Atheism – Does It Really Exist?

I’ve been cruising around some religious forums and discovered quite a few posters proclaiming to be atheists, arguing against God’s existence.

Do you think it is inconsistent to the concept of atheism for someone who “lacks belief” in God to actively work against God’s existence by attempting to show that God doesn’t exist?

Are they just trying to prove that lack of existence to themselves because, deep down, they’re not really sure?

What truly defines an atheist?

Asked by A J Ryder

23 Comments
  1. Afternoon AJ,

    The meaning of athiest .. from the free online dictionary .. defines it for me –

    “One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods”.

    Disbelieves or denies …

    To me, atheism is an opinion, just like I have an opinion that God exists. My question is more ‘how does it benefit the person to ‘not’ believe in God’ .. or I echo your ‘why is it so important to non-believers to have everyone believe as they do’ (or not LOL).

    I don’t think its inconsistent to a person’s belief system to argue there is no God if they don’t believe in one. It’s like people arguing there is no heaven or hell .. unless you experience something, how can you know for sure? If an athiest had a God experience, a visit or a vision, and then tried to argue neither was possible, that might be inconsistent, or even hypocritical – though I could understand if they were frightened enough by the experience that they would want to pretend it never happened.

    We can’t really know what each person feels deep down, but for the ‘seeing is believing’ group, no God exists because God doesn’t put in a personal appearance. In that group, some of them believe that everyone who has never experienced God personally should automatically agree with them (but that can be about practically anything). It must be very frustrating when they don’t. Hence the arguments?

    And they are fun to argue with. :-)

    Love & Peace
    Ama

  2. Everybody has a right to believe as they wish. It’s when one side or the other tries to push their beliefs or nonbeliefs upon me, that’s when I have a problem. A healthy discussion is one thing – someone trying to beat into my head that I’m wrong about something is another.

  3. Hi Ama

    “In that group, some of them believe that everyone who has never experienced God personally should automatically agree with them”

    What makes me snigger is the ‘I’ve not seen proof so therefore it can not possibly exist” mentality because, the way I see it “not seen proof” also applies to the lack of proof to the contrary – ie that God does not exist. How can they prove God does not exist, as much as those who believe in God can prove It dies exist (regardless of personal experience).

    And why do athiests bother seeking out religious forums just to ridicule those who do beleive and want to discuss God etc? To me, thats no better than the fundies seeking out sites like this to tell us the error of our ways.

    Do you think athiests want to save us from ourselves, like the fundies do??

    AJ
    x

  4. I agree with you Bridget. Mind you, it can lead to some good discussions, if both sides are prepared to talk about their beliefs. It’s when they won’t .. that I start to laugh. :-)

    Love & Peace
    Ama

  5. Morning AJ,

    None of us can ‘prove’ either side of the argument, which is, I suppose, why we all get into these discussions century after century. :-)

    Why do people seek to argue .. it feeds the ego. To state your opinion, and have others agree with you, makes a person feel good. To ‘win’ an argument .. can make a person feel good. I must admit sometimes it makes me cringe .. particularly the discussion, and it was a discussion, I had with my favourite Anglican minister, many years ago, where he finally agreed with me that ‘all missionaries are dangerous’.

    Then there’s the mob mentality .. one person starts the argument and lots of people join in .. its an energy ‘fix’ for everyone involved – and they love the adrenalin it creates in them.

    Next .. some people thrive on stirring others up. They have a ‘bone to chew’ or an ‘axe to grind’ or just simply a very strongly held belief that what they believe is the ‘only’ truth, and the rest of us are delusional? :-) Of course they seek out sites where they can ‘encourage others to share their beliefs’ .. but you know, the people that really bug me, are those that write on the sites only to cause trouble – not because they believe in what they are saying, but just because they like to watch others get upset or angry. And that’s the ‘grownups’ .. but I would debate their mental age. You expect that behaviour from children, not 40 year olds with better things to do with their time .. or do they? Will they go and stand up in church and tell people they are are crazy .. heck no, they hide behind their computer screens and feel justified by .. God knows what?

    God, real or not, left us a set of rules, some of which mean ‘do no harm’ .. in any form.

    Mind you, I love a good discussion/debate, as long as it doesn’t get personal. It’s fun to stretch our minds and increase our knowledge, and even change our opinions about something, when people present a good ‘argument’ about what they do or don’t believe. And I do love my bible discussions.

    I guess the fundies haven’t worked out what the word paranormal means yet? LOL

    Love & Peace
    Ama (fishing)

  6. Do Athiests want to save us from ourselves? Maybe some do, I can’t really judge. I do know they are like all the rest of us .. some pay attention to what others say, and some simply don’t. It does make discussing things with them a bit of a challenge .. but you have to love them anyway .. its what JC taught us to do. And they can’t argue he didn’t exist anymore .. we now have proof. :-)

    Love & Peace
    Ama

  7. Very true Ama. There’s one poster on that site proclaiming to be a Buddhist and a philosoper yet, all his/her posts are full of anger and counter-arguements to everything. Neither Buddhist mentality nor philosphy are prevelant in his/her posts. Still, it takes all sorts – lol!

    AJ
    x

  8. As long as everyone is smiling …. :-) Isn’t Buddhist training about ‘non-attachment’ (even to beliefs)??? :-)

    Love & Peace
    Ama

  9. It’s certainly not about drawing attention to oneself by acting like a prat – hahaha!

    AJ
    x

  10. This is what I was talking about in one of my questions. The attacks from non-believers. They do assault people on any type of religious or spiritual forum, and insist that those who believe in Creation Theory are of sub-par intelligence. That amuses me, because just about everything they write is profanity-laden name-calling. It just smacks of superior intellect, does it not? Who wouldn’t agree with them in that case?! :D

  11. Me, for one .. but then I love a good ‘discussion’ .. without name calling. :-)

    I know, I know, I am being too ‘literal’ in commenting on your writing, but I really do love it when you comment, particularly as I generally agree with you.

    Why do folks argue about the unknown and unknowable .. because everyone can be right? Or simply because they love the sound, or sight, of their own rhetoric?

    Oh well, its entertaining for some .. :-)

    Love & Peace
    Ama

  12. the fact that you find us “fun to argue with” would imply a need to be critical of others’ and thus be quite inconsistent with your own belief in a god, or in other words, youre a hypocrite. Atheists dont have a need to prove to others that god doesnt exist. However, just the opposite can be said about believers. In fact, it is a staple tenet of the religious that they PROVE to non believers that they have a NEED to know god.

  13. while I do not deny that the man Jesus, whose actual name in his language was Joshua, NOT Jesus, what “proof” do you have to offer for his actual existence that is beyond reproach?…I’ll bite.

  14. I find it interesting how “believers” are always twisting the truth and making “atheists” into the ones that step out of character,when not only IS that our character, I see MUCH more hypocrite “christians” who simultaneously believe in “da good lawd” but hate blacks and “fags” and the poor and all those other people that Jesus (Joshua) specifically said are the very ones that should be loved and helped. For an atheist to resort to name calling, it is usually in response to some slight or expressed ignorance on the part of the hypocrite first. Atheists dont insist that others believe what they believe, or dont believe what they dont believe, as the case may be. Additionally, “They do assault people on any type of religious or spiritual forum, and insist that those who believe in Creation Theory are of sub-par intelligence”…this statement is patently false and contrived. As I said before, an atheist doesnt go about seeking whom he may devour, regardless of your biblical perspective dictating anyone who doesnt believe is of their father the devil. And Creation Theory? Really? Haha! I guess this is where, as soon as I disagree with the absurdity of the idea, that you respond with a lush remark, making me want to respond in an insulting manner, then giving you fodder for your argument that all atheists seek out the christian so he can drag them to the coliseum and watch the lions tear them apart as he gets a chubby, right? LOL!!! A common sense look at the world around us and history will show that it is the religious insistence on pounding their beliefs through the heart of the non believer like a wooden stake through the heart of Count Chocula that is the cause of so much blood shed, war and death in the world. From that context, a few insults and name calling from atheists on public forums full of over sensitive converts is small potatoes. wouldnt you say?

  15. Anon said: “I see MUCH more hypocrite “christians” who simultaneously believe in “da good lawd” but hate blacks and “fags” and the poor and all those other people that Jesus (Joshua) specifically said are the very ones that should be loved and helped.”

    I’d agree with that statement, although religious hypocrites go beyond the Christian religion. But then, not all folk are members of a religious organisation purly for spiritual enlightenment – some are there for political reasons such as gainig more power or influence within their social circle.

    AJ
    x

  16. Hello Anonymous, let me start with my ‘critical’ :-) assessment by asking you to sign in with some name we can call you, preferably one with a gender, and even a photo … you’ll see AJ and I have ours up. It might just be something you missed, but I notice folk who want to argue .. being Christian or other belief systems or lack of belief system, often don’t want to be recognised, or have us know anything about them.

    In the meantime, the comment was to AJ who is a friend and knows that I meant ‘fun to discuss things with’ .. and what’s wrong with a bit of an argument, as long as the words don’t get heated or rude? My belief in God has nothing to do with my opinion of people, and even Jesus loved to ‘discuss’, ‘argue’ and ‘explain’ things to people. Since he appears to be God’s representative, at least most Christians believe so .. apart from the few that followed other prophets back then .. we just walk in his footsteps. Where’s the hypocrisy? I don’t ‘not’ feel love and compassion for people just because I don’t agree with their viewpoint. :-)

    It’s interesting you speak for all athiests. I wouldn’t be game to speak for anyone but myself, and what you have said is not actually true, having spent the last 15 or so years on the net ‘arguing’ with far too many athiests, who often try to forcefully shove their opinions down my throat. That comes from a ‘need’ to be right, and is often not backed up with real knowledge behind their opinions, simply noise, which, when pointed out, gets right up their noses.

    I absolutely agree the Christians want to prove God to other people. Somewhere among the questions on this site, and True Ghost Tales, where we all began talking, you’ll see my opinion about missionaries .. and I really am critical about them! I think I frighten Christians, although I do believe in Jesus Christ .. because my beliefs are not the same as theirs, but that’s another story.

    Nice to meet you .. do really sign in and say hi .. we could use a challenging ‘voice’ around here .. but its nice to have a name and a face ..

    Love & Peace
    Ama

  17. Hello Anonymous,

    I am assuming (might be foolish of me) that you are the same Anon of the other comment ..

    Yes, we know Jesus’ name was technically Joshua but it wasn’t actually, that’s just another interpretation of it. I’ve also read it as Iesu ..

    What proof would suit you? There are only two that the theologians accept as a form of proof, according to the ones who taught me .. and not all theologians are Christian nor religious .. some, like me, are simply very curious .. Josephus wrote about Jesus in his works. It’s a very brief paragraph but its there, and then there’s the ‘cartoon’ found on the wall of a building showing a man with a donkey’s head with the words “don’t end up like Christ” (badly transliterated by me right now). Then there are ossuaries that are said to be from his family, but how true they are is usually up to debate. Then we have proof of the characters described in the bible are real living people .. like Pontius Pilate, but to me that doesn’t prove Jesus existed, just that the writers used real characters in their stories.

    The problem with proof is that its always in the eye of the beholder, and if a person chooses not to believe something, they simply won’t. As for what I wrote being up to your standards … well, that’s up to you.

    My beliefs are subjective, based in experiences and visions, and even church folk won’t believe them .. unless you do it in the church in front of witnesses. LOL

    Love & Peace
    Ama

  18. Hello again Anon,

    Once again you are talking about ‘all’ athiests, and once again, my experience doesn’t match your beliefs, but you are entitled to your opinion, and I agree with some of what you said ..

    Sadly there are a lot of Christian hypocrits out there, because, by their own beliefs, they will be going to ‘hell’. :-) Why am I smiling about it? Hmm.. I tend to laugh in the face of disaster? But then I don’t believe in hell as a place humans are sent to when they die. :-) Nor do I believe that anyone who doesn’t follow Christ automatically follows the devil.

    What I have found, in my experience of ‘some’ athiests, is the ‘slight’ has to only be very small, or worse, they come in swinging their fists and thinking that all believers are idiots. Instead of ‘proving’ why we are foolish to believe what we do, they make nasty comments and then flee. :-) Or worse, they call us liars (your comment on Renirc’s words), insist we give up our beliefs and only believe as they do – just like the Christians and other ‘faithful’. You don’t agree with Creationism .. no problem, why not? Instead of assuming we’ll make ‘lush remarks’ (I just love that phrase LOL) why don’t you explain how creationism cannot be true, in your opinion?

    It’s interesting to see you don’t believe in vampires either? Why not? I am of two minds myself .. now there’s a comment you can play with, but do do it kindly – after all athiests are not unloving, just unbelieving. :-)

    Love & Peace
    Ama
    (highly amused :-))

  19. Anonymous, what I said about atheists butting in on religious forums and such is true. It happens all the time. Have a look around the internet if you think I’m lying. :) Try the religion/spirituality section on Yahoo! Answers for perfect examples.

    What Ama said about never being able to prove either side, that’s true as well. No matter how much scientific evidence is unearthed, no matter what is observed in a laboratory, no matter what at all, God will never be disprovable.

  20. Amen to that!

    AJ
    x

  21. Sorry, this is david Chappy, the author of the ant people dream story. I dont know what to do to sign in, so I will just let you know it is me each time. I am really tired (a long week of studying and doing assignments for college-over the week break!) so I wont respond to your comments all over the place yet. Hopefully, I wont forget. I didnt intend to speak for all atheists either. Its just those I know, who I only know because I accept them because the are rational and sane, are not representative of those that just want to argue their side of the story. Dont get me wrong, I LOVE a good argument, ESPECIALLY with Republican tea baggers. But in company of respectful people I am respectful. I tend to be the mirror in the room. So I will get back to you all later. Peace and donuts.

  22. Hello David,

    When you go to reply to a comment you should see a two small boxes where you can write in your name and email address before you comment. If you do, or subscribe to the page, you will appear as yourself. In the meantime, I’ll do a little editing on the above messages and put your name in for you, if you would like me to? Caretaker (the owner) allows me to moderate our site.

    Now I am laughing .. does that mean anyone like me, who lives the unusual, is not rational or sane? Hmm.. something I ask myself all the time. I like to find a ‘logical’ explanation for all the unusual stuff I experience, and I have been certified ‘sane’ by the psychiatrist I had a session with when I first started hearing the angels .. and I think I’m rational most of the time. I admit, wandering around in the dark at 2.00am during a fierce thunder and lightning storm last night (the electricity had failed), I was a bit weird .. but then, I was 3/4 asleep. LOL

    Love & Peace
    Ama

  23. Hi yu, David.

    I don’t believe you to be quite as atheist as you appear. Some Athiest will even deny the existence of extra-terrestrials due to having such closed minds. The very utterance of something alien and they assume either, the person is a victim of a practical joke or, that person is deluded.

    Fortunately, no one on here thinks anything of the kind. Yes, there are some discussions on here which are really ‘out there’ and hard for anyone to understand let alone believe. There are some things that, unless you have experienced yourself, really are a struggle to get your head around.

    It is also unhealthy to simply accept anything anyone says as the ‘gospel truth’ without thought, reason or research. That is how Cult’s establish themselves which, I’m sure most folk would agree are very unhealthy organisations.

    So, to be skeptically curious on matters of a spiritual nature does not necessarily make the athiest. It is a closed mind to the possibility of something much, much more than our own existence and importance that makes the atheist.

    I’m looking forward to some healthy discussions with you. I enjoy a good debate too! LOL~!

    AJ
    x

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