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Liquid Gardens

Atheism - any contradictions or 'problems'?

310 posts in this topic

Problem with atheists is they don't follow an ideal. They just go hey God doesn't exist and that's that. Theism are ideals that people try to attain, and some just follow.

The problem isn't about Gods at all, the problem is people do not understand and understand the concepts and ideals correctly. That is what the fight should be about, not just saying it isn't real. You fight the problems of what they are teaching in the name of an ideal not just say that ideal doesn't exist. Because it does and it can and will come and bite you on the ass if you leave the people teaching it unchecked.

Atheism isn't an ideal, it's a lack of one. It can only exist in and against the presence of theism.

Without theism, atheism does not exist. Communism was an ideal, just like theism. To stop an ideal you need to stop the followers, not just tell them they are wrong. You need to prove it, you need to stand up and do something about it, not sit there and hope that it self-corrects. Saying that Communism didn't or doe not exist would be idiotic to say. Just like saying that God doesn't exist(The ideal that there is something to believe in that is greater then yourself).

What is absurd is not facing the fact that saying you are an atheist isn't of saying, you are a humanist.

The best way to change a crappy ideal is to show them something better instead of telling them they are wrong.

Edited by Jinxdom

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I agree, but that isn't to say by definition atheist isn't problematic. To me, the term Hitchens popularized is far more accurate. Antitheist. If the Bible calls Moses and the Judges of Israel gods, which it does, then there were gods. If a god can be anyone or anything mighty or venerated, which it can, then there are gods. If the existence of a god isn't necessary for it to qualify as a god, which it isn't, then the millions of gods there is and have been isn't dependent upon the belief of said existence by atheists or anyone else.

If I pick up a stick that looks like a bone and proclaim it to be my god then it is a god. It doesn't matter whether or not you believe in it.

Actually this is not quite right. In human languges we construct lables and attach them to both physical things and constructs. Thus a real physical god can be a god and a construct of ones imagination or belief can be a god.

Atheists argue only that there are no literal physical gods. And it is this to which the definitions of atheism and atheist apply. Self evidently, constructs exist in huma minds and on paper as words and pictures.

However it is the same as arguing if unicorns exist. Self evidently unicorn constructs exist, but real physical unicorns are thin on the ground. Thus a person can quite rightly say, "I do not believe in the existence of unicorns."

It is understood, both implicitly and explicitly, that the speaker is referring to real physical unicorns because, again self evidently, many unicorns exist in literature and film.

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Yes it's both nonsensical... But as Im sure you realize many atheists use these kinds of arguments. Hence the double standard is applied. Are you denying that many atheist, when in debate with a theist do not bring these things up more than a few times?

The "Bad Things™ are done solely in the name of Religion" card? Sure. I've seen that one played on occasion.

Everyone should be allowed to argue their own case, but in essence, in order to show a double standard, you'd need to firstly establish that the two positions are exactly parallel - that "Bad Things™ are also done solely in the name of Atheism" - which, in my opinion, you haven't shown at all.

What I believe you've shown so far is that "Bad Things™ happen in a political religion that restricts all viewpoints which compete with it, and which, in some regional variations during various periods of time, has mandated atheism to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the strength of religious beliefs competing with it at that time".

Which - in my opinion - is something entirely different.

Edited by Tiggs

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You want a definition of God.

God is a person with basically four infinities: infinite power (omnipotent) -- there is nothing He can't do; infinite knowledge (omniscient) -- there is nothing that He doesn't know; infinite wisdom (or justice) and infinite beneficence (love). One might also say something about transcendence, but that kinda comes with the territory.

For the reason of a number of hoary old self-referential logical contradictions that the above definition can be shown to lead to, I think such a being is impossible.

The rest of the things floating around with small "g" god in their title only refers to something with power or ability we can't reproduce, at least for the present. They are not relevant.

I disagree. Semantically zeus was a god. Indeed he was "God' to the people who believed in him. Humans have wide parameters for the term god.

I know a god who resembles the jewish christian god. He/it is not omniscient nor omnipotent and cannot be, because he is a real sapient being. But he definitely fits within the parameters of GOD.

To say (a) god must be omniscient and omipotent is, in reality to say (a) god cannot exist. This is untrue. Omniscience and omnipotence are quite recent and rare qualities attributed by humans to god(s) They came about as people became more divorced from the natural gods of earth and began to construct images of god as they wanted god to be. The hebrews discovered or evolved the archetype of this god- perception and it spread to both christianity and islam, making it thus the greatest and most widespread interpretation of god in the modern era.

Hence today, many people like yourself naturally assume the model of god with a capital G must include omniscience and omipotence. But this is not true. That is a perceived quality of the god of the book and to superimpose it on the overall concept of god is a form of religious hegemony.

Personally, I dont see the god of the book as omniscient or omnipotent, and he doesnt act as if he is within the story of his interaction with humanity, even though some of his followers and recorders write about him as if he must be.

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You got one thing right -- unless there is omni-stuff, there is no God. There is just a superman or highly advanced technology. If the God of the Bible is of that sort, then He is not "God."

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I recommend to see Sam Harris about this topic. (Plenty of good debates on Youtube). Harris addresses all the points raised here, and more eloquently than I could.

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The "Bad Things™ are done solely in the name of Religion" card? Sure. I've seen that one played on occasion.

Everyone should be allowed to argue their own case, but in essence, in order to show a double standard, you'd need to firstly establish that the two positions are exactly parallel - that "Bad Things™ are also done solely in the name of Atheism" - which, in my opinion, you haven't shown at all.

What I believe you've shown so far is that "Bad Things™ happen in a political religion that restricts all viewpoints which compete with it, and which, in some regional variations during various periods of time, has mandated atheism to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the strength of religious beliefs competing with it at that time".

Which - in my opinion - is something entirely different.

They are parallel enough just opposites. No I don't think those things are different, you surprisingly seem to be under the assumption the religious actions are somehow motivated by beleifs instead of control, wealth, and elimination of competition, just as communist atheism is. In fact this is the very claim agsinst religion many atheists deplore anout religion. Even things like burning pagans ultimately is about fear and competeing ideologies. No I don't see a difference at all... Not even slightly. But then again I'm neither an atheist nor religionist.

Sure there are those on the bottom that are following Ferver of their leaders buth this us the same for the religious or the political religious. You may want to seperate communist politics from communist atheism, but you can't. It's there staring right back at you. Atheism is a very intragrual part of their behavior... Just ask the Dali Lama.

Really the debate started as a debate about if atheists organize, have venerated leaders, Ferver, and all the other things associated with a religion. I think it's clear that in some instances they do and can. You want to call it a political religion and separate it from moderate atheists... Fine. Religions become political religions as well, so do atheistic political religions. Many people practice their religion as a personal matter, many people live as an atheist as a personal matter, and they all want to be separated from the extremes. To me and probably most other people, atheism is just another ideology subject to the same human problems and propensities within its in variations as any other belief. Oh.... That's right most atheists think their beliefs are non-beliefs ( though I have seen some pleasently refreshing give in this silliness recently). Unless all atheists are all 2 years old, I guess I just happen to have a non-belief in non-beliefs... Wait... I'm not 2 years old either, so I can't have a non-belief.... I guess I'll just have to say I don't buy it. :D

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They are parallel enough just opposites

In your opinion.

Mine - not so much.

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In your opinion.

Mine - not so much.

Agreed. Its always nice to disagree with respect. Unfortunately not a common thing. Thanks tiggs.

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You got one thing right -- unless there is omni-stuff, there is no God. There is just a superman or highly advanced technology. If the God of the Bible is of that sort, then He is not "God."

Why on earth not?

God is our label for a being.

I know an apparently universal powerful entity which I call the cosmic cosciousness. It fits the parameters of god as seen in the god of the bible and if I lived 2000 years ago i would certainly assume it was all knowling and all seeing. For example i can ride its consciousness to any time or place and piggy back with across the universe I can see alternate futures withit help and i can go back into the past and "be' with it in those times. Any human from the past having such a connection to this entity would assume it was all seeing and all knowing but they would be wrong.

I can ride the internet in much the same way, but that does not make the internet all knowing and all seeing, or all powerful. (However it would seem so, to some one from even a few centuries past, let alone form 2000-4000 years ago. )

BUT being real and sapient, it can not be omniscient or omnipotent .

However in approaching both those qualities it is, to us, GOD.

With respect, neither you, nor a certain section of christianity, gets to define what humans know as god. The label "God" even with a capital G, Is not confined to omipotent or omniscient beings, nor to the christian version or avatar of that being.

God is; real, physical, powerful, and able to intervene in our inner and external environments to create what we call miracles. "He" is capable of physical manifestaitons in many forms and of direct communication with us, also in many forms.

He can see/extrapolate many potential futures before us, and direct, guide and help us, to reach the best/optimal one for us, as individuals and as a species.

If you dont want to see this entity as god that's OK by me, but to me, very clearly it is precisely what humans call god, and what humans have been interacting with for many millenia, since we evolved the abilty to recognise its existence in our universe/local environments.

I have never been able to get how or why humans define a god in terms which make the existence of god impossible It's like some strange self denial to create an ideal construct of god even though we know it is physically impossible. Its one of the reasons I was an athiest for 22 years, until I met the real deal.

My god is powerful enough to predict my future and to show it to me. Powerful enough to help me change that future for a better one. Powerful enough to save my life on many occasions. Powerful enough to alter my metabolism, to alter the material state of my environment. Powerful enough to heal body and mind. Powerful enough to empower me with a part of its physical power, and powerful enough to show me to the ends of the univese, and to many other races planets etc., as well as into the minds of other sapient beings. So while my god is not omnipotent or omnsicient, it is quite powerful and effective enough for me. Superman with advanced technology ? Sure is Always has been. Its just that more primitive peoples see him differently, and im sure more advanced peoples in a few centuries will see him differently to me, as they come to understand his nature better.

Edited by Mr Walker

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