I will be the first to admit, I know very little about many scietific theories, research, etc. But it seems that the stigma attached to an atheist is either a science nerd or some kind of satanist type. I am neither one, but it has always struck me as odd that people view us that way. I don't need science to tell me that there is no god, but religious people seem to need religion to tell them that there is. I am perpetually awe struck by videoes of scientist on this site. they are super smart, and describe their field in spectacular ways. I find there research facsinating, although sometimes it goes a little over my head. So, the question is, do you need science to confirm that there is no god, or do you just know there isn't?

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Not everyone needs science to reach the conclusion "there is no god."

The thing that science does for many, is to illustrate how outlandishly wrong so much of the religious cannon and dogma really is.

Many people can read the bible and see the innuendo, the parable, the myth and fairytale -- for some that's it, some quick logic wins out -- for some though, the logic starts the doubt, but when science shows that the bible's "scientific" claims are completely wrong, then science can provide the final nudge into non-belief.

I think one of the reasons many atheists find science so fascinating is that it constantly works to explain the unexplainable. It fills in the gaps that theists fill with "god-did-it." It shows us that the natural world/solar system/galaxy/universe is so much more wondrous than the silly supernatural some imagine.
I agree completely. Although I think someone that is on the "brink" of atheism has a tough time accepting that there is no god simply because "god did it" is an easier answer to understand.
Some of us need supporting evidence, some of us don't.
yep, logic wins the day for me.
I would suggest a more interesting question is... why are you an atheist?

If we were to theorise that belief comes from three possible and interconnected sources:-

1. The feeling of something greater (the internal spiritual feeling).
2. The personal or cultural world (my parent’s, community etc.. taught me/told me to believe).
3. Some form of pseudo logical analysis (remembering where I am and adding pseudo) deducing that some deity or other exists.

Atheism (the definite disbelief) could come from:-

1. The lack of the feeling there is something greater (or the attributing such spiritual like feelings you may experience to more mundane physiological causes).
2. The personal or cultural world (– see above… but add the significant negative effect of experienced hypocrisy and more serious trauma and of course just plain glorious rebellion).
3. Some form of logical analysis that a deity does not exist or is unnecessary for things to work.

Most atheists may believe they are motivated by option three and will attempt to create a purely material explanation for the universe.

But while it is no great challenge to discredit nearly all major belief systems with logic and analysis this simply proves that humans have had a hand in their creation it does not prove that the supernatural does not exist (unless I have missed the killer theory by not paying attention).

With believers we could suggest that option 1 and 2 underpin their position, 3 is really only for interaction with a world increasingly more adept then they are.

But with atheists is it not also the case that in the majority option 2 and 1 (in reverse order to believers perhaps) is the real reason they are atheists and 3 again is justification after the event?

In the absence of actual evidence agnosticism would seem the only credible final intellectual position, defined as an extreme position of not believing or disbelieving.
(This is in the existence of a god like being by the way, not Christianity, Islam or any other obviously human tainted description of whatever it is and how it wants us to be).

But ultimately isn’t it really all about option 1 deep down for everyone, however the feeling got there in the first place?
In the absence of actual evidence agnosticism would seem the only credible final intellectual position, defined as an extreme position of not believing or disbelieving.
Not really...

The terms atheist and agnostic are not mutually exclusive. In fact, most atheists probably fall into the definition of an "agnostic atheist."


The terms atheist and theist describe things you believe.

The terms agnostic and gnostic describe things you know.

So I'm an "agnostic atheist" be cause I don't know if there are any gods, and lack of evidence has given me no reason to believe any gods exist.
I don't disagree with what Johnny says, because technically he is right. But in the colloquial sense, I hate all these fine tuned labels. I'm agnostic about EVERYTHING, so I find that label to be a little redundant and useless.
Good point Reggie; I agree that agnostic about almost EVERYTHING is a good stance.

I've had to use this 'fine tuned' description a couple times recently with family. And pulled it out here because I don't think just agnosticism is the only credible intellectual position.
I like the diagram a lot - and may even steal it, or use it with your permission (both works for me) as I am agnostic about the morality of copyright (at least today).

So you would separate belief from knowledge. Do theists do that? Surely that weakens belief if only by saying it’s different from actually knowing.

I have long tried to define a state of mind I call 'supra-agnostism' (though don’t like the name really) which is basically a complete lack of certain knowledge, belief OR disbelief and thus any form of bias.

The added theoretical feature of this mental state is that one can in fact be a theist and an atheist simultaneously and thus assess a belief system with out preconception.

It probably sounds crazy or at least implausible, but I liken it to encountering something completely new and then ‘trying out’ one position or another mentally by creating ‘ego states’ that fully believe or disbelieve in different aspects of the position. Collapsing the wave function effectively in different ways and observing the outcome from the perspective of additional ‘watcher’ ego states.

This approach requires a mental toolkit that leans heavily on role play characterisation and method acting and is difficult to relay without a couple of worked examples.

The purpose is to try and create the most open mind possible to facilitate the capture all the nuances and complexities of the universe (both real and unreal) and get the fullest picture as possible in any analytical process, but that’s another topic.

To conclude while I have for limited time periods been both a theist and an atheist as required, the only philosophically sound position within the obvious limits of our reality is, in my humble opinion, that of agnostic in ALL things.
I snaked it from The Freethinker; so use away.

So you would separate belief from knowledge. Do theists do that? Surely that weakens belief if only by saying it’s different from actually knowing.
So far, the theists I've pointed this out to, and diagrammed for them, see the logic and understand the concept. Of course almost all of them declare themselves a "gnostic theist" - but a few of them I've explained and re-explained until they concede they are probably more realistically an "agnostic theist."

That article from Freethinker has another variation on the chart also that is a more realistic chart of where people actually end up though:

It probably sounds crazy or at least implausible, but I liken it to encountering something completely new and then ‘trying out’ one position or another mentally by creating ‘ego states’ that fully believe or disbelieve in different aspects of the position.
Very interesting. And very impressive if you can do it impartially. I think I might have a hard time remaining impartial while constructing the view-points. And I'd bet few-if-any theists could manage that mental gymnastic without being partial.
agnostic is the fence sitter position, are you going to sit there and say there is a chance of there being a god.

I can say without a shawdow of doubt, there is no god, I am of the opinion there may well be super beings but I repeat, there is no biblical god.

Why Reg, why
I don't think most people who refer to themselves as agnostic atheists mean they are agnostic towards the biblical god, for me it's more of a scientifically accurate standpoint to say that you can't really know anything with absolute certainty.

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