On 1/10/2013 6:20 AM, Platonist Guitar Cowboy wrote:
I have never understood what it means to be atheist. Sometimes it appears to mean existentialist "not Christian god", another appearance is "not organized religion", which both appear reasonable.

Intuitively however, I've always asked myself: "what are they talking about?" as we're all invested in beliefs or working hypothesis (whatever you wanna call these structures primitively) of one sort or another. Physical, scientific, mystical, mathematical, computational, financial, political, biological, creative, group solidarity + individualism spectrum, and yes also beer, drugs, shopping attitudes etc. are all areas where you limit or enable mucking about with core assumptions, either skeptically distant or suspending disbelief, to avoid hell or approach some utopia in mind.

Implied by every thought operation, every action, we at a certain point take a leap of faith, we bet on some belief, deity, working hypothesis.

I don't see how an agent can act or decide without this, which is why I can't understand the proposition that entity exists without belief in something that transcends them, that they want or wish to avoid. Ok, you can blame me for not differentiating between absolutely static belief and work-in-progress working hypothesis, fine. But the result still is that some force of propositions have convinced or forced us to invest in them.

I should maybe speak to more atheists to get it perhaps, or maybe somebody here can point me towards a flaw to get what people mean with "atheist". Oddly, I often find the same "this I take for granted attitude, that anything else makes me smile condescendingly", that even keeps me from bringing it up.

Do you know what "theist" means?


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