It almost seems like atheists don't want to believe in God. Do you just simply not want to believe in God because you don't want to give up your own free will?
ADMIN EDIT: Mercedes has left ThinkAtheist.com on her own accord. This discussion will remain, however do not expect a response from the author.
No, god is imaginary. There's a difference! Oh, wait, I guess there isn't. Never mind.
Good answer Heather.
I don't have anything to show you except what I know of Jesus and the Bible. I can also tell you of miracles that have happened. But this doesn't seem good enough so I don't know what kind of proof would satisfy you.
Here is what would satisfy me.
Rene Descartes is a modern philosopher who came up with my favorite version of an argument in favor of God: basically, he says that God must be real because when you think of the concept of this perfect being, it is immediately apparent to the mind that such a being must exist, in the same way that it is immediately apparent to the mind that 2 + 2 = 4. The perfect being is "clearly and distinctly" perceived. (For a more detailed explanation, here's a good link: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-ontological/ ).
So, Mercedes, I bet that when you think of God you can't conceive of Him not existing. I bet that's why in the op you expressed an outright inability to conceive of someone not believing in God. And you're on the right track, there; for Descartes' argument (in my opinion, the closest thing to a real, solid argument about God) to work, every single person with the ability to really think on the subject must come up with the same conclusion that you do. For every person who conceives of God, it must be immediately apparent that God does exist.
And that's all fine, except here I am, telling you that no, it is not apparent to me at all. I absolutely do not believe in God. I'm not angry at God, I'm not in denial, I simply do not believe in God. And if I'm not mistaken, a lot of other people lack that "clear and distinct" perception, just as I do.
So, there you go. I don't require that you throw paint on God to make Him visible, and take a picture really fast. I do understand that absence of evidence is not proof of absence. But if God isn't going to provide any empirical evidence of Himself, the least He could do would be to exist necessarily. And I'm sorry, He doesn't.
I still don't get why the Bible isn't viewed as evidence though. People say it's a bronze age book but that's really not true. It's multiple books. Eye witness accounts and history. Why is that not proof? what about Jesus? that's all the proof you need.
Please cite a single book in the bible written by an author who named him (or her) self, who then goes on to give us their eye witness testimony of any event in the life of Jesus.
I still don't get why the Bible isn't viewed as evidence though.
I posted a link to Begging the Question. It's a better explanation than I can give about why the Bible and Jesus can not be "viewed as evidence." I promise you, though, any serious theologian will approach this argument by trying to prove the historical accuracy or outside sources around the Bible, rather than just saying it's true because it says it is. The reason for that is because it's very simply a badly structured argument. I am not correct just because I say that I'm correct; you require at the very least a bit of outside knowledge.
People say it's a bronze age book but that's really not true. It's multiple books. Eye witness accounts and history.
Unfortunately, people can straw man it a bit by calling it something like that, and try to belittle it. That is one good point. However, it is certainly not "eye witness accounts and history." Yes, some things written in it correlate to historically verified events, but on the other hand many things do not. And if we're talking Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, those are actually pretty clearly not eyewitness. Here's another good link, if you want to explore that claim a bit more: http://thechurchoftruth.wordpress.com/synoptic-gospels-not-writen-b...
Why is that not proof? what about Jesus? that's all the proof you need.
Jesus is not proof. Proof is empirical evidence. I think you're trying to assert that we should not need proof, that we should instead have faith. I touched on this in a response to a different part of this thread, but the point is that you're making a contradictory claim here, that "atheists" are setting such a high bar and asking for so much proof, but at the same time that there is no proof at all. So I think your line of reasoning could use some reflection.
I think you're trying to assert that we should not need proof, that we should instead have faith.
No that's not at all what I said.
The link you have is a blog. I don't see any scholars on there.
Unfortunately, people can straw man it a bit by calling it something like that, and try to belittle it. That is one good point. However, it is certainly not "eye witness accounts and history."
So the Pslams that King David wrote aren't his own personal encounter with a living God? that's eye witness. He wrote the book himself! No decades of a gap at all there. He wrote it so it's first hand. for example.
I was trying to give you an out by rewording that argument to be more fair, but you're right, it's your poor choice of words.
Now that scholar comment is just a bit hypocritical, don't you think? Because you'd like me to believe in God without a single scholar's agreement (NOT including fundamentalist theologians). Anyway, I liked the blog's concise explanation, but if you prefer reading closer to the source, try this: http://www.katapi.org.uk/4Gospels/master.html?http://www.katapi.org...
And the psalms the King David wrote are songs/poems about God, not at all an eyewitness account of God, any more than any modern worship song is an eyewitness account of God. Again, that's a circular argument, saying that just because David sings about God, means God must exist. Very poor example.
Because none of the "eye witness accounts" from the bible are anything more than stories copied from stories translated from stories told by generations of nomads that had nothing better to do at night, sitting around camp fires than make up stories.
It is true that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence - SOMETIMES! But the very fact that there are no corroborative accounts of any of these events outside of the bible, in and of itself is evidence that these accounts are not real. Accounts written in any ancient text is always suspect and requires supporting evidence. There is no supporting evidence whatsoever for any of the stories (especially the supernatural once) from the bible.
That coupled with the fact that there are hundreds of contradiction and inconsistencies gives clear indication that the bible can't be trusted as any sort of reliable source of information. Just because a few things that were possibly historically true show up from time to time, doesn't mean that the bible is reliable. In order for the bible to be believed as the true "word of a perfect deity", it would, itself, necessarily be inerrant, and it is clearly proven to be just the opposite.