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What makes an atheist not believe in God?


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For those who are atheists, what is it that makes you believe there is no God?

 

Scientifically, there has been no evidence to suggest that there is no God, so why don't these people believe in a Creator? If you are an atheist, what are your reasons for becoming one? Was it based on extensive studies of any religious texts or was it just through a sudden whim? Some people look for answers by analyzing this century's greatest scientific minds (e.g. Albert Einstein) and their beliefs and adopting their views without a single thought. Others think that morally every individual has the equal ability of distinguishing the difference between right and wrong and based on these understandings they can select a religion which best suits their own ideals/values. And if they are wrong, they go to Hell, get reincarnated or just die whatever the case may be.

 

If atheism is wrong however, you'd be risking your whole after-life in the Hell-fire, according to some religions, so my question is why take the risk in not believing in God? The rewards for believing in a God in some religions are infinite happiness (and other positive feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life) and the punishment is infinite pain (and other negative feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life). If atheism is right, then we all just die. In either case, the atheist is in a lose-lose situation. I think it's also rather pessimistic to not believe in an after-life. So, my question stands, why do atheists choose not to believe in God/s? And are you an atheist?

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Same reason I don't believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, leprechauns, unicorns, Thor, etc... there's no evidence for their existence, and so I assume they are irrelevant, which means they can be

To Imatfaal: Good for you. I guess the people on this Forum is not representative of the average. And I have no backup for my percentages, it was a way of speaking. But there is a reason why religions

I've read the Bible, cover to cover. I was strongly Christian during my childhood. The more I studied it, the more I found it to be lacking in rigor. At the same time I was beginning to read about

For those who are atheists, what is it that makes you believe there is no God?

 

Same reason I don't believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, leprechauns, unicorns, Thor, etc... there's no evidence for their existence, and so I assume they are irrelevant, which means they can be treated as non-existent. I can't prove they don't exist, sure, but believing in their existence provides no benefits, no predictive power, nothing.

 

If you are an atheist, what are your reasons for becoming one?

 

I used to believe in the Bible, used to be a Young Earth Creationist even. Then, I realized that that was a bunch of lies. Although I could have switched to considering the entire creation account metaphorical, I felt that this would make the whole Bible entirely worthless, especially considering that things like genealogies are not supposed to be metaphorical.

 

Since then I've also come to believe that the God of the Bible is immoral and unworthy of worship even if he did exist. Even I could do a better job morally, and also if I had enough time from an engineering standpoint.

 

If atheism is wrong however, you'd be risking your whole after-life in the Hell-fire, according to some religions, so my question is why take the risk in not believing in God? The rewards for believing in a God in some religions are infinite happiness (and other positive feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life) and the punishment is infinite pain (and other negative feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life). If atheism is right, then we all just die. In either case, the atheist is in a lose-lose situation. I think it's also rather pessimistic to not believe in an after-life. So, my question stands, why do atheists choose not to believe in God/s? And are you an atheist?

 

So then I take it that you believe in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, the Greek Pantheon, and all the other religions too, just in case they are right? Do you also believe that you have some very rich relative that you don't know about and that you'll inherit millions of dollars from him when he dies, because just think how cool that would be? Of course not! It makes no sense to believe things because it would be cool if it were true, and in any case most of those gods wouldn't accept you worshiping other gods so you're from a statistical standpoint almost certainly worshiping the wrong one.

 

As for the silly idea that there is nothing to lose by believing in any particular god if they don't exist, that is blatantly false. For one thing, many of the gods require some kind of worship or sacrifice or that you live your life a certain way. Some of the followers of the enemy of Christianity, Paul, believe that simple belief is enough for salvation, but this is repeatedly contradicted by the words of Jesus and the other apostles. Even if it were not, actually believing in that sort of thing entails certain actions, just like believing cars can kill you entails looking before crossing the street, wearing a seatbelt, etc... ask yourself, do you truly believe as Jesus said that giving even a glass of water to someone entails a reward in heaven? Because if you really believed that sort of thing, would you not give away all your stuff to help the poor, like Jesus asked a certain young man to do?

 

Oh, and for extra amusement, I'm an atheist that is going to heaven. The sect of Christianity that I used to believe in was that all that was required for salvation is believing and accepting Jesus Christ as my savior, which I did, and also that once saved you cannot lose your salvation. So I am a saved, born-again atheist who is going to a heaven I no longer believe in.

 

As for you, if you really believed the argument you just made, you should convert to Hinduism, that way you can worship the most gods without fear of going to hell in case you are wrong, to maximize your chances. Why stick with just one of the many gods, think of the risk you're taking! And as for your so-called belief, it is quite clear to anyone who's paying attention to your actions, and in particular to God, that you don't really believe. Think carefully about what your beliefs entail, and then consider -- your actions don't match those so-called beliefs you claim to have.

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If atheism is wrong however, you'd be risking your whole after-life in the Hell-fire, according to some religions, so my question is why take the risk in not believing in God? The rewards for believing in a God in some religions are infinite happiness (and other positive feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life) and the punishment is infinite pain (and other negative feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life). If atheism is right, then we all just die. In either case, the atheist is in a lose-lose situation. I think it's also rather pessimistic to not believe in an after-life. So, my question stands, why do atheists choose not to believe in God/s? And are you an atheist?

I don't think it is a matter of choosing to believe or not. How would one do that? I can't make myself believe. Of course I could say I believe, and go to church and make it look like I believe, but that would not change whether or not I actually believe.

 

Could you choose to believe in the tooth fairy?

 

I am a soft atheist. I believe there is probably no God. (But I could be wrong.)

Edited by zapatos
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For those who are atheists, what is it that makes you believe there is no God?

 

Scientifically, there has been no evidence to suggest that there is no God, so why don't these people believe in a Creator?

 

Why should that be the default position? There is no evidence that gravity isn't caused by invisible pink fairies (and there can't be, because it's not testable), but is there a compelling reason that one should assume that to be true?

 

 

If atheism is wrong however, you'd be risking your whole after-life in the Hell-fire, according to some religions, so my question is why take the risk in not believing in God? The rewards for believing in a God in some religions are infinite happiness (and other positive feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life) and the punishment is infinite pain (and other negative feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life). If atheism is right, then we all just die. In either case, the atheist is in a lose-lose situation. I think it's also rather pessimistic to not believe in an after-life. So, my question stands, why do atheists choose not to believe in God/s? And are you an atheist?

 

That's Pascal's wager. But, like zapatos, I think that making yourself believe isn't something you can do on spec.

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Exactly - you cannot choose to believe. I can understand that it must be very reassuring, comforting, and heartening to have a firm faith in your religion - and I almost envy the camaraderie , and pleasure that some friends have found through belief in god and membership of a religion. But I do not believe in god, and I do not choose to pretend that I do! And as Mr S said, what sort of omni-potent/-scient/-present supernatural being is going to be fooled into granting me eternal salvation when I have metaphorically crossed my fingers behind my back?

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For those who are atheists, what is it that makes you believe there is no God?

(...)

If atheism is wrong however, you'd be risking your whole after-life in the Hell-fire, according to some religions, so my question is why take the risk in not believing in God? The rewards for believing in a God in some religions are infinite happiness (and other positive feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life) and the punishment is infinite pain (and other negative feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life). If atheism is right, then we all just die. In either case, the atheist is in a lose-lose situation. I think it's also rather pessimistic to not believe in an after-life. So, my question stands, why do atheists choose not to believe in God/s? And are you an atheist?

 

This is exactly the Pascal's wager.

 

The simple answer is my father was an atheist, so am I. I strongly believe that the same goes for 99,99% of believers. I also strongly believe that it is totaly impossible to make people change faith through argumentation. Maybe under torture and even then I have doubts. Words are certainly not enough.

My father was an atheist because his father was. And my grandfather was an atheist because his father was. It is supposed in the family that my greatgrandfather was chased from communion under social rebellion circumstances and became unwillingly atheist as a revolted against the catholic church. Mr Skeptic must be part of the 0,01% of people who has changed faith after reasoning logicaly.

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Aside from the inherent problems with choosing to believe something, Pascal's Wager is not difficult to refute, as it is based on a false dichotomy: either the Christian god exists and rewards believers and punishes nonbelievers, or no god exists.

 

However, there are many possible gods, perhaps even infinite, all of whom may punish nonbelievers. Believing in Allah won't help you if it's Zeus that's real and annoyed by your lack of respect, and so forth. And it would be impossible to believe in or worship all possible gods, even if they weren't mutually exclusive, which most of them are. Beyond even that, who's to say that belief will help you? Cthulhu certainly wouldn't care. And beyond even that, who's to say it won't hurt? Perhaps the arbiters of the afterlife don't mind nonbelievers (how could they, inasmuch as they never reveal themselves), but hate those who worship false gods. Is that so ridiculous? What does the First Commandment say?

 

In terms of "playing the odds" for the afterlife, no religion seems a safer bet than any religion.

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Michel - I would be another one, both my parents are lifelong catholics and even though I was raised a catholic around 16-17 yo I realised that I had no faith nor belief. Subsequent to that I realised that I was not merely unsure about religion, but that I believed that there was no god. I am not sure where you have got your figures from - perhaps there is regional variation - but the 99.99/0.01 split is not something that I recognise at all.

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Exactly - you cannot choose to believe. I can understand that it must be very reassuring, comforting, and heartening to have a firm faith in your religion - and I almost envy the camaraderie , and pleasure that some friends have found through belief in god and membership of a religion. But I do not believe in god, and I do not choose to pretend that I do! And as Mr S said, what sort of omni-potent/-scient/-present supernatural being is going to be fooled into granting me eternal salvation when I have metaphorically crossed my fingers behind my back?

 

I don't think any human can have 100% faith, at least not all the time in regards to religion. It's an ongoing battle to achieve that complete level of faith, all the time. For example, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amrozi_bin_Nurhasyim), an Islamic extremist who made the news headlines here in Australia a few years ago, because of the Bali bombings (which killed many Australians), was noted in the above wikipedia article that "despite his carefree demeanor throughout his trial and incarceration, he was reported to have been pale faced and shaking in the moments before his execution." This suggests that he was fearful of whether he was going to be punished or rewarded in the After-life by God after his death for the actions he probably thought were right at the time they were carried out. So, even the most convinced believer constantly questions his/her actions, beliefs, considers other possibilities and is in a constant position of denial as well as wonder/fear and open-mindedness (even though they probably wouldn't like to admit this for understandable reasons). You can increase/decrease your level of faith by investigating other religions as well as that of your own, but it never stops, one's level of faith will be in a constant increase/decrease, both subconciously and consciously as well as all the other levels.

 

Humans are imperfect we all know this, so there will certainly be times when people will have doubts as to believe fully in the existence of a particular deity, some unclear/ambiguous things that is part of their religion, as well as actually believing this all the time, a perfect being which defies our sense of logic and understanding as to exceed our level of comprehension (i.e. the existence of God/s). I think it is completely irrational to believe completely (i.e. that there are no contradictions in the Bible, Koran, Torah etc) and all the time and I believe that all humans are rational to some degree and hence persuassion by logic and reasoning can sway someone into as well out of a faith (however this is very unlikely for true believers but I believe it still to be possible). I think to become a good scientist, to find answers, to find cures to diseases, one would need to remain open-minded to various possible remedies. Same thing applies with religion. One would need some, not necessarily strong, but some justification for why a particular religion is correct and why the others are wrong. This requires some but weak logic, but if you make enough it becomes strong logic and then you have a relatively strong believer of a particular religion. He/she will be in a constant position where he/she will be required to question some of the more subtle beliefs that are part of his/her religion, its history (and this is normal), but I'm not saying believing in God fully is difficult. It's more through the uncertainties regarding interpretation, false interpretation of a particular religion/belief is definitely possible (as humans are imperfect and errors can occur in interpretation). In fact, a lot of people make their justification about their religion being right and others being false through this as it makes sense to some degree to certain people. If Karma existed then why do bad things happen to good people? Because they were bad in their former life? I also don't think you can fully believe that there is no God, it's an on-going struggle, mainly being influenced by our own past life experiences and who knows maybe it's that God/s made certain people believe certain things as to misguide them for underlying hidden reasons we are yet to fully comprehend.

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I don't think any human can have 100% faith, at least not all the time in regards to religion. It's an ongoing battle to achieve that complete level of faith, all the time. For example, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim (http://en.wikipedia....i_bin_Nurhasyim), an Islamic extremist who made the news headlines here in Australia a few years ago, because of the Bali bombings (which killed many Australians), was noted in the above wikipedia article that "despite his carefree demeanor throughout his trial and incarceration, he was reported to have been pale faced and shaking in the moments before his execution." This suggests that he was fearful of whether he was going to be punished or rewarded in the After-life by God after his death for the actions he probably thought were right at the time they were carried out. So, even the most convinced believer constantly questions his/her actions, beliefs, considers other possibilities and is in a constant position of denial as well as wonder/fear and open-mindedness (even though they probably wouldn't like to admit this for understandable reasons). You can increase/decrease your level of faith by investigating other religions as well as that of your own, but it never stops, one's level of faith will be in a constant increase/decrease, both subconciously and consciously as well as all the other levels.

 

Not sure that the moments before death are a good time to judge a man - the most obvious example of someone who questions everything in those last minutes, which I mention because it is disturbingly similar to the paragraph you have quoted, is:

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me

I don't think your example or my parallel prove anything either way - they have little to do with faith, lack-of-faith, or questioning faith - it is terror, an over-riding all-consuming terror.

 

On a different note - the fact that a faithful person's level of belief can vary has nothing to do with the assertion that many of the posters have made, which I believe, that you cannot choose to believe. I will take your word for it that once you have a core belief, then you can choose to believe to a greater or lesser extent; but I am certain that you cannot make a conscious decision to start believing.

Edited by imatfaal
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To Imatfaal: Good for you. I guess the people on this Forum is not representative of the average. And I have no backup for my percentages, it was a way of speaking. But there is a reason why religions are concentrated geographicaly. Most people are learned to believe the way they do through parents, school, culture or even government. Only a small percentage has the time and the intelligence to question. Most of the population only follow whithout questionning.

 

To Voltman. Only one thing is sure: we are all wrong. The one who believes is right is more wrong than the others. The main goal should be to always question and to answer less, especially when answers come straight right from an old book.

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On a different note - the fact that a faithful person's level of belief can vary has nothing to do with the assertion that many of the posters have made, which I believe, that you cannot choose to believe. I will take your word for it that once you have a core belief, then you can choose to believe to a greater or lesser extent; but I am certain that you cannot make a conscious decision to start believing.

 

Perhaps not right away. But you can make a conscious decision to analyze/study other religions and then make up your mind yourself whether God/s exist. The only problem I have is when people choose to become atheists when they haven't looked at any of the existing religions and what they have to offer. People automatically dismiss these ideas as being rudicrous without a second thought for tolerance as well as open-mindedness. Once a person has investigated in detail, he/she may be able to select which religion makes more sense and which ideas of "right" and "wrong" seem more correct and least misinterpreted/distorted. This may lead to a greater feeling of spiritual fulfilment as well as a belief in God/s whatever the religion may be. The faith may not be 100% all the time, but it will be there or not completely (as is the case with atheism).

Edited by Voltman
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There are three problems with Pascal's wager.

You can't Choose to believe something.

It's odds on that you will choose the wrong faith

 

and the third problem which is that it is deeply offensive.

In Pascal's day it was reasonable to assume there was only one "proper" religion- Christianity- and the rest were all "heathen mumbo jumbo" ( Not sure what he would have though of Judaism, perhaps "Christians who haven't noticed the latest news yet").

In today's multicultural society there are - for better or worse, a shedfull of religions and beliefs.

To ignore all of them and assume that there is one "true Path" that you could follow is incredibly conceited.

 

Only religion could make you act that way.

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For those who are atheists, what is it that makes you believe there is no God?

The real question should be "For those of you who are theists, what makes you believe that there are one or more deities?". Atheism is simply saying "I don't believe you" to theism. The burden of proof here is on the theists. It'd be awesome for prosecuting attorneys if they could say "That guy murdered Frank. Prove me wrong.". Fortunately for us, that's now how burden of proof works.

 

Scientifically, there has been no evidence to suggest that there is no God, so why don't these people believe in a Creator?

 

You've gotten that mixed around. Scientifically, there has been no evidence to suggest that there is a God, so why do these people believe in a Creator?

 

There is, in fact, evidence that the modern version traditional western concept of God doesn't exist(and even moreso if you're of the unsophisticated old school type of theism like YECs).

 

Evidence like humans, reasonable nonbelief, and horrific suffering.

 

Given a continuum of moral natures from 0(perfectly evil) to 10(perfectly good) and S(the set of all possible worlds inhabited only by creatures higher on the moral continuum than humans):

 

 

(1) God is omnipotent

 

(2) So, it is possible for God to actualize a member of S

 

(3) God is omniscient

 

(4) So, if it is possible for God to actualize a member of S, then God knows that He can actualize a member of S

 

(5) So, God knows that He can actualize a member of S

 

(6) God is morally perfect

 

(7) So, a morally perfect being should attempt to maximize the likelihood of moral goodness and minimize the likelihood of moral evil in the world

 

(8) If God knows He can actualize a member of S, then every world in which God exists is a member of S

 

(9) Therefore, every world in which God exists is a member of S

 

(10) Therefore, if God exists in the actual world then the actual world is a member of S

 

(11) The actual world is not a member of S

 

(12) Therefore, God does not exist

 

_________________________________________

 

1)If there is a perfectly loving God, all creatures capable of explicit and positively meaningful relationship with God who have not freely shut themselves off from God are in a position to participate in such relationships--i.e., able to do so just by trying to.

 

2)No one can be in a position to participate in such relationships without believing that God exists.

 

3)If there is a perfectly loving God, all creatures capable of explicit and positively meaningful relationship with God who have not freely shut themselves off from God believe that God exists (from 1 and 2).

 

4)It is not the case that all creatures capable of explicit and positively meaningful relationship with God who have not freely shut themselves off from God believe that God exists: there is nonresistant nonbelief; God is hidden.

 

5)It is not the case that there is a perfectly loving God (from 3 and 4).

 

6)If God exists, God is perfectly loving.

 

7)It is not the case that God exists (from 5 and 6).

 

__________________________________________________ _

 

Given Horrific Suffering as the type of suffering which is so bad as to make a person feel their life is not worth living:

 

(1) Necessarily, if God exists, finite persons who ever more fully experience the reality of God realize their deepest good.

 

(2) Necessarily, if God exists, the prevention of horrific suffering does not prevent there being finite persons who ever more fully experience the reality of God.

 

(3) Necessarily, if God exists, the prevention of horrific suffering does not prevent there being finite persons who realize their deepest good. (from 1, 2)

 

(4) Necessarily, if God exists, there is horrific suffering only if its prevention would prevent there being finite persons who realize their deepest good.

 

(5) Necessarily, if God exists, there is no horrific suffering. (from 3, 4)

 

(6) There is horrific suffering.

 

(7) God does not exist (from 5, 6)

 

 

If atheism is wrong however, you'd be risking your whole after-life in the Hell-fire, according to some religions, so my question is why take the risk in not believing in God? The rewards for believing in a God in some religions are infinite happiness (and other positive feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life) and the punishment is infinite pain (and other negative feelings that we are unable to comprehend in this life). If atheism is right, then we all just die. In either case, the atheist is in a lose-lose situation. I think it's also rather pessimistic to not believe in an after-life. So, my question stands, why do atheists choose not to believe in God/s? And are you an atheist?

Pascal's wager is utterly terrible.

russells-teapot-pascals-wager.jpg

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Perhaps not right away. But you can make a conscious decision to analyze/study other religions and then make up your mind yourself whether God/s exist. The only problem I have is when people choose to become atheists when they haven't looked at any of the existing religions and what they have to offer. People automatically dismiss these ideas as being rudicrous without a second thought for tolerance as well as open-mindedness. Once a person has investigated in detail, he/she may be able to select which religion makes more sense and which ideas of "right" and "wrong" seem more correct and least misinterpreted/distorted. This may lead to a greater feeling of spiritual fulfilment as well as a belief in God/s whatever the religion may be. The faith may not be 100% all the time, but it will be there or not completely (as is the case with atheism).

 

 

Mr S and I have already confirmed that we went through this process - and the result in my case (and I think in his - sorry if I have misrepresented) is that there is no god. I have studied (my master's thesis was on the modern ramifications of the act of confession in early Christianity) , watched (my family are still Catholic) and even participated in Catholic/Christian worship ; and I have found no reason to believe in god - that is why I am an atheist, not because I cannot be bothered to look.

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I'll answer this by saying what would make me worship a God.

 

1) Prove that Supernatural things exist (If supernatural things don't exists, then there can be no gods or such to worship).

2) Prove that the God you are claiming exists, actually exists (just because supernatural things exists, does not mean that your beliefs are right).

3) That your God deserves worship. (If your God demanded that I act immorally to worship them, then their version of Heven would be my Hell and thus I would prefer to be punished for sticking to my morals than punished for givng them up).

 

As there is no proof of supernatural things, then my conversion to a religion fails at the first hurdle. This also means that they fail the second hurdle as well.

 

However, I have read the bible, and in reading it I found the acts of God to be immoral (and actually fit the clinical definition of a Psychopath). As such, even if the christian God was shown to exist, I would not worship such a monster.

 

eg: Stopping the sun so that those that worshiped Him would be able to commit genocide, killing not only enemy combatants in the war, but once all they are dead, to go on and kill women and children and non combatants, even the livestock (what did cattle and chickens do to deserve that?).

 

The way I see it, God (if He exists) is not the God of the Bible. If God created us, then He gave us inteligence and the ability to us logic and reason. Thus to not use these gifts would be a sin against God as you would have rejected His gifts and thus rejected Him. And, if you think aobut the bible, the devil is supposed to use lies to try and trick humanity away from God (as God allows us free will and the Devil could not posibley defeat an omnipotent, omnicient God through acts of force). The only way to determin of something is a lie, it is use reason and logic (and evidence) to test if it is true. Blind faith is a rejection of this and opens the door for the devil to get in. In this light, it seems quite rational that a God would have given us the ability to use logic and reason and would want us to examin any claims of His existance where we have to "take it on faith".

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Atheists choose not to believe because the existence of God has not been proven to them satisfactorily. Much like Christians reject the notion of Hindu God's, Greek God's etc. Alot of it comes down to, Why are we here? How are we here? Unanswered questions. As Human's we like to believe there is an explanation for everything and put it into terms we can understand. If you take into account the scientific knowledge of the era when Christianity developed Well a great mysterious creator was probably the most logical explanation.

 

When you take a look at what we know now you can see we have learned alot more about how the earth and the human race developed but it still leaves the perplexing notion...............Maybe God planned it that way.

 

So that's my unbiased opinion my heart tells me there most certainly is a God and an afterlife, Each and everyone of us knows at least 1 person who has had some form of paranormal experience, The Atheist say's it was your mind playing tricks on you but I also think most of them possess a little doubt as to the certainty of that.

 

Scientifically we know energy cannot be created only converted, Life is a form of energy, Is intelligence? Ahh we'll leave that to the deep thinking philosophers to sort out over the next thousand years.

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Mr S and I have already confirmed that we went through this process - and the result in my case (and I think in his - sorry if I have misrepresented) is that there is no god. I have studied (my master's thesis was on the modern ramifications of the act of confession in early Christianity) , watched (my family are still Catholic) and even participated in Catholic/Christian worship ; and I have found no reason to believe in god - that is why I am an atheist, not because I cannot be bothered to look.

 

Well, keep trying. Don't give up! :)

Have you guys looked at any of the other religions?

Buddhism?...Shinto?

 

The Abrahamic religions seem rather popular too and if you've already tried Christianity, then maybe Judaism or perhaps Islam?

One of them must be right! Which religion seems most logical so far?

 

You guys brag a lot in the forums about hating ignorance, read the Torah and the Qu'ran, accumulate knowledge. Then see what happens, eh? Everyone needs to believe in something spiritual, even if they're false religions.

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Well, keep trying. Don't give up! :)

Have you guys looked at any of the other religions?

Buddhism?...Shinto?

 

The Abrahamic religions seem rather popular too and if you've already tried Christianity, then maybe Judaism or perhaps Islam?

One of them must be right! Which religion seems most logical so far?

 

You guys brag a lot in the forums about hating ignorance, read the Torah and the Qu'ran, accumulate knowledge.

Been there. Done that.

 

Then see what happens, eh? Everyone needs to believe in something spiritual, even if they're false religions.

No, they don't.

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I've read the Bible, cover to cover. I was strongly Christian during my childhood. The more I studied it, the more I found it to be lacking in rigor. At the same time I was beginning to read about simple science stuff. The more I studied science, the more I found it to be an almost infinite well of rigor. I lost my Christianity slowly, axiom by axoim, until I realized that once enough axioms have been removed the building collapses and Christianity no longer makes any sense. I've also read many excerpts from the Quaran and Bhagavad Gita; I found them to be equally lacking.

 

I don't see why everyone needs to believe in something spiritual. I don't believe in anything supernatural or spiritual at all; literally none of it. I find my own paradigm to be very intellectually freeing and internally consistent. It's actually very satisfying and fulfilling to know that you are the master of your own destiny. I know that all my successes are from my merit and all my failures are my fault. I sleep very well at night.

Edited by mississippichem
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Well, keep trying. Don't give up! :)

Have you guys looked at any of the other religions?

Buddhism?...Shinto?

 

The Abrahamic religions seem rather popular too and if you've already tried Christianity, then maybe Judaism or perhaps Islam?

One of them must be right! Which religion seems most logical so far?

 

You guys brag a lot in the forums about hating ignorance, read the Torah and the Qu'ran, accumulate knowledge. Then see what happens, eh? Everyone needs to believe in something spiritual, even if they're false religions.

 

 

A few posts ago you said that you have a problem with people who do not give a second thought for tolerance or open mindedness. What then gives you the right to try and sell religion to people who either do not believe in a God/s or have alternative sets of beliefs? Is that not intolerant? Why does one of these religions have to be right? Finally, in the spirit of being open minded, may I ask whether or not you have looked into scientific reasonings behind theories such as evolution? Some people need to have faith in a higher power and some people do not. The former is certainly not a necessity, as you claim.

 

 

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A few posts ago you said that you have a problem with people who do not give a second thought for tolerance or open mindedness. What then gives you the right to try and sell religion to people who either do not believe in a God/s or have alternative sets of beliefs? Is that not intolerant?

 

Yes, tolerance and open mindedness are what I believe to be two very important qualities that make for a good scientist. One must have all these qualities when they choose to become a true atheist.

 

And no, it’s not intolerant for me to ask whether these atheists have looked at any of the other religions before they became atheists. Some of the people above have already mentioned that they have already studied a particular religion thoroughly and have concluded that the religion doesn’t make sense and hence is false. Therefore they have concluded God/s doesn’t/don’t exist. But what exactly are these contradictions and things which don’t make sense? What exactly is it that is so hard to believe? Before anyone becomes a true atheist (i.e. an informed atheist) one should have studied all the major religions of the world. They should be able to refute with evidence why all the religions of the world are wrong. And before a person becomes an atheist they should make a list of pros and cons, listing the parts which make sense and the parts which don’t and some of the problems regarding some of these religions. I believe the people above (as well as the majority of atheists) are uninformed atheists, just because one religion is wrong doesn’t make all the others wrong too. This is a completely narrow minded way of looking at things and is in no way open-minded at all. What about all the religious phenomena that have occurred during the millennia and this century? Are you all concluding that they were all made up without even having a glimpse of knowledge of the world’s whole religious culture and practice? If a new false religion were to form, it’s very hard to fool a lot of peoples/villages/civilizations into believing; people aren’t idiots as much as one would want to believe. There must have been a genuine reason why in the past so many people truly accepted these religions with open arms. Do you believe that Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha were all liars? Some may have been, but you have to study religious cultures and practices and (if any) their associated religious texts to get a good idea which religions are false.

 

Why does one of these religions have to be right?

 

Because I am a theist. God exists. A true believer does not say “I believe God exists” he/she says “God exists”. Sometimes I say “I believe...” when talking to people outside my belief but I prefer to say the latter. I also make hypothetical "ifs" (e.g. if God doesn't exist then why...etc) to get into other peoples' shoes and to show that I understand their perspective even though they're wrong but when I make these ifs they are not my personal opinions.

 

Scientifically, there has been no evidence to suggest that God/s doesn’t/don’t exist.

 

Finally, in the spirit of being open minded, may I ask whether or not you have looked into scientific reasonings behind theories such as evolution?“

 

Yes, I have. My beliefs do not clash with the Theory of Evolution.

 

Some people need to have faith in a higher power and some people do not. The former is certainly not a necessity, as you claim.

 

For people who do not have a purpose in life, religion offers that (i.e. a purpose).

Others who already have a so-called purpose may not need it right now but they will never reach spiritual fulfillment and become truly humble and satisfied with how the world is if they don’t. Religion is a set of beliefs which tells one how to live their life, but not just that but also of history and the things to come.

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Before anyone becomes a true atheist (i.e. an informed atheist) one should have studied all the major religions of the world. They should be able to refute with evidence why all the religions of the world are wrong. And before a person becomes an atheist they should make a list of pros and cons, listing the parts which make sense and the parts which don’t and some of the problems regarding some of these religions. I believe the people above (as well as the majority of atheists) are uninformed atheists, just because one religion is wrong doesn’t make all the others wrong too. This is a completely narrow minded way of looking at things and is in no way open-minded at all.

This is a completely narrow minded way of looking at things and is in no way open-minded at all. Why only study the major religions of the world? Are you presupposing that all the minor religions are wrong? What if the one true religion is the one that only exists on a world elsewhere in the universe? How do I refute with evidence that God does not exist? Are you required to show with evidence that God does exist? And I have to make a list of pros and cons, listing what makes sense versus what does not? You seem to have a rather narrow view of how one must do one's analysis.

 

And just to be fair, it would be nice if people weren't indoctrinated into their family's religion be default, and then told they have to do all of this analysis to develop other beliefs. How narrow minded is that?

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Yes, tolerance and open mindedness are what I believe to be two very important qualities that make for a good scientist. One must have all these qualities when they choose to become a true atheist.

 

And no, it's not intolerant for me to ask whether these atheists have looked at any of the other religions before they became atheists. Some of the people above have already mentioned that they have already studied a particular religion thoroughly and have concluded that the religion doesn't make sense and hence is false. Therefore they have concluded God/s doesn't/don't exist. But what exactly are these contradictions and things which don't make sense? What exactly is it that is so hard to believe? Before anyone becomes a true atheist (i.e. an informed atheist) one should have studied all the major religions of the world. They should be able to refute with evidence why all the religions of the world are wrong. And before a person becomes an atheist they should make a list of pros and cons, listing the parts which make sense and the parts which don't and some of the problems regarding some of these religions. I believe the people above (as well as the majority of atheists) are uninformed atheists, just because one religion is wrong doesn't make all the others wrong too. This is a completely narrow minded way of looking at things and is in no way open-minded at all. What about all the religious phenomena that have occurred during the millennia and this century? Are you all concluding that they were all made up without even having a glimpse of knowledge of the world's whole religious culture and practice? If a new false religion were to form, it's very hard to fool a lot of peoples/villages/civilizations into believing; people aren't idiots as much as one would want to believe. There must have been a genuine reason why in the past so many people truly accepted these religions with open arms.

 

Then it follows that the Apostle Paul couldn't have been a true Christian. As you say, to be a true Christian he would have had to have studied all the religions of the world and also the atheistic scientific explanation, before he could be a true Christian. By your standard no one can truely believe in any religion. Or does that standard only apply to atheists?

 

Do you believe that Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha were all liars? Some may have been, but you have to study religious cultures and practices and (if any) their associated religious texts to get a good idea which religions are false.

 

Well all of them must be liars, with the possible exception of one of them. Oh, and you forgot to include Dawkins in your list.

 

Because I am a theist. God exists. A true believer does not say "I believe God exists" he/she says "God exists". Sometimes I say "I believe..." when talking to people outside my belief but I prefer to say the latter. I also make hypothetical "ifs" (e.g. if God doesn't exist then why...etc) to get into other peoples' shoes and to show that I understand their perspective even though they're wrong but when I make these ifs they are not my personal opinions.

 

One of the religions has to be right because you're sure one of them must be right? (And you don't know which one!?!) If I'm sure their all wrong does that make them all wrong, or does it only work that way for things you are sure of?

 

Scientifically, there has been no evidence to suggest that God/s doesn't/don't exist.

 

Sure there has, some of the gods do have testable predictions. But tell me, how many gods do you believe in? Do you believe in invisible pink unicorns? Do you hold a double standard, where someone must disprove your god before you can not believe in it but someone must prove the existence of any god you don't believe in already before you will believe in it? Pardon me, but I prefer to base my beliefs on things that have been proven accurate, not things that have no evidence for nor against them.

 

For people who do not have a purpose in life, religion offers that (i.e. a purpose).

Others who already have a so-called purpose may not need it right now but they will never reach spiritual fulfillment and become truly humble and satisfied with how the world is if they don't. Religion is a set of beliefs which tells one how to live their life, but not just that but also of history and the things to come.

 

For people who have no purpose in life, choosing a purpose in life provides one. Sure you can choose a religion when you choose your purpose in life, but the purpose in life given by the various religions seems empty and undesirable to me. I think anyone who believes in a religion cannot reach spiritual fulfillment and become truly humble. But tell me, why is it you think that people need to believe in a religion to reach spiritual fulfillment and become truly humble? Or is that yet another thing you believe because you have not seen any evidence against it?

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This is a completely narrow minded way of looking at things and is in no way open-minded at all. Why only study the major religions of the world? Are you presupposing that all the minor religions are wrong?

 

Well, this is on the assumption that God would not let the true religion come to non-existence. If a true religion did exist, it would exist now and be uncorrupted and would have remained the same throughout the years since the religion first came to life. Whatever religion that is, is most likely to be the true religion, even if we don’t agree with how it teaches us how to live our lives or in its different moral codes compared to today’s standards. Also to study all the minor religions that ever existed would be difficult due to a lack of resources/materials. Everyone should study from the religions which they can and this is easiest with the most well-know and currently accepted religions. If you disagree with them move on to the least well-know and accepted religions. Once you have gone through all the religions and still have no believe in the existence of god/s than you can call yourself an atheist.

 

What if the one true religion is the one that only exists on a world elsewhere in the universe?

 

It won’t. We haven’t even discovered any extra-terrestrial life out there yet. And if this is the case, then I’m sure God would understand as He is fair and merciful.

 

How do I refute with evidence that God does not exist? Are you required to show with evidence that God does exist?

 

Many holy books suggest in the existence of God while very few (if any) suggest there is none. Hence objectively speaking, there is more reason to believe in the existence of God than to not. What I find hard to believe is that so many people believe in the existence of Jesus while they don’t believe in God. Jesus has been mentioned in many books and so has God (more so actually), so why not believe in God but believe in Jesus?

 

Then it follows that the Apostle Paul couldn't have been a true Christian. As you say, to be a true Christian he would have had to have studied all the religions of the world and also the atheistic scientific explanation, before he could be a true Christian. By your standard no one can truely believe in any religion. Or does that standard only apply to atheists?

 

Yes it does apply only to atheists. You can be a true Christian without looking at any of the other religions. However you wouldn’t be a very logical and open-minded Christian.

 

Similar to what I said above, despite not being scientifically proven, there are an overwhelming number of religions which suggests in the existence of one or more gods while very few (if any) which suggests in the existence of no god/s. There’s more reason to believe in one or more gods than there is to believe in no gods hence for one to become an atheist they must look for reasons to become one. This is done by analysing the flaws involving the other religions, before becoming an atheist one must look at all the other religions first for answers. If they still haven’t found the one and true religion they can then become atheists. However for someone to believe straight away, without investigating other existing religions, that god/s doesn’t/ don’t exist is more illogical and irrational as not only isn’t it scientifically proven but less (if any) religious texts suggest this view than the opposing one.

 

Pardon me, but I prefer to base my beliefs on things that have been proven accurate, not things that have no evidence for nor against them.

 

What more proof do you need? The ancient peoples did not possess video cameras to record angels or any of the other religious phenomena that occurred at the time. However there are still many “Holy books” which can be analyzed and any archaeological evidence uncovered so far. It's not the fault of religion that it goes beyond science as to defy our sense of logic however still remaining logical.

Edited by Voltman
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