This discussion may surprise some of you, people usually put logic and atheism in the same sentence, some people even claim that to be completely rational one has to be an atheist. Today I hope to show you the absurdity of Atheism, not weak atheism, but strong, militant atheism. After reading the ‘God Delusion’ I thought Dawkins had thrown religion and my beliefs into a garbage bin; I had lost my faith and became what they call a ‘skeptic’. However, instead of committing intellectual suicide and becoming an atheist, I was an Agnostic Deist for quite some time; I couldn’t rule out God as I had no reason too or empirical evidence to do so.
I somehow or other got my faith back (or more so destroyed my skeptical self and instead of saying, ‘I doubt it.’ Saying, ‘perhaps.’) and then it struck me, atheism is some what irrational. There are always reasons why one does or does not believe in something. For example I don’t believe in Santa because there is no man on the North pole and it is a fact that Santa was created by Coca Cola. I have reasons not to believe in pokemon, flying tea pots or even a flying spaghetti monster. When I ask an atheist why they do not believe in God, they have no rational reasons to deny His existence none, zero, nada. This is rather odd, many atheists are famous scientists who are used to using empirical evidence and observation their whole lives and yet make the illogical conclusion that God does not exist. Dawkins thought that evolution proved that God was not in existence but was by humans (which is a big assumption). Dawkins has not ‘disproven’ God, he has dismissed a God some fundamentalists believe in.
A reason for a belief or lack of belief is a necessity for something to hold any weight.
Premise 2 needs to be backed up by something. Think about it for a second, any non belief you have is backed up by reason; you do not believe not believe n Zeus because you do not believe in him, you have some concrete reasons not to believe he exists. Perhaps even the Judeo-Christian God, you have reasons to dismiss. But you can not logically dismiss God. A being who created the universe may exist.
Some people will then try to bring in the flying tea pot argument, 'We can never dismiss that a flying tea pot does not exist, should we believe in it?' When rational people are talking about God they do not give Him any form (They may imagine He has a brown beard and appears somewhat Jewish) but we have no idea the form of God. God and the flying tea pot are not on the same page, one would have to use scientific evidence and observation to see if a flying tea pot exists. One can not see God, therefore we enter the realm of meta-physics. So what are your guys views? I will take back what I said about atheism being irrational if I am proven wrong (note: I am talking about strong atheism, not weak).
You would be Agnostic-Atheist :)
I don't think there is such a thing as a Full atheist, then - if you need a 100% certainty.
I don't think you need 100% certainty. I think the religious have tried to manipulate the discussion.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Agnosticism unrelated to Atheism? Agnosticism and Gnosticism deal with what you know (ex: I know there is/is not a Creator). Atheism and Theism deal with what you believe (ex: I do/do not believe there is a Creator).
So you can be a Gnostic Theist (I know there is a Creator), Agnostic Theist (I believe there is a Creator), Agnostic Atheist (I do not believe there is a Creator), and everything in between. I'd be willing to bet almost everyone here on TA is an Agnostic Atheist ;D.
Ah, so many replies... I hope he at least reads one of them instead of dismissing them all.
Agnosticism is related, arguably, to skepticism in that both deal with the certainty of knowledge. Agnosticism, as initially presented, did not explicitly deal with the issue of God although, given the context, I think it was implied.
The OP is, to a degree, correct. Given a complete lack of evidence the only logical position one can assume is that one has no knowledge (of the subject at hand). However when specific claims are made they can be tested and found to be wanting, or to have a different explanation. So it is with God. The only God that the OP could be referring to is one without any claims. Such a being would be, as Atheist Exile puts it, irrelevant.
"When I ask an atheist why they do not believe in God, they have no rational reasons to deny His existence none, zero, nada."
No real evidence is a good enough reason not believe in something. If the evidence of god's existence is bunk then that is really the only rational reason needed to reject belief in him. I don't believe in god because the evidence for his/her/their/its existence is inadequate to convince me. If that does not make sense, then the problem is with you I'm afraid.
"When rational people are talking about God they do not give Him any form (They may imagine He has a brown beard and appears somewhat Jewish) but we have no idea the form of God."
Which is why when people ask me do I believe in god (which doesn't happen here in the deep south of america because everyone is assumed to believe) I ask them what do they mean by god. If they say the nature is god then I say of course I believe in that but I don't understand why they call it god. Why not call it what it is which is "nature". When most people think of god, they speak of an omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, immaterial, timeless being. The reason I don't believe in that is because theists have no where near met their burden of proof. I consider no evidence as evidence against the existence of something. Plain and simple.
Which is why when people ask me do I believe in god (which doesn't happen here in the deep south of america because everyone is assumed to believe) I ask them what do they mean by god.
This is the crux of the issue: what is meant by the term "god"?
I think your argument has some merit, however, it certainly does not warrant a return to faith. A rational reason can be found to dismiss any god you care to define. Your argument only holds up for undefined gods which themselves have no value in any belief system.
This discussion may surprise some of you
No, it actually doesn’t. It’s the same garbage that is usually thrown our way.
You claim to be arguing against strong atheism only then you go on to argue against atheism in general not making any distinction between strong and weak atheism. This leads me to think that you don’t really know the difference between strong atheism and weak atheism. On top of all this you use Dawkins as an example of a strong atheist and yet he isn’t a strong atheist.
Strong Atheism: I believe that there is no god in the same way a theists believes there is a god. Most atheists are not strong atheists and see the absurdity of strong atheism since it asserts a belief without proof.
Weak Atheism: I lack belief in god. There isn’t sufficient evidence nor is there any logical reason to suppose a god exists. As Dawkins said in his book The God Delusion “I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden.”
When I ask an atheist why they do not believe in God, they have no rational reasons to deny His existence none, zero, nada.
Evidence, the absolute lack of evidence in favor of any god is reason enough to live on the assumption that god isn’t there. Forget for a moment about the evidence needed to prove the existence of god… there isn’t even sufficient evidence to show that god is more likely to exist then the tooth-fairy.
A reason for a belief or lack of belief is a necessity for something to hold any weight.
That’s just a silly argument and a distraction from the actual arguments or atheists – a strawman. I do not believe in god therefore I do not believe in god. My belief or lack there of isn’t proof either way of god’s existence.
One can not see God, therefore we enter the realm of meta-physics.
How do you know that one cannot see god? Where’s your proof? Or are you making the argument of:
This is not a typical atheist's argument, or even a rational argument.
Perhaps a better argument would be something like this:
1. There is no evidence for God
2. Therefore, God is not real
@Fred. You are being more precise than I was. Mine would probably be ok for a militant atheist :), not a typical atheist.
Here is a basic math equation to represent the problem where (I) represents and idea, such as "God may exist", (E) represents evidence in favor of the idea and (A) is the acceptance of an idea, such that I+E=A. Negative values of A should be dismissed. When the value of A = 1, the idea should be considered but not accepted until more evidence is provided. If A > 1 then the idea can be reasonably accepted.
For the undefined idea that some type of god may exist, the equation looks like this: 1I + 0E = 1A (or the idea is worth exploring but we need evidence before we can reasonably accept it).
For the idea of an omnipotent, omniscient creator God such as Jehovah, the equation might look more like this: 1I - 9,999,999,999E = -9,999,999,999A (or the idea is so lacking in evidence and all the evidence that has been presented has been so thoroughly debunked that accepting the idea is absolutely unreasonable).
For the idea of the Big Bang, the equation might look like this: 1I + 156E = 156A (or there is plenty of good solid evidence to support the idea of the Big Bang and very little or no evidence against it so it is therefore reasonable to accept the idea. However, if evidence against the idea is found then it could change the equation and therefore change whether or not we can reasonably accept the idea).