Can something be a known without belief or religion? Is to know a myth

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  1. tsmog profile image84
    tsmogposted 9 years ago

    Does belief require something to be a known (to know) to exist? Does to know something mean there is belief (rather than simply suggest) that it exists? If there are more than a singular known existing as truths, then does a belief system exist? If a belief system truly exists then can practicing that system be construed as religious. If one or any of those are not possible then is all that is left is myth?

    Propositional-A Dialogue:

    Does belief occur?

    Person A: I believe in God. I am a deist.

    Person B: I am an atheist. I do not believe in god.

    Is Person A or Person B Counterintuitive?

    Proposition-B Dialogue:

    Is myth present?

    Person A: Jesus is a myth. I am an atheist. Christianity has led man only down a path of destruction throughout history. There were the crusades, Spanish inquisitions, Boxer Rebellions, and others. They killed millions. 

    Person B: Genghis Kahn (an Animist with belief of a heaven), Stalin (Professed there was no God), Hitler (discarded belief in the Judeo-Christian conception of God by 1937), and Pol Pot (Does not believe in God, but does in heaven) killed millions. It is a myth they were not atheist at the time those atrocities were committed. Atheism has led man only down a path of destruction throughout history. I am a Christian.

    Is myth counterintuitive leaving only facts?

    By answering any of those two propositions is a proclamation of religion inductively or deductively introduced? By answering any of those two propositions does a belief system become introduced?  Or, by not answering does religion and/or belief simply not exist with those propositions? If religion and belief does not exist then is there only a questioning of God as a known or not known remain contrasting myth? How can a convincing argument be formed that God does or does not exist (As a known or not known) without belief or religion introduced?
    The source for definitions for belief, religion, myth and God or god was first reviewed at Oxford Dictionaries ( The source for atheism (specific to belief system and religion) was reviewed at American Atheist ( The source for Christian as a definition was found at Christian Apologetics and Research Ministries (

    (Note: I am also thinking upon this. I seek only discovery through dialogue of any who participate while considering most definitely I have not a definitive answer)

    1. bottlerocketeer profile image59
      bottlerocketeerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      So you are asking if it is possible to know something absolutely, without imposing any sort of assumption on basis of belief (ie, I believe that observation and experimentation are the most reliable methods for gaining an understanding of the world).  Strictly speaking, I think the answer is no.  Everybody employs a certain amount of "faith" in determining what they consider "knowledge."  For example, I have read books about the history of mathematics from which I extract bits of information that I categorize as knowledge rather than belief due to the fact that they are verifiable by evidence (writings, cuneiform, etc) but I still require the assumption that these writings are not hoaxed or unreliable in some other way.

      Still, there is a big difference in lower-case faith as I use it in this sense, which is a trust in the evidence provided to be reliable and my capacity to accurately interpret that evidence, and capital-letter Faith as used by religions to mean the acceptance of something as fact simply on the a priori assumption that is, indeed, true.

      1. bottlerocketeer profile image59
        bottlerocketeerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        To correct, the last sentence should have ended:
        "capital-letter Faith as used by religions to mean the acceptance of something as fact simply on the a priori assumption that it is, indeed, true."

        1. Paul Wingert profile image59
          Paul Wingertposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I hear the word "faith" used by religion to accept something that's totally ridiculous and can easily be disproven. I do not believe in creation or Noah's flood because they go against the physical laws of nature and the creation story and description is based on ancient Mesopotamian cosmology where the earth is flat, contains a domed fermentation, and sits in the vast deep abyss of the deep ocean (outer space). Noah is a version of an earlier Samaritan story. I point out all these, plus more facts and I'm told I don't have "faith". Okay, so I don't have faith in BS. I guess I'm going to hell. Oh wait, I don't believe in that either! LOL

          1. tsmog profile image84
            tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Laughing with you I have always laughed at the centuries relating to a child and their ages of enlightenment. A world is flat for a child until educated differently. Say, with reason at what age do you think 1st grade or age six = 6th century. The masses depended on religion for education until pretty close to Gutenberg and the printing press. 14th century = age 14 about what the 7th or 8th grade. Kinda’ gives me a chuckle. Age of enlightenment age 17 or 18 or those paralleling century identifiers and the dating games beginning and strong defiance of parents and established thought. LOL

            I guess that is why the secularist point of view with regard to not including both atheism and religion(s) with God(s) in the education system is their stance? If one, then the other must be included. Best if both are excluded. It must be difficult to teach or educate kids with everything prior occurring with history of least to say that age of enlightenment. Even though atheism dates back to 600BCE it really did not have a stronghold per se until the 19th century with its growth as politically viable. I ponder age 19 and young adults questioning their position and positioning in life with those two of consideration – God and politics.

            I still think it is odd how the centuries tend to line up with education and the learning curve. Or, it is peculiar anyway with appearances. smile

      2. tsmog profile image84
        tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I am in complete agreement with the first paragraph as it shares A Priori as knowledge. EX: Faith that the Pythagorean is truth is A Priori knowledge since it has been used and proved true since I do not know when smile , which creates trust. Simply faith and trust can be exercised that it is true, IMHO, and that it will work to construct a home correctly – yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

        From my understanding, which is open to correction, a belief is formed when ‘something’ is accepted – Pythagorean theorem, and both faith and trust are exercised of an accepted ‘something’ (The home is built correctly using that theorem). Then it is a truth as a belief. Is it fair to say and in agreement with the first paragraph supposition presented that a belief requires a known while not having regard to being an absolute and only regard with knowledge? If there is a known (A Priori knowledge) accepted and the presence of faith and trust, then there is 'belief' without regard to how a known is derived – assumption, presumption, supposition, observation, educated, or experience,  the belief still exists, of least for an individual(s)?

        Even if submitting to the ‘appeal of faith fallacy’ – “It is the assertion that one must have (the Right kind of or a particular) faith in order to understand the argument”, EX: faith as used being ‘not’ a Capital Faith with regard to religion, it can be concluded as being true of least useful and/or necessary for belief to be formed and be a truth.

        That seems, IMHO and learning, where Posteriori seems to enter and be supportive with contradicting/disproving or affirming/proving the known ( A Priori) of a belief – acceptance, trust, and faith, and/or requires convincing evidence. That leads to the last question proposed. “How can a convincing argument be formed that God does or does not exist (As a known or not known) without belief or religion introduced? Evidence?

        1. bottlerocketeer profile image59
          bottlerocketeerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I think we are in agreement, though I did have a bit of a struggle to comprehend your reply!  I think that this is a good distinction to make when debating against pre-suppositionalist theists also.

          1. tsmog profile image84
            tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Regarding A Priori I am pretty sure. We both probably have learned that. Math offers understanding. 2 + 2 = 4 of least until calculus may be introduced. Then I am lost smile Never got that far. A Priori seems easiest for presenting justification.

            A Posteriori gets out of whack many times IMHO. For instance I can say a Presbyterian is a Christian from the justification of A Priori Knowledge. (Again I can, yet there  may be some who cannot)

            I cannot say a Presbyterian is Pre-Suppositionalist. And, I have not much experience or knowledge on that subject - Pre-Suppositionalist.. Yet, I learned enough to know Cornelius Van Til is an originator and he was an orthodox Presbyterian. A Priori knowledge does not apply to justification for a Presbyterian being a Pre-Suppositionalist.

            1. bottlerocketeer profile image59
              bottlerocketeerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Essentially, a pre-suppositionalist argues from the assumption that his basis for belief is true, and then tries to discredit the opposing view via corollaries of that basis of belief.  For example, if I were to present a "successful" pre-suppositionalist argument for the idea that my childhood imaginary friend (who shall be called CIF in this example) was a real entity, then it would go something like this:
              1. I assume that CIF was real based upon my own feeling/intuition that it existed  (this is capital-letter Faith, as there is not supporting evidence for this assumption outside of my own personal experience)
              2.  I assert that it will be impossible for you to accept any proof that I could present because your own "presuppositions" that my claim is false will bias your interpretation of my evidence
              3.  I convince you to also assume my presuppositions for the sake of having common ground from which to argue.
              4.  Obviously, once you accept the presupposition that CIF existed, all I need to do is demonstrate that from this point of view that your original position of denying CIF's existence is uninformed and impossible to argue for.
              5.  Of course, you will probably object to taking my presuppositions as fact just for granted.  So, I will simply point out to you that you must rely on your own presupposition to stand against mine, and you don't really have any more lowercase-faith reason to do this than you do to simply accept my position.  Therefore, I have proved the existence of CIF to you and the only way you can counter is to also claim, for granted, that it doesn't exist which isn't any more valid than claiming, for granted, that it does.

              This is a really clever form of arguing, except that it is circular and self-sustaining.  So it doesn't actually accomplish any real work in a debate, but it does make the theist feel like their personal intuition that God does exist is equally valid against the atheist or agnostic stance of skepticism.

              1. tsmog profile image84
                tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                If I understand then it could be stated . . .
                A<>B  and B<>C, where A=Raining in San Diego; B=Not Raining in San Franciso; C=Raining in Calif

                If A, then C is true
                If B, then C is not known
                If C, then A is supposition or not known
                if C, then B is supposition or not known

                Presupposition would be A=C=B

                Or, a friend in Nebraska calls a friend in San Franciso after calling a friend in San Diego learning it was raining, then says "Is it still raining?" The San Francisco friend says "I don't know. I haven't looked outside." Trying to convince the friend in San Franciso it is raining would be the argument of pre-dispositional.

    2. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      "Person A: I believe in God. I am a deist.

      Person B: I am an atheist. I do not believe in god.

      Is Person A or Person B Counterintuitive?"

      Person A is counterintuitive.  Intuition tells us that making up answers without evidence, particularly answers involving specifics of Extra-Terrestrial Aliens, is unlikely to produce anything resembling reality.  While it is always possible to make a completely uneducated guess and be right, it is highly unlikely.

      1. tsmog profile image84
        tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I agree it would seem so. However, is it fair to say the following using the premise you proposed that Person B also is counterintuitive with the same reasoning?

        The referenced source for the American Atheist at their website specifically makes the following two statements.

        1.    “Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.”
        2.    “Atheists come in a variety of shapes, colors, beliefs, convictions, and backgrounds. We are as unique as our fingerprints.”

        It appears the premise offered with reasoning for Person A as counterintuitive alludes to the first statement “I believe in God”, yet I am not really sure. If that is so, one could reason that it would be fair to say with Person B with regard to “I do not believe in God” is not definitive as representative of ‘atheism’ with the same latitude. Unless we are inclusive of the order of the two statements for each person as being how truths are presented. Then the premise as both being counterintuitive does not hold water, IMHO.

        Maybe it would have been better to write them as:
        Person A: I believe in God. I am a deist.
        Person B: I do not believe in god. I am an atheist.

        That offers both persons presenting a statement of fact. They both believe and what they believe is not of consequence. The fact is they believe. Both cases there are enough latitude with God and god with specific or obscure defintions to offer perspective with each Person's following statement.

        The next statement of/for both offers a classification for belief as being a deist and an atheist. In that case Person B would be intuitive and Person A would be counterintuitive. Again referencing Oxford Dictionary wherein it states for counterintuitive “Contrary to intuition or to common-sense expectation.” It is fair, IMHO, to say with regard to common sense that Person A more than likely would be a monotheist, even though we know not in all cases. Therefore the Person A statement is counterintuitive. And, Person B is intuitive as presented with the statements shared by the American Atheist, even though not all atheist state a complete disbelief or denial in god(s).

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          You used a different definition for atheism as the center did; of course it will produce different results.  Did you expect different?

          But your second set of statements, with the changed person B would be correct.  The only problem is that you are somehow changing "I do not believe" into "I believe in...".  Again, if you are going to change the wording then results are invalid.

          1. tsmog profile image84
            tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            I don't understand. I quoted the center word for word.
   … s-atheism?
            That link is the source. I will check if it works smile

            I do not see how the words changed. There is not even an inference to 'I believe in' except for that presented at the American Atheist regarding 'lack of belief.' Then there would be inference with that definition for atheist or atheism, again, not mine smile

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this


              Your first example, in the OP, says atheists believe there is no god.  The center says they have no belief in a god.  The difference is enormous and of a totally different meaning. 

              (note that it wasn't in the A,B definitions where the change is made, but in the statement that atheists claim Jesus is a myth.  That constitutes a belief, which atheists do not have).

              1. tsmog profile image84
                tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                I agree whole heartedly with what was presented. Yes, with a nod of agreement there is difference with 'belief there is no god' contrasting 'no belief in god'. Along those lines of what was presented with the original post it does not allow for acceptance and/or a belief being formed that Jesus was indeed not myth (using historical evidence as a given, if allowed). Simply,the trinity concept would not be allowed or could be included until first the determination with 'no belief in a god' is discussed.

                In other words one could not have a belief of Jesus as God until 'belief this no god' is countered and accepted. A moot discussion occurs with Jesus within a god concept until first a belief there is god, a god, or gods. Do you feel that is fair to say?

                This of course is pondering and open to correction and change of thought.

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                  Yes, of course.  One must believe there is a god(s) before any discussion of Jesus as a god had any meaning.

    3. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Notation for interest: I am on/off the forums around 2AM - 6AM PDT. Thank you all for helping to me to learn and the dialogue smile Usually I read and vent sometimes with long rants oopps! Have fun . . .

  2. grand old lady profile image83
    grand old ladyposted 9 years ago

    I think there are more levels to man than the intellectual level. Man has feelings, intuition, sensitivity. No one has seen love but everybody believes it exists. In the same way, you can't use one part of yourself to know and accept the fact that God exists. I grew up in Catholic schools studying about Jesus, and knew intellectually all the stuff I was supposed to know about faith. But it was only through a personal encounter with Jesus (which non believers will consider to be insanity, but evangelical Christians will understand) that I came to have genuine faith that Jesus walks beside me every step of the way, 24/7.

    About insanity -- that guy who killed a lot of people in the theatre, that's crazy. The boys who killed their classmates in school were emotionally deprived. If knowing Jesus makes your life richer and empowers you to love people and love life, that's not insanity. That's just being lucky,.

    1. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I understand and accept the sharing with experience (experiential knowledge). I smile with the statement " No one has seen love but everybody believes it exists". Yes, an act as you described with a person killing people without reasonable cause appears to be an insane act. Having Jesus as a influence with a belief system does offer a sense of sanity. Lucky . . . probably so.

  3. oceansnsunsets profile image85
    oceansnsunsetsposted 9 years ago

    I am going to answer in a way that you were probably not going for here, but this applies to the discussion.  I just wanted to share that I see a GREAT deal of faith and belief coming from many of opposing beliefs, not just the "religious", not by a long shot. 

    So a good question for any of us would be, IF we have faith and belief in anything, are there good reasons to support said belief?  Some have great reasons, some are seem to be "anti other reasons", when it comes down to it very often.  This is just my experience in these forums and other chat rooms over the years.  I mean for instance, a LOT is believed about people that believe in God, that turns out to not be true at all, or their scriptures, their prophets, etc.  Its like trying to condemn something by its opposite, which strangely affirms what some are trying to prove wrong.

    1. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed. Using the premise a belief is formed first on acceptance and then trust with faith the establishment of what is accepted is of question first. Trust and faith with regard of what is accepted is an individual or group exercising consistency with what is accepted . . . not matter what is accepted.

      Acknowledge does have the same requirement as belief. Something must be accepted. Yet, if faith and trust both are not exercised it simply is acknowledgement and not belief.

      EX: An employee or even my child tells me doing something in some way will work to accomplish something. I know from experience it will not. That individual has a strong belief it will. They are exercising both trust and faith of an acceptance that it will work.

      I accept that belief for the individual.  Yet, I have no or little faith it will work. I do trust and have faith they will work to succeed with what is accepted. I simply acknowledge it and do not have belief in what is accepted originally by the individual, but acknowledge that individual does have belief it will. I say, "Yes, go ahead and try. If it works then all is well".

      The option is still open. If it works and is done with logic and true to what is accepted, I can change from acknowledge to belief. In others words I could still be proved wrong. Even though we are both accepting a premise, idea, or presumed fact we are both exercising difference as acknowledgment and belief.

      With regard to the statement of the forums I agree also many times seeing a stance of secularism being declared as atheism to contrast Christianity. Secularism seeks to omit both God and Atheism. This is seen at their principals. I see the argument presented from the secularist point of view and suddenly it is proclaimed as an atheist view through default by challenging the christian or christian view. The point of view without God or god, which is not necessarily a view of atheism (Using the definitions shown earlier in this forum with quotes from the American Atheist) to establish a truth is of question is paraphrased as a secularist view. It is not a stance of atheism, IMHO.

      Both christian and atheist can be a secularist and vice versa. I quote, 
      "A Secular Society, contemplating intellectual and moral progress, must provide for the freest expression of opinion on all subjects which its members may deem conducive to their common objects. Christianism, Theism, Materialism, and Atheism will be regarded as open questions, subject to unreserved discussion." Those ideals - Christianism, Theism, Materialism, and Atheism are treated equally. Plus, if one notices they are all capitalized at this statement. They are all equal.

      The Principals of Secularism at a free ebook. … 6797-h.htm


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