What do you say to people who say, "Oh, you are an atheist? Well that takes faith too. You have faith that there is no god. That is a belief system." I know it's like the whole unicorn argument. Do you have faith that there are no unicorns on Jupiter or some shit...I'm just not sure what I believe right now. I have a Christian man telling me all kinds of things making me doubt my atheism, lol....I know I know...It's horrible. I'm just confused. I don't know what I believe or what I don't believe right now. I just know I need to go back to basics and remember the reasons why I turned from Christianity to begin with.
Ultimately he's right, because you can't prove it either way. It just comes down to what you think is most likely, judging by how the world is. I don't believe that the all-powerful all-loving God of Christianity exists, because the world says different. And if God is "present" when people are caring for each other after a disaster - well I thought He was everywhere all the time? I do however see the hand of intervention sometimes, when one is on a self-sacrificing mission to put in effort to help someone else. This has happened to me two or three times.
But God's love exists - the evolutionary pressure to flourish - that can be made use of by putting the right conditions in place, as a growing plant is nurtured. So there are large areas of overlap between what a Christian believes and any good thinking person.
You can be an atheist without believing there is no god. Some atheists don't profess there is no god, but that they don't believe there is one. It's a subtle difference. I agree with Simon's assertion that we can't prove there is no god. Saying, "I don't believe in one." is an opinion that can't really be argued with. How can a lack of faith be faith?
If he loves you for who you are, you do not have to agree with him to maintain the relationship.
This can be very confusing for personality types that, as a dynamic, mirror the partner...but part of the reflection feels bad.
You either be true to yourself, or, pretend/rationalize enough to make the reflection seem to make sense to you.
Think of why you feel pressured to change. Is it from him, or, from your own desire to please him?
I fear in this case it tips much more towards the desire to please side of the scale. Extremely common in the unfair sexist relationship power paradigm.
Davis can you expand on what you mean here?
I'll play the broken record: Look at Muslims around the world; why else do they believe, other than because of peer pressure or righteous cohersion?
That's the way it's always been for most religion, especially the dominant ones.
Technically, I'm an agnostic who leans (heavily) toward atheism on the scale. Personally, I intentionally identify myself with atheism because of the arrogant peer pressure of theists.
I could care less about what people believe, until they actively pressure others into it.
So faith is not required to be comfortable with the belief that Russell's Teapot is highly improbable, even if people claim it to be true because it was written and has been traditionally believed and respected for centuries.
If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes.
But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense.
If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.
(Well, actually an elliptically orbiting teapot could become the holy grail of proof, with believers pointing out that at least divine scripture predicted orbital mechanics.)
Faith is holding something to be true/real regardless of the evidence. Faith does not require evidence and one could argue that if there is evidence then it's not faith - that faith only exists with the absence of evidence.
What about atheism?
Is atheism the belief that no god exists
Is atheism the lack of belief in gods?
The first definition of atheism is a positive assertion of belief. It is the definition of atheism that many religious people prefer. By this definition the atheist has faith because they are making a positive assertion of belief (that no god exists) despite not having evidence for that position.
The second definition is the one most atheists seem to prefer. It's the neutral position. By this definition one isn't actually asserting that a god does or doesn't exist. This definition of atheism is more of a commentary on the lack of evidence in favor of a god existing. Lack of evidence in favor of a god existing = lack of belief god. Until evidence indicates otherwise the most rational/logical thing to do is to assume that god doesn't exist.
So do we atheists have faith too? It all depends on your definition of atheism.
The definition is "a lack of belief".
So, that's already been settled.
IE: You need evidence to believe something, but, don't have evidence, and, therefore, don't believe it.
This is not the same as faith. Faith is believing WITHOUT EVIDENCE.
So, atheists essentially do not believe in gods because there is no evidence of there BEING gods.
Theists essentially believe in gods DESPITE there being no evidence.
See the difference?
For example, if a Catholic "doesn't believe that Zeus exists", is that a religion?
Are they Catholic, or, "Zeus Atheists"?
When a theist says an atheist "believes" there is no god...they typically mean about THEIR GOD ONLY.
So, yes, it can also mean other people's gods too, but, its a lack of belief in THEIR god that is typically the driving force, the impetus to MAKE the atheist conform to their beliefs.
When an atheist is having fun, they might state that they believe in Apollo, Zeus, Odin, etc, because it causes a conundrum for the theist...and its fun to watch the wheels spinning as they attempt to cure the cognitive dissonance.
About all theists are atheists, about every god, but theirs. They have no problems whatsoever discussing why a belief in any other god, is ludicrous. When the same arguments are then used to reject their gods, their brain's fry due to the dissonance it creates.
Then they typically get angry.
I consider it a form of brain farming...planting the seeds of reason.
So, no, NOT BELIEVING SOMETHING IS NOT A BELIEF.
The definition is "a lack of belief".
So, that's already been settled."
The "A" in front of the root word "Theist" means "non".
An Atheist is simply a person who is not a Theist, the word Atheist does not define a person's beliefs or lack thereof.
"a" means without
"theism" means belief in a god or gods
atheism means without a belief in god or gods.