How is atheism a faith?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by drew, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think you are conflating faith and confidence. I have confidence that my car will start because it has a history of starting, IOW a body of evidence. If it doesn't start then that it doesn't mean I was wrong to have confidence, just that I was missing a further piece of evidence to bring my knowledge up to date (such as the battery going flat overnight)
    Faith in a creator deity is of a different type - we lack certain knowledge of how this or that came to be, therefore we postulate an unknown force (a god) to plug the gaps and assume it to be true. There's no body of evidence to draw a confidence level from, just a series of unknowns.

    Natural processes exist. Natural processes explain events that have been previously been "explained" by deities or supernatural forces. There has never been a natural process which has been overturned by a supernatural one; it's a one way street.
    So really, how does it require faith to acknowledge that there are things in the universe that we don't know the processes for? It would surely be the height of hubris to suggest otherwise!

    Once we have access to every piece of knowledge in the universe and find that there are still areas we cannot explain, THEN is the time to start postulating about forces beyond its boundaries, not before!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  2. Jack Skellington

    Jack Skellington Part-time poltergeist Rear Admiral

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    And like bald is a hair colour.
     
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  3. KennyBoo

    KennyBoo I have spoken............ Moderator

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    He loves whipping that out.......kinda a trademark :guffaw:
     
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  4. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

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    He did his job. My injection of humor notwithstanding, I acknowledge that and appreciate it. I have been on poorly moderated boards before, and it's no picnic.
     
  5. Ghost of Tuvix

    Ghost of Tuvix Haunting Janeway's Dreams Moderator

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  6. Sad Kelpian Child

    Sad Kelpian Child Admiral Admiral

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    In a way, atheism rather than agnosticism leaning atheism can be considered a faith. We don't have proof there do not exist divine beings, and we take absence of proof as proof of absence.
     
  7. Jax

    Jax Admiral Admiral

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    It's not a faith because our beliefs are based upon facts.
     
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  8. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    Was going to dip my toe in, but nope, answered this on plenty threads, and don't need the anguish of BS.. Hard Pass.

    I'm gonna say the same thing any man with two penises says when his tailor asks him if he dresses to the right or left.... Answer. Yes..
     
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  9. Sad Kelpian Child

    Sad Kelpian Child Admiral Admiral

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    Our belief in evolution, and science, and medicine, and so on are based on facts.

    Our belief that the universe spontaneously created itself out of nothing and that there was no intent in the outcome of evolution is based on absence of evidence to the contrary.
     
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  10. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    Watch that extra "1"...

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  11. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

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    When the very nature of the creation implies intelligence and intent, is it logical to declare that there was no Creator because you never met Him? That's a little like saying that because you never encountered William Shakespeare, "Hamlet" must have written itself.
     
  12. Sad Kelpian Child

    Sad Kelpian Child Admiral Admiral

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    I have a whole lot of direct evidence that William Shakespeare exists, and I also have direct experience that leads me to believe that literature can be written by humans.

    It's no more logical to decide there is definitely a creator than it is to decide there is definitely no creator. Much less any specific image of a creator.
     
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  13. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Admiral

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    I regard myself as an agnostic atheist.

    Atheist because I have no belief in a god, agnostic because I don’t think the non-existence of a god could ever be proved. There might be a slug like creature living under a rock on a moon in Epsilon Eridani who could be a god.

    Before I can even discuss if a god exists I would need a clear defnition of what a god is or at least a definition of the god the other person is talking about. Anyone Mormon or Jehovah Witness knocking on my door generally gets asked to ‘What is god?’
     
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  14. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know why evolution gets used so often as a basis for anti-atheism arguments. Or more correctly, I know why...but I think the argument is spurious. Even if evolution was somehow proven to be 100% factually inaccurate, you are still zero percent closer to proving that a god exists. One stance being wrong does not automatically make another stance correct. Therefore it is pointless as an argument against atheism. The only valid argument against atheism is to prove that a deity exists.

    It doesn't require anything beyond the fact that you don't believe in deities. There is no faith involved. It is by definition a lack of faith.
     
  15. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

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    I stated my position.
    I defended my position.
    My position remains unchanged.
    I respect your right to disagree.
     
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  16. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are examples of unintelligent design though ;)
     
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  17. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wasn't expecting to change your position, I was just hoping for a little more than a few talking points about evolution. Is it part of your stance that if one position is proven to be untrue then another stance on the same subject must automatically be correct?
     
  18. ozzfloyd

    ozzfloyd Commander Red Shirt

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    It does???
     
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  19. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Admiral

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    Oddish - why do you think that there has to have been a creation? Can you give a reason why the Universe could not have just arisen spontaneous without a creator. There does not need to be an intelligent force or intent behind the start of the universe, or the way the universe and life developed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  20. Cancel Culture

    Cancel Culture Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hold it. You don't get to be the gatekeeper of terminology, especially given the errors you make later in the same post. These posts do better:

    Moving on:
    What you've posted here, @Oddish, is, in essence, a gish gallop [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop]:

    During a Gish gallop, a debater confronts an opponent with a rapid series of many specious arguments, half-truths, and misrepresentations in a short space of time, which makes it impossible for the opponent to refute all of them within the format of a formal debate.[3][4] In practice, each point raised by the "Gish galloper" takes considerably more time to refute or fact-check than it did to state in the first place.[5] The technique wastes an opponent's time and may cast doubt on the opponent's debating ability for an audience unfamiliar with the technique, especially if no independent fact-checking is involved[6] or if the audience has limited knowledge of the topics.​

    Accordingly, I'll post specifically only these refutations:

    1. It is not a scientific postulate that a bacterium spontaneously assembled out of non-living matter. Arguing against the spontaneous formation of a bacterium is a straw man argument.

    2. The second law of thermodynamics applies to an isolated system. The Earth is not a thermodynamically isolated system, and neither is the Solar System (as one example, extrasolar influences are relevant to the orbits of objects in the Oort cloud, which in turn are relevant to terrestrial biological evolution). Vaguely arguing that the level of chaos in a system increases over time overlooks these facts as given here in #2, and it overlooks the points in #3 regarding additional internal sources of energy in the Earth and the length of the time scales involved.

    3. Despite the fact that most of the energy being continuously added to the Earth comes from the Sun, this energy isn't believed to drive geological processes, because not very much of it penetrates that deeply. A major source of energy for geological processes comes from the radioactive decay of isotopes left over from when the Earth was formed. The predominant isotopes whose decay produces this heat have half-lives measured in billions of years, so it will take many eons yet for this source of heat to be exhausted. Also, the formation of the Earth itself generated a tremendous amount of heat (when gravitational potential energy was converted into e.g. kinetic and electromagnetic potential energy), and evidently there has still not been time for all of it to radiate back out into space. These sources of energy that are introduced into the biosphere from inside the Earth itself are important to the evolution of life on Earth, and perhaps even the creation of life itself; it's worth noting that the creation of life (assuming terrestrial life was in fact created on the Earth itself) must have occurred when both of these sources of internal energy were far more abundant.​

    These points alone negate pretty much your entire argument, such as it is. For the rest of it, @Kai "the spy" and @Mytran both spoke eloquently on the subject of what it means not to know how life was created in the context of scientific understanding.

    But the nature of creation does not imply the existence of a creating intelligence, whether it is one having any intent or not, so the rest of this post is irrelevant.

    I must admit, I was let down after the hype promised an "efficient" proof that atheism is a faith. Pretty much every refutation to that that there is, including those offered so far in this thread to what you've said, involves the idea that, in a scientific theory, every aspect of it is subject to questioning, examination, and testing. There isn't any part of a scientific theory that gets a free pass to be accepted on faith alone. Even mathematical axioms and postulates get tested every time any experiment is performed. For example, if at any point a selection of integers is made for which the commutative law fails (or for which any other axiom of number theory fails), this could be observed and detected; to date, this has never happened.

    In closing, note that an unnecessary assumption that could be neither tested nor questioned would constitute glorified ignorance. Assuming the existence of a Creator with both unknown and unknowable properties is an assumption that is both unnecessary and untestable, and by claiming its necessity you are asking us not to question it. What you're essentially saying is: science doesn't presently have all the answers, therefore let us amend the set of scientific postulates to incorporate ignorance as a perpetually ingrained component of it. That itself is, to put it succinctly, simply ignorant.