A lot of atheists claim to have no position on the existence of God and I see in this position a healthy portion of intellectual poverty if not outright dishonesty.
And yet clearly there not just isn't a God, there CAN'T be a God!
How can I make such a bold claim?
First, because the concept of God is at heart a logical impossibility. A God who is omniscient can't also be omnipotent, for example, because as an omniscient being he knows the future, but if he already knows what will happen, then he can't change it, so he can't be omnipotent.
This alone should give atheists the ability to say "I believe there is no God. Not only that, there CAN'T be a God, at least as commonly conceived."
Beyond that, there is the complete and utter ridiculousness of the notions upon which the concept of God is built. Christian theists ask us to believe that the entire universe with created by a ghost/spirit with a human personality encompassing childish properties like jealousy, poor anger management, and a very mean streak.
So, what is holding you back, guys? If all of the above isn't holding you back, what more would it take to agree to the obvious?
You conflate the essence of atheism, a LACK of belief that there is a god, with a personal opinion of most with that view, which is that, there is no god.
This would be analogous to your agonizingly ridiculous twisting of whether or not free will exists.
Do you do this sort of thing on purpose, or, is it evidence of a hole in your logic train?
To put it another way, if you asked if I believe that there is a god, I would say no.
If you ask if there is no god, I would say yes, albeit, I would say that about flying purple invisible unicorns too...but, just as with the unicorns, it is my opinion.
I believe I am correct, but I can't prove it.
I agree that logically, to my standards at least, god is impossible...hence my not believing.
So, perhaps, if its an honest question, the answer is intellectual honesty. If we strongly believe that there is no god, would bet our lives on it, consider it to be impossible, yet know that we can't prove there isn't a unicorn on your shoulder, so, to be honest, we admit we can't prove it.
We have satisfied our OWN burden of proof, so, if a trial for the concept was held, yes, god is history. We just admit that its not a proof, as you CAN'T prove a negative.
If we pretend that we CAN prove a negative, that is intellectually dishonest, and a logical fallacy.
Does that help?
So, God is impossible from the logical standpoint—at least as proposed by Christian theists—and yet you can't even say that a logical contradiction is false(?).
You don't need a conclusive proof to form a belief. We all do it all the time. We believe we know there's still one beer left in the refrigerator whether there is or not (maybe the roommate drank it last night). And yet can't we be far more certain that the logically contradictory deity is a falsehood?
And you believe it.
If your context is a continuation of beliefs having opposite beliefs, in the opposite, you are continuing your obfuscation.
It's really quite straightforward: Can't you simply say you believe all self-contradictory concepts are false, including among many other things, the concept of a God who is both omniscient and omnipotent?
Okay, so I have one on the record.
When I used to contemplate the existence of God (any god) I would come to the conclusion that I did not have enough information to say that “God does not exist” so I would label myself an agnostic atheist. I would also consider all the ideas and descriptors of God I heard to be self-contradictory and logically impossible.
I was brought up to believe that God existed. For the first 14 years or so of my life everybody I knew was a Catholic. Then I just started to ignore all of it. When I did begin to consider it again in my early twenties, I realised that I did not believe any of it anymore. The words “I am an atheist” sounded in my mind. It was a moment of clarity. Later I figured out that I had been an atheist for quite a time before that moment. It was just that I did not use the word “atheist” to describe my lack of belief.
After a few years, I decided my own reasoning were not quite correct. Saying (to myself) that I did not believe in God was not a good enough explanation of where my thinking was at. I was leaving room for confusion or even doubt. It was as if I was waiting to find evidence for something I knew did not exist, only that my conscious mind had not yet acknowledged that I knew it did not exist. The word atheist was not enough to convey it.
Then, about 25 years ago – I had another “moment of clarity”. I realised that there are no gods. As the title of this posts says, I realised that “God simply does not exist”. I am not denying the existence of God because “He” just does not exist. “He” never did. There is nothing to deny. I would have to acknowledge that any god the theist is talking to me about actually existed in order for me to deny its existence. I have no negative to prove. I cannot deny the existence of something I do not believe exists. I do not acknowledge any logical or material possibility (Kant) that gods ever existed.
There is nothing very intellectually profound about my position. It is reached via critical thinking. It is an understanding I have that “God simply does not exist”. I remain an atheist towards all the ones I have heard about. If I am in a room with one million believers of all different faiths I know I am the only one holding the correct position. I do not believe any of them. God does not exist. It is that simple.
I have no problem saying “God does not exist”. I don’t stop anyone in the street of tell them that. I don’t knock on people’s front doors to tell them that. However when theists tell me that “God does exist” I say “I do not believe what you believe”. I will give them the chance to describe their God to me and I will ask for some evidence. I have yet to meet one that can describe the God that they say exists without logical contradiction or offer any supporting evidence for me to believe that they are anything but deluded. I do this regularly because sometimes – and I am getting much better at it – I will get the theist to come to see that it is indeed a delusion. I love those moments. The reward for it is all theirs and they will have it in this life. I am just happy for them.
Okay, that makes #2.
I think we all who call ourselves atheists believe that God doesn't exist.
Once you realize that the concept of the Abrahamic God embodies a contradiction in terms, it should be easy to affirmatively deny his existence, at least for anyone who understands logic.
And as for other gods from other religions, it's all silliness. To think Shiva or Ahiura Mazda or Odin exists is childisn nonsense akin to thinking Casper the Friendly Ghost exists. They should be almost equally easy to dismiss and disbelieve.
And as for other gods from other religions, it's all silliness.
How do you know that? Do you KNOW that they all involve logical contradictions, and therefore cannot exist?
Shiva or Ahiura Mazda or Odin
I don't believe they exist because of a lack of evidence. I don't necessarily believe they don't exist, mainly because I don't care enough to examine their definitions to look for logical contradictions.
One needn't have a logical contradiction to decide and believe that something doesn't exist. I believe ghosts don't exist and I believe it without proving it simply because the notion is silly. As gods are basically ghosts (spirits) I'm firm in my belief they don't exist and feel no need to prove their nonexistence.
The idea that you need proof in order to have a belief is nonsense and is totally unnecessary. Belief is different from knowledge and makes no knowledge claim.