Believing That God Doesn't Exist
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12-11-2013, 09:50 AM (This post was last modified: 12-11-2013 09:55 AM by Rahn127.)
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
Making a case for the positive belief that there are no gods, is similar to when a house burns to the ground in the country and there is no evidence that firefighters were ever there.
No water, no tracks, nothing.

I see no evidence of divine action through deeds or words that would indicate a divine firefighter was on the scene.
Starvation of children by the millions, war, murder, rape, even natural disasters.
I really do think you can make a case for a positive belief that there are no gods with the abilities that we normally ascribe to them.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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12-11-2013, 10:11 AM (This post was last modified: 12-11-2013 10:16 AM by kim.)
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
Someone might say to me, "I know god exists.".
I would say, "I do not know god exists.".
There's a difference between certainty and uncertainty. Some find that difference to be vast.

If someone asked me if I believe in god, I'd say, "I don't believe in god."
If someone asked me if there is a god, I'd say, "I don't know if there is a god."
Just because I have no belief of a thing, doesn't mean that thing doesn't exist. Just means I'm gonna need to see it to believe it.

I'm fine with not knowing but it seems the faithful are saturated with desperate insecurity. Consider Maybe that's the will of their god, huh?

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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12-11-2013, 10:24 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(12-11-2013 05:14 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Does this lack of evidence, in itself, serve as enough evidence to justify a positive belief that God does not exist? Being reasonable, (and oh-so humble) I'm concerned that maybe my increasing tendency toward a belief that God doesn't exist is not sufficiently justified. For a long time, I've been of the "I don't believe God doesn't exist, I just lack a belief that he does" camp. It seems reasonable. But when I look out at the empty space, I'm inclined to deduce that absence of evidence is, in fact, evidence of absence.

The easiest way for me to explain it is to explain how I feel about it.

I'd put myself squarely in the agnostic atheist camp. I lack the belief of any gods based on a lack of evidence, therefore, I'm not a theist. This makes me atheist. The lack of an assertion that there are no gods is what makes me agnostic.

That being said, I am quite functionally atheist. Lacking the belief in gods, I don't go about my life assuming they exist, which is really quite similar to going about my life assuming they don't exist. I won't make the claim in an argument that there are no gods, but so far as I live my life, it's pretty hard to tell the difference.

To put it another way: a person can live there life as if there are gods or as if there are no gods. It's pretty hard to live your life in a way that leaves open the possibility of both. You can debate the lack of belief and the possibility of one or the other, but you can't really live as if you do and don't believe simultaneously. If you don't believe, then the bottom line is you don't believe. It doesn't really matter whether you not believing is due to a lack of belief or a belief in the negative.
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12-11-2013, 12:18 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
There is no good reason to believe the god of any religion exists. There is no solid evidence supporting the description, attributes, and behaviors of these gods as described in their respective religions. I hear only excuses and attempts to abstract a particular god into a concept vague enough to be acceptable (feel that warm feeling in your belly? That's actually god...).

I'm agnostic as to the existence of gods in general (by 'god' I simply mean a supernatural, sentient thing with lots and lots of superpowers), but I also extend that agnosticism to everything else I can't disprove. Talking worms, flying pigs, invisible men and teapots in space are included in this category. Fair is fair, theists!

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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12-11-2013, 12:45 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
My vision is that the exchange unfolds thusly:

Me: "I believe God doesn't exist."

Them: "Yeah? Prove it. You're so keen on acquiring evidence to back up beliefs, so lets see some evidence."

Me: "Ok. Do you see God?"

Them: "No…"

Me: "Your move."



I guess I could see it working… Undecided

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12-11-2013, 01:01 PM (This post was last modified: 12-11-2013 01:06 PM by BlackMason.)
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
To make a positive claim that gods don't exist is to begin to tread the murky waters of an anti-theism. You have long since left the shores of atheism. You are then burdened with the task to furnish evidence just like the theists. Now I'm not sure you'll be able to find actual evidence for that. The only thing I can think of is using indirect means like "Look, I didn't say grace before my meals last week. Yet I still got meals even this week. I guess its because I work and not the grace that ensures I get food. Guess god don't exist. Sorry boys."

David Hume said the wise man builds his house upon the ro....just kidding!!! He said the wise man apportions his belief according to the evidence.

**Edit**
I'm watching Meet The Polygamists on National Geographic. And I just heard this:

Woman: "We believe God has many wives. That is how we are all created."

That is a heavy blow to theism right there. Peace out!

8000 years before Jesus, the Egyptian god Horus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life."
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13-11-2013, 01:40 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(12-11-2013 01:01 PM)BlackMason Wrote:  To make a positive claim that gods don't exist is to begin to tread the murky waters of an anti-theism. You have long since left the shores of atheism. You are then burdened with the task to furnish evidence just like the theists.

Do we sometimes saddle ourselves with a different set of evidence requirements? If I claim that 60 foot tall unicorns whose coats are coloured like McGregor tartan DON'T exist, couldn't I get away with just saying "There's no evidence...even after thousands of years"? Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but I suspect many people would, in this particular scenario, accept AoE as EoA.

I suspect something similar if I said "Zeus doesn't exist" as opposed to "The Christian God doesn't exist". My "proof" that Zeus doesn't exist (not that I have one) might be more acceptable to many people than the alternative.
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13-11-2013, 02:13 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(12-11-2013 05:14 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Does this lack of evidence, in itself, serve as enough evidence to justify a positive belief that God does not exist?

Misanthropik,

you're wrestling with a problem most (if not all) of us have faced. When does AoE = EoA?

Short answer - never.

But maybe you're looking for a more practical approach (I hope I'm not putting words in your mouth).

I'm an atheist. I don't believe God exists. I have no proof that God (which one out of many thousands?) doesn't exist. I can't prove it. And I'm not much fussed. It's not my job.

You give the example of unicorns. You don't believe in them. Me neither. But they just might exist, right? Do you spend your days debating the question in your head?

You don't believe in God. Why debate the question? I know it has a very different position in society than the question of unicorns, but is it logically different?

You've had a lot of good replies to your question. RobbyPant's reply is excellent, IMO.
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13-11-2013, 02:22 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(13-11-2013 02:13 PM)jockmcdock Wrote:  
(12-11-2013 05:14 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Does this lack of evidence, in itself, serve as enough evidence to justify a positive belief that God does not exist?

When does AoE = EoA?

Short answer - never.

Can you explain why, please?

Note that "evidence" means just that. Evidence. It does not equal proof.

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14-11-2013, 11:36 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(13-11-2013 02:22 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Can you explain why, please?

Note that "evidence" means just that. Evidence. It does not equal proof.

Let's get away from "silly" examples such as unicorns. Consider the thylacine, a marsupial dog-like creature that existed in Australia until the 1930s when the last known animal died in a zoo. It's better known as the Tasmanian Tiger or the Tasmanian Wolf. At one time it lived in mainland Australia but was later found only in Tasmania (there were bounties for hunters who killed one).

The Tasmanian Tiger was a real creature as opposed to unicorns, Loch Ness monsters, leprechauns etc. No-one doubts that it existed, but "all" biologists now consider it extinct. I use quotes because there are possibly biologists who don't agree with that statement.

There have been supposed sightings both in Tasmania and in mainland Australia. But as is often the case with sightings of strange animals, the quality of the evidence is poor, to say the least.

No-one has seen a thylacine in almost 80 years. Tasmania is an island that attracts many walkers and climbers each year and even now, when everyone has a decent camera in their pocket, no-one has come up with a half-decent shot of a thylacine.

So we've got Absence of Evidence.

Can we interpret this as Evidence of Absence? Some do. They basically say "We haven't seen it for 80 years. If it is still around, SOMEBODY would have seen it". And that's a very seductive argument. And, I'll admit, one that appeals to me. I believe that, unfortunately, the thylacine is extinct.

But it only takes one walker or climber to come up with a decent shot of a thylacine (I'm talking about a camera shot here). to turn the AoE on its head. And EoA becomes zero.

The same applies to God. I don't see any quality evidence to support the idea that (s)he exists in any format. so, there's lots of AoE. But God could appear tomorrow. And i'd have say "Bugger!!! G'day, mate. Fancy a beer?" But my AoE would have been rendered worthless.
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