- Religion and Philosophy
Angry Atheist? That's Funny...
So I have been a part of Hub Pages for a number of months now. It seems to me that this site might have had over flowing traffic at one point, but now it seems to be limited to very certain topics. One of those topics, Religion and Philosophy, I happen to take part in quite a bit. When I originally started out in this topic, I was interested to see how the mind set of theists work, since I have never actually spoken in depth with anyone about faith in general (it honestly has never come up with anyone. Ever).
My experiences with that have been...interesting.
I initially started out in the forums due to not being limited to a small character limit like in the Q&A section. I read the...logic of some theists and decided to question their logic. About 99% of the time, that line of questioning involved “Can you prove such and such to be true?”. Wouldn't you know it, about 99% of the time they could not prove what they were saying to be true without using the Bible or saying the Holy Spirit tells them it's true.
Interesting. Should I find it a coincidence that imaginary friends also agree completely with whatever you want to be true as a child?
The Bible is not fact. Does it contain factual information? I have no reason to doubt that it does, but when talking snakes, men who live for centuries, global floods that leave behind no evidence of ever actually occurring, and incestuous re-population of the earth (twice) come into play, the Bible rockets over into the realm of fiction. Think of it this way, if the Bible is truth, then so is Harry Potter, Twilight, and every other fantasy book out there. I have read quite a number of fantasy books over the years, and some of the stories I've seen that the Bible contains far surpass most books I have read.
If you believe that the Bible is complete and total fact and claim that it is complete and total fact, you must prove that it is complete and total fact. Once you make that claim, the burden of proof is on you and you alone. You cannot turn around and tell people who do not believe you to prove that what you are saying is not true, since you haven't even proved what you are saying to be true yet. If I went out and told someone a fire breathing dragon burned my house down and stole my princess, they have absolutely zero reason to believe anything I say. Why? Because dragons, as depicted in fantasy books anyway, have not been proven to exist. So what sense does it make for me to look at them as if they were the crazy one and ask them to disprove that a dragon actually came, burned my house down, and made off with my princess?
None. At All.
I find it concerning that people either do not seem to know the definition of the words they use or...do not know the definitions of the words they use. As a result, I wish to define (with Google) the definition of these three words: Theist, Atheist, and Agnostic.
Theist – someone who holds a belief in the existence of a god or gods.
Atheist - a person who lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.
Agnostic - a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.
Now I want to combine two of these words and give a definition in my own words, rather than use Google.
Agnostic Atheist – someone who does not deny the possibility of a god, but does not believe in any one particular god or gods.
If you had to put a label on my religious standing, an agnostic atheist would have to be it. For the past few years I have been identifying my position as an agnostic, but in regards to the definition up above, that doesn't actually explain my standing on things since you can be agnostic about anything (not just religion) that cannot be substantiated in reality. I certainly do not hold any credibility to most forms of god that come from organized religion. Holy texts like the Bible do a fine enough job all on their own of discrediting not only the existence but attributes of the very god they depict so that really comes as no surprise.
The Crux Of This Hub
I have not once, knowingly at least, completely denied the existence of some kind of god/deity/higher being. Ever. So it comes as a rather large surprise that I have been called an angry atheist multiple times on this site, mostly by the same people.
I do not see how I can be considered angry when 1. All I did was ask legitimate questions (Ex: How was the earth repopulated if Noah and his family were the only survivors of the flood?). 2. After asking such questions, I was either ignored, subtly (if not outright) told I would be going to hell/suffer the consequences of not accepting Jesus, or 3. Told that I have no idea what I am talking about if I cannot disprove what they are claiming as fact. You know, because they did such a fantastic job proving what they claim is indeed fact. I guess that's why I asked for them to prove it to begin with right?
Also, to call me an angry “atheist” is still wrong. I would have less of an issue with that if they actually used the correct terms, rather than just assuming that simply because I asked legitimate questions countering their faith and quite obviously went out of my way to separate myself from a traditional atheist (even going so far as to tell them that I am not a regular atheist. Multiple times), that not only am I an atheist but a morally degenerate one full of anger that somehow masks my true, hidden belief of god. Not just any god, but the Christian god specifically.
Please, take your head out of that place of the human anatomy where the sun don't shine. Signs that it might be shoved extra far up that certain place? If run on sentences somehow render entire sentences completely illegible. Yes, rather than counter any actual points I made about certain sections of faith, I have had someone, repeatedly, claim that since I had a run on sentence they couldn't understand a word of it, to then say I am the one not interested in listening to other viewpoints.
A run on sentence...separated by commas (which I admit were probably not used 100% correctly)... separated by spaces to compensate for possibly incorrect comma use...somehow makes all the words baby talk. The wind betwixt the cheeks must be deafening.
I also cannot comprehend the logic that Christians are being persecuted in the United States (where I live) and that it is so clear the Christian god exists due to Christianity being the only religion criticized.
Gee, I cannot possibly imagine why Christianity, in a nation where 77% of the adult population identify as being Christian in some way shape and form, would be the main religion to be criticized. It's not like there are laws, in a secular nation where no one religion is supposed to be favored by Government (as per the Constitution), prohibiting gay marriage that are solely based on the biblical principle that homosexuals are abominations or anything right?
A little bit of enlightenment as well, if someone of some other religion claims truth that has no basis in fact...they will be criticized and asked for proof as well. Shocking right?
Why A Specific God Probably Does Not Exist
If one did, it is either buried underneath all the other “obviously correct” religions that claim their god exists (and probably predates all current major religions, voiding every single one of them), or a specific god simply does not exist. I don't see how admitting the possibility of the latter, openly on several occasions, somehow constitutes me being an atheist. Oh that's right, I disagree so bam I'm an evil atheist that will be the downfall of the nation, right next to gay people. Logic.
I really do not care which explanation might be true in regards to the origin of life/universe. Whether it be the big bang or that some kind of god poofed things into existence, knowing the answer will not affect how I live my life. Heck, it could even be some other third answer that no one has thought of yet, and still it would not affect how I live my life. I do not hold any preference for either answer because neither have been proven to be true.
So imagine my annoyance at people who claim that one answer is absolutely true, throw in some of their own wishy wash needs that aren't even based in reality, and then tell everyone else who disagrees with them that they are not only wrong but will suffer eternal consequences they have no way of knowing about. You know, cause they haven't died yet. Just because I find it annoying that my soul is supposedly condemned because I, rightfully, do not believe in stories that clearly seem to be fiction, does not mean I take debates on the Internet (the domain of cute cat videos, to put things in perspective) seriously enough to actually affect my outside life. Participating in the debates is interesting, and has recently become much more fun now that I don't actually take people who cannot backup what they say properly with any kind of seriousness anymore.
I spent pages of comments in the forums asking people to prove what they said to be true, and each time I was told that I was not interested in their answer and just looking for fights. So I finally decided to not give a damn anymore. If you cannot back up what you say, I will continue to point out the flaws in your argument as I see them. Once you have had enough, you can exit the conversation. Of course, after passively implying that my soul is destined for hellfire and that you will be (condescendingly) praying that I see the light in order to avoid said hellfire. At that point, you put your own foot in your mouth and most likely prove all the points I might have been making, since they are usually the same for most people I come across.
The Bible is not absolute fact. If you claim it is, prove it. Completely. Using the Bible as proof of the Bible is called circular logic I believe. Fire is cold because there is a book that says fire is cold. Doesn't make any sense.
I am an agnostic atheist. I do not deny the existence of a god, but I do not hold a belief in any particular god or gods.
I am not an angry atheist simply because I ask questions that actually make you think about your faith. Talking about religion does not mean I secretly believe in it nor does it mean I take the conversations I have here super seriously. Not that that last one is an actual argument for anything, but its been used a number of times already.
Christianity is not automatically proven to be true by being the primary religion to be criticized in a nation where 50% of the adult population at minimum identify as being Christian. That's like saying The Flying Spaghetti Monster exists because people talk about and criticize it.
A nonspecific god is more likely to exist than a specific god, simply due to the staggering amount of specific gods that are thought to exist. They all cannot be right since they claim all others are wrong.
My thoughts on the matter and all. Provided your only thoughts on this aren't "Is that it?" or "I'm surprised this got published", feel free to comment.