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is taoism atheist?

rickymrickym Member PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
i've heard that buddhism is atheist, but what about taoism? it that is true, then 2 out of the 5 larger religions are atheist.

i've tried searching using yahoo and couldn't find any definitive answer, it seems that it is at best deist, which believes that it was a god that left its creation and does not maintain its creation on a day to day basis. but i wonder who made that statement, is it a taoist? what do taoists really think, or would they even care?

if you'll notice, taoism believes in the afterlife and spirituality, but so does buddhism which is basically atheist. yin and yang, can actually later be proven to be scientific. in science we have seen that a lot and possibly all matter seems to have polarity like electrons protons etc. their idea of cycles in the creation of the universe is very similar to an oscillating black hole and even the idea of nothingness within a black hole is similar to their idea of where matter came from.

http://www.darkfiber.com/atheisms/atheisms/daoism.html
" Atheism in Taoism
J.C. Cooper, Taoism: the way of the mystic
(Aquarian: Wellingborough GB 1972)

The word 'Tao' is always left untranslated as it is regarded as indefinable. Its import is too great to be contained in any one word. It is best understood by inference. It it is translated, it is usually called the Way.
10

In no circumstances can the Tao be thought of or used as 'God'; that term is too confined, too restricted, and in any case, not permissible since Taoism is a non-theistic religion. That is not to say it is a-theistic, for the atheist is as vitally interested in the idea of God as the theist and devotes as much time and energy to writing and arguing against his existence as the theist writing for him, and both the personal 'he' for God, while the Tao is totally impersonal. Nor is there any word in Chinese which may fairly be translated 'God,' for T'ien is also completely impersonal as is 'Heaven,' or 'The Heavens,' or 'The Powers That Be,' as well as heaven as a state of being. Taoism is non-theistic because the limitations of the finite human mind are realized, practically and sensibly. The transcendental would no longer be transcendent if it could be described, formulated, named.
12

Non-theism not only avoids the pitfalls of anthropomorphism but puts the stress on the otherness of the divine, which, nevertheless, is not wholly transcendent but equally immanent. Western theistic thought, if not definitely anthropomorphic, is, as [Herbert A.] Giles [Taoist teachings] says, 'undeniably anthropopathic.' There is no such element in any of the three religions of China, all are too profoundly impersonal. Only in decadent Taoism and Buddhism did a pantheon of gods arise ..."

Comments

  • IscharamoochieIscharamoochie Moderator PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    taoism goes beyond theism and atheism
  • rickymrickym Member PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    could you expound?
  • gadƒlygadƒly Member PExer
    reminds me why i got hooked in taoism in-between high school and college; i used to copy lines from the tao te ching on my binder..
  • JongaJonga Banned by Admin PExer
    i find Tao's negative philosophy/theology fascinating
  • roelallenroelallen La Champe ?lys?enne PExer
    Daoism is neither atheist nor theist as we understand it in our Western, Judaeo-Christian Graeco-Roman civilizations and cultures.

    Rather, daoism is a way of life and thinking that is more non-theist, meaning, it just does not and will not concern itself whether there is a God or whether there is none.

    To subject daoism thus to the Judaeo-Christian and Graeco-Roman debate that is theism vs. atheism is to force a square box into the inside of a triangle box.
  • JongaJonga Banned by Admin PExer
    so can it be considered a Secular religion?
  • rickymrickym Member PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    roelallen wrote: »
    Rather, daoism is a way of life and thinking that is more non-theist, meaning, it just does not and will not concern itself whether there is a God or whether there is none.

    wouldn't that be considered a soft atheist?
  • AdamantiumAdamantium Banned by Admin PExer
    Jonga wrote: »
    so can it be considered a Secular religion?

    By definition, no religion must be secular. For all religion must attempt at a separation of the otherworldly from the worldly, of the sacred from the profane, and attempts at a leaving of this world to attain that which is not of this world.

    The word itself comes from either of two Latin terms, "religio" meaning piety, devotion, and religiosity, or from "religare", meaning to connect again, to link again, to have communication again ("re" = again + "ligare" = to connect).

    Piety is indeed essential to religion. But religion must also be a connection with something not of this world, or at least with something that is not ordinary or mundane. This reconnexion is all the more present in the Christian tradition where, due to the Fall and separation of humanity from God because of sin and disobedience, there must necessarily be a reconnexion, re-linking, and reconciliation between humans and God.

    Because of this, it is safe to say that no religion can strictly be considered secular, for it is basically its attempt to lift up life from the secular and the mundane to something higher and spiritual that makes religion different from any other sphere of human activity.

    As to daoism, an indigenous Chinese religion that I consider to be beautiful and perfect in its own right, we cannot confine it to the theism/atheism debate that springs out of our Judaeo-Christian Graeco-Roman Western civilization, for daoism essentially is non-theistic, meaning, it is aloof and unconcerned and will not regard as part of its religious practice the importance of the question and enquiry as to whether or not there is or there is not a God in this world.

    This unconcern and aloofness however by daoism of the question of the existence of the Deity does not ipso facto render the same a secular religion. It is so because albeit daoism is not actively concerned with the existence of God or His non existence, still it is a way of life and thinking, a particular kind of human activity and sphere of human endeavour, in which there is an attempt to leave behind the secular and mundane of this life, in order to reach out to that which is not ordinary or common, to that which is nonmaterial, to that which is unseen and mysterious, to that which is separate and hidden, so that there is thus also in daoism as is also true in our Judaeo-Christian heritage that innate desire, which desire has also in fact become successful, and that attempt to separate and to conceptualise as separate that which is not earthly from the earthly, that which is sacred from the profane, that which is holy from the unclean, and that which is right from wrong.

    So that my final analysis of daoism is that, yes, it is neither theistic nor atheistic, but non-theistic. However, albeit non-theistic, it remains an exercise of human piety and devotion, and as such cannot be considered in all honesty to be a secular religion.
  • AdamantiumAdamantium Banned by Admin PExer
    Double posts.
  • AdamantiumAdamantium Banned by Admin PExer
    Triple post.
  • AdamantiumAdamantium Banned by Admin PExer
    Quadruple post.
  • AdamantiumAdamantium Banned by Admin PExer
    Sorry For The Quadruple Posts! ^^^ System Error...
  • AdamantiumAdamantium Banned by Admin PExer
    rickym wrote: »
    wouldn't that be considered a soft atheist?

    In the negative. No, I do not believe that non-theism is a form of atheism that is called "soft atheism".

    Daoism is not atheist, for it does not and will not assert that there is no God. Neither is it theist, for it equally and similarly does not assert nor will it assert that there is a God. It is neither of the two.

    It's reason for being such is that it is not concerned with such a question. It is aloof to such a theological speculation. This aloofness and unconcern cannot rightly be called "soft atheism", for it would be unjust to label a daoist who is just not concerned with the existence or non-existence of God as a watered down atheist.
  • JongaJonga Banned by Admin PExer
    so its a Non-cognitivism religion.

    i dont believe that religion needs to have something surreal to worship or to connect like you said.

    religion is some kind of instruction, or a set of instructions one is devoted in doing laboriously, not necessary with joy, rather necessarily with obedience.

    its like me simply having to floss my teeth every morning, i consider it as a religion, no imaginary friend included
  • rickymrickym Member PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    Adamantium wrote: »
    In the negative. No, I do not believe that non-theism is a form of atheism that is called "soft atheism".

    Daoism is not atheist, for it does not and will not assert that there is no God. Neither is it theist, for it equally and similarly does not assert nor will it assert that there is a God. It is neither of the two.

    It's reason for being such is that it is not concerned with such a question. It is aloof to such a theological speculation. This aloofness and unconcern cannot rightly be called "soft atheism", for it would be unjust to label a daoist who is just not concerned with the existence or non-existence of God as a watered down atheist.

    maybe the definition depends on whom we ask.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/atheist4.htm

    Definitions according to some Atheists:

    It is important to realize that most dictionaries attempt to reflect the general public usage of the terms that they define. Since the vast majority of adults in North America are theists -- that is they actively believe in at least one God and/or Goddess -- the dictionary definitions follow their beliefs. Dictionaries do not necessarily reflect the meaning by those who consider themselves to be Atheists.

    The Atheism Web has collected some definitions of "Atheism" from authors who consider themselves to be Atheists: 5
    bullet Dan Barker: "There is a difference between believing there is no god and not believing there is a god -- both are atheistic, though popular usage has ignored the latter..." 6
    bullet Antony Flew: "I want the originally Greek prefix 'a' to be read in the same way in 'atheist' as it customarily is read in such other Greco-English words as 'amoral,' 'atypical,' and 'asymmetrical'. In this interpretation an atheist becomes: someone who is simply not a theist." 7
    bullet Michael Martin: "...an atheist would simply be someone without a belief in God, not necessarily someone who believes that God does not exist." 8
    bullet Gordon Stein, Ed., "To be without a belief in God merely means that the term 'god' has no importance or possibly no meaning to you. Belief in God is not a factor in your life. Surely this is quite different from denying the existence of God. Atheism is not a belief as such. It is the lack of belief." 9

    Other definitions include:
    bullet Al Case," webmaster at www.2think.org/: "If you answer the question, 'Do you believe in god?' with an affirmative, then you are a theist. If your answer is 'no' or 'I don't know' then you are an atheist due to your lack of an affirmative belief." 10
    bullet George Smith: "Atheism, therefore, is the absence of theistic belief. One who does not believe in the existence of a god or supernatural being is properly designated as an atheist. Atheism is sometimes defined as 'the belief that there is no God of any kind,' or the claim that a god cannot exist. While these are categories of atheism, they do not exhaust the meaning of atheism--and are somewhat misleading with respect to the basic nature of atheism. Atheism, in its basic form, is not a belief: it is the absence of belief. An atheist is primarily a person who believes that a god does not exist, rather he does not believe in the existence of a god." 11
    bullet Dean W. Austin: "[Atheism is to possess]...no belief in God. This definition is logically tenable. It is in full accordance with Occam's Razor in that it discards the more complex hypothesis (A supernatural consciousness exists and is responsible for all other existence, we just have no evidence.) for the simpler one (Existence is most likely explained by natural processes which we know exist and have evidence of such workings.)." 12
  • AdamantiumAdamantium Banned by Admin PExer
    In all of these definitions ^^^ a daoist would still not be considered an atheist, let alone a soft atheist.
  • rickymrickym Member PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    bold is mine, i'm quoting what i quoted earlier
    rickym wrote: »
    maybe the definition depends on whom we ask.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/atheist4.htm

    Definitions according to some Atheists:

    It is important to realize that most dictionaries attempt to reflect the general public usage of the terms that they define. Since the vast majority of adults in North America are theists -- that is they actively believe in at least one God and/or Goddess -- the dictionary definitions follow their beliefs. Dictionaries do not necessarily reflect the meaning by those who consider themselves to be Atheists.

    The Atheism Web has collected some definitions of "Atheism" from authors who consider themselves to be Atheists: 5
    bullet Dan Barker: "There is a difference between believing there is no god and not believing there is a god -- both are atheistic, though popular usage has ignored the latter..." 6
    bullet Antony Flew: "I want the originally Greek prefix 'a' to be read in the same way in 'atheist' as it customarily is read in such other Greco-English words as 'amoral,' 'atypical,' and 'asymmetrical'. In this interpretation an atheist becomes: someone who is simply not a theist." 7
    bullet Michael Martin: "...an atheist would simply be someone without a belief in God, not necessarily someone who believes that God does not exist." 8
    bullet Gordon Stein, Ed., "To be without a belief in God merely means that the term 'god' has no importance or possibly no meaning to you. Belief in God is not a factor in your life. Surely this is quite different from denying the existence of God. Atheism is not a belief as such. It is the lack of belief." 9

    Other definitions include:
    bullet Al Case," webmaster at www.2think.org/: "If you answer the question, 'Do you believe in god?' with an affirmative, then you are a theist. If your answer is 'no' or 'I don't know' then you are an atheist due to your lack of an affirmative belief." 10
    bullet George Smith: "Atheism, therefore, is the absence of theistic belief. One who does not believe in the existence of a god or supernatural being is properly designated as an atheist. Atheism is sometimes defined as 'the belief that there is no God of any kind,' or the claim that a god cannot exist. While these are categories of atheism, they do not exhaust the meaning of atheism--and are somewhat misleading with respect to the basic nature of atheism. Atheism, in its basic form, is not a belief: it is the absence of belief. An atheist is primarily a person who believes that a god does not exist, rather he does not believe in the existence of a god." 11
    bullet Dean W. Austin: "[Atheism is to possess]...no belief in God. This definition is logically tenable. It is in full accordance with Occam's Razor in that it discards the more complex hypothesis (A supernatural consciousness exists and is responsible for all other existence, we just have no evidence.) for the simpler one (Existence is most likely explained by natural processes which we know exist and have evidence of such workings.)." 12

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