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For everybody: what does being an atheist mean to YOU?
maffoo 
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Posted 5/12/12

Ahbnaux wrote:

Means you don't have the split personality called religion.

Serious.


I'm not sure that the atheism/religion divide is that clear cut. Apart from the fact that some religions are atheistic, and that you can believe in a deity without being religious, some of the more militant atheists come across as religious fanatics.

As an example, I was watching something on TV a few weeks ago, and one of the guests was an atheist writer. He commented that he had been on the receiving end of some pretty vitriolic attacks from fellow atheists simply because he didn't agree with their dogma that everything about religion is bad. That struck me as being a lot like the sort of thing that Christian fundamentalists are (rightly) criticised for.
Posted 5/12/12

maffoo wrote:


Ahbnaux wrote:

Means you don't have the split personality called religion.

Serious.


I'm not sure that the atheism/religion divide is that clear cut. Apart from the fact that some religions are atheistic, and that you can believe in a deity without being religious, some of the more militant atheists come across as religious fanatics.

As an example, I was watching something on TV a few weeks ago, and one of the guests was an atheist writer. He commented that he had been on the receiving end of some pretty vitriolic attacks from fellow atheists simply because he didn't agree with their dogma that everything about religion is bad. That struck me as being a lot like the sort of thing that Christian fundamentalists are (rightly) criticised for.


Oh, I am sure about my little statement. You notice how some religious folk act very much "out there." We call that state of mind psychotic. And religion is nothing more than conjecture. Can't disprove something because you never see it? Yes, but it was never proven by the fact that we don't exactly see the things people worship today (or ever), and the old excuse of i.e. God concealing himself from man to test faith just sound like a clever idea to trick the uneducated masses into servitude. It has worked all too well.

And these militant, undoubtedly card carrying Atheists could do well to join the simplicity and honesty of the grey area, where almost no one judges, and anyone is welcome. Worship what you will, but know when some people aren't interested in your beliefs. If the fanatics want to have a go at someone, take them all and segregate them within their very own territory, where they can die willingly for their views in an open and seemingly endless war.
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Posted 5/13/12

Holofernes wrote:
.

As for the epicurean argument, there are problems with that ancient formula.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Answered by the fact that God has to allow for evil in order to create.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Answered in the fact that most theologies posit an ultimate defeat of evil.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Answered by the proposition that true human freedom entails a reality where good and evil are in combat.

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Answered in the given that God must allow for evil, but that God engineers creation in such a way that good overcomes evil in the end.



If evil was created, and predestined to be destroyed, and is necessary for creation, he is then not absolutely omnipotent, and if he is omnipotent in so far as he is able to do that which is not logically impossible, such as being unable to create a stone he cannot lift or make it rain and not rain in a single place at once, one must show how it is impossible to create without evil. God, for example, can make a wholly innocent man and woman, and a paradise, whence all good thing flows, but for the creation of the snake, man and woman would not have disobeyed. Genesis, therefore, provides an account of absolute innocent of man, of pure good, marred singly by the snake, and, therefore, makes evil and innecessity in creation. Indeed, the destruction of evil in the end signifies that evil is unnecessary, for, assuming that it is necessary for creation, then God needs it no more after creation, for he can create an eternity afterward the end of evil without it. Evil, one may argue, as Peter van Inwagen has, may be continued for the sake of complete and absolute human liberty, a libertarian sort of liberty of will, and, yet, liberty is hardly supported by scripture, nor can liberty be existent under any circumstances. Indeed, such idea is implicit in the last statement, for if God engineers creation in such way that evil is ultimately defeated and no more, then he creates all according to a plan, put every creature upon a train, to move about along a preset track, and travel so that they all reach the conclusion, with one and only one direction, no independent movement. How, then, could liberty exist so, when God the conductor drags every car in one, and only one, way, according to his bidding?






Atheism as a concept makes no sense if one does not have a conception of theism. In the same sense that one could not understand what a protest is about without knowing what is being protested. Therein lies the interesting conundrum sometimes posed by theists: "if there were no God, there'd be no atheists."

But this explains a bit of the duality that exists within atheism itself. Even though it has an object: God, it also has to have a belief about existence itself in order to justify the non-existence of God.


Theism makes no sense, as a concept, if one does not have a conception of atheism. As one cannot understand death without the concept of life, or hot without its opposite, cold, so too can no man understand the belief in God without its opposite, the disbelief in Gods. If there was no Godlessness, there would be no God, for the belief that God exists depends upon the idea that there is no God. Thus, every theists must have an implicit disbelief in God to justify God's existence, just as a traveller to remote lands must have an implicit disbelief in his own accounts to justify them, or a mythmaker doubts his own story to justify his stories. If we accept the theory that man is born relatively free from abstract thoughts, theological thoughts, and such ideas that would make the infant an tabula rasa, as most philosophers affirm, then, in its natural state of innocence, there is no belief of a God, and that child, godless as he is, is atheist, he grows up and raised upon the scripture, the catechism, and such things, and he becomes a theist, but he is a theist in opposition to his natural state of atheism, and he implicitly understands that if God exists, as the Church teaches, then he exist in opposition to his non-existence, if we are to believe him, we only believe in him in so far as we reject the opposite, that we do not believe him.
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Posted 5/14/12 , edited 5/16/12
I see atheism as the extreme on the same spectrum as religion (but these are on opposite ends of the spectrum). Truth is : YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW. Just because something cannot be proven or detected by you does not mean it doesn't exist (or vice versa). Our senses are limited, our minds are finite.

Religion: Faith (believing stalwartly despite lack of any solid proof)
Atheism: Denial (saying 'no' despite inadequate ways of disproving religious beliefs)
characterizations, not definitions (edit)

People seem to have a great deal of trouble coming to the conclusion that they simply don't know. They dismiss things that come to that conclusion as pseudosciences, etc. I'm more inclined to lean toward agnosticism. We don't know.
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Posted 5/16/12


You've defined atheism wrong. Watch this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j8ZMMuu7MU&list=PLECD9ACF9D6F1F8FF&index=3&feature=plcp
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Posted 5/16/12 , edited 5/16/12
Atheism is basically rejection of the belief that there are gods. I don't see why I'm wrong, even though I didn't define atheism in that post.

This video is saying that the believers are their gods, which I disagree with. The video is also not very convincing. Believers can be made unbelievers, and vice versa. People are not their beliefs. People are physical creatures, beliefs are intangible.
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Posted 5/16/12 , edited 5/16/12

longfenglim wrote:


Holofernes wrote:
.

As for the epicurean argument, there are problems with that ancient formula.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Answered by the fact that God has to allow for evil in order to create.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Answered in the fact that most theologies posit an ultimate defeat of evil.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Answered by the proposition that true human freedom entails a reality where good and evil are in combat.

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Answered in the given that God must allow for evil, but that God engineers creation in such a way that good overcomes evil in the end.



If evil was created, and predestined to be destroyed, and is necessary for creation, he is then not absolutely omnipotent, and if he is omnipotent in so far as he is able to do that which is not logically impossible, such as being unable to create a stone he cannot lift or make it rain and not rain in a single place at once, one must show how it is impossible to create without evil. God, for example, can make a wholly innocent man and woman, and a paradise, whence all good thing flows, but for the creation of the snake, man and woman would not have disobeyed. Genesis, therefore, provides an account of absolute innocent of man, of pure good, marred singly by the snake, and, therefore, makes evil and innecessity in creation. Indeed, the destruction of evil in the end signifies that evil is unnecessary, for, assuming that it is necessary for creation, then God needs it no more after creation, for he can create an eternity afterward the end of evil without it. Evil, one may argue, as Peter van Inwagen has, may be continued for the sake of complete and absolute human liberty, a libertarian sort of liberty of will, and, yet, liberty is hardly supported by scripture, nor can liberty be existent under any circumstances. Indeed, such idea is implicit in the last statement, for if God engineers creation in such way that evil is ultimately defeated and no more, then he creates all according to a plan, put every creature upon a train, to move about along a preset track, and travel so that they all reach the conclusion, with one and only one direction, no independent movement. How, then, could liberty exist so, when God the conductor drags every car in one, and only one, way, according to his bidding?






Atheism as a concept makes no sense if one does not have a conception of theism. In the same sense that one could not understand what a protest is about without knowing what is being protested. Therein lies the interesting conundrum sometimes posed by theists: "if there were no God, there'd be no atheists."

But this explains a bit of the duality that exists within atheism itself. Even though it has an object: God, it also has to have a belief about existence itself in order to justify the non-existence of God.


Theism makes no sense, as a concept, if one does not have a conception of atheism. As one cannot understand death without the concept of life, or hot without its opposite, cold, so too can no man understand the belief in God without its opposite, the disbelief in Gods. If there was no Godlessness, there would be no God, for the belief that God exists depends upon the idea that there is no God. Thus, every theists must have an implicit disbelief in God to justify God's existence, just as a traveller to remote lands must have an implicit disbelief in his own accounts to justify them, or a mythmaker doubts his own story to justify his stories. If we accept the theory that man is born relatively free from abstract thoughts, theological thoughts, and such ideas that would make the infant an tabula rasa, as most philosophers affirm, then, in its natural state of innocence, there is no belief of a God, and that child, godless as he is, is atheist, he grows up and raised upon the scripture, the catechism, and such things, and he becomes a theist, but he is a theist in opposition to his natural state of atheism, and he implicitly understands that if God exists, as the Church teaches, then he exist in opposition to his non-existence, if we are to believe him, we only believe in him in so far as we reject the opposite, that we do not believe him.


I think you have a misconception of omnipotence.

You forget that upon that train is the switchboard of heaven and hell, both are consequences for ones actions in life. God defeats evil, but does not obliterate the consequences of freedom. Therefore it is not exactly deterministic, because freedom entails reaping the consequences for ones actions. Freedom is preserved, because the consequences of a string of choices by each individual in the context of good and evil has brought about a new state.

You are also mistaken about the Garden of Eden in Genesis. Evil also existed in the garden, you forget that in the garden God gave the commandment to Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. True, not a single choice man could make save one would entail evil consequences. But one choice would, that is when we began to reap the consequences of an evil choice. Just enough evil existed to allow every other choice its goodness.

I disagree with you other points as well.
Theism does not require atheism.

One can understand life without death, existence without non-existence. Creation entails non-existence, because everything created has to be a stratum of the creator, a created thing cannot be existence itself, it therefore has non-existent realities in its definition.

But a person of faith has certainty without doubt. Every Theist does not endlessly go on justifying God's existence, theology goes beyond the existence/non-existence of God into the question of "what God is really like." All travelers actually have to know they are heading to a someplace.

Infants start out tabula risa, but in all human history what is almost unanimously upheld by social scientists is that religion is a universal trait in all human cultures. --Rodney Stark Discovering God., ch 1.

Because it is a universal factor of all human cultures, it begs the question that religion, broadly defined as a belief in supernatural realities, is also as universal a reality in man as sight, or language.
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Posted 5/17/12

Holofernes wrote:


longfenglim wrote:


Holofernes wrote:
.

As for the epicurean argument, there are problems with that ancient formula.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Answered by the fact that God has to allow for evil in order to create.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Answered in the fact that most theologies posit an ultimate defeat of evil.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Answered by the proposition that true human freedom entails a reality where good and evil are in combat.

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Answered in the given that God must allow for evil, but that God engineers creation in such a way that good overcomes evil in the end.



If evil was created, and predestined to be destroyed, and is necessary for creation, he is then not absolutely omnipotent, and if he is omnipotent in so far as he is able to do that which is not logically impossible, such as being unable to create a stone he cannot lift or make it rain and not rain in a single place at once, one must show how it is impossible to create without evil. God, for example, can make a wholly innocent man and woman, and a paradise, whence all good thing flows, but for the creation of the snake, man and woman would not have disobeyed. Genesis, therefore, provides an account of absolute innocent of man, of pure good, marred singly by the snake, and, therefore, makes evil and innecessity in creation. Indeed, the destruction of evil in the end signifies that evil is unnecessary, for, assuming that it is necessary for creation, then God needs it no more after creation, for he can create an eternity afterward the end of evil without it. Evil, one may argue, as Peter van Inwagen has, may be continued for the sake of complete and absolute human liberty, a libertarian sort of liberty of will, and, yet, liberty is hardly supported by scripture, nor can liberty be existent under any circumstances. Indeed, such idea is implicit in the last statement, for if God engineers creation in such way that evil is ultimately defeated and no more, then he creates all according to a plan, put every creature upon a train, to move about along a preset track, and travel so that they all reach the conclusion, with one and only one direction, no independent movement. How, then, could liberty exist so, when God the conductor drags every car in one, and only one, way, according to his bidding?






Atheism as a concept makes no sense if one does not have a conception of theism. In the same sense that one could not understand what a protest is about without knowing what is being protested. Therein lies the interesting conundrum sometimes posed by theists: "if there were no God, there'd be no atheists."

But this explains a bit of the duality that exists within atheism itself. Even though it has an object: God, it also has to have a belief about existence itself in order to justify the non-existence of God.


Theism makes no sense, as a concept, if one does not have a conception of atheism. As one cannot understand death without the concept of life, or hot without its opposite, cold, so too can no man understand the belief in God without its opposite, the disbelief in Gods. If there was no Godlessness, there would be no God, for the belief that God exists depends upon the idea that there is no God. Thus, every theists must have an implicit disbelief in God to justify God's existence, just as a traveller to remote lands must have an implicit disbelief in his own accounts to justify them, or a mythmaker doubts his own story to justify his stories. If we accept the theory that man is born relatively free from abstract thoughts, theological thoughts, and such ideas that would make the infant an tabula rasa, as most philosophers affirm, then, in its natural state of innocence, there is no belief of a God, and that child, godless as he is, is atheist, he grows up and raised upon the scripture, the catechism, and such things, and he becomes a theist, but he is a theist in opposition to his natural state of atheism, and he implicitly understands that if God exists, as the Church teaches, then he exist in opposition to his non-existence, if we are to believe him, we only believe in him in so far as we reject the opposite, that we do not believe him.


I think you have a misconception of omnipotence.

You forget that upon that train is the switchboard of heaven and hell, both are consequences for ones actions in life. God defeats evil, but does not obliterate the consequences of freedom. Therefore it is not exactly deterministic, because freedom entails reaping the consequences for ones actions. Freedom is preserved, because the consequences of a string of choices by each individual in the context of good and evil has brought about a new state.

You are also mistaken about the Garden of Eden in Genesis. Evil also existed in the garden, you forget that in the garden God gave the commandment to Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. True, not a single choice man could make save one would entail evil consequences. But one choice would, that is when we began to reap the consequences of an evil choice. Just enough evil existed to allow every other choice its goodness.


Quite wrong there, for while you are right in that your system is not deterministic, it is however, fatalistic. Let us recall your statement, that all things work in such a way that God will destroy evil forever. It follows that we are fated to behave in such a way that allows God to defeat evil in the end, and that nothing we do would ever change our fated course. I have expanded upon this argument in the freewill section, but freewill does not exist, even under these circumstances, becuase God wills us to behave in such a way that the end he has created will come into fruition. Our will is in liberty if we could actually perform another action, and produce a different set of consequence, when, in your system, our will is only in liberty to perform in one way, and produce one set of circumstances that will, at the end, lead to the destruction of evil and the triumph of goodness. Therefore, if you are to say that man, as a whole, can change the course such that Evil indeed triumphs over good, we have freewill, but at the expense of your last premise, that Good will triumph over evil. You say that we need freedom in order that the consequence be placed upon us, but that seems less like a proof and more as a desperate necessity, one can reap the consequence of one's action even if they were not free, if I were thirsty, and I followed my natural urge to drink water, but I were to mistaken a proffered glass of poison for water, my will is not free because I did not choose to drink poison, but that I have reaped the consequence of drinking poison, death. All this by the by, but let us turn now to the story of Oedipus, the son of the Theban King Laius, and the prophecies surrounding him. I work under the assumption that you are familiar with the story, so I need not write a synopsis of it here. Now, Oedipus, if we are to trust your argument, is free, because he reaps the consequence of his action, as did his father, and as did his mother. He acted evilly, and he freely acted evilly in murdering his father, and less so in unknowingly marrying his mother. Yet, we know that he was not able to act otherwise because he was fated to act in this way. So to is with your doctrine, we have a predetermined path, and we are all fated to act in such a way that would engender such a path, and so there is nothing we can do that would make that path otherwise.

Likewise, you are right in my misinterpretation of Genesis, but you have yet to answer the more fundamental question, that if Goodness can exist independantly of evil, why is necessary to have evil, in creation? And, if you have shown how it is necessary in creation, why it is necessary in sustaining the world? But, all this by and by, this is not a question of Theodicy, but of Atheism.



I disagree with you other points as well.
Theism does not require atheism.

One can understand life without death, existence without non-existence. Creation entails non-existence, because everything created has to be a stratum of the creator, a created thing cannot be existence itself, it therefore has non-existent realities in its definition.


Quite wrong there, for it is necessary to have death to understand life, and to have non-existence to haave existence. In this, I follow Plato in his Phaedo, because all things exist and are produced because of their opposite. A tree exist in so far that it does not 'not exist' and a man is alive, in so far as he is not 'not alive', or dead. You ask us to imagine life without death and existence without nonexistence, but we defind life and existence implicitly on defining it contrary to its opposite- the functioning of all the biological process implies that the biological process does not function, to be implies that there is a not to be. Creation, likewise, does not entail a creator, only something to create, and to be created from. Therefore, there is a nonexistence of that something to be created, which is opposite to the existence of it after its being created. You may want to move that ad infinium and try to find a Primum movens, however,we would enter into another topic out of hand, the validity of the Cosmological argument, which I believe should rest entirely on science.


But a person of faith has certainty without doubt. Every Theist does not endlessly go on justifying God's existence, theology goes beyond the existence/non-existence of God into the question of "what God is really like." All travelers actually have to know they are heading to a someplace.


A theist goes beyond just vindicating God's existence, he must also show how God actually works. These two concepts are related to each other in that, one is used to show the possibility of what having a God is like, and the other, does this God person exist. By showing that a God is possible, and he works in so and so way, one is showing, indirectly, that he can exist, and that he does exist. Thus, all theology can be thought of as an attempt to show that God does exist, and these are the parameters by which he work.



Infants start out tabula risa, but in all human history what is almost unanimously upheld by social scientists is that religion is a universal trait in all human cultures. --Rodney Stark Discovering God., ch 1.


I would love to see these social scientists who have proven, without doubt, that religion is innate. Science has only shown very few things that are innate- the mathematical truism that one thing added to another thing produces those things combined, language, as shown by Professor Chomsky, animal functions, etc. Religion, however, is, to the best of my knowledge, not shown to be among them. Show me these scientists, and I shall show you thousands more in disagreement, hardly unanimous.



Because it is a universal factor of all human cultures, it begs the question that religion, broadly defined as a belief in supernatural realities, is also as universal a reality in man as sight, or language.


Religion may be universal, but the content of the religions are so radically different, and many so contrary to the belief even in One God, that one has just added a weight, justifying his God as oppse to some other God, say Atum-Ra, or Jove, or four armed Vishnu.
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Well, congratulations for missing my point completely.

Without berating you on the inconsistencies on your reply though, I'll get to it. Atheism is a claim of belief, Agnosticism is a claim of knowledge. That's why you can be an Agnostic-Atheist. They basically answer two different questions. When asked, "Is there a god," the answer is "I don't know." Agnosticism. When asked "Do you believe in god," the answer is no. Atheism. You can also be an Agnostic-Theist, believing a god exists but claiming no proof.

What I'm trying to say is you've completely misrepresented an Atheist's position. View this picture. Maybe you'll understand.
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Posted 5/18/12 , edited 5/18/12

GeneralPasta wrote:



Well, congratulations for missing my point completely.

Without berating you on the inconsistencies on your reply though, I'll get to it. Atheism is a claim of belief, Agnosticism is a claim of knowledge. That's why you can be an Agnostic-Atheist. They basically answer two different questions. When asked, "Is there a god," the answer is "I don't know." Agnosticism. When asked "Do you believe in god," the answer is no. Atheism. You can also be an Agnostic-Theist, believing a god exists but claiming no proof.

What I'm trying to say is you've completely misrepresented an Atheist's position. View this picture. Maybe you'll understand.


I'm well aware, actually. The last two sentences were meant to indicate that I do not find the mention that 'people-are-the-beliefs' to be very convincing, so I pointed out two very obvious things that indicate why it is not convincing. I merely voiced my opinion. Sarcasm does not contribute much to this discussion, nor does it make your fellow forum members more inclined to understand what you are saying in the way that you understand it.

Let's see. In order to have certain beliefs, you must usually deny other beliefs. Is that not true? Basically, atheists deny the belief that there is a god. To believe there is no god, they must reject the belief that there is a god.

The one question being asked is: Is there a god? Apathetic agnostics, such as myself, believe it impossible to answer.

I am not sure of many things. I know little. I truly believe that I do not know the answer, so I respond with an 'I don't know' or a 'we cannot/do not know.' I have rejected the belief that we can be sure about the existence or nonexistence of gods, choosing instead to believe that I do not know. They can both be claims of belief. In order to have a belief, one must have reasons to have it, no matter how trivial. Personal knowledge shapes beliefs. Except in very rare cases, nearly all beliefs are also claims of some kind of knowledge, no matter how slight these claims may be.
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Posted 5/18/12
Stephen Roberts

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours
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Posted 5/18/12 , edited 5/18/12

shinto-male wrote:

Stephen Roberts

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours

Blaise Pascal


Athéisme marque de force d'esprit, mais jusqu'à un certain degré seulement.

Atheism shows strength of mind, but only to a certain degree.




Athées.-
Quelle raison ont-ils de dire qu'on ne peut ressusciter? Quel est plus difficile de naître ou de ressusciter, que ce qui n'a jamais été soit, ou que ce qui a été soit encore? Est-il plus difficile de venir en être que d'y revenir. La coutume nous rend l'un facile, le manque de coutume rend l'autre impossible. Populaire façon de juger.

Atheists.—
What reason have they for saying that we cannot rise from the dead? What is more difficult, to be born or to rise again; that what has never been should be, or that what has been should be again? Is it more difficult to come into existence than to return to it? Habit makes the one appear easy to us; want of habit makes the other impossible. A popular way of thinking!
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Morbidhanson wrote:


GeneralPasta wrote:



Well, congratulations for missing my point completely.

Without berating you on the inconsistencies on your reply though, I'll get to it. Atheism is a claim of belief, Agnosticism is a claim of knowledge. That's why you can be an Agnostic-Atheist. They basically answer two different questions. When asked, "Is there a god," the answer is "I don't know." Agnosticism. When asked "Do you believe in god," the answer is no. Atheism. You can also be an Agnostic-Theist, believing a god exists but claiming no proof.

What I'm trying to say is you've completely misrepresented an Atheist's position. View this picture. Maybe you'll understand.


I'm well aware, actually. The last two sentences were meant to indicate that I do not find the mention that 'people-are-the-beliefs' to be very convincing, so I pointed out two very obvious things that indicate why it is not convincing. I merely voiced my opinion. Sarcasm does not contribute much to this discussion, nor does it make your fellow forum members more inclined to understand what you are saying in the way that you understand it.

Let's see. In order to have certain beliefs, you must usually deny other beliefs. Is that not true? Basically, atheists deny the belief that there is a god. To believe there is no god, they must reject the belief that there is a god.

The one question being asked is: Is there a god? Apathetic agnostics, such as myself, believe it impossible to answer.

I am not sure of many things. I know little. I truly believe that I do not know the answer, so I respond with an 'I don't know' or a 'we cannot/do not know.' I have rejected the belief that we can be sure about the existence or nonexistence of gods, choosing instead to believe that I do not know. They can both be claims of belief. In order to have a belief, one must have reasons to have it, no matter how trivial. Personal knowledge shapes beliefs. Except in very rare cases, nearly all beliefs are also claims of some kind of knowledge, no matter how slight these claims may be.
You can claim or believe it is impossible to know but that only suggests that god is adequately omnipotent to create a universe that reveals absolutely nothing about the presence of him alone. I think a simple disbelief in god, in fact this probably applies to everyone who has made that conclusion to some extent, reflects a natural degree of knowledge about the non-existence of god. Humans live their whole lives observing the world around it and experiencing the physical properties and laws that dictate how things happen and exist. It is impossible to completely blind yourself from the reality of the universe, but very possible to believe many realities that are simply untrue.

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Posted 6/15/12

JustineKo2 wrote:


Morbidhanson wrote:


GeneralPasta wrote:



Well, congratulations for missing my point completely.

Without berating you on the inconsistencies on your reply though, I'll get to it. Atheism is a claim of belief, Agnosticism is a claim of knowledge. That's why you can be an Agnostic-Atheist. They basically answer two different questions. When asked, "Is there a god," the answer is "I don't know." Agnosticism. When asked "Do you believe in god," the answer is no. Atheism. You can also be an Agnostic-Theist, believing a god exists but claiming no proof.

What I'm trying to say is you've completely misrepresented an Atheist's position. View this picture. Maybe you'll understand.


I'm well aware, actually. The last two sentences were meant to indicate that I do not find the mention that 'people-are-the-beliefs' to be very convincing, so I pointed out two very obvious things that indicate why it is not convincing. I merely voiced my opinion. Sarcasm does not contribute much to this discussion, nor does it make your fellow forum members more inclined to understand what you are saying in the way that you understand it.

Let's see. In order to have certain beliefs, you must usually deny other beliefs. Is that not true? Basically, atheists deny the belief that there is a god. To believe there is no god, they must reject the belief that there is a god.

The one question being asked is: Is there a god? Apathetic agnostics, such as myself, believe it impossible to answer.

I am not sure of many things. I know little. I truly believe that I do not know the answer, so I respond with an 'I don't know' or a 'we cannot/do not know.' I have rejected the belief that we can be sure about the existence or nonexistence of gods, choosing instead to believe that I do not know. They can both be claims of belief. In order to have a belief, one must have reasons to have it, no matter how trivial. Personal knowledge shapes beliefs. Except in very rare cases, nearly all beliefs are also claims of some kind of knowledge, no matter how slight these claims may be.
You can claim or believe it is impossible to know but that only suggests that god is adequately omnipotent to create a universe that reveals absolutely nothing about the presence of him alone. I think a simple disbelief in god, in fact this probably applies to everyone who has made that conclusion to some extent, reflects a natural degree of knowledge about the non-existence of god. Humans live their whole lives observing the world around it and experiencing the physical properties and laws that dictate how things happen and exist. It is impossible to completely blind yourself from the reality of the universe, but very possible to believe many realities that are simply untrue.


Taking in information through our senses is the only thing we have. Some have even argued that we cannot ever experience reality directly because what we perceive is only sensory data. 'Reality' (if there is one, but this is yet another train of thought altogether) is filtered if not outright distorted because we have to use our senses to perceive it. Tons of crazy stuff for sure.

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Posted 6/15/12 , edited 6/15/12
*Morbidhanson I'm replying to you, I don't like to chain quote beyond a couple of interactions so I'm leaving the quotes off.

Yes there is not ever a guarantee that anything perceived is an adequate representation of reality, we can only depend on our senses as far as their ability to sense information, and our brain to interpret it into what we actually see/hear/feel etc. But that does not automatically make it wrong. We all perceive the sky as blue but observations have adequately revealed the explanation for that color and in the literal sense that the sky isn't merely a curtain as what might have been assumed in the superstition-filled days of long ago. Reality contains static physical properties and no matter how our perception distorts those properties they are knowable, right down to the very last detail of whether a supernatural being that can defy these properties exists. This is because that once you claim that being, if it exists, can defy those properties, evidence of its necessity and role in the universe breaks apart.
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