Why I don’t believe in anything.
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12-09-2011, 10:24 AM
 
Why I don’t believe in anything.
This thread intends to declare war on the word: believe.

Shane wrote in Introduction:

Quote:Today, I accidentally came out as an atheist in public during class. Somehow the topic of religion came up in discussion and a friend of mine said "Don't get my started on atheism, it's such a religion." For some reason it struck a chord and I replied saying "I'm sorry, I greatly disagree because I am an atheist."

I tried to make a point saying that is a lack of a belief in God and that their is no faith in atheism. My discussion group wouldn't have any of it though as they said it takes faith to come to believe in the theories of science, because they are only theories. They won the argument because 1) I didn't know what to say and 2) it wasn't really the topic of the class discussion (which was the historical theory of Marxism). Sadly, this means I lost a debate to a group of believers and I feel like I let the atheistic community down. I'll admit, I was slightly offended too.

So, that is why I finally decided to join an atheist forum. I need to learn the "ins and outs" of atheistic debates. I have read a lot of atheist literature, and I have had calm discussions with open-minded believers, but never anything where I felt I had to actually defend my non-belief.

My advice to Shane is the following, something I use very effectively in similar situations.

I declare that I don’t have any faith and I don’t believe in anything.

What I have instead is:

1. I know certain facts based on personal experience
2. I assume certain others facts based on experience and logic
3. My mind is wide open for everything else

…but I don’t “believe in” anything.

When they ask non fact-related questions, like “do you believe in equality”, I just say that “I think it is a good idea”.

When they ask me if I "believe in science", I tell them that “I have reasons to accept some facts science tells me, I have reasons to assume that most of it is true, but I don’t “believe in” science.

And I say these things with pride and cheerful confidence.

That usually takes the wind out of their sails.

I stopped using the word belief decades ago and have not missed it a bit. Things got a lot simpler since then.
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12-09-2011, 10:43 AM
RE: Why I don’t believe in anything.
Good advice.

Religious people love to misuse "believe".

The argument basically goes as follows,
If you "believe" in a fact, and I "believe" in a magic, then our beliefs are equal.

This fallacy is very popular nowadays, and used all the time, especially by the religious and the US right wing politics, like Faux News.

Teach the Controversy is a great example of this logical fallacy.
I believe in magic, you believe in a so called theory (note how they misuse the word theory here, implying a guess rather than a scientific theory). Therefore, we should teach both in Biology class rooms.
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12-09-2011, 11:21 AM
RE: Why I don’t believe in anything.
I may be in a minority here but I actually do have a belief that there are no gods. I know I can't prove it, but given what I perceive as the random nature of good and bad events in the world I feel justified in disbelief.

If I had never heard of theistic claims then I might have a more dispassionate view of the issue but given all the negativity and polarized vision given my by an extreme fundamentalist upbringing I cannot help but feel as I do. Sorry but I want to hear all views and get at whatever truth may exist.

I consider myself a Secular Humanist which I think does qualify as a religion in some ways. But, does the fact that I actually do believe that there is no god make my theism a religion? I don't see how.

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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12-09-2011, 11:49 AM
 
RE: Why I don’t believe in anything.
(12-09-2011 11:21 AM)nontheocrat Wrote:  I may be in a minority here but I actually do have a belief that there are no gods.

So do I, nontheocrat, so do I.

Except I don't call it a belief -- I call it an assumption.

This way I am not open for accusations of being religious.

You have to defeat the nut cases at their own game! Smile
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12-09-2011, 12:20 PM
RE: Why I don’t believe in anything.
Its a beautifully simple way of operating and seeing everything.......yes you have your beliefs but they are allways open for expansion and the opportunity for more deeper understanding.

Science is limited, but ever evolving.......it attempts to say WHAT is.
Religion fits everything into boxes.....is rigid/non evolving.....and says this IS (with no real evidence to back it up)

As in conversing with people of different beliefs I allways try to stay polite......I have at points felt throughout my life the need to "educate" people.......or basicly re-enforce my belief system onto other people......to get them to "see the light" Rolleyes

I think of the old saying...."you can lead a horse to water but you cant make it drink"...and as I get older the more and more wisdom I see in it.

I feel so much, and yet I feel nothing.
I am a rock, I am the sky, the birds and the trees and everything beyond.
I am the wind, in the fields in which I roar. I am the water, in which I drown.
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25-01-2015, 05:35 AM
RE: Why I don’t believe in anything.
Belief for me equates to substituting an unknown with an unknown.

Nothing can be above thought.
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25-01-2015, 06:59 AM
RE: Why I don’t believe in anything.
(12-09-2011 10:24 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  This thread intends to declare war on the word: believe.

Shane wrote in Introduction:

Quote:Today, I accidentally came out as an atheist in public during class. Somehow the topic of religion came up in discussion and a friend of mine said "Don't get my started on atheism, it's such a religion." For some reason it struck a chord and I replied saying "I'm sorry, I greatly disagree because I am an atheist."

I tried to make a point saying that is a lack of a belief in God and that their is no faith in atheism. My discussion group wouldn't have any of it though as they said it takes faith to come to believe in the theories of science, because they are only theories. They won the argument because 1) I didn't know what to say and 2) it wasn't really the topic of the class discussion (which was the historical theory of Marxism). Sadly, this means I lost a debate to a group of believers and I feel like I let the atheistic community down. I'll admit, I was slightly offended too.

So, that is why I finally decided to join an atheist forum. I need to learn the "ins and outs" of atheistic debates. I have read a lot of atheist literature, and I have had calm discussions with open-minded believers, but never anything where I felt I had to actually defend my non-belief.

My advice to Shane is the following, something I use very effectively in similar situations.

I declare that I don’t have any faith and I don’t believe in anything.

What I have instead is:

1. I know certain facts based on personal experience
2. I assume certain others facts based on experience and logic
3. My mind is wide open for everything else

…but I don’t “believe in” anything.

When they ask non fact-related questions, like “do you believe in equality”, I just say that “I think it is a good idea”.

When they ask me if I "believe in science", I tell them that “I have reasons to accept some facts science tells me, I have reasons to assume that most of it is true, but I don’t “believe in” science.

And I say these things with pride and cheerful confidence.

That usually takes the wind out of their sails.

I stopped using the word belief decades ago and have not missed it a bit. Things got a lot simpler since then.

I'm a research chemist. Folks are usually surprised when I say that I don't believe in Big Bang theory or global climate change or even gravity. I then explain why "believe" is the wrong word.
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25-01-2015, 07:29 AM
RE: Why I don’t believe in anything.
Could you do me a favor an define the words belief, knowledge, and assumption?

I'm just thinking out loud.
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25-01-2015, 07:48 AM (This post was last modified: 25-01-2015 08:02 AM by cactus.)
RE: Why I don’t believe in anything.
I don't use the phrase "I don't believe in anything," because a theist would be quick to latch onto their own interpretation of that phrase and use it as an excuse to go off on a frivolous tangent about objective morality.

Whenever I'm debating someone, I mainly stick to the point that there are so many different dieties, and to just pick the one you like, or the one you're most familiar with, means you're probably living in an information bubble. (although it's better to stick with first person; that way you're not making any false assumptions about that person.)

Also, instead of saying "I don't believe," I'd rather just keep repeating "I'm not convinced." That way they don't try to switch the burden of proof onto me.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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25-01-2015, 08:17 AM
RE: Why I don’t believe in anything.
(25-01-2015 07:29 AM)KnowtheSilence Wrote:  Could you do me a favor an define the words belief, knowledge, and assumption?
While he's at it, maybe he could define necromancy for us too?

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