Atheists do believe God exists

Ordinarily I’d side with Atheists who would object to the Theist (Christians mostly) who would assert that the Atheist does in fact know God exists.  Not because I think the accusation is wrong, but because telling someone what they believe is generally not a good starting point.  Why would a Christian confidently insist that the Atheist knows God exists?

(Romans 1:20-21) —  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

I’m going to go on the record as saying that I am confident that every avowed Atheist does in fact know God exists.  This is different from believing in God, which more so entails a trusting acknowledgement. I think it will be obvious to every Theist who has argued with an Atheist about the existence of God.  And it will be internally obvious to every Atheist, though you will be resistant and offer plenty of excuses — yes, excuses.

I can admit that I sympathize with the Atheist who’ll not want to be told what they know.  But let’s think about it.  Whenever the definition of atheism is discussed, self-identified Atheists bemoan a definition which includes “a belief that no god(s) exist”.  In fact very few will accept a definition which includes a firm denial of God’s existence.  They always attempt to define their view as one that simply lacks a belief, or that there isn’t enough evidence to affirm God’s existence, or that they are merely not a Theist.  Why is this?

Two reasons I think.  It benefits the Atheist to take a position they believe they won’t have to defend.  After all if they don’t actually believe something, they don’t have to defend it right?  Well, the view: God does not exist, is a view that needs to be defended.  Unfortunately, that is a difficult position to defend, and they know it hence the definitional gymnastics.  I even have great difficulty getting an Atheist to answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’  the question: Does God exist?  They meander back with, “well it hasn’t been proven to me…” or “there isn’t enough evidence to say…”.  It’s like pulling teeth to get a clear and precise explanation of what they do believe about whether God exists.

The second reason is because subconsciously the Atheist does know God exists and leaves himself an “out” based on a linguistic technicality.  “Well I never said He didn’t exist…”  Why else would the Atheist be so reticent to state with confidence that God doesn’t exist?

But notice this hesitancy is only when the focus is on them and what they believe.  When the discussion is centered on what the Christian believes, the Atheist has no qualms about making such statements about how the Theist believes in a “non-existent God” or “an invisible sky buddy” or “an imaginary friend for adults”.  The Atheist is perfectly at home making firm declarations that they believe God is a figment of the believer’s imagination, a psychological comfort, an emotional crutch invented by man, an invention by the early powers that be to control the masses.

I have to say, I am beginning to believe that the Atheist really does know God exists.  They tacitly admit this when they fumble for a loose definition of atheism to hide behind.  Then confirm this knowledge when they are willing to mock the Theist for his belief that God does exist.  This talking out of both sides of their mouth belies their intellectual puffery no matter how hard they pound the podium.

There’s two ways to solve this.  Either admit you know God exists but hate the idea.  Or admit that your view is: ‘no god(s) exist’ and defend it.

Comments

  1. Atypical closed and insular circle jerk thinking. I am not sure what non theists you come in to contact with but maybe you should venture off to one of the conventions where you will find a plethora of people who will tell you that your god along with an army of others are non existent. No gymnastics needed. No apologies from you are needed. And these are not excuses.

    If I refute the existence of your god because you have claimed its existence, the premise is yours and the burden of proof is on you. The onus to be actionable in this proving is yours and yours alone. The idea that you think that it is my responsibility to disprove “your” idea/faith is not how the equation works. Thinking that you have the upper hand by attempting to force others to defend their position from the negative is not how it works. Further, the arrogance and non humility that you seem to get from such mental masturbation doesn’t seem to jive with how Jesus might construct such a position, if he bothered at all.

    The gymnastics (apologetics) lie within the camp that continues to find it necessary to loft themselves above others while utilizing a Bronze Age belief system invented by a disparate and desperate and illiterate loose group of semi nomadic just barely post pagans.

    • The equasion goes that whoever makes the claim bears the burden. If it is your view that God doesnt exist then you bear the burden to support your claim.

      However because atheists seem so entitled to use language to squirm out of defending their view I have adopted a position that I dont need to defend either. You see, I dont believe God exists. I merely lack belief in a Godless universe. I dont have enough evidence to believe in a Godless universe and because I’m not making a claim I dont have to defend it.

  2. I was really looking forward to this post after your comment yesterday, John, but I’m disappointed that all this seems to be is your constant quibbling of definitions and attempts to deflect of the burden of proof for your belief.

    Here’s one for you –

    Deep down, theists really know that heaven doesn’t exist.

    After all, if you truly believed that such a place existed and it was waiting for you after you died, why do we have such a strong instinct to survive? Why would you make any attempt to prolong your life here on earth, especially if it meant more discomfort or great expense, if you’re anticipating such a paradise? Why bother resorting to medicine when an eternity of bliss awaits you in heaven? No, deep down, theists know it’s just not true and they’re fearful of death because they know it’s all over.

  3. Well, as you pointed out, Scripture says that all mankind knows God exists. But atheists suppress that truth, because if they actually acknowledge God exists, then they’d have to acknowledge their accountability before Him. As one of the Huxleys said, that interferes with their sexual morality codes.

    And atheist sure spend a lot of time fighting God, as well as lots of money on advertisements against God. If he doesn’t exist, what are they fighting? Does it really matter what other people believe if God doesn’t exist?

  4. LOL. Maybe my subconscious believes in god because I don’t know what my subconscious “thinks,” but when I’m awake, I have absolutely no belief in a god. When I dream, I can do all kinds of fantastic things like jump off a cliff and fly instead of going splat on the ground, but when I’m awake I know that I won’t survive jumping off a cliff without a parachute, and I know for sure I don’t believe I will actually fly in real life. Just because the Bible says something (“there is a god, and you know it”), doesn’t make it true. In fact, it loses all credibility with me, even if I somehow happen to be wrong about an existent god, because I know for a fact that I disbelieve in a god. To make a statement that atheists really know a god exists, takes some pretty fantastic mind reading.

  5. Howdy John,

    As I pointed out to someone else recently, everyone in the U.S. “just knows” that “shit” is a bad word. You can’t say “shit” in a G-rated movie, because it’s bad… but you CAN say poop or feces. But the only reason we believe shit is a bad word is because we’ve all been programmed to BELIEVE it is. If our culture taught us that “feces” was a bad word and “shit” was the formal therm, then we’d all believe the opposite!

    Our obsession with God goes much deeper than shit. But in the same way, we all believe in god because we were programmed to believe that such a thing exists. And just like it’s hard to escape the idea that shit isn’t REALLY a bad word, it’s even more difficult to escape the idea that God isn’t real. But just because everyone believes “shit” is a bad word, or that god created everything, doesn’t make it true. Each claim requires its own evidence.

    But I get your point, and I agree that if atheists don’t believe that God, it would be nice if they would at least be willing to offer up an alternative explanation, because the Universe was either created or it wasn’t. Personally, I think that explanation is materialism (i.e. the stuff that exists has always existed, in one form or another, throughout all time).

    I wouldn’t rule god(s) out entirely, and I won’t rule materialism out, I just believe the evidence for materialism outweighs the evidence for god(s), but neither are a proven fact.

    Keep sifting! Hugs and kisses,
    500 Questions

    http://500questions.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/47-can-we-just-know-that-god-exists/

    • 500

      Thanks for that. But you havent established that that is the case. You merely told a story of how you think it is – an assertion and an alternate explanation. What evidence do you have that God is a mere social construct?

  6. The evidence that God is a mere social construct is provided in the link.

    But in short, all ancient men wondered how they came to exist, and many logically deduced that the first humans couldn’t have possibly given birth to themselves — so they invented something outside of man to create them. These various ideas were passed down, evolved over time, popularized, and eventually consolidated.

    If we could fast-forward 10,000 years, the history books will likely say, “After mankind realized they’d evolved, and successfully created life from non-life in the lab, mankind eventually abandoned all ancient supernatural claims.” But we’re not there yet. ;-)

  7. Daniel

    “To make a statement that atheists really know a god exists, takes some pretty fantastic mind reading.”

    Or an unfounded trust in Romans 1:20-21

  8. … just like the presupposition that believing your deity exists.

  9. Based on what evidence?

  10. …and just like before, your answer is still lacking.

  11. … just like you’re not convinced of the existence of any of the other deities that came before yours.

    At least we have that in common.

    • That statement persumes the arguments and evidence in favor of them is equal to that of the Christian God. If you think that you javrnt taken the subject seriously enough.

  12. John,

    “[...]they fumble for a loose definition of atheism to hide behind.”
    “[...]they are willing to mock the Theist for his belief that God does exist.”

    Just because you’re convinced doesn’t make it evidence for atheist knowledge of God’s existence.

    It’s absurd to know something and not believe it or believe the opposite.

  13. John,

    evidence: the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.

    You are using:
    “[...]they fumble for a loose definition of atheism to hide behind.”
    “[...]they are willing to mock the Theist for his belief that God does exist.”
    as evidence for atheist knowledge of God’s existence.

    The fact is that they are not evidence of that and your conclusion is a non sequitur fallacy.

  14. Well, John, that certainly seems to be the case with you and the bible.

  15. This is in fact the same old beaten, insular thinking that ends with: “But it says so in the bible”. Which in no way makes the idea/opinion that your god exists a fact. If so, what keeps all of the other gods with prior more ancient writings from existing? Rhetorical and useless exercise of course. And no not even your”strength” of evidence argument makes it fact. The strength is just a measurement of how biased believers are.

    I mean how could a zealot ever even consider that their belief system was a sham much less engage in a conversation not built from cognitive dissonance? It’s impossible. Followers of any cult are no different than the folks who believe in UFO’s or a long list of other conspiracies. It just seems that christians have built an industry around their apologetics and are bent on trying desperately to bring their barely post Stone Age drivel into yet another millenium.

    The book of Romans also tells you to obey your government because your god put it there. Why are you trying to fight against gods will when it comes to obamacare, taxes and abortion. If your bible is the infallible word of god you better stop trying to change existing laws.

    • Nash your habitual missing the point is actually starting to amaze me. I didn’t offer Romans as anything for any other reason to say what Christians believe. What I did say was there were at least two reasons to believe it is true.

      • Your habitual backsliding and atypical picking and choosing of bible entries would be hilarious if you didn’t take yourself so seriously. Every time your cronies or you are painted into a corner via the usual hypocrisy and inane contradictions you start avoiding the posts entirely. Do you not see the double standard?

        We could find and army of people who are convinced that they have been abducted. They have evidence. They have direct experience. And you could never prove them wrong. Why? Because the human construct allows for disruptive psychosis. Thats what belief is.

        And your idea that we have to disprove your premise, would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  16. Hi, John Barron.

    I’m glad that you’re still writing posts for this blog, but I’m stunned by the content of this particular post.

    What about Psalm 14:1? If the fool says in his heart that there is no God, then it’s not the case that all atheists, deep down, believe in God. (St. Thomas Aquinas originally made this point, by the way, not me.)

    Putting all of the problems inherent in interpreting the Bible properly aside, does this really reflect reality as you perceive it? Are all of the millions of people who claim to be atheists lying? Are all of the arguments presented for the existence of God since Plato just pointless? What about the arguments you’ve made for the existence of God on this blog?

    I think you have the ability to come up with reasons that, while perhaps not convincing to you, would convince someone else with a different disposition that God does not exist. I don’t think there is actually any reason to say that atheists are lying when they say that they don’t believe in God.

    Regards,
    Occam

    • Occam

      I was careful to differentiate between knowing God exists and believing in God.

      I also wasnt arguing for interpretation, rather, is there reason to believe this passage has merit.

      I dont know I’d say all atheists are lying — maybe lying to themselves. But too many conversations tell me theres something more going on than whats on the surface.

  17. Wow! Evidence for alien abduction??? Show me some!!

  18. John,

    Are you saying that something is evidence only if it convinces someone of something?

    I didn’t said such thing.

    I’m saying that evidence is “the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid”.

    Can’t you read?

    I also said that:
    “[...]they fumble for a loose definition of atheism to hide behind.”
    “[...]they are willing to mock the Theist for his belief that God does exist.”
    are not evidence for atheist knowledge of God’s existence as you pretend they are.

  19. I’m not sure where you distinguished between knowing God exists and believing in God, or what the difference is.

  20. I’ve been careful not to take sides in this debate, even though John is a good friend, because I used to be an atheist. But John’s last reply hit home with me because I know what he’s talking about. I talked like an atheist, argued like one, and lived like one, frankly. But deep down, I knew something wasn’t right with it. Now, this is my experience. I’m not saying it’s true for all atheists, but it was for me. Deep down, I felt there was a God – but I didn’t let it show for the longest time.

    So, I get John’s point. In my case, there was something more going on than what I allowed on the surface.

    • That’s interesting Terrance. I used to talk like and argue like and live like a christian. But somewhere around 8 or 9 years old I knew deep down inside that something wasn’t right. I wore it on my shirtsleeve and towed the line for a couple more years. I am not saying that this is true for all christians but it was for me.

      There was more going on than what I allowed on the surface for obvious fear of reprisal and being ostracized etc.

      • Wow, there arent many opinions I had at 8-9 that I still do. Let alone the answer to the most important question in the universe!

        • Yeah, I also left Santa Claus behind. With no outside influence mind you. It was just time to outgrow such youthful ideas and grow beyond them. That really is the difference. The number of the faithful/religious who are led there or born into it and don’t ever get to experience any other perspective makes up the bulk of your sect(s). How else could we expect that to go really? Religious adherents are manufactured from birth through religious families. They have had a worldview given to them, forced on them.

          Interesting that you believe you have the answer to the supposed most important question in the universe.

  21. R. Nash,

    You can attempt to woo people all day with your platitudes, but frankly, your constant jeering is becoming redundant and, frankly, redolent of some type of complex. Were you molested by a self-described Christian? What’s your deal, exactly?

    • Get over yourself already, I could say and ask you the same thing. I think you just have a serious problem having your belief system shown for what it is, in spite of you putting it up for debate.
      Funny how the moment someone criticizes your premise they must have been molested by a christian. Talk about a complex. What’s your deal exactly?

  22. Zqtx,
    I don’t us usually post here because I like the topics, but not the tone of the believing community. John, thank you for helping me out in the past when people began name calling. You didn’t have to do that, so thank you!
    zqtx says :June 21, 2013 at 11:03 AM
    I was really looking forward to this post after your comment yesterday, John, but I’m disappointed that all this seems to be is your constant quibbling of definitions and attempts to deflect the burden of proof for your belief.
    Here’s one for you –Deep down, theists really know that heaven doesn’t exist.
    After all, if you truly believed that such a place existed and it was waiting for you after you died, why do we have such a strong instinct to survive? Why would you make any attempt to prolong your life here on earth, especially if it meant more discomfort or great expense, if you’re anticipating such a paradise? Why bother resorting to medicine when an eternity of bliss awaits you in heaven? No, deep down, theists know it’s just not true and they’re fearful of death because they know it’s all over.
    ZQTX, you are over simplifying the process of death and heaven. Without a miracle, I am in the last stages of lung cancer (never smoked, age 30, two year old daughter, and a 28 year old wife. With all that there are times when I wish for heaven! I believe that it is going to be awesome, but that doesn’t make me less a dad. I want to walk Ellie at her wedding. I want to grow old with my wife. I want to see how much of the KOG I can help bring to this world because I love this world too. Jesus loved it enough to die for it and while I’m not him, I should emulate him.
    I haven’t felt this way as strong as I have when I felt God’s heart as he walks with me through the hard times. I’m not 100% sure, but I know there is more to it than I love heaven so I hate everything about earth, or family, or hope that things might change in people and the world before the end. I have changed in the last 9 months so why not others? If we can change, then the New Jerusalem starts in a better place! Don’t know what that looks like, but if I have time to grow to be more like Jesus as he walks me through my disease, I will take it. Maybe God lets me feel a little more of his love for others before the end or brings others with us. It could be that the fish tank keeps us from seeing the truth. It isn’t that the love of heaven makes us hate earth more, but that it moves us to love it towards heaven and away from hell?
    Sorry John, I said I would stay out of your hair, but I read this one just caught me.

    • Why would you stay out of my hair? Come back often!!

      Btw this is a bit heart wrenching to read but I think youre right. We struggle to stay alive or prolong our days because of what we have here not to avoid the hereafter.

  23. @Andrew

    Thank you for being the only person with the courage to actually address the questions I offered.

    It is sad to hear of your current situation and I don’t mean to sound callous towards what you’re going through, but sometimes life isn’t kind. Although I am a cancer survivor myself, I’m not going to pretend to know what you’re going through.

    As far as stating that I’m over-simplifying the process, it’s pretty much in black and white in the Christian belief system, isn’t it? (Catholic doctrine notwithstanding) Life – Death – Heaven or Hell.

    If it brings you comfort to believe that there is more to your existence after you pass then so be it and I don’t wish to take that away from you. Throughout time, people of all different religious beliefs have believed that loved ones have moved on to different places, but the fact is there is just no evidence to really support that belief – it just make us feel better.

    My questions are indeed valid. It only emphasizes the need to make the most of what we have now and to appreciate it while we have it.

  24. R. Nash,

    I didn’t criticize your atheist worldview; I merely put forth my own experience in defense of John’s statement. Besides, you’re the one who seems to have a hard-on for religion and Christianity in general. You come to a religious/political blog operated by a self-described conservative Christian and wonder why your baseless criticisms are unconvincing or otherwise ignored.

  25. Terrance,

    John’s point is that “the Atheist” know that God exists. You don’t provide valid defense for this point since your experience is not extrapolable to all atheists.

    Your defense of John’s statement implies a defense of atheist criticism.

    John’s criticism “Atheists do believe God exists” is baseless. It seems you don’t bother about baseless criticism if it comes from your fellows.

    Some of Nash’s criticism is based and convincing such as the point about Romans telling to obey the government.

  26. John,

    It is baseless since the reasons you provided aren’t valid. Your reasons being fallacies means the claim is baseless.

  27. John,

    As I said, they are non sequitur fallacies.

    “they fumble for a loose definition of atheism to hide behind” doesn’t imply “They tacitly admit this”["know God exists"] and that “they are willing to mock the Theist for his belief that God does exist” doesn’t imply “they confirm this knowledge”["know God exists"].

    There are alternative explanations such as “avoiding to show that atheism is a belief” for the first one and “relieving emotional distress when argumentations don’t work with fanatical irrational believers” for the second one.

  28. Isu,

    John’s point is that “the Atheist” know that God exists. You don’t provide valid defense for this point since your experience is not extrapolable to all atheists.

    Probably why I said, “I talked like an atheist, argued like one, and lived like one, frankly. But deep down, I knew something wasn’t right with it. Now, this is my experience. I’m not saying it’s true for all atheists, but it was for me.

    I’ve found that reading an article twice can be quite helpful. You might have caught that statement the second time.

    John’s criticism “Atheists do believe God exists” is baseless. It seems you don’t bother about baseless criticism if it comes from your fellows.

    And, like I said, in my experience John’s criticism is not baseless; Nash’s, however, is quite.

  29. Terrance

    “I’ve found that reading an article twice can be quite helpful. You might have caught that statement the second time.”

    I had caught that statement the first time. It only corroborates one of my postulates, so it isn’t an objection at all.

    I repeat:
    John’s point is that “the Atheist” know that God exists. You don’t provide valid defense for this point since your experience is not extrapolable to all atheists.

    “And, like I said, in my experience John’s criticism is not baseless; Nash’s, however, is quite.”

    In my experience, your unreasoned all-or-nothing attitude comes from partisanship.

  30. I had caught that statement the first time. It only corroborates one of my postulates, so it isn’t an objection at all.

    No. It renders utterly useless your postulation, since I, you’ll find, flatly stated that my experience is my own and cannot be extrapolated to either current or former atheists.

    In my experience, your unreasoned all-or-nothing attitude comes from partisanship.

    You offer so many floundering messes for arguments that it’s a wonder you’ve not fled this blog out of sheer embarrassment.

  31. Terrance

    “No. It renders utterly useless your postulation, since I, you’ll find, flatly stated that my experience is my own and cannot be extrapolated to either current or former atheists. ”

    The postulate is useful since it isn’t a defense of John’s criticism which is opposite to your claim.

    “You offer so many floundering messes for arguments that it’s a wonder you’ve not fled this blog out of sheer embarrassment.”

    I haven’t, so I’m not embarrased.

    I would be embarrased if, for example, I supported idiocies such as saying: “Atheists confirm their knowledge of God existence when they are willing to mock the Theist for his belief that God does exist.”.

  32. The postulate is useful since it isn’t a defense of John’s criticism which is opposite to your claim.

    So, what I said isn’t a “valid defense” of the following statement: I dont know I’d say all atheists are lying — maybe lying to themselves. But too many conversations tell me theres something more going on than whats on the surface.

    In defense of that statement, I said: “I talked like an atheist, argued like one, and lived like one, frankly. But deep down, I knew something wasn’t right with it. Now, this is my experience. I’m not saying it’s true for all atheists, but it was for me.”

    In my case, there was something more going on than what was on the surface.

    You don’t even follow the conversation closely enough to know what’s going on. Shame.

  33. TerranceH

    You weren’t specific about John’s point, so I took the main one.

    Anyway, it isn’t a valid defense for that either.
    You don’t provide evidence for “conversations tell”ing an atheist knows God exists.

    Moreover you say something against John’s point: if you “didn’t let it show”, how could John see it?

  34. I’ll come out and say that I outright know that the Christian god does not exist. Where this becomes tricky is when theists try to argue for a vague and unspecific deity. I am almost entirely certain no such being exists, but as an honest person I wouldn’t profess unshakable certainty in that belief.
    I can be certain that specific gods do not exist. Loki, Zeus, Allah, Krishna, Yahweh, Isis, Enki- I know those do not exist.

    • I dont think all alleged gods have the same quantity or quality of the biblical God.

      But my point applies to the people who discuss the topic as I’ve outlined.

  35. I dont think all alleged gods have the same quantity or quality of the biblical God.

    Nor do I. I also think that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, William Lane Craig, and Greg Bahnson are disingenuous, fallacious, and ultimately wrong- but it takes more effort to prove it for the latter than the former. I never argued otherwise.

    But my point applies to the people who discuss the topic as I’ve outlined.

    No, that is not what you said…..

    I’m going to go on the record as saying that I am confident that every avowed Atheist does in fact know God exists.

    Huh?

    • Ok if thats what I said then thats what I meant. If I reread the post I’d stand by it now. I spoke before remembering what I wrote and presumed that it was a post directed at particular atheists.

      I do believe that even if subconsciously, all people know it. Atheists fight it.

  36. You are entitled to believe whatever you like, I guess. I could believe, for example, that all Christians deep down know that there religion is a bunch of hooey and cling to it out of comfort and social pressure.
    I could believe that Christians just cling to faith either because our culture rewards it or because it allows them to fantasize about how different they are going to be treated in the hereafter.
    I think it would be a terrible mistake to believe either of those things. I think that to believe that people are motivated by things they likely are not motivated by is to close yourself to the opportunity to reach out to them, understand them, and motivate them.

    It allows you just forget about trying to understand someone because you just know that you already do understand them.
    That is the strategy that brought us “the unchurch” and “progressive Christianity”, it is an attempt to boil people down to something that people who can’t relate can relate to. You are welcome to your belief, but don’t expect it to make you a better Christian or a better person.
    All it shows is that you can’t look past your own nose.

    I was kind of hoping for a little more bravery- like maybe you would have said “In a world with so few absolutes and such varying ideas it was inadvisable of me to speak of absolutes, but this certainly has to be true of some atheists- and I apologize for being too cavalier with my words.”
    Alas, that would I suppose require having a worldview that accepts that everything is not absolute.
    *sigh*

  37. Name one of your assertions that applies to me, John.
    I’m an atheist, and therefor by your estimation live in cognitive dissonance, so therefor your assertions must all (or at least broadly) apply to me personally. So what would you say in your post specifically applies to me?
    Let’s you and I investigate this point by point, since you are so very confident in your reasoning.
    I’ll start: I do believe that god, in any sense that anyone refers to god, does not exist. Therefor I believe that your assertion that I weasel out of asserting non-belief is false.
    Do you agree?

    Your turn. What applies to me specifically?

    • No George, I dont think youre weaseling. I just think that the knowledge of God’s existence is innate, and even if it’s not conscious, it is present.

      Especially in someone who formerly professed to know, it’s like going from my degree of pro-life, to pro-choice without restriction. Sure, one might assert pro-choice, but I think everyone knows killing babies is immoral.

  38. Alright, you think that, and you have reasons for thinking it- but I’m asking you to defend your reasons by applying them to an actual atheist, in this case, me.

    For example, would you not say that your last comment implies that you are not 100% committed to your former statement? I find a statement that begins with:

    Especially in someone who formerly professed to know….

    (Emphasis mine)
    seems to imply some level of increasing likelihood as opposed to an absolute assertion.

    Your language is saying something different than your belief.

  39. Doesn’t “more obvious” imply that it is not always totally obvious? So wouldn’t that mean that you aren’t totally certain, or are certain without objective justification?
    Further, if you claim that the language atheists use betrays their uncertainty in their atheist convictions, doesn’t it logically follow that I ought to be suspicious of any claim where the use of language betrays uncertainty? So could I then tell you I believe that you do not actually think that all atheists consciously or unconsciously believe in god and you would need to at minimum agree that my belief is entirely valid since it rests on the exact same burden of evidence?

    “Especially”, when applied to a noun, implies that there are measurable degrees of what that noun “especially” does, or “especially” is. You can’t say that a person is “especially” going to believe in god and also that all people who share a certain trait that person has are going to believe in god. That makes no sense.

    I can’t help but point out the irony of using an argument that language betrays uncertainty in a stated belief and then using language that betrays uncertainty in a stated belief but claiming that your own argument doesn’t apply when it comes to you.

  40. Actually, I’m having fun with the logic of presuppositional apologetics. I thought it was apropos to your post.

    But seriously, you never answered my challenge. What specifically in your evidence offered for your argument applies to me?
    I know you said that it seems obvious that someone who once believed in god ought to still believe in him- but you offer no evidence of why that ought to be so. Can someone not believe in something and then have that thing sufficiently disproven as to have an honest change of opinion? Not to dwell on an annoying canard of the atheist/theist divide, but in this case it is a little more specific to our conversation….I used to believe in santa and the easter bunny. Why do you suggest that I must still believe in them?

  41. I’m an atheist and I’m convinced that gods (note the plural) do not exist. Since the Bible is internally inconsistent (compare the first and second chapters of Genesis) it’s obvious to me that Yahweh, the kid and the spook really, truly do not exist. You and I both don’t believe that Zeus, Odin and Huitzilopotchli exist. I just extend my belief in the non-existence of gods to include your favorite gods. I could say exactly the same thing to a Muslim, a Hindu or an animist.

    Sorry, John, but reality doesn’t match your wishful thinking. Most atheists do not believe gods exist. But then I’ve noticed that goddists, particularly of the Jesusite persuasion, ignore reality if it conflicts with their fantasies.

  42. James McCoy says:

    I’m a strong atheist, and I’ll gladly disprove your god beyond a reasonable doubt, the moment you define it.
    For example, you might say that your god answers intercessory prayers.
    I then trot out The Galton Prayer Study, and say, no he doesn’t.
    It’s pretty straight forward, and I’m pretty happy to oblige anytime.
    Oh and stop extrapolating from the majority to the total.

    • James

      A defeater for that tack is simply to acknowledge that my understanding/interpretation/description/definition is mistaken. At that point youre only arguing against God as I understand him.

      As far as defining God: the being greater than which nothing is grester. The only maximally great being.

      Now, if you were going
      to treat this seriously, id give you space for a post of your own. But if you’re just going to be flippant (im not accusing, just qualifying) im not going to bother.

      Id love for you to argue against the only maximally great being. It would be a welcome change from the vague hemming and hawing of the regular self described atheists.

  43. I’m going to go on record and say that every avowed theist knows that god doesn’t really exist. Because I can be just as condescending as you can.

  44. I’m going to go on the record as saying that I am confident that every avowed Atheist does in fact know God exists.

    I stopped reading after this. Hilarious. Funniest thing I have read all day.

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