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Beyond Atheism


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There Is No God

by Penn Jillette

 

November 21, 2005 ·

I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy -- you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do. You can't prove that there isn't an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word "elephant" includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?

 

So, anyone with a love for truth outside of herself has to start with no belief in God and then look for evidence of God. She needs to search for some objective evidence of a supernatural power. All the people I write e-mails to often are still stuck at this searching stage. The atheism part is easy.

 

But, this "This I Believe" thing seems to demand something more personal, some leap of faith that helps one see life's big picture, some rules to live by. So, I'm saying, "This I believe: I believe there is no God."

 

Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I'm not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it's everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I'm raising now is enough that I don't need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.

 

Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

 

Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.

 

Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future.

 

Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.

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Great post, T.

 

Penn tells it like it is. I couldn't agree more.

 

I get tired of all of the posts by believers in imaginary friends (even some here who aren't fundies, but act like some form of deism is still a superior position to outright atheism)

 

No amount of wishing or hopefulness or belief can make god real.

 

Enjoy life. Live it fully. Be happy.

 

Like Penn says. That's enough.

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Great post, T.

 

Penn tells it like it is. I couldn't agree more.

 

I get tired of all of the posts by believers in imaginary friends (even some here who aren't fundies, but act like some form of deism is still a superior position to outright atheism)

 

No amount of wishing or hopefulness or belief can make god real.

 

Enjoy life. Live it fully. Be happy.

 

Like Penn says. That's enough.

 

That being said no amount of wishing or hopefulness or belief can make God not real. It is what it is. Someone is right and someone is wrong.

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That being said no amount of wishing or hopefulness or belief can make God not real.

 

 

Let me fix that for you.

 

That being said no amount of wishing or hopefulness or belief can make God real.

 

There ya go.

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Let me fix that for you.

 

That being said no amount of wishing or hopefulness or belief can make God real.

 

There ya go.

Gee that was cool! Let me fix it again! This is fun. :lmao:

 

That being said no amount of wishing or hopefulness or belief can make God not real.

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That being said no amount of wishing or hopefulness or belief can make God not real.

 

Zero, the actual existence of invisible, magical beings, be they gods, leprechauns, demons, angels, jinn, etc. has never been demonstrated to be factual. Until the existence of a god is demonstrated in an objective, empirical manner, there is no reason to extend belief that this invisible, magical being exists anymore than to extend belief that leprechuans exist.

 

Belief in invisible, magical beings is not reasonable. It is not reasonable to conclude leprechauns exist. Likewise, it is not reasonable to conclude that any god exists. The problems of no proof as to their existence and the logical problems inherent in the concepts of them existing makes lack of belief the default position.

 

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.", -Stephen F Roberts

 

 

Bruce

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It is not reasonable to conclude leprechauns exist.

 

And no amount of wishing and hopefulness or belief will ever make them real.

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That being said no amount of wishing or hopefulness or belief can make God not real.

 

Zero, the actual existence of invisible, magical beings, be they gods, leprechauns, demons, angels, jinn, etc. has never been demonstrated to be factual. Until the existence of a god is demonstrated in an objective, empirical manner, there is no reason to extend belief that this invisible, magical being exists anymore than to extend belief that leprechuans exist.

 

Belief in invisible, magical beings is not reasonable. It is not reasonable to conclude leprechauns exist. Likewise, it is not reasonable to conclude that any god exists. The problems of no proof as to their existence and the logical problems inherent in the concepts of them existing makes lack of belief the default position.

 

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.", -Stephen F Roberts

 

 

Bruce

 

Well faith does not require proof at all. I would also say that simply having creation is evidence of a creator. As well as "Reason" can be alot different for alot of different people you encounter.

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Well faith does not require proof at all.

That doesn't make it any more reasonable or any less retarded.

Faith in god is on the same level as faith in unicorns, leprechaun, fairies, and mickey mouse.

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Well I guess we can agree to disagree then. You keep your faith in god, I keep my faith in peter pan, and everyone's happy

 

Cool, I hear you don't age in Never Never land. :grin: Enjoy!

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Zero,

 

Do you believe small normally invisible, magical Irish leprechauns exist? If not, why not? Does faith in them existing validate the reality of them existing? If not, then how is that differentiated from belief in your particular, normally invisible, magical being?

 

No one here is saying "faith requires proof". What we are saying is that is faith reasonable? Perhaps you missed the subtle point that if you are going to make an extraordinary claim such as:

  • Yahweh exists
  • Zues exists
  • Leprechauns exist

You best have substantial validation to demonstrate the existence of that claim, if you want others to share it.

 

Zero, let me ask you what I ask all Christians who come here. Why are you here? You believe in an invisible, magical being that is also the same person as his own invisible, magical father and by definition, we as ExChristians do not. Do you expect us to simply agree with your faith being valid?

 

Bruce

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It seems that he is an atheist to the God he describes here:

 

"...omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force..."

 

Cool, but is that the only "God" that people think either exists or doesn't? Surely not. Can one believe that there is something, but really understand that they can't possibly ever know what it is?

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I am here for mostly fun and to see what you guys are all about. I don't expect you to believe anything I say. I am in the Christian faith however not a very good one. The personal relationship people claim to have with Jesus Christ and his work in thier life is probably what makes it different then believing in Unicorns to them. They believe that Jesus Christ saved them from thier sin. It's an important part and and for many a turning point in thier lives. I however am torn inbetween. Going back and forth. I yearn for the peace the seem to have but I can't seem to line up to the moral code. This guilt and going back and forth has left me on the verge of losing my mind. So I am here do see what you guys believe and how comforable you are with your new faith( or lack there of) in your life. Is it the same? Did you feel a sense of losing peace? Perhaps, obtained a new peace?

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That being said no amount of wishing or hopefulness or belief can make God not real.

 

That being said no amount of wishing or hopefulness or belief can make Zeus not real.

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So I am here do see what you guys believe and how comforable you are with your new faith( or lack there of) in your life. Is it the same? Did you feel a sense of losing peace? Perhaps, obtained a new peace?

 

Hey zero. Welcome to ex-c.

 

The reason it's so hard to live up to christianity, is because it's designed to instill guilt in a person for simply being human. It's a religion meant to make a person feel worthless and helpless and inadequate.

 

And as soon as you bust your ass and think you're finally pleasing god, you just find that the bar has been raised and, once again, you fall short.

 

Even those christians you referred to as cruising along with god in a great relationship - are still struggling. Whether they show it or not. Christianity breeds dependence and an absence of self-sufficiency. That's the whole idea.

 

For me, (and many others here) life is much better on the atheist side of the street. The whole concept of god becomes absurd once you do some homework and become removed from the gig.

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They believe that Jesus Christ saved them from thier sin. It's an important part and and for many a turning point in thier lives. I however am torn inbetween. Going back and forth. I yearn for the peace the seem to have but I can't seem to line up to the moral code. This guilt and going back and forth has left me on the verge of losing my mind.

 

I would like to chime in with Mythra in welcoming you here Zero. (Nice post by the way Mythra)

 

Zero if you don't mind me asking, what part of the "moral code" are you failing to live up to? I have to agree with Mythra in that Christianity can set up standards that are impossible to meet. I can tell you now that if you are striving for perfection then you are on an ego trip. I don't think that seeking to better ones self is lacking in nobility, but to seek perfection (whatever that is) is misguided.

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I wanted to extend my welcome to Zero as well. I think you will find most everyone here is much much happier as non-christians. I certainly am. I would love to say that I left the Christian faith based on purely rational reasons. That however is not true in my case. I left when I was 15. I had decided to read the Bible cover to cover. As a 15 year old girl I was appalled at the evil and cruelty attributed to the Christian diety. I just couldn't believe anything that was supposed to be loving could be so sadistic. Later as I did research on religions and logic and skepticism, my emotional reasons for leaving were complimented by rational ones. There are some fabulous websites out there that will explain to you step by logical step why the Christian god -cannot- exist. I hope you take the time to either read those or just some of the posts you will find on here. For myself I have to say life is more meaningful, more full, and more amazing without religion of any kind. I hope we can help you to better understand why we left the Christian myth behind.

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