The Atheist cop out
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21-05-2013, 07:47 PM
RE: The Atheist cop out
Yes, it is true that the ultimate origins of existence are a mystery to humans. Yes, it is entirely true that secularists have no absolute answers to this mystery. This is where theists and atheists tend to differ - the theist often invalidly assumes god by argument from incredulity, while the secularist usually admits his/her own limited intelligence and searches for the truth while living by the best possible conclusions derived from one's own knowledge and experience. Atheists don't have all the answers, we are just being honest and not pretending that we do have all the answers. Not a cop-out, just honesty, humility, and a good dose of skepticism.

I think you are stereotyping atheists as people who only completely 100% reject any sort of god. The fact of the matter is that God can be neither proven nor disproven by any empirical or logical means available - makes sense as God is supernatural by definition. Thus the real question becomes whether it is more reasonable to believe in a god or not? I myself do not believe in a god due evidence against god and lack of evidence for god. However, I am also an open-minded person who would be entirely willing to change my position radically if sufficient and valid evidence was offered contrary to my position.
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21-05-2013, 08:05 PM
RE: The Atheist cop out
(21-05-2013 07:47 PM)CannonFodder117 Wrote:  Yes, it is true that the ultimate origins of existence are a mystery to humans. Yes, it is entirely true that secularists have no absolute answers to this mystery. This is where theists and atheists tend to differ - the theist often invalidly assumes god by argument from incredulity, while the secularist usually admits his/her own limited intelligence and searches for the truth while living by the best possible conclusions derived from one's own knowledge and experience. Atheists don't have all the answers, we are just being honest and not pretending that we do have all the answers. Not a cop-out, just honesty, humility, and a good dose of skepticism.

I think you are stereotyping atheists as people who only completely 100% reject any sort of god. The fact of the matter is that God can be neither proven nor disproven by any empirical or logical means available - makes sense as God is supernatural by definition. Thus the real question becomes whether it is more reasonable to believe in a god or not? I myself do not believe in a god due evidence against god and lack of evidence for god. However, I am also an open-minded person who would be entirely willing to change my position radically if sufficient and valid evidence was offered contrary to my position.

Welcome CF117! I agree with your position.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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25-05-2013, 06:23 AM
RE: The Atheist cop out
(19-05-2013 09:34 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  If you insist on "room for gods" then there is also room for a 1957 Chevy orbiting Pluto.
Actually, that one is true. Thumbsup
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26-05-2013, 03:28 PM
RE: The Atheist cop out
(12-05-2013 02:41 PM)Isserus Wrote:  Skepticism. I value it very much, perhaps why i chose this section to write in first, catering to my agnostic principles, and so i must speak my mind about something I'm sure many of you atheists are all too familiar with. First i'd like to say that I'm no bible-thumbing, finger-wagging, right wing nut job, who thinks you're all evil, ignorant, or otherwise bad people, and expect to be treated with more respect than that.
Ideally, I'd like this facet of my existence to be understood through my future posts, however(on both "theist" and "atheist" forums alike) people have a tendency to criticize, often unfairly, so let's just get this out of the way now.

pushing on--

When it comes down to it, nobody knows when the origin of the known universe, anything and everything started or where it sprang about from. And i do of course realize that when you take it back to that singularity, asking a question like "when" or "before" starts to break down and almost become entirely inapplicable.

However, where why meets how, and touches down to now, is there really no room left for when? Or, for that matter, what came before?

This has nagged and nagged at mankind for a long time and not just "theists," but rather all people. Your own, personal apathy is not reflective of some of the more brilliant thinkers that have come and gone throughout history.

There is no scientific consensus about where exactly everything truly came from, before the big bang.

Evidence, or dare I say, proof for god?
Hardly.
But! Room for God. A general, extra-dimensional, super-natural being(yes, aliens too)? Why the heck not?
To say, that because you are an atheist, you, unlike your theist brethren, are truly not "obligated" to answer that question is such a huge cop out.
To not have to explain how any one(or many) deities in particular created the universe, true, you are not obligated. Anybody can make up a religion(although frankly any religion i make up is not going to have the historical, geographical harmony that some of the more major religions have) and exclaim their particular god did it.
But to come down with such resolve and say there is no chance for any known and unknown god-concepts seems rather arrogant.

Are we to just leave it at that then? Do we surrender to the Buddhist way and assume we are simply incapable of understanding such a massive headache of a truth?

I see the obvious bitter distane many of you would have for organized religion, and rightfully so. But to thereby right off all religion, to then go about claiming that no truth can be found is a bitter, narrow-minded, emotion-based statement of pure diminishement.

And while i do also get the apathy for many others, it is not seeking truth, and is unworthy of a discussion forum.

Room for God? Absolutely, but a room that continues to shrink. Simply because something can be conceived does not mean it should be given equal consideration to ideas for which there is empirical evidence. At present, there is no empirical evidence for God or Gods, and as such there is no reason to give them the same consideration as the Big Bang, Abiogenesis and Evolution, for which empirical evidence exists and assumptions can be deduced. Additionally, and unlike metaphysical deities, those ideas are falsifiable. We stand to learn as much about reality if they are disproved as we will if we continue to find evidentiary support for them.

Atheism is not an attempt to dodge a question for which mountains of empirical evidence exists. Atheism is the refusal to consider an assertion until sufficient empirical evidence has been provided to prove that assertion is worthy of consideration.

If I spent all my time trying to disprove the ideas of everyone whom I disagreed with, I would have no time to pursue and develop my own ideas. This is why the one who asserts bears the burden of proof, and why atheists have no obligation to those who make assertions without evidence.

Front Yard Astronomy Blog / YouTube

“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church.”
-Ferdinand Magellan
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26-05-2013, 03:28 PM
RE: The Atheist cop out
(12-05-2013 02:41 PM)Isserus Wrote:  Skepticism. I value it very much, perhaps why i chose this section to write in first, catering to my agnostic principles, and so i must speak my mind about something I'm sure many of you atheists are all too familiar with. First i'd like to say that I'm no bible-thumbing, finger-wagging, right wing nut job, who thinks you're all evil, ignorant, or otherwise bad people, and expect to be treated with more respect than that.
Ideally, I'd like this facet of my existence to be understood through my future posts, however(on both "theist" and "atheist" forums alike) people have a tendency to criticize, often unfairly, so let's just get this out of the way now.

pushing on--

When it comes down to it, nobody knows when the origin of the known universe, anything and everything started or where it sprang about from. And i do of course realize that when you take it back to that singularity, asking a question like "when" or "before" starts to break down and almost become entirely inapplicable.

However, where why meets how, and touches down to now, is there really no room left for when? Or, for that matter, what came before?

This has nagged and nagged at mankind for a long time and not just "theists," but rather all people. Your own, personal apathy is not reflective of some of the more brilliant thinkers that have come and gone throughout history.

There is no scientific consensus about where exactly everything truly came from, before the big bang.

Evidence, or dare I say, proof for god?
Hardly.
But! Room for God. A general, extra-dimensional, super-natural being(yes, aliens too)? Why the heck not?
To say, that because you are an atheist, you, unlike your theist brethren, are truly not "obligated" to answer that question is such a huge cop out.
To not have to explain how any one(or many) deities in particular created the universe, true, you are not obligated. Anybody can make up a religion(although frankly any religion i make up is not going to have the historical, geographical harmony that some of the more major religions have) and exclaim their particular god did it.
But to come down with such resolve and say there is no chance for any known and unknown god-concepts seems rather arrogant.

Are we to just leave it at that then? Do we surrender to the Buddhist way and assume we are simply incapable of understanding such a massive headache of a truth?

I see the obvious bitter distane many of you would have for organized religion, and rightfully so. But to thereby right off all religion, to then go about claiming that no truth can be found is a bitter, narrow-minded, emotion-based statement of pure diminishement.

And while i do also get the apathy for many others, it is not seeking truth, and is unworthy of a discussion forum.

Room for God? Absolutely, but a room that continues to shrink. Simply because something can be conceived does not mean it should be given equal consideration to ideas for which there is empirical evidence. At present, there is no empirical evidence for God or Gods, and as such there is no reason to give them the same consideration as the Big Bang, Abiogenesis and Evolution, for which empirical evidence exists and assumptions can be deduced. Additionally, and unlike metaphysical deities, those ideas are falsifiable. We stand to learn as much about reality if they are disproved as we will if we continue to find evidentiary support for them.

Atheism is not an attempt to dodge a question for which mountains of empirical evidence exists. Atheism is the refusal to consider an assertion until sufficient empirical evidence has been provided to prove that assertion is worthy of consideration.

If I spent all my time trying to disprove the ideas of everyone whom I disagreed with, I would have no time to pursue and develop my own ideas. This is why the one who asserts bears the burden of proof, and why atheists have no obligation to those who make assertions without evidence.

Front Yard Astronomy Blog / YouTube

“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church.”
-Ferdinand Magellan
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26-05-2013, 05:45 PM
Re: The Atheist cop out
Atheism makes no claim as to the origin of the cosmos.

Science seeks to provide explanations for our observations and supernature is an unnecessary one.

Making up an answer is no better than having no answer. And when that made up answer had no evidence behind it, it is worse than saying "I don't know."

“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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26-05-2013, 09:56 PM
The Atheist cop out
(26-05-2013 05:45 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Atheism makes no claim as to the origin of the cosmos.

Science seeks to provide explanations for our observations and supernature is an unnecessary one.

Making up an answer is no better than having no answer. And when that made up answer had no evidence behind it, it is worse than saying "I don't know."

Also, when said made-up answer drives entire cultures to make uninformed decisions about their own lives as well as those of their neighbors it does humanity a grave disservice. Would you not agree?

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
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29-05-2013, 04:58 PM
RE: The Atheist cop out
(12-05-2013 02:41 PM)Isserus Wrote:  Skepticism. I value it very much, perhaps why i chose this section to write in first, catering to my agnostic principles, and so i must speak my mind about something I'm sure many of you atheists are all too familiar with. First i'd like to say that I'm no bible-thumbing, finger-wagging, right wing nut job, who thinks you're all evil, ignorant, or otherwise bad people, and expect to be treated with more respect than that.
Ideally, I'd like this facet of my existence to be understood through my future posts, however(on both "theist" and "atheist" forums alike) people have a tendency to criticize, often unfairly, so let's just get this out of the way now.

pushing on--

When it comes down to it, nobody knows when the origin of the known universe, anything and everything started or where it sprang about from. And i do of course realize that when you take it back to that singularity, asking a question like "when" or "before" starts to break down and almost become entirely inapplicable.

However, where why meets how, and touches down to now, is there really no room left for when? Or, for that matter, what came before?

This has nagged and nagged at mankind for a long time and not just "theists," but rather all people. Your own, personal apathy is not reflective of some of the more brilliant thinkers that have come and gone throughout history.

There is no scientific consensus about where exactly everything truly came from, before the big bang.

Evidence, or dare I say, proof for god?
Hardly.
But! Room for God. A general, extra-dimensional, super-natural being(yes, aliens too)? Why the heck not?
To say, that because you are an atheist, you, unlike your theist brethren, are truly not "obligated" to answer that question is such a huge cop out.
To not have to explain how any one(or many) deities in particular created the universe, true, you are not obligated. Anybody can make up a religion(although frankly any religion i make up is not going to have the historical, geographical harmony that some of the more major religions have) and exclaim their particular god did it.
But to come down with such resolve and say there is no chance for any known and unknown god-concepts seems rather arrogant.

Are we to just leave it at that then? Do we surrender to the Buddhist way and assume we are simply incapable of understanding such a massive headache of a truth?

I see the obvious bitter distane many of you would have for organized religion, and rightfully so. But to thereby right off all religion, to then go about claiming that no truth can be found is a bitter, narrow-minded, emotion-based statement of pure diminishement.

And while i do also get the apathy for many others, it is not seeking truth, and is unworthy of a discussion forum.

Just a thought here but ...

Why does there have to be an origin to anything? What if ... everything simply always existed?

People seems to have a problem grasping the probable reality of the infinite, which had no beginning, and will see no ending. This is likely due to our preponderance to time, in which we measure the existence of matter according to our perception, which may be limited.

Personally, I do not accept the Big Bang as being the origin of existence for the very same reasons you specified. Oh but that doesn't mean a Big Bang did not occur, but only that perhaps it wasn't the only Big Bang to occur. It could have simply been one in a series of endless Big Bangs.

Existence is either infinite, or is not. If it is not infinite, then those who fall into that school of that must contend with an origin, which mathematically breaks down to a singularity not matter how you look at it. Again, the problem with the singularity theory is ... well ... "where did that come from?"

Not matter how you look at it, the singularity theory falls apart. The only logical conclusion is that existence had no origin, and simply always was. Matter and energy are in a constant state of flux, transforming constantly, changing shapes, and going back and forth between each other.

Since we cannot demonstrate that there ever was an origin, then the default state of our knowledge must be that there was no origin. It is not unlike a theist who claims that God exists, but since he cannot demonstrate any evidence for existence, then his claim is unjustified and therefore we can state that since there is no evidence for the existence of God, then God does not exist.

Likewise, since there is no evidence demonstrating the origin of existence, the existence had no origin.

Just my thoughts ...

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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09-06-2013, 12:50 PM
RE: The Atheist cop out
Just because you say you are not preaching at someone does not mean that you aren't. There are diminishing gaps for the existence of a god, making a deity astronomically improbable. With all due respect, you are very much preaching at us.
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14-06-2013, 01:12 AM
RE: The Atheist cop out
I fail to see how atheism is a copout in any way, Isserus.

Atheists (by and large, please ignore the Raelians and Moonies) care about whether our beliefs are true or not. As Matt Dillahunty has stated innumerable times on his show, beliefs inform our actions.

I don't think sticking a deity or supernatural, pantheistic "force" into the equation expands our knowledge one iota. I don't think it's useful or necessary to fill the holes in our collective knowledge and understanding with a deity.

As Shermer stated in Why Darwin Matters, "Any sufficiently advanced alien race is indistinguishable from god."
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