Atheism explained

Discussion in 'Religious Issues' started by mike g35, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Seems there are alot of you atheists here. So instead of fighting with you I would like you to list your reasons and arguments for why there is no god. I've argued with you recently, now here's your chance to "educate" us poor intellectually inferior Christians. Explain everything!!! Every reason you have not to believe. Believe it or not I'm actually interested in your thoughts.

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  3. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot

    Why don't you go look at the threads we have started over the last year? There have been some very convincing arguments made here and invariably theists have given no valid rebuttable.

    Why don't you list some of the reasons why you believe in a deity with no physical proof whatsoever? Do you have reason other than a deep emmotional need for it to be true?

  4. Believers and atheists are never going to understand each other.

    The concept of faith is the biggest obstacle between the two groups. Faith is everything to a believer while the atheist, who demands proof, has little or no understanding of faith.

    Believers recognize a higher power based on faith, while atheists believe that they are the top of the food chain and answer to no one. Especially a concept that doesn't meet their own personal standards.

    Believers accept the laws of God and voluntarily submit to them, while atheists don't want limitations placed on their behavior.

    Believers are willing to accept the judgement of God, while atheists refuse to be judged by anyone.

    The two groups are as different as right and wrong.
    In fact, it is the same argument.

    #3 JBnTX, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  5. Double Post, Deleted.
    #4 JBnTX, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  6. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot

    Yes, but not in the context that you meant. One of us is right (correct) and one of us is wrong (mistaken).
  7. You're misunderstanding my intentions. I really do want to see you make your case. This is NOT an attack. Simply an attempt to understand each other. I have no personal stake in this fight, I don't fall under either umbrella. It's actually the atheists here that have put the label of Christian on me. I am still trying to figure out the who what when where and why of the universe. Until I do I won't pretend to know more than anyone else. So maybe there is no god, if that's what you believe then state your case. By only stating your reasons atheists don't want to follow religion your not converting anyone. Maybe if you gave irrefutable evidence you could change minds. And changing minds to better America and people in general was the reason I was given for atheists posting in a religious forum, so now I'm asking you to state your case and giving you an opportunity to change my mind....if you can.

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  8. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot

    The argument, in its simplest form, is that we see no reason to resort to a totally unsupported mythos system to explain natural phenomenon that are equally explainable by other well understood mechanisms. Occam's Razor in it's purest form, why believe the extraordinary claim that a deity created and is controlling everything when the ordinary principles of physics and biology can explain everything equally well (in fact much better)?

    First off, there is no such thing as "irrefutable evidence". It doesn't matter how compelling, complete or thorough the supporting evidence is, someone can (and will) refute it (but not necessarily with valid reason). The only real option is to be comparitive in your analysis. What is more likely, that an omniscient, omnipotent, eternal, immanent and transcendent deity created the entirety of the universe such that he can care for some frail beings crawling on the surface of one particular insignificant planet (and then condemn most of them to destruction) or that we came about by very explainable physical processes?

    That said, there have been figurative mountains of empirical evidence posted here supporting a cosomological Big Bang model of the universe and an evolutionary biology model for the development of life. No matter how compelling, it is continually refuted by theists without even the slightest attempt to challenge the evidence on its merits. It is quite common, in fact, to have individuals here claim that absolutely no evidence exists in the very same thread where the evidence was presented.

    So, perhaps you are joining this debate at a frustration induced lull. I was serious about running a search on previous threads. There is a wealth of material here if one cares to go digging for it. Take a look at my "What caused the Big Bang?" thread for a start.
    #7 Geko45, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  9. Your question seems to assume that the atheists here are affirmatively asserting "there is no God", where few here actually make that assertion. I think that you'll find most, instead, "reject your assertion that God (gods) exist".

    An assertion that is logically possible (i.e. "God exists") cannot be disproven. As I've said in the past, if science advances to the point that Little Timmy and Little Susie have a Mini Hadron Collider and an abiogenesis kit and create miniature universes and life at will in their backyard, that will still not prove that God does not exist. It would merely demonstrate that God was not necessary for the universe or life to exist.

    However, with that said, it is clear that the Genesis Creation is just another creation myth, that is not at all supported by the reality that we live in.

    So if you wouldn't mind, answer me this... how would you expect our world to be different if there were no god?
    • Babies would no longer be protected from horrible birth defects?
    • Mankind would no longer be protected from natural disasters?
    • God would no longer grant prayer requests for limb regeneration and other medical prayers that can't be otherwise cured or naturally go into remission?
    • We would find unnecessary cruelty such as the reproduction of ichneumonid wasps?
    • We would find many inefficiencies in living organisms?
    • The vast majority of species that ever lived would be incapable of survival and go extinct?

  10. I would consider myself an atheist with the willingness to accept that there may be some greater power we cannot observe or understand. Maybe agnostic would be a better term.

    Here's my thoughts:

    God is not required for anything. Not for the beginning of our universe, not for the end, not for anything in the middle. While people have trouble believing that evolution and chance could result in intelligent beings like ourselves, when taken from the entire pool of ~10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe over the course of 15,000,000,000 years, it's actually a near statistical certainty that intelligent life would evolve based on random occurrences. We just happen to be the ones asking the questions because we got lucky on our planet.

    Another thought: Throughout human history, there have been countless different gods and deities, many of them vastly different from one another. Why is one more correct than any other(s), when the evidence for any of them is the same?

    Muslims think Christians and Jews are wrong because they don't accept Muhammad as a prophet of god, despite the concrete proof in the Koran. Christians reject the Koran and think Jews are wrong for not accepting Jesus as their savior and the son of god despite the concrete proof in the New Testament. Jews reject the Koran and the New Testament and are still waiting for their savior. Mormons have their own second gospel as well. All of these groups worship the exact same god of Abraham, with the exact same evidence for their own additions to that theology.

    Of course each group of believers will think their own version is correct, and the rest wrong, but what reason do they actually have for that belief, except that it was what they were taught?

    Finally, when examined in a historical and sociological context, it's pretty clear that religion was structured for control, not spirituality. It's a somewhat cynical view, but no less accurate.

    Consider the prohibition on premarital sex and adultery: It was rare in any religion until about 10,000 years ago. Not coincidentally, about that same time human society moved from one of hunter-gatherers, who had precious little in the way of permanent possessions, to one of agriculture and animal husbandry, at which point we now had permanent homes, land, and other ownership of property - and inheritance.

    It's only natural then, that those with the land and power would want to ensure that only their own offspring inherited their property when they died. What better way to do that than to prohibit premarital sex and adultery?

    Similarly, the prohibition on pork in many religions stems from the fact that poor sanitary practices and insufficient cooking of pork can lead to severe illness. Considering the lack of knowledge of bacteria and parasites by ancient civilizations, it's no wonder people would just not eat pork, which would naturally morph from a habit, to a way of life, to a divine command.

    Finally, consider how often established religion and its tenets turn out to be wrong. Starting well before Christianity, with the polytheistic religions of Egypt, the Maya, etc. Moving on to the church's belief regarding how old the universe is, then the Earth being the center of the universe, the Earth being flat, etc. Eventually science wins out.

    That all being said, the fundamental rock of science is "I don't know", and the quest to find out. To be entirely closed to the possibility that a power greater than us that we cannot comprehend exists is to abandon the foundations of science. But until there's evidence beyond a book two thousand years old, written by man, translated by man, interpreted by man, I will remain skeptical.
  11. Roering

    Roering Sorting nuts

    Check out Wikipedia.
  12. The concept of faith is really not the obstacle given that most non-believers (at least in this forum) were once very faithful, but they realized at some point that religion was an empty proposition. I understand faith, however I do not find believing something despite a lack of supporting evidence, and often in the face of contrary evidence, to be a virtue.

    Humans are reasonably well adapted to the environment that they live in, but so are many other species. We're not the fastest or most ferocious, we don't have the best sense of hearing, smell or sight. We're not very good swimmers, we can't fly, and we don't have echolocation -- I think that would be a cool one -- etc. Though we have obvious advantages in brain power, use of tools, control over our environment, etc. Regarding top of the food chain, I personally don't eat animal-based foods.

    Again not the case. I certainly submit to judgment of the society that I live in.

    My morality has nothing to do with not wanting limitations placed on my behavior. If it weren't for my being an atheist, I would be a poster child for Christian behavior. I've been faithfully married to my high school sweetheart for 23 years. I don't cheat on my taxes, steal, murder, ... All this, without believing that Eternal Torment or Eternal Reward await me.

    Oh, and I even strive to remain respectful in this forum.

  13. Woofie

    Woofie Disirregardless
    1. Project Mayhem

    Just makign an addition to your reading assignment. These seem to be the topics that keep coming up over and over . . . and over . . . and over . . . and . . . over . . . and :faint:
  14. So many reasons with so much information behind each it's hard to present it all at once without taking all day and writing a 20 page essay. I'll try to give you a quick break down. for my view

    1. It's a change in thinking. Most people simply ACCEPT the bible as true. It's presented as such from the time we're kids. A lot of us grow into adulthood never considering that the bible might be wrong. When you have the thought that "What if it isn't true?" and then begin to to dig in an objective manner... you find it hinges on expecting the reader to begin with assuming it's all true. Many Christians argue for their faith from that point of view. "God did it... here is why." They are assuming their conclusion and reasoning from there. Rather than taking the steps to evaluate the information and making a conclusion last. So you really have to QUESTION the bible first and foremost. Don't assume it's false... just don't assume it's true either.

    2. We know so much more about Ancient History now than we did 100 years ago. And not only that... the information is available to everyone instantly via our technology. The reason Atheism is exploding isn't because the world is becoming decadent or evil, it's because man has access to information that he never did before. It used to be that only historians and archaeologists had such broad and detailed information. Now your average teenager can learn all they want about ancient history. And what we know is that the Ancient Jews borrowed most of their religious beliefs from other cultures that predate them. The Torah is a mish mash of mesopotamian, sumerian, and babylonian religious myths. One might ask the question "So what? Doesn't mean they aren't true." Well it kinda does because they claim these stories were given to THEM directly from God. We simply know that's not true. We know they believed in many gods and only later shaved it down to the one true God. Even after the creation of the 10 commandments the israelites kept many gods which goes against the 10 commandments of Yahweh. Putting Eden aside and Cain and Able aside... we know that the Israelite faith began with Abraham. And he was a mesopotamian. He was most likely insane. That isn't meant to be an insult but think of him not as a magical character but just as a man. This was a man that heard voices in his head. Voices that told him to uproot his family and move place to place. Voices that told him to murder his child. What would you think of such a person today. You wouldn't think he was inspired by God. You'd think he was a nut case. Islam is born from the same mad man. He had a child (Ishmael) out of wedlock with his wife's egyptian maid servant Hagar. These are the beginnings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The ramblings of a mad man and the borrowed religions of other cultures. Not to mention the jews didn't even bother to write down the Torah for 700 years! Think about that. In a time when most people couldn't even read or write. They passed these stories down for 700 years. Think about that number. Imagine how distorted a story would get after word of mouth for that long. Each generation putting their own spin on it. It's easy to see these are all myths and legends that travel from culture to culture and get twisted and distorted to fit that cultures ideals. Not to mention we have reason to believe that Deuteronomy was written long after the rest of the Torah and is somewhat of a forgery if you expect that it was penned at the same time as the rest of the Torah. So history shows us that the bible is a bit of a sloppy document. It's got some accurate history in there. But mostly because they wrote it as they went along. It's also got some very inaccurate history as well.

    I'll give you one example to illustrate (But there are tons of them in there) Luke says that Christ was born when Herod was king, Agustus was conducting his great census (The reason Joseph was traveling home mind you), and Quirinius was governor of Syria. This is impossible. We know that Herod died in either 4BCE or 5BCE. Quirinius wasn't governor of Syria until 6CE. 10 years apart. Now you might say "Okay, 10 years... big deal" Well if we assume that Quirinius was indeed governor at the time Christ was born. This means Herod had been long dead which calls into question the ENTIRE reason Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt with little baby Jesus. The easier thing to dismiss is that Quirinius wasn't governor. But then why did Luke say he was? Why such an error. This is the ONLY place that gives us any kind historical triangulation of the birth of the Messiah... and they got it wrong.

    This of course tosses out the idea that the Bible is inerrant or without flaw. Like I said this is one example of many.

    3. Unanswered prayers. I say this jokingly because there is no evidence that prayer does anything more than does the power of positive thinking (Which is well documented). But take a look around. Look at all the people suffering in this world. I mentioned in another thread, there is a 3 year old little African boy starving to death in a field right now. His mother left him behind because she can't carry he and his little brother because she is so weak so she had to choose. There is a vulture watching that little boy waiting for him to die in order to make a meal of him. REALLY? Jesus loves the little children. All little children of the world? Right now there is a young woman in a wheelchair. She was born with a rare disease that has basically turned her into a quad. She can't feed herself, go to the bathroom by herself, or even take a bath by herself. Her parents love her but they're getting old and can't hardly care for her anymore. She's had to watch her friends move on, get married, have kids, have careers and enjoy life. She just gets to sit there and wait to die.

    You can give me all the excuses in the world about God's plan and how he works in mysterious ways. But it's all BS. It's just an excuse. If I were walking down the street and came across that young woman or that starving child and I had the power to help them... I would. Without question I would help them. God supposedly has unlimited power, can do anything, and yet chooses not to help these people. Think about that for a second. I'm not talking about petty problems like making your car payment or getting a promotion, or nailing the hot chick at starbucks. I'm talking about good people, innocent people, that never had a chance from the word go. People who's lives have been nothing but suffering. You mean to tell me this being loves us, cares about us, wants a relationship with us and lets his beloved creation suffer like this? Why? God has the power to help yet he chooses not to. He chooses not to help where as, had I the power, I would. Why am I a more moral being than this God?

    When you combine that the know the bible to be a sloppily constructed document. everyday we discover one more aspect of it's tales to be unture (which causes apologists to claim allegory or fable), and we see the trail of broken and suffering people that this God claims to love so much but does nothing to help... I see absolutely no reason to think such a being exists.

    But you have to begin by not assuming he's there at all. You don't have to assume he isn't. But allow yourself to imagine a wold where he doesn't. It's no different than the world we live in now.

    No one wants to change your mind. You have to do that on your own. Religion is something that is force fed to most children and so they simply grow into adults accepting it. Choosing to reject that indoctrination takes a lot of soul searching and questioning. And for a believer coming out of their faith there is (as Geko45 put it) a period of mourning God. You really do feel like you've lost your security blanket and safety net. It's a strange time for a new non-believer. And you see the world COMPLETELY different. But I think you're beginning that path by asking... Why? That's an excellent start.
  15. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot

    Right about now, some theist will chime in claiming that atheism is the belief that something was created by nothing or that it's just another religion or that it's narcissistic to claim to have all the answers or that the big bang and/or evolution is just a theory or question why atheists bother coming here at all.
    #14 Geko45, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  16. Woofie

    Woofie Disirregardless
    1. Project Mayhem

  17. OctoberRust

    OctoberRust Anti-Federalist

    To the religious folk/OP look up confirmation bias.

    I'm not being an ass, I'm being serious. Then, look up the threads with Atheists vs people of faith.

    Faith: Noun - Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
    #16 OctoberRust, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  18. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver the wrong hands

    I can tell you the two thing that do it for me, predation and sexual reproduction.

    Predation is the big one for me. Life eats itself. That's just how it works and it's so damn indifferent that it would be beautiful if it weren't so damn horrible. Countless trillions of organisms that are very capable of suffering and feeling pain have been snatched up, bitten to pieces, chewed alive, torn apart and injected with venom that incapacitates by sheer pain all for a meal for something else. Young life is often preferred as it's easier to catch and less dangerous to take down. Babies are essentially nature's delicacy.

    Now that can only be described as a F-ed up situation when you look at it with compassionate human perspective. So let's look at the two leading explanations.

    One says that god make everything perfect and beautiful with lions snuggling up to sleep with lambs and I can only assume black widows and scorpions doing the same with warm fuzzy moths. Then man came along and ate fruit from the wrong tree and screwed everything up. Not only does this sound completely insane but it goes contrary to all evidence ever uncovered. I'm told that the problem is simply with the "interpretation" of the evidence but only by people who demonstrate a stellar lack of understanding of what constitutes evidence so I discount those claims.

    Another explanation says that life is basically a very complex yet completely natural chemical reaction, one as indifferent to suffering as the oxidation of carbon in a fire. All observations back this up. In fact I just saw the god gap shrink a bit more yesterday.

    As for sexual reproduction, well, I see animals all over this planet that have their genitals hardwired to the pleasure center of their brains. I'm the same way. Why? Because the business of having and raising offspring is a huge pain and most would want nothing to do with it unless there were some incentive. Every single sexually reproducing life form on this planet and all of their ancestors has one thing in common. They had parents that were at one point or another horny enough to pass their genes on to the next generation.

    Not only that but often it happened in a "by any means necessary" kind of way with ancestors raping females, males killing offspring of females to bring them back into reproductive cycle, females consuming mates and young consuming their mothers as the indifference of nature dictated that their function was best served as nutrients at that point, and even some creatures fooling others into raising their offspring for them. It all really makes the most torrid TV show look like an episode of Leave it to Beaver by comparison.

    Now to the two leading explanations again. One has dire warnings for me simply having sex before going through a marriage ceremony and even then only with that one woman, forever. Never mind the rape and infanticide and group sex and all manner of debauchery that I see going on in the animal kingdom. God says I have to hunker down with one woman for my entire life and ignore any other woman that I feel attracted to even though all evidence shows that I'm working off the same biochemical cues that makes any other creature want to get it on. He also has all kinds of other silly rules for what needs to be done with private parts. No thanks.

    The second explanation makes perfect sense once again. We're all complex chemical reactions and that particular act of combining genes is the very driving force of the whole process. I want to bang what I perceive as hot women because every single ancestor before me that reproduced sexually wanted to do the same. If not I wouldn't be here.

    So that's just the 2 biggest factors in why I don't believe in god. I'd say that the supreme ignorance and cowardice of people that do claim to believe when questioned about their faith is a close third. So many questions left unanswered by so many who obviously haven't really thought about it. Why listen to them.

    Here's a good litmus test. Does what you're being told make sense or does it just seem contrived to make you feel good?
  19. I appreciate all your responses. It's kind of cool to see how your minds work and why you believe what you do. Thanks for all the input.
    That said, "babies are essentially natures delicacies....", I know you we're serious and it even made sense but that crap is funny, I don't care what you believe that was funny sounding. LOL

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  20. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver the wrong hands

    Oh, it's F-ing awful when you think about it just a little. Then it gets better if you think about it all the time like in a research assistant kind of way. Luckily we've evolved a sense of humor to help us deal with stuff like that.

    Sometimes all you can do is :rofl:

    BTW, I'd be interested in what, if any, conclusion you come to after reading all the responses.
    #19 Gunhaver, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  21. It can sound funny taken out of context. Just like saying "I got raped!" at tax time. And I get your meaning. But it's true... creatures in nature pick off the weak. And there doesn't seem to be any evidence of a loving being stopping by to give a damn.

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