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Author Topic:   Problems with being an Atheist (or Evolutionist)
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 501 days)
Posts: 5788
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 196 of 276 (582115)
09-19-2010 9:03 PM
Reply to: Message 185 by Rrhain
09-19-2010 4:45 PM


"Rrhain" writes:
You just think they're liars.
This whole conversation with you, would go much better if you left emotions out of it, and accusations. Nothing could be further from the truth. I cannot judge if someone is a liar, because I cannot see into their hearts.
Not holding the position that god exists is a "belief" the way that not collecting stamps is a "hobby."
No it's not. That is an irrelevant comparison. Let's stick with the word belief, as hobbys are not beliefs.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 185 by Rrhain, posted 09-19-2010 4:45 PM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 211 by Rrhain, posted 09-20-2010 2:53 AM riVeRraT has replied

  
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 501 days)
Posts: 5788
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 197 of 276 (582117)
09-19-2010 9:19 PM
Reply to: Message 190 by Theodoric
09-19-2010 8:41 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
"THeodoric" writes:
You might want to read the next line in wikipedia.
quote:Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.
Selective quoting is rarely a good idea.
I read that also. That definition is not exclusive. I am sure an atheist wrote that.
In other words, they believe no God exists.
I am challenging that definition. It's not like the concept of god has not crossed all of your minds. First of all, it makes perfect logical sense.
I'll make it very simple:
Theist: someone who believes in the existence of a god
Atheist: someone who believes there are no gods.
You see, theism, and atheism are antonyms. Not one single person alive can prove anything with 100% certainty. And you certainly not prove the non-existence of god. So you believe there are none.
Belief, is faith. There are different levels of faith. It's not math, it's not 2+2, it can't be proven. You just take it on faith that there is no god, because you haven't seen any objective evidence of one. Which is the way it is supposed to be. God wants us to believe by faith, so you won't find any objective evidence of Him.
It's like, I believe if I turn the TV on, it will actually turn on. I can't say with 100% certainty it will, because I just won't know until it happens. We can predict stuff, but we don't know if it will happen, until it happens. So I believe it will turn on, I don't know it will turn on. There is an outside remote chance that it will not turn on. TV's can last an average of x# of years, divided by the amount of times you turn it on. So there is a percentage of failure, and a possibility it won't work.
Gravity works every time we test it. Does this mean it is 100% certain it will work forever? Has it always worked? We can't even calculate it, because we haven't been taking records since the start of the universe. So realistically, and based on approximations, we can say gravity will work 99.999999%(or whatever) of the time. There is still an outside chance that it won't work.
Again, nothing is ever proven. Ever thing we see and think with our minds, and our tests, and whatever, is all based on faith, and belief.
Atheism IS a faith. It doesn't have a religion, but it is a faith.
But I bet you if I started a web-site called atheism.com, a bunch of people would join, and it could become religious in a way.
Which made me search, and here it is:
About Us - American Atheists
Try to understand something, I am not putting down atheism by saying it is a belief.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 190 by Theodoric, posted 09-19-2010 8:41 PM Theodoric has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 204 by Modulous, posted 09-19-2010 9:41 PM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 209 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-20-2010 2:02 AM riVeRraT has not replied
 Message 212 by Rrhain, posted 09-20-2010 3:09 AM riVeRraT has replied

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 198 of 276 (582118)
09-19-2010 9:20 PM
Reply to: Message 191 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 8:48 PM


Suicide is dangerous
If that were true, then could you name me one suicide bomber from the religion of Buddhism? Or Jainism? Or Hinduism? Or Christianity? Judaism? No...just Muslims. So it is an isolated problem and one associated solely with the Muslim faith. The bomber is not acting on his/her own beliefs, but the beliefs of their religion.
I am pretty sure that is not true. Someone chime in here. Lots of killing has gone on in the name of "god" throughout the centuries.
Samson was a famous Jewish suicide killer if we're to accept the account of him killing the philistines he was a bigger killer than Atta.
There are the Tamil Tigers...but they are a secular/political group that may use religion to direct their weapons.
The Japanese Kamikaze pilots...dying for a divine god-emperor.
Buddhists have been known to set themselves on fire or starve themselves to death, but I can't think of any suicide/killers.
Again, you will never find God that way. It is by faith only. If you are not willing to live by faith, then you will never know God.
Can you name anything else that can be found this way? If not - why the special pleading?
Human imagined? Prove that one, or else stop saying it.
Imagine the God of the Bible was real.
QED

This message is a reply to:
 Message 191 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 8:48 PM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 201 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:29 PM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

  
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 501 days)
Posts: 5788
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 199 of 276 (582119)
09-19-2010 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 195 by bluescat48
09-19-2010 8:54 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
"bluescat" writes:
Only when one has been indoctrinated into such a belief. No one is born knowing anything about life, the environment, the universe or any beings, supernatural or not. The default position is nothing.
No, the belief in gods has been around much longer than the belief of no gods. I would tend to think it is the default human position, and just plain ole human nature.
You should be happy with that. Science has had to break down many wrongs about human nature, this could be one of them. The default position is not always the right one.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 195 by bluescat48, posted 09-19-2010 8:54 PM bluescat48 has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 203 by Coyote, posted 09-19-2010 9:41 PM riVeRraT has not replied
 Message 208 by Blue Jay, posted 09-20-2010 12:53 AM riVeRraT has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6421
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 200 of 276 (582120)
09-19-2010 9:24 PM
Reply to: Message 187 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 8:29 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
riVeRraT writes:
However, atheism by definition is not someone who doesn't believe in something. Atheism, in a narrow sense is specifically the position that there are no deities.
nwr writes:
That's too restrictive.
riVeRraT writes:
Not my definition, was from wikipedia.
The Wikipedia entry gives three different meanings, the broad sense, the narrow sense and the most inclusive sense of the word. You quoted only one of those (the narrow sense) and asserted it as the definition. That's why your definition was too restrictive.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 187 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 8:29 PM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 202 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:35 PM nwr has replied

  
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 501 days)
Posts: 5788
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 201 of 276 (582121)
09-19-2010 9:29 PM
Reply to: Message 198 by Modulous
09-19-2010 9:20 PM


Re: Suicide is dangerous
"Modulous" writes:
Can you name anything else that can be found this way? If not - why the special pleading?
I can't think of anything, which ha made me think, ha.
I would be lying if I told you why it is that way.
The only thing I can figure so far, which is off topic a bit, is that previously (if the bible is correct about some of it's stories) that God showed Himself all the time objectively. Even the people who saw Him, and His objective evidences didn't believe. God saw the control of religious leaders, and how it kept people from Him. So He sent Jesus to show us the way, and to change how we meet with God.
Of course there is tons wrong with that last statement, but it is just what I think, an opinion. I don't concern myself with it too much, because history isn't all that accurate, and it just doesn't matter, since my belief, and faith, and what I feel from God is very real to me. I don't need to worry about it. I mean I think about it from time to time, but there is so much that is unexplained in life, you can't beat yourself up on it. Things get answered when the time is right.
The core of my belief is love.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 198 by Modulous, posted 09-19-2010 9:20 PM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

  
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 501 days)
Posts: 5788
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 202 of 276 (582123)
09-19-2010 9:35 PM
Reply to: Message 200 by nwr
09-19-2010 9:24 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
"nwr" writes:
The Wikipedia entry gives three different meanings, the broad sense, the narrow sense and the most inclusive sense of the word. You quoted only one of those (the narrow sense) and asserted it as the definition. That's why your definition was too restrictive.
What's the difference? You don't believe in gods. That definition works for purposes of this conversation. What are you guys getting all huffy about? It's still vastly different than being agnostic.
Wait, I think I may have the definition of being agnostic wrong. I was always under the impression that being agnostic was someone who was unsure, and thinks there could be a possibility. At least that was what I was taught for years, am I wrong about that? I am reading the definition in wikipedia, and questioning my understanding of being agnostic.
So what I meant and what I said could be 2 different things.
Do atheist think there is a possibility of god or not?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 200 by nwr, posted 09-19-2010 9:24 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 206 by nwr, posted 09-19-2010 9:57 PM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 210 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-20-2010 2:41 AM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 213 by Rrhain, posted 09-20-2010 3:15 AM riVeRraT has not replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 2191 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 203 of 276 (582124)
09-19-2010 9:41 PM
Reply to: Message 199 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 9:22 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
No, the belief in gods has been around much longer than the belief of no gods. I would tend to think it is the default human position, and just plain ole human nature.
I would like to see that documented.
I see it as more likely that as mankind evolved from ape-like ancestors that superstition developing out of a hope of controlling seemingly uncontrollable forces. Lightning, lack of game or rainfall, attacks by predatory animals are all forces that threatened early humans and semi-humans. Can't you see that some developed the "ability" to intercede for mankind with these forces? "If we perform the correct ritual, the tigers will leave us alone. I know the ritual, and (for the right fee) can perform it for you." Thus was born the shaman.
The promise of life after death was just an outgrowth of that principle: "Pay me now for a promise of everlasting life later."
Robert A. Heinlein writes:
The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man. But it is a lovely work if you can stomach it.
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1973

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 199 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:22 PM riVeRraT has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 207 by IchiBan, posted 09-20-2010 12:19 AM Coyote has replied

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(2)
Message 204 of 276 (582125)
09-19-2010 9:41 PM
Reply to: Message 197 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 9:19 PM


trust
Atheism IS a faith. It doesn't have a religion, but it is a faith.
By your definition EVERYTHING is based on faith - which rather dilutes the word. Faith is not the same as belief. One can have faith in something, without believing it (indeed - this is the ultimate act of faith). One can believe something, but not have any faith (I believe my newly built table will function, but I'll test it before laying dinner on it).
The problem comes when you ask 'Why do you have faith in x' how do you answer?
Faith means 'trust'. And experience has shown me that when someone says 'My claim is true, I can't prove it, I can't show it to you, you'll just have to trust me - it's the only way to know I'm telling the truth.', while asking for some investment of my time or money - they are often wasting them.
If I were to do otherwise - I'd be broke and I'd believe in the most monstrous collection of mutually exclusive concepts.
Do I hold the belief state, with faith, that god does not exist: No.
Have I accepted the claim that such an entity exists? No.
Do I hold the belief state, with faith, that god does exist: No.
Do I think there is such an entity? I doubt it.
Why do you doubt it: Epistemological reasoning.
Do you have faith in your epistemological reasoning: Yes.
Why? It builds space ships and solar panels while also helping to avoid conmen, frauds, swindlers and snake oil salesman.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 197 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:19 PM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 216 by riVeRraT, posted 09-20-2010 1:24 PM Modulous has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1552 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 205 of 276 (582126)
09-19-2010 9:56 PM
Reply to: Message 186 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 8:27 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
But Jesus Christ is.
How so? Jesus Christ didn't do anything to stop Ted Haggard. If I want to snort a bunch of coke, how exactly is "Jesus Christ" going to stop me?
He's not, is he? So in what sense is he an obstacle? I'm not saying that Christianity, or Christ, isn't suggesting that I not use drugs (although, I'm having a hard time finding "thy shall not snort" in my copy of the Bible), I'm simply saying that they present no real obstacle to doing so. Religion can't make you do the right thing, they can just try to talk you into doing the right thing. Or the wrong thing.
But anybody can do that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 186 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 8:27 PM riVeRraT has replied

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6421
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 206 of 276 (582127)
09-19-2010 9:57 PM
Reply to: Message 202 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 9:35 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
riVeRraT writes:
Do atheist think there is a possibility of god or not?
Some do, though most probably doubt that it would be anything like the Christian idea of God.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:35 PM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 218 by riVeRraT, posted 09-20-2010 1:35 PM nwr has seen this message but not replied

  
IchiBan
Member (Idle past 5023 days)
Posts: 88
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 207 of 276 (582133)
09-20-2010 12:19 AM
Reply to: Message 203 by Coyote
09-19-2010 9:41 PM


Re: Atheism IS a faith
Always quoting Heinlein to underline your points? He was a science fiction novelist who some issues with sex and religion among other things. Yet you use him as your philosopher, apparently the only one you are familiar with.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 203 by Coyote, posted 09-19-2010 9:41 PM Coyote has replied

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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2783 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 208 of 276 (582136)
09-20-2010 12:53 AM
Reply to: Message 199 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 9:22 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
Hi, riVeRrat.
riVeRrat writes:
No, the belief in gods has been around much longer than the belief of no gods. I would tend to think it is the default human position, and just plain ole human nature.
They're not talking about some "default human position": they're talking about a default logical position.
Logical reasoning is explicitly not based on human nature.
It is this way because human nature interferes with logical reasoning more often than it helps.
There is no reason why cultural or social norms should define default positions for reasoning. Human history is filled with great examples of why the baggage of culture and human beliefs should not be the basis of logical reasoning.
The default position should be set at "0," not at whatever value people have set it at in the past.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 199 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:22 PM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 219 by riVeRraT, posted 09-20-2010 1:36 PM Blue Jay has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 370 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 209 of 276 (582144)
09-20-2010 2:02 AM
Reply to: Message 197 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 9:19 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
I'll make it very simple:
Theist: someone who believes in the existence of a god
Atheist: someone who believes there are no gods.
You see, theism, and atheism are antonyms.
I'll make it very simple and accurate:
Theist: someone who believes in the existence of a god
Atheist: someone who does not believe in the existence of a god.
You see, theism and atheism are antonyms. And according to this definition, they are. Under your definition, they're not: they would, for example, not cover the case of someone who had never had the concept of "god" explained to him and had never considered it in any way.
Not one single person alive can prove anything with 100% certainty. And you certainly not prove the non-existence of god. So you believe there are none.
* sighs *
A positive atheist thinks that he has evidence that there is no god, and so believes there are none.
A negative atheist thinks that he has no evidence that there is a god, and so doesn't believe in any.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 197 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:19 PM riVeRraT has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 370 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 210 of 276 (582145)
09-20-2010 2:41 AM
Reply to: Message 202 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 9:35 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
What's the difference? You don't believe in gods. That definition works for purposes of this conversation.
And is not the one you advanced. In fact, you explicitly said that "atheism by definition is not someone who doesn't believe in something" (my italics).
What are you guys getting all huffy about?
"Huffy"? No, we just have a general tendency to correct errors.
Do atheist think there is a possibility of god or not?
That would depend on the atheist.
Wait, I think I may have the definition of being agnostic wrong. I was always under the impression that being agnostic was someone who was unsure, and thinks there could be a possibility. At least that was what I was taught for years, am I wrong about that? I am reading the definition in wikipedia, and questioning my understanding of being agnostic.
Well it depends on the degree of possibility.
If you ask me whether it's possible that former President Bush is a lizard disguised in a human suit, as maintained by David Icke, I should say: Well, I suppose anything's possible. But in the current absence of any supporting evidence for it, I'd say that anyone who believes it must be off his head.
If, on the other hand, you ask me whether it's possible that there's life on Europa then I might reply: Possible? Oh yes, it has liquid water and (obviously) an energy source sufficient to produce liquid water ... of course there is much we don't know about the origins of life, and no-one has been to check directly, but I should certainly call it possible based on what we do know. But in the light of the kind and degree of evidence we have on the subject, anyone making a positive assertion either way is guilty at least of overconfidence.
---
I should say that the negative atheist's attitude towards god is more like the first and the agnostic's attitude is more like the second.
There may exist a sort of gray area between the two where it would be genuinely hard to think how someone should be classified. In such cases I would suggest that you ask him which he thinks he is.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:35 PM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 220 by riVeRraT, posted 09-20-2010 1:41 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
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