Why I do Not Believe in Atheism

TGBaker
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Why I do Not Believe in Atheism

I would say that many of us who are atheists would not view our position as a belief. Rather we would defend it as a fact. There are some atheists, I am sure, that simply believe there is no god. But if you ask them why, they will say, " I don't know it just does not seem like there is one." I might think of that as a belief. I am not certain. I believe it really is "unbelief." But we generally see "belief" as an demonstrated or proven posture. The term used by Christians, "believe (pitis)", is a stance in which there is trust in the object that is believed. If I say, "I believe in you", I am not making a claim of just your existence (which is really secondary and a given), I am stating that I trust in you as a person, car, wife, god, etc. When an atheist states she does not believe in god it is not a statement about "she does not trust god", it is about the existence and not relationship.

Someone who states that she does not believe in god but knows that god exits, is making a statement, "The god that exits is untrustworthy." She is saying, "I do not believe god." It is not when someone believes that "there is a god" which in turns brings about salvation. "Satan believes and trembles." It is when one believes in God ( trust relationship) that one gets to go to heaven. So the misconception, in my opinion, has been the lack of difference made in translating the Greek into English with sufficient meaning to supply variation when the context of its usage does not. It is also a misunderstanding from common English usage. Pistis is faith/belief in the New Testament. We use 'belief' as outlined above in two different senses. One is simply about existence and the other is about relationship.

I contend that when I state that I do not believe there is a god , I believe there is no god( as a concept) is not a belief statement like those of a believer but a statement of fact. Even I if knew there was a god but did not believe in him I would not have "belief." It is this sense in which the arguments go for the atheist. We strain over the gnat and swallow camels when it comes to words in movie narrative, music, games etc. Because we understand it unless we think about it too much. We de-construct an object or an act without reference to its context. But it is the context that gives function and specificity to the meaning.

SO TO ALL WHO WILL HEAR ME MY STATEMENT THAT I DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD IS NOT A BELIEF.... I am sure it's a fact.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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Not believing in God is not

Not believing in God is not a belief.

But many people believe that there is not a God.  That is a belief.

How can you believe something and not call it a belief?

I think your secondary useages of the word belief are post hoc and out of place.

I believe that most people are talking about a matte of existence when using the word belief in this context.

 

When I say I don't believe in God, I mean I don't know and don't believe that there is a way to know.

I am quite confident that the evidence I've seen to date is not consistent with the existence of a God.

Being sure something is a fact is generally called belief.

 

Someday I would love to figure out why so many people have such problems saying "I don't know".

 

I apologize if my manner is gruff and confrontational but I trust you are a big boy and can handle it.


TGBaker
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buttershug wrote:Not

buttershug wrote:

Not believing in God is not a belief.

But many people believe that there is not a God.  That is a belief.

How can you believe something and not call it a belief?

I think your secondary useages of the word belief are post hoc and out of place.

I believe that most people are talking about a matte of existence when using the word belief in this context.

 

When I say I don't believe in God, I mean I don't know and don't believe that there is a way to know.

I am quite confident that the evidence I've seen to date is not consistent with the existence of a God.

Being sure something is a fact is generally called belief.

 

Someday I would love to figure out why so many people have such problems saying "I don't know".

 

I apologize if my manner is gruff and confrontational but I trust you are a big boy and can handle it.

There is a fundamental difference in Christian religious belief and the idea of opinion( belief) or trust.  The post is a response to the growing trend of attempting to equate atheism as a system of belief. The fact that I can make  a distinction and made the distinction as a a believer in believe in from belief is valid and NOT ad hoc. You apparently miss the typical religious meaning of belief are did not follow my writing.  I think that you are wrong about existence being the primary thing. It certainly obtains in the discussion of god and whether he exists. But the discussion as to whether atheism is a belief in the sense of a religion is pure 24 karat unmitigated asininity. 


And you miss the point of the post if you do not see that the use of belief  as to fact is quite different than a discussion of systems of belief.  If you are unaware then you either need to spend some time in a seminary or a philosophy class. I do nothing more than echo people such as Dawkins or Sam Harris.  There is nothing shared by ahteist apart from the question of the existence of god and a negative answer. That is not so in regard to what theists state and wish to draw from for analogy. 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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Welcome to the forum. I am

Welcome to the forum.

I am drawing up a suitable punishment for your username choice now. 

buttershug wrote:
When I say I don't believe in God, I mean I don't know and don't believe that there is a way to know.

Hmmm, that is not what I mean when I say "I don't believe in God." It only means that I don't hold the belief that there is a God, nothing more than that. I could be certain that there is no God. I could still think there is a way to know. Neither of those statements are inconsistent with the statement that "I don't believe in God."

buttershug wrote:
I am quite confident that the evidence I've seen to date is not consistent with the existence of a God.

Being sure something is a fact is generally called belief.

But, perhaps one is not sure that the existence of God is fact. Then, they are also not sure that it is a fact that there is no God. In that case, they do not hold the belief that there is a God i.e. they don't believe in God. Yet, they also do not hold the belief that there is no God.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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I lack belief in gods

I lack belief in gods because those concepts are so contrived that there's no need to entertain them. The Christian triune God/Jesus/Holy Spirit makes no sense of course. Some pantheists define god as "energy" but what's the point? If you can just define it however you like, and make it up as you go, why should I take it seriously?


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I've used this name for

I've used this name for almost a decade now.

 

I'm not saying that I don't believe in God is inconsistent with believing that there is no God.

I'm saying that they are distinct and separate statements.

 

I like cheese.  I am eating cheese.  Two different related statements.

 

But now I'm not eating cheese.  Both statements were true now only one is.

 

My point is that there are people who do not hold the belief that there is a God, and also do not hold a belief that there is no God.  We hold no belief.

 

Personally I don't like that the Theists deteremined the meanings of the words Theist and Atheist.

I put people into the catagories of those that believe they have the answer and those that believe they don't.


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A belief that the person is

A belief that the person is totally confident in is, from that person's point of view at least, no longer just a 'belief', it is 'knowledge'.

'Belief' covers the full spectrum from totally certain, to mere faith-based hope.

It has many different connotations to different people in different contexts, but if we keep it simple, we still need to qualify the confidence we have in the truth of what the belief holds to be true.

The distinction between 'not having a belief in God' and believing there is no God' has to be based on whether you have positively investigated the topic or not, or even care about it, IMHO.

Obviously, someone who believes there is no God also lacks a belief in God, but there are more than a few who simply don't worry about, perhaps, in their life, it just never comes up as an idea worth having an opinion on.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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BobSpence1 wrote:A belief

BobSpence1 wrote:

A belief that the person is totally confident in is, from that person's point of view at least, no longer just a 'belief', it is 'knowledge'.

'Belief' covers the full spectrum from totally certain, to mere faith-based hope.

It has many different connotations to different people in different contexts, but if we keep it simple, we still need to qualify the confidence we have in the truth of what the belief holds to be true.

The distinction between 'not having a belief in God' and believing there is no God' has to be based on whether you have positively investigated the topic or not, or even care about it, IMHO.

Obviously, someone who believes there is no God also lacks a belief in God, but there are more than a few who simply don't worry about, perhaps, in their life, it just never comes up as an idea worth having an opinion on.

Very good point. There is justified true unbelief and simple unbelief


 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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buttershug wrote:I've used

buttershug wrote:
I've used this name for almost a decade now.

Oh...that's longer than me. I'll go cry now.

buttershug wrote:
I'm not saying that I don't believe in God is inconsistent with believing that there is no God.

I'm saying that they are distinct and separate statements.

I like cheese.  I am eating cheese.  Two different related statements.

But now I'm not eating cheese.  Both statements were true now only one is.

My point is that there are people who do not hold the belief that there is a God, and also do not hold a belief that there is no God.  We hold no belief.

Right. I agree.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Even Jefferson got the

Even Jefferson got the nature of what constitutes good logic, although he wasn't right about everything. "Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them".

"Beliefs" cannot be tested facts can be.

You don't have to believe in real things. You don't have to have faith in real things. Belief is the intellectual cowards excuse to placate laziness to protect their own ego. Unless one is willing to adapt new information that debunks the position they hold, they will always be stuck in a perpetual state of credulity. That is no place to be if humanity wants to move forward.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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In the absence

In the absence of all evidence, the logical default position is disbelief. I see no evidence of a god, unicorns, elves, fairies, or dragons. Therefore, until I see such things, I don't think that they are there. I don't think disbelief is a faith, disbelief is simply not holding to anything unproven as a truth until it is justified.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Not believing and

Not believing and disbelieving are not the same.

The first is passive, the second is active.

The essay on here called "Am I Agnostic or Atheist" is wrong on that point.

 

In the absence of all evidence the logical default is not believing.


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buttershug wrote:Not

buttershug wrote:

Not believing and disbelieving are not the same.

The first is passive, the second is active.

The essay on here called "Am I Agnostic or Atheist" is wrong on that point.

 

In the absence of all evidence the logical default is not believing.

"I am not believing god" is an active voice not a a passive voice.  "I disbelieve you" is also an active voice. The passive is , "God is not believed by me" or "God  was disbelieved by me. " Both are passive.  So you are wrong on your grammar and hermeneutics. Secondly I am right with my article.  Thirdly,  where did I equate I disbelieve god ( what he says ) with  I do not believe in god.  I in fact demonstrated the difference in the two "Beliefs". BELIEVE ME. 

 

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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buttershug wrote:Not

buttershug wrote:

Not believing in God is not a belief.

But many people believe that there is not a God.  That is a belief.

How can you believe something and not call it a belief?

I think your secondary useages of the word belief are post hoc and out of place.

I believe that most people are talking about a matte of existence when using the word belief in this context.

 

When I say I don't believe in God, I mean I don't know and don't believe that there is a way to know.

I am quite confident that the evidence I've seen to date is not consistent with the existence of a God.

 

Someday I would love to figure out why so many people have such problems saying "I don't know".

 

I apologize if my manner is gruff and confrontational but I trust you are a big boy and can handle it.

Many people believe there is not a god is still not "belief". It is a belief. Theists wish it to mean the former. 

 

"Being sure something is a fact is generally called belief." Agin you can ot see the forest for the trees. The point of the article is to demonstrate that ahteism is not a "belief" A practice of Faith.  That has been the debater on the board. Catch up...

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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Ok an analogy.Does my not

Ok an analogy.

Does my not having money in the First Bank of America mean I am in debt to them?

How do I convert that to this discussion?

How do I word the middle ground?

 

How do you distinguish between not believing and believing not?

 

And you are using the same kind of techiques that the theists are using.

You use the word belief in such a way as  to be able to say what you want.

Although with no evidence of no God you have to have faith that there is no God.

Unless you care to share how there can be evidence that there is no God.

 

I should have reread it. This is the error.  This is like saying if you don't have money in the bank you have debt there.

"Not disbelieving is believing."

Double negatives don't always cancel out exactly.

 

And it is you who are using the Theist defintion.

Your essay trys to show that with that defintion that some atheists do not have a belief therefore all atheists do not have a belief.

You are correct that being an atheist (with the theist definition) does not mean that you have a belief.  But I have talked to several atheists who do have a strong belief that God does not exist.

 

Do you know the (yes/no) answer to "is there a God"?

 


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buttershug wrote:Ok an

buttershug wrote:

Ok an analogy.

Does my not having money in the First Bank of America mean I am in debt to them?

How do I convert that to this discussion?

How do I word the middle ground?

 

How do you distinguish between not believing and believing not?

 

And you are using the same kind of techiques that the theists are using.

You use the word belief in such a way as  to be able to say what you want.

Although with no evidence of no God you have to have faith that there is no God.

Unless you care to share how there can be evidence that there is no God.

 

I should have reread it. This is the error.  This is like saying if you don't have money in the bank you have debt there.

"Not disbelieving is believing."

Double negatives don't always cancel out exactly.

 

And it is you who are using the Theist defintion.

Your essay trys to show that with that defintion that some atheists do not have a belief therefore all atheists do not have a belief.

You are correct that being an atheist (with the theist definition) does not mean that you have a belief.  But I have talked to several atheists who do have a strong belief that God does not exist.

 

Do you know the (yes/no) answer to "is there a God"?

 

Do you have to have faith that there is no magical unicorn in the sky? Do you have to have faith that aliens wont land on your head this evening? Could it be common sense considering there is no evidence for such a thing and yet humans yearn for it or just think it's cute so they make it up, does this make sense?

We can't say there is no god. We have no real reason to believe they do exist so untill then we don't. I personally don't think the god of the bible exists as it is apparent it is a man made god. Maybe there is a "god" but I haven't seen any evidence for one.

You make it sound as if you are one of the religious who can't wrap their head around the fact the an atheist is not in "denial". Are you denying the pink unicorn in the sky or do you just not believe in it and does that somehow mean you have a real "belief" about said unicorn in the sky other than the fact that you have no evidence for it?

 

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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Lack of evidence CAN be

Lack of evidence CAN be evidence of non-existence, if the entity concerned is one that is assumed or defined to have some universal effect or influence.

If something is supposed to be the creator of the Universe, and there is a plausible mechanism to explain it entirely naturally, that is evidence, while not proof, of the non-existence of such an entity.

If a God is 'defined' to be omnipotent and omni-benevolent, the nature of our universe and the experience of life on earth is massive evidence that there is no such being.

EDIT: I should include evidence of poor 'design' as evidence against the existence of a traditional God. There is certainly plenty of that in nature.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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buttershug wrote:Not

buttershug wrote:

Not believing and disbelieving are not the same.

If you don't define them the same, sure. That's just semantics. There isn't an actual disagreement here.  

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare