Why do people believe in god?

Maybe this thread should be titled "What do atheists believe?".

Some of them apparently believe they lack belief, although this belief doesn't really make sense to anyone else. They are apparently unable to believe in the existence of a god, which translates as "lacking belief in god", and they believe this lack of belief is some kind of strategic point of view, rather than a misuse of language.

The misuse and misdirection becomes apparent when the subject of infants, who presumably lack the ability to have beliefs at all, is presented as some kind of supporting argument for their belief in their lack of belief.

Or maybe the people who think they're atheists and not just people who disgree with religious teaching, for all the "right" reasons, can fill in the blanks.
And of course, all you need to do to understand the subject is read the Bible, right?
No need to question the possibility that the "lack" is of understanding of the subject. Everyone who claims they're an atheist knows all about the subject they find they can only form a "lack" of belief in, and so they have something to believe.

I believe what they mean to say is: they lack information about the subject of the existence of a god, therefore they are unable to form a definite belief or opinion except for the one about believing firmly in their lack of belief. They also, being mostly westerners, believe that a subject has to be believed "in", but that doesn't really stand up either. I don't believe in gravity, I believe gravity exists. I have no real concept of belief "in" gravity, because it doesn't make a lot of sense to me. It isn't like joining a club whose members believe "in" this or that and congratulate each other for making the right choice, for god's sake.

But, let's believe things.

The misuse and the misdirection is in that either one or both sides are convinced they know what the other side means by "belief in God."

As such, theists are not justified to criticize atheists, and atheists are not justified to crticize theists.
gmilam said:
OK - you tell me. What do atheists believe?
No fair. You're an atheist aren't you? Shouldn't you be telling me what I believe?
Or do you lack belief?

Or maybe you just don't know?
I speak for myself, that makes me no less right.
Yet you make claims about god and what he'll do.

With regard to your claim (quoted) all I can do is quote Londo Mollari:
Ah, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package. How efficient of you.

It doesn't make you right at all. :rolleyes:
gmilam said:
You're the one who suggested renaming the thread.
Yes, thanks for pointing that out.

So, are you an atheist, and if so, what do you believe? Or is it the case that you lack belief so you can't really say?

Do you believe you can say that people who believe there is a god might be mistaken? If you lack belief, how is it that you manage to form this opinion, or have I got it wrong, you don't have an opinion either?
I think it would be cool if there was a God. Especially if he was like George Burns. He was a funny and nice God. That God that is always killing and smiting everybody doesn't sound very nice.
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what didn't you like Eddie Murphy as God?

Didn't see the movie. The only God of color that I recall seeing is Morgan Freeman - He was a nice God, good sense of humor and didn't smite anyone - at least on camera.
Fear of god is the beginning of wisdom.

Consider this situation, say we left a thief alone in a jewelry store. If he assumes he is alone and undetected, he will act on impulse and steal. If he thinks he is being watched, he will not be able to steal as easily, or at all. The first scenario allows him to act on impulse. The second requires at level of self awareness followed by self control over habit and impulse, out of self preservation.

Of the two scenarios, say he decided he was going to steal, regardless, which of the two will require more thought and planning? Having big brother watching demands that you use more brain power in terms of planning. You can not be an amateur but need to be a pro.

Relative to God, big brother watching is called a conscience. Rather than just be able act on habit and impulse the conscience will require that you self reflect. You can still try to rationalize the impulse, but this too will also take more brain power than blind impulse.

Whether you believe in God or not, relative to human evolution, the concept was analogous to big brother watching, even in places where there were no humans eyes to be seen. The human animal had to stop, reflect and reason, before acting, compared to no conscience. It is powerful mental tool that helps exercise the brain.
One can put a smile on the ignorant dead lips, starving for life and attention,
if only those lips were to know that their wasting of time did the same to make
another waste time also, gloating over it's passing.
Jumping up and down on a grave, hoping to sustain longer the feeling of conquest,
can give one a heart attack. They then need a nearby grave to fall into, thereby
increasing the smile on their vanquished.