I had posted a thread "define atheism". I want to move forward. Since atheism has been defined as "lack of belief in God" what are your reasons for taking that position? In other words what are the reasons for lack of belief in God? Many has said it is "lack of evidence". Is that all are are there more reasons?
The reasons why people become atheists are as varied as the number of people who become atheists. Some people were raised without religion, some have abandoned their faith in response to trauma. Others find that, logically, they just cannot reconcile what they have been taught to believe with what they see around them. Personally, I would think that a lack of evidence is a good enough reason on its own--generally, I need sufficient evidence to accept any proposition in the first place. Belief should not come before proof.
"Knowing" god is not knowing self.
"Belief should not come before proof.."
Then my friend you should not be doing the following things,
1. Taking a medicine you had not taken before.
Because the doctor or the Manufaturer or the seller of the medicine does not proove to you that the medicine cures. When you are cured that is when you have the proof.
2. Investing in shares
Because you have no proof that the investment will make you a profit until it actually makes profit for you.
3. Board a flight
Because you have no proof that that plane will take you safely to your destination until it finally does.
I can go on. If your statement is true you must not be doing a lot many things that you are currently doing.
That depends upon the definition of "proof" and "belief." I have never belonged to the camp that in order to acquire knowledge, one actually needs to go out and test every proposition personally. Realistically, that's impossible. Proof, or reasonable expectation, which is what most people, including myself, use most of the time, can be based upon past experiences and knowledge/discoveries, even if these past experiences or knowledge has been acquired by someone else. Can I be certain that the plane is actually going to arrive at the stated destination? No. There might be a terrorist attack, there might be bad weather or a medical emergency necessitating a change in flight plan, ect. Can I be reasonably certain that, barring unforeseen events, the plane is going to arrive at its stated destination? Yes, because most planes do arrive at their planned destinations, and because a great many people are paid to ensure that the plane goes from point a to point b as planned.
One also does not require absolute proof before undertaking an action--reasonable expectation is usually sufficient. Other times, even without the reasonable expectation that the outcome will be successful, the potential gains may make the potential risks worthwhile.
I am also not your friend. Please refrain from addressing me as such.
You said this rightly "Proof, or reasonable expectation, which is what most people, including myself, use most of the time, can be based upon past experiences and knowledge/discoveries, even if these past experiences or knowledge has been acquired by someone else."
But this gives rise to a question. The majority of people claim that there exists a God based on their past experiences and knowledge/discoveries etc. Why then is their claim not accepted? Why can't that be taken as a base to be reasonably certain?
- Lack of compelling evidence for god(s)
- Lack of compelling arguments (logical and otherwise) for god(s)
- The fact that most religions which set up God concepts contain factual errors, historical inconsistencies, logically impossible claims and often internal contradictions.
I was raised Christian but in my teens after reading the entirety of the Bible and getting no acceptable answers for the immorality of its God or the self-contradictions within its pages I lost my faith. After that I drifted into other less religious versions of theism. Soon I found myself not believing in any god. So now I'm an atheist, been one for more than a year. It's not a position I took up, it was just the logical conclusion to showing skepticism toward God claims, even those claims that were more nebulous and pantheistic.
Most atheists would offer some of the following arguments as their reason for deciding that God doesn't exist.
Many people are atheists because of the way they were brought up or educated, or because they have simply adopted the beliefs of the culture in which they grew up. So someone raised in Communist China is likely to have no belief in God because the education system and culture make being an atheist the natural thing to do.
Other people are atheists because they just feel that atheism is right.
Your question is interesting and your dialogue with those that have answered is telling. I'm beginning to understand why some atheists are irritable.
I don't believe in God, but I don't label myself an atheist either. I'll give this a stab nonetheless.
I think there are some people (such as maybe yourself) that think non belief is somehow denial. It isn't. It is a simple stand that you will accept the evidence as it has been presented by reality; for whatever reasons brought you to that point.
All of the questions and all of the arguments by others will not change that stand. It would take a supernatural occurrence to prove the existence of the supernatural. I doubt anyone is anti God, most are simply accepting reality for what it is.
my reasons are simple. god simply doesn't exist.it's a myth and personally i find it kind of humorous and sad at the same time how much some people act like they believe god is real.
Why would you need a reason to *not* do something?
I think the atheists are just people in doubt; as soon as they quit doubting they will be alright. It is OK with me if they don't want to quit doubting as their second nature.
It's OK with me too that you don't want to doubt. I am quite fine in managing any doubt that crosses my mind. It's like anything else, when you practice something, you get comfortable with it and it becomes easier as time goes on, kind of second nature as you say.
If you're not alright with handling doubt and you wish to avoid it at all times, I certainly won't bring up the subject or stoop to posting it on an open forum for you or anyone else to see.
Your secret's safe with me. *wink wink*
There are many reasons for one to be an atheist. I can only think of a few right now.
1. A child growing up, is just raised without a notion of a god or gods. If that child runs into people in their life that believe in a god, there parents tell them that there is no god and no reason to believe in him/it/her based on reason, logic, etc. So, they learn what they are taught it school, and believe everything thing that science feeds to them. So, as an adult, they never really had any reason to believe in god and continue to live their life happily as an atheist.
2. (I mean there are endless reasons, but I though I list more common ones, especially in America)
A person grows up in a religious home, or becomes a part of a religion, but then, as they learn more about their religion and read that Holy Book or listen to it's teachings, questions arise that cause them to eventually denounce the religion on an intellectual and emotional level. But, instead of going into the category of "I don't know," or switching to another religion, they go to the other end of the spectrum and just claim there is no god or transcendent being/place.
I'm not an atheist, but I'll answer your question.
I grew up Catholic. I did have a belief in a god at one point in my life. I did so, not of my own choosing, but was asked of me to examine it myself from my parents.
Both my parents were Catholic. So, you can see why they asked me to give it(the belief) a chance. And, was sent to classes to teach me all about Jesus and the Bible.
I finished those when I was 17 years old and made my Confirmation, at the request of my mother. At the age of 22, I decided I was going to dig deeper, into myself and into things which I believed true.
After 10+ years of examining multiple religions, world history, the human species, I found that there was no higher authority, such as a god. I even searched for the "soul" or "spirit", which religion claims an individual has. However, the only thing one learns about that is that "soul" and "spirit" are just descriptive words for a individual's actions and nothing more.
As I continued to learn and live, it was clear that the truth of the matter, is that a person can be their own authority and not actually need be told(after guidance from parents that is) how to live, how to act and what the difference is between good or bad. Each person can determine these things on their own. Each person can weigh what the consequences of their actions will do to others, without having to have any outside influences.
It lead me to create a saying, Life quote- "Life Is Easy, People Make It Complicated".
To understand your own life isn't difficult, but it's other people that make your understanding complicated. Realizing the truth of that statement, should bring you to ask one question? The question is, do you know the question it brings?
If not, here it is- Do I Understand My Own Life? This is a question you must ask yourself and be honest with yourself, when you decide you have the answer. To do anything less is dishonesty at work.
Life doesn't require any knowledge of any god to be understood.
Life doesn't require any knowledge of any god to be lived.
Therefore, No god required. Therefore, No god need exist.
"I decided I was going to dig deeper, into myself and into things which I believed true."
You wanted to dig deeper into things that you already believed to be true. Then you did a 10+ years of study. So you are saying that you already believed something to be true before putting in the study. So how could your study be an unbiased one?
Simple. I learned that the individual person is their own worse enemy and have a tendency to lie to themselves. They can rationalize even the irrational.
Because, I suspended all beliefs I held, until I gained wisdom. The study included, learning and knowing, and understanding myself, first and foremost, which religion doesn't teach. Which, is what I first learned in my earlier years of being Catholic.
So that means you were never interested in knowing God at all. You already decided you do not want him before you made the study. That is why I say that your study was not impartial.
I too grew up as a Catholic. When I too did a study and I realised that Catholicism was not Biblical and hence could not be called Christianity.
That's funny, that's what they say about you.
No. I studied the works I needed to study. You would have to form the belief that a god exist, before you could possibly become interested in knowing "him", as you say.
The suspension of the belief is required for study objectivity. My study was impartial. It was objective, not subjective.
Christianity isn't true, considering it's one of the religions I studied.
Can I ask you something? What were you intending to find with your study?
So was "Does God exist" one of the questions you had about life?
No. It wasn't one of the questions with regards to life I needed answered.
The reason why it wasn't, was because I learned that I didn't require any knowledge of any god(which cannot be proven or disproved), to understand Life. It's called discerned wisdom.
To understand Life- is to know self, inside and out. The more you know and understand yourself, then you can come to a place where you actually and truly love yourself.
That's what matters. Loving yourself, knowing yourself, understanding yourself is what grants you control over your life.
Once you know yourself, then you learn that you guide yourself and no other authority is necessary. Once you realize you need no other authority, then you put a purpose in place to guide your own life forward. Thus, giving it meaning.
And, once you learned to love yourself, then you will have no problem loving those who surround you, during your life. And, when you truly have learned to love yourself, then you will find it difficult to form any belief in a god, because you'll have learned how to guide yourself without one.
Which is why my original statement-
Life doesn't require any knowledge of any god, to be understood.
Life doesn't require any knowledge of any god, to be lived.
That certainly explains a lot about your obsession with your ego but it really makes no sense. What you're saying is that someone who learns to love themselves can't/won't believe in a god? Those two are often completely unrelated.
Do you have any citations for this theory?
Just curious, what about it do you NOT understand. I stated everything in small enough words to be understood, even for a 5th grader? So, what exactly doesn't make sense?
They will not have a 'need' for the belief, because they will guide themselves.
Really? Goes to show how little you know or understand the religions you continue to spout off against. Many believers claim that LOVE comes from a god and nowhere else.
Yes, it's called common sense and wisdom working together. Something apparently, you do not seem to understand.
Insults instead of explanation. It sure was funny when I read that thread where you were confused as to why you got banned. It's obvious to everyone but you.
Thanks for repeating yourself, that really helps.
You seem to have a knack for telling us things about yourself that you project onto others.
That doesn't explain anything about your theories.
More cheap shots rather than explanation.
It's funny to listen to people who believe they are smart or clever, but when scrutinized, they have nothing to offer but insults.
Do you see everything you don't understand as an insult. I only stated that I used small enough words that a 5th grader would understand. It wasn't an insult.
That thread was based on not being told why. So get your facts straight before you attempt to mock me.
And, apparently, if you actually learned something, then you would realize that the thread for which my ban came from....everyone else who thought that they KNEW which one got me banned were wrong. Again, get your facts straight.
Untrue. Again, you seem to think I cannot see past my own ego and again you would be wrong. What else is new.
Logic did that. I didn't use the religious believers as an explanation. I was using it to show you the difference how love comes about, but also how believers claim it comes from a god. So, in some way it's related to the other.
Again, you see an insult, when you lack the logic to see the actually rational reasoning in the original statement.
Again, you see only insults, because people disagree with your irrationality.
Like I said, it's obvious to everyone but you.
More cheap shots? Don't you ever learn?
I saw no logic in your logic. It may be related "in some way" but it's nothing more than a generalized blanket statement based on ignorance, or ego.
I see insults and little more. Your argument would be much better if you could move beyond pretending to be smart and actually utilize your brains. So far, your arguments are no more compelling than that of a religious believer.
And, like I said, they were wrong. People were claiming it was from a totally different thread. Again, get your facts straight before you open your mouth.
It wasn't a cheap shot. You're obviously trying to bait an argument for whatever selfish reasons.
This is obvious from your responses/replies. And, I asked you what you didn't understand? Yet, all you have continued to do is distract on to other subjects. Can you not stay on the topic?
Again, apparently you lack understanding, but apparently also choose not to address the lack of understanding....so who's ego is what exactly? You are showing yours, that's for sure.
Right, that's what I said. You apparently don't want nor have the ability to understand.
Look who is talking?
To the willful ignorant or those who choose to be ignorant, that would be true. However, again, you have managed to distract and remain off my original question to you. You must be proud of yourself for not learning.
Seems everyone else is wrong except you.
To you, it wasn't. That is obvious. That's why you get banned. You never learn.
Sure, I understand your cheap shots, it's your vague generalized theories that make no sense.
When I see nonsense, I don't understand it. I also don't see what your nonsense has to do with my ego.
So, just more cheap shots and no explanation of your theories. Oh well, I had few expectations from you.
With regards to why I was banned. Yes, everyone was wrong, when the truth came out about why I was banned. Yet, you seem to not understand that.
Again, you are distracting. Answer my question. Or are you afraid to?
Again, distract. Answer the question?
I'm sure you see it that way.
Now, I see and understand why you chose "A Troubled Man"....you are seriously troubled.
Actually, it wasn't a directed at your statement. It was generalized to make a point, which you obviously mistake for a cheap shot. Again, you are seriously troubled. Do try to seek help. You have more problems than you might realize.
I'm not going to continue responding to your childish insults as it will only serve to escalate in getting banned.
However, I will use every opportunity to scrutinize and point out the silliness of your empty theories and poorly designed arguments.
Meanwhile there was is fight between you and "A Troubled Man". Okay that is between the two of two. Lets get to our discussion.
You say "learned that I didn't require any knowledge of any god(which cannot be proven or disproved), to understand Life. "
What I understand from this is you wanted to conduct a study to understand life. But before you started the study you already "learned" that you don't require any knowledge of any God to understand life. This means that instead of studying to find weather God exist or not, you for no apparently made an assumption (or believed) the following:
1. That a God does not exist
2. That God cannot be proven
3. A study to understand life does not require a study of God's existence.
You started your study with these pre-conceived beliefs. You don't want anyone to question your beliefs because you making those assumptions was convenient. If you say I am wrong on this then what is your base for these assumptions.
I would say
Life requires the knowledge of its author to be understood.
Life requires a study of its author to know what He expects of us.
Inserting you own words, instead of understanding the words written. I said originally, when you asked me- I had questions about Life.
NONE of those questions had to do with a god. Got it?
Yes. Learned knowledge turns to discerned wisdom. So there were NO questions about a god with regards to Life. Got it?
No. None of these matter nor were they assumptions.
Do you have a reading problem?
You can question my beliefs when I give you my beliefs, but until then, don't assume what I say is a belief.
You made the assumptions.
The author of my life? The creation was my parents. To say it was something else is purely assumption on your part.
Life requires the study of self. So you learn to what to expect from yourself.
You said "I had questions about Life. NONE of those questions had to do with a god."
Why? Why was God excluded? Is it because you think He does not exist?
You say "Life requires the study of self."
Does life require only study of self? Does it not require a study of weather a God exists or not? If you say no then how did you come to that conclusion?
If one is sincere about studying life then the first question he or she must study is weather a God exists or not? Because if a God does exist then He is the author of life. He is the boss. And we will need to know what the boss expects of us. But if God does not exist then one can carry on with the other questions in life and study them. You don't seem to get this simple fact or you just want to what is convenient and ignore what is inconvenient.
(So that means you were never interested in knowing God at all.)
This is circular reasoning. You must presuppose a god if you are to know God. The only impartial start is with the question: is a god a reality?
Neurotheology actually has an explanation for many of the mysteries that surround man. It is known that the human brain does not have the capacity to store information in memory prior to the age of approximately 3 years. It is therefore impossible for a human to recall where he came from or why he is here. We tend to fill this information void with magical explanations that are passed on until the legend has the weight of truth.
I'm not sure about the human brain not having the capacity to remember before the age of 3. I have clear memories of sleeping in my cot, and can describe the painting of a blue rabbit on its end and the plastic red and yellow balls that were on the bars, and which could move up and down. The memory seems recent, even though it was almost 40 years ago, and I stopped sleeping in the cot when I was 2. I also remember a holiday in Scotland with my parents and grandparents when I was 2.
My mom also remembers when she was only a few months old, when one night there was an air raid, and my grandfather who was on fire watch had to leave, and how when he left the house, he let light out onto the street, and mom remembers someone shouting, 'shut that door!'
I remember sleeping in my cot too. For a long time I thought it was a dream because there were butterflies flying all around. I later found out my bedroom had butterfly wallpaper so I know it is a true memory. I also recall that my dog slept in the crib with me at times and was later told that was true.
I made this statement "So that means you were never interested in knowing God at all." By "knowing God" I meant knowing if God exists or not.
You said "The only impartial start is with the question: is a god a reality?"
You are absolutely right.
i gave up guilt for lent, have you hugged your inquisition today? it is amazing how many people repeat things that simply are not true. there is so much research available on ancient religions and who and why they were started. Dr. John Demartini has read more research texts than anyone else living on the subject. he's a great place to start to condense ones time.
most will have a hard time getting past their anthropomorphic views of a diety.
That's a very broad statement and most likely untrue.
i'd bet a nickel on it. again, i do appreciate your focus and consistency with all your posts, i have read most of them, and demartini is a great reference source still.
I am not knocking the value you are putting on him. I just don't think your statement as it was stated was true.
Some of my research, suggests that he would have to be at least 90 years old, and done more work than many others. That's all.
thanks for the kind words, again, i know you are a strong, smart, personality and have no problem with your statements at all. you are not the dullest knife in the drawer. we would have to chat not only about the stuff i have seen, but done as well. in the end, if energy and matter cannot be created nor destroyed, they can only change form. all there is, is transformation. all there is, is life. i get why people feel the way they do towards a creative intelligence from two points. most are bullied through fear as children and lack points of reference and size. most, almost all separate themselves from everything, when from a physics standpoint, we are all connected. if i actually had a problem with you, (which i do not) i would actually be having a problem with myself. John has read over 35,000 research texts, not book, the hard to read encylopedia stuff. since he travels constantly, he studies and reads constantly between speaking engagements. he is older than he looks too. again, got some good stuff.
I guess I can take that as a compliment.
True enough. Even if that transformation is unmeasurable.
Not sure I understand your point here?
Most people lack points of reference and size, simply because they have a subjective(one-way) view, unless taught otherwise.
In a manner of speaking, yes.
I didn't think you did.
Not doubting that or the value you place on him or what he knows or has learned. It was your broad-based statement. That's all.
whoa whoa whoa -- Atheism is NOT defined as "a lack of belief in GOD".
It's defined as "Non-theism". This means that it could be ANY god.
All religious people are atheists -do you believe in Odin? Zeus? Mars? Jupiter?
I am an apatheist - I don't care whether or not there is a god or gods as it is painfully obvious that no god or gods intervenes in our reality in any positive fashion.
Agnostic means you don't know if God exists or not.
No, that is not what agnosticism means. Agnosticism technically means that one believes there can never be proof in either direction whether or not god(s) exist. The term has nothing to do with whether or not one actually believes in a diety.
(Isn't it ignostic?)
Not according to Stevie Wonder. "Isn't it lovely? Isn't it wonderful?"
For me, one of the biggest reasons for my atheism is in response and as a reaction to theists. The level of irrationality and illogical thinking necessary to maintain any form of religious or supernatural belief is one of the best arguments against it.
Another reason for my atheism is because of the total lack of any kind of empirical evidence. Whilst the believer will swear to a personal relationship with their deity, they can never produce any kind of proof. For someone who needs verifiable evidence, claims of personal experience is never enough. Often the rejection of personal experience as having any kind of objective reality is responded to with anger by the religious believer, who fails to see how anyone could possibly require any further "proof."
Another reason of my rejection of religion is based upon my political beliefs in equality. There is no religion which recognises the equality of all people, irrespective of their beliefs, gender, sexuality etc. I see religion as the biggest obstacle to freedoms and world peace, and as such I cannot possibly recognise any of them as being representative of a god, even if a god existed. It is obvious that religion is entirely manmade, and is therefore not a pathway to God.
Another reason is that science has explained the physical universe without any need to invoke a supernatural cause. The belief in a god is no longer necessary to understand how we got here. This makes me question what exactly God is for, if he is no longer a god of causes. The only answer I can come up with, is that he is there to help us come-to-terms with our mortality, by offering us the hope of an afterlife. However, whilst all belief may be for this, there is no evidence for it. And, believing in something as a response to my fears is never a good enough justification for me. I would need real proof, rather than just hope as a foundation for any religious belief.
Sherlock, Those are good sound and reasonable conclusions in my opinion.
I agree with all the points you have made so well.
Do you not understand the qualifier approximately? Approximately is the 3 year qualifier. If you want something more solid, it is safe to say no one can consciously recall anything about the first 6 months of life, rarely the first year, and for the vast majority nothing of significance until the age of 3 years.
Actually I am fully understanding of the word "approximately." Sorry to have to disagree with you, by using my own experience. I wasn't aware that we all have to agree to have had the same experiences in life. However, I cannot deny the fact that I have memories which go back much further than three years.
The reason for not believing is mostly because of institutions that promote or in other words stand in front of god, like churches. As they are mostly manipulative, self centered and money grabbers. We connect them with "god" and therefor we lack faith.
In my experience, most atheists become so because they have rejected religion.
I haven't seen any compelling argument that since the religion is wrong, there is no god.
The 'lack of evidence' for god may be a true statement, if you are defining god the way a religion does.
There was a time when the interpretation of the evidence said there were no gorillas, no germs, only four elements, no need for a home computer to exeed 64kb of memory, a trip to the moon was impossible and that cancer was fatal.
Given our tiny corner of the universe and how little we know of it, the jury's still out for me.
yep agnostic and loving it.
So far among the reasons for atheism discussed in this group I could see only one reason which is concrete and acceptable. that is "lack of evidence". Are there any more logical reasons?
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