Don't tell me you never had this question asked to you, subsequently to your, usually politely, explaining to whoever asks about your religion, that you're an atheist and do not believe in any god; you're an atheist and do not believe that a god exists; or whatever combination of words you choose.

That's pretty much how it goes.

Even people who know that atheists do not believe in a god will sometimes still assume they share a common set of beliefs or principles, and have common political tendencies.

"So, what do atheists believe?", is their question.

If you ask me, I've had a wide variety of comebacks, depending on my mood at the moment, most of them facetious, but most likely, after explaining that atheists (as a group) do not have a common set of beliefs, I say that *I* believe in love, in humanity and our good faith... just to keep it simple... because, quite frankly, we don't "believe" in science - we find it verifiable. We don't "believe" in the universe and its wonders, we have seen them through amazing telescopes. I guess you get my point.

So what do you, fellow atheist, believe in, or what do you think is the best answer to this question?

 

Side note: This discussion is focused rather on the best comeback to the question in it, which in this specific context, is always asked as "opposed to your non-belief in god, what do atheists believe?"

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What you are talking about and what Monica was asking are two different things. Your world view on matters and I believe I should turn right at the next coroner don't hold the same weight nor are they the same question.

 

I disagree with all here who place belief itself in a negative light. The only thing that is important is the reasoning behind a belief.

If you a see a house on a far hill and the 2 sides of the house that you can see are pink, you might believe (or assume) that the entire house is pink on all sides, without actually checking the far side of the house, as that is the likely situation considering what you know and expect about houses. Even though you might be wrong, the chances are good that you are right.

If a friend you know and trust tells you they are going to buy a car tomorrow, you can probably believe that, or at least that buying a car is their intention, barring something coming up to prevent them actually doing it. It is a reasonable statement to believe in.

If a reputable scientific publication publishes an article from a respected scientist who claims to have discovered evidence supporting the theory that picking your nose causes cancer, then you can probably believe that statement.

But if a wacko says the world is going to end on October 21st this year, because he reckons you can figure that out from some book written by a bunch of primitives almost 2000 years ago which he and many millions more deluded individuals think is the written word of a magic spirit who supposedly existed before time and created everything in the universe out of nothing, and just for us, then you can ignore it and go away laughing, because it’s simply absurd.

Hear, hear  Jim Minion - my point exactly.

   I think I'm in love!

 *I* believe in love, in humanity and our good faith

 

That does not answer the question : What you should  explain, is how you believe the universe came to be, and so life, we, humans, with its hability of speach, of communication, its knowledge of morals .......

 

If a creator God does not exist, you have following alternatives left:

 

Nothing created the universe. It just poped up into being out from nothing. 

The universe, or universes, in one form or the other, just exist forever, without beginning, and without a end.

 

Pick your choice, and explain, why you believe, one of these alternatives make more sense to you, than a creator God.

If you think nothing can just pop out of nothing or that something eternal is inconceivable and therefor can't exist, in order to be intellectually consistent, you must apply that logic to God and not make an exception for Him. If God can be eternal, why not the Universe. Or, did God pop out of nothing (begetting himself)? Well, if God can simply pop out of nothing, why not the universe?

 

We are beginning to understand how things work. That the universe we know exist in one of several or perhaps many or an infinitude of dimensions. That structures called membranes or "branes" can create universes by bumping into each other.

 

When you have problems with the universe simply happening, that goes back to a misunderstanding about time, which is that time is some sort of constant independent of the physical universe. Actually, time is so tied up with the physical world that physicists and cosmologists refer to it as space/time, one thing, not two, much in the way that we might talk about matter/energy as one thing and not two.

 

Anyway, you never explained what the problem is with something, God, the universe, or whatever existing beyond time as we understand it.

If you think nothing can just pop out of nothing or that something eternal is inconceivable and therefor can't exist, in order to be intellectually consistent, you must apply that logic to God and not make an exception for Him.

 

A creator God is above his creation. So he is not bound to time, or matter, or space.

 

   If God can be eternal, why not the Universe.  

 

I believe God existed beyond the creation of our universe in a timeless eternity. 

 

Its up to you, to explain how you imagine a universe, that had no beginning, and it is conievable, if that is what you believe. 

 

 Well, if God can simply pop out of nothing, why not the universe?

 

Thats not what i believe. I believe God had no beginning, and has no end. He simply is, he simply exists.

 

 That the universe we know exist in one of several or perhaps many or an infinitude of dimensions. That structures called membranes or "branes" can create universes by bumping into each other.

 

And what does make you believe, this scenario is realistic ?

 

http://elshamah.heavenforum.org/t222-m-theory-brane-theory

 

 string theory (or, more generally, the theory that physicist call "M-theory") seems to allow a very large number of possible solutions, or as the physicists call them, vacuua (as in the plural of "vacuum"). In fact, there are roughly 10-to-the-500th-power vacuua. That's an immense number that I don't even know how to describe except by using scientific notation. It's much more than a googol, or even a googol of googols. But it's less than a googolplex.

It's about 10^109! (10-to-the-109-factorial). (Oops. Obviously not.)

So rather than asking "how do we manipulate the mathematics to choose the one vacuum that represents our universe?" string theoriests like Susskind are saying, all these vacuums are allowed and all describe possible universes. In one or two of them the photon mass is zero and the electron has a mass of 0.511 MeV (and...), but in others the graviton is massive and quarks can be light-years apart and atoms can't even form and nothing is the way it seems here. And in still others..., well, you get the picture, times 10^500.

 

its believed that odds above 1 to 10^50  will make a event never happen......

>>"A creator God is above his creation. So he is not bound to time, or matter, or space."

That logical fallacy is called special pleading. It's also simply wrong. Wishful thinking. Evading the question. Moving the goalposts. A being that may be called "god" by inferior beings could exist under physical constraints. Just in ways the inferior being doesn't understand.

In any case, you don't understand the Big Bang. Nowhere does it say that nothing existed before. For example, either all matter was condensed to a singularity, which simply could have "always" existed (though again, talking about time before there was time is part of the problem). Or everything was a uniform quantum state and a ripple in that quantum foam caused the Big Bang which then initially created quarks. Everything else went on from there with processes that we more or less understand, such as stellar nucleosynthesis.

Some of the hypothesis about the sudden inflation are fantastical and hard to grasp. But just about any is more likely and more believable than some higher being always having existed.

 

Never mind that the creation of the universe is really absolutely immaterial to any religion. Even if you could prove that the universe is created, you have all your work ahead of you. You arrived at deism, at best - not theism.You still don't know why that being acted that way. You know absolutely nothing about it. You don't know if it created just the universe or took any special interesting in other things, like us. You don't know whether that being listens to prayers. You know nothing about it's wishes towards us. You still haven't shown why that being cares how we worship, when we worship, when we work, what we eat and how and with whom we have sex.

That logical fallacy is called special pleading. It's also simply wrong. Wishful thinking. Evading the question. Moving the goalposts. A being that may be called "god" by inferior beings could exist under physical constraints. Just in ways the inferior being doesn't understand. 

 

Sure, that not might be possible, actually i believe it happened with Jesus, becoming God incarnated. But that does not negate what i said, actually your response is non sequitur.

 

 In any case, you don't understand the Big Bang.

 

How do you know ?

 

 Nowhere does it say that nothing existed before.

 

That is not what most  scienitst  believe. 

 

http://elshamah.heavenforum.org/t199-evidence-that-the-universe-had...

 

http://thoughtlife.wordpress.com/2008/07/25/the-kalam-cosmological-...

Stephen Hawking writes, “Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang.

For example, either all matter was condensed to a singularity, which simply could have "always" existed

 

Always implies time. But time was created at the Big Bang. 

 


 

Or everything was a uniform quantum state and a ripple in that quantum foam caused the Big Bang which then initially created quarks. Everything else went on from there with processes that we more or less understand, such as stellar nucleosynthesis.

 

http://elshamah.heavenforum.org/t65-quantum-fluctuations

 

quantum mechanics states that quantum events occur according to finite probabilities within finite time intervals. The larger the time interval, the greater the probability that a quantum event will occur. Outside of time, however, no quantum event is possible. Since time originated at the moment of the creation of the universe, quantum tunneling could not be its "creator." In addition, quantum events are extremely short-lived. As a quantum event, the existence of the universe is many orders of magnitude longer than any described quantum event. Therefore, cosmologists who propose such theories must appeal to unknown laws of physics to describe the reality of the universe.

Some of the hypothesis about the sudden inflation are fantastical and hard to grasp. But just about any is more likely and more believable than some higher being always having existed.

 

really? why ?

 

You still don't know why that being acted that way. You know absolutely nothing about it. You don't know if it created just the universe or took any special interesting in other things, like us. You don't know whether that being listens to prayers. You know nothing about it's wishes towards us. You still haven't shown why that being cares how we worship, when we worship, when we work, what we eat and how and with whom we have sex.

 

that does not mean, that a God creator is the best explanation for our existence

Why do you believe that a creator god is above creation? Setting aside that simply stringing together some words grammatically doesn't result in any meaning ("Sing me a bar of Exuberant Soap"), where is your evidence and why is that evidence (assuming there is any) evidence for Yahweh rather than any other deity?

 

How can God exist timelessly? And what does that mean? Once again, simply because words can be strung together grammatically, it doesn't result in a meaning of any sort.

 

I don't "imagine" any universe. There is no way to imagine it and so there is no "how" I imagine it. I just know what the current science is telling me. Religion is always having to accommodate science as science's explanations become more comprehensive and accurate, not the other way around, which should tell you where most of the misunderstanding.

 

I don't have to explain science. I leave that to the sciences and scientists. Your approach is to rely on made up definitions and insupportable suppositions, with no science or even reality-based conjecture behind them. Just your steadfast commitment to defending the existence of God, a concept which has been in continuous retreat for many centuries.

 

 

 

 

Why do you believe that a creator god is above creation?

 

What exactly do you not understand about this ? its obvious that the creator stands above his creation. 

 

where is your evidence and why is that evidence (assuming there is any) evidence for Yahweh rather than any other deity?

 

that is not the matter of this thread.....but just giving a short answer: because we have the bible....

 

How can God exist timelessly? And what does that mean? Once again, simply because words can be strung together grammatically, it doesn't result in a meaning of any sort.

 

http://elshamah.heavenforum.org/t296-what-is-timeless-eternity

 

Eternity is the simultaneous possession of boundless life which is made clearer by comparison with temporal things.

This becomes clear when we consider temporal things: whatever lives in time lives only in the present, which passes from the past into the future, and no temporal thing has such a nature that it can simultaneously embrace its entire existence, for it has not yet arrived at tomorrow and no longer exists in yesterday.

We cannot be considered eternal: Even one’s life today exists only in each and every transient moment. Therefore, anything which exists in time… cannot properly be considered eternal, for anything in time does not embrace the infinity of life all at once, since it does not embrace the future or the past.

Since every intellect understands according to its own nature, and since God lives in an eternal present, with no past or future, his knowledge transcends the movement of time and exists only in a single, simple, unified present.


 

Just your steadfast commitment to defending the existence of God, a concept which has been in continuous retreat for many centuries.

 

how do you know ?

 


Eternity is the simultaneous possession of boundless life which is made clearer by comparison with temporal things.

 

When the actual dlctionary definition doesn't help, make a new definition up. If you don't like the word "eternity" the way it is actually used, then think of a new word to use as a name for the new concept.

 

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