Author Topic: Atheism requires faith(?)  (Read 3109 times)

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Offline G-Roll

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Atheism requires faith(?)
« on: November 28, 2013, 11:47:03 AM »
I am aware that this thread has been probably been done many of times but recent interactions have made me come close to a change of view. Before I make any statements I would like to point out that I have no prejudice against faith. Should I come to the conclusion that atheism requires faith I am fine with that. However atheism is in no way a religion based on whether one has faith in it or not.
My original stance was that atheism is just no belief in gods. Ones belief or faith was placed in other things. Philosophies, science, or what have you. So an individual’s faith would be placed not in atheism (a negative claim) but in the philosophies or what have you that an individual actually believes in and follows.
My newer stance (that I am honestly undecided about) is that perhaps atheism does take faith. I am an atheist so I don’t believe in God. Therefore I don’t believe in sin and I live my life as such that I won’t be punished  for my sins. Essentially I have faith that hell does not exist. I can’t prove it doesn’t exists so perhaps I do have faith that there is no hell for me to burn in for being a heathen. Much in the same way a Christian has faith that his/her religion is correct and that Allah isn’t real/correct.
An atheist has faith that there is no God(s) and lives out their life as such. A theist has faith that there is a God(s) and lives out their life as such.

So atheism requires faith.(?)

Sorry if I am behind the curve on this subject.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 12:04:22 PM »
No. Faith is the belief in the unseen. You dont need to have faith to NOT believe in the infinite things you could believe in but have no reason to. For example do you have faith that there are no glosmickaz?

Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2013, 12:16:48 PM »
I see that I have been having an effect on some people here.

Atheism absolutely requires faith. There is no empirical evidence showing God does not exist or that souls do not exist.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2013, 12:27:53 PM »
What you don’t believe in the glosmickaz!?

If faith is the belief in the unseen, why isn’t it faith in what I don’t think is real?

For example its almost universally  agreed on that Zeus does not exist. But it cannot be proven that Zeus doesn’t exist.  If I can’t prove Zeus does not exist what do I label that disbelief as if not faith? Is it just disbelief?  Then what is that disbelief backed by if it cannot be proven? How is it not faith that the infinite things you don’t believe in but can’t prove are not real?

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2013, 12:31:23 PM »
I see that I have been having an effect on some people here.

Atheism absolutely requires faith. There is no empirical evidence showing God does not exist or that souls do not exist.

Ah crap I agree with you… Something is wrong.

Lol just kidding.

I am curious though as to why you feel it’s you who has influenced my train of thought?

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2013, 12:49:48 PM »
What you don’t believe in the glosmickaz!?

If faith is the belief in the unseen, why isn’t it faith in what I don’t think is real?

For example its almost universally  agreed on that Zeus does not exist. But it cannot be proven that Zeus doesn’t exist.  If I can’t prove Zeus does not exist what do I label that disbelief as if not faith? Is it just disbelief?  Then what is that disbelief backed by if it cannot be proven? How is it not faith that the infinite things you don’t believe in but can’t prove are not real?
Because there is an infinite number of things to not believe in that take no faith to not believe in, including things that you are unaware of or things that do not exist. You are attempting to place the burden of proof on yourself when it does not belong there. The burden of proof is on the positive claim. If you say that yahweh does not exist, it is based on the impossibility as mapped out in the very books that suggest its existence... again not faith.

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2013, 01:04:55 PM »
I am not trying to be difficult and I thank you for your quick responses.
I understand the burden of proof is upon the individual making the positive claim. If I claim I do not believe in something I have no burden of proof for a negative claim. I just “aint smellin what you are sellin.”

However I don’t think the burden of proof is applicable to ones actual disbelief.  I am not talking about proving something doesn’t exist, just that I don’t believe it exists. If I don’t place my disbelief of that which I cannot see as faith then what do I place it in? I give you there is evidence that leads to my conclusions but it is still improvable.

Quote
  If you say that yahweh does not exist, it is based on the impossibility as mapped out in the very books that suggest its existence... again not faith.
Here I think you have a strong point. I would label this as evidence that Yahweh does not exist but at the end of the day one cannot prove Yahweh doesn’t exist. So I have faith that Yahweh is not real?

I forgot to mention that I agree with you that if I have never heard of something it doesn’t require any faith to not believe in that thing that I have never known.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 01:06:47 PM by G-Roll »

Offline Traveler

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2013, 01:10:33 PM »
...Atheism absolutely requires faith. There is no empirical evidence showing God does not exist or that souls do not exist.

There's no empirical evidence showing my invisible backyard dragon does not exist, or that it cannot breath fire.

If you go down the rat hole of all the things that cannot be disproven, well, you've gone down the rabbit hole and will have a difficult time finding your way back.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2013, 01:14:12 PM »
...Atheism absolutely requires faith. There is no empirical evidence showing God does not exist or that souls do not exist.

There's no empirical evidence showing my invisible backyard dragon does not exist, or that it cannot breath fire.

If you go down the rat hole of all the things that cannot be disproven, well, you've gone down the rabbit hole and will have a difficult time finding your way back.

Dragons are material by definition. They aren't invisible.

Bad analogy.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline Traveler

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2013, 01:15:57 PM »
...Atheism absolutely requires faith. There is no empirical evidence showing God does not exist or that souls do not exist.

There's no empirical evidence showing my invisible backyard dragon does not exist, or that it cannot breath fire.

If you go down the rat hole of all the things that cannot be disproven, well, you've gone down the rabbit hole and will have a difficult time finding your way back.

Dragons are material by definition. They aren't invisible.

Bad analogy.

LOL! How do you know? Have you ever seen a dragon? How do you know that mine isn't immaterial, or invisible, or fake, or whatever the hell you think god is supposed to be.

My dragon. Your god. Both fake. Excellent analogy.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline Astreja

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2013, 01:20:11 PM »
Dragons are material by definition. They aren't invisible.
Bad analogy.

No; bad definition of dragons.  All the ones I know have the ability to go pandimensional, so that they can be sitting right next to you in the donut shop and physically eat donuts without drawing undue attention to themselves...

...Although levitating éclairs and apparently self-eating raspberry jambusters would tend to make one think that something was going on.  ;)
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Offline G-Roll

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2013, 01:28:52 PM »
There's no empirical evidence showing my invisible backyard dragon does not exist, or that it cannot breath fire.

Because there is no empirical evidence that it does not exist what is your disbelief based on?

Quote
If you go down the rat hole of all the things that cannot be disproven, well, you've gone down the rabbit hole and will have a difficult time finding your way back.
Ugh its true...

Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2013, 01:32:05 PM »
...Atheism absolutely requires faith. There is no empirical evidence showing God does not exist or that souls do not exist.

There's no empirical evidence showing my invisible backyard dragon does not exist, or that it cannot breath fire.

If you go down the rat hole of all the things that cannot be disproven, well, you've gone down the rabbit hole and will have a difficult time finding your way back.

Dragons are material by definition. They aren't invisible.

Bad analogy.

LOL! How do you know? Have you ever seen a dragon? How do you know that mine isn't immaterial, or invisible, or fake, or whatever the hell you think god is supposed to be.

My dragon. Your god. Both fake. Excellent analogy.

No. Read a dictionary. it defines a dragon as a mythical monster. Dictionaries don't define God as a mythical being.

It's a false analogy. otherwise, dictionaries would say God is a mythical being.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2013, 01:35:42 PM »
No; bad definition of dragons.  All the ones I know have the ability to go pandimensional, so that they can be sitting right next to you in the donut shop and physically eat donuts without drawing undue attention to themselves...

...Although levitating éclairs and apparently self-eating raspberry jambusters would tend to make one think that something was going on.  ;)

How do you know they can do all those things if they are undetectable?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2013, 01:38:36 PM »
I am not trying to be difficult and I thank you for your quick responses.
I understand the burden of proof is upon the individual making the positive claim. If I claim I do not believe in something I have no burden of proof for a negative claim. I just “aint smellin what you are sellin.”

However I don’t think the burden of proof is applicable to ones actual disbelief.  I am not talking about proving something doesn’t exist, just that I don’t believe it exists. If I don’t place my disbelief of that which I cannot see as faith then what do I place it in? I give you there is evidence that leads to my conclusions but it is still improvable.
It is applicable in the sense that you are trying to place your disbelief in the realm of faith. If not faith, then evidence. Those are your two options. We can hardly ever prove anything, all we can do is determine probability based on the evidence.

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Here I think you have a strong point. I would label this as evidence that Yahweh does not exist but at the end of the day one cannot prove Yahweh doesn’t exist. So I have faith that Yahweh is not real?
Goes back to the fact that most things are not proven, we can only give a probability based on the evidence. Same way paternity tests work. They dont tell you whether a person is actually the father, rather how likely it is based upon the DNA. And the bible actually proves yahweh does not exist because to exist in the contradictory way the bible describes him would be impossible. The common examples are the "married bachelor" or the "square circle" these things by definition are impossible, as is the god of the bible. That is your proof, no faith needed.

Quote
I forgot to mention that I agree with you that if I have never heard of something it doesn’t require any faith to not believe in that thing that I have never known.
Because you have no reason to believe they exist... that can be expanded to things people say exist but also have no evidence for.

Offline Antidote

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2013, 01:50:58 PM »
I see that I have been having an effect on some people here.

Atheism absolutely requires faith. There is no empirical evidence showing God does not exist or that souls do not exist.

There is also no evidence to show that those things do exists, only baseless assertions.
Things that are asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, such as the existence of gawd. We don't need evidence of somethings absence.
According to Cpt. Obvious: Theists think they know God, Atheists require evidence.

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Offline One Above All

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2013, 01:53:59 PM »
How do you know they can do all those things if they are undetectable?

They're undetectable to those who don't believe in them. If you believed, you would know more about them. Also, when addressing a god (or, in this case, goddess), capitalize pronouns. It's rude to do otherwise.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2013, 02:13:54 PM »
Disbelief in something doesn't require faith.

For example, I don't believe that Vulcans (Spock's people) actually exist outside of fiction.  That doesn't mean I have proof that they don't exist.  It means that I don't base my life-choices around the idea of Vulcans existing.

Now, change Vulcans to YHWH (or any god), and you'll see what I mean.

EDIT:  People who have faith in something, whether it's another person's word, a god, or what have you, tend to base their life-choices - or at least some of them -  around the thing they have faith in.  Having faith changes their lives in some way, whether for better or for worse.  But atheism doesn't do that.  In order to be an atheist, you either have to not believe in gods to begin with - in which case talking about it changing your life is silly - or you believed in some god and then stopped doing so.  In that case, it's the loss of belief that causes the change.

But how can a loss of belief be called faith?  It's not just an oxymoron, it's actually the antithesis of the term.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 02:21:36 PM by jaimehlers »

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2013, 02:17:24 PM »
It is applicable in the sense that you are trying to place your disbelief in the realm of faith. If not faith, then evidence. Those are your two options. We can hardly ever prove anything, all we can do is determine probability based on the evidence.

So disbelief can be placed into either evidence or faith it is up to the individual and how much evidence they feel they have? And how strong the evidence is? For example you stated the bible is more than enough proof that God doesn’t exists so your disbelief is based on the evidence you have collected. I will say for the sake of discussion that you feel this is empirical evidence (I have no idea if you feel that way or not) so your disbelief is based solely on evidence?
I on the other hand believe God doesn’t exist and there is no empirical evidence available so my disbelief is based on faith?

In your opinion would it be evidence of any kind or empirical evidence needed to not base ones disbelief on faith? Or is it up to the individual to label their disbelief?

I apologize if what I typed makes no sense….   

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2013, 02:32:22 PM »
Disbelief in something doesn't require faith.

For example, I don't believe that Vulcans (Spock's people) actually exist outside of fiction.  That doesn't mean I have proof that they don't exist.  It means that I don't base my life-choices around the idea of Vulcans existing.

Now, change Vulcans to YHWH (or any god), and you'll see what I mean.

Yes that was my original stance and what you say still makes total sense to me!

You would place your life choices around what you actually believe in like maybe humanism, individualism,  nihilism, or what have you. Whatever you believe in would be what guides your life choices.

I will say that because Spock is 100% fiction that is proof enough to not have faith in Spock. I know he is a man in a costume with funny elf ears attached to his head. I personally don’t believe in god but I know many people do. I cannot prove their god does not exist. If I can’t prove that god doesn’t exist isn’t my disbelief rooted in faith?
Or perhaps any evidence of gods non existence is enough to rule out faith. Maybe The Gawd was on to something there.

I attempted to break down my disbelief and this is what I came up with. I am on the fence about the whole thing, but thanks for your assistance on the matter.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2013, 02:47:02 PM »
So disbelief can be placed into either evidence or faith it is up to the individual and how much evidence they feel they have? And how strong the evidence is? For example you stated the bible is more than enough proof that God doesn’t exists so your disbelief is based on the evidence you have collected. I will say for the sake of discussion that you feel this is empirical evidence (I have no idea if you feel that way or not) so your disbelief is based solely on evidence?

Not exactly. Empirical evidence would be that there is literally nothing that I can detect with my senses that suggests a god exists. Science hasnt detected anything with more sensitive instruments that suggests this god exists. So my disbelief is based on me having no reason to believe. No faith needed. However, I can specifically say that the god of the bible does not exist based upon the description being impossible and that would be my proof for my positive claim.

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I on the other hand believe God doesn’t exist and there is no empirical evidence available so my disbelief is based on faith?
No, again the fact that you nor anyone can detect a god is your evidence. No faith needed.

Quote
In your opinion would it be evidence of any kind or empirical evidence needed to not base ones disbelief on faith? Or is it up to the individual to label their disbelief?

I apologize if what I typed makes no sense….
Theres only one type of evidence, and that evidence can be presented/demonstrated in some manner to others. If there is no evidence for the positive claim then no faith is needed to reject the claim. If you have a positive claim you either have faith or evidence, not both. No one has ever presented evidence, so god belief is all faith.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 03:04:36 PM by The Gawd »

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2013, 04:19:06 PM »
I will say that because Spock is 100% fiction that is proof enough to not have faith in Spock. I know he is a man in a costume with funny elf ears attached to his head.
And how can you be sure of that?  I mean, it's true that the Spock we see on television is played by an actor named Leonard Nimoy, but how do you know that the scripts weren't based on logs that were, say, sent through a temporal wormhole and ended up in Gene Roddenberry's hands in the 1960s?  Or that the Enterprise didn't mess up and leave them here during one of its time-traveling missions?  So, you see, you can't absolutely rule it out, just as you can't absolutely rule out the existence of gods.  That doesn't mean you have faith that it doesn't exist - just that there's no reason to believe it without something more than "it's possible" to back it up with.

Quote from: G-Roll
I personally don’t believe in god but I know many people do. I cannot prove their god does not exist. If I can’t prove that god doesn’t exist isn’t my disbelief rooted in faith?
Nope.  Just because a lot of people believe something doesn't make it true.  What matters is the evidence, or lack thereof.  Faith can only exist in the absence of evidence[1].  But the absence of evidence doesn't imply faith.  Faith is believing something despite the lack of evidence for it.  If you don't believe in something you don't have evidence for, how can that be faith?
 1. that is to say, solid proof

Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2013, 04:49:43 PM »
As I see it-
Faith is not required for a "nothing"
Faith is required for an idea/wish/hope to be true when there is no evidence for it.
When evidence is available then an idea/wish/hope becomes fact and so faith no longer applies.
If I do not share someone's idea/wish/hope then that it is a "nothing" to me so I need no faith for it.

Sorry if that isn't as clear as it seemed in my mind, seems so hard to explain when I try and put it down in words.
"Do I look like someone who cares what god thinks" - pinhead

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2013, 05:13:07 PM »
Sorry if that isn't as clear as it seemed in my mind, seems so hard to explain when I try and put it down in words.

I experienced that same feeling the first time I took on the idea.  The whole concept seemed odd to me. Ha it still does!

The most interesting part of the conversation I feel is that every atheist I have talked to claims no faith in disbelief for multiple reasons. Whereas maybe 89% of Christians claim disbelief requires faith. A popular quote is “It requires more faith to be an atheist” or “It requires more faith to believe in nothing.” The second I find kind of insulting but that’s another topic.

Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2013, 05:28:27 PM »
Religion and faith have to go hand in hand (it seems to be in the rules).
I guess that if someone has faith they probably cannot see how anyone else cannot have faith therefore even an atheist must still have a type of faith (or I could be completely wrong, I've never been religious so maybe I have no right to say what I think they do or don't think!)
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2013, 06:47:25 PM »
I see that I have been having an effect on some people here.

Atheism absolutely requires faith. There is no empirical evidence showing God does not exist or that souls do not exist.

I have an easy question for you, skeptic. How much energy to you have to spend on your faith that the Zoroastrian god, Ahura Mazda, does not exist. How do you measure that faith output/expenditure, and how is it the same as the faith you have in your version of the christian god?




Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2013, 07:33:01 PM »
The reason Christians - and other theists - think that disbelief requires faith is because they don't really have a handle on what atheism really is.  They see it as a religion, but one that asserts that gods do not exist, and thus they assume that it has all the trappings that they're used to.  However, that is not the case.  A person who does not believe in something does not have faith that it does not exist.

Where it gets a bit complicated is when you have atheists who take it a step further.  Instead of simply not believing in gods, they have the temerity to argue that the gods that other people believe in don't exist.  That it is a waste of time to believe in or worship those nonexistent gods.  That is exactly what those theists think about everyone else's gods, so they take it as further evidence of atheism being a religion aimed to convert people to a specific creed.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2013, 09:08:03 PM »
I see that I have been having an effect on some people here.

Atheism absolutely requires faith. There is no empirical evidence showing God does not exist or that souls do not exist.

Now that you've brought up the subject again, I'll ask again:

How do you "empirically" prove the nonexistence of something?


You never answered this last time.  As long as you keep popping up this argument, I'll keep asking the question.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline median

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2013, 09:11:12 PM »
I see that I have been having an effect on some people here.

Atheism absolutely requires faith. There is no empirical evidence showing God does not exist or that souls do not exist.

This is, once again, you bearing false witness. Atheism is NOT a positive statement. It does not say "there is no god". So you are just wrong for thinking you are not misrepresenting the position of atheism. You are. Does it feel good to lie for Jesus?

Atheism is a negative position, not a positive one. It is a lack of belief in a god or gods. That-is-all. So stop misrepresenting me and others here.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan