Is Atheism a Form of Blind Faith?

by passwordprotected 232 Replies latest jw friends

  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog


    The burden of proof is ALWAYS on the one making the claim. ALWAYS.

    So why do "Atheist" define themselve by making a claim.

    What does the word "atheist" mean?

  • Narkissos

    Formally, those who believe God does not exist... believe; those who do not believe God exists, don't. Gotta love Jewish humour.

  • nicolaou

    You say 'formally', I say 'formerly' . . . . ach! let's call the whole thing off.

  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog

    Is that "Jewish humour" or "Narkish humour"?

  • Narkissos

    DD: check the link in my previous post. :)

  • mouthy

    Villabolo said

    There's beauty and ugliness mouthy Come on now are your kidding???
    At 82 years old do you think your telling me something???
    When you have lived as long as I have my love ,you will realize
    all the ugliness comes from "mans" Creation

  • drwtsn32
    Thats funny. Atheists efforts to re-write the dictionary in an attempt to place themselves beyond the realm of questioning doesn't really impress anyone except other atheists and wannabes.

    Perry, this is unbelievably ridiculous. I know what I believe. Just becuase you feel the word I use to describe my belief is inaccurate doesn't mean I am wrong about how I believe, it means (at most) that it would make sense to you if I used a different word to describe my belief. It certainly does not mean that my belief must be molded to some specific definition you are pointing at in a dictionary.

    As I previously mentioned, the dictionary definition you are "schooling" us atheists with barely scratches the surface. It discusses nothing of weak and strong atheism. Educate yourself and look up those concepts, for it might make you realize that it's not so bad that we use the term "atheism" to describe our beliefs.

    Atheism is a worldview that filters information to make it fit just like any other worldview does. For some kinds of truth, unless it is revealed, it cannot be ultimately known by man, precisely because of his limitations to "know" and his ease by which he can misperceive.

    Of course. Everyone has a filter. My filter requires varying amounts of empirical evidence before I will believe, depending on how extraordinary the claim is. As you point out, perception is highly subjective and prone to error. That is exactly why anecdotal evidence is the weakest form of evidence, and is horribly insufficient at establishing whether a god exists or not.

  • drwtsn32
    So why do "Atheist" define themselve by making a claim.

    Atheism, at least weak atheism, is not making any claim. It is more of a position of non belief until sufficient evidence is presented.

    It's really the way most of us behave with extraordinary claims. If someone says "I was abducted by aliens," I would choose not to believe until I was presented with sufficient evidence. Is it up to me to produce contra-evidence to his claim that he was abducted by aliens? No. It is the believer that is making the claim and it is up to him to produce evidence if he wants to convince the skeptic.

  • drwtsn32
    The word 'probably' is key. That means they don't have the evidence to say 'there's absolutely no God'. And because they don't have the evidence they're working blind.

    It's been pointed out to you in this thread at least once and you seem to be missing it. Scientifically speaking, you cannot prove a negative. It is impossible to prove that no gods exist, just as it is impossible to prove there is no planet somewhere else in our universe that is exactly like ours in every detail (same plants, animals, humans, etc).

    You cannot prove a negative.

    Despite this limitation of not being able to prove negatives, science continues to progress by leaps and bounds. So much for "working blind."

    Tell me this: is there anything that affects our reality that we as humans generally accept without a shred of empirical evidence, other than religious ideas? I can't think of any. The fact that we are expected to make an exception when it comes to religious claims is a perfect example of the "special pleading" logical fallacy.

  • Spook

    Narkissos had the best answer, in my opinion as an atheist.

    I affirm the following propositions:

    1. There is no sound argument which should rationally lead one to conclude that probably a (generic) God exists versus no God existing.

    2. There is no good personal reason to believe a particular God exists which isn't excluded by identical contrary claims of others. I think some personal experiences could be compelling, however an outsider must note that people with incompatible beliefs universally site the same evidence.

    3. There are rational arguments which prove that certain concepts of God are impossible based on the common meaning of words. I would say an example of this is "incompatible properties arguments." I know Jehovah does not exist because no being could be fully just and fully merciful at the same time since, by definition, justice means corresponding merited punishment and mercy means less than the merited amount of punishment. At best, a being could be sometimes just and sometimes merciful.

    I say I "know" certain conceptions of gods don't exist. I strongly doubt all others exist.

    As an atheist I generally understand faith to mean "While I don't have all the evidence which would be required to convince others, I none-the-less believe something is true - and not probably true - for other reasons."

    I've never found an atheist who believes he has inadequate reasons for his world view yet still actively hopes there are no gods.

    Really, this ground is pretty well traveled and even the theistic philosophers have dropped this line of argument except when under severe rhetorical distress.

    I would maintain to the OP that I don't believe anything can exist "outside nature." It seems to me that no meaningful linguistic statement can be made about such an entity and that any discussion about it could not possibly have content represented in reality.

    Anyway, the argument is still a pile of crap:

    P = God exists beyond nature

    Q = Atheism is blind faith

    P -> Q

    if and only if

    P2 = Disbelief in any hypothesis beyond nature is blind faith

    Further, if we realize the following

    P3 = There are many hypothesis with equivalent evidence for gods beyond nature.

    P4 = The liklihood of any inidividual conclusion of an event beyond nature is reduced by the number the hypothesis in existance.

    P5 = The disbelief in a particular hypothesis, Hn , is objectively more likely to be true than is the positive belief in that entity since

    Hn / sum (Hi) will always be less than sumHi/Hn.

    Since if no natural evidence can be brought to bear on a being which exists beyond nature then all such beings have an equal lielihood of existing.

    C1 = Since sum(Hi) is very large, and given P3-P5, the atheist is justified in concluding that probably no God exists unless the theist can prove that the background probability of at least one God existing is very high. The theist cannot do this, therefore the conclusion of atheism is the best one.

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