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What is the best argument for an atheist?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Gloone, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. Gloone

    Gloone Well-Known Member

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    Just be yourself. You won't go wrong with that.
     
  2. Gloone

    Gloone Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't mean you should find your neighbors cat to run over while you are out cruising either. lol Unless it is a really ugly cat, but that is still in your discretion.
     
    #302 Gloone, Oct 20, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  3. jonman122

    jonman122 Active Member

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    Atheist means one thing, and one thing only - A lack of belief in any and all gods. Many buddhists, religious people, are Atheist. Atheism has absolutely NOTHING to do with religion in any way, it is just a general lack of belief in gods. Simple enough for you?
     
  4. Gloone

    Gloone Well-Known Member

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    So I know a lot of Jewish people that are atheist. Is being a Buddhist atheist suppose to mean something?
     
  5. jonman122

    jonman122 Active Member

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    no, but you seem to think that atheism and religion have some kind of weird tie, and they aren't related in any way. Atheism only means the lack of belief in gods, so why bring religion in to it? Just because YOUR religion has a god?

    did you know that god drowned infants in cold blood? <-- i just thought that was a pretty interesting fact, seeing as you hold your god in such high regard. largely unrelated to the topic at hand though
     
    #305 jonman122, Oct 20, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  6. Gloone

    Gloone Well-Known Member

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    I know that God use to not care much anyone or anything. If drowning infants is what it took to get the point across then I guess its mission accomplished. :)
     
  7. Copernicus

    Copernicus Godless Hierophant

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    Unfortunately, I could not read the entire thread before posting. Too long. Basically, you are asking for positive evidence that atheism is a more reasonable position to take than theism. It is reasonable to point out that theism bears the burden of proof, but the OP is really asking to go beyond that. After all, many believers honestly think that there is reasonable evidence to prove the existence of their particular god or gods, so burden-of-proof claims seem unconvincing to them.

    There is no single best reason for rejecting belief in gods (other than the generic "lack of evidence"), but I can list some here. I take gods to be undetectable, immaterial, intelligent agencies that have absolute control over some aspect of reality. Note that the following points are reasons to reject belief in gods, not absolute proof that no gods exist.

    1. Human souls (i.e. minds) cannot exist independently of physical brains according to the preponderance of evidence about mind/brain interactions. That is, brainless minds likely do not exist.
    2. Too many gods. Too many mythical beings. Humans have a long record of making up the existence of false gods. They are notoriously bad god-detectors. Hence, any particular god is likely to be a false god.
    3. No evident interaction between gods and physical reality. Reported miracles invariably turn out to be false or completely uncorroborated by empirical investigation. If gods were real, one would expect to be able to detect their interactions with reality.
    4. Gods are unnecessary explanations for natural phenomena. There are no natural phenomena that seem to require belief in a god to explain (although there seem to be many such phenomena to less scientific cultures).
    5. Prayer does not work. People who pray do not seem to be luckier than those who do not, although one would expect their prayers to have some beneficial effect if there were a god to grant the wishes.
    6. The argument from design--a very powerful argument for a creator god--fails in the face of evolution theory. That is, natural selection provides a more satisfying explanation of the origin of biological diversity.
    7. Failure of revelation. Religion invariably spreads from a single geographical point outwards, which is the pattern we would expect if the origin of religious belief were invented by individuals. If there really were gods, then we could reasonably expect the same gods to be discovered simultaneously in different locations. (That is, it is unlikely that a god wishing to make itself known to humans would rely just on one person or group to spread the news.)
    8. God of gaps phenomenon. Historically, scientific arguments have always trumped religious and superstitious claims, because people have discovered that belief in natural explanations gives better results. The trend to give up supernatural explanations in favor of natural ones suggests that supernatural explanations are just plain wrong.
    These points tend to overlap somewhat, and they are not exhaustive. They are indicative of the type of argument that I, as an atheist, would bring to bear against belief in gods. It is not that I can disprove the existence of gods in a mathematical or logical sense, but I do believe I can show them to be as unlikely to exist as other mythical beings that people have come up with.
     
    #307 Copernicus, Oct 20, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  8. jonman122

    jonman122 Active Member

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    how do you know what god does and does not care about? where did you find that out?
     
  9. JustWondering

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    I wonder if you would take genocide so lightly if it were you and your kids God was drowning? But they were just dirty unbelievers anyways so who cares? Right?
     
  10. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Depends what you mean.

    In one sense, yes: atheism is a response to theism. An atheist is someone who's been confronted with claims that god(s) exist and has either failed to accept them or has outright rejected them. This process can't happen until a person is confronted with a claim that god(s) exist.

    However, if you're just talking about lack of god-belief, then no. Lacking belief in god(s) is not dependent on religion.
     
  11. Autodidact

    Autodidact Intentionally Blank

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    No, the terminology give a wrong impression. Both can be equally fervent. A weak atheist says, "I don't have a belief that there is a God." A strong atheist says, "I have a belief that there is no God."
     
  12. Autodidact

    Autodidact Intentionally Blank

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    Yeah, and who cares about a few dead babies here or there?
     
  13. Gloone

    Gloone Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the informative response. I’m sure a lot of these points can be debated rationally. But I don’t think this thread is really the place for it. It has already been battered and beaten.
     
  14. Copernicus

    Copernicus Godless Hierophant

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    OK. I thought that that kind of response was what you were calling for, but I only had time to skim the thread content. When you say "it" has already been battered and beaten, what are you referring to?
     
  15. Gloone

    Gloone Well-Known Member

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    My original post. Don't waste your time reading through it basically.
     
  16. Just_me_Mike

    Just_me_Mike Well-Known Member

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    If I were an atheist I would simply cite Dawkins and Hithens.
    I realize they are not reasons or argument in and of themselves, but one only needs a simple reading of their work to see they produce most of the arguments atheists use. They also happen to present them in vivid and clear ways that are often lost by a bad presenter.
     
  17. Copernicus

    Copernicus Godless Hierophant

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    Sorry if I seem a little dense, but I don't really understand your response. Are you saying that you have retracted your OP? Or are you trying to say that you no longer have an interest in defending it?
     
  18. strikeviperMKII

    strikeviperMKII Well-Known Member

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    If you are asking me to provide a definition of God, you won't get one. That's what I asked first. So technically, you are the one dodging, not me. (I know you, specifically, are not the one who started this discussion, but you've superimposed yourself in anyway).
    Besides, your point is void if I do in fact not have a definition of God, which I don't. You do, so your point now applies to you.
     
  19. tigrers99

    tigrers99 Member

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    Copernicus,

    Your #1 about some part of us carrying our consciousness outside the brain after it has been declared medically dead, has been proven to be incorrect. Recently, scientists have discovered the most minute particles exiting the brain after it had just showed no electrical activity.

    However, this thread is concerning the strongest Atheist argument. That being natural evil. 'God cannot exist because of all the horrible deadly storms, earthquakes, and floods, that occur taking so many lives and ruining so many others.' 'God cannot exist because of all the incidents that occur taking so many lives....one in which I will always remember is of the woman with a toddler, who had stopped by a body of water to have a small picnic with him. Evidently, she did not read the warning posters about there being alligators in and near the water. While her back was turned, the toddler wandered down near the water because he saw the colorful water lillies, and probably wanted to capture one. The mother heard a splash and looked around to see if her little one had fallen in or if it was just a fish jumping. After she could not find him she contacted the police. Later on they located what was left of the toddler and the alligator, and killed the alligator.' It is incidents like this that makes one question if God does exist. I think it is the most powerful argument the Atheist has even though it is an argument from Emotion .
     
  20. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    Actually the argument from evil is only good if one is arguing against a benevolent god.

    It really isn't a decent argument against god/gods in general.

    I find it pretty weak in fact.
     
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