Atheism Contradiction
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06-09-2011, 07:12 AM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
(05-09-2011 08:22 PM)Ghost Wrote:  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

Needless to say that is only my opinion on the matter. I do not believe anyone is born believing in anything. They may acquire the beliefs or their parents or their society but no brain is born believing in god, and certainly not any specific god like that of the Judaeo-Christian 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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06-09-2011, 08:25 AM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
Hey, Efrx.

Harry Potter. Really? Really? lol

Hey, Ava.

Good post.

I've always thought the teapot argument was wonky, not because it's not difficult to find a single teapot in the vastness of space, but because 1 - we could investigate to see who put a teapot in space (rocket launches are hard to hide), 2 - we can assume that teapots don't form spontaneously (because of entropy) and 3 - because there is a chance, however slim, that someone could one day find it. With God, 1 is impossible, 2 doesn't apply, and 3, even if someone met God, they would never be able to prove it scientifically.

Science does make sense without God and I agree, by and large, Occam's Razor makes sense.

Quote: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.

Nicely put.

Quote: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.

I just wanted to throw something out. You didn't say it specifically, but a lot of people talk about how a loving God is impossible because bad things happen. I was just thinking about a crying baby. It lays there, in its crib, wailing, its parents in the next room, but its parents, who have the power to intervene, don't, because they feel that it's better for the child to suffer through the tears than to be coddled. I'm not saying that this is a proof for the existence of a loving God (Kirk Cameron's banana is!.... that sounded really wrong) but that the no loving God argument might not be a slam dunk argument.

Quote: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.

I agree that many religions, like Animism, evolved over generations as a response to the workings of the world and our relationship with it. These religions were born in the days or oral tradition and mutated from generation to generation. That is to say, they were not rigid, but mutable and very easily changed with the times. The big polytheistic and monotheistic religions come from the time of the written tradition. Writing has a curious effect on religion. The oral stories aren't transmitted, the written codex is. That codex is much more resistant to mutation.... where was I.... what's my name.... uhhhh... oh yeah.... I think it's reasonable to assume that in either case, in some cases, people made things up spontaneously; likely in piecemeal fashion. But the possibility also exists (and this isn't an endorsement) that revelation was involved. Maybe Lothar of the Hill People was hunting one day and a Raven was like, "Sup, homey G? Check this out...." and poof, Animists believe in Raven the Trickster. It's also possible that God was like, "Sup, Moses? Check this out. It got these stone tablets..." The problem with revelation of course is that it's utterly unverifiable, but the revealed religions swear by it and although Animism makes no hard and fast claims to it that I know of, it could have played a part.

Hey, BD.

That's cool, homey. I just understand now that there is a political motivation involved that I never saw before. Might not be your reason, but it might be someone else's.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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06-09-2011, 09:04 AM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2011 09:27 AM by nontheocrat.)
RE: Atheism Contradiction
Jake,

I am confused by your use of the word "faith". I think you are confusing what I'd call belief with faith.

I don't claim to have scientific evidence either way. But as others have pointed out, I don't have any for/aginst Bigfoot either. Yet I don't think it requires "faith" to say you believe Bigfoot is nothing more than a legend. I feel that we should treat the god question the same as any other supernatural or extraordinary claim.

To adhere to textbook agnosticism on every subject (withhold belief or disbelief in every claim) is unnatural and impossible.

My beliefs are nothing more than a set of heuristics based on my gut reaction to the evidence I see at the moment. The difference between belief and faith in my opinion is that I would change my belief in an instant given viable evidence. Faith is not only belief without evidence and often in spite of it. I see nothing about my world view that could be called "faith".

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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06-09-2011, 09:08 AM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
Hey, Nontheocrat.

I'm confused about your confusion about my use of the word faith.... because I never used it.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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06-09-2011, 09:26 AM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
(06-09-2011 09:08 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Nontheocrat.

I'm confused about your confusion about my use of the word faith.... because I never used it.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Ugh! My bad, I meant to address that to Jake, sorry Ghost! I'll correct the original post.

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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06-09-2011, 12:13 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

If atheism is based upon scientific methods of proof and we don't believe in elves because there is no proof they exist, how come there is no definate proof that elves don't exist, and yet we still have faith they don't?

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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06-09-2011, 03:29 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

This is a question about burden of proof... is the burden upon a Christian to prove that God exists or upon the Atheist to prove that God doesn't exist?

Bertrand Russell gave the best answer to this when he gave us the idea of a celestial teapot. He claimed that a teapot orbited Earth, but it was undetectable by any scientific means. So is it up to him to prove that teapot exists or for us to prove it doesn't exist? Obviously he has to prove it - he could make an infinite number of claims that are all false, but we shouldn't take him at his word just because he says so. If his claims are true, then there's evidence somewhere, and it's up to him to bring it.

Yes, we believe in the scientific method, and that's why we don't believe in God. God can't be falsified... if there's a test you can give us that could possibly yield a negative result, it's probable that God won't pass it. That's why Christians put such limitations on God (like the teapot, he's undetectable by any scientific instruments) so that he can't be put to the test and fail. If he's unfalsifiable then he's untestable, and therefore unscientific.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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06-09-2011, 04:03 PM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
Thanks guys, this is all really helpful!
I'm fairly new to this atheism stuff so forgive me for confusing belief and faith Smile
I think I agree that if there was 100% undeniable proof of God, I would believe. I still feel that there is a certain amount of faith needed to believe science will carry on bridging the gaps and proof of God will never be found. Am I making any sense? To be a true atheist you need some level of faith in your belief, without faith you sway towards being agnostic. That doesn't make you agnostic, just that if proven you will believe in God. If you were 100% atheist then even with proof you still wouldn't believe.

The only stupid question is the question you don't ask.
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06-09-2011, 04:33 PM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
(06-09-2011 04:03 PM)JakeBolton Wrote:  Thanks guys, this is all really helpful!
I'm fairly new to this atheism stuff so forgive me for confusing belief and faith Smile
I think I agree that if there was 100% undeniable proof of God, I would believe. I still feel that there is a certain amount of faith needed to believe science will carry on bridging the gaps and proof of God will never be found. Am I making any sense? To be a true atheist you need some level of faith in your belief, without faith you sway towards being agnostic. That doesn't make you agnostic, just that if proven you will believe in God. If you were 100% atheist then even with proof you still wouldn't believe.

You have to understand there is different types of atheists. Most atheists fall in the agnostic atheist camp, where the knowledge of god is unknowable, but since there is no proof, no evidence, nothing, we do not accept that hypothesis or idea.

The ones you are referring to are gnostic atheists.

Anyways, to believe that science will push forward really isn't a question of faith in the same idea as religion. Science has always been pushing forward, and will probably continue doing so. Saying that is an act of faith is like saying those who watch the weather report and plan accordingly are also acting on faith.

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06-09-2011, 05:10 PM
RE: Atheism Contradiction
(05-09-2011 06:56 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  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.."

There is no story.
Atheists do not believe in god, even a universal god.
Non-religious people do not believe in a theistic god(aka religious based god). They may believe of disbelieve in a universal god.
Agnostics are non-religious people that do not conclude whether a universal god may or may not exists.


Albert Einstein actually believed in the existence of a universal god.
Personally, I think there is overwhelming evidence against the existence of any theistic deities.
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