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.
Rick, like you, I can live happily without answers to some questions. I sometimes ask a questioner, "Will knowing an answer help me pay the rent?"
Yet, when people state their thoughts too rapidly, they tend to....
"Whether I want to believe in gravity or not, if I jump off a building I will get hurt."
What hurts isn't the jump, but the sudden stop at the end.
You are right about that, Tom.
We all have beliefs, of course. We can't avoid believing. What's crucial, however, is that we take care as much as possible to invest our belief only in what we know to be true. The key element, then, is knowledge, for knowledge and belief are inseparable. What we know we also believe. We can't help it.
What we justly regard as "true" is that which meets the confirming epistemological standards that warrant trust and belief. Truth need not be immutable or unarguable to be accepted and trusted. If a conviction or a condition accords with sufficient facts that can be independently cited in its support--and not contradicted by other facts--then it's true. It's worthy of belief.
Anything that can be asserted without proof, can just as easily be dismissed without proof. If you are going to insist that God exists, then it is up to you, the believer, to produce evidence of his existence.
What Theologians find so infuriating about this is that unbelievers have such a phenomenal head start in this area that nothing will prove his existence, short of God coming down to earth to a Dasani bottling factory, and buying a round of wine for the whole town.
In fact, the only saving grace that your god has is the fact that he's unfalsifiable. Meaning there will be no definitive proof of his non existence, despite the fact that science can explain almost every single facet of the rest of the world.
It seemed to me that Mercedes is simply very young. A teenager, or perhaps even slightly younger. Likely intelligent, maybe even beyond her years, but still very young, and perhaps not yet developmentally capable of the kind of thinking that would have been required of her to engage in the sort of discussion on offer here.
I don't think that she is mentally deficient, and I don't think she actually had any malicious intent. I think she truly was an innocent looking for understanding, but was ultimately incapable of processing what she got in return.
Daniel, I think your observations are very perceptive - I would think that "young and naive" pretty much sums it up.
Didn't she claim to be 25 years old?
I don't recall that, but I wouldn't have bought it if I read it.
Someone said she did, but I didn't personally see it. However, I didn't log into the thread at the very beginning, and rarely have time to go back and read everything that's been written. Bottom line, I really don't know - maybe the person who said she did can post a link.
Here's the link. Heather asked her and she replied that she was 25. I seldom forget numbers, it's that colour thing :)
Some say Mercedes a 25 year old adult came here seeking the truth and was treated unkindly...to that I say BullShit!
She received what all truth-seekers should be expecting, the raw unadulterated truth.
Mercedes` problem is well defined in the words of Jack Nicholson "You Can't Handle the Truth".
To paraphrase one of the greatest truth-seekers known to all of us Christopher Hitchens, believers minds have been poisoned by their delusional beliefs. Those deluded minds are a threat to the future of human progress.
Mercedes wasn't treated unfairly, she was treated honestly and exposed to the truth, she wasn't seeking truth...she was seeking validation of her delusion.
Unfortunately she was running at full speed powered by her faith in lies and ran face first into the wall of truth and got her ego bruised...OUCH!!!
The first word in the title of this site is "THINK", in my short time here I have found that most of the members do just that, they think. In a world full of idiotic believers I find that refreshing.
Sadly, I think a little more kindness is in order generally. I do find my own welcoming sensibilities significantly taxed dealing with theists, but my momentary 'mood' seems to not be easily available to my awareness. Maybe I should just stifle more?
Should our systems operator write some code that watches for certain catch phrases, that then offers a pop-up, 'hay that seems very mean', or 'yes, but maybe a reading list should be suggested', or 'it is doubtful that biblical authors had you as a proof reader!'
I expect that much of our painful excursions into 'meanness' could be avoided with just a little creative code writing. The 'trolls', on entry into this site, upon their first attempts to our 'deeper insights', might receive very large pop-ups containing the lore and previous contributions of many good thinkers. I would suggest a mandatory 'PRINT ALL'. I expect that at least a few of these 'good thinkers' might actually make contributions here. The desired result, reduced fluster, decreased number of rewrites, theist education, and reduced web site memory demands.
Just think of it as a deep wikipedia-like database of atheist literature, commentary, debates, and tirades. Of course, this then might become 'settled dogma', and a priest class could mature. While theists might abuse atheists, atheists might remove themselves from the need to 'abuse' theists, just let the new 'good book' do that unsettling type of work. Finally a nice day could be had by us, as a quiet settles in.
Can we bribe the SYSOP to build-in negative reinforcement? Maybe a nice computer virus that deletes the world 'God' or 'Jesus' from all text files on the theist home computer? Now I am being mean...;p)