This is some thing I wish more people would realize.

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Comment by Unseen on January 24, 2013 at 8:45am

Unseen, the word "belief" has baggage attached to it and that is why atheists tend to dislike using it generally. Occam's razor. The original statement is perfectly valid from a logical perspective. There is no need to play semantic games that tend to just confuse everyone involved.

I think what's confusing to others outside our little community is the insistence that we don't believe something we so obviously do, that theism has no basis in fact or logic and that, thus, we believe there is no God.

It's the mental gymnastics that confuse, and for us it's inside baseball.

Comment by Paul Redfern on January 24, 2013 at 8:56am
It's really quite simple. With all that we know so far about evolution, the universe etc etc, there are explanations which have no need of a divine creator. We cannot prove that there is no god, but it seems pretty unlikely. The problem with faith, religion or whatever you want to call it is that belief gives you what you think is certainty. Science, however, always has a margin of uncertainty, and there is always the chance that new evidence will change our view on the world and universe around us. I can live with that as long as we as human beings continue to try to explain what is going on around us in rational terms.
I think to get into the pedantics of whether non belief in god is actually a belief is missing the point
Comment by Unseen on January 24, 2013 at 9:19am

I think to get into the pedantics of whether non belief in god is actually a belief is missing the point.

And yet, atheists bring this non-starter up all the time, which simply confuses the issue for outsiders. When one makes a negative statement about something, you either believe it or you don't, and whether your belief comes as the conclusion of an investigation is neither here nor there. 

If a theist says "Well, okay, you atheists have beliefs, too," we can simply point out that our beliefs are based on an examination of the facts and not by simply deciding to believe something that has no basis in facts.

Comment by SteveInCO on January 24, 2013 at 8:14pm

The point Unseen is trying to make (I think) is that some of us are so hard over on not using the word "belief" that those people end up looking absurd to others.

Comment by Unseen on January 24, 2013 at 8:36pm

And it's very easy to expose the absurdity this way: Is it your position that you've concluded God doesn't exist but you don't believe your conclusion? Hmmm....

Comment by Logicallunatic on January 24, 2013 at 9:22pm

I believe there are no leprechauns. I don't believe in leprechauns. Is there any difference between these two statements? What is it about the second statement that makes it seem like less of a belief and more of a conclusion? I really can't work this one out. 

Comment by SteveInCO on January 24, 2013 at 10:36pm

You are not alone, LogicalLunatic.  There IS a difference between the two statements, but it's a misuse to try to somehow eschew the word "belief" as implying religiousity or accepting something as true with no evidence.

Comment by Strega on January 24, 2013 at 10:46pm

I have a disbelief in any god. 

Comment by Jimmy Russell on January 24, 2013 at 11:02pm

I think a problem with this is also that a theist gets a sence of equality, as in, "see, you have a belief or something that you believe in, and so do I, so that makes us equal and my belief has just as much pull and chance of being believable as yours does".  It makes me think of that line "I don't believe in evolution, I simply understand why it's true".  Same thing, they treat it as if both sides have an equal chance of being right or wrong.  Am I wrong in thinking this way?  Is not the evidence for anything but evolution far outweighed by all that is for it? 

Comment by Unseen on January 24, 2013 at 11:46pm

Every disbelief is a belief by simply rephrasing. Example: "I have a disbelief in any god" becomes "I believe there are no gods." Semantically, there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two. They make exactly the same assertion.


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