There is something about the "I don't believe in God" definition of atheist that bothers me. Now maybe I am being too pedantic but doesn't that definition in some way implies there IS a God and I am just not believeing in it and that I am being stubborn?

I usually tell people I am an atheist because I believe there is NO God. I say as a skeptic and rational thinker, although I cannot say categorically that there actually is 100% NO God (as you can never prove the non-existance of something so it's maybe 99.99% :) ), but there is such overwhelming evidence in favour of the No God hypothesis that for me thats the correct and only point of view. I then explain Ockhams Razor.

Any unexplained phenomina that may suggest a God are just that, unexplained. I am comfortable with 'unexplained' and I don't need to fill the gap with God.

People say, "you have faith that science will fill those Gaps" and they "have faith that God did it so we are the same". I say no, the only similarity is the use of the word 'Faith' but the connotation in each instance is very different. They have faith in the literal sense of the word but for me it is not blind, unquestioning faith, but it is confidence. Cofindence based on actual evidence, past histories and success of science and human endevor and confidence in the scientists and philosophers to be able uncover the mysteries behind the gaps.

I am confident they will do it, and I am confident that they will not find God there.

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Comment by Morgan Matthew on December 21, 2008 at 4:37am
"People say, "you have faith that science will fill those Gaps" and they "have faith that God did it so we are the same". I say no, the only similarity is the use of the word 'Faith' but the connotation in each instance is very different. They have faith in the literal sence of the word but for me it is not blind, unquestioning faith, but it is confidence. Cofindence based on actual evidence, past histories and success of science and human endevor and confidence in the scientists and philosophers to be able uncover the mysteries behind the gaps."

Once again Liam really well put/said. This blog post is now featured.
Comment by sjtoupin on December 21, 2008 at 2:19pm
There is something about the "I don't believe in God" definition of atheist that bothers me.

The "I don't believe in god" part is indeed suggestive of a belief. I usually state "There *IS NO* god" and when the religionists go ballistic, I ask them to prove it. There is a long time saying that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I also explain that, in the sciences, when someone claims something, the burden of proof is on the claimant not the listener. Otherwise, the "belief in no god" sounds as tenuous as a belief in a god. To me, it is the other side of the same coin.

Happy solstice!

~SJ
Comment by Liam on December 22, 2008 at 3:57am
I agree. Belief in NO God is as equally odd. So when I say I believe there is no God, I am trying to seperate myself from that dodgyness.

I can't find myself saying gategorically "There is no God" because I am afraid of absolutes. I think they are dangerous as it leads to having a closed mind on a subject and when people get like that they are as bad as religious nuts who are not open to any argument.

And I agree fully that we, as atheist have nothing to prove, (as I said before, it's impossible anyway.) What usually frustrates me at this point is that they usually spout loads of anecdotal, non specific and fallicious arguments.
Comment by sjtoupin on December 22, 2008 at 1:55pm
I can't find myself saying gategorically "There is no God" because I am afraid of absolutes.

True. But the lack of supporting evidence of a god is mounting.
Comment by Andrew the Fluffer on December 27, 2008 at 1:56pm
But, Summer, explain the mighty pineapple! Not a very convenient source of food.

What the shit was god thinking when he made that beast of a fruit?
Comment by Andrew the Fluffer on December 27, 2008 at 1:57pm
Atheism: a-theism. Non-theism. No belief in gods. That is what atheism means. I hate it when religious people call atheism a belief system.
Comment by Frink on January 2, 2009 at 1:35am
Somewhat pedantic, but interesting. I definitely understand your point, and I think you've raised a worthwhile topic pertaining to consciousness-raising by specifying "I believe there is no god" rather than "I don't believe in god." Perhaps this is something to consider when identifying oneself as an atheist. Good post.
Comment by CJoe on January 2, 2009 at 10:25pm
My Critical Thinking class (which helped me to critically think about Christianity and realized it was ridiculous), taught me that, in Argumentation, the Burden of Proof lies on the person who is making the claim. If I told you there was a giant sea monster living in my closet, I'm the one responsible for proving it. My argument would be invalidated if I made the statement that you just HAD to have faith; if you don't believe it's there, it's going to eat you when you're sleeping. The thing is, no one has come up with a name for someone who doesn't believe in my sea monster... it's impossible to come up with names for all the things that MIGHT exist but no one has ever seen.

People really need to work on their critical thinking skills and see that their argument for a god or gods is asinine... until they can prove it, which they will never be able to. Science will continue to fill in the gaps, as it has done for the past thousand or so years.

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