24th September 2008

“The atheist, as such, has no belief. To say he believes there is no God is inaccurate. He takes no position that there is a God because there is no proof, none, that God exists.”

Ambrose Bierce1842 – 1914

8 Responses to “24th September 2008”

  1. Tony Provenzano Says:

    Wrong.
    Although I agree with many quotes of Ambrose Bierce, I disagree with this one vehemently!
    I am an Atheist. I believe there is no God. I am not unsure by .0001%, I believe and am 100% sure that God does not exist.

  2. Tony Provenzano Says:

    Hmmm.
    I think I should have spent a little more time reading this quote.
    When I wanted to address the 2nd sentence (no proof), I see I agree with Ambrose.
    At first reading, I thought it was going over the Agnostic stance -where you can’t prove or disprove any deities existance- which I don’t care for, since it’s too obvious to jump to the next step and totally deny any existance of Gods because of the lack of evidence, thus proof.
    Not the first time I’ve jumped in a little hastily, but I can admit when I’m wrong.

    I do agree with A. B., but having talked about this issue for 25 years leaves me with a vehement belief that God does not exist.
    Although, I understand if I had no one to argue with about this issue, there would be no need for me to expound such beliefs.

  3. Critic Says:

    To say that you, “Believe that there is no god,” is fine as far as it goes; however, it is a belief that is not based on proof since it is impossible to prove that there is no god.

    When debating with theists/deists, it is their baseless belief in god that is their weakest stance. If they can counter that your beliefs are also baseless, it severely weakens your argument that they are irrational and you are rational.

    So my position is the same as AB’s: I do not believe in god because there is no proof of god’s existence. Further, there is ample proof that god and religion are manmade devices designed to control and exploit other humans.

  4. Rhos Says:

    Tricky one this. I do not believe in god because there is no proof of god’s existence.
    However, I do believe that aliens more than likely do exist – yet I have no proof of this either.
    That belief (for want of a better word) is based on statistical probability.

    What makes a person believe one thing and not another? Why do some people believe that a god can hear their prayers but at the same time believe that fairies do not live at the bottom of their garden?

  5. Kimberely Says:

    How do you know that there are not fairies the live at the bottom of your garden? You have no proof.

  6. Critic Says:

    I’ve seen no evidence of fairies, no one has provided credible evidence of the existence of fairies, therefore I have no reason to believe they exist.

    If you are asserting that fairies exist, you have to provide the evidence. I do not have to provide negative evidence to disprove every silly idea that is proposed.

    The default stance is disbelief in the incredible until such time as extraordinary evidence makes it credible.

  7. Rhos Says:

    Hang on – Maybe my post was misunderstood.
    I was wondering what made a person believe in god (which they have no proof of) but not believe in fairies (which they have no proof of).

    It seems to me that we could better understand the attraction of religious faith by studying the how people make a distinction between the two.

  8. Critic Says:

    Rhos: A valid question – one to which I have no certain answer. I was replying specifically to Kimberly’s question with a general statement about belief.

    But, to speculate about your original question, I would guess that it is mostly culture/peer pressure. Being conditioned since birth to believe in the incredible tenets of religion that everyone else around you also believes make that belief rather easy.

    But, when one is asked to add a new belief (garden fairies, evolution, or a new branch of your religion), even one of equal implausibility to most of one’s religious belief, suddenly some critical thinking erupts from a spark of skepticism? It is an interesting question.