One thing that that really get's to me is theist who think they have the right to not be offended and all people who enable this behaviour.
I find it hard to find a theist who will have an open discussion about why they believe in a personal god at all or why they think their god is real and all the other ones aren't. Yesterday I remarked on the hypocritical nature of the followers of xtianity and was met with no argument as to why what I said was wrong but that it was rude. When I asked why it was considered rude I was told that I should have respect for peoples religion. I disagree, I'll respect your right to have religion, by all means believe whatever crackpot fairy tales you like but if you are not willing to be offended and stand up for what you believe in then you need to take a serious look into why that is.
Most of the theists I know don't argue because they do not even care weather or not their god exists, they go to church on Sunday and go about their lives as if they were Atheists. But I know there are theists out there who might care but are too afraid of being offended by talking to an evil non believer so they just tell you that you are rude.
Are people just being too polite or am i really too insensitive?
Nathan really has it right here. Laughing at people for their silly beliefs or calling them or their ideas stupid rarely courts anyone into the world of rationalism. If anything, it makes Atheists seem like ritious dicks. Unsolicited challenging of other peoples beliefs is almost always extremely dick-ish and is even less likely to win over someone. Patience of steel. One open ear at a time. Does anyone notice how patient the four horsemen can be (minus Hitchens a lot of the time).
What is the most efficient way to get people to listen? Bicker about what is offensive or not or approaching believers in a less dickish and I would argue, far more results driven way?
Don't confuse unsolicited attacks with challenging religious based advocacy (like action against use of condoms, blasphemy laws, gay rights etc...) They are totally not the same no matter what shaped bed one tries to fit them in.
Fight against barbaric advocacy, but at least think twice before ripping to shreds someone who happens to be Christian whose just trying to have a nice time at a cocktail party.
I would like to know if you really care weather or not what you believe in is real?
Then keep reading... everything. Because every single legitimate science either directly or indirectly supports Evolution and The Big Bang. When will it be enough evidence?
I have been reading so much lately my "tailbone" hurts.
That's good I also care a great deal about weather the things I believe are true are or not. So then what can we do to find out if there either is a god or not?
My first stop was Occam's razor (the hypothesis that makes the fewest assumptions is usually the correct one) and tell me if i'm oversimplifying the situation but with no evidence for the existence of a god, believing in one is a massive assumption and not believing until evidence is provided makes no assumption at all. Thoughts?
I agree that you should be under no pressure to believe until you have made a personal decision based on evidence and your own exploration. However, assumptions must be made even in strict sciences especially when stating conditions. Thomas Aquinas was of the belief that although the existence of a god cannot be proven scientifically, it is impossible to scientifically prove the non existence of a god. Athiests, when drawing upon natural law and human reasoning to explain the origin of man and the universe, must ASSUME that god does not exist because it cannot be proven by any science that a god does not exist, even Richard Dawkins admits to this. If you are skeptical of this, i would challenge any athiest to prove that god does not exist.
Strictly speaking if religion is defined by having a belief system based on something that cannot be conclusively proven or disproven, then atheism by definition would be religion. Atheism, by name, is the belief that God does not exist and because the non existence of God cannot be proven Atheism relies on an unproven assumption, a faith. Atheism is often considered the polar opposite of Christianity which in a sense is truer than most believe. While good Christians have faith in the existence of God and all doctrine that is consequential of the faith, Athiests have faith in the non existence of God and the scientific theories that rely on the non existence of God.
What i am trying to say is that even disbelief relies on the assumption of the non existence of God and that in order to fully discern, one must be open to further assumptions in either direction be it Atheist or Theist.
One reasoning of the existence of God that i find quite compelling is Thomas Aqunas' 5 proofs. If you are not familiar with them, i will outline them briefly. What is interesting to note is that although they rely heavily on assumptions, they are extremely diffucult to refute, the first three at least.
1. First Mover - The motion of the universe must have been put into motion by something stationary, some call it the big bang others god.
2. First Cause - everything we know is a result of something so if you go back far enough there must rationally be something that caused everything including the big bang.
3. Something from Something Vs. Something from Nothing - Logically something must come from something, nothing cannot create something. Back to the creation of the universe, everything in existence must have come from something, no thing spontaneously appears of no cause or creator.
4. Perfect Being - If there was no existence of a God, where would every concept of human perfection originate. (this one is more simple to refute in that it would be non beneficial for the human species to destroy each other therefore outlining ideal human action, but still food for thought).
5. Cause for Design - Everything in existence has design and design cannot exist without a designer. (however similarily to the fouth proof it can be refuted by the fact that organisms naturally evolve in order to preserve their species.
I agree with you in a sense, that is, it is necessary to make the assumption of the non existence of god in order to credit natural science with the origin of the universe.
I guess what might be worth saying is that there is a greater gap between Atheism and Science than most people perceive. It can be established that Athiesm relies on an assumption and similarily does any religion, but science does not rely on any preconceptions regarding conclusions and so should essentially be considered neutral ground in religious debate because it is simply natural law and heavily proven with hard evidence. No theistic debate should attempt to refute science and reason in favor of a theistic approach. Again to reference Thomas Aquinas, science or reason does not and by all accounts should not be contrary to Christian doctrine. If God created the world, the reason and natural law within it should coincide with His revelation and teaching. The best way to refute the existence of a deity of any sort is to prove that what they divinely reveal does not allign with what is known scientifically or through reason.
I believe that science and natural law in all respects and especially regarding the origination of the universe allign better with theism but specifically Christianity than it does with atheism. I know this will sound ridiculous to most atheists because they rely so heavily on science to refute the existence of God, but maybe they shouldn't. I welcome any debate on this topic as well and will be happy to explain further.
There isn't really anything to debate here. Your claim that reality is best explained by Christianity is baseless.
Atheists do not rely on science to refute the existence of god... christianity does a fine job of that on it's own. We do not need proof that something does not exist when no evidence what-so-ever has been given in support of that thing. The christian god however is self refuting in many ways. It is as likely to exist as a square circle.
Strictly speaking if religion is defined by having a belief system based on something that cannot be conclusively proven or disproven, then atheism by definition would be religion.
Not believing in a religion cannot be considered a religion. This is a completely ridiculous argument. Atheism does not need an answer to any of the big questions. All you need to be an atheist is to not be a theist. That's it.
Reality is not explained by christianity, but fulfilled. If you don't like that terminology, think of it this way: There are no discrepancies between reason the christian faith. It's a hell of a lot to go into but they are complementary.
Yes atheism does rely on science to refute god and i would like to know how christianity refutes god?
You are right, not believing in a religion cannot be considered a religion, what i was suggesting was that Athiesm and Christianity both rely solely on one primary assumption or faith regarding the existence of god.
I think you might be a little confused on the acutal meaning of athiesm as are many self proclaimed atheists. If you simply do not believe in a god but are not certain of the origins of the world then you are an Agnostic. Atheism on the other hand by name as i said before relies on the assertion that god does not exist. Where agnosticsm is simply disbelief, Atheism is a belief system supported by the assumption that god does not exist, Atheism provides an alternative. There is no way that being Agnostic could be considered religious, but Atheism is not so cut and dry whether or not it is a religion is debatable which is why i said "IF".
RE: "If you simply do not believe in a god but are not certain of the origins of the world then you are an Agnostic."
Why in the WORLD would anyone need to be certain about the origins of the world, in order to be an atheist? Science will explore further and further into the origins of the world, for as long as humans exist as a species, and I can't envision them EVER being entirely certain about the origins of the world, as there will always be something else out there, that needs exploring. That's the beauty of science, it's ever changing as new evidence emerges. Science consists of questions that may never be answered, but religion consists of answers that may never be questioned.
But all we need to be an atheist, is to not hold a belief in a god, until someone comes along with evidence that one exists, and so far, we're still waiting.
There are no discrepancies between reason the christian faith. It's a hell of a lot to go into but they are complementary.
Speaking of Hell... that's one discrepancy! Many more where that came from. Your assertion that there are none says a lot.
Yes atheism does rely on science to refute god and i would like to know how christianity refutes god?
All you need to be an atheist is to NOT be a theist. People that believe the universe was created by a magic butterfly are not theists and they don't need science to disprove your god. I don't need science to disprove your god.
Athiesm and Christianity both rely solely on one primary assumption or faith regarding the existence of god.
Atheism relies on nothing. All you need to do to be an atheist is to not be a theist.
If you simply do not believe in a god but are not certain of the origins of the world then you are an Agnostic.
Sorry, it is you that is confused. Atheist means NOT a theist. Theism / atheism deals with belief and gnostic / agnostic deals with knowledge. I am an agnostic atheist. I do not believe in a theistic god... I do not know a god does not exist. You are most likely an agnostic theist.
I'm not sure what you are getting at with hell, what about it?
If all you need to be an atheist is not to be a theist, this means you must be convinced that there is no god. Because there is no way to prove that god does not exist it is therefore a belief system centered around a central unprovable belief. I will restate what i said before, atheism relies on the assertion that god does not exist, without this assertion atheism does not exist.
When i say that atheism relies on science to refute god, i am not referring explicitly to "the sciences" but to science in the traditional sense, study of all aspects of the world including reason.
I apologize, with regards to the agnostic definition i was getting ahead of myself. You are correct that being an agnostic is simply not knowing. However I don't agree with you calling yourself an agnostic atheist or suggesting that i am an agnostic theist, i understand the point you are attempting to make, but the names Christianity and Atheism immediately imply conviction in a belief system. One should not carry the name christian or atheist without being certain of their belief that god does exist or god does not exist. By calling yourself an agnostic it means that you do not know and are not convicted of any particular belief system.