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Is atheism a religion?

ghost

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Re: Atheism a religion

Arch Enemy said:
The main reason why Atheism isn't a religion is because they do not worship any superior being or deity. One who is worshiped is essential for a religion, other-wise it isn't a religion.. it's a set of beliefs.. more along the lines of philosophical teachings.
Well that is true, but there beliefs are taught, to the point of preaching. Even the public school has taken on there ideals. And not even on there own choice, atheism is forced onto allot of people. So that why I think its a religion. But to its more like...a religious theory. I mean most atheist have abolished the teaching of 'God' in school why?
If you ask a mojority of the students in school if they go to church, allot of them will say yes. I mean its almost gotten to the point where they are trying to take god out of pledge of allegience why? Because they dont believe in it? Well if they dont then they should no say. Because we are nation founded on 'God'.
And to take 'God' out of our pledge is like saying, oh we are a religion and we dont want that other religion to be forced on us.
 

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Re: Atheism a religion

ghost said:
Well that is true, but there beliefs are taught, to the point of preaching. Even the public school has taken on there ideals. And not even on there own choice, atheism is forced onto allot of people. So that why I think its a religion. But to its more like...a religious theory. I mean most atheist have abolished the teaching of 'God' in school why?
If you ask a mojority of the students in school if they go to church, allot of them will say yes. I mean its almost gotten to the point where they are trying to take god out of pledge of allegience why? Because they dont believe in it? Well if they dont then they should no say. Because we are nation founded on 'God'.
And to take 'God' out of our pledge is like saying, oh we are a religion and we dont want that other religion to be forced on us.
If you feel that not saying "God" in the pledge of allegiance is forcing atheism on non-Atheists, isn't saying "God" much more obviously forcing God on Hindus, who believe in Gods. Or Pantheists, for whom it doesn't make sense to say that this is a nation "under God". Even some Christians do not believe in saying "under God".

Let us assume for a moment that not saying God does force atheism. How do you suggest being neutral to all of the religions? Set aside the argument you're preparing to state that this IS a christian nation (to your mind), and defend its continued status as that. Why should it be? How does one establish and maintain religious liberty, if a government cannot be neutral?

Not including God in the pledge is not saying there are no gods. The ATHEIST pledge would go something like this:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the republic for which it stands, One nation under no gods,
with liberty and justice for all.

This would be a pledge Christians could not utter in full, Correct? They would not like having to modify it every single time they say it, Correct? Atheists, and others, feel the same way.

Not teaching about God in school is the same thing. Not teaching about God is not the same as teaching there is no God. God shouldn't be taught by the state. How would you feel some Christians believed that the triune God was actually three Gods, and wanted to teach that? They do exist, I've been to their churches. Why should your sect be the one that is taught? Majority? Well then, why not teach Catholicism? But those are not even the important questions. The important question is How would you feel about that? Marginalized? Less of an American because you're not Catholic?

Not teaching God protects the Christian sect's liberty as well as non-Christians. It protects all beliefs equally. It does not lend its support to Atheism (which would be teaching there is no god) any more than it lends its support to Hinduism (which would be teaching a pantheon of Gods). It lets everyone have their own conscience with regard to religious belief.

Would you be willing to settle for requiring a class (taught neutrally) on comparative religious beliefs? If so, how would you safeguard that the Hindu teacher didn't start emphasizing Hindu beliefs more than Christian ones to your child?
 

ghost

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Re: Atheism a religion

But it never sais what 'God'. And it doesnt have to be singuler. I could mean 'God' or 'Gods'. And how does not being able to pray in give anyone a neutrle stand point?
 

Arch Enemy

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Re: Atheism a religion

Though it is pushing the whole "god" thing, I believe the pledge of allegiance isn't over the top.
The pledge says "One nation under God". It doesn't say "One nation under the god". I think it'd be a problem if it said "One nation under Yahweh" or "One nation under Allah" but it doesn't, "God" doesn't mean "God of the Hebrews" it means something with power above that of humans.
 

Comrade Brian

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Re: Atheism a religion

When I was in Boston a while ago, I got a brief history of the pledge of allegiance. From what I heard it was written 1905 I think, by a Baptist Minister who was also a communist, and had originally left out 'under God', and was supposed to pledge to the Constitution, and the guy hanged himself in 1921. That's all I know.
 

Dezaad

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Re: Atheism a religion

Arch Enemy said:
Though it is pushing the whole "god" thing, I believe the pledge of allegiance isn't over the top.
The pledge says "One nation under God". It doesn't say "One nation under the god". I think it'd be a problem if it said "One nation under Yahweh" or "One nation under Allah" but it doesn't, "God" doesn't mean "God of the Hebrews" it means something with power above that of humans.
I think the pledge of allegiance is not inclusive, precisely because it pushes the whole God thing. Leaving in the word God leaves many Americans out, some of which do believe in a God. Taking it out of the pledge leaves no one out.
 

ghost

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Re: Atheism a religion

Dezaad said:
I think the pledge of allegiance is not inclusive, precisely because it pushes the whole God thing. Leaving in the word God leaves many Americans out, some of which do believe in a God. Taking it out of the pledge leaves no one out.
Who cares? If someone really loved this country they wouldnt care if 'God' was in the sallute. I mean If someone wants to pledge illegience, then they should do what our allegience was intended to do. Pledge allegience to 'God'. But no people just are looking for an exscuse to wine.
 

N.Lmn

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Re: Atheism a religion

ghost said:
Who cares? If someone really loved this country they wouldnt care if 'God' was in the sallute. I mean If someone wants to pledge illegience, then they should do what our allegience was intended to do. Pledge allegience to 'God'. But no people just are looking for an exscuse to wine.
I hate to be petty but what breed of monkey taught your ass to spell? Christ, I wrote better paragraphs in grade 3!

Anyways, having children pledge allegiance to 'god' every morning is nothing more than indoctrination in an institution that is supposed to be secular and respectful of individual belief. The association with God to patriotism is not only misinformed but dangerous to the prospect of a secular state, especially when directed at impressionable schoolkids.
 

Dezaad

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Re: Atheism a religion

ghost said:
Who cares? If someone really loved this country they wouldnt care if 'God' was in the sallute. I mean If someone wants to pledge illegience, then they should do what our allegience was intended to do. Pledge allegience to 'God'. But no people just are looking for an exscuse to wine.
Ummm, would you like to say

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under Satan..."

Or

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under no god..."

Wait.

Need I have asked? Since you think it should be unimportant to non-believers, surely you think it should be unimportant to yourself as well, right?
 

Joe7000

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Re: Atheism a religion

Atheism is a religion without churches, collection plates or hymn books.

I would like to write the first atheist hymn though. Its name would be, "Leave Them Out". My second hymn would be, "Bringing in the Peeves", followed by, "Closer My Cash to thee".

Being a good atheist, I support all people who want to be with their maker. Dr. Kevorkian (sp) was a good atheist.

Good atheists are beloved of the true god. No hypocracy here.

There are very few of us good atheists extant: Most have already gone to Heleaven. The temperature there is luke warm.:mrgreen:


ghost said:
Could Atheism be a form of religion in a way? It takes out 'God', And sets no God as the standard. But wouldnt that make it some sort of belief? Sort of like a religion in a way. And If there thing is to fully take away religion they are only reaslablishing it in a different that suits them.
 
R

rees

Re: Atheism a religion

i remember some people telling poeple God doesn't exist.

Thats what i call a belief..maybe not a Religion, but a Belief..., thus, i see that as them being ignorant...simply because they would say how can you believe in a God/gods when there really isn't any real evidence of it.
but then again, i wonder if they have asked themselves how can i provide evidence that God/gods do NOT exist?
 

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You seem not be able to imagine what an Atheist really believes.
I tell you for instance that the flying Spaghetti Monster really exists. You call me a dork and say it's nothing but imagination. Now i say that is also just a belief. You shall prove that something you have never seen or expierienced, something you think is just ridiculus, doesn't exist.
You say: "I just believe it because, I'm stupid or because I like spaghettis so much that i want to believe it ...".

Now you are the Atheist and I'm the one, who believes in something.

I hope you see why you can't call Atheism a religion. It would be the same if you call Jews religious because they don't believe in Buddha.

"how can i provide evidence that God/gods do NOT exist?"
I think i have answered this question too.
 

Joe7000

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Re: Atheism a religion

Keep up the good work, Nope! If it'll help, negatives cannot be proven -- simple Logic 101.

I like to think of it this way: There may be thousands of "true" gods. None of them merit my consideration.

Why do I say this?

Quite simply this: the main reason I wouldn't wastre my time on any "true" god is because if one exists it is that one who kept his creation in such abject ignorance. This means that I am too ignorant to know for sure if there is or isn't a "true" god.

Therefore, I do not deny the existence of god -- I merely use my god-given ignorance as my defence against one. This makes me the happiest of campers!:rofl


nope said:
You seem not be able to imagine what an Atheist really believes.
I tell you for instance that the flying Spaghetti Monster really exists. You call me a dork and say it's nothing but imagination. Now i say that is also just a belief. You shall prove that something you have never seen or expierienced, something you think is just ridiculus, doesn't exist.
You say: "I just believe it because, I'm stupid or because I like spaghettis so much that i want to believe it ...".

Now you are the Atheist and I'm the one, who believes in something.

I hope you see why you can't call Atheism a religion. It would be the same if you call Jews religious because they don't believe in Buddha.

"how can i provide evidence that God/gods do NOT exist?"
I think i have answered this question too.
 
R

rees

Re: Atheism a religion

God= a God/gods is what i'll mean from this point on whenever i say God.

''negatives cannot be proven''... i was somewhat implying this in my statements as well...thus to make a point

if you think of my statement 'how can i provide evidence that God do NOT exist?'

and lets assume atheism means denying the existence of God... the first few posts seemed to be discussing the definition of atheism...

since it cannot be proven... then how could anyone say ' i definitely know God doesn't exist?....uncertainty should cause neutrality, not choosing a side...so it just doesn't make sense to me.... this is just how i see it...for now,

i spent..way too much time typing this up....zzzz
 

Joe7000

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Re: Atheism a religion

Assuming everyone defines the term GOD in identical ways, thus using GOD as an apriori premise, the following must be assumed.

A. GOD is an ALL-LOVING entity.
1. If this is true, we must now define what the term LOVE means.
2. If this is true, we must now define what the term ALL-LOVING means.
3. How can finite man use the term ALL? Does not ALL, by definition, mean INFINITE possibilities?

B. GOD is an OMNIPOTENT entity.
1. If this is true, we must now define what the term OMNIPOTENT means.
2. We must also determine if there is a natural conflict of interest in the above two terms. Can absolute LOVE exist side by side with absolute POWER?
3. Can finite man even come close to grasping what OMNIPOTENT means?

C. GOD is an OMNISCIENT entity.
1. If this is true, we must now ask, "If GOD knows all, how can man claim this to be a fact? "ALL" is an all-encompassing word: How can finite man proclaim the "ALLNESS" of this entity described as ALL-KNOWING?
2. The same question can be logically asked of A. and B.

D. GOD is EVERYWHERE at one and the same time.
1. Has finite man explored EVERYWHERE? Can finite man even make the statement that GOD is almost EVERYWHERE? Can finite man even make the statement that GOD is 1/10th of being EVERYWHERE?
2. What would GOD look like if HE occupied all places both seen and unseen?

Without going further into the essence of this entity called GOD, just A, B, C and D precludes ANY discussion of same. Man is absolutely ignorant of these four so-called agreed upon attributes of the entity known collectively as GOD.

By the way, the above rationalization is the very flaw inherent in The Angelic Doctor's thesis. One CANNOT use the term GOD as an apriori premise. One might as well state that XYZ exists in a pure form and therefore we have permission to attribute anything we wish to XYZ; after all, if XYZ hasn't been defined, anything we say about it may be absolutely true. The problem is, no one would ever know for sure, because no attempt was ever made to define X,Y and Z.

This should effectively end the entire discussion of anything "religious". --jws


rees said:
God= a God/gods is what i'll mean from this point on whenever i say God.

''negatives cannot be proven''... i was somewhat implying this in my statements as well...thus to make a point

if you think of my statement 'how can i provide evidence that God do NOT exist?'

and lets assume atheism means denying the existence of God... the first few posts seemed to be discussing the definition of atheism...

since it cannot be proven... then how could anyone say ' i definitely know God doesn't exist?....uncertainty should cause neutrality, not choosing a side...so it just doesn't make sense to me.... this is just how i see it...for now,

i spent..way too much time typing this up....zzzz
 
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drinch

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Re: Atheism a religion

Atheism can not be a religion because it’s only one point for large number of different philosophical systems. However, some of those theories such as communism can easily turn into new religion.
Atheism can not be a religion itself, as well as monotheism or paganism. However it can be a philosophical background for certain number of futuristic religions.
 

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Re: Atheism a religion

guns_God_glory said:
...Now first of all, where is documented history
have we seen significant evolution take place?
Try here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-research.html

Sure science says we are similar to apes and has fossils that they
say can prove it. How reliable is this science? How can someone say by
looking at fossils that we were once apes?
Science have never said we were once apes. Various lines of evidence (DNA
similarities and fossils, for example) suggest that both apes and man evolved
from a common ancestor.

Science said the world was flat back in the 1300's and that was
wrong, how can we be sure that later on down the line scienc isn't going to
say "Just kidding". We don't have enogh evidence to support evolution fossils
and similar DNA isn't enough.
This is another of those bogus statements made by theists trying to push
their agenda. It's utter nonsense. Start by looking here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth


As for God, there is evidence if you know where to look.
As you are so sure, please present this evidence for discussion.

How did the universe come to be? Not how did the world come to be
but our whole universe. Kinda hard to think that up if you don't believe in
God.
This one in easy. You answer the question "where did god come from?"
Whatever your answer is, that's the same answer to "how did the universe
come to be?"

As for Jesus there is well documented proof of his existence as
well.
I'd be delighted if you were to produce a reference to any of this
documented proof. I suspect you'll just trot out fabrications from people with
a vested interest in the existence of someone like Jesus or works that are
generally considered to be forgeries.
 

shuamort

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Re: Atheism a religion

Joe7000 said:
Keep up the good work, Nope! If it'll help, negatives cannot be proven -- simple Logic 101.
Actually negatives CAN be proven. I can say that there are no nickels in my pants pocket. I can pull my pocket inside out and then prove that there are no nickels there. Thus, I have proven a negative.
 

Joe7000

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Sorry, but in logic 101 a negative implies that there can be no nickel in your pants pockets, ever.

This is why, in a court of law, one cannot be proven innocent -- one can only be proven guilty or not guilty. Innocence is not even a legal term. It is also why innocence is presumed until proven otherwise. In fact, now that the Constitution has been turned on it's head and all federal courts (and most state courts) fly the admiralty (gold fringe) flag, one is presumed guilty until proven innocent. Since innocence cannot be proven, it's much easier to convict on the presumption of guilt. So much for logic.

The same principle applies to theories. Theories can only be valid if they can be proven false. This is why there are so few "real" facts in our illusional world. There are many operable theories extant.

The greatest flaw in religious thinking (as it applies to logic) is that the practictioners of same appeal to authority in their proof that some deity exists. That is a no-no.

So, unless you can prove that a nickel has never been, nor will ever be, in your pants pocket, your example if flawed.

Put it this way: The totality of the universe may be, in reality, a huge pants pocket. Not only that, the universe may even belong to you. Therefore, all nickels would necessarily reside in your pants pocket, whether in-side-out or not. :smile:

shuamort said:
Actually negatives CAN be proven. I can say that there are no nickels in my pants pocket. I can pull my pocket inside out and then prove that there are no nickels there. Thus, I have proven a negative.
 

shuamort

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Re: Atheism a religion

Joe7000 said:
Sorry, but in logic 101 a negative implies that there can be no nickel in your pants pockets, ever.
Umm, no. That wasn't my statement. It wasn't an infinite statement. "There are no nickels in my pocket right now". That's a negative statement. I can prove, with logic that there are no nickels in my pocket right now. I can therefore prove a negative. Simple statement, simple proof, simple logic.


Negatives can be proved by logic using reductio ad absurdum which is a fancy way of saying that you make an assumption that such and such is true and then show that this assumption leads to a contradiction. The contradiction shows that there is something wrong with the assumption, namely such and such must not be true.

Also, the statement "one cannot prove a negative" is amusing circular logic.
 

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Re: Atheism a religion

Here's a good article about it. (Copyright free)

Proving a Negative (1999)
Richard Carrier


I know the myth of "you can't prove a negative" circulates throughout the nontheist community, and it is good to dispel myths whenever we can. As it happens, there really isn't such a thing as a "purely" negative statement, because every negative entails a positive, and vice versa. Thus, "there are no crows in this box" entails "this box contains something other than crows" (in the sense that even "no things" is something, e.g. a vacuum). "Something" is here a set restricted only by excluding crows, such that for every set S there is a set Not-S, and vice versa, so every negative entails a positive and vice versa. And to test the negative proposition one merely has to look in the box: since crows being in the box (p) entails that we would see crows when we look in the box (q), if we find q false, we know that p is false. Thus, we have proved a negative. Of course, we could be mistaken about what we saw, or about what a crow is, or things could have changed after we looked, but within the limits of our knowing anything at all, and given a full understanding of what a proposition means and thus entails, we can easily prove a negative in such a case. This is not "proof" in the same sense as a mathematical proof, which establishes that something is inherent in the meaning of something else (and that therefore the conclusion is necessarily true), but it is proof in the scientific sense and in the sense used in law courts and in everyday life. So the example holds because when p entails q, it means that q is included in the very meaning of p. Whenever you assert p, you are also asserting q (and perhaps also r and s and t). In other words, q is nothing more than an element of p. Thus, all else being as we expect, "there are big green Martians in my bathtub" means if you look in your bathtub you will see big green Martians, so not seeing them means the negative of "there are big green Martians in my bathtub."
Negative statements often make claims that are hard to prove because they make predictions about things we are in practice unable to observe in a finite time. For instance, "there are no big green Martians" means "there are no big green Martians in this or any universe," and unlike your bathtub, it is not possible to look in every corner of every universe, thus we cannot completely test this proposition--we can just look around within the limits of our ability and our desire to expend time and resources on looking, and prove that, where we have looked so far, and within the limits of our knowing anything at all, there are no big green Martians. In such a case we have proved a negative, just not the negative of the sweeping proposition in question.


The Method of the Best Bet
Logicians note that it is easier to prove that there are such beings than to prove there aren't simply because we only need to find one of them to accomplish our proof, and thus will not have to look everywhere--unless we are so unlucky that where the one Martian is just happens to be the last place we look. But in the final analysis, it is not being "negative" that makes a proposition difficult to prove, but the breadth of the assertion. For instance, "there is gravity on every planet in every universe" could be disproven by searching just one planet and finding no gravity, but if we kept finding gravity we could never decisively prove it true, any more than if we kept failing to find Martians in the universe would we be able to decisively prove that "there are no Martians in the universe." Thus, what people call the "you can't prove a negative" axiom is actually nothing more than the eternal problem of induction: since we can't test a proposition in every place and at every time, we can never be absolutely certain that the proposition remains true in all times and places. We can only infer it.
In computers this sort of proof (of the positive or negative variety) results in an infinite loop (or quasi-infinite loop), and clever programmers can give software the tools to recognize such routines before executing them. Then, instead of executing them, they have them execute a simpler subroutine that equates to a "best guess." Not surprisingly, we all do the same thing: since we have neither the ability nor the desire to devote a dangerous proportion of our time and resources to testing every proposition of this kind, we adopt a simpler rule: given insufficient evidence, then no belief. This is the same thing as "given sufficient evidence, then belief," since insufficient evidence is the same thing as sufficient evidence for denial.

This amounts to a "best guess" solution, where we recognize that a statement may be true, but have insufficient grounds to believe it. Or, in the case of propositions for which we have abundant but incomplete proof, we recognize that it may be false, but have insufficient grounds to disbelieve it. This is the basic principle behind all hypothetical thought, from the theories of science, to the "sun will come up tomorrow" variety of common sense. Given the set of all propositions of the first kind (where there is a lack of evidence despite some reasonable measure of checking), nearly all of them are false, so it is a safe bet to assume they are all false until proven otherwise. Conversely, given the set of all propositions of the second kind (where there is continuous evidence after some reasonable measure of checking), nearly all of them are true, so it is a safe bet to assume they are true until proven otherwise.


Unprovable Statements
Consider the negative case. When it comes time to decide what to believe, if we did not assume such "unprovables" were false, we would either have to choose which unprovables to believe by some totally arbitrary means, which amounts to a ridiculous "belief by whim" method, or else we have to assume that all such statements are true. Of course, we only have to believe true those unprovables that do not contradict other proven statements or that do not contradict each other, but even in the latter case we have no grounds for choosing which of two contradictory unprovables we will believe, and this is the same "belief by whim" dilemma. But even with these provisions, this policy would result in a great number of absurd beliefs (like "there are big green Martians in the universe"). Thus, when finally deciding what to believe, it is clear that the best policy is to assume that all unprovables are false, until such time as they are proved. In other words, it is reasonable to disbelieve a proposition when there is no evidence. Even if it is less certainly false than propositions which are actually contradicted by evidence (although even that does not amount to a complete certainty), it is still reasonable to regard them as false so long as we've done some checking, and don't ignore new evidence that we come across.
A similar line of reasoning establishes the opposite in all positive cases. If we did not assume all such unprovables were true, we would either have to choose which unprovables to disbelieve by some totally arbitrary means, which again amounts to a ridiculous "belief by whim" method, or else we have to assume that all such statements are false. Of course, it would be plainly absurd to believe that all the statements for which we have some evidence are false. Although "absolute skeptics" actually claim to assume this, they put in place of truth a concept of assent which amounts to the same solution as I have discussed above: betting on the truth of a statement that we have many reasons to believe but can never be certain of. Thus, when finally deciding what to believe, it is clear that the best policy is to assume that all unprovables for which we have good evidence are true, until such time as they are disproved. In other words, it is reasonable to believe a proposition when there is good evidence. Even if it is less certainly true than propositions which are actually irrefutable, such as mathematical truths or "I am thinking, therefore I am," it is still reasonable to regard them as true so long as we've done some checking, and don't ignore new evidence that we come across. In all cases, we can perhaps move the bar up and down--changing the amount of "checking" that counts as reasonable and sufficient before resolving to believe--but this affects all our beliefs, as the bar cannot be set differently for different things without again engaging in "belief by whim" methods, and we will all find that there is such a thing as having the bar too low or too high, as one can find through the same reasoning as I have engaged in here.
 

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Re: Atheism a religion

The Unbelievability of Christian Theism
Christian Theism in its most basic sense entails observations that would necessarily be made by everyone everywhere and at all times, and thus it is as easily disproven as the alien in the bathtub. For instance, God is theoretically omnipresent, and granted us the ability to know him (to feel his loving presence, etc.), yet I have absolutely no sensation of any God or anything that would be entailed by a God, even though by definition he is within me and around me wherever I go. Likewise, God is theoretically the epitome of compassion, and also all-knowing and all-powerful and beyond all injury, yet I know that what demonstrates someone as compassionate is the alleviation of all suffering known to them and safely within their power to alleviate. All suffering in the world must be known and safely within the power of God to alleviate, yet it is still there, and since the Christian 'theory' entails the opposite observation, Christianity is false. Likewise, God theoretically designed the universe for a moral purpose, but the universe lacks moral features--animals thrive by survival of the fittest, not survival of the kindest, and the laws of physics are no respecter of persons, they treat the good man and the bad man equally. Moreover, the universe behaves like a mindless machine, and exhibits no intelligent action of its own accord, and there are no messages or features of a linguistic nature anywhere in its extra-human composition or behavior, such as we would expect if a thinking person had designed it and wanted to communicate with us.
Christians attempt to preserve their proposed theory by moving it into the set of unprovables that lack all evidence. They do this arbitrarily, and for no other reason than to save the proposed theory, by creating impassable barriers to observation, just as requiring us to look in every corner of every universe creates an impassable barrier for one who is asked to decisively disprove the statement "there are big green Martians." For instance, the advanced theory holds that God alleviates suffering in heaven, which we conveniently cannot observe, and he has reasons for waiting and allowing suffering to persist on Earth, reasons which are also suitably unobservable to us, because God chooses not to explain them, just as he chooses, again for an unstated reason that is entirely inscrutable, to remain utterly invisible to all my senses, external and internal, despite being always around and inside me and otherwise capable of speaking to me plainly.

The problem is not, as some theists think, that we can find no explanations to "rationalize" a god in this world of hurt. I can imagine numerous gods who would be morally justified and even admirable, and others who would be neither evil nor good, and still others who are evil, but none of these would be the Christian god. The fact is that Christianity is the proposal of a theory, and like all theories, it entails predictions--but these predictions are not being born out. So Christians invent excuses to save the theory--excuses which have absolutely no basis in any evidence or inference, except the sole fact that they rescue the theory. This is Ptolemy's epicycles all over again: the motions of the planets and sun refused to fit the theory that they all revolve around the Earth, so Ptolemy invented numerous complex patterns of motion that had no particular reason to happen other than the fact that they rescue the theory of geocentricity. It is simply far wiser to conclude that instead of this monstrously complex and bizarre architecture of groundless saving suppositions, it makes far more sense, and uses far fewer suppositions, to simply admit that the universe doesn't revolve around the Earth after all. As for all the other theories--all the other possible gods--there is no more evidence for them than for this incredibly complex deity with a dozen strange and mysterious reasons that only too conveniently explain why we never observe him or his actions in any clear way.

Of course, even these groundless "solutions" to the Christian 'theory' do not really save the theory, because, to maintain it, at some point you must abandon belief in God's omnipotence--since at every turn, God is forced to do something (to remain hidden and to wait before alleviating suffering, etc.) by some unknown feature of reality, and this entails that some feature of reality is more powerful than God. And this feature cannot merely be God's moral nature, since if that were his only limitation, there would then be no barrier to his speaking to me or acting immediately to alleviate suffering or designing the universe to have overtly moral or linguistic features, since any truly moral nature would compel, not prevent, such behavior. Thus, the Christian hypothesis is either incoherent or unprovable, and in the one case it is necessarily false, while in the other it lacks justification, so we have no reason to believe it, any more than we have a reason to believe that there is a big green Martian on some planet in some corner of some universe. This is what it means to "prove a negative."
 

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Re: Atheism a religion

Joe7000 said:
This is why, in a court of law, one cannot be proven
innocent -- one can only be proven guilty or not guilty. Innocence is not
even a legal term. It is also why innocence is presumed until proven
otherwise.
I'm not sure what sort of logic you're using, but it seems nonsense to me.
You state that innocence isn't a legal term then, in the very next sentence,
you talk about the law presuming innocence!

The assumption of innocence has nothing to do with it being provable or not.
It is to put the burden of proof onto the accuser.

One definition of "innocent" is "not legally guilty". Hence, if I'm found not
guilty by a court, I'm innocent. In fact it can be possible to prove innocence.
For example, showing that I was trapped at the bottom of the sea in a
submarine when the crime was committed on dry land is pretty good proof of
innocence.
 

Joe7000

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Re: Atheism a religion

Umm, as you wish -- it has nothing to do with the rules of formal logic though. By the way, there are a number of ways that nickel can still be in your pocket, whether in-side-out or not. Magicians do it all the time. It proves nothing. Try this: Do unicorns exist?

One more BTW: Your statement properly put should have been, "My pocket contains no nickels at present." That, my friend, is a positive statement, not a negative statement. Umm, notwithstanding.


shuamortUmm said:
reductio ad absurdum[/I] which is a fancy way of saying that you make an assumption that such and such is true and then show that this assumption leads to a contradiction. The contradiction shows that there is something wrong with the assumption, namely such and such must not be true.

Also, the statement "one cannot prove a negative" is amusing circular logic.
 
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