Do atheists have a belief or not?

May 2018
1,505
1,045
USA
Atheists have plenty of beliefs. The belief in imaginary Sky Gods isn't one of them.

The real question is this: why do you believe in something that there is no evidence of actually existing? Don't you think if there was a deity, and he was insecure enough to demand constant worship/attention (reducing the most awesome being in creation to that of an insecure, spoiled 12 year old), that he would appear in person and say "Okay jerks, worship me or else"? Or maybe if there is a God he just doesn't give a damn what the insignificant insects on our speck of dirt think and you are wasting your time with obsequious groveling/praying?
 
Jul 2008
16,782
10,783
Virginia Beach, VA
Atheists have plenty of beliefs. The belief in imaginary Sky Gods isn't one of them.

The real question is this: why do you believe in something that there is no evidence of actually existing? Don't you think if there was a deity, and he was insecure enough to demand constant worship/attention (reducing the most awesome being in creation to that of an insecure, spoiled 12 year old), that he would appear in person and say "Okay jerks, worship me or else"? Or maybe if there is a God he just doesn't give a damn what the insignificant insects on our speck of dirt think and you are wasting your time with obsequious groveling/praying?
While I agree with 99.99% of what you said, I do have a minor nitpick.

And this is something I have been guilty of myself. Referring to the god that someone believes in as “imaginary” is doing the very thing theists accuse of us doing. Labeling their god “imaginary” is making a positive claim you have moved from “I do not believe there is a god” to “I believe there is no god.”
 
Sep 2017
653
310
Pennsylfaani
So would you say the experience was of the natural world or do you require a supernatural explanation?
The two are not separate. You're thinking about things in a very Jewish/Abrahamic sort of fashion, where the world and the supernatural are two separate worlds. This is flawed. They are one and the same, a duality in nature.
Isn't peyote known for people having the same extrasensory experience at the same time? How might this be different or the same as my experience of deceased people communicating with me? I am not sure there is a difference because both are a shared consciousness but how this happens is unknown. Sort of like how acupuncture works, was unknown until a detailed study of the nervous system made an explanation acceptable to the Western mind. In the West, we have denied many truths simply because we lacked knowledge of how things work.

What we believe and do not believe is very much about the cultural taboos put on the western mind.
I didn't take peyote. It was LSD. I don't know what I saw or what I experienced, only that I know that I experienced it.
 
Feb 2007
2,908
1,245
New York
That is a horrible term.

It is no cosmic accident that we are here and it is no creation of a deity.

It's the inevitable result of what is.

"What is" is the mind twister as we are far too simplistic to comprehend it.

We are mired in this beginning and end nonsense when it's pretty obvious their are no such things just as time does not exist.

Time is an illusion that we mistake for the state of constant change.
Time is only an agreed upon measurement of change.
 
Likes: Sabcat
Oct 2010
61,883
23,783
Colorado
While I agree with 99.99% of what you said, I do have a minor nitpick.

And this is something I have been guilty of myself. Referring to the god that someone believes in as “imaginary” is doing the very thing theists accuse of us doing. Labeling their god “imaginary” is making a positive claim you have moved from “I do not believe there is a god” to “I believe there is no god.”
Thanks. I've been making this point for years. Interesting that you make the point now, something like my, finally, seeing the point you've been making for years, that atheism isn't a belief, rather an absence of belief.

Who says internet forums never help people to evolve? Mostly that's true, but every once in a while.........
 
Oct 2010
61,883
23,783
Colorado
Atheists have plenty of beliefs. The belief in imaginary Sky Gods isn't one of them.

The real question is this: why do you believe in something that there is no evidence of actually existing? Don't you think if there was a deity, and he was insecure enough to demand constant worship/attention (reducing the most awesome being in creation to that of an insecure, spoiled 12 year old), that he would appear in person and say "Okay jerks, worship me or else"? Or maybe if there is a God he just doesn't give a damn what the insignificant insects on our speck of dirt think and you are wasting your time with obsequious groveling/praying?
You refer to a Bronze or even Stone Age concept of a "deity." It's patently absurd. Such concepts always were used by the ruling class to control people. The "priestly" class warned of the dire straits one would find oneself in if one didn't do as told, as did the ruler as the messages from both were essentially the same and each had the other's back. It's ongoing till this day.

However, your critique seems rather primitive as well. Are there beings who are capable of creating a universe like ours? Of course, presently that question can't be answered yes or no, but it's something to remain open to considering. Look at our scientific and technological achievements in several hundred years of honest inquiry. Imagine a thousand or million years of scientific and technological progress.

To rule out this possibility one goes from knowledge to belief, unsubstantiated belief.
 
Feb 2014
2,167
959
Oregon
I don't think the thinking error is restricted to atheist but is a problem with Western culture and it is Christianity, not science, that shaped Western culture. Science played a big role in our progress, but not in shaping our cultural heritage that is largely our cultural subconscious. So Christians and atheist know all the answers and all things are only true or false. o_O

To be scientific, when there is a lack of evidence the conclusion is "I don't know". Right now we do not have the evidence to scientifically explain Peter the Roman's experience. I am sure the atheist think they are being scientific but they aren't because they insist they know something without good evidence. Such as labeling Peter the Roman's experience supernatural and we all know the supernatural is false, so Perter the Roman could not have experienced what he believes he experienced. o_O What is the problem with accepting we do not know somethings? And if we don't get out of this rut, we never will know.
The two are not separate. You're thinking about things in a very Jewish/Abrahamic sort of fashion, where the world and the supernatural are two separate worlds. This is flawed. They are one and the same, a duality in nature.

I didn't take peyote. It was LSD. I don't know what I saw or what I experienced, only that I know that I experienced it.
I understood that you used LSD. Unless I am wrong what you experienced is also what people who have use peyote experience and I am not sure this is different from being connected with someone who has crossed over? All are about a shared consciousness, right?
 
Feb 2014
2,167
959
Oregon
Most people in the West aren't comfortable with mystery. Discomfort with mystery is a double-edged sword. It drives people to explore and know the knowable, but it also drives the claim to know the unknowable.
I love a mystery. Only I read about the mysteries of life, math, and science, not mystery novels. If we all saw getting involved with the mysteries of life, math, and science as recreational, wouldn't life be a lot of fun? My 10-year-old great grandson has become resistant to that. When he was young we had so much fun! But now he thinks anything to do with learning is a chore he doesn't want to do. :( Something awful happens to us when we pass the age of 8. Our thinking normally becomes increasingly rigid. A teachers chore is to keep the door of learning open when it is closing. An atheist is a person with mental arthritis. It hurts to think beyond the comfortable limits. :D
 
May 2018
1,505
1,045
USA
You refer to a Bronze or even Stone Age concept of a "deity." It's patently absurd. Such concepts always were used by the ruling class to control people. The "priestly" class warned of the dire straits one would find oneself in if one didn't do as told, as did the ruler as the messages from both were essentially the same and each had the other's back. It's ongoing till this day.

However, your critique seems rather primitive as well. Are there beings who are capable of creating a universe like ours? Of course, presently that question can't be answered yes or no, but it's something to remain open to considering. Look at our scientific and technological achievements in several hundred years of honest inquiry. Imagine a thousand or million years of scientific and technological progress.

To rule out this possibility one goes from knowledge to belief, unsubstantiated belief.
Oh yes, I'm definitely referring to the Stone Age/Bronze Age concept of a deity. That fits the description of the god worshiped by Jews/Muslims/Christians perfectly, btw, and I agree with you that the Stone Age concept of a deity is absurd. I prepared a fairly lengthy essay in my initial response that echoed what you state that religion is used as a means of control, but went into a little bit more detail (also touching on control of wealth, social constructs, etc), however I felt it was a bit pedantic and decided to cut it to a shorter response. The OP didn't ask for a lecture on religious history, the OP asked what beliefs atheists have.

Nowhere in my response did I state there was insufficient technology to accomplish "godly" things, however. As you stated that is impossible to know, and I concur 100%. I see an ever expanding Universe, and the infinite number of galaxies, stars, planets, etc as something that is nearly impossible to quantify. The numbers are so vast, even if the odds are a billion to one against intelligent life forming that there are, likely, BILLIONS of planets with intelligent life. Out of those billions I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't millions with technology so advanced it would be indistinguishable from magic to our relatively primitive minds . Now you could maintain, like the Raelians, that human life was created by a technologically advanced species. But technologically advanced species aren't "gods". They are just beings with great tech. As an aside I find it interesting how the big religions mock the Raelians, when the Raelians are probably closer to the truth than any of the others, if you believe that outside assistance was required to 'create" mankind. I, however, maintain no such belief. I feel the onus is on the religious adherents to prove to MY satisfaction that their God exists, and not that I have to disprove their God's existence.

For the record I've seen your posted belief in the afterlife in this forum. I have to say, it's a beautiful concept, and it would be nice if it were true. I hope it is.
 
Likes: imaginethat
May 2018
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USA
While I agree with 99.99% of what you said, I do have a minor nitpick.

And this is something I have been guilty of myself. Referring to the god that someone believes in as “imaginary” is doing the very thing theists accuse of us doing. Labeling their god “imaginary” is making a positive claim you have moved from “I do not believe there is a god” to “I believe there is no god.”
You make a valid point. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I like to use the phrase "imaginary sky gods" to annoy the true believers. I'll keep your nitpick in mind in future discussions.
 

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