*Question for both religious and non-religious folks*

Discussion in 'Religion, Beliefs and Spirituality' started by JesusC, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. First, Ill ask this question to the non-religious people....the atheists or the "non-believers".

    Atheists seem to pride themselves on being realistic and basing their beliefs off of logic, reason, and science. As an atheist, what would it take for you to change your mind? What would you have to hear, see, or experience in order for you to believe in the idea of "god", the "afterlife", or anything along those religious ideas?

    Same question goes for the religious people in the crowd.

    Religious people seem to pride themselves on the idea of faith and the belief in a divine creator of all that exists. As a religious person, what would it take for you to change your mind? What are the things you would have to hear, see, or experience in order for you to concede that there is indeed no such thing as "god", or an "afterlife"?
  2. I would have to see God. Like his face. That's what it will take.
  3. It all balances itself out perfectly on the even Scale of our evolutionary walk.
    Tools and anvils of our lives for each as a toast to his own... Meaning.
  4. My spiritual side would have to see science reach a point of full reality control, digital or actual. Then I would know there is no power above our own.

    My atheist side would have to see God as an observer- not represented as knowledge, ability, or as the universe. (observation) I've asked for this event on a few occasions and no 'being' ever appeared. But then I would believe in God as a 'being' beyond just my ideas about what a side of Him could be.

    Both things just twist atheism and faith together though. To God- there is no God above Him.

    If we are part of God, it is the same for us.
  5. Well It's hard to say specifically.

    Evidence for belief would have to be some kind of empirical observation which can be verified in experimentation and independently corroborated.

    Certainly what passes a theistic mythology falls far from that.
  6. Exactly... nothing can exist outside the universe. (universe meaning all energy in existence)

    And this universe cannot account for anything like this "God" character.

    Go figure that this fictional character could not possibly show himself... how convenient.

  7. Your opinion is welcome, but at the same time I dont want to turn this into another thread where we constantly make snide remarks towards believers or even the other way around.

    Obviously, your someone who doesnt believe....so the question is: What is the least it would take for you to believe?
  8. On a side note, I would argue that atheism is a religion. Substitute logic for god. They are both based on faith. The religious must have faith that god is real. Atheists must have faith that the entire world wasn't designed by an asshole who is trying to bamboozle you, at least thats what Descartes says.

    Atheists are taking a much shorter leap of faith though. Its safer to believe that something that is not proven is not real than it is to believe that something that is not proven is real. Some unproven things end up being true but most do not.

    As an atheist I would have to die and experience god. If I was alive I might think I was hallucinating. If I was dead I think it would lessen the chance of me fooling myself. Eyewitness evidence is crappy evidence but I think it would be enough for me to believe.

    As a theist it would take objective evidence that proves the basis of my religion is untrue. I don't mean evidence such as "the world is not 6000 years old" because it can be argued that the bible is symbolic. Im talking about evidence that contradicts the existence of god.

  9. ...and I would argue that you're wrong.
  10. Well it would be nice if you justified it the way that I justified my statement. At least that way it could be discussed. Opinions without justifications are useless.
  11. "Calling atheism a religion is like calling not collecting stamps a hobby"

    Non-theism is a better term. It simply lacks the belief of a deity, no supernatural need be invoked.
  12. If people "not collected stamps" (I couldnt think of a better way to word that) as vigorously as athiests use logic it might amount to a hobby.
  13. Heres why...

    This is one of my posts from another thread where I already voiced my opinion on this matter:

    "This is the problem I have with even calling myself an "atheist".

    Once you begin to lable yourself as a certain something, people will always define or classify you and your beliefs...such as calling atheists "religious". I'd rather not throw myself into any defined category because of this reason alone. I've always looked at the term "atheist" as a definition for someone who doesnt believe in any god, not as a form of religion.

    I dont practice any rituals, I dont gather with fellow atheists to sing songs about our lack of faith, and I dont refer to a set of rules placed in some books about how to be a good atheist. So no, I dont consider atheism a religion."
  14. Not all atheists do, though, you're stereotyping.

    There is a fine dichotomy you must make. I would agree that followers of the various groups of secular humanism are using a religious mentality in their approach, but I think that non-theists who advocate their position using logic and reason are no religious in their approach.

    It's only the debate which is vigorous. I don't belong to any communal groups, I don't worship any figures, I don't pay money to any organizations -- for all intensive purposes my outlook on theism is not religious.

    EDIT: the best example I can give you is Soviet Russia, a staunchly atheistic government, but who encourages religious activity in relation to the party position and worship of the leaders. Their religion was communism.
  15. [quote name='JesusC']
    Atheists seem to pride themselves on being realistic and basing their beliefs off of logic, reason, and science. As an atheist, what would it take for you to change your mind? What would you have to hear, see, or experience in order for you to believe in the idea of "god", the "afterlife", or anything along those religious ideas?


    For me I would need straight out proof like talking to an angel or god in person. I bleive in an afterlife, but not heaven and hell.
  16. Just to clarify my point, Im not saying that all atheists are dogmatic/dedicated to the point of being religious. My point was that many atheists put as much, if not more, faith in logic than the average religious person puts in god. Im defining religion as a faith in an ultimate authority and a dedication to it. Ultimate authority can be the logic that governs reality or a god that governs reality. Im not defining religion based on rituals and such. Its my position that using logic is to atheism as following a holy book is to theism. I think this debate was more caused by language problem than it was by disagreement.
  17. In regard to atheism as a religious preference: it is.

    To be classified as atheist, one must be conscious of their belief in no god(s)...

    Call it whatever you want, but atheism is a specific belief. As Christians or Jews or Muslims or buddhists have specific beliefs...

    If you're going to objectify religion, then it must be from a relativistic approach.

    Here's why: Because you're dealing with categories of the mind and not real "things"

    A god is not a thing. But, a stamp is a thing...you can lick stamps you can point to a stamp and say, "that's a friggin' stamp" and EVERYONE knows what a stamp is...

    Gods are not stamps...instead they are subjective and non-rational

    that's why "not collecting stamps" is not a religion and "atheism" is...

    Moreover...you can get into the religious practices aka everyday behavior of an "atheist"...Atheists tend not to read holy books, and they tend to be educated, they tend to believe in scientific inquiry, and believe in evolution...there's a difference between stereotyping and generalizing...

    we can make specific generalizations about atheists as compared to Jews or Hindus and this is both empirical and follows scientific method. It's simple social science.
  18. http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutatheism/p/AtheismReligion.htm

    "....it’s not possible to call atheism a religion. It can be part of a religion, but it can’t be a religion by itself. They are completely different categories: atheism is the absence of one particular belief while religion is a complex web of traditions and beliefs. They aren’t even remotely comparable."


    "there is a subtle but important difference between "believing there is no God", and "not believing there is a God". The first is a belief, the second is a lack of that belief. I don't know any atheists who "believe" God (take your pick, there are plenty) does not exist. All the atheists I know simply do not believe God does exist."

    "If you believe that unicorns do not exist, then may I say that you a member of the "No unicorns" religion? Is it a matter of faith that unicorns do not exist?"

    Okay, im done explaining why atheism isnt a religion.....this thread has gone waaaaaaay off track.
  19. They said the bible was the word of god, and yet in it they called satan, "the great communicator", so I was wondering who had been the editor, if the bible was written by god? Any good editor knows how to change the meaning by chopping a word or two, a line or two, or even a whole chapter or two.

    To this day, no one has explained to me how satan was kept from the editing room, if according to the book, satan was in charge of languages. That started a chain of doubts, and next thing you know, I'm singing losing my religion.

    But I am not an atheist, I am a humanist. I believe in the trancendant nature of the morphic resonance of humans. That's right, I believe we are making a collective god, out of all the knowledge that is gained, combined with the experiences of the total clan of homo sapiens, and that the god we are building is not finished yet. Each of us carries the gene though, and evolution is doing the rest. Just sit tight and enjoy the morphing!
  20. ^Great way to look at it man! :D

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