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Featured A Serious Question To Self-Proclaimed Atheists ...

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by PureX, Oct 24, 2021.

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  1. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I start from the baseline premise that it is not possible for a human being to determine the nature or even the existence of 'God'.

    I realize this may not be entirely true, but if there are exceptions, they are very, very rare. In the same way that 'miracles' do appear to happen, but whatever they are, they are very, very rare. So although my baseline premise in not absolute, I believe it stands, logically and realistically. There is no significant information or evidence available to us that would logically move us off this baseline premise. "I don't know" (agnosticism) is the logical human response to the proposal that 'God/gods' exist.

    However, this leaves the proposal of God's existence to be a possibility, as agnosticism does not logically negate the existence of God/gods. It also leaves, by default, the possibility open that no gods exist since agnosticism does not negate that possibility, either.

    The point I'm making, here, is that agnosticism does not preclude anyone from choosing to adopt a presumption that God/gods (of a metaphysical nature) exist, or that that they do not exist. What agnosticism does do, however, is remove the possibility of our logically proving either presumption to ourselves or to anyone else.

    So why would anyone adopt the presumption that God/gods exists, or that God/gods do not exist, given this baseline premise of our lack of sufficient evidence or information to make a logical determination? Because a great many humans do choose to move past their agnosticism, and into one determination or the other (theism or atheism).

    I understand why theists choose to do so. And so do most of us, here. The reason is that they gain some personal value benefit from their choosing to trust in their particular idealization of 'God'. But I do not understand why people choose to presume that no gods exist, because that choice offers them no personal value or benefit. There is no idealization to inculcate or act on in adopting atheism, and therefor no benefit to be derived from such non-idealization and non-action.

    I also understand taking a position of uninformed indifference as an agnostic. If one feels no particular need or desire for the benefits others seek through theism, then so be it. There would logically be no reason, then, for them to choose theism.

    What I don't understand is choosing the presumption of atheism, as opposed to simply remaining agnostic and indifferent. I've been trying to ask one or two self-proclaimed atheists, here, why they choose atheism as opposed to agnostic indifference and I cannot get an answer from them. I can't even get them to acknowledge the logic behind my question.

    CAN ANYONE ELSE, HERE, EXPLAIN TO ME THE LOGIC OF CHOOSING ATHEISM? (Given agnosticism as a baseline human premise)
     
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  2. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Why should I give any quarter to a thing for which I find no evidence? God, angels, jinn or ghosts. If I get evidence, I will change my views.
     
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  3. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Atheism isn't self proclaimed.

    Theism is. That's what brought about the response that's called Atheism in the first place.

    It's not the other way around. That would be incredibly silly.


    Everyone starts out as an atheist naturally and then theism is later taught prompting the response that is called Atheism.
     
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  4. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Why negate them when you can simply ignore them? The universe is full of possibilities that you have no evidence for or against. Your lack of evidence doesn't mean they are not still possible. So why presume they are not possible based on no evidence? Why not just ignore them unless and until their possibility become evident to you?
     
  5. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Well, that's just false. I almost never see anyone call anyone ELSE an atheist. It's always self-proclaimed. Ad nauseam, sometimes. And then defended tooth and nail, as I am sure this thread will soon attest.
     
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  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    As I said, I will change my views if I get any evidence. I believe in relativity, Quantum Mechanics and uncertainty because there is some evidence. I have not found any for God, soul, prophets, sons, messengers, manifestations, mahdis, heaven or hell; so I do not believe in them.
     
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  7. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    Firstly this is basically a "Why would you choose not to believe when you have everything to loose?" type of argument.

    The problem with this are many:-
    Firstly, how do you know you have chosen the correct god? There are so many, could you not be worshipping the wrong one and in as bad or worse position as the atheist?
    Secondly, as an atheist I understand that people gain a personal benefit from their faith. I've tried it and gained nothing. So, I am putting effort into something (when I could be doing something useful) for no gain to myself.

    I suppose if you take Richard Dawkins comment that he is something like 98% certain there is no god; and you define atheism as 100% certainty then a lot of atheists will agree that under that definition they are agnostic BUT at the extreme 'no god' end of the spectrum.

    I normally say I'm a Humanist, rather than an atheist but I believe most Humanists are atheists.
    I don't understand why I can't gain benefits from the excitement of science, of discovery, of our planet and the cosmos; I get great joy from my family and friends ... I don't need any unproven super being to believe in.
     
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  8. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Is a new born a theist? People indoctrinate the children.
     
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  9. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    You aren't addressing the question I asked. Lack of evidence results in your not knowing. Yet you are choosing (apparently) to presume the negative. Why? Why not simply accept ad remain agnostic?
     
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  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    "Self-proclaimed" is so often the prefix to "atheist", but not to
    other beliefs or non-beliefs. Who isn't "self proclaimed", eh...
    Christian, Muslim, Pastafarian, & Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    We each decide what best labels our religion / philosophy.
    It's not like any of us are certified. (Although I suppose that Jews
    could be considered certified, given that maternal blood line &
    conversion requirements stuff.)

    Anyway, agnosticism is a sub-set of atheism.
    Ref...
    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/atheism
    1 the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
    2 disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

    #2 is certainly the logically rigorous approach, since the
    existence of gods cannot be disproven. But #1 is quite
    a reasonable speculation, given that religions are so
    utterly loopy in their beliefs. Supreme beings...the idea
    is absurd.

    See that 2nd definition?
    There it is....different from #1...#2 is mere disbelief,
    ie, not believing in gods.
     
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  11. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Lightly seared on the reality grill.
    It's My Birthday!

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    'God' is meaningless without further definition as it refers to endless different and often mutually contradictory concepts, none of which (as far as I have found out to date) have any evidence or sound reasoning to support them. Hence there is no more reason to accept them than ghosts, alien abductions, the Loch Ness monster, celestial teapots, fairies, or leprechauns.
    I choose both, since gods seem every bit as fantastical and unbelievable as the above examples but many of them cannot be 100% ruled out (neither can the examples, for that matter).

    Agnostic atheism is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity, and are agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact.

    Not sure why this should be hard for anybody to understand.
     
  12. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Then, those who claim to know should present their evidence. There are billions of them. Do they have even a shred of evidence?

    :) Basically, Hindus generally are never agnostic. They are not fence-sitters. They will either say 'yes' or say 'no'.
     
  13. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    You cannot think in terms of atheism anf given past experience any answer would go right over your head so no, i wont even try to explain to you
     
  14. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    I refer to the atheists I know as "atheist".
    Of course....that's how I know they're atheists, ie, they tell me.
    There's no diploma on their wall identifying them as such.
    They have no shibboleths or special hats (as Jews often do.)

    BTW, I only know the religion of others because
    they're "self-proclaimed"....same for you...a
    self proclaimed "Philosophical Taoist/Christian".
     
  15. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    No, it's really not. I understand the logic of remaining agnostic, and even indifferent. I do not understand the logic (if there is any) of choosing to surpass agnosticism and adopt the presumption that no gods exist.
    It works for me.
    Why? That is not a logical expenditure of your time or energy. What I am seeking here is the logic of choosing atheism, as atheists are constantly telling me how they only follow the logic and the evidence. So what is the logic and evidence of choosing atheism? I'm asking.
    I am not interested in yours or anyone's presumed certainty. I am interested in the logic of choosing atheism as opposed to simply remaining agnostic. Remember, I am starting with the baseline premise that we are all logically agnostic. If you are not agnostic, that's a whole other discussion.
    Most theists are humanists, as well. So humanism is not a logical factor in choosing atheism.
    Theists and agnostics experience all those same natural benefits. So they are not logical factors in your choosing atheism as opposed to simply remaining agnostic.

    Are you unable to answer my question? If so, why do you think that is?
     
  16. Azrael Antilla

    Azrael Antilla Active Member

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    Essentially, atheism is in principle simply the non belief in supernatural controlling entities, however for myself my atheism is founded on logical evidence based reasoning, in that what is observable inferable and testable is real. Like sound waves or neutrons. Is distinct from that which is untestable. From that which is untestable. Such as metaphysical hypothesis or historical account. Which may be real but without testable evidence, cannot be described as real. In any tangible or detectable way. Such as supernatural controlling entities, so consequently they have a non zero probability chance of existing, because despite the lack of testable evidence, absolute certainty is impossible given our subjective position within the universe. Inside the box. *Sorry about the triple quote, my phone is being an ***.
     
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  17. Guitar's Cry

    Guitar's Cry Verisimilitudinous

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    Since your logic is axiomatic (self-referential due to your premise), it is impossible to answer.

    In other words, an atheist would disagree with your premise.
     
    #17 Guitar's Cry, Oct 24, 2021
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  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I believe that there are no amusement parks in my small town. I've driven all over and haven't seen any amusement parks or any of the signs that would normally go along with them.

    Most of the people in town disagree with me. They say we have an amusement park here in town.

    Now... some of them point to the Play Place at McDonald's as the "amusement park," and some have a personal definition of "amusement park" that includes any place that sparks joy, but most of them are convinced that Disney has built an entire subterranean amusement park resort under our town and will be opening it any day now. They're sure that Disney will offer heavily discounted tickets for local residents.

    They're super excited about the idea. They've even created clubs about it: every week, they get together to chat about what the park will look like and sometimes to figure out which buildings in town might hide the secret entrances to the park. At the meetings, they even get the kids to draw pictures of what they think the roller coasters will look like and sing songs how much fun they'll have when they finally get to visit. They're all giddy with anticipation. It's a good time.

    ... mostly, at least. I mean, one of my friends was stuck walking 5 km each way through the snow to work last winter, which kinda sucked (her car broke down, but she didn't want to dip into her savings for park admission because she was convinced the park was going to open right away). And the bunch who are absolutely convinced that we'll be getting a Universal Studios still aren't on speaking terms with the bunch are absolutely convinced that we won't. Still, on the whole, people are probably happier thinking we have an amusement park than they would be otherwise.

    So... am I wrong to believe that we don't have an amusement park? What would you do in this situation?

    Keep in mind that there's evidence, too: a handful of people say that they know someone who knows someone who snuck down and saw the park (they all say it's awesome, BTW, but none of the claims about what's down there agree on the details). There's also Bill at the industrial supply store who sold big bolts - just the kind they use on roller coasters - to a stranger he'd never seen before, which he's sure counts for something.

    Since I don't have time (or the inclination, frankly) to start digging test pits and boreholes all over town, I have no way to absolutely refute the claim that there's an amusement park here. Do you think I'm being foolish for presuming it's false?
     
    #18 9-10ths_Penguin, Oct 24, 2021
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  19. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    No, that would essentially be agnosticism. But to keep things honest and clear, let's leave "belief" out of it. And all the more so "unbelief". As that's clearly a deliberate obfuscation.

    What I'm interested in, here, are the positions people take in relation to the theist proposal that God/gods exist. And especially in the LOGICAL justifications for their doing so. Logically speaking, we are all agnostic in that none of us have sufficient evidence or knowledge that can validate the proposition that God/gods exist. And yet most of us do not rest on that agnosticism. Most of us choose to presume that God/gods do exist, or that they do not exist. And I understand the logic behind theists choosing the presumption that God/gods do exist, but what I'm asking for, here, is the logic behind atheists choosing to presume that no gods exist.
    Except that in this instance there is none. What evidence for or against the existence of 'God' could there possibly be? So why are you not simply remaining undecided?
     
  20. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    For me it wasn't a choice.

    Think of someone who is born legally blind with no perception of light. A sighted person who has seen color all his life tries to explain it to me and the differences in shades. He says one day I'll soon see the colors too.

    Then one day I get the concept of what people mean. I get why people are drawn to it. They even translated an audio book about it since I can't visually read.

    But I am still blind.

    I get that some are uncomfortable with being born blind. They grapple for answers and take whatever they feel they've experienced as true. I just don't have that beyond curiosity and philosophy. I'm not "blind and now I see."

    Being blind can be challenging especially when you live mostly around sited person's but that doesn't make you see better.

    Maybe a blind person gets it and lives their own and sited people's concept of color (theism).

    Maybe they can't prove either way and leave it open because they may feel there is some truth in it (agnostic).

    But for me I am blind (in this analogy). I accept color as a concept TO ME). I accept that I'm not other people and can't claim their truth is real or not because I have no basis of comparison to even say they could be right.

    Most people who see the light have a profound experience of some sort. Why can't we see the light from blindness?

    Why do we need other people's light to find our way in life?

    I don't see a problem with proclaiming one is atheist. They don't believe other people's perception of color exist.

    However, it's not about the sighted's perception but our own as blind people. If we choose to we can figure out own concept of God it just won't be in color.

    Some blinded grew up not blind and lost their site later in life. So they speak of color from the sighted view.

    But what of those who do not?

    We didn't choose atheism. We are who we are and can live just as sighted people.

    And those who are actually blind do as well.

    If you get my analogy.
     
    #20 Unveiled Artist, Oct 24, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
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