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Most people are a mixture of both. I am agnostic in regards to abstract god concepts, but become more atheistic as the ideas become more specific.   Is the universe intelligent? "I don't know" f

The question "How did you become and atheist?" Or "How did you conclude that atheism was the way to go?" Are somewhat meaningless to me. Atheism is the default position; nothing added. The word its

I don't believe in God for exactly the same reasons I don't believe there are fairies at the bottom of my garden.   What I never could understand was why anyone else thinks differently.

I'm a weak atheist. I don't believe in any god because there is no evidence showing them to exist. By evidence I mean objective, consistent, repeatable evidence, same as I would require for any other scientific question. Belief in god, on the other hand, is quite real and can have interesting effects, either positive or negative.

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I don't think the word "God" has any consistent, coherent meaning, so I don't have much use for the word atheist, except as shorthand.

 

likewise. The term atheist only exists in the presence of the theistic concept. It would be ridiculous to claim that I am an afnerlist, because fnerl isn't a concept that we have conceived of yet.

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The question

"How did you become and atheist?" Or "How did you conclude that atheism was the way to go?"

Are somewhat meaningless to me. Atheism is the default position; nothing added. The word itself means, not really theist.

if you could ask a new born baby what religion he or she is, not only could they not answer, they wouldn't understand the question as there would be no concept of religion or belief system.

I'm reluctant to even call myself an atheist. Not because I'm embarrassed or ashamed of it, but more because I don't feel the need to have a special word ascribed to something which barely enters my thoughts at all.

I don't believe in the Greek or Roman gods, yet I don't call myself an 'Aposidonist' or 'Azeusist'

The closest approximation as to why I do not believe in a theology or religion is that my cognitive immune system was fully functioning before anyone could get to me.

I remember clearly sitting in assembly in primary school - aged about five or six - listening to stories about evil snakes, parting red seas, walls of Jerrico, water into wine... and thinking

"This is a load of rubbish, I just don't think this is true."

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I'm a weak atheist. I don't believe in any god because there is no evidence showing them to exist. By evidence I mean objective, consistent, repeatable evidence, same as I would require for any other scientific question. Belief in god, on the other hand, is quite real and can have interesting effects, either positive or negative.

I agree with the above.

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Nondenominational nontheist is a better term than atheist for most people. If I define "god" as simply anything greater than ones self, who would argue that there was nothing greater than themseves?

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I don't believe in God for exactly the same reasons I don't believe there are fairies at the bottom of my garden.

 

What I never could understand was why anyone else thinks differently.

 

This is pretty much my take. I don't believe in god for the same reason I don't believe in the tooth fairy. Seriously... how do people still buy into this nonsense?

 

Why that lack of belief requires a special word also baffles me a bit. I don't have a label for not believing in Vishnu, nor do I have a label for finding astrology to be bullshit, so why should I need a label for not believing in this particular brand of woo? (basically, just as tomgwyther was saying above).

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Seriously... how do people still buy into this nonsense?

 

Quite easily, actually.

 

Why that lack of belief requires a special word also baffles me a bit. I don't have a label for not believing in Vishnu, nor do I have a label for finding astrology to be bullshit, so why should I need a label for not believing in this particular brand of woo? (basically, just as tomgwyther was saying above).

 

We have labels where they are useful. A label that puts you with about 99% of the population is essentially useless, which is why those labels you mention don't exist -- they convey negligible information. A label that puts you at 50% of so of the population is much more useful. The smaller a percentage of the population a label puts you at, the more information it conveys.

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Guys, please remember the rules of this forum. We are to be civil. We are not to be personal, and we are not to call one another's beliefs "nonsense". You can be critical of others beliefs and claims, but do so in a civil manner and with logical assertions.

 

Since this forum is still in a testing stage, this is not a request. Please don't make us enforce the rules.

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I don't have a label for not believing in Vishnu[...]

 

That would be 'Atheist'. :P

 

if you are an atheist, please let us know why you feel it's the right conclusion for you.

 

Because gods don't exist?

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I am just going to note that this is the reason why a religious forum should not be included as a part of SFN, just my personal opinion. The debate seems to go no where. There is nothing scientific about arguing for or against the existence of Gods. It seems this just turns into a battle of semantics and philosophical reasoning. And while that is all great and nice, there is no evidence, no journals, no data, no experiments that can prove the point either way.

 

Furthermore, it is not like anyone is going to change anyone else's mind on such topics. These arguments have been covered over and over again throughout the history of mankind, this just seems to be going no where, it offers no benefit to the reader either. Imagine a new reader coming onto the site, seeing the front page and looking at the topics and they include "Why Atheism?", I mean such a topic is not scientific at all. Science is secular, it is just that simple and I think this should be a Science Forum.

 

People think rationally in everyday life, studying causes, effects on nearly every topic, except politics and religion. It already seems hard enough moderating politics (which at least can be debated with facts and data). Now we bring religion into it? A realm in which facts and data have no say, the final word is faith.

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I am just going to note that this is the reason why a religious forum should not be included as a part of SFN, just my personal opinion. The debate seems to go no where. There is nothing scientific about arguing for or against the existence of Gods. It seems this just turns into a battle of semantics and philosophical reasoning. And while that is all great and nice, there is no evidence, no journals, no data, no experiments that can prove the point either way.

 

Furthermore, it is not like anyone is going to change anyone else's mind on such topics. These arguments have been covered over and over again throughout the history of mankind, this just seems to be going no where, it offers no benefit to the reader either. Imagine a new reader coming onto the site, seeing the front page and looking at the topics and they include "Why Atheism?", I mean such a topic is not scientific at all. Science is secular, it is just that simple and I think this should be a Science Forum.

 

People think rationally in everyday life, studying causes, effects on nearly every topic, except politics and religion. It already seems hard enough moderating politics (which at least can be debated with facts and data). Now we bring religion into it? A realm in which facts and data have no say, the final word is faith.

 

This isn't supposed to be a debate, it's supposed to be a discussion. The topic isn't "prove that gods don't exist," it's "why are you an atheist?" (I agree that "because gods don't exist" is not a helpful answer.) And people do change their minds. If you took a survey of religious beliefs today, and religious beliefs 1000 years ago, the results would be very different. Granted, most of that change has probably been through the old dying and the young forming initial opinions different from their parents, but that doesn't mean that once an opinion is formed it can't change or at least evolve. Mine have.

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This isn't supposed to be a debate, it's supposed to be a discussion. The topic isn't "prove that gods don't exist," it's "why are you an atheist?" (I agree that "because gods don't exist" is not a helpful answer.) And people do change their minds. If you took a survey of religious beliefs today, and religious beliefs 1000 years ago, the results would be very different. Granted, most of that change has probably been through the old dying and the young forming initial opinions different from their parents, but that doesn't mean that once an opinion is formed it can't change or at least evolve. Mine have.

 

This still does not address the main concern that Science should be secular. I think if one wants to discuss religion they can go to various religious forums. If one wants to discuss science they can come here. I think that such a religion forum might discourage the type of people we might want to join SFN and attract the type of people we don't want on SFN. I think at least the posts in the religion section should not be featured on the front page. That is the last of what I have to say about this.

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Well, they can't be too attracted by it, since they have to make 100 posts in the science sections before they can post here.

 

Still, that does not address the main concern I have, science should be secular.

 

Furthermore, we had a creationist come on a pretend to be a scientist (Dr. Sullivan) just a couple weeks ago, if someone is willing to go to that much trouble 100 posts doesn't seem that hard. Again, at least lets not feature the religion posts on the front page, like we don't feature the politics posts on the front page.

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Can you prove that?

 

To what standard of proof?

 

Most decisions that you (a PhD in physics, for those who don't know) make are not scientifical, and I'm not even a scientist. Scientifically, no -- I guess if you push you'll be able to get me to admit to being technically agnostic (tho, you'd also be able to get me to admit to being agnostic that everything isn't all just a dream or some matrix-esque illusion).

 

But science is for, say, if you ask me if i 'believe' in global warming -- I'll do my best to base my beliefs off of what I think the relevent scientists believe. You can't do that with religion, so i'm left with doing it another way, and I can't see any other decent way that proves that god exists. And I guess I work on a 'closed world' principle -- if there's no reason to believe something, then don't.

 

This still does not address the main concern that Science should be secular.

 

I am not a scientist, but I suspect the only scientifically correct stance is 'no comment' as god is undisprovable. I'd actually be interested (maybe in another thread) as to wether the most scientific non-no-comment religious stance'd be agnosticism leaning towards atheism, strait down-the-middle agnosticism, or atheism.

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Still, that does not address the main concern I have, science should be secular.

 

And why exactly should that be? Occam's Razor should suggest an agnostic viewpoint, as why go out of your way to exclude God in your premises? How would having an extra premise help? Further, explicitly excluding God would make all theists have to question the validity of science. If we can do science just fine without said premise, then we are better off not having it as we increase our probability of being correct.

 

Furthermore, we had a creationist come on a pretend to be a scientist (Dr. Sullivan) just a couple weeks ago, if someone is willing to go to that much trouble 100 posts doesn't seem that hard. Again, at least lets not feature the religion posts on the front page, like we don't feature the politics posts on the front page.

 

But if someone comes here and spouts 100 posts of rapid fire nonsense, it will still take quite a while and they'd probably be banned anyways. If they actually had thoughtful and relevant comments, then we might as well hear what they have to say on the touchier topics as well.


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I am not a scientist, but I suspect the only scientifically correct stance is 'no comment' as god is undisprovable.

 

A caveat is that the "no comment" position by default means choosing the simpler of the two options, in this case "the laws of science" rather than "the laws of science and there's God too!".

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And why exactly should that be? Occam's Razor should suggest an agnostic viewpoint, as why go out of your way to exclude God in your premises? How would having an extra premise help? Further, explicitly excluding God would make all theists have to question the validity of science. If we can do science just fine without said premise, then we are better off not having it as we increase our probability of being correct.

 

I am not excluding God or God(s) from possibilities by simply saying that Science should be secular.

 

The following two definitions are from wikipedia,

 

"Secularity is the state of being separate from religion."

 

"Religion is any systematic approach to living that involves beliefs about one's origins, one's place in the world, or a responsibility to live and act in the world in particular ways. Religion is often equated with faith and belief in a higher power or truth"

 

As you can see arguing that Science should be secular is not saying that science should be free from the possibility of God(s). I am arguing that science should be separate from organized sets of beliefs that are simply not based on facts but instead on faith and most of the time set in stone, and this is for obvious reasons.

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