Ok..being atheist , you dont believe in any intelligent supreme being ...my question is, you began atheist because of your observiation , experience and what role has religion played in making you atheist?
The fact that I have not been able to find one shred of proof that god is real or that the bible is anything other than a novel has had some bearing on my return to atheism. The followers of most religions are the primary reason I began to question religion in the first place, I decided early in the 70's I didn't want to turn into hatefilled, miserable, holier than thou person and this is what my earliest contact with the southern baptist church member worked hard to become. If you weren't white and baptist here in SC during the 70/s you were a target for drunk, redneck, southern baptists, The local KKK rallies were full of fine southern baptists every time they held one.
Education is amother way religion helped me to beccome an atheist again. The total disregard for truth or facts that most religouseople are so damned proud of makes no sense to someone who can think critically. The way that religion stands in the way of educating the citizens of this country is despicable.Education is what will move this country forward and we have the majority in this country working as hard as they can to return us to the dark ages. Dumb people are a blessing to religion and mst churches do a fine job meeting their monthly quota,
Direct qupote from a friend when I asked him what he was using to prove his belief that the earth is only 6000years old, I belive in god and that's my proof. That is a childishly rediculous mentality that is exactly what the church and religion in general strive for.
ya i know many people who reject any proof which science gives if it is against their book but same people would hail science if science finds something which is written in their book...
I think one of the reasons "dumb" people become Christians may be that they are smarter than man of us, because at least they know that they have very limited knowledge on their lonesome. If there was a God, smartness wouldn't be a prerequisite to follow Him -- the act of following God itself is based on the premise that he is a heck of a lot smarter than you are. Here are some questions:
How do you know you're smart?
Science has easily uncovered more questions than answers -- increasing, rather than decreasing, the need for God. Now, instead of just explaining why that chair exists, we have to explain why the billions of atoms and molecules that make up that chair exist.
"Education" is such a subjective term, with so many conflicting definitions, that it's hard to understand how it is the automatic "fix" for religion. Education will inform you more about how people think, but choosing the way YOU think is a completely different matter.
Where did you get that ridiculous notion?
Yes, and we find gods have nothing to do with the explanations. Funny that.
Do you not have access to a dictionary to see that education is simply the acquisition of knowledge. The differences are in how the knowledge is acquired, either through critical thinking or the uncritical acceptance of doctrine or beliefs. Big difference there.
What is knowledge? I think that is a very subjective term. And "critical thinkers" disagree about knowledge all the time, rather drastically and with extreme real-world consequences. That has nothing to do with whether you are a Christian, Atheist, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist -- it is simply true that the term "education" is a very subjective term. I think it can tell you how other people think, but it's mission is not to thoroughly decide how you think.
Of course not, that is not the purpose of science. It's main purpose is to answer the question, "How does it work?"
Christianity is one of thousands of religions trying to answer the question, "Why?" It fails miserably in doing so because it must invoke magic in order to explain anything.
The more we discover, the less we find it has anything to do with gods. They are not necessary at all. Whether simple or complex, gods are irrelevant.
And, I understand why you fail to see that.
No idea where you get that notion other than from your religious beliefs, which would make sense considering knowledge in terms of dogma must invoke magic. Where is there knowledge in magic?
Yes, the indoctrinated have a very difficult time understanding what education is all about as their capacity for critical thought has been diminished.
Religion didn't play any role whatsoever in making me a non believer, SCIENCE did
You would find that those who become atheist begin so because they oppose the lie within religion but without ever understand the truth within it....
The lie in religion is this...
They preach of a god they neither know nor understand...therefore their belief in god is false...
The atheist reject their false understanding only create another for themselves...
So in effect they reject religion false god only to replace him with their own...which is "god is not"
saved me the trouble in replaying, kess.
like you replaced with 'god is' ...interesting...
Truth says .. God is ...and..... God is not...
The Lie says... God is ...and.... God is not...
So what is said means little.... what is known means everything.
Truth know all things...
the lie knows nothing...
I am Truth.
Who are you?
So kess, are you saying you are Truth? I think not. Jesus is the Truth. You should not talk about things you know nothing about. You know absolutely nothing about God, you see, the things of God are spiritually appraised, and you are not spiritual, but carnal minded. You see, all these people who says they don't understand the Bible and God, saying that the Bible is just another novel, and consider God as a myth, they are carnal minded (worldly). I laugh at you, and people like you because you live your life as though what you see with your eyes is all there is in this world. There is a earthly realm and a Spiritual realm, I would give you scripture in the Bible to prove my point, oh excuse me, that's right you and people like you don't believe in the Bible. Like Jesus said, " You will die in your sins" that is in the Bible too. I wonder what you are going to tell Jesus when you die and come before Him for Judgment.
As an atheist, I feel I can answer the question "what will you tell Jesus or god when you dies and aree judged before him?".
I will say; "Why didn't you make it more obvious that you were real? Why were you so cryptic? Why did you spout so much bile in the bible? and why is the majority of what you said just inkeeping with iron-aged myths and the rantings of lunatics rather than having any basis in fact? Why do the most unpleasant people on the planet follow you to the letter? Why do you give children AIDS, dysentry and Cholera? What were you thinking of when you invented Smallpox?!"
Oh and "Why did you make me an atheist?!"
superwags and Jesus would ask you why didn't you put forth the effort to seek me? Why do you curse My Word (Bible)? Why do you slander Me as a lunatic because you are void of understanding? And then He (Jesus) would say My people that follows Me have Joy, they only seem unpleasant to you because you are not spiritual but worldly. Also I do not give children AIDS, dysentry and Cholera, I am Holy, I do no evil, the one (Satan) who you follow brings sickness to children. Finally, I did not make you an atheist, in that regard, you are self-made man fashioned after your father, Satan (the devil). There is still time you can repent and make Jesus your Savior.
You people terrify me. You win as most nutty one I've spoken to in a while, congrats. Why do you have to invoke this rubbish? What's missing from your life otherwise?
"Why not look at a beautiful garden, without having to believe there are fairies at the bottom of it too".
superwags, I will not go word for word with you. You should be terrified of yourself. And you are the nut talking about things you know nothing about. You know nothing about God or the Bible, in fact I doubt if you have even picked up the Bible and read a verse out of it. There is nothing missing from my life, I have Jesus. You don't have Jesus, you are just empty shell, you probably hate yourself.
This is your chance to repent! We get one shot at this life. Don't waste it by god bothering. Amen.
VOICE CIW, you are so aggressive and offensive. I can't understand why you are so antagonistic towards atheists, when I understand that your God is supposed to be all about love and forgiveness. Why are you so angry? You jump to such ridiculous conclusions about those of us who do not believe the same things as you - if there is a God, which I seriously doubt, I would imagine that he would chastise you at your Judgement because of your lack of compassion for and understanding of your fellow man. I think your God would be disappointed in you, for all the nasty name calling you do.
I am not an empty shell, my life is full and glorious and god/Jesus-free. And I love myself!
Basically, we'll all say the same thing; assuming your scenario is the one that plays out. We all did the best we could, with the information we had.
Before we can run around beating up the air....
I have said ...
I am Truth.
Who are you?
When that is known discussion may happen....
.....and if that is not known to you then you are false because the false will never know itself...
Wait a minute - I am Truth. You are False. This is why you speak as you do.
You can only see that which is you...
Therefore you take what is yours...
Another will come and read the same and take what is theirs
and will not think to even say the things you have said...
So I judge you not for you have already judged yourself...
Yes - you do. Please stop Lying. You are False. There are no judges in my world. I am Truth.
Like I said you are your own Judge...and you will pass your own judgement and it is that, that will stand.
So whether you make Truth into a Lie or have Truth remain as Truth?
It is all up to you.....and your words judge you...
so what soever you say of me its all right with me...
For it matter more to you rather than me.
For I know who I am....
By the way, everyone STARTS as an atheist. Some get taught to be theists. The rest of us are smarter than that.
LOL. Your hilarious. Unless of course you were serious, them LOLOLOL.
Actually, babies don't yet have the ability to believe or disbelieve in the concept of a god. That is developed later, as a person matures. You cannot reject a concept you know nothing of.
That's like saying a cow is an atheist. If a cow understands what a god is, they haven't told or shown us yet, but I suspect that their reasoning capacity in that area is quite limited.
If this foolishness had anything to do with "reasoning", I might agree.
I do agree that saying that babies are atheists is foolish reasoning to the extreme.
Why is that? You yourself claimed that babies are incapable of believing anything.
Therefore they do not believe in god, therefore they are atheists.
You do know what the word "atheist" means - right?
Atheism, as defined by dictionary.com:
The doctrine or belief that there is no God.
Any baby having a doctrine or belief would be quite the anomaly. Don't you think?
A-theism means no such thing.
Dear me. Little wonder your religion causes so many conflicts.
More food for fodder. Now I get to call you delusional, and I already had more material than I'd found time to use. You can't throw a dash in to add weight to your argument. It appears that you are grasping at straws to back up your claim.
Sorry you don't understand - why get so angry though?
Who's angry? I'm actually laughing at the whole argument. But, I know humor is a difficult concept for you. It is no wonder you get confused.
Aww - sorry. I did not mean to upset you.
Lighten up Mark. At what point do you think it will become obvious that you can't upset me? I enjoy messing with you. You shouldn't begrudge me a philosophy similar to your own. Should you?
I don't begrudge you anything. If you wish to attack innocent atheists for not believing in your Invisible Super Being - that is your business.
This is why your religion causes so many conflicts of course.
I doubt if innocent truly fits, but Ok. To clear up your continued confusion, this is not why I post behind you. I simply find your arguments, at times, lame. I can't help if the humor cannot be contained. You could laugh too, or find conflict. It is your choice. Well, maybe not. You did tell me there was no freedom of speech where you live. Do you have freedom of choice?
Oh - I am not confused. I understand why you are so upset that people decide that your beliefs are nonsense and "choose" not to believe.
This is why your religion always causes so many conflicts. I hope you will understand one day. Perhaps if you got your mind out of that little box?
The little box argument. That was my argument first, but I will let you have it. Most things grow old for me after I've used them once or twice.
I don't even know what my beliefs are Mark. How could I be angry for someone not understanding what I don't understand? I think I'm slowly wrapping my head around this war thing you guys keep talking about. I don't know that I agree, but I'm trying to understand your point.
I doubt if the repetitive nature of your posts on this has helped, though. They just appear to be a need for conflict. Which reinforces my opinion that it is a human condition, as opposed to being caused by religion.
Yes - whatever you say. Religion does not cause conflict. Sorry I spoke.
Thank goodness you can no longer burn me at the stake for not believing.
You are peaceful and it is all my fault for not believing when you tell me there is a god. And I am really stirring when I ask you to stop claiming esoteric knowledge. Yes - my fault.
Got it. Me. All me. Like the Crusades all over again.
Yes, the humor is that I find religious stands grounded in the past pointless. And I find non religious stands grounded in the past equally so. Wake up. Smell the roses. The world is a better place. We all have problems, why the need to fabricate more? Our collective history is the fault of our ancestors. Not yours and mine. Are you the progeny of a long line of professed atheists? If so, shame on your ancestors for not pointing this problem out sooner. They might have saved us all some grief.
Of course I am not. Silly - atheists were always murdered for not believing in the past.
I still don't understand why you are so angry that I choose to learn from the past. Best to go with what you "know" to be true huh?
Ok, but you realize atheists weren't the only ones persecuted? Heck, I doubt more than one or two were accused of non belief. Most simply had the 'wrong' belief. Not trying to give you a history lesson. You keep those blinders on. They're cute. I don't mind that you're pretending to be me.
Learning from the past implies the fact that you have gained valuable knowledge. If the lessons learned are the wrong ones, then disinformation is taking up valuable space.
I can see why you would think this. Good for you. That way it is not your fault and religion is not to blame. Well done. Keep swallowing the placebos.
Just remember - it is all my fault for thinking.
Arrgghh. And I say that tongue in cheek. I am not angry. I honestly don't get this religion causes all war argument. You do realize that, being european, you might simply be attempting to deflect blame? We were pretty happy not fighting your conflicts, until we got dragged into them and they became world wars. I don't see how that is a Christian problem. It sounds political to me.
If I remember correctly, one of the reasons the first settlers headed this way was to avoid religious persecution.
I would be more than happy to see your point. Unfortunately, none have been able to articulate it in a manner that seems logical, or reasonable. You have previously pointed me in directions where there is literature to support your stand. Have any suggestions?
Hence, you will ultimately repeat the past as you have not learned from it.
No. That is untrue. The lessons learned are the same, whether we used different facts to come to the same conclusions. As I told Mark. Stating the same thing repeatedly does not make it true. If you have some source to offer, that might elaborate this point better; please share it for the enlightenment of all.
Well, you do seem very happy in your box, but pretty much any book that is not a bible will probably educate you.
I see what you mean about Iraq though. Sorry we dragged you into that war.
Not getting the whole "It is OK that religion causes wars, because other things also cause wars," argument though.
This is a favorite of people of your ilk, but - I never really understood it. Care to 'splain?
Religious persecution huh? Yeah - Y'all ain't got none a that in ur Kuntry do ya?
Ok, I honestly have trouble reading your posts when you misspell words. Are you saying I'm muslim? Because first you say it is my religion, them you say iraq. Oddly, I think the war in Iraq had more to do with corporate interests than anyone's religion. But hey, that's jusy what I get from reading. Maybe I should go to the Bible for answers, like it appears you do.
Sorry - I seem to have made you angry again. Dear me, you religious people are quick to anger. Oh well. When you calm down and actually think of something to say - I will respond.
The problem is obvious, there are those who will repeat history if they never learn from it.
didn't know jesus was founder of dictionary.com...
why do you want to praise poor man who lived 2k years ago?...if you want to praise then praise dictionary.com's founder..and religion or atheism is much older than jesus...so no point in praising some one who lived as early as mere 2k years ago....
Mark, I've generally stopped responding to much on the religion forums, but you really need a new tag....
"No wonder your religion causes so many wars."
"Little wonder your religion generates so many conflicts"
You atheists/theists are going to go round and round and round about this issue until the day you die, and will have made zero headway into actual understanding.
If you want to continue the same argument, at least switch it up a little on occasion.
No offense intended, I assure you.
Oh - I am not offended, and I understand just fine thank you.
I am just trying to get you to understand why your religion has caused 2,000 years of wars and conflicts. And is continuing to do so as these forums aptly demonstrate. Not sure why you religious types feel the need to come into an atheist forum to tell us what to do - but - do you see that this is part of the problem?
I will keep trying to get you to see reason and understand and this is the simplest way I can think of to get through. The day I die will be the day I take your unwanted, unwarranted, poorly thought out advice.
No offense - but - are you starting to understand yet?
I understand a couple of things. Religion doesn't start wars. People do.
And, I understand how you personally seem to address anyone and everyone who may disagree with you as "you religious types." I'm not much one for telling people what to do, so perhaps you're right.
As a believer, I have no place in an atheist forum. And rather than offer unsolicited, unwanted advice, I'll let you all continue to attempt to destroy each other verbally with no consideration at all for the issue at hand.
Thank you for your gentle admonition to get the heck out of YOUR space.
I apologize for having invaded this inner sanctum of yours.
Ah - but the issue at hand is "What role has religion played in making you atheist?"
And you are demonstrating exactly that without even understanding how or why. These passive/aggresive attacks such as you have just made are at the root of the conflict your religion causes.
Don't want to understand - do you?
Given that I am not the one who posed the question this time, the answer is no. I truly do not wish to understand how religion contributes to atheism. If there is no God, as the atheist believes, then the question is moot, which had led you I believe to become an ignostic - one for whom the very question of God is meaningless, if I understand correctly.
If the question is meaningless, why continue to discuss it? My only point is that it's beating a dead horse. If it's meaningless to you, why must it be something that you can make me understand?
Walk you walk wherever it may take you. Do it in joy and peace and prosperity.
I'll walk mine as well, without the desire to understand meaninglessness.
I continue to discuss it because I genuinely think it impedes our society and causes unnecessary conflicts.
You don't care do you?
The fact that I have converted to ignostiscism does not change that. Ignostics believe you cannot define god, therefore the question of its existence - or not - is moot. That does not change the damage you do every day.
Believing in an Invisible Super Being does not give your life meaning. You just want it to so badly because your life would have no meaning without an Invisible Super Being in the Sky.
How sad. I pity the religionist this attitude and believe it will eventually be our downfall. I will continue to try and get you to understand that your attitude causes conflicts.
Actually, my life has the meaning I choose to give to it, and that others choose to take from it. Frankly, it has meaning simply because it IS. I am a living, breathing, rational human being. Therefore my life has meaning, just as yours does.
Thank you for that incredibly inept attempt at psychoanalysis of a person you know nothing about.
I do not cause conflicts because of my belief/lack of belief. I choose to love those around me regardless of who or what they are, what they wear, who they pray to, who they don't pray to. Others may do so in the name of the same God I worship, but I do not.
As to the religionist attitude that will apparently be our downfall? You're right I don't care. I can only care about what I'm capable of changing and thousands of years of bad attitudes from millions of people is a little bit outside my scope of ability to control.
I leave that to you, my friend. Much luck in your quest.
Thank you. I will continue to try to make the world a better place. Sorry you do not think that is a worthy endeavor.
Hey Mark. First, I have to say, I am deeply offended. I read through your conversation with Motown and you didn't misspell one word. What's up with that?
Secondly, I think you let on something that shows your misreading of Christianity. You said your wife's religion has to do with spirit. What do you think the concept of God is all about? I realize you think people believe there's some big guy who doesn't own a razor, carrying a lightening bolt in one hand and the scales of justice in the other, standing on a cloud anxiously awaiting the day of our destruction. Maybe there are people who share your view. I don't know. But it has nothing to do with a contemplation of the spirit. I honestly don't believe anyone claiming the name of Christian sees it that way. I would certainly hope not.
Yes - I know. It is all my fault and I don't understand Christianity. All those wars and the current conflicts are a figment of my imagination.
I'm honored. Coherent sentences; put together nicely; everything spelled correctly.
Flabbergasted really. You are correct, in that Christianity has caused undue strife. I think though, what you fail to realize is that a large percentage of those that claim the name do so simply for lack of a better one. I see spirit. I see a messenger who shared his knowledge. I follow those words, and will until I find a path of clearer understanding. That path does not lead to violence.
I honestly believe, for the average person, this statement holds true. You appear to believe it does not. I get that. This does not necessarily make your stand correct.
And back to condescending. I don't care what imaginary things you see. You agree it causes conflict, so I really don't understand why you defend it. Nor do I see you following the words. Quite the opposite actually.
This is why your religion causes so many conflicts.
Well, one thing I have learned is that you and I definitely define condescending differently. I have no idea where you get that. I usually see your posts as condescending. Go figure.
Tell me Mark. What should I do, in your opinion. Stop looking? Should we all, simply because we're in the dark, accept the darkness as a fact of life?
Good question. What darkness is this? You have your answer - god.
The problem is - this is not actually an answer and it stops you from looking. You are not looking - are you? You spend all your time telling me you have an absolute answer and at teh same time saying that you do not.
Your real problem is - you don't know what the question is and you are looking in the wrong places.
Exactly. No one knows what the question is. Yet.
I will grant you that the search for the spiritual may have been the precursor to science. We do not know that yet, for sure. We were all born within the age of science, yet the search for the spiritual goes on. Maybe it is simply a throw back to an ancient time. If that is all it is, it will eventually die a probably not peaceful death; but it will die.
You cannot force its destruction. It will run its course whether you like the fact or not. And though you choose to fight it or not, if there is anything to the search it will benefit us all in the long run.
And I know I am not in the right place yet. But you choose not to search so we have one less person helping to find the right place to look. Thanks for the help.
Oh no - I have found the answer. You just wouldn't understand. The answer is inside.
Well Mark, instead of being so argumentative, why don't you share what exactly it is that you consider to be your enlightenment. You'd be surprised at the level of intelligence of your fellow man. We aren't quite as ignorant as you might think. My 'God' as you define it is not what I see. I honestly believe we are primed for a higher understanding. Maybe you've got it. Maybe you don't.
And so you know, I do realize it's an inner search.
I can't enlighten you. You have to find it for yourself and it is on the inside. It also takes work instead of Majik Jesus doing it for you and you saying the majik words.
I already linked to a hub that explained it pretty well from the Christian perspective and you dismissed it in favor of arguing with atheists that there is "something else". Yes there is something else - inside you.
This is why your religion causes so many wars.
Ok Mark. It appears the conflict is too much fun for you to rise above. I do get that. But as I've stated (ad nauseam) you do not understand my stand and choose to use simplistic terms to converse. As much as I enjoy reading your posts they are, at times, simply little more than entertainment. You are not enlightened. You are mad. Big difference.
I choose to accept the fact that I am not enlightened. I would like to be. Which is why my opinion of your posts thus far has not run me away from the conflict. You do provide good input, from time to time. The atheist stand is invaluable in helping me see the errors in my philosophy so I can reflect and adjust to what I believe is a more honest path toward my goal. All of your attempts at insult are easily shrugged to the side, simply because I truly believe you to be a valuable voice. Sometimes. Other times? Not so much.
That's odd, you appear to have the same tired old arguments and beliefs like most other Christians, what's not to understand?
No, I don't. Anyway, I am 100% sure the answer I'm looking for has nothing to do with the path I started down. I am also 99.99% certain you are wrong. You aren't being very nice this morning, at all.
Of course you do, that's your indoctrination talking, with 99.99% accuracy.
How much of your stand do you think cannot be attributed to indoctrination; by your obvious definition of the word? Little, I suspect.
Do you even understand the definition of indoctrination?
Are you asking about the definition of religious indoctrination or the term as a stand alone word. In and of itself, I believe I do. You seem to be prone to assuming it can only apply to religion.
Nope, indoctrination can take place in almost any way, shape or form as long as it follows the definition.
"Acceptance of doctrine uncritically."
Funny how this concept actually exists and has mountains of evidence to support it, unlike the claims of your god.
Religion is not the claim of any deity Beelzedad, it is the claim of men. But it doesn't mean the claims are wrong. I have to find a way to find the answers. It doesn't make me wrong as much as it makes me hopeful, in my opinion.
Nor, does it make them right. And, after two thousand years of trying to see if they are right, nothing has been accomplished.
You very well may have to wait another two thousand years to find even less gets accomplished from those claims.
I do believe that, if we remain on the same course, there will be no more enlightenment. I honestly believe we can move forward of we just keep searching. Not within the confines of Christianity as it appears to be practised. It's not looking, but neither are you it seems.
Sure, continue to fly the flag of discontent for another two thousand years.
I do look for answers, every day. I just don't waste time looking for them in the void of the non-existent.
Well, at least you're searching too. If you find a definitive answer I certainly hope you'll share it. You know me. I'm always curious.
So far, no gods have been found, and in fact, the universe reveals it's answers to us every day, of which none have anything to do with your Jesus.
Well, I'm not expecting to find a constellation in the shape of an x; marking the spot where some heaven is. I assume maybe Jesus was like Buddha maybe (if Buddha was real). Did Jesus ascend to heaven, or was that added in order to help bring people to the message? Either way, the message seems to be a profound one. Like I said before, if you can tell me a better philosophy than one that believes we all need to accept our connection to one another and stop all of this fighting I'd probably be on board.
And yet, it isn't profound at all.
Yes, I understand you require a philosophy handed on a plate to you as you are unable to comprehend one yourself, this is a result of your religious indoctrination.
Shame on you Beelzedad. You are definitely infuriating at times with this dogged position. If I was raised in an environment where the standard line taught in the church fell within the bounds of what the standard evangelical on this forum believes, yet I still don't believe in heaven, or hell, or judgement of others by some silly litmus test, or that I can pray for a puppy and get it, or a thousand other nonsensical things how has my opinion been handed to me on a platter? Who handed it to me, but me?
I am not the only person who stands outside of that circle and believes there is some connection to something more, but this is simply because there is no new idea in the world. They have been thought before by others. I am in line with no one but my opinion, as it stands today. A year from now I might argue with myself about this whole thing, but that is because I wil have moved myself into a different position from reviewing information obtained and acting on it. Not because I ordered an opinion from some infomercial. You are no different from me, with the exception of the fact that you have crossed a line off of your bucket list.
Ah - now you know what I am thinking as well. Awesome. I never said I was enlightened. I said I could not enlighten you and the answer you seek is inside of you. But - you just want to fight - I see that now.
This is why your religion causes so many wars.
What are you talking about? I can only respond to what I have gleaned from your posts. I'm not ready to bear arms. Give me time. Maybe you'll convince me that's what my mission is. I don't know.
Yes - what you glean is what you want to glean to support your absolute answer. You are not really asking questions because you immediately dismiss any answers when I offer them. The answer is inside.
This is why your religion causes so many wars.
I repeat, (I do this because I assume you do not read my responses) I know the answer to the question is within. But if you think we are not somehow connected to something more and you stand alone as an entity then it is my contention that your answer is wrong. There is more to the answer than anything that simplistic. Or maybe that's all there is, but you have given no conclusive proof to support your assertion. I realize that, as a man, it is well within your reasoning process to assume this should be proof enough. As a woman, it is well within my nature to answer for now. I'm sorry, the search does not end, no matter how often men assert that they have the answers. They've been wrong for quite a while now.
I never said any of these things. LOL Still - the fight is the main thing isn't it TK?
All I dun sed were ur religion causes wars an there int no Ivisible Super Been.
Sorry - had to switch back as you obviously do not understand plain English. This is why your religion causes so many wars.
Keep it up preacher man. I'd misspell words intentionally too, but they'd get stuck in the swype dictionary and just cause problems, when I'm talking to someone I cared what they thought of me.
Anyhoo, I'll let you find someone you can have some fun baiting. Assuming you haven't ascended to a higher plane before you get there. Being all enlightened and all.
"Shocked, disturbed and you-have-got-to-be-joking" are terms I would use rather than 'surprised.'
Did you forget about this definition?
A lack of belief in the existence of gods.
So, does a baby lack a belief in a god?
Can a baby possess a belief, or lack thereof? They're kind of an empty vessel. They don't possess a lot more than poop, and cute little hands.
So, they must be atheists then, as they do not possess a belief in gods.
No. They possess no knowledge. I would never make this statement about an atheist. A baby cannot make a claim of non belief, unless you've come into contact with infants that can articulate their thought processes. I suppose, by your line of thinking, dogs and cats are atheists too.
Did I answer this? I'm so confused. I'll be honest, I don't care what anyone calls them. I was messing with Mark. I apologize if my need for levity has caused you to deviate from your mission, in any way. I do respect the value of your time.
I am wondering if you know what the term means. This word, in the whole history of using it, going back to the Greek period, has never been applied to babies in the sense that you mean of being without god. The Greeks used it to describe a person who rejected the gods worshiped by the larger society. Thus, a Christian would have been considered an atheist for rejecting the Greek gods.
The term, as most dictionaries define it is: "One who denies the existence of a god." Babies, as I've said, are incapable of denying a god and so, by definition, cannot be atheists.
So - you obviously do not understand what the word means. That explains it.
A-whatever is a lack of something. In this case belief in a deity. It is not denial of something. Your god simply does not exist. I do not "deny" something that exists when I say I am an atheist. I do not hold a belief in it. Not the same thing at all.
If you are a-moral - you do not deny morals - you just do not have any. If you are a-political, you are not denying politics - you simply do not have a political allegiance.
Babies have never heard of god, or morals, or politics, therefore they are a-moral, a-political and a-theistic. Grown up people who have never heard of the concept of a god are atheistic also. You are an atheist because you do not believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster (The One True Godd/ess).
Hope that helps you understand what this means. I did not realize you were so confused. I realize the dictionaries you use are probably written by religious people such as yourself - that does not make the meaning correct. Mirriam Webster online and Dictionary.com huh?
But thanks for demonstrating the type of behavior religion played in making me an atheist.
The dictionaries I use are the dictionaries every English speaking person in the world uses. If I don't understand the meaning, then all of the scholars that have ever written dictionaries of the English language don't understand as well. Add to that Greek scholars from which the word comes from in the first place.
Apparently you want to give your own definition of the word and go against the accepted norm. I suppose that is all right if you are a relativist, but in the real world where word meanings actually mean something, you can never, by any stretch of the imagination call a baby an atheist. I am sorry for you that you have to twist truth to your own way of thinking. Maybe you have to come up with your own atheist dictionary, and move to a part of the world where only atheists communicate with one another. Then everyone will understand your interesting logic.
The accepted norm is "lack of something." Not a belief that something is not. You are the one doing the twisting. This is why your religion causes so many conflicts.
Of course babies are atheists. They do not claim a belief in god. Therefore they are atheists. We are all born atheists.
It is a lack of belief in something, not a positive belief that something is not.
Why would you use the term a-something in a different way for every other word it applies to?
I will concede that babies are not and cannot be "positive atheists" but they sure as hell do not believe in god.
As a matter of interest - what word would you apply to some one who does not believe in god because they never heard the idea?
Do you even consult a dictionary before making your claims? I have consulted several and they all say the same thing. None of them agrees with you. It isn't that babies don't believe in a god, it is that they cannot believe in a god because they don't have the reasoning capacity. Atheism, according to the dictionaries, implies reasoning abilities.
The reason we don't have a term for people who have never heard the concept of a deity, spirit, life force or whatever you want to call the spiritual being that we call God is because even the most primitive of tribes has at least some knowledge of this sort of thing. The concept is universal. There are some tribes who only have belief in spirits but these spirits are nonetheless beings outside the realm of the physical. But if you wish me to commit to a term for people who have never heard of a god, the term agnostic would fit better than atheist. Agnostic means "without knowledge" and has been applied to the concept of god. If you say that babies are agnostics, I might concede the point.
Yes - I know some dictionaries have been written by twisted religionists to suit people like you.
The concept is not universal. My wife is Japanese. And the idea that something exists as spirit is very different to your Invisible Super Being.
But - you now think babies are "agnostic" I take it?
I didn't say they had to accept the term, but your wife certainly knows what you are talking about when you say god to her. A baby does not, unless you know of any super babies that I am not aware of. And no, I don't believe that babies are agnostic, but that word fits better than atheist.
And for the record, all dictionaries define it like I have said and not just some. Unless you know of an atheist dictionary that I can consult. If you do, let me know and I will certainly look up the word in there.
There are (2) distinct definitions that I have seen in all the dictionaries I have access, and you have purposely and dishonestly left out the second one, which is:
"A lack of belief in the existence of God or gods"
You see, it does define atheism as a "lack" of belief. Anyone, including babies, who has a lack of belief in your god or any gods, is defined as an atheist.
You believe in one god, but you don't believe in others, in that you not only deny a belief in other gods but you also lack a belief in them, hence you are an atheist, as well.
That is the most twisted logic that I have ever heard of and your understanding of words makes words relative. And if words are relative none of us can communicate because we can give it any definition we please. "A lack of belief in a god or gods"implies reasoning ability to know what a god is. With your definition everyone is an atheist because no one accepts every god that is out there. And if everyone is an atheist, then why are we still arguing over it. You win. There are no theists in the world. By the way: HA! HA! HA!.
No wonder your religion cause so many wars.
From where I am sitting it would seem that you are starting all of the fights. And can you get another catch phrase? That one is getting old, especially since it isn't true. And yes, your so called logic is giving an entirely different definition to the word. It is sad that you have to do this. Here is my catch phrase: "No wonder atheism isn't believed by most people."
Yes - I understand why you would feel the need to say that. The McDonalds of belief systems. Your assumption of belief as the default is illogical and irrational.
From where you are sitting - some one saying - "no I do not believe in this Invisible Super Being you insist exists but cannot define," is starting a fight huh?
This is why your religion causes so many wars.
No wonder atheism isn't believed by most people. No one else is irrational enough to believe that everything they see around them, including the design of their very bodies and the intricacies of a single cell could ultimately come from nothing! If most atheists don't cause wars, (and I am not conceding to that), it is because their belief system ultimately leads to nihilism. Why fight if life is pointless? There really is nothing worth preserving.
But - that is exactly what you believe. You believe everything came from nothing - just that it took majik to do it.
I believe no such nonsense. All you are really doing is demonstrating an ignorance of physics and evolution.
You think there is nothing worth preserving and life is pointless without an Invisible Super Being?
Dear me - no wonder your religion causes so many wars.
And - you are demonstrating exactly what part religion played in my lack of belief in a god.
Why does it make you so angry that I do not believe in a god?
It doesn't make me angry at all. And it would seem that every time you are faced with a legitimate argument that you try to call the other person ignorant but don't demonstrate that you have any knowledge of these things either. Otherwise you would tell me how evolution and physics prove me wrong ultimately. It is easy just to call someone ignorant without even showing them why you believe this. Your ignorance of how all this that we call the universe began is just as large as everyone else in this world but you take as big of a dogmatic stand that you are right as any follower of religion. The sad thing is that you don't realize it.
How sad for you that you think you have rid yourself of belief in something that you think doesn't exist only to replace it with a belief that lifeless matter majickly transformed itself into an entire universe and life itself. That sounds like a giant leap of faith; one I am not willing to make.
You are obviously ignorant of evolution. And of the many possible explanations of how life forms, and the possibilities of it forming. And how planets and moons form. And of physics in general.
You have made no legitimate arguments. You say there was nothing and god did majik to make something. This is irrational nonsense. Your assumption that there was nothing is at the root of this - how do you know there was nothing? How do you make this giant leap of faith?
And you certainly do come across as angry. Why do you even need to berate me and tell me how sad it is that I do not believe nonsense? Why are you even here arguing (against the instructions in your majik book)? This is why your religion causes so many conflicts.
On the contrary!
Life is wonderful when there is no belief in a super being.
Ethics and morals can be seen in the light of modern psychological knowledge, and not dictated by a stone aged morality that accepted slavery, the suppression of females and death threats from the invisible no show gods.
Not at all, you are free to tell me that the Jabberwocky created the universe without even describing in any detail whatsoever the Jabberwocky. I need not hold that belief.
You will undoubtedly hear Muslims telling you to believe in Allah, and without a shred of description or definition, you will not hold a belief in Allah.
Laughing inanely at your own shortcomings? That fact of the matter is that out of the many gods claimed to have existed over our historic past, you believe in only one more than I do. Yes, that indeed makes you a theist, but only with the god you chose to believe.
Even by the one definition you provided, you are an atheist in terms of all other gods.
Not at all. One god or many gods is still a belief in a god which makes me nothing but a theist. Your ability to twist words is very interesting. We go by current usage of the word and not by what might have been taught during the Greek period. Today the word atheist is only used to denote any one who does not accept the existence of a god. I certainly do not fall into that absurd category.
Also, even though we have differing interpretations of what a god is, doesn't mean that you don't know what I mean when I use the word god. I may not agree that the gods of Mount Olympus are real, but I certainly know what the Greeks were talking about when they referred to them. And if the Jabberwocky created the universe, he would certainly fit a general description of a supreme being. If anyone believed such a thing, then the Jabberwocky would certainly be a god to them. That must make Lewis Carrol his high priest!
@godtalk you are right..god concept is man made and not natural..so needs books and telling others...one doesnot need to teach kid about how to breathe, how to cry ,how to laugh ,how to smile...but one needs to teach how to speak in parents language , since language was created by humans...in same why one needs to tell who was jesus or krishna or moses or muhammad...one needs to tell what is bible or quran or torah or veda...one needs to teach about money too...since money is human's creation...so all that is natural can be grasped independently by humans but all that is man made needs to be taught...you are right that kids dont believe in religious god and so consider entire human race as one ...once religion enters , division enters...
So if all that is true then there should not be any concept of God in the human race. Who was the first to teach humans about God? It was his fault. The truth is as humans begin to reason, they have a natural affinity for worshiping something or someone. That is why there are so many religions in the world.
I guess I don't count? I'm not atheist.
Religion is a hoax. The doctrine which make up all religion of the world, specifically to major 3 doctrines are all unattainable according to human nature.
Tested and failed.
count me as one of those tested and failed also
could not measure up I guess..
i have yet to find out for myself.. i'm trying to understand why most people would believe in god despite the ill and confusing comments being thrown at him. and i'm also trying to understand if it's really wiser to believe in what science tells amid both beneficial and ill results of it.
I don't believe in any supreme beings, intelligent or otherwise. I was raised as a Christian in a Fundamentalist family though I'm not sure I would have considered myself a Fundamentalist. Religion didn't cause my atheism but reading the Bible more often definitely contributed to losing my Christian faith. I drifted around as a sort of pantheist after that before eventually realizing I had no reason to believe in any gods and was just clinging to those ideas for emotional reasons.
So in some sense religion played a fairly big role but I think that skepticism, logic and reason also played their part. If I hadn't had the ability to think critically and question what I was taught I never would have broken free.
As a kid, the stories were interesting and then when I started to ask questions... Hmmm, You Know!
Well it was a pretty bad start when as a three year old i found church boring enough to announce in front of the entire congregation (of my home villages catholic church) that the priest was so boring, which stopped my family from attending mass ever again.
Then when I was seven the priest of our next local church refused to give me my first communion because I was a Protestant and he was Catholic.
Having being told to pay no mind to religion by my parents from then on, I got to observe religious studies in secondary school from a fairly unique viewpoint, one where I could see how one-sided the so called "religious studies" class was.
It was extremely Catholic, with prayers at the beginning and end of class, there was precious little mentioned about any religions other than Christianity, and what was said was told with a touch of scorn. Amazing for a school that was not in any way affiliated with the church, unlike many schools in Ireland.
I did not participate in this class so I could develop frustration with the teaching without having a workload to distract me from my eventual hypothesis.
Which was of course: This is bullshit
I was 8 years old, sitting in a church that a nice neighbor lady would take me to every week, and looked around. I couldn't believe that people were taking it seriously. Talking snakes, a God they said loved you but would torture you for eternity if you didn't grovel and declare yourself unworthy, guilt, fear, animal sacrifice, human sacrifice....
I dismissed it as myth. I studied the bible quite a bit again later on, first with a rabbi (long story) and then with preachers and missionaries. The more I read, the more I could not believe that any human would take it any more seriously than any story with talking animals and magic. And the whole contradiction of a vindictive god who is supposed to be "love" is unfathomable.
I applaud your intellect at such a young age - I am not so sure I would have not have felt compelled to accept the beliefs of those around me as they would have been older and wiser.
But then, I was reared in the evangelical bloodlines from inception, and as a physician I am sure you are aware that it is inordinately difficult for a child of formative years to doubt or question beliefs held by parents.
The only thing that saved me from supersticion was a rational mind - the ability to reason my way out of of hellfire and damnation, salvation and heaven.
To paraphrase Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven: Reasoning - deserve's got nothing to do with it.
Not really intellect, they just didn't get me young enough.
And I'd have gotten there eventually because I do like to find things out for myself. Once I read the bible, there would be no way I'd be part of that.
As Isaac Asimov said "Properly read, the bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."
I've not heard that quote by Asimov before TahoeDoc, but that speaks volumes to me. It truly was the Bible itself that made me question to whole God thing - none of it ever made sense to me, with all of its contradictions and terrifying stories of a vengeful God who would cause terrible pain and death to the creatures he was supposed to have created.
Nah, the Bible was never anything more to me than a book of interesting stories, that only served to tell me something about what life was like in millennia past. I do like the Bible for that.
Wierdo's I agree.
If you went to doctor and found out he was a quack,does that mean you would quit looking for a real doctor?
Religion played no role. I was not born with any nonsensical beliefs. My parents made me briefly believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and also took me and my sisters to church.
For a long time I did not understand that the guy yammering up front was being serious. I though he was just telling fairy tales like the Winnie the Pooh stories my mother had read to me.
When I did suddenly understand, I was very upset and scared. On our way out of the church that day, I asked my father if everyone believed this. He said no, but most did. I said I did not and that I would not be attending church any longer.
I was seven or eight - the age of Reason, I guess. Too bad most never do reach that.
I was a Jehovah's Witness for a few years, and for some time I took everyone of that religion's teachings to be true. However, I never felt at ease with its teaching that evolution is entirely false and a creation of the devil. I started to look at the scientific evidence and saw hundreds of skulls showing the progression of man from an earlier form to that of modern man. The evidence is there for all to see, yet my religion denied that it existed. This started my questioning.
When I finally decided to leave that religion, I began to study the archaelogical evidence which showed that many of the events which are described in the bible did not actually happen, such as the exodus of the jews from Egypt. It all began to add up. That science can prove the origins of the universe and of man's origins, and many of the events of the bible didn't happen. As I came to realise that my religious belief was leaving me, I began to fear death more, and I therefore realised that this is what religions exist for. That we are possibly alone in the universe, that we are not that important, and that the universe is unaware of out existence, and that when our short time upon this earth comes to its close, that really is the end of each one of us is too depressing to contemplate. However, the need to believe was no longer enough. I felt that I could no longer deny what science shows us in the hope of finding some comfort.
Yet those who remain in that and other religions have to deny scientific discoveries in order to maintain their beliefs. Instead of being God's faithful, I began to see such people as ignorant and arrogant. That so many of them are willing to die and to kill for their beliefs I came to see as tragic.
So yes, religion was a cause of my becoming an ahteist, at least a part-time one. Because, I still pray, and have the greatest of respect for the bible, even though I no longer believe a word of it, and believe that there is no one there to hear my prayer. However, I do believe that man is by nature a religious animal, and the need for something outside of ourselves is so a part of our natures.
There is no reason to be morose. Being alone in the universe is quite liberating. You are your own boss. And tell you what - you aren't really that alone as there are about 6 billion other intelligent apes who share this planet with you, and many of them need and want your help.
You don't need god to do good things and get a reward for that action - that is what actions and consequences is all about. It is why the claim of religious superiority of morality is spurious - go do good for others because it will make you feel good about yourself. There is nothing magical or mysterious about it.
Quit thinking, poor lonely me, and go make some positive change in the world, or at least in the lives of those less fortunate - after all, you don't have all that much time in this world and there is no second chance.
Hope this helps.
Muldanian hello. We're social animals, therefore it's quite natural to feel down when we're alone and in trouble. Universe is huge, I agree. However, earth is massive, but that doesn't change anything in our lives. Most of us work while we can, and try to enjoy lives as much as we can. All those we do regardless how big universe is or how unimportant we are or we feel. If you consider that the only animal, who can pray is human, tthats quite something, isn't it? Moreover, science is advancing by day and theories like evolution are to remain theories, I don't know for how long(it's startling that it has remained that way for such a long time). Nevertheless, it's science's best shot so far to create an alternative to what Bible claims to have taken place. Btw, I don't think anywhere in the Bible it's stated that the earth is 6000 years old, it's human's interpretation. The fact that Bible is not a scientific book should make one to evaluate it in other grounds. As for archeology seems to be quite in line with the bible. But again it's you who decides to believe, there are no obligations.
@Muldanian...this is exactly what my in-laws tell me when they state why they couldn't live without religion.
"That we are possibly alone in the universe, that we are not that important, and that the universe is unaware of out existence, and that when our short time upon this earth comes to its close, that really is the end of each one of us is too depressing to contemplate."
But as you stated, wanting something to be true has no bearing on its actuality. I see that you get that and I'm sorry it bothers you, but Winston is right, make use of that fact to enjoy your life.
Interesting, I have never found this outlook depressing, just the way it is. To me, it's actually life affirming. You better get around to loving your family, taking care of the important things in life, making your mark or whatever NOW, because this is it. LIVE this life Instead of wasting it trying to please some sky god to earn favor for the next.
Maybe because I never had any other expectations of what happened when you died, or because I never though I was so special as to be watched over by a creator/god, I always find this comforting.
Not sure if you have seen it, or if it will make you feel better or worse, but your comments made me think of it.
What role has religion played in making you atheist?
The truthful religion has played no role in making one an atheist; it is their own frustration and confusion that has made them atheists agnostics.
Others could differ with me out of their own free will.
I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim
The truthful religion has played no role in making one an atheist; it is their own frustration and confusion that has made them atheists agnostics.
Others could differ with me out of their own free will.
and it is desperate attempt by human to find meaning in their lives which has made them to believe in something called god...desperation to have eternal life (concept) , heaven (concept) makes people believe in god (again unproven concept)..
To be honest, not much. I was raised Christian, and I never really had a bad experience with it. I liked going to church and I adored the Bible (I even got a big illustrated one as a present for Christmas, after asking). I just felt like I was play-acting the whole time, I never believed it. And then I realized I didn't believe in any kind of higher power at all.
Atheism is the only system where I feel like I'm being truthful with myself.
Religion has played virtually no part in making me an atheist. Why would it? I hope that even if I believed in god I'd still be appalled by the things organised religion gets away with...
I agree with the last part there.
There have been some mentally deranged people who have claimed atrocitys in the name of God and all countries seem to go to war 'Under God' kinda must suit them to fly under that banner when they feel patrioctic,but support all kinds of crap (while still 'Under God)
like Greed ,Corruption,Injustice etc etc.
Hypocrites in my opinion.
Yeah, the assertion that god's on "your side" troubles me no end. Scary people hide behind its facade.
I'm not an atheist because of religion in the slightest; "the opposite to a fundamental religious person is not a fundamentalist atheist, but a gentle cynic who cares little about whether or not there is a god" (Voltaire).
Hmm..ok I got that.
Bottom line for me is Im not much into labels/stereotypes ,even though I'm, sure someone has judged, and filed me under R.
Unconditional love is strange concept to many,because its not about self,but I tell you its exciting
Religion plays its part in encouraging Atheism. But even if there were no snarky religious boosters polluting your personal space, there are audio factors at work as well, such as the deafening absence of any God...
Heheh, yes, the "deafening absence of any God". Scientists have extended our senses well beyond what our bodies are capable, but still no God or spirit-stuff anywhere. Also Jesus is said to "stand at the door and knock" -- and if you say "knock" backwards it's "con". Think about it! lol.
My siblings and I were briefly sent to Sunday school as youngsters. We liked the gold star for turning up but everything else was just silly. After several weeks of this nonsense, we decided that our parents must have only sent us there to enjoy having the house free of us briefly on a Sunday - so we declined to go again. It just made no sense. It still doesn't... but it seems even more ludicrous as an adult. My children have religious education in their supposedly secular primary school and I allow them to attend only because it provides a useful platform to teach them critical thinking. Our home discussions on the subject are lively.
I wouldn't have say that religion caused too many wars over the course of history. I think it's more often used as a cover story or an explaination for a war. I'm not saying that it has nothing to do with it, but in the vast majority of cases it's not the major reason and I think the war would probably happen anyway...
It does help to keep cultures apart, which certainly encourages war...
"Who was the first to teach humans about God?"
Was that one god or many gods or polytheism?
"The Greeks used it to describe a person who rejected the gods worshiped by the larger society." Seems like sound logic to me.
I shouldn't really be posting, as I am agnostic, rather than atheist, but I do not believe that the Bible is the word of God; I think that it is the mythology, history and religious ideas of an ancient Eastern Mediterranean tribe.
I used to be Christian, when I was a child, and I chose to go to Sunday School, church, etc, with my friends ~ three times per week. However, even then, I questioned so much that I was not particularly popular with Sunday School teachers or Religious Education teachers at school. I was actually evicted from one 'Home Church' meeting, when I was 12.
The more I thought about it, the more difficult it became to believe ~ and that was terrifying for a teenager, because of the threat of hell.
Then, in my 20s, I heard that the Bishop of Durham had trouble believing in a lot of things ~ that gave me permission to doubt.
By my 30s, I would go back and forth, from almost-believer to almost-atheist.
Finally, I concluded that I really just didn't know. I don't see how anyone can really 'know' for certain. There appear to be supernatural 'things', which may one day be explained, but while there are mysteries, I leave 'God' with those mysteries and say that I am agnostic. It's the only position which makes sense to me.
I know some truly lovely caring Christians; but I have known some who are smug, pompous and insulting towards anyone who does not share their opinions and beliefs.
I don't think that there is any proof that God exists ~ but it's possible. I don't see why the Biblical interpretation of God should be any more true than any other ~ eg Norse tales of Odin and Thor. I don't see why people should be so enamoured of a Biblical God who loves his creation, yet tortures and kills them ~ note the flood, the Amalekite slaughter, the threat of hell. I think that hell frightens some people into 'believing'.
Religion? ~ Well, much evil has been done in the name of, or with the blessing of, or because of the set-up of organised religion. It's nothing to be proud of, but not a reason to know whether or not God exists, whether he is interested in us, whether he created us, whether we should believe in and worship him, etc.
If God is there, I do wonder why he doesn't make this clearer and why there is so much unpleasantness in the world. Seeing lions and tigers tearing weaker creatures apart is horrible, for example, but it is how God has ~ supposedly ~ made his world ~ the world where even the smallest sparrow is said to be important to him.
I do not know whether there is a God or not, but I have very little time for organised religion and I do not think that the Bible is God's special book.
Some politicians are pacifists, some are warmongers.
This causes inner conflict within the group.
Whatever is contained within must spill out.
So you are right to say tht conflict comes from within polotics.
The same is true for any group that conflict resides.... for the same reasons
BUT even if thee were no groups ??? conflict seems to be a product of humanity as a whole.
There will always be someone who wants more controll and will do anything to get it.
If the Boy Scouts were the main sourse for controlling the world; there would then be more conflict coming from within the Boy Scouts.
It doesn't matter the name of the group or what it says it stands for. Conflict is but one of the natures of mankind.
I was a former evangelist in a very fundamentalist church you can say I was a fanatic. But through it all I was also very inquisitive and judgmental about some of the actions and even injustices attributed to God. For example, the O.T. portrayed God as a murdering tyrant who ruled with an iron fist under the dispensation of the law. After having read the bible in its entirety four times as a theist, it seemed that the more I read it the further I got from God.
I didn't and don't see a difference between God and Hitler, in fact Hitler was raised Catholic and believed he was doing his gods will in destroying the Jews. He makes this assertion clear in Mein Kampf which I also read. I judged the biblical God by the standards of men, and after reading all of the things he allegedly did in the O.T. I was disgusted with being his servant.
To this day I have problems with tyrants and in my view that is exactly the way I view God. If God were a physical man and had done all those things that the bible attribute to him he would be tried for war crimes and sentenced to death. The bible is what actually led me towards becoming an atheist. I have been a proud atheist for the past 16 years and find more joy and fulfillment in my everyday life now than when I was "serving the divine tyrant."
Yep! I have a couple of dozen crown lager to warm up with. Atheist is a word religious people use to describe people who don't believe in invisible super beings.
I would have thought the word sensible would suffice myself.
I don't believe in Santa or the tooth fairy either, but I don't think that makes me an atheist.
"Today the word atheist is only used to denote any one who does not accept the existence of a god. I certainly do not fall into that absurd category." The term absurd sticks in my craw. 'A god' - would you have problem with atheist as non-belief in many gods?
Question: "Is there an argument for the existence of God?"
Answer: The question of whether there is a conclusive argument for the existence of God has been debated throughout history, with exceedingly intelligent people taking both sides of the dispute. In recent times, arguments against the possibility of God’s existence have taken on a militant spirit that accuses anyone daring to believe in God as being delusional and irrational. Karl Marx asserted that anyone believing in God must have a mental disorder that caused invalid thinking. The psychiatrist Sigmund Freud wrote that a person who believed in a Creator God was delusional and only held those beliefs due to a “wish-fulfillment” factor that produced what Freud considered to be an unjustifiable position. The philosopher Frederick Nietzsche bluntly said that faith equates to not wanting to know what is true. The voices of these three figures from history (along with others) are simply now parroted by a new generation of atheists who claim that a belief in God is intellectually unwarranted.
Is this truly the case? Is belief in God a rationally unacceptable position to hold? Is there a logical and reasonable argument for the existence of God? Outside of referencing the Bible, can a case for the existence of God be made that refutes the positions of both the old and new atheists and gives sufficient warrant for believing in a Creator? The answer is, yes, it can. Moreover, in demonstrating the validity of an argument for the existence of God, the case for atheism is shown to be intellectually weak.
To make an argument for the existence of God, we must start by asking the right questions. We begin with the most basic metaphysical question: “Why do we have something rather than nothing at all?” This is the basic question of existence—why are we here; why is the earth here; why is the universe here rather than nothing? Commenting on this point, one theologian has said, “In one sense man does not ask the question about God, his very existence raises the question about God.”
In considering this question, there are four possible answers to why we have something rather than nothing at all:
1. Reality is an illusion.
2. Reality is/was self-created.
3. Reality is self-existent (eternal).
4. Reality was created by something that is self-existent.
So, which is the most plausible solution? Let’s begin with reality being simply an illusion, which is what a number of Eastern religions believe. This option was ruled out centuries ago by the philosopher Rene Descartes who is famous for the statement, “I think, therefore I am.” Descartes, a mathematician, argued that if he is thinking, then he must “be.” In other words, “I think, therefore I am not an illusion.” Illusions require something experiencing the illusion, and moreover, you cannot doubt the existence of yourself without proving your existence; it is a self-defeating argument. So the possibility of reality being an illusion is eliminated.
Next is the option of reality being self-created. When we study philosophy, we learn of “analytically false” statements, which means they are false by definition. The possibility of reality being self-created is one of those types of statements for the simple reason that something cannot be prior to itself. If you created yourself, then you must have existed prior to you creating yourself, but that simply cannot be. In evolution this is sometimes referred to as “spontaneous generation” —something coming from nothing—a position that few, if any, reasonable people hold to anymore simply because you cannot get something from nothing. Even the atheist David Hume said, “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.” Since something cannot come from nothing, the alternative of reality being self-created is ruled out.
Now we are left with only two choices—an eternal reality or reality being created by something that is eternal: an eternal universe or an eternal Creator. The 18th-century theologian Jonathan Edwards summed up this crossroads:
• Something exists.
• Nothing cannot create something.
• Therefore, a necessary and eternal “something” exists.
Notice that we must go back to an eternal “something.” The atheist who derides the believer in God for believing in an eternal Creator must turn around and embrace an eternal universe; it is the only other door he can choose. But the question now is, where does the evidence lead? Does the evidence point to matter before mind or mind before matter?
To date, all key scientific and philosophical evidence points away from an eternal universe and toward an eternal Creator. From a scientific standpoint, honest scientists admit the universe had a beginning, and whatever has a beginning is not eternal. In other words, whatever has a beginning has a cause, and if the universe had a beginning, it had a cause. The fact that the universe had a beginning is underscored by evidence such as the second law of thermodynamics, the radiation echo of the big bang discovered in the early 1900s, the fact that the universe is expanding and can be traced back to a singular beginning, and Einstein’s theory of relativity. All prove the universe is not eternal.
Further, the laws that surround causation speak against the universe being the ultimate cause of all we know for this simple fact: an effect must resemble its cause. This being true, no atheist can explain how an impersonal, purposeless, meaningless, and amoral universe accidentally created beings (us) who are full of personality and obsessed with purpose, meaning, and morals. Such a thing, from a causation standpoint, completely refutes the idea of a natural universe birthing everything that exists. So in the end, the concept of an eternal universe is eliminated.
Philosopher J. S. Mill (not a Christian) summed up where we have now come to: “It is self-evident that only Mind can create mind.” The only rational and reasonable conclusion is that an eternal Creator is the one who is responsible for reality as we know it. Or to put it in a logical set of statements:
• Something exists.
• You do not get something from nothing.
• Therefore a necessary and eternal “something” exists.
• The only two options are an eternal universe and an eternal Creator.
• Science and philosophy have disproven the concept of an eternal universe.
• Therefore, an eternal Creator exists.
Former atheist Lee Strobel, who arrived at this end result many years ago, has commented, “Essentially, I realized that to stay an atheist, I would have to believe that nothing produces everything; non-life produces life; randomness produces fine-tuning; chaos produces information; unconsciousness produces consciousness; and non-reason produces reason. Those leaps of faith were simply too big for me to take, especially in light of the affirmative case for God's existence … In other words, in my assessment the Christian worldview accounted for the totality of the evidence much better than the atheistic worldview.”
But the next question we must tackle is this: if an eternal Creator exists (and we have shown that He does), what kind of Creator is He? Can we infer things about Him from what He created? In other words, can we understand the cause by its effects? The answer to this is yes, we can, with the following characteristics being surmised:
• He must be supernatural in nature (as He created time and space).
• He must be powerful (exceedingly).
• He must be eternal (self-existent).
• He must be omnipresent (He created space and is not limited by it).
• He must be timeless and changeless (He created time).
• He must be immaterial because He transcends space/physical.
• He must be personal (the impersonal cannot create personality).
• He must be infinite and singular as you cannot have two infinites.
• He must be diverse yet have unity as unity and diversity exist in nature.
• He must be intelligent (supremely). Only cognitive being can produce cognitive being.
• He must be purposeful as He deliberately created everything.
• He must be moral (no moral law can be had without a giver).
• He must be caring (or no moral laws would have been given).
These things being true, we now ask if any religion in the world describes such a Creator. The answer to this is yes: the God of the Bible fits this profile perfectly. He is supernatural (Genesis 1:1), powerful (Jeremiah 32:17), eternal (Psalm 90:2), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7), timeless/changeless (Malachi 3:6), immaterial (John 5:24), personal (Genesis 3:9), necessary (Colossians 1:17), infinite/singular (Jeremiah 23:24, Deuteronomy 6:4), diverse yet with unity (Matthew 28:19), intelligent (Psalm 147:4-5), purposeful (Jeremiah 29:11), moral (Daniel 9:14), and caring (1 Peter 5:6-7).
One last subject to address on the matter of God’s existence is the matter of how justifiable the atheist’s position actually is. Since the atheist asserts the believer’s position is unsound, it is only reasonable to turn the question around and aim it squarely back at him. The first thing to understand is that the claim the atheist makes—“no god,” which is what “atheist” means—is an untenable position to hold from a philosophical standpoint. As legal scholar and philosopher Mortimer Adler says, “An affirmative existential proposition can be proved, but a negative existential proposition—one that denies the existence of something—cannot be proved.” For example, someone may claim that a red eagle exists and someone else may assert that red eagles do not exist. The former only needs to find a single red eagle to prove his assertion. But the latter must comb the entire universe and literally be in every place at once to ensure he has not missed a red eagle somewhere and at some time, which is impossible to do. This is why intellectually honest atheists will admit they cannot prove God does not exist.
Next, it is important to understand the issue that surrounds the seriousness of truth claims that are made and the amount of evidence required to warrant certain conclusions. For example, if someone puts two containers of lemonade in front of you and says that one may be more tart than the other, since the consequences of getting the more tart drink would not be serious, you would not require a large amount of evidence in order to make your choice. However, if to one cup the host added sweetener but to the other he introduced rat poison, then you would want to have quite a bit of evidence before you made your choice.
This is where a person sits when deciding between atheism and belief in God. Since belief in atheism could possibly result in irreparable and eternal consequences, it would seem that the atheist should be mandated to produce weighty and overriding evidence to support his position, but he cannot. Atheism simply cannot meet the test for evidence for the seriousness of the charge it makes. Instead, the atheist and those whom he convinces of his position slide into eternity with their fingers crossed and hope they do not find the unpleasant truth that eternity does indeed exist. As Mortimer Adler says, “More consequences for life and action follow from the affirmation or denial of God than from any other basic question.”
So does belief in God have intellectual warrant? Is there a rational, logical, and reasonable argument for the existence of God? Absolutely. While atheists such as Freud claim that those believing in God have a wish-fulfillment desire, perhaps it is Freud and his followers who actually suffer from wish-fulfillment: the hope and wish that there is no God, no accountability, and therefore no judgment. But refuting Freud is the God of the Bible who affirms His existence and the fact that a judgment is indeed coming for those who know within themselves the truth that He exists but suppress that truth (Romans 1:20). But for those who respond to the evidence that a Creator does indeed exist, He offers the way of salvation that has been accomplished through His Son, Jesus Christ: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13).
What role has religion played in making you atheist?
Truthful Religion has played no role in making one an atheist; it is their own confusion and irrational thinking that has made them atheists.
confusion...well might be...confusion is mid stage which leads to clarity ..confusion like why religion is so limited and so naive...then comes clarity that since it is man made we can't expect better...it is process of irrational thinking like religious god to rational thinking that humans created religious god ...so you have point confusion and irrationality of religion leads to rational thinking of coming out of religion...
You're right about confusion. Religion is confusing. When you really think about what religions teach, they make no sense. As for irrational thinking, what is rational about talking snakes tempting people to eat fruit and blood sacrifices to atone for sins? You can't be religious and fully rational. You have to set aside at least some of your common sense to be a believer. Of all the thousands of religions and gods people have and continue to believe in, how could anyone possibly know if one was true or truthful? Or that their particular interpretation of it was true?
The way to see through religion is to read the tome of each one.
When you get to the part where some psychopathic "god" threatens you, or the proponents of that religion kindly explain that you are going to hell, the search is over. Start again.
After you have discovered that they all follow the same threatening controlling pattern you can walk away and say with some authority, it is simply myth.
There is no mention of talking snakes or blood sacrifices mentioned in Quran.
It is the sinful Bible scribes who understood things incorrectly and hence mentioned incorrectly; Quran rectifies their mistakes.
by HannahRiley 2 years ago
Does it make me close minded if I can't understand why people are atheists?I guess how is the better way to say it. I seriously question everything...like facts from history, ect...but for some reason Ive never questioned religion. I grew up in a Christian home, not a SUPER Christian home, but one...
by Wayne K. WIlkins 2 years ago
What does religion mean to you?With so much evidence supporting science these days and countless discoveries disregarding religion and proving it wrong, what does religion mean to you? Religion means nothing to me, personally. I am atheist and am happy being atheist and I am happy with religious...
by Nichol marie 2 years ago
Do you believe that some religious people are to blame for, more people becoming atheists?Maybe people feel as though they are not ever good enough not because of God but because of other people condemning everything and give up on pursuing to be "Good"
by Claire Evans 20 months ago
This topic is old, I know, but I'd like to ask it anyway. Many Christians will ask an atheist, "Why are you here if you don't believe God (should it be a Christian thread)?" Some will answer, "Because I'm trying to help you see the errors of your ways. Is this...
by Marc Lee 2 years ago
Do you consider yourself spiritual or religious, and what do you see as the difference?
by JG11Bravo 4 years ago
It's a question that has come up more than once and I have a preconceived notion about it. Do you know the Bible? Have you read it? How "advanced" is your study of the subject? Is it a 'know thy enemy' thing, or an interest in theological studies with belief absent?
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