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The Problem with Atheism

Post 1

Skankyrich [?]

I'm a fully-confirmed, paid-up atheist. I think that the whole of our creation can be explained scientifically and that the rationalist narrative is at least as, if not more, compelling than any faith-based creation story. There are one or two gaps but we'll fill them. It's been all but proven that we don't need a god to explain how we came into being, so I don't need or want to believe in one.

But isn't it illogical *not* to believe in one?

If the atheists are right, nobody knows any different. We all just die and get eaten by worms. We don't get a moment of triumph where, at deaths door, we get to say 'Ha! I told you so!' and we don't get any special treatment. We just get to feel slightly smug while we're alive.

Whereas if the religious people are right, when we atheists die we get poked with fiery tridents by mad pixies for all eternity and all the faithy people get fed grapes and champagne or something. So in that scenario, we get a proper kicking relative to the creationists.

The potential gains are: for the atheists, an earthly superiority complex. For the religious types, an eternity of grapes and an absence of savage pixies. There seems to be a lot of gain for a small amount of faith.

So a rational person would surely realise that there is no god, but also realise that they might as well believe in one just in case and have the odd pray now and then to cover themselves in the event that there is a god after all? Cover your bets, right?

Although if there was a god, he'd be all over this kind of thinking and have a really mean part of hell just for the bet-hedgers, wouldn't he?


The Problem with Atheism

Post 2

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Ah, yes. Pascal's wager. But which deity to wager on? They tend to be quite jealous and petty. You say there's a lot to gain for a small amount of faith, but the cost is a lifetime living under the tyranny of religion.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 3

shagbark

However if that hypothetical God loved us enough that he was willing to make the supreme sacrifice for those who followed his way, do you really think he would be tyrannical- I don't.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 4

There is only one thing worse than being Gosho, and that is not being Gosho

I'll take you up on two of those points, Rich... and possibly a few more as I get going.

Firstly, I don't accept that even if you're a believer you'd get that moment of triumph at death's door. Near-death experiences aside, if it was the case that the moment of death was so blurred that you could be part of both this life and the afterlife at the same time, enough to be able to say goodbye (or even stick two fingers up) to the former while heading off for the latter, there'd be some kind of evidence for life after death, although without actual physical proof it'd still be the word of someone who's on their death bed and not necessarily lucid.

The only moment of death I've ever witnessed was the one shown in Robert Winston's series The Body, and it strikes me that if all 'natural' deaths are like that one, the dying person is simply too weak and out of it to convey any impressions of an afterlife. Maybe that one wasn't typical, or their are other, more animated moments of death, like the stories you hear about people sitting bolt upright and saying something completely mundane or utterly bizarre before keeling over.

Or maybe you meant that the 'Ha, I told you so!' was said by the deceased after they got through the pearly gates, in which case all of the above is completely irrelevant smiley - blush

Secondly, you're assuming that all religions believe in the same 'heaven for the good, hell for the bad' kind of afterlife, which I understand is not always the case, although it does seem to be the predominant model. There could just as easily be an afterlife that's sort of like the Great Link (I think that's what it was called) in Star Trek Deep Space Nine, where your consciousness, or spirit, or whatever it might be, simply dissipates to become part of the greater consciousness of the universe.

That one sounds like it might have been dreamed up in the 60s.

So, yes, covering your bets by having the odd pray but still remaining an atheist wouldn't work because if there is a god, we're told that he can see into your heart with that pesky omnipotence and omniscience that he has, so you're nicked, bang to rights mate.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 5

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

And if said deity is indeed omnipotent and omniscient why did he make me not believe in him?

Oh, and if he gave me freewill but will punish me for eternity for not believing in him while he insists on giving not one shred of evidence that he exists well, then I say he's not playing fair with his creations.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 6

There is only one thing worse than being Gosho, and that is not being Gosho

The simple answer to your first question is that you're being tempted by the Devil. You should resist and not lose your faith in the face of adversity, despair, temptation, etc.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 7

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Meh, I'll take my chances with Tarvuism.

http://www.tarvu.com/


The Problem with Atheism

Post 8

There is only one thing worse than being Gosho, and that is not being Gosho

You reject His Noodly Appendage? smiley - doh

Heretic!!! Burn the witch!


The Problem with Atheism

Post 9

Taff Agent of kaos

<>

his hand book says he is and isn't, if they cannot come up with consistency then why waste the effort on something so illogical

smiley - bat


The Problem with Atheism

Post 10

Taff Agent of kaos

<>

illogical again, you cannot be both

smiley - bat


The Problem with Atheism

Post 11

Taff Agent of kaos

<>

is this the devil who did not exist untill the jews picked up the idea of an adversarry in babylon, because before that all the bad stuff was done by god in his jealous war god of the cannanites phase(theres only me, forget about those other ones)

smiley - bat


The Problem with Atheism

Post 12

Taff Agent of kaos


there is no problem with atheism

you live, you die, oblivion, an eternity of non-existance, and no conciousness to wonder about it, be nice to get some peace and quietsmiley - winkeye

smiley - bat


The Problem with Atheism

Post 13

Gnomon - time to move on

I saw two posts on Facebook recently from a person I talk to occasionally here. One said that the days are evil and are going to get more evil until the Lord comes. The other said that wisdom and knowledge are as nothing. That's Christianity for you. If that's what you have to believe to believe in a God, then I'm happier as a knowledgeable atheist in this beautiful and amazing world.

And if that guy comes up with any more of that tripe on Facebook, he's off my friends list.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 14

Secretly Not Here Any More

The problem with Atheism is atheists. Just like the problem with religion is the religious.

The world would be a better place if people just let it drop.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 15

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

That would be very nice indeed, but it ain't gonna happen. Humans do seem to prefer superstition to ignorance and with no better explanations for their world will invent any number of gods and demons to give some semblance of reason where there seems to be none. I find it very telling that the first story of sin in the bible, the sin that it says every human descendant is born with is wanting knowledge. Humans could have lived in paradise as long as they remained ignorant.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 16

Gnomon - time to move on

But it wasn't just any old knowledge. It was the knowledge of good and evil. In other words, what made them into humans. Under God they were just animals - the devil offered to turn them into humans. Their brains got bigger, and the woman brought forth her babies in pain from that time forward, due to the bigger head. Animals don't have any problems producing babies.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 17

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Oh, yea? Ask a baby giraffe about that long fall. smiley - laugh


The Problem with Atheism

Post 18

There is only one thing worse than being Gosho, and that is not being Gosho

I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that, as far as Christian belief goes, under God humans were *just* animals. I'm no biblical scholar so correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it the story goes that God made humans his image and to have dominion over the animals, and imparted the spark of life directly from his own hand, making it a bit more special than just creating a snake or an ant. That's the way I remember it from early days at school, and I recall very well the enlightenment that came to me a few years later when a teacher informed us that human beings really are animals, just like cats and dogs and fish and horses.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 19

Rudest Elf


"Cover your bets, right?"

No, not if you want to be true to yourself.

smiley - reindeer


The Problem with Atheism

Post 20

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

"The reason Pascal’s wager does not work is the same reason why you should never plan your retirement on winning the lotto." Massimo Pigliucci


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