To Atheists

I was wondering, what are some of your beliefs if you don’t have a religion. Do you frown of church goers, or try to show them that there is no God?

How did you decide that there was no God, or Higher Power?

<< How did you decide that there was no God, or Higher Power? >>

I read William Lane Craig, he is soooo not convincing.

Just kidding, see the bottom of this page

I’m hosting my own audio/video now. Requires Real Player.

Phil P

[quote=Pro-Life_Teen]I was wondering, what are some of your beliefs if you don’t have a religion.
[/quote]

The absence of a belief that God exists is technically the only thing that makes an atheist an atheist. Beyond that, there’s nothing one is required to believe to be an atheist.

[quote=Pro-Life_Teen]How did you decide that there was no God, or Higher Power?
[/quote]

If God existed and wanted me to believe he existed, I think he would have said something to me by now. I’ve tried to communicate with him many, many, times but have failed every time. The most likely explanation for this fact is that God doesn’t exist.

As a former atheist (praise God “former”) I just didn’t care or think about religion. If it helped someone feel good, then have at it. JUST DON’T PREACH TO ME!!

Why I thought there was (wrongly) no God?. Simple, at least to me. I could not see-hear-feel God. None of my senses could detect a higher presence.

Then it was the “Christian” example of those I saw. I called them “Sunday Christians”. They would preach the Gospel on Sunday then go off and be real JERKS on Monday.

Lastly, it was the outragious number of different kinds of churches. I reasoned, One God then why sooooo many different churches with so many different takes on Him. Confusion reigned.

It was not until God had had enough of my evading Him, that He finally got through my thick skull through the loving influence of our Holy Mother Mary that I realized that God truely existed (a little of Pascal’s Wager helped with this also) and that Jesus established only ONE church here on earth not MANY churches.

That was just my very short take on my former life of atheism. Other “practicing” atheists may have a more profound and indepth reason for their belief.

[quote=Pro-Life_Teen]I was wondering, what are some of your beliefs if you don’t have a religion.

[/quote]

Well, that depends on what things you regard to be a “belief”. If it is something you think to be true without having any empirical evidence for it, then there are some things I “believe”. Like every natural number has a successor. Or “if A==true && A==B then B==true”.

Do you frown of church goers, or try to show them that there is no God?

No. Everybody may do or believe whatever he likes, unless he leaves me alone with it. I do not frown at church goers but at proselytisers. In fact I think missionary zeal is one of the biggest threats to freedom and peace the world has seen, therefore I do not impose my views on others. But I am happy to explain them, which leads to:

How did you decide that there was no God, or Higher Power?

Wow, that’s a long story. Basically it comes down to this:

[list=1]
*]There is no need for a higher power. This universe works perfectly without one.
*]There is not a shred of empirical evidence for any higher power.
*]An all-powerfull or perfect being (God) is logically impossible. An imperfect god leaves room for an even higher being though.
[/list]I guess #3 needs more explanation: God is usually used to explain the last mysteries of this universe (so called “god of gaps”). Like, this universe needs a creator, everything must have a reason -> God is the ultimate reason, … These kinds of arguments of course imply further questions like “who or what created God?” or “what is the reason for God”. To end an otherwise endless chain of questions, God is declared to be the ultimate starting point of all reasoning. To fulfill that purpose he has to be perfect/omnipotent/eternal/… Otherwise there would be room left for “even more ultimate” powers.

A perfect/omnipotent/eternal being is logically impossible. God cannot be eternal and omnipotent e.g. Being eternal forbids being able to terminate one’s own existence, thus not omnipotent. Or the classic: Can God create a stone, he is not able to lift? The list of examples is endless.

There are 3 ways out of that dilemma (imo):
[list=1]
*]Neglect logic and postulate a perfect god anyway.
*]Decide to be unable to decide. (Agnostic)
*]Trust your logic and declare, a perfect God does not exist. (Atheist)
[/list]So much for higher powers in general. If you ask, why I do not believe in the Christian God, well, there are many many reasons for that beyond the ones stated above. I am happy to provide them all, if you are interested. For starters try the theodicy problem, which was never solved by any Christian sect in a satisfactory way (Well, perhaps by the Calvinists. Their view on that problem is pathetic but conclusive.).

ANATHEIST

No. Everybody may do or believe whatever he likes, unless he leaves me alone with it. I do not frown at church goers but at proselytisers. In fact I think missionary zeal is one of the biggest threats to freedom and peace the world has seen, therefore I do not impose my views on others. But I am happy to explain them

After reading your entire post, it seems to me that you have done a little prosletysing of your own.

Nobody forced you into this forum. You are here of your own free will and welcome. The fact that you are in this forum indicates one of two things: either you are not sure of your atheism and you are testing it here; or you are trying to win converts to atheism.

Which is it?

As far as your arguments and the arguments of other atheists go, they are all based on the assumption that God has to follow human logic or there can be no God. This is not really logical. It’s as if a child would argue that his father has to think childish thoughts like his own or his father could not exist.

Hi Carl, it was you who brought me here a couple of month ago, when you were talking rubbish about atheists. I just explained my point of view, just answered the question of the OP. If that is so convincing, that it “converts” people to atheism - welcome to the real world but I don’t really care.

As far as your arguments and the arguments of other atheists go, they are all based on the assumption that God has to follow human logic or there can be no God. This is not really logical.

On the contrary - that is perfectly logical. It assumes that logic is a way to gain insights. As I have pointed out, you may cast aside logic and believe irrational things to escape the described dilemma. I for my part regard my logic very high, it serves me well in all kinds of errands. I see no reason why it should fail here.

Sorry, couldn’t get permission on the Craig debates. Maybe later.

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Phil P

AnAtheist:

You commit many philosophical blunders with your so-called ‘logic’.

In summary:

[list=1]
*]There is no need for a higher power. This universe works perfectly without one.

[/list]Asumption. Science has not nearly cracked the code of the universe. It has lots of data, lots of names, and lots of abstract mechanics to explain measurable things, but in no way could any credible scientist claim they know how the universe works. This statement is actually immediately defeated by the many differing scientific theories on how the universe is thought to work. Quantum Mechanics also disproves it immediately, since QM allows for anything to occur randomly, which is to say, the laws of physics don’t really explain much at all. You assume the universe exists to exist, but that only begs the question. The universe must participate in existence somehow, that is the only rational way to view the universe.

[list=1]
*]There is not a shred of empirical evidence for any higher power.

[/list]God, by nature, could not be ‘empirically’ evident becuase epiricism requires limits, observation, and matter. God is not material, has no limits and cannot be ‘observed’ becuase observation is object-to-subject, subject-to-idea principle. To ‘observe’ God would take an infinite amount of time, for example. God is approached by reason via metaphysics (cause and effect), intuition (kinda like ‘no-god’) and inferrence (love).

[list=1]
*]An all-powerfull or perfect being (God) is logically impossible. An imperfect god leaves room for an even higher being though.

[/list]To claim that infitine being and perfection is logically impossible implies that ‘logic’ is greater than that idea, which would be absurd. You cannot make a straight line with a crooked ruler. Your assumption is that logic is greater than any other idea because it is ‘logic’…even though logic is in fact, an idea. If logic is perfect, all-powerful and omnipotent, then I would have to agree…in fact, logic is, in a way, because logic comes from our subject-object relationship with the universe, which means that, if we claim to know anything with certainty we are claiming an awareness that must come from something greater than the universe…we are thinking ‘outside the box’, for example. The easiest rational way to arrive at God is to simply admit that the only reason the universe exists is because you are here to see it - logic becomes an arrow pointing beyond itself at this point.
An all-powerful, perfect being is possible in only one way, not in many ways. Such an investigation is possible to explore, but not here.

Thus, why I am not an ‘atheist’. Atheists claim they are rational, logical, thorough in their empricial evidence. But that is incorrect. Becoming an atheist is very much like making your mind into the likes of the cheshire cat or a serpent that bits into its tail and consumes itself until it disappears. Their measure for denying God, logic, is set above what they think God is, thus making a perfection out of something while at the same time claiming there is nothing perfect. They claim nothing is absolute, absolutely.

You wish to deny God, go ahead - it’s your choice. But don’t try to use God-given tools like logic and material things to justify your personal preference and claim it is superior to others just because.

Its easy to believe as an atheist, but its not possible to live by it, thus, it is not intended for man.

Why are their atheists? Because they can be, thanks to the grace of freedom.

[quote=AnAtheist]A perfect/omnipotent/eternal being is logically impossible. God cannot be eternal and omnipotent e.g. Being eternal forbids being able to terminate one’s own existence, thus not omnipotent.
[/quote]

“Eternity” does not mean a never-ending trip through time; eternity is the state of existing outside time. Those who reside in eternity are not subject to time; God, as the Creator of time, has complete control over it. I’m afraid that the idea of God being able to end His own existence is a non sequitur, as “ending” implies “beginning”, and neither of those concepts are pertinent when dealing with eternity.

[quote=AnAtheist]Or the classic: Can God create a stone, he is not able to lift?
[/quote]

A classic, to be sure - a classic logical fallacy. You proceed from conflicting premises: if there is an Irresistable Force, there can be no Immovable Object; if there is an Immovable Object, there can be no Irresistable Force. You try to use logic to prove that God does not exist, and wind up hoist by your own petard.

Personally, I doubt the existence of immovable objects; wasn’t it Archimedes who boasted that with a fulcrum and a long enough lever, he could move the world?

Douglas Adams said it best (and I’m paraphrasing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy): Man uses logic to prove God does not exist; he uses this same logic to prove that black is white, and Man goes and gets himself killed at a pedestrian crossing.

Your unbelief in God is irrelevant to the fact of His existence. If that sounds peremptory to you, now you know how Christians feel when atheists smugly denounce their intelligence.

[quote=AnAtheist]Or the classic: Can God create a stone, he is not able to lift? The list of examples is endless.

[/quote]

Can God tell a lie? no.
Can God remember a time he’s not omnipotent? no

God is omnipotent doesn’t mean

  1. he can do evil things
  2. he has the ability to fail
  3. he can do logical conflicted things

[quote=UnknownCloud]You commit many philosophical blunders with your so-called ‘logic’.
[/quote]

Actually, your answers have the making of a decent argument in favor of atheism or even apathetic agnosticism. I agree that AnAtheist was careless in the choice of words, but I also seem to recall that English isn’t his or her native language.

To you and rcwhiteh, the best reply is perhaps to quote George Santayana: Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer …

[quote=abcdefg]Can God tell a lie? no.
Can God remember a time he’s not omnipotent? no

God is omnipotent doesn’t mean

  1. he can do evil things
  2. he has the ability to fail
  3. he can do logical conflicted things

[/quote]

my point exactly

[quote=UnknownCloud]Asumption.

[/quote]

It is not only assumption, there is a great deal of observation too.

You assume the universe exists to exist, but that only begs the question. The universe must participate in existence somehow, that is the only rational way to view the universe.

And what about God? He exists for what reason? Who or what created God? Same question, same answer.

. To ‘observe’ God would take an infinite amount of time, for example. God is approached by reason via metaphysics (cause and effect), intuition (kinda like ‘no-god’) and inferrence (love).

Are you implying, that God exists but does not interact with this universe? If there is interaction, then observation must be possible. If not - a universe without divine interaction is undistinguishable from one without a god.

To claim that infitine being and perfection is logically impossible implies that ‘logic’ is greater than that idea, which would be absurd.

Logic is a tool to judge the truthfulness of statements based on the truthfulness of other statements. It is just a tool to determine truth, not truth itself. If we cannot rely on logic to find the truth all discussion becomes irrelavent.

[quote=Drew98]If God existed and wanted me to believe he existed, I think he would have said something to me by now. I’ve tried to communicate with him many, many, times but have failed every time. The most likely explanation for this fact is that God doesn’t exist.
[/quote]

that is one likely explanation, but there are others. for instance, He may have answered before you got call waiting. He may have given an answer you did not like and you disregarded it. He may have spoken, as He usually does, through other people and institutions whose authority you have rejected (for reasons that no doubt seem valid to you). He may have answered in the still, small voice which was drowned out by the thunder and lightening and the mighty wind.

Bruce Almighty is not a great movie, but it does give a humorous picture of a man doing his best to ignore God’s increasingly urgent promptings and answers to his pleas.

God may have answered, and you may have heard the answer, accepted the answer, and incorporated it into your moral and ethical thinking and world view, without realizing its source in God.

Drew98, what do expect God to say to prove his existent? if someone comes to you and say “I’m God the almighty, worship me” you’ll think he’s mad right? God knows this, so certainly will not reveal himself in this way

AnAtheist. if you think those “dilemmas” can refute the existence of God then probably it’s due to your misinterpretation of “omnipotent”

[quote=puzzleannie]that is one likely explanation, but there are others. for instance, He may have answered before you got call waiting.
[/quote]

I’m not sure about the analogy you’re making here. Or are you just being funny?

[quote=puzzleannie]He may have given an answer you did not like and you disregarded it.
[/quote]

I’ve received no answer at all - not even one I didn’t like.

[quote=puzzleannie]He may have spoken, as He usually does, through other people and institutions whose authority you have rejected (for reasons that no doubt seem valid to you).
[/quote]

That seems rather impersonal and prone to error as his message gets filtered and diluted as it passes through fallible human beings. Do you reject the notion that God desires a personal relationship with each and every human being?

Coincidentally, that’s one of the things I pray about - I ask God who are the people who have the authority to speak for him. So far he hasn’t endorsed anyone.

[quote=puzzleannie]He may have answered in the still, small voice which was drowned out by the thunder and lightening and the mighty wind.
[/quote]

I’m not quite sure what your metaphor means here but if God is omnipotent then he should be able to speak above any noise.

[quote=abcdefg]Drew98, what do expect God to say to prove his existent? if someone comes to you and say “I’m God the almighty, worship me” you’ll think he’s mad right? God knows this, so certainly will not reveal himself in this way

[/quote]

God wouldn’t necessarily have to take on the form of a human being. A voice from the sky or in my head would be fine.

Like any other personal relationship, there would be a period of getting to know one another. Although in this case it would be me getting to know God and not vice-versa.

[quote=AnAtheist]A perfect/omnipotent/eternal being is logically impossible. God cannot be eternal and omnipotent e.g. Being eternal forbids being able to terminate one’s own existence, thus not omnipotent. Or the classic: Can God create a stone, he is not able to lift? The list of examples is endless.
There are 3 ways out of that dilemma (imo):
[list=1]
*]Neglect logic and postulate a perfect god anyway.
*]Decide to be unable to decide. (Agnostic)
*]Trust your logic and declare, a perfect God does not exist. (Atheist)
[/quote]

[/list]I disagree with your assertion, sir, that an eternal being can not terminate it’s own existence - as such a being does not lack the ability to do such a thing, but simply refrains from doing so. Furthermore, your classic example - “Can God create a stone he is unable to life?” - assumes that God, a non-physical entity, is able to physically lift something.

I do not believe that the inability to do the impossible compromises the omnipotent quality of God’s nature, as omnipotency, as it is defined, simply means “having virtually unlimited authority or influence” - authority over things which are subjectable to influence, i.e. creations. God, having influence over all creations as the First Cause, is therefore omnipotent.

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