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Liquid Gardens

Atheism - any contradictions or 'problems'?

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The discussion concerning the problem of evil in Christianity had me wondering if anyone thinks that atheism has a similar set of long-standing 'debates' or 'problems' that arise from its propositions? I'm not restricting that question to just ideas that are similar to the problem of evil, I'm just using 'the problem of evil' as an example of a potential contradiction or problem internal to Christianity's propositions that has been argued and debated about for centuries now. I'm guessing there aren't really any as the only main tenet of atheism is 'there is no god', but I was wondering if anyone thought there were some.

As an atheist it's tempting to bring up in discussions about the problem of evil, what 'grace' means, what parts of the Bible should be taken figuratively, etc, that all of these debates evaporate if God does not exist, and I'm not sure that it is then replaced by similar thorny problems that are somewhat inherent in atheism.

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The only thing I see contradictory in some theists' atheism is the belief in a non-belief. To me it seems quit silly unless the atheists happens to know the truth behind fundamental reality.

The other tendency that I see is a strong tendency to construct straw men, and use adhominimns. If an atheist is going to claim the logical position, he/she better make sure their arguments are logically sound.

Edited by Seeker79

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There are perhaps two kinds of atheists, those who believe in non-belief in God and those who just don't believe in Him.

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I like where this post is heading since Atheist rarely get the blunt side of the logic game but they do too have unanswerable questions.

1) St. Thomas Aquinas: Who is the first mover (first action) that caused the chain of reactions we call reality today?

2) What proof does Atheism have against the Supernatural? (supernatural meaning all things unidentified as nature)

3) The basic principles of Atheism is in fact more faith based than a lot of people care to admit. Yes we can measure entropy and estimate a loose time scale of our known universe after the "big bang" but what of before? Sadly enough we can never have actual empirical proof (unless we invent time travel!)

Agnostic: 1 Atheists: 0

BAM

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reading back i feel all 3 of my points can be summed into one...

please disregard comments 2 and 3. Thanks

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Funny. Tenant of Atheism: 'there is no god'

Agnosticism: 'there is no proof'

Proof is our god!

For me, good and evil are human concepts, in 'reality' there's only 'actions' and 'reactions' and we place morals and ethics on these.

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Funny. Tenant of Atheism: 'there is no god'

Agnosticism: 'there is no proof'

Proof is our god!

For me, good and evil are human concepts, in 'reality' there's only 'actions' and 'reactions' and we place morals and ethics on these.

You look like Luffy

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Atheists don't have all the answers. They just believe God isn't the answer.

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Atheists don't have all the answers. They just believe God isn't the answer.

Definitely not the psycho abrahamic god.

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The only contridiction is an internal one.. sometimes an athiest may break down and feel the urge to pray.. or something may happen that is miraculous, because of thier belief system they may need to ignore it and pretend it didnt happen. When listening to others accounts of god they wont be able to listen unbiasedly because god cannot exist for them..

In its definition there is no contridiction.. but neither would there be in the statement "there is a god."

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The only contridiction is an internal one.. sometimes an athiest may break down and feel the urge to pray.. or something may happen that is miraculous, because of thier belief system they may need to ignore it and pretend it didnt happen. When listening to others accounts of god they wont be able to listen unbiasedly because god cannot exist for them..

In its definition there is no contridiction.. but neither would there be in the statement "there is a god."

See, that's actually not why I became agnostic, feeling an internal contradiction. It was more external, I see and read people, thiests and atheists arguing back and forth and it comes down to 'no YOU prove it. No, YOU prove it'. I basically threw up my hands and thought 'who cares?!' We can't prove it, it takes faith either way to believe in something or to believe something isn't there.

I just don't care. There's perceived evil and good in the world, and a god(s) or no god hasn't changed it. Just be happy and make others happy.

Edited by Hasina
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The only thing I see contradictory in some theists' atheism is the belief in a non-belief. To me it seems quit silly unless the atheists happens to know the truth behind fundamental reality.

The other tendency that I see is a strong tendency to construct straw men, and use adhominimns. If an atheist is going to claim the logical position, he/she better make sure their arguments are logically sound.

Logically sound arguements are of the beholder. How can we convince anyone of anything? Better to be convinced ourselves.. or maybe that's what you meant...

In my opinion there is something inside of us that is either turned on or off in perceiving the spiritual. We all have it but in some it is dormant. An event can occur which opens it, or flips the switch so to speak, or it can slowly be opening over time. Those who are really "into" athiesm are probably closer than they think... true athiest in my opinion never even think about god...

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See, that's actually not why I became agnostic, feeling an internal contradiction. It was more external, I see and read people, thiests and atheists arguing back and forth and it comes down to 'no YOU prove it. No, YOU prove it'. I basically threw up my hands and thought 'who cares?!' We can't prove it, it takes faith either way to believe in something or to believe something isn't there.

I just don't care. There's perceived evil and good in the world, and a god(s) or no god hasn't changed it. Just be happy and make others happy.

Agnostic is different from athiest though.. you acknowledge the contradiction.. athiest and thiest make no contradiction about the matter according to what they claim, it is... or it isn't... I am not speaking of religion, just the simple belief or non belief in god...

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Agnostic is different from athiest though.. you acknowledge the contradiction.. athiest and thiest make no contradiction about the matter according to what they claim, it is... or it isn't... I am not speaking of religion, just the simple belief or non belief in god...

True, but when I first joined the site, I'll admit and it can even be read in my earlier posts, I was a pretty hardcore atheist, lol.

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True, but when I first joined the site, I'll admit and it can even be read in my earlier posts, I was a pretty hardcore atheist, lol.

Yeah... we all go through changes.. I used to not really care.. I used to be semi hard core christian.. then i started hating christianity (briefly) and now im just more spiritual but still believe in god...

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One Dillema for Atheists, or at least idiotic ones, are those who spurt things like "God can't be real because he's so mean.' or that "Priests are rapists so I don't believe.'...you'll have to o better than that because god(s) could very well be a-holes and there is nothing we can do about it.

People often think that saying "what came before the big bang?" is automatically a god question, I don't see how this is so. Just because it's in the 'unexplained' section of the universe does not mean that it has to be associated with the supernatural because many things that were once seen as supernatural lost that title with time and the advancement of knowledge.

As for the Atheist position being one that some see as a belief. I don't agree. I see Atheism as the name attributed to not having evidence to believe. Like Hitchens said, there is no name given for people who don't believe in things like Aliens or Yeti's, the term 'Atheist' is only used for recognition of someones position when in conversation so to call it a belief seems a bit off since the proper position is one of not having a reason to believe in a deity, not believing for no reason is silly, I know that any fair, logical atheist would believe in a god if they had reason too, I know I would. Every sensible person, atheist or not, knows there's something we don't yet know but I fail to see how it's automatically attributed to god by Theologians and even then, Hitchens (again) said that even if things like fine tuning etc. point to a designer, you still have all your work ahead of you to match said being/force to your scriptures.

I'm half disinterested in the god debate now because I don't think we'll know it in my life time and there will always be doubts from both ends of the spectrum but I will tell you this, if any of the 3 great monotheism's are correct and are being carried out as god intended, I will be a very depressed man. I know I'm not a believer in religions and their doctrines, I have no reason to become subdued by them, to cut my foreskin off or to face the holy land and pray at noon etc. but I am also open to the idea of god(s) so whether someone calls me an Atheist or agnostic is their call, I have no ****s to give on the matter, there's a universe that needs exploring and less of my time is going to god, he/she is getting sidelined while more important things are explored because I'll be dead some day and will know the truth about god..but I can't see the universe and it's wonders if I'm dead.

Edited by Sean93
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The only thing I see contradictory in some theists' atheism is the belief in a non-belief. To me it seems quit silly unless the atheists happens to know the truth behind fundamental reality.

The other tendency that I see is a strong tendency to construct straw men, and use adhominimns. If an atheist is going to claim the logical position, he/she better make sure their arguments are logically sound.

I like where this post is heading since Atheist rarely get the blunt side of the logic game but they do too have unanswerable questions.

1) St. Thomas Aquinas: Who is the first mover (first action) that caused the chain of reactions we call reality today?

2) What proof does Atheism have against the Supernatural? (supernatural meaning all things unidentified as nature)

3) The basic principles of Atheism is in fact more faith based than a lot of people care to admit. Yes we can measure entropy and estimate a loose time scale of our known universe after the "big bang" but what of before? Sadly enough we can never have actual empirical proof (unless we invent time travel!)

Agnostic: 1 Atheists: 0

BAM

Ug, not this again :\

Atheism is a lack of belief - by definition.

Theists have stories, we don't buy them or think they're full of ****, end of story.

Saying someone has a belief in a negation is meaningless. If I propose we live in a giant computer, and you say you don't buy it, are you believers in the non-giant-computer paradigm? If I propose you guys are being mind-controlled by aliens, and you say you don't buy it, are you believers in the non-alien-mind-control religion? If so, then we are all believers in an infinite amount of non-plausible religions.

As to the OP, I'd say the biggest internal struggle is the one pointed out by manbearpig: whether or not this existence had a beginning. Not that it necessarily creates a contradiction, but it is debated. Hawkings argues there can be a natural beginning, and many argue there doesn't have to be a beginning, but whoever ponders on this for too long has his head explode.

We don't claim to have all the answers at all, in fact we advertise that most of what we know is wrong to some degree, but we do promise to only make statements we can back up with our current set of data, which we strive to keep improving upon.

Edited by ranrod
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One Dillema for Atheists, or at least idiotic ones, are those who spurt things like "God can't be real because he's so mean.' or that "Priests are rapists so I don't believe.'...you'll have to o better than that because god(s) could very well be a-holes and there is nothing we can do about it.

Sure there is, we don't take their b.s. and fight back, simple.

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Sure there is, we don't take their b.s. and fight back, simple.

Fair enough man but I've realized the futility of having a bicker with religious folk because it all becomes boring and turns childish. "Christians do this all the time!", "Well at least we Atheists don't do this", "You done this in the 14th century" "Well blah ******* blah". I'm trying my best to steer clear of that madness.

It can start off as a reasonable debate but too many times it escalates into the above...and I now wanna' avoid that.

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The discussion concerning the problem of evil in Christianity had me wondering if anyone thinks that atheism has a similar set of long-standing 'debates' or 'problems' that arise from its propositions? I'm not restricting that question to just ideas that are similar to the problem of evil, I'm just using 'the problem of evil' as an example of a potential contradiction or problem internal to Christianity's propositions that has been argued and debated about for centuries now. I'm guessing there aren't really any as the only main tenet of atheism is 'there is no god', but I was wondering if anyone thought there were some.

As an atheist it's tempting to bring up in discussions about the problem of evil, what 'grace' means, what parts of the Bible should be taken figuratively, etc, that all of these debates evaporate if God does not exist, and I'm not sure that it is then replaced by similar thorny problems that are somewhat inherent in atheism.

The only thing I can think of is the fact that atheism is backed by no further proof or evidence than Christianity or most other religious ideas... Can't really think of anything else... :hmm:

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Fair enough man but I've realized the futility of having a bicker with religious folk because it all becomes boring and turns childish. "Christians do this all the time!", "Well at least we Atheists don't do this", "You done this in the 14th century" "Well blah ******* blah". I'm trying my best to steer clear of that madness.

It can start off as a reasonable debate but too many times it escalates into the above...and I now wanna' avoid that.

I was talking about the so called "god's"

Although if we don't fight back against some of the "disciples", we could have something like hitler taking over the world.

Edited by HavocWing

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I was talking about the so called "god's"

Although if we don't fight back against some of the "disciples", we could have something like hitler taking over the world.

I was talking about the so called "god's"

Although if we don't fight back against some of the "disciples", we could have something like hitler taking over the world.

Well yeah, sure. Any totalitarian regime or group, whether it be the inquisition or Nazi Germany should be overthrown. I'm with you there.

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sometimes an athiest may break down and feel the urge to pray

That, if it happened, wouldn't necessarily be a contradiction. Other people besides atheists talk to themselves. Whatever you may think of that behavior, presumably in some way or another it feels better than not talking to themselves. It doesn't follow that the person talking doesn't know that there is nobody else participating in the conversation.

or something may happen that is miraculous, because of thier belief system they may need to ignore it and pretend it didnt happen.

I would really want to see evidence that that is in any way a typical atheist response. For one thing, miracles are rare and exceptional, so there would seem to be little opportunity for atheists to engage in the practice even if they were inclined to do so.

It seems to me far more likely that an atheist, confronted with a rare and not immediately explicable event would accept that something rare occurred, but leave it as unexplained. In part, that's because "God did it" never "explains" anything, but simply restates that the speaker has no actual explanation for whatever happened.

The last sentence is true whether or not God actually exists. Think of Caligula. He actually existed. He made his horse a Roman senator. "Caligula did it" is a true statement, but it hardly explains why there's a horse in the senate chamber.

When listening to others accounts of god they wont be able to listen unbiasedly because god cannot exist for them..

It is certainly not a contradiction for somebody to apply their life experience when evaluating somebody's else report. You can call it "bias" if, in the absence of an actual argument against the practice, you want to call it by a disreputable-sounding name. Unsurprisingly, many atheists are inclined to call it "critical thinking."

I am not an atheist, but I, too, am usually unimpressed by other people's gee-whiz stories being useful evidence of supernatural intervention in their lives.

On the other hand,

One Dillema for Atheists, or at least idiotic ones, are those who spurt things like "God can't be real because he's so mean.'

Capital-G God is a fairly specific ontological claim, especially when used in the context of a particular debate. It is reasonable to question a proposal that there is a perfect moral agent who, for example, counsels his devotees to dash babies' brains on rocks for political advantage.

The only public evidence for capital-G God is that people talk about him. Under the circumstances, it is entirely reasonable to inquire into whether what people say makes sense.

Like Hitchens said, there is no name given for people who don't believe in things like Aliens or Yeti's, the term 'Atheist' is only used for recognition of someones position when in conversation

I miss Hitchens, but like most busy professional rhetoriticians, every once in a while, he lapsed into using words for their effect, rather than for their truth. People often use the general word "skeptic" for the side that denies that something exists or happened. There is usually no need to be more specific, because the context imparts whatever specific focus is needed. It is typical for people to coin words with specific focus just when they have some actual use for specificity, for example, when a generic term would be misleading.

So, we do in fact have a specific term for Holocaust deniers, because we find occasion to distinguish them from people who assert that alien visitations don't happen. "Skeptics" aren't always on the side that says "that didn't happen." Since there is no contradiction in being a "theist skeptic," it is unreasonable to require such a person to use the generic term to describe those who disagree with them about that specfic issue, but not about the desirability of critical thinking and caution in accepting unusual interpretations of things and events.

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"Atheism - any contradictions or 'problems'?"

Nope.

Easiest answer ever.

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I like where this post is heading since Atheist rarely get the blunt side of the logic game but they do too have unanswerable questions.

1) St. Thomas Aquinas: Who is the first mover (first action) that caused the chain of reactions we call reality today?

You assume things that happen have causes; this is an illusion brought about by statistics. At the quantum level most things are random and uncaused. It is the "law of large numbers" that makes things seem to have causes. Think about it -- can you really in detail specify the "cause" of anything without getting down to atoms and their interactions?

I know that this illusion is powerful -- it seems so natural -- but it is still just a rule of thumb, much like our sense of the absolute nature of up and down are an illusion. It's part of the physics we automatically learned as babies.

2) What proof does Atheism have against the Supernatural? (supernatural meaning all things unidentified as nature)

I've never understood what is meant by "supernatural." If it exists it's natural.

3) The basic principles of Atheism is in fact more faith based than a lot of people care to admit. Yes we can measure entropy and estimate a loose time scale of our known universe after the "big bang" but what of before? Sadly enough we can never have actual empirical proof (unless we invent time travel!)

Atheism has nothing to do with faith. I just don't see that in the least -- it doesn't take faith to not believe something. As far as asking what was before the Big Bang, probably a prior universe. If the Big Bang was the beginning of time, then there was no "before" it any more than there is a "north" of the North Pole.

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