Do atheists have a belief or not?

Aug 2014
1,308
898
Earth
#1
On Facebook (yes, I like Facebook to my embarrassment), there is a group called American Atheists who have news stories from time to time, so I must have subscribed to them.

I asked them a question and made an observation about a famous atheist leader named Madalyn Murry O'Hair and made the comparison of O'Hair and the late Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church. Both were very loud, did not back down easily, loved to piss people off and were very strident in their BELIEFS.

I get some replies, agreeing somewhat but mostly disagreeing. But, one remarked to me that atheists do not have beliefs, and that thinking there is no God is not a belief, since they do not believe. I cared to differ, yes you do have a belief, you believe that God does not exist. This is a belief. I have heard other atheists say the same thing, you cannot believe in a non belief.

Atheists get rattled also when you say (I didn't here but...) that atheism is a religion, at least to some, with Dawkins and the late Christipher Hitchens being leaders of a movement of atheism. Again, if atheism was not a belief, why should Dawkins, Hitchens, and George Carlin have or had an opinion on the subject?

Atheist seem insulted if you tell them they have a belief system. If you are on YouTube, look up "The Atheist Experience". It is a TV show of atheists which takes calls from people and it is usually a greats show with great clips with several different people and moderators. Worth a watch, but again, they have also argued non belief in God is not a belief. Why this makes them mad is beyond me.

Why?
 
Likes: 1 person
Apr 2013
32,831
22,214
Left coast
#3
First off, I am not discussing those who categorically claim there is no god. But most thinking atheists do not say that.

They say:

"There is no evidence at this time that causes me to believe there is a god and will continue living my life on that basis."

The reason this is almost more a philosophical issue than anything else is ultimately it becomes a debate on whether that is a belief or not.

I personally do not think that constitutes a belief.
 
Likes: 1 person

imaginethat

Forum Staff
Oct 2010
61,883
23,783
Colorado
#4
First off, I am not discussing those who categorically claim there is no god. But most thinking atheists do not say that.

They say:

"There is no evidence at this time that causes me to believe there is a god and will continue living my life on that basis."

The reason this is almost more a philosophical issue than anything else is ultimately it becomes a debate on whether that is a belief or not.

I personally do not think that constitutes a belief.
What constitutes a belief?
 
Nov 2012
36,848
11,001
Lebanon, TN
#6
On Facebook (yes, I like Facebook to my embarrassment), there is a group called American Atheists who have news stories from time to time, so I must have subscribed to them.

I asked them a question and made an observation about a famous atheist leader named Madalyn Murry O'Hair and made the comparison of O'Hair and the late Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church. Both were very loud, did not back down easily, loved to piss people off and were very strident in their BELIEFS.

I get some replies, agreeing somewhat but mostly disagreeing. But, one remarked to me that atheists do not have beliefs, and that thinking there is no God is not a belief, since they do not believe. I cared to differ, yes you do have a belief, you believe that God does not exist. This is a belief. I have heard other atheists say the same thing, you cannot believe in a non belief.

Atheists get rattled also when you say (I didn't here but...) that atheism is a religion, at least to some, with Dawkins and the late Christipher Hitchens being leaders of a movement of atheism. Again, if atheism was not a belief, why should Dawkins, Hitchens, and George Carlin have or had an opinion on the subject?

Atheist seem insulted if you tell them they have a belief system. If you are on YouTube, look up "The Atheist Experience". It is a TV show of atheists which takes calls from people and it is usually a greats show with great clips with several different people and moderators. Worth a watch, but again, they have also argued non belief in God is not a belief. Why this makes them mad is beyond me.

Why?
They have a faith.
 
Mar 2017
809
439
Massachusetts
#10
There is no evidence proving one way or the other God or no god.

so both Atheists and believers have faith, where they place their faiths isn't the same.
I know for a fact that this has been explained to you a million times and you're either being obtuse or you're just dumb. So I think I'll abstain from playing this song and dance.
 
Likes: 2 people

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