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God, Jesus Or Man: Who Led You Away?

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I'm an atheist. I have NO faith. Deal with it, or continue to be a Fundy trying to force me into YOUR mold.

 

:thanks:

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"I think you are having trouble with both the concept of what faith is and what atheism is. I do not claim to KNOW that there is no god.

Neither does a xtian know there is God in the context of verifiable evidence. They live by faith.

 

That would take some form of faith since I cannot as you say prove it. I merely reject the notion but remain open to someone providing valid and verifiable evidence.

I would describe this as agnosticism

If they can do so I will change my position."

Good you are not a fundy door closer.

 

Lets try another way. Three people find themselves tranported to strange beach looking at the horizon: a xtian, and atheist and an agnostic. The xtian makes a statment "I believe that x is over the horizon, the atheist says "I don't believe x is over the horizon" and the agnostic says "I don't know whats over the horizon, theres no evidence on which to form an opinion."

 

The physical horizon represents the horizon of being where the metaphysical touches the physical. A scientist cannot see over the horizon of the "singularity" before the big bang because he is contained within the laws of physics and they have their birth with the big bang. The horizon still exists nevertheless. The xtian believes that beyond the singularity is God, the atheist believes there is no God, the agnsotic says "I refuse to make a decission as to what is beyond the horizon because there is no evidence for me to reach a conclusion and I don't want to be making acts of faith, i.e beliefs, in those circumstances.

 

The final point on using the word faith: a poet will sometimes use a familiar word in an unfamiliar setting and in doing so jar our imagination out of the rut of habit and prejudice. Fundementalism is not unique to xtians, muslims etc it can touch all people with its intolerance and give birth not just to suicide bombers and xtians who think they have been sent on a crusade by God , but also the Gulags, concentration and interment camps. As a recovering fundamentalist I perhaps have more sensitive eye to any kind of fanaticism that puts barriers up between people, that stimulates strife and hatred. I'm discussing a principle here, please don't think I'm meaning you as a person.

 

 

 

 

 

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Your ship over the horizon scenario is a bit of a straw man.

 

Replace the x with "the flying spaghetti monster" and try it again:

 

FSM follower: I believe FSM is over the horizon.

 

Atheist: That's just retarted. I don't need faith to disbelieve this kind of nonsense.

 

Now then, if x represented say "a ship," then I would be in the agnostic camp.

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My argument is that by its very nature there can never be any proof that there is not a God because it is beyond the realms of physics to do so. Do you agree?

 

If you cannot prove there is not a God do you agree that Agnostic is the better description?

I don't believe in ghosts. Like YHWH they can't be seen accept by select people who claim to have seen them (YHWH in cloud form and ghost as themselves). Before I even heard the word ghost I had no comprehension of them. So before I had knowledge of ghost what was my faith about them? Then at some point I understood what a ghost was and that some people believed in them. After this I decided that I still didn't believe. Did this require faith? To me no. It was merely a decision and not a belief.

 

If some ran up to me and said I just saw a creature with the head of a donkey, the body of a man, and the legs of turtle that told him/her that it created the multiverse and then I dismiss the person's claim it didn't take an act of faith it was a decision. I can't prove they are wrong since their claim is outside the realm of physics but it doesn't require faith to not believe there statement.

 

Scienctology makes some radical claims about the origin of man. Does it take faith to believe or disbelieve them. They takes a strong degree of faith to believe there supernatural views but doesn't take faith to dismiss them. It merely takes a decision.

 

You don't need faith to not believe in things that can't be proven.

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GM, twice now you've used the term fundamentalist. Accusing US of having the mindset of a Fundy.

 

Um...allow me to say, "Pot? This is the Kettle. You're black."

Yes, I am a recovering fundamentalist (but not a bible literalist :) and I have no objection to your epithet - it takes time to undo the brain washing.

 

YOU have taken up the mantle of Fundy, as you make haste to FORCE us into YOUR concepts of "faith".

I am sorry that it seems that way but I expalained above why I choose this word. I gave my reasons, if you think they are unsound then I will listen to you.

 

You can't seem to accept that we ARE atheists and that we don't have faith.

Mr Grinch, from the posts I have read you can be extremely lucid, as well as humorous, in exposing cant but as yet I can't see any real argument to what Betrand Russell summarised in the link I gave you. It makes sense to me as well as nurturing a sense of tolerance and openess to other people so lacking in a fundy world.

 

You want us to bow to YOUR definition of "faith", and be held strictly to it.

Definately not, thats not me. I explain above the choice of this thought provoking word and I think its valid in the circumstances. What I like about this board is that its open to all sorts of people no matter matter what they believe in. They only ones I ever get annoyed with are those seem to think genocide is a small thing and that hell is token of Gods justice.

 

THAT is Fundamentalism at it's finest. The reason for your frustration in this discussion is YOUR unwillingness to concede to OUR points raised. Just like a Fundy.

I was trying to get beyond the legalist type of discussion surrounding the exact definition of words to the spirit behind them. I have been unsuccesfull apparently. Agnosticism compared to atheism seems to have more appeal to me at present since it tends, IMO, to keep the door open to other people and cultures. I am open to persuasion if you can show me I am wrong.

 

Remember, when you point a finger to accuse someone, you have three fingers pointing back at you.

I dont know what you mean Mr Grinch.

 

Months ago, Asimov and I got into BIG trouble on another thread for daring to question the "rightness" of agnosticism. Agnostics HATE it when we atheists tell them what they SHOULD call themselves. And they are correct in this anger.

I don't hate you or anyone else, though I despise some ideas for what they do to people. When I first thought about the issue of atheism v agnosticism I sort of came to the conclusions I set out here. When I found out that Bertrand Russell shared them I thought that they maybe they were not dumb since this was his specialised field, i.e there was a valid case for my use of these words.

 

So, why should we atheists be any LESS angered when you tell us that we aren't truly atheists, because we MUST have "faith" NOT to believe? That we MUST embrace Agnosticism and reject Atheism, because according to YOU, agnosticism makes more sense?

My comments above cover these points but please realise I am not an atheist or agnostic and have no agenda to push on anybody else. I am not trying to convert you to anything but I do like to understand and probe at times other peoples beliefs for then I grow as a person.

 

I'm an atheist. I have NO faith.

As a capitalist and communist can be two sides of the same coin so I am suggesting that to an outsider who has no axe to grind that maybe atheism and theism can be like two sides of the faith coin.

 

Deal with it, or continue to be a Fundy trying to force me into YOUR mold.

I would not try to do that. If you remember this dialogue began over your signature and the contents of an article that said people like me do not respect people like you. That wasn't true.

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... Months ago, Asimov and I got into BIG trouble on another thread for daring to question the "rightness" of agnosticism. Agnostics HATE it when we atheists tell them what they SHOULD call themselves. And they are correct in this anger. ...

 

I well remember this thread. It was the first one I participated in when I joined this site, and I was so turned off by a couple of people implying that the label "agnostic" is somehow inferior to "atheist" and that agnostics had no right to participate in their discussion that I thought about never coming back.

 

In the current thread, Vigile_del_fuoco1 said "Agnostic implies that I wonder if there might be a god." I do wonder about this. I don't have faith (or a belief) that there IS a god and I feel certain the bible god is a fary tale, so I suppose I could be called an atheist, but because I am open to the possibility of a deity, I prefer the term agnostic. However, I don't think it's really worth arguing about what I perceive as no more than semantics.

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Your ship over the horizon scenario is a bit of a straw man.

 

Replace the x with "the flying spaghetti monster" and try it again:

 

FSM follower: I believe FSM is over the horizon.

 

Atheist: That's just retarted. I don't need faith to disbelieve this kind of nonsense.

 

Now then, if x represented say "a ship," then I would be in the agnostic camp.

 

I used a physical analogy to a metaphysical problem, but if you dont like the analogy proceed to the paragraphs following it and give me your comments.

 

 

My argument is that by its very nature there can never be any proof that there is not a God because it is beyond the realms of physics to do so. Do you agree?

 

If you cannot prove there is not a God do you agree that Agnostic is the better description?

I don't believe in ghosts. Like YHWH they can't be seen accept by select people who claim to have seen them (YHWH in cloud form and ghost as themselves). Before I even heard the word ghost I had no comprehension of them. So before I had knowledge of ghost what was my faith about them? Then at some point I understood what a ghost was and that some people believed in them. After this I decided that I still didn't believe. Did this require faith? To me no. It was merely a decision and not a belief.

 

If some ran up to me and said I just saw a creature with the head of a donkey, the body of a man, and the legs of turtle that told him/her that it created the multiverse and then I dismiss the person's claim it didn't take an act of faith it was a decision. I can't prove they are wrong since their claim is outside the realm of physics but it doesn't require faith to not believe there statement.

 

Scienctology makes some radical claims about the origin of man. Does it take faith to believe or disbelieve them. They takes a strong degree of faith to believe there supernatural views but doesn't take faith to dismiss them. It merely takes a decision.

 

You don't need faith to not believe in things that can't be proven.

 

Leave aside the issue of ghosts. Like it or not the horizon of being is still there for the physicist, mystic and the rest of us - it won't go away. I said in an earlier post that if my thought provoking use of the word faith was an obstacle to understanding the underlying issues of atheism v agnosticism then drop it. I repeat that again. My use of it was to get at the heart of matter rather than mere word definitions.

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I used a physical analogy to a metaphysical problem, but if you dont like the analogy proceed to the paragraphs following it and give me your comments.

 

Right after you answer the previous points I made. I don't see what the trouble is here. Do you need for the atheists on this site to acknowledge that they are really agnostic in order to make yourself feel better? I'm beginning to agree with Grinch (not the first time). Like a fundy, you keep coming back on this issue from different angles ignoring the points I made about your previous angles.

 

The main point I will make one last time is that I have no reason to be agnostic about claims that are obviously silly. If someone made a claim that made some sort of rational sense then I might just be agnostic about it while I study up more on the subject. Biblegod is just stupid and the concept of this god is so easily destroyed that I am not agnostic about his existence. Other gods I've seen claims about are equally stupid therefore I do not wonder in any shape or form if they exist or not.

 

So let's go from here: You tell me just what it is I am supposed to be agnostic about. What the hell is god? The term "god" is so ambiguous that any rational person is right to consider any claims to this undefined term's existence a totally irrational endeavor. Again, provide me a definition and then we will see if I am agnostic or if I still take the position of atheism. It might just depend on the claim and how sane the claim is on its face. Sabe?

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....I prefer the term agnostic. However, I don't think it's really worth arguing about what I perceive as no more than semantics.

I totally agree, Thackerie. This current subject has derailed and deviated horribly from the thread's main topic. This was unintentional, but still uncool behavior.

 

Golden Meadows, since it appears that you are the ONLY one who has a bone to pick here, and you don't want to let our atheism remain untouched or unchallenged, why don't you begin a separate and distinct thread over in General Theological Issues? That way, if anyone else wants to debate this with you, they may.

 

Know that I won't be joining you, because I see no point in having this discussion. It looks like fruitless tail chasing to me. :shrug:

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In the current thread, Vigile_del_fuoco1 said "Agnostic implies that I wonder if there might be a god." I do wonder about this. I don't have faith (or a belief) that there IS a god and I feel certain the bible god is a fary tale, so I suppose I could be called an atheist, but because I am open to the possibility of a deity, I prefer the term agnostic. However, I don't think it's really worth arguing about what I perceive as no more than semantics.

 

Just so you know, I don't think less of those who are agnostic. I've spent years considering this question and atheism is the best way to describe my own position. I'm sure that others have spent years on the same issue and came to define themselves as agnostic. I do think however that it is a worthwhile endeavor to debate the subject. Truth is important to me so is rationality. I can learn from debating.

 

Anway, I'm glad you stayed. I like your posts.

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The main point I will make one last time is that I have no reason to be agnostic about claims that are obviously silly. If someone made a claim that made some sort of rational sense then I might just be agnostic about it while I study up more on the subject. Biblegod is just stupid and the concept of this god is so easily destroyed that I am not agnostic about his existence. Other gods I've seen claims about are equally stupid therefore I do not wonder in any shape or form if they exist or not.

Well said

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I see from doing a google that the issue of faith and atheism is not something new but well trodden ground. The wikepaedia article on atheism also touches on the subject along as well as mentioning different categories of atheism. e.g strong, weak etc...I think I can learn more from these sources.

 

"Some weak atheists feel that theism and strong atheism are equally untenable, on the grounds that faith is required both to assert and to deny the existence of deities, and as such both theism and strong atheism have the burden of proof placed on them to prove that a god does or doesn't exist. Some also base their belief on the notion that it is impossible to prove a negative."

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

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The main point I will make one last time is that I have no reason to be agnostic about claims that are obviously silly. If someone made a claim that made some sort of rational sense then I might just be agnostic about it while I study up more on the subject. Biblegod is just stupid and the concept of this god is so easily destroyed that I am not agnostic about his existence. Other gods I've seen claims about are equally stupid therefore I do not wonder in any shape or form if they exist or not.

With the risk of getting into the line of fire here. :)

 

I think that's what GM was trying to say. You have made up your mind. A believer have made up their mind what they believe, and an atheist have made up their mind what they don't believe. The agnostic have not because they see that the definition of "god" already is silly.

 

The agnostic asks, how can you know of a god exists or not when you can't even know what this god is? If you can't define where he/she/it is, or what gender, or size, or power, or hair color, or shoe size, or ... then what use is it to believe in it, but also what use is it to deny it, since the problem lies in how can you prove or disprove something you don't have a consistent view on?

 

If we go into the deep of the problem, I start seing that the atheist only deny a specific type of God, and not any or all kinds of gods. For instance if we define God by Naturalistic Pantheism, the universe is God, God is the universe, but non-sentient. Or Cosmotheism, that God is created by man, and God exists as an idea and concept, yet not as a physical being... and so on. Those "gods" can be accepted by an atheist.

 

I prefer to be an Nontheist or Ignosticist, we can't even agree on what God is, so why bother arguing if he exist or not? It's always interesting to argue if a particular kind of god with a specific definition exists or not.

 

The FSM can be argued to exist or not. Jahweh can be argued to exist or not. Jesus can be argued to exist or not. Judeo-Christian God can be argued to exist or not. But the "identity of the unknown" can't be argued to exist or not, since it is unknown.

 

(And GM, I'm a bit more on your side in this issue. ;) Even though I don't really see Atheism as a faith, but I do see it as a strongly opiniated, which also agnostics and my kind all fall into too many times.)

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Hans, you are aluding to the semantical issues of our debate, which is fine. The largest issue I had was with GM's claim that I have faith that there are no gods.

 

The debate has gotten way off topic and as Grinch said, it's best reserved for another thread. I've said my piece.

 

"Some weak atheists feel that theism and strong atheism are equally untenable, on the grounds that faith is required both to assert and to deny the existence of deities, and as such both theism and strong atheism have the burden of proof placed on them to prove that a god does or doesn't exist.

 

Finally, that's a statement I can agree with. Call me a weak atheist if you wish.

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Well, it is the Lion's Den after all, and I think we all said it was okay with derailing in here.

 

And I think most atheists are weak atheists if they really learn the differences. And weak atheism is extremely close to agnosticism. And all these differences, just like you said Vigile, is a matter of semantics, but also it's more philosophical differences.

 

Here's an interesting question I'd like to see if any atheist can answer:

 

In the old religions, like the Greek pantheon, the gods were not omnipotent, omniscient or omnipresent. They were considered more like amazingly powerful and ingenious, almost like magicians.

 

Today we create amazing things, nuclear weapons, and cars and airplanes. If I claim that We, us humans, are the Gods in the new pantheon of our time. Can any Atheist claim or prove that the gods of "Humatheism" doesn't exist?

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Today we create amazing things, nuclear weapons, and cars and airplanes. If I claim that We, us humans, are the Gods in the new pantheon of our time. Can any Atheist claim or prove that the gods of "Humatheism" doesn't exist?

 

Personally I wouldn't feel the need to debate this topic. I'm a "rubber meets the road" kind of guy. I'm trying to keep my position as simple and as rational as I can in order to make it meaningful for myself. Like I said before, if someone can provide me with a definition of a god and that definition is rational on its face, I will be agnostic about it until it is either proven or disproven.

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But you see where the core of the problem is, it's in the definition of God, not if something that is a god exists or not?

 

And problably the reason why you deny the definition of "humantheism" is only because you only want to approve the definitions you don't believe in.

 

So for an atheist it works this way:

 

1. God doesn't exist.

 

2. And any definition of God that makes him/she/it to exists, I disapprove the definition.

 

But the agnostic takes it a step further, they claim that the definition itself doesn't exist, so then the question of "God exists" becomes moot.

 

Does it make sense?

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But you see where the core of the problem is, it's in the definition of God, not if something that is a god exists or not?

 

And problably the reason why you deny the definition of "humantheism" is only because you only want to approve the definitions you don't believe in.

 

So for an atheist it works this way:

 

1. God doesn't exist.

 

2. And any definition of God that makes him/she/it to exists, I disapprove the definition.

 

But the agnostic takes it a step further, they claim that the definition itself doesn't exist, so then the question of "God exists" becomes moot.

 

Does it make sense?

 

Of course I see the core problem, this is exactly what I've been arguing all along; that the definitions of god are nonsensical. In my response to you I said I was a "rubber meets the road" person. What this means is that I consider this issue only as it is necessary for my own understanding of the position in the real world. Creating and exercise that redefines god to mean something that most theists do not mean when they imply god does not meet my need to deal with the real world arguments that are being made.

 

Anyway, as I said, if someone came along and gave a definition of god that is rational then I would consider it. Your definition is rational, though I'm not sure that most theists mean anything close to your definition when they handily through around the term god or higher power.

 

You could say god = dog and then I would have to become a believer, but it would be a useless exercise in the real world.

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I think you get it.

 

Atheism is A-Theism, which is denial of one particular definition of God, the Theist-God, but not ALL OTHER definitions of Gods.

 

In fact, the Atheis is Agnostic when it comes to these OTHER definitions. Because they admit that "if someone can show me..."

 

I think the argument is that many atheists become very opiniated and strong minded about that there is NO God, what-so-ever, even if someone could show them a proof of one God. That is fundamentalistic atheism. To being certain that a God or any God can not in any circumstance exist, is extremism, and IMO just as wrong as a fundamentlist Christian. You can't make up your mind to 100% certainty of the things we don't know or can't know. But of course you can keep an opinion of what you think is most likely.

 

But I think you understand this. I just want to make sure that others have enough reading material to get into the thinking process.

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I've heard it explained (plausibly) like this:

 

 

 

God is defined as existence itself.

 

Cheese exists.

 

Therefore, God is cheese.

 

 

Which, of course, explains the mystery of "God in you".

 

Admit it, you feel better when you're full of pizza.

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Thirteen pages, 248 posts (only EIGHT of which are from the thread starter) and now we've been reduced to debating (AMONGST OURSELVES!) a totally off-topic issue. :shrug:

 

Can anyone give me ONE GOOD REASON why this thread shouldn't be closed?

 

I say put it out of its misery. ISB keeps running away with her tail between her legs, spewing empty religious platitudes in her wake, and we're left ranting at no one but ourselves. This is pointless and a waste of bandwidth equivalent to dealing with a troller and spam.

 

Istillbelieve obviously isn't interested in having a discussion. I vote this thread be closed.

 

What say the rest of the assembled throng? :Hmm:

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I've heard it explained (plausibly) like this:

 

 

 

God is defined as existence itself.

 

Cheese exists.

 

Therefore, God is cheese.

 

 

Which, of course, explains the mystery of "God in you".

 

Admit it, you feel better when you're full of pizza.

:grin: Fwee will love that! Cheesism.

 

Exactly. There are probably a couple of hundreds of thousands different views and definitions of what a "god" is, and some are more stupider than others. And Atheism only rejects the one that is supernatural, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent, because that god can not exist.

 

But any other definition of god that makes "god" exists (like cheese) is rejected because of its definition and not because that it exists or not. An Atheist just don't like any alternative definition.

 

But Agnosticism and Ignosticism go to the core of the problem, they reject even to define god since any definition is silly. The supernatural omni-x definition is also silly, just like the CheeseGod above.

 

Therefore, realizing all definitions of God is silly, you can be agnostic, and you can be atheist at the same time.

 

---

 

And sure, if you guys want to close the topic, I'll do it.

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Thirteen pages, 248 posts (only EIGHT of which are from the thread starter) and now we've been reduced to debating (AMONGST OURSELVES!) a totally off-topic issue. :shrug:

 

Can anyone give me ONE GOOD REASON why this thread shouldn't be closed?

 

I say put it out of its misery. ISB keeps running away with her tail between her legs, spewing empty religious platitudes in her wake, and we're left ranting at no one but ourselves. This is pointless and a waste of bandwidth equivalent to dealing with a troller and spam.

 

Istillbelieve obviously isn't interested in having a discussion. I vote this thread be closed.

 

What say the rest of the assembled throng? :Hmm:

 

 

I say 'Amen' to this. I'm still sliding towards Hell, and Freeday, ISB, and Golden Meadows (with those confusing quote/color/who said what posts), don't really seem to give a crap anyway. they would rather argue semantics, ignore a plea for help, show technical savvy, or give me flip responses, then help a weak brother.

 

They would rather believe the worst of me, than believe in that which is good. They don't seem to want to restore a brother, and it really makes me sad that they don't take heed, lest they too should fall.

 

It grieves my heart that while I try to cling to the blood of Christ which bought me, they ignore the very words of our Father; to go the extra mile, to love the 'leper', the whore, the cripple, the poor bastard chained in the grave yard whose demons even pigs won't have.

 

Better that this thread be closed. It would be better because to keep it going may cause my younger, weaker brothers and sisters pain or even spiritual danger to keep it open. And I would not have them suffer any ill.

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Duderonomy:"I say 'Amen' to this. I'm still sliding towards Hell, and Freeday, ISB, and Golden Meadows (with those confusing quote/color/who said what posts), don't really seem to give a crap anyway. they would rather argue semantics, ignore a plea for help, show technical savvy, or give me flip responses, then help a weak brother.

 

They would rather believe the worst of me, than believe in that which is good. They don't seem to want to restore a brother, and it really makes me sad that they don't take heed, lest they too should fall.

 

It grieves my heart that while I try to cling to the blood of Christ which bought me, they ignore the very words of our Father; to go the extra mile, to love the 'leper', the whore, the cripple, the poor bastard chained in the grave yard whose demons even pigs won't have.

 

Better that this thread be closed. It would be better because to keep it going may cause my younger, weaker brothers and sisters pain or even spiritual danger to keep it open. And I would not have them suffer any ill."

 

I am very sorry. I looked back and saw a couple of your posts buried amongst all the others and to be honest I am not sure how they registered with me at the time. This is partly due to people trying to be funny posting material that pretends to be something that it is not and at times I dont know if I am supposed to take what I read at face value - remember this is an ex-christian forum and your avatar says you are agnostic. If you are a xtian with spiritual problems that need to be discussed then maybe this isn't the best place for it. If you want to open up a bit more by PM then please contact me - I have had my own share of spiritual problems as a xtian. Though I am an ex-xtian I won't try to persuade you to leave it behind but maybe you need more than just internet exchanges, i.e have you sought any kind of counseling/help at a one to one level? Sometimes religion can be the cause of great emotional problems and a person needs a break from it all for a while - this I know from personal experience. Maybe somebody would say to me "physician heal thyself" before giving advice and it would be true but if there is anything I can share with you duderonomy thats of any help to you I gladly will.

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GM,

What a nice post! thank you.

I confess that maybe I lumped you in with ISB and Freeday. I looked at your avatar and see that you are a pagan. I'm not sure what that means exactly, so perhaps 'beating you over the head with your own Bible' wouldn't apply to you?

 

Anyway, other than a few neurosis and sundry phycological problems...you know...the usual stuff, I assure you that I am fine.

 

I'm glad that this thread isn't closed yet, because I was thinking today about this. Someone said (here or another thread, I don't remember) that it gets tiresome answering the same Christian questions and cookie cutter apologetics over and over, and it does. Sometimes I take a different way of trying to make the same points that my more learned and articulate fellow extian posters do. It still sucks when one gets no response.

 

So what to do? There are a lot of extimonies here, but I've hardly scratched the surface of them myself. Maybe pinning a thread like this, or one specifically made for the purpose, somewhere would be a good idea? When the fundies come a callin' with the same ol same ol, they could be gently directed to read that thread before they post more? You know, like a FAQ type of thing. Maybe a FUA (Frequently Used Arguments), at least for the Lion's Den?

 

Just a thought. On the other hand, maybe this has been already done, but if so I missed it.

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