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Is Atheism really rational?

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posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 03:05 PM
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I think that beleiving in something is important because you have to find your true meaning of life, of you beign here on earth.
The fact that people beleive in "all-made"religion and a book written by god thousands of years ago...that is kinda freaky for me. Religions like christianity is a way to control, and it really really works! It's like a buisness
Spirituality is for me, my religion...

Ameliaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx




posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 03:21 PM
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Is Atheism really rational?

First lets discuss the meaning of “Atheism”

atheism >noun the belief that God does not exist.
-DERIVATIVES atheist >noun atheistic >adjective atheist >adjective.
-ORIGIN from Greek a- 'without' + theos 'god'.

Atheism is like already some has said the understanding or believing that a “God” does not exist.
Now what is the proof that this people may have when they refer as a none existence of God.


Originally posted by Kriz_4
Maybe not believing in a god could be put down to people using their common sense. There is no evidence of any god existing or ever existing. Our existence is an accident, nothing more, nothing less.


I find this quote self explanatory. Thanks kriz, very good personal opinion.


Originally posted by BlackJackal

*BlackJackal puts on Devils advocate uniform*

Can you prove that we are just an accident? Can you prove that there is no God? [edit on 23-11-2004 by BlackJackal]


And I understand your question now an "Atheist" will respond to that probably by reversing the question and asking you (Can you prove that God exist?)

Now, nobody can come clean and say that they have seen God first hand.

But a religious believer will tell you that they can feel "God" in their harts and in their souls and in their every day life.

But is that real? no, is faith and that can be as real as the believes you hold at hart.

Can Atheist prove a believer wrong? no, because you can not disproved what it can not be touch. Feelings are not tangible and they have no substance.


Originally posted by BlackJackal
Yet, the majority of people in the world subscribe to a belief in a God. Doesn't that help to validate the possibility? Or is it mass hysteria or some other phenomena?


Yes you are right we have been conditioned since childhood to the beliefs of our parents, and to the church, so we have grown to believe in a higher purpose and a higher being.


That will be the analogy of an "Atheist" he will tell you that the only reason you believe is because you have being brought up to believe, Again conditioning.

Now lets discuss the meaning of “rational”

rational >adjective 1 based on or in accordance with reason or logic. 2 able to think sensibly or logically. 3 having the capacity to reason. 4 Mathematics (of a number or quantity) expressible as a ratio of whole numbers.
-DERIVATIVES rationality >noun rationally >adverb.

A logical person will tell you that if you can not prove it is does not exist. So do that makes the “Atheist” more intelligent? No, just more rational.

Then you take in consideration all the atrocities that are attributed of beliefs and then the rationality of an “Atheist” will seem to be more intelligent.

Now we can argue and debate on this subject and nobody will really be able to come with a “Rational” answer because we all have believes that we protect and stand by it. Is also called convictions.

Great thread BackJackal


[edit on 23-11-2004 by marg6043]



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by BlackJackal
Atheists contend that their belief, that is the belief that there is not a God, is highly more rational than that of the Christians

Do they? I don't know any atheists that consider it more rational. They'd say it involves less -faith- and only is concerned with that which is rational, but I don't know that they claim the 'system' is rational on its own. Indeed, there is no rational evidence for any god or gods, but then again there isn't any rational evidence that any particular god or set of gods don't exist, and there isn't even any rational reason to think that there should be a 'rational' position on the matter.


Atheists contend that religious beliefs are nothing more than fairy tales and myths.

Well, one can't really show that they aren't tho right? One 'theory' about myths and fairy tales is that they were once the religion of another previous culture. So I think what any atheist is saying when they make statements like that is that, what makes one myth and fairy tales and the other 'religious truth'?

So how can a belief held by so few people actually be proclaimed as the rational form of thought? Is the world truly that irrational?

The world? Probably. But what does that matter, you aren't talking about the world, you are talking about what people think. Why shouldn't that largely be irrational?

Are you also maintaining that faith based religious beleifs are somehow rational? Clearly they are not.


So how can a belief held by so few people actually be proclaimed as the rational form of thought

I think you misunderstand what 'rational' means if you think it makes one iota of difference as to how many people agree with it. A thought can not be considered rational or irrational merely because some number of people do or do not beleive it. It can only be considered rational if its, well, a rational thought and the process by which one considers it such is a rational line of thinking. IOW the idea certainly can't be considered in terms of, literally, how popular it is.

kriz_4
Our existance is an accident, nothing more, nothing less

And what evidence and rational line of thinking leads you to this conclusion? I do not think that the issue is settled, except perhaps that rational thinking or scientific thought has generally accepted that one can't answer the 'why' questions. One can't get at, say, why there is something, rather than nothing, scientifically or rationally.

blackjackle
My main question here is non-beleif is billed as the rational course

I am not so certain that most actual atheists would say beleif in the non existence of any god or gods is a rational decision. Perhaps they would, perhaps some of the atheists in the foroum could answer?

Or is it mass hysteria or some other phenomona?

Sure, it is a type of mass hysteria. I don't understand why you are insisting that because lots of people beleive in some god or another that that means its rational.

the message in them all is basically the same making me think maybe they were all influenced by a supreme being of some sort

Perhaps it is merely because they are all man made books, and being such they will have certain things in common.

alec eiffel
People can have rational reasons for believing in a God, just as people can have rational reasons for not believing in a God

Hows that?



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:05 PM
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In order to believe something to be true, one must collect evidence. When the evidence meets or exceeds a "burden of proof" one believes something to be true. If it does not, they will not. The burden of proof for the existance of God varies from person to person. Some require more evidence than others. This is the way we come to believe anything to be true.

This is perfectly logical. Thus, all beliefs are rational.

Thus, the answer of whether belief in God or non-belief in God is rational is "yes." It is a simple matter of collecting evidence and meeting a burden of proof.


Let me give you an unrelated example.

Is the belief in the Easter Bunny rational?

A parent tells a child that there is an Easter Bunny. On Easter there is a basket full of goodies. This satisfies the child's burden of proof. Thus the child believes in the Easter Bunny.

The child's belief in the Easter Bunny is logical and rational.

It is the evidence that satisfies the burden of proof that is subject to scrutiny.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:13 PM
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alec eiffel
People can have rational reasons for believing in a God, just as people can have rational reasons for not believing in a God


Hows that?


Hows what?

[edit on 23-11-2004 by Alec Eiffel]



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:21 PM
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I have a fun idea I'd like to try with all those who feel like jumping in. It's really simple too. Just follow along, read each individual section below and when you're done post a short reply explaining whether or not you think 'Theism' and/or 'Atheism' is Rational or Irrational. Ok, let's begin:

rational
adj
1: of or associated with or requiring the use of the mind;
"the triumph of the rational over the animal/natural side of man"
2: having its source in or being guided by the intellect
(distinguished from experience or emotion)

3: Mathematics: Capable of being expressed as a quotient of integers.
4: Based on scientific knowledge or theory rather than practical observation; logical.

irrational
1: Not according to reason; absurd; foolish.
2: Mathematics: Not capable of being exactly expressed by an integral number, or by a vulgar fraction

fool
1: One who subverts convention or orthodoxy or varies from social conformity in order to reveal spiritual or moral truth:
2: from Latin word follis, meant “a bag or sack, a large inflated ball, a pair of bellows.”

The History of the Fool Card - Tarot
In the antique decks (before Waite-Smith), the Fool is almost always unnumbered, even though the rest of the major arcana bear roman numerals I through XXI.
There are a few exceptions: two old decks (including the 15th-century Sola Busca) label the card with a "0", and the Belgian Tarot designs (made by various manufacturers in the 18th century) label the Fool as "XXII". So although the Fool is almost always completely apart from the sequence of trumps in the historic decks, there is historic precedent for regarding it as the lowest trump and as the highest trump!

In the game of tarot, the Fool has a unique role, similar to that of a "wild card" (Joker) but different in interesting ways. Whereas a wild card assumes the identity of a card to player would like to have, helping the holder win the hand, the Fool is an "excuse"--it can be played at any time, but it never beats any of the other cards. Playing the Fool is like momentarily exempting yourself from the rules of the game.

The fool or simpleton was unabashedly mocked and scorned on the one hand, but on the other hand became a vehicle for many profound ironies. In Shakespeare, it is the Fool who speaks the most profound truth. And the man in poverty represented the Franciscan ideal of godliness. So, in a delightful reversal reminiscent of the Roman Saturnalia, the Fool becomes both wiser and holier than the Pope!

Of the trumps, only three are worth points in the game: The Fool, the Magician, and the World. But whereas the World beats every other card in the deck, the Fool beats none! It is a very strange thing, really, a card that brings the holder a great reward, but does so by losing! A card exempt from the usual rules, and a card you can never lose to another player.

The Fool makes a profound statement, it seems to me, dropped in amongst the kings, queens, and powers of the cosmos. All the other cards are in competition with each other in the game; each player hopes their card will "triumph" over those of others, and much distress results if a valuable card is beaten and taken. But the Fool alone is not in competition; he's outside the game. In every hand he appears once, somewhere, unpredictably, never taking anything and never being taken. He just is. Total humility bestows invulnerability.

Ok, that's it. Now take a minute and tell me: Which is Rational vs. Irrational, and why???



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by Raphael_UO
Is the belief in the Easter Bunny rational?

A parent tells a child that there is an Easter Bunny. On Easter there is a basket full of goodies. This satisfies the child's burden of proof. Thus the child believes in the Easter Bunny.

The child's belief in the Easter Bunny is logical and rational.

It is the evidence that satisfies the burden of proof that is subject to scrutiny.


Very good example and it brings me to what I said we are conditioned first by our parents and then by the church into what to believe.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:29 PM
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Most people used to believe that the Earth was flat, that it was the center of the universe and that the sun revolved around it. Did that make them right?



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by BlackJackal
So how can a belief held by so few people actually be proclaimed as the rational form of thought? Is the world truly that irrational?


The actual quantity of people believing something is totally irrelevant to that 'something' being true. Remember that (as one poster says) some day not too long ago people believed that the Earth was flat.


People can have rational reasons for believing in a God, just as people can have rational reasons for not believing in a God.


There is actually no rational reason for believing in God, other than fear of death and fear of the unknown.

Believing in God actually gives us a reason to live.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 05:00 PM
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Atheism is more logical than ANY faith based religion. It can actually be supported by sound biological theories, where religious text asks its followers to use faith as their tool for connecting themselves to a god. I'm not saying either one is better, because spiritual freedom is one of the basic freedoms every human deserves.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 05:02 PM
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To say with certainty that God does not exist is just as irrational as saying with certainty that God does exist. Agnosticism is the only rational and the only honest belief system. One thing that can be said with absolute certainty and truthfulness is that we don't really know if God exists or not.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 05:50 PM
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To say with certainty that God does not exist is just as irrational as saying with certainty that God does exist.


It is not. It is very rational to say that God does not exist, due to the following reasons:

1) there are many Gods around. Who's God is the right one? there are conflicting religions...one of them is the true one, right? how come someone can escape the strong arms of a religion and come to the true one? would you give up Christianity in order to go with Islam? you wouldn't. Same goes for other religions. So people born in one religion are condemned for the others. If a God existed, he would never allow that (notice the 'he', since we tend to personify God).

2) what is the criterion for going to heaven? it is this life on Earth. But is this rational? since afterlife is forever, is it fair to be judged on this tiny split second that is mortal life?

3) where do babies go? do they go to heaven, since they have commited no sin yet? but if they do, isn't it unfair to me, to you, and all the others that have been left to sort it out here on Earth?

4) Is it logical that all these higher level beings have nothing to do all day long than play with us?is it logical that man is the center of attention of all the entities above us, from angels to the all mighty God?

5) why would an all perfect God create humans? to create something, means there is an urge, and if there is an urge, then there is imperfection.

6) Why did God create all the universe around us? surely there was no need to do so.

7) Who created God? If the Universe can't be something that exists by itself and should have been a product of the act of creation, why God is not created by another God? How come God can be eternal and the universe can't?

8) If God created the universe, he surely knows its outcome. God positioned all the particles in an initial position, and he immediately knew the final state and all intermediate ones. Since the outcome of the universe is predetermined, why we think we have free will?

I can give you lots of reasons why it is not rational to believe to any God.

Of course that does not mean that we should go around and create havoc. Religion has its purpose.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by BlackJackal
Yet, non-theists only account for 14% of the world population. Of that figure a significantly smaller amount are actually atheists, the remainder simple do not profess to any one religion.


I find these type of numbers kinda suspect. I know people who havent been in a church in 40 years and dont follow ANY religion that will answer "Christian" because they went to sunday school a few times as a child.

Its hard to read someones mind so maybe they do think of themselves as Christians but no one else does



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 07:15 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Very good example and it brings me to what I said we are conditioned first by our parents and then by the church into what to believe.


Neither the existance or non existance of God, nor the role of Churches was the question. The question was whether believing "X" was rational.


[edit on 23-11-2004 by Raphael_UO]



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 01:52 PM
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Indeed, believing in something does not necessarily make it true yet, the vast majority of people throughout the world believe in religion of one form or another. So if Atheism is actually the rational alternative that would make the world in which we live highly irrational.

With Science now suggesting that the human brain is hardwired for religion is it possible to suggest that something hardwired into someone’s being is actually irrational?

If indeed the majority of the earth is mad then how can the rational convert the insane?



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 03:51 PM
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I could never understand how atheists explain everything
How could there be everything if not some force somewher created it? Thats why I believe in God.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:03 PM
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Originally posted by Croat69
I could never understand how atheists explain everything
How could there be everything if not some force somewher created it? Thats why I believe in God.


Thiest: There must be a god since something must have created the universe!

Athiest: The idea of a "god" doesnt answer anything, it just leads to another question- "Where did god come from?"

Thiest: God is infinite, he has always existed and always will.

Athiest: Well, using that logic, why dont we just simplify the equation, take "god" out, and just say that the universe is infinite? The idea of a "god" doesnt answer anything, it just leads to another question.

Thiest: Ummmm.....

By the way, I'm agnostic. The only thing I believe in is the limit of human understanding. While I dont believe in god, technically I'm not athiest. I'm 99.999% sure there isnt a "god" as we think of it, however it is impossible for me or any other human to answer that question with 100% accuracy.

[edit on 24-11-2004 by apw100]



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:51 PM
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Originally posted by Croat69
I could never understand how atheists explain everything
How could there be everything if not some force somewher created it? Thats why I believe in God.


A good point. Using your logic, someone or something must have created god also. Who created god? Who created the creator?



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:53 PM
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Someone answer me this. Most devout Christians say you have to accept Christ as your savior to get into heaven. If you do not, you get to spend eternity in hell. If I am not mistaken, this is what the bible says.

My problem is the hypocracy that follows this logic. On the one hand you have, say, a Bhuddist man who devotes his life to peace and meditation and never harms anyone. Or, you have an atheist who devotes his life to serving the welfare of his fellow man or the environment. These men will still go to hell.

On the other hand you have these "Born Again" Christians who lead lives of decadence and at 50 decide to accept Christ, but still thrive on greed and intolerance. But since they worship Christ, they will go to heaven. Is Jeffrey Dahmer in heaven? Will George Bush get to heaven but not Ghandi? I don't understand how it could work like this.

Now, many people will say, "but I don't think it does work like that". Then you are creating your own pseudo-religion, and you are not a Christian.

My question is how can you pray to this God? Can't people just lead lives of morality based on respect of their fellow man and not fear of a supernatural being? Why do you believe a book written by humans thousands of years ago who had little concept of science?

Hence my atheism. I refuse to pray to or believe in any God this twisted and malevolent and I will happily enjoy my time here on earth and in Hell if thats how it turns out. I will have plenty of company though. You don't need Gods people. If your in a time of need, try turning to someone with a heartbeat instead of a cloud being.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 07:00 PM
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The concept of Religion is a man made idea.

Man made!

Man created religion to explain things he didn't understand and it is used as form of psycological control.

It's funny to me people believe the Bible as the be all end all of everything, listen the Bible, koran, or whatever book you worship to was written by man. Hell I could write a book, and make up my own religion.... does that make it true? You know the answer to that.



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