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Old 07-06-2015, 08:12 AM   #1
Hobotronic2037
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Why strong/weak atheism distinction?

I was thinking this weekend about the traditional strong vs weak atheism labels.

What I have concluded is that this kind of atheist "taxonomy" seems pointless when describing the concept of non-belief.

I mean, isn't it enough to just not believe in the existence of a supernatural world? I understand the definition of strong and weak in connection with atheism. I just don't understand why they are either necessary or useful.

Am I missing something?
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:34 PM   #2
AtomJack
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Near as I can tell, "weak" just means that the individual doesn't believe in any gods, whereas a "strong" atheist denies that any gods exist. I lean towards "strong", simply because if one looks at the taxonomy of religion, one can pick out where they are made up. Of course, the proof thereof isn't possible. Think I'll go get some tea from that orbiting teapot.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:22 PM   #3
Smellyoldgit
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Substituting "Galactic Star-Shitting Penguins" for god, convinces me that 'strong' is the only honest position. Weak atheists are pussies who haven't yet come fully to terms with the fact that one day they'll be worm food.

Stop the Holy See men!
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:43 PM   #4
Hobotronic2037
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Quote:
Smellyoldgit wrote View Post
Substituting "Galactic Star-Shitting Penguins" for god, convinces me that 'strong' is the only honest position. Weak atheists are pussies who haven't yet come fully to terms with the fact that one day they'll be worm food.
Well, since you put it that way...

I guess you have made a point that we need both designations.

But what's the difference between agnostic and weak atheist then?

Can't we just say that because they both refuse to commit to a belief that they're the same damn thing?
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:44 PM   #5
Hobotronic2037
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Quote:
AtomJack wrote View Post
Near as I can tell, "weak" just means that the individual doesn't believe in any gods, whereas a "strong" atheist denies that any gods exist. I lean towards "strong", simply because if one looks at the taxonomy of religion, one can pick out where they are made up. Of course, the proof thereof isn't possible. Think I'll go get some tea from that orbiting teapot.
Thanks for helping me think this thru.

Save a cup of "strong" for me.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:01 PM   #6
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Definition from the first response to my Google search-

"a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God."

Note that I base my strong atheism on the claims made by people, and observations of human behavior. People tend to credit an agency for what happens, but many real thinkers along these lines beg to differ. My training in mathematics, physics, and engineering eventually led me to the correct conclusion regarding the god question. I'll look at my library tomorrow, if I get a chance, and recommend a couple of tomes that will help give you something of my perspective. Off the top of my head, Dawkin's "Unweaving the Rainbow" is good. I have a book by Pinker, as well, and while it takes him awhile to get to the point (I'm a serial thinker, and Pinker is a random thinker- don't take that literally- it's just a way of describing thought processes, and isn't a hard and fast description), he does bring up a lot of good points. I have a really good book that helps quell a lot of the concern about causation and the aforementioned agency issue, but I forget the author's name and the title at the moment. The "library" is just a room in my home with all kinds of stuff piled in it, so please be patient until I locate said tomes.

OK, found the agency/causation book-"The Drunkard's Walk", by Leonard Mlodinow. Makes a real case for randomness in the universe. Bon appetit!

Last edited by AtomJack; 07-06-2015 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Smellyoldgit wrote View Post
Substituting "Galactic Star-Shitting Penguins" for god, convinces me that 'strong' is the only honest position. Weak atheists are pussies who haven't yet come fully to terms with the fact that one day they'll be worm food.
Musical notes..."We are stardust, we are golden"...name that tune! I think that even the christers realize that their bodies will be worm food one day, but some "soul" is going to drift up and meet something. Me, Idunno, but my bet is I'm just meat when I die, so I'm setting up arrangements for use of my sorry old carcass for medical research. They'll pluck out what is useful and then cremate the rest for return to my family. For Free.
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Old 07-09-2016, 05:32 PM   #8
carusmm
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The weak atheist is really an agnostic.
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:19 PM   #9
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"Weak atheist" is pretty much "agnostic atheist". I was agnostic for awhile. Hey, don't judge me! I was just going through the process of getting the programming out of my head, and held onto the straw that said,"Maybe we just can't know", for a while. Like about 3 weeks. Once you pull some of the wool off your eyes, it's tough to go back. Not that I want to.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:50 PM   #10
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The weak atheist has no tolerance for what they don't know.
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