Author Topic: Atheism requires faith(?)  (Read 2755 times)

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Offline median

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #87 on: November 28, 2013, 11:47:21 PM »

So a gnostic atheist can only be defined by that full title? It would be incorrect to call them an atheist?

If you're going for accuracy, then yeah. They are someone who lacks belief and also asserts a positive knowledge claim regarding a deity or deities. Atheism proper does not require "faith (just like being a non-astrologer does not require faith). 
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 11:49:22 PM by median »
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Online skeptic54768

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #88 on: November 28, 2013, 11:50:05 PM »
The questions has not been answered:

How does one decide whether or not to become an agnostic theist or agnostic atheist?
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.)

Online skeptic54768

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #89 on: November 28, 2013, 11:51:15 PM »
No, I understand #4 is agnostic atheist.

How does one decide between agnostic theist and agnostic atheist?

Seems to me it would just be a bunch of "Nu=Uh!" "Yeah-huh!" back and forth.

WOW. So basically you think there is no reliable method for separating fact from fiction? Is that what you're saying? It's all just opinion?

Are you saying God is fiction? But then this would mean it's a fact that God does not exist.

This is all so confusing.
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 Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #90 on: November 28, 2013, 11:54:32 PM »
Faith.

If someone promises to do something for you, you either have faith that they will do it or you are skeptical that they will do it or you are cynical and expect nothing from their promise.

If that person delivers on that promise then your faith is confirmed and starts moving towards trust. If you are skeptical then you will be pleasantly surprised  and thus be more likely to have faith in any future promises made. If you are cynical then you will be wondering what they will expect in return.

If the person does not fulfill their promise then you lose faith in them. If you were skeptical to begin with you will move towards distrust and if you were cynical then they just confirmed your suspicion.

Some atheists may be cynical. Some may be skeptical but none put their faith or trust in gods.

For some atheists it may be that they simply do not believe at all...period...end of story. You can't have faith in something you don't believe in. However, plenty of atheists put their faith and trust in themselves and/or other people.

There may be skeptical theists and even cynical theists as well as cynical atheists and skeptical atheists.

The main difference between them is who they give credit to when things go their way or not. The important thing to remember is that as far as God goes...it doesn't take faith to not believe.

Now.

It may be that you have put your faith in other atheists' arguments about the existence of God but that is not the same thing. If God answers any prayers at all, it is only through the actions of other people. That is where the true faith of Christians resides...in other people. It's the same for atheists, they put their faith in other people...they just side step the middle man making all the threats and promises concerning the afterlife because he cannot logically exist.

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Offline Nam

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #91 on: November 28, 2013, 11:56:14 PM »
No, I understand #4 is agnostic atheist.

How does one decide between agnostic theist and agnostic atheist?

Seems to me it would just be a bunch of "Nu=Uh!" "Yeah-huh!" back and forth.

WOW. So basically you think there is no reliable method for separating fact from fiction? Is that what you're saying? It's all just opinion?

Are you saying God is fiction? But then this would mean it's a fact that God does not exist.

This is all so confusing.

If I said that Christianity is fiction, is that the same as saying that god is fiction? No. Is saying that the Bible is fiction the same as saying individual places or people in the Bible is fiction? No.

Get it?

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

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Offline Traveler

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #92 on: November 28, 2013, 11:57:44 PM »
skeptic, here's the acid test. Try to believe in Zeus. Right now. Just try. Can't do it, can you? That is what its like for atheists. We do not believe. Period. End of sentence.

As for a decision ... there is none. You either believe or you don't.

Look, at one time people believed the world was flat. Then folks started sailing around the earth without falling off. As this evidence filtered through society, more and more people lost their belief in a flat earth.

I know people who believe in gods, goddesses, and fairies. Yes, fairies. I cannot choose to believe in any of those things. I'm willing to look at evidence, but in all my years, I've never seen any that stands up.
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 Nam

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #93 on: November 28, 2013, 11:58:50 PM »
The questions has not been answered:

How does one decide whether or not to become an agnostic theist or agnostic atheist?

Actually, it has. Median answered analitically, and I gave a watered down version of it.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #94 on: November 29, 2013, 12:04:34 AM »

So a gnostic atheist can only be defined by that full title? It would be incorrect to call them an atheist?

If you're going for accuracy, then yeah. They are someone who lacks belief and also asserts a positive knowledge claim regarding a deity or deities. Atheism proper does not require "faith (just like being a non-astrologer does not require faith).

OK. Who is it, or by what process has it been decded, that atheism proper can only mean lack of belief in God(s)? Or in other words, if a gnostic atheist wished to be claissified more broadly as simply atheist, what do you point to in rejecting this?
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #95 on: November 29, 2013, 12:09:32 AM »
No, I understand #4 is agnostic atheist.

How does one decide between agnostic theist and agnostic atheist?

Seems to me it would just be a bunch of "Nu=Uh!" "Yeah-huh!" back and forth.

WOW. So basically you think there is no reliable method for separating fact from fiction? Is that what you're saying? It's all just opinion?

Are you saying God is fiction? But then this would mean it's a fact that God does not exist.

This is all so confusing.

If I said that Christianity is fiction, is that the same as saying that god is fiction? No.


-Nam

Yes, it is. How could you possibly say that Christianity is fiction any other way? It would be like saying God might exist, but the belief and worship of God does not.
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #96 on: November 29, 2013, 12:12:55 AM »
Just as I originally posted this, I thought I saw a major error in it, and I quickly removed it, thinking it had some very flawed editing (as opposed to my usual semi-flawed editing). Then I figured out it was fine except my computer kept messing up my attempts to repaste some stuff. But here it is now, in its original form.


3. Gnostic Atheist - one who claims to know there is no god, and one who does not have a belief in one


How does a Gnostic atheist support their position?

We look at the world, see natural explanations for everything we can find explanations for, and see no reason to believe that the things that we don't yet have an explanation for are miracle or otherwise god-based, and conclude that no god is involved.

We look at all the gods proposed in this world and notice that nobody believes in all of them. We look at all the proposed gods in the world and see a pattern within the social and personal forces that create said gods, a pattern that seems to indicate that humans are real good at making stuff up. And real good at believing it. But there is no reason to think that such a said belief makes it true. Fantastic and impossible claims of great things that happened long ago are inadequate in this day and age. To suggest that a real god, who loves me and everyone else, is going to go missing for thousands of years, after being intimately involved with any given small and specially chosen group, is rather silly.

We look at the human mind. The one that seems to make almost everyone think they are real special, and the one that ignores the commonality of existence. We look at the fear of death that so many admit to having, and a very human need to rewrite reality so that it sounds good and seems survivable. We dismiss these Pollyannish desires for immortality and look at their source: religion. Which has so little good science in it that there is no reason to think they got the afterlife thingy right.

We look at the variations within any given religion. I looks at christianity, for instance, and see over 30,000 versions, and that causes me to suspect that if there is any truth behind the story, it is in amounts too minuscule to provide consistency. And that the more likely explanation is that there is no truth, making customization even easier.

If there appears to be no need for a god in nature and no evidence for a god anywhere we look; if the religious stories are universally inconsistent with reality, if religious claims of their history don't match other histories, and if there is no evidence that any given believer has any advantages over non-believers in any department (not counting their fantasy world, which is probably pretty cool at times), then there is no reason to give any serious thought to the existence of any of the claimed gods.

If the followers of any given religious group consistently lived better quality lives, longer lives, healthier lives, cancer-free/heart disease-free/arthritis-free, heartbreak-free, disaster-free, political turmoil-free lives, we would notice. And we would wonder why. And if their god seemed to be favoring them in some way and it was that apparent and unnatural things were happening that favored that group, I might rethink my position.

The law of averages says that there are probably intelligent beings elsewhere in the universe. And just as we probably appear as gods to our dogs and cats (hey, that god can open doors and get food out of those bags and take me to the vet in a wheeled vehicle with no visible means of propulsion) and it probably wouldn't take a much more advanced species than ours to look godlike to us. So there may well be forces in the universe that would appear both mysterious and miraculous to me. (Think how people would react to an iPad if we could transport one back to 1950). So there may be superior forces out there (I'm not saying that there are, but I certainly cannot claim that there are not), But I unhesitantly state that there are no gods. I don't know this for a fact. But I haven't got one single reason to think I might be wrong.

And the reason that my POV doesn't qualify as a belief is because if a god would suddenly show up, I'd change my mind. If he was a christian god or other heritage religion god, I'd be pretty unhappy with him. But I'd change my mind the minute proof to the contrary appeared. I am merely stating my current opinion, based on current knowledge. And on my unwillingness to play games with my own head.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 12:22:17 AM by ParkingPlaces »
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Offline Nam

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #97 on: November 29, 2013, 12:26:10 AM »
No, I understand #4 is agnostic atheist.

How does one decide between agnostic theist and agnostic atheist?

Seems to me it would just be a bunch of "Nu=Uh!" "Yeah-huh!" back and forth.

WOW. So basically you think there is no reliable method for separating fact from fiction? Is that what you're saying? It's all just opinion?

Are you saying God is fiction? But then this would mean it's a fact that God does not exist.

This is all so confusing.

If I said that Christianity is fiction, is that the same as saying that god is fiction? No.


-Nam

Yes, it is. How could you possibly say that Christianity is fiction any other way? It would be like saying God might exist, but the belief and worship of God does not.


The basis of Christianity is not god, it's Jesus. Christians may say, God Jesus, the Holy Spirit but in actuality, it's Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and then god. But even taking it from the Christians point-of-view, it's still Jesus first. Therefore Christianity can in fact be fiction based on such assessment.

I'll give an example, there are about 30 Baptist churches in the town I live in; there are a plethora of signs everywhere saying, "Jesus loves you", I have never seen from those churches, or any others, "God loves you".

Jesus is the figurehead of Christianity, not Biblegod. Probably why many Christians hold the belief that Jesus is Biblegod .

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.

Offline median

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #98 on: November 29, 2013, 12:26:13 AM »

OK. Who is it, or by what process has it been decded, that atheism proper can only mean lack of belief in God(s)? Or in other words, if a gnostic atheist wished to be claissified more broadly as simply atheist, what do you point to in rejecting this?

We are talking about being precise in our terms here (and it seems you don't want to do, b/c it's inconvenient to your belief that atheists "have faith" that there is no deity) but this isn't the case. Someone who is "gnostic" about a deity either claims to know there is, or is not one. This is an entirely different question than that of belief. Theism is the belief in a god or gods. Atheism is the simply the lack of that belief and that is all. If someone decides not to be precise with their language that is on them. Lacking belief still has nothing to do with "faith" (believing when there is no sufficient reason to do so).
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 12:29:53 AM by median »
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #99 on: November 29, 2013, 12:26:59 AM »
No, I understand #4 is agnostic atheist.

How does one decide between agnostic theist and agnostic atheist?

Seems to me it would just be a bunch of "Nu=Uh!" "Yeah-huh!" back and forth.

WOW. So basically you think there is no reliable method for separating fact from fiction? Is that what you're saying? It's all just opinion?

Are you saying God is fiction? But then this would mean it's a fact that God does not exist.

This is all so confusing.

If I said that Christianity is fiction, is that the same as saying that god is fiction? No.


-Nam

Yes, it is. How could you possibly say that Christianity is fiction any other way? It would be like saying God might exist, but the belief and worship of God does not.

He is saying that there may or may not be a god but one religion or the other may be completely fabricated. I believe there is a god but I don't believe the people who created the Church are infallible.

But if it's just a belief that God is real, then atheists should stop asking for evidence. You can't have it both ways.

I don't know if anyone has told you this or not but you really do need to stop thinking that atheism is homogeneous.
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Offline median

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #100 on: November 29, 2013, 12:29:11 AM »

Yes, it is. How could you possibly say that Christianity is fiction any other way? It would be like saying God might exist, but the belief and worship of God does not.

You are 100% wrong here. Rejecting Christianity is NOT necessarily rejecting any other religions claim to a god. And even more importantly it is NOT a positive claim, or a faith claim, that there is no god at-all. It is only rejecting ONE religion (and one deity claim) out of hundreds that have arisen. Further, it is not rejecting what may or may not be possible.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 12:31:25 AM by median »
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #101 on: November 29, 2013, 12:29:27 AM »
and it seems you don't want to do, b/c it's inconvenient to your belief that atheists "have faith" that there is no deity)

Actually, I hold no such belief. I've just asked a few questions.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #102 on: November 29, 2013, 12:31:52 AM »

Yes, it is. How could you possibly say that Christianity is fiction any other way? It would be like saying God might exist, but the belief and worship of God does not.

You are 100% wrong here. Rejecting Christianity is NOT necessarily rejecting any other religions claim to a god. And even more importantly it is NOT a positive claim, or a faith claim, that there is no god at-all. It is only rejecting ONE religion (and one deity claim) out of hundreds that have arisen. Further, it is not rejecting what may or may not be possible.

I'll concede that point.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #103 on: November 29, 2013, 12:33:04 AM »
No, I understand #4 is agnostic atheist.

How does one decide between agnostic theist and agnostic atheist?

Seems to me it would just be a bunch of "Nu=Uh!" "Yeah-huh!" back and forth.

WOW. So basically you think there is no reliable method for separating fact from fiction? Is that what you're saying? It's all just opinion?

Are you saying God is fiction? But then this would mean it's a fact that God does not exist.

This is all so confusing.

If I said that Christianity is fiction, is that the same as saying that god is fiction? No.


-Nam

Yes, it is. How could you possibly say that Christianity is fiction any other way? It would be like saying God might exist, but the belief and worship of God does not.


The basis of Christianity is not god, it's Jesus. Christians may say, God Jesus, the Holy Spirit but in actuality, it's Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and then god. But even taking it from the Christians point-of-view, it's still Jesus first. Therefore Christianity can in fact be fiction based on such assessment.

I'll give an example, there are about 30 Baptist churches in the town I live in; there are a plethora of signs everywhere saying, "Jesus loves you", I have never seen from those churches, or any others, "God loves you".

Jesus is the figurehead of Christianity, not Biblegod. Probably why many Christians hold the belief that Jesus is Biblegod .

-Nam

Conceded.
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Offline median

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #104 on: November 29, 2013, 12:35:17 AM »

Are you saying God is fiction? But then this would mean it's a fact that God does not exist.

This is all so confusing.

It's confusing to you b/c you are thinking of it in flawed black/white terms, when it is not. I asked you the question regarding fact/fiction for a purpose, and you didn't answer it. Why? I want to know if you think there is a reliable method for generally determining true things from false things.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #105 on: November 29, 2013, 12:41:32 AM »
The questions has not been answered:

How does one decide whether or not to become an agnostic theist or agnostic atheist?

This question is akin to the question: How does one determine whether or not astrology is true or false?

What is the best method for determining whether or not astrology is correct? What about Scientology? How about homeopathy? The answer is; by the use of logic (critical thinking), sound reasoning, and evidence. This is called the scientific method. And that method is the single most consistently reliable pathway we have for separating true things from false things in the aposteriori world. If you think you have another way that is reliable then please present it.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #106 on: November 29, 2013, 12:47:02 AM »

Are you saying God is fiction? But then this would mean it's a fact that God does not exist.

This is all so confusing.

No. What we are saying is that your god (and all gods) are improbable. I would personally like to insist that they don't exist, but the other guys here won't let me. So I let up slightly and say that they (and that includes yours) probably doesn't exist.

We say that because there is no evidence to the contrary. There appears to be no need for a god for the universe to exist, and no need of a god for life to exist. And things like your beloved demons are much easier to explain via human weaknesses, plate tectonics, weather patterns, political realities and other flaws in both us and our planet. And the universe, if you want to count the occasional asteroid strike.

The god we don't believe in is indeed a fiction. That is the atheist point of view. Did you think we make this stuff up just to irk you?

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

Offline Nam

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #107 on: November 29, 2013, 12:54:15 AM »
That's not true PP, you can say it. No grudges. Say it, say it, I dare you.

;)

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #108 on: November 29, 2013, 12:55:10 AM »
Ah, but he is claimed as a god. So you are required to have faith that he isn't real. And required to have faith that all the other gods are not real. Because you said it takes faith to be an atheist, then you surely are exerting faith not believing in the other claimed gods, no matter their source.

What about American Indian gods. Were they demon based too? That would mean that they were faster than your god in getting to North and South America. Very impressive. but It means you're following the slowest one.

This is a serious discussion. It's not a place for jokes.
As a real live injun I don't find it to be a joke
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #109 on: November 29, 2013, 12:56:47 AM »
That's not true PP, you can say it. No grudges. Say it, say it, I dare you.

;)

-Nam

You want me to say it? I'll say it. There is no god. Absolutely, positively, there is no god.

Now watch me catch some flack for that, Nam. And its all your fault.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Online skeptic54768

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #110 on: November 29, 2013, 01:02:25 AM »
You want me to say it? I'll say it. There is no god. Absolutely, positively, there is no god.

Now watch me catch some flack for that, Nam. And its all your fault.

OK, you can say that. However, it's just an OPINION. It's not a FACT that you can prove in the same way "there is no pen in my hand" can be proven by not holding a pen.

The thing is, God could be real and He just doesn't show Himself to the atheists. How would you be able to tell the difference? Since you can't tell the difference, you can't claim there is no God as a factual statement.
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.)

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #111 on: November 29, 2013, 01:02:35 AM »
Skeptic why if you know there is a God do you need the word faith to be used in any way shape or form? Either it takes faith to "believe" in a god or no faith is required,because God would be easily interpreted and would be felt by all.

 You just have hate for those who could care less for a faith based origin for a god.
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #112 on: November 29, 2013, 01:03:46 AM »
You want me to say it? I'll say it. There is no god. Absolutely, positively, there is no god.

Now watch me catch some flack for that, Nam. And its all your fault.

OK, you can say that. However, it's just an OPINION. It's not a FACT that you can prove in the same way "there is no pen in my hand" can be proven by not holding a pen.

The thing is, God could be real and He just doesn't show Himself to the atheists. How would you be able to tell the difference? Since you can't tell the difference, you can't claim there is no God as a factual statement.
And you can't claim a god on the same base principles you outlined
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline Astreja

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #113 on: November 29, 2013, 01:16:06 AM »
How does one decide between agnostic theist and agnostic atheist?

I actually wrote an essay about how I switched sides:

Agnostic Goddess Seeks Talking Snake™ for Fun and Companionship

ETA:  The key moment, not in the essay, was the epiphany of realizing that I couldn't bring Myself to say "Yes, the gods are real" if under oath in a courtroom.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 01:19:18 AM by Astreja »
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Offline Nam

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #114 on: November 29, 2013, 01:27:36 AM »
That's not true PP, you can say it. No grudges. Say it, say it, I dare you.

;)

-Nam

You want me to say it? I'll say it. There is no god. Absolutely, positively, there is no god.

Now watch me catch some flack for that, Nam. And its all your fault.

It's okay. I am used to people blaming me for shit.

;)

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.

Offline median

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Re: Atheism requires faith(?)
« Reply #115 on: November 29, 2013, 01:27:43 AM »
Skep, please respond to my responses to you.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan