"Atheists believe there is no God"

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Talishi
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"Atheists believe there is no God"

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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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Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

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Post by H.sapiens »

Talishi wrote: 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.
I think the point that you are making is that everyone is, in fact, an atheist, but "Yahweh Atheists" just carry that approach one god further.

"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." -Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar, Mark Twain
Last edited by H.sapiens on Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

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Post by Talishi »

H.sapiens wrote: I think the point that you are making is that everyone is, in fact, an atheist, but "Yahweh Atheists" just carry that approach one god further.
If there were only 100 gods, then atheists would be 99% on board with Christians. But there are more like 5,000 gods, so we're even more on board.
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Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

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Post by Delphi »

Talishi wrote: atheism is not a belief there is no God because to have a belief is to hold a proposition.
Right on.

To say this another way, a-theism means non-theism. Theists believe that theism is true, atheists do not believe that theism is true.

Atheism is not a belief, it is a non-belief. That's it. That's all. Non-belief in any god or gods.

Just like not believing in 5-legged leprechauns is not a belief system or doctrine. It is simply a non-belief. Such a person would be an a-leprechaunist.

Personally, I dislike the word 'atheism'. The '-ism' at the end makes it sound like a system of principles (like communism or socialism) which, as we have been trying to clarify, is definitely NOT the case. Perhaps people get confused by this.

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Post #5

Post by Divine Insight »

There do exist many atheists who also "believe" in a purely materialistic worldview. And they actively preach "There is no God". Unfortunately many of them actually believe that science supports and even provides evidence for this worldview.

Of course this is true when we define "God" as an "Intelligent Designer". There is plenty of scientific evidence that demonstrates two very important truths:

1. There simply is no need for an intelligent designer since the universe clearly evolves naturally.

And perhaps more importantly:

2. Even if the universe and its contents were designed they could hardly be said to have been "intelligently" designed.

So it does appear that science has ruled out an "Intelligent Designer" of the universe.

If a "God" exists it would need to be something different from an intelligent designer. Or at least, its "design" would be far different from what we imagine "design" to be. There are Eastern Mystical religions that actually offer reasons why a "God" may have "designed" the universe to freely evolve precisely as it does. But design by evolution cannot be differentiated by evolution by random actions in a world where the laws of physics are consistent. So design by evolution looks no different from a purely materialistic accident.

~~~~~~~

When it comes to terms like Atheist, Agnostic, and even Theist, I have my own personal definitions for these terms that apply to me. So it's best that people simply ask me what I mean when I use these terms.

Since this thread is on this topic I'll explain what I mean by these terms, for me.

Atheist - When I say that I'm an atheist with respect to a particular God, I actually mean "I am convinced that said God does not exist as described by that particular myth, religion, or dogma".

Given this definition I am most definitely an Atheist with respect to Zeus and Yahweh. And that would of course include the Christian Jesus too then. So when I say that I am an "atheist" with respect to these Gods, I actually mean that I believe they do not exist as described.

If I am not sure whether a particular God exists or not, I will then say that I am "Agnostic" with respect to that God. I am currently agnostic with respect to the God of Buddhism (at least as described by some versions of Buddhism)

You could also say that I am agnostic with respect to whether any sort of ill-defined God could potentially exist. It's hard to say whether a God that is not well-defined might or might not exist.

Finally, there's the term "Theism". Unfortunately the Abraham religions tend to like to own the copyright on this term. I certainly don't believe in any of the Abrahamic theologies. But if "theism" simply means a potential theology of an generic God then I can actually construct a theism that I cannot refute, of course I can't demonstrate its truth either. None the less I can create a theology of a "God" that cannot be disproved. So in this sense I can be a valid "theist" at least in the sense of being able to construct a viable theism. Whether or not I actually believe in the theism is a whole other story. Just because I can create a God that I can't disprove doesn't mean that it must then necessarily exist.

But I can certainly disprove all of the Abrahamic theologies. Or perhaps better said, "I can demonstrate why those theologies disprove their own claims". They are self-contradictory theologies.

So there you have it. My dissertation on what Atheism, Agnosticism and Theism mean to me. :D
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Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

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Post by Bust Nak »

Talishi wrote: So for the record:

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

Is that entirely accurate? Most do not just lack a believe in Zeus, they have the active believe that there is no Zeus; and then there are those who do believe in the existence of Zeus, as evil spirit competing with God.

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Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

Post #7

Post by Talishi »

Bust Nak wrote: Is that entirely accurate? Most do not just lack a believe in Zeus, they have the active believe that there is no Zeus; and then there are those who do believe in the existence of Zeus, as evil spirit competing with God.
Theist: "What's it like to be an atheist?"

Talishi: "Do you believe in Shiva or Zeus?"

Theist: "No."

Talishi: "It's like that."
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Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

Post #8

Post by Bust Nak »

[Replying to post 7 by Talishi]

That's one possible response out of many. What about:

Theist: "What's it like to be an atheist?"

Talishi: "Do you believe in Shiva or Zeus?"

Theist: "Yes. We hate them because they are demons sent by Satan."

What would you say then?

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Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

Post #9

Post by Talishi »

Bust Nak wrote: [Replying to post 7 by Talishi]

That's one possible response out of many. What about:

Theist: "What's it like to be an atheist?"

Talishi: "Do you believe in Shiva or Zeus?"

Theist: "Yes. We hate them because they are demons sent by Satan."

What would you say then?
Talishi: "Atheists fail to believe in the existence of all entities not affirmed by tangible evidence, be they Shiva, Zeus, Satan, demons, ghosts, Sasquatches, Yetis, Loch Ness monsters, aliens, tooth fairies, Easter bunnies, Santa Claus, global floods, resurrections, miracles, ESP, remote viewing, faces on Mars, and compassionate conservatives."
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Post #10

Post by Delphi »

Atheism applies only to theism. Not necessarily towards any other beliefs.

One could not believe in the existence of Yahweh or Zeus yet still actively believe that tarot cards can tell the future, that the pyramids were built by space aliens, or that bigfoot faked the moon landings.

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