So I was watching the excellent program The Atheist Experience on youtube the other day and am very impressed with how much scope they give their callers to explain their viewpoint and beliefs. But in one of the discussions it struck me how sick I am of the standard weak response by atheists to the question of the existence of god. Atheists usually respond that they don't believe in god(s) as there is no evidence for their existence but don't go the next step to deny the existence of god(s) because there is neither evidence for or against them. Weak. And I believe the reason for the weak response is that atheists particularly in America want to sound "sane" and "reasonable" for fear that they will be labelled as madmen by the theocratic republic of America.
Well, thankfully I am not American so let me be quite blunt about my atheism:
A creator-god being responsible for creating the universe and life itself does not exist.
I state that god(s) do not exist with the same conviction that I can state that pink flying elephants do not exist.
I state that god(s) do not exist with the same conviction that I can state that pink flying fairies at the bottom of my garden do not exist.
I state that god(s) do not exist with the same conviction that I can state that flying spaghetti monster does not exist.
I state that god(s) do not exist with the same conviction that I can state that the Great Green Arkleseizure does not exist.
I state that god(s) do not exist with the same conviction that I can state that the [insert Santa Claus, the easter bunny and any other imaginary creature here] does not exist.
You get the idea. It's ok for an atheist to admit that god does not exist. It's not illogical, it's not irrational and it's not going too far.
so, what do you have faith in??
I don't think I have faith in anything really. I believe things to exist or be as they are because it makes sense or I trust those that state so. For example, I believe that America exists even though I haven't been there. I believe scientific theories/proofs even those that I do not have the mathematical ability to understand.
Exactly. Not only is god a unique “object of faith”, god is the ONLY “object of faith”. Nothing else in our world has that status. Nothing else is so universally accepted on “faith” as the idea of god. There is really nothing else that demands faith as a prerequisite to its existence.
The exercise of faith is the sole possession of religion.
Even the most religious Christian must accept Jesus’ declaration that unless you have the faith of a child you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Only in the Book of James will you find any challenge to faith when the writer states that “faith without works is dead”.
I am of the notion that many atheists are reluctant to abandon faith. At the same time they do not understand the essence of the difference between theism and atheism, and that is faith, NOT the concept of a god. After all, every theist has a different mental picture of the god in which they have faith. It’s a fool’s errand to argue the existence of literally billions of different gods.
Instead, we should focus on the faith of the “faithful”. Why have they chosen to embrace faith? Did they ever really make a choice to engage faith, or have they simply accepted the necessity of faith as a given essential to the human condition?
I have the opinion that the realization and acceptance of NOT having faith (and that it is ok to not have faith at all) is the step atheists must take to accomplish what I have named “deep atheism”, akin to the epiphany that a Buddhist has which sets them on the path to zen. It might, in some wierd way, actually be the same thing.
well i live in America, but in the northeast of the country which is a little more forgiving of atheist attitudes. i'm very open about it and more people learn this about me every month. and i just got a new dog i've named Hitchens so i have a feeling that many more will come to know this. however, people rarely ask me "why"? perhaps it's b/c i state it so matter of factly, or it just doesn't freak people out around here. believe me though - when they do ask they get an earful!
All very well, but in USA they are now using Modal Logic in arguments against Theists and Presuppositional Apologetics.
So you may not believe in flying pink elephants, but an apologists will counter that with how can you be sure that in another world, flying pink elephants may be possible.
This is the kind of arguments Matt Dillahunty of "The Atheist Experience" is continually being confronted with, they call it modal logic, but really it is just an excuse to produce absolute nonsense and label it Reasoning.
Same goes for Presuppositional Logic which the US apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate has attempted to use against the atheist experience show and in particular he has debated it with Matt Dillahunty.
Where theists like Sye, say that without presupposing God, we can have no knowledge nor wisdom.
It is these deliberate obfuscating arguments that US atheists are getting thrown at them in Christianity's attempts to keep the US appearing to be a Christian nation.
Apologetics is getting extremely desperate and the US is their testing ground for extreme nonsense.
Thus shows like "The Atheist Experience" are having to put up with being a test for idiotic arguments for God.
I believe Matt and the crew are countering such arguments brilliantly.
Though as philosophy go, we cannot disprove the existence of God completely.
But, Neurology is gradually finding God's hiding place and maybe, someday we will be able to exorcise God from their minds with a touch of a probe or a helmet.
Our prefrontal cortex is where we build mind maps for everybody we have associations for and since theists have a lot of associations with their God, they will likely have a decently reinforced prefrontal map for this imaginary entity.
A little bit of a zap and oops, Sorry Mate! Did I just delete your God?
Hmmm... It's arguments like this that negate my direct assertion that there is no god just like there is no santa claus. Maybe in another universe or on some other planet in this very universe there is a santa claus.
Now I understand Matt Dillahunty's more considered answers.
The only way to respond is that anything that can be imagined is physically possible in this or other universes, however, they are not probable.
My response is so what? What does that have to do with me? How does that prove your god exists?
Oh, I would love to see that day. Zap!
Though the response would be if such a zap worked would be: Who?
I state that gods do not exist with the same conviction that I state that my refrigerator does not come to life and fly around the kitchen while I'm asleep.
You would hear loud clonkings in the night, if it did that. Also you would find food strewn around on the floor, later.
But wouldn’t you think that a refrigerator that can achieve levitation would also be able to avoid collisions and keep its door shut?