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Atheism being defined - What are the reasons for it?

  1. profile image59
    augustine72posted 6 years ago

    I had posted a thread "define atheism". I want to move forward. Since atheism has been defined as "lack of belief in God" what are your reasons for taking that position? In other words what are the reasons for lack of belief in God? Many has said it is "lack of evidence". Is that all are are there more reasons?

    1. Sunny2o0o profile image61
      Sunny2o0oposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The reasons why people become atheists are as varied as the number of people who become atheists.  Some people were raised without religion, some have abandoned their faith in response to trauma.  Others find that, logically, they just cannot reconcile what they have been taught to believe with what they see around them.  Personally, I would think that a lack of evidence is a good enough reason on its own--generally, I need sufficient evidence to accept any proposition in the first place.  Belief should not come before proof.

      1. earnestshub profile image89
        earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I agree.

        "Knowing" god is not knowing self. smile

      2. profile image59
        augustine72posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        @Sunny2o0o

        "Belief should not come before proof.."

        Then my friend you should not be doing the following things,

        1. Taking a medicine you had not taken before.
        Because the doctor or the Manufaturer or the seller of the medicine does not proove to you that the medicine cures. When you are cured that is when you have the proof.

        2. Investing in shares
        Because you have no proof that the investment will make you a profit until it actually makes profit for you.

        3. Board a flight
        Because you have no proof that that plane will take you safely to your destination until it finally does.

        I can go on. If your statement is true you must not be doing a lot many things that you are currently doing.

        1. Sunny2o0o profile image61
          Sunny2o0oposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          That depends upon the definition of "proof" and "belief."  I have never belonged to the camp that in order to acquire knowledge, one actually needs to go out and test every proposition personally.  Realistically, that's impossible.  Proof, or reasonable expectation, which is what most people, including myself, use most of the time, can be based upon past experiences and knowledge/discoveries, even if these past experiences or knowledge has been acquired by someone else.  Can I be certain that the plane is actually going to arrive at the stated destination?  No.  There might be a terrorist attack, there might be bad weather or a medical emergency necessitating a change in flight plan, ect.  Can I be reasonably certain that, barring unforeseen events, the plane is going to arrive at its stated destination?  Yes, because most planes do arrive at their planned destinations, and because a great many people are paid to ensure that the plane goes from point a to point b as planned. 

          One also does not require absolute proof before undertaking an action--reasonable expectation is usually sufficient.  Other times, even without the reasonable expectation that the outcome will be successful, the potential gains may make the potential risks worthwhile.

          I am also not your friend.  Please refrain from addressing me as such.

          1. profile image59
            augustine72posted 6 years ago in reply to this

            @Sunny2o0o

            You said this rightly "Proof, or reasonable expectation, which is what most people, including myself, use most of the time, can be based upon past experiences and knowledge/discoveries, even if these past experiences or knowledge has been acquired by someone else."

            But this gives rise to a question. The majority of people claim that there exists a God based on their past experiences and knowledge/discoveries  etc. Why then is their claim not accepted?   Why can't that be taken as a base to be reasonably certain?

    2. Titen-Sxull profile image93
      Titen-Sxullposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      - Lack of compelling evidence for god(s)

      - Lack of compelling arguments (logical and otherwise) for god(s)

      - The fact that most religions which set up God concepts contain factual errors, historical inconsistencies, logically impossible claims and often internal contradictions.

      I was raised Christian but in my teens after reading the entirety of the Bible and getting no acceptable answers for the immorality of its God or the self-contradictions within its pages I lost my faith. After that I drifted into other less religious versions of theism. Soon I found myself not believing in any god. So now I'm an atheist, been one for more than a year. It's not a position I took up, it was just the logical conclusion to showing skepticism toward God claims, even those claims that were more nebulous and pantheistic.

    3. Freegoldman profile image56
      Freegoldmanposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Intellectual

      Most atheists would offer some of the following arguments as their reason for deciding that God doesn't exist.
      Non-Intellectual

      Many people are atheists because of the way they were brought up or educated, or because they have simply adopted the beliefs of the culture in which they grew up. So someone raised in Communist China is likely to have no belief in God because the education system and culture make being an atheist the natural thing to do.

      Other people are atheists because they just feel that atheism is right.

      1. A Troubled Man profile image59
        A Troubled Manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Religion thrives in Communist China, so obviously it has very little to do with the government, culture or education system.

        Maybe it has more to do with what your parents believed?

    4. profile image0
      Emile Rposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Your question is interesting and your dialogue with those that have answered is telling.  I'm beginning to understand why some atheists are irritable. 

      I don't believe in God, but I don't label myself an atheist either. I'll give this a stab nonetheless.

      I think there are some people (such as maybe yourself) that think non belief is somehow denial.  It isn't.  It is a simple stand that you will accept the evidence as it has been presented by reality; for whatever reasons brought you to that point.

      All of the questions and all of the arguments by others will not change that stand. It would take a supernatural occurrence to prove the existence of the supernatural. I doubt anyone is anti God, most are simply accepting reality for what it is.

    5. nightwork4 profile image60
      nightwork4posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      my reasons are simple. god simply doesn't exist.it's a myth and personally i find it kind of humorous and sad at the same time how much some people act like they believe god is real.

      1. earnestshub profile image89
        earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Simple. Well said. smile

    6. psycheskinner profile image80
      psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Why would you need a reason to *not* do something?

    7. profile image61
      ibneahmadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I think the atheists are just people in doubt; as soon as they quit doubting they will be alright. It is OK with me if they don't want to quit doubting as their second nature.

      1. A Troubled Man profile image59
        A Troubled Manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        It's OK with me too that you don't want to doubt. I am quite fine in managing any doubt that crosses my mind. It's like anything else, when you practice something, you get comfortable with it and it becomes easier as time goes on, kind of second nature as you say.

        If you're not alright with handling doubt and you wish to avoid it at all times, I certainly won't bring up the subject or stoop to posting it on an open forum for you or anyone else to see.

        Your secret's safe with me. *wink wink*

    8. A Thousand Words profile image79
      A Thousand Wordsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      There are many reasons for one to be an atheist. I can only think of a few right now.

      1. A child growing up, is just raised without a notion of a god or gods. If that child runs into people in their life that believe in a god, there parents tell them that there is no god and no reason to believe in him/it/her based on reason, logic, etc. So, they learn what they are taught it school, and believe everything thing that science feeds to them. So, as an adult, they never really had any reason to believe in god and continue to live their life happily as an atheist.

      2. (I mean there are endless reasons, but I though I list more common ones, especially in America)
      A person grows up in a religious home, or becomes a part of a religion, but then, as they learn more about their religion and read that Holy Book or listen to it's teachings, questions arise that cause them to eventually denounce the religion on an intellectual and emotional level. But, instead of going into the category of "I don't know," or switching to another religion, they go to the other end of the spectrum and just claim there is no god or transcendent being/place.

  2. Cagsil profile image62
    Cagsilposted 6 years ago

    I'm not an atheist, but I'll answer your question.

    I grew up Catholic. I did have a belief in a god at one point in my life. I did so, not of my own choosing, but was asked of me to examine it myself from my parents.

    Both my parents were Catholic. So, you can see why they asked me to give it(the belief) a chance. And, was sent to classes to teach me all about Jesus and the Bible.

    I finished those when I was 17 years old and made my Confirmation, at the request of my mother. At the age of 22, I decided I was going to dig deeper, into myself and into things which I believed true.

    After 10+ years of examining multiple religions, world history, the human species, I found that there was no higher authority, such as a god. I even searched for the "soul" or "spirit", which religion claims an individual has. However, the only thing one learns about that is that "soul" and "spirit" are just descriptive words for a individual's actions and nothing more.

    As I continued to learn and live, it was clear that the truth of the matter, is that a person can be their own authority and not actually need be told(after guidance from parents that is) how to live, how to act and what the difference is between good or bad. Each person can determine these things on their own. Each person can weigh what the consequences of their actions will do to others, without having to have any outside influences.

    It lead me to create a saying, Life quote- "Life Is Easy, People Make It Complicated".

    To understand your own life isn't difficult, but it's other people that make your understanding complicated. Realizing the truth of that statement, should bring you to ask one question? The question is, do you know the question it brings?

    If not, here it is- Do I Understand My Own Life? This is a question you must ask yourself and be honest with yourself, when you decide you have the answer. To do anything less is dishonesty at work.

    Life doesn't require any knowledge of any god to be understood.
    Life doesn't require any knowledge of any god to be lived.

    Therefore, No god required. Therefore, No god need exist.

    1. profile image59
      augustine72posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      @Cagsil

      You said,
      "I decided I was going to dig deeper, into myself and into things which I believed true."

      You wanted to dig deeper into things that you already believed to be true. Then you did a 10+ years of study. So you are saying that you already believed something to be true before putting in the study. So how could your study be an unbiased one?

      1. Cagsil profile image62
        Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Simple. I learned that the individual person is their own worse enemy and have a tendency to lie to themselves. They can rationalize even the irrational.
        Because, I suspended all beliefs I held, until I gained wisdom. The study included, learning and knowing, and understanding myself, first and foremost, which religion doesn't teach. Which, is what I first learned in my earlier years of being Catholic.

        1. profile image59
          augustine72posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          So that means you were never interested in knowing God at all. You already decided you do not want him before you made the study. That is why I say that your study was not impartial.

          I too grew up as a Catholic. When I too did a study and I realised that Catholicism was not  Biblical and hence could not be called Christianity.

          1. earnestshub profile image89
            earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            That's funny, that's what they say about you. lol

          2. Cagsil profile image62
            Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            What god?
            No. I studied the works I needed to study. You would have to form the belief that a god exist, before you could possibly become interested in knowing "him", as you say.
            The suspension of the belief is required for study objectivity. My study was impartial. It was objective, not subjective.
            Christianity isn't true, considering it's one of the religions I studied.

            1. profile image59
              augustine72posted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Can I ask you something? What were you intending to find with your study?

              1. Cagsil profile image62
                Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Answers to questions I had about Life. smile

                1. profile image59
                  augustine72posted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  So was "Does God exist" one of the questions you had about life?

                  1. Cagsil profile image62
                    Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    No. It wasn't one of the questions with regards to life I needed answered.

          3. profile image0
            AKA Winstonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            (So that means you were never interested in knowing God at all.)

            Augustine,

            This is circular reasoning.  You must presuppose a god if you are to know God.  The only impartial start is with the question: is a god a reality?

            Neurotheology actually has an explanation for many of the mysteries that surround man.  It is known that the human brain does not have the capacity to store information in memory prior to the age of approximately 3 years.  It is therefore impossible for a human to recall where he came from or why he is here.   We tend to fill this information void with magical explanations that are passed on until the legend has the weight of truth.

            1. profile image0
              Sherlock221bposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I'm not sure about the human brain not having the capacity to remember before the age of 3.  I have clear memories of sleeping in my cot, and can describe the painting of a blue rabbit on its end and the plastic red and yellow balls that were on the bars, and which could move up and down.  The memory seems recent, even though it was almost 40 years ago, and I stopped sleeping in the cot when I was 2.  I also remember a holiday in Scotland with my parents and grandparents when I was 2.

              My mom also remembers when she was only a few months old, when one night there was an air raid, and my grandfather who was on fire watch had to leave, and how when he left the house, he let light out onto the street, and mom remembers someone shouting, 'shut that door!'

              1. Uninvited Writer profile image80
                Uninvited Writerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I remember sleeping in my cot too. For a long time I thought it was a dream because there were butterflies flying all around. I later found out my bedroom had butterfly wallpaper so I know it is a true memory. I also recall that my dog slept in the crib with me at times and was later told that was true.

            2. profile image59
              augustine72posted 6 years ago in reply to this

              @AKA Winston

              I made this statement "So that means you were never interested in knowing God at all." By "knowing God" I meant knowing if God exists or not.

              You said "The only impartial start is with the question: is a god a reality?"

              You are absolutely right.

  3. DrMikeFitzpatrick profile image58
    DrMikeFitzpatrickposted 6 years ago

    i gave up guilt for lent, have you hugged your inquisition today? it is amazing how many people repeat things that simply are not true. there is so much research available on ancient religions and who and why they were started. Dr. John Demartini has read more research texts than anyone else living on the subject. he's a great place to start to condense ones time.

    most will have a hard time getting past their anthropomorphic views of a diety.

    1. Cagsil profile image62
      Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      That's a very broad statement and most likely untrue.

      1. DrMikeFitzpatrick profile image58
        DrMikeFitzpatrickposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        smile i'd bet a nickel on it. again, i do appreciate your focus and consistency with all your posts, i have read most of them, and demartini is a great reference source still.

        1. Cagsil profile image62
          Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I am not knocking the value you are putting on him. I just don't think your statement as it was stated was true.

          Some of my research, suggests that he would have to be at least 90 years old, and done more work than many others. That's all.

          1. DrMikeFitzpatrick profile image58
            DrMikeFitzpatrickposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            thanks for the kind words, again, i know you are a strong, smart, personality and have no problem with your statements at all. you are not the dullest knife in the drawer. we would have to chat not only about the stuff i have seen, but done as well. in the end, if energy and matter cannot be created nor destroyed, they can only change form. all there is, is transformation. all there is, is life. i get why people feel the way they do towards a creative intelligence from two points. most are bullied through fear as children and lack points of reference and size. most, almost all separate themselves from everything, when from a physics standpoint, we are all connected. if i actually had a problem with you, (which i do not) i would actually be having a problem with myself. John has read over 35,000 research texts, not book, the hard to read encylopedia stuff. since he travels constantly, he studies and reads constantly between speaking engagements. he is older than he looks too. again, got some good stuff.

            1. Cagsil profile image62
              Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              lol I guess I can take that as a compliment. wink
              I'm sure.
              True enough. Even if that transformation is unmeasurable. wink
              Not sure I understand your point here?
              Most people lack points of reference and size, simply because they have a subjective(one-way) view, unless taught otherwise.
              In a manner of speaking, yes.
              I didn't think you did. wink
              Okay.

              Not doubting that or the value you place on him or what he knows or has learned. It was your broad-based statement. That's all.

  4. Evan G Rogers profile image78
    Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago

    whoa whoa whoa -- Atheism is NOT defined as "a lack of belief in GOD".

    It's defined as "Non-theism". This means that it could be ANY god.

    All religious people are atheists -do you believe in Odin? Zeus? Mars? Jupiter?

    1. earnestshub profile image89
      earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Good point. smile
      I don't believe in any god, which is why I am not an atheist.

  5. profile image0
    AKA Winstonposted 6 years ago

    I am an apatheist - I don't care whether or not there is a god or gods as it is painfully obvious that no god or gods intervenes in our reality in any positive fashion.

    1. profile image0
      jomineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Isn't it ignostic?

      1. Uninvited Writer profile image80
        Uninvited Writerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Agnostic means you don't know if God exists or not.

        1. profile image0
          jomineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          No, I said Ignostic, i didn't misspelt.

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Ignostic means the term itself is pointless. It means that the word has no standard agreement on definition so any discussion on the concept is not possible until there is a coherent definition.

        2. Sunny2o0o profile image61
          Sunny2o0oposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          No, that is not what agnosticism means.  Agnosticism technically means that one believes there can never be proof in either direction whether or not god(s) exist.  The term has nothing to do with whether or not one actually believes in a diety.

      2. profile image0
        AKA Winstonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        (Isn't it ignostic?)

        Not according to Stevie Wonder.  "Isn't it lovely?  Isn't it wonderful?"

  6. profile image0
    Sherlock221bposted 6 years ago

    For me, one of the biggest reasons for my atheism is in response and as a reaction to theists.  The level of irrationality and illogical thinking necessary to maintain any form of religious or supernatural belief is one of the best arguments against it. 

    Another reason for my atheism is because of the total lack of any kind of empirical evidence.  Whilst the believer will swear to a personal relationship with their deity, they can never produce any kind of proof.  For someone who needs verifiable evidence, claims of personal experience is never enough. Often the rejection of personal experience as having any kind of objective reality is responded to with anger by the religious believer, who fails to see how anyone could possibly require any further "proof."

    Another reason of my rejection of religion is based upon my political beliefs in equality.  There is no religion which recognises the equality of all people, irrespective of their beliefs, gender, sexuality etc.  I see religion as the biggest obstacle to freedoms and world peace, and as such I cannot possibly recognise any of them as being representative of a god, even if a god existed.  It is obvious that religion is entirely manmade, and is therefore not a pathway to God.

    Another reason is that science has explained the physical universe without any need to invoke a supernatural cause.  The belief in a god is no longer necessary to understand how we got here.  This makes me question what exactly God is for, if he is no longer a god of causes.  The only answer I can come up with, is that he is there to help us come-to-terms with our mortality, by offering us the hope of an afterlife.  However, whilst all belief may be for this, there is no evidence for it.  And, believing in something as a response to my fears is never a good enough justification for me.  I would need real proof, rather than just hope as a foundation for any religious belief.

  7. earnestshub profile image89
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    Sherlock, Those are good sound and reasonable conclusions in my opinion.
    I agree with all the points you have made so well. smile

  8. profile image0
    AKA Winstonposted 6 years ago

    Sherlock,

    Do you not understand the qualifier approximately?  Approximately is the 3 year qualifier.  If you want something more solid, it is safe to say no one can consciously recall anything about the first 6 months of life, rarely the first year, and for the vast majority nothing of significance until the age of 3 years.

    1. profile image0
      Sherlock221bposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Actually I am fully understanding of the word "approximately."  Sorry to have to disagree with you, by using my own experience.  I wasn't aware that we all have to agree to have had the same experiences in life.  However, I cannot deny the fact that I have memories which go back much further than three years.

  9. Filter52 profile image53
    Filter52posted 6 years ago

    The reason for not believing is mostly because of institutions that promote or in other words stand in front of god, like churches. As they are mostly manipulative, self centered and money grabbers. We connect them with "god" and therefor we lack faith.

    1. profile image61
      ibneahmadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      It could be the reason. So it is because of counter reaction to the institutions which expoit in the name of religion yet they don't trutly belong to religion.

  10. profile image0
    AntonOfTheNorthposted 6 years ago

    In my experience, most atheists become so because they have rejected religion.

    I haven't seen any compelling argument that since the religion is wrong, there is no god.

    The 'lack of evidence' for god may be a true statement, if you are defining god the way a religion does.

    There was a time when the interpretation of the evidence said there were no gorillas, no germs, only four elements, no need for a home computer to exeed 64kb of memory, a trip to the moon was impossible and that cancer was fatal.

    Given our tiny corner of the universe and how little we know of it, the jury's still out for me.

    yep agnostic and loving it.

    cheers

  11. profile image59
    augustine72posted 6 years ago

    So far among the reasons for atheism discussed in this group I could see only one reason which is concrete and acceptable. that is "lack of evidence". Are there any more logical reasons?

 
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