Christian Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?
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13-05-2015, 09:38 AM
Christian Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?
Now, I realize that the article here was written in 2013. If this article has already been commented about I'm sorry, I'm a new atheist (some people are probably thinking, "how long's he going to use that dumb excuse"). I troll the internet looking really good arguments from Christians and other religions against atheism. Guess what: haven't found any (this includes the article I found just now). But since I still believe that smart people exist with religious beliefs - heck, I'm willing to bet that a lot are way smarter than me, since I'm definitely not the smartest person even in my little corner of Ohio - I'm holding out.

In any case I found an article, that... Facepalm well, it's got a lot of problems, but I admit that it's written in a way that may give theists confidence and hope (albeit a false sense of it). So here it is, with my commentary in red (like Jesus! yay! no, I'm not Jesus).

Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?

Some atheists think they escape the burden of proof by claiming they lack belief rather than have a belief there is no God. Yes, there is a difference between non-belief and unbelief, but there is no refuge here for the atheist.

Yeah, it's not really about "escaping". I'm not exactly pointing my finger and going "haha, you have the burden of proof", you just DO have the burden. It's simply the way it is.

Atheists no longer believe there is no God, apparently. Instead, they merely lack belief in the divine. They are not un-believers. They are simply non-believers. And non-belief is not a claim, so it requires no defense.

LOL, I like that tone: "apparently" Dodgy

This, atheists think, makes their job easier by relieving them of any responsibility to provide evidence for their view, er…their non-view. After all, no one is obliged to give evidence for the non-existence of fairies. Thus, atheism secures the inside lane as the default view for reasonable people. Or so atheists claim.

Yeah, actually it is pretty easy over here. I'm 37, and just turned full blown atheist a couple months ago. Up till my "deconversion" I wrestled with the burden of proof, not just with others, but mostly myself. So yeah, I'd say it's pretty f-ing easy right now.


If I were an atheist, I would never take this route. I’d fear people would think I was cheating with words, betraying weakness, not strength. This, as it turns out, is exactly what’s happening. Yes, there is a difference between non-belief and unbelief, but there is no refuge here for the atheist.

It's not cheating. It just simply is what it is.


For example, if you asked me which rugby team was the best in England, I wouldn’t know where to start. Since I have no interest in the question and no information on the issue, I cannot form a belief one way or another. Because I have no beliefs about the quality of rugby competition in the U.K., I am truly a non-believer regarding the question. I am neutral.

Well, I'll take your analogy and edit it so that it brings a little more perspective. You're right, if you asked me which rugby team was the best in England, I would not give a shit (yeah, let's keep it at rugby since I really don't give a shit about rugby). And I would not feel compelled to comment. But let's look at this as a more fitting example to theism vs. atheism. If 99% of the world had an opinion that a certain rugby team was the best, and kept trying to get me to their side and agree that their favorite rugby team was the best, guess what, I'd be compelled to enter the debate. Not to debate on which rugby team was actually the best, but would compelled to tell you why I don't care. I would have to be very detailed. Even write an article or two maybe. An article entitled: "Why Should I Give a Shit About Rugby?" Does that paint a better picture?


This is not the case with atheists. It’s true, atheists have no belief in God, but they are not neutral on this question. If they were, they wouldn’t be writing books or accepting invitations for debates. No one debates about non-beliefs. There would be nothing to talk about.

"No one debates about non-beliefs"... unless 99% of the world is trying to convince them that their non-belief is wrong.

For an atheist to enter a debate, he has to take a position. If he takes a position, he asserts a belief. And when he asserts a belief, he makes a claim. When he advances an argument, presumably he believes the conclusion that flows from his own reasoning.

And what is my position as an atheist? My position is "why should I believe what you are telling me?" You are telling me that I must believe in God. You have a book that says "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God". Followers of this book are compelled and commanded by said book, to convince others to believe. Why should I believe?


Theists say there is a God, and atheists argue they are wrong. This is not neutrality.

No! I am not saying you are wrong. There could be a god. If the nature of God exists beyond our methods of detection, both primitive and modern, then there could be this God. But since our methods of detection fall short of finding God, why should I believe in God? My position IS neutral and I'm asking you, why I must not be neutral.


To say you do not believe in God is very different from saying you lack belief about God. Anyone who has a point of view has a belief. And atheists have a point of view. This makes them believers of a very particular stripe: They believe God does not exist.

Not good math when you've set up the equation all wrong.


There’s another problem, though, that apparently has escaped the notice of those atheists who claim the high road of reason as their own. Given any point of view (e.g., “God exists”), there are only three possible responses to it. You can affirm it (“God does exist”), you can deny it (“God does not exist”), or you can withhold judgment (“I don’t know”), either for lack of information or lack of interest.

In the God debate, the first is called a theist (of some sort), the second an atheist, and the third an agnostic. The alleged non-believers in question here are neither theistic nor agnostic. Only one logical option remains: They deny God exists, which is why they are called atheists. An atheist (a = not, theist = regarding God) is a person who holds there is not a God. That is an active claim, not a passive non-belief.

Ah, here we go: the misunderstanding of what makes an agnostic or an atheist. Let's be clear, I'm an atheist. This may confuse anyone when I said earlier in this post: "there could be a god." There could also be a... what is our favorite entity? a flying spaghetti monster, that's it. But I have no belief in either. I simply reject all beliefs in things which there is no evidence for. And keep in mind, there are many things that currently exist that many people have denied their existence until proven otherwise. And wow, those deniers felt like fools didn't they. But there's a difference between denying their existence ("they don't exist"), and not believing they exist ("I don't believe they exist"). This "fool" still hath not said in his heart there is no god. I just don't believe one exists. On the other hand I have a wild imagination. I have many ideas about a possible god, most of which would offend any religious person.

The only way out of this logical trilemma is to simply stand on the sidelines and not participate, either for lack of interest or for lack of information. However, neither apathy nor uncertainty seem to characterize those who say they “lack a belief in God.”

As long as God's followers continue to tell me and others that our lack of belief in God is wrong. I will not sit on the sidelines. As long as religion is a driving force in this world, as long as missionaries are sent out to preach the gospel, no, I don't believe that I will sit on the sidelines. And I think many atheists should avoid the benchwarmer position as well.


Now, whether or not atheists are obliged to offer evidence for their denial is a different question.

Huh Where the hell would I find that? I can offer evidence that most versions of god(s) are inventions and rip-offs of other "god inventions". But theists are the ones who need to offer evidence that there is a god. Atheists are the ones who will most likely shoot that "evidence" down.


This brings us back to fairies. Atheists are not neutral on the question of fairies, either. They deny their existence, as do I. In my view, though, neither of us is obliged to give evidence against fairies because no plausible evidence of any kind has ever been advanced for them, as far as I know.

I guarantee you that if 99% of the world believed in fairies and were trying to get you to believe in fairies, you would not remain on the sidelines of the debate on fairies.


That is not the case with God, however. Since 99% of the people in the world believe in God, then rejection of that which seems self-evident to virtually everyone on the planet requires some rationale, especially in light of the cogent arguments in favor of God’s existence.

You finally hit the nail on the head without realizing it. Of course your reason for bringing it up differs from mine. Your idea that most (99%) of the world believes in god does not prove god exists. For several reasons, that number actually creates a problem for you. First of all, how much of that number is Christianity. Then there's the breakdown of how many Christian denominations there are. But regardless of all that, large groups of people have been known to be wrong about something. Christians KNOW this from their Bible. Didn't God at one point kill 99% of the world except Noah and some animals? 99% of the people were wrong then weren't they?


The atheist’s unwillingness to step up to the plate on this smacks of intellectual dishonesty. Since they claim to be champions of reason (the “brights,” to use Daniel Dennett’s euphemism for his kind), then they ought to live according to its rules, it seems to me.

You've failed to produce this "plate" that we need to step up to. The entire article talks about something that's not even there, and, no, I'm not talking about God. I'm talking about this "burden of proof" that you think atheists still have. It's not there. I'm not cheating, I'm not trying to make things easier on myself. It's just simply not there. You are bringing a claim to the world, asking them to believe, no, not just asking them, TELLING them, "you must believe or face damnation". The burden of proof is still on you.
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13-05-2015, 09:51 AM
RE: Christian Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?
Ahh, the desperate scrabbling of theistic apologists, somehow thinking they're empowered to tell other people what they think, as though pretending your opponents have a position more convenient to your argument is a remotely honest way to conduct oneself.

Never gets old. Rolleyes Good job on the rebuttal, though.
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13-05-2015, 10:09 AM
RE: Christian Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?
*shrugs* I'm just an atheist so I can sin freely Tongue
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13-05-2015, 10:14 AM
RE: Christian Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?
Good rebuttal, though debating with idiots thinking that atheism is belief is pointless. If one believes such nonsense then there is nothing that can be done for such person.

(13-05-2015 10:09 AM)jennybee Wrote:  *shrugs* I'm just an atheist so I can sin freely Tongue

Well, I'm atheist cause I hate god Wink

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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13-05-2015, 10:16 AM
RE: Christian Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?
(13-05-2015 10:09 AM)jennybee Wrote:  *shrugs* I'm just an atheist so I can sin freely Tongue

It's what I heard. Big Grin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CqLtbw0rlM
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13-05-2015, 10:19 AM
RE: Christian Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?
"No one debates about non-beliefs." Obviously the writer of this article has not spent any time on TTA lol
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13-05-2015, 10:23 AM
RE: Christian Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?
That's like asking "Do vegetarians lack a desire for meat"? Tongue

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too"? - Douglas Adams Bechased
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13-05-2015, 10:24 AM
RE: Christian Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?
(13-05-2015 10:14 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Good rebuttal, though debating with idiots thinking that atheism is belief is pointless. If one believes such nonsense then there is nothing that can be done for such person.

Eh, I wouldn't say nothing can be done for them. Keeping the conversation open and positive tends to work well. Of course, not over the internet as that provides a barrier for them to hide behind, but open debates with another human being face to face can really reach some people. Even hard headed ones.

Unless they make money off of this stuff.
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13-05-2015, 10:29 AM
RE: Christian Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?
I though the article was good, and your response was poor.

Every belief, entails a lack of belief it's antithesis. I lack a belief in ontological naturalism, in reductionism, in subjective morality. I lack a belief that we are a product of an unguided process, a product of fortuitous chance, etc... I lack a belief that God's are merely imaginary or delusions.

I could sit here and argue that those who believe other wise have the burden of proof to convince me of these things. Would I be wrong in saying the burden of proofs falls on them, since I just lack a belief on these things?

Or does someone see the dishonesty on my part here?
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13-05-2015, 10:32 AM (This post was last modified: 13-05-2015 10:51 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: Christian Article: Do Atheists Lack Belief in God?
(13-05-2015 10:24 AM)Dusky Wrote:  
(13-05-2015 10:14 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Good rebuttal, though debating with idiots thinking that atheism is belief is pointless. If one believes such nonsense then there is nothing that can be done for such person.

Eh, I wouldn't say nothing can be done for them. Keeping the conversation open and positive tends to work well. Of course, not over the internet as that provides a barrier for them to hide behind, but open debates with another human being face to face can really reach some people. Even hard headed ones.

Unless they make money off of this stuff.

I talked to believers, catholics particulary and in my experience it never end well. Though in Poland many think that atheism=communism so it could make discussion harder.

I think that if one believes in nonsense like atheist are just angry on god, or some such then there is no point wasting breath in debating. Better to left them to wallow in their ignorance and spend time talking with people actually capable of saying something of worth.

However if one honestly seeks answers then sure, but majority of believers I meet weren't looking for answer as they already knew the TRUTH.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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