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.
Mercedes, you are an atheist. You do not believe in Zeus, Budha, Vishnu, Thor, Loki, Poseidon, Jupiter, Neptune, Osiris, etc, etc. In history and on other continents these have all been worshipped as much, if not more, than Yahweh is now.
These gods have books written about them and temples built to them just as Yahweh has. But you don't believe in them. Why not? How can you not believe in them? They have holy books that say they exist, the books hold the words of the gods and demand that you worship them. Temples have been built, have you not seen the Parthenon in Athens? How can you not bow down and worship these gods? Because you do not believe in them.
Are you a creationist? If you are then the rest of these words from here on down are wasted. If you are not, and you understand that the world is 4.54 billion years old and that modern humans, as we are now, have been on the planet for 200,000 years then I will not have wasted some of my life on writing these words.
Neanderthals (now extinct) probably first started to believe in some kind of religion, as they buried their dead, 223,000 years BCE, though a recognisable and recorded religion was not practiced until 9831 BCE, when towns and cities started to form as humans became less and less nomadic. The first place of worship was built in Turkey, it was called Göbekli Tepe, in 9130 BCE.
As you can see the number of deities and religions is massive. Even if you take Göbekli Tepe as the evidence of the first real religion, with a known place of worship, that is still over 9,000 years before your god supposedly deigned to provide someone with some information about his existence. We have ‘known’ about Yahweh for just 2,000 years. Why was he not appearing before then? And, if all the people before he appeared did not know about him, they could not worship him. Does that mean they were condemned to hell because of their ignorance?
So going back to a more recent history; did you believe in christianity when you were born? No, you did not, you could not talk or communicate apart from crying or gurgling for several months. When you were old enough your parents told you about santa claus and the tooth fairy and you got excited and got money and presents. Then they told you about god and being good and you went to Sunday school and church. The priest was nice and charismatic, he told you about original sin and heaven and hell. Then you found out it was your parents leaving money under your pillow and that there was no santa claus because it was your parents buying you presents and putting them under the tree. Yet you still believe the nice priest…
What do you think would happen if I brought a child into this world and told him that Harry Potter was real? If I primed all his relatives and made sure they kept the story going, read all the stories to him, fed him Harry Potter philosophy about how he always does the right thing. Made sure that the child did not interact too much with other children, with home schooling and always there to fend off any remarks from other children or adults in case they said something.
And that is how you believe; you have been fed this stuff since you were old enough to listen, your world view has been controlled and edited by christians, you have had the parts of the bible read to you that do not disgust you and make you question it. Any other parts have been ‘explained’ as to what they really ‘mean’ for the same reason. Like unicorns and rhinoceros (I'm curious, did a priest tell you that?)
Well put, Alan!
Many people on this site have tried to explain to you why they do not accept your feelings or an old book as proof, I will not try to repeat their efforts. Instead, I would like to say I admire your efforts to convert us and I would like to thank you for the calm manner with which you reply to our messages. It is a brave decision to expose yourself to infidels.
The fact you are willing to discuss things with us shows that you have an enquiring mind, even if the possibilities you currently recognise are limited. This is at least the first step on the path of questioning your beliefs. I do not expect you to immediately take the leap to atheism but I look forward to having conversations with you five to ten years from now when you have had a chance to really think about what we have been saying.
Any proof would be nice!
** how about pantheism?
Maybe you should read an updated classic comics edition of Spinoza's Ethics:
Free will is a trick played by brain complexity and the uncertainty principle at work in every little neuron.
Without a hypertrophic prefrontal cortex you'd understand, well maybe not.
It probably seems that way because of the atheist community pushing back against the religious community forcing their beliefs down our throats. Most, if not all of us could give a rats turd whether you hold to delusional superstitions. We couldn't care less if you believe in Santa Claus, Peter Pan, Frankenstein or Superman as long as you don't try to legislate that I have worship Captain Hook. Most of the time that we spend on blogs is trying to make xians understand WHY we don't accept their fairy tales as truth. Doesn't it amaze you exactly how much evidence can be brought to bare against your "faith"?
To turn the argument around, It's almost like theists don't want to hear anything that obviously proves that their "god" doesn't exist. Do you simply not want to learn logic, reason and evidence because you know your faith can't stand against common sense?
Don't believe in Peter Pan, Frankenstein or Superman? Have you been listening to Queen again Keith? Next you'll be saying that all you want to do is bicycle!
BTW, I think you might misunderstand what the term "free will" means. You express free will every day, in every decision you make. Your lack of free will regarding your belief in your god is only the result of your indoctrination into the superstition that you follow. Too be honest, I don't really understand why someone like you would choose slavery to a fairy tales over "free will" to explore the universe and learn what truth and reality is.
I admire your attempts to find a proof but I suggest that you take your references from the book of the whole world, rather than book of a small collection of tales told in a small section of that world over a small period of its history. According to you, God created the world, and God created the Bible? Why would you, or any other Christian (or any other religious person with their own sacred texts), choose to believe a book over the whole of nature?
@John Cook - Thank you. The most profound thing I learned from your comment to Mercedes, as an ex-catholic, is the hiring of psychologists to help with the brainwashing.
I knew they had sunk to the depths of depravity, and would go to any lengths to protect the business- but this?