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Atheist Don't Have To Have Faith!


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I got into a discussion with another "Atheist" who was trying to tell me that I have to have faith that there is no god. Here is what he said: "Regardless, even us atheists believe and have faith in something, and that something could be considered our God. The fact is that faith in something is a good thing, no faith in anything is evil."

 

So I responded with, "And what do atheist have "faith" in? And perhaps I should ask how you are defining faith."

 

Listen to his response. It is unbelievable. "You're an atheist, you tell me, faith is after all a personal issue, no?

"Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true."

So, as atheist, you have faith that your belief of "no god" is true. As do all other atheists, as the existence or non-existence of a god can't be proven either way. If one believes in anything it can be said that they have faith in that thing, even satanists, and even scientologists... As insane as it sounds to say that..."

 

I could not believe that this was coming from a guy who claims to be an atheist. We have to have faith in our belief of no god? Are you kidding me? I responded with this to try and get him on the right track again.

"The difference is that I dont have to prove that god doesnt exist. The burden of proof is on the one who says that something does exist. It doesnt take faith for you to not believe in Santa. As atheists we believe in things based on facts that can be proven not on faith. The bible defines faith this way in Hebrews 1:1 " Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Therefore faith is blind. Atheists depend on proof and evidence before we believe something. So you cant say that an atheist has faith because he believes something to be true. Belief and faith are not the same."

 

He has yet to respond to me, but I just wanted to take the opportunity to rant a bit on this subject of Atheists having their own kind of religion. Atheism is the lack of religion and gods and supernatural and superstitions. So what is the god this guy seems to think I believe in? And why do people keep insisting that I have to prove god doesn't exist the same way that Xians have to prove that he does? I am just getting tired of trying to reason with these people. But when it comes from someone claiming to be an atheist!! That's just too much.

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The way your last paragraph is worded, I'm assuming that you're having this discussion via email or a message board. If that's the case, then I think you're arguing with a Christian who is playing with his sock puppet.

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It was online. However, he was responding to a xian who had posted a video about the existance of god. He was answering to the video as an atheist, but when I joined the conversation he took this strange turn. I am waiting for his next response before passing final sock puppet judgement.

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This is often a feature of Xtians who believe that pretty well anything we believe has some kind of element of "faith". I'd be a bit wary of this person you are talking to; or it may be someone who doesn't quite grasp what an atheist or objective approach really means.

 

 

I had a discussion with a guy that insisted that science was a form of "faith". When I mentioned about how we launch the space shuttle and bring it back to Earth, he insisted that this was still an act of faith. In a way, I can understand how a little faith might be involved in hoping nothing goes wrong, or has been overlooked, but his whole attitude was typically from this attitude.

 

Evolution requires faith; quantum physics requires faith, yada yada.

 

One thing about arguing with religious people is that you really have to pin them down on their terms. They like to move the goal posts all the time, if not re-write the dictionary.

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I got into a discussion with another "Atheist" who was trying to tell me that I have to have faith that there is no god.

 

That right there tells you that you are not talking to an atheist. I highly suspect it is a Christian.

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"Regardless, even us atheists believe and have faith in something, and that something could be considered our God. The fact is that faith in something is a good thing, no faith in anything is evil."

This statement doesn't even make sense. Atheism is defined as disbelief in god(s), so claiming that atheists believe in our own god is illogical. Also, to say that having faith in something is good and having no faith is evil is just plain idiotic. This definitely sounds like a Christian engaging in a covert Trolling For Jesus ™ operation :rolleyes:

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It seems to be a favoured tactic of christian types to turn around and tell us that atheism is a religion. Creationists love to claim that 'belief' in evolution is the same sort of thing as belief in god and creation. Then, of course, there are the questionable definitions that the likes of CARM and Conservapedia like to apply - 'strong' and 'weak' atheism, the former being the conviction that there is no god, and the latter being simply a lack of faith in any particular god. They even think it has been an atheist 'tactic' to place the burden of proof onto theists, when it is, after all, logically impossible to prove nonexistence.

 

As for me, I certainly don't believe that any being of the nature of the Christian god exists - there's just too much evidence stacked against it. However, I wouldn't say that I carry the conviction that there is no god of any kind, either inside or outside the universe. I don't know enough to be convinced either way, but at the end of the day, the existence or nonexistence of a god or gods is absolutely irrelevant to the way I live my life, and that's why I identify as an atheist.

 

It does kind of sound like your correspondent is attempting to get an admission that atheism constitutes a faith; it seems like they could be either a covert christian or a recent deconvert who is scared at the prospect of not having belief in something.

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Actually, you kind of do. I'm an agnostic and I constantly have this "oh fuck, what if I'm wrong?" thought in the back of my head. And it took a tremendous fucking leap of faith to deconvert, that's for goddamn sure.

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Here is his response:

"All religions claim exclusivity, I can't name one which doesn't, but as you say there is the issue of burden of proof, yet we can all go blue in the face with our interpretations of proof, for or against. My point originally about faith was that faith is not a religiously exclusive term, and is highly important for all, of any theological bent (Atheism is a type of theology as well, perhaps anti theology, but a theology none the less) , for without it why wake up in the morning, why be good to your fellow human, why care? The definition of faith in Hebrews is of a religious nature, therefore defined from a religious viewpoint, one which hopes for what is promised by the decrees of the religion (without these promises, and the hope in them, why follow the religion? Especially if you can't see tangible proof of them). I am speaking of faith from a non-religious, general sense as it is beyond a religious concept. It is a concept of life, and living. As a Buddhist thinking individual, I have faith that as long as I am to others as I would like to be treated, I will be. I also have faith that I will be a good father, that I will know the right way to act and be in any given situation, etc etc etc. All of these, and more, are non-religious concepts, instead they are concepts of life.

Faith itself is a good thing. The only time it isn't a good thing, that someone, or group/religion has a particular faith/belief, is when that faith/belief disregards or jeopardizes other humans right to free will (the first and foremost point of being in this existence according to all Christian religions, and even some non-christian), due to that faith/belief. Beyond that, let all believe what they will."

 

How the hell is Atheism a form of theology. And why would I need to believe in something to wake up and live a good life. I am a nilist so this is the only life I get, that is why I wake up and live it to the fullest. This guy says he is coming from a Buddist way of thinking. I am not well versed in Buddism, does this make his arguement any more valid? Not that his arguement is valid, but would a Buddist see it that way?

 

Vomit comet, I really feel bad that you are living with the fear of condemnation still. I deconverted based on facts and evidence that the Xian god was not real. So I dont live with that "what if I'm wrong" thought in my head at all.

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Guest ephymeris

I hate the whole "you have faith to be an atheist." If christianity (or any religion for that matter) had come as naturally and un-forced as my lack of faith in a higher power, I would still be in their ranks. No doubt, I have strengthened my resolve against organized religion by reading philosophical ideas, arguments, and articles and comparing them to what religion and it's ubiquitous "god" has to offer but I come by my absense of delusion through my own reasoning.

 

This is actually how I believed as a young child (i.e. all this religion stuff is nonsense) but was mind fucked by societal norms to succumb to christianity. Coming out of this delusion, clearing my mind required no faith whatsoever. I hate this "you have faith" argument. It's such a weak, punk way to force a stupid argument. These christians aren't interested in showing anyone the truth, just bending you to their will and adding you to their mind-fucked masses. I wish they could understand how offensive their tactic is...but that would require empathy, something many christians sorely lack.

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The definition of faith in Hebrews is of a religious nature, therefore defined from a religious viewpoint, one which hopes for what is promised by the decrees of the religion (without these promises, and the hope in them, why follow the religion? Especially if you can't see tangible proof of them). I am speaking of faith from a non-religious, general sense as it is beyond a religious concept. It is a concept of life, and living. As a Buddhist thinking individual, I have faith that as long as I am to others as I would like to be treated, I will be. I also have faith that I will be a good father, that I will know the right way to act and be in any given situation, etc etc etc. All of these, and more, are non-religious concepts, instead they are concepts of life.

 

Why would a Buddhist refer to Hebrews? It is very strange. The whole of it sounds very Christian if you just omit the word "Buddhist".

 

Faith itself is a good thing. The only time it isn't a good thing, that someone, or group/religion has a particular faith/belief, is when that faith/belief disregards or jeopardizes other humans right to free will (the first and foremost point of being in this existence according to all Christian religions, and even some non-christian), due to that faith/belief. Beyond that, let all believe what they will."

 

Buddhist generally don't make a huge deal out of either faith or free will. Through and through this is a Christian statement.

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I'm mighty sick of this tactic.

 

Someone tried that one on me, and I simply said:

 

Not swallowing someone's lying drivel is not "faith."

 

If I say that invisible monkeys fly out of my ass every five minutes, you don't buy it not based on faith but because it's obviously a lie.

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Technically he is right; if you had no faith at all then you would be solipsistic. However, I would also point out that if one was solipsistic one would also be quite insane as well. His problem is that he equates religious faith with philosophical faith in real world experiences, and the two are far from the same. Rational critical thinking together with Science represents a raising of consciousness and religion represents a lower baseline. Sadly, it's not easy to convince such people and I think Darwin was spot on when he said we need to wait for the slow advance of science...

 

You are right about the burden of proof being on him, however: You don't believe there is no god, you simply don't believe in god. So it's up to him to present some evidence or logical argumentation of his point. The problem is that he never can because it's all just a mindgame; it's unfalsifiable because there can never be any evidence given that might prove their god doesn't exist as advertised. At least Martin Luther was honest when he said that God can't be proved, I will give him that much. Evidence cannot be provided because evidence is not part of the picture by definition.

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I've always responded to this sort of thing exactly the same: If atheism is a faith, then bald is a hair colour. The analogy works perfectly, and the brevity of it ensures it will hit home.

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I have faith. I have faith in causality.

 

Edit: I see now that Quid addressed this to some extent.

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I have faith in gravity. I am 100% convinced that if I were to toss this computer monitor straight up over my head, it will fall back on my head if I don't move out of the way. My faith is based on experience. It is 100% repeatable by anyone using the same parameters. My faith is not religious in nature - it is empirical.

 

Now think of all of the Judeo-Christian arguments about the constancy of God. They claim that there is a human-like God who presides over the universe, and is the "same yesterday, today and forever." They claim that God is predictable, that God answers prayer, that God will give you what you ask for, etc., etc. But where is the evidence of these claims? The truth is, the evidence supports the opposite view, that if there is a God as described in the Judeo-Christian scriptures, he, she or it doesn't exhibit consistency, constancy or predictability. That makes the biblical texts off the mark, and useless for understanding the nature of the universe. Experience - not faith - provides evidence that the Judeo-Christian description of the nature of God is simply false.

 

Experience and facts provide all of the evidence I need that the entire concept was invented by human beings, for the purpose of controlling other human beings.

 

Rob

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Guest I Love Dog

"Regardless, even us atheists believe and have faith in something, and that something could be considered our God. The fact is that faith in something is a good thing, no faith in anything is evil."

This statement doesn't even make sense. Atheism is defined as disbelief in god(s), so claiming that atheists believe in our own god is illogical. Also, to say that having faith in something is good and having no faith is evil is just plain idiotic. This definitely sounds like a Christian engaging in a covert Trolling For Jesus operation :rolleyes:

 

I suppose that if you define "faith" in a religious way, and that was obviously the original context of the word, then, of course, it makes no sense to an atheist.

 

But if you define "faith" as not being a religious word but as simply having the belief that someone is going to do the "right" thing, or treat you in a certain way, as I would in my children bringing up my grandchildren. Not in any religious sense, but in the faith/belief that my grandchildren are going to be brought up in a humanistic manner. Does this make sense? "Evil" makes no sense to me at all. I don't even recognize the word, because it is from "devil" and I don't believe/recognize that there is a devil or that people are evil.

 

If you are non-religious and have been for a very long time(like me), the word "faith" has a very different meaning. If you are religious or recently non-religious then you are still caught up with the religious meaning. It's like the word "good", derived from "god". I never even hesitate about using the word "good", as I would say that someone does someone in "good faith" without ever considering that there is a religious connotation/s/

 

Food for thought!

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Guest I Love Dog

"Regardless, even us atheists believe and have faith in something, and that something could be considered our God. The fact is that faith in something is a good thing, no faith in anything is evil."

This statement doesn't even make sense. Atheism is defined as disbelief in god(s), so claiming that atheists believe in our own god is illogical. Also, to say that having faith in something is good and having no faith is evil is just plain idiotic. This definitely sounds like a Christian engaging in a covert Trolling For Jesus operation :rolleyes:

 

I suppose that if you define "faith" in a religious way, and that was obviously the original context of the word, then, of course, it makes no sense to an atheist.

 

But if you define "faith" as not being a religious word but as simply having the belief that someone is going to do the "right" thing, or treat you in a certain way, as I would in my children bringing up my grandchildren. Not in any religious sense, but in the faith/belief that my grandchildren are going to be brought up in a humanistic manner. Does this make sense? "Evil" makes no sense to me at all. I don't even recognize the word, because it is from "devil" and I don't believe/recognize that there is a devil or that people are evil.

 

If you are non-religious and have been for a very long time(like me), the word "faith" has a very different meaning. If you are religious or recently non-religious then you are still caught up with the religious meaning. It's like the word "good", derived from "god". I never even hesitate about using the word "good", as I would say that someonedoes something in "good faith" without ever considering that there is a religious connotation/s/

 

Food for thought!

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