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Old 10-03-2007, 05:42 PM   #81
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It might be wrong of me to think this way but my...faith? in atheism is somewhat shaken based on how some portray it, and on the other hand the way people, good people, portray religion has me thinking that maybe it is not so bad.
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Old 10-06-2007, 03:37 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Faith, or lack thereof, is an extremely personal decision--I don't think people should be making a decision of that importance based on how a few individuals behave. There are good theists and atheists everywhere, and there are bad theists and atheists everywhere. If we expect perfect behavior out of either group, we are going to be sorely disappointed. Humans cannot be perfect, and if you base your decision for atheism/theism on how the worst people in that group behave, no group will ever meet your standards.
Plus, there are different targets and degrees you can put your "faith" in. Different groups have different definitions, retionalities and "other" agendas.

Then again, technically people put "faith" in atheism too...
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Old 10-06-2007, 03:41 PM   #83
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Point of view is important Poiuy. TECHNICALLY they do have faith, BUT I don't think that was what Jae was talking about. I may be wrong though, so forgive me if I am.

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Old 10-06-2007, 05:12 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
Then again, technically people put "faith" in atheism too...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev7
TECHNICALLY they do have faith <snip>
Please explain? Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:15 PM   #85
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Well, I guess that you could say that atheists have faith that what they think is right, as do everybody else in there religions. Also, in school have you ever had faith that you would get an A on the test? If you break it down to everyday life, you WILL see that you and everybody else has faith in may things even if it has nothing to do with religion. That is what I mean by "Technically the do have faith" .

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Old 10-11-2007, 11:23 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev7
Well, I guess that you could say that atheists have faith that what they think is right, as do everybody else in there religions.
An absence of evidence does not require faith. Do you have faith that there's no evidence for invisible pink unicorns or do you simply refuse to seriously consider their existence until someone provides you some evidence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev7
Also, in school have you ever had faith that you would get an A on the test? If you break it down to everyday life, you WILL see that you and everybody else has faith in may things even if it has nothing to do with religion. That is what I mean by "Technically the do have faith" .
You mean like when I sit down to a meal I have faith that it hasn't been poisoned? Or when I get in my car, I start the ignition with faith that it hasn't been wired with a detonator and some explosives?

Sure. But those things could be empirically verified beforehand. I could test my food for poison before digging in. I could inspect my vehicle for explosives before getting inside.

Plus, I'm still not sure how even this tangential application of "faith" could be applied to atheism.

I appreciate you attempt at clarification though. Thank you for your response.
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:10 AM   #87
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Unfortunately, we can't currently test for where everything in creation/existence actually came from (and probably never will), hence your faith that there is nothing/noone to believe in in the first place.


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Old 10-12-2007, 07:20 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
An absence of evidence does not require faith. Do you have faith that there's no evidence for invisible pink unicorns or do you simply refuse to seriously consider their existence until someone provides you some evidence?

You mean like when I sit down to a meal I have faith that it hasn't been poisoned? Or when I get in my car, I start the ignition with faith that it hasn't been wired with a detonator and some explosives?

Sure. But those things could be empirically verified beforehand. I could test my food for poison before digging in. I could inspect my vehicle for explosives before getting inside.

Plus, I'm still not sure how even this tangential application of "faith" could be applied to atheism.

I appreciate you attempt at clarification though. Thank you for your response.
Your welcome. What I was trying to say was that "TECHNICALLY" atheists do have an everyday faith, and that they have faith that what they believe in is the truth, which is that there is no God(s). By no means am I judging athiesists, it is just everybody in the world thinks that what they believe in (religiously)is right.

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Old 10-12-2007, 07:42 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev7
Your welcome. What I was trying to say was that "TECHNICALLY" atheists do have an everyday faith, and that they have faith that what they believe in is the truth, which is that there is no God(s). By no means am I judging athiesists, it is just everybody in the world thinks that what they believe in (religiously)is right.
I already pointed out how this reasoning is flawed in my last response. You chose not to address my argument, which is fine, but I don't see how repeating your previous statement makes it any more accurate.

No faith is required for atheism because atheism makes no positive statement regarding the existence or non-existence of a god or gods.

Take care.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:45 AM   #90
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What I am trying to say for the third time is that atheists have a faith, or more commonly know as knowing that they are right, that there is no God(s). That is what I am trying to point out. I will not say anymore about this subject, thanks.

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Old 10-13-2007, 02:20 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev7
What I am trying to say for the third time is that atheists have a faith, or more commonly know as knowing that they are right, that there is no God(s).
Your logic is fallacious. To require faith to not believe in a deity would require an absence of faith to believe in one. You cannot logically claim that to not have faith you must have it.

But for clarification, in case you've got your definitions mixed up... Faith = belief without direct proof. Reason = belief with direct proof or lack of belief in the absence of proof.

Do atheists consider themselves reasonable? Yes. Faithful? No. I hope that's cleared the matter up for you.


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Old 10-13-2007, 02:32 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Your logic is fallacious. To require faith to not believe in a deity would require an absence of faith to believe in one. You cannot logically claim that to not have faith you must have it.

But for clarification, in case you've got your definitions mixed up... Faith = belief without direct proof. Reason = belief with direct proof or lack of belief in the absence of proof.

Do atheists consider themselves reasonable? Yes. Faithful? No. I hope that's cleared the matter up for you.
First of all I am not being decietful. Second I have already stated that i am not going to argue with anybody. I was only giving my opinion, not saying that what I believe is what everybody should believe. I was only trying to state what I believe in a peaceful manner. Thank you.

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Old 10-13-2007, 03:01 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev7
What I am trying to say for the third time is that atheists have a faith, or more commonly know as knowing that they are right, that there is no God(s). That is what I am trying to point out. I will not say anymore about this subject, thanks.
Repeating it isn't going to make it true.
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:16 AM   #94
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By definition atheist can have faith in something or someone, such as a spouse or a political belief. However, by the same definition an atheist cannot have faith in there not being a God, unless there was logical proof that there was a God and they still had believed there was not.

I have faith and I will still willingly admit there is no logical proof of his/her existence. That is why it is called faith.
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:58 AM   #95
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How about converting because people need something more than perhaps a negative godless view has to offer?
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Old 10-13-2007, 04:18 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Warrior
How about converting because people need something more than perhaps a negative godless view has to offer?
Pssst! Hey! Nancy! You're supposed to be an atheist now, remember?!

Converting to what? Christianity? Islam? Paganism? Pastafarianism?

And what is a "negative godless view"? Negative godless view of what? And how does it differ from a "positive godless view"?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-13-2007, 04:39 AM   #97
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I'd like to know that too.


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Old 10-13-2007, 04:53 AM   #98
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Well, since the dictionary game seems to be quite popular here......

Main Entry: 1faith
Pronunciation: \ˈfāth\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural faiths \ˈfāths, sometimes ˈfāthz\
Etymology: Middle English feith, from Anglo-French feid, fei, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust more at bide
Date: 13th century
1 a: allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1): fidelity to one's promises (2): sincerity of intentions
2 a (1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust
3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>

.....soooo, in essence, it's quite possible for an athiest to have faith.....just not in God or gods. End of discussion.


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Old 10-13-2007, 09:57 AM   #99
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And here I am thinking this is clearly about religious faith, and why atheists possibly might feel the need to turn to it and against reason - instead of some finickiness about atheists being able to have faith or to believe that their socks will smell when filled with dog poo.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev7
What I am trying to say for the third time is that atheists have a faith, or more commonly know as knowing that they are right, that there is no God(s).
Wrong and wrong and wrong. Atheists do not know that there is no god. They know they have no valid and testable proof for the existence any god. BIG difference. Also, for that there is no 'faith' needed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
By definition atheist can have faith in something or someone
I'm wondering where the definition of 'atheist' contains anything among the lines of "atheists can have faith".


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Old 10-13-2007, 10:19 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Jones
Wrong and wrong and wrong. Atheists do not know that there is no god. They know they have no valid and testable proof for the existence any god. BIG difference. Also, for that there is no 'faith' needed.

I'm wondering where the definition of 'atheist' contains anything among the lines of "atheists can have faith".
Oh I don't know... I think a case can be made for arguing that atheists have a belief in the sense that they believe there is no god.

After all, atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no God.

Care should be taken not to confuse an atheist with an agnostic, which means a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

While the two may seem similar on the surface, to me it looks like an agnostic doesn't believe that we can know whether god exists or not, and maybe even that it doesn't matter anyway, while an atheist actively believes with conviction and certainty that there is no god.

I could be wrong, mind you, but that's how I interpret it.

And the two are not the same, albeit the distinction may be irrelevant or inconsequential to a religious person, especially if that person is so strong in his or her beliefs, that all non-believers are thrown into the same category.


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Old 10-13-2007, 11:43 AM   #101
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Or you could pick the definition of atheism that says it's simply a lack of belief in the existence of gods. This may fit better the people who find that knowledge - or at least evidence of - of such gods is possible but unlikely (and non-existent at the moment). Agnosticism means you're not sure presently, while an atheist as I describe can be quite sure of their experiences while accepting the possibility that they could be wrong with some of their inferences. Thus, their statement "there is no gods" can be quite true when it is based on their experience, and the agnosticism label would have the unacceptable implication that they aren't aware of their own experiences.

I do agree with you, Jediphile, that the hardline atheists who definitively state "there is no god" have faith in their incredible assumption that they have knowledge of everything. In my opinion, these atheists are as far removed from the atheists I talked about above as the hardcore religious. For convenience these two types are generally called "strong" and "weak" atheists, as they share nothing except the idea that there are no gods (and even that, one holds tentatively while the other definitively).

It is well to note the difference between the two, because if theists do not they run the risk of setting up an argument for a non-existent opponent!


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Old 10-13-2007, 12:56 PM   #102
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What would you calls someone who doesn't know if god exists, but also doesn't care because he or she thinks that whether god exists or not doesn't matter, since it has no bearing or matters in any way to his or her existence?


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Old 10-13-2007, 01:58 PM   #103
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Well, I guess if that person didn't care enough to form an opinion one way or another about it, I'd have to call them some variant of agnosticism (they are not claiming to have knowledge of whether gods exist or not, just that it doesn't matter to them).

I'm not sure how someone could hold that position, however. The idea of god necessarily entails some degree of influence by it, even if they were to hold a non-personal view of god. If they said they knew that the influence of a god is equivalent to that of no god, I'd wonder how they know so much about what gods do, especially since they've said already they don't even know if gods exist. My offhand guess is that they wouldn't have an answer for me.


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Old 10-13-2007, 03:03 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Well, I guess if that person didn't care enough to form an opinion one way or another about it, I'd have to call them some variant of agnosticism (they are not claiming to have knowledge of whether gods exist or not, just that it doesn't matter to them).

I'm not sure how someone could hold that position, however. The idea of god necessarily entails some degree of influence by it, even if they were to hold a non-personal view of god. If they said they knew that the influence of a god is equivalent to that of no god, I'd wonder how they know so much about what gods do, especially since they've said already they don't even know if gods exist. My offhand guess is that they wouldn't have an answer for me.
I guess the obvious response to that is how a person can hold any sort of knowledge of god's existence given that - by definition - believing in god is belief and not knowledge. There is no proof of god, and so it seems impossible to say factually that he (or she or it) exists. If there was proof, there would be no discussion, but also no faith. And it would be equally valid to ask how people of faith know so much about god that they know he exists.

In most cases religious people tend to base this on how they feel the presence of god. Fair enough. But then it would seem equally valid for someone to feel the absence of a higher being, or even that this being's existence has no influence on this person's life, wouldn't it?

For example, I may quite willingly accept that there are people who are smarter or more powerful than me (or both, for that matter). In that sense they could be considered higher beings. But do they matter to my life for that reason? No. So what do they matter to me (directly, I mean, not in the sense that I won't care if something bad happens to them or won't feel for them)?


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Old 10-13-2007, 04:17 PM   #105
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Hm.. let's see --

Weak atheism: the weak atheist is not convinced that there are gods. The existence of gods is not necessarily denied, there is just the statement that there is no objective and rational reason to believe in the existence of any god.

Strong atheism: the strong atheist is convinced there are no gods. The existence of gods is clearly denied.

Agnosticism is basically the idea that we cannot prove or disprove the existence of higher beings or gods, strong agnosticism categorical denies the possibility to ever do so, while weak agnosticism states it is not yet possible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jediphile
What would you calls someone who doesn't know if god exists, but also doesn't care because he or she thinks that whether god exists or not doesn't matter, since it has no bearing or matters in any way to his or her existence?
I think that refers to ignosticism or igtheism.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
I'm not sure how someone could hold that position, however. The idea of god necessarily entails some degree of influence by it, even if they were to hold a non-personal view of god. If they said they knew that the influence of a god is equivalent to that of no god, I'd wonder how they know so much about what gods do, especially since they've said already they don't even know if gods exist. My offhand guess is that they wouldn't have an answer for me.
I have an answer, and I put it into some small graphic once:



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Old 10-13-2007, 04:51 PM   #106
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People turn to atheism because they see the church as rotten, the whole god thing is too illogical, a religion of peace has caused so much harm in the world, correct? Atheists are not life time members. They may question the morality they see in other atheists, feel they do not want to be wrong (Pascal's Wager) or feel atheism is a downer looking at the world through cold, logical, the world is small, nasty, complicated and everybody dies alone' eyes and seek more out of life.
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Old 10-13-2007, 05:10 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Warrior
They may question the morality they see in other atheists
Not more than I may question the morality of anybody else.

Quote:
feel they do not want to be wrong
So, with atheism, I'd be wrong? How could I miss that fact? Also, what's wrong with being wrong?

Quote:
feel atheism is a downer looking at the world through cold, logical, the world is small, nasty, complicated and everybody dies alone' eyes and seek more out of life.
Not quite sure, does that mean the world isn't "small, nasty, complicated and everybody dies alone" and only non-atheists are able to see that, or is it that the world is "small, nasty, complicated and everybody dies alone" and everybody but the atheist is denying that?


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Old 10-13-2007, 05:19 PM   #108
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What is wrong with being wrong? The atheist might begin to get scared of what might await them when they die, and seek to make amends before it is too late. Of course this is purely speculation. As for whether you have to be religious to turn away from the harsh realities of the world, no I do not think that. What I am saying is that for some they may need religion as sort of a crutch to help them in life.
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:21 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jediphile
I guess the obvious response to that is how a person can hold any sort of knowledge of god's existence given that - by definition - believing in god is belief and not knowledge. There is no proof of god, and so it seems impossible to say factually that he (or she or it) exists. If there was proof, there would be no discussion, but also no faith. And it would be equally valid to ask how people of faith know so much about god that they know he exists.
Sure, I agree. Of course, you run into this problem with any kind of knowledge, so it just means that you can't state "god exists" as something undoubtedly true.

Quote:
In most cases religious people tend to base this on how they feel the presence of god. Fair enough. But then it would seem equally valid for someone to feel the absence of a higher being, or even that this being's existence has no influence on this person's life, wouldn't it?
For people with different experiences, they may well draw different (and completely correct!) logical conclusions. That's not necessarily a problem with the method, that's a problem with not being omniscient.

Quote:
For example, I may quite willingly accept that there are people who are smarter or more powerful than me (or both, for that matter). In that sense they could be considered higher beings. But do they matter to my life for that reason? No. So what do they matter to me (directly, I mean, not in the sense that I won't care if something bad happens to them or won't feel for them)?
Well, I think your analogy probably doesn't apply to a creator god, given that the very act of creation would be a not insignificant influence. Also, typical conceptions of God by many religions consist of it having the perfections of goodness, etc., and the knowledge of how to be a better person is a highly attractive thought. Indeed, if you were to not to try to find out what this god wanted given that you knew it existed, I would consider you liable for your immorality (as clearly it would be a chosen attribute instead of a result of ignorance). There are other similar reasons why a god would matter a great deal to you personally, even if it didn't interact with you specifically.


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Old 10-13-2007, 08:39 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Jones
Agnosticism is basically the idea that we cannot prove or disprove the existence of higher beings or gods, strong agnosticism categorical denies the possibility to ever do so, while weak agnosticism states it is not yet possible.
Yes, the only thing you have to prove is that you don't know.


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