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Ask An Atheist Anything

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posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 07:39 AM
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Originally posted by brutalsun
I 'm not sure if it was covered in the 18 pages of "fluff"
Dear atheist,looking at your inevitable death (the one thing in common we all share) are you scared? Not that you are wrong or "could be" wrong about God or religion, but just a simple, are you scared? Do you fear the lights finally going out and there being an absolute nothing?


I have already addressed this but I'll do it again.

I am "scared" of death only because I enjoy being alive and death is often an unwanted and unpleasant passage. I am not afraid of the religious warnings about death though. I tend to expect an "absolute nothing", that death renders the same conditions as before I was alive.




posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 07:45 AM
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Originally posted by ChicUFO
If you do no believe in god, do you feel it is your duty to inform everyone else that they are wrong?


In my case, absolutely not. I have no need to "convert" anyone and I'm fine with people believing as they wish.


If atheists do not believe in god, why do they spend so much time on Christian threads?


The bible can be a fun source of debate.


I have no interest in doll making and I can honestly say that I have never been to a doll making thread. Why are atheists so obsessed with what others believe?


There are likely many reasons, but often the most vocal atheists were at one time very religious. Though they may have changed positions the zealotry remains.


I am part Irish but I do not find a reason to post that bit of information on every forum, why do you need to tell everyone what you believe? Haven't you made a decision to believe that there is no god? Doesn't that decision have a profound effect on your life?


I didn't start the thread to tell everyone what I believe but to offer a forum for questions people may have. I won't say I made a decision not to believe in a god, I simply never found a reason in the first place. This actually has no effect on my life at all.


Sorry I got a little carried away but I do have a lot of questions.


I have enjoyed your questions and look forward to more. Thank you for your kind discourse.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 07:55 AM
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reply to post by ChicUFO
 


I don't try to convert anyone. As an extension of my first rule of morality, I think people can believe whatever they want. Furthermore, I have sworn to serve and defend the constitution of the united states, which also says folks can believe as they choose. In light of that I don't try to bring people to my side. However, I do help people question beleifs when asked, and I am always willing to answer questions. Your religion is your business, not mine, unless you invite me in.

As for christian threads, I only post when there are factual errors or people are advocating injecting their religion into my government. If it doesn't effect others or involve lying, I don't care.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 08:07 AM
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Atheists and religious people like to debate against each other arguing why the other is wrong. The funny thing is that both have some truth in them and both doesn't want to admit the flaw of their belief.

The atheists claim that there are a lot of loopholes in the bible, in the koran and the other holy books of religions and hence concluded that there is no god. Besides, as their favorite argument would say, which religion will god follow if all are saying that they are telling the truth? If there is God, why does He allow sufferings here on earth? Since they don't know the answer to this, they then concluded that there is no God.

Religious people on the other hand believes that their religion is the truth. They simply cannot accept that the bible, koran and others were written by man and created by man to control man.

No wonder their arguments never end. They both have some truths to hold on to and they both see the flaw in the other side to pound on to.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 08:16 AM
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Originally posted by wavemaker
No wonder their arguments never end. They both have some truths to hold on to and they both see the flaw in the other side to pound on to.


There is some truth to that. But it goes far beyond which book is "right" and nitpicking inconsistencies in religious texts.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 08:56 AM
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Originally posted by wavemaker
Religious people on the other hand believes that their religion is the truth. They simply cannot accept that the bible, koran and others were written by man and created by man to control man.


So you think that Paul wrote all of those letters from prison, acknowledging and confessing in writing the charges that he was facing, which he knew would lead to his death, because he wanted to control people? People he'd never see again, and certainly never benefit from their possible control?

Do you think that 11 of the 12 apostles (plus Paul) willingly went to their deaths, unremorsefull in their blasphemic proclamation that Christ was God, died and was resurrected, knowing full well that it was a complete lie, and this life was all that there was? From these initial 12 came a religion held by hundreds of millions of people, and yet you arbitrarily replace their faith with lunacy and deception?

Or do you think that someone along the way just dreamed up the whole thing, wrote a series of books that exhibit they were written by different people, at different times, but with a commonality, somehow built a sizable following out of nothing (the Church existed before the New Testament was collected) and then disappeared into the mists of time, unknown, unacknowledged, and therefore unrewarded for his incredible efforts?



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:04 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen
The best I can come up with is something like "In the face of the evidence, I see no proof for the existence of God", which is a long way from "I know there is no God" and a fair bit closer to "I believe that there is no God," because it's merely you interpreting an observation.


This is the difference between "strong atheism" and "soft atheism".

No matter how you reckon it, non-belief is not belief. When one presents an unproven proposition that is also not falsifiable by a third party and the third party rejects the proposition, this is not a matter of belief for the third party.


Sorry, I'm probably being thickheaded about this, but I'm still not getting it.

Can we agree that there is a difference in these two statements?


  1. There is no God
  2. The concept of God isn't worth considering


If we can agree that these are two different things, it is my point that the first cannot be stated as a fact, because it is an absolute, predicated on non-absolute observations.

The second, while it's an opinion, can definitely be stated as a fact (though it's limited to a fact of one's own opinion, of course, so it's actually a pretty pointless thing to argue about.) You can do the same thing by adding "in my opinion" to the first statement, but the fact is that you have this opinion, not that God doesn't exist, which remains a belief for the previously cited reason.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:19 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen
Sorry, I'm probably being thickheaded about this, but I'm still not getting it.

Can we agree that there is a difference in these two statements?


  1. There is no God
  2. The concept of God isn't worth considering


If we can agree that these are two different things, it is my point that the first cannot be stated as a fact, because it is an absolute, predicated on non-absolute observations.

The second, while it's an opinion, can definitely be stated as a fact (though it's limited to a fact of one's own opinion, of course, so it's actually a pretty pointless thing to argue about.) You can do the same thing by adding "in my opinion" to the first statement, but the fact is that you have this opinion, not that God doesn't exist, which remains a belief for the previously cited reason.


Forming an opinion based on one's critical reckoning is not necessarily a belief or a belief system. If you were to claim that fire-breathing invisible snakes lived in your toilet pipes yet you could not prove it, my dismissal of your claim does not constitute a belief or a belief system. Same if say, I claimed turbine engines erupt from my rib cage and I can launch myself to Neptune at will yet I could not prove it, your dismissal of my claim would not constitute a belief or belief system.

You would form a certitude that there is both not evidence of this claim and that the claim itself is essentially impossible due to the inherent violation of physical laws involved with such a claim. Such issues are not beliefs or belief systems.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:26 AM
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Originally posted by cLOUDDEAD
Why do you spend so much time talking about something you don't believe in? I don't believe Pokemon are real, but my life doesn't revolve around me not believing in Pokemon.


exactly

this is why atheism isn't a belief system, as those peoples lives don't revolve around NOT believing in something

theists are funny in that they want everyone to HAVE beliefs or else the world doesn't make sense

I reject that, but I don't reject their right to believe whatever they wish to as paradoxical as that might be



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:44 AM
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There cannot be an atheist unless there is a Christian.

You cannot have a Christian without an atheist.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:48 AM
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You may not be able to prove something or even can't fathom it being true, but you still have a belief. Atheism is a belief: the belief that there's no God. You may not believe in Santa, but that's still a belief: that there is no Santa. Disbelief is a belief: the belief that a proposition isn't true, or it's opposite is true. Saying it's not a belief because it's a disbelief doesn't make sense because a disbelief is a belief: that the opposite is true, or a proposition is false.

[edit on 16-7-2010 by 547000]



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen
Sorry, I'm probably being thickheaded about this, but I'm still not getting it.

Can we agree that there is a difference in these two statements?


  1. There is no God
  2. The concept of God isn't worth considering


If we can agree that these are two different things, it is my point that the first cannot be stated as a fact, because it is an absolute, predicated on non-absolute observations.

The second, while it's an opinion, can definitely be stated as a fact (though it's limited to a fact of one's own opinion, of course, so it's actually a pretty pointless thing to argue about.) You can do the same thing by adding "in my opinion" to the first statement, but the fact is that you have this opinion, not that God doesn't exist, which remains a belief for the previously cited reason.


Forming an opinion based on one's critical reckoning is not necessarily a belief or a belief system. If you were to claim that fire-breathing invisible snakes lived in your toilet pipes yet you could not prove it, my dismissal of your claim does not constitute a belief or a belief system. Same if say, I claimed turbine engines erupt from my rib cage and I can launch myself to Neptune at will yet I could not prove it, your dismissal of my claim would not constitute a belief or belief system.

You would form a certitude that there is both not evidence of this claim and that the claim itself is essentially impossible due to the inherent violation of physical laws involved with such a claim. Such issues are not beliefs or belief systems.


Well, I'll ignore the fact that you didn't answer my question, but rather point out that, if you predicate your absolute statement of "There is no God" with "the inherent violation of physical laws", you've once again made an absolute statement, based on non-absolute data. We don't know everything about all physical laws. You can correct that by changing "inherent" to "apparent", but, once again, it turns a statement of fact into a statement of belief, because there is an implied loophole left for being wrong.

In your turbine engines example, if I tell you that I don't believe you, my statement of fact is that I don't believe you, not that you have or don't have said engines. Without cutting you open and determining whether such engines actually exist, my belief is merely based on my expectations, which, though highly unlikely, could be wrong. The existence of the engines isn't predicated on my or your beliefs -- they are either there, or they are not, and their presence or absence is the fact, one that can't be assumed to be conclusively proven by supposition. "No one has engines in their chest, therefore you do not" is not a defendable statement.

Again, I'm not wanting to argue with your position -- whether you believe that God exists or not doesn't really matter. I'm just trying to put it into a logical context to better understand its basis. If one is allowed to make absolute statements on the basis of non-absolute observations, it rather changes perspective, doesn't it?



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 10:32 AM
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I think the reason the OP is so adamantly refusing that atheism is a belief is something like this:

Once he admits that the rejection of an idea is a belief (WHICH, in my opinion, IS TRUE)...

The theists are going to jump on him and make the extremely illogical next step to argue that all beliefs are faith-based. Obviously, my belief that the sky is blue is not faith-based, it's determine by repeated observations by multiple sources using a variety of equipment including photodiodes, human cone cells, and other interesting techniques. It is also backed by theory; I myself have performed Monte Carlo analyses which used first principles to demonstrate that the sky will be overwhelmingly blue.

Not all beliefs are part of a belief system.

In my opinion, again, there is a certain faith element involved in atheism, seeing as I am agnostic, but Occam's Razor points to evolution being true rather than creationism. This implies that the belief in evolution is more well-founded than a creationist viewpoint.

Of course, that says nothing about God. Honestly, there's no evidence whatsoever for or against the existence of a creator. Lord knows no one knows what sparked the big bang. (That sentence had way too many puns...)



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by pondrthis
Once he admits that the rejection of an idea is a belief (WHICH, in my opinion, IS TRUE)...


Non belief cannot be a belief. Things that are not a television are not also a television.

I tend to agree with you in some sense: that there is a high demand to categorize atheism as a belief because the predominant arguments against atheism are predicted on it being a belief. Some people even take it further to mistakenly categorize it as a religion.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by pondrthis
I think the reason the OP is so adamantly refusing that atheism is a belief is something like this:

Once he admits that the rejection of an idea is a belief (WHICH, in my opinion, IS TRUE)...

The theists are going to jump on him and make the extremely illogical next step to argue that all beliefs are faith-based.


Well, I, for one, wouldn't do that. I neither agree that all beliefs are faith based, nor do I have any need to try to change this fellow's beliefs. I'm simply trying to understand this point of view, and I do get stuck on the premise that one can claim "there is no God" is a statement of fact.


In my opinion, again, there is a certain faith element involved in atheism, seeing as I am agnostic, but Occam's Razor points to evolution being true rather than creationism. This implies that the belief in evolution is more well-founded than a creationist viewpoint.


Unless one is a fundamentalist (and I am not,) there is nothing in Christianity that prevents acceptance of evolution. Only the most knuckleheaded would deny evolution is demonstrable today, but general acceptance of evolution being a process by which God worked is a belief held by many Christians (including the Catholic Church.)


Lord knows no one knows what sparked the big bang. (That sentence had way too many puns...)


lol, good one.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen
If one is allowed to make absolute statements on the basis of non-absolute observations, it rather changes perspective, doesn't it?


I fail to see where the problem is actually. If someone proposes something and is unable to prove it, and third parties are unable to falsify it, the proposal is rejected. The proposal doesn't automatically stand as a matter of belief on the third party's part.

[edit on 16-7-2010 by traditionaldrummer]



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
Non belief cannot be a belief. Things that are not a television are not also a television.


I'm on your side, but I think this is an utterly ridiculous supposition.

1) Atheism is not "non-belief". Non-belief would be complete secularism (having no opinion on the subject), and is incompatible with discussing God at all. Atheism is a firm conviction that there is no God. Conviction, if you look in a thesaurus, is roughly equivalent to belief. I believe a one-dollar bill is not a television. However, as all I have to work with is the limited sensory information given to me, my deduction is limited to being called a "belief" and not "truth".

2) "Nothingness" is a noun. "Anarchy" is a governmental category. A lack of order or matter is still a state of existence ("vacuum"). In the thread title you identified yourself with a state ("Atheist") pertaining to your religious leanings.

3) As point 1 hinted at, you have an opinion on the topic. Even if this opinion were (which it isn't) founded on scientific fact, it would still be a belief. Unless, of course, you are so ridiculous as to believe yourself to be flawlessly correct... I'm a scientist, and I tell you what, there's a lot of crap out there even in rigorous fields.

Like I said, I'm on your side, but you're just making yourself look like an ass here. Opinion and belief are one and the same.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen
If one is allowed to make absolute statements on the basis of non-absolute observations, it rather changes perspective, doesn't it?


I fail to see where the problem is actually. If someone proposes something and is unable to prove it, and third parties are unable to falsify it, the proposal is rejected. The proposal doesn't automatically stand as a matter of belief on the third party's part.

[edit on 16-7-2010 by traditionaldrummer]


But there's still a belief. Either you believe the claim is true, or believe the claim is false. Both are still beliefs, with or without evidence.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen
If one is allowed to make absolute statements on the basis of non-absolute observations, it rather changes perspective, doesn't it?


I fail to see where the problem is actually. If someone proposes something and is unable to prove it, and third parties are unable to falsify it, the proposal is rejected. The proposal doesn't automatically stand as a matter of belief of the third party's part.


The problem is that the rejection of a premise doesn't generate a new fact, aside from the fact that you have rejected the premise. Saying "I don't believe that there is a God" is much different than saying "There is no God." You can arrive at the first through your rejection, but you can't arrive at the second.

If you believe that you can validly make absolute statements based on non-absolute statements, you're implying that reality is shaped by our perception of it, not shaped by what it is, which is nonsense.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by brutalsun

Dear atheist,looking at your inevitable death (the one thing in common we all share) are you scared? Not that you are wrong or "could be" wrong about God or religion, but just a simple, are you scared? Do you fear the lights finally going out and there being an absolute nothing?



NO - not at all. I do fear pain. I hope I go peacefully without pain.

I have done all I can to contribute to this world and future generations. I don't need more.



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