Prove to me that your God exists.

  • #1025
    if any religion was the one true religion then it would come naturally. a person could grow up on a deserted island with no outside influence and naturally know who Jesus or Mohammed is.

    that obviously can't happen so all religious belief is the result of humans putting it into your brain. not a god.
  • #1027
    Quote from Zaggank

    Quote from phoulmouth

    It is almost like you are saying religion is required for a moral society. Yet some of the most immoral people in our human history were themselves Popes. How moral of a world does religion create when more blood has been shed for religious beliefs than any other reason? One single Pope was responsible for the loss of more lives than Hitler and the entire 3rd Reich. Another Pope even told Hitler how he should kill all non catholic minorities and burn their corpses so they can't be reborn. This is information the Vatican itself will tell people. This is facts disclosed by the Vatican itself. I don't see how anyone could equate the existence of religion to the existence of a moral society.


    Again, a man claiming to know "the will of God" doesn't mean he does so. I can claim to know what goes on 10 billion light years away in real time, as I can claim to have full knowledge of anything immeasurable or capable of being evaluated via our current equipment. That doesn't mean, of course, that I am not lying and using a position of power to fuel other agendas.


    Yet the Pope is voted on by other cardinals as a way for these "men who do the will of god" to elect a leader that god wants.

    Also, I did mention I denounced the Catholic Church, so using the Vatican as a source of arguments in light of that would seem somewhat pointless, wouldn't you agree?


    Not at all since the Vatican is proclaimed as being the most holy of organizations working in Gods name and all that.

    Resuming your question, where did I state that religion is the one true way to attain social balance? Expanding on that even further, why would you care about what drives an action if said action is benign, only to refute the cause behind that?


    As I said, "it seems like". And you have yet to say anything that changes that.

    You see, slowly this discussion, even though it is remarkably civilised for an internet forum, for which the participants are to be commended, becomes not a debate, but an atheist attempting to convince me of the inexistence of deity as opposed to accepting that my point of view differs from theirs in spite of the apparent similarities regarding moral code . Not so long ago, and for quite a few centuries, it was the other way round, although the methods of persuasion were far more... extreme.


    I have no interest in persuading you away from your beliefs. This is one of those things that annoys me like crazy. Because I am trying to talk about religion, you knowing I do not believe in a God, you automatically think I care to change your mind. Not the case at all. I do not care if you need to believe in a God in order to get on with your daily existence, that does not effect my life at all. But yeah, if I acted as the "church" used to I would have you hogtied, tortured, and burned while forcing you to say what I want you to say instead of what you mean. Thank god we live in a more civilized world that is no longer controlled by the "church". :)

    You draw conclusions from my posts that are rather black vs. white, without acknowledging the existence of grey, or so it appears - when I speak of the maladies of human social behaviour and how the principles that seem so basic that a 5-year old should be able to embrace, I speak of human condition as a whole, addressing the very specific point of "that is common sense" - it should be, yes, but events continue to show us that it isn't so.


    Well that's not exactly how your previous post which I quoted sounded. As I said, again, "it seemed like you were saying a moral society wouldn't exist without religion". I do not state that that is factually what you meant. Please, I do not want to sound rude, but read my words, don't interpret them.

    You're addressing a man that refuses to accept that a man who acts in an effort to aid, to be fair and ethical HAS to do so because of religion, and that was a point of discord as I can't possibly agree that the random person that excelled as an example of humanity will be punished in some sadistic, eternal afterlife by not professing a creed in divinity. It's almost as if, as was humorously depicted a few posts ago, we're playing the religious roulette. :P


    That is fine, and I 100% agree with you. Just it is easy to read your previous post from an atheistic point of view and see that it sounded like you were saying something different from this statement here. I think you will agree that a lot of religious people do think that without religion society would be full of bloodthirsty evil people killing, raping, stealing, and pillaging for shits and giggles. Okay, maybe that is stated a little too strong, but I think you get the idea. I personally do not understand how people could think that if there was no religion people would not try to be good to each other in hope that the kindness would be returned. Thinking we need religion for that is an extremely pessimistic view of the human condition.

    In short, you misunderstand my point of view, and take it for something rather one dimensional and fundamentalistic, which it is not. :)


    I did and I do apologize for that. I am glad to see that a religious man and an extreme athiest can come to an agreement and treat each other with civility on an internet forum.
  • #1028
    Quote from phoulmouth

    I am glad to see that a religious man and an extreme athiest can come to an agreement and treat each other with civility on an internet forum.


    I think I mentioned this before, but I think that this thread is remarkably civilised, considering the topic at hand, and how easy it is to enter the whole black vs. white debate. :)
  • #1029
    Quote from Zaggank

    Quote from phoulmouth

    I am glad to see that a religious man and an extreme athiest can come to an agreement and treat each other with civility on an internet forum.


    I think I mentioned this before, but I think that this thread is remarkably civilised, considering the topic at hand, and how easy it is to enter the whole black vs. white debate. :)


    Most of the insane people who would blow this thread to pieces don't play video games named after the devil. :)
  • #1030
    Recently, I heard a take on faith I had never heard before. Being the engineer student that I am, I translated it to math, and it sounded very reasonable.

    Faith = limit when risk tends to infinity of trust.

    Basically, when you take risks, you trust that everything go well. For decisions with little risk, like crossing the street, you put your trust in ordinary things, like your eyesight. As the risk grows, like when quitting a job, you have to put your trust in less tangible stuff: your ability to get a new job, that the economy won't collapse, etc. However, when the risk tends to infinity, there's nothing "wordly" that can guarantee that things will go well. That's when god comes in, it/(s)he is the recipient of someone's trust, when the risks of his actions or decisions tends to infinity.

    I don't parcticularlly adhere to this belief, but I thought it was a refreshing way to describe faith.
  • #1031
    Quote from proletaria

    Quote from Zaggank

    Quote from phoulmouth

    I am glad to see that a religious man and an extreme athiest can come to an agreement and treat each other with civility on an internet forum.


    I think I mentioned this before, but I think that this thread is remarkably civilised, considering the topic at hand, and how easy it is to enter the whole black vs. white debate. :)


    Most of the insane people who would blow this thread to pieces don't play video games named after the devil. :)


    LMFAO so true!
  • #1032
    This may have been brought up in 50 pages and I didn't want to get into this. Then I read this and I was interested in the difference of definitions we had.

    Quote from proletaria
    1. Atheists do not maintain there is no god, they maintain there has never been convincing evidence for a god. While this distinction seems flippant, it is not. The former is a claim that would make atheists no more rational than a strident theist.


    I always thought this was the definition of agnostic from what I have heard from people (they always tell me that's what I am when I talk about religion).

    Wiki's for each seem to reflect that as well. They say agnostics feel there's no evidence either way and atheist is of the position that there is no god.
  • #1033

    1. Atheists do not maintain there is no god, they maintain there has never been convincing evidence for a god. While this distinction seems flippant, it is not. The former is a claim that would make atheists no more rational than a strident theist.


    No, that's agnostic.
  • #1034
    Quote from lorien1973


    1. Atheists do not maintain there is no god, they maintain there has never been convincing evidence for a god. While this distinction seems flippant, it is not. The former is a claim that would make atheists no more rational than a strident theist.


    No, that's agnostic.


    From wikipedia:

    Quote from »
    Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable"


    You cannot simply gloss over the difference between having been presented no evidence and simply considering something "unknowable." An atheist SHOULD BE adamantly rational and unwilling to simply submit there is a limit to human knowledge.

    Wikipedia's definition of Atheism; however, is easily misinterpreted.

    Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities


    What should be mentioned here, or at least understood, is that the rejection of BELIEF is foremost and the rejection of DEITIES denotes a rejection of god figures and concepts which are empirically false (ie. the Judeo-Christian god). In the view of the atheist, the universe as we know it functions without such an entity and there is no reason to suppose it exists since the evidence is not there. We do not simply shut our eyes to future knowledge and say "there can be no such thing," but rather we suggest "none of those things you've made up are evident," and we therefor find the concept to have no meaning.

    If we were to arbitrarily name anything outside of reality (something that doesn't make much sense in and of itself) "god," it would not fit any definition of the word. A god which has no connection what-so-ever with empirical reality is not a god. Even if it were, there would be no way of knowing about it because it would be absolutely divorced from the reality we inhabit. If there were empirical evidence for some kind of god (befitting the connotations of the word), it would render atheism null and void because no belief would be required in order to know that a deity existed.

    Atheists are often lampooned for having a belief of their own (there must be no god), but that is not true of a learned atheist. The group making up a belief of their own is actually the agnostics. Their supposition that mankind can never gain the knowledge necessary to confirm or refute the existence of a "god," or "gods," makes them irrational believers in their own right.

    TL;DR: Atheism is the rejection of belief. The statement that we reject "belief in deities," is redundant and misleading.
  • #1035
    I just read through this whole thread, it took me two days of not so productive work time.

    At the start of this thread i would have labelled my self a god denier (someone who denies the existence of any god or higher power), but after some careful and well thought out posts made by Proletaria, I now consider myself an atheist (the same stance as Proletaria to avoid confusion and misinterpretation).

    I just wanted to thank everyone for having this discussion, it was a real eye opener into the minds and psych of many religious positions.

    I can't believe how short sighted i was in believing that there was absolutely no possibility for any sort of god. How can i make such an illogical step without considering why?

    I think if you are to take anything away from reading this thread, it is to question why you believe what you believe. Was it a logical conclusion? How can I know there is no god if there is no proof? How can i assume there is a god if we have no (empirical) proof? Why do I need to take a stance on either side of the fence? It really is OK to not know, and accept that.

    I just wanted to let you to know Proletaria, that your thread had it's desired effect. Even if you were more or less aiming for someone on the other side of the fence.

    Thank you.
  • #1036
    Here is my proof. You want a cookie, she gets you a cookie.
    The rest are wanna be gods.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7WcbbRJSEc
  • #1037
    Quote from Hazy

    I just wanted to let you to know Proletaria, that your thread had it's desired effect. Even if you were more or less aiming for someone on the other side of the fence.

    Thank you.


    Thank you for taking the time to share your epiphany (ah, sweet ironic verbiage) with us. It's refreshing to see someone sift through the veritable mountain of debate here and get the point, nail on head. Kudoz to you sir.
  • #1038
    Quote from proletaria
    Wikipedia's definition of Atheism; however, is easily misinterpreted.

    Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities


    What should be mentioned here, or at least understood, is that the rejection of BELIEF is foremost and the rejection of DEITIES denotes a rejection of god figures and concepts which are empirically false (ie. the Judeo-Christian god). In the view of the atheist, the universe as we know it functions without such an entity and there is no reason to suppose it exists since the evidence is not there. We do not simply shut our eyes to future knowledge and say "there can be no such thing," but rather we suggest "none of those things you've made up are evident," and we therefor find the concept to have no meaning.

    If we were to arbitrarily name anything outside of reality (something that doesn't make much sense in and of itself) "god," it would not fit any definition of the word. A god which has no connection what-so-ever with empirical reality is not a god. Even if it were, there would be no way of knowing about it because it would be absolutely divorced from the reality we inhabit. If there were empirical evidence for some kind of god (befitting the connotations of the word), it would render atheism null and void because no belief would be required in order to know that a deity existed.

    Atheists are often lampooned for having a belief of their own (there must be no god), but that is not true of a learned atheist. The group making up a belief of their own is actually the agnostics. Their supposition that mankind can never gain the knowledge necessary to confirm or refute the existence of a "god," or "gods," makes them irrational believers in their own right.

    TL;DR: Atheism is the rejection of belief. The statement that we reject "belief in deities," is redundant and misleading.


    Isn't Atheism the lack/rejection of belief in deities, hence a-theism? If it isn't deities, what are we rejecting? Would you suggest the term Atheist to reject a belief that Elvis lives?

    I'm not being a smartass. I honestly don't understand. You say that Atheism is just a rejection of belief, then go on as to what constitutes godhood. Then you end saying that Atheism is a rejection of beliefs. Perhaps I am simply misunderstanding a simple concept, and considering its 4:15AM right now that is very possible, but I honestly don't understand what you are trying to say here.

    Anyway, I view Atheism as a rejection of the idea of deities. Personally, I think it's impossible to define it for all Atheists, as it's such a wide-reaching term.

    Quote from wowaccounttom

    Here is my proof. You want a cookie, she gets you a cookie.
    The rest are wanna be gods.



    I'll let George Carlin rebuttle this:

    "Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the Resume of a Supreme Being, This is the kind of shit you'd expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would've been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say 'this guy' because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a god, it has to be a man.

    No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he's at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn't give a shit. Doesn't give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results."

    For a video of it, click here. Skip to about the 2 minute mark.
  • #1039
    Quote from LinkX

    Isn't Atheism the lack/rejection of belief in deities, hence a-theism? If it isn't deities, what are we rejecting? Would you suggest the term Atheist to reject a belief that Elvis lives?


    We are rejecting the ideas put forward by theists as they are demonstrably false. Elvis isn't a proposed deity, so that wouldn't follow. My concern is that A-theism is misrepresented as A-deism. One is certain and the other is probable, but not entirely certain.

    Quote from LinkX

    Anyway, I view Atheism as a rejection of the idea of deities. Personally, I think it's impossible to define it for all Atheists, as it's such a wide-reaching term.


    Theists hold a view of gods which are active and order the physical reality we can see and feel. It is easy to disprove them because every time we explain physical phenomena, their god recedes further into the necessary "god of the gaps," position. Rejecting the theist god is easy because it is nothing more than rational. Don't reject reality and substitute the god and you're already an atheist.

    However, the deist god is not so easily dismissed. It need not interact with the universe at all. It's just a celestial tea-pot in another dimension. We need not suppose it to exist, but we need not refute it either. As I see it, a deist god is completely inconsequential.

    So when it comes down to it the rejection is not of a deity (although we must reject theist deities), but of theism.
  • #1040
    Quote from proletaria

    Quote from LinkX

    Isn't Atheism the lack/rejection of belief in deities, hence a-theism? If it isn't deities, what are we rejecting? Would you suggest the term Atheist to reject a belief that Elvis lives?


    We are rejecting the ideas put forward by theists as they are demonstrably false. Elvis isn't a proposed deity, so that wouldn't follow. My concern is that A-theism is misrepresented as A-deism. One is certain and the other is probable, but not entirely certain.


    Well obviously we reject the theistic deity rather then the deistic deity, otherwise we would be adeists. (Does such a group exist? Now I'm curious! :P Lol.)

    Anyway, I am just pointing out that the Wikipedia article is correct, as it's a specific belief we reject rather then generic belief.

    Quote from proletaria
    Quote from LinkX

    Anyway, I view Atheism as a rejection of the idea of deities. Personally, I think it's impossible to define it for all Atheists, as it's such a wide-reaching term.


    Theists hold a view of gods which are active and order the physical reality we can see and feel. It is easy to disprove them because every time we explain physical phenomena, their god recedes further into the necessary "god of the gaps," position. Rejecting the theist god is easy because it is nothing more than rational. Don't reject reality and substitute the god and you're already an atheist.

    However, the deist god is not so easily dismissed. It need not interact with the universe at all. It's just a celestial tea-pot in another dimension. We need not suppose it to exist, but we need not refute it either. As I see it, a deist god is completely inconsequential.

    So when it comes down to it the rejection is not of a deity (although we must reject theist deities), but of theism.


    Obviously there is the basic "We do not believe that theistic deities exist." stance that defines the umbrella term of Atheist, but, from what I've seen, just like with Christianity's denominations and Islam's sects, Atheism also has many views that fall under the term Atheist. I'm not saying that a religious person could be classified as an Atheist, just that there are many views that fall under the title Atheist.

    As for the god of the gaps, according to the pope evolution is true. This means no Adam and Eve, which means no original sin, which means no need for Jesus to come and save us all from said original sin, which means no need for Christianity. >.> That's one helluva gap... Lol!
  • #1041
    Quote from LinkX

    Well obviously we reject the theistic deity rather then the deistic deity, otherwise we would be adeists. (Does such a group exist? Now I'm curious! :P Lol.)


    That was the point being made, although I attempted to couch it in more abstract terms befitting the larger discussion and addressing the misinformation about atheism. I may have been too abstract, in hindsight, but I think the subject matter can be easily misconstrued so I went the extra complex mile.


    Quote from LinkX

    Obviously there is the basic "We do not believe that theistic deities exist." stance that defines the umbrella term of Atheist, but, from what I've seen, just like with Christianity's denominations and Islam's sects, Atheism also has many views that fall under the term Atheist. I'm not saying that a religious person could be classified as an Atheist, just that there are many views that fall under the title Atheist.


    I think there are Buddhist atheists (claimants at least, since to the best of my knowledge Buddhism is predicated on some marginally theistic Hindu precepts) and I would agree there are some divisions within the atheist community. My point was simply that we must necessarily agree on the rejection of theology as illogical and the further rejection of deism is unnecessary and (in my opinion) an irrational excess.

    Quote from LinkX

    As for the god of the gaps, according to the pope evolution is true. This means no Adam and Eve, which means no original sin, which means no need for Jesus to come and save us all from said original sin, which means no need for Christianity. >.> That's one helluva gap... Lol!


    It is amusing to see the contortions theists will go through to maintain the gaps they still have. Each one proven to be false pushes them into ever-more-awkward positions. But the juxtaposition I was entertaining here was again to demonstrate just how easily refuted the theist is in contrast to the deist.

    Personally, I find deism to be quite meaningless. If one is to simply suppose a thing entirely outside reality and having no connection what-so-ever with reality; that thing simply has no meaning. Were a deity to be discovered, it would render us some kind of empirical theism. If a deity is never discovered, atheism continues to be the default rational viewpoint. Deism, much like agnosticism, simply takes a bit of rationality from one camp and dilutes it with a drop of irrationality from another.
  • #1042
    Quote from inuuuyheyy »

    It's not the creator of the universe, it's the characteristic of its existance. It's also the answer to those kind of questions the science will never be able to answer (I think the correct term is metaphysics.) Why is the universe made out of atoms (or whatever it is actually made of)? Why is the speed of light 300k m/s, and not some other random number? Why does gravity, or even mass exist? Why does energy and monumentum conserve? God is all those answers. It all seems so random.


    Implying an infinitely complex creator doesn't answer any of those questions.

    It should suffice to learn more about gravity, mass, energy, etc. Using "why," to allow for metaphysics (a non-useful art of conjecture based on mythology and cultural bias) does not add anything to the conversation. If it is ever possible to answer some of those questions (saying they simply cannot be answered ever is a statement of belief), great. If not, we can still look forward to knowing much more about the universe.
  • #1043
    Quote from LinkX

    As for the god of the gaps, according to the pope evolution is true. This means no Adam and Eve, which means no original sin, which means no need for Jesus to come and save us all from said original sin, which means no need for Christianity. >.> That's one helluva gap... Lol!


    Well in this instance you're assuming us to take the old testament word for word exactly as it came to us(which its not). It's not that Adam and Eve were the actual first humans (they could've been bob and jill, or abugala and frugala), nor is "original sin" taken to be a special sin done by the first peoples that damned us all; It is all representation of a truth. There was originally a man and a woman. At one point there was one man and one woman, simple as that. Original sin is just that the original sin it is meant to be taken as just a sin that started more sinning, but in reality we know that all it really was, was the first sin. In turn we must be saved from sin which is where Jesus comes in to save us. His job as gods son was to show us how to be a better human and he did so by dying for what he believed in and was, and he spread the word and helped the sick and whomever he could.

    Evolution disproves absolutely none of the points you made, in fact it just assert that the bible is a representation of moral living. Really it's a tool for living peacefully, although I know you'll say the crusades and the numerous wars started over the damned thing, but nevertheless its purpose is to be a moral compass if you will.

    I'm not saying Christianity is the end all be all and you have to be christian otherwise you're a damned fool just like i don't suspect you say that all Christians should be atheists and we're damned fools. Believe what you want to believe, but understand who you're fighting against here. We really do believe in a God that allows us to do as we please and the interventions of god really weren't meant to be literal besides Jesus. We're more deist than theist. At least most normal Christians. There are those who take the bible word for word, which is incomprehensible but whatever.
    Not even Death will save you from Diablo Bunny's Cuteness!


  • #1044
    Quote from Enty

    Well in this instance you're assuming us to take the old testament word for word exactly as it came to us(which its not). It's not that Adam and Eve were the actual first humans (they could've been bob and jill, or abugala and frugala), nor is "original sin" taken to be a special sin done by the first peoples that damned us all; It is all representation of a truth.


    Considering the biblical account makes no caveats saying "this isn't meant to be literal," and that a great number of religious adherents do seem to believe it to be literal for that reason, I fail to see the point of making that case. Furthermore, the concept of original sin is nothing of the sort. Truth being the polar opposite of a completely mythical and entirely non-evidential claim.

    Quote from Enty

    There was originally a man and a woman. At one point there was one man and one woman, simple as that.


    Originally there were a group of human ancestor primates who began evolving in the direction of what we now refer to as homo sapiens sapiens. There was not a single progenitor pair, but rather a population seeded by many individuals which developed into the human form we see today. Using such a fallacious assumption as the pretense for an argument is a bad idea.

    Quote from Enty

    Original sin is just that the original sin it is meant to be taken as just a sin that started more sinning, but in reality we know that all it really was, was the first sin. In turn we must be saved from sin which is where Jesus comes in to save us. His job as gods son was to show us how to be a better human and he did so by dying for what he believed in and was, and he spread the word and helped the sick and whomever he could.


    Original sin is simply the concept that people are born as sinners and there is no amount of right action possible to make a non-believer a good person. In point of fact, most Christians (the Catholics still retain their position as the largest denomination) do not even believe that Jesus has abolished original sin. One must grovel and praise the divine each day, receive the sacraments (one of which is to give a generous portion of your income to the church), and believe the nonsense before they are "saved."

    If there is a notion of generosity being implied here, I certainly do not see it. The book says that you are sick and offers you a cure to that sickness; however, in the absence of that book you could (and for the 100k+ years humanity existed prior to the founding of monotheism, people did) live a positive and fulfilled life without this concept.

    Quote from Enty

    Evolution disproves absolutely none of the points you made, in fact it just assert that the bible is a representation of moral living. Really it's a tool for living peacefully, although I know you'll say the crusades and the numerous wars started over the damned thing, but nevertheless its purpose is to be a moral compass if you will.


    Evolution disproves 100% of the creation accounts in the bible. Furthermore the book has no claim what so ever on morality. Yes, there are peaceful and progressive notions there-in, but there are also commandments to racial violence (the tribe of israel slaughtering it's neighbors), slavery (even found in the new testament where Paul commands slaves to serve their Christian masters especially well), and all manner of other disgusting amoral practices. The true compass of morality is within the human being reading the bible, not the bible itself. Our social primate instincts are highly developed and precisely what we use in the modern day to condemn a sadistic biblical literalist who wants to murder his neighbor for working on the Sabbath.

    Quote from Enty

    I'm not saying Christianity is the end all be all and you have to be christian otherwise you're a damned fool just like i don't suspect you say that all Christians should be atheists and we're damned fools. Believe what you want to believe, but understand who you're fighting against here. We really do believe in a God that allows us to do as we please and the interventions of god really weren't meant to be literal besides Jesus. We're more deist than theist. At least most normal Christians. There are those who take the bible word for word, which is incomprehensible but whatever.


    If you don't believe that Christianity is the one true faith, you are not entirely christian, for that is one of the precepts within the biblical text of the new testament. You are of course free to some kind of mix-match, non-literal, neo-liberal interpretations of scripture if that is what you fancy, but if you do so there is absolutely no reason to claim a single word of it has literal truth or special meaning. If you want to be a deist, fine. I have no way of disproving the god concept of deism, nor does anyone else. Just realize two things about the position of a deist, if that is truely the position you take:

    1. The bible means absolutely nothing in any other context than literature. There is no godly truth therein because as a deist, your god is not present in the existential universe and has never interacted in the affairs therein. The personal god is the god of a theist.

    2. A deist is just as much an atheist (without theism) in regards to Christianity as a regular atheist like myself who doesn't bother to suppose a singularity or first cause and name it "god." If you want to characterize our position as being different in any meaningful way other than that, once again, you will find that your position is that of a theist.

    For the life of me I can't understand the point you were making, but I hope this helps you better identify (or perhaps clarify) your own position on the matter of deism. You seem to be dangerously close to completely shedding the chains of religion and thinking for yourself. :)
  • #1045
    Ok. Like Hazy I'm new to this thread, but I'm to lazy to read the whole thing. I read the first 2 pages and the last 2 pages, hopefully that gives me sufficient context (I'm going off on a tangent anyway).

    First, by the definitions given, I'm an atheist (although I tend to say I'm an agnostic because most people I know tend to think atheist means you believe there is no god (not a lack of evidence)).

    Now, I may be playing devil's advocate a little here (an amusing phrase in this context).

    I think the argument shouldn't be about whether or not there is sufficient proof that god exists. From my experience (and reading this thread) most people agree there isn't. The difference is some people choose to believe despite a lack of proof. So here is my question: is there a rational explanation for "faith" by which I mean belief in something without sufficient proof.

    As an atheist, I don't have "faith". But that doesn't mean I believe everyone who does is irrational.

    I propose that an individual can benefit (in say happiness, or quality of life) from a belief in god. The individual is comforted by the knowledge of an afterlife, a higher power watching over them, belonging to a larger organization, etc. So if you are capable of having "faith", it might be a good idea. However, no one can consciously choose to believe something. For this to work, you have to deny any such logical explanation for your "faith". So you proclaim that your "faith" needs no justification, or build elaborate explanations.

    Now, I definitely don't claim all (or even any) theists make this choice consciously. I realize that I'm kind of implying theists must be lying to themselves, and that isn't really my intent. This is just one example, and if a theist would like to provide their own justification for "faith", I would love to hear it.

    My point is that choosing to believe without evidence (have "faith") can be just as valid and beneficial a choice as choosing to only believe as much as we have evidence for. In fact, given the benefits of "faith" (with the right choice of what to believe, you can almost completely eliminate any drawbacks), one might say the atheists who are unable to convince themselves to have "faith" are the real losers, despite their (stereotypical) opinion that they are somehow above the "ignorant" religious masses.
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