I have seen discussions on what the word 'atheist' means.


My POV. 


I don't believe in god or gods the way I don't believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Prop Man, Sasquash, Fairies, or magic.  I am certain these things and others do not exist. 


I don't have a question about their non-existance.  I am told I can't be truely sure, even as an atheist that there isn't a 'Creator'.


Yes, yes I can. 


 I am as sure there is no Creator as I am sure that the Santa who fills my grandkids Christmas stockings and eats the cookies and drinks the milk is my husband and myself. 


I believe we create heaven and hell  and gods in the darkness behind our eyes so as to keep ourselves from realizing that it is all darkness behind our eyes. 


And I am okay with that.

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Sounds good to me!
I believe that people invented gods as a quick explanation to inexplicable things (at the time). Then people used god to control other people and spread fear and humility amongst them. Now the reason why ordinary people, the people that are faced with some of the strongest argumenst against their religion, still believe in god is the fear of facing their on mortality. This, in addition to rulers using religion to control people, take advantage of people, etc.

You can be truly sure that there is no creator. And you, and any other atheist should not bear the burden of proof. There has to come a point where a level of certainty of things either existing or not existing must be treated as if they are knowns.
I would like to know that as well.
Darkness behind the eyes refere to how and non-human character discribes what it is to be human in the Terry Pratchett novel, The Thief of Time.
There are fewer things that irritate me more than the agnostics' perennial cliché: "You can't KNOW whether God does or does not exist".

Well, yes I can, and no He doesn't.

Now what I suspect many of these people really mean when they say "you can't know" is that you can't know AS AN ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY whether or not there is a God.

But there are any number of things that we don't know for certain, beyond any doubt whatsoever. We don't know as an absolute certainty that the sun will rise tomorrow. We don't know for certain that gravity won't suddenly cease to function, causing us all to float out of our chairs. And we don't know for certain that the Pope isn't actually a robot from Alpha Centauri.

Just because we cannot know these things beyond any doubt, does this mean that we should not consider them "knowledge"?

If that were the case, then we would have to be agnostic about just about everything; but even the staunchest agnostic would claim to know that the sun will rise and that the Pope is not a robot. So why the striking inconsistency?

Furthermore, believers in God have many different explanations of what "God" actually is, some of them incredibly vague. Some define God as the literal, supernatural creator of the universe. Others regard God simply as a metaphor for existence itself. And there are any number of other definitions in between.

If we are to decide whether we believe in God or not, then we've got to have at least some idea of what is actually meant when someone uses the word God!

Generally speaking, I would say that I know (yes, know) that there is no God. However, I MAY be wrong, just as any of use may be wrong about...just about anything.

With regards to the God of classical Judeo-Christian theology, however, I am even tempted to go one step further and say that this particular God cannot possibly exist, and I know beyond any doubt at all that I am right.

The reason for this is that the Judeo-Christian God is usually ascribed with a set of very particular attributes (omnipotence, omniscience, etc.) and having studied these attributes, as well as the various philosophical arguments surrounding them, I am now firmly convinced that the Judeo-Christian God is not only physically impossible, but logically impossible too.
Practically, we are certain God does not exist.

Absolutely, we know any God that has ever been invented ( by the holy texts that are the foundation of any known religion ) is false, because their texts are demonstrably false.

Absolutely, we cannot be certain that a super complex deity that created the universe does not exist, since that involves knowing everything and stating, absolutely, that it does not exist.

As far as thinking goes, we have no proof of this deity, the best decision in this case being to discard it due to lack of proof.

Just wanted to clarify that, it is not in the spirit of science to say that absolutely a certain statement is true/untrue. There is always the possibility that new observation will unravel something unexpected. I like that. The unknown unknown is interesting.
Not science. Philosophy.

So you are Santa for your grandkids lol? what about their parents? And what do you think about the idea of keeping up the charade that Santa is real? I've been searching around for a discussion about Santa and so I stumbled across this one. I honestly think I don't want to teach my kids to believe in Santa when I have kids. I'm not 100% sure though. I'm looking for more atheist POV on this subject... I'm having trouble finding a good discussion on it... I came across this in my search though?

I think the Santa fairy tale is or can be more benign than the whole Christian Christmas story.  Yes, my husband and I were Santa for our kids.  I told them they could believe as long as they wanted to but when they stopped believing there would be no Santa.  They kept up the charade long after they really knew better for the fun of it all. 


And that's what it was; a fun charade just like pretending you believed in ghosts and goulies at Halloween or bunnies delivering eggs at Easter.  I don't think most kids want to believe in stuff like this really after age 5, but they do indulge the grownups fantasies. 


Sorry I took so long to answer.  I have been traveling for work and haven't had a lot of free time.


You didn't take very long to answer, lol, don't worry.


I'm a bit confused by what you did exactly, could you maybe explain it more in depth? Because for me Santa was a lot different. I truly completely believed, not a trace of doubt in Santa, until my parents actually told me the summer I was 8 that he didn't exist, and they were pretending all those years, and then I was hit again when I realized that The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy must have been lies too. They did such a good job with it that I never doubted for a second. I don't see how that's quite so benign and why it's necessary in the first place. I know Santa can be a ton of fun, and I enjoyed believing in him too... but you can enjoy presents and a secular Christmas without him, can't you?


And my dad just said he heard on the radio something about adults honestly believing Santa exists?! Idk it sounded both ridiculous and scary at the same time, this professional Santa guy is a good actor and is shocked at adult's reactions to him, like they believe he truly is the real Santa.


I can't find the story, though, i was guessing maybe he heard it on NPR but all I found there was this insanely depressing article/story:



I guess we just always had a tongue-in-cheek attitude.  My experience with children and grandchildren is that they seem to need to believe in magic of some sort.  That is why Sunday School is so insidious IMO. 


The 3-8's seem to need Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy etc.  With my kids, when they started to ask questions (between 7 and 10), I would ask them if they wanted to continue to enjoy the Santa/Easter Bunny/etc.  What they seemed to know instinctively was that I was asking them "Do you want to grow up now? or do you want to hang on to your childhood? "  


They told me when they became adults and had children of their own that they knew the  myth was not true, but they also knew they could still pretend and I would keep the illusion.  I wish I knew how I did it.  They kids seemed to come through with no problems or traumas.



BTW:  I was apparently a skeptical child and my mother says that when I was three I informed her that Santa could leave the presents on the porch.  Apparently the thought of some strange man with a beard wearing a red suit wandering around the house was a frightening to me. 




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