Atheism: No God At All?

Several weeks ago,  I was telling an associate about starting this Christian Blog and she mentioned that she was an atheist. Our conversation really got me to thinking. How could one not believe in God? How could one not believe in any god? How does such a person account for man’s continual existence? Who or what even keeps the world spinning on its axis? Who or what keeps the oceans and the rivers at bay?  I had so many questions.

I don’t make any claims to be an expert or even reasonably knowledgeable about the world of atheism.  So for everyone else who is like me I included in this subject a definition of atheism and statistics from http://www.wikipedia.org

Atheism can be either the rejection of theism,[1] or the position that deities do not exist.[2] In the broadest sense, it is the absence of belief in the existence of deities.

The first individuals to self-identify as “atheist” appeared in the 18th century. Today, about 2.3% of the world’s population describes itself as atheist, while a further 11.9% is described as nontheist.[4] Between 64% and 65% of Japanese describe themselves as atheists, agnostics, or non-believers,[5][6] and up to 48% in Russia.[5] The percentage of such persons in European Union member states ranges between 6% (Italy) and 85% (Sweden).[5] Atheism tends towards skepticism regarding supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evidence (in other words what can be seen by observation).

Common arguments for atheism  include the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, and the argument from nonbelief.

I have answers for the “problem of evil” and I think I could find counter answers for the other arguments as why one should be an atheist.  But I am willing to hear a different view.  So, to the atheists in the world, please comment. I am interested to know what you have to say.

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27 thoughts on “Atheism: No God At All? Leave a comment

  1. are you wearing plaid shorts?

    but claiming you have the evidence to back it up… never mind. circular logic goes nowhere at all.

    the new testament is the most reliable document in antiquity, bar none. and that is according to the most stringest methods that anyone, Christian or not, can come up with.

  2. “No matter how many times you say it, it doesn’t make it true.”

    then you are bound by your own logic. no matter how many times you say the same about your own perspective, it doesn’t make it true.

    On Jesus: So the New Testament isn’t a reliable document?

    1. “then you are bound by your own logic.”

      Which is why I’m glad I have evidence to back me up.

      “On Jesus: So the New Testament isn’t a reliable document?”

      Not terribly reliable, no. Which isn’t surprising, as the gospels were written many years after the events they are purporting to describe.

  3. “there’s very good scientific evidence pointing towards a creation. ”

    No matter how many times you say it, it doesn’t make it true.

    “did Jesus exist?”

    Now that depends entirely on what you mean when you say the name Jesus.

    If you mean, an itinerant rabbi called Yeshua who lived in the middle east and was probably executed by the Roman government along with many others…then yes, probably.

    If you mean the Jesus character exactly as depicted by the NT, then no.

  4. “the other does not [have evidence supporting it]”

    completely your opinion.

    You can really think/believe what you want at the end of the conversation, that’s fine. But what about the scientists who believe in creationism? They are all wrong too just because they are in the minority? “The world is round not flat” was such a minority’s opinion it got people killed. They turned out to be right. And evolution is a recent theory while there are centuries of evidence and worldview.

    What do you have to say about Jesus himself?

    1. “completely your opinion”

      No, actually, it’s fact.

      “They are all wrong too just because they are in the minority?”

      They’re not wrong because they’re in the minority. They’re wrong because they ignore the evidence and base their position on ideology and religion.

      “What do you have to say about Jesus himself?”

      What do you want to know?

  5. it takes way more faith to believe that evolution explains the human and/or octopus eye than it does to believe that this all happened to happen. i promise you that. but kudos to you on that as well.

    and the fact that it is several million miles, i feel, only proves my point! i can’t hit a bullseye playing darts after playing for hours (which maybe i’m just lame) but i can’t see that the universe without a designer can place the earth at such perfection “by chance.” It’s like emptying my box of Alpha Bits and getting a perfect quote from shakespeare, but even less likely, in its utter impossibility.

    i would wonder at what point you got a negative impression about God and how. i promise you the evidence in science points more to a designer than a “purely by chance” evolutionist model. i’ve done the reading, and there are scientists and journalists out there that have done the research too on a much more detailed level.

    when did you first despise God? and i guarantee that will answer more of your questions than any sort of scientific evidence.

    1. “it takes way more faith”

      No, it actually doesn’t.

      One is the understanding that it was a slow, complex process. The other is a belief that everything was magically poofed into existence. One has evidence supporting it, and the other does not.

      “at such perfection”

      Again, it isn’t ‘such perfection’. It’s a pretty wide zone.

      “i promise you the evidence in science points more to a designer than a “purely by chance” evolutionist model.”

      You can promise all you want. You’re wrong. The science, and the vast majority of scientists, disagree with you.

      “i’ve done the reading”

      I’m sure you’ve read books by the handful of scientists who believe creationism. There are also handfuls by scientists who think the world is flat, and that UFOs abduct humans. That doesn’t matter. What matters is what the evidence shows.

      “when did you first despise God”

      I don’t. I merely don’t believe that any god or supernatural exists.

      1. Since there are many who believe that God exists, I often wonder as Philip does: at what point in a person’s childhood or rearing does he or she get discouraged to despise or at least not trust God?

        And I am sure there are those who will say their parents or caregivers never really discussed God or any deity with them for that matter.

        But at some point in a person’s existence he or she asks “Why am I here?” This is the point when God or some god normally comes into the discussion. So I too ask,”At what point or through what course of action did you say believing in God is not an option?”

  6. You believe what you want to believe in.

    So if you honestly don’t believe that there is no evidence for a supernatural god (as if the human eye wasn’t enough, or the feeling you get when you are hugged, or the fact that the earth just happened to land at an impossibly perfect distance from the sun pacing around it at another impossibly perfect speed…) then I would ask what is it that makes you WANT to believe that there is no god?

    There being not enough evidence is one that could be debated back and forth by the most accredited scientists on “both sides.” However, you really choose which side you are on not based on evidence but out of the desires of your own heart, what you WANT to believe.

    Just my two pennies

    1. “as if the human eye wasn’t enough”

      Evolution explains it quite well.

      As it is, the octopus eye is much superior in ability to that of the human eye. So if we are made in a god’s image, he must have eight legs… 🙂

      “or the feeling you get when you are hugged”

      That would be a feeling. I don’t know why you think that a feeling exists outside your own mind.

      “or the fact that the earth just happened to land at an impossibly perfect distance from the sun”

      You do know that ‘perfect distance’ is several million miles wide, right?

      “However, you really choose which side you are on not based on evidence but out of the desires of your own heart, what you WANT to believe.”

      Um…wrong, sorry. Perhaps you do that. I do not.

  7. Also, Christianity make many many many more claims than just the existence of a god. The Christian god has many attributes and features, supposedly. For instance, 2000 years ago, he supposedly impregnated a virgin, and cause *himself* to be born of her, hung around for 30 or so years, worked a few miracles, and, if you believe that story, after your dead, you go to “heaven,” where everything is wonderful, and if you fail to believe this story, you go to “hell,” for “everlasting punishment” (end of Matthew, ch. 25.)

    Well, these are a boatload of rather extravagant claims, with zero evidence. Hell? Heaven?

    I’m sorry, we know far too much about how the brain works — and doesn’t work, when it’s damaged — to find these claims of any sort of afterlife or immortal soul the *least* bit credible. Despite this, these claims are offered with ZERO evidence.

    In lieu of evidence, it is claimed that we need to have this thing called “faith.” And what is faith? Well, faith is the deliberate attempt (often successful!) to believe something to a degree of certainty which exceeds what is warranted by the evidence.

    We’re told that faith is a virtue. Well, if one’s aim is to try to figure out what’s actually true, deliberately attempting t be excessively certain about a proposition coercively thrust in one’s face by obvious con men is hardly the way an intelligent person goes about it.

    Obvious con men? What do you think Jesus meant when he told the fishermen to follow him, and learn to be “fishers of men.” Jesus was a con man. it says so in the Bible plainly enough for anyone with even half a brain to see.

  8. Hello, I’m also an atheist.

    First, I like that you did some investigating on your own; the wiki page on atheism is pretty good.

    But some of your earlier questions just strike me as bizarre:

    How does such a person account for man’s continual existence?
    Who or what even keeps the world spinning on its axis?
    Who or what keeps the oceans and the rivers at bay?

    I’m not sure what you think ought to happen if gods don’t exist.

    Are humans supposed to pop out of existence? Is the earth supposed to stop turning, in violation of the law of conservation of (in this case, rotational) momentum? And are the oceans and rivers supposed to attack us or something (I thought rivers ended at bays, myself…)

    Your questions just seem very off-the-wall.

    I think what you might be thinking is more like this: “what if my god suddenly stopped existing?”

    That isn’t the point of view of a typical atheist; from our POV, gods are just myths that never existed. Their absence changes nothing because they never existed, except as ideas in people’s heads.

    1. God’s absence would change everything for me: From how I view myself, how I view solving problems, to what to do when I in my own strength can’t solve a problem. I agree that the idea of God does start in your head. But man oh man, I encourage to just start, just try thinking that God, the Master of the Universe, is there and wants to talk to you. The EXPERIENCE, your personal experience, of communing with God will dissolve all your intellectual doubt! 🙂

  9. I’d say the same; there isn’t any evidence of deities. It’s kind of like asking you, a Christian, why you don’t believe in Krishna–the fact that millions of other people do believe that Krishna exists and intercedes on their behalf probably doesn’t really make you feel like you need to come up with an argument to prove he doesn’t exist. Likewise, I don’t need an argument to prove that the Judeo-Christian god does not exist, because nothing has ever indicated to me that he does.

    More importantly to my daily lived existence, let’s say that tomorrow some revelatory event took place that proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Judeo-Christian god does exist and that the Bible is his word. Would I change a single thing that I do as a result of that revelation? No, I would not. I have no respect for the god represented in the bible, and would no more follow his instructions than I would those of any other capricious, jealous, violent, punitive, whimsical authority figure. So, if he stood before me in full Sistine-chapel glory, it wouldn’t matter to me, and wouldn’t change my beliefs about good and evil, and certainly would not change my actions.

    So, the short answer for me is that it just doesn’t matter whether that deity exists or not, any more than whether Zeus and Shakti are real.

    1. I have only had an inkling of exposure of God’s presence in my life. Even such a slight exposure has lead me to in awe of Him.

        After

      you have had a full Sistine Chapel experience with God let me know you’re view then.

    2. In all the years that I have been a born-again Christian, I have only had a few moments of exposure to God’s supernatural presence. Even such a quick exposure has lead me to in awe of Him.
      After you have had a full Sistine Chapel experience with God, let me know your view then.

  10. In short, the universe looks exactly like we would expect if there were no gods.

    For me, it was an understanding of evolution, where morality comes from, the flaws of the Bible, and lacking evidence for life after death, virgin births, resurrections, divine intervention, etc.

    1. Thanks for sending your comments
      Let me address a few of them.
      If there was no God, then I ‘d expect the universe to be so much worse. If there were no divine intervention, miracles would not happen. Plus, what would be the point of life; should we just live here and decay into nothingness? Yes, I believe in life after death and the virgin birth of Christ. But my belief is not based on my understanding or intellect but in my faith. It is not a “blind faith” mind you. My faith stems from experience. I have the experience of watching God work out circumstances in my life that I had neither the intelligence, wisdom, or strength to do by myself.
      And resurrection from the dead… well isn’t it a much finer hope to believe that God will raise us from the dead to be with Him in heaven? While life offers snatches of “good times” for the most part it is humdrum at best and full of evil at its worse. (And we don’t need to blame the “evil” on God, Adam did that to us all when he sinned in the garden.)

      In I Corinthians 15:14-19 we are given And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
      Why stay in the place of “men most miserable” when God offers us so much more?

      (See God’s offer of salvation on my Salvation entries or at the Want to Be Saved Page.)

      1. You should realize that quoting scripture has no effect on us atheists since we do not recognize its authority.

        And resurrection from the dead… well isn’t it a much finer hope to believe that God will raise us from the dead to be with Him in heaven?

        Not really. Even if it were, this form of wishful thinking says nothing about the truth of the claim.

        And we don’t need to blame the “evil” on God, Adam did that to us all when he sinned in the garden.

        First, I don’t blame god for evil any more than I blame unicorns. In a complex universe things happen and we interpret them as being good or bad by their effects on us.

        But let’s say for a moment that this god does exist and that evil is a result of Adam’s sin. How is it moral for any god to transfer the consequences of that sin onto his progeny? Why would anyone who did not commit this original sin (which is everyone but Adam) be forced to take responsibility for acts that they did not commit? Not even the IRS is that vindictive.

        Why would you worship such a monster? It boggles my mind that anyone would allow themselves to be such a doormat. Not to mention that just because Adam sinned (even after he was set up – why didn’t god just hide the damned tree?) doesn’t mean god couldn’t fix the situation simply by forgiving him! The concept of god that the bible presents is best described by Richard Dawkins, whose description I whole-heartedly endorse:

        The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

        It’s a good thing that god has never existed.

      2. Dear Shamelessly Atheist:
        Sounds like you and Mr. Dawkins have an ax to grind.
        What happened in your life (wish I could ask Mr. Dawkins too) that made you endorse such a base opinion of God?
        I am not going to waste your time or mine trying to defend God regarding your list. He needs no defending now and surely will not need one when you stand before Him. (Yes, I just had to throw that one in there.)

        One other thing: you commented about why God didn’t just hide the tree from Adam so that Adam wouldn’t have sinned in the first place? God gives us all free will. God gave us free will enough so that people can choose to eat from any tree like Adam did or call God such unconscionable names as you have.
        Why He allows us to get away with such actions, yet still gives us space on His earth and a chance to live with Him eternally, I will never know.
        He just loves us all like that.

        Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

      3. I can’t take your experiences away from you, but they are subjective and not enough to convince many people. Hindus have religious experiences, too. My experience (backed with ample evidence) tells me the universe operates without any concern for humans.

        Whether something is true or not has nothing to do with how good it makes us feel or whether it is a “finer hope” than a particular alternative. Any argument saying this is appealing to consequences and logically fallacious. We must accept the universe as it is and get on with living.

        Life is still meaningful without anything after it. I don’t refuse to go to a party just because I know it will be over in a few hours. My car isn’t meaningless just because it will be in a junkyard in 30 years.

      1. It depends a great deal on the claim. To paraphrase Carl Sagan, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

        For example…if you told me you had just adopted a puppy, you word would probably be enough evidence. If you told me you had just adopted a griffin, I’d need more than your word.

        Any good scientific evidence.

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