Atheism Contradiction
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05-09-2011, 04:18 PM
Atheism Contradiction
If atheism is based upon scientific methods of proof and we don't believe in God because there is no proof he exists, how come there is no definate proof that God doesn't exist yet we still have faith he doesn't? Surely this faith means that atheism is not the correct term to describe this belief as the term means to reject belief. Is there a definition of atheism that takes this into account? Am I just thinking too much into it? Undecided

The only stupid question is the question you don't ask.
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05-09-2011, 04:42 PM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
You have to have faith that there is or is not a god is only correct if you consider the default position to be agnostic. If you consider however that the default position of a person is atheist then it only takes faith to believe in god.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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05-09-2011, 04:47 PM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
(05-09-2011 04:18 PM)JakeBolton Wrote:  If atheism is based upon scientific methods of proof and we don't believe in God because there is no proof he exists, how come there is no definate proof that God doesn't exist yet we still have faith he doesn't? Surely this faith means that atheism is not the correct term to describe this belief as the term means to reject belief. Is there a definition of atheism that takes this into account? Am I just thinking too much into it? Undecided

Yeah, atheism is not based on a proof that God doesn't exist, atheism is just waiting on a coherent, rational argument that God does exist. ... And we've been waiting a long time. ... And we're still waiting.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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05-09-2011, 05:40 PM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
(05-09-2011 04:18 PM)JakeBolton Wrote:  If atheism is based upon scientific methods of proof and we don't believe in God because there is no proof he exists, how come there is no definate proof that God doesn't exist yet we still have faith he doesn't? Surely this faith means that atheism is not the correct term to describe this belief as the term means to reject belief. Is there a definition of atheism that takes this into account? Am I just thinking too much into it? Undecided

Atheism is not based upon scientific methods of proof, it is merely a disbelief in a god or supreme being.

Agnostic = a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

There is no proof for or against the existence of god, and there never will be. However, one thing is certain, no theistic god exists.
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05-09-2011, 06:56 PM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
Oh, not this again!
My atheism has nothing to do with science; it's not about proof for or against the existence of a god.
It simply means: "I don't believe that story, because that story makes no sense.."

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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05-09-2011, 07:04 PM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
You know how it is with you and the Tooth Fairy? That's how it is with me and god.

Science, proof, faith - none of those things come into it, I just don't believe in god

Believe nothing you hear and only half what you see
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05-09-2011, 08:22 PM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
Hey, BD.

Quote:You have to have faith that there is or is not a god is only correct if you consider the default position to be agnostic. If you consider however that the default position of a person is atheist then it only takes faith to believe in god.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! "I see," said the blind man. I could never figure out why the "default position" idea was so vehemently defended. It never made sense to me. Now I get it. Classic.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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05-09-2011, 09:12 PM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
This video fits with the topic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNDZb0KtJDk

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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06-09-2011, 12:01 AM
Response to 'Atheism Contradiction'
As others have mentioned, there is no evidence that God exists. There is, however, a body of evidence in support of the notion that the mind has an inborn proclivity to believe in the supernatural (read The God Part of the Brain by Matthew Alper). Alper argues that religion arose to mitigate the imminent threat of death and also to contribute to the formation of a workable society (although it's a bit more complicated than that).

The field of evolutionary psychology also sheds light upon why humans would be so eager to read more into nature than is actually there (e.g. believing famine is the punishment of God, believing in astrology, thinking that random events are God's way of communicating with us). A sense of over-vigilance arose because the tendency to pick up on patterns and natural signs produced individuals who were more alert and aware of their surroundings; those who remained ignorant of such occurrences often faced trouble for not piecing such items together. For example, those who imagined the presence of a non-existent lion after hearing some rustling in the bushes were better off than those who ignored the noise produced by the presence of an actual lion; to be overly cautious was more advantageous than to be unobservant. One theory states that this caused people to constantly attempt to make sense of the world by going pattern-crazy. If you noticed that each year you did something particularly asocial (killed another tribal member, were disrespectful to an elder, etc.) you were unable to have a child, wouldn't it seem reasonable to attribute infertility to some external force judging you on the basis of your actions?

You mention that it is unreasonable to claim with certainty that God does not exist because even this requires a certain degree of faith since we cannot without a doubt prove that God does not exist. I can see your point and have a few thoughts of my own to add. This same logic can be applied to nearly any postulation. Have you heard of Russell's teapot? If someone made the claim that a teapot was orbiting the sun in between the Earth and Mars, it would seem foolish for others to believe him simply because there was no evidence to prove otherwise. The burden of proof would lie on the shoulders of the person asserting the existence of this teapot; while they could not really be proven wrong without a single doubt, the world just seems to make more sense without the teapot because we have no evidence for the teapot's existence.

Belief in God is similar. Most of science makes sense without him, so why add an unnecessary hypothesis? The best scientific explanations are the simplest with the least amount of extraneous material. Perhaps the most questionable aspect of intelligent design lies in the fact that, '…gaps shrink as science advances… God is threatened with eventually having nothing to do and nowhere to hide' (Dawkins, The God Delusion). Because the existence of a Creator God insists that the unknown should be attributed to the existence of the supernatural, ID literature has never been published in any respectable scientific journal.

In spite of this, I will still admit that no one should claim with absolute, 100% certainty that God does not exist. Many people who consider themselves atheists (but may also be called agnostics) do not endorse the existence of any specific deity, but will admit that it is impossible to know if some kind of greater power does exist because we are limited in space and time and have not explored the entire universe. As an analogy, how is an amoeba supposed to recognize the existence of Hollywood celebrities, Einstein's theory of relativity, and some far-off war waged by humans over terrorism? ...How is it supposed to even know what these are? But just because it is, in theory, impossible to definitively rule out the existence of a deity does not mean that it is wise to have faith that there is one if we have no supporting evidence - much like Russell's teapot.

And imagine for a second that there is a supernatural entity. Based on both the apparent flaws of every world religion I've encountered and the current state of the world, it would be safe to say that this God would either be powerless to stop evil, oblivious to its existence, or be apathetic to its destruction. He/she/it would hardly seem in a position to grant any sort of afterlife, and it would be exceedingly unlikely that some ancient group of mystics had actually formed an accurate representation of it, just considering how much evolution has shaped our psychology (as expounded above) and also how religions fit so neatly within their cultural and historical context.

So, in short, although we cannot say that there positively is no God, we can say that there is a lack of evidence to support theism, and that if God does exist, he/she/it would be so far removed from the workings of humankind it would be totally pointless to devote one's life to worship and prayer.

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.
- Shakespeare's King Lear
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06-09-2011, 12:08 AM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
Found this little gem on another forum a few minutes ago:

"But that's - I'm sorry but that's completely ridiculous! How can I possibly prove it doesn't exist? Do you expect me to get hold of - of all the pebbles in the world and test them? I mean, you could claim that anything's real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody proved it doesn't exist!" - Hermione (from Harry Potter)

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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