I realize whether you believe in God or the non-existence of God it has to be taken on faith since both positions are unknowable and unprovable. However, I can understand faith in God as basically a hope for something better. I can also understand agnosticism; admitting it's unknowable but still leaving the door open (perhaps the only intellectually honest option). What I can't understand is faith in atheism. What's the upside?
The upside of atheism
Its semantics. For me atheism is just an absence of belief in gods. It is not the same thing as a positive assertion "THERE IS NO GOD"
Dawkins refers to a scale of 1 - 7 where 1 is "I know there is a god" and 7 is "I know there is not a god". He puts himself at 6. In other words I can't assert he does not exist in the same way I can't assert there is not teapot in orbit around Jupiter but its not worth worrying about.
Is there an upside to 4+4 equaling 8? It just is.
Paul, I am not an atheist, but very much an atheist sympathizer. I can tell you that the only thing atheists ever seem to have in common is their own realizations and belief that god doesn't exist.
Thats not faith. It's a fair point. Where is he? Thats what atheists ask? No one can find him! Ok. No faith necessary.
Perhaps this discussion will help you to learn that faith isn't something that atheists use when it comes to god. To say it is an act of faith to not believe god exists is to presume he does without validating evidence.
In any case, just wanted to weigh in.
The upside of atheism is not wasting time serving a deity that demands so much. If someone has a deity that doesn't demand so much, then they pretty much live like an atheist except they believe in something totally unproven.
Believers in a god act like it is either or. If you choose to believe in something totally unproven, then there are scores of other choices. Why just "a" God? Why must He/She/It be all knowing and all powerful? Maybe the goofy Mormons or the Scientologists have some merit to their beliefs.
The other upside to atheism is being rational and able to truly see things for what they are.
I might add that the upside for atheists is the most simple and grandest thing of all. They know and accept themselves. Most people struggle with that. Most atheists will be happy to discuss the subject (atheism vs theism) but at the end of the day, the go to bed not worrying about other peoples beliefs. They have their own.
I have my own.
I hope you will one day discover your own.
For me, it is a lack of belief in god(s), and it is very liberating. I want to be good for goodness' sake. Not for a (probably fictitious) sky-man holding a carrot just out of reach.
And I have learned to stop looking at everything with an agenda already in place. The world is full of wonder, and I try very hard to appreciate it for what it is, not what somebody else says it should be.
I hope you will one day discover your own.
Thanks Jeff... me too.
Of course I'm not saying either position can be proven. I do, however, put them on the same plane regarding faith. They both require a certain amount of "suspension of disbelief".
What I can't understand is faith in atheism. What's the upside?
What is the upside for you not to believe in paganism? What is the upside for you not to believe in hinduism? Waht is the upside for you not to believe in the prophet Muhammad, scientology doctrine, mormon doctrine, etc., etc., etc.?
What is the upside? Why don't you believe in all of those things? Why don't you believe in faries? Or in monsters under your bed? Why don't you believe in gnomes?
Obviously, if something is not real then there is no benefit in believing in it - and belief in things that are not real prevent us from comming to an accurate understanding of our universe.
If you believe that gnomes stole your car keys in the night, then you won't go looking for them, and you'll never find them. Compare that with fundamentalists christians that continue to deny evolution in spite of over 200 years of mounting evidence, and a resounding defeat at the Dover trial. (And the theory of evolution has nothing to say about the existance of God. Mearly how life becamse diverse. It is the fundamentalists' belief that causes them to interpret the theory as an attack against god.)
The upside of atheism (by which I mean agnostic atheists) is a slate by which we can accurately study the world in an unbiased manner.
at the end of the day, the go to bed not worrying about other peoples beliefs
I'm not worried, I'm just wondering. Since we're just "choosing" these unprovable beliefs, why not just choose a belief that there is the possibility of a greater consciousness and perhaps there is something good in store?