Atheists: Would you like to believe there is a good god?

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Atheist: Would you like to believe in a good god?

Yes
12
46%
No
5
19%
Dont Care
9
35%
 
Total votes : 26

Atheists: Would you like to believe there is a good god?

Postby Omen » Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:34 am

Now I am not talking about the "christian" god, because that attribute of good strays to often into the realm of tyranny, violence, and hate. I'm simply asking from an objective pov, would it be a good thing to discover there really is a all good god?

The question stems from being accused quite often that I ( as an atheist myself ) "harden my heart" or "reject it out of hand because I do not want to believe". When obviously, I find the opposite to be true. I would clearly enjoy discovering proof of a real omni-benevolent god. Who wouldn't? It would be an all-good being. I think the chrsitain approaches with the idea that their specific god is actually omni-benevolent despite that attribute being highly questionable in the christian mythology.
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Postby spongebob » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:47 am

I think this question is kind of unanswerable. It all depends on the specifics of the "god" you define. It's kind of like asking someone if they wished they had a specific kind of parent. I wish my parents had been rich, but I don't wish they were people of big business or movie stars. I wish they lived in a more interesting place, but then I also enjoyed my childhood and wouldn't want to subsitute my experiences for others.

So ultimately, my answer is "no" or "don't care" because I accept existence as it is. Sometimes I wish things were easier, but then if they were, certain aspects would be less satisfying. If you were to propose an idyllic situation, that would seem creepy and I would likely reject it as well.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Postby Atheist37 » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:58 pm

I answered "don't care". In truth, if a good god existed then it would not be a matter of faith or belief, it would be a matter of knowledge based on evidence. A good god would not play hide and seek, expecting total devotion by non-credible threats of eternal torture.

But the reason I would like a good god to exist would be that human suffering might be eliminated. There is disease, and hunger, and ignorance, and violence. These are things that a good god would simply blink out of existence. Well, that's what I would do if I were a god. And to be honest I'm really not all that good.

And please don't tell me about free will. People by and large don't will themselves into disease or starvation or illiteracy or beatings. What would be the point of allowing this form of "free will" anyway, if such a will to suffering is even postulated? It would make no sense at all.
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Postby whoosanightowl » Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:54 pm

I also said "don't care", but like spongebob and A37 said, what kind of God it was would make a difference.
If it were one who wanted our complete, unquestioning obedience, servitude and adoration, yet never revealed him/herself to each and every one of us personally, no.
If it were a God who everyone KNEW existed beyond any doubt and he/she cared for, protected, and made sure basic needs of life were always readily accessible, sure.
Alice:`There's no use trying, one can't believe impossible things.'
Queen:`...you haven't had much practice, When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
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Postby mikedsjr » Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:48 pm

Perspective is everything.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
Eccl 3:1
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Postby whoosanightowl » Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:28 pm

Perspective is everything.

Not really, evidence is much more than perspective.
Alice:`There's no use trying, one can't believe impossible things.'
Queen:`...you haven't had much practice, When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
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Postby spongebob » Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:57 pm

Perspective is important for personal opinion, but it need not represent reality.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Postby Norton » Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:15 pm

Omen,

I think these answers reveal why Christians are sometimes skeptical of atheists. While I know everyone was being sincere, and I appreciate that, what I heard was: "No - I've already decided that a 'good god' isn't possible and so whatever you propose to me, I'm not going to accept it. And besides, I really don't care anyway."

Now, I've got to be real honest, there are a whole lot of very close-minded Christians. But I don't see how this kind of attitude is much different. Am I misrepresenting y'all, or is this true?

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Postby mikedsjr » Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:49 pm

whoosanightowl wrote:
Perspective is everything.

Not really, evidence is much more than perspective.
oh contra,

Perspective puts direction on how we interpret truth.

spongebob wrote:Perspective is important for personal opinion, but it need not represent reality.

So are you assuming something about your stance?
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
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Postby whoosanightowl » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:44 pm

I think these answers reveal why Christians are sometimes skeptical of atheists. While I know everyone was being sincere, and I appreciate that, what I heard was: "No - I've already decided that a 'good god' isn't possible and so whatever you propose to me, I'm not going to accept it. And besides, I really don't care anyway."

I don't think a "good" god is plausible when considering the living conditions of many people in this world, whether or not it is possible. I think if there is a god, or basically a "first cause", he/she/it is indifferent to the plight of humanity. I don't think God was ever really thought of as "good" until somewhat recently. God was to be feared, as a scared abuse victim is of his/her abuser. Abusers aren't good, but people who are under their control will sometimes become convinced they are and that whatever evil thing is done to them, they believe they deserve. This is exactly how the bible god (OT) is portrayed, with the occasional exception of his "chosen race", or at least that's what they wanted to believe.

Now, I've got to be real honest, there are a whole lot of very close-minded Christians. But I don't see how this kind of attitude is much different. Am I misrepresenting y'all, or is this true?

I'm not closed minded if there is some evidence to support believing in a certain deity, but unless he/she/it reveals to me personallly the same thing it reveals to all others, then I have no reason to believe.
For instance, I could just as easily believe that an invisible flying pixie zips around sprinkling fairy dust all over the earth, which I see on my furniture as evidence of her existence. And if, when I am dusting, I silently pray to this "fairygoddess", and some of what I pray for comes to pass, well of course I would praise the almighty T.B.! Even though many of my requests may seem to go unanswered, I'm certain she hears and is just answering with a "no" or "not right now", for my own good of course. And if I have a dream that she spoke to me and told me that everyone has to also believe in her or spend eternity in Neverland, where crocodiles will forever torment them, then I should reasonably expect everyone to believe, right? Especially if I am very persuasive.
Well, say several people who are deathly afraid of crocodiles decide they aren't going to take a chance, so they convince themselves to believe. Then they teach their children, who teach their childrens children, etc., and pretty soon, many people are believers. And for those who don't see a logical reason to believe, since they don't agree that dust is caused by the pixiegoddess, but rather that it's a natural, scientifically understood occurance from our atmostphere, then we should make them feel guilty and worthy of eternal torment for not buying into my personal dream revelation, right?
Now of course, if T.B. revealed herself to everyone in the world personally, there would be no doubt as to the truth of where dust actually came from. Then doubters would be able to understand that she only made dust appear to have a natural scientific explanation. but in reality, she is the one sprinkling it because she is a supernatural being.
Well, I must go dust my furniture now...Praise T.B.!
Alice:`There's no use trying, one can't believe impossible things.'
Queen:`...you haven't had much practice, When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
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Postby mikedsjr » Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:56 am

sue, so don't blame man?
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Postby whoosanightowl » Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:11 pm

sue, so don't blame man?

Of course not, it's because of the lies of the Evil Captain Hook and his comrades that men are blinded to the truth of fairygoddes, T.B.
Alice:`There's no use trying, one can't believe impossible things.'
Queen:`...you haven't had much practice, When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
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Postby whoosanightowl » Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:23 pm

...but even so, humanity will still be the ones ultimately to suffer for eternity with viscious crocodiles if they don't believe in my dream.
Alice:`There's no use trying, one can't believe impossible things.'
Queen:`...you haven't had much practice, When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
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Postby whoosanightowl » Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:26 pm

Oh, and did I mention that T.B. not only created C.H., but also allows him to continue tricking people while she remains hidden and silent? Cool, huh?!
(Except of course for the evidence of the dust she sprinkles, which should be sufficient.)
Alice:`There's no use trying, one can't believe impossible things.'
Queen:`...you haven't had much practice, When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
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Postby spongebob » Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:10 pm

Norton wrote:Omen,

I think these answers reveal why Christians are sometimes skeptical of atheists. While I know everyone was being sincere, and I appreciate that, what I heard was: "No - I've already decided that a 'good god' isn't possible and so whatever you propose to me, I'm not going to accept it. And besides, I really don't care anyway."

Now, I've got to be real honest, there are a whole lot of very close-minded Christians. But I don't see how this kind of attitude is much different. Am I misrepresenting y'all, or is this true?

Norton


Norton, I don't think you could misinterpret something any worse. Maybe you should read the posts again. What I heard was more along the lines of this:

"It depends on specifically HOW you define this god, but generally I don't see the need for the kind of god most Christians believe in."

I didn't hear anything about a "good" god being impossible or "I've already made up my mind". Those are the kind of comments Christians like to make when they demonize and condemn atheists for being closed-minded. Most skeptics I know would be willing to consider evidence of a god of any kind; it just isn't there.

I don't think this is a closed-minded approach at all. I think this is a practical way to approach reality. Accepting the universe the way it is and doing the best with what we have is rational. Wishing there was a magic father-figure to make bad things go away doesn't seem rational. So, if I say I would "like" god to be real, to me that would mean that I see something wrong with reality as it is, and I don't. There are aspects of reality that I don't like, but changing those things could change reality in such a way to make it unsatisfactory. Does that make sense?

Let me share an aside for a moment. Captain Picard of the starship Enterprise once rejected the Q's offer to make him immortal. His reason was something along the lines of this, "Our mortality is what defines us as humans." I think he was addressing this same question in a way. He was acknowledging the fact that if humans were immortal, their very nature would change. It might be better or worse, but they would no longer be human. And he was just fine being human. I concur with his assessment.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
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