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Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
#1

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
I have been reading Dan Barker’s book godless - How an Evangelical Preacher Become One of America’s Leading Atheists. The book has been interesting and I feel I’m in many ways like Barker. I’m Christian, but I’m willing to go wherever the evidence leads, even atheism. I’m scientifically oriented and consider myself philosophically minded. I don’t think any blind faith is healthy because it can lead to dangerous phenomena, even terrorism. I believe that civilized discussion, based on reasoning and objective facts, is possible between different religious and non-religious groups.

There are some things in the Barker’s book that I don’t understand and my lack of understanding bothers me. I don’t speak English natively, but I couldn't find an atheistic or free-thinking discussion forum in my country, so I want to ask from you.

The hardest philosophical problem for me seems to be the question if atheism is belief or lack of belief. Barker elaborates on this, but I fail to see the difference between the two. Let me try to explain how I see this:

We have two exclusive claims A) There is a god B) There is not a god. Neither claim can not be proven like mathematics, so the selection is not based on proving, but evidence. So, when asked from you, you think that one of these options is true and the other is false, based on evidence, reasoning, experience etc. We can say that you have belief in one and lack belief for the other. It seems to me that you believe one option and that means that you 1) do not have belief in the other, or 2) lack belief in the other. Based on this logic I don’t see the difference between 1) and 2).

To put it another way, atheist believes that god(s)-believing person is wrong with his belief and atheist is right. Therefore atheist believes that the claims of god(s)-believing person are wrong, or in other words, atheist lack belief in the claims of  god(s)-believing person. I don't see philosophical or practical difference in these two similar sayings that are just worded in different ways.

I kind of see the point when we are talking about flying spaghetti monster. No one believes in that, so there is no need think more than a few seconds if you believe in flying spaghetti monster or not. I don’t actively have to believe that there is no such think, so I can say I lack belief. But still, my lack of belief is not based on proof, but lack of evidence, so it’s belief-based rational mental decision, not proof-based fact (in mathematical sense, even though in daily life practical sense we could call it fact) .

And if we take (instead of flying spaghetti monster) a god that many people believe in, I need to spend slightly more time than just a few seconds. My work mate is hindu and she believes hindu gods. She has shown pictures of how the gods look like. I don’t see much evidence in believing in hindu gods, so I have I decided not to believe in it, after brief examination of claimed "evidence".

I don’t really have to decide in case of flying spaghetti monster, because nobody really believes in that, so I don’t have to consider it. But if several people strongly believes in hindu gods, flying saucers, time travelling, ghosts etc, I need a bit more time to decide because they can provide some evidence. I either believe or not believe the evidence.

I could say that I lack belief in some hindu god or I don’t believe in that hindu god, it doesn’t matter to me. I see no difference. I have examined the evidence and I fail to believe. Logically: I lack belief in P, so I believe in negation of P.

I have considered atheism, but I don’t have enough evidence to not believe in God. If I did, though, I couldn’t see the difference in not believing in god or lacking belief in god. So, why is it so important for Barker and some others that they lack belief rather they don’t believe in god?
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#2

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
Hi and welcome.

(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: ...
The hardest philosophical problem for me seems to be the question if atheism is belief or lack of belief. Barker elaborates on this, but I fail to see the difference between the two.
...

Think of it this way...

a) Belief (not god)
b) Belief not (god)

a) is the belief and is a positive claim and accepts a burden of proof / evidence.
b) is the lack of belief and is a negation of a claim and does not accept any burden of proof / evidence.

Think of it like the difference between "innocent" (a) and "not guilty" (b).
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#3

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: So, why is it so important for Barker and some others that they lack belief rather they don’t believe in god?

It's more of a rethorical and debate tactic then anything in my opinion. Since there are no solid, or new, arguments to defend the existence of god, it basically place any person with a burden of proof to defend the existence of god(s) in a loosing scenario right from the start. That's why trying to present evidence for the existence of god(s) is basically a waste of time. Either all of those arguments are already known and have been rejected or they will be found weak and insufficient. By framing your position as a neutral/passive one like "lack of belief", it's harder to pin down someone and press them on their reason for not believing in god(s).
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#4

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
IGNOSTICISM
First I told my imaginary friend about Jesus, then I told Jesus about my imaginary friend.
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#5

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
Quote:We have two exclusive claims A) There is a god B) There is not a god. 


C)  There is no evidence for any of the gods that humans have created from their own fertile imaginations to soothe their fears throughout history.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#6

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote:

The hardest philosophical problem for me seems to be the question if atheism is belief or lack of belief. Barker elaborates on this, but I fail to see the difference between the two. Let me try to explain how I see this:
Its simple: Atheism in its most basic meaning is "lack of belief"



(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: We have two exclusive claims A) There is a god B) There is not a god.
Correct


(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: So, when asked from you, you think that one of these options is true and the other is false, based on evidence, reasoning, experience etc. We can say that you have belief in one and lack belief for the other. It seems to me that you believe one option and that means that you 1) do not have belief in the other, or 2) lack belief in the other. Based on this logic I don’t see the difference between 1) and 2).
Wrong

There is a third option regarding belief: " i dont know", and that is what "lack of belief" is, particularly concerning the positive claim of "there is a god"

(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: To put it another way, atheist believes that god(s)-believing person is wrong with his belief and atheist is right.
There is no "atheist is right" position. You are confusing the atheist  position with "there is no god" as i just explained above.



(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: Therefore atheist believes that the claims of god(s)-believing person are wrong, or in other words, atheist lack belief in the claims of  god(s)-believing person. I don't see philosophical or practical difference in these two similar sayings that are just worded in different ways.
No, the atheist just does not accept that the claim is correct. This does not equal believing the opposite. You are repeating this mistake over and over in your post.



(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: I kind of see the point when we are talking about flying spaghetti monster. No one believes in that, so there is no need think more than a few seconds if you believe in flying spaghetti monster or not.
Why do you think this proposition is so absurd? How do you know nobody believes that? Are you a mind reader?


(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: I don’t actively have to believe that there is no such think, so I can say I lack belief. But still, my lack of belief is not based on proof, but lack of evidence,
Of course noone has evidence for a lack of belief, because thats not how rational thinking works. Burden of proof is on those who make claims. If you beleive in some proposition, you better have evidence, or you are irrational. Lack of belief is only a result of not being convinced, of a lack of evidence.


(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: so it’s belief-based rational mental decision, not proof-based fact (in mathematical sense, even though in daily life practical sense we could call it fact) .
Please rephrase. This sounds nonsensical in its current form


(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: And if we take (instead of flying spaghetti monster) a god that many people believe in, I need to spend slightly more time than just a few seconds.
Why?
To some people it sounds just as absurd as belief in FSM to you. Thats the whole deal about FSM.
I didnt need more than a few seconds to find the proposition of an abrahamic god ridiculous.



(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: I don’t really have to decide in case of flying spaghetti monster, because nobody really believes in that,
Again. Are you a mind reader?

(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: so I don’t have to consider it. But if several people strongly believes in hindu gods, flying saucers, time travelling, ghosts etc, I need a bit more time to decide because they can provide some evidence. I either believe or not believe the evidence.

Does the strenght of peoples´ belief has any impact on the veracity of the claim?
Which more compelling evidence do Hindus etc have compared to FSM beleivers? Either the evidence is compelling or not. Missing the mark nearly and missing the mark by far is both still missing the mark (to warrant belief).


(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: I could say that I lack belief in some hindu god or I don’t believe in that hindu god, it doesn’t matter to me. I see no difference. I have examined the evidence and I fail to believe. Logically: I lack belief in P, so I believe in negation of P.
Nope, wrong as i just explained


I have a jar here with balls. There is either an even number of balls in the jar or an odd number. Do you bellieve its an odd number? If not then, according to your logic, you believe it even. Why do you believe its even if i may ask (according to your logic)?

The intellectual honest (and rationally correct) answer is: " i dont know". I lack a belief in odd, and i may lack a belief in even too!

(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: I have considered atheism, but I don’t have enough evidence to not believe in God.
There is nothing to consider about atheism. There is also nothing to consider about not collectign stamps. Not collecting stamps and not believing any claim is the default position. If anything has to be considered its theism or stamp  collecting.


Your thinking process is irrational. What is your evidence for not believing in leprechauns? Or space pixies?


(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: If I did, though, I couldn’t see the difference in not believing in god or lacking belief in god.

Correct, there is no difference. But none of both is equal to believing there is no god. This is your mistake throughout your post.


(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: So, why is it so important for Barker and some others that they lack belief rather they don’t believe in god?
I am sure this is not what Barker said. Please read this passage again carefully, with my reply in mind. what he most probably said is that his lack of belief is not equal to belief "there is no god".
cetero censeo religionem esse delendam 
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#7

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
Atheists say "I don't believe in God/gods." In addition, some atheists say "There is no God/are no gods." The minimum they all have in common is a lack of belief, as Deesse23 said.

Also, when atheists say "I don't believe in God/gods," they are implying they have no burden of proof, as DLJ said. God or gods are other people's assertions, so atheists don't have to prove them false to lack belief. They just have to be unconvinced. This is a useful stance when so many theists try to shift the burden of proof to atheists.

Similarly, those atheists who say "There is no God/are no gods" are asserting that they think they have persuasive arguments or evidence against such ideas, and typically don't mind discussing them. I am of this category myself.
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#8

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
People are born with an absence of belief but the vast majority of adult atheists have come across bad reasons for believing in God and rejected those reasons. And such atheists don't think the probability of God is 50/50 or indeterminate otherwise they wouldn't really qualify as an atheist. Sure, a mere absence of belief in God qualifies as an atheist ... but most atheists who claim to have no judgment on the matter do have a judgment on the matter. And a lot of atheists have a different reaction to a personal God than deism. A lot of atheists will say that although deism is implausible it's not as implausible as a personal God that intervenes in people's lives and performs miracles.

P.S. I prefer the word "absence" to the word "lack" because the latter word has a connotation of deficiency and most atheists believe that they don't believe but they don't believe that they don't believe enough. Most atheists don't believe that they should believe and wish that they did. 'Absence' is clearly a superior word to 'lack' in this context.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#9

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: I have considered atheism, but I don’t have enough evidence to not believe in God.

But where is your evidence in support of your belief in God? It works both ways.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#10

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
Thank you all for responses. I have understood from your replies that it's about burden of proof. It makes sense.

I have a couple more questions / comments to Deesse23.

(08-09-2019, 08:56 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote:
And if we take (instead of flying spaghetti monster) a god that many people believe in, I need to spend slightly more time than just a few seconds.
Why?
To some people it sounds just as absurd as belief in FSM to you. Thats the whole deal about FSM.
I didnt need more than a few seconds to find the proposition of an abrahamic god ridiculous.

If someone believes in hindu God, I needed a few more seconds to consider the "evidence". For FSM no-one has provided even a remote evidence, AFAIK.

I'm curious, how were you able to dismiss abrahamic god so quickly? I'm guessing (possibly wrongly) that you saw some contradiction is the properties of abrahamic god.

(08-09-2019, 08:56 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: I don’t really have to decide in case of flying spaghetti monster, because nobody really believes in that,
Again. Are you a mind reader?
No, I'm not a mind reader. It's just a generalization based on my experience in life. People believe in very strange things, but nothing that I know or have heard comes close to believing in FSM. Ofc this is my personal opinion. Someone could say that the things ISIS terrorists believe is far more strange. I would say it's far more violent, but not more strange. 

IMO, It would be very strange to believe in FSM because spaghetti is made by man. So, you would need first man to create spaghetti before you could have FSM god. I don't know when spaghetti was invented, but I'm quite sure that before invention of spaghetti no-body believed in FSM. Almost as strange as believing in FSM is belief that some ruler (king, president) is (semi-)god.

(08-09-2019, 08:56 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: I have considered atheism, but I don’t have enough evidence to not believe in God.
There is nothing to consider about atheism. There is also nothing to consider about not collectign stamps. Not collecting stamps and not believing any claim is the default position. If anything has to be considered its theism or stamp  collecting.

Your thinking process is irrational. What is your evidence for not believing in leprechauns? Or space pixies?

You are missing one thing: My subjective evidence. I'm very well aware of most of the "miracles" of my life can be easily explained by natural causes: Lucky co-incidence, auto-suggestion or other mental phenomena. However, there are things I have experienced and I have no way of explaining them with natural causes.  I have no objective proof but if I had got a video tape, you would probably say it's hoax because you wouldn't have any natural explanation, either (yes, in this case I would be a kind of mind reader  Smile ). My point is that my non-explainable subjective proof is personal evidence for myself only. It's evidence of God for me, but not to you. In my case, personally, the burden of proof is with atheism because I already have very strong subjective evidence for God. 

But if there were no subjective, personal evidence, then I might agree with you. Only "might", because there is, IMO, objective evidence for god, but it's another discussion I don't want to start now because of time constraints and because it wouldn't change anything for you or me. But just for an example what I'm talking about, I could say abiogenesis. You would probably reply: "ah-ha, you have god of gaps, because we don't know mechanism of abiogenesis yet". That would have been good response some decades ago, but IMO the science has progressed and has shown that abiogenesis is impossible. In other words, we know enough that we can't just say "we don't know yet the mechanism", but we know enough to tell that there is and won't be no such mechanism. I might join/start discussion on that later. But I'm not willing to waste time talking about it now because I don't believe it would change anything if we discussed that. I have no new, secret evidence, and neither do you. It's all public, objective knowledge.
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#11

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: My work mate is hindu and she believes hindu gods. She has shown pictures of how the gods look like. I don’t see much evidence in believing in hindu gods, so I have I decided not to believe in it, after brief examination of claimed "evidence".


You say "I don’t see much evidence in believing in hindu gods" in spite of having spent a "brief examination of claimed "evidence"".  So apparently you feel that is an adequate response to god beliefs you don't already hold.  In relation to hindu gods you are content to declare yourself an atheist.  To you, those gods' pictures your workmate showed you looked silly.  You rationalize your casual examination of the case in favor of hindu god belief in part by contrasting the number of people who believe in them.  Do you realize that more than a billion people embrace hinduism?  The number of christians is about twice that.  To my mind, the hindu gods deserve as careful an examination as do the christian gods.  (I know, there is only supposed to be one god in christianity but what really are the devil or the angels or cherubs supposed to be exactly?)

The thing is most gods look silly when you don't already believe in them, especially if you don't bother to look for the best case that can be made for them.  Most of us who are atheists in response to your christian god claims aren't interested in mounting a huge effort to decide whether or not to believe in your god either.  It seems just as silly as a blue skinned god to us.

However I do think if one has an interest in understanding a religion you owe it more effort than that and should only address the best case that can be made for it.  Otherwise, why shoot your mouth off at all?  It just makes you look ignorant and sloppy.  But don't feel bad, it is human nature.  After all, we are the third chimp species and we do pretty well considering.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#12

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
Hi Kimdal.

I really don't waste that much time on lack of belief vs not believing, it's just not that important to me. 

Man made god(s), not the other way around. god is a concept of humans. I believe that the concept exists as a product of the mind (the same as Superman, a fantasy) but I don't believe or lack belief that it exists in reality.

Enjoy your life as a christian with all the accompanying entitlement you believe that gives you. 

PS: Dan Barker..........One of America's Leading Atheists............. Panic Tongue Rofl2 Wallbash
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#13

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
Firstly, G'day mate, and welcome to the forum.            Sun

I need to let you know I'm an ignostic (but for ease of identification, I call myself an atheist).


(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: I’m Christian, but I’m willing to go wherever the evidence leads, even atheism. I’m scientifically oriented and consider myself philosophically minded. I don’t think any blind faith is healthy because it can lead to dangerous phenomena, even terrorism. I believe that civilized discussion, based on reasoning and objective facts, is possible between different religious and non-religious groups.

Being scientifically and philosophically minded certainly doesn't preclude one from being a Christian, or theist.
Think of Francis Collins, Brian Heap, Gerhard Ertl, Freeman Dyson, William Phillips et al.  I'd also need to
know what you mean by "blind faith" as such, because as someone who believes in supernatural entities and
paranormal phenomena, I'd describe your faith in those things as "blind"—due to the total absence of any viable
evidence.  (Faith is defined as "belief without evidence".)

Quote:The hardest philosophical problem for me seems to be the question if atheism is belief or lack of belief. Barker elaborates on this, but I fail to see the difference between the two. Let me try to explain how I see this.

As an ignostic, I regard this particular question—belief or not belief—immaterial in the debate about God or gods.
I know that sounds a bit glib, but what it means is that I think there's little worth in answering the question.  It's
more than obvious that gods simply don't exist, and never have, in our recorded history.  They're nothing more
than a fantasy forged in the minds of primitive, unscientific, superstitious and fearful men.

Quote:We have two exclusive claims A) There is a god B) There is not a god. Neither claim can not be proven like mathematics, so the selection is not based on proving, but evidence.

I can certainly prove there are no gods...  "There are no gods".  Simple.  Just as I claim there are no unicorns,
leprechauns, zombies or fairies.  And along those lines of thought, can I ask you to prove that unicorns do not exist?

Quote:To put it another way, atheists believe that god-believing person is wrong with his belief and atheist is right. Therefore atheist believes that the claims of god-believing person are wrong, or in other words, atheist lack belief in the claims of god-believing person. I don't see philosophical or practical difference in these two similar sayings that are just worded in different ways.

Of course atheists don't accept the theistic belief in gods or their existence.  The question of do you believe in God
is a non sequitur, as it presupposes that God does exist.

Quote:I kind of see the point when we are talking about flying spaghetti monster. No one believes in that, so there is no need think more than a few seconds if you believe in flying spaghetti monster or not.

Exactly.  Substitute "flying spaghetti monster" with the word "God".  There is no need to think for more than a few
seconds if you believe in God or not.

Quote:I have considered atheism, but I don’t have enough evidence to not believe in God.

Likewise, you don't have enough evidence to believe in God.  Or if you do, please let us know.

        Smile
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#14

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
Quote:If someone believes in hindu God, I needed a few more seconds to consider the "evidence". For FSM no-one has provided even a remote evidence, AFAIK.
Ok, lets be honest here. The FSM was invented, but how do you know the abrahamic god was not?

Ask some FSM believers and they will provide you with FSM wisdom, quotes, and scripture. Its made up. But how do you know the abrahamic god was not? Other god beliefs may seem absurd to you, while you are wondering why your god belief is absurd to everyone else.
It does not matter how absurd your belief sounds, but what ( hopefully good) reasons you have for your belief.

Quote:I'm curious, how were you able to dismiss abrahamic god so quickly? I'm guessing (possibly wrongly) that you saw some contradiction is the properties of abrahamic god.
The concept is internally inconsistent from A to Z. The scripture makes loads of claims that are verifiably wrong. Starting with Genesis´ first verses. Most of it is either wrong or cant be confirmed to be right.
For the record: Even if the abrahamic god would be proven to be existent, i wouldnt worship it, since it is a monster.


Quote:People believe in very strange things, but nothing that I know or have heard comes close to believing in FSM.
I could say just the same about the abrahamic god. Its so absurd that i find it hard to think anyone really does believe in this nonsense.
Ergo: How do we find out what is true and what not? What tool(s) do we have to decide which one of the (some say absurd, some say not!) various god claims are true?

Quote:You are missing one thing: My subjective evidence. I'm very well aware of most of the "miracles" of my life can be easily explained by natural causes: Lucky co-incidence, auto-suggestion or other mental phenomena. However, there are things I have experienced and I have no way of explaining them with natural causes.


Not meaning to be disrespectful, but maybe you are just not educated enough for  aproper evaluation? A few thousand years ago people couldnt explain lightning, therefore lightning god(s)? No, as i said in my previous post: When you have no explanation for something, the intellectually honest position is "i dont know" and not "god".
"I dont know" will make you look for the real answer. "God" will make you stop looking. I know that "i dont know" makes many people feel uncomfortable, but lying to yourself.....is that really a good idea to start with and conduct your life?

Again: if you cant explain something you experience. What is the most honest answer?


Quote:My point is that my non-explainable subjective proof is personal evidence for myself only. It's evidence of God for me, but not to you. In my case, personally, the burden of proof is with atheism because I already have very strong subjective evidence for God.
You admit again to being "non-explainable". All you have is evidence for an experience, and noone will deny your experience. That does not mean that you are warranted to attribute this experience to the god you concluded. Are you aware that other people also have non-explainable experiences and attribute them to Allah? Others have experiences that are "personal evidence" and point towards even weirder god beliefs. The cant all be true, but they can all be wrong (including you). If we all were reasoning like you, we all end up believing in mutually exclusive things. Thats irrational, and many of us try to be better, try to be sceptic and rational. You are entirely entitled to your way of reasoning, but it will inevitabley lead you to believing in many things that arent true. Do you care about what is true?

If we want to determine what is true and what not, in a commonly shared reality, we have to be WAY more rigid than you just explained to be. Thats why we have things like knowledge and belief. Knowledge is what can be demonstrated and shared, belief is something personal. You are free to believe in what you want, you are free to claim its true, but be prepared to be told that many others have higher standards for determining what is true and what is not, and what to believe in. To everyone else your "personal, subjective proof" is worthless, just like mine would be to you.

Personal evidence is a smoke screen. If you cant share your evidence with others, its worthless. Otherwise lots of real Napoleons are sitting in  mental hospitals. Thats not how proper reasoning works.

We live in a reality we share with each other. In this reality a god either exists or not. Its impossible for god to exist for you but not for me. So how do we decide what is real and what not? Only by the evidence we can share. How do we stop believing in false things? By being sceptical, by having the highest standards possible, certainly not by trading "i dont know" for "God!" or by attributing any random, mental or possibly drug induced experience to something supernatural.
cetero censeo religionem esse delendam 
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#15

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 11:32 AM)Mark Wrote:
(08-09-2019, 03:48 AM)Kimdal Wrote: My work mate is hindu and she believes hindu gods. She has shown pictures of how the gods look like. I don’t see much evidence in believing in hindu gods, so I have I decided not to believe in it, after brief examination of claimed "evidence".


You say "I don’t see much evidence in believing in hindu gods" in spite of having spent a "brief examination of claimed "evidence"".  So apparently you feel that is an adequate response to god beliefs you don't already hold.  In relation to hindu gods you are content to declare yourself an atheist. 

Correct. I think all atheists agree that all gods are man made. For me god can not be man made. Looking at the image of one of the hindu god, and hearing the attributes of that god, I didn't need to examine more. That god was man-made clearly.

And it makes perfect sense to me that atheists think that my God (from the Bible) is not only man-made but insane, killing his son etc. I'm not ignorant. I have read atheistic literature, e.g. from Dawkins. I would also consider Bart Ehrman as atheistic author, although I'm not sure about his standpoint except that he claims in his books that Bible is not reliable source. I have also read blogs from atheists, so I understand that my beliefs seem silly to them.
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#16

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 11:22 AM)Kimdal Wrote: For FSM no-one has provided even a remote evidence, AFAIK.

Which is precisely the same scenario for the Abrahamic god or the Hindu gods.  
Nobody has provided even remote evidence.

Quote:I'm curious, how were you able to dismiss Abrahamic god so quickly?

In exactly the same way you dismissed the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Quote:People believe in very strange things, but nothing that I know or have heard comes close to believing in FSM.

Except, for example, believing in the Abrahamic god.

Quote:IMO, It would be very strange to believe in FSM because spaghetti is made by man.

So is the Abrahamic god, and the Hindu gods, or Persephone or Loki. (See my sig LOL)
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#17

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 12:05 PM)SYZ Wrote: I'd also need to know what you mean by "blind faith" as such, because as someone who believes in supernatural entities and
paranormal phenomena, I'd describe your faith in those things as "blind"—due to the total absence of any viable
evidence.  (Faith is defined as "belief without evidence".)

It's good you asked because I meant something different. By blind faith I meant believing someone (e.g. preacher) without evidence and more objective consideration. I see a lot of christians believing (wrong) things just because pastor or some person with authority says so. Let me guess you next question: why I believe the Bible then, but it goes too much off topic. 

(08-09-2019, 12:05 PM)SYZ Wrote: I can certainly prove there are no gods...  "There are no gods".  Simple.  Just as I claim there are no unicorns, 
leprechauns, zombies or fairies.  And along those lines of thought, can I ask you to prove that unicorns do not exist?

I would show evidence against unicorns if I had a son or daughter who believed in unicorns. Probably the same way as many atheistis showd evidence against god if their children believed in god.

(08-09-2019, 12:05 PM)SYZ Wrote: Likewise, you don't have enough evidence to believe in God.  Or if you do, please let us know.

        Smile

I don't have enough objective evidence, I agree. I have subjective evidence that can not be explained naturalistically. But that is of no value to you, I think.
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#18

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
Atheists have many arguments against the God-concept, often answering to unreasonable theistic arguments. But the argument I found most persuasive was the argument from improbability.

The spiritualistic description of reality requires an elaborate additional dimension of spiritual beings and interactions above and beyond the material world we see. That adds so much complexity to the picture that it can readily be rejected on that basis, by applying Occam's Razor. We now have so many good materialistic explanations for realities that even where we do not yet have complete explanations, material hypotheses are to be preferred because they alone are consistent with what we already know. In comparison, spiritualistic explanations have failed to develop over time or have been replaced by materialistic explanations. They are therefore most likely mere relics from long ago.
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#19

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 12:17 PM)Deesse23 Wrote: The concept is internally inconsistent from A to Z. The scripture makes loads of claims that are verifiably wrong. Starting with Genesis´ first verses. Most of it is either wrong or cant be confirmed to be right.
For the record: Even if the abrahamic god would be proven to be existent, i wouldnt worship it, since it is a monster.

Thank you for explaining. I really was curious. I try to reply to some of your questions, but I need to filter things - too much to reply. if you really want to know something I didn't answer, please emphasize it.

(08-09-2019, 12:17 PM)Deesse23 Wrote: Not meaning to be disrespectful, but maybe you are just not educated enough for  aproper evaluation?

No offense taken. I think we both agree that many, way too many Christians (and Muslims, Hindues etc) are poorly educated and ignorant.

(08-09-2019, 12:17 PM)Deesse23 Wrote: Again: if you cant explain something you experience. What is the most honest answer?

It depends. Let me show some different cases:
A) Magican makes some nice trick. I can't explain exactly, but I'm confident he used some psychology to made me focus in things he wanted me to focus, making me miss the trick.
B) Gravitation works even though there is a big obstacle between the objects. E.g. gravitation between sun and moon is unchanged during lunar eclipse, although common sense could suggests that earth would disturb gravitation forces between sun and moon. My response in this case: We don't yet understand gravitation well enough, even though we have very good physical models. We know how, but not why (when digging deep enough).
C) My grandmother died decades ago in old age. If she came back alive after decades and showed much younger that she was when she died and was buried, I would say that it's a supernatural miracle - after talking with her and realizing that she is really her. 

(08-09-2019, 12:17 PM)Deesse23 Wrote: Personal evidence is a smoke screen. If you cant share your evidence with others, its worthless. Otherwise lots of real Napoleons are sitting in  mental hospitals. Thats not how proper reasoning works.

We live in a reality we share with each other. In this reality a god either exists or not. Its impossible for god to exist for you but not for me. So how do we decide what is real and what not? Only by the evidence we can share. How do we stop believing in false things? By being sceptical, by having the highest standards possible, certainly not by trading "i dont know" for "God!" or by attributing any random, mental or possibly drug induced experience to something supernatural.

I see your point and I agree objectivity should be used in most cases. But there is also a problem. Assuming A) there is a god and B) he does not want to share bullet proof objective evidence about him, and C) we dismiss everything that can not be objectively proven, then it's impossible to find the truth.

I admit that allowing subjective evidence makes it very difficult for humankind to get rid of false and dangerous beliefs.
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#20

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 12:46 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(08-09-2019, 11:22 AM)Kimdal Wrote: IMO, It would be very strange to believe in FSM because spaghetti is made by man.

So is the Abrahamic god, and the Hindu gods, or Persephone or Loki. (See my sig LOL)

It's a fact that spaghetti is made by man. It's an unproven claim that all gods are made by man. That's the difference. I admit that more than 99.9% of gods are not real gods. I'm not sure they are exactly man-made, though, but if we excluded spiritual entities, then I would agree that they are man made.
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#21

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 01:36 PM)Kimdal Wrote: ...
It's a fact that spaghetti is made by man. It's an unproven claim that all gods are made by man. That's the difference. I admit that more than 99.9% of gods are not real gods. I'm not sure they are exactly man-made, though, but if we excluded spiritual entities, then I would agree that they are man made.

It's induction not deduction but we do know that all myths, legends and folklore are products of human imagination. 

We also know about the power of tradition as a comforter, the misinformation effect, confirmation bias, the sharp-shooter fallacy etc. ... people often believe what they want to believe. 

Reality can be a scary place. 

Confused
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#22

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 12:17 PM)Deesse23 Wrote: Are you aware that other people also have non-explainable experiences and attribute them to Allah? Others have experiences that are "personal evidence" and point towards even weirder god beliefs. The cant all be true, but they can all be wrong (including you). If we all were reasoning like you, we all end up believing in mutually exclusive things. Thats irrational, and many of us try to be better, try to be sceptic and rational. You are entirely entitled to your way of reasoning, but it will inevitabley lead you to believing in many things that aren't true. Do you care about what is true?

After re-reading your answer I realized I forgot to answer this that I wanted to answer. Yes, I'm aware that in many religions there are mutually conflicting experiences of subjective evidence. Therefore subjective evidence is of no value to other people. And subjective evidence is very likely false and misleading.

I do very much care about what is the truth. Sometimes I even wish that I was able to be atheist. You see, I'm quite sure that many people dear to me are going to hell, like my late father. Thinking of my father going to hell is so painful that I want not to believe in God. If there is no God, I don't really mind. I could easily accept that there is nothing after death. But, considering the evidence, given by atheists, muslims, jews and christians (and some others), I think the evidence strongly points to Christian God. But in the same time I need to say that I believe that most Christians (at least in Europe and North America) are as lost in their faith as were the pharisees in the New Testament of the Bible. Actually, seeing the life of other Christians makes it sometimes difficult for me to believe in God. I don't think I'm much better than average Christian in that sense. I'm trying to learn, and I will change my opinion as I see my wrong ideas. I have changed my thinking a lot in the course of time.
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#23

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 01:57 PM)DLJ Wrote: It's induction not deduction but we do know that all myths, legends and folklore are products of human imagination. 

How do we know? Maybe I'm ignorant on this and you know better.

(08-09-2019, 01:57 PM)DLJ Wrote: We also know about the power of tradition as a comforter, the misinformation effect, confirmation bias, the sharp-shooter fallacy etc. ... people often believe what they want to believe. 

Reality can be a scary place. 

I agree. In my previous post I tried to explain that sometimes I wish I could be atheist, but I'm not able to.
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#24

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 02:06 PM)Kimdal Wrote: I agree. In my previous post I tried to explain that sometimes I wish I could be atheist, but I'm not able to.

The best way of letting go of something is in realizing what a false comfort it is.
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#25

Lack of belief in god(s) or believing there are no gods?
(08-09-2019, 12:46 PM)Kimdal Wrote: And it makes perfect sense to me that atheists think that my God (from the Bible) is not only man-made but insane, killing his son etc. I'm not ignorant.

Actually, I don't.  I do not believe that gods were made up on a lark or for a devious purpose as a deliberate fabrication.  Before we had the capacity for rationality we do now we experienced the world animistically.  So our experience of gods predates our ability to make one up.


(08-09-2019, 12:46 PM)Kimdal Wrote: I have read atheistic literature, e.g. from Dawkins.

And I have not.  I do not require any experts to convince me gods do not exist, especially when they do - but only in the only manner they ever have, as spontaneous products of consciousness.  Rather than postulating a supernatural realm or a mount Olympus we should realize they inhabit the same space as our enduring sense of personal identity.  I don't find that such a meager thing.  I'm not sure why so many Christians reject homing their God in their own consciousness.  If it's good enough for their sense of self, why not for the God they say they feel as close to as to themselves?


(08-09-2019, 12:46 PM)Kimdal Wrote: I would also consider Bart Ehrman as atheistic author, although I'm not sure about his standpoint except that he claims in his books that Bible is not reliable source.

I don't find the Bible inspiring or even interesting but I know from speaking online to some pretty intelligent and  self aware Christians that understanding it properly is tough, especially for those uneducated in linguistic analysis.  Those who take into account the intended audience for the Bible don't have to be atheists.


(08-09-2019, 12:46 PM)Kimdal Wrote: I have also read blogs from atheists, so I understand that my beliefs seem silly to them.

You really are lazy in the way you consistently try to paint everyone outside your in-group with the same broad brush.  

Your beliefs only seem silly to me when they are taken literally and clumsily folded into our understanding of the empirical world.  I believe there is a kind of knowledge we give up when we push the animistic world away too forcibly.  I think one can have his cake and eat it too so long as you embrace the animistic nimbly enough.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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