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  #1  
Old 12-12-2005, 05:51 AM
David Sklansky David Sklansky is offline
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Default Four Kinds of Atheists.

1. Those who deep down want there to be no God so they don't have to answer to him

2. Those who feel that if God is as portrayed in the bible he is undeserving of worship.

3. Those who apply philosophical principles going back hundreds of years to argue agianst the necessity of a God to explain things.

4. Those who look at the things that science has only recently explained. Things that previously seemed so astonishing that a God, as farfetched as the idea is, was a more likely explanation than anything else. And upon looking at those recent explanations come to the conclusion that it is now much more reasonable to expect that still unexplained phenomenon will also eventually be explained by science rather than the God of the bible

Only the fourth type of atheist should be taken seriously.
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Old 12-12-2005, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Four Kinds of Atheists.

This fourth type of atheists is a common one, but there is another related type who should be given the same respect. Consider those like, Marcel Proust who, although alive in a time of relative scientific simplicity, was intellectually incapable of religious belief. He, and many others were incapable as a matter of philosophical acumen. Pricipal did not allow them to take the easy route. Speaking from this viewpoint myself, I can say that it is not necessarily the need to explain away the phenomenon of our world that precipitates this lack of faith. On a basis of purely logical precepts without recourse to existents, religious belief can be obviated.
The reason I say this type of atheist is related is because of the affinity between science and philosophy. These two types may deep down be the same, possibly a matter of semantics. Posssibly this second type is one who intuitively senses the fact that science is more apt to deliver a logocally consistent articulation of the dynamics of our world.

Cambraceres
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Old 12-12-2005, 07:02 AM
Siegmund Siegmund is offline
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Default Re: Four Kinds of Atheists.

I think some of the Type 3s are very similar to the Type 4s - differing only in having spotted the pattern of the 'shrinking realm of the supernatural' sooner. It almost sounds to me like atheist mathematicians are Type 3s, and atheist scientists are Type 4s.

Science's basic argument isn't that its impossible for their to be a god, only unnecessary. Now then, if we apply Occam's Razor and say "then let's operate on the assumption there isn't a god", we are applying a 400-year-old philosophical principle that happens to have a place in modern science. Which category does that put us in?

I certainly agree that Type 1 and Type 2 atheists are something different from Type 3 and Type 4 atheists.
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Old 12-12-2005, 07:05 AM
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Default Re: Four Kinds of Atheists.

I tend to give David credit for intelligence and well thought out questions.

I am assuming that nowhere does David claims those four are the only reasons to be atheist. If that is the inference, altough not explicitly stated, I would feel like I had to barge in. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Even regarding only those four types, I feel that the type 2) could be qualified in a way that would need to take them seriously too. Lets say only a subset of 2) should not be taken seriously, the remainder should . [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 12-12-2005, 07:27 AM
Siegmund Siegmund is offline
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Default Re: Four Kinds of Atheists.

[ QUOTE ]

I feel that the type 2) could be qualified in a way that would need to take them seriously too.


[/ QUOTE ]

The problem, at least as I see it, is that even if the Type 2 people are absolutely correct, they have *only* given a reason to *not worship* God, but failed to find any basis for asserting that the picture of God painted in Scripture is inaccurate. Conscientious objectors to the religious draft, as it were. We just need a more descriptive word to describe this belief than 'atheism'. Type 1s we could call 'insincere atheists'. I don't have a name for Type 2s but I wish I did now.
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Old 12-12-2005, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Four Kinds of Atheists.

Nobody's challenging the idea that it's accurate to divide atheists into 4 distinct 'types'?

I'd have thought there'd be a million different reasons why people arrive at an atheistic position, or any position. And I suspect that if you had to come up with the most basic 'type' it'd be something like 'atheist is the default position, you have to prove god not disprove god'. I'm agnostic myself - but that kind of thinking clearly makes sense. Do I have to prove that flying giraffes don't exist?
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  #7  
Old 12-12-2005, 09:20 AM
chezlaw chezlaw is offline
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Default Re: Four Kinds of Atheists.

Strangly I disagree.

Nothing in science has done anything to discredit god, so if it wasn't sensible to be an athiest 200+ years ago it still isn't today.

I notice you suddenly switched to 'biblical god' in 4) which is the only way what you said can make any sort of sense.

chez
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Old 12-12-2005, 10:36 AM
Charon Charon is offline
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Default Re: Four Kinds of Atheists.

I wonder, if you can't take an atheist of type 3 seriously, then is it possible to take any kind of religous person seriously?
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2005, 10:49 AM
chezlaw chezlaw is offline
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Default Re: Four Kinds of Atheists.

[ QUOTE ]
I wonder, if you can't take an atheist of type 3 seriously, then is it possible to take any kind of religous person seriously?

[/ QUOTE ]
3 is a strawman. The philosophical basis of athiesm is not that god isn't necessary to explain things.

chez
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2005, 10:56 AM
txag007 txag007 is offline
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Default Re: Four Kinds of Atheists.

[ QUOTE ]
Nothing in science has done anything to discredit god, so if it wasn't sensible to be an athiest 200+ years ago it still isn't today.


[/ QUOTE ]
The point DS was making is that recent discoveries in science make the need for God's control less likely in order to keep the world spinning, universe ticking, etc.

I view it differently. The more we discover about how our universe operates, the more likely that it was very intricately designed rather than a random occurrence. It baffles me that someone could have kids and not see this.
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