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Why am I an atheist?

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posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 02:45 PM
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We have multiple examples of origins of religions and Gods being tied to natural phenomena, like Zeus and Storms and Horus and the Sun and Moon.

But what evidence that the "tie" was intended to explain the natural phenomenon? Zeus' association with storms in stories makes him an important god, and integrates him into the natural order.

There is ample evidence that ancient Greeks in their real lives had a sophisticated naturalistic understanding of weather, as you would expect in a successful seafaring people. Aristotle and Theophrastus would be brand names here.


Then why did you bring it up? I'm not saying you a theist, but it has no real regard on what we're discussing from what I can see.

Because being able to establish confidently that someone is not telling the truth as they believe it to be is helpful to eliminate stories like those which you brought up.

Nobody has argued that being able to determine that a witness believes his own story makes the story true. But that has nothing to do with the soundness of rejecting intentional and admitted fibs.

If you didn't want discussion of why I don't believe fibs, then why did you bring up fibs, like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny?


So... what makes God more likely than Santa Clause?

Santa Claus is supposedly a human being who rides a sled pulled by flying reindeer. Reindeer don't fly. Sleds are a poor transportation choice in the half of the world that is enjoying summer that night. Did I mention the song "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus?" Been to a mall lately? There is a different Santa Claus every few hours, sometimes two or three at once...

And God? He is ineffable. Not a reason to believe in him, but not a reason to believe he doesn't exist, or that someone much like him doesn't exist. By an amazing coincidence, I neither believe in him, nor believe that he, or someone much like him, doesn't exist. Go figure, right?


don't also the holy orders of other religions state they do the work of their God?

Some. The Quakers don't have a professional clergy. What has your observation about other religions to do with the Quakers' story about their God?


Ultimately, both has the same amount of evidence and cultural relevance as the other.

Baloney. There's a mountain of evidence that Santa Claus is a charade performed seasonally by adults for the benefit of very young children. I summarized some of the evidence above. About gods, there's very little evidence one way or the other.


I'd recommend reading books that detail the traceable history of religions, ...

So would I. On the assumption that you've already taken your advice, and on my representation that I've already taken mine, is it not ironic that we re-enact the predicament of so many religous arguments? Two people can read the same book, and arrive at different conclusions.

As to the rest, I wasn't aching to start another "Is Jesus real?" subthread, and I didn't ask whether or not Jesus, if he existed, was the Messaiah expected by the Hebrews, or himself God, or a prophet of Allah who worked miracles, or the scourge of the Gnostic demiurge, or ....

I asked whether the man lived or not. That is a categorical fact, either way. It's yes or else it's no. About which, history says?... Maybe. Very helpful.




posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 08:16 PM
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reply to post by RuneSpider
 




Originally posted by RuneSpider

Well, firstly, do you believe Santa Clause, or the Easter bunny, or whom ever is not real, or do you just not believe they exist?
It's subtle, but there is a marked distinction between the two


Just to help clarify…

I first constructed the 2 sentences, as I thought they should look, from the perspective of someone speaking them.


(1) I believe Santa Claws is not real.
(2) I do not believe Santa Claws exists.


And to help with my thinking, I constructed the sentences as follows…

If you add, “real” to both ends of each sentence you get the following…

(1) I believe Santa Claws is not real.
(2) I do not believe Santa Claws is real


And if you add, “exists” to the end of each sentence you get…

(1) I believe Santa Claws does not exist
(2) I do not believe Santa Claws exists.


If you believe something is not real, you are in effect also saying, that it does not exist. They are two different sentences, expressing exactly the same thing. If something is not real, then logically, it must also not exist.

So perhaps you could enlighten me, as to the exact reason, as to why you think those two sentences, are both subtly and distinctly different from each other?


- JC



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 11:58 PM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


It is far more plausible to me that some religions, once established, experienced "mission creep," just as other human institutions typically do. That some Twenty-First Century Christian fundamentalists think Genesis explains biological speciation is not evidence that thirty centuries ago any Hebrew folk thought the story was more than a claim that their national God is a big deal compared with what their neighbors worshipped.

Absolutely right, and the evidence is there in the Bible itself, as well as in other historical records and in archaeology. Yahweh was just a tribal deity, one among many, whose covenant with his chosen people was simply 'worship me exclusively, and I will make you victorious in battle.' It was a mutually beneficial arrangement, not the one-sided thing modern Jews and Christians like to portray. And the covenant was often breached on both sides--Yahweh did not always give his chosen people victory in battle, and the Hebrews were forever going whoring after 'false gods'. Clearly this was a big enough problem for the prohibition against it to become the first and most important of the Commandments. And that didn't work, either; other gods were still being worshipped in the Temple of Jerusalem during the time of the putative King Solomon. Karen Armstrong's A History of God, a work of solid scholarship, explains all this clearly and simply, with references--but these are facts well known to historians of the subject.


History's help is appreciated, but it's not lavish, and not dispositive of the underlying ontological problem.

Oh, I'm not at all sure of that. But a star for you, all the same.

Edit to add: what you call 'mission creep' may also be regarded as a 'selfish meme'. I have a pet hypothesis that magic and religion have their roots in the struggle of emergent consciousness to deal with the intrusion of unconscious elements. If this is true, then the religion impulse (instinct?) has long exceeded its primary function and now exists only for its own benefit. Which would explain a lot.


edit on 29/11/10 by Astyanax because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 05:08 AM
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Joe


So perhaps you could enlighten me, as to the exact reason, as to why you think those two sentences, are both subtly and distinctly different from each other?

If I say "I believe that Santa Claus does not exist,"

then I commit to the truth of that proposition and the falsehood of it contrary. If Santa Claus does exist, then I am in error. Otherwise, my opinion is correct.

If I say "I do not believe that Santa Claus exists,"

then I have made made no commitment about Santa's existence. My statement is implied equally well by either one of the incompatible pair "I have no opinion about whether Santa Claus exists," or else "I believe that Santa Claus does not exist."

Whether or not Santa Claus exists, what I said is true: I do not believe he exists. If he does, than I am not wrong about that, since I didn't say he doesn't exist. You might think less of me for not having figured it out, but I haven't made any false statement.

Of course, if he doesn't exist, then I am not correct about that, since I didn't say he doesn't exist. I have avoided making a false statement, but get no credit for being correct about the underlying issue of Santa's existence.

All I have said is to describe my beliefs. In the other statement, I have both described my beliefs, and also made a commitment to the non-existence of Santa Claus.

The curse and power of English is that the same words in slightly different order can have vastly different meanings.

Astyanax

Thank you for the star
.


I have a pet hypothesis that magic and religion have their roots in the struggle of emergent consciousness to deal with the intrusion of unconscious elements.

I am an admirer of Carl Jung, and am very sympathetic to this kind of psychological account of the origins of religion.

Individuation, or achieving the ideal relationship between waking and unconscious elements of the Self, is not a solved problem, however. So, I am not worried about religion surviving. Its "core business" will persist.

On the other hand, as the Quakers (and others) illustrate, you can have a fully satisfactory religion without employing any full-time faith workers. So, if you do want to have a corps of full-timers, then you need to find work for them to do. Or, more to the point, if you are a full-timer, then you need to look busy. So, there is a role for a "selfish meme," which is just good business sense.

I suppose it would be unkind to quote the old proverb, "The Devil finds work for idle hands."



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
Recently I've encountered some people in my day-to-day life saying some things about atheists, not knowing that I myself am one. They all seem to have some reasons as to why atheists are atheists.

I'd like to ask the ATS community one simple question: Why do you think I'm an atheist?

To clarify, this isn't necessarily about me personally, but about atheists in general.
edit on 17/11/10 by madnessinmysoul because: Clarification


Why do you call yourself a Atheist instead of a Nihilist? Do you still hold onto spiritual ideals?



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 04:47 PM
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Eight Bits

Firstly, thanks for taking the time to explain an extra clarifying grammatical point, which I hadn’t considered, but I was more focused on how someone saying “something was not real” and “something does not exist”, were somehow different i.e. something being not real is the same as something not existing.



Originally posted by eight bits
If I say "I do not believe that Santa Claus exists,"

then I have made made no commitment about Santa's existence.


You say they have made no commitment about the existence of Santa, so for obvious reasons to help clarify, my question would be…

Have they made a commitment about the non-existence of Santa?

You see, if they have made a commitment about the non-existence of Santa, then it would have to be automatically inferred, that they have also, at the same time, made a commitment about his existence as well.

If on the other hand, the statement makes no commitments whatsoever, then what is the point of the statement itself?


Ironically right now, I’m trying to decide what to buy and what not to buy lol my family and friends for Christmas.


- JC

edit on 29-11-2010 by Joecroft because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-11-2010 by Joecroft because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 06:06 PM
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Joecroft


Have they made a commitment about the non-existence of Santa?

No, if all they have told you is that they don't believe in Santa, then you don't know whether that's because they believe there is no Santa, or instead, they simply don't have an opinion.

Until and unless they say they believe there is no Santa, then they haven't made a commitment about whether or not Santa exists.


If on the other hand, the statement makes no commitments whatsoever, then what is the point of the statement itself?

The statement describes the person's state of belief. The speaker is the only possible witness to that. The point would be to respond to someone else's having asked what the person believes.

Depending on the person and the subject, the complete answer might be "I have no opinion about that."

Example "Will the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) be extinct by the end of this century?"

Beats me. I know what the words mean. I understand the question. I know that this seal is listed as "endangered," so I know that the question is reasonable. Nevertheless, I personally don't know the answer, don't have an opinion about it, and have no basis for guessing.

I don't believe that M. monachus will be extinct by 2100. That's for sure, it's not the whole story of what I believe, but it is true. Maybe I say just that.

Maybe that's all I want to say, or need to say, or all that whomever I'm talking with cares about.

On the other matter, Good shopping!


edit on 29-11-2010 by eight bits because: a few words needed clarifying



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 01:03 AM
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Eight Bits

Just for clarity, here are the two statements…

1st statement "I believe that Santa Claus does not exist,"

2nd statement "I do not believe that Santa Claus exists,"



Originally posted by Joecroft
Have they made a commitment about the non-existence of Santa?




Originally posted by eight bits
No, if all they have told you is that they don't believe in Santa, then you don't know whether that's because they believe there is no Santa, or instead, they simply don't have an opinion.

Until and unless they say they believe there is no Santa, then they haven't made a commitment about whether or not Santa exists.


So essentially what you are saying is, is that if a person makes the statement below…

2nd statement "I do not believe that Santa Claus exists,"


Then they haven’t yet, declared their position clearly, and we would really have to ask them a second question, in order find out, if they have a belief or if they held no opinion. (point A)

And this begs the question, why would anyone make such a statement, if they held no opinion? (Rhetorical question)
It would make sense, if the person making the 2nd statement, was using it to actually describe what they believed.

And moreover, to better describe what they believed and to avoid the confusion, it would make more sense, to instead, make a statement similar to the 1st statement, depending on their specific belief or non-belief.



Originally posted by Joecroft
If on the other hand, the statement makes no commitments whatsoever, then what is the point of the statement itself?


Regarding my question above, I can’t see the point of someone making the second statement, regardless of whether the person stating it, is either of no opinion, or holds a specific belief, because of the following reasons…

(1) It just adds confusion.
(2) We are no further forwards, as to where the person stands.
(3) It’s evasive.
(4) It’s slightly deceptive.
(5) It conceals a person’s true position, until further clarification can be made.
(6) We don’t know if they actually hold a belief, or whether they have no opinion.




Originally posted by eight bits
The statement describes the person's state of belief.


Well, as I have pointed out in (point A) above, we do not yet know, if the person making the second statement, holds a belief, or holds no opinion. We just don’t know yet.



Originally posted by eight bits
The point would be to respond to someone else's having asked what the person believes.
Depending on the person and the subject, the complete answer might be "I have no opinion about that."


Yes, I agree, because if a person hadn’t made up their mind, the most honest answer would be to say, "I have no opinion about that." or “I don’t know.”



Originally posted by eight bits
The speaker is the only possible witness to that.


Excellent point, and this is why I have asked RuneSpider to show me why those 2 sentences are different from each. Because bearing in mind (point A) above, it is possible that one person could speak both those statements, so that they both applied, to what he or she believed. On the other hand, the 2nd statement could have a possible different meaning to the 1st statement, if the 2nd statement is giving no opinion, or possibly represents the opposite belief, to the 1st statement.

To summarize, both statements could be the same as each other but they could also be different, it all depends on who is speaking them and their reasons, because only they can give an accurate answer.


- JC



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 04:11 AM
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Joecroft


Then they haven’t yet, declared their position clearly, and we would really have to ask them a second question, in order find out, if they have a belief or if they held no opinion. (point A)

Yes, if you want to know what, if anything, they do believe about Santa's existence or non-existence, then you need to ask them.


why would anyone make such a statement, if they held no opinion? (Rhetorical question)

Not at all rhetorical; your question has an answer. Sometimes, people talk about what they believe. The title of this thread, for example, is "Why am I an atheist?" We are talking about what someone believes, what their atheism is like.

Conversations like that do not always go smoothly. It's not necessarily anybody being deceptive. Maybe they do not know what you're asking. Maybe they've never thought about the difference between statements 1 and 2. Maybe it's just their way of expressing themselves...


It would make sense, if the person making the 2nd statement, was using it to actually describe what they believed.

Well, people don't usually make statements in isolation. Maybe the person who says your statement 2 also says "Adults who believe in Santa are obviously behaving like children. They are irrational, illogical, ignorant, stupid, and exhibit symptoms of mental illness. I am sick and tired of grown-ups who prattle on about their imaginary friends."

Strictly speaking, he still hasn't told me that he believes that Santa doesn't exist. I am, however, detecting a trend in his comments
. On that basis, then,


To summarize, both statements could be the same as each other but they could also be different, it all depends on who is speaking them and their reasons, because only they can give an accurate answer.

Amen.



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 07:31 AM
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Originally posted by Joecroft
To summarize, both statements could be the same as each other but they could also be different, it all depends on who is speaking them and their reasons, because only they can give an accurate answer.


Correct! And, most importantly, it is up to the person making the statement to determine what they mean, not the person hearing it, which comes back to the original subject of my pointing out the differences in the two statements. After hearing one or the other statements of disbelief from an atheist, before coming to the conclusion that said statement is one of "faith", a clarification is required, and very few atheists would say that it is, as they may say the second ("I believe there is no God") but really mean the first ("I have no belief in God.")

In other words, judge not, lest ye be judged.



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


Eight Bits



Originally posted by eight bits
Yes, if you want to know what, if anything, they do believe about Santa's existence or non-existence, then you need to ask them.


Yes, but we would have to assume due to the nature of the statements and this thread topic, that the question being asked was, Do you believe in (X)? and if they reply with something similar to the 2nd statement, then they haven’t really answered the question, because we still don’t know their position.




Originally posted by Joecroft
why would anyone make such a statement, if they held no opinion? (Rhetorical question)




Originally posted by eight bits
Not at all rhetorical; your question has an answer. Sometimes, people talk about what they believe. The title of this thread, for example, is "Why am I an atheist?" We are talking about what someone believes, what their atheism is like.



Yes but in madness case, we no his position; we know we are talking to an atheist.



Originally posted by eight bits
Conversations like that do not always go smoothly. It's not necessarily anybody being deceptive. Maybe they do not know what you're asking. Maybe they've never thought about the difference between statements 1 and 2. Maybe it's just their way of expressing themselves...


I don’t mean deceptive as in the person is deliberately (although it’s possible they might be doing so) trying to be deceptive, I mean the person hearing it may misconstrue what they mean. Which when you think about it, is quite natural to make, because the 2nd statement doesn’t state the persons position.

If they don’t know what I’m asking, then they should ask a question to clarify and not make any statements.

If they’ve never thought of the difference between the 2 statements, then they are clearly unsure or unaware of the position they hold.

I have nothing against freedom of expression but if the second statement is just the way they express themselves, then they need to be made aware, that the expression they are using, does not clearly convey across, the position that they hold.




Originally posted by Joecroft
It would make sense, if the person making the 2nd statement, was using it to actually describe what they believed.





Originally posted by eight bits
Well, people don't usually make statements in isolation. Maybe the person who says your statement 2 also says "Adults who believe in Santa are obviously behaving like children. They are irrational, illogical, ignorant, stupid, and exhibit symptoms of mental illness. I am sick and tired of grown-ups who prattle on about their imaginary friends."


Yes, but that’s getting into the reasons why they hold the position they do. Obviously the reasons are important and can help shed some light on the position they hold, but then again, it would be easier if they just plainly stated the position they hold, instead of making the 2nd statement.

But having said that, and as you have rightly pointed out, people don’t make statements on their own, but from what RuneSpider stated, I don’t have anything else to go on at this moment in time, which when you think about it, hasn’t really been helped by the 2nd statement itself.

This is why I have asked him the question as, to why those two statements are different, the answer to which can only come from his perspective.

I am in a round about way asking him, what he really means by the 2nd statement, because currently I do not know the position that he holds.




Originally posted by eight bits
Amen.


I thought you were agnostic, when did the conversion happen lol (j/k)


- JC



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 06:36 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 





Originally posted by Joecroft
To summarize, both statements could be the same as each other but they could also be different, it all depends on who is speaking them and their reasons, because only they can give an accurate answer.




Originally posted by adjensen
Correct! And, most importantly, it is up to the person making the statement to determine what they mean, not the person hearing it,


Absolutely, which is why I have asked for clarification, which can only come from RuneSpider himself. He has of course stated they are different but I’m asking him the question, “why are they different?” so as to help clarify his actual position.

It can already be established that the 2nd statement on it’s own, does not clearly convey a persons position.



Originally posted by adjensen
which comes back to the original subject of my pointing out the differences in the two statements. After hearing one or the other statements of disbelief from an atheist, before coming to the conclusion that said statement is one of "faith", a clarification is required, and very few atheists would say that it is, as they may say the second ("I believe there is no God") but really mean the first ("I have no belief in God.")


That’s an interesting point but as you have probably gathered, I have yet to establish, based on those statements in his last post, if RuneSpider, is of an Atheist or Agnostic position, regarding God or Santa. The most honest answer I can give right now is to say, “I do not know.”




Originally posted by adjensen
In other words, judge not, lest ye be judged.



Well, I’m not trying to judge anyone, in fact if I was going to judge someone, I would need to know their position first, in order to be able to judge it.

But I wouldn’t judge anyone anyway because I respect the opinions and positions of Atheists, Agnostics and Theists.

I mean, imagine some guy, who after a ball game makes a statement, which doesn’t reveal whether or not he has no opinion about what happened in the game, or whether he has a belief about what happened in the game. And then he just walks off into the sunset lol leaving everyone else completely mystified, as to what he really meant!

And then imagine the exact same scenario, but with someone having already first asked him, “What do you believe happened in the game?”

There are really only 3 honest answers to that question.

(1) “I have no opinion about what happened in the game” or “I don’t know what happened in the game? – which both = unsure/undecided/doesn’t know

(2) “I believe (x) happened in the game” – Believes it to be true

(3) “I believe (x) didn’t happened in the game” – Believes it’s not true


- JC



posted on Dec, 2 2010 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 



I don’t normally make posts on threads without addressing the OP’s question. As for my first reply on this thread, I’m aware that no one can no anything for certain, and I was just really making a joke to emphasize my point, anyway I’m going to address your question now.



Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
I'd like to ask the ATS community one simple question: Why do you think I'm an atheist?


You are an atheist because…

You believe there is no God/creator from any of the major religions that exist. And you do not believe in a God/creator with no religious implications being tied into it. For example, believing in a higher power, who created everything but with no known religious context attached to it.

No one can be 100% certain on anything, but you have past the threshold to a certain degree, which makes you believe it’s not true. And even though you are uncertain, you are more certain, than you are uncertain, that it is not true. Which means you have tipped the scales from being uncertain (50/50) into an area where you are more certain, than you are uncertain. Which is in my view what makes a person an Atheist, by definition.

The reasons as to why you are an Atheist, and although they are important, are not really my place to say or assume, because I simply don’t know you very well. In fact, in some ways, it’s not really any of my business, unless of course you were to bring it up in a conversation. But as you have pointed out in your OP, this thread isn’t really about you personally, it’s about Atheists in general, which is why I have just roughly stuck to outlining the definition of an Atheist.


- JC



posted on Dec, 2 2010 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by Joecroft
 


I'm sorry, I disagree with you.

I do not believe.

I'm not the sort of person who would say "I believe no gods exist"
I don't know. But I treat the claim as I would any other unfalsifiable claim, with reasoned skepticism.

It's the same as the claim to the Invisible Pink Unicorn, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Carl Sagan's Garage Dragon, and Russel's Teapot.
I don't believe in them, but I can't say I believe they aren't true. They're all sufficiently odd that they would be impossible to prove, but also impossible to disprove.

So I treat them like I treat any other claim that can be seen as ridiculous. Just because a claim is ridiculous doesn't mean that you can take a positive position against it.

I'm a positive atheist (as in atheist for good things) who has a view of the negation (in the sense of formal logic) of religious claims.

So my position is: Not believe in God.

The negation is on the operative verb rather than on the object of the sentence.



posted on Dec, 2 2010 @ 07:03 PM
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But the Invisble Pink Unicorn is easy, it's an oxymoron. There can be no such thing, so there is no such thing. While not logically fraught, there is ample evidence about the aerodynamic capability of pasta. I conclude that the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist. There is also some "Santa Claus-Easter Bunny" type evidence that IPU and FSM are charades, much as the similar, earlier Discordian material was a charade.

Both Russell's Teapot and Sagan's Dragon are literary inventions custom-built to illustrate rhetorical points. Russell did not claim that there was such a teapot, and in the context of his proposal, it is clear that he did not believe that there was such a teapot. The Sagan case appears similar.

I have already discussed the heuristic which I find persuasive regarding matters supported solely by parole evidence, when the person telling me the story doesn't believe it. I believe that all of four of the claims you brought up, along with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, are false.

I doubt that the pattern of belief you report for yourself would be typical of atheists generally. Their point in bringing up things like IPU, FSM, the Russell and Sagan unclaims, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny is usually that these are "easy cases." That is, they expect that their listener has already, or will quickly, form a belief that any and all of these ontological claims are false.

The atheists' hope seems to be that someone besides them might see a parallel between these easy cases and the question of gods. Unfortunately for my advancement from unbelief to disbelief, nobody bothers with bridging the gap between childishly easy cases and the actual matters in dispute when religions collide.

But, I needn't trouble you with that. Apparently you haven't reached a conclusion about any of these claims. So, it would be unreasonable to expect you to help me bridge that gap, if other atheists' "easy" claims are stumpers for you.


edit on 2-12-2010 by eight bits because: corrected lapse



posted on Dec, 2 2010 @ 08:50 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 





Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
I'm sorry, I disagree with you.



Well, you did point out in your OP, that this thread wasn’t really about you and what I have described in my last post, describes what an atheist, might actually believe. In short it wasn’t’ aimed at you specifically and you did ask why people thought you might be an Atheist.



Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
I do not believe.


Well, I don’t know if you’ve following the conversation in this thread so far, but it’s already been established that, that type of statement on it’s own, doesn’t state your position clearly.
But as eight Bits, rightly pointed out, people don’t always make statements in isolation and I have the following extra piece of information to go on below…




Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
I don't know. But I treat the claim as I would any other unfalsifiable claim, with reasoned skepticism.


You said “I don’t know”, which means you lack certainty (which we all do of course, to varying degrees, even those of us who believe in God) but you are not uncertain\undecided enough, to be called an Agnostic. So in effect you are roughly what I described in my last post. Which is, you are slightly more certain by whatever degree, than you are uncertain. If you hadn’t tipped the balance or crossed that threshold, you would be an Agnostic.
We all have levels of uncertainty, but for certain reasons, things tip our scales, which then move us out of Agnosticism and into Atheism or Theism.



Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
It's the same as the claim to the Invisible Pink Unicorn, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Carl Sagan's Garage Dragon, and Russel's Teapot.

I don't believe in them, but I can't say I believe they aren't true. They're all sufficiently odd that they would be impossible to prove, but also impossible to disprove.

So I treat them like I treat any other claim that can be seen as ridiculous. Just because a claim is ridiculous doesn't mean that you can take a positive position against it.


Yes, I absolutely agree with all of the above, they are completely absurd! I understand the argument about things being so completely ridiculous, to the extent, that it’s seem pointless to even give an opinion on it.
But I don’t personally see the idea or a belief in a God/creator of everything, with possibly even no religious conations being connected to it, as such an absurd thing. (you may of course disagree) Which is why I don’t think it can be compared to stuff like the Invisible Pink Unicorn, the Flying Spaghetti Monster and The Creature from the Black Lagoon!

Which is why I think a more neutral comparison should be made, like for example the question, “is there life on Mars”. Now the idea of there being life on Mars is not absurd, but neither is it yet known. Some scientist may have a good amount of evidence to suggest there is, while others may disagree and some will say we just don’t know, because we don’t have enough evidence to go on, in order to make a decision.



Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
I'm a positive atheist (as in atheist for good things) who has a view of the negation (in the sense of formal logic) of religious claims.



If you negate some or most of the religious claims, that doesn’t necessarily mean, that you can negate the possibility that there could be or is a God, who created everything. And it is not the only qualifying criteria, which makes you an Atheist.


- JC



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 03:59 AM
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Joe, it seems that I am more encouraged than you are about the progress that has been made in solving the riddle posed to us by the OP.

Any broad category, like atheist, is bound to encounter exceptional cases. One foreseeable kind of difficulty is something you touched on, that people disagree about when they will say "I believe." Maybe one person's standard is when they feel something is more likely than not, while another goes with more likely than its most credible contender, or ... There are lots of alternatives, and it's a matter of personal choice.

Evidently, the OP has an unusually high personal threshold for asserting belief. Even logical impossibility does not suffice for him to say "I believe that this proposition is false."

However, the category atheist is about people's attitudes toward whether any god exists, not about people's ease or discomfort in asserting beliefs toward existence claims generally.

It seems clear to me that if someone says "I place all god claims in the same credal category as a logical contradiction," then that person is fairly described as an atheist. It is also fair, in my opinion, to speak of the person as believing that no god exists, with the explanation that he or she would use different words to describe their beliefs. For example, the OP has reported having a categorical "view."

It is hard enough to figure out the content of someone's belief. There is simply no point in trying to guess what words someone likes better than others. Placing any and all gods in the same credal status as Santa Claus is sufficient to call that person an atheist, IMO.

Otherwise, you might end up in a lengthy discussion about whether a rational person can deny that Santa Claus exists. That's a South Park episode, not a serious discussion topic.



posted on Dec, 9 2010 @ 12:48 AM
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Because something cannot be logically explained why should a case of Divine Intervention be brushed off. Most who get one are typically on a bad path that will not end good. It when used in this capacity means either get your yap together or you will die. At times especially societies most stubborn a push in another direction by a divine entity is at times the wake up call the person needs to recorrect them.

I was a bad alcoholic and was downing everything I could find and get my hands on and almost died. Think I did once or twice but was able to come back before anything messed up. In Jan 2002 I went off on my house by destroying few larger items and going ballistic on my brother with a baseball bat. When I was outside I started going off on my cities finest and discovered laer on that I flung one into a pole, another clear across the street and another into an ambulance. That day I asked my doc what my bac was and he said I blew a .390 told him what I had left and said if I consumed everything that we'd probally be not having that convo. Then it begun to hit me. Then on or around Fall 2002 All I remember is hitting the floor dead drunk while crossing a somehat major crossing in my nieghbourhood (About a block from the White Mana Tonnelle Ave, JCNJ) and remember being lifted up and was carried across the intersection to a safe zone. When I came to and was looking around I saw dude turn the corner and literately dissapear. I saw a flash right before the time I got to the spot he was nowhere to be found. To this day at least 4 people swear that they saw me float on air. Those 4 are far away from here to protect them. I was told around Jan - Feb 03 that if I didn't quit I'd be dead in a year and a half. I saw the video that they put together showing my death, family and friends in the hospital, family at home, friends at home, the wake, burial and impass. I literately attending my own funeral and when I walked up to the casket it was ME! To this day one of the freakiest and most psychotic things I've ever seen. I looked at the date, Sometime between Sept 15 2004 - Oct 18 2004! Cause BAC .520 Age 24 I quit on Feb 19 2003 and as a result and am still here going on 8 years later. Never again. I am still alive over 6 yrs later because of a Divine Intervention. It makes you rethink every aspect about your life and do forever thank God for this encounter. A psudeopsycho video turned into a life made better because of getting rid of the liq. I've had more stress in the last 3 yrs then in the previous decade and a half and have yet to turn to the bottle.

This reaffirmed my allegiance to God and cemented the bond that today is stronger then ever.
edit on 9-12-2010 by TheImmaculateD1 because: (no reason given)



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