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re: atheists

Started by quartel, September 28, 2007, 09:03:27 PM

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Do all atheists accept the fact that they could be wrong about things or do some atheists refuse to accept this?

for example although I do not accept the existance of God because of lack of evidence....if the evidence did present itself I would have to look at the facts and decide.

I guess my question is do all atheists go by science and evidence or are some people atheists because they hate organized religion.

There seems to be a common thread among atheists, yet at the same time we do differ in some ways. If a mormon came to your doorstep some of us would hear them out whereas some atheists would refuse to listen to any of it. I think that as logical beings (my assumption about atheists) we should at least hear their side out before making a decision and not turn deaf ears because if we do that we are no different deeply dogmatic religious people. That's not to say religious people are whackos, I think most religious people are nice, pleasant people. I just think we differ in our philsophy about the environment around us. Atheist look at evidense and can accept that they can be wrong whereas the bible is never wrong about anything. I find that this attitude that one cannot be wrong shuts doors. I dont think you can discuss any ideas with a person that thinks they cannot be wrong and this is actually something I ask people before I discuss ideas with them (so im not wasting my time..)


Sure, I could be wrong about atheism...but I doubt it.   :)

If god taps me on the shoulder some day and says "hello", I'd be a big enough person to admit that I was wrong.  And I'd have quite a few questions for him/her.


i doubley posted...can't remember how to DELETE this dupicate of my post below....
"religious groups should stay out of politics-OR BE TAXED."

"Once you explain why you dismiss all other possible gods-- i'll explain why i dismiss your god."


Welcome Quartel.  You are right that us atheists do differ one from another, you will probably get a variety of responses to your question.

Me- i am a lifelong, born again atheist.  I arrived at my atheism, not so much through 'evidence' there is no god,-(many here feel there is no such thing as that)  as that the evidence there is was nonexistent... it is the same as pretending.  Before that step, i had ruled out religion easily and fairly effortlessly as having not a grain of truth in it.  Doesn't hold up at all.

I myself am entirely comfortable in my atheism, always have been**                   I do not struggle inside with the question"What if am wrong".....i don't remember ever doing so, but i probably must've gone thru that when i was very young.

**well, no, once, in my 30s, i forayed into agnosticism briefly, but i just couldn't stay there.....but it was kinda fun to fit in on some level with everyone else, even if it was partially and briefly.  But soon enuff, i noticed that stuff wasn't making sense anymore was THEN that i felt some struggle, trying to believe in some type of higher power.....had to give it up.

Some people thinking over atheism maybe for the first time even, wonder if atheists worry about being punished in the afterlife "if we are wrong".  I don't, never have.  

 I believe the body is required, alive and well, to even form a thought, to even be who we are.  I don't believe n separation of body/mind.

 I don't fear hell, as i don't believe in it.

I comfort my religious relatives that if i am wrong, and god does not base reward/punishment by our BEHAVIOR, i don't want anything to do with that god anyway then, send me on to hell.  
Sorry-i'm derailing your thread!!

Some, probably most, atheists have a deep respect for science, but there are probably some who don't care much for science...or atheists who even doubt scientific discoveries.

I am the kinda atheist who feels pretty strongly there is no god, i feel some type of certainty to it.   There are many on this forum who will answer they do not feel as sure..that since it really can't be proven there is no god, some leave the door open to that possibility.

Me- i can't picture a god being proven to me any more than i can picture the sun not arriving tomorrow morning.  

No, i have no interest in debating religious people, but many atheists do not mind...... more often than not, thumpers get very hostile and often do not stay rational.  I would not spend time with the mormons.  I don't think you will find any atheists who have NOT already been exposed to religion.   I've already heard them out.
"religious groups should stay out of politics-OR BE TAXED."

"Once you explain why you dismiss all other possible gods-- i'll explain why i dismiss your god."


Nothing short of the hand of god him/her/itself could convince me that god exists. So while concordance with the fact that I could be wrong is there, it is so trivial and infinitesimal so to be outside of my notice or care. If god told me that it existed (not through a vision, dream or anything that could be my imagination, but actual concrete evidence) then of course I'd admit I was wrong. To do anything otherwise would be illogical. I wouldn't like it a single bit, as I want nothing to do with a deity that allows untold amounts of death and misery to be carried out in it's name and doesn't attempt to solve the matter of whose god and religion is correct once and for all, but I would still believe he existed. In fact, I'd do the best I could to become a neo-Moses and proclaim my belief in that god to others.


I'm sure there are some people who claim to be an atheist because they are disenchanted by what religion has to offer.  However, most atheists simply don't think there is any reason to believe in a god and would have to accept a god if good reason was provided (ie evidence).

I also think we should entertain any viewpoint that we have not yet learned least just long enough to hear where that person is going with what they have to say.  I'm not sure that I'd sit around and listen to a Mormon or Scientologist go on and on about their beliefs simply because I have researched them enough to know how weird their foundations are.


My hubby and I have discussed this many times... it's his opinion that EVERYONE is an agnostic because NO ONE has the answer one way or another.  But, as Isaac Asimov said, the possiblity of a god is so remote, I no longer want to waste my time looking or researching.
The Rogue Atheist Scrapbooker
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Anything that seemingly defies the laws of science just tells me that we're not done figuring out science yet. If god or gods exist, he/she/it is a part of science, not beyond it. I recognize that. I don't recognize that anything is beyond any explanation.
I want bad people to look forward to and celebrate the day I die, because if they don't, I'm not living up to my potential.


I find myself always thinking, "Am I wrong?" and then I go about finding more information.  Sometimes I am wrong and I admit it.  With respect to god(s) - the evidence I have found or been presented (in support for) so far is lacking.

Steve Reason

I just want to know the truth. If a god is proven to exist, then hey, who am I to deny that? I find it incredibly unlikely since our concept of god is a man made convention. I think the only thing that's possible is some sort of force that has yet to be discovered. Nothing I see points to a personal creator.

It's true that my journey toward atheism began with my dissatisfaction with Christianity, and religion in general. But I believed in god for many years after I left religion behind. My atheism was just sort of there one day. It was the science that I finally took the time to notice, and the fact that it occurred to me that the only reason that I was even still searching for god was because of religion, that led me to conclude that I was on a fruitless search.

In other words, I was searching for a god that man had created through religion. I no longer see any reason to believe such a being exists-- but I'm willing to accept evidence for anything. So I could accept proof for a god, but I will always detest religion.
I do not fear death, in view of the fact that I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it. ~ Mark Twain


I've been to a Jesuit and Hindu school, so I've been exposed to religion. I like debating theists sometimes, but currently I hardly do. I haven't seen a new argument for about a year, and the last one was something about bacterial flagella disproving evolution, and proving intelligent design (Basically a form of the irreducible complexity argument), which was incredibly easy to refute from information on the internet. Really, religious people weaken their stance by publishing books with their arguments in it, people read them and thus refute them, instead of leaving atheists with nonsensical ideas which they have no idea how to disprove because the theists can make up arguments which are invalid for just about any subject, from physics to maths, and if they weren't more known, and thus studied and refuted, then someone couldn't know about why every single one is wrong...
But forget that, if there was proof of a 'God', of course I would believe in one (that is, strong proof, not irrelevant or invalid 'proof' like the current 'Proofs of God' used.), but then there comes the matter of whether they care about us, which religion is right, etc.
If there is a God, my bets are on it being the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Steve Reason

All bow down before the Noodlely One!!!

Actually, I don't mind debating a religionist. But it normally breaks down pretty quickly. All they want is for you to agree with them and show up at their church. They normally aren't interested in listening. Reason and evidence are the last thing that someone with blind faith want to confront.
I do not fear death, in view of the fact that I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it. ~ Mark Twain


Hi guys - I fully accept that I could be wrong about a lot of things.  Usually we don't have all the information to be certain about things, which is where "belief" enters in.  If you are going to qualify an idea as a "belief", it is senseless to further declare that you don't think your "belief" could be wrong.  If not - why call it a "belief" - wouldn't it qualify as "knowledge"?

I do go by science --- and usually a widely accepted scientific idea is never really "wrong", it is just incomplete or not "correct" in all instances.  Just like gravity: was Newton "wrong"?  Not really, he just wasn't completely correct.  What I'm getting at is that it seems highly unlikely that an established scientific discovery will turn out to be complete hogwash.  Like evolution - it is very hard for me to believe that it could possibly be completely wrong.  Until abiogensis is understood completely, there is room to doubt how life "got started", but once started, evolution explains and predicts everything so well that I can't see it being a total bust.

Acknowledging that we could be wrong is what keeps us honest - keeps us evaluating claims and evidence instead of rejecting them out of hand.  Skepticism is healthy (as long as its reasonable skepticism - I'm not talking about "universal skepticism" here).  It is what makes us keep "proving" our ideas to ourselves - it is what makes us open to new discoveries, new knowledge, and further understanding.

I've heard out all the religious people that have cared to discuss with me - and much like Squid I find their case wanting --- all personal experience and "eye witness" testimony.  There's just nothing you can sink your teeth into and hold onto.  How can I believe something as significant as "god" without better evidence?  I can't.  But you knew that already since I'm a happy atheist  :wink:  !  

While I don't doubt that there are atheists who became that way due to dislike/hatred of religion, this is not my personal reason.  I was never religious to begin with.  Ultimately, though, its a bad reason.  What if there is a god but the churches have screwed everything up and gotten it all wrong?  Religion could be a crock, but god could still be real.  Too bad there's no real evidence that there is a god .... this I do find is a good reason to disbelieve.


The problem for me is that I'm not sure what it would take for God to prove himself to me. Even if he chose to appear to me directly, I'd probably chalk it up to hallucinations. If he started leaving messages for me in my life, I'd probably think it was some kind of elaborate conspiracy through which the Catholic Church was trying to convert me... hey, they have lots of money to spend on that sort of thing, it's plausible...

There is basically no way God could make it known to me, 100% for certain, that he exists. He'd have to create some sort of experience that was completely unexplainable through anything we know about science and the laws of nature, and was confirmed by others. Then maybe I might start praying...   :P

What's that David Hume passage about miracles again...?


I've got the same problem pj.  What if some advanced aliens decided to mess around with us, conquer the planet, or whatever --- set themselves up in charge --- wouldn't it just be too easy to exploit religious belief?  Conjure up, via advanced technology, a few miracles right out of the bible and boom!  You're god!

That's an example of a plausible and likely scenario  :roll:  

David Hume thingy ... this one, right?

Quote from: "David Hume"That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish