Inclusive Faiths - Atheism?

Two questions arrise from this… is christianity the only exclusive faith? and is Atheism a faith in itself?

Now… both Judaeism and Islam allow for other faiths to be accepted by it. for example. If a christian followed all the rules of Judaeism and lived a good Godly life then it is possible for him/her to enter heaven. Similarly in Islam…

secondly… why do atheists bother to try and argue with Christians/ Muslims/ Jews… surely the fact that they are athiest means that people should be allowed to live according to there own rules… and if there rules happen to be that of a non-existant God… it doesnt matter! So why debate or try to disprove Gods existance of the validity of a faith?

Thirdly… is atheism a faith of its own… the faith that despite millions of believers in a God… they have faith there is none? they have faith that they wont be going to heaven or hell as they dont exist?
As it takes a lot of faith to deny the creator!

I’m not convinced by the inclusive nature of Judaism and Islam. Judaism is very unclear on the notion of heaven as well so I’m not really sure where to start on that one. As usual, I’m at a loss with Islam. I’ll let the Muslim Representative answer that one…

When you say “atheists argue with Christians/Muslims/Jews” etc. you are being very general. It is not true being an atheists means you believe other people should be allowed to live according to there own rules. Look at Stalin for example. He was an atheist and he certainly didn’t believe that.

Some atheists will get into “arguments” or debates with religious believers through normal conversations. It’s a hot topic as we all know and it’s bound to come up. The atheist will defend their beliefs as will the believer. Sometimes the atheist will be so fervent that they will try and convince the other person of their views. I think this is a futile practice but nevertheless it happens.

However, I don’t think you can criticise it since the religious believer will also sometimes attempt to convert the atheist. This is just a facet of the religion and I am not condemning it, just as I do not condemn an atheist who will attempt to spread their views. It is not a facet of atheism though in the same way that prosteletizing is a facet of christianity.

To your third point, once again I see that silly argument that because “lots of people believe in God, there is a God.” It’s the most unconvincing and illogical argument this side of the universe. Lots of people believe in ghosts, UFO’s, the paranormal, poltergeists ETC. but that doesn’t mean they exist.

When discussing this aspect of philosophy i prefer to distinguish between “faith” and “belief.” Some atheists would admit that what they have is faith, just as irrational as any other religious belief. This is known as strong atheism. However, weak atheism is merely a belief but not a belief from faith, rather a belief from evidence or a lack of faith.

If you do not agree with this then I will have to say then that you have faith that ghosts don’t exist, that goblins don’t exist, that goojoos, hoomoos, blargons, threeploxinators don’t exist…the list goes on ad infinitum.

That fact is, you don’t believe in these things because of the evidence that supports that they don’t. If a weak atheist says that do not believe in God they are not saying “THERE IS NO GOD” they are just saying that they personally believe there isn’t one. A strong atheist, because of their faith is asserting that God does not exist. Similarly a believer who has faith is asserting that God does exist.

That is the difference between weak and strong atheism and I think they should both be accepted as valid. Some will have faith, some will not.

“why do atheists bother to try and argue with Christians/ Muslims/ Jews… surely the fact that they are athiest means that people should be allowed to live according to there own rules”

atheism has nothing to do with the way life should be lived… it’s simply a belief that the god of classical theism doesn’t exist.

The inclusive nature of Islam…hmmmm… Islam holds in very high regard people of the book, both Christians and Jews, as to whether or not anybody will enter heaven is left up to God.

Ben may I recommend a good book…THE KORAN !!! :wink:

Briefly, here’s the Jewish view. There are 613 commandments that Jews must follow. For non-Jews there are only 7, the Noahide code. These are 7 basic laws that the whole of humanity must follow according to Judaism. The issue of an afterlife in Judaism is very cloudy so I won’t go into that but the point above suggests that Judaism is at least, partially accepting of other religions.

I have always thought that atheism was the lack of faith. But I have also noticed that I have never actually spoken to a true atheist. They were agnostic, but didn’t know so. They just called themselves atheist because they didn’t have any other term for it.

— I’ve read the Koran.

— I am an atheist. Atheism is NOT a belief, it is merely the absence of belief in supernatural beings. Atheism is VERY inclusive. I do not believe in God, the devil, the easter bunny, or Santa claus. If you tell me that purple unicorns exist, you are entitled to your belief, if you wish to convince me, however, you must give me evidence and the burden of proof lies on the person making the claim.

but the easter bunny really exists. I swear it does, it really does. I got this book and the easter bunny wrote it, it even has pictures of it.

I believe in God, but I don’t like labels. I call it the Force. And I have boiled it down to a more simplified institution that is tailored fitted for myself. I pretty much like my so-called religion. Every other religion says that God loves me. Well if it is so, then God must understand why it is so hard for me to have faith. I don’t live my life immorally. I don’t rape little children, or lie. So I’m pretty well off for the after life. But since I might not have this blind faith, I might go to hell. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, talk about making something so simple as life, so stressfull.

— If thou hath not blind faith, better to pluck out thine eyes than burn…

— Meister Eckhart said, “I pray to God to rid me of the idea of God.”
— Montaigne said, “Man could not even create a maggot, yet he creates Gods by the dozens.”
— My lights say that the only honest theology is a negative theology. Who are we to divine the attributes of God? All cookie-cutter Gods come out half-baked, and some end up as uneaten manna in the desert of dogmatism.

“Two millenia and no new Gods!” Friedrich Nietzsche.

I hope Daniel is not one of these phantom posters that comes on, spreads ignorant claims against philosophy and atheism and then never responds. So I might be wasting my time but here goes…

“surely the fact that they are athiest means that people should be allowed to live according to there own rules.”

What does being atheist have anythign to do with being allowed to live by their own rules? Atheism just means a lack of belief in a god. It doesn’t mean we find murder or rape acceptable. You can’t just live by your own rules.

Before 1500 everyone in the world believed the world was flat. Does that mean it was actually flat? No. I could just as easily say that 93% of scientists don’t believe in God? So therefore it must take a lot of faith to believe in god. I could also tell you people with higher I.Q’s are less likely to believe in God. None of what I just said disproves God. It just disproves your point.

There is as much evidence for God as there is for purple all powerful unicorns. Which is NONE.

I think Ben should put a Parental Advisory Sticker on this website. Because you could ruin a young person’s entire life with that last post.

On a side note, I believe my father to be a man of much intelligence. And he doesn’t believe in God, I think he never has. But the man still sent me to Catholic School for 10 years of my life. I was an alter boy for 8 and even aspired to be a priest. But as I grew and questioned my reality, I decided that wasn’t my path. And my belief of God angers many religious people.
What I’m trying to say is that as intelligence and knowledge grows, so does your disbelief in the mysteries of life.

Adam did take a bite off the tree of knowledge. And what happened?

— Anyone who doesn’t care to hang around for the counterargument is only hurting themselves.
— One should also mention the fact that there are far fewer atheists in prisons, around less 1% i believe; And in a study of 20 serial killers, a person was looking for a “common link”. S/he found that 11 out of 20 were highly religious and believed in the literal existence of the devil and demons.
— Smooth said

What to do about this modern malaise of disenchantment? I have suggested transvaluation in other threads, kind of a recasting of one’s core beliefs. I’m open to suggestions and counterarguments.