nice on atheists. I think the article is saying that atheists have been treated badly. That is only one truth: atheists have also treated badly those people, who have believed in a god. Santtus 23:48, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

first, the issue is concerning the current state of law in many countries. second, you are not talking about atheists in general. you are talking about communist governments in history. it has been said many times, being an atheist does not make someone a communist. it would be wrong to say that atheists have 'treated people badly'. (it is a non reversible syllogism). Something 20:32, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

I think that all of the above discussion can be distilled into one sentence; The person who wrote the bulk of this article is obviously not an atheist. Perhaps it would be best-and more honest-to begin the article with a disclaimer stating that fact.

The word "opposite"[change source]

In the second sentence of the article it says that "It [atheism] is the opposite of theism, which is the belief that at least one god exists." This is incorrect use of the word "opposite" and the word should instead be "contrary". Opposite means opposing ends of a spectrum while contrary means the (set-)compliment or denial of something else. In this case the opposite of theism would be the belief that god does not exist. However, that's not what atheism is, which the article recognizes elsewhere. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god, which is the contrary of theism. Thus the word should be changed to make the article consistent. Addem (talk) 20:55, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Immorality vs. amorality[change source]

I'd just like to point out that the author(s) of the "Morals" section seem to have confused the concept of "immorality" (being immoral, or acting against morals and social rules held in common society) and the concept of "amorality" (being neither moral or immoral; ie, not holding moral beliefs, as is what was being discussed before talk of "immoral" begins). I think that the discussion of immorality being prevalent in any system of beliefs is confusing given the context of the discussion in the article.

some people believe athiests have no morals?[change source]

here, weasel words are being used! If people believe this, they're basically idiots, and their opinions shouldn't be broadcast through wikipedia. This argument shouldn't even be justified with a response unless we find some sort of source...

But then again, calling them "idiots" is also clearly an opinion... yours... It also demonstrates contempt for the morality of millions of people, since millions of people follow the Gospel, and the moral standards of the Gospel do not allow them to call people "idiots"... So you aren't exactly taking the "moral high ground here" with such opinionated language, and may even be proving theor point by broadcasting this opinion of yours and thereby demonstrating your own lack of morality. You probably think everyone on Earth is an "idiot" or worse, except for the very few people who think exactly like you...
Maybe you also think it is too bad you were born on a planet that keeps spinning in the same direction every day! But it sure isn't about to stop! LOL Seeya next time, stay tuned!
Some opinions are self-evident and virtually indisputable. The one you were commeting on is an example of it. And your reaction to it is overly exaggerated.—This unsigned comment was added by 71.183.43.60 (talkchanges) 22:08, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
In my opinion, the part about atheist morality should be removed. Highly biased.—This unsigned comment was added by 71.183.43.60 (talkchanges) 22:08, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Many thought systems contain a system of morality without using a God. John Stuart Mill and Immanuel Kant didn't agree on anything, yet both managed to create fairly comprehensive worldviews based around a moralistic system with no trace of the divine in them.

Atheism a Belief?[change source]

I strongly disapprove the definition of atheism as a belief, beacuse it the word belief has very different meanings. Further the suffix "-ism" has nothing to do with belief, the claim "so when put together with the suffix -ism ("belief")" is simply wrong. 147.122.52.94 (talk) 08:53, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

204.181.205.165 (talk)

I agree. I removed "The opposite of atheism is theism" for the same reason. The opposite of theism, the belief in a deity, would have to be disbelief in a deity. Atheism is the lack of a belief.

Well I'm afraid the matter isn't up in the air, nor is it relevant what you "agree" to or "disapprove" of. Atheism is indeed a religion, it's recognized as a nontheistic religion, and despite the current introduction on this page, is not the "catch all" of nontheists. In fact there are dozens of nontheistic religious variations just as there such as Agnosticism (sadly that horrid bundle of indecisiveness is indeed grouped with nontheism), Secular Humanism and naturalism, to name a few. All in all the entire Atheism page is a mess, as with most pages in the simple prefix Wikipedia, which is unfortunate because it will just perpetuate the bias that the primary demographic of this subsection already holds. In regards to the unsigned response above my own, your logic is simply apauling and perfectly displays why the members who have been editing the atheism page, should not be. The word "simple" in "http://simple.wikipedia.org/" does not refer to simple thoughts, ideas, and logic. The "simple" refers to simple english, in otherwords, explaining the topic properly, but in simple english that users with a smaller vocabulary will be able to use to the fullest extent possible. What I see on this page, as with others, is simple ideas, backed by simple logic. If you don't understand a topic fully, please do not edit the page, I would rather not come back to edit the pages on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Rueyy (talk) 22:29, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Atheism is NOT a religion nor a belief. Atheism is the lack of belief and rejection of God's existence. Indeed you can be an agnostic atheist. Matter of fact, all people are somewhat agnostic and that's something entirely not up for discussions since God is not proven. Atheists (including me) don't have a book that is made by an unknown source or written by someone from the stone ages, but we often use science as the power of our position as atheists. So keep in mind that atheism is not a belief nor a religion. Atheists don't have a religion to begin with. Wuvixx (talk) 08:16, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Atheism is not illegal in Israel[change source]

I am a native Hebrew speaker and looked at the very long source mentioning the foundations of Israeli criminal law, and found no mention of atheism being illegal. I have gone further to look whether the Hebrew Wikipedia mentions Atheism being illegal in Israel, with the only relevant statement mentioning that the government does not recognize the lack of a religion, and may force an atheist to do religious practices (for example, there is no civil marriage in Israel, meaning the person has to marry according to religious law), but it is far from illegal or punishable. I can also give my own testimony as an atheist living in Israel, that I am in no way prosecuted for this. I have removed that source. I hope that's okay. Fdskjs (talk) 19:18, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Atheism & agnosticism[change source]

If we were to leave the text at this:

Atheism is different from agnosticism in that an agnostic thinks there is doubt that the existence of god can be proven.

then the text would imply that atheists do NOT doubt that that the existence of god can be proven. This plainly is not so, atheists by and large do doubt that the existence of any deity can be proven.

If someone says they are an agnostic, one can only conclude they probably do not believe in a deity. One cannot conclude with any certainty they do not believe, one can only presume they would not say they were agnostic if they actually believed in a deity, but would instead say they were a theist (or a theist with doubts). Many, many theists would ALSO doubt that the existence of God can be proven--some would even agree it cannot be proven. Some of these theists would say they still know at least one deity exists, but many still would agree they do not know that for certain, but they do believe anyway.

Saying one is an agnostic, without further comment, is being non-committal about what one believes. Most people (who have thought & discussed the topic) agree the existence of God cannot be proven (or at least have doubts it can be proven). If that is what being an agnostic means, then it hardly distinguishes agnosticism at all --JimWae (talk) 00:19, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Sources[change source]

Here are the sources, INCLUDING QUOTES, for the definition of atheism as the rejection of belief in the existence of (any and all) gods.[1] Someone deleted the quotes, but I think we should keep them HERE (at the VERY least).

Also: having the reflist in 2 columns breaks up one ref across columns. How is this better? --JimWae (talk) 01:24, 20 September 2009 (UTC)


    • Nielsen, Kai (2009). "Atheism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2009-08-23. Atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings.... Instead of saying that an atheist is someone who believes that it is false or probably false that there is a God, a more adequate characterization of atheism consists in the more complex claim that to be an atheist is to be someone who rejects belief in God for the following reasons (which reason is stressed depends on how God is being conceived)...
    • Edwards, Paul (1967). "Atheism". The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol. 1. Collier-MacMillan. p. 175. On our definition, an 'atheist' is a person who rejects belief in God, regardless of whether or not his reason for the rejection is the claim that 'God exists' expresses a false proposition. People frequently adopt an attitude of rejection toward a position for reasons other than that it is a false proposition. It is common among contemporary philosophers, and indeed it was not uncommon in earlier centuries, to reject positions on the ground that they are meaningless. Sometimes, too, a theory is rejected on such grounds as that it is sterile or redundant or capricious, and there are many other considerations which in certain contexts are generally agreed to constitute good grounds for rejecting an assertion.

Complex?[change source]

I removed the complex tag. It was inserted when text from the sources was included in the refs. I think the lede is about as simple as it can be, without being an oversimplification. If anyone wants to re-add the tag, please specify what sections it is meant to apply to --JimWae (talk) 03:09, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

PGA comments[change source]

  • The first paragraph of the "Origins of the word" section needs a ref.
  • self-avowed - not simple.
  • Today - could refer to today but also to 1999. Perhaps As of 2009 or something.
  • People disagree how atheism should be defined. - which people? and needs a ref.
  • affirmation - not simple.
  • phenomena - link?
  • The Theoretical atheism section is a bit short compared to the other sections.

That's all from me for now. -Barras talk 16:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Atheism in society[change source]

http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Atheism_in_society

Where is information, then atheism in society is a reason suicides?

for example:

http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szwecja#Ciekawostki and http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szwecja#Ateizm_w_Szwecji Gewaraz (talk) 18:19, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't read Polish (is that Polish?), so I can't comment on the content of the articles you linked. However, the English article does not include a section on suicides. If you want to include information about that topic, you'd need to provide reliable sources. Jess talk cs 20:03, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Ref number 19[change source]

I cannot access the reference mentioned for the hook in the DYK for some reason. Is it broken? :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 14:11, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Organisation of the article[change source]

Making a visit to this page, I notice extremely long quotations in with the references. I know of no other page on this wiki to do this to such an extent. I would say either the points are worth making in the main text (in the form of a précis) or the quotes should be radically shortened. Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:21, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Definitely. Such lengthy quotations are possible copyright violations. Osiris (talk) 13:25, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
The longest quotes seem to be 107 and 91 words long. They are fully attributed. The longer one uses ellipses and is not a continuous quote. What wiki-guideline for copyvio would question doing this? How would moving the text with only slight alteration to the body of the article be any improvement?--JimWae (talk) 21:39, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Although long but attributed quotes may still be copyright violations, that is not my main concern. My main concern is that the language used in the quotations is too sophisticated for our target audience. Since the wording of direct quotes must not be changed, there are only two ways to make the quotations suit our wiki. The best is to completely rewrite the points made in the quotes in simpler style; then place the resultant text in the article, giving reference to the original. The other is to drastically shorten the quotes. Since you are the lead author (at least as far as content goes) it is for you to decide what to do. Regards, Macdonald-ross (talk) 12:34, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Implicit / explicit[change source]

The caption to the Venn diagram is POV:

"A chart showing the relationship between the definitions of weak/strong and implicit/explicit atheism. When someone takes time to think about if there is or is not a god or gods, they can be called explicit atheists. If someone does not believe in god or gods, but has not taken time to think about it, they are called implicit atheists. If you are an explicit atheist, many people choose either weak or strong atheism. Weak atheism means you only do not believe in god or gods. Strong atheism means you think that no god or gods exist.(The sizes on the diagram are not meant to show real sizes in populations.)".
  1. There is no need to have such a long text for a simple diagram.
  2. It is quite pointless to talk about people "not having taken the time to think about it" when:
    1. there is no evidence that such people exist
    2. it is impossible to verify for any individual person
    3. it is not what the word "implicit" means anyway. "Implied but not openly expressed" is what it means.
  3. It is POV because it represents only one point of view, not a general view in the literature.

The text of the page has similar issues. Macdonald-ross (talk) 06:09, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Young children are good examples of people who have "not having taken the time to think about it".
Implicit atheism has a specific meaning, different from "Implied but not openly expressed" atheism.
Children are supposedly examples of implicit atheists.
AFAIAC, it is a mistake to call young children atheists. --JimWae (talk) 07:08, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Defining atheism[change source]

You can simplify the article, "Defining Atheism" in this article, if you can.Frogger48 (talk) 22:57, 7 October 2013 (UTC)