definition of atheist (comment on 'definition' sticky)

Discussion in 'Religion' started by NMSquirrel, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    WTF??? You presume to tell me why I don't believe in something? I am not sure I have come across such arrogance before.
    But to put it simply: you are wrong. The reason I do not believe in God is because i consider there to be a lack of evidence. The same reason I no longer believe in Santa Claus, in the tooth fairy et al.
    And the answer remains as before, whether you want to accept it or not: because there is a lack of evidence... and by lack I mean zero... that rationally supports the case for God.
    But don't for one minute presume you know why I believe or don't in something. You have no idea of the journey I or any other atheist went on in reaching our position.

    And from my current position you may be correct that there is nothing pertaining to the outside world that can conclusively lead me to believe in God. What of it? How does that invalidate why I don't believe? You honestly think it is simply because I don't want to believe? That somehow all I have to do is choose to believe and I will?
    Can you flick a switch that makes you believe in the existence of a moon made entirely of cheese? Or in a celestial teapot, or in the FSM?
    "Extremes"? What is the extreme of "I do not believe in God"? Anything further you wish to apply to that statement, any "extreme" notion pertaining to the statement, is nothing other than an unwarranted and unsupported assertion. The entire essay is a biased attempt to frighten children into straying from belief by misrepresenting the other side.
    The score being how moral one is? Or how much one believes in God?
    So a score of 0 would mean?
    I am not sure I comprehend your intent or message here. Are you implying an atheist and a theist are at opposite extremes in something? They are not even necessarily opposite in the nature of their belief... Theists believe God to exist, and Atheists do not have that belief. They do not necessarily believe God does not exist.
    Then I would suggest you refrain from doing so, either through direct generalisations or through implication.
    Your scoring would be an example of such.
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    You can not "choose to" when it comes to such belief. You either do or you do not, and if you do not there is usually some reason why you don't, just as there is some reason why those who believe do so.
    For the majority of atheists it is simply that there is a lack of evidence to support the notion of the existence of a God. And by evidence this would include personal revelation.
    There is certainly no "supposed to" about it. If there is, I certainly have not seen anything that details my obligations in that regard. If you could forward me the document, though, that would be good.

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    To me it smacks of arrogance and superiority to talk of "supposed to" in such matters, which is why it irks rather when I see people using the phrase.
    They are reasons. Not excuses. There is nothing to excuse. There is just a reason for not being and/or not doing something. An excuse implies something contrary to the way it should be, and that is certainly not a description of atheism, any more than one needs an excuse for wearing a blue sweater instead of a red coat. There may be a reason but not an excuse.
    And not accepting the reason is insufficient grounds for invalidating it, as Jan seems to want to do.
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  5. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    What do you call a true non-believer. One who refuses faith in anything? Anti-Christ. Did you know nihilism brings the anti-Christ?
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Bible-centric evangelical Christians seem to me to have difficulty understanding the subject of atheism sometimes. The problem is that they look for scriptural answers to every question in their Bibles, and the Bible doesn't generally address atheism as we know it in the modern world. The Bible typically just assumes that God exists and that people know it. The issues that the Bible is more concerned with are people's loyalty to God, their obedience, their trust and their confidence in him.

    While faithful trust and obedience to their particular God may heve been the foremost issue for the ancient Hebrews, reasoned and evidenced intellectual belief in the literal existence of 'God' in the abstract seems to be the bigger problem in our far more rationalistic age.
  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member



    Because it's not arrogance. :shrug:

    To know that there is a ''lack of evidence'' means you would believe, when the (now known) evidence presented itself. But you don't know what that evidence would be. Why? Because you don't believe.

    I've asked you numerous times what is it that would constitute evidence for God, and you only come up with things that you personally would consider. That's your problem, everything is personal. It's entirely up to you.

    You have to see these phenomena in order to believe in them, but not so with God. The fact that you use these as an example shows that you are not taking this subject as seriously as you would have me believe, and that you are only prepared to accept God on your own terms. Again, it's down to you.

    I believe you, and I also believe you are smart enough to know that revelation will never be forthcoming.

    Granted, I only know what you tell me. But that is the same as someone telling you of their experience of why they believe in God, and you reducing it to delusion, wishful thinking, or any other situation you decide to place them in. You are no different when it comes to presuming why you don't believe (AFAIC).

    Oh, and I can presume what I like, as long as it's not personally offensive to you. And if you think I'm being offensive, then anyone who has said that theists are delusional, evil, moronic, liars (and the list goes on) are offensive also.

    Of course I'm correct. What else can it be? And I know that you know there doesn't have to be any evidence if you don't want there to be.

    You have to accept God, or reject/deny, that's how it goes.

    You're just trivializing.

    You have to actually accept that scenario, which you do. And that is why you use it as a fall back. The reality is, that is nonsense, and you know it. But it suits your purpose at this time.

  9. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    we as ppl, whether believer or not, due to no objective empirical proof one way or the other, choose to take a side, then utilize the rehashed arguments for or against.
    belief is a choice , not a state of being, if it were anything but, then we would have empirical knowledge one way or another, as in: we do not 'believe' the flame is hot, we know. belief is a choice because if it were not it would be knowledge.

    the 'lack of evidence' is just a counter argument for theist who claim absolute proof, and as such is just an excuse (specially since one cannot 'prove' a lack of evidence is proof of nonexistence)
    now are you claiming that a personal revelation applies to atheist?

    yes, arrogance and ego is involved from my part, will not deny that.
    and the 'supposed to' IS my take, I would cite verses that would back this up, but everytime I try, practically every verse I find applies, which would confuse the issue.
    (not to mention my shortcomings with names and numbers being hard to remember)

    BUT, what is wrong with this take anyway? it gives the atheist an excuse to not believe, and says the Christian is wrong to force their opinion on nonbelievers. If history were to follow this premise, would there be such a controversy? would there be such haters of religion? (this brings up the 'excuses' that Christians use to cause harm in the name of God)

    you have said "You can not "choose to" when it comes to such belief. You either do or you do not" which contradicts your statement of "There is just a reason for not being and/or not doing something. "
    to have a belief first then have reasons to back up that belief is an excuse. and reason doesn't really apply with no empirical objective evidence, which makes your belief a choice, not state of mind. you choose to not believe because you have not seen any empirical objective evidence that confirms the existence of God, and concluded that 'there is no God',

    and the context I am using the word excuse is ' to find reason to justify/validate ones beliefs after one has formed the belief' and this doesn't just apply to atheist, it applies to theist also.

    and yes there is dishonesty implicit in the use of the term 'excuse' but its not a active, intentional dishonesty, it is a psychological dishonesty, that which we don't admit to ourselves for fear of perceived pain. (whether justified or not)

    I think I have confused some things here..i am trying to get ready for swimming, will sort it out later..
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    No, we do not "choose to take a side". I did not flip a coin and then see what arguments existed to support that position. I reached that position through assessment, and the assessment led to the position I take. That assessment is my reason. Not an excuse.
    Belief may well be a choice for those that believe. But non-belief is not a choice for those of us that do not believe: I could no more believe in God than run 100m in under 10 seconds. It is just not something I am capable of, given what I know and understand at present.
    When confronted with zero evidence, or what one assesses to be zero evidence, some of us simply have no choice but to not believe. We do not reach our decision not to believe and then conclude there is zero evidence by way of excuse. To think we do is to insult.
    Rubbish. I don't know how else to tell you but you simply have it wrong, at least as it applies to me and every other atheist in my circle of friends. We all reached our conclusion through assessment, and for one or two it was a rather painful experience. But they can now no more choose to believe in God than I can. And the assessment was first, then the conclusion.
    Sure. Why wouldn't it? Are you claiming that God, if he exists, would only reveal himself to theists, to those that already believe in Him? I leave open the possibility that God exists, I simply do not have the belief that God does exist. I am an agnostic atheist, but I am an atheist.
    Yes, you would use an argument that is only applicable once you are inside the circle of belief. To those that believe, showing them a passage from their Holy Book might work. To those that don't, Scriptures don't mean quite the same thing.
    You think processes/takes are acceptable if they give other people an excuse to dispute them?

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    That is some of the most bizarre justification I have ever heard.
    Yes, there would be... you are advocating for the legitimacy of a method / take on the grounds that it gives rise to the opposite. Or maybe I have misunderstood what you are trying to convey here?
    There is no contradiction: the lack of choice comes after the assessment. If I go through what I perceive to be a logical argument that reaches a conclusion, and nothing shows me that the logic is flawed - that it is both sound and valid - could I choose to dispute it and claim it wrong? I could dispute the conclusion (have a choice) up to the point I have done the assessment. And then there is no longer a choice.
    Until of course new information / evidence arises.
    I do not choose to not believe. I can't believe: I have not seen any empirical evidence, I have not concluded that "there is no God" (I am an agnostic atheist), and because I have not seen any empirical evidence, I simply cannot believe. This is not an excuse, it is a reason. It is the reason I moved from believing to not believing. I believed without assessment when I was younger, based on authority (parents, school etc), and then I assessed what I actually knew... and from there I concluded that there is no evidence. And from there I found I simply could not believe in God. Note the order... the conclusion follows the argument, the argument is not made to fit the conclusion.
    And here we continue to disagree - in that it may apply to some, but certainly not to me. First you try to say it is a choice to believe... but choices are based on some assessment. And now you say that the assessment is used to excuse the belief. It is you who are being inconsistent.
    Then I suggest you don't project your own misgivings and fear of perceived pain onto others through using the term where it does not apply.
  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Be assured it comes across as though dripping with it... when someone who confidently claims to be correct when they are so far wide of the mark.
    Describe something unimaginable, please Jan.
    Wow. I guess you can't. But while you can believe in something unimaginable, without evidence, I can't. I am not wired that way. It is not a choice... I simply can't. The majority of atheists also can not.
    Who else should it be up to? I should leave it to someone else to be the arbiter of what I think and believe?

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    I am taking this very seriously. That you refuse to try to see how it is that my (and others') thinking works, suggests to me that you really aren't taking it seriously at all.
    You complain that I am only prepared to accept God on my own terms... yet you have no means of explaining in a way that I can understand why I should do anything different. Go figure. But the "fault" is mine, because you see atheism as a wrong.
    So you don't have faith that your God would reveal himself to one such as I? I leave open the possibility. Seems you don't.
    I have never claimed believers to be delusional. I actually pick people up on using the term, since to be delusional there needs to be evidence to the contrary.
    I also never claim people are wrong when they tell me why they believe. But you are arrogant enough to do so, despite your claims of innocence with regard the arrogance.
    I may try to understand, but I challenge you to find one example where I have claimed them to be delusional, wishful thinking or other such "situation" with regard their belief in God. If you can't, perhaps I should expect an apology.
    Indeed they would be offensive, and I would call them out on it. But you seem to tar every atheist as the stereotype you have constructed, not to mention thinking that two wrongs make a right.
    That might be how it goes for you. But you are not everyone. And some of us are simply incapable of doing that once we have assessed what we know. Note again that the assessment (for some of us) comes first, the lack of belief follows.
    And you're evading: the trivial often encapsulates an important principle. Your choice to evade is noted.
    What is it that stops you believing in a moon made entirely of cheese? Or the FSM? Or anything else for which you think (as in have assessed) there to be no evidence?
    I accept that scenario as what? Only as an example of something for which I have assessed there to be no evidence.
    I know it is nonsense, but the principle behind it remains valid, and your evasion of the matter is again noted.
    What is it that stops you believing in a moon made entirely of cheese? Or the FSM? Or anything else for which you think (as in have assessed) there to be no evidence?
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Do you believe in a Flying Spaghetti Monster despite the lack of evidence.? I bet you don't but you don't because you don't believe in Flying Spaghetti Monsters. (round and round we go)
    If you see a spaghetti stain do you say, "the FSM must have been here, The spaghetti in the serving bowl is a magical image that miraculously appeared before us.

    Yesssss, it is up to the individual and our assumptions are proven to be wrong uncountable times, in so many ways. This is the very reason why the scientific method evolved, reliability of our knowledge of our world. Bring proof of God, in any form that is unnatural and there won't be an atheist left. But you say that proof will never be forthcoming. So what is you claim to Truth?

    You are right, I am not prepared to accept the FSM either. That makes me immoral?

    We may as well stop looking, then.

    That is a false argument. There is a "MORAL" standard of acquiring "knowledge", it is called the scientific method.
    Science argues that if you claim a thing to be true, you must provide sufficient evidence to support your proposition.

    My question to you: Why do you believe in God and on what evidence?

    But you are only personally offensive to other religious zealots. Atheists only judge "civilized behavior" by everyone.

    Oh, but miracles are acceptable without evidence?

    No, that is not how it goes. If you make a claim that something is TRUE, then you MUST provide evidence to support that claim of TRUTH.

    Atheists make no claims of Truth, they have no evidence (yet).

    Theists make the most incredible claims of miracles and divine truth and guidance, but WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE WHATEVER AND NEVER FORTHCOMING! And that Being is what you would have me believe in as revealed in Scripture?

    And you are making a sales pitch.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  13. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    is happiness a state of mind like you say belief is?

    I respect your opinion, it is not couched with insults, but with questions.

    what do you mean painful experiences? and if its what I think it is, is it that they blame God for what man has done to them? do they blame all believers for their pain?
    is it right for a woman that has gotten raped to hate ALL men? or to condemn ALL muslims for the 911 bombings? but I digress..

    objective vs subjective.
    this is subjective.

    what circle of belief, I have argued this with Christians, they do not want to change their opinions, I stand alone.
    meh, oh well, i'm not trying to force my opinion on anyone, I am glad for the opportunity to express my beliefs.

    with no objective proof to the contrary any hypothesis is possible.
    (and it was an appeal to emotion, not a valid justification)
    but the second premise still holds " it means believers do not have the right to force their opinions on others"

    at this point I am starting to confuse myself again, can you restate your questions in brief. I think I am trying to make more points than I need to..thereby not answering anything..
    lets try again, we were discussing belief as a choice,

    with no absolute objective proof one way or the other, no discussion or thought process will result in an empirical answer,
    there are as many points as counterpoints, balancing each other,
    we asses the points(of argument) and assign validity to the points, if you are inclined to believe, you will give more validity to that sides points, and vice versa, this is subjective to our experiences, these 'assements' are also a choice, we choose whether to value one point over the other, tipping the balance one way or the other.

    the question tends to boil down to "do I want to believe?" you have given many reason why you should not believe, and that's your prerogative,
    but you still choose to not believe.
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    It might be. Happiness is more a reaction, whereas belief is a process of thought.
    Painful experience of moving from belief into non-belief. They were happy in their belief, but as they assessed it, assessed what they knew, they found the transition mentally painful. No blame was attached to anyone, there was no "oh, why did they lie to me all these years", but they found the transition, in that way, painful. Imagine the first time someone tells you Santa isn't real... some already have reached that conclusion so it is no great shock, but for some it is painful to hear. Now multiply that.
    You do. It is irrelevant, as I think you missed the point.
    Sure - and I would think so is everything we do. What do you consider to be objective in this regard?
    The circle of belief is exampled in using verses to support your position, as you previously stated. The verses only support your position if your position leads you to place faith in their veracity, their authority. So it is cyclic: you believe in its authority, and that authority leads you to believe in its authority.
    If you start from outside that circle, as I do, quoting verses isn't going to make someone jump into the circle of belief.
    Indeed - but for some reason some people choose to believe in one hyothesis over all others.
    Aye. And these latest answers unfortunately compound/confirm my own confusion as to what you were trying to say.
    We don't all choose to value certain things over others.
    I simply cannot accept certain things as true, as existing.
    Belief in the existence of something for which there is no known evidence is one (and Pascal's Wager is insufficient an argument to "choose" to believe in such). I don't go so far as to say they do not exist (because there is no evidence) but I do not nor cannot believe them as existing.
    As said: I can no more choose such things as I can run 100m in under 10 seconds.
    I disagree. After the analysis over the years of what I knew, belief was/is no longer a choice. Maybe belief is a choice for you, and if so then to assume it is a choice for all is mere projection. If I tried to believe, if that was my choice, if I fervently tried, I know it would be mere lip service. In the back of my mind I would always know that I did not believe.
    Unless some new information/evidence/revelation arises.
    (And no, before you pull a Jan, I can no more detail what that might be more than you can describe something unimaginable.

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  15. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    a process of thought..
    you saying you have no control over your 'process of thought'?
    you do not choose what you think about?

    sounds like they were 'do as your told' IOW they were 'told' god wasn't real and they ran with it..

    authority of the bible? not so much..
    I started with the belief that what was written in the bible is as accurate as the authors were capable and were intended for good,

    if we were to sit and write a book for future generations as to concepts that would make the world better, how long would it take for ppl to corrupt it? to make it say things that it didn't, just to justify their own agendas? and if we take many authors for this book, how would each account line up with the others? (iow how much would the authors add their own flavor to the mix? )
    how would the audience change if this book were to last through generations?
    if the original audience died off, how long would it take for certain arguments to become confused because the references used were designed to address the audience of the time?

    once I learned of the canonizing of the bible, that told me that the authority of the bible was given by man not God. and it told me that man chose what to put in it and what to leave out.
    It also showed me mans attempt to use the bible to solidify their authority over others, now years later we have 'indoctrination' the church leaders make it so only one explaination is possible, and make it so any alternate views that challenges their authority are met with distaste and condemnation.
    this does not make them right.
    in fact in my opinion that when they do this, they are wrong! they are more concerned with keeping ppl in line, than with any truths to be had from the bible.

    indoctrination, do as your told, rehash the same old arguments, etc,etc, none are ppl thinking for themselves.
    I think the reason they resist in my opinion is because they think that it means their faith is wrong, and to an extent it is, their faith is in the man telling them what to say and believe, not in God.

    back to the happy question.
    happiness is caused by our thoughts, for those who (think they) have no control over what they think, tend to be on emotional autopilot and are often subjected to depression and other negative emotions, those of us that do know how to control our thoughts are usually happier, as we recognize our negative emotional content, we try to 'think' our way out of it by creating positive thoughts to pull us out of our negative state. this is a choice, we choose to think happy thoughts to pull us out of our slump.
    now even this concept is a choice, we learn how to do this and when we feel 'down' we either choose to think happy thoughts or we choose to feel the 'down'
    granted there are certain situations that overwhelm that control, and at those time it is usually inappropriate to be 'happy' so we choose to not control our emotions, (not so much of a choice than a desire to not choose) (if you choose to not decide, you still have made a choice, Rush 2112)

    projection? not so much, if I knew where to find a link I would post it. but this is a psychological concept promoted by various psychologists etc.

    so you would be inclined to not believe regardless of any information to the contrary, you say 'unless', but I think this is just a disclaimer as you would value any info to the contrary as insufficient, this is choice regardless of info presented, which brings us back to how the justification comes after the actual belief. we choose to either believe or not, then hash out the reasoning after.
  16. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    Of course, if God is unimaginable, He cannot be thought of, let alone accessed, so as long as He stays unimaginable there is no need to believe in Him.

    That's my point. Initially we decide how we want to perceive God, which is why I said we either accept God, or we don't. And that acceptance is based on what we decide. A theist accepts, an atheist doesn't.

    When I tell you that I see how your thinking works you accuse me of being arrogant.

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    I'm not complaining about anything, I'm just telling you what I see. You have described. God as ''unimaginable'', meaning that for you God needn't be necessary, or some kind of imaginary comfort blanket. You claim that there is no evidence for God (especially if He's unimaginable), hence your reason for not believing.

    There is nothing I can do or say, your understanding is pretty resolute.

    You're right though, I do dislike atheism because of it's close-mindedness. But I don't necessarily ascribe you, or atheist's to atheism.

    Innumerable people, from all walks of life, believe in God (for whatever reason). Maybe your idea of an unimaginable God, with no evidence for His existence might not be the route to take. Why stick to that standard, it obviously not working, and logically, unlikely to work. So what is it that all these people are doing, if there is no evidence, or if God is unimaginable in your opinion?

    So what do you call people who, according to you, believe in an unimaginable thing, for which there is no evidence?

    How else can you believe, or not believe, in God?

    What is it that you know, that gives the idea that God is unimaginable, and that there is no evidence?

    Of course I'm not evading. I'm not going to waste my time talking nonsense. If however, for you the idea or notion of belief in God equates to belief in flying being made of spaghetti, there's not much anyone can say to influence you to the contrary.

    Primarily because I don't want to.


    In my opinion? As something that allows you avoid discussing God seriously

    Therefore there is also no evidence of God (because the whole notion of God is non different to anything I can think of that may not exist). Great! But it is irrelevant in serious discussions.

  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    So what is your concept of God, the one you consider imaginable?
    No, we don't decide how we want to perceive God. We are (usually) brought up with a perception of God that we follow, based on what our parents, our schools, teach us. I didn't decide that perception: I was told it. So, once again, your thinking is wrong - at least as it pertains to me.
    Yes, when you tell me with such confidence while at the same time being wrong, and you continue to tell me that you're right without possibly being able to know, I consider that the epitome of arrogance.
    Why does "unimaginable" mean that God needn't be necessary? Whatever our universe sprung from is, to me, unimaginable yet it is certainly necessary. So I fail to follow your logic.
    God is, to me, unimaginable. But then to you, the Zlarout is unimaginable: you do not have the information or reference with which to even begin to imagine what it is. So it is with me and God. Someone could tell you, but then you'd have to rely on their authority, and at no point would you ever know if you were right or not. You would simply believe. I can't do that. It is not a matter of choice.

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    You don't ascribe atheism to atheists?

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    So you're going with an appeal to popularity, then?
    From the discussions I have had, the answer is generally a fairly stock "I just do [believe]!" and accompanied by an appeal to fear, consequence, emotion or ignorance.
    I call them different to me. At worst I would call them irrational, but (ir)rationality is based on personal experience and knowledge, and without going into detail with each one I can only say how I find their actions / belief as it relates to me, which would be irrational.
    So are you going to apologise for accusing me of insulting people? Or have you found an example of what you claimed?
    One needs do nothing in order to not believe. I simply do not believe in the existence of God, nor do I believe in the non-existence of God. You seem to be working under the misconception that one either believes in the existence or non-existence of God, without realising the agnostic atheist position of simply not having belief in either.
    God IS unimaginable to me at this current time. It is not mearly an idea. That is not to say that it is absolutely unimaginable, that it is not possible to garner knowledge or experience such that one can imagine, or that I can imagine some time int he future. But as things stand, it is what I don't know, what I haven't experienced, that makes God unimaginable.
    And since I can't imagine God, I also can't imagine what knowledge or experience might be needed to alter that position. Again, that is not to say that such things do not exist. I just can't imagine them.
    You are evading, and you continue to evade with this very response, by referring to the notion as nonsense, and claiming it pointless to respond.
    That is evasion.
    You are evading.
    Why not?
    Yet you are the one avoiding the issues presented within that example. Until you can understand those issues, and how they relate to atheism, or at least to many atheists, then it is you who are not taking the matter seriously, not of God but of theism and atheism.
    I personally take it as seriously as any other subject that I am interested in, and it is disingenuous of you to dismiss a line of inquiry by accusing me of not being serious by using it.
    When the discussion at hand is the nature of atheism, it is utterly relevant and possibly the most critical aspect. That you dismiss it as "irrelevant in serious discussions" clearly shows that you only consider "serious discussions" to be between believers in God.

    So why are you here, in this thread?
  18. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    I don't care about an FSM. It matters not whether or not something like that exists.

    But those wrong assumptions are not only exclusive to everybody, it has no bearing on the question on whether we believe in God or not. Existence may be the issue for you, but not for most. Existence is a given, just as for you it isn't. There is no way we can find out empirically, so initially you either accept it or not.

    This world is an extension of God, to theists, and an extension of itself to atheists. Those are a base concepts. Again there is no way to (currently) to make a definitive statement of truth from either side. So we accept what we think it is, without evidence.

    If I could bring proof of God to you, to the point where you would actually believe in Him, you wouldn't need me to bring such a proof. You would be able to access it for yourself. That you would ask me to bring you such proof, makes me wonder how it is you comprehend God.

    I haven't made a claim to truth, anymore than you have. My claim (process of identification) to truth is therefore no different than yours or any others claim to truth (whatever that is). We differ right at the initial stages of our decision making, leading to different paths.

    I don't know. I don't even know how not accepting something outside of yourself, is the catalyst for immorality.
    All deliberate actions are the result of decisions we make, and endeavor to enact. That's my current understanding of it anyway.

    A change of focus probably wouldn't go a miss.

    The scientific method, at best, can explain God's creation. But for that one must see it as such. The same evidence can explain a materialist ideal, if one sees it in that way. Hence the scientific method does nothing to determine anything about God.

    One reason, which can be easily understood in forums such as these, is Intelligence. To me, it's obvious that there is an intelligence at work, and I ascribe this intelligence to God.

    An atheist is someone who does not believe in God, period.

    You mean do we accept something that is unexplainable, as unexplainable, because we don't know how it occurred. Yes. If it can be explained, great, but if it can't, great.

    Then it works both ways. If you make a claim that something is untrue then you must provide evidence to support that claim of UN-TRUTH. In short, if you make a claim, then you MUST provide evidence to support that claim.

    Is this a truthful claim, or is an untruthful one.
    Either way can you support it with evidence?

    Theists accept God. Some theists may make incredible claims, some theists make no claims. It depends on the individual.

    Aside from anything, nothing we do makes any difference to whether God exists or not. For that clarification we much each, as individuals, make that decision entirely without the ability to know, empirically, one way or the other.
    You choose to not accept God, I choose to accept Him.

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    And so the opposing camps go on and on and on...... *YAWN*

  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I have control over it, sure, but not to the extent that I can suddenly believe that 1+1=3.
    They were "told" God was real, and this telling was reinforced by school and parents. It was ingrained in them from an early age. It was therefore painful when their critical thinking began to conclude differently from what they had held as true for a long time.
    Then what, within the Bible, leads you to conclude that God exists, and that the Bible is not merely an attempt to be a self-help book of sorts, highlighting the virtues by which we should live our lives?
    Possibly, but I'm not sure you'd be able to tell one from the other until they sit down and discuss in detail.
    But the "happy" is still a reaction to the thoughts. It is not the thoughts themselves.
    I don't dispute that those that can control what to think of, and can control that aspect more, might be happier. But, as previously stated, that is not what I meant by belief being a thought process and having no control of whether to believe or not.
    So I think you may be on a red-herring of sorts, as the comments above are somewhat irrelevant.
    But let me be clearer: yes, we can control the majority of our thoughts. But belief is the result of a process we have no control over, in the same way we can think 1+1=3 but we (or at least I) can not believe it.
    I know what projection is, but you're right, it's not so much projection as just generalising (possibly based on your sample of one, yourself).
    No. I have assessed the information I have and from that I say that I am not merely "inclined to not believe" but that I can not believe based on the information I have. To do so would be mere lip service. The same way I could claim to run the 100m in under 10 seconds.
    I can't say that. And you are making assumptions you can not know to be true.
    You wish to paint such people as already having made up their mind before any assessment of the information, and so you make assumptions to reach that conclusion. Sound familiar?

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    All I can say is that I don't know what information would be sufficient, but as and when it arises I would believe.
    You can think what you want, and I can only tell you what I know.
    You can make up any assumption you want, knowing that you can't know it to be true, and thus fit the conclusion to the claim.
    If that's how you want to discuss things, by ignoring what I tell you and making up your own assumptions, I may as well bow out now as I am clearly not needed.

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  20. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    exactly. so you challenge those instructions and conclude that since they are wrong, then God does not exist.
    this is logical fallacy, it claims; they got it wrong therefore God does not exist
    what about ; god does exist, but they got it wrong?

    hehe, I knew what she was talking about...although I did :bugeye: when I read it..

    because they don't want to admit that it is a choice.
    how much of this is influenced by the atheists desire for objective proof, or at least a misunderstanding of objective vs subjective.
    (all those; fear,consequence,emotion, and ignorance, are all subjective.)

    good boy.. don't take their word for it, wait for God. this is done through subjective experience,< if God needs you to believe, then he will show himself to you>, and that experience will only be yours, you will not be able to conclusively believe as to convince others, but the circumstances that would lead you to believe are just for you. (then ppl join a church and this concept gets corrupted) he still leaves it wide open for it to be a choice, you can either choose to believe that the circumstance are from God or you can choose to not believe and dismiss them as unrelated, irrational, inapplicable or any other term atheist have used...

    this is not wrong. how much do we use others as an excuse to believe/not believe? (..because he said so.. has screwed many ppl)
  21. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    subjective vs objectice..1+1 is objective, belief is subjective.
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Do you pray? If so, how does one pray to an unimaginable Being?
    The second paragraph is incomprehensible coming from a theist, unless it is intended as a cynical slur.
    If God is unimaginable, how do you perceive God? What made YOU decide to believe in this unimaginable being?
    You are not telling us how your thinking works, but you insist with unshakable certainty that you are right and atheists are wrong anyway.
    THAT IS ARROGANCE! (compounded by ignorance)
    No you haven't told us anything about what you see.
    YOU have described God as unimaginable! But at the same time YOU claim that He IS necessary? How would you know?
    IT is YOUR reasons for believing which are "unreasonable" (forever unimaginable)
    Of course there is nothing you can do or say! By your own admission he is unimaginable to you, yet you persist in trying to persuade people of your "very serious insight". What insight?
    That was a duplicitous ad hominem. "I dislike Atheism, but don't worry, you are not an atheist even if you think you are, so I can like you.
    Not if you want stay objectively committed to the scientific method.
    God is unimaginable in YOUR opinion. My opinion about the number of believers is that they are ignorant about the universe and physics, nothing more. Religion came long before Science.
    Delusional, which makes me very sad , because I try not to hurt anyone's feelings. But they are your own words.
    Why should i need or want to believe in an unimaginable object?
    Your own words.
    So what does the notion of belief in God equates to, pink elephants?
    Yes, you are comfortable in your belief and that's fine wih me. I am not trying to convince you of anything other than that your spirituality is a subjective experience. This is why Native Americans do not talk or preach about their spiritual journeys, because they are so personal that no one else would be able to relate anyway. IMO a very practical approach.
    Exactly, discussions about unimaginable things are not only irrelevant, but they are impossible.
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    What are they doing? You tell me, you are the theist.
    It seems to me that waging Holy wars has been a primary occupation for 3000 years, without knowing why. Ain't that a crock!

    Amazing notion, people killing each other for an "unimaginable" cause.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014

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