3 questions for atheists
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28-12-2013, 06:32 AM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 03:17 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  Being an active atheist to me, would require some atheist activity such as coming here. I can understand those who require support from being viewed as an atheist from family and friends who are theist (i.e a response to a position) or being against religion, however s a philosophical standpoint it seems a strange position to take.

I was banned several months ago from an atheist forum which I had used for well over a year. After that I tried finding a new forum to frequently use: I googled for forums on politics, videogames, movies, sex, science, history and whatever...
Forums are not neceserely a thing that actively promote something, they are places of gathering for people who look for the same thing: communication.

The reason why some people are here is the same reason why people are on facebook, with the difference that facebook is filled with morons and that the likelyhood of encountering a moron is decreased on a specified forum.



Quote:Yes but why? People don't join groups to show what they lack belief in, or don't do.

People have joined clubs and organisations that specified for a certain kind of likeminded people ever since the first political and philosophical debating pubs opened in ancient Athens. (These ancient debating pubs in Athens were used more for drunk orgies than for actual debate.)

It is a human thing that we want to meet and conect to other humans, but why just join a random online community which is potentialy filled with creeps, hillbillies and people I would hide children from, when I can join a specific community and thereby lower the risk of encountering halfwits.

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28-12-2013, 08:30 AM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 06:17 AM)Dom Wrote:  We are all born atheist.

Firstly, that's a stupid argument.

Secondly...

Quote:A three-year international research project, directed by two academics at the University of Oxford, finds that humans have natural tendencies to believe in gods and an afterlife.

The £1.9 million project involved 57 researchers who conducted over 40 separate studies in 20 countries representing a diverse range of cultures. The studies (both analytical and empirical) conclude that humans are predisposed to believe in gods and an afterlife, and that both theology and atheism are reasoned responses to what is a basic impulse of the human mind.

~from http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2011/110513.html

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28-12-2013, 08:41 AM (This post was last modified: 28-12-2013 09:56 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  1. Why do you have an active lack of belief? The position comes across as one who wants to be recognised as one who negates any form of god but not have to prove anything.

2. What is the purpose of atheism?

3. Why believe evidence is (or will be) available to confirm or negate a god?

1. Why do you have an active lack of belief in the 1957 Chevy orbiting Pluto ?
2. What is the "purpose" of dismissing claims for anything for which there is not a shred of evidence ?
3. One does not "believe" in evidence. It is "evaluated", and either accepted or dismissed and forgotten, as the issue is resolved, and one moves on to other concerns.

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28-12-2013, 08:47 AM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
1. Why do you have an active faith?
2. Nothing, not everything has to have an ultimate goal. It's a belief system, not propaganda.
3. There is no evidence for god, and that's all I need to assure myself in atheism. Dunno about you though.

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28-12-2013, 09:21 AM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
I come here because I live in Mississippi, where it is difficult to be openly atheist. There aren't very many like minded people with whom I can discuss my readings of Dawkins, Hitchens, etc. Some of us experienced deconversion, which stunned family members or alienated friends, in some cases to the point of shunning. Where I live some people will make it their mission to get you back in the Christian fold or at least to "witness" to you during conversation. Here atheism can be a political issue because the religious right wants to make their beliefs policy, so there are activists who fight keep our separation of church and state. So the activism, if any, stems from this. One example is that until a few decades ago, atheists could not serve on juries. An atheist also cannot get elected dog catcher where I live.

Anyhow, like others said, I do not think I have to prove the nonexistence of god as I cannot do that, just as I cannot disprove the existence of unicorns. But I do not wish to be told I need to repent or risk hell (which idea I find ludicrous).

So we come here to, in some cases, learn to deal and be who we are, and to have support when friends and family think we are lost or broken or whatever. Some just want to have a lively discussion. Some here have studied the bible, and we who had some version rammed down our throats enjoy looking at it from a different perspective. (Much of it is quite disturbing, at least to me. Where I live people tend to quote select verses and leave out the gory stuff).

Maybe this answers some of your questions as to why we feel the need to be part of a group. I can't of course speak to everyone's reasons, but this probably covers some of us.

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28-12-2013, 09:26 AM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  1. Why do you have an active lack of belief? The position comes across as one who wants to be recognised as one who negates any form of god but not have to prove anything.
(btw, your second sentence sounds completely wrong, but whatever. I'll play along.) Because I find the theist position to be obviously human contrived. Theism doesn't surprise me, and I think it was a natural course for our ancestors, but I don't see it as a natural conclusion to come to (without the influence of indoctrination) in the modern world for anybody who has had even a grade school level education. To put it in the least words, the reason I am an atheist is the same reason you don't believe in the cosmic volcano, the god-mountain that spewed out all the planets in a fiery eruption 600 years ago when the universe was created.

Quote:2. What is the purpose of atheism?
What is the purpose of not liking the color pink? What is the purpose of not being a republican? There is no purpose of atheism.

Quote:3. Why believe evidence is (or will be) available to confirm or negate a god?
Evidence for a god comes in the form of attributing purpose to events which have no intelligent force behind them, or have unknown, or other definable origins. You can't disprove a deity without being omniscient (which is a concept that is ridiculous), unfortunately. The human mind has its limits, we can never know everything. But even so, if there is no indication that anything described as a god-guided event ever has happened, then there is no reason to assume or believe there is a god.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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28-12-2013, 09:43 AM (This post was last modified: 28-12-2013 10:10 AM by Adrianime.)
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 08:30 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(28-12-2013 06:17 AM)Dom Wrote:  We are all born atheist.
Firstly, that's a stupid argument.
It might be stupid if it wasn't true. Unless by stupid argument you mean that it is an argument that is unlikely to change any minds. In that case, I'd say it's hard to find any argument that is guaranteed or even likely to change a person's mind on this topic.

(28-12-2013 03:17 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  Yes but why? People don't join groups to show what they lack belief in, or don't do.
I didn't "join" atheism. I've always been an atheist. And while that the following two characteristics are not choices, maybe they will help make sense out of why people join "atheist" groups. Can you imagine why people join minority ethnic groups or LGBT groups?

Sometimes you just want to be around people where you can be yourself without being judged. (Yes, I realize many small judgments happen all of the time, but I hope you understand what I mean.)

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28-12-2013, 09:51 AM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  1. Why do you have an active lack of belief? The position comes across as one who wants to be recognised as one who negates any form of god but not have to prove anything.

2. What is the purpose of atheism?

3. Why believe evidence is (or will be) available to confirm or negate a god?

I have an active lack of belief because I'm able to actively evaluate claims based on the evidence that support the claims. Without the ability to not believe we would believe everything we were told. We would not question anything and we wouldn't have the social structure or civilization that we have today.

The position is a rational, reasonable position in which a claim must be justified before it is believed. Without justification, there is no basis to believe something.
Unless you actively want to be a fool all of your life and believe everything you are told without justification, then you must actively not believe things that haven't been demonstrated to be true.

The purpose of atheism is to separate those who are gullible from those who are not.

Evidence confirms existence
Lack of evidence doesn't confirm non-existence.
Lots of things exist that we don't know about, but until we have evidence to support existence, there is no reason to believe that something exists.

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28-12-2013, 09:55 AM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 08:30 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(28-12-2013 06:17 AM)Dom Wrote:  We are all born atheist.

Firstly, that's a stupid argument.

Secondly...

Quote:A three-year international research project, directed by two academics at the University of Oxford, finds that humans have natural tendencies to believe in gods and an afterlife.

The £1.9 million project involved 57 researchers who conducted over 40 separate studies in 20 countries representing a diverse range of cultures. The studies (both analytical and empirical) conclude that humans are predisposed to believe in gods and an afterlife, and that both theology and atheism are reasoned responses to what is a basic impulse of the human mind.

~from http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2011/110513.html


Upon reading this, I come away with the old "god of the gaps" thingie.

We all feel better if we understand the world around us, and if no obvious explanation exists, we make one up.

We are all born atheist, and that is not stupid, stupid! Tongue

If you let a kid grow up without any fairytales (such as religions) the kid will either be an atheist or come up with it's own explanations for the unknown. If they are fun or plausible, the kid may find others who think it's true and found a religion.

That's all that study can say.

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28-12-2013, 10:01 AM
RE: 3 questions for atheists
(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  1. Why do you have an active lack of belief? The position comes across as one who wants to be recognised as one who negates any form of god but not have to prove anything.

I'm not sure what you mean by "active" lack of belief, but my lack of belief is due to a lack of evidence. I'd consider myself an agnostic atheist, in that I lack a belief in gods, but I don't explicitly believe there are no gods. I feel that is unprovable, but there's just no reason to assume there are gods, either.


(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  2. What is the purpose of atheism?

There is no purpose. It's simply the negation of theism. Theists believe in one or more gods. Atheists do not.

This is similar to asking what is the purpose of darkness (the negation of light) or cold (the negation of heat).


(28-12-2013 12:36 AM)Brownshirt Wrote:  3. Why believe evidence is (or will be) available to confirm or negate a god?

I would be satisfied by any evidence which can be observed, tested, and that doesn't rely on an a priori assumption that God exists in the first place. Most of the current "evidence" for God forces the person arguing for it to assume that God exists in the first place, or if falls on its face.

For example: if I assume there is an invisible pink unicorn over there in the corner, I could site the fact that I can't see anything as evidence that it's there. If I don't make that assumption, then it suddenly stops being "evidence".
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