Believing That God Doesn't Exist
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17-11-2013, 12:19 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(17-11-2013 11:54 AM)closet.atheist Wrote:  Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but an alternative approach when faced with a discussion of this kind might be that used by Peter Boghossian in "A Manual for Creating Atheists". Ask what it would take to undo a person's "faith" that god is real.
Be prepared to answer the same question about your own conclusion that god does not exist.

If they say there is nothing that would change their conclusion, then the conversation is pretty much over.
I've answered that questions many times when talking to theists. I think if anybody answers that question with "nothing" then they aren't thinking. I strongly HOPE no atheists would answer that question with nothing, but I suppose some might.

Honestly that type of question should almost never be answered with nothing. "What would it take for you to..." Because everything has an eventual conditional or series of conditions that could lead to that conclusion. Even horrible questions like, "What would it take for you to kill your own child" should have an answer.
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17-11-2013, 12:20 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(17-11-2013 11:43 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(17-11-2013 11:28 AM)BlackMason Wrote:  Both position require a burden of proof and so I screwed it up.
If a person has a position "I believe god exists, my belief is not based on evidence or proof, my belief is based on faith"
Then this person isn't making a verifiable claim.
You could challenge them and say "show me the proof"
But they would likely show you the finger and say "I have faith"

so in my opinion this person doesn't have a burden of proof.

A strong atheist can have a similar claim.

If a plaintiff sues you (defendent) for $100 million, and says they have faith that you did cause damage to their property, should the plaintiff's claim be struck off the roll or should it be entertained?

Likewise, if some asshole came to me and told me I'm gonna burn in hell for being an apostate, dirty, filthy, back slidden christian, should I believe them? I mean they ain't got no burden of proof right? They're high on that dangerous drug, faith. They on that I'mma let go the wheel and let Jesus take over at 110 MPH.

No bro...they got a burden of proof.

8000 years before Jesus, the Egyptian god Horus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life."
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17-11-2013, 12:30 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(17-11-2013 12:20 PM)BlackMason Wrote:  If a plaintiff sues you (defendent) for $100 million, and says they have faith that you did cause damage to their property, should the plaintiff's claim be struck off the roll or should it be entertained?

Likewise, if some asshole came to me and told me I'm gonna burn in hell for being an apostate, dirty, filthy, back slidden christian, should I believe them? I mean they ain't got no burden of proof right? They're high on that dangerous drug, faith. They on that I'mma let go the wheel and let Jesus take over at 110 MPH.

No bro...they got a burden of proof.
LOL

Not all theists make such abrasive claims on others.
Sure, if you were before a court, and your future were in jeopardy then they would need proof against you.

But for a person to believe in a god (for themself) they don't need proof.
Even if they tell you that you are going to hell. You are not before a court, they are not the judge nor the prosecutor.

If they are trying to convince you to believe in their god then you can ask for proof. But they might make an emotional plea rather than an evidential one.
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17-11-2013, 12:34 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
Stevil, you are saying the burden of proof only applies when trying to convince others of something?
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17-11-2013, 12:52 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
I think he is trying to say that people who hold on to serious beliefs for emotional reasons usually don't concern themselves with things like proof or evidence, whether for themselves *or* others.

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17-11-2013, 02:13 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(17-11-2013 12:52 PM)Cephalotus Wrote:  I think he is trying to say that people who hold on to serious beliefs for emotional reasons usually don't concern themselves with things like proof or evidence, whether for themselves *or* others.
I'm attempting to distinguish the position of personal belief from the position of verifiable knowledge.
A scientist making a hypothesis about something e.g. Dark matter, is required to support their claim via evidence. This scientist is not merely gleefully proclaiming their own belief and faith in something. They are wanting to contribute to the wealth of knowledge about natural causes of observable events within the observable universe. Science cannot presuppose that Dark matter exists until proven not to exist. Science requires that Dark matter be proven.
But
As is often the case with Christianity (in particular), they are taught not to put their god to the test, that blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed. Many (especially the YECs) seem to take great pride in their ability to have faith and believe in something despite the massive quantities of quality evidence to the contrary. Proof is not something that these people have to burdon themselves with. They can believe whatever they want without any proof to support it.
Having proof on the other hand moves something away from belief and into the domain of fact. Many believers don't want facts, they want belief and faith.
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17-11-2013, 02:18 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(12-11-2013 05:14 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Those of you who have heard me speak about the belief and/or lack of belief in gods are probably familiar with my views. Reasonably-held beliefs/lack of beliefs should be based upon the available evidence either for or against them. A belief that unicorns exist is unjustified because we have no evidence that they exist. Thus, the belief in unicorns is not reasonable. The same goes with deities. We have no discernible evidence that any deity exists. Thus, the belief in deities is unjustified and not reasonable.

But as of late, I've been wondering a little more about the belief, as opposed to a lack of a belief, that these things don't exist.

I'm a reasonable person. This means that I do not adhere to beliefs without sufficient supporting evidence. When someone informs me of something, I seek validation. I check to ensure that the evidence supports the claim before investing a belief in it. But when it comes to the existence of a deity, as I stated, we have zero evidence that one exists. Now, this is where I'm getting hung-up. Instead of evidence for the existence of deities, we have a blatant lack of discernible evidence for the existence of deities. When a believer tells me they believe God exists, they are basically pointing to empty space and saying "There is a thing there." But all I (and any other clear-sighted individual) am seeing is empty space.

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.

Again, because I tend to ramble: Does this lack of evidence, in itself, serve as enough evidence to justify a positive belief that God does not exist?

I always say that my belief in God is just as rational as atheism because atheists have faith in the lack of a God, while I have faith in the existence of God.
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17-11-2013, 02:26 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(17-11-2013 02:18 PM)The_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  I always say that my belief in God is just as rational as atheism because atheists have faith in the lack of a God, while I have faith in the existence of God.
In the context of your statement, please define "faith"
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17-11-2013, 02:34 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(17-11-2013 02:26 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(17-11-2013 02:18 PM)The_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  I always say that my belief in God is just as rational as atheism because atheists have faith in the lack of a God, while I have faith in the existence of God.
In the context of your statement, please define "faith"

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Save it for my Q&A thread. Big Grin
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17-11-2013, 02:36 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(17-11-2013 02:34 PM)The_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  
(17-11-2013 02:26 PM)Stevil Wrote:  In the context of your statement, please define "faith"

[Image: Not-Again-450-B.jpg]

Save it for my Q&A thread. Big Grin

Then don't post nonsense elsewhere.

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