Why do Atheists see it as the best option?

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I won't have my morality dictated by a character who's primary attributes are blood lust, tyranny, misogyny, homophobia, and infanticide. Were there to be such a god, it would be a most terrible circumstance for us all.

Well buddy, since plenty of people have and are going to detail the atrocities some, or perhaps even a lot of, non-religious people find with religions and tyrannical gods and so forth, I'll just say that I find it impossible to believe this hash about human beings being special snowflakes who go on to live magical afterlives in heaven or whathaveyou. There's just no conceivable reason for this ever being true. And the other stuff like God will grant you your wishes if you pray hard enough. It sounds like gosh dang nonsense to me. When people talk about their god, they might as well be talking about Santa Claus or the Easter bunny as far as I'm concerned. I think of rejecting religion as simply accepting the harsher reality of our existence. I don't want to be one of those people who look down on others because of their religious beliefs, but when I think about it or when people start going on about "accepting Jesus Christ into your heart," I find it really difficult to not question the extent of their mental capacities sometimes. No offense meant personally, of course; I don't actually know what you're like. In short, atheism isn't about being "better." It's just accepting reality as it appears, rejecting what you simply cannot swallow and providing yourself with your own well-being, not relying on an invisible man in the sky for it.

As a side-note, I'm more of an atheist-agnostic, since I also believe, no matter how unlikely, almost nothing in itself is impossible. I acknowledge that there is a teeny tiny chance a god or gods exist, but they certainly aren't going to be like how any religion details them and I don't have any kind of faith in their existence.

Have you thought about viewing it from the opposite perspective? Maybe wonder why--

Quaxar:
Might I interject with a counter-question there?
You say you believe in the Christian afterlife, but why? Because you like it? That's a pretty weak justification considering there are countless other religions out there with their own books and stories.
What if you're wrong and the Greeks were right and you get denied access to the aferlife because they didn't bury you with two silver coins to pay the ferryman? What if you don't pass the tests of Anubis and get your soul fed to the crocodile-headed demon Ammit because your body wasn't prepared properly? What if your soul gets destroyed on your way through the trials of Xibalba because they failed to provide you with the items needed to complete them (a dog, water, a jade bead, and gifts for Michtlantecuhtli)?

Similar to you, I don't understand how belief in a certain type of religion can be justified when there's so many that are logically all equally valid but with drastically different requirements.

World mythology is fascinating but I can't see how it could be anything but superstition.

Dammit, Quaxar! Honestly, what he said; your perspective makes as much sense to me, as mine does to you.

deadpoolhulk:
I can't help but see it as darker. You see in my beliefs , we are special, we are all loved truly by a God that truly desires our lives to be full of peace and joy. (I'm not going to start on the classic "bad things happen to good people argument" this is more or less the cliff notes.)
my beliefs hold that the world, maybe even the universe, was created for humanity and that there is a distinct, and concrete meaning of life and everything.

But you see, once we have discovered that the universe is far more vast that we can possibly imagine, this point becomes a bit silly and naive. Believing that "i am/we are special" and that the world is designed "for me/us".... I can see how it could give comfort, but that seems like fake comfort to me. Like lying to yourself.

Just fyi, you wont often find me claiming "there is no god". More often that not will i say "I have no proof of existence of god, so i cant say he exists, neither do i have proof of his non-existence, therefore i cant say he doesnt exist"

And frankly, as long as people use god as a way of comforting themselves, be it in tough times or - for example, when somebody dies (which helps a lot of people) - that seems like an awesome thing to me.

But i still consider it lying to yourself. And if you do it for any other purpose than to give yourself a "boost" out of tight spot - i consider it to be a bad thing.

And as always - Its your choice though.

So in short, i think most people who "dont believe" think they are better off, because they lose a bit of baggage (most religions demand some kind of rituals, which costs time) and at the same time they feel they are no longer being lied to.

As to dying and being greeted by oblivion - i believe you wont be greeted at all. You wont have consciousness after all, its the same when you cant remember anything because you passed out.

deadpoolhulk:
I can tell I'm going to get insulted at some point in this topic. Ah well.
And I don't get it. I really don't guys. I honestly can't comprehend the concept that the world is better once you decide there is no God. I've tried to understand, think of an explanation and nothing.

This is your problem. You assume that people don't believe in the abrahamic god (or any god for that matter) because it makes their life better. This has nothing to do with it. I think my life would be much better if I had a billion dollars in my bank. Why don't I believe that, as it would make my life much better?

By the same token I don't rationalize by saying the world would be better off without the abrahamic god, or the hindu Monothiesm, or Thor (and lets be honest the world would be so much better with Thor). We accept reality as it is presented, and our desires to not change that. Rather than assume something should be I look at the universe and try to understand how it works.

I am not trying to condemn your religion, but only point out that your understanding is coming from the wrong point. A rationalist looks at the world as it is, takes the evidence and accepts where that evidence leads. If I ever was presented with real evidence to the existence of a god, then I would change my world view. Such evidence has yet to be discovered.

I hope that helps you understand why people think what they think.

I honestly believe atheism is just as ignorant as theism.

You can't disprove the existence of God, same as you can't prove the existence. Which leads to Agnosticism and the part of the fence I sit on.

If I was asked which side of the fence I am pulled towards, I'd have to go with a creator. The issue I then have is that this creator is nothing like theists purport he is. He's merciful, loving and cares for us all individually?

This quote by David Attenborough sums it up for me;

"My response is that when Creationists talk about God creating every individual species as a separate act, they always instance hummingbirds, or orchids, sunflowers and beautiful things. But I tend to think instead of a parasitic worm that is boring through the eye of a boy sitting on the bank of a river in West Africa, [a worm] that's going to make him blind. And [I ask them], 'Are you telling me that the God you believe in, who you also say is an all-merciful God, who cares for each one of us individually, are you saying that God created this worm that can live in no other way than in an innocent child's eyeball? Because that doesn't seem to me to coincide with a God who's full of mercy'.

The reason is that I see the scientific models we have of the universe as just a more realistic option.

Religion creates more questions than it answers. For one thing, why is only one religion true? Why are there so many different religions? Where is God now, and what is he doing? Where did he come from? Why did he create the universe in the first place? Are there universes and other sentient races that were created? Why is the universe the exact way it is, when he could have made us live in any possible way he wanted? What was he doing before he created the universe? Why is there no evidence that he was ever here, if he created everything? Why does he have such a specific plan for mankind, ie why does he apparently have a problem gay people and extramarital sex? Why does love for him seem to manifest at its strongest on bumper stickers?

A proper explanation of something reduces the amount of unanswered questions. Science has come a long way in explaining things like the origins of the universe, religion never changes.

deadpoolhulk:
I honestly can't comprehend the concept that the world is better once you decide there is no God.

This is the crux of it for me. There's no decision to make. My opinion of what option I would prefer doesn't make any difference to the matter whatsoever. The only question is what I think is the truth-- and that should be completely uninfluenced by what I would prefer.

((As it happens, I'm happier in a world without a deity anyway, but the above is my main point. What is the truth has no relation to what is morally best, or what I would prefer. It just is)).

renegade7:
The reason is that I see the scientific models we have of the universe as just a more realistic option.

Religion creates more questions than it answers. For one thing, why is only one religion true? Why are there so many different religions? Where is God now, and what is he doing? Where did he come from? Why did he create the universe in the first place? Are there universes and other sentient races that were created? Why is the universe the exact way it is, when he could have made us live in any possible way he wanted? What was he doing before he created the universe? Why is there no evidence that he was ever here, if he created everything? Why does he have such a specific plan for mankind, ie why does he apparently have a problem gay people and extramarital sex? Why does love for him seem to manifest at its strongest on bumper stickers?

A proper explanation of something reduces the amount of unanswered questions. Science has come a long way in explaining things like the origins of the universe, religion never changes.

Erm...why the assumption that religion (either in general, or certain religions in specific) doesn't answer those questions?

My super Catholic grandmother used to occasionally say to me of my father who has always been openly athiest (after bad experiences growing up a Jehova's Witness), "Shay, I sure hope your father decides to start believing in Jesus some day and starts going to church. Otherwise, you're really going to miss him when you go to heaven and he's not there." Implying that he'd be suffering in hell for all eternity while the rest of us are having fun in the afterlife and all that.
That pretty much did it for me.

Or I could look at my dad's side of the family. My 18-year-old cousin was in a car accident in November and sustained massive brain trauma. She was in a coma for weeks and is now in a rehab hospital re-learning how to think, how to control her body and how to communicate on a basic level. My aunt (her mom) sits crying in the hospital every day and her thoughts are filled with all of the ways God must be punishing her through her daughter for things she has done wrong. For as much as she has people praying for my cousin's recovery which she believes is probably doing something to help, she has this terrible crazy religious guilt causing her more stress on top of the whole situation. It can't just be a sad, random tragedy that occurred in the family, there has to be some terrible reason why God did this to us, and that's a terrible way to think. So there's that, too.

But as for me, I don't believe in God, and that decision has nothing to do with one option or the other being "better." It's not wishful thinking, it's what I believe at a fundamental level. I am totally opposed to God's "plan for life" for women according to my Catholic upbringing and disagree with many other things about the church, so I can't really fathom how my life would be any more pleasant if God actually existed.

thaluikhain:

Erm...why the assumption that religion (either in general, or certain religions in specific) doesn't answer those questions?

Religions offer answers to many of those questions, but answers with zero uncirsumtantial evidence are not the kind of answers I'm after.

Denholm Reynholm:
I honestly believe atheism is just as ignorant as theism.

You can't disprove the existence of God, same as you can't prove the existence. Which leads to Agnosticism and the part of the fence I sit on.

Interestingly this line of thought is, itself, ignorant. Agnosticism is not the middle point between atheism and theism. It lies on an entirely different axis, opposite of gnosticism. Where the atheism/theism axis deals with belief in deities, the agnosticism/gnosticism axis deals with knowledge about deities. You can be an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist (or a gnostic atheist or gnostic theist).

Additionally, the inability to disprove the existence of god doesn't make the two possibilities equally likely, so it's wrong to call atheism "just as ignorant as theism." Consider this scenario:

A man is arrested for murder. The murder weapon was not found in his possession, none of his fingerprints are at the crime scene, there's no DNA evidence linking him to the crime, and no witnesses put him there. He has no motive. There is absolutely nothing linking this man to the crime. However, the man also cannot positively prove his innocence. He has no alibi, so he can't prove that he wasn't at the murder scene. He has no way of proving that he didn't handle the murder weapon, or that he didn't know the victim. There is a complete lack of evidence on both sides.

Now, would you say that it's just as ignorant to consider the man innocent as to consider him guilty? Do you think both verdicts are equally likely to be correct?

BrassButtons:

Denholm Reynholm:
I honestly believe atheism is just as ignorant as theism.

You can't disprove the existence of God, same as you can't prove the existence. Which leads to Agnosticism and the part of the fence I sit on.

Interestingly this line of thought is, itself, ignorant. Agnosticism is not the middle point between atheism and theism. It lies on an entirely different axis, opposite of gnosticism. Where the atheism/theism axis deals with belief in deities, the agnosticism/gnosticism axis deals with knowledge about deities. You can be an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist (or a gnostic atheist or gnostic theist).

Additionally, the inability to disprove the existence of god doesn't make the two possibilities equally likely, so it's wrong to call atheism "just as ignorant as theism." Consider this scenario:

A man is arrested for murder. The murder weapon was not found in his possession, none of his fingerprints are at the crime scene, there's no DNA evidence linking him to the crime, and no witnesses put him there. He has no motive. There is absolutely nothing linking this man to the crime. However, the man also cannot positively prove his innocence. He has no alibi, so he can't prove that he wasn't at the murder scene. He has no way of proving that he didn't handle the murder weapon, or that he didn't know the victim. There is a complete lack of evidence on both sides.

Now, would you say that it's just as ignorant to consider the man innocent as to consider him guilty? Do you think both verdicts are equally likely to be correct?

There's no room for ambiguity... There either is or there isn't.

Denholm Reynholm:
I honestly believe atheism is just as ignorant as theism.

You can't disprove the existence of God, same as you can't prove the existence. Which leads to Agnosticism and the part of the fence I sit on.

Youre talking about positive atheism. Negative atheism is agnostic atheism. Which you hold for the majority of gods. For example you are making little to no effort sacrificing virgins for Xcotle the Myan god of murder. Although you might claim to be unsure that he exists, youre definitely leaning toward atheism since you arnt living his lifestyle just to be sure.

Similarly you could be unsure of his existence and STILL worship and sacrifice for him just in case he is real, giving you theistic leanings. You can be an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist toward Xcotle, either acting as if he is there while unsure or acting as if he is not there while still being unsure. I am the latter, im NOT certain that Xcotle doesnt exist. But im not going to behave like he does. That makes me an agnostic atheist.

Reality demands ambiguity because all knowledge isnt available to us. It also demands we make assumptions based on ambiguity. Youre not making virgin sacrifices so im going to go ahead and assume youre assuming Xcotle wont be punishing you for this dire lack of beating hearts and skulls for the lord of murder. You cannot be TOTALLY between atheism and theism because at the end of the day you are either obeying the god or you are not. I hold many different views depending on the God. Im a positive atheist toward a god that is exactly the same as Xcotle but is claimed to be "Kind" since such a being is literally impossible. Negative toward and invisible one that demands nothing at all.

deadpoolhulk:
I can tell I'm going to get insulted at some point in this topic. Ah well.
Okay so the very basics is that I live in the UK. And I am an extremely devout Greek orthodox Christian. Been one my entire life, and it has helped me a lot.
But that's not the point, what my point is that on the internet, on TV, and other places. Its really easy to find someone acting like all religions are really stupid. "flying spaghetti monster" is the easiest example to think of.
And I don't get it. I really don't guys. I honestly can't comprehend the concept that the world is better once you decide there is no God. I've tried to understand, think of an explanation and nothing.
What follows is MY OPINION if you see things differently, then I 100% accept that, mean you no offence, and have no wish to try and change your mind. Really. Okay we cool? Right then.
So to me, when I try to think of the concept of their being no god or divine power of any kind, and consider a universe where the big bang was an accident and everything is because of how science works. I can't help but see it as darker. You see in my beliefs , we are special, we are all loved truly by a God that truly desires our lives to be full of peace and joy. (I'm not going to start on the classic "bad things happen to good people argument" this is more or less the cliff notes.)
my beliefs hold that the world, maybe even the universe, was created for humanity and that there is a distinct, and concrete meaning of life and everything. No I do not have the arrogance to claim I know what the meaning is.
And I truly do believe death is not the end, everything is going to be alright and that we will all live forever, loved ones, heaven etc etc.
And I really do understand why people choose to say there is no God. Really I do. I've read intelligent and well thought out theories and statements that make good points, even if I disagree with them.
But I don't know WHY it is seen as a good thing. Can someone please help me understand why it's seen as better to believe in a world where life is an accident and holds no meaning. And once you are dead, all that greets you is oblivion. Yes that is the negatives of Athiesm, and that's the point, I can't think of plus sides to it.
Thank you for your time.

I can't think of a plus side to religion; that's it as far as the debate goes, it's over. The fact that you don't see a point to atheism is pretty much guaranteed, because if you saw the point, you'd be an Atheist. We're talking about subjective feelings, none of it is really concrete. What you think of as Negatives, other people either don't care about or think of as positive and that is that.

Denholm Reynholm:

There's no room for ambiguity... There either is or there isn't.

Ambiguity in what? There either is or there isn't what? Is that meant as a response to my comments about the meaning of "agnosticism", or to my comments about how atheism and theism are not necessarily equally valid beliefs, or both?

I didn't choose to stop believing in God. It happened over a couple of years and I even tried to mentally fight it because I feared life without a saviour and an afterlife. Strangely I have lost a lot of anxieties and hang-ups that I had as a christian. I also note a lot of my christian friends and family now seem so clouded in their thinking about so many issues and I realise that losing my faith liberated my mind: because I no longer have to run every concept, activity and choice through the arbitrary framework of my faith.

Some atheists don't see atheism as 'the best' option. Some people wish they were religious-- I won't pretend to know why. As far as I'm concerned, atheism is the best option because it is the most likely to be true given my understanding of the natural world. Apart from that, I would prefer a world with no god because I don't wish to have any purpose other than those I give myself. I don't wish to surrender my will to anyone or anything. I find nothing but boredom in worship, and I do not see comfort in the idea of eternal life; perhaps I'm a short-run kind of person.

deadpoolhulk:
I can tell I'm going to get insulted at some point in this topic. Ah well.
Okay so the very basics is that I live in the UK. And I am an extremely devout Greek orthodox Christian. Been one my entire life, and it has helped me a lot.
But that's not the point, what my point is that on the internet, on TV, and other places. Its really easy to find someone acting like all religions are really stupid. "flying spaghetti monster" is the easiest example to think of.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist because someone thought that religion is stupid. The Flying Spaghetti Monster exists because someone thought that teaching religion and evolution as equals in a SCIENCE classroom is stupid.

The whole point is that it doesn't matter whether it's better or not, it's just the way it is. I also believe that if you say that you are 'religious', you are somehow lying to yourself.

Although I do not share your specific religious beliefs, I get where you're coming from OP. I don't think that it's a "good thing" that there might be no God, but a lot of people just don't see a reason to believe in him. I mean, it'd be awesome if there was a loving god out there, but we don't have any real proof for it. I would love there to be a god or some sort of afterlife, but it's one of those things we just won't know for sure until we get there.

I seem to be somewhat unusual among many non-believers in that I view a life with no afterlife to be an extremely depressing reality, regardless of how much you live it up. I prefer agnosticism or deism for my rather loose religious beliefs, it ignores the extremism/stupidity that plagues much of theism and atheism.

deadpoolhulk:
I can tell I'm going to get insulted at some point in this topic. Ah well.
Okay so the very basics is that I live in the UK. And I am an extremely devout Greek orthodox Christian. Been one my entire life, and it has helped me a lot.
But that's not the point, what my point is that on the internet, on TV, and other places. Its really easy to find someone acting like all religions are really stupid. "flying spaghetti monster" is the easiest example to think of.
And I don't get it. I really don't guys. I honestly can't comprehend the concept that the world is better once you decide there is no God. I've tried to understand, think of an explanation and nothing.
What follows is MY OPINION if you see things differently, then I 100% accept that, mean you no offence, and have no wish to try and change your mind. Really. Okay we cool? Right then.
So to me, when I try to think of the concept of their being no god or divine power of any kind, and consider a universe where the big bang was an accident and everything is because of how science works. I can't help but see it as darker. You see in my beliefs , we are special, we are all loved truly by a God that truly desires our lives to be full of peace and joy. (I'm not going to start on the classic "bad things happen to good people argument" this is more or less the cliff notes.)
my beliefs hold that the world, maybe even the universe, was created for humanity and that there is a distinct, and concrete meaning of life and everything. No I do not have the arrogance to claim I know what the meaning is.
And I truly do believe death is not the end, everything is going to be alright and that we will all live forever, loved ones, heaven etc etc.
And I really do understand why people choose to say there is no God. Really I do. I've read intelligent and well thought out theories and statements that make good points, even if I disagree with them.
But I don't know WHY it is seen as a good thing. Can someone please help me understand why it's seen as better to believe in a world where life is an accident and holds no meaning. And once you are dead, all that greets you is oblivion. Yes that is the negatives of Athiesm, and that's the point, I can't think of plus sides to it.
Thank you for your time.

Well, it's not about what is or isn't the best "option" for me, it is just what lines up with the most facts, the most logic, and the most scientific knowledge we have up to this date. Science has disproved the age of the Earth as predicted in the Bible, the global flood as described in the Bible, the universal model as described in the Bible ("But the Earth does move") disputed the existence of some or most of the Bible's stories, history has shown that many tales were just the retelling of older traditions wrapped (some dating back to the Epic of Gilgimish) into a new form of holy texts with a single deity instead of many. Attempts to fix these problems, most notably the "it is metaphor, not actual events," creates even more problems. Who can really tell what parts of God's words were not literal and true, and how are we supposed to know what any story is a metaphor for? Is the Tower of Babel a metaphor saying that if we build up technology enough, we can wield the technology of God? Could the entire Bible be a metaphor, with not a single event of it happening and God can't even be comprehended as a single entity but reality itself?

Yet we have at least three distinct religions and thousands of sects within those religions all saying that they have the one brand of belief in the one and only God, and the one path to salvation. Some sects would say I am going to Hell just for using this laptop to talk to you. Who is right? Who do I follow to avoid eternal damnation?

That isn't even counting all the other religions of the world. If we accept that it is possible for one all powerful being that is beyond space and time, why not two? Or twelve? Why not an infinite amount of Gods? What about no god, but a "higher existence"? Why is monotheism right where polytheism is wrong?

All of this, not a single piece of evidence for a single religion, ever, been provided that has been true (barring rare cases where their was a scientific basis for the belief, which most likely evolved from just a simple tradition or common sense to mass belief). No evidence for angels, demons, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Jesus, or God. Just as their is no evidence for Thor, Zeus, or Budda.

Humanity has strived forward, not through belief, but by science. Rub flint on rock to make fire. Put cloth on a shaft to make a sail. Sail out on marked out trade winds to find new lands. Boil water to turn fan to make electricity. Fire compressed blast of energy downwards to enter space. Every single day, we find the explanation to a new mystery, something that used to be "God's domain." We understand our universe more and more, we have less that needs to be explained with omnipitent beings, and more that can be explained through simple laws and mathematics. How much longer till we can explain the origin of space, of time, of existence itself? Do we need a god anymore?

That is why I am an atheist.

On the first question asked in the OP. (I don't want to read through everything posted here already...)

Atheism doesn't make the universe better, no. But no one claims that reality is better than fantasy. Problem is, believing in fantasy doesn't mean it's true. (Or, well, in this case, mythology) Denying the truth does not make the truth any more true. It just makes the person in denial.

That being said the universe is still wonderful. Sure, there is no life after death. There is no magical sky daddy watching over us whom claims to want the best for us but does the exact opposite. There might not even be a purpose to human life as a whole. But there are still plenty of wondrous, beautiful things out there. And we've only barely started to scratch the surface of it through science.

Also, I personally believe that not believing in a god improves your life, even if in ways that you don't notice directly. One thing is for sure though, removing god from your life doesn't remove anything else. Your life still continues, you haven't -really- lost anything, nothing -really- changes.

you know it would be nice to think theres some omnipotent being looking out for me, but that doesnt make it true.

it would also be nice if the reason i dont have loads of hot guys and girls after me is because im so hot im out of their league, but that doesnt make it true

i do think that we need to know, accept and spread (peacefully, im not an athiest version of the Inquisition) the truth about the world. and as i look at the evidence it shows that god, or at least gods in relgions we have, does/do not exist

Shock and Awe:
I can see how you get the idea that Atheists seem to think the belief (or lack thereof) is super special awesome based on some of their proponents running around basically linking up a lack of belief with the whole dogma of Secular Humanism. Never really made much sense to me to be so bombastic over Atheism, but to each his own.

Slightly off topic, but the "bombastic" secular resurgence has little to nothing to do with the existence of God, and everything to do with the religious right trying to force their beliefs upon everyone else by law. It's a response to ensure children aren't being fed mythology under the guise of science, or be forced to pray to a god they don't worship, etc. It's about recognising the separation of church and state, and that America is a secular, multicultural nation, and Christians don't have the right to impose their beliefs on everyone else. Even in other nations that don't have a separation of church and state, secularists are pushing to remove specific religious influences from law because those that aren't a part of that religion shouldn't be forced to adhere to its dogma.

Also, 'atheist' is lower case. :P

EDIT: Does anyone think we'll see another post by the OP?

Its not the best option. its the only option. I certainly cant speak for all atheists, but i can speak for myself. i for one would rather live in a darker, more sad real world than believing in false constructs, giving me comands what to do and what not, ordering me how to live my life and be full of wishful thinking that if i "pray hard enough" suddenly all my troubles go away. (hint: they dont).
Id rather see the world as it is and try to change it for the better than pretend its "some bigger plan" and just go with it like a sheep.

I like the way that Richard Dawkins worded it:

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.

I think that that's the best way to explain why I don't do religion. When you believe in an all-powerful god who just did everything because he's god and are taught not to question that fact from the time you are little, life can get boring and unreasonable. Instead of trying to delve into the mysteries of the universe and discover the answers for yourself, you can just as easily throw up your hands and say "well, god did it and who are we to question his mystery and power?".

And there's really nothing depressing or sad about being an atheist. I think that existing eternally after death would get incredibly boring incredibly fast. The thing that inspires us to do great things with out lives is to know that we have a limited time within which to do them. Some Christians I know do not do this. They sail throughout life, not attempting to do anything great, simply choosing to say that this life doesn't matter and they'll be rewarded in the next.

I was raised Christian for my entire life thus far, and to be honest I don't feel any different as an atheist than I did as a Christian. I just don't think there's a god. Does that belief permeate into every area of my life, making my entire existence dull and miserable? Nope. Do I believe that since "everything just happened by chance" that I or anyone around me is less valuable? Nope.

I have never believed in God and I honestly don't think I understand why some people do, which is why I usually don't participate in the topics involving religion.

I actually find it a little depressing that God would "just" make us live, so that he could test who was "ready" for stage two. The idea that this life is all you have got makes life worth more.

Exactly what does one use if not one's own life and experience to determine which option is better? Asking others whether theism or atheism is 'better' will only reveal nonsense.

I am atheistic, though not by choice, and I struggle to follow the buddha dharma. My life is how it is, saying it was 'better' would be me simply extending my ignorance of the world onto others. I am incapable of believing in a God in the sense that Christianity portrays. If I have a conception of God, it is no different than if I were to simply say Reality or Being, and as such, God could not be purely benevolent or any particular thing whatsoever. God as I conceive it, would simply be everything that is and is not. The Christian conception of God, on the other hand, is much too selfish, and I cannot believe in such a being. To project an image of humanity onto Reality and say that that image is what Reality is, is just pure nonsense and arrogance; although such a projection is not exclusive to theists or Christians, for that matter. I cannot accept the idea that existence itself, as if it were a human being that chooses, can 'personally'
favour one person or another. The idea is much too human.

Denholm Reynholm:
I honestly believe atheism is just as ignorant as theism.

You can't disprove the existence of God, same as you can't prove the existence. Which leads to Agnosticism and the part of the fence I sit on.

You don't really understand the differences between atheism and agnosticism.

Now granted there are 'strong' and 'weak' atheists and really the longer you talk about it with people who have little better to do with your time, the less and less sense individual words start to make. But to summarize it easily:

Atheism = There is no evidence to suggest the existence of any god, therefor there is no reason to think there is one.

Agnosticism = There is a god or godlike entity, but its nature is not, or cannot be, fully understood.

The atheist says to the agnostic: "What evidence do you have that this unknown/unknowable god exists?" That is the core difference. Most atheists do not claim to KNOW that god doesn't exist. They simply state that there is no REASON to think that one DOES. It's an important distinction to make. Burden of proof is on the positive claim.

itsthesheppy:

Denholm Reynholm:
I honestly believe atheism is just as ignorant as theism.

You can't disprove the existence of God, same as you can't prove the existence. Which leads to Agnosticism and the part of the fence I sit on.

You don't really understand the differences between atheism and agnosticism.

Now granted there are 'strong' and 'weak' atheists and really the longer you talk about it with people who have little better to do with your time, the less and less sense individual words start to make. But to summarize it easily:

Atheism = There is no evidence to suggest the existence of any god, therefor there is no reason to think there is one.

Agnosticism = There is a god or godlike entity, but its nature is not, or cannot be, fully understood.

The atheist says to the agnostic: "What evidence do you have that this unknown/unknowable god exists?" That is the core difference. Most atheists do not claim to KNOW that god doesn't exist. They simply state that there is no REASON to think that one DOES. It's an important distinction to make. Burden of proof is on the positive claim.

Definition of agnostic
noun

a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/agnostic

ten.to.ten:
For me personally it was a huge relief to realise that Yahweh didn't exist, since most of his worshipers say that I'm, at best, doing something abhorrent by just existing, and at worst that I deserve to be tortured for all eternity because I have a relationship with a man instead of a woman. It's hard to see Yahweh as anything other than a petty, sick, vindictive, hate-fuelled monster, and I'd rather have my consciousness terminated than be tortured for all eternity. Can you possibly see how to someone like me it's better for Yahweh to not exist?

Even if I wasn't gay, I couldn't believe in gods because I see absolutely nothing that suggests that gods exist. It doesn't matter what I want to believe, or what I wish the truth was, I can't lie to myself. There's nothing there.

I'm pretty much in this guy's camp, except for the fact that I'm a transgendered woman. I can't help but view the Abrahamic god as a really big jerk. Fucking me up before birth, making the world a place full of cruel people who would rather make me burn rather than mind their own business, and generally giving me a life experience that makes me want to cap myself, while giving others a free ride? Hell the fuck no I don't want to believe in such a thing! That's bowing down to the cosmic school bully, hoping he doesn't give you TOO bad of a wedgie. The only way to really win is not to play that game.

Denholm Reynholm:

itsthesheppy:

Denholm Reynholm:
I honestly believe atheism is just as ignorant as theism.

You can't disprove the existence of God, same as you can't prove the existence. Which leads to Agnosticism and the part of the fence I sit on.

You don't really understand the differences between atheism and agnosticism.

Now granted there are 'strong' and 'weak' atheists and really the longer you talk about it with people who have little better to do with your time, the less and less sense individual words start to make. But to summarize it easily:

Atheism = There is no evidence to suggest the existence of any god, therefor there is no reason to think there is one.

Agnosticism = There is a god or godlike entity, but its nature is not, or cannot be, fully understood.

The atheist says to the agnostic: "What evidence do you have that this unknown/unknowable god exists?" That is the core difference. Most atheists do not claim to KNOW that god doesn't exist. They simply state that there is no REASON to think that one DOES. It's an important distinction to make. Burden of proof is on the positive claim.

Definition of agnostic
noun

a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/agnostic

Yes. Pretty much exactly what I said. The supposition, you will notice, is that god exists, it's just the knowledge of such a god either isn't possessed or cannot be possessed.

The difference is the default position. If your default is to not believe god exists until evidence is presented, congrats, you're an atheist. If you accept or believe that there must be some kind of god and we just don't know anything about it, you're an agnostic.

itsthesheppy:

Denholm Reynholm:

itsthesheppy:

You don't really understand the differences between atheism and agnosticism.

Now granted there are 'strong' and 'weak' atheists and really the longer you talk about it with people who have little better to do with your time, the less and less sense individual words start to make. But to summarize it easily:

Atheism = There is no evidence to suggest the existence of any god, therefor there is no reason to think there is one.

Agnosticism = There is a god or godlike entity, but its nature is not, or cannot be, fully understood.

The atheist says to the agnostic: "What evidence do you have that this unknown/unknowable god exists?" That is the core difference. Most atheists do not claim to KNOW that god doesn't exist. They simply state that there is no REASON to think that one DOES. It's an important distinction to make. Burden of proof is on the positive claim.

Definition of agnostic
noun

a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/agnostic

Yes. Pretty much exactly what I said. The supposition, you will notice, is that god exists, it's just the knowledge of such a god either isn't possessed or cannot be possessed.

The difference is the default position. If your default is to not believe god exists until evidence is presented, congrats, you're an atheist. If you accept or believe that there must be some kind of god and we just don't know anything about it, you're an agnostic.

It's the exact opposite.

Agnosticism supports that there's no way to prove or disprove but is open to evidence from both sides.

Denholm Reynholm:

itsthesheppy:

Denholm Reynholm:

Definition of agnostic
noun

a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/agnostic

Yes. Pretty much exactly what I said. The supposition, you will notice, is that god exists, it's just the knowledge of such a god either isn't possessed or cannot be possessed.

The difference is the default position. If your default is to not believe god exists until evidence is presented, congrats, you're an atheist. If you accept or believe that there must be some kind of god and we just don't know anything about it, you're an agnostic.

It's the exact opposite.

Agnosticism supports that there's no way to prove or disprove but is open to evidence from both sides.

Your version of agnosticism stumbled before it even gets out of the gate by your statement that it's "open to evidence" that would "disprove" a god claim. No such evidence exists, nor can it. You've rigged the game so the question can never have an answer in the negative.

Basically, agnosticism starts from the supposition that god, or something godlike, exists. If the default position is that it does not until evidence is provided then that is, as I've said, an atheistic position to take.

Remove from your line of thinking the word "disprove" when it comes to god. God cannot be "disproven". It's a logical fallacy. God must be proven before being presumed to exist to the point where we could know nothing about it. It hasn't even gone that far.

If you are uncomfortable with being lumped in with people who believe that something is there and just doesn't know what it is, and would rather start from the position that it's not but you're open to evidence that could prove it is, just call yourself the atheist you are, or at least stop denigrating the group you inadvertently belong to. If you possess no opinion whatsoever and are refusing to take a position that could possibly be addressed, then maybe this conversation isn't for you.

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