You've all heard the claim that we aren't really atheists, we are just mad at god. (Or you will see such things as "so and so claims to be an atheist.")
Today, though I saw an argument in chat with a theist, and someone else's account of an argument they had out in public, and I stopped to wonder if maybe we aren't sometimes encouraging this line of bullshit, albeit unwittingly.
What happened in both cases was the atheist began recounting all the sorts of horrible things Yahweh is portrayed as doing or believing or commanding. In one case, I saw the atheist say "why should I love god when he won't love me back?"
The problem with this sort of thing is we usually don't take care to phrase our remarks to make it clear that god is a character of fiction. When discussing the misdeeds of Yahweh we tend to fall back on a convention we use when we talk about a fictional character in a book. We refer to him by name and talk as if the guy was real and the book was not fiction, for example, "In George Orwell's 1984, Winston Smith was arrested for thoughtcrime," not, "In George Orwell's 1984, the character Winston Smith..."
We know what we mean, because we both know Winston Smith (or god) is fictitious. But they don't know god is fictitious.
Talking this way with someone who believes the fictional character is real might cause him not to understand you are just following the convention. Your phrasing sounds to him like you accept god as real, he "knows" god is real, so he assumes at some level you think god is real.
What I am suggesting here is that you ever want to bring up how nasty this being is, you make it clear that you don't think he exists, make sure you put "fictitious" (or equivalent) in every other sentence at least, and not let them think for a minute that you assume the existence of god.
Yes I know that when you just said you were an atheist this shouldn't be necessary, but obviously many of these people don't understand atheism in their guts, so don't let their paradigm default you into a "believer but mad at god" box.
Lonely, let me explain exactly how I think and feel. You are about the age, I would guess, to be my son, so I will speak to you as I would a son.
There is a rule of life, in my belief system, that you have every right in the world to swing your fist, in any and all directions. That is your right, and I have no right to stop you. But your right to swing your fist stops when you reach my nose. Once you hit my nose with your fist, your rights end. What does that have to do with anything, you might ask. I will explain.
I am an atheist. I do not believe any gods exist. But that is my belief, and I have every right to believe it, but I do not have a right to force others to believe it, just as you do not have a right to make your fist hit my nose. In my belief system, I would be wrong to expect others to believe as I do.
I feel that Jews have every right to believe or not believe in their Yahweh, Christians should have every right to believe in their Yeshua and Yahweh, and Muslims have every right to believe in Allah, which is the Arabic name for Yahweh, and in your Muhammad. I have no right to demand that you change your beliefs to match mine.
But Muslims, Christians and Jews also have no right to expect me to believe as they do. If we can both accept that, then we have no disagreement.
What I CAN do, is I can try to show that about 80 percent of the Judeo/Christian Bible is untrue, are fables and made-up stories, leaving only about 20 percent actual, provable Jewish history. And I am doing that, chapter by chapter, on my own website, in His own image.
The Quran is based on the Jewish religion, it shares the same patriarch, Abraham, as does the Bible. But if I can prove the part of the Bible that the Quran uses, is not true, then that means that at least that part of the Quran is not true either. And if Muslims believe that Allah personally inspired Muhammad to write the Quran, and if I demonstrate that those parts of the Quran are not true, then that either means that Allah did NOT inspire Muhammad to write those parts, that in fact, he copied them from the Hebrew Bible, or it means that Allah fed Muhammad false information. I think, given the choice, most Muslims would rather believe that Muhammad lied, than to believe that Allah did.
The point I'm trying to make, Lonely, is that I can not stop anyone from believing anything they wish to believe, as they have no right to stop me from believing what I want to believe either. But I CAN, and intend to continue, to expose the Bible as largely being an untrue book. If I ever finish that, and it is a long project, I will then next begin with the Quran, and you may not like what I discover.
When s.o treats you as a son it's an honor,when i read your post i smiled and i felt touched by your words,so thank you very much.
I am agree with your analogy,and it's fair.believing or not believing is a choice.it's an individual way to be close to this universe or to make such relationship with it so no one has the right to stop this path or to block it.
Re:Allah, which is the Arabic name for Yahweh.In Arabic we use Allah and this is the god name,all other words describing Allah,adjectives if you like .the origin of this word allah is from the Cannaite Language,the word is ELAH,you may remember,what Yeshua said while his crucifixion:ELAHI WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME"HE SAID THIS IN CANAANITE LANGUAGE HIS LANGUAGE,also it's Hebrew word EL, AND ARABIC AND WE KNOW THAT THE THREE LANGUAGES ARE Semitic,and languages from the same origin can exchange words and meaning.
RE:The Quran is based on the Jewish religion, it shares the same patriarch, Abraham,
yes the islamic religion and the quran assure that islam is continuation of the abraham traditionوusing the word "heritage"and Judaism,Christianity and Islam are all "Heavenly religions"from the same origin,the link between them is it's getting easier and easier from one to another.kind of gradual transition,the Quran at least 2/3 of it is telling the stories of bani israeel,their prophets and their life,muslim is believing in all Jewish prophets from Moses,Solomon,Joseph.... they believe in them but they are not obliged to follow them in their laws i mean not the way how they worship for example which is out of question. the notion Ahl kitab refer to Jewish and christian.
RE:And if Muslims believe that Allah personally inspired Muhammad to write the Quran.
what the muslim believe is the book is from god words and meaning,mohamed has nothing to do it with the quran,and i can add here that in history there was a long discussion between scholars Quran is it a creature by god (like he created for example human)or Quran is god's speech,most of them till now believe quran is "kalam allah" god's speech.
without entering to the details,i think if you want to work on this books you may need to know exactly how muslim for example believe about Quran.
i have question ;what do you mean 'untrue' is it recording to History or science?
And i will try to understand what you will discover not like or dislike.
Lonely - RE: "you may remember,what Yeshua said while his crucifixion:ELAHI WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME"HE SAID THIS IN CANAANITE LANGUAGE HIS LANGUAGE,also it's Hebrew word EL, AND ARABIC AND WE KNOW THAT THE THREE LANGUAGES ARE Semitic,and languages from the same origin can exchange words and meaning."
Actually, Yeshua (if he ever actually existed) spoke Aramaic (also Semitic), and according to the Bible, he said, "Eloi," which is also another Hebrew name for god.
Originally, the entire area of Mesopotamia was settled by the Sumerians - it is believed that some Chinese migrated away from China, settled in what is now Turkey for a few hundred years, mixing with the indigenous population there, then some continued on to Mesopotamia, where they finally settled in Iraq, near the Persian Gulf. They formed a Theocratic civilization there that lasted for 4,000 years. Gradually, certain nomadic, Semitic tribes moved into Northern Mesopotamia, establishing small city-states, finally creating a capital at Akkad, in the North. The majority of these were Akkadian. Through a series of wars, over several hundred years, the Akkadians controlled all of Mesopotamia, and the Sumerian language was replaced by the Semitic language, Akkadian (the Sumerian language lived on only as it was the language used for religious ceremonies, much as Latin lives on within the Catholic Church and true Egyptian lives on only within the Egyptian Coptic church).
The great Akkadian king, Sargon, opened a passage from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean Sea, to create trade routes. This allowed Mesopotamians to move freely throughout the region - some settled into Canaan, becoming the Cannanites. Some Cannanites became quite adept at sailing and became sea traders - these were called, "Phoenicians" by the Greeks with whom they traded.
Eventually, however, Amorites (or Amurrites), also a Semitic people, filtered into Mesopotamia from Syria and did the same thing the Akkadians had done centuries earlier - they built small cities, grew, became a military force, and eventually took over Mesopotamia, which they ruled for 500 years. Hammurabi is probably the most famous Amurrite that most of us know of.
Abraham (if he ever existed) would have been either Akkadian or Amurrite, but most likely Amurrite, since in the Bible, Laban, the nephew of Abraham, is always referred to as, "Laban the Syrian." The Amurrites worshiped a god, "Amurru," which is where they got their name. Another name for Amurru was "El Shaddai."
When in the Bible, the Bible's god introduced himself to Abraham (if he ever existed), he introduced himself as "El Shaddai." Later, in Exodus, when the Bible's god spoke to Moses (if he ever existed) through a burning bush (no relation to George W), he said his name was Yahweh, but added that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel (if they ever existed) knew him as "El Shaddai." As it happens, Moses (if he ever existed) was staying with a family of Kennites (in fact, he married one), who followed a god they called YHWH, and suddenly the god of Abraham, Amurru, became Yahweh. The remaining Hebrews had been in Egypt for 400 years, and had all but forgotten their original culture, so it was easy for Moses to make the switch.
It should be obvious that Man made all of this stuff up, not some divine being. There is absolutely no evidence that Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, or even Jesus, ever existed.
That is what I mean by untrue.
YES,the Aramaic language,was a mistake to say Canaanite.the Jewish when they moved to Palestine they used canaanite language with the aramaic language,and they spoke a mixture of both languages.we continue.
I'm still not sure how to phrase things when I have theological conversations with people. Then again, I’m a “new atheist” as in; I just admitted it to myself. Still can’t admit it to my family. But I do get the same weird, “well, you’ll understand when you lived longer” or “you don’t understand now but I know god will change your mind one day.” Or my favorite, “But you’re so nice, you’re such a good person.”
I’m starting to tell people before we get into it that I want to have a logical conversation and not a religious one. Tho, it never works with my mother. Lol. I feel like it will catch on one day. Convert them with logic.
the fact that someone does not believe in god (no god)is it because this god is not visible,can not be seen or touched and it is not composed of matter,or because of the crimes committed in this world in his name,?
In my case Lonely, it is because there is no proof that any supernatural being, whether he is called god, or Eloi, or El Shaddai, or Amurru, or Yahweh, or Allah, exists.
The Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, bases it's belief in a god on the words of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel, so does the Judeo/Christian Bible - even Yeshua is quoted as speaking of Abraham, Noah, and Moses, and you yourself have stated that the Quran is based on the Abrahamic traditions.
William G. Dever was the son of a fundamentalist preacher. From a small Christian liberal arts college in Tennessee, he went to a Protestant theological seminary that exposed him to "critical study" of the Bible, a study that at first he resisted. In 1960 it was on to Harvard and a doctorate in biblical theology. For thirty-five years he worked as an archaeologist, excavating in the Near East. Remember now, this man was raised and educated, surrounded by religion.
With all of his religious background, after thirty-five years doing archaeological studies in Israel, Dr. Dever said:
"After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob credible 'historical figures.'" He writes of the archaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus as having been "discarded as a fruitless pursuit."
If the Bible isn't true, then everything based on the Bible, and that includes the New Testament and the Quran, cannot be true either.
Lonely, men learned very quickly how to control other men, by telling them that there is an invisible being out there that sees everything they do, and if those people don't do exactly what the Ministers, or the Priests, or the Mullahs tell them to do, then this invisible being will do bad things to them. A frightened, superstitious population thus does as it is told.
Religion began because early man did not understand how the world worked, and decided that some supernatural being made things happen the way they did. Then other men realized that religion could be used to control the population, and so, here we are --
kant said;"the reality is something we each construct for ourselves".
yes,quran and islam is a continuation of the abraham heritage in monotheism,but is not "everything based on the bible" yeshua is not the god son,in Quran for example.and there is many differences between the three books,we like it or not.
the second point remind me marks and his "religion is opium of the ppl",if this ppl are worshiping their god under pressure or felt helpless or powerless,i think simply this is not an enough reason to give a reasonable explanation to this phenomena.
there is no proof that any supernatural being,do you really believe that is there any proof any kind of proof can support the idea of the existing god?
Lonely - Yes, Immanuel Kant did say that. Others said many other things:
"Whatever we cannot easily understand, we call God; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues....Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination."
-- Edward Abbey --
"The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike."
-- Delos B. McKowan --
"Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense."
-- Chapman Cohen --
"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes."
-- Gene Roddenberry --
"In our own hearts, we mold the whole world's hereafters; and in our own hearts we fashion our own gods."
-- Herman Mellville --
RE: "yes,quran and islam is a continuation of the abraham heritage"
And since there is no evidence that Abraham ever existed, where does that leave Islam without Abraham?
RE: "religion is opium of the ppl"
Nowdays, of course, television and the internet have become the opiate of the people. But religion comes in a close third.
RE: "do you really believe that is there any proof any kind of proof can support the idea of the existing god?"
Do you have any such proof? Neither the Quran nor the Bible are proof - real proof must be testable. What proof do you have that anyone can test?
No way to take this god to the lab,we can examine, test if you like, all kind of creatures and you may find the notion of god but not god, and not intentionally of course.this how god exixts if ever existed,and this is what I am trying to bring it to your respectful way of thinking and your method,and let’s say that ibraham exists one day and you find archeological proof about him ,writing in a cave or script in a stone or whatever.So you will consider his speech as evidence or you will believe him or what ?or you would ask him to prove any way the existence of the called god?? Examine the bible has nothing to do with god,it will show you that this book either was man written or was written by someone , and also it would not be a proof about his existence.
This is the logic of his existing. are we able(as human) to get it ?YES .And the moment we change this logic we lose him. We continue.
Lonely - RE: "let’s say that ibraham exists one day and you find archeological proof about him ,writing in a cave or script in a stone or whatever."
No, we can't say that, and here's why - Abraham, or as I believe he is called in the Quran, Ibrahim. is such a mythical character, no one can even say when he was born. I have seen guesses ranging anywhere from 1825 BCE to 2300 BCE, and each of these from someone claiming to be an authority, but you will never find his "writing in a cave" because the Jewish people did not have the ability to write until about 1000 BCE - nearly a full thousand years from the most recent time that old Abe was supposed to have existed. So Abe couldn't have written anything, in a cave or anywhere else, because Abe (if he ever existed) couldn't read nor write.
RE: "Examine the bible has nothing to do with god,it will show you that this book either was man written or was written by someone , and also it would not be a proof about his existence."
But Lonely, you get your own belief in god from a book, the Quran, which was also man written. Think for a second, how YOU came to believe in Allah - your parents believed in Allah and taught you to believe as well. If you had been born in America, to American parents, they would have taught you to believe in Yahweh and Jesus, and you would be arguing with Muslims that their beliefs were false and that yours were true. We are not born believing in a god, we are taught as children by our families. We grow up watching them pray and go to church or mosque or synagogue, and because we are little and don't know any better, we take their word for it and try to be like them and believe what they believe.
But where do they get their belief? From their parents, and from a book, whether its the Bible, the Quran or the Tannakh - and if those books are untrue, then their religion is untrue, and what they taught you is untrue - not because your parents lied to you, they didn't, they taught you what they truly believed, but it was based on a book that was full of lies.
When I said, "real proof must be testable," here's what I mean. The author, Arthur C. Clarke once wrote:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Electricity is invisible. If I could time-travel back to Abraham's time (if he ever existed) and show him a flashlight, a cell-phone, an iPad, or anything electronic that he did not understand, he would fall to his knees and worship me as a god. NOT because I am a god (although I AM kinda cute!), but because I could do something and he couldn't understand how it was done, therefore, in his mind, I must be magic, and since only gods can do miracles, I must be a god.
While we can't see electricity, we can take it into a lab and see it's results. We can understand how it works, and understanding it, we can find ways to use what it can do, to help us in our lives.
But the so-called "miracles" in the Bible or the Quran or the Tannakh are not "reproducible" - we cannot experiment with them as we do electricity, and reproduce the same effect. And since we have only the word of people who lived thousands of years ago, we can't question those people to determine if what they say is true or a lie, or just a product of their imagination, and therefore, until someone can say, "yes, I can create a tall tower of whirling dust that will move across the desert in the daytime and turn into a whirling pillar of fire at night, and guide people on a 40-year journey!" (that wouldn't have been necessary, if there hadn't been a man in charge who refused to stop and ask for directions) - until someone can say that, and reproduce that tower of dust and flame that someone over 3,000 years ago said happened, we have to assume it didn't - that it was a lie, or a product of someone's imagination.
If you take away all of the people from the Bible who probably never existed - just cut our any reference to them, and all of the things that didn't really happen, the New Testament and the Quran would have no foundational base - like a building with its foundation removed, they would collapse.
There IS no "logic of his existing," because as soon as one begins to use logic, we see that there really is no reason for a god, because everything that happened - (that is, everything that REALLY happened, rather than the made up stuff in our holy books) - happened naturally, and there was no need for a god to do anything.
Lonely, please believe that I do not say this to mock you, but I say it with all due respect - the only reason you believe in a god, is because you are afraid not to believe.
I too, was once like you, "but when I became a man, I put aside childish things."
@Archy,with all respect:
Ah! “the only reason you believe in a god, is because you are afraid not to believe.”
This statement is less reasonable, the same as believe in god, or not believe in him. is less rational but you are just trying your luck.
Re: the story of the parent and the previous formation, you mentioned this many times, yes many are following their parents, repeating what they said and maybe doing exactly the same. Also this argument is less reasonable because the parent’s speech and talk could be wrong and could be right. And it will remain forever debatable and questionable, because simply: there can be no proof of God's existence nor indeed of God's non-existence.
You have mentioned “light”and I think this called “light’ doesn’t -at least till now-stand the idea Think atheist! why? because we know that we still don’t know what is light, this unknowing light,” it seems to be in a realm where there is no duration; no before, and no after. There is only "Now.” even what we are seeing is not the light,
The light that strikes the eye is known only through the energy it releases. This energy is translated into a visual image in the mind.And sure you know this better than me, but as you said we can still use light and get great benefit from it. So if it’s evolutionism not creationism?this light, relativity, quantum physic, this space, time, and the beautiful butterflies …..how we could understand their laws and we answered many questions about them if We speak other or different Language from all of this “UNIVERSE”?you may tell me this is ‘Mathematics”, numbers language, yes and it’s not Swahili or Persian language.
If it was nihilism stroke, there would be NO SCIENCE.
About Abraham ,Isaac, Moses and many others ,believe me I don’t care about them all of them, if they really existed one day or not,if they existed they may be right or wrong as a simple logic ppl can say truth or lies! to address to them, questioned and investigate their lives or if they ever existed or not it has nothing to do with god, if you want to “know” about him ask him directly and not be afraid, even if we did not realize his existence.