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.
Being an Atheist is not merely a choice. Many Atheists had a religion of some sort, before they started on a road of enquiry, research, reading of the bible, discovering of violence and hypocrisy. Then when researching, find out where the myths and stories of the bible originally came from, out of the heads of superstitious uneducated people.
By your rules, if you don't 'believe' in god, jesus or the holy ghost, you will go to hell. That is actually blackmail. Very sad to have to live a life like that.
god is not loving, he is hateful, vindictive, and violent. Read your own bible, it is all there.
Show me something that god has done in the last two thousand years.
Has he stopped children starving to death, has he stopped war, has he stopped famine, why did he make a screw worm that gets into the eye of a human being, and burrows into the brain. A very long, slow, painful death.
Why didn't god stop that man from rape and torture of the three girls in cleveland. God had ten years to do something, but did nothing, while the girls were having babies to this evil man.
There were many prayers said for them when they disappeared. Why did your everloving god not stop that man, or alert authories, by his usual method of talking in someones head. Have you heard god in your head, so why didn't he talk to you?
The reason - he doesn't exist.
@Mercedes - if god existed today, and could actually be found - he would be charged with the murder of millions of people, if you believe the bible.
I require proof, data or evidence to come to any conclusion. That's how my brain works. I could 'pretend' to believe, but that would just be to please the other people around me, that's not what's in my heart.
The Bible is 'proof' for you, just like the Koran is 'proof' for Muslims. Why do you consider your holy book truth but not theirs? If your god is real because the Bible said so, then theirs must be, too. That's how evidence works.
Having read the Bible (and a multitude of other documents and texts) concerning the Abrahamic religions I've found them to be the collected oral histories of an early tribal people. Comparing the 'history' of the Bible with observations of the known universe, the Bible fails on every count. No world wide flood, people weren't popped into life out of dirt, Hebrews were never slaves in Egypt and the first-borns were never murdered.
Yes. I said murdered.
I do require convincing, empirical evidence before I commit my life to a god that has ever demanded a blood sacrifice.
...or asks me to damn my gay family members.
...or says I can't speak up in church.
..or says that I'm responsible for the consequences of a choice I did not make.
Can I ask you a question?
Why are you so willing to accept the idea that you're born in sin because some woman you never met got seduced by a snake with a piece of fruit?
Why are you so willing to follow a murdering god?
Why are you so willing to commit your life WITHOUT evidence?
I read through much of the previous 9 pages of comments, and the dead horse is now well-beaten from both sides, so I don't want to just re-hash anything that has already been said.
But I do want to point out one thing, at least that applies to me.
I don't require proof that God exists, and I don't believe that most other atheists do, either. It is just something some of us throw out at believers to shut them down, to be honest. We know that there is no proof, so we know that demanding that they come up with some will (hopefully) get them to either see the light, or to shut up about it...lol Sure, I can't really speak for all of my fellow non-believers, but i'm sure this applies to many of them.
Unfortunately, all of the "proof" that most believers can bring up, we do not see as undeniable. In our eyes, the Bible is just a book, of unreliable origins, that is so full of contradictions and unverifiable claims that it simply can't be accepted as fact. Not even when it says so itself!
And everything else just falls flat. All of the other "proofs" require a belief to begin with. The universe was created by God! That's evidence that he exists! Well, sure, but only if you already believe in God, and that he created the universe. If you don't, that just sounds like silly circular logic.
Why don't you believe in Allah and the Quran? The Quran is the correct word of Allah and absolute truth. So why don't you believe the Quran?
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
"What can asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."
I think those two statements should answer you question at least in my case.
I typically don't ask for evidence when no one is asking me to believe or accept a proposition. If you want the really simplified version, it's this: don't give me a reason to care or object and I won't.
If you want that unpacked a little, it's like this:
The Christian God is possibly the most exceptional claim which can be made. It seems to defy everything we know and have observed. In order to accept it, I would need some equally exceptional evidence to match the claim.
Contextual significance? Well, if someone just wants to believe to themselves, there is none for me. I don't care. To each their own. If, on the other hand, that person wants to effect political policy based on their views on God, the significance of their God's existence matches the significance of the policy.
Just as an aside, I am certain my position has already appeared in a thread this long. I'm just adding one more voice to that position. No real need to address it individually.
Just as you would ask for proof that an airplane you are boarding is safe (the safety record of the airline) one should naturally demand proof that a book and the authority it is based on is provable and is worth following before you freely give up your own free will and autonomy. I would never get on a plane belonging to Somalian Airlines and I would never swallow the text of an outlandish story before exceptional and rigorous evidence was presented. You are doomed if you accept whatever people tell you. The more incredible the claim the stronger the evidence should be. The more you must give up in order to embrace the idea...the more exceptional and air tight the evidence should be.
If you think your afterlife will be better than your current life you're not really living. You're just waiting to die.
succinct & full of truth.....
Which God? There are so many I don't believe in.