Let's settle this for once and for all...... is atheism a belief, a non-belief or an anti-belief?
To be an atheist one has to believe that the universe is either eternal or came from nothing. There is no evidence for either; therefore, atheism is a belief.
Actually, that isn't true. Sorry.
Athiests with varying ideas have formed conclusions based on available facts, including how much God has had to say in our 20th century for example. Such data leads to conclusions, but those conclusions (i.e. there is no god as theists describe it) is much different then saying all atheists have beliefs and believe the same thing. (i.e. I am an atheist, and as such, must defend the atheists code of conduct, and all believe the same thing)
Labels, they suck. So do attempts to change the conversation on why religion and god have disappointed by demonizing those that point out the obvious.
I promise you, any atheist would be a believer in a second if God simply would show up. Who wouldn't, right?
ATJ said: "Athiests with varying ideas have formed conclusions based on available facts, including how much God has had to say in our 20th century for example. Such data leads to conclusions."
Atheists have belief based on data. Calling it a "conclusion", while lending a dignified air, doesn't disguise the fact that it is merely a belief. If it were cast iron, proven fact, then agnostics would accept it too, but it is not. It is opinion, treated as fact. Data +interpretation +a leap of faith. A negative unproven claim - "X doesn't exist" - is still just a claim, a mere belief, just as "X exists" is. Christian could - and do - use exactly the same argument and terminology and it would be just as inaccurate: "Christians with varying ideas have formed conclusion based on available facts... such data leads to conclusions." Or to quote Rutherford "Bible prophecy shows that the Lord was due to appear for the second time in the year 1874. Fulfilled prophecy shows beyond a doubt that he did appear in 1874. Fulfilled prophecy is otherwise designated the physical facts; and these facts are indisputable."
ATJ continues: "but those conclusions (i.e. there is no god as theists describe it) is much different then saying all atheists have beliefs and believe the same thing".
All true atheists do believe the same thing: That there is no 'God'. Aside from that their various opinions may differ, but this is exactly the same with Theists, they share a central belief in God/s but after that their opinions vary greatly.
The disagreement I have with atheists is their attempt to dignify and elevate a position which is actually little different in process than Theism, but different only in conclusion. That, or their attempt to redefine (or blur) 'Atheism' according to their own personal tastes and preferences even though it already had and has a clear definition.
Wow. Lets try this one on.
"God doesn't exist. There is no evidence that he exists. She/He hasn't spoken to anyone at all in a verifiable way, ever"
Prove that statement wrong.
That isn't a belief. It is a conclusion based on available facts.
A 'negative' belief is still a belief. The atheist asserts a belief: "There is no God", which he can't really prove, much like the Christian.
No, it is the opposite for me. I have examined the assertion that god exists (many further assertions can stem from this one). I have examined the evidence that is available to me, and in my own mind have concluded that said evidence is not sufficient to convince me to believe in the assertion. Therefore I am atheist. I am not taking a stance, and I am open to any new evidence that becomes available to me. That is all there is to it.
Edit: Hey, Jeff! I didn't know you were back around these parts...
Jeff said: Prove that statement wrong.
LOL Easy. :)
Ever heard the phrase "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"? The guy who said that was arch-Skeptic Carl Sagan. Yet even as a noted skeptic, he acknowledged this truth.
The first element of your statement - "God doesn't exist" - is atheistic and quite wrong. It's a claim which you cannot prove. Prove God does not exist! You cannot, of course. So it's just a belief.
The next element of your statement - "There is no evidence that he exists" - is also incorrect. There is evidence, there just is not absolute proof. They are different things. Both 'sides' in a court case produce "evidence" but only one sides case will eventually be considered "proven". Theists provide "evidence", but not absolute proof, so far.
The last element - "She/He hasn't spoken to anyone at all in a verifiable way, ever" - is agnostic and true. This cannot be verified. But something not being verified does not prove that "God doesn't exist", it only means that they can't be verified, at least not yet.
The present absence of verifiable evidence does not "prove" that something doesn't exist. At one time the there was no verifiable evidence available that the earth travelled around the sun. Does that mean it did not do so, simply because no one could yet prove that it did? Obviously not.
The same thing goes for the existence of God.
Zoiks asid: "I have examined the evidence that is available to me, and in my own mind have concluded that said evidence is not sufficient to convince me to believe in the assertion. Therefore I am atheist. I am not taking a stance, and I am open to any new evidence that becomes available to me."
LOL, that is the textbook stance of an agnostic. You're not an atheist.
"... an agnostic position, one that says the claim is not proved rather than disproved. He asserts that the claimant has not borne the burden of proof and that science must continue to build its cognitive map of reality without incorporating the extraordinary claim as a new "fact." - Marcello Truzzi
Jeff, above, takes an atheistic position, because he makes a claim for disproof, saying "God does not exist". Yet, he cannot meet the burden of proof for that claim:
"Critics who assert negative claims ... often act as though they have no burden of proof placed on them at all, though such a stance would be appropriate only for the agnostic". - Marcello Truzzi
Why only appropriate for the agnostic? Because the agnostic makes no claim, neither negative or positive, for or against, and therefore has no burden of proof to meet.
Actually, I can prove God doesn't exist. Watch and listen. Below is the transcript.
"God? Yoohoo! Where arrrre yooooou?"
See? Not around.
I don't get what the argument is for. I am not an atheist. I do not believe god doesn't exist.
But if an atheist says to me that he doesn't exist, I lose that argument. The atheist is right. God isn't around. I can believe whatever I want. I can want to believe whatever I want. I can insist that the atheist has an agenda, when all he is doing is pointing out the obvious. Where is god? Where has she been?
This is such an innane way to argue for god. It's like trying to convince someone that a Disney character doesn't exist. "You can't PROVE that Cinderella doesn't exist! So I will choose to believe that Cinderella is real."
I have had this debate before, so I realize you aren't going to change your beliefs. And that is fine. If you want to believe that atheists have beliefs and that this somehow waters down their grasp of the obvious, good luck to you.