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Author Topic:   Why Atheists don't believe
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 206 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 1 of 310 (310971)
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


I know this has been covered before, but this has a little more to it.

I would appreciate if the atheists in this forum would take the time to answer these questions.

1. Why don't you believe in the divine?
2. Do you believe in anything without evidence?

Thanks.

*edit* corrected spelling as per request.

This message has been edited by riVeRraT, 05-11-2006 05:16 PM


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SuperNintendo Chalmers
Member (Idle past 4120 days)
Posts: 772
From: Bartlett, IL, USA
Joined: 12-27-2005


Message 2 of 310 (310983)
05-11-2006 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


Easy answer for me
1. Why don't you believe in the divine?

- There is little to no evidence that any religion I have ever been exposed to is correct. There is a lot of evidence that those religions are false.

2. Do you believe in anything without evidence?

Nope

{ABE}: Keep in mind that I don't DISBELIEVE in the possibility of the divine. I simply lack belief in it. I don't actively go out and state that there is no god/god(s)/etc. I can clearly see that every religion I have been exposed to is false... but that doesn't mean there isn't some kind of god/god(s). However, I won't be believing in them until I see evidence. I find it extremely difficult to believe that anyone can be rational and believe in things that have no evidence, because where do you draw the line? Should I believe in orcs, goblins, elves, pixies, santa claus, yahweh, zeus, allah??????

I mean, if you are going to believe in one thing without any evidence why wouldn't you also believe in another?

This message has been edited by SuperNintendo Chalmers, 05-11-2006 09:49 AM


This message is a reply to:
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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 310 (310994)
05-11-2006 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


1. Why don't you believe in the divine?

The accidental nature of life.

2. Do you believe in anything without evidence?

There's lots I believe on authority without actual inspection of any evidence whatsoever.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 05-11-2006 8:24 AM riVeRraT has responded

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Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 310 (311003)
05-11-2006 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


i don't believe in god because i hate him. plus i like how atheism lets me kill people and stuff. moral responsibility blowz.

This message is a reply to:
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ramoss
Member
Posts: 3122
Joined: 08-11-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 5 of 310 (311012)
05-11-2006 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


It all depends on what definition of the divine you are talking about. If you mean a deity, it is because it just never made sense to me, from a very young age. I was too young to intellectualise it.. (maybe 4 or 5, definately before kindergarden)

Intellectually, I can say 'no empirical evidence'. However, the disbelief in any deity happened before intellecutal rationalisation was fully developed, and it was just an instinctual /emotional response before then.

I would say that the initial response was an emotional reaction, but the continuation of that through childhood into adulthood was because of empirical evidence. I also never felt the emotional need to have to believe.


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Codegate
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 84
From: The Great White North
Joined: 03-15-2006


Message 6 of 310 (311013)
05-11-2006 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


I'm not an atheist - more of an agnostic but I will answer why I doubt the divine.

1) A divine entity does not explain anything in the world around me. Everything I can see around me has an alternate explaination based on additional evidence that I can see around me.

2) From a socialogical point of view, it makes total sense for a primative culture to create the concept of a divine entity to blame for their problems and to pray to for help. Every single culture that I have ever heard of has created divine entities for this purpose.

3) If every culture has done this, how can any one of them claim to be the 'correct' one. This seems extremely narrow minded.

4) How could a benelovent God (as per the bible) ever turn their back on a 'good' person, yet I have heard many 'devout' people say exactly this, just because the good person doesn't worship the correct god.

5) Divine entities have been used by man for so many nefarious purposes throught history. Why would a truely divine entity allow this. We have proof around us today of man-made religions that have many followers that honestly believe they are in the right. Scientology may be a brainwashing cult, but it is a religion and really, how different is it from many of the other 'mainstream' religions out there.

As for, do I believe in anything without evidence? I would have to say no. I take things on authority from sources that I trust have been sufficienty peer reviewed but I would never 'believe' something that I don't think there is any evidence for.


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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4158 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 7 of 310 (311014)
05-11-2006 11:14 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


1. Why don't you believe in the divine?

In this particular case my lack of belief has an evidentiary basis. Not that I have evidence that the divine doesn't exist. In the first place, I'm not sure you can "prove" a negative. In the second, I'm not the one making the positive claim: "God/gods" exist. I am not the one required to produce evidence in support (or refutation, for that matter) of the claim. My position is, "Where's the beef?"

Since we started drawing on cave walls, literally millions if not billions of human beings have proclaimed the existence of some kind of unreferenced divine. Not one, ever, to my knowledge has ever provided any kind of unambiguous evidence in support. So, if people have been trying to find evidence (presumably) for 40,000 years or so, and haven't been able to produce any, I see no reason to take their claims seriously.

A second aspect to this is the fact that there is literally a bewildering array of mutually contradictory claims and relgions and conceptions of the divine. While I concede the possibility that one of them is correct, which one would that be? This is related back to the lack of evidence in favor of one or the other - or any, for that matter.

2. Do you believe in anything without evidence?

Unfortunately, there is simply insufficient time to evaluate every claim that comes along. I'm sure I have a fair collection of (irrational) beliefs, urban legends accepted as fact, reliance on authority, and every other kind of fallacy. If the claim doesn't contradict something I have already investigated, or doesn't impact my life in any way, then I generally "go with the flow". On the other hand, whenever someone piques my curiosity, or makes a claim that contradicts something else I've looked at, I dig deeper - into both. Then I think I can make the claim that I go with the evidence.

Two simple examples spring to mind:

1. For a very long time I completely bought into the claim that massive doses of Vitamin C could prevent colds. I don't remember what prompted me to look at the issue in more (scientific) depth, but I blame it on one of those long, beer-soaked bull sessions I used to have with some of my colleagues. Once I got interested in the issue to dig into the scientific literature on the subject and found that it was bogus, I dropped the idea.

2. When I was a kid, I remember reading and becoming fascinated by Von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods. Since I was an avid scifi buff at the time, I remember buying it whole cloth. Unfortunately for Von Daniken, even a cursory investigation (which I undertook because I was curious to know more - i.e., looking for support for the idea, not a refutation), showed that the entire edifice was utter boloney. Ahh, loss of innocence...:D

I'm not sure my current crop of irrationalities really constitutes "belief". I like to think of it more as "provisional acceptance". Since I've seen myself drop ideas when they were falsified, I'm not sure that this constitutes belief per se.

Hope that answers your questions from the point of view of this atheist.

Edited to add: Rat, you need to fix the spelling on the title and in your posts. Atheist (as in non theist) is how it's spelled. Athiest sounds like it belongs in a sentence like, "I'm waaay athier than you are. I'm the athiest." :D Sorry, just a pet peeve.

This message has been edited by Quetzal, 05-11-2006 11:22 AM


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EZscience
Member (Idle past 3440 days)
Posts: 961
From: A wheatfield in Kansas
Joined: 04-14-2005


Message 8 of 310 (311019)
05-11-2006 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


rR writes:

1. Why don't you believe in the divine?

Basically the same reasons given by SNC and ramoss.
Plus I don't see a need for it, or any intellectual benefits arising from such a belief in terms of improved understanding of anything.

The concept of some divine, omnipresent, omnipotent being is just completlely superfluous to my world view and couldn't possibly add any clarification to it.

rR writes:

2. Do you believe in anything without evidence?

I think you might end up with a lot of semantic entanglement on what various people construe the words 'believe' and 'evidence' to imply.

The short answer would be no.
The longer answer is that I don't even like the word believe in application to science. Although I would say
I 'believe' in obvious physical laws such as gravitation, etc. and I 'believe' in the scientific method as the best method for approaching the truth, there is a large body of scientific inference that merits the assignment of various levels of confidence that fall far short of 'belief', and these levels of confidence are largely determined by the nature and quality of the evidence supporting and/or contradicting the hypotheses.


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Chronos
Member (Idle past 4512 days)
Posts: 102
From: Macomb, Mi, USA
Joined: 10-23-2005


Message 9 of 310 (311031)
05-11-2006 12:23 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


1. Why don't you believe in the divine?

Utter lack of evidence for the existence of god(s).

Existence of evidence against god concepts I've been introduced to.

2. Do you believe in anything without evidence?

Probably some of my ethical views.

I believe it's wrong to murder... Because murdering is bad... And innocent folks shouldn't die... I don't know if there is a factual basis for beliefs such as this.

This is obviously different from belief in God, though. These are my own personal beliefs, I'm not trying to say that they are True (tm).


This message is a reply to:
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RickJB
Member (Idle past 3276 days)
Posts: 917
From: London, UK
Joined: 04-14-2006


Message 10 of 310 (311040)
05-11-2006 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


1. Lack of evidence aside, I don't personally see the need.

2. I reject the idea that any being deserves one's unconditional worship or submisssion. Of such things is tyranny made.

3. God's supposed will, nature and intentions have been defined down the ages by humans with their own social/political agenda.

Even if there WAS a God, I would see no need to worship him any more than a child worships any decent parent. Neither would I feel obliged to live according to His Will. If God was petty enough to snuff me out for thinking for myself (with the intelligence he gave me) then so be it.

I would ask him how he created the universe though! ;-)

This message has been edited by RickJB, 05-11-2006 05:49 PM


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8863
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 11 of 310 (311045)
05-11-2006 1:27 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


1. I didn't think about it much at all until after I knew some history and psychology. In that context it seemed obvious where the ideas came from and just how meaningful they were. There may have been a period of time where I could have been called agnostic (but it was more likely a "never-crossed-my-mindist".

The step to atheism is a "leap of faith" in that there is no evidence that can prove it is correct. It is just where all the evidence that does exist points to.

2. Someone else said it: sure, it isn't possible or worthwhile to try to find evidence for everything -- it takes way too much time. However, what I do feel I 'know' offers a framework and what fits gets accepted with less evidence and what doesn't requires more. I'm also aware of a HUGE amount of "I don't knows".

I do deliberately (perhaps perversly?) decide to believe things for which there may be no evidence and may be evidence to the contrary. Things like: people are basically nice and honest; good guys win in the end; there is always hope...

I also believe some things as useful, but unprovable axioms: there is a 'real world' out there to learn about; it does now and always will behave in a comprehensible (if not constant) way.


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Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1254 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 12 of 310 (311050)
05-11-2006 2:06 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:24 AM


No Passion Play Media Blitz
Why don't you believe in the divine?

Because there are no miracles on television.

Woven into the tapestry of religion's natural history is this all-too-convenient coincidence: the gods quit working public, large scale, bodacious miracles just about the time we developed the technology to record events.

Our ability to archive streaming light and sound put paid to the table-knocking, fairy garden nonsense of the Victorian era, but established religion had long before papered over the lack of miracles with theology. So one must ask: Is there no Miracle Match Game Show on Fox just because we are at that post-adolescent, no-miracle stage of our relationship with the divine? Or is it because there never were any miracles at all?

My answers to these questions, and many like them, at least suggest the flavor of my disbelief. I continue to call myself an agnostic because I don't see evidence against the existence of the divine, per se; however, given the nature of the world, I don't see much room for a loving, passionately involved Creator.

2. Do you believe in anything without evidence?

2. Yes. You, Rat. :D


This message is a reply to:
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CK
Member (Idle past 2414 days)
Posts: 3221
Joined: 07-04-2004


Message 13 of 310 (311052)
05-11-2006 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Omnivorous
05-11-2006 2:06 PM


Re: No Passion Play Media Blitz
Yes - it's interesting isn't it - as our technological ability to investigate and record has increased, the "space" for Gods to exist in has decreased.

"God is over those mountains!"

Oh no he isn't!

"em..well..God is in the clouds!"

Oh no he isn't!

"well...that must mean God is on the MOON!"

Oh no he isn't!

UFOs are sort of similar in that observers tend to produce descriptions that best fit the technology of the time (so in the steam age, many UFOs seemed to be made of iron and steam-powered).


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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 206 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 14 of 310 (311099)
05-11-2006 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Omnivorous
05-11-2006 2:06 PM


Re: No Passion Play Media Blitz
2. Yes. You, Rat.

chuckle :)


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BMG
Member (Idle past 2449 days)
Posts: 356
From: Southwestern U.S.
Joined: 03-16-2006


Message 15 of 310 (311139)
05-11-2006 6:26 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Funkaloyd
05-11-2006 10:29 AM


Funny Funk
Hi Funkaloyd.

i don't believe in god because i hate him. plus i like how atheism lets me kill people and stuff. moral responsibility blowz

Too funny. :laugh:


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