"Atheists believe there is no God"

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Talishi
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"Atheists believe there is no God"

Post #1

Post by Talishi »

Many Christians like to say, "Atheists believe there is no God." But atheism is not a belief there is no God because to have a belief is to hold a proposition. There are thousands of other things that Christians, like atheists, do not have a belief in, from Sasquatch to elves. If the mechanism is correct that the non-existence of God is a proposition held by atheists, then both Christians and atheists must also have matching propositions for the non-existence of all other imaginary things, which clearly we do not, since we can only name a few.

So for the record:

Christians believe in the existence of Yahweh and they do not believe in the existence of Zeus.

Atheists do not believe in the existence of Yahweh and they also do not believe in the existence of Zeus.


Perhaps the underlying motivation for some Christians to say atheists believe there is no God is a suspicion they have that believing in something is inferior to understanding something. And perhaps it is enabled by the same sloppy reasoning that results in some Christians saying evolution is “only a theory� as if that were a bad thing.
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Post #61

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 60 by Monta]




[center]

Outsiders to the faith are like swine before pearls, but really, not like swines. Just like swines before pearls.
[/center]

Monta wrote:
'Don't throw pearls before the swine'

(not because they are swine but because they wouldn't know what to do with it*)
What an unfortunate expression to use, because it compares people to pigs. I would never dare to use that expression on anyone that I didn't intend to insult.

_________________

Questions:
  • 1. How are people supposed to NOT be insulted by that kind of comment?
    2. Do you consider the comment so beautiful that you MUST tell it to people?
    3. Do you consider that people who are outsiders to your faith like swines who are thrown pearls of wisdom?
    4. Do you consider all outsiders to your faith so stupid as to not be able to appreciate wisdom when they hear it?
    5. Do you consider it a great debate tactic to insult everyone who doesn't agree with you?
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Post #62

Post by William »

Kenisaw wrote:
You remind me of President Clinton, wanting to know what the meaning of "is" is...
I am aware of what empirical evidence is.
Data: "facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis."
Evidence: "data that confirms or supports a statement, theory, or finding; confirmation."
Empirical: "based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation of evidence rather than theory or pure logic."
This is what I have been arguing. Generally ideas of GOD cannot be supported by such as they fall outside the domain of science/sceintific evidence.

Scientific evidence = Empirical evidence.
A fingerprint.


The nature of the universe is such that all things within it are individually unique. Fingerprints remind me of this.
Assuming any GOD has fingerprints, how is such obtained and if such could be obtained, how are any able to verify such as an actual fingerprint of an actual god?
Some DNA.


Same problem.
A fossilized footprint from Mt Sinai.
Supposing such exists and is discovered. What about the footprint would convince any scientist that it must have been made by the god of the Hebrews?
A godly fart.


Define 'godly fart'.

In other words, as I wrote in my last post, literally anything. Any empirical data will do. Got any?
See? As my above answers verify, the demand for empirical evidence (that which can be scientifically verified) is fallacy. It is a false demand and meaningless for that.
Your mistake here is that atheism does not exist in a vacuum. You should have asked yourself why someone lacks a belief in the supernatural. The answer, from everything I've ever read/discussed/heard from atheists, is that there is no evidence for such a claim. It's the lack of evidence that leads to the position of atheism.
This is an interesting argument which reminds me of an argument I had in a skeptical forum some years ago.

I too argued the position that atheism was a product of theism in that it exists because of theism, as a reaction against theism. Pretty much as you are doing here with your argument.

In response, I was informed by atheists that atheism is the default position of a human being, because a human baby lacked belief in god(s).

It was also explained to me that atheism as that default position had subsets which were the various responses to theism and theist belief systems.

So that is why I have said here in this thread that Atheism if simply the lack of belief in the existence of any god(s) and that any other position of argument (including your own here) is coming from the position of a subset of atheism.
Separately, the request for evidence is usually made not because an atheist does NOT believe, but because a cultist makes the claim that the supernatural DOES exist. As the claimant, it is the responsibility of that person to support their claim. The inability of such claimants to provide this support is of no surprise to a person that has already tried to find such evidence and could not...
Could not because no evidence was shown by the claimant in regard to the claim?

Is the claim of the atheist that any claim of an idea of GOD comes from cultists?

Quite chilly I'm afraid. Why would you think anything "extraordinary" is required, hmm? Every single one of the vast number of god creatures that humans have been infatuated with interact with the universe on a regular basis. Most gods have become human or possessed a human. They send floods, locusts, tornadoes, earthquakes. They speak to people all the time. All these interactions, in a universe proven time and again to exist with conversation laws, means evidence must have been produced. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. According to Christians for example, there are miracles happening on a daily basis. If these divine critters are doing things in this universe, there HAS to be data and information produced as a result. Tens of thousands of different supernatural beings, doing all manner of things on Earth, and you guys can't find even one little old scrap of empirical data to support the claim that this stuff is real? Surely there has to be something....got any?
I am not arguing the possible existence of a GOD aka Intelligent designer, from the position of Christianity or indeed any religion.

My position is that IF is there is a First Source to all of existence, then all consciousness (whatever form or universe it is experiencing) can be traced back to that (at least philosophically/as a thought experiment) and that this would signify that we are all aspects of GOD (rather than separate from) so essentially, if that is the case, we are GOD experiencing human form in a physical universe which can be observed as being designed for a particular purpose in relation to the properties of the universe and consciousness within it, experiencing it.

I do not deny that aspects of Hebrew and Christian ideas of god are incorporated into this notion, but this in itself does not make me a Christian or a Judaist.

In relation to miraculous claims of healing (as an example) the requirement for empirical evidence could be demanded depending on the circumstance but this is problematic as I have already explained in a prior post.
Such claims come from those who experience them through faith-based positions and since no scientists or science are usually present in relation to the events, it is difficult to establish any empirical evidence.

But as explained, the individual in their subjective experience of life has no need for empirical evidence as they are simply convinced through their experience and in this it is practically impossible for atheists to talk them out of what they themselves know they have experienced.

Problematic for the atheist (depending on the position of their subset), but not so much for the theist.

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Post #63

Post by Monta »

[Replying to William]


"But as explained, the individual in their subjective experience of life has no need for empirical evidence as they are simply convinced through their experience and in this it is practically impossible for atheists to talk them out of what they themselves know they have experienced. "

Exactly. Once you've been in love no one can tell you it is not.
We go back to Jesus' words - my words are spirit and they are life*

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Post #64

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 62 by William]



[center]
Talking them out of it
[/center]

William wrote:
But as explained, the individual in their subjective experience of life has no need for empirical evidence as they are simply convinced through their experience and in this it is practically impossible for atheists to talk them out of what they themselves know they have experienced.

Problematic for the atheist (depending on the position of their subset), but not so much for the theist.
I don't agree that it's "practically impossible" for atheists to "talk them out of it".

I used to be "in love" with my religious beliefs. Atheist talked me out of it, but of course, it took many years of talking. In discussions with ex-theists, it seems that deconversion usually takes a while. When we believe something so strongly, it almost seems impossible that we can be SO wrong. And that's especially true when so many people around us believe so much, too.

At first, it almost seems a little bit crazy that all of these people are wrong. Most believers seems so confident in their beliefs, after all !!

But, theists do become atheists. It happens all the time.
Since most people in the world are raised to be religious, it's not surprising that most atheists used to be religious. So, somehow, ex-theists managed to find atheist arguments convincing.

For me, it was stumbling upon the works of Bertrand Russell, I admired his rational approach to things, and I could not for the life of me find any flaw in his atheist arguments. I still can't, and I don't know anyone who has, really.

And then that opened the door to the restof secular philosophy. When I compare that to theology, I have to say... theology loses every time. Any theology, from any religion is "let's play pretend" to me. I like to play like everyone else, but when I want to get serious for a minute, theology just wont do anymore.

I didn't know I was an atheist for a long long while, until I argued for months against some people on YouTube ... and I have to say, they convinced me that I was wrong about atheism and agnosticism. So, yeah, I really do believe that these discussions are very important. We never know who we are going to help.

It's probably true, though, that the people we are debating in here wont deconvert any time soon. I don't expect them to.


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Post #65

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 63 by Monta]



[center]
Is love the best measure for what is true?[/center]


"But as explained, the individual in their subjective experience of life has no need for empirical evidence as they are simply convinced through their experience and in this it is practically impossible for atheists to talk them out of what they themselves know they have experienced. "
Monta wrote:
Exactly. Once you've been in love no one can tell you it is not.
We go back to Jesus' words - my words are spirit and they are life*
Being in love is so nice, isn't it?

Being in love with a proposition is about one of the worst ways to find out if the proposition is true, though. Another terrible way is to be in "hate" with the proposition.

If we blind ourselves with such strong emotions, we can almost guarantee that we can't really find out objectively if what we believe in is true or not. Religious thinking is so clever.

Loving the "god belief" is the best way to have believers KEEP the faith, and forget about the part where it may be a false belief. How can a belief be false if it feels so right?

If we are judging reality with our feelings, that's one way of doing things. But there is a case to be made for making rational decisions, too. There is a huge difference between loving an idea and finding out if it's true or not.

I really get it that religious people tend to "love" their god beliefs, and that's fine. But if that prevents people from dealing with the truth of their beliefs, I think they are living in a dream. It's a nice dream for most.

I don't mind at all that people would choose to live in a nice dream.. what's wrong with that? People can choose to live they way that they want to, as far as I'm concerned. BUT.. and this is a huge BUT... some of these "religious" dreams cause HUGE problems in the world, and maybe, just maybe there is more to life than being blissed out on a dream.

A lot of atheists have figured out ways to be blissed out on REALITY... without resorting to dreams. There is a thrill in learning how to think well. There is real purpose in avoiding thinking mistakes.

Reason is not the enemy, folks.


But by all means, love what you like. Love is a good thing, to a point.

Some people really do get carried away with that "love" to the point that some people will even die for it and in the worst case scenario, kill for it .. and that's a problem for everyone.


Sometimes, living the dream lacks a bit of "realism".



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Post #66

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 62 by William]
See? As my above answers verify, the demand for empirical evidence (that which can be scientifically verified) is fallacy. It is a false demand and meaningless for that.
Okay. Let's run with this. Let's say we're trying to find out if there actually is a god or not, whether this god has interacted with our world in some way.
Now let's say we take empirical evidence off the table. It's not an option.
What do we use then when someone comes up to us and says "There is a God X, who did things Y at some point in time Z, who has characteristics/attributes Q and desires P"?
Do we just believe this person? How can we tell if this what this person is saying is true, if we don't look for empirical evidence?
This is not a rhetorical question. I honestly want to know how I can tell that Yahweh is there, that he actually did incarnate as Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago, that he is merciful and desires me to know that he exists...but if we're not using empirical evidence, how is any of that to be supported?
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I condemn all gods who dare demand my fealty, who won't look me in the face so's I know who it is I gotta fealty to. -- JoeyKnotHead

Some force seems to restrict me from buying into the apparent nonsense that others find so easy to buy into. Having no religious or supernatural beliefs of my own, I just call that force reason. -- Tired of the Nonsense

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Post #67

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 65 by Blastcat]
But by all means, love what you like. Love is a good thing, to a point.
Aye. I don't know why some people are arguing that they just 'know' it because they feel it.
I love right now, and I've loved other people and things in the past...and most importantly I've learned the folly of allowing love to blind one to truth.
I loved my father growing up, and wouldn't hear a word against him. I insisted that I knew what he was like, that he could do no evil. Turns out I was wrong.
So if I, a human, can be wrong about another human, it doesn't make sense to me that another human can somehow be correct about a god when they say they love/feel that god.
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Your life is your own. Rise up and live it - Richard Rahl, Sword of Truth Book 6 "Faith of the Fallen"

I condemn all gods who dare demand my fealty, who won't look me in the face so's I know who it is I gotta fealty to. -- JoeyKnotHead

Some force seems to restrict me from buying into the apparent nonsense that others find so easy to buy into. Having no religious or supernatural beliefs of my own, I just call that force reason. -- Tired of the Nonsense

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Post #68

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 67 by rikuoamero]
rikuoamero wrote:
Aye. I don't know why some people are arguing that they just 'know' it because they feel it.
I love right now, and I've loved other people and things in the past...and most importantly I've learned the folly of allowing love to blind one to truth.
I loved my father growing up, and wouldn't hear a word against him. I insisted that I knew what he was like, that he could do no evil. Turns out I was wrong.
So if I, a human, can be wrong about another human, it doesn't make sense to me that another human can somehow be correct about a god when they say they love/feel that god.
Well, I am in agreement with me ..... and you, too, oddly enough !!

Of course, we are granting WAY too much already when we concede that this "God" hypothesis represents a "being" of some kind, or a "person". For all I know this "God" thing is nothing more than a metaphor... an overblown, anthropomorphic idealized metaphor for.... just about anything you like. Name it.

From love to vengeance, from grace to torture.
From free will to abject slavery.

And as for religious thinking.. these days all I see in here is INCREDIBLE amount of bias confirmation, and not much else. We really need a new bunch of religious thinkers in here who could perhaps do more than indulge in bias confirmation.... I am praying to GOD for all of those THOUSANDS of theology students....



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Post #69

Post by Kenisaw »

William wrote:
I am not asserting anything IS the case, only that it might be the case, which is not the same thing.
Semantics.
The problem you ran into in that thread, if I understood all the commentary properly, is that the discussion went from philosophical talk to a more scientific slant. You admitted that you didn't want to actually debate the topic though, so I agree requests for evidence were superfluous.
Quite.
Though it was not a problem that science was part of the subject because the subject was specific to the physical universe, something science is employed upon to examine. What was attempted in order to make it a problem was the demand for scientific evidence to back up the idea presented in the OP - an idea that is not overall a question of science in which science can obtain the answer.
Of course science can answer it. Why would you think otherwise?
In my particular view that is why philosophical debates are often useless, because they aren't based on anything verifiable.
Which is precisely why philosophical and theological ideas exist and persist because they are largely things of the mind which is something presently out of the reach of science. Scientists of course are free to examine such concepts and even experience alternate states subjectively. Anyone is.
Which is precisely why it is a useless endeavor to undertake.
Just an FYI: Dark matter cannot be seen but it's effect on other matter can. Invisible is not a limitation to discovery...
This is not invisibility in the context given. It is without any seen form, but can at least easily be seen to interact with other stuff, thus providing something which can be measured thus not truly invisible.

It isn't totally a bad analogy to use in relation to the subject of GOD (and related experiences) but those experiences are largely subjective to the individual and organised religion has been used to control and shape beliefs in order to 'explain' the experiences and even own them, often with political secular agenda - and that adds to the confusion but must be considered as part of the whole process.
Not confusion. Pure speculation. Unless, that is, you have some empirical data you want to present to confirm such claims...got any?
At this time they cannot be shown to exist. Personally I don't try to put limitations on what can and can't be determined scientifically in the future...
Nor I. But for now, I am speaking of 'for the time being - in the present moment'
Then there is no reason to consider supernatural claims as a plausible explanation, which I believe is the point being made.
This is the same with many ideas of God.

If a claim that a god exists but is not able to be seen (is invisible) then no burden of proof need be required or otherwise demanded. To do so is, simply put - a fallacy. A false demand. An illogical demand.
Incorrect for reasons already stated in previous posts.
Sorry but I disagree. Any specific positive claim of anything, especially when that thing interacts in a universe with conversation laws, is not only prudent but necessary, because empirical evidence MUST exist as a result of those interactions.
As indeed it does, through the experiences of a great deal many individuals, coming from all manner of cultures (baggage and all) and aligned with some notion of an alternate reality interacting with our one through individual experience.
Of course, science is unable to work with the subjective without the objective agreement of the scientists. Therefore, scientists are limited to pursue the examination of the physical universe rather than of the mind. In relation to the mind, there is brain which is - at present - as far as they can go.
Experiences are not empirical evidence. If they were then you would consider Big Foot, UFOs, Zeus, Odin, and leprechauns as "possible". You would credit the claim of Vishnu as being on par with the Islamic god for example.

Empirical evidence is the reaction that the universe experiences when a god creature takes an action. Just like a beach reacts to your walking on it (footprint), a divine critter taking human form, speaking to people, causing natural disasters, making stuff, etc must leave evidence behind. And of course no one has any.

The mind, by the way, is within the physical universe. There is no data that supports any notion that the human mind exists outside of the physical structure of your brain. There are several threads in this forum on the topic if you care to peruse them at your leisure...
But science is unable to absorb philosophical and theological idealism in any way in which to fully eradicate it from the human mind, short of manipulating the brain in order to attempt to bring such thinking to an end.]/quote]

Science isn't looking to eradicate anything. Not sure what this comment is supposed to mean.
Sorry, but this is nonsense. That they believe it, and that someone else asks for their evidence as to why they believe it, is perfectly fair and appropriate. If someone doesn't want their claim challenged, don't come onto a public forum and make them.
This hearkens back to conversation laws you mentioned but misunderstands the nature of personal experience to the degree that it demands "show up or shut up", neither of which is acceptable or appropriate to that one who had/continues to have the experience(s).
Nonsense. What exists in the human mind is not representative of reality. Watch a show like Brain Games for example. Your brain distorts and changes the data into the perception that you recognize. There's plenty of data on this, as well as gobs of research that shows how the "truth" of a situation varies greatly from person to person. The most famous example is having someone run into a classroom to "steal" something off the teacher's desk. The descriptions given by the students vary greatly, including even the race and gender of the perpetrator. That's why personal experience is useless in discussions such as these. It isn't empirical.
What it amounts to is that the individual making the demand has to make the effort rather than the 'evidence' being given to the demanding on a silver platter so to speak.
Someone else's experiences are no substitute for your own, and all that can be said is to encourage the demanding to seek for themselves and see what might happen...
That's rather backwards. Someone wants to claim it is true, they get to prove it. If they can't then there is no logical reason to take their claim as plausible.
...Remembering the nature of the subject spoken about. It is something which seems more than willing to prove itself under certain circumstances, none of which stem from the attitude of demand or to directly pamper the purpose of science.
Or they could all be lying. You can't possibly know either way. Which is why it is not a standard of evidence. But maybe you believe all those people who swear they've seen Big Foot, who knows...
Another reason why someone might want to speak of their experiences and subsequent beliefs regarding those experiences is that they wish to test them out in the face of opposition to see if the opposition can come up with reasonable arguments which may, at the very least, separate beliefs that have attached themselves to the experience(s) from the experiences themselves.
Let's hope that is the case. I'd like to think at least some people come in here with an open mind.
I apologize if I am wrong here, but I have seen this tactic by cultists in the past, but don't know if this is your end game. They want to make their god creature claims but don't want anyone challenging them. That way some wayward person can visit this site and read their unsupported conjecture and possibly think it is true. To let any such speculation go unchallenged, regardless of the topic, is irresponsible of a society. Ideas should always be debated and discussed. Not all ideas are of equal value, and the better ones should win out over the lesser ones. Letting bad ideas go unchecked is itself a really bad idea...
I have no 'end game' that I am aware of. I am propelled by a number of reasons which could be considered agenda, but specifically not really my agenda, or my idea.

One of those reasons is that I see the human potential to transform the present systems of disparity inherited down the line, into a system of parity.

Given the systems of disparity currently honed to near perfection in this day and age, it can be logically argued that they can be sourced at a cult-like initial position and have and thus will continue to have a negative affect on the majority of humanity.
Such systems are taught to be protected, invested in, fought for, and die for by the very population controlled by said systems.

Why? Because it is the result of letting bad ideas go unchecked and thus, yes - a really bad idea overall.
There's a lot in that last statement. I don't think it can all be broken down here as you have opened several new topics. All I will say is that equality is my ideal as well. All individuals have the same value. All individuals deserve the same basic rights. Equality of success, however, is not guaranteed, nor should it be. If you would like to discuss anything in particular I'm sure we can do so in another thread.
Thus also why the predominance of alternative realities influencing the mind of the greater population - faiths and hopes focused primarily on what GOD can do for human beings because it is very apparent that those human beings who have the power influence and wherewithal to seriously assist with building a shared type of Utopia as a system of parity, are at present somewhat busy building their individual micro utopias for themselves and their significant others.
I don't agree that it is anyone's responsibility to build a shared system of parity. You get guaranteed the pursuit of happiness, not the achievement of it.

I'll fully admit right here and now that I am probably more hardline on this matter than most people in here. Life has winners and losers. It is impossible to create a utopia.
All under the banner of "It is only natural - science shows us so."
Or "In god we trust", eh? After all, the majority labor under that control mechanism...
Yeah right. Depends on how the evidence is interpreted.
What evidence might that be?
But anyhow, no use complaining and making demands which amount to 'show us god or shut up' as it ain't obviously going to happen.
No, it ain't, because there is no such data, and I think we all know it.
Thus, it is illogical to demand that it does/should happen, otherwise 'we no listen'
and business as usual.

My thoughts on GOD are not about applying faith but reason. In that I may well be outside the more common religious/cult type dogmas. IMHO the idea of GOD cleans up quite nicely once those things are washed from it.
Personally I fail to see how god and reason can ever have commonality. I've never seen any concept of a god creature that made logical sense.

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Post #70

Post by Kenisaw »

Monta wrote: [Replying to post 59 by William]


"...Remembering the nature of the subject spoken about. It is something which seems more than willing to prove itself under certain circumstances, none of which stem from the attitude of demand or to directly pamper the purpose of science. "

'Don't throw pearls before the swine'

(not because they are swine but because they wouldn't know what to do with it*)
I suppose you could have presented evidence for your god being at this point instead....oh, wait, no you can't. There isn't any. I forgot we get the pearls and swine thing from you because there isn't anything else to offer...

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