Category Archives: Personal

A Few Misconceptions About Atheists.

There are several misconceptions that many believers have about Atheists. Some of them are listed below.

1: Atheists are looking for god

2: Atheists know there is a god, but deny god anyway.

3: Atheists “hope” there is no god.

4: Atheists love living a sinful life, so they deny god.

If a person who claims Atheism and also fits any of the scenarios mentioned above, then they are not an Atheist. I will go over each misconception one by one.

1: Atheists are looking for god
-This would describe an agnostic or a seeker if anything. Atheists are not searching for a god. We are pretty adamant that there is no god. I have looked at the arguments for god, the philosophies, religious texts, etc… and I have found no god. No proof of a god. Because of those reasons I believe that there is no god. I am looking for truth and information of how the world works. If that somehow (even though I believe it won’t) produces evidence for a god, I will study the evidence fairly and objectively and then make a fair conclusion based on the evidence presented.

2: Atheists know there is a god, but deny god anyway.
-No. Atheists believe there is no god. The end. We deny the existence of god because there is no evidence for god. It is not as if we are denying the evidence for god, there is no evidence. Someone who knows there is a god and denies him anyway is not an Atheist, that person would believe in god, even if they do not follow that god.

3: Atheists “hope” there is no god.
-Atheists do not hope there is no god. That sort of dovetails into Pascal’s Wager. As in, Atheists do not think there could be a god, but hope there isn’t so that we are right. Once again, we simply believe there is no god. I can tell you that I personally dont hope either way. I do not believe in god because A) it is highly improbably and B) there is no evidence. I do not hope anything about god either way, I do not need to hope things about something that does not exist.

4: Atheists love living a sinful life, so they deny god.
-Once again, anyone who thinks this is not an Atheist. This person would believe in god.

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khollete where you at???

I am not calling you out, but I am wondering where you went. You asked many questions, I answered them and I am now patiently awaiting your response.

I knew it would be easy to win the arguments, just didnt think it was going to be this easy.

-GRAtheist-

Questions, Questions, Questions.

I get a lot of questions on this site. A lot of them come in the email, but thankfully some are on this site. I must thank one wonderful individual for really taking an interest in the site. Most of these questions come from her, but are really representative of the types of questions I get in my daily life, on this site, and in email.

ON THE TOPIC OF SCIENCE AND EVOLUTION

so what is your belief..do you believe that you came from an APE?

No. I in fact know that I came from my parents. However, I believe this question is asking if I accept evolution as a true model for describing the path to humanity as it is now. To which I answer this; Evolution is true. It is the best and most reliable way to describe the way we came to be as we now are. It is the only model that is based on evidence, and proof.
“Have you ever observed evolution with your own two eyes?? As you have said “no one believes anything until proof is provided or demonstrated” so how could you accept evolution?”

No. I have never seen evolution happen with my own 2 eyes in real time. However, from the fossil record, and the fact that viruses constantly evolve, i understand, and see the evidence for evolution. For more information on this topic one can always read anything by Darwin, Howells, or even go visit museums. Also this website offers many insights.

http://www.talkorigins.org/

many people reply with something like this;

But how can u believe them (Scientists)? You believe them because you have faith in them…

No. I don’t believe them on faith. I believe the scientific researchers, and academics because I have good reason to believe that they are correct. For these reasons;

1: Process of education. Scientists have to go through and education process, most of the time all the way up through PhD levels. This process of education has been tested and shown to produce many intelligent individuals who have been able to properly research, and study many questions of the world. This process of education is undeniably the best method we have for learning.

2: Their methods are testable. Their methods, and findings are readily available for many people to read, and even duplicate.

3: There is an outcome. When it was determined that viruses evolve in order to stay alive in the face of antibiotics, researchers observed this, tested it, and released findings. At a time when people were now being effected by viruses that were no longer responding to the previous antibodies, the scientific community offered an explanation, complete with testable methods to describe and analyze what was happening. They also offered a new solution based on these methods. And the solution worked. This was not a fluke, and not based on faith. Problem, research, testing, outcome.

4: Peer Review and academic processes. When methods are released, outcomes given, and papers written, they go through a lengthy process of review and even retesting before being released. This is to ensure that the proper information was obtained, and the findings are actually a result of the scientific method.

So to sum up, its not faith. I have good reason to believe that these particular people and institutions are releasing good information. The good reason is past experience and discovery. Now, if some dude has a box on the side of the street and said he “had some science” and proceeded to show how he could disprove Einsteins theory of relativity, naturally I would ask for credentials, past works, affiliations, where his funding comes from, etc… I would not just believe him.

On knowing things.

Here is a question that I got that I am not sure what to do with. And as much as I appreciate the comments and questions, this is sort of base level philosophy. But perhaps this is where we need to start.

If i will be asking you if you have a brain…definitely you will argue with me that you have a brain..but i can’t see your brain either because it is hidden beneath your skull..am i right..unless you gave me your brain i will believe the fact that you have a brain…

Lets dive right in. Have I seen my brain? actually yes. Thanks to modern science I have had to have 2 MRI’s, which looked something like this;

but lets say I never had that. How can I prove to you I have a brain without removing it? Well very simple. Science has shown us that a brain is necessary for motor function, thinking, walking, seeing (need I go on?). There have been literally millions of autopsies, surgeries, MRI’s etc… that prove the existence of a brain. Through this scientific method, and observation, we now understand that a brain is necessary to be alive and function. So, if I am alive and functioning, we know that I must have a brain. We do not need to look at it to prove that it is there, the outward indicators are proof of the brain. This model has been tested, and retested, and observed. This is how we know it to be true.

 

On Why I don’t Believe in God

I get these questions the most.

i do wonder why you don’t believe in God?
Is there something bad experience happened to you?
Did you once believe in God?

or

Why do you hate god?

Why are you mad at god?

What did god do to you?

Well. I don’t hate god, I am not mad at god, nothing happened to me, god didn’t do anything to me, and furthermore, I never believed in god. I can not be mad at, hate, or have something happen to me by something in which does not exist. I do not believe simply because there is no good, justifiable reason for someone to believe in god. God can not be demonstrated. God can not be tested. There is no proof that god exists.

That is why I don’t believe

and yet another question;

Arent you worried about the afterlife?

Very Easy to answer. No. There is no afterlife, so I do not worry about it.

I welcome more questions

-GRAtheist-

This is how I define god.

I was speaking with my boss about the existence of god. She is usually a very logical and rational person. She is also well educated with a degree in the sciences. But then she said something that is not rational. She said “I know there is a god”.

Naturally I asked her for proof of how she knows this to be a fact. To which she responded, “I dont have any proof, I just know it.” This is a completely ridiculous statement.  But I let that slide after she described god for me.

“God cant do anything to change or influence events here on Earth. He planned out your life as it was going to be and can not do anything to change it.”

This is really a ridiculous statement. She has created an imaginary god that is useless and ineffective for todays world. This also does away with any concept of free will completely.

So what is the point of worshiping and deferring to this “god”? How is it helpful?

It also seems to me that if there was indeed a true and right god that takes an interest in the lives of humans here on Earth it would be undeniable and would only allow for one definition.

But what scares me above anything, of course, is that people are willing to believe things without evidence. Especially people who are supposed to be rational and logical. And it scares me that people see no fault with believing without evidence.

-GRAtheist-

Fall for anything

This one might be a little long, sorry.

I often speak of my friend on this site. This is because we have very deep, insightful discussions dealing with religion. While having a discussion on Atheism and Skepticism he uttered the famous quote;

“A a skeptic you believe anything can happen”

very interesting considering this is the definition of a skeptic; http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/skeptic

Pretty clear huh?

I don’t believe anything can happen, not at all. Basically I just want evidence when any claim is made. If someone says that they were flying close to the sun with homemade wings, I would not automatically believe that it can happen. I would doubt it could happen and then demand evidence of the claim. If given evidence that can be demonstrated and independently verifiable then I will believe it.

This is my problem with the Church. They don’t encourage skepticism in any way. In fact, people growing up in the church are taught a strict set of beliefs and actively discouraged from investigating these claims outside of the church or the bible. Basically it teaches people to believe things without evidence. This presents a lifelong problem. If people are taught from a young age to accept claims without evidence and not do research then they grow up and tend to believe things without doing the proper research or questioning of claims.

How do I know this? Experience.

People here at my work are devout Christians. And to make matters worse, they pretty much only make decisions based on what their pastor says. Here is a list of things that people here have purported to be true, and this is just lately;

1: All the women at a particular restaurant are prostitutes.
I asked how they knew this to be true and this was the response: “Because my friend told me so.” This person never ate at the restaurant in question, and doesn’t know anybody who works there.

2: Email forwards

-These are my favorite, they all start out along the same lines as this “This explains things better than all the baloney you hear on TV.” And go on to explain how men hide in the backseat of your car, cut your Achilles tendon while hiding under your car, how you need to check your hotel beds for HIV infected needles, and any number of insane warnings that are not validated with facts. When I ask them about how they know them to be true, I usually get an answer like this; “My friend got it from a friend who is a (insert profession here, cop, marine, lawyer, etc…)”. Right.

3. Resistance to Art

-It could be anything, music, movies, TV shows etc.. Example; I was speaking about how my son loves Spongebob Squarepants. The girl I was talking about the show with freaked out! “I cant believe you let him watch that! Its a bad show!” I asked her why it is a bad show and she said that “She heard it was”. She didn’t want to actually find out if it was a “bad show”, she just wanted to tell people it was. She was operating on a claim that was made without finding any evidence to prove or disprove it. I explained to her that she needs to watch the show before she makes a statement of fact like that. She said she didnt need to. OK.

See the pattern? When people are raised to accept claims without evidence, and are discouraged to find independent answers they are likely to grow up and believe other things without evidence.

So, how do skeptics still “… believe anything can happen”?

I wonder if he was serious when he said that.

-GRAtheist-

Dont these little babies just make you see that there is a god??

Actually no, they dont.

Around the time when my wife and I were awaiting our first (and so far only) Bundle of joy, the “lady who tries to save me” (LWTTSM) was questioning me on my belief or lack of belief in god and Jesus. I deflected the questions quite nicely, but then she started to make me mad.

She said something like this; “only rotten people can look at a newborn miracle and not see god”.

Well, first of all, a miracle is this; “an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.” So to begin with it is in fact, not a miracle. It is pretty amazing and incredible, but we know how it works and is a result of the physical world.

When I look at my son I see love, excitement, intelligence, potential, reality. I do not look at him and see something else. His existence does not make me see that there is a god. I find what she said troubling mainly for these 2 reasons.

1: She implied that she looked at her kids and saw something other than her children. Of course she saw her children, and loves them dearly, but she is attributing them and their existence to something which is unseen. This in a way reduces them to second place, behind god.

2: She thought she could and had the right to speak in a matter of fact way about me and my life and my experiences and declare that my child is an act of god so great that I could not deny it.

I see children for who they are and what they do and also their potential. I dont look at them and defer to someone else. That is belittling to the children.

-GRAtheist-

   

Atheism Gives No Reason To Get Out Of Bed In The Morning.

“Atheism Gives No Reason To Get Out Of Bed In The Morning.”

I have heard this countless times. While discussing Atheism with a friend of mine and he said that same thing. ” with Atheism what is the point of getting out of bed?” I can only imagine that he means God is the reason people get out of bed. The idea of an afterlife is what makes people live their life.

That is utterly sad and pathetic. It makes me sad. Its sad that people have nothing in your life that they can see value in enough to get out of bed. Its sad that people think things are meaningless unless they have the vague idea of an imaginary friend in the sky. It is utterly sad that people believe that they will have eternal life after this.

I have never been afraid or needed to search for a reason to go to bed. I have a hard time going to sleep because I feel like I am missing out on life. I am eager for each new day and I cherish each day, no matter how boring or bad.

Why?

I dont believe in an afterlife. Once you believe in an eternal life that is infinitely better than the one you are currently in every experience, every flower, every moment, every glimpse of beauty and every human interaction becomes that much more meaningless compared to “what is to come”. This world is reduced simply to “a place to wipe your feet”.

I get out of bed and enjoy and treasure every second I get. I fill my head with knowledge and meaningful relationships. I enjoy every second I get with my son and wife, and all my family. When I am sad I am happy that I can feel enough happiness to understand sadness. I enjoy the ups and downs of real life. I have people who love me, I create my own thoughts and art. I enjoy other peoples art. I enjoy nature and the wonders of the real world.

Atheism has shown me just how precious life really actually is. Because when it is gone. It is gone. Atheism quite literally opened my eyes to how to really live life. Cherish every moment, make life as good as possible for everyone you encounter (when possible).

Bonus Track:

Modest MouseLives

-GRAtheist-

(up next: “Dont these little babies just make you see that there is a god?)