• BBQueue
    24
    basically there is a (legitimate) reason why most so-called atheists don't believe in the existence of God, and it comes down to the fact that the existence of God has NEVER been proven by science.

    I personally do see this as a somewhat pertinent reason to have suspicions about someone or something that is said to exist, but the typical atheist is nonetheless presented as if they simply don't believe in the existence of God just for the sake of it, and not as if they have a feasible reason for their disbelief. I myself for instance take an agnostic approach to the situation, but have been criticized for this by people in other groups and forums who apparently thought there was no legitimate reason for my tentative belief set, when in reality it is based primarily on what I just described. Likewise, it isn't as if I am even asserting that God does not exist, but rather that it is simply a possibility within reason.

    Just as those who have a firm belief in God's existence can likely still acknowledge (and hopefully accept) the reasons why He may in fact not exist, it is decidedly no different if someone takes the opposite approach, in particular when they have a substantial reason for it. Therefore I really don't know why atheists are so often criticized and thought to have a baseless set of beliefs, when their reasoning may indeed be more credible than that of someone who basically has no more than faith in the existence of God.
  • DingoJones
    2.8k


    Its just a cute little game theists like to play, where they reverse things back onto the atheist. Projecting is the psych term I believe. So problems with theism like faith and special pleading are claimed to be atheist things. It makes them feel good but has no substance.
  • BBQueue
    24


    I actually don't even care if theists are set firmly on their own set of beliefs, but why should it be wrong for others to have an adverse opinion, especially when their opinion has very strong merit when compared to what may as well be no more than a simple faith in the existence of a spiritual being?

    I feel like theists feel threatened on some level perhaps because they know deep down that God is only a matter of faith, so they get defensive when someone presents any argument to the contrary.
  • DingoJones
    2.8k


    That sounds about right. Use of “faith” in religious context is special pleading because that same standard is not applied to most other things in their life.
  • Garth
    117
    May I request a definition of "atheist"? Because even the noted Atheist Richard Dawkins has stated that he is not 100% sure that God doesn't exist.

    We are speaking of educated guesses here. If someone is a nominalist and views scientific laws as descriptions of the universe rather than things in the universe itself, then God is just another way of describing the universe. This "God" however, isn't particularly useful, as he doesn't generate any testable hypotheses.
  • Raul
    215
    May I request a definition of "atheist"?Garth

    I think what is needed here is to define God. Because usually atheists are atheists vs a specific definition of God so...

    don't believe in the existence of GodBBQueue

    Too much stereotyping here.
    You call out a generic universal God here? we, atheists, usually claim we do not belief the existence of certain definitions of God depending on the religion to talk about (Dawkins usually refers to christianity).
    If we start like playing with the word God, and say... God is the laws of physics or God is what has
    created the quarks... then the basis of the argument change...

    So, net, BBQueue, I think your argument is a fallacy stated the way you have stated it.
  • GTTRPNK
    53
    I'm agnostic atheist because the evidence for the existence of any god isn't strong enough to convince me but I don't claim to know there are no gods.
  • Sir2u
    3.4k
    You call out a generic universal God here? we, atheists, usually claim we do not belief the existence of certain definitions of God depending on the religion to talk about (Dawkins usually refers to christianity).
    If we start like playing with the word God, and say... God is the laws of physics or God is what has
    created the quarks... then the basis of the argument change...
    Raul

    Nope. We do not claim that we do not believe in a specific god, we do not believe in any god when the word god is used correctly. Gods are creators of mankind and the rest of the universe, in some religions they have gods for almost everything.

    My personal reason for not believing in them is that I find it hard to imagine that some being would go to all of the trouble to build the universe and them let a plague like mankind lose to destroy it. That is sort of like me spending years building a monster model railway in my basement and then let the little bastard next door go in there and play football with his mates. makes no sense at all.

    Most atheists never even claim to be atheists. They just get labeled that when they say that they do not believe there is a god.

    And I know the real truth behind the universe, Murphy.
  • praxis
    6.2k
    God would have created atheists to train the faithful.
  • Deleted User
    0
    Well, one could argue that God exists as a linguistic concept. Therefore God exists in our minds and therefore God is real.

    To me atheism is more about criticising blind faith and bad religion. That is why Richard Dawkins is a hero to me. Because it takes some guts to challenge beliefs which people are willing to murder you for.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    I'm agnostic atheist because the evidence for the existence of any god isn't strong enough to convince me but I don't claim to know there are no gods.GTTRPNK

    Nice. Most nuanced atheists would argue that there are no reasonable grounds for accepting the proposition that a God exists. They would not say there is no God. An important distinction. In essence a more nuanced atheist would probably take the view that they are open to the idea of a deity existing if and when there is reasonable evidence.
  • GTTRPNK
    53
    Yep, show me proof and I'll change my position. That goes for anything.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Therefore I really don't know why atheists are so often criticized and thought to have a baseless set of beliefs, when their reasoning may indeed be more credible than that of someone who basically has no more than faith in the existence of God.BBQueue

    Atheism isn't a belief system as such. Atheism has one idea. That no good reasons have been provided to believe in God. Atheism is not a school of thought or a system as such.

    There are however belief systems that also include atheism - secular humanism - the most common. Then you may have a set of beliefs to quibble with.
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    I'm second-guessing the Buddha's rationale behind his "no comment" attitude towards God here but take a close look at the situation atheists and theists are in in re God.

    There are no moral differences between atheists and theists - both camps seem to be doing fine in the ethics department as far as I can tell.

    Ergo, the relevant dissimilarity seems to be only one viz. the belief in the existence of a god. I'm not completely sure about this but I haven't come across a religious doctrine that states that the belief that god exists matters in any way to religion; after all, the bottom line, the key message of theistic religions, is that we'll be judged, and that's what matters, on the basis of the moral nature of our thoughts and actions, and not by whether we believed that a god exists or not.

    Do we get bonus points for believing in god? Is there a difference between X who believes in god and is good and Y who is equally good but doesn't believe in god? Perhaps, if you'll allow me to say so, there's a correlation between a tendency toward theism and good moral character but that's psychology and has little or nothing to do with the the ontological aspects of god.
  • javi2541997
    5.2k


    Atheists do not believe only in God but in other type of subterfuge to understand something that complex like death or “life after death”. They are just living without the starting point of a superior abstract figure like God, i.e “I passed this difficult exam because I studied hard the last week but I do not pray to God because I do not believe in his circumstances. It is just myself and move along”
    I guess another point of atheism here is the concept of “heaven”. It is basically for religious citizens the paradise afterward your life ends. But here, atheists do not even believe in the fact that when you die you will be in a dilema if you go to “hell” or “heaven” due to God’s decision. They think there is nothing afterwards that’s all.
    So I guess not believing in any kind of God goes further than “not having any proof of his existence”
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    There are no moral differences between atheists and theists - both camps seem to be doing fine in the ethics department as far as I can tell.TheMadFool

    Untrue - Islamic State, just one example, demonstrate that religions - which all have their fundamentalist expressions - cab be ethically repulsive. And there are any number of vile acts committed by religions of all sorts from sexual abuse to bigotry.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    So I guess not believing in any kind of God goes further than “not having any proof of his existence”javi2541997

    No. All an atheist is is a person who doesn't believe there are sufficient reason to believe in any form of God. There are atheists who believe in astrology and reincarnation and souls and all kinds of supernatural stuff. Some Buddhists are atheists.
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    Untrue - Islamic State, just one example, demonstrate that religions - which all have their fundamentalist expressions - cab be ethically repulsive. And there are any number of vile acts committed by religions of all sorts from sexual abuse to bigotry.Tom Storm

    The situation maybe slightly more complex than either of us assume. I was simply pointing out the absence of any clear-cut statement in scripture that claims that one is at an advantage, morally speaking, by believing that god exists. I haven't ever encountered a man of the cloth taking the position that mere belief amounts to a moral act, an act of goodness, an act that would be equivalent to established good actions such as charity or saving someone for example.
  • javi2541997
    5.2k
    No. All an atheist is is a person who doesn't believe there are sufficient reason to believe in any form of God. @Tom Storm

    This is just one of the multiple reasons in atheism thought. Yes they believe there are not sufficient reason for having a credit in "God" and all representatives. Nevertheless, there are also another kind of atheists who think there is nothing afterwards.
    It is valid your point when you say it can exist atheist which believes in astrology, but this is just another path to avoid the belief in God as much as the ones who don't believe in anything at all.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    I haven't ever encountered a man of the cloth taking the position that mere belief amounts to a moral act, an act of goodness, an act that would be equivalent to established good actions such as charity or saving someone for example.TheMadFool

    Not many believers have read much scripture and often traditions don't come form this source. Actually it is pretty common for a Christian, Jew or Muslim (especially the latter) to see the atheist as making an immoral choice right out of the gate. In fact in Islam (in 13 countries), atheism is punishable by death.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Nevertheless, there are also another kind of atheists who think there is nothing afterwards.javi2541997

    Of course there are. But atheism specifically means just one thing, hence the name a theism - Greek: "without God". Any other beliefs are a separate matter. But sure, some atheists share a range of secular humanist beliefs.
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    Not many believers have read much scripture and often traditions don't come form this source. Actually it is pretty common for a Christian, Jew or Muslim (especially the latter) to see the atheist as making an immoral choice right out of the gate. In fact in Islam (in 13 countries), atheism is punishable by death.Tom Storm

    Well, this in no way proves that believing in God is, in and of itself, a moral act in the same category as saving someone's life or helping the poor, right? The matter of apostasy and heresy, to me, seems to be an entirely different issue with a different explanation altogether e.g. they may be part of the psychological response elicited by a subconscious fear of, for want of a better word, evil as assumed to follow from rejecting God. This makes some kind of sense if it's God, the belief in God, that maintains societal integrity. Is it God, the belief in God, that's the bond between people, keeping them peaceful, and good?
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Well, this in no way proves that believing in God is, in and of itself, a moral act in the same category as saving someone's life or helping the poor, right?TheMadFool

    Don't see how they are not the same. Remember moral behaviour for God is simply that which pleases him. The fist step is belief. Tick. Not believing has been traditionally seen as an immoral position by many believers. Hence, believing is a moral position.
  • Miguel Hernández
    66
    I am an atheist by the grace of God and He told me one day that puppies, ballerinas and ice creams exist, but that He does not exist.

    7346233.jpg
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    Don't see how they are not the same. Remember moral behaviour for God is simply that which pleases him. The fist step is belief. Tick. Not believing has been traditionally seen as an immoral position by many believers. Hence, believing is a moral position.Tom Storm

    Well, I'm approaching the issue from a Doestoevskyian point of view, the view that "if god didn't exist, anything would be permissible" which, in essence, means that god's primary role seems to be as the wellspring of morality i.e. god's existence means nothing if morality weren't part of god's being. If so, doesn't that imply we can, like we've all done in our lives, learn the lesson and forget the teacher? I don't see how believing in the existence of Socrates has anything to do with the merits/demerits of his philosophy?
  • baker
    5.6k
    I'm second-guessing the Buddha's rationale behind his "no comment" attitude towards GodTheMadFool
    A Buddhist canonical reference for this, please.
  • baker
    5.6k
    Therefore I really don't know why atheists are so often criticized and thought to have a baseless set of beliefsBBQueue
    How about asking those critics why they criticize atheists?
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Well, I'm approaching the issue from a Doestoevskyian point of view, the view that "if god didn't exist, anything would be permissible"TheMadFool

    Dostoevsky always had this the wrong way around. It should be: "With God anything is permissible." If you want to build systemic human rights violations look to religious behaviour across time and even today. The most dangerous (and ethically empty) people on earth are those who think they know what God wants us to do. And of course, religious morality is subjective and based on personal preferences of believers who think they have the right interpretation of scripture. God remains silent on morality.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    I don't see how believing in the existence of Socrates has anything to do with the merits/demerits of his philosophy?TheMadFool

    Well, Socrates isn't God, so the analogy is not apropos. We are not talking about a man's ideas. We are talking about the intrinsic moral position inherent in God belief which I have already addressed. Perfectly fine if you disagree, but I see no way out of it.
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    A Buddhist canonical reference for this, please.baker

    I'm trying to reconstruct the Buddha's logic. Sorry, nothing explicit to go on except his conspicuous coyness on the matter of God and other metaphysical issues.
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    Well, Socrates isn't God, so the analogy is not apropos. We are not talking about a man's ideas. We are talking about the intrinsic moral position inherent in God belief which I have already addressed. Perfectly fine if you disagree, but I see no way out of it.Tom Storm

    Well, as far as I know, what is said must stand on its own, who said it is irrelevant. Ref: Epicurean dilemma.
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