• Georgios Bakalis
    14
    Hi, I am a theist and I have a question for atheists. I hope this does not cause too much turmoil. Do atheists actively not want God to exist? I am aware that many atheists come to their conclusion because they believe God is impossible and other reasons. However, is there ever an element of not wanting God to exists? I hope this makes sense.
  • khaled
    2.6k
    Depends on the God.
  • DingoJones
    2.2k


    I think it’s often both. Atheists think that there is no good reasons to think god exists but many also recognise how awful it would be if god actually did exist, especially if various horrifying content of the bible were true as well.
    Google Christopher Hitchens on the celestial dictatorship. He explains the answer you are looking for quite well.
  • javi2541997
    595
    Do atheists actively not want God to exist?Georgios Bakalis

    No.

    is there ever an element of not wanting God to exists?Georgios Bakalis

    I am atheists because I don’t believe in any subterfuge. I don’t think the world is predetermined by a powerful entity or divinity which somehow rules what is going on in earth.
    Also, complex situations in our lives as “good or bad actions” “justice” “poverty” “wars” should be consider as it is not trying to look at answers from a subterfuge again and over again...
    So, I just don’t believe but my intention is not wanting it or avoiding it the belief itself.
  • tim wood
    6.5k
    Do atheists actively not want God to exist?Georgios Bakalis

    Three words ambiguous which make it impossible to even consider your question: atheist, God, exist. Clean those up and no doubt you'll get answers, but in the cleaning you'll very likely already have found answers.
  • Georgios Bakalis
    14
    I’ll leave the words ‘atheism, God, and exist’ open to you to decide for yourself because I want this question to receive as many viewpoints as possible.
  • DingoJones
    2.2k


    Don’t you ever get tired of contributing useless negations? You are neither helpful nor entertaining so just save it.
  • Georgios Bakalis
    14
    I suppose it does. The God of the Old and New Testaments, Qur’an and many others differ greatly, and yet the atheist supposedly believes in none of them. Because of this, I reckon the atheist would need to account more generally, if that makes sense.
  • Georgios Bakalis
    14
    I suppose from a theistic point of view, many atheistic schools of thought would be subterfuges as well, such as Nihilism. Would you agree with this statement?
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    I don't want any theistic deity to exist (although that's like saying I don't want "the flat earth" or "Cthulhu" to exist :roll: ) because I'm not a slave in need of a master. Non serviam – amen.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    Hi, I am a theist and I have a question for atheists. I hope this does not cause too much turmoil. Do atheists actively not want God to exist? I am aware that many atheists come to their conclusion because they believe God is impossible and other reasons. However, is there ever an element of not wanting God to exists? I hope this makes sense.Georgios Bakalis

    I have a question about your question; are you implying that wanting God to exist makes it somehow more likely that God exists?
  • Amalac
    184
    If it's the God of some religion, and such a God planned to punish forever all the people who don't believe in that religion, or would justify crimes such as those of the Inquisition for example, then certainly I would not want such a God to exist.

    If it's a God not linked to any religion, who won't help with any of our earthly problems and won't give us an afterlife, then it is indifferent to me whether or not such a God exists.
  • tim wood
    6.5k
    Don’t you ever get tired of contributing useless negations? You are neither helpful nor entertaining so just save it.DingoJones

    Unlike you, apparently, I like to have some sense that I know that I and my interlocutor are at the least partially on the same page, with adjustment possible. But you appear to know what he means by "atheist," "God," and "exist" in this context. More power you if you do, because I do not.

    I see his reply:
    I’ll leave the words ‘atheism, God, and exist’ open to you to decide for yourselfGeorgios Bakalis
    . That reduces his question to, "Blah, blah, blah...".

    But I'd be glad to read how you understand those words.
  • Georgios Bakalis
    14
    No. Not at all. My question is simply inquiring into some of the motives for atheism.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    No. Not at all. My question is simply inquiring into some of the motives for atheism.Georgios Bakalis

    I see. So your faith is not an expression of wanting God to exist?
  • javi2541997
    595
    would be subterfuges as well, such as Nihilism. Would you agree with this statement?Georgios Bakalis

    Not necessarily. The point here is not searching subterfuges at all. It is just the act of living a life but without the hope of something extraordinary. When someone dies it doesn’t come to my mind if he or she goes to hell or haven. The human just dies. This what I apply in the the other complexity as destiny or values, etc...
  • tim wood
    6.5k
    It's helpful to at least approach an understanding of the word through its roots. The "a" in atheism is privative. Most simply, a kind of not. A-theism, then, is simply a word that means not-theism. And nothing more.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    The motive for atheism, at least this freethinker's motive, is the same motive as that for doing history or science: truth, or currently it's best approximation. And the courage not to deny and to live only by – as much as I'm able to – demonstrable, most probable, truths (that are independent of whatever I or anyone believes or doesn't believe is the case).
  • Georgios Bakalis
    14
    I’ll give defining those words a try, but I cannot confirm that you will be satisfied with my definitions.

    Atheist - Someone who does not think that God exists
    God - That which atheists do not think exist
    Exist - That which atheists do not think God exhibits

    But seriously, I will try to give it a go.

    God - A transcendent deity who created the universe and involves itself in the universe (still a very ambiguous term, sorry)
    Exist - something that could have an a effect on everything else that exists
    Atheist - Someone who does not believe that God exists


    There’s still many many problems with these definitions, but I am intrigued to see what you do with them.
  • Georgios Bakalis
    14
    I am sure that the main motive is truth, however that obviously often applies to theists as well. Other than believing that God exists/ doesn’t exist, the main defining characteristic of theists is that we want (and believe) that God exists. I wonder if this applies to atheists as well, hence my question.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    "Wanting to believe" something is true is perhaps the greatest obstacle to determining whether or not it is, in fact, true. Confirmation bias, etc.
  • Amalac
    184
    Exist - something that could have an a effect on everything else that exists

    This definition is circular
  • Georgios Bakalis
    14
    Well yes, but if you wouldn’t mind, could you suggest a better definition for ‘exist’?
  • Georgios Bakalis
    14
    I wouldn’t say so in the slightest. Of course, I am glad God exists, but that came after my realisation. Perhaps none of us are free from the confirmation bias, but I believe I came to my belief logically
  • Amalac
    184
    That's actually a somewhat hard question, but for the sake of discussion, how about: Has some objective reality outside human minds?

    Or: It isn't merely an idea in the mind, but also something outside the mind. But maybe those are circular definitions in disguise, I'm not sure.

    At any rate, I feel inclined to accept Wittgenstein's notion of definitions, according to which the meaning of a word is its use in a particular language game.

    So if you could give an example to see how you would use that term, that would be helpful.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    I see. So your faith is not an expression of wanting God to exist?counterpunch

    I wouldn’t say so in the slightest. Of course, I am glad God exists, but that came after my realisation. Perhaps none of us are free from the confirmation bias, but I believe I came to my belief logicallyGeorgios Bakalis

    Very well, but that only raises another question about your question; particularly given that in general, children are indoctrinated with the idea of God from infancy, before they have the ability to make rational judgements. Why do you claim rational conviction for yourself - yet suggest atheists act from a desire for a Godless universe?
  • Banno
    11.6k
    The god of the Christians is an immoral chap. No, I don't want him to exist. But I hadn't considered the question until you asked; so that desire is not active.
  • khaled
    2.6k
    and yet the atheist supposedly believes in none of them. Because of this, I reckon the atheist would need to account more generallyGeorgios Bakalis

    Non sequitor. Just because I don’t believe in any of them doesn’t mean I need to have the same attitude towards their existence. I can not believe in them yet want some to exist and others not.
  • NOS4A2
    4.4k


    Yes. I do not want god to exist because the thought of a celestial dictator and abject slavery is terrifying.
  • Dawnstorm
    135
    God - That which atheists do not think existGeorgios Bakalis

    I wonder how many atheists ever get to a clear conception to what it is that doesn't exist. I'm the son of Roman Catholic parents, and the god concept just never stuck. I certainly couldn't tell you what it is that I don't believe in, since everything I can think of is apparently a caricature that the theists around me don't believe in either (e.g. the guy in the sky). I assume from their behaviour that there's something they believe in, and they have some way so that that, whatever it is, makes sense in their minds. Something like that never developed for me, so I'm an atheist.

    Or in other words, going by that definition, the definition of God is "whatever it is that theists believe in". And while I'm mostly living around Christians, I extend that to Odin, Zeus, Quetzalcoatl, or Amaterasu. Being an atheist for me is primarily social: what they believe in I don't. Actively not wanting God to exist would mean I'd have to have a far clearer idea of what the concept means to you than I do.

    Theists seem to have a hard time imagining a lack of belief, presumably because it's a really important concept to them. It seems to be even harder, though, to imagine that I don't get what all the fuss about. Basically, I don't have the motivation to figure out what it is I don't believe in. Whatever it is, me not understanding it hasn't kept me from having a working world view. If theists want to re-assure themselves that this means that I believe in God after all, I just don't know - well, they can. They just shouldn't conclude from this that I should go to church, because they'll end up disappointed (and through no fault of mine, I think).

    An real-life example: my parents love me, and when I'm down, they've suggested (rarely) that I try talk to a priest. God helps them, so He should help me, too, right? Well, when I'm down is not the time for me to wrestle with concepts that are meaningless to me. I'd rather think about what's important, or not think at all if I find myself going down the brooding spiral. When the chips are down, the god concept is an unwelcome distraction. I only ponder God when I (a) deal with people who believe, and (b) have the mental capacity to spare.

    Basically, I don't have to deal with the concept of "God", unless I have to deal with theists bringing Him up. (And those theists are usually Christians. People don't usually ask me whether I believe in Zeus, Odin, Amaterasu, or Quetzalcoatl.)
  • SophistiCat
    1.6k
    Now why would I not want Her to exist? :pray:

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