I have been an atheist for a while and have always been looking for an argument that will prove the existence of A GOD. A GOD is in all caps to show that I am not looking for you to prove the christian god or the greek gods, all i want is proof of the existence of a higher power that created all things. He does not have to be a moral being, nor does he have to give to craps about his creation. I just want someone to prove that he is there (I use he because in the English language we assume masculine when no gender is put forth). So anyone of any background of any knowledge level go for it.
Oh and as a side note, yes you do have to prove that god is there, i don't have to prove he is not. It is like asking someone to prove that a dragon exists when the dragon will become undetectable the minute a person looks at is. The same is true for god. He does not exist in our plane of being as I have been told oh so many times and therefore cannot be detected in any way. So don't come in here and say that I have to prove that there is no god. That is for another debate.
Absolutely not. In a world where people will trust a rapist before an atheist (CNN poll), where Atheists are often shunned from neighborhoods and communities, where people of all faiths and all creeds agree that if there is one group that is 100% going to burn in hell and should be sent there as soon as possible it is Atheists, if i had any doubt what so ever i would not be an atheist. It is not the kind of thing that affords much doubt. If I had an doubt I would not have risked telling anyone because of the back lash I would receive. The accusation that I am doing this to affirm my own beliefs shows very little understanding in what a life altering choice to be an open atheist. If there were even the slightest doubt in my interpretation of facts and discovery of the truth that has been blocked for so long I would have kept my mouth shut.
I feel that your faith in mankind is extremely misplaced. Humans are a selfish, brutish, and destructive race. I am of the firm belief that the only time there will ever be peace on the earth is when we finally destroy ourselves. Also glee was never good, so yeah.
I am a person that puts stock in logic and in logical people. Believing the illogical does not make it true. Belief despite all evidence to the contrary is foolish. If you see a hat that is blue no matter how much you believe it is red it will still just be a blue hat. The same is true for god. No matter how much people want him, he just isn't there. As my history teacher likes to remind me "Its not what we don't know that will get us, its what we know that ain't so"
You probably aren't being shunned because you are an atheist, but because you believe...
"Humans are a selfish, brutish, and destructive race. I am of the firm belief that the only time there will ever be peace on the earth is when we finally destroy ourselves."
That is just a really bad attitude. I don't think the neighbors are going to invite you over for a barbecue if you go around saying that we'll all be better off when we're dead.
Actually that has nothing to do with it. I once told a guy that I was an atheist and he promptly punched me in the face. My attitude is my own and I only express that when I know I am in an intellectual setting. I do not wan't everyone to go die, but I am one of the few who realize that as long as humans are the way we are, there will be no peace. We are good at blowing things up and shooting things. That is one thing we all know how to do.
I'm sorry that you've had that experience. That's really, really awful, and I can't imagine anyone ever doing anything like that. A lot of my friends are atheist, and even though we live in the Bible belt, I've never heard of anything like that happening.
I really wasn't trying to accuse you of anything-I was trying to explain what your posting seemed like to me. I actually know exactly what kind of a life choice it is to say you are atheist. I used to be atheist, and all through high school affirmed myself as such. I'm from one of the most conservative parts of Texas. Trust me, I know how it feels.
Now, I basically identify as apathetic. I don't think it matters what anyone else believes, so long as they don't try to make me believe the same thing. I don't believe in God, I just don't deny the possibility of one.
I read the study that you mentioned, and I want to link it for those who didn't. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/study-religious-people-trust-atheis...
As awful as that is, I want to point out that it's not people in general-it's religious people. And although religious people do make up a majority in this country, most people I know don't have anything against me for not being religious-I explain why, and it's never affected any of my friendships, even in high school when I did identify as atheist. I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience, but not everyone has that experience, and I think it's foolish to deny that your experiences have shaped your opinions and your biases on this matter.
I also am really, genuinely sad for you that you see humanity in such a negative light. You're right: humans are selfish, brutal, and destructive. They are also capable of really wonderful, inspiring things. There is so much beauty in the world, and to close your eyes to that is not only limiting, it makes for a very cynical, embittered view of the world. I say that from experience.
People are people. They're complicated, and to say that humanity is ever one thing only dangerously simplifies the issue. How can you fight against the bad if you come to conclusion that all we are is bad?
I'm inspired every day by the people around me. I have friends who do amazing things, friends who do mission trips to work building homes in high-poverty areas, friends who donate their time and money to help make other peoples' lives better. There are really awful people in the world. There are also really wonderful people. Look at John and Hank-they brought all of the people on this site together through their words and beliefs to fight the awful things people do. That gives me faith in humanity. I don't ignore the things we do wrong-that would be foolish. I accept them, and I move on. There's too much good to ignore, and focus only on what's bad.
It's easy to complain about what a terrible thing humanity is, and how much we've done to make the world a worse place. It's harder to try to change it and make what's terrible into something great. But I think I know which is better. And yeah, it's totally illogical to think that change is possible, looking at the track record of humanity. Honestly, I don't care. There are things that are illogical that are still worth believing in.
Well I am impressed that you can keep the world view that you have. From a very early age I have known that humanity is not the kind of race that inspires awe. Most times that people do things out of the "goodness of their hearts" it usually has some sort of reservation about what they do or a reason. Most times the awe inspiring things people do usually have a motive behind them that is meant to do more harm than the good they do. It has been along time since I met a person who did something good for no particular reason. Perhaps it is just me and my cynical world view, but there is always the chance that I am right. It is also a shock that you did not experience people reject you for your atheism. I almost always experience some sort of blow back.
Honestly, the most judgment I've ever had from my friends is for liking Glee. Which even I admit is justifiable.
I like the world. I'm only going to get one chance in it. I'd rather spend it looking at beauty than ugliness. And I'd rather try to make things better than sit around and talk about how bad things are. Most of the people I know do good things because it makes them feel good, which is arguably for their own reward rather than for the sake of the good deed. I think it's fair to say that doing good things IS its own reward, at least for the people in my life.
And as for humanity inspiring awe, I see enough good that I feel awe. I see people coming together to make a difference, even if that occasion is rare, as important and wonderful.
There is a chance you are right, but there's always the chance you're wrong. Or both. The world isn't black and white.
I cannot find this poll you're talking about... I see a few university studies; one of which involving a wallet in a cab... That one is an inherently biased question, as surveys tend to be. Would you mind providing a link to that poll? And yes, it is disconcerting that being an atheist is associated with immorality.
I am an atheist in the middle of Texas, in a relatively small town with a heavy Christian conservative bias. In my 5 years here, I have yet to have been shunned by anyone for my beliefs. Be it that it may they do not know I am atheist, I generally do not tell unless asked. I don't doubt there's some who would shun the crap out of me here, but what is that to me? As to the abuse you mention in your later reply, it sucks that guy punched you. You didn't deserve it, that guy was a dick. As far as I can tell, he's an outlier though, I've told quite a few people about my atheism, and haven't had remotely the same reaction.
I am curious as to what you mean by "open atheist". I don't necessarily declare my atheism from the rooftops, but I'm not shy about telling someone I don't believe. How do you communicate your non-belief to others?
As to Katharine's faith in mankind; your assessment is correct. We are selfish, brutish, destructive, and more; however, you seem to be neglecting compassion, mercy, loyalty, and the various other attributes without which we could hardly call ourselves human. As to peace on earth, I'll defer to Diderot, "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest". Ok, so that is a bit extreme, but I find it to be at least something to think on.
As to your claim to logic, I understand this viewpoint. I agree that it is a foolish to believe in something without evidence. Does that make a person of belief a fool? In terms of God, sure, but I'm fairly certain the leader of the Genome Project, Francis Collins, is no fool in his field. The novel "1984" coined the term Doublethink, which is an apt description (I think) of people who live every aspect of their life in a rational manner, other than their religion. This is a trait of humanity, we all can hold two mutually exclusive ideas to be true, and usually, as far as I can tell, do.
What I am getting at is that you cannot discount the whole of a person's ideas as illogical if they are only illogical concerning one thing. Yes, some times they do not make sense. We are people, we are a mass of flesh, operated by chemical and electrical signals. We have emotions, senses, abstract thought, a whole host of variables that constitute our selves. I find it illogical to presume that people would operate on logic alone. That you can is fantastic, but it does not mean that others have that same ability.
In essence, you're arguing a moot point here. Whether or not there is proof of God does not actually matter to some people. I imagine some prefer there is no proof, as they consider their faith a virtue.
You should check out Sam Harris, he has some interesting ideas.
I agree that it is a foolish to believe in something without evidence.
This is what continues to frustrate me. Christians DO have evidence. You may not agree that it is enough evidence, or that the conclusions that Christians draw from it are erroneous etc, but to say there is NO evidence, is by definition false. There are the gospels. You may not agree as to their reliability etc, but you cannot deny their existence.
The gospels aren't proof of god. The gospels are proof that someone wrote down their religious ideology. If you want an example, check out the Edda (the document that most of the modern understanding of Norse mythology comes from). A lot of scholars now think that religion never actually existed, because the mythology behind comes from only one source.
Using a gospel as proof of the existence of god is like using the Book of Mormon to prove that Jesus went to the U.S. It just doesn't work.
Sure it works. You have just chosen to not believe the people who wrote the gospels. You have decided to reject that evidence for whatever reason, but that doesn't mean it is not evidence. Your personal rejection of it does not make it false. Thats Vertigo's point.
The Bible is a collection of stories, some of which might have a basis in fact, and many of which are probably meant to be parables rather than history. The Bible isn't proof of God. The Bible is proof that people believe in a particular version of a God. Proof of God in the sense talked about here is evidence that holds true under the lens of science.
That is your opinion. Lets stay specifically on the four gospels though. Those are four separate accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They are a written testimony. The only thing 'the lens of science' can say about a written testimony is whether or not the testimony is authentic, and there are several scholars that will vouch for the authenticity of the gospels. That is to say, they were written by real people who did live at the time period being written about. So then the question goes to the individual as to whether or not you believe the testimony of those 4 men. Science can't prove nor disprove the truth of what they say they witnessed. It is up to you to decide. No one is saying the gospels 'prove' anything. I am saying that the written testimony of those 4 men convinces me that the story is real along with other evidences in my life. You can say that the testimonies don't convince you, and that you will only be convinced when someone invents a time machine to go back and record the events with a video camera if you like, but for now we have a written record, and you can choose to believe it or not. But you can not say there is no evidence.