Belief

burchronicus
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Belief

It seems as though atheism can be defined in the same terms as a belief in, I'll say a religious god (even though the term religion now seems to be debatable in regards to a "higher being&quotEye-wink, although it is on the opposite spectrum, that of disbelief in a religious god. Is it true that atheists do not believe in a god, or would some describe their thoughts as being more agnostic, non-belief, rather than disbelief, as my friend explained it to me.

My argument is that an atheist appears just as guilty of belief in an absolute as a religious person is: there is no god vs. there is a god. Both are absolutes. How can someone know either way absolutely without there being "belief" involved.

What do you think? And what if Christians, Jews, Muslims, and whatever other religious believers are right? Who knows? And what if at some time in the future atheism is the predominant belief, does no one feel that religious believers would be persecuted just as some of you feel you are being persecuted in some way now?


BGH
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The same questions are all

The same questions are all over these forums. For me it is lack of belief in any diety. I do not have absolute knowledge but based on my assesment of evidence, atheism is my best posistion on the subject. The "what ifs" are silly, you could do that with anything. All we can do is base our lives on the world we live in, not the "what if" world.


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Quote: does no one feel

Quote:
does no one feel that religious believers would be persecuted just as some of you feel you are being persecuted in some way now?

In some places they are. In America they're called non-christians. 

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deludedgod
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Atheism does not require

Atheism does not require faith. That is a logical fallacy. Religion is a positive assertion without proof. Religion is bound to a Loki's wager logical fallacy, stating that their is a deity which is beyond our understanding ergo cannot be proven.

Atheism is a negative assertion. This is a denial of the positive assertion because it lacks veracity. To say atheism is faith is the same argument as "we cannot disprove God ergo saying he does not exist is faith. Imagine:

Bertrand Russell; The celestial teapot exists

Me: That's ridiculous. Prove it.

Russell: We cannot see the teapot, our telescopes do not have that capability, therefore we cannot disprove the teapot

This is the same line of thinking (mind you, the brilliant Bertrand Russell meant it as a joke) that leads theists to believe atheism requires faith.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Voided
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burchronicus wrote: It

burchronicus wrote:
It seems as though atheism can be defined in the same terms as a belief in, I'll say a religious god (even though the term religion now seems to be debatable in regards to a "higher being&quotEye-wink, although it is on the opposite spectrum, that of disbelief in a religious god. Is it true that atheists do not believe in a god, or would some describe their thoughts as being more agnostic, non-belief, rather than disbelief, as my friend explained it to me.


You need to understand the difference between a weak atheist and a strong atheist. Personally I'm a mix of the two as I realize there is more then one idea of god. And those idea which I take a harder stance on are those which are logically impossible or are like calling a cat a horse.

Quote:
My argument is that an atheist appears just as guilty of belief in an absolute as a religious person is: there is no god vs. there is a god. Both are absolutes. How can someone know either way absolutely without there being "belief" involved.


There are different kinds of belief. I might believe the sun will raise in the morning but that is different from me believing there is a 10,000 pound diamond under my house.

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What do you think? And what if Christians, Jews, Muslims, and whatever other religious believers are right? Who knows?


'What if' games are nice, but don't always get you somewhere. This kind of 'what if' is can be played on both sides and is really an old argument called Pascal's Wager, be it a more simple form.

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And what if at some time in the future atheism is the predominant belief, does no one feel that religious believers would be persecuted just as some of you feel you are being persecuted in some way now?


Of course it could be possible, but an atheist doesn't have a book or holy leader telling him or her to do it and they can use reason when it comes to a problem. I don't think it could never happen, but I would think it is less likely for atheists (those who are from a logical reason anyway) to do something like that. If the governments remain secular there shouldn't be a problem as it shouldn’t rule for or against religious ideas. The only “harm” I can see a secular government doing against religion is telling them they can’t commit crimes that would be a crime to anyone else in any other setting.


burchronicus
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These are interesting

These are interesting points, and I will definitely read them over.  This is my first time on this forum and I look forward to returning.  


Rigor_OMortis
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Quote: It seems as though

Quote:
It seems as though atheism can be defined in the same terms as a belief in, I'll say a religious god (even though the term religion now seems to be debatable in regards to a "higher being&quotEye-wink, although it is on the opposite spectrum, that of disbelief in a religious god. Is it true that atheists do not believe in a god, or would some describe their thoughts as being more agnostic, non-belief, rather than disbelief, as my friend explained it to me.

Actually, you've mixed up definitions a bit. I'll explain in the next paragraph.

Quote:
My argument is that an atheist appears just as guilty of belief in an absolute as a religious person is: there is no god vs. there is a god. Both are absolutes. How can someone know either way absolutely without there being "belief" involved.

Theist: Belief there is God.

Counter-theist: Belief there is no God.

Atheist: .

What you are saying is that atheists APPEAR to believe that there is no God. They appear to be counter-theists. That happens for two reasons:

1) we're on a debate forum, in which both sides support their positions.

2) in real life, nobody should give a space-rat's posterior on whether one is a theist or an atheist, or agnostic, or whatever. The only situation in which atheists appear as atheists is when they are forced to defend their rights and their positions, in which case we're kind of back to no. 1.

Quote:
And what if Christians, Jews, Muslims, and whatever other religious believers are right? Who knows?

OK, apparently you haven't heard of Pascal's Wager, so I would ask you to search for it a little bit.

Now for my opinion on this one: The best argument against religions alltogether is the fact that they actually exist. From my knowledge, they are mutually incompatible (you cannot go to one religion's heaven if you are part of another religion). So, OK, whichever religion is right, I go to hell, but the chances of a Christian to go to hell are a wincy bit lower than mine. For instance, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religions and my topic called "Plurality", if anyone offers to answer it, of course. considering only major religions and branches, there are about 57 (somewhere around that number), but we will take 50 to be round. The chance of an atheist to enter the heaven is 0%, but the chance of the member of one of these is 1 out of 50, that would mean 2%. And that, of course, taking only the major PRESENT religions. If we were to take all religions that once existed, I think the chance would be somewhere around 0.1% or even less, which is just as insignificant.

Quote:
And what if at some time in the future atheism is the predominant belief, does no one feel that religious believers would be persecuted just as some of you feel you are being persecuted in some way now?

I doubt it. I don't see any serious atheist campaigning to destroy all churches, mosques and places of worship.

Besides, I don't necessarily feel persecuted. It happens, from time to time, that the rights of a certain category of people aren't respected, but "Errare humanum est", so give a notice, and if the situation is corrected, I'm just cool with that.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
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jmm
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deludedgod wrote: Atheism

deludedgod wrote:

Atheism does not require faith. That is a logical fallacy. Religion is a positive assertion without proof. Religion is bound to a Loki's wager logical fallacy, stating that their is a deity which is beyond our understanding ergo cannot be proven.

Atheism is a negative assertion. This is a denial of the positive assertion because it lacks veracity. To say atheism is faith is the same argument as "we cannot disprove God ergo saying he does not exist is faith. Imagine:

Bertrand Russell; The celestial teapot exists

Me: That's ridiculous. Prove it.

Russell: We cannot see the teapot, our telescopes do not have that capability, therefore we cannot disprove the teapot

This is the same line of thinking (mind you, the brilliant Bertrand Russell meant it as a joke) that leads theists to believe atheism requires faith.

i disagree.  i think that atheism requires more or less as much faith as theism - of course depending on whether or not you're a weak or strong atheist.  as i stated in another thread, though, i don't think that faith is the issue at hand, but rather the object of faith.  and i'm not saying "object of faith" in the vague, meaningless christian sense, i'm saying it as one would say grammatically "x is the object of this sentence."  it receives the action of disbelief.  no empirical evidence exists that proves or disproves god, so in the faith department we seem to be more or less equals.  


deludedgod
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i disagree.  i think that

i disagree.  i think that atheism requires more or less as much faith as theism - of course depending on whether or not you're a weak or strong atheist.  as i stated in another thread, though, i don't think that faith is the issue at hand, but rather the object of faith.  and i'm not saying "object of faith" in the vague, meaningless christian sense, i'm saying it as one would say grammatically "x is the object of this sentence."  it receives the action of disbelief.  no empirical evidence exists that proves or disproves god, so in the faith department we seem to be more or less equals. 

This is the crux of the matter. I'm a scientist, so my business is to turn hypotheses into theories into facts via emperical evidence gathering and testing. A proposed hypothesis is presumed false to keep the integrity of the scientific method. This way, the community plays devils advocate, and a new theory has to survive a baptism of fire before acceptance. A hypothesis is presumed false, and God is a hypothesis. Therefore, God can be presumed false until proven true. 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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American Atheist
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deludedgod

deludedgod wrote:

 Therefore, God can be presumed false until proven true.

Nice, I'm going to put that as my signature.