Post Reply Is It Logical to Reject God Without Proving He Does Not Exist?
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Posted 4/14/08 , edited 4/14/08

Magnus102 here! Got my friend to post this topic as I have posted to many today

Some. theists are of the opinion that atheists are wrong to reject Christianity and the Bible for the reason that we do not truly understand them. That is to say, how can we possibly justify saying that something is false when our knowledge of it is limited?

Apparently, only a person who knows the entire Bible off by heart in English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew, as well as being familiar with the minutiae of the mainstream denominations, past and present, could be in a position to say "Well, I think it's a load of baloney".

A few flaws in this argument spring to mind.

Firstly, there are many Biblical scholars, priests and theologians who have utterly rejected the religion. Such people know a great deal more about the subject than I do, and have still found fatal faults in it. (A good example would be Dan Barker, of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who wrote a book on the subject - "Losing Faith In Faith : From Preacher To Atheist")

A second obvious problem is that the people who use the argument forget that it applies to themselves also, with regard to every other religion on the planet. Few Christians have a detailed knowledge of Hinduism, Wicca, Sikhism, or the Australian Aborignal Dreamtime. Following their logic, they have no valid reason whatsoever to reject the other religions for the simple fact that they know little or nothing about them. Unless of course these criteria mysteriously apply only to Christianity.

Nobody is justified in rejecting Christianity without understanding it completely, but Christians are fully justified in rejecting all other religions without even partially understanding them. How many standards can you count?

Some believers make the problem even more complicated, such as this example from my feedback page: "I read this webpage with interest. The real catch 22 occurs when an atheist tries to discern something in the scriptures. The only prerequisite for understanding the scriptures is that the one reading them first believes that "God is". Since you don't meet the first requirement, you don't have any understanding at all. Catch 22."

How anybody can possibly understand the Bible, were this to be true as well as the first proposition, is beyond me. It seems that a person is not qualified to reject the Bible without fully understanding it, but that person can never understand the Bible unless he/she is already a Christian. And how do you become a Christian in order to be able to understand the Bible? By reading and understanding the Bible, of course!

This merrily brings us on to the next topic - is it okay to accept Christianity whilst remaining basically clueless about it?

In a nutshell - Yes!

Remember, it is wrong to reject Jesus and God if you are missing even a single tiny piece of information about them.

But on the other hand, it is perfectly acceptable to require that people of all ages, from the youngest infant to the oldest pensioner, not only accept Jesus over all the thousands of other deities, but refrain from asking too many tricky questions about Him (which, naturally, would lead to a greater understanding of the religion).

If a child runs into the room saying "Mummy, mummy! I love Jesus and He loves me! We're all going to Heaven when we die and God is looking over us!", people will smile and praise the child. Nobody would say "Don't be silly. You can't possibly say that because you don't fully understand everything about the religion. How can you know that for sure, when you've not read the Bible in the original Hebrew?!?". But if a child (or teenager, or adult) says "I've had a good think about it, and have come to the conclusion that Jesus is a myth and nothing in Christianity makes much sense. I declare myself to be a freethinking secular humanist.", then they are quite likely to receive the latter response. You could have all the theological training of a hedgehog and still get wild applause if you stand up and say you're a Christian, but it seems that atheists are required to demonstrate more intelligence and Biblical expertise than all the clergymen and theologians that have ever lived before they are allowed to publicly express their doubts.

Presumably then, the notion of accepting things "on faith" was created to prevent people learning so much about the religion that they inevitably reject it. A friend of mine told me about the students on a Theology course at his university - as the course progressed and they learnt more and more, the students tended to polarise into either complete atheists, who considered that the entirety of theism was absurd; or Born-Again Christians, who considered that everything they found in the Bible was true due to its being in the Bible.

Amusing though this all is, it doesn't get to the heart of the matter.

Atheists reject Christianity (and all the others) for a few very simple reasons. You don't need to examine every rivet on the Titanic to check its seaworthiness when you've already spotted the enormous iceberg-shaped gash in the hull.

* There are hundreds, if not thousands, of mutually exclusive religions all claiming to have The One Truth and divinely inspired, infallible scriptures.
* There are hundreds, if not thousands, of (often mutually exclusive) sects within Christianity, all claiming to have The One True interpretation of scripture. (They will also often claim that members of different sects are "not real Christians").
* There is overwhelming evidence suggesting that the history and nature of the universe (and life on Earth) bears no resemblance whatsoever to the myths of any religion.
* There is little or no objective evidence in favour of the existence of any deity.
* There are plenty of better, naturalistic explanations for the phenomena we observe around us. The explanations given by religions tend to only raise more problems than they solve.
* Most, if not all, descriptions of Deities are incoherent, meaningless, self-contradictory or refuted by simple observations (omni-benevolence and the problem of gratuitous evil, for instance).
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Posted 4/14/08
Yeah, i get that. Once when i was at a book club (a christian book club but at the time i didn't know that) the room started to speak of religion and why they believe. As it turned out 95% of them said they believe because they bible had shown them the way of true love. When it came down to me, i said i was an atheist and some started asking me why? I told them i didn't believe what the bible said was absolute truth.

One person asked which part i didn't believe in.

Others asked if i even read the bible. When i told them i had, they still looked at me as if i were an interesting bug to study.

Then they wanted to know what specific parts seemed fake to me, i told them i didn't really know. And they said, then how could i be a atheist if i didn't understand it?

After that i just moved the conversation on back to the book we were suppose to be discussing. But yeah, i don't get how i'm suppose to know everything about the bible in order not to believe in it's words.
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Posted 4/17/08 , edited 5/5/08
yeah people do that to me ever so often
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Posted 4/22/08
Why would you have to disprove something in order to logically disbelieve it? That’s like saying you can’t say, “I think so-and-so is going to win the upcoming election,” is absurd. You don’t have to disprove something to disbelieve it. There are plenty of things which seem to suggest the non-existence of God in the world, Magnus mentioned a few.

Anyway, that same argument can be brought against Christians. We can’t prove God exists, but that doesn’t mean there’s not enough reason to believe.


Joliame wrote:

Yeah, i get that. Once when i was at a book club (a christian book club but at the time i didn't know that) the room started to speak of religion and why they believe. As it turned out 95% of them said they believe because they bible had shown them the way of true love. When it came down to me, i said i was an atheist and some started asking me why? I told them i didn't believe what the bible said was absolute truth.

One person asked which part i didn't believe in.

Others asked if i even read the bible. When i told them i had, they still looked at me as if i were an interesting bug to study.

Then they wanted to know what specific parts seemed fake to me, i told them i didn't really know. And they said, then how could i be a atheist if i didn't understand it?

After that i just moved the conversation on back to the book we were suppose to be discussing. But yeah, i don't get how i'm suppose to know everything about the bible in order not to believe in it's words.


That’s your modern day protestant for you. You know, protestants sure do like to bash atheists for just what you were criticized for. Disbelieving the truth of the bible without having read the whole thing or understanding the nature behind it. They also criticize the Catholic Church for being a flawed foundation of men.

So, let look:

The Catholic Church is flawed.

The bible is perfect.

….The Catholic Church wrote the bible… O_O



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Posted 5/5/08 , edited 5/5/08
"To say that you know is ignorant. To say that you believe in nothing beyond a reasonable doubt is rational."

-openmindedatheist-
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Posted 5/5/08 , edited 5/5/08

YouAreDumb wrote:



* There are hundreds, if not thousands , of mutually exclusive religions all claiming to have The One Truth and divinely inspired, infallible scriptures.



About 44,000 to be close
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Posted 5/28/08
LOL

You got this from the Wasteland atheism site by Adrian Barnett.

At least put up some references next time =<
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Posted 6/6/08

openmindedatheist wrote:

"To say that you know is ignorant. To say that you believe in nothing beyond a reasonable doubt is rational."

-openmindedatheist-


In terms that are useful, i would say, i KNOW god doesnt exist..

Ofcourse in the sense that i know unicorns, fairies, pixies, orcs, elves, shinigamis, hollows dont exist..

The probability of gods non-existence and existence is not equally valid.
The no evidence for Yahwe, does not equal a 50%/50% chance..

so, i know yahwe, unicorns and orbiting teapots around mars does not exist..
Posted 7/20/08 , edited 8/30/08
It gets aggravating after a while to have discussions like that with the religious. I think it's stupid that I'm expected to give a detailed explanation of what I think while a religious person simply has to say "I believe/have faith," and if I ask them why I'm being an insensitive jerk.

Anyway, in answer to the question in the title: yes, I think it is logical. You don't have to disprove the existence of "god" to not believe in it. The total lack of supportive evidence is enough. It's logical not to believe anything without evidence.
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Posted 1/24/09
Well, right now we dont have any proof whether "God" exists or not. I believe that god didnt create us we created him.
I don't want to rely on a character.. and there's more evidence in the scientific way on how the world was created
God didnt create us we created him. We only believe in god because we are afraid of death and beliveing an afterlife is ways we can pretend that we might have another chance.
But it seems more like a dicatorship if u ask me, because well, we have to abide his rules or we dont go to heaven and bad thing happen to us. also.. most people believe in God because they we're raised too.. I'm raised to believe in God.. but after a while I stopped listening to my parents
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