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Author Topic: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement  (Read 11157 times)

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Offline LostInTheMist

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #100 on: March 21, 2017, 11:08:38 AM »
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I swear to Hitchens here, I am not trying to be mean. But isn't that just the "Argument From Ignorance" Fallacy? "I don't know, therefore God?" I mean, you had this Experience. Cool. But...what evidence do you have that it was a God of some description? I'm only asking because obviously, your own personal subjective, unverifiable experience is not going to be particularly good evidence to convince somebody else, so...do you have anything that would prove that this happened the way you remember it, or that a God was responsible?

I mean. Obviously if there's a deity out there I want to know about it, so...if you have some evidence, that would be awesome!

No, I don't have any evidence that it was God or A God. If it were that easy to assemble evidence, I'd hardly need to assemble my own, and this debate wouldn't be happening. I'm not asking you to believe in God because I had an Experience. I'm just stating that my own belief in God stems at least in part from what happened. Let's recall also that an important part of the statement is that people would talk about their own "God Experiences" and that I scoffed, because I'd never experienced such a thing before. I've had occasions where I've been inexplicably happy, or felt loved, but I've never felt something so complete, so down to my absolute soul as that moment on the bus between Portland and Salem.

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So, since you obviously don't take the Bible literally, would you mind defining what you mean when you say "God," since it obviously isn't the God of The Bible. Or is it some kind of mesh of that and your own ideas on divinity?

It's the God of the Bible. It's not a requirement to take the Bible literally to believe in a Biblical God. If you grew up in a religion that believes that you must take the Bible literally or renounce your faith, I'm sorry for that, but it's certainly not my branch of Protestantism. I either have to believe that God created the world in six days, and that the world is about six thousand years old, or I can't believe in God? Yeah. Right. Please don't tell me what I have to think in order to believe.

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Not to be rude - I swear - but then...does that mean that you are open to the possibility that you are wrong about your experience? Because a one off experience is not exactly overwhelming, undeniable evidence, y'know? At least, not to me.

Absolutely I'm open to it. It wouldn't be faith if it were absolute proof. As I said above, it's difficult to explain just how deeply moving the Experience was, but it's possible that I'm wrong about the source. I've never said it's absolute proof by any means. I believe it was God, but it's possible it wasn't. Who am I to say?

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What you're talking about is the Twin Magesterium, and I have to say that I disagree. If you believe in a Deity that gets involved in this "plane" of existence, if there are more than one plane, then his/her/it/zhers effect can be seen and measured and tested, and then Faith and Science do not stay separate. The thing is that the Scientific Method and Faith are directly opposed; one relies on demonstrable, repeatable evidence and one...well, doesn't. Why do you apply your scientific rigour and logical structure to everything but God? Why is God in this special box that logic and science cannot touch? Surely if there is a deity, an all powerful creator (assuming for a moment that that is your definition of God), then that is the BIGGEST possible question about all of reality...so obviously, Science can't help but be interested.

Science deals with what can be proved or disproved. Tell me how to rigorously prove or disprove the existence of God, and I'll let science get involved in my religion. You've already told me that I can't believe in God without believing in the literal truth of the Bible, now you're telling me that in order to believe that Science describes the world around us, I must therefore not believe in God. Isn't it possible that you're misunderstanding what faith actually means?

Look, science describes the laws of the physical world, from the movements of whole superstructures of the universe down to the tiniest subatomic particle. From the evolution of our species from some self-replicating chemicals to what we are today, to the microevolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria. But science depends on the accumulation of scientific evidence to prove its hypotheses, to codify them into theories or laws.

By definition science cannot prove or disprove that God exists because there's no scientific evidence for his existence. But (and I shudder to use this cliché, so I apologize, but it's relevant) absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

My belief in God does not interfere with the realm of science, nor does my belief in science interfere with my belief in God. There are plenty of people out there who think the two are incompatible on both sides, but I'm not one of those people. I believe those people show a lack of imagination or a lack of understanding of science and/or faith.

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If you can't prove his existence - or even his probability - then why do you believe it? And that isn't me being snarky, it's a genuine question.

I believe in God because I have faith.

Really, that's the only answer I can give. I believe in God because I believe in God. There's nothing more to it than that. Faith is a belief without proof. I have no proof. I have no evidence that I can carry outside of myself. I could be wrong. That's the thing about faith. You have to be willing to be wrong. There's nothing bad or evil about being wrong.

It all comes around again to:

I believe in God because I have faith.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #101 on: March 21, 2017, 11:24:34 AM »
No, I don't have any evidence that it was God or A God. If it were that easy to assemble evidence, I'd hardly need to assemble my own, and this debate wouldn't be happening. I'm not asking you to believe in God because I had an Experience. I'm just stating that my own belief in God stems at least in part from what happened. Let's recall also that an important part of the statement is that people would talk about their own "God Experiences" and that I scoffed, because I'd never experienced such a thing before. I've had occasions where I've been inexplicably happy, or felt loved, but I've never felt something so complete, so down to my absolute soul as that moment on the bus between Portland and Salem.

Ok. But my point was, how do you know that a God was responsible? How did you go about establishing that?


It's the God of the Bible. It's not a requirement to take the Bible literally to believe in a Biblical God. If you grew up in a religion that believes that you must take the Bible literally or renounce your faith, I'm sorry for that, but it's certainly not my branch of Protestantism. I either have to believe that God created the world in six days, and that the world is about six thousand years old, or I can't believe in God? Yeah. Right. Please don't tell me what I have to think in order to believe.

Well, that isn't quite what I meant, but that's on me; I should have worded it more carefully. What I meant was, "You don't believe in the god of the Literal bible."
But now that you've brought it up (sorta), can I ask you...if you don't take the bible 100% literally, how do you choose the bits that you take literally or follow as The Word of God (since Christianity is kind of hinged on the fact that the Bible is at least partially reflective of the character and wishes of God), and how do you choose which bits to discard or take as a metaphor? What criteria do you use?


Absolutely I'm open to it. It wouldn't be faith if it were absolute proof. As I said above, it's difficult to explain just how deeply moving the Experience was, but it's possible that I'm wrong about the source. I've never said it's absolute proof by any means. I believe it was God, but it's possible it wasn't. Who am I to say?

And that's where I come unstuck, I guess. In my mind, it's irrational to accept an explanation until it's been demonstrated to be accurate.


Science deals with what can be proved or disproved. Tell me how to rigorously prove or disprove the existence of God, and I'll let science get involved in my religion. You've already told me that I can't believe in God without believing in the literal truth of the Bible, now you're telling me that in order to believe that Science describes the world around us, I must therefore not believe in God. Isn't it possible that you're misunderstanding what faith actually means?

Actually, I didn't say that. You inferred that from some bad wording on my part, but I've clarified myself above.
But no, I'm not saying any of that at all. What I'm saying is that the Twin Magesterium don't quite exist in their own little bubbles as you think they do. If (and I'm saying if, because I'm not sure whether you subscribe to this belief, so please correct me if you don't) you believe in a deity that intervenes in the material world, we can go about testing that influence. Now, we aren't able to determine the mechanism, sure, but we can determine whether something is happening. For example, scientists have already conducted experiments into the effects of intercessionary prayer on behalf of medical patients (and come up with: It don't do squat, as far as we can tell). We may not be able to test for the supernatural, but if you believe in a deity who gets involved, we can most certainly test to see if you might be onto something in terms of what those effects are.

Also, I know what Faith means; there are several definitions for different contexts, of course (English is tricksy like a hobbit like that), but in this context it simply means belief without evidence. My point is, why would you accept faith as a pathway to truth, when there is - by definition - no way to verify if it is accurate?


Look, science describes the laws of the physical world, from the movements of whole superstructures of the universe down to the tiniest subatomic particle. From the evolution of our species from some self-replicating chemicals to what we are today, to the microevolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria. But science depends on the accumulation of scientific evidence to prove its hypotheses, to codify them into theories or laws.

By definition science cannot prove or disprove that God exists because there's no scientific evidence for his existence. But (and I shudder to use this cliché, so I apologize, but it's relevant) absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Well, unless you would expect the presence to leave evidence. EG, game on a trail; if you don't see footprints of an elephant in the wet mud, you can safely assume an elephant has not been on that path recently because if they stomped through, they would have left footprints.
But to go further; sure, absence of evidence isn't necessarily evidence of absence, but if there is no evidence, why should we believe The Thing?


My belief in God does not interfere with the realm of science, nor does my belief in science interfere with my belief in God. There are plenty of people out there who think the two are incompatible on both sides, but I'm not one of those people. I believe those people show a lack of imagination or a lack of understanding of science and/or faith.

I don't think so. Science is the practice of evaluation and investigation to gather evidence to figure out the truth of reality. Faith is the belief of something without evidence. You can have faith and be a scientist, but I think that leads to a rather large dose of cognitive dissonance, and at least a little bit of special pleading.

I believe in God because I have faith.

Really, that's the only answer I can give. I believe in God because I believe in God. There's nothing more to it than that. Faith is a belief without proof. I have no proof. I have no evidence that I can carry outside of myself. I could be wrong. That's the thing about faith. You have to be willing to be wrong. There's nothing bad or evil about being wrong.

It all comes around again to:

I believe in God because I have faith.

Ok, so, my question is;

If you do not have any evidence, why do you have faith? Why accept something as huge as the existence of a supreme deity which will presumably impact how you live your life in a fundamental way without any shred of evidence? Do you accept other peoples unfalsifiable claims on faith alone? If not, why not?

And no, there is nothing evil about being wrong.
Just like there's nothing wrong with simply saying "I don't know" rather than saying "I don't know, therefore God."

Offline LostInTheMist

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #102 on: March 21, 2017, 12:59:00 PM »
We're talking at cross-purposes here. You keep trying to find a way in which faith is rational. You will never, ever, ever find it.

Faith isn't rational!

If the thing that I have faith in could be proven, I wouldn't have faith. Not only does faith not require proof, it requires the lack of proof.

If you don't like it, meh. Why should I care? If my faith offends someone, that's their problem, not mine, since my faith is entirely internalized. I require no validation from others, nor do I seek to convert others. I am a rational, logical person in all areas except for my faith.

My faith is a comfort, whether or not it is well founded.

Everything comes down to one question:

Does God exist or not?

Guess what?

It doesn't matter.

Offline HannibalBarcaTopic starter

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Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #103 on: March 21, 2017, 03:33:22 PM »
You're not the kind of person in which religion or faith is a problem for anyone around you, LostInTheMist.  You're perfectly willing to let others live and let live.  I have a problem with those who try to legislate their own beliefs so that others are forced to follow them.

And your personal experiences are exactly that, yours.  No one can take them away from you.  We all have experiences we can never really fully explain to others because, simply, we can't be inside their body or mind and experience them for ourselves.  There are, however, common traits and experiences we all have, simply from being human.  The thing is, you posted here, so you offered your own opinion and experiences for us to examine.  That's what this thread was for.  That also means it might be questioned.

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Does God exist or not?

Guess what?

It doesn't matter.

I have to disagree with that.  Seeing how the very question has driven wiser people than all of us since the first time humanity could ask the question, I think it is very relevant.  I'm not driven by faith, but I am driven by truth.  I want to accept the most true things and the least false things I can in this life, because I think that is the way to maximum happiness for me individually, and humanity in general. 

There are billions of people on this planet who profess faith in one kind of being or another.  Since many of them are in direct contravention with one another, they can't all be true.  It is possible that none of them are true.  Humanity has experienced untold suffering throughout the milennia over the directions of people--usually the powerful, the few--who have told other people to believe in one faith or another, and that those who believed differently were wrong or evil, sometimes worth enslaving or killing.  There are people in this world who still believe this sort of thing today.  Not all religions do, but the point is that all religions have their faith, their request--sometimes demand--that they be believed with no evidence whatsoever.

Doesn't that beg the question: Which one is true?

This is where I was years ago, before I gave up belief...because there was a question I had that was of a higher order than accepting what someone else told me on faith--I wanted to know if what they told me was true.

Was Jesus the only way to salvation?  Was Mohammad truly the last Prophet?  Did Buddha know the true path to enlightenment?  How about the gods hardly anyone worships anymore?  Athena?  Quetzalcuatl?  Amon-Ra?  Or the thousands of animist systems that thrived before the written word was invented?

I was raised in faith and lived such for the first half of my life.  I understand it, because I lived it.  But the more I read and studied other faiths, the more I began to see that every religion has absolute faith in their own beliefs, with no evidence whatsoever.  I wanted the truth.  I wanted to believe what was true, not what was fed to me by my parents, church, or other people.  I know lots of people have been in the same situation.  For me, I can't just use rationality and evidence in every other aspect of my life, but throw it out the window for this one thing--this thing that is imperatively important if it is true--is there a purpose to my life beyond what I experience right now?

It's human nature to wonder these things.  The fact that there are thousands of religions, and tens of thousands of denominations of some of them, goes to show that everyone has their own experiences with this thing that is supposed by billions to be universal.  But--to me--to throw off any further rational discourse and simply say it's faith is a shutting of the door, a closing off of the mind to any other possibilities or the examination of what exactly the possibilities could be...to winnow away what is not possible, and to leave behind a closer position to the truth.

What is true, and what is not true, deeply matters to many people.  And the way you find the truth is by inquiry, consideration, the sharing of ideas, and making consensus on what the meaning of those results are.  Faith in no way reveals the truth.  It is the acceptance of an answer before the truth has been found.

I'm not an atheist because I say there are no gods.  I'm an atheist because, when someone asks me if there are gods, I say I don't know.  I have no reasonable cause to believe so.  And if I have no reason to do something, then I don't do it.

As I mentioned before--your faith doesn't hurt anyone outside of yourself.  I doubt it hurts you, either.  Some people use their faith as motivation, or as a driver to do good in the world.  The thing is, there are people who do good things without having faith in anything, so I know faith isn't necessary to do good in the world.  If it works for you, it works for you.  But for me and many others, we're driven by a desire to know the truth instead of an acceptance on faith.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 03:40:36 PM by HannibalBarca »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #104 on: March 21, 2017, 05:37:31 PM »
If you do not have any evidence, why do you have faith? Why accept something as huge as the existence of a supreme deity which will presumably impact how you live your life in a fundamental way without any shred of evidence?

This is an interesting point, and something I've been thinking a lot about, recently, and I'd like to throw it out to the thread.

As some (all?  most?  none?) of you know I'm a practising Christian, work at a Cathedral, am a lay preacher in my faith and am studying a PhD in Theology - I say this to show that I am basically surrounded by co-religionists in most areas of my life.  And honestly, there is a vast spectrum of effects it has on someone's life but I'm not convinced that, for most people, if impacts in a fundamental way.

Large sections of the various congregations I am involved in are aging and, while I'm certain that if you were to ask them they would answer - and answer honestly - that they believed in God, Jesus, etc. I'm genuinely not sure of the effect that has on their life.  They come every Sunday, some even come on weekdays as well.  But that seems largely a social and ritual action rather than a pure religious expression.  Genuinely I'm not sure that it does impact their life in a fundamental way.  I... haven't fully decided how I feel about this.  On the one hand, Church attendance shouldn't be done carelessly and I see little point in being a Christening/Wedding/Funeral church attender, or a Easter and Christmas one (or a High holidays Jew, or a...parallels exist in most religions)

But on the other hand, is that a difference in kind from the way a priest or Bishop lives?  Lets take me as an example: I'm kind of a priest and at least I have the benefit of speaking first hand rather than assuming motives for someone else.  When I scrub the toilet or brush my teeth I doubt very much that the way I do it is meaningfully different to that of an atheist, a Muslim or any other flavour of religious belief.  So does it impact my life in a meaningful way?  If I made a list of all y actions in a day, I'd be amazed if even a quarter of them were motivated/influenced by faith.  I'd guess its closer to 5%, tbh (as, even though I work in a Cathedral my job there is entirely secular and analogues for it exist in (some) irreligious institutions).  And I'm genuinely not certain its possible to hold that belief in your head, constantly, 24/7, and view every action through that lens.  I've tried multiple times recently and I'm pretty damn certain that even if it is possible in the abstract its not possible for me.  Just try going through tomorrow holding the unquestioned fact that the majority of dogs have four legs in your head.  Or, if you want something more important, that...I dunno...that we're running out of water and something needs to be done about it.  You won't forget, per se, but there will be times when that point is simply not relevant to whatever the hell it is you're doing and its not longer at the front of your mind.  Or at leats I assume that'll be the case, it certainly is for me.

Even actions that were ultimately inspired by faith, I'm not (always) conscious of that fact when I do them.  I volunteer in various places and the original impetus for that was due to my faith, but that decision was taken several years ago and now I go out of...routine?  Not quite the word but the closest I can think of right now. 

If tomorrow evidence sufficient to persuade you were suddenly available - whatever you have in your heart of hearts decided "this is the thing that would convince me beyond a shadow of a doubt that God exists" happened - how much of your life would actually change?  I'm assuming you (and despite having quoted Vergil in the intro to this, I'm asking the question broadly) think of yourself as a moral person because, well, no one is the villain of their own life story.  So presumably your morals wouldn't change.   The actual requirements of the majority of religions are pretty light - orthodox Judaism might be an exception but generally the rules that need to be followed aren't terribly onerous or intrusive.  Even if you join a monastary or something, I know from talking about this with monks that the awareness follows something of an up or down pattern - morning prayers thinking about God and then stop thinking about Him directly as you start doing the finances or the washing or whatever. 

I'm just hoping to throw this out as a conversation - what makes you think it would be a fundamental change?  I notice that Hannibal mentioned something similar ("--this thing that is imperatively important if it is true-" emphasis in original).  Because, honestly, I think you're mistaken based on my own experiences.  And I'm kinda trying to decide if that's a problem (for me) or not. 

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #105 on: March 21, 2017, 11:44:23 PM »
We're talking at cross-purposes here. You keep trying to find a way in which faith is rational. You will never, ever, ever find it.

Faith isn't rational!

If the thing that I have faith in could be proven, I wouldn't have faith. Not only does faith not require proof, it requires the lack of proof.

If you don't like it, meh. Why should I care? If my faith offends someone, that's their problem, not mine, since my faith is entirely internalized. I require no validation from others, nor do I seek to convert others. I am a rational, logical person in all areas except for my faith.

My faith is a comfort, whether or not it is well founded.

Everything comes down to one question:

Does God exist or not?

Guess what?

It doesn't matter.

No, I'm not trying to find a way in which Faith is rational. I am simply trying to make the point that faith is not rational, so why believe anything because of it? Why rely on an irrational system to tell you what to believe when it - by definition - cannot be trusted to give accurate results?

You do seem to be getting a touch defensive. I'm not trying to be nasty or be an asshole here. You placed your opinion and your beliefs here, in an "Ask an Atheist" thread, so your beliefs are going to be questioned and analysed, as Hannibal rightly said.

I do pretty much agree with everything Hannibal said; "Does God Exist" is probably one of the single biggest questions in existence, since it addresses the very nature of our reality. Surely it matters very much whether the answer is yes or no?


@Kythia:

Well, it would affect whether I behaved to spite the God, whether I obeyed him, talked to him, took what he thought seriously, or just ignored it entirely. And if nothing else, surely the existence of a God is one of the biggest questions to be answered about our reality, so of course it matters, since it affects our very understanding of the way reality works. And if we can identify God and make appeals to him directly for certain things that he will grant, well, that's a mechanism we should be aware of, no? If only to try and regulate it against abuse. Or what if God exists and he's secretly plotting to try and wipe us all out with a meteor in 200 years? I think that would be very important for us to know, just so we can try and thwart him! A silly example, but hey, there's just as much evidence for that as there is for Allah or Yahweh or Russells Teapot. We don't know how we would benefit from that discovery, until we make it.

Very simply put, I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible, and since "Is there God" is one of the biggest questions to do with the very nature of our universe, I want to damn well know whether that's true or false.

Offline LostInTheMist

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #106 on: March 22, 2017, 12:56:53 AM »
I do pretty much agree with everything Hannibal said; "Does God Exist" is probably one of the single biggest questions in existence, since it addresses the very nature of our reality. Surely it matters very much whether the answer is yes or no?

I suppose my "it doesn't matter" was used for dramatic effect and I didn't really explain what I meant by that.

So here's more or less what I was thinking.

The existence of God is not the question here. It can't be proven, it can't be disproven. Evidence (whether personal, scientific, or whatever) for or against aside, the real question is whether faith is a negative or positive force. It's the BELIEF in God that is the crux of the issue in almost all these arguments, not the ACTUAL existence of God. Whether or not God exists isn't particularly relevant. It's what a belief in God means to those who believe and to those who don't believe.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #107 on: March 22, 2017, 01:11:07 AM »
@Kythia:

Well, it would affect whether I behaved to spite the God, whether I obeyed him, talked to him, took what he thought seriously, or just ignored it entirely. And if nothing else, surely the existence of a God is one of the biggest questions to be answered about our reality, so of course it matters, since it affects our very understanding of the way reality works. And if we can identify God and make appeals to him directly for certain things that he will grant, well, that's a mechanism we should be aware of, no? If only to try and regulate it against abuse. Or what if God exists and he's secretly plotting to try and wipe us all out with a meteor in 200 years? I think that would be very important for us to know, just so we can try and thwart him! A silly example, but hey, there's just as much evidence for that as there is for Allah or Yahweh or Russells Teapot. We don't know how we would benefit from that discovery, until we make it.

Very simply put, I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible, and since "Is there God" is one of the biggest questions to do with the very nature of our universe, I want to damn well know whether that's true or false.

Sorry, I obviously obfuscated my question behind a wall o' text.  I'm not arguing the question has a fundamental importance, I' saying I feel it doesn't overly impact one's life.  The nature of Dark Matter is a big question to do with the nature of our universe, but it has no effect on my life.  Whether I have clean clothes or not is one of the tiniest questions to do with the nature of our universe but has a massive impact on my life. 

Do you think the existence or otherwise of God would have more impact on your day to day life than a broken fridge?  If so, why? 

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #108 on: March 22, 2017, 01:42:10 AM »
I suppose my "it doesn't matter" was used for dramatic effect and I didn't really explain what I meant by that.

So here's more or less what I was thinking.

The existence of God is not the question here. It can't be proven, it can't be disproven. Evidence (whether personal, scientific, or whatever) for or against aside, the real question is whether faith is a negative or positive force. It's the BELIEF in God that is the crux of the issue in almost all these arguments, not the ACTUAL existence of God. Whether or not God exists isn't particularly relevant. It's what a belief in God means to those who believe and to those who don't believe.

Well, I would argue that Faith can easily be a negative force; if you accept faith as a reasonable reason to believe something, you could believe anything you want based on Faith. In the mundane, that might not be such an issue, but that all depends on what belief you're holding due to faith. You could easily start justifying more and more outlandish and possibly dangerous beliefs on faith, since if you accept faith as a reasonable thing to excuse a belief, you could believe whatever you wanted and screw what the evidence says.

Here's the question I put to you;
Faith is belief without evidence. Faith is the acceptance of something as true without a good or rational reason.
Why, then, would you argue that faith is a virtue? Why believe something without a good reason?


Sorry, I obviously obfuscated my question behind a wall o' text.  I'm not arguing the question has a fundamental importance, I' saying I feel it doesn't overly impact one's life.  The nature of Dark Matter is a big question to do with the nature of our universe, but it has no effect on my life.  Whether I have clean clothes or not is one of the tiniest questions to do with the nature of our universe but has a massive impact on my life. 

Do you think the existence or otherwise of God would have more impact on your day to day life than a broken fridge?  If so, why? 

Well, I don't mean to dodge the question, but that would depend entirely on what kind of God (if any) was proven to exist. If a non-interventionist God or the absence of God was somehow proven beyond a shadow of a doubt...not much in my personal life would change (Though I imagine some religious peoples entire worldview would come crumbling down around them). If a god was proven and it was shown that he was actively causing harm, then I might go out of my way to try and minimise those effects. A losing battle? Yeah, sure. But there's a difference between me stopping on my way somewhere to do something good, and me thinking "Right, fuck that guy" and dropping everything to stop whatever bullshit I know he has planned.
If it's a God that has for whatever reason decided to fuck with me, then I would imagine it would affect how I go about my life rather differently too. It would all depend on what kind of God it was and what his / her aims were.

Offline LostInTheMist

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #109 on: March 22, 2017, 02:05:59 AM »
Well, I would argue that Faith can easily be a negative force; if you accept faith as a reasonable reason to believe something, you could believe anything you want based on Faith. In the mundane, that might not be such an issue, but that all depends on what belief you're holding due to faith. You could easily start justifying more and more outlandish and possibly dangerous beliefs on faith, since if you accept faith as a reasonable thing to excuse a belief, you could believe whatever you wanted and screw what the evidence says.

Here's the question I put to you;
Faith is belief without evidence. Faith is the acceptance of something as true without a good or rational reason.
Why, then, would you argue that faith is a virtue? Why believe something without a good reason?

Okay, so putting aside faith in God, what about the faith in the trustworthiness of a loved one? What about faith that when someone makes you a promise, they will keep it? You don't know for sure whether your loved one can be trusted until after the fact. You don't know for sure whether the promise will be kept until it has either kept or been broken.

But if you refuse to trust your loved one because you don't know whether you can trust them, if you refuse to make or accept any promises because you don't know they can or will be kept, you're going to look around one day and find yourself alone and friendless.

We all have a little trust in our lives, maybe not in God, but in something(s) or someone(s) else. Trust is belief without proof.

If A=X, and B=X, math and science tell us that A=B.

So I ask you: Is trust then a vice?

EDIT: I'm headed to bed now. I'll check in when I can tomorrow.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 02:07:25 AM by LostInTheMist »

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #110 on: March 22, 2017, 02:23:08 AM »
Okay, so putting aside faith in God, what about the faith in the trustworthiness of a loved one? What about faith that when someone makes you a promise, they will keep it? You don't know for sure whether your loved one can be trusted until after the fact. You don't know for sure whether the promise will be kept until it has either kept or been broken.

Ah, this is where you start getting into those tricksy word games that I mentioned earlier. Words have different definitions for different contexts, after all, and what people mean by "Faith in a loved one" isn't necessarily the same as what they mean when they say "Faith in God."

Faith has two main definitions:

1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

When speaking about religion, we're talking about Definition 2, which outright states "without proof."
When speaking about a Loved One, we're talking about Definition 1, where you may well have justification for your "Faith." EG, "I have faith that my brother will show up to bail me out of prison; he's never let me down before." In this context, it is entirely possible to trust somebody for good reason, them having earned it. In the context of religion, that faith is rarely based on anything of the sort.
Trying to conflate the two ignores the fact that words have different meanings...like I said in a previous post of mine.


We all have a little trust in our lives, maybe not in God, but in something(s) or someone(s) else. Trust is belief without proof.

No, it isn't. You can trust somebody based on past experience and future expectation. I trust my girlfriend because I know her. She has never hurt me before, she knows what it feels like to have trust betrayed, and I have no reason to doubt her sincerity when she tells me that she loves me. Therefore, I trust her. Can I be wrong? Absolutely. But I highly doubt you have the same level of direct experience with God.
Again. Words have different meanings in different contexts, and trying to conflate them is either simply ignorant or - at its worst - dishonest.


So I ask you: Is trust then a vice?

So I turn the question back on you.

Is Faith - the definition of faith I am talking about, in the context of religion rather than interpersonal connections - a virtue?

Because all you tried to do is dodge the question by playing with definitions. No.
Trust in your loved ones is not a vice, because you have a reason to trust them. It's a colloquial meaning of the word "Faith," and for the record, I personally don't use that word when talking about my loved ones. I always say "I trust you," and I have never once said "I have faith in you."

So I ask again. Is faith - using the contextual definition of "Belief using spiritual conviction rather than evidence in the context of religion" - a virtue?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #111 on: March 22, 2017, 02:31:53 AM »
All your examples are type two. Your girlfriend may well never hurt you, but you have no proof. Which, as you say, is a characteristic of definition two. I think you're finding word games where none exist.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #112 on: March 22, 2017, 02:36:09 AM »
All your examples are type two. Your girlfriend may well never hurt you, but you have no proof. Which, as you say, is a characteristic of definition two. I think you're finding word games where none exist.

No, I disagree. Partly because Definition 2 specifically says "Religious doctrine." But that's splitting hairs.
I can use past experience as evidence enough for future expectation. My girlfriend has never hurt me before, so it is reasonable to assume for the moment that she deserves my trust.

However, can you point to anything in the past that could show you that a God has been demonstrated to exist?

If not, then they're blatantly not the same thing. I can see, touch, taste, feel and smell my girlfriend. I have verifiable evidence that she exists, and that she has never hurt me in the past. I have no evidence available to me that she has betrayed my trust or lied to me in any meaningful way, so therefore I can assume for the time being that I can continue to trust her. If evidence comes to light that she has, indeed, betrayed my trust in some way then that trust will become more tentative. If i walked in on her fucking my best friend, then that would be pretty good evidence that I couldn't trust her, so I would therefore stop trusting her.

I think you're trying to conflate these two definitions, when they are very different circumstances.

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Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #113 on: March 22, 2017, 02:43:28 AM »
Lost in the mist has already provided an example. When he was travelling, he had an experience that he believes was from God. If he has more while praying, that will be strengthened. If he starts having that same experience whenever he eats a sandwich his belief that it was caused by God will be weakened.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #114 on: March 22, 2017, 02:45:19 AM »
Further (sorry, phone makes editing hard) you don't actually answer the challenge. You may have a justified belief but you have no proof which was my original objection.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #115 on: March 22, 2017, 02:52:02 AM »
Lost in the mist has already provided an example. When he was travelling, he had an experience that he believes was from God. If he has more while praying, that will be strengthened. If he starts having that same experience whenever he eats a sandwich his belief that it was caused by God will be weakened.

Except, no. I have evidence that the person who was there for me when I was vulnerable was, in fact, my girlfriend and that she is real. I can point to her and say "Here she is," and provide evidence that it was her who did the things that earned my trust.
Lost does not have evidence that his vision was provided by God, he doesn't have evidence that God even exists, and he has no evidence that praying caused the vision. Correlation does not equal causation, after all.

I have evidence that my girlfriend exists and that she is the one that is there for me if I need it. Lost has already admitted that he has no such evidence for his God.

Therefore, they use two different definitions of faith.

However.

I do not use "Faith" when I talk about my girlfriend. I use the word "Trust," because she has demonstrated herself to be trustworthy through her actions. Lost has Faith, because he has no evidence that it was a God who caused the visions, and believes it anyway. He has said as much.

So my trust in my girlfriend and his faith in God are two entirely different things, not least of all because I can demonstrate that my girlfriend actually exists and did the things that I am ascribing to her, unlike Lost.


Further (sorry, phone makes editing hard) you don't actually answer the challenge. You may have a justified belief but you have no proof which was my original objection.

Yes, I do. My proof that I can trust her is her previous actions demonstrating that she can be trusted. I have jumped up and down every day for the past five years, and every single time, I have come back down to Earth. Therefore, I have evidence enough to assume that if I were to jump up and down right now, I would still come down. Could I be wrong? absolutely! If, hypothetically, there is a God and he switched off Gravity, I would not come down. But until that happens, my belief is still justified by the available evidence.

Lost's, however, by his own admission is not.


Definition of Evidence:
"The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid."

My GF:
The proposition: My Girlfriend has demonstrated herself to be worthy of my trust.
Available Body of Facts: Her past actions.
Conclusion: Based on her past actions, the proposition is true. This conclusion is subject to change.

Lost's Vision:
The Proposition: His Vision was caused by God
Available Body of Facts: None pertaining to the cause of his vision.
Conclusion: God did it!


Therefore, the comparison of my trust in my GF and his faith in God is a false analogy.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 02:55:03 AM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #116 on: March 22, 2017, 03:01:13 AM »
Hmmmm. Answer is longer than I want to do on my phone. In brief it seems from what you've said that you're trying to claim a difference in kind between your belief in your girlfriend's fidelity and losts faith in God. I think your justification for doing that is exceptionally weak. Further, you still don't address the question of proof, merely talking more about evidence.  Why is it so hard to simply say "yes, there are some things I accept as true despite not being able to prove them." I think this is one of the major things that atheists do (and I'm in no way claiming that failures are one sided) to make dialogues like this fruitless. You don't have solid proof for everything and it's not the appropriate word for the reasons you have for every belief. A refusal to accept that just means the conversation stalls at this point.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #117 on: March 22, 2017, 03:11:27 AM »
I think your justification for doing that is exceptionally weak.

I think you're wrong. Ok, so, your word against mine. Why is it weak? What part of my reasoning is faulty or weak? That isn't meant to be aggressive, I am genuinely asking so that if you are correct, I can address it.


Further, you still don't address the question of proof, merely talking more about evidence.

I think you don't know what Proof actually means. The definition of Proof is:
"Evidence or argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement."

Oh look, I guess I HAVE been doing that all along. I've provided evidence, along with an argument for why I trust my girlfriend. Therefore, your request for Proof has been satisfied.


Why is it so hard to simply say "yes, there are some things I accept as true despite not being able to prove them."

Except I do have a reasonable degree of evidence and proof for trusting my girlfriend. I don't accept anything as true without some level of evidence or proof. Sometimes it's just as simple as "Well, people have dogs and there's no reason to lie about having a dog that I know about, so sure, I'll accept that you have a dog, assuming that no evidence of an deceit comes to light."
It's still "Proof," which is an argument supported by some evidence.


I think this is one of the major things that atheists do (and I'm in no way claiming that failures are one sided) to make dialogues like this fruitless. You don't have solid proof for everything and it's not the appropriate word for the reasons you have for every belief. A refusal to accept that just means the conversation stalls at this point.

Except "Atheist" just means "Disbelief in God." If you are trying to persuade somebody that God exists, then you have to demonstrate it to them. Pointing to something else and saying "But you accept that without evidence!" isn't evidence for your position, even if it is true. And just playing these word games, Kythia, is what drags the conversation to a halt. My initial question was "Why would you accept on Faith that these visions were caused by God?" I then answered why I trust my girlfriend with evidence and proof (Yes, I did, and no matter how many times you claim I didn't, by the definitions of the word I did), and yet my original question remains unanswered, with the thread instead being devoted to word games as you seemingly attempt to trip me up with definitions.

I am more than happy to say that I don't know. But when it comes to trusting my girlfriend, I have a reasonable, justified belief backed up by proof and evidence. You yourself said that I have a justified belief.
Ok. So.
What is the justification for concluding that Lost's vision came from God?


Whatever you say, Kythia, I have met your requests for evidence and proof, according to the definitions of the words.

Unless you have a different definition for the word "proof?" If so, please give it to me so I understand what you're asking for.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 03:12:32 AM by Vergil Tanner »

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Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #118 on: March 22, 2017, 06:52:46 AM »
That's nonsense Vergil and well you know it. You can't genuinely be equating evidence with proof. If so, I can predict lottery numbers. As proof I submit that a seven will be drawn on Saturday. If it is you have evidence towards my claim and by your logic therefore have proof of my claim. Further, if I pray to God that it rains tomorrow and it does you have proof of God. AND proof of evil space aliens who try to trick people in to thinking theres a god through their weather control ways. After all, you have evidence for both positions, despite them being mutually exclusive.

You can't seriously be claiming that a statement you have evidence for us proven. Surely.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #119 on: March 22, 2017, 07:43:35 AM »
That's nonsense Vergil and well you know it. You can't genuinely be equating evidence with proof. If so, I can predict lottery numbers. As proof I submit that a seven will be drawn on Saturday. If it is you have evidence towards my claim and by your logic therefore have proof of my claim. Further, if I pray to God that it rains tomorrow and it does you have proof of God. AND proof of evil space aliens who try to trick people in to thinking theres a god through their weather control ways. After all, you have evidence for both positions, despite them being mutually exclusive.

You can't seriously be claiming that a statement you have evidence for us proven. Surely.


Pardon my French, but you know full well that all of that is complete poppycock.

You don't know what "Proof" means.

Let's go through them.

Dictionary.com
1. evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth.
2. anything serving as such evidence:

Oxford Dictionary.
1. Mass Noun: Evidence or argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement.
‘you will be asked to give proof of your identity’
Count noun: ‘this is not a proof for the existence of God’

Merriam-Webster.
a :  the cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact
b :  the process or an instance of establishing the validity of a statement especially by derivation from other statements in accordance with principles of reasoning

The Free Dictionary.
1. The evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true.
2.
a. The validation of a proposition by application of specified rules, as of induction or deduction, to assumptions, axioms, and sequentially derived conclusions.
b. A statement or argument used in such a validation.
3.
a. Convincing or persuasive demonstration: was asked for proof of his identity; an employment history that was proof of her dependability.
b. The state of being convinced or persuaded by consideration of evidence.

The Business Dictionary.
1. General: Evidence that establishes existence or truth (or non-existence or untruth) of a fact to the satisfaction of an authority (such as a court) or according to the accepted standards.
[Skipping 2 since it covers alcohol]
3. Law: Evidence on which the determination of the judgment of a court case is based. Unlike a mathematical-proof (based on logical evidence) or scientific proof (based on empirical evidence), a legal proof is based on the credibility of a document or witness.

Cambridge Dictionary.
A fact or piece of information that shows that something exists or is true
[The others don't apply in this situation]

Vocabulary.com.
Proof is the evidence that shows something is true or valid. When you show the logical steps that take you from your hypothesis that the world is round to the conclusion that it is, you're formulating a proof.

Macmillan Dictionary.
1. [COUNTABLE/UNCOUNTABLE] information or evidence that shows that something is definitely true or definitely exists


If you disagree with these definitions and cannot give me either a definition or a source for your assertion that these definitions are incorrect, you have to accept that you are wrong.


You can't genuinely be equating evidence with proof.

Well, considering the definition of Proof involves the word "Evidence," and Proof and Evidence are listed as synonyms in some thesauruses...


If so, I can predict lottery numbers. As proof I submit that a seven will be drawn on Saturday. If it is you have evidence towards my claim and by your logic therefore have proof of my claim.

No, that is either a strawman, or a misunderstanding of what I am saying.
Since the Lottery is a random drawing, that does not constitute evidence. Each "Roll," as it were, is its own occurrence and previous occurrences have no influence on it because they are each their own independent instances in a random system. If, however, the seven was weighted to allow for greater chance of it turning up, then maybe you would have evidence that the 7 was more likely to come up.

My girlfriend, however, is not a completely isolated instance every time. She remains the same person, with the same cognitive functions and the same variables - personality, morals, etc etc - influencing her all the way through. She is not several independent coin flips unconnected from each other, she is the same "Instance" all the way through. Variables may change that make her cheating on me more or less likely, but past behaviour is as good an indicator of future behaviour as I am going to get without a TARDIS because she is the same "Instance" in the past as she will be in the future. My evidence is that she has proven to be trustworthy in the past, and since she is presumably the same person now as she was then, it is not unreasonable to deduce that she is trustworthy now, since no variables I am aware of have been changed. However, since the lottery numbers are separate, independent instances each time with no connection to each other, this is a horrible analogy and you well know it.


Further, if I pray to God that it rains tomorrow and it does you have proof of God. AND proof of evil space aliens who try to trick people in to thinking theres a god through their weather control ways. After all, you have evidence for both positions, despite them being mutually exclusive.

Poppycock. Causation does not equal causation. I have evidence that my girlfriend is the one who did not betray my confidence and my trust. Therefore, I have evidence that I can trust her with sensitive information. You have no evidence that you praying has a causal link to the rain. Again, a horrible analogy that doesn't apply.


You can't seriously be claiming that a statement you have evidence for us proven. Surely.

Surely you can't be claiming that you are wrong and the dictionary definition of the word is correct. Surely you can't seriously be claiming that proof does not require evidence when the dictionary says otherwise. Surely.
But for the record, no, I'm not. That is a strawman.
I am saying that a belief I have evidence for is more reasonable to hold than a belief that I have no evidence for. And I am saying that evidence is part of having proof, because what else would you build your argument on other than evidence?





Let me put it this way. This all stems from you both misunderstanding the definition of "Proof," and attempting to twist my words into false analogies. If you cannot accept that you are wrong about the definition of "Proof," and if you cannot see why your analogies aren't reasonable or accurate, there is no point in me continuing this discussion.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 07:54:56 AM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #120 on: March 22, 2017, 08:15:20 AM »
there is no point in me continuing this discussion.

No. I'm inclined to agree. Later.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #121 on: March 22, 2017, 08:33:33 AM »
Indeed. I mean it with absolutely no sarcasm whatsoever when I say that I hope you have a good day. :-)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 08:35:20 AM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline LostInTheMist

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #122 on: March 22, 2017, 08:38:00 AM »
As expected, I get up, and the inevitable has happened. I get told by an athiest that effectively, God can't possibly exist and I'm foolish for believing in him.

This is what gets under my skin when I talk with many atheists (and I had hoped you were different, but I now see that was a vain hope.) I don't understand why my faith is such a problem for you. Your lack of faith isn't a problem for me.

I find life is more fulfilling with a spiritual component that works in conjunction and without conflict with my belief in the scientific method. You don't believe you're missing anything by lacking a spiritual component. Both are perfectly valid opinions.

But you also assert that you can't believe in God and believe in Science, which is simply wrong. Since I can and do live a life as such and you haven't tried, I think my opinion on this scale does outweigh yours.

My opinion and beliefs are no less valid than yours, and yet you attempt to present them as such.

I have already conceded your primary point, that I don't have proof of the existence of God. I, however, DO have experiences that suggest to me that God does exist. But my evidence is not valid to you because it doesn't fit in with your world view. You have come in deciding that God cannot exist, and anything that suggests otherwise is automatically invalid.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #123 on: March 22, 2017, 08:56:02 AM »
As expected, I get up, and the inevitable has happened. I get told by an athiest that effectively, God can't possibly exist and I'm foolish for believing in him.

I'm sorry, but can you please point to where I said any such thing?
All I said was that you don't have evidence for him (which you have said) and I don't believe he exists. I never said and nor would I ever say that God can't possibly exist, or that you're an idiot or foolish for believing.
Seriously, if I have said that or accidentally implied it then please show me where and I will clarify that position. Because I certainly didn't intend to say or imply any such thing. I don't know if God exists or if it's possible for it to exist...all I know is that I haven't seen sufficient evidence for me to believe.


This is what gets under my skin when I talk with many atheists (and I had hoped you were different, but I now see that was a vain hope.) I don't understand why my faith is such a problem for you. Your lack of faith isn't a problem for me.

It isn't a problem for me. You posted your opinion on a thread titled "Ask an Atheist," and I analysed and questioned your beliefs. I never once said that they were wrong, just stated my opinion that I believe it's illogical to believe something without evidence. I think you're getting a touch overly defensive here. I never once attacked you personally, or called you any kind of name for believing as you do. I didn't seek you out and batter down your door. You came to an atheistic thread and posted your opinions. Did you not expect for them to be questioned and challenged?


I find life is more fulfilling with a spiritual component that works in conjunction and without conflict with my belief in the scientific method. You don't believe you're missing anything by lacking a spiritual component. Both are perfectly valid opinions.

Cool. I don't care. I just like these debates, and if there is a good reason to believe in God, I would like to hear it. As I've already said; I want to believe as many true and as few false things as possible. God included.


But you also assert that you can't believe in God and believe in Science, which is simply wrong. Since I can and do live a life as such and you haven't tried, I think my opinion on this scale does outweigh yours.

I never said any such thing. I said that employing the scientific method for everything except one thing leads to cognitive dissonance. I would never state that you can't believe in God and be a scientist, since that is objectively, demonstrably incorrect. I think that you're massively misunderstanding my position here.


My opinion and beliefs are no less valid than yours, and yet you attempt to present them as such.

Eeeeh, validity is a difficult thing. But I will state that I have only questioned your beliefs and your reasons to believe because I wish to understand, and raised objections to your train of thought. That is not stating that yours is less "valid," just that I disagree. Disagreement is not the same as invalidating your opinion. Criticism of the idea is not criticism of the person.


I have already conceded your primary point, that I don't have proof of the existence of God. I, however, DO have experiences that suggest to me that God does exist. But my evidence is not valid to you because it doesn't fit in with your world view.

No, it isn't valid to me because you cannot demonstrate to me that the cause was God, or that the experience even happened (from my point of view; I'm not saying you didn't experience it, just that for all I know, you could be making it up hypothetically speaking).


You have come in deciding that God cannot exist, and anything that suggests otherwise is automatically invalid.

No.

No no no.

No no no no no.

No no no no no no no.

No no no no no no no no no.

Should I add any more No's?

I have never once said that God is impossible. Please, direct me to the part of any of my posts where I said that God was impossible. I have never, nor will ever say that, because I don't know. I've said that you don't have good enough evidence to convince me, yes, but that isn't the same as saying that you are wrong or that your proposition is impossible. So please, do not presume to tell me my position on the issue.

I will outline my position right here and now:

I am an Agnostic Atheist.

That is, when somebody says "Some God Exists," I say "I do not believe you, can I see your evidence?" As of yet, nobody has shown me evidence that God exists, so I do not believe in his/her/their existence.
However, when somebody says "No Gods Exist," I say "I do not believe you; how can you know that? Can I see your evidence?" Nobody has demonstrated to me that no gods could possibly exist, so I do not positively believe that no Gods exist or can exist. I am an atheist because I do not accept the existence of God, but nor do I automatically assume the opposite to be correct.

Think of it this way;

There is a gumball jar, filled with gumballs. The number inside it is either Even (God) or Odd (Not God). You say "The number of Gumballs is Even." I say "I don't believe you."Does that mean I automatically believe that the number of Gumballs is odd? Of course not.

I have never once said that no gods could possibly exist. And if you have inferred that, then you were mistaken, because I never intentionally implied any such thing.

Offline Mathim

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #124 on: March 26, 2017, 06:00:51 PM »
I think if nothing else, from this page's conversation, it can safely be said that despite all the protestations, there is a negative consequence to irrational faith, and that is (at a minimum) how it affects a person's ability to be intellectually honest with themselves and others. I've seen nothing but word games and false accusations being tossed around by one side and it's genuinely troubling. This is why I can't accept that faith can truly be completely benign. I'd be open to evidence to the contrary of course, but really, what reason is there to think there is or ever will be any?

Verg, man, you are a trooper. Props. You've got the patience of a saint, pun most definitely intended.

I offer a counter-proposal to the idea that the mere belief in god is a good thing even if there is a conscious acknowledgment that it isn't necessarily so or whether it even matters in the end if it is true: Why not emancipate ourselves from this superstition and strengthen ourselves emotionally and intellectually instead of regressing to the easiest possible solution available to the lowest common denominator? It's basically the difference between actually treating a wound and merely putting a band-aid on it. You're not actually getting rid of the problem otherwise, just trying to suppress the symptoms but at the same time falling prey to new, potentially worse ones.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 07:50:15 PM by Mathim »