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On Religions and Atheism. How do you justify it?

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posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 06:49 PM
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I was participating in another thread in this forum and it got me thinking, as I was going quite off topic, I should really start my own thread to ask these questions and not derail the thread of someone else, so here it is.

Theist - How do you justify believing what you do? The existence of God has never been proven, many religions exist other than the religion you practice so what makes your religion correct? Why is it that you believe your religion as fact and other religions as non-factual? Have you ever looked at other religions? Is your goal with following a certain religion based on wanting to improve this world or to improve your after-life, if you believe in an after life that is? In a nutshell, how is it that you are so certain that what you practice as religion is what God wants of you? What do you base it on, other than just "your faith" if anything?


Atheist - Since when is absence of proof, proof of absence? How can you be so certain? When did you first decide that atheism was correct? Finally, Since an atheist can no sooner prove that a god doesn't exist than a religious person can prove God does exist, how is it that an atheist has come to their conclusion in any different way than a religious person?

It would seem to me that God (or Gods) can neither be proven or dis-proven. It would seem to me that the only correct answer to "is there a God" would be "I don't know".

Basically, To the Theist and to the Atheist... How are you so sure? What are you basing that on?

Thanks, hope this provides some good discussion. I am not asking anyone to have to defend their religion or lack of religion, rather I would just like some explanations to some honest questions.

I hope nobody thinks I am attacking their religion or lack of religion, I just don't really understand how anyone can come to either conclusion with any amount of certainty so I am hoping maybe someone can shed some light on that since so many people seem to be so certain of whatever it is that they simply "believe".




posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by sageofmonticello
 

Thats just it there is never going to be certainty about our origins but rather each individual coming to terms about a perspective that suits them. The biggest problem is that the ego is always attached to any set belief and thus will always have an avenue to argue.

In short get over your selves people and enjoy life.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 06:56 PM
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I am an Atheist and i don't believe in God. I don't believe in Unicorns either. Or flying donkeys. Or cats that can talk about physics. Do you? All of these come from the exact same place. The minds of men.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 06:59 PM
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reply to post by TsukiLunar
 


No, I don't believe in flying donkeys per se, but who is to say that on a distant planet that a flying donkey does not exist? Can you prove that flying donkeys do not exist anywhere in the universe? It might be sensible to say flying donkeys don't exist anywhere but with out proof how is that opinion any different than somebody saying flying donkeys do exist somewhere? That is my question. There could be a planet in a distant galaxy that is home to just that.

I am just saying you don't have proof that God doesn't exist, just as a theist has no proof God does exist so why such certainty?
edit on 9-9-2011 by sageofmonticello because: for the hell of it



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:06 PM
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"Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable"

That should land you right in the middle, to be in the middle is to be in balance. Pair this up with the buddhist concept on "Beginners mind" & you should have the tools to get you through life without diverging into the human failing of self delusion. We should be our own filter of information.

"Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning "beginner's mind". It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would"



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:07 PM
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i'll take the athiest question for 50 pionts jim.

Athiests dont belive that the avilable evidence is evidence, they belive only that the facts because storys and texts passed down all originated from man and not God.

In fact the bible is a series of books from indeviduals obvserving and talking to people, not only this but also translated back and forth for centuries. Where is the actual reliable proof that anything beyond some story telling ever happend?

Im just saying humans are wary of other humans. Taking advantage of each other is somthing we have been doing since we worked out how. Many storys of the snake oil salesmen and other tales are vast and numerous, the church is extremly weathy, shocking isnt it that religions are about faith and the soul and not about mone, yet are so rich and able.

If an athiest had a peice of evidence to go on, perhaps an experience and not a physical event, he or she would be vastly more inclined to accept such wild fantisy.

Personnely im agnostic, because i belive theres much we dont know and all im saying by being agnoistic is that i await some truth and fact before i have faith. Took be a number of years thinking i was athiest to come to this conclusion and to accept it.
edit on 9-9-2011 by Biigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by tonyinawareness
 


I agree.

I do not understand how anyone can be so certain either way. I am hoping somebody can explain their certainty to me logically but I am not holding my breath. I would love to be able to say either "God certainly exist" or "God does not exist, no way, no how" I just can't find a compelling argument that would make me believe either way.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:11 PM
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Originally posted by sageofmonticello
reply to post by TsukiLunar
 


No, I don't. But who is to say that on a distant planet that a flying donkey does not exist. There could be a planet in a distant galaxy that is home to just that.

I am simply saying that absence of proof is not proof of absence. It would sound as if you disagree.


On a certain level i would disagree. And on some level i agree. Let me explain. Never has anyone found the bones of a Unicorn. No footprints. No inclination that one ever existed. Therefore it is reasonable to assume they didn't\don't exist. On the same note, say someone found the a bone of the previously undiscovered Unicorn. Would it have been reasonable to believe a Unicorn exist before the evidence came to light? You would have had no reason to believe before that, even if it was true. Therefore that belief is irrational.

My point is, true or not, I have no reason to believe God exist. If they found evidence for it then i would rethink my opinion.

Also, your definition of atheism is off. Atheism means the disbelief in God. Everything else, like claiming for certain he doesn't exist is added by an individual.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by Biigs

Athiests dont belive that the avilable evidence is evidence, they belive only that the facts because storys and texts passed down all originated from man and not God.



Thanks for the discussion, sorry to just quote a snippet of what you wrote but this was the only part that I could take issue with. I was under the impression that Atheist not only believed that religion is man made but also that there is no God in existence and there never was.

The rest of your post all sounds very reasonable to me and logical and I find it hard to formulate any response other then "that sounds about right" Thanks for your thoughts. I would say agnostic is a semi fair way to describe me as well, I really just don't understand how people on either side of the fence can be so certain.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:24 PM
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reply to post by TsukiLunar
 


Isn't a disbelief in God the same as saying no God exist? Sorry, it just seems like saying the same thing different ways to me, could you explain that a bit more?

I get what you are saying with the part of your post that preceded the above question I am posing to you. I would agree with you on the most part, I just see it as irrational either way, theism or atheism.

I think you have done a fine job of answering my questions and explaining your beliefs though. It does make a bit more sense to me now, I guess to me it just comes down to, I feel like, there is no certainty either way.

Thanks for explaining your views to me though, I really appreciate it.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:24 PM
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reply to post by sageofmonticello
 


Sorry yes, i forgot to add the solid fact that they do not belive in any god or gods and that human based evidence is false.


Originally posted by sageofmonticello
I would say agnostic is a semi fair way to describe me as well, I really just don't understand how people on either side of the fence can be so certain.


They are scared of dieing as they cannot come to terms wiht the fact the soul is an illusion and they will be worm food once they pass. They need some reassurance that behaving and acting as accoring to the texts that they will have an eternal afterlife, it simply comforts them
edit on 9-9-2011 by Biigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:39 PM
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I spent almost thirty years of my life as a christian. Now I am an atheist. I am personally convinced there is no God.

However, that doesn't mean I'm closed to the idea of a being that many might consider a god. There may be an entity like that. But it would be just that. An entity. A being different from ourselves. Nothing more. No matter how powerful it may be.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by Biigs
 


That would seem to make sense. Much of what I hear about religion seems to be in the context of having peace after death or living ones life in a way that they say will give peace after death. I wonder how they come to the conclusion that the religion they practice will ensure that though, perhaps it is just inherited? That seems like a poor way to me to come to a conclusion on picking a religion, I wonder how one would justify it.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:45 PM
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reply to post by CarpenterMatt
 


Sorry, not sure how I missed your post. Buddhism has always appealed to me, not the whole of it or any specific way of practicing it, but, really, just in the way that you described and in the way that it is not a religion but more of a code of conduct.

Yep, I would say religion is unknown or unknowable. I guess what I am asking is, how do people who believe differently "know". Thanks



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:50 PM
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Originally posted by sageofmonticello
reply to post by TsukiLunar
 


Isn't a disbelief in God the same as saying no God exist? Sorry, it just seems like saying the same thing different ways to me, could you explain that a bit more?

I get what you are saying with the part of your post that preceded the above question I am posing to you. I would agree with you on the most part, I just see it as irrational either way, theism or atheism.

I think you have done a fine job of answering my questions and explaining your beliefs though. It does make a bit more sense to me now, I guess to me it just comes down to, I feel like, there is no certainty either way.

Thanks for explaining your views to me though, I really appreciate it.


Then what is the most rational position? If disbelief or belief are both irrational, then what is left?

BTW, if you are just having trouble with the uncertainty, remember a really truly loving God would not punish you for not knowing if he exist or not. And on the flip side, the Universe is a vast place full of wonder and mystique. There is no reason to be afraid of it or believe stories about its creation that do not make a lick of sense.

There is so much out there that will leave you in awe. All you gotta do is look.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 08:03 PM
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reply to post by sageofmonticello
 


Dear sageofmonticello,

Good question and not antagonistically stated.



In a nutshell, how is it that you are so certain that what you practice as religion is what God wants of you?


A Christian here. The only thing we can KNOW for a certainty is that we exist. I cannot prove God exists and I cannot even PROVE that you exist, you could be a dream I am having. Personally, I don't believe in solipsism, I assume that what I perceive as reality exists (though I know that science says that most of what we feel is real is in fact 99+% empty space). In short, we get no absolute proof of anything, we base our beliefs on what seems true to us and is not illogical based on our knowledge and experience. This is also true of our interaction with us, if I lend you money and you say you will pay me back then based on my experience with you I may or may not trust you.

Spirituality for me is neither based on a fear of dying nor stupidity. I was an agnostic and did study most religions for a decade. I have no problem with agnosticism, I was one; but, at some point we have to believe that one thing is more likely than another. Most people, religious or atheist, base their beliefs on feelings or looking at which people they wish to be associated with and then repeat the same lame, unthinking statements.

People who tell me that my beliefs are like believing in Unicorns are as dumb as spiritual people who tell you that you will go to hell if you don't blindly believe in God. They are both coming from fear and anger and that is why they insist that they cannot be wrong. How many people on this site believe that reptiles rule this world or that there are parallel universes; but, are positive that God does not exist, they are the same one's that believe in Unicorns of a sort. Knee jerk reactions usually come from jerks with knees.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 08:05 PM
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reply to post by TsukiLunar
 


I would think the rational position is to say "I don't know" just my opinion though. I don't think one has to choose one or the other.

I am not really having any problem with uncertainty or whatever, I have no religion and never have, I never have been to church other than for ceremonies or what not. For the most part, I feel as though religion is just a tool of control in some ways. I would say I lean towards being an atheist except I personally feel that just as one can't prove a God (any religions God(s)) exist, one can't prove God doesn't exist so I really take no stance either way.

It seems logical to me to come to this conclusion so it seems odd to me that others don't.

I guess I just want to hear what makes people so certain for themselves since I see no way that a person could be certain either way. I am only certain that I don't know, so I guess what I am seeking is the reason why others have come to a different conclusion than me, not to change my mind on the subject, which I don't see happening, not to change others minds either but to understand how it is that one comes to another conclusion with such certainty. How can someone know something that is unknowable? That is what I am asking.

How is it that anyone is certain that their religion is correct, if they are religious, as opposed to another religion. If they believe at least one religion is correct, have they examined others and what do they reject about that religion and on what grounds? Finally, if all religions are rejected and any thought of the existence of god is rejected how did they come to the conclusion that is correct. It just seems to me that neither side has any proof and that both sides seem very certain they are correct, either by saying the religion they practice is the true will of God or that there is no God. One thing is certain, they feel that what they think is certainly correct. I just want to have some explanation of how they came to that conclusion I guess.
edit on 9-9-2011 by sageofmonticello because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 08:10 PM
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Originally posted by tonyinawareness
reply to post by sageofmonticello
 

Thats just it there is never going to be certainty about our origins but rather each individual coming to terms about a perspective that suits them. The biggest problem is that the ego is always attached to any set belief and thus will always have an avenue to argue.

In short get over your selves people and enjoy life.
I probably fit this category where to me, it is all about the ego.
Whatever fits, that is true to me, so nothing else matters.
I think this is personally for me the way it works but I don't know if it makes me happy but I'm kind of stuck with it.
I may be a bit different than most people to where I don't wonder if there is some sort of supernatural force out there because I have come face to face with it over and over. On numerous occasions this force or whatever has come to my aid to save my life from accident, murder, or just my own foolishness and then from medical issues over most of my life, I was brought back from what would be a near death experience if it was not actual death, and one time from what I have to believe was an actual complete death as in six or seven hours of just lying there dead.
So, the getting on with your life is something I can't do because I know I would have no life if not for this divine intervention. It is enough to cause me to wonder a bit, now and then, why this mysterious legion of divinities would do this for me over the entire course of my life. I imagine that it is because I am supposed to say something about it but I don't have much to say except all these strange stories that don't exactly make me feel good thinking about. So I could try to come up with an alternative explanation that I have to say something about my religion which happens to be that there is a future judgement that everyone must face at the end of this earthly life and unless we do everything we can to be good, then we will fail that judgement. I believe also that faith in God is what we need to be good, that God will help us to that goal as long as we keep that channel open and pay attention. Like I said, I know what God can do and if anyone denies the power of God to make us good, then I say they don't know what they are talking about..



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by sageofmonticello
reply to post by TsukiLunar
 


I would think the rational position is to say "I don't know" just my opinion though. I don't think one has to choose one or the other.

I am not really having any problem with uncertainty or whatever, I have no religion and never have, I never have been to church other than for ceremonies or what not. For the most part, I feel as though religion is just a tool of control based in myth. I would say I lean towards being an atheist except I personally feel that just as one can't prove a God (any religions God(s)) exist, one can't prove God doesn't exist so I really take no stance either way.

It seems logical to me to come to this conclusion so it seems odd to me that others don't. I guess I just want to hear what makes people so certain for themselves since I see no way that a person could be certain either way. I am only certain that I don't know, so I guess what I am seeking is the reason why others have come to a different conclusion than me, not to change my mind on the subject, which I don't see happening, not to change others minds either but to understand how it is that one comes to another conclusion.


You can think something may exist while not believing exist. I think that is the disconnect. I have\will continue to concede that God may exist. I just do not think he does. If you take no stance either way, well that's fine. Though since you take no stance on this, you would take no stance on other concepts that have no evidence as well(like unicorns, Bigfoot, space monkeys, Pokemon, ect), am i right in assuming that?

All i see when i hear about God(s) is characters in stories. Written by man, translated by man.

You seem like a very reasonable person, i hope you continue searching for answers. Here is something to keep in mind when deciding what kind of answers you want to keep close to you heart.

www.nizkor.org...



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by sageofmonticello
reply to post by tonyinawareness
 


I agree.

I do not understand how anyone can be so certain either way. I am hoping somebody can explain their certainty to me logically but I am not holding my breath. I would love to be able to say either "God certainly exist" or "God does not exist, no way, no how" I just can't find a compelling argument that would make me believe either way.




Do you believe that matter has always existed?

If so, how is it 'logically' possible to go infinitely backwards in time?

I can 'logically' understand an infinite future but not an infinite past.

There was a definite beginning to this universe, matter has not always existed and neither has time.

Our creator existed outside the parameters of our universe before time began.

Time began when he first created.

Who created our Creator you may ask? Time nor matter existed before the creation and our Creator is spirit, he always existed. Consider the start of the timeline of creation and the clock had not started ticking yet.


JN 4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."



edit on 9-9-2011 by XplanetX because: (no reason given)



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