Why I am not an Atheist

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
PaulSacramento
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Why I am not an Atheist

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:29 am

I could never be an atheist BUT I was, at one time, agnostic.
Why did I never make the "logical" step to atheism?
Well, I put it like this nowadays:
A negative absolute ( there is no God) is illogical.
The reason is obvious But I found this quote and it states it more completely:

“To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge. Because their declaration is tantamount to saying, I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge.”
―Ravi Zacharias

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Hortator » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:10 pm

I was an atheist once too (thus why there is still an edge to my personality)

But at the same time as my conversion, I was also very right wing (even moreso today :esmile: )

I used to watch Glenn Beck when he was still on TV. One day, he was talking about what he thought was the true answer to "saving the country". I thought, okay, I'll hear him out. He said it was God who could lead us out. God, in the sense of Christianity. I decided "okay, I'll give this God guy a chance." And that was all it took.

A chance.

Long story short, I think it was my libertarian-style ideology which abrogated my atheist ideology; one was able to override the other. BUT that was only because my political ideology was More powerful than my spiritual-ideology (which could have been summarized as teen angst) Had my atheism been more strong than my conservatism, I would still be a bitter and miserable garden-variety fedora.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:36 pm

I guess I was an atheist for a few moments- I accepted the idea for a few minutes or so but I quit that since it didn't make sense to me. I see too much evidence for a god.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Justhuman » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:03 am

PaulSacramento wrote:I could never be an atheist BUT I was, at one time, agnostic.
Why did I never make the "logical" step to atheism?
Well, I put it like this nowadays:
A negative absolute ( there is no God) is illogical.
The reason is obvious But I found this quote and it states it more completely:

“To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge. Because their declaration is tantamount to saying, I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge.”
―Ravi Zacharias


- why does atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge?
- no (sane) atheist ever claimed to posess infinite knowledge.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Byblos » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:24 am

Justhuman wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:I could never be an atheist BUT I was, at one time, agnostic.
Why did I never make the "logical" step to atheism?
Well, I put it like this nowadays:
A negative absolute ( there is no God) is illogical.
The reason is obvious But I found this quote and it states it more completely:

“To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge. Because their declaration is tantamount to saying, I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge.”
―Ravi Zacharias


- why does atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge?
- no (sane) atheist ever claimed to posess infinite knowledge.


Hence ...
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Philip » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:51 pm

JustHuman: - why does atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge?
- no (sane) atheist ever claimed to posess infinite knowledge.


To echo Byblos - and THAT is the point! It wouldn't be sane to arrogantly assert there DEFINITELY is not a God - if there are things that they are unaware of that might well show that there in fact IS a God. And to know THAT, you'd have to know all such variables and evidences refuting that, in addition to having been around when and where God has shown up or revealed Himself, over time. An atheist is really a person of arrogance that asserts to know the unknowable. And agnostic - a sincere one - is sifting the evidences with an open mind. And insincere one either doesn't care or doesn't want to know.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Justhuman » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:47 pm

Philip wrote:
JustHuman: - why does atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge?
- no (sane) atheist ever claimed to posess infinite knowledge.


To echo Byblos - and THAT is the point! It wouldn't be sane to arrogantly assert there DEFINITELY is not a God - if there are things that they are unaware of that might well show that there in fact IS a God. And to know THAT, you'd have to know all such variables and evidences refuting that, in addition to having been around when and where God has shown up or revealed Himself, over time. An atheist is really a person of arrogance that asserts to know the unknowable. And agnostic - a sincere one - is sifting the evidences with an open mind. And insincere one either doesn't care or doesn't want to know.


Thank you Philip!

It has nothing to do with arrogance, but with what one believes. A believe is by definition uncertainty. Religion is a believe and therfore uncertainty. For me, for what I believe in as an atheist, is uncertainty too. I do not claim to know the truth.
Last edited by Justhuman on Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Justhuman » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:54 pm

Byblos wrote:
Justhuman wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:I could never be an atheist BUT I was, at one time, agnostic.
Why did I never make the "logical" step to atheism?
Well, I put it like this nowadays:
A negative absolute ( there is no God) is illogical.
The reason is obvious But I found this quote and it states it more completely:

“To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge. Because their declaration is tantamount to saying, I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge.”
―Ravi Zacharias


- why does atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge?
- no (sane) atheist ever claimed to posess infinite knowledge.


Hence ...


- Why does atheism HAS to demonstrate infinite knowledge to sustain the belief there is no God?
And who says that only infinite knowledge can proof the non-existence of God?
- Where have atheists ever 'declared', stated, or even suggested they have infinite (?) knowledge about the non-existence of God?

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Kenny » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:06 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:I could never be an atheist BUT I was, at one time, agnostic.
Why did I never make the "logical" step to atheism?
Well, I put it like this nowadays:
A negative absolute ( there is no God) is illogical.
The reason is obvious But I found this quote and it states it more completely:

“To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge. Because their declaration is tantamount to saying, I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge.”
―Ravi Zacharias

A couple of problems I have with this quote that comes to mind.

*Not all concepts of God have infinite knowledge. Ravi Zacharias seems to be making the common mistake that God equals his concept of God. Some theists call Nature, the Sun, or other inanimate objects God. Some call people as real as you and I God; like Kumari of Nepal or Haile Selassie of Rastafarian

*A person doesn’t have to claim to have infinite knowledge to be Atheist; Atheism is about what you believe not what you know.

*If we assume a being has infinite knowledge, just because Ravi Zacharias might call him God doesn’t mean everyone else will; a person who doesn’t call him (or anything else) God is still an Atheist.

It's late. That's all I can think of now, perhaps more tomorrow.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Philip » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:05 am

JustHuman: For me, for what I believe in as an atheist, is uncertainty too. I do not claim to know the truth.


If, per whatever theism, you assert uncertainty as to whether some god or God might exist, then that would make you an agnostic. Being and atheist is one with an assertion of belief that no God exists - as if that is a CERTAINTY. Therefore, if you have ANY uncertainty in your belief that there is no God, then you are NOT an atheist. Which are you?

As for certainty over the issue of God, to BE certain of no God or gods, you would have to be in a position that would allow you to rule ALL possible God or gods out - being there at creation, seeing how that worked, SEEING and perfectly understanding how a physical universe, instantly showing things of stupendous design and functionalities, immediately operating per consistent laws of ordered parameters, could come from the non-physical; Seeing and KNOWING how non-life became life - these kinds of things that are all impossible. So, what we ALL have are various evidences that we interpret per whatever probability our minds assess them to be pointing to. And, yes, that necessarily puts us in the position of having uncertainties. So faith in God is belief of what those evidences are pointing to, and believing so without having perfect knowledge. A Christian certainly has uncertainties and doubts - we all do. But we believe, on faith, that despite our uncertainties, there is a God Who loves and desires us. So our object of faith is in a Being we believe exists, yet we believe that without perfect knowledge. And atheist, likewise, cannot have certainties of their faith in nothingness. So, to be honest, they should self-identify as agnostics. Or proclaim their faith in nothingness. The faith and uncertainties of the theist, the Christian, and all atheists all have faith in something beyond us - either a God or gods, or in nothingness above or preceding us. The arrogance of the atheist is in claiming knowledge beyond what they MUST know in order to have CERTAINTY that there is no God. Again, if you lack uncertainties over the question of God or gods, then you are an agnostic.

Again, WHICH are you?

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Justhuman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:02 pm

Philip wrote:
JustHuman: For me, for what I believe in as an atheist, is uncertainty too. I do not claim to know the truth.


If, per whatever theism, you assert uncertainty as to whether some god or God might exist, then that would make you an agnostic. Being and atheist is one with an assertion of belief that no God exists - as if that is a CERTAINTY. Therefore, if you have ANY uncertainty in your belief that there is no God, then you are NOT an atheist. Which are you?

As for certainty over the issue of God, to BE certain of no God or gods, you would have to be in a position that would allow you to rule ALL possible God or gods out - being there at creation, seeing how that worked, SEEING and perfectly understanding how a physical universe, instantly showing things of stupendous design and functionalities, immediately operating per consistent laws of ordered parameters, could come from the non-physical; Seeing and KNOWING how non-life became life - these kinds of things that are all impossible. So, what we ALL have are various evidences that we interpret per whatever probability our minds assess them to be pointing to. And, yes, that necessarily puts us in the position of having uncertainties. So faith in God is belief of what those evidences are pointing to, and believing so without having perfect knowledge. A Christian certainly has uncertainties and doubts - we all do. But we believe, on faith, that despite our uncertainties, there is a God Who loves and desires us. So our object of faith is in a Being we believe exists, yet we believe that without perfect knowledge. And atheist, likewise, cannot have certainties of their faith in nothingness. So, to be honest, they should self-identify as agnostics. Or proclaim their faith in nothingness. The faith and uncertainties of the theist, the Christian, and all atheists all have faith in something beyond us - either a God or gods, or in nothingness above or preceding us. The arrogance of the atheist is in claiming knowledge beyond what they MUST know in order to have CERTAINTY that there is no God. Again, if you lack uncertainties over the question of God or gods, then you are an agnostic.

Again, WHICH are you?


Why is it so important being an agnost or an atheist? It seems irrelevant to me.

Besides, when I read the explanations what an atheist is and what an agnost, it is difficult to place myself in one of those boxes. What I'm certain of is I at least and definitely do not believe that (a) God exists. Certainly not the Biblical God, residing in an immaterial realm, omnipotent and omniscient, creator of both the immense universe and the smallest bacteria. Such a God is in my opinion a figment of early mankind and does not exist in that form.

But, is it possible He CAN exist? That's a question I cannot answer, for the simple reason I (or we, as the human race) lack the proper knowledge to judge about that. For example, up to now there is no evidence at all for the existence of an immaterial realm, so how can I make any judgement about something that should reside in such a realm? It would first have to be proven that such a realm can exist before stating anything about any immaterialistic anyone/anything existing in there.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Philip » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:01 pm

JustHuman: Why is it so important being an agnost or an atheist? It seems irrelevant to me.

Besides, when I read the explanations what an atheist is and what an agnost, it is difficult to place myself in one of those boxes.


Positionally, as neither has a belief in God, they are the same - perhaps mostly useful for others to understand one's worldview. But I see the declared atheist as arrogant, as he has self-declared himself to have an understanding that is impossible for him to know.

JustHuman: What I'm certain of is I at least and definitely do not believe that (a) God exists.


Which no agnostic believes either.

JustHuman: Certainly not the Biblical God, residing in an immaterial realm, omnipotent and omniscient, creator of both the immense universe and the smallest bacteria. Such a God is in my opinion a figment of early mankind and does not exist in that form.


But then you qualify your unbelief in God - apparently by not ruling out some "God"-like source of the universe, just that whatever possible god could not have the attributes of the God of Scripture.

JustHuman: But, is it possible He CAN exist? That's a question I cannot answer...


Which puts you solidly in the agnostic camp!

JustHuman: ... up to now there is no evidence at all for the existence of an immaterial realm, so how can I make any judgement about something that should reside in such a realm? It would first have to be proven that such a realm can exist before stating anything about any immaterialistic anyone/anything existing in there.


JH, can one "see" a black hole? No! But can you see the impact of that black hole upon the space, area, objects and light around one? Yes! Something is powerfully affecting whatever matter nearby, whether clouds of interstellar matter, or a star passes close, it can tear a star apart as the black hole gravitational forces impact it, emitting powerful gamma ray bursts, devouring nearby stars, and spurring the growth of new star. The impact is obvious. Just as in the universe, we can see the impact and order of God. We can see incredible specificity and fine-tuning of so many parameters - across the universe, biologically, chemically, galactically, microscopically, etc. For all of the debris of the universe around us, we live in a neighborhood that would be impossible without order and all the things that make life possible. The impact of God upon the universe is all around us, in countless amazing ways. You identify yourself as an electronics engineer - which would be an impossible profession without great specifics in how things work electronically with great consistency. You don't need to SEE God to know He's there!

But I'm curious, JH, what things do you believe make the God of the Bible makes impossible to exist?

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Kenny » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:35 pm

Justhuman wrote:What I'm certain of is I at least and definitely do not believe that (a) God exists.


I’m curious; what do you mean when you say “you don’t believe that (a) God exist”?
The problem with speaking about God, is there isn’t a consensus of what or who God is. To say you don’t believe in the existence of Santa, Fairies, elves, etc. everybody knows exactly what you are talking about because there is a consensus of what those things are; everybody agrees on who/what Santa, Fairies, and elves are. But with God its different; there are countless concepts people have and continue to have of God. So for you to say you don’t believe God exist, are you saying

*Of all the concepts people have ever had of God, none of them exist?

*That you have an idea of a being that you would call God, and that being doesn’t exist?

*Or perhaps the person you are discussing with has a concept of who God is, and you are speaking specifically of that particular God as not existing?

Or something else? What do you mean when you say you don’t believe God exist?

Ken

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Justhuman » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:48 am

Kenny wrote:
Justhuman wrote:What I'm certain of is I at least and definitely do not believe that (a) God exists.


I’m curious; what do you mean when you say “you don’t believe that (a) God exist”?
The problem with speaking about God, is there isn’t a consensus of what or who God is. To say you don’t believe in the existence of Santa, Fairies, elves, etc. everybody knows exactly what you are talking about because there is a consensus of what those things are; everybody agrees on who/what Santa, Fairies, and elves are. But with God its different; there are countless concepts people have and continue to have of God. So for you to say you don’t believe God exist, are you saying

*Of all the concepts people have ever had of God, none of them exist?

*That you have an idea of a being that you would call God, and that being doesn’t exist?

*Or perhaps the person you are discussing with has a concept of who God is, and you are speaking specifically of that particular God as not existing?

Or something else? What do you mean when you say you don’t believe God exist?

Ken


*Of all the concepts people have ever had of God, none of them exist?

I do not know all concepts of God that people ever had, so I can't judge about all of those god-views, but generally speaking: yes, I do not believe in the concept of a god, therefore I think no god exists, or ever existed.

In our billion years old earthly history I do not see any presence of a god until some early humans explained natural phenomena by 'creating' supernatural entities that were inflicting those phenomena.

Maybe some god-views are more-or-less more likely, but I generally oppose to the concept of the word god, because it is 'unnatural' of existence. There may exist very powerfull beings or a very powerfull entity, which might even be god-like, but not a God. Such a being would have evolutionary evolved, and therefore by definition is not qualified being a god.

However, I think we should limit ourselves to the one god thats meant on this forum, the Christian God.
The general consensus here is that this God resides in an out of spacetime realm, is omnipotent and omniscient, created the universe, etc., etc... It is my believe too that such a god does not/cannot exist.

*That you have an idea of a being that you would call God, and that being doesn’t exist?

I have no idea of any being which I would call God.

*Or perhaps the person you are discussing with has a concept of who God is, and you are speaking specifically of that particular God as not existing?

No. I can't judge for any individual member here, the individual God-views of them may differ, however slightly, but the intentions behind them, the feelings, is the same.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Postby Justhuman » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:52 am

@Philip
If an atheist is arrogant for his way of not believing, is a theist therefore arrogant for his way of believing?


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