"First, a minor clarification. Atheism doesn't entail "faith in nothing". It entails an absence of faith. Subtle difference, perhaps, but important, I think" -Nocturnian
Sorry bud, but yer wrong here. Atheism is faith in God not existing. What you described, as absence of faith, is called agnosticism. It is the lack of belief in a God as well as the lack of belief in no God. To believe that God does not exist is a positive assertion and application of faith in a belief. The consequences of holding such an assertion is that if one follows through with such belief, they relinquish all hope of an afterlife...and thus Hugoaryclinton's point of "a sad life." If one were agnostic, however, there is not the relinquishing of that hope, and thus a chance of not having a sad outlook on life. The devout philosophers of atheism of our time and prior all acknowledge that when staring atheism in the face, life becomes melancholy and void. So if an atheist leads a happy and fulfilling life (entirely possible and occurs, no doubt) it is usually a result of a lack of practice and devotion in their particular faith in atheism, or otherwise from a lack of understanding of the consequences, or lastly, by denial.
"I find atheists tend to be among the noblest of people too" -Nocturian
Heh...wow. Not to be judgemental, but just about every atheist I have met as been a selfish person who lacks caring for another person unless that person has some benefit to them. I'm not saying thats for all, or most, or anything. I'm just saying my personal experiences are the exact opposite of yours. Infact, I spent my life as an atheist prior to being a Christian, and lemme tell you, I could easily find reasons to hate other people. The people I hated most? Godless people who felt no shame in humiliating other people, which was about 90% or more of the people around me that I knew that weren't direct family members. Infact, the only shelters I have ever found love in were, and still are....church congregations. Granted, there are churches who have hatemongers too...it just seems to have far less.
"They also tend take responsibility for their faults" -Noc
I don't think I've ever seen an atheist take responsibility for their faults. Usually they blame genes or evolution. Or, in the case of my co-workers (a Christian company, ironically the worker population is almost 50/50 atheist and Christian) all of the atheists stand around sipping on their free coffee blaming the Christians for being lazy workers as the Christians are fervently trying to bear the workload of 2 people as well as trying to think of positive things to say about the atheists.
"Ever wonder why there are so many Christians in prison and so few atheists?" -Noc
Actually, no. There is an excellent reason: People in prison realize the wrong they have done in their lives and find Christianity as the only forgiving religion. Secularism, naturalism, atheism, as well as spiritual religions other than Christianity....all condemn them. Just keep in mind, most of the people who are in prison....weren't Christians prior to being in prison. They committed all their crimes as Godless people. It was after their Godless crimes that they realized the evil within themselves, repented, asked for forgiveness, and came to Christ to attempt a better lifestyle. I don't know what your opinion is, but I'd rather be friends with a person (and think more highly of) who has done vile things in their past but realized their error and changed for the better instead of be friends with a person who continues to do vile things but denies and hides them as they progress through life continuing to do evil. There is no third option of having a friend who does not sin and do wicked things in their lives.
You know what Gog? I have my checkmate card right here, just thought of it prior to hittin' the hay. I will show you why your argument is faciscious (sp?)...and there's no response you could give except to acknowledge it.
IF, and just IF, what you wish to define as an atheist were right and true, namely that there is no positive assertion of belief or faith made, and that therefore an atheist never has to defend his position with evidence when he says "I believe God does not exist." THEN, the following also must be true...
I am an a-naturalist and a-evolutionist. I never have to defend my position. No person who disbelieves in naturalism or evolutionism will ever have to justify their position to an evolutionist, naturalist, or an atheist, or any other person. In addition, to believe that naturalism and evolution are false is not a statement of faith or positive assertion or belief. It is just that, an utter lack. And to use Dawkins' own quote, I would have to be a fool to believe anything an evolutionist or naturalist were to ever claim about knowing the ancient histories of the world and universe if they could not provide touchable, repeatable, scientific evidence. Dawkins own quote can be used to go so far as to say that Dawkins assumes all evolutionists and naturalists are the fools, not the people who they are trying to get to believe them.
Pick your poison Gog. I will gladly concede your wish to redefine atheism from its normal definition in light of you acknowledging that a person would have to be a fool to believe in naturalism or evolution (or really, anything other message you or anyone else might ever propogate) according to the consequential mechanisms by which you wish to redesign the word atheism and how those mechanisms apply to anything you wish yourself to assert as truth.
In short simple words: Acknowledge that a person would have to be a fool to believe anything you say is truth, and I will gladly concede your re-defined word of atheism.
Too many of those that delcare themselves atheist, seem to develop their own specific dogma, which they convert into their own atheistic religiosity.
Strange. I've never noticed that. The fact that you wrap your belief into an accusation that atheists are de-ifying themselves ala Hitler or Stalin smacks of extreme ignorance and profound paranoia.
"I believe God does not exist."
Most atheists don't make this claim. Most simply lack a belief in god(s); they lack theism. A-theism means without theism.
to believe that naturalism and evolution are false is not a statement of faith or positive assertion or belief
You are making a mistake here. It is possible to not accept evolution for many reasons (or for no reason) and one would have no burden to show that evolution is false. However, if one claims that evolution is false, it is a positive statement that shifts the onus of proof to the claimant.