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I don't mean to start anything, but it seems to me, as an agnostic, that it takes as much faith to say there is no god as it does to say there is. Thoughts?

By monstrslyr
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63 comments

10

I disagree.

Faith is a belief in something where there is no justification for that belief except that you want to believe it.

As an atheist, I see no evidence that would lead me to believe that a god/s exists. However, I do also appreciate that an absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence, unless of course there is a lack of evidence where you should expect to find evidence. For example, theists claim that their god answers prayer, yet study after study has shown that prayer has no better success rate that would be expected by pure chance. Holy books are at best ambiguous and at worst downright wrong.

The time to believe something exists is when their is evidence to support that belief. Not before.

As an atheist I do not say that there is no god. I say that I do not believe the claims that there is and that doesn't take faith.

Uncorrugated Level 7 May 15, 2018
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Very well said, my friend!

10

As an atheist, it takes no "faith" whatsoever to say "there is no god". All it takes is a complete lack of credible, verifiable evidence. That's all. No faith required.

KKGator Level 9 May 15, 2018
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8

Atheism is lack of belief. Atheism is not a belief that something doesn’t exist.

NothinnXpreVails Level 8 May 15, 2018
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Isn't doing nothing actually doing something? And how do we know what we don't know?

@josephr You're either convinced or not convinced. It's not really a choice.

@Rossy92 I disagree. Accepting that we can't understand everything at our stage of emotional and intellectual evolution is a reality, be it an uncomfortable one for many. There is so much in our universe that we can't understand, and often, we don't even know what we don't know. That is just one cross humans have to bear. Lol And we all have the choice to remain confused and to work around our confusion.

@josephr That sounds like an argument for agnosticism/atheism. My being unconvinced led to many years of identification with agnosticism. Intensive research led to atheism, being convinced that all religion and 'divine revelation' is mostly bunk, and not knowing whether there might be some deistic god, which while perhaps interesting, is largely an irrelevancy until it speaks to me and not through some appointed proxy.

@Rossy92 Actually it's my rationalization for accepting that i don't need to know. That does not eliminate curiosity, it merely means that knowing is unnecessary for me.

If i were to believe anything to do with the afterlife, i think reincarnation would be my favoured belief.

But actually, it's more important for me to accept what i don't know about life and the universe. I love the mystery, and never need the solution except to situational realities; philosophical questions, like religious ones, don't fall into that category for me.

At the age of 70, in a few years or more, i look forward to finding out what happens next; or not. LLOL It's actually exciting.

7

How much faith did it take you to dismiss Mohammed? Vishnu? Zeus?

jujuofthesea Level 7 May 15, 2018
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7

Um... It's safe to say unicorns do not exist right? Flying jellyfish? Birds that have no wings and are instead propelled through the air by farts?

Edit: flying sea jellies.

Joenobody Level 5 May 15, 2018
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Good point also fart powered birds is a hilarious concept.

@MagRat naw...

@Blindbird imagine the noise a fart powered sparrow would make (I imagine a fast put put put put put put) ..... now image a Swan!

6

How do you figure? There's not much if any effort needed to honestly not believe in something that makes absolutely no sense to believe in....no effort, no faith. The burden of proof does not rest on me for not being convinced...its on anyone making the assertion and the claim. Show me credible, objective, proof and evidence, and I'll change my tune. Until then, I don't believe it, because there's nothing to believe; and unlike theists, I don't need faith to NOT be a believer.

Ultra120 Level 4 May 16, 2018
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6

Actually it doesn't. The idea that it takes any faith not to believe something is just a semantic trick apologists use. Furthermore, agnostic tells me nothing about you other than you claim you don't know.
So, real quick, Theist = belief in god/s and atheist = does not believe in god/s. Gnostic = claims to know and agnostic = claims not to know.
Atheists don't claim there is no god, just that they don't believe there the claims there is one. Example: if you are a juror in a court room and the defendant is on trial for a crime. The defendant either has or hasn't committed the crime, guilty or innocent. Now as the juror are only asked to make a judgment on the claim of guilt, not the claim of innocence. Now, let's say you determine not guilty...that does not mean you think the defendant is innocent. That in a nutshell is the atheist position. That people make the claim "god/s exist," and atheist are saying we find god not guilty of existing. There is no claim that god/s don't exist. Just like you could say "unicorns exist," and I say I don't believe you. That doesn't mean I'm claiming there are no unicorns anywhere in the cosmos, I have no way of knowing that. I just don't believe the claim they do.
Secondly, faith is belief without good evidence. Saying I don't believe require no faith or evidence. The person saying they believe needs to be able to explain why if they want to convince others. I don't have to give a why for not believing. It's the null position. Now if someone provides good evidence and I reject it, then you can ask me why I reject this good evidence. That would be justified. If you provided me with proof of gravity and I reject your proof, I would need to explain why, and we can look at the evidence and find out if your proof is flawed, or I'm maybe not viewing it correctly. But no faith is required for disbelief. This is just something apologists and religions use to say we believe in a magical sky wizard, but you don't (which mean you are saying that there is none and it cannot exist even though you didn't say that) and both positions take faith so we're all on the same footing. NO! You don't get to put your irrational faith on the same book shelf with my rational beliefs. You're junk goes over on the other shelf with Zeus, Thor, and the Shiva. To quote Bill Maher "its from the great intellectual tradition of I know you are but what am I."
I would say, and I'm not most atheists so don't put this on atheism, that I'm certain there are no god/s. The evidence for this claim is circumstantial. To clarify, circumstantial evidence is still evidence. As my father used to say, "if I wake up and look out my window and see snow on the ground, I can't prove it snowed but I'm justified in assuming it snowed." Now everyone disbelieves in some god/s. Nobody believes in Zeus, Thor, Shiva, Odin, the flying spaghetti monster, and etc at the same time. So, now the question is, as Christopher Hitchens pointed out "did god/s create man, or did man create many gods." Everyone knows the latter is true because there are some gods everyone believes are fictitious. If you find someone who believes in all gods ever, I'll make one up they don't believe in. Therefore we have countless examples with good evidence of gods that are made up, but no examples with good evidence of god/s that exist or did or created anything.
So to conclude, I am not working on faith. I have no faith. I don't believe things without good evidence. And when I have to make a decision without evidence on that decision, I don't make any suggestion that I'm doing more than guessing. When it comes to agnosticism, we all claim not to know about mystical things, which is the definition. When it come to atheism, we are all atheists in relation to most gods. Why, I'd say, because there is no good evidence. Ergo, not guilty.

Tyrel77 Level 4 May 15, 2018
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6

Religious faith is based on what if rather than what is.
Once the door to what if is opened, anything goes - got this invisible Dragon in my garage....says it created the universe.
The atheist/agnostic/believer game is a paradigm most can't get past as most are trained not to, rather to swirl in its circulatory, debating fiction as if it were real.
Cast the nonsense aside.
Evolution demands it.

Slappy_Longarms Level 7 May 15, 2018
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The 'invisible dragon' argument model is perhaps my favorite microcosmic model for attempting to argue rationally with the devout.

It gets real pissy of you don't worship it too.

6

Are people actually agnostic about Santa Claus? During a thunder storm do people actually think "well, that might be Thor out there"? are people ok with saying Harry Potter does not exist but not god?

An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence. Until some is forthcoming, I am not obligated to say every crackpot theory might be true.

Or as my friend likes to say, pics or it didn't happen.

Kbdank71 Level 6 May 15, 2018
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"Are people actually agnostic about Santa Claus?"
Don't need to be; we know the historical character upon which the fiction is based upon.

"During a thunder storm do people actually think "well, that might be Thor out there"? "
Don't need to be; we know the nature of electricity, have been up to the clouds, have seen lightning being produce; can produce lightning ourselves; thus we know the science behind the character upon which the fiction is based upon.

"are people ok with saying Harry Potter does not exist but not god?"
Don't need to be; we know JKR created him and she has never claimed him to be real.

"An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence."
Indeed. And thus the extraordinary claim that something which you can't test, god(s), doesn't exist requires extraordinary evidence, which we don't have.

"Until some is forthcoming, I am not obligated to say every crackpot theory might be true."
I agree. That is why an agnostic doesn't claim they might be true nor they might be false. The agnostic refrains from making any claims on that which they don't have evidence for.

"pics or it didn't happen"
Show me a picture of a neutrino.... or it didn't happen?

Edited
6

If I tell you I can fly and you say 'no you can't' do our opinions have equal validity? Until proof is produced it's a fact there is no god- the same standard I'd hold for the tooth fairy.

SilverBells Level 3 May 15, 2018
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I don't think "fact" comes into until the basis for a statement is indeed provable. "Until proof is produced, it's a fact..." Is fundamentally flawed.

@lkahleski maybe not. We, as humans, cannot and will never be able to prove any god exists so by our standards I think we can call it a fact. Just in the same way that it's a fact unicorns don't exist. If there is a god and he choses to reveal himself to everyone then we can re-evaluate.

6

Not faith, logic. 😊

SimonCyrene Level 6 May 15, 2018
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But it's logic without proof.

@Kojaksmom it is almost impossible to reply to such a nonsense statement without appearing rude so i will bite my tongue 😊

@SimonCyrene logic is not infallible.

@Kojaksmom The burden of proof is on the believer. You can't prove a negative. Hence the faith aspect. At least that's the way I see it.

@daylily it will always be controversial. To state that you know there is no God is a positive statement. To say that you don't know if there is a God ,or something like a god ,that is beyond our comprehension is a negative.

5

Which god?

Ignostic_Skeptic Level 7 May 15, 2018
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Or what is God?

5

As an Agnostic Atheist I do not believe in any god, because I've seen no proof of one. However I won't assert that I "know" there are no gods at all of any kind because that would be silly. Kind of an oxymoron if you think about it... For someone to"KNOW" there are no gods of any kind, you would have to be omniscient, hence a god in your own right.

However...I will say that I do positively believe that the Christian God, at the very least, does not exist. Simply because I've read the book, which is the only solid information we have about it, and there are way too many inconsistencies, contradictions and proven falsehoods for it to exist as described.

I won't argue that there is NO "creator" or "higher power" because I'm just smart enough to realize that my knowledge is tiny compared to the vast possibilities of the universe. (Even though I believe there is none)

But I will state outright that there is and never was a magical Jesus, or YHWH of the Bible, because that's just silly fairy tale bullshit 😁

EddieDean Level 5 May 15, 2018
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3

I wouldn't call it faith, but it does take balls sometimes to proclaim it in many circles. Some religious crazies would like to do harm to nonbelievers.

TampaHeathen Level 7 June 2, 2018
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3

Thats the same as sayin it takes as much faith to say there isnt a Santa Claus as it takes to say there is one. Santa has just as much, if not more, proof for his existence.

jorj Level 7 May 15, 2018
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3

Isn’t Faith a belief in something with no supportive evidence ? Therefore ......

Hebert54 Level 7 May 15, 2018
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3

Nope.

Faith is belief without regard to evidence.

Squirrel Level 7 May 15, 2018
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3

I am Agnostic because that term best describes me. If there was a " I DON"T GIVE A SHIT" I would be there. I have made my way through life, on my own. ON MY OWN!! And when I effed up I suffered the consequences.

Larbob Level 2 May 15, 2018
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3

In the sense that faith is belief without evidence, then absolutely, yes.

After all, there is no evidence to dismiss or accept the hypothesis of a god or dismiss the hypothesis of aliens or dismiss the hypothesis of multiverses.
Thus if you have any set belief one way or the other in these camps, then your belief is without evidence and could be qualified as faith.

On the other hand, we agnostics recognize that there is no evidence to accept or reject any of those claims and thus we are truly the only one's that are clearly without faith of any kind: we don't have faith that gods exist or they don't, we don't have faith that aliens exist or they don't, we don't have faith that multiverse exist or they don't.

We just say "I don't know" or "I don't believe or unbelieve" and watch in amusement as people of different faiths claim they do know and do have a belief one way or the other

TheMiddleWay Level 8 May 15, 2018
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3

How about Spider-Man ?

Slappy_Longarms Level 7 May 15, 2018
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As long as my 3-yr old believes he is Spiderman, I say it's real enough at my house.

Good analogy - we are the gods.

3

I really don't think so. There is substantial evidence backing up the evolution based theory of how we came to be (among other things). If it is true it directly contradicts the way this is explained in any religion that I know of. I am fairly certain in my conviction that there is no higher power controlling any of this at least not any of the ones humanity has dreamed up or anything similar to them.

MsAl Level 6 May 15, 2018
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2

I don't know about faith. I just don't believe because it doesn't sound real or possible. God also seems to be unnecessary.

LolaJane Level 4 July 5, 2018
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2

I believe that most people who are atheists or agnostics are not so out of faith but rather out of self confidence in their ability to think logically.

Florian Level 3 June 2, 2018
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2

Many people seem to feel threatened when I say I am agnostic. I wouldn't call myself a "closet agnostic", but I I don't insist on sharing it. Live and let live.

Dougless Level 2 June 1, 2018
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2

I agree. The best we can say is there is no credible evidence to date that would be consistent with a supernatural being who reads our thoughts, punishes us if we don't believe in "him", answers our prayers, etc. and....created all space, time, matter, and energy. Nothing that would stand up to any kind of scientific scrutiny.

AstroLou Level 5 May 16, 2018
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Very true. I wonder if that is part of our intended learning. Elicative research says that nothing is impossible until it is proven to be so. So the universe may be the consequence of 'intelligent design', and Universal Intelligence or Universal Consciousness may exist unbeknown to a race which is just a in the context of the universe. Exploratory research says anything is possible but many people need more definitive assumptions. Lol

@josephr Oh yeah? Ever try getting toothpaste back in the tube?

@AstroLou Not since i was about 3. hahaha

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