A-theism is …?

I have always understood atheism to simply mean: A lack of belief in gods. Or for the sake of simplicity and cultural context – God.

Until recently I’ve never bothered to investigate it beyond this point and I would certainly never assert:  ”There is no God!”  Although some do, apparently.
But why on earth, after explaining my position on this  do almost all theists  I encounter – and once again, for the sake of simplicity and context – Christians regularly insist I must provide evidence that God does not exist?

It is at this juncture that the entire theist /atheist thing needs to be dialled back. Right back to ….

On an African plain a long time ago a couple squat next to an open pit.
”Ug!” Points to a cloud-covered volcano some ways off through which a growing column of smoke can be discerned.
”Ug2?”
”Ug!!” That’s where the god of the mountain lives. He is all powerful and he is the one that sends the rains and the lightening and thunder.
”Ug2!!!” Rubbish! I have no belief in your assertion. Provide evidence for this claim.
”Ug!” Well something makes the lightening and thunder and the rain. So it must be the god of the mountain. And I’ll bet he is also the most powerful god ever so we should call him God with a capital ‘G’ because if we don’t fear him he’ll fry our brains.
Ug2. (Ug’s wife) ‘He’. Really? (Shakes her head and laughs out loud). Why don’t you climb the mountain and bring back evidence that your  … God?  exists. Go on, off you go. I’ll get busy skinning this mammoth while you’re gone.
”Ug”. Right I will!!
Some time later ….
”Ug2!!” You took long enough. Dinner’s almost cold. So, evidence?
”Ug!” He was there all right, but he couldn’t come down because of a gammy leg. He did say if you don’t accept my word for it he’ll send plagues and famine and lots of other horrible things to make your life a misery.
”Ug2” Oh yes? Well I’ve got you, so how much more miserable could it get!
Ug …. thinks. Hmmm, I need to invent religion and metaphysics. Oh, and if she doesn’t stop bloody nagging me maybe make a sacrifice of her to the mountain god … God.

And now we have Christianity and the bible and so-called sophisticated theology and religious philosophy to make sense of it all.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll risk having my brains fried for my lack of belief. Or until Ug brings back evidence, that is.

 

 

 

 


36 thoughts on “A-theism is …?

  1. In spite of this fine post, you’re still gonna get theists saying,” Oh, so you’re saying you KNOW for an ABSOLUTE fact that God doesn’t exist, eh. OK, prove it with evidence!” It’s mind-numbing how these people simply are unable to get out of their own heads, LISTEN to what you’re ACTUALLY saying, and go from there. Instead, it is YOU who must fit into what THEY have defined you and your ideas are. Can’t wait for Ug to get back!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mind numbing indeed.
      The recent back and forth … it is still going on … with Lander7 is the perfect example.

      I am just surprised that this time around I was not asked: ”What evidence would convince you of God?”
      This asinine question has the built in presupposition that they already have evidence for their beliefs and the fault lies with the non believer.

      I recently read a quote from Dieter Bonhoeffer that in such circumstances the realisation dawns one is discussing/arguing /debating with a stupid person and stupid people can become dangerous!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And the fact that guys like Lander7 can’t simply say, “Yes, I believe Jesus is God/Yahweh, and though I’ve no empirical evidence for this, I have total faith that it is true.” It’s like they are terrified to say their beliefs are purely “faith-based.” This indicates to me, that, deep down, some part of them knows their “faith-based” beliefs are full of shit. Thus, they engage in nebulous word salad and hamster-wheel spinning in an effort to confuse both themselves and you.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. A while back I read (watched a video?) from an apologist which demonstrated how this form of obfuscation is deliberate, a tactic employed by apologists of all stripes to avoid answering any direct, straightforward question that may undermine their position. Furthermore, believers can be taught how to do this!

          Liked by 3 people

  2. An atheist is a “not-theist.” And a theist is “a person who believes in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe.” The only reason anyone could misunderstand this is they are being duplicitous or they have been lied to by someone they think is trustworthy.

    According to the dictionary, an atheist is: “not a person who believes in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe.”

    Atheists, since they lack a belief in any god, cannot be reacting to your god about anything. Notice to twist this to mean “doesn’t believe gods can exist” is an untenable position since I have not, for example, studied the description of the several thousand gods claimed to exist on Earth and cannot possibly have studied the gods claimed to exist on other planets (well, accept the Scientologists, I guess).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am going to go with duplicitous.

      It seems that, theists who refuse to acknowledge the atheist’s position is an indication of insecurity of their own position.

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  3. If they want you to believe that their god exists, the burden is upon them to provide evidence.

    Religion is in retreat everywhere, with numbers of atheists, agnostics, “nones” and what have you increasing dramatically over the last two decades in the US, Latin America, and even the Middle East. So, I contend that we don’t need to prove anything because in the real world we’re already winning the argument. If they want to engage with us and try to convert us, as their “Great Commission” supposedly obligates them to do, then they’re the ones who need to provide evidence — and better evidence than they’ve managed to do so far, since what they’re already doing is clearly not working.

    As for the degree of certainty we have that their god doesn’t exist, I can only speak for myself, but I would put their god in the same category as unicorns, ghosts, dragons, etc. You can’t absolutely prove it doesn’t exist, but it’s so unlikely (and frankly silly) as to be not worth expending any time or mental energy on it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that, when you see the real effects that severe religious belief can and does have one sometimes feel compelled to engage, even if such engagement is simply to clarify one’s arguments.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. not worth expending any time or mental energy on it

      That’s my personal stance. Oh sure, every so often I’ll throw out a (snide) comment or two related to the topic, but personally I long ago gave up the idea that any kind of supernatural entity exists. Period. I don’t even entertain any “maybe’s,” “possibilities,” or “speculations.”

      Liked by 4 people

      1. In general I hold to similar views.
        However, I would not say that ”(A)God does not exist”.

        As I have an interest in religion engaging helps to clarify my thoughts on the issues and also helps me formulate better responses to the religious drivel that is served … well, some of the time!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You contend that you wouldn’t say “(A)God does not exist.” And that makes me ask … Why not? Do you actually entertain the possibility?

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          1. Based on the lack of evidence, and the ridiculous arguments for God I do not. However, for me, it would seem arrogant to make such a positive claim that I could not demonstrate, any more than I could demonstrate that we are not part of the Matrix or a computer simulation, or contained in one of those alien’s marbles featured in the closing scenes of Men In Black!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. From Wikipedia
    Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief in the existence of deities. … In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists
    So what is a deity?
    .“A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines deity as a god or goddess, or anything revered as divine”
    While there are no deity or deities, is there no other source of creative spontaneity?
    Outside the Hebrew religions this is a common conclusion, that there is no deity but there is what is. There is energy and forms of energy, but the real stuff the world is supposed to be made of is illusory. What appears to be material based on our relative relationship with it, isn’t at all what it seems to be at first glance.

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  5. What I was trying to help lander understand is… by definition everything in nature is natural. Everything that happens in the Natural world is… natural. Therefore if something happens in nature, regardless of how many decades one devotes or how much “data” is collected… in the Natural world… it by itself doesn’t give evidence of supernatural origin or agency without first establishing that there is a Supernatural Agent to have acted on nature, and second that we can trace the evidence or data that we collect on the happening back to a super or outside natural agent or agency. What we need to be able to do is collect data outside of our natural world to demonstrate the actual existence of such a being, and that that being is both capable and “culpable” of having done anything in our natural world.
    My guess and current position is that that is not possible. Someone is free to show me, but I don’t currently think it’s possible to “prove” or disprove the existence of God or gods because of what I’ve described.
    Again, I’m open to someone providing that evidence and connection, but currently… none exists. A God or gods may exist, but without evidence it is a matter of Faith, an act of the Will to believe or not believe. That is currently the only truly honest position, in my not so humble opinion.

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    1. ….. but I don’t currently think it’s possible to “prove” or disprove the existence of God or gods because of what I’ve described.

      This is my position also, but your average Christian will usually claim there is evidence, even though they do not properly understand the term.
      On the other hand, I feel quite sure Lander7 most certainly does understand and contrary to his assertions and carrying on about data and experience and all the rest of that bullshit, his belief is based solely on faith because of cultural affiliation and indoctrination related to some sort of (past) emotional issue, just like every believer.
      If he ever told his (emotional) reason, I can’t remember the occasion – but if he is of a mind he will surely remind me!
      (Even old Wally’s claim that he returned to church because of a girl was underpinned by an emotional need.)

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      1. True enough. Faith and Community provide a warm safe place. Comfort in the storm. They believe because… they believe. Nothing more. Everything else is justification to make sure they dont feel foolish and to try to convince others they arent. Paul in 1 Corinthians would tell them they’re missing the point.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. They believe because… they believe. Nothing more.

          A point Dan Dennett has made.

          Everything else is justification to make sure they dont feel foolish and to try to convince others they arent.

          And … lo and behold, Apologetics is born.
          Hand in hand with Religious Philosophy they skip merrily along the Yellow Brick Road.
          (Which, unbeknown to our two heroes of faith has recently experienced the effects of an earthquake and the pair of them blithely waltz straight into a yawning chasm to oblivion. The end)

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Christians regularly insist I must provide evidence that God does not exist?

    Hahaha! Don’t we Secularists earnestly wish those peculiar Theists and Greco-Roman Christians would be consistently fair, or at least SUSPEND their (blinding) incognizant Faith™ for just brief moments of neutrality of the dignifying principle of two-way discussion/debate. A fanciful dreamland that that should ever actually happen Ark, wouldn’t you say? 😉

    Nonetheless, while we provide an abundance of tangible evidence, highly and likely plausible probability, even the fact that General Revelation or Special Revelation as THEY biasedly interpret the signs upon the aether (holy spirit?)… they do not, nay cannot produce anything from their (blind) position to substantiate such willing ignorance to the contrary. Their pat rebuttal to our growing mounds of antithetical theistic Faith™ will always be in their arena, in their minds, in their Terms of Reality: the Devil and his “wicked trickery.”

    Hah. Imagine that, to think, to use our powers of deduction, logic, and intellect to examine ALL evidence, not just purely Greco-Roman Christian Papist sources which by default is always from their arch nemesis. Hah! You have gotten on the Christian theological merry-go-round and you can NEVER get off! (que the Twilight Zone theme music) Sounds like a delightful Shakespearean parody of abundant satire. Tons of laughter. Ah, I’d buy season tickets to that every day of the year! 😉 😛

    Good luck Ark with those Addicts of euphoric Placebo-effects! hehehe

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If any world religion was non existent, there would still be a mountain of evidence fir a Creator.

    Man’s innate desire to touch the hand of God….. cannot be erased- the dna is inbred through birth- and the human conscience cannot escape- the thief knows stealing is wrong- no God or book needed- can’t say that now of a wolf right???

    But the sheer fact of an atheist position is proof enough that my observations are spit on.

    Man is made to CREATE. Gee, I wonder where that came from. The excuses of atheism are weak to the core.

    What’s my evidence for holding to such firm convictions? LIFE itself in all its emoluments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But you are also a Christian, which comes with the implicit belief that Jesus of Nazareth is not only man but also God . the ‘Truth’ ( the way etc….)
      While I cannot claim that there is no god I am keen to understand how and why you accept that Jesus is also God.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It begins with the testimony of Genesis ark. Things ‘observable, testable, repeatable,’ the essence of true science.

        The mind is soothed with certainly, guesswork is demoted to irrelevance, and this sets the table for every word and action which follows.

        Then there is death, that unannounced element of discomfort that comes our way, after a fleeting life like a withering vapor, just as scripture presents.

        When the Lord came( with full expectation) zHe too confirmed scripture and the promises therein.

        In return, He revealed the crooked hearts of men, and the headless corpse of John added further indictment to the criminality of people who should know better.

        But Christ? Very God and man, the true son of Adam , and the only son of God.

        Hope this helps.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I should have been specific. While your take is fascinating, it is theology/Christian apologetics . I am more interested in evidence.

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          1. Oh Ark! Goodness … don’t you know by now that CS and his blatherings are all based on the factually correct and never-to-doubted testimony of the “Good Book”? To expect any “real life” evidence from him is an exercise in futility.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. It’s fascinating, don’t you think, to read the replies from Colorstorm and Lander7 and be able to recognise the level of indoctrination both have been subject to and how they try to frame their replies/responses to smother all such suggestions.

            Former believers must look back at their days in the pews and shudder, some with horror, I suspect!

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          3. Actually, it’s rather sad. The total weakness of their assertions is sometimes almost mind-boggling. But yes, having been there, done that, I fully recognize that it’s the end result of repetitious discourse.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. BTW Did you see Beverley’s (BC Parkinson) post / video about the 5g tower and the circuit board with the letters COV 19 stamped on the inside?
            Demons abound, apparently.
            Who knew?

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          5. I was very quickly banned on the original post but oddly enough my FacePalm Jesus image was allowed to stand and even ‘liked’ by the host!
            I suspect he didn’t understand the gesture ‘Jesus’ was making.
            Crispians… Gotta luv ’em.
            SMH

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Why waste time quibbling over definitions? Just state you have no invisible/imaginary friends and leave it at that.

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