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  • If we're not religious..are we Atheist?

    For those Trad.'s that claim to be non-religious (like myself)
    Would that mean that we're quite literally Atheist Witches?

    According to Wikipedia
    Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[2]


    I don't believe in there being any Gods or Goddesses of any sort; however, I do believe that spirits of our ancestors/loved ones are present and I acknowledge that I am a spawn of the Universe/Nature, working in perfect rhythm with it.

    I'm just curious to know if anyone referred to themselves in such a way (an Atheist) or do you still define yourself as Pagan....or Neither?

  • #2
    Originally posted by herbal_legends View Post
    For those Trad.'s that claim to be non-religious (like myself)
    Would that mean that we're quite literally Atheist Witches?

    According to Wikipedia
    Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[2]


    I don't believe in there being any Gods or Goddesses of any sort; however, I do believe that spirits of our ancestors/loved ones are present and I acknowledge that I am a spawn of the Universe/Nature, working in perfect rhythm with it.

    I'm just curious to know if anyone referred to themselves in such a way (an Atheist) or do you still define yourself as Pagan....or Neither?
    Atheism is merely the "lack of belief in deities"; though often intimately associated - it is not essential to believe in a diety to be religious. There are atheistic Jews and Christians for example. There are plenty of religions out there that don't have gods and/or goddesses: especially in Eastern Religions.

    The word Atheism has always lugged around way too much unjustified baggage; usually lumped on it by religious communities that have their intrinsic metaphors so tightly braided that they can not even fathom something so simple... this goes for a good number of theistic pagans (and a few non-theistic pagans)

    Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know. ~ M. King Hubbert

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    • #3
      Im non-religious and I am certainly not an Atheist. An Atheist does not believe in things like reincarnation, or that the universe has a particular purpose. After death, there is nowhere to go to. Its over.

      I also think that most traditional witches believe in some form of spirit or God, but even if they do, they rarely worship it. In the end, traditional witchcraft is just the practise of magic.

      Im a Dualist Pantheist myself.

      "Dualist Pantheism holds that there are two major types of substance, physical and mental/spiritual. Dualistic pantheism is very diverse, and may include beliefs in reincarnation, cosmic consciousness, and paranormal connections across Nature."
      "One cannot learn the truth when one has already decided what the truth is"



      (Signature & avatar made by me)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Spica View Post
        Im non-religious and I am certainly not an Atheist. An Atheist does not believe in things like reincarnation, or that the universe has a particular purpose. After death, there is nowhere to go to. Its over.
        This is false. An atheist as already explained simply means "no belief in god". It is not defined by any of the things you mentioned. It doesn't mean you go no where when you die, it doesn't mean you don't believe in any purpose, it means no belief in god. That's it, that's all their is to it.

        Originally posted by herbal_legends
        I don't believe in there being any Gods or Goddesses of any sort
        Then you are an atheist. Atheists fit into many religious structures but in of itself is not a religion.

        "If we aren't religious, are we atheist"? ~ If you aren't religious you may be an atheist, but you can be religious and still be atheist, if you don't believe in god then you are atheist. Buddhists for example are atheists.
        Last edited by Vampiel; September 16th, 2010, 10:11 AM.
        You will always do what you think, if you think you cannot change because that is always who you were - that is always who you will be. If you think you decide who you are despite what you have done in the past, and can decide who you are today you will. Do not chain yourself to the past or the future, but what you can decide in the present.


        Comment


        • #5
          Vampiel,

          Indeed, you are correct. I was mainly concentrating on the beliefs of the Atheists I know while writing that comment and I did not take into consideration that by definition the only thing that Atheists have in common is the lack of belief in God/Deities.

          What an Atheist thinks of the afterlife is pretty much up to them to decide.
          "One cannot learn the truth when one has already decided what the truth is"



          (Signature & avatar made by me)

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          • #6
            If you're a witch who do not believe in a God/Goddess/Deity then technically that would make you an Atheistic Witch, yes.

            A lot of vocal Atheists out there tends to be the ones who are Materialists, some being existential Nihilists as well. But that is still something that doesn't have anything to do with being an Atheist any more than thinking the earth is flat has anything to do with being an American. :hahugh:
            Previously known as Njorun Alma


            "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw

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            • #7
              I guess I've stayed away from the label of Atheist because like someone previously stated...there's a stigma that comes along with it that Atheists believe when we die we become nothing, that there is no purpose to our being. I don't want to be "lumped" into that category.

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              • #8
                I'm a proud atheist. There's nothing about atheism that necessitates believing that life has no purpose; in fact, I'd say with being an atheist you have a very compelling reason to make your own purpose in life, as it's not being handed to you by the gods. I definitely would recommend some books on Buddhism; there's a lot of atheist wisdom there.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Both some sects of Buddhists and philosophical Taoists can easily be classed as atheists or at least agnostic because they are non-theistic though they are very spiritual.

                  In the West, atheism also carries with it, for good or ill, a sense of hardcore rationalism and materialsm (nothing at all exists outside that which can be detected by the five standard senses). This is a carry over from the era of the Enlightenment. Non-theistic Eastern spirituality does not carry this connotation. Non-theistic Eastern systems are more agnostic perhaps than atheist because it isn't as if they claim to know there are no gods, just that whether or not gods exist is irrelevant.

                  In the Eastern sense I can be considered an atheist of sorts because I attribute no absolute reality to any deity that can be named though I do grant them relative reality just as I do any other being emanating from nameless, formless Absolute Consciousness. To call this Absolute Consciousness God or Goddess or both is a form of shorthand that's all.

                  As the Taoists say, "The Tao that can be named is not the Tao."

                  Western atheism is simple, Eastern atheism is more complicated and nuanced.

                  I don't understand atheists of any stripe that find Deity unbelievable but find spirits, magick and the afterlife to be convincing reality. None of these things are more verifiable than Deity. So I have to ask why these things but not Deity?


                  )o( Blessed Be,

                  Sndragon
                  Last edited by Sundragon; September 28th, 2010, 02:18 PM.
                  Come visit my blog

                  Sorcery and Spirit

                  where I discuss Magick, Mystical Spirituality and whatever else comes to mind.

                  " Wherever you are is home
                  And the earth is paradise
                  Wherever you set your feet is holy land . . .
                  You don't live off it like a parasite.
                  You live in it, and it in you,
                  Or you don't survive.
                  And that is the only worship of God there is."

                  - Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by herbal_legends View Post
                    I guess I've stayed away from the label of Atheist because like someone previously stated...there's a stigma that comes along with it that Atheists believe when we die we become nothing, that there is no purpose to our being. I don't want to be "lumped" into that category.
                    If one is an atheist in the Western model as in a rational materialist, it goes without saying that life is without objective purpose or meaning. If were are nothing more than ambulatory bags of chemicals with self-awareness created purely by chance then you and I are here due to nothing more than probability...a cosmic roll of the dice where luckily our number came up. Also, because any objective meaning can only assume having been created with an objective in mind, our lives are ultimately meaningless in any objective sense. Chance grants no objective meaning or purpose to anything.

                    Even if something is without objective meaning, that isn't to say that it cannot have subjective meaning. In this model we assign the meaning to our lives and once our lives are over that subjective meaning dies with us. So unfortunately, when we die everything we ever were, our loves, our wisdom, our connection to our spirituality dies with us...forever. It is eternal unconscious slumber from which there is no waking for there is no one to wake us and nothing to awaken.

                    According to this model, the best we can strive to become after death is compost...at least this way we give something back.


                    )o( Blessed Be,

                    Sundragon
                    Last edited by Sundragon; September 28th, 2010, 02:43 PM.
                    Come visit my blog

                    Sorcery and Spirit

                    where I discuss Magick, Mystical Spirituality and whatever else comes to mind.

                    " Wherever you are is home
                    And the earth is paradise
                    Wherever you set your feet is holy land . . .
                    You don't live off it like a parasite.
                    You live in it, and it in you,
                    Or you don't survive.
                    And that is the only worship of God there is."

                    - Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sundragon View Post

                      In the Eastern sense I can be considered an atheist of sorts because I attribute no absolute reality to any deity that can be named though I do grant them relative reality just as I do any other being emanating from nameless, formless Absolute Consciousness. To call this Absolute Consciousness God or Goddess or both is a form of shorthand that's all.


                      I don't understand atheists of any stripe that find Deity unbelievable but find spirits, magick and the afterlife to be convincing reality. None of these things are more verifiable than Deity. So I have to ask why these things but not Deity?

                      You've got a point and I've been struggling with myself trying to make sense of it all. LoL
                      I believe strongly in spirits/ancestors in another realm and obviously magick. I know I pray to something, it just has no name or form and it doesn't place rules upon me. It's just the source of everything --an invisible energy that I tap into when I do my magick.





                      Originally posted by Sundragon View Post
                      In this model we assign the meaning to our lives and once our lives are over that subjective meaning dies with us. So unfortunately, when we die everything we ever were, our loves, our wisdom, our connection to our spirituality dies with us...forever. It is eternal unconscious slumber from which there is no waking for there is no one to wake us and nothing to awaken.

                      According to this model, the best we can strive to become after death is compost...at least this way we give something back.

                      Oh that just sounds dreadful! hahaha!
                      Even if it were to be true (which I strongly don't feel it to be), I sure don't want to spend my life thinking it is.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by herbal_legends View Post
                        You've got a point and I've been struggling with myself trying to make sense of it all. LoL
                        I believe strongly in spirits/ancestors in another realm and obviously magick. I know I pray to something, it just has no name or form and it doesn't place rules upon me. It's just the source of everything --an invisible energy that I tap into when I do my magick.
                        That's not atheism, that's just not naming the energy you experience. One doesn't have to name something for it to be real. This energy as the source of everything is very much like Taoism or the Hindu concept of Brahman as the underlying Being of all reality. Life exists for its own sake and for its own unfoldment in a kind of eternal dance of birth, rebirth and eventual reunion with the this energy. Nothing is ever lost.

                        Oh that just sounds dreadful! hahaha!
                        Even if it were to be true (which I strongly don't feel it to be), I sure don't want to spend my life thinking it is.
                        Yeah, it is a downer. I just wanted to splash the cold water of reality onto this discussion. There is no honestly appealing way to embrace the absolute purposelessness and meaninglessness (objectively speaking for the nitpickers reading this) of life and reality according to the Western atheistic model. Facing this reality turns some into nihilists and that is a depressing place to be.

                        )o( Blessed Be,

                        Sundragon
                        Come visit my blog

                        Sorcery and Spirit

                        where I discuss Magick, Mystical Spirituality and whatever else comes to mind.

                        " Wherever you are is home
                        And the earth is paradise
                        Wherever you set your feet is holy land . . .
                        You don't live off it like a parasite.
                        You live in it, and it in you,
                        Or you don't survive.
                        And that is the only worship of God there is."

                        - Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sundragon View Post
                          That's not atheism, that's just not naming the energy you experience. One doesn't have to name something for it to be real. This energy as the source of everything is very much like Taoism or the Hindu concept of Brahman as the underlying Being of all reality. Life exists for its own sake and for its own unfoldment in a kind of eternal dance of birth, rebirth and eventual reunion with the this energy. Nothing is ever lost.
                          No it is atheism if you don't believe in god. Just because you don't label something does not mean you are not an atheist. If you label it god then you wouldn't be an atheist, if you believe whatever 'it' is is god then your aren't an atheist. Believing in the supernatural fits into many molds and being an atheist can be a part of that. If you believe it might be god then your agnostic.

                          Originally posted by Sundragon
                          If one is an atheist in the Western model as in a rational materialist, it goes without saying that life is without objective purpose or meaning.
                          This is a common misconception among many people although it's understandable seeing as to how many peoples world viewpoint includes preparing for an afterlife.

                          Take for example Richard Dawkins or Stephen Hawking who have contributed a great deal to modern science, you know the process we use that made that computer your typing on, the toilet you use, the home you live in, the car you drive, and all that other neat stuff you use. Living a life for contributing to now is more fulfilling than living one to prepare for what you believe will be the next. I never really understood that... I'm going to do stuff in "this life" for my "next life". Are you going to live your "next life" for the next one? Of course you can do both, but to state that "it has no purpose or meaning" if someone doesn't believe in an afterlife or anything spiritual shows ignorance, I think your missing what's right in front of all of us, life. Even just it alone is all the purpose and meaning I will ever need, I don't need to manufacture some imaginary world for that.

                          Even if something is without objective meaning, that isn't to say that it cannot have subjective meaning. In this model we assign the meaning to our lives and once our lives are over that subjective meaning dies with us. So unfortunately, when we die everything we ever were, our loves, our wisdom, our connection to our spirituality dies with us...forever. It is eternal unconscious slumber from which there is no waking for there is no one to wake us and nothing to awaken.

                          According to this model, the best we can strive to become after death is compost...at least this way we give something back.
                          Once again a common misconception. Do you effect anyone in your life? Your actions and words effect everything around you so when you die what is left is the deeds that you did while you were in it. The ramifications can go throughout history and even when the human race eventually dies out it would still have marked it's legacy on the universe and will forever be effected from it even if only in some small ways such as effecting the Earth.
                          Last edited by Vampiel; September 28th, 2010, 05:42 PM.
                          You will always do what you think, if you think you cannot change because that is always who you were - that is always who you will be. If you think you decide who you are despite what you have done in the past, and can decide who you are today you will. Do not chain yourself to the past or the future, but what you can decide in the present.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Vampiel View Post
                            This is a common misconception among many people although it's understandable seeing as to how many peoples world viewpoint includes preparing for an afterlife.

                            Take for example Richard Dawkins or Stephen Hawking who have contributed a great deal to modern science, you know the process we use that made that computer your typing on, the toilet you use, the home you live in, the car you drive, and all that other neat stuff you use. Living a life for contributing to now is more fulfilling than living one to prepare for what you believe will be the next. I never really understood that... I'm going to do stuff in "this life" for my "next life". Are you going to live your "next life" for the next one? Of course you can do both, but to state that "it has no purpose or meaning" if someone doesn't believe in an afterlife or anything spiritual shows ignorance, I think your missing what's right in front of all of us, life. Even just it alone is all the purpose and meaning I will ever need, I don't need to manufacture some imaginary world for that.
                            I see what you are saying but it leads down the same rabbit hole of no objective purpose. A toilet seat and a computer were created by conscious entities with a specific duty, set of duties or potential duties in mind. Both of these things have objective purposes because we, their creators, have created them for those purposes. Both a toilet seat and a computer have objective purposes because we have given it to them. Now if they were conscious entities then they could perhaps imagine some other subjective purpose but it would be an illusion, their objective purpose is exactly what we created them to do.

                            Once again a common misconception. Do you effect anyone in your life? Your actions and words effect everything around you so when you die what is left is the deeds that you did while you were in it. The ramifications can go throughout history and even when the human race eventually dies out it would still have marked it's legacy on the universe and will forever be effected from it even if only in some small ways such as effecting the Earth.
                            Again, you are confusing subjective and objective purpose and meaning with these examples. My actions and words may have the objective purpose and meaning I assign them because I, in a sense, created those things. If I say "good morning" to a stranger with the intention of making them smile, that is the objective purpose of those words.

                            If, on the other hand, I say purposesless gibberish such as, "Farlang Thangol Impperan" and the listener grants them a subjective meaning that they subjectively interpret as "good morning" than they have assigned a personal subjective meaning to what is objectively without meaning.

                            In the atheistic model, your actions have objective meaning certainly, because the actor (yourself) determines the meaning of his actions. Unfortunately, though the actor's actions may possess objective meaning, the actor himself (you) and your life does not. You were not created and purposed to do anything you do. You, according to your worldview, are nothing more than a randomly generated event of probability. You have no purpose even if your actions, words, and deeds do. That is the difference.

                            That which has no conscious causation can have no objective purpose or meaning. All actions, ideas, deeds and whatnot are birthed by a consciousness (us) that grants them their objective meaning.

                            If your actions, words, ideas and deeds were entirely random an onlooker may assign subjective meaning to them based on their interpretation of what you are doing and saying, but because you had no purpose or meaning in mind, those things have no objective meaning.

                            Like a bunch of random words and actions spoken by a madman our lives, if they are truly the product of chance, have no purpose or meaning in and of themselves.


                            )o( Blessed Be,

                            Sundragon
                            Come visit my blog

                            Sorcery and Spirit

                            where I discuss Magick, Mystical Spirituality and whatever else comes to mind.

                            " Wherever you are is home
                            And the earth is paradise
                            Wherever you set your feet is holy land . . .
                            You don't live off it like a parasite.
                            You live in it, and it in you,
                            Or you don't survive.
                            And that is the only worship of God there is."

                            - Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sundragon View Post
                              Yeah, it is a downer. I just wanted to splash the cold water of reality onto this discussion. There is no honestly appealing way to embrace the absolute purposelessness and meaninglessness (objectively speaking for the nitpickers reading this) of life and reality according to the Western atheistic model. Facing this reality turns some into nihilists and that is a depressing place to be.
                              No reality, but a theist who is struggling to frame the correct series of metaphors... in other words, you don't understand the position so you strawman it.

                              But you want objective purposefulness and meaningfulness, how about what could be conceptually called the prime directive of life its self - to pass on our genes and ensure they are continued to be passed on.

                              You mentioned earlier "chance" as if that were significant; chance is only important in the human perception - in a universe of large numbers, 1 in a million billion becomes an inevitability.


                              ---
                              I may answer a response, but don't hold your breath... I'm busy living my meaningless & purposeless life and haven't the time to teach someone the simplest of concepts.
                              Last edited by Infinite Grey; September 28th, 2010, 08:00 PM.

                              Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know. ~ M. King Hubbert

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