To FORMER atheists


#1

I’m interested how **former **atheists (Carl et al.) have justifed their atheism back then.

You surely had some kind of reasoning for your temporal non-belief. Later on you obviously learned some better arguments or saw some flaws in your reasoning.

Care to provide some details? And please do not concentrate on the better arguments but on the reasons for your former atheism and why they now seem wrong or invalid to you.

Thanks.


#2

No logical reason. My parents were atheists and prevented me from interacting with religious people or learning anything about religion… They said the Bible was simply a book of myths on par with the Greek and Roman myths. They didn’t even acknowledge there was any value in either the poetry or philosophy. They were hostile to religion and thought all religious people were stupid and uneducated. Since I considered myself a pretty smart kid, and my parents were well educated (college profs with PhDs) I thought they were right.

Lisa N


#3

AnAtheist

I think before I get any deeper into this thread, I’d like to know your definition of “atheist.” My definition is one who knows there is no God.

On the face of it, this is ridiculous. How could you know there is no God?

Whereas the agnostic is one who knows the existence of God cannot be proven or disproven. There might be a God.

Once I figured out the intellectual dilemma of the atheist, I stopped calling myself one.


#4

[quote=Carl]AnAtheist

I think before I get any deeper into this thread, I’d like to know your definition of “atheist.” My definition is one who knows there is no God.

[/quote]

Is a Catholic then one who knows there is a God and He is as described by the Catholic church? Why can’t an Atheist simply have faith that there is no God?


#5

Why can’t an Atheist simply have faith that there is no God?
__________________

The last time I looked, atheists demand proof for God, not faith. Why shouldn’t we demand proof from them of Nogod? Why shouldn’t they be held to the same standard they demand of us?


#6

All this is about beliefs. It seems obvious to me that an atheist believes there is no God and I don’t think he is required to prove the non-existence to call himself an atheist. An agnostic claims to not know one way or the other and just sits on the fence (a rather silly position to maintain throughout a lifetime IMO).


#7

[quote=Carl]Why can’t an Atheist simply have faith that there is no God?
__________________

The last time I looked, atheists demand proof for God, not faith. Why shouldn’t we demand proof from them of Nogod? Why shouldn’t they be held to the same standard they demand of us?
[/quote]

Well lest see: Atheists may demand proof of God because you are asking them to change beliefs the same as you might want proof of No God if you were to change. Besides which you overgeneralize atheists as all demanding proof which is blatantly untrue. And you top it off by ignoring Occam’s Razor that the explanation that is simplest is the most likely and therefor requires the least amount of supporting evidence.


#8

Very few atheists claim to know there is/are no God/gods. The problem is that the definitions about atheism, agnosticism, and faith are not easily settled. Here’s how I understand it:

strong atheism: postive belief that gods do not exist (but not necessarily claimed as certain)

weak atheism: no positive belief that *gods do exist *(no belief that could even be claimed as certain)

atheism: either weak or strong atheism

agnosticism: claim that belief about gods are impossible to evaluate


#9

Well quite honestly, the SIMPLEST explanation for all of the wonders of this world, is a powerful diety. A far more complicated explanation would be needed to explain why everything that exists is a result of some kind of totally random chance.

Lisa N


#10

[quote=Lisa N]Well quite honestly, the SIMPLEST explanation for all of the wonders of this world, is a powerful diety. A far more complicated explanation would be needed to explain why everything that exists is a result of some kind of totally random chance.

Lisa N
[/quote]

Thats not the way Occam’s Razor works. Most of life is quite adequately explained using empirically supported science. Positing some external undectable and yet hugely influential force is far less likely. That doesn’t make it untrue but it means if you want to try and proceed in a logical fashion that God requires a substantial amount of proof before it becomes the plausable theory.

This is why religions (rightly) work off of faith rather than logic. They require a sense that there is something beyond what can be directly proven. I happen to agree with that.


#11

[quote=Lisa N]Well quite honestly, the SIMPLEST explanation for all of the wonders of this world, is a powerful diety. A far more complicated explanation would be needed to explain why everything that exists is a result of some kind of totally random chance.
[/quote]

We know physical laws exist. They are easily demonstrable. Using only them in an explanation is simpler than positing the existence of a supernatural, spiritual, undetectable deity. You may think it’s insufficient to explain the order in the universe, but it’s simpler in that it works with what we all know exists instead of something people have disagreed about throughout all of human history.


#12

[quote=Idisto]We know physical laws exist. They are easily demonstrable. Using only them in an explanation is simpler than positing the existence of a supernatural, spiritual, undetectable deity. You may think it’s insufficient to explain the order in the universe, but it’s simpler in that it works with what we all know exists instead of something people have disagreed about throughout all of human history.
[/quote]

Physical laws can explain physical phenomenon. An apple can be counted on to fall down rather than rocket up out of the tree. Physical laws cannot explain such phenomenon as altruism, compassion, kindness, consideration. Physical laws do not explain love (other than perhaps Eros love).

Try again

Lisa N


#13

[quote=Lisa N]Physical laws can explain physical phenomenon. An apple can be counted on to fall down rather than rocket up out of the tree. Physical laws cannot explain such phenomenon as altruism, compassion, kindness, consideration. Physical laws do not explain love (other than perhaps Eros love).

Try again

Lisa N
[/quote]

Those things are simply the byproduct of our sentience and sometimes our instincts. We are instinctually programmed to find babies cute for instance. That instinct is then either amplified or counteracted by the person’s personality. Physical laws explain how the brain works and how the brain works explains how complex psychological effects occur.

At least thats the stripped down materialistic argument. Personally I don’t buy it but its by far more simple (in the sense of occam’s razor) than the existence of some invisible entity.


#14

I did not believe in God for very simple reasons I thought valid at the time.

I could not SEE HIM
I could not HEAR HIM
I could not FEAL HIM

Also, I always heard that God was loving, and I reasoned that if that was so, then why was there evil in the world and why did my dad die at age 19 when I was only 5 months old.

I also kept hearing that if you prayed for something, your prayer would be answered. Well, it wasn’t. So I reasoned, NO GOD.

After 41 years of living in the dark, I woke up and found out the error of my thinking. I FOUND GOD…


#15

AnAtheist if you’re interested in defending atheism I suggest you read marxism philosophy. :smiley: it won’t convert any theist to atheism/agnosticism but it does can prevent some atheism smugs converting to theism. some of the quote translated by myself:
1.religions were born due to lack of human intelligence. anyone who believe in them is foolish.
2.religions are bound to demise.
3.men created God/god/gods in their image.
4.one can’t join the commust party with any religious believes. (this is written in the doctrines of the communist party I guess, not directly in any philosophy book)
5.religions are used by ruling classes to anesthetize the working class.
6.no one in the ruling class truely believes in God
7.anything is relative. (relativism)
8.God and peace can’t make working class the ruling class. only through violence(“armmed revolution” perhaps is a better translation?) can you overthrow capitalism and gain the freedom

I used to think I’m smart enough not to believe in God. Now I see how foolish I was then.
I’m good at Marxism materialism(though I don’t believe in it). I’ll be glad to answer any question concerning that


#16

Marx had a lot of wrong-headed ideas. So that proves theism?


#17

[quote=abcdefg]AnAtheist if you’re interested in defending atheism I suggest you read marxism philosophy. :smiley: it won’t convert any theist to atheism/agnosticism but it does can prevent some atheism smugs converting to theism. some of the quote translated by myself:
1.religions were born due to lack of human intelligence. anyone who believe in them is foolish.
2.religions are bound to demise.
3.men created God/god/gods in their image.
4.one can’t join the commust party with any religious believes. (this is written in the doctrines of the communist party I guess, not directly in any philosophy book)
5.religions are used by ruling classes to anesthetize the working class.
6.no one in the ruling class truely believes in God
7.anything is relative. (relativism)
8.God and peace can’t make working class the ruling class. only through violence(“armmed revolution” perhaps is a better translation?) can you overthrow capitalism and gain the freedom

I used to think I’m smart enough not to believe in God. Now I see how foolish I was then.
I’m good at Marxism materialism(though I don’t believe in it). I’ll be glad to answer any question concerning that
[/quote]

Good grief! This sounds EXACTLY like my parents…although substitute educated for ruling class. Well come to think of it my parents thought only the intelligensia SHOULD run things.

Lisa N


#18

Idisto will you please tell me how much do you agree with the quotes? all? some? so that I can make my point clearer


#19

Most atheists seem to say that a particular concept of God is incoherent, contradictory, is some other concept in disguise, is less probable rather than more, etc. I wouldn’t have said that they claim to have proof that all sorts of god don’t exist. I agree with another poster that we need to know what is an atheist for the purpose of the thread.


#20

[quote=Tlaloc]Those things are simply the byproduct of our sentience and sometimes our instincts.
[/quote]

Assuming the philosophical materialists are right (and I believe they are), these things could be proven on a purely physical level. Whether we will ever know enough about our brain’s workings to deliver such a proof is an open issue at this time.


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