Why do Atheists/Agnostics come to CAF?

I have met some nice polite (and some not so nice and/or polite) Atheists/Agnostics here at CAF, yet I’m still somewhat befuddled by your presence, for example, I don’t know why you seek to argue with us if you don’t have proof that God doesn’t exist and furthermore that Christianity is false? Moreover, I don’t appreciate the antagonism I sense from some posters, I don’t appreciate the lack of knowledge others have of our faith and yet feel duty bound to criticize it, I don’t appreciate that everytime we have something supernatural or unique that happens it’s chalked down to every conceivable (material) explaination except God (despite the evidence), I don’t appreciate moreover the fact that although some wish for signs you refuse to believe in the ones that have already happened . . . etc.

I wish Atheists/Agnostics were open-minded to the possibility that God could exist, why can’t you be more open-minded? And even if you choose not to believe that any religion is true, why won’t you at least be a deist (there are many factors in my opinion that point to an intelligent designer)?

God bless.

Josie,
Perhaps, without knowing it, they are guided here by the Holy Spirit. The success of His efforts may depend on how well we demonstrate His love, how well we treat them.

Just looking at the positive.

Jon

Although I am by no means an atheist, I think you need to understand where they come from. You don’t have to have evidence to prove that something doesn’t exist. You have to have evidence to prove that it does exist.

Do you have evidence that Zeus doesn’t exist? Or the Tooth Fairy? By your reasoning, if you don’t, then they exist. Just sayin’.

Yes, this is one possibility of which I hope bears fruit. I’m also in the process of praying for our atheist/agnostic members, would you do the same? God bless Jon.

Actually from what I’ve read you can prove a negative.

:thumbsup:

has it ever occurred to anyone that we’re speaking out against what we view as injustice by offering an alternative voice to challenge the status quo?

Certainly religion has been used throughout the centuries in western history as the basis for all sorts of injustices. From the subjugation of blacks and women to the oppression of Jews; and today the unequal treatment of homosexuals and others who don’t conform with the Christian norm.

It would be one thing if this bigotry were based on something real; but the fact that it’s not gives many of us the impetus and feeling of duty to challenge it. Frankly, although I seem to wind up inextricably discussing topics like the merits of theism … that’s really not why I visit this site. I’d much rather talk about why people believe their supposedly loving god advocates discrimination? Why they feel they have the license to deny others (who are good, productive people who do not harm anyone else) the right to something that apparently has deep meaning to them?

Why is it that religious folks are threatened by the mere presence of those who disagree with them, even when those persons number in the small minority? Are religious folks so insecure in their beliefs that they view intellectual opposition as a threat? Certainly there’s no impetus to create threads that directly target atheists (like this one). So I guess the question asked by the OP applies as much to the theists here as it does to me & the few peers I have on this board.

In fact you might take notice of the fact that I haven’t created any threads, which seek to challenge theism; but rather have merely responded and posted in threads that challenge atheism (or agnosticism).

If it weren’t for threads like this I’d be confined to commenting in threads that I view as productive, like threads that discuss gay rights, abortion, stem cell research, etc. I am under no delusion that I will convert theists over to my position; but apparently some of you folks are deluded into thinking you will convert us over to your side (and then act astonished when you’re unsuccessful).

I thought this was supposed to be the forum where non-Catholics can discuss things openly (notice I don’t typically participate in the exclusively Catholic forums). Obviously I’m a person who is accustomed to open intellectual discourse (and I don’t mind being in the minority). I guess not everyone shares that characteristic?

You’ve managed to insult me (like usual) but you didn’t bother to answer my question with regards to being open-minded to the possibility of God (which is the real intent of this thread)?

Well, of course God is possible in the sense that anything is possible. My issue with Christians is that their entire ethical system is based on a guess. And the “good” they feel they are producing is not evident in this world, since goodness in the Christian sense is relative to how close one is to God. If their ethics yielded some tangible benefits that could be observed in this lifetime, I might give them credit, but positing an afterlife and then promising we’ll find the benefits there doesn’t cut it.

Also, they never describe what God is, how he goes about performing miracles, and why he is worthy of respect. They ascribe to him a few abstract, subjective qualities (more precisely, adverbs) such as “loving” or “merciful,” but don’t tell us how he possesses a greater capacity for such than ourselves.

The fact that you take anything I said as a personal insult is IMO patently unreasonable. Apparently unless someone agrees with everything you say and think – you believe they’re insulting you? There’s really no reasonable way to interact with that.

As for being open to the possibility of a God; I can’t speak for every atheist or agnostic here. Maybe some are I don’t know? Most of us would say while religion can be shown false to a reasonable degree of certainty (in other words, looking at the pattern of the various religions that have existed in history, seeing how they always play on the “unknown” and exploit unexplainable phenomena to bolster the perception of veracity, and many other facts that when summed up make only one conclusion “reasonable”), we cannot know whether or not some sort of being (or beings) beyond our cognition may exist. We can, however, point to cosmological evidence and opine it’s unlikely.

What we do know, however, provides a sufficient basis for us to firmly believe it’s best to assume all things have a natural cause.

The problem with Christianism today is that it has come in different flavors. Try choosing to study the Catholic Faith and see the difference. You may start with St. Thomas Aquinas or CS Lewis if you want a less Catholic view.

As to the “how come the Christian God possesses greater capacity than ourselves,” the answer is: Because He is. The Christian God don’t need any reason and ways to become He is.

Don’t you see any problem if one would know how the most powerful being became to be? That would mean he is not, doesn’t it? :eek:

By possibility I meant, would you open your heart and mind to the possibility that a God exists? I mean don’t you have doubts? Don’t you just sometimes wish to talk to the possible big guy in the sky? Like for example you could say something like, “do you exist, and can you help to believe if you do?” do you understand what I’m getting at? Furthermore, I’m not asking you to believe in Christianity.

Like, how? Example?

huh?

I believe they come here not so much to try and convince us there is no God-they come to try and convince theselves there is no God.

Why do Atheists/Agnostics come to CAF?

Its obvious they come here to learn about Jesus

Aquinas wasn’t intellectually honest. He began by assuming the Church was correct on all matters, and then preceded to philosophize. But in philosophy, you go where the questions take you. The conclusions are shaped by the arguments, not the other way around.

As to the “how come the Christian God possesses greater capacity than ourselves,” the answer is: Because He is. The Christian God don’t need any reason and ways to become He is.

This is always a spectacular way to sidestep the question without admitting that you are ignorant. Again, if God is so mysterious, why should I respect him as a leader or believe he exists to begin with? Would you respect a politician who offers no background information? Would you believe in unicorns without evidence?

Are you going to tell me that you were not insinuating that I was, as the emboldened parts suggest, bigoted, insecure, threatened by the mere presence of atheists/agnostics and/or targeting atheists, nor open to intellectual discourse?

you cannot prove a negative in a conclusive sense (i.e. if an ancient man claims he saw pink elephants flying over Athens, yet no one was standing next to him who wrote a rebuttal to his outlandish claim, and his writings survived through history … how could we “conclusively” prove him wrong. The only thing we can do is say there’s no evidence that pink elephants ever existed therefore it’s highly unlikely that this man actually saw pink elephants).

Saying I can’t prove him wrong, therefore he’s right is argumentum ad ignorantiam (or argument from ignorance) and is a logical fallacy. Negative evidence cannot prove anything. Inversely there is the logical fallacy of argument from personal incredulity (that Christians, wittingly or not, typically accuse non-theists of employing).

However, I would argue proof that pink elephants never existed (including DNA analysis of fossils, a review of ancient writings, etc.) should be sufficient to show this man was wrong (or nuts). In other words, my argument should be objectively defined as reductio ad absurdum (reduction to the absurd). If pink elephants never existed then no one could have seen real pink elephants flying through the sky.

“Among professional logicians, guess how many think that you can’t prove a negative? That’s right, zero. Yes, Virginia, you can prove a negative, and it’s easy, too. For one thing, a real, actual law of logic is a negative, namely the law of non-contradiction. This law states that that a proposition cannot be both true and not true. Nothing is both true and false. Furthermore, you can prove this law. It can be formally derived from the empty set using provably valid rules of inference. (I’ll spare you the boring details). One of the laws of logic is a provable negative. Wait … this means we’ve just proven that it is not the case that one of the laws of logic is that you can’t prove a negative. So we’ve proven yet another negative! In fact, “you can’t prove a negative” is a negative — so if you could prove it true, it wouldn’t be true! Uh-oh.”

skeptic.com/eskeptic/07-12-05

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