How is it possible to be an athiest?

Who cares whether one ‘believes’ or not? Really? What good can come from it in this life? As far as an afterlife, with as many Gods that humans believe exist, it seems just as likely as not that one has chosen wrongly. Can someone cite an act of God that isn’t explainable as a coincidence, freak occurance or does not result in the deaths of those in close proximity?

You ask me why I don’t believe, I ask you ‘why should I?’ Aside from convincing myself of a place in a pleasant afterlife, what’s in it for me?

Really, why should I believe?

Replace the IPU with Quetzacoatl, Ahura Mazda, Osiris, Zeus, Pele, Vishnu, Valar, Odin, Yahweh, etc.

Pele to Quetzacoatl… Quetzacoatl to Ahura. Ahura back to Pele! Pele holds it!! Holds it!!! HOLDS IT!!!.. …GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!
It is very possible to be an athiest. I don’t happen to be one (just in case;) ) but it is not illogical to not believe that the universe just is the way it is and not part of some grand design.

It has already been pointed out but, if you believe that God was not created by another entity, why is it not possible to have a universe that wasn’t created by something else?

James, it is possible to be an atheist because logically there is no proof in to God;'s existence. All religion is faith based, and in truth faith is nothing more then the willingness to believe something just because it is there. As far as the belief that their was a time in our civilization when we thought the Earth was flat, or all the universe revolved around our planet is like trying to use one obviously unsupportable theory to bolster your view which in all fairness is no stronger.

So to that end I would like to pose this question to every religous person out there. If you believe in God, whomever or whichever God you may choose, I ask why do you not believe in Aliens? Both are faith based and in truth there is a lot more evidence for the latter.

The point is that though I respect your beliefs, they are no more tangible to me then is E.T. So before you ask me why I believe in something Logically supported, understand I think the burden of proof sits with you on this issue.


[devil’s advocate]Evidence you say? please elaborate[/da]

Y’know, this all just comes down to choosing a set of beliefs that satisfy you, since no evidence is present and none is likely.

Personally, I find evolution (life struggles and adapts and ultimately succeeds) to be far nobler and more satisfying and more inspiring of a sense of pride than any magical God-creation. The former says we fought for and earned our place in the cosmos, and we can continue to improve ourselves. The latter says we’re just here because some “God” needed a hobby. Fuck that. If after I die I find out the universe is one of God’s extra-credit assignments, I’m gonna have to ask just what the freakin’ point was.


That is the point, as the evidence only exists for those who want to believe it. I have heard people point to everything from Pyramids, to Roswell, to Abduction cases. But in the end there is nothing of any significant value. Just like the religous texts, all we have is other peoples accounts, theories, fuzzy pictures, (hooligans in the corn fields making circles), and faith.

I can not believe that ther eis a God, because if I do then I would have to say he is neither benevolent nor lovable. If he is truly all powerful, as most people claim he is, then why should I love someone who does nothing to solve the ills of the world? Perhaps there was a God, or Supreme Being, and he did care. But if that is the case I would say that he is dead and gone. Maybe he was not immortal, just extremely long lived, and like every other known species has expired. But to ask me how it is possible to not believe in this day and age, all I can say is where is the proof, and more significantly where is the peace on earth and love?

Perhaps Nietshce was right when he said God is dead.

Another thing to watch out for: Don’t ever get tagged with the lable “God’s Chosen People”. That doesn’t seem to work out too well.

You either believe in God or you don’t.
If you believe, no explanation is necessary.

If you don’t, no explanation is sufficient.

It’s a matter of faith and you’re own personal view.

I don’t think atheists are any better or worse than people who believe in God; we just have differing opinions.

*Originally posted by msmith537 *
**Replace the IPU with Quetzacoatl, Ahura Mazda, Osiris, Zeus, Pele, Vishnu, Valar, Odin, Yahweh, etc.

Pele to Quetzacoatl… Quetzacoatl to Ahura. Ahura back to Pele! Pele holds it!! Holds it!!! HOLDS IT!!!.. …GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!


I love it when I have a genuine LOL moment in the middle of a serious discussion. Thank you for that!

These remind me of another quote:

“I’d rather trust a man who doesn’t shout what he’s found. There’s no need to sell if you’re homeward bound.”
-Peter Gabriel “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”

"it is possible to be an atheist because logically there is no proof in to God;'s existence. "

Hi chris!

Can you tell me what kind of logical proof is required for some thing to exist?


Don’t know what happened with the coding in that last post. I didn’t type the vb code in myself, just clicked ‘quote.’ Mods, can you fix it please if you have time? Thank you.

As far as I remember (IANAP), there wasn’t any matter ‘floating around’ before the big bang; that was what created matter. Nobody knows conclusively what caused the ‘big bang,’ but that doesn’t mean no explanation exists. God is, IMHO, not a reasonable explanation for the existence of the universe, which is what you seem to be claiming. The watchmaker analogy usually goes something like: if you were walking along the road, and you found a watch on the path, would you assume that it was just there of its own accord, or would posit a maker of the watch? The problem with this is that it’s microeconomic thinking. The odds against a watch, with clockwork, a glass face, etc, being created by natural forces, are incredibly long - for the sake of argument, we’ll say 1 in 200 trillion. However, that does not mean that it will never happen - all it needs is for 200 trillion worlds to be formed, and statistically, there will be one world where a watch can naturally grow.

It’s the same with the universe as a whole. There are huge odds against the big bang happening, huge odds against stars being created, huge odds against life evolving, and even huger odds against all that happening in the same universe, but however huge the odds, in infinity, nothing is impossible (except perhaps England winning the World Cup).

I am an atheist, but I do have family members that are trying to “convert me”. I understand all that stuff about why bad things happen: its because we have free will. If we didn’t have free will, then our love for god wouldn’t be pure, etc…

My question is in regards to fossils and evidence of life before humans.

Assuming there is a god, than why would their be either A) Life before humans (such as dinosaurs), or B) Not life before humans, but fossilized remains to make us think there was life before humans.

In either event, the omnipotent god would know that someday we would eventually dig up these fossils and wonder about life before humans.

Why would that have happened? Why would god want us to believe there was life before humans, or why did god make life before humans?

Additionally, if god planned it that we would eventually discover fossils and other solar systems and planets, doesn’t that actually mean that their is some “master plan” and that we don’t actually have free will because we are in fact just following this master plan?

Surely it’s only possible for one person to be the Athiest at any one time?

: d&r :

Fatdave: it’s probably worth my pointing out that the existence of fossils/life before humans are only a stumbling block to theists who maintain a worldview that excludes their possibility (such as Young Earth Creationism).

I keep warning these drive by witnessers, The Godless Heathens of the Straight Dope are just smarter than your average Heathen.

You make your Christian brothers proud, you do.

God loves you too. :slight_smile:


“As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.” ~ Josh Billings ~

Mangetout - would that make me ‘athy’? Am I athier than you? I like this adjective. ‘That Neil Kinnock, he’s pretty athy.’ Or how about an adverb - ‘he ranted athily.’ Or a verb, even - ‘she athed all night till she could athe no more,’ or ‘would you like to athe with me?’ It has definite possibilities.

Wow, well I started this last night before I went to bed and just checked to be astounded by the response. Thank everyone for their input. It seems people are always and will always will be ready to fight about religion.

A few things, no one has yet convinced me that atheism is incredibly feesable. For one thing, when one asks why there is suffereing in the world, that is becuase people have free will (as pointed out earlier). If one does not want God he will not help them. They are free to do any of the great or terrible things they wish.

Next, I still don’t feel that their could be a universe without a universe maker. The universe is not a being, it’s a collection of matter. The Creator was a being that made a conscious decision to make everything. For what reason, I don’t know, but I have not recieved the Beatific Vision. Maybe one day, I’ll understand.

“You ask me why I don’t believe, I ask you ‘why should I?’ Aside from convincing myself of a place in a pleasant afterlife, what’s in it for me?”–spooje

I’ll tell you why. I know some people that have accepted God (the Christian one, I guess I should point out) and they exude this sort of happiness that I envy. No, it is not that the sticky, disgusting, bubbly bliss atributed to most converts, but a truly genuine happiness that I don’t think anyone could understand unless they know someone like this. All of the clergy I know are like this.

I can’t refute the existence of God: from the Steps of Loredo, from Josephus and Tacitus and Pline the Younger telling of a man named Christo being crucified, from the Dead Sea Scrolls. That’s my two cents.

We’re all trying to figure the world out together. I’m not saying there is no way to disprove, but I think the benifits of believing far outway those of not.

Religion is not a set of rules, it is a love of God with all of your heart. To believe it is a set of rules is a strictly legalist view. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Here ends my digression. Sorry if I offended anyone. I respect all of your opinions, I just wanted to give mine.


I agree spooje. I think the problem is that some religious people feel that in order to be true and devout they have to “spread the word” and taking no for an answer isn’t allowed. If somebody says to them “no sorry, I don’t believe it,” they have to keep on trying to convince that person. They also don’t seem able to accept that anyone COULD disagree. I’ve known people like that and I don’t even bother trying with them.

Well, I’m convinced. For those interested, the number of times one hears the same weak arguments before one decides to convert is exactly 1,237. Anyone who had “1,237” on their ticket may collect at windows 1-5.

And yet, here we are, unless you’re positing that we don’t exist.