Why do atheists become atheists?
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14-01-2015, 10:48 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(12-01-2015 06:39 PM)CleverUsername Wrote:  Sooner or later, everyone is exposed to the idea that it is possible to not believe in a god, or at least act like you don't. Some people look into this new viewpoint and become atheists. Some people recoil like a cat hit by water and scream at the position until it goes away, remaining theists.

Sometimes, I wonder why that is. What is it that causes some people to accept that their faith is wrong, while others who see the exact same evidence, can't accept that?

Anyone else think about this? Got any ideas? All I can think of is basic open-mindedness.

Edit: I guess it's be better to say "What makes atheists go back to atheism" since it's the default before indoctrination. Or, "What makes atheists stay atheists if they weren't indoctrinated but exposed later".

The answer for me is pure and simple enough. I have not seen one shred of evidence that would make me "Believe". Life is filled with moments, both good and bad. None of which need a Sky Daddy to explain.

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15-01-2015, 12:50 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(14-01-2015 10:41 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(14-01-2015 09:11 AM)Free Wrote:  When there is no evidence to either support the existence of something, and/or no evidence to support even the possibility of something existing, then we DO have knowledge of it's non existence.
Ummm, Really?

Lack of evidence does not equate to knowledge.
It equates to lack of knowledge.


(14-01-2015 09:11 AM)Free Wrote:  Therefore, since we have knowledge of its non existence, we know it does not exist.
Lack of knowledge does not equate to knowledge of something's non existence.

Where did you get this crazy idea? Are you trying to say that we can never know when something doesn't exist?

Well then, I guess whenever we walk into an empty room we can just say, "Hey, this room is full of 1 million polka dotted elephants."

Now prove they don't exist, right?

There's this thing we called "reasoning." When something cannot be observed, it simply does not exist. The only way to overturn that is to prove it does exist. But until that point, it doesn't exist, and the reason it doesn't exist is because we KNOW it doesn't.

We cannot claim that something could possibly exist just because we do not know that it doesn't. When the empirical evidence states that something simply isn't there, then that is KNOWLEDGE.

Evidence of Absence

"Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests something is missing or that it does not exist. Per the traditional aphorism, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", positive evidence of this kind is distinct from a lack of evidence or ignorance of that which should have been found already, had it existed. In this regard Irving Copi writes:

"In some circumstances it can be safely assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence of it could be discovered by qualified investigators. In such circumstances it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its non-occurrence."

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15-01-2015, 02:08 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Occam's razor.

Also the quote in my sig right now. When you actually read the bible to find ridiculous stuff it makes you think about the book that you support.
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15-01-2015, 02:11 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(15-01-2015 02:08 PM)Bear100 Wrote:  Occam's razor.

Also the quote in my sig right now. When you actually read the bible to find ridiculous stuff it makes you think about the book that you support.

Yep, if it isn't there, then it isn't there.

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15-01-2015, 04:43 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(15-01-2015 12:50 PM)Free Wrote:  Where did you get this crazy idea? Are you trying to say that we can never know when something doesn't exist?
If we have evidence that something doesn't exist then we can indeed say that something doesn't exist.
I can say that no object exists that is in the shape of a square circle.
I can show you this is true because I can list the requirements of both these things and show that they are incompatible.
A circle has no sides, it has no corners.
A square has four sides, it has four corners.
These definitions show an incompatibility.
In contrast an object can be in the shape of a circle and an elipse.

(15-01-2015 12:50 PM)Free Wrote:  Well then, I guess whenever we walk into an empty room we can just say, "Hey, this room is full of 1 million polka dotted elephants."

Now prove they don't exist, right?
If an elephant is defined as a living organism weighing within the range of X and Y.
I could weigh the room, if the room weighs less that 1 million X I have proven that the room does not contain 1 million elephants.

But if you made a claim that 1 million fairies exist in the room, I would need to get more details of your claim before I could make an assessment. I would have to try to work out how I can observe and test your claim. If you tell me that the fairies are unobservable then at best I can just say that I lack a belief in your claim. For me to say categorically that no fairies are in the room, I would have to form an unfounded belief of my own.

I could imagine that if I went back in time, a thousand years and told people that they got sick because of millions upon millions of germs in the air, they would laugh at me and say that they cannot see, weigh or feel the germs, that these germs do not exist.

Never the less, these germs really do exist.
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16-01-2015, 02:07 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
What, there's no Santa Claus? WTF!
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16-01-2015, 02:20 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Why do atheists become atheists? Theists. Tongue

That wasn't difficult. Big Grin

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16-01-2015, 03:26 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(12-01-2015 06:39 PM)CleverUsername Wrote:  Sooner or later, everyone is exposed to the idea that it is possible to not believe in a god, or at least act like you don't. Some people look into this new viewpoint and become atheists. Some people recoil like a cat hit by water and scream at the position until it goes away, remaining theists.

Sometimes, I wonder why that is. What is it that causes some people to accept that their faith is wrong, while others who see the exact same evidence, can't accept that?

Anyone else think about this? Got any ideas? All I can think of is basic open-mindedness.

Edit: I guess it's be better to say "What makes atheists go back to atheism" since it's the default before indoctrination. Or, "What makes atheists stay atheists if they weren't indoctrinated but exposed later".

I think it has to do with personality type. If you are analytic, it is a lot easier to look at the evidence objectively. If you are emotional, it is harder to do that. Religious people seem to be more emotional than atheists.

The best example is the fact that almost everybody dismisses every religion except for their own, despite the supporting evidence being the same.

Remember, just because you want something to be true, doesn't make it true. Yes, even if you have faith.
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16-01-2015, 08:03 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(16-01-2015 03:26 AM)microterf Wrote:  
(12-01-2015 06:39 PM)CleverUsername Wrote:  Sooner or later, everyone is exposed to the idea that it is possible to not believe in a god, or at least act like you don't. Some people look into this new viewpoint and become atheists. Some people recoil like a cat hit by water and scream at the position until it goes away, remaining theists.

Sometimes, I wonder why that is. What is it that causes some people to accept that their faith is wrong, while others who see the exact same evidence, can't accept that?

Anyone else think about this? Got any ideas? All I can think of is basic open-mindedness.

Edit: I guess it's be better to say "What makes atheists go back to atheism" since it's the default before indoctrination. Or, "What makes atheists stay atheists if they weren't indoctrinated but exposed later".

I think it has to do with personality type. If you are analytic, it is a lot easier to look at the evidence objectively. If you are emotional, it is harder to do that. Religious people seem to be more emotional than atheists.

The best example is the fact that almost everybody dismisses every religion except for their own, despite the supporting evidence being the same.

That would go hand in hand with our very interesting findings on Personality type tests on this forum were the majority of members here that took them were INTJs which is supposedly a rarer type in overall society. It's more fitting that analytical types to me at least are the type of atheists that this place draws up. A more scientific/skeptical allure to atheism comes to this forum.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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16-01-2015, 10:19 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(15-01-2015 04:43 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(15-01-2015 12:50 PM)Free Wrote:  Where did you get this crazy idea? Are you trying to say that we can never know when something doesn't exist?
If we have evidence that something doesn't exist then we can indeed say that something doesn't exist.

Fallacious logic.

How can you have evidence of something that doesn't exist?

This is the exact same argument put forth my theists. You are asking for ...

Negative Proof - AKA Appeal To Ignorance


Quote:I can say that no object exists that is in the shape of a square circle.
I can show you this is true because I can list the requirements of both these things and show that they are incompatible.
A circle has no sides, it has no corners.
A square has four sides, it has four corners.
These definitions show an incompatibility.
In contrast an object can be in the shape of a circle and an elipse.

And if I turn the tables on you and say, "We don't know everything yet about geometry, so you cannot conclude this to be true," what then? How is proving this any more absurd than proving the existence of a supernatural god?




Quote:
(15-01-2015 12:50 PM)Free Wrote:  Well then, I guess whenever we walk into an empty room we can just say, "Hey, this room is full of 1 million polka dotted elephants."

Now prove they don't exist, right?
If an elephant is defined as a living organism weighing within the range of X and Y.
I could weigh the room, if the room weighs less that 1 million X I have proven that the room does not contain 1 million elephants.

No, I am talking about 1 million POLKA DOTTED elephants, basically an animal that fits the imaginary category.

Now prove they are not there.

Point is, absurdity.

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