Why have conversations with theists? It can be interesting to talk to people about their beliefs. It is always good to go in with an open mind. You can learn a lot, even if you are well versed on their religion.
Whilst I find engaging in debate generally fruitless I occasionally jump in to conversations in groups and on people’s pages. There was quite an antagonistic post on someone’s wall and there was a bit of a petty bickering and insulting going on and I stepped in to turn it into a conversation. I don’t see the point in insulting people just for their belief. It achieves nothing. Instead I find it useful to open up a dialogue and see how they got to their conclusion.
In this instance a man, who we shall call BH unless he decides it is okay for me to use his full name, posed that he used to be an Atheist and now believes in God. After a while BH told me the reason he thought God was real. Below is his story, followed by my response that references other things he said throughout the conversation too.
How BH Found God
Please note, in the interest of keeping things pure I have not edited his words for spelling, grammar, or even line breaks.
“Let me begin. My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how did I get this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe too when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A-Z, so to speak, and I’m supposed to be part of the show, why did I have such a violent reaction to it? A man feels wet when he falls into water. That is because man is not a water animal, a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up on my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that then my argument against God would collapse too. For the argument depended upon saying that the whole world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist—-in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless, I was forced to assume that at least one part of reality, namely my idea of justice, was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be to simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out it had no meaning. Just as if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should ever know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
A Logical response to BH’s Claim
Thank you for taking the time to write so much. I’m going to take a moment to explain a few things you have said throughout a dialogue that would switch someone off to what you are saying, and perhaps in future build a more convincing picture yourself.
Atheism is a religion
No it isn’t, Theism = belief in god/gods/deities, Atheism means the absence of belief in god/gods/deities. You can have an Atheistic religion, but most are Theistic. This is often split into monotheistic (one god) and Polytheistic (many gods) but less commonly known are the Pantheistic religions. Pantheistic religions essentially equate the universe to being god, rather than the idea of a personal god.
Whilst humans do suffer (and also benefit from) a tribal nature, and therefore people of like mind and beliefs gather together, a religion it is not.
Atheism is simple, too simple, compared to religion
Religion answers everything in one book. Everything else is wrong. God did it.
So how is Atheism simpler than that?
Perhaps in future ask a more open question where it doesn’t seem like you already had an answer and have made up your mind.
You’ve assumed I am Agnostic and you know my beliefs
I would rather perceive myself as an open-minded humanist wanting what is best for all but if we had to use religious terminology for an identifier it could be Agnostic Atheist.
Joining Agnostic and Gnostic to Atheist and Theist is a more recent description, and I Identify as an Agnostic Atheist which means; whilst I am uncertain, and open to the fact I could be wrong, through lack of evidence for god, I do not believe in a god.
The way evidence works is you have evidence FOR something. You then examine and test the evidence to find out if it is for that said thing or if it is wrong. Testing can provide more evidence to strengthen your theory. This leads me on to my next point.
//Edit – I no longer identify as an agnostic atheist as I realise how redundant that terminology is, I am now a classical atheist. I hold the belief gods do not exist//
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