Why do Atheists see it as the best option?

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I pre-emptively beg forgiveness if I piss anyone off. I will get extremely tongue-in-cheek during parts of this. If you feel angry at any moment, my humble suggestion is that you pause for a second and remind yourself that I am just a stupid guy who doesn't know better trying to be clever. On with the show, now.

I look at the universe and in it I see no evidence of it being created by an entity anything like the ones described in most religions. Is it possible that the universe was created by a entity, of some sort? Sure, I suppose. It's irrelevant, though, because we have no way of knowing what such an entity likes, dislikes, or even whether it is capable of having likes and dislikes, or even of noticing the fact that we exist. Is it probable that the universe was created by an entity in any way similar to those described in the vast majority of religious texts? No, not really. At least I don't think so.

When a religious text that is assumed to be absolute truth describes something, that is a restriction: Say, when a religious text indicates "god is great". That means god is not shitty, not "just kinda ok", not "alright", he is great, and that is the only thing he can be if that religion is true. When a religion portrays their deity in any way, have it do anything, or have any entity have any kind of interaction with it, that basically makes the deity disprovable: find anything that suggests that a creator would not be as described, and you can fairly say that it is less likely for the deity to exist than for it to not exist.

This creates a pretty interesting relationship: The more religion (As in organized scripture and dogma) there is, the less likely it is for god to exist. Religions, by their very nature, must define things - that is their social function. In this way, you can fairly say, for instance, about the abrahamic god:

- He is omnipotent;
- He requires a human female in order to spawn a child;
- He is omniscient;
- He engaged early humans in conversation, asked things to them, and tested them. The results of said conversation and testing he presumably knew beforehand, and one supposes he did it just for kicks;
- He is omnipresent;
- He seems to want to do fact-finding when an early human murders another;
- He is not opposed to invasive gene-splicing, as he certainly did it to those early humans. Remember kids, making babies with your own children is bad, especially if done repeatedly for some 10 generations. It kind of makes your species dead, unless an omnipotent geneticist fixes you;
- He likes(liked?) one kind of (genetically-selected) human more than he does others. The ones telling the story, incidentally;
- He created the Earth over the span of 7 "days", during some of which the sun did not yet exist. One supposes he used some other unit of time, and subsequently messed up the translation when talking with the early humans who wrote the story down. Despite the whole "omnipotence, omniscience" thing which should have enabled him to come up with a new word for a time unit. I'd call it a sporgle;
- He administered heavy-duty amnesic narcotics to most of humanity some generations after major historical events (For instance, that time he destroyed the Earth), which would have been remembered by everyone everywhere for a very, very long time otherwise;
- Some time after causing that laser-guided amnesia to most of humanity (Impossible to know how long after, sadly enough) he told parts of the true story of the universe (Including the one he just made everyone forget! The guy is ballsy.) to other ancient humans prior to telling it to the "right" ones, as attested by extant texts written by other cultures which almost seem to have been copied or integrated into the one true god-given scripture of truth. One supposes he did that, again, just for kicks. I like his style;

A big one now, thus broken into paragraphs for readability:

He once caused some form of water-like liquid to fall from the sky for 40 days straight (In this case, we know a "day" to be a human measure of time, as humans and the sun already existed at this point. Hooray for existence!) which was sufficient to cover the Earth completely, up to and including the top of the highest mountains. Said rain required at least 40 meters of rainfall to fall per second, everywhere on Earth, simultaneously (note that rain on Earth right now never gets anywhere close to that. 0.14 meters per second is crazy-ass hurricane rain. We are talking about waterfall-like precipitation!).

Presumably, prior to this event there existed a form of wood on Earth with the hardness to withstand that kind of liquid impact (We are talking harder than modern steel), and tools capable of working that wood (Lightsabers!). God instructed one man to pack all the animals on Earth into a boat built with this superwood, presumably also providing him with transport and capture systems capable of effecting that command, and with a warpdrive to warp the fabric of the universe and create additional living space within the ship for all those animals, and the food to feed them with for months. Said food was also provided, as well as robots who diligently fed the several billion different species according to their lifecycle, in some cases several times per day. The man also packed his family in there, with food for themselves. The superboat furthermore had a life-support system to provide a stable atmosphere for all these lifeforms in the absence of any plant life whatsoever, and an irradiation system which decontaminated all occupants, guaranteeing no fatalities due to disease during the journey. Besides, other forms of life (Archaea, bacteria, etc.), were not along for the ride.

Once the rain stopped, this water-like substance began to evaporate at mind-boggling speeds, so that there was solid ground uncovered within the lifetime of this guy (Even if he did live for centuries, due to some amazing form of pre-metallurgy medicine. Hey, they had lightsabers, why not longevity vaccines!?). These vapors then spontaneously annihilated upon reaching the upper atmosphere, as it's very definitely neither here on Earth, nor out there in the void any more. The supertrees (Remember? The ones hard enough to survive exposure to the force of that rainfall?) also spontaneously annihilated at some time during the deluge.

After the superboat landed, animals left the boat and, presumably, immediately sprinted over continental distances to the regions where they currently live, leaving no offspring or signs of their passage behind. They settled according to a pattern in regions deliberately set up in order to trick future humans into thinking that maybe evolution happened. More likely, the boat came with a system of intercontinental shuttles to actually effect the supermigrations. The boat also came with an amazing terraforming system, which created a new atmosphere (The old one was understandably lost when all that water-like vapor shot out at hypersonic speeds) and new soil (As the Earth was, of course, scoured clean down to bare rock, and then down to harder rocks by the massive rainfall), and with a mass-driver which shot seeds for every species of plant on a globe-spanning replanting. These new plants were of now-unexistant species which developed to maturity fast enough that no animal species starved. They, along with any sign of their existence (Like... The bits not eaten by animals) later also spontaneously annihilated, once "normal", present-day plant life had had enough time to grow. Presumably, the ship also had a massive larder which fed all the carnivores and scavengers during the years it took for other animal life to replenish its numbers, and force-fields which protected all species from predation until their numbers stabilized (Understandably, as one of the only two zebras on Earth being eaten by a megalodon immediately upon leaving the ship would have been pretty inconvenient).

It then created all other forms of life (Fungus, bacteria, archaea...), which were explicitly not included in the ship's cargo. All pre-existing ones had been (Again), crushed and annihilated by rainfall. God then sent a team of angelic geneticists, who spliced the genes of all the surviving species as they reproduced over the next 20 or so generations, thus guaranteeing that all animal life on Earth didn't come to an abortive end as they all degenerated due to inbreeding and died out after turning into horrible, dysfunctional, deformed messes.

After all this work, the operator of the superboat - understandably exhausted from operating all these systems for such a long time without so much as taking a break - immediately threw a party and got stone-drunk. Presumably with liquor that had been stored in the ship all along.

I know I would, too.

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Now, certainly a god that checks all those boxes is possible, I mean... Hey, he's omnipotent, he can do whatever the hell he wants to! But it all sounds a bit illogical, almost like this was a fable written by a primitive desert culture who had no concept of the difficulties and complexities inherent in actually carrying the story out in reality, instead of being absolute truths given by a benevolent omnipotent entity who would not yank our chains just for the heck of it.

Such a god is, however, not likely as compared to just... You know "Stuff happened, some stuff died, some stuff lived, that all went on for a really, really long time and us being here is really not anything extraordinary".

*checks to see if OP has posted at all beyond his first reply*

Huh. Guess he lost interest. Oh well, abridged cliff notes summary:

Truth, pretty much. I like to be as close to it as possible and I don't fancy living a lie. Even if the truth turns out to be absolutely horrible, it's fine, I can handle it.

And the way things go, faith is, by definition, detrimental to the pursuit of truth. Atheism isn't a choice made out of convenience or wanting to be different. It's just the only choice that holds up to scrutiny. If there was a good amount of supporting evidence for certain gods, perhaps I'd be religious instead.

Polarity27:
The former. The assumption was that people from other cultures had their own gods and would end up with their own folk in the afterlife-- because why in the world would you want to be stuck with strangers and unfamiliar divinities after you die?

And your evidence for this is..?

I do not believe in things because they are nice to believe in, I believe in things because I think they are true.

To level with you, I wish I could believe in a loving God, I really do. But I don't. (as an agnostic I think it is a possibility but to be honest, I think regarding the nature of God, the Ancient Greeks most likely had it right; non perfect beings that were lustful, proud, jealous and ultimately flawed as humans are).

But considering the atrocities committed by the Christian God in the Bible, I don't think I would be as happier as a Christian as when the idea of believing in a loving God first popped into my head.

I honestly can't say it's the best choice per say, but in all honesty I cannot believe in a god, just can't. In every fiber of my being, since cognitive thought, the notion of god sounded like Bullshit to me. Frankly my position as an atheist comes from a lot of the worlds owes come from Religious fundamentalism, as this quote from Tim Minchin aptly summaries; "Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed, faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved".

An afterlife would be an awesome idea, I'd like to think there's a big guy full of love out there looking after things (even though evidence would point to that he isn't very loving and hasn't been doing much bedsides leaving pictures on toast).

I dunno, it's liberating. I don't have to please some omnipotent being that doesn't exist, I live life by my own moral conduct and get to feel like a smarmy/scared bastard whenever a fundamentalist wonders how I can, because the only reason he doesn't is because a book told him so.

I find Apatheism to be the best option.

No worrying about whether there is or isn't a god, or if there is a god or gods but you're worshipping the wrong ones or any of that.

Not caring about any of it at all, and just carrying on with my life because I have much more pressing issues to concern myself with.

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.

I know a lovely Orthodox Christian and admire her greatly for how she lives and her family lives. I wish I could believe as she does, but I can't. I am pretty much agnostic now after having been raised Christian because I have never felt God's love. I have prayed and prayed and it feels like the only time something happened was when *I* made it happen. I got paranoid about having God in my head, listening to my thoughts and the idea of a devil chasing me constantly. I am an anxious, serious, high strung person by nature and would have panic attacks in church. I loved God, but I never felt like he loved me back.

It's sad, and I would love for there to be a loving Father up in Heaven who really loved me, but I just can't get past the silence on his part. I also don't understand things in the Bible like what father would when asked for bread give his child a stone? Well, it seems like God is giving his children quite a few stones when asked for bread. And I'm not talking about asking for a mansion and earthly pleasures, but asking for faith (which is a gift), asking for a string of faith and asking for a renewed heart as in Ezekiel (give me a new heart with new and right desires). I know the Bible well, and I still feel terribly alone in the world.

Not believing in God answers so many questions that the priests and nuns and evangelists have not answered (and I've read sooo many books and sat down with many priests and preachers etc.)

Why does suffering happen to innocent people? because the world is imperfect, and it is simply how nature works. It is not because the person deserved or didn't deserve or because the person was going to learn something. It's because nature is nature, and entropy effects everything.

It is so much easier to face death when you think it may be a nothingness as before you were born, rather than a fight for your soul to be saved or consumed by agony for eternity. (Finally, how can I get to Heaven if I'm not good enough, and how can I receive what I need from God if I'm not good enough, and he will not help me *because* I'm not good enough? -- no one answers this one.)

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