Is atheism faith?

@gkurt08 (233)
Philippines
January 18, 2008 1:13am CST
Atheists claim that God does not exist. However, since God's existence cannot be proved or disproved logically, that would mean the belief is illogical. Therefore, atheism, like any other religion, requires faith and not logic. What are your opinions in this...
1 person likes this
9 responses
@urbandekay (18280)
18 Jan 08
Yes, Atheism requires faith for exactly the reasons you state and is therefore like a religion in this regard, though it is not a religion. Unlike believers most Atheists are ignorant of the fact that their position requires faith. They are naive Atheists. Of course, no doubt, there are some non-naive Atheists, just as there are naive and non-naive Theists (And Deists possibly, though a naive Deist would be rather odd) all the best urban
1 person likes this
@urbandekay (18280)
18 Jan 08
hmmmm, a non-naive Theist, possibly with Deist tendencies. More precisely I am a non-naive Panentheist (Not to be confused with Pantheist) with Panendeist tendencies all the best urban
1 person likes this
@gkurt08 (233)
• Philippines
18 Jan 08
Thanks urban. If you don't mind, from those categories you stated, where do stand?
@gkurt08 (233)
• Philippines
18 Jan 08
I understand now. Thanks again urban.
@Adoniah (7513)
• United States
18 Jan 08
Actually, that is a form of logic. If you deny something, then you in fact are questioning it right? Therefore you are in fact giving it some credence simply by questioning it. The more you know the harder it is to deny the existence of a power greater than yourself. You may not believe in the Bible or the Quran or Hinduism or the Budda or any of the more formal religions, but you will eventually accept that something greater than man had to kick this thing into motion!
@gkurt08 (233)
• Philippines
18 Jan 08
Thank you for your response.
@urbandekay (18280)
18 Jan 08
Ah, back to Aristotle there, the first mover all the best urban
• United States
18 Jan 08
"If you deny something, then you in fact are questioning it right? Therefore you are in fact giving it some credence simply by questioning it." So we're all giving credence to the existence of the Tooth Fairy by not believing it exists? That argument doesn't hold water. To not believe in something means just that. Atheists aren't giving 'credence' to the idea of God by not believing anymore than Christians are giving 'credence' to the idea of Zeus by not believing in him. Also, of course something "greater than man" is responsible--almost EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE is "greater than man"! We are but a tiny speck in this tremendous, incomprehensible vastness that is our universe. But that surely doesn't mean that a supreme intelligence exists, because that would create an even bigger problem: where did this supreme intelligence come from? And if you want to argue that it was always there, then Occam's Razor* would demand that you consider the idea that the Universe ITSELF was always there as being more likely, because that is a solution that doesn't create the DAUNTING and pretty much unsolvable problem of infinite regress. *Occam's Razor is the philosophy that the simplest solution is most often the correct one. For example, if you stumble while walking, it is more likely that you simply lost balance than to consider the (not impossible) possibility that an invisible entity tripped you.
1 person likes this
@Latrivia (2878)
• United States
13 Aug 08
This is not necessarily the case. Theists contend that God exists. Some believe he exists but his existence can't be proven, and other believe he exists for a fact. Atheist remain on the other side of the spectrum and contend that, since there is no real evidence for God, the logical conclusion is that he doesn't exist. You wouldn't believe in a the God of a religion other than your own without acceptable evidence for it's existence, so why would atheists be expected to just believe in Gods as well? Not all atheists claim that God doesn't exist for a fact. Most actually contend that since there's no proof, there's no reason to believe. It takes no faith to be a skeptic.
@ClarusVisum (2163)
• United States
18 Jan 08
Allow me, an atheist, to correct you. There are two kinds of atheists: weak atheists, which the vast majority of atheists are (including myself), and strong atheists. These are just terms; weak atheists aren't considered 'lesser' than strong atheists...the "weak" and "strong" are just distinctions. Weak atheists do not believe in a god or gods (it's not just about the Christian God) simply because there is no evidence for such a thing. Strong atheists dogmatically state that there definitely (to them at least) is no god or gods, in the same way that a Christan/Muslim/Jew says "there definitely is a god". Again, most atheists are NOT strong atheists, precisely because they understand that dogmatically stating one thing is no better than dogmatically stating the other, when it is something that is impossible to objectively verify. The vast majority of atheists (the weak atheists) don't believe in a god or gods for the same reason they don't believe in fairies--because there's no evidence. If evidence APPEARED (which seems impossible given our inability to verify the supernatural, but I digress), these atheists would immediately become believers. They are not dogmatic about the topic at all. Now then, this applies to the existence of ANY god or gods. When it comes to a specific god, a weak atheist may be 'strong' in reference to it. For example, when it comes to the Christian God AS DEFINED BY CHRISTIANS, I am a strong atheist. Why? Because that God as defined is a self-contradiction, something that cannot exist. At best, God exists but Christians have got him figured all wrong. Here's one proof that led me to that conclusion: ============= I can say with 100% certainty that God (capitalized to mean the Christian god), as Christians define him, doesn't exist. I can say this because God, as he is defined, is a self-contradiction, and a self-contradiction cannot exist. Example: one can also say with 100% certainty that a square with 21 sides does not exist. Not because one has searched every iota of existence without finding it, but because a 21-sided square is impossible, being a self-contradiction. Same thing with someone who weighs 150 and 250 pounds at the same time--a self-contradiction by definition cannot exist. I'm going to prove that the Christian God is a self-contradiction like the examples above, and therefore ALSO can't exist: The Christian God is defined as perfect, and also as a creator (it isn't really important what God created or didn't create, just that he created something). For something to be perfect, it has to be lacking nothing. Desire can only exist when there is a lack of something (that something is what is desired). Therefore, since God is perfect, he desires nothing. Since he desires nothing, obviously he would not desire to create anything. A perfect being would do nothing but exist, because actively DOING something would imply a desire (to do whatever it is), which a perfect being cannot have by definition. Therefore, an entity who is both perfect and a creator is a self-contradiction that cannot exist, just like a 21-sided square. Since Christians define their god this way, one can say with absolute certainty that this god does not, indeed, cannot exist. This is only one of many self-contradictions within the definition of God, as defined by Christians themselves. For more (oh yes, there are several more), see my source. (sources) 1. http://www.evilbible.com/Impossible.htm ============== Now THAT is the exact opposite of 'illogical,' because it is with simple logic that THAT particular god as defined not only doesn't exist, but CAN'T. I am only a strong atheist toward that self-contradictory definition of god. If the Christian God WASN'T defined as being perfect/flawless, then I would have no basis for being a strong atheist toward the Christian God (and in turn, I wouldn't be).
@urbandekay (18280)
18 Jan 08
But of course God being creator created logic and also being omnipotent can do the logically impossible, therefore to argue that he does not exist because of a logical contradiction is to deny his omnipotents. Therefore, you supposed proof fails. all the best urban
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Jan 08
You do realize that by arguing that logic (which is a human's only tool of deduction) cannot be used on God, that you are admitting that no human has a basis for defining/describing God in any way, therefore it can be safely assumed that Christianity (a religion started by humans) is simply making things up, right? :) You are trapped either way. Either logic applies to God, and he is proved impossible, or logic doesn't, which in turn forces the admission that the concept of God is made up (which doesn't mean that a god doesn't exist, but that makes the 'figured all wrong' part even MORE likely if a god does exist). So, what's it going to be? :)
@ByronEA (109)
• United States
18 Jan 08
Good response, must agree with you. Thanks for defending us atheists!!!
@ByronEA (109)
• United States
18 Jan 08
It is very logical to deny the existence of something which does not exist. Do you believe in unicorns? By your argument, it requires faith to not believe in unicorns. In my humble opinion, god fits into the same category as fairies, unicorns, leprecauns, etc. There is no evidence for any of them. As Carl Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." So, no, it is not a fith. It does not require faith to believe in it. "Atheism is a religion as bald is a hair color."
@urbandekay (18280)
18 Jan 08
Yes, and as I stated above Atheism is not a religion, we agree. But it does require faith. The unicorn analogy fails since we have no subjective experience of unicorns, etc. all the best urban
@urbandekay (18280)
18 Jan 08
Knowing a concept is not subjective experience. I know the concept of a round square but I have not experienced the same. Nor does dream imagery count. You have misunderstood what I mean by subjective experience all the best urban
• United States
18 Jan 08
No subjective experience of unicorns? Where do you think the idea came from? There are myriads of stories, and even I have had a dream or two containing them.
@liowkc (50)
• Singapore
19 Jan 08
First a disclaimer: I am more of an Agnostic and not atheist. I think your logic is faulty even if we accept your questionable premise that "God's existence cannot be proved or disproved logically". The burden of proof should be on believers (ie they have to prove that the positive existence of God." One reason that I may be an atheist is that god-believers simply has not discharged this burden - a pathetic situation when god-believers cannot prove that God probably exists (a low standard of proof required in civil cases) not to mention the higher standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt as in crmininal cass) that god exists beyond reasonable doubt. By not even satisfying the low standard of proof (probability), there is simply no case for an atheist to answer. God believers may cry foul but that's how logic works - to prove a positive carries a far heavier burden. Let me put my position this way: God believers cannot prove god proabably exists not to mention beyond a resonable doubt. Atheists have therfore no case to answer. But if they do, they should be able to prove that god probably do not exist but not beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore I am an agnostic.
@gkurt08 (233)
• Philippines
20 Jan 08
It doesn't require proof to believe in God, that is why such is called 'faith'. The burden of proof would not fall on the heads of believers because we already admit that God's existence cannot be proved by logic. Atheists on the other hand, don't believe in something that faith have created. Therefore, it would require a greater amount of faith to believe that such a being, enforced by faith, doesn't exist. It's a simple logic, really.
@liowkc (50)
• Singapore
21 Jan 08
On one point we agree completely: it does not require proof to believe in god because it is based on faith. But if you try to propogaee the existence of god, then faith is not enough - you need positive proof. God-believers are trying to have it both ways - trust MY faith and believe there is God.
• Canada
18 Jan 08
Well, faith is generally the belief in something for which there is no evidence. I think it is pushing the definition to claim it is needed to not believe in something for which there is no evidence. That's saying that not believing in, well, anything requires a leap of faith. Which is very nearly the same as saying that believing anything is just an act of faith. Which is somewhat self-defeating. The basis of rational thinking is using evidence to find truth (for some definition of truth, ideally a good one...). I think that a higher power exists, but it is not rational for me to do so. Nor is it an act of faith to know there is no evidence to support my belief.
@barehugs (8978)
• Canada
20 Jan 08
No, Athiesm is not Faith. You have to be into Religion to "have Faith." Faith is that which has no known or recognised basis of fact, but is Grasped at, by those who are inspired by Religious Fervour. "Mary Mother of God" is a good example of Faith. No one in their right mind (unless inspired by religion) can believe that Mary is (in fact) Gods Mother. I rest my case!
13 Apr 08
"God does not exist" is not a positive assertion, it's a refusal to accept the theory that "God does exist" - one of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of hypotheses. The default position has to be "No god" until sufficient evidence is provided to suggest otherwise. The same applies to any possible supernatural entity that could be hypothesized. Until satisfactory evidence strongly supports the claim that a particular deity exists, the default position must be "no deity". It is very misleading to suggest that "God doesn't exist" is at one extreme and "God exists" is at the other. The latter is the claim which deviates from the default position, and those who declare certainty in it have the burden of proof entirely on their shoulders. An atheist is not obligated to provide proof for a proposed being's non-existence, it is those who propose the being that must offer proof for its existence. When your argument boils down to "But you're just as bad as us", you've got a serious problem.