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Thread: Why must theists prove god exists?

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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post

    This seems to me like a much more plausible claim.
    Online atheists do appear to be somewhat obsessed about it. I'll give you that. Possibly less than the average believer.
    I realized long ago that online atheist communities, like any other sort of online religious community, are not a good populational representation. But I suspect the question of "proof" or lack thereof is pretty important to most people who self-identify as atheists. Would you agree?

    Hm. I'm not sure. I know a few fellow-atheists who don't frequent online forums and my impression is that they just....lack belief. They're not generally as 'angry' as the online ones. As to whether lack of 'proof' is important to them, I don't know.

    I think the overall picture will be varied, for both believers and atheists alike.

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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    The OP is very specific though.
    Point taken.

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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    My guess is that an interest in 'proofs' (or justifications) one way or the other could, as often, be a way for anyone to shore up their lack of belief, just as it might be done to shore up a belief. I don't think atheists are immune to that sort of thing. Absolute certainty is not all that common, perhaps.

    Many atheists used to either be religious or were brought up in a religious family. You know what they say about ex-smokers. They're said to be more aggressively anti-smoking than people who just never smoked.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post

    I realized long ago that online atheist communities, like any other sort of online religious community, are not a good populational representation. But I suspect the question of "proof" or lack thereof is pretty important to most people who self-identify as atheists. Would you agree?

    Hm. I'm not sure. I know a few fellow-atheists who don't frequent online forums and my impression is that they just....lack belief. They're not generally as 'angry' as the online ones. As to whether lack of 'proof' is important to them, I don't know.

    I think the overall picture will be varied, for both believers and atheists alike.
    I agree with your characterization of temperament, but would continue to maintain that lack of proof, or the connected notion of lack of "evidence", lies pretty close to the reasoning of most if not nearly all people who actively identify as atheists. I could be wrong; while I know many atheists, they are mostly scholars or students given my usual social mileu, and may spend more time thinking about such things.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I note that most believers don't give two shits about proving that God exists.....






    Watch out folks, poli is on the defensive........again.
    It is odd that Politesse would claim such a thing. I only have my personal experience but I have never had atheists knock on my door and tell me that they want to reveal the glories of atheism to me, never had atheists stop me out in public to give me the "good word". I have many times had theists do this.

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    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post

    Clearly we didn't attend the same religious schools. I received regular instruction in defending my faith. The apostles Paul, Peter, and James all wrote about defending one's faith.

    Heck, if miracles is a proof of the existence of God, then the entire Bible is filled with evidence.
    When did Paul, Peter, or James write one word about "proving God's existence"?
    Well, perhaps I misspoke, The Biblical writers don't set out formal proofs of God's existence. They assume from the beginning that God exists, that we all agree on that, and then they explain why their religion is superior to yours.

    As for defending their faith, there are plenty of passages that were used to justify teaching me apologetics all through my schooling years and beyond. (I Peter 3:15; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Phillipians 1:7; Titus 1:9; James 1:20-24; every single passage in which 'signs and wonders' are performed, etc. The Book of Acts repeatedly mentions Paul "reasoning" with Jews, Greeks, etc.

  7. Top | #27
    Formerly Joedad
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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    It is odd that Politesse would claim such a thing. I only have my personal experience but I have never had atheists knock on my door and tell me that they want to reveal the glories of atheism to me, never had atheists stop me out in public to give me the "good word". I have many times had theists do this.
    Are the doorbell ringers trying to prove anything or are they just selling a product? I think they're just a bit more obsessed than the ones that don't ring doorbells.

    And lets not forget that selling woo is a pretty profitable business for lots of people. Religion has to generate a cash flow or it won't be around long.

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    Contributor Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    Proof is important for some to proselytize. For some to prove they are not wrong about being religious. And some to prove they are not following the wrong religion.
    Cheerful Charlie

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Proof is important for some to proselytize. For some to prove they are not wrong about being religious. And some to prove they are not following the wrong religion.
    That's not the same thing as proving God's existence, though.

  10. Top | #30
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    Where I live, the majority of people simply assume that their god exists. They don't try to prove it. They don't question it. They've been taught that their god exists since childhood and unless something happens in their lives to make them question their beliefs, they simply go on believing. Some of them do try to convince others that their beliefs are the only true ones, but they are usually shocked or surprised when I tell them I'm an atheist. Where I live, most cultural and social activities revolve around the church.

    As far as atheists go, it is much more common to find atheists who like to argue about the existence of god on forums like this one. I guess it's sort of an intellectual sport that some enjoy. If you were raised with a god belief and lose it for one reason or another, sometimes you do like to ask theists why they believe in this supernatural entity that simple seems nonsensical to you.

    I know atheists of many different varieties. Some of them barely made it through high school, usually due to having grown up in dysfunctional homes while others have Phds. One is a female retired GBI agent. A few are stay at home moms with young children. My less educated atheist friends are usually more obsessed with things like separation of church and state than they are in trying to disprove the existence of gods. They don't believe in any gods and they have no desire to debate that. They just don't want religion thrown in their faces, as it often is here in Georgia.

    Come to think of it, I did have a former coworker try to convince me that god existed about a year ago. She sent me a card with a Bible verse on it and said something like how can love exist without god. I wrote back to her to tell her that one didn't need god to experience love. I put the note in a card with a picture of a dog on it, and probably that dogs love us, and they don't seem to believe in any gods, other than their humans. I never heard back from her. Oh well. I don't think she has serious thoughts about her beliefs. It just really bothered her that I didn't believe in god.

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