Concepts as mental representations The first of these views maintains that concepts are psychological entities, taking as its starting point the representational theory of the mind RTM. According to RTM, thinking occurs in an internal system of representation. Beliefs and desires and other propositional attitudes enter into mental processes as internal symbols.
Atheism may be An analysis of eliminative materialism as the mental attitude which unreservedly accepts the supremacy of reason and aims at establishing a lifestyle and ethical outlook verifiable by experience and the scientific method, independent of all arbitrary assumptions of authority and creeds.
It may involve the outright rejection of any kind of theism which can be generally defined as the belief in one or more gods ; or it may be the rejection of belief in a specific god or gods e. Strictly speaking, a person could still believe in the existence of such things as immortal souls, life after death, ghosts, supernatural powers, etc, and still remain an atheist on the ground that they disbelieve in the existence of God or gods, but in practice most atheists also reject any supernatural or transcendent reality, usually citing a lack of empirical evidence.
For example, they generally view Satan either in the context of Christianity or of Satanism as being every bit as mythological and nonexistent as God. In the religious debate between early Christians and Hellenists, each side accused the other of being atheist almost always in a pejorative sense.
In the same way, the ancient Romans regarded Christians as atheists for their refusal to worship the pagan Roman deities. It actually predated the use of terms like theism and deism. What do Atheists Believe? Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud.
Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as a part of nature. Fields Atheists believe that there is no proof or evidence for the existence of gods, and they see no need for, or use for, gods.
They generally believe that the universe, the Earth An analysis of eliminative materialism life on Earth evolved by perfectly natural processes, and see no evidence of intervention or guidance by a supernatural entity.
In fact, most atheists consider any paranormal belief systems such as astrology, clairvoyance, spiritualism, etc as at best useless, and at times positively dangerous.
They might further argue that religions have often shown themselves to be intolerant and bigoted, have impeded scientific and social progress, have caused significant strife and bloodshed, and have never served mankind in a good way.
Atheists tend instead towards secular philosophies such as humanism, rationalism and naturalism. Atheism is generally based on a philosophy of naturalism, which holds that only natural phenomena exist and that there are no supernatural forces, or materialism also known as physicalismwhich holds that the world and the universe contain only material or physical objects, such as can be described by the physical sciences of physics, chemistry and biology.
Others find meaning in the choices they make in life whether it be political reform, charitable work, relationships, etc rather than in the promise of a hypothetical life after death.
To an atheist, the knowledge that we have only one life makes it all the more precious and ensures a life-affirming, life-enhancing attitude, untainted with wishful thinking, self-delusion or self-pity.
Back to Top People become atheists for a variety of reasons. In general, atheists do not lack belief because of ignorance or denial, but are non-believing through choice.
For some, atheism may be an act of rebellion against a religious upbringing, but usually it results from independent thinking and reasoned skepticism.
Many have spent time studying one or more religions, often quite thoroughly, and have made a carefully considered decision to reject them. A American study has shown that atheists are actually distinctly better informed about religion than people who consider themselves religious closely followed by agnostics, with Catholics and Protestants firmly at the bottom of the list.
A good proportion but by no means all become atheists because religion just did not work for them or seem irrelevant to their lives, because their questioning of the core beliefs of religion have left them unsatisfied, or because they have come to the conclusion that religious convictions are fundamentally incompatible with their own observations.
However, it should be noted that atheism can encompass a whole range of views, and there is no one ideology or set of behaviours to which all atheists adhere.
An individual atheist may deny anything from the existence of a specific deity, to the existence of any gods at all, to the existence of any spiritual, supernatural or transcendental concepts, such as those of Hinduism and Buddhism.
All thinking men are atheists. In addition to the convictions of moderate atheists, they would also claim that religion is demonstrably false and, furthermore, usually or always harmful or dangerous.
Most open-minded atheists and humanists are opposed to such militant views, considering them equivalent to religious fundamentalism, and more likely to give atheism a bad reputation than to further its cause. Is Atheism a Religion? Back to Top Atheism is not in itself a religion.
It does not involve any kind of worship, rituals, faith, prayers, etc, and it has no spiritual leader and no sacred text. Most atheists never join any kind of atheist organization although they do exist. Some atheist and humanist organizations do offer secular rituals for common events such as namings, weddings and funerals with the intention of giving them meaning and significance without any religious contentbut these are realively rare and not mainstream events.
Atheism is not necessarily anti-religious either, and atheists in general do not dislike or outright hate theists although they may be vehemently opposed to their views. Most atheists would willingly concede there are, or have been, some good things about religion, such as religious art and music, religious charities and good works, some religious wisdom and scripture, and the human fellowship and togetherness that religion often fosters.
Atheists are no more required to be hostile to the religious than Christians or Jews are required to be hostile to Hindus or Muslims.
There are even some, like Alain de Botton for example, who try to find a middle way between religion and fundamantalist atheism, and who look for ways to preserve some of the finer elements of religion - such as its art and architecture, its spirit of community and its concept of humility - without involving the idea of a transcendent being or God.
De Botton has even albeit playfully, and not entirely seriously suggested the idea of temples for atheists. Atheism is not even necessarily equivalent to irreligion, although the majority of atheists are also irreligious, in the sense that they do not practice any religion.
Some religious and spiritual belief systems that do not actively advocate belief in gods such as some forms of Buddhism, for example could be described as atheistic, and several other religions, including Confucianism, Taoism and Jainism, either do not include belief in a personal god as a tenet of the religion, or actively teach non-theism.
There are even sects of Christian Atheists who reject the God of Christianity but follow the teachings of Jesus and Jewish Atheists who emphasize Jewish culture and history, rather than belief in a God, as the sources of Jewish identity. Unitarian Universalism is an example of a religious Christian movement into which some atheists may comfortably fit, should they feel the need.
Atheism and Morality Back to Top Atheists are no less moral than any other individual, and they are just as likely to be empathetic, charitable, etc. Religions do not have a monopoly on moral behaviour, and morality is or should be more than just simply following rules.Theory of Mind.
Theory of Mind is the branch of cognitive science that investigates how we ascribe mental states to other persons and how we use the states to explain and predict the actions of . You can't dabble in the world of philosophy very long without encountering John schwenkreis.com of America's most respected philosophers, Searle did important work on "speech act" theory during the s, then later turned to consciousness and artificial intelligence, out of which came his famous "Chinese room" thought schwenkreis.com has taught philosophy at UC-Berkeley since , and, until.
Eliminative materialism (also called eliminativism) is the claim that people's common-sense understanding of the mind (or folk psychology) He argues that a precise analysis shows that the term is in the long run empty and full of contradictions.
The identity theory of mind holds that states and processes of the mind are identical to states and processes of the brain. Strictly speaking, it need not hold that the mind is identical to the brain.
‘The Headless Woman Illusion and the Defence of Materialism’, Analysis, 48– –––, , The Mind-Body Problem: An. Materialism: Materialism, in philosophy, the view that all facts (including facts about the human mind and will and the course of human history) are causally dependent upon physical processes, or even reducible to them.
The word materialism has been used in modern times to refer to a . Because eliminative materialism is a speculation about the future, based on analogy, this argument is not a straight forward logical entailment. It does, however, give a good starting point for describing the history of the criticisms of eliminative materialism.