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

Into statistics? Curious what everyone else thinks? Then start a poll here.

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

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

Postby spongebob » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:34 am

Norton wrote:SB,

Take a Mississippi chill pill dude. I'm not judging you. I guess I'm now realizing that you (and maybe the others?) simply didn't like the question and didn't want to answer it and so you decided to answer a different question. That's fine. No big deal.


Take your own pill, Norton. I answered the question honestly and openly and you accuse me of answering a "different question" with your smarmy comment:

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?


Yes, I think you are misrepresenting my post, at least. Did I really say what you accused me of? Let's just take a look, shall we?

This was the original question:
Atheists: Would you like to believe there is a good god?

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?


I answered that given our current reality, I didn't see how a "good god" could fit and still make any sense without changing reality somehow. That disconnet is enough for me to say I don't want to believe in something that doesn't appear to be true. I also answered that I wouldn't care for a different reality, governed by a "good god" because I was happy with this reality and would not know what to expect from this different reality. IOW, I'm not sure I could know what it would look like, so I can't really say I would prefer it. If forced to answer if I would be happy to discover that a "good god" does exist in our current reality, I would say "no" because things would just make no sense at all to me. Perhaps this "good god" would be capable of explaining it in some way as to make me happy again, but that's speculation.

I feel that a question like this deserves more than a simple "yes" or "no". It's not as simple as asking if I want Coke or Pepsi. This also reflects the fact that I've given this notion a tremendous amount of thought. But, once again, you find a way to marginalize my answer, as you often do. This is typical Christian prejudice, finding fault with the answers of others simply because you disagree with them. Why can't you simply take it for what it's worth without judgment?

In fact, if we read the rest of the original post, we see that Omen asked the question because he has encountered Christians who see him as closed minded because of his atheism. His answer is different from mine and I disagree somewhat, but I don't marginalize his answer by saying that he didn't answer his own question.

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.


But since I'm on a roll here, let's examine Norton's post:

It would be a wonderful thing if I discovered that Santa Clause was real and that he really did give gifts to people on Christmas Eve. That would be awesome!


OK, here's where we differ. In the reality in which I live, parents purchase the gifts their children receive on Xmas morning. So, if I discovered tomorrow that Santa Clause has always existed and has always brought toys to boys and girls, I'm going to be a little miffed. He's never brought anything to my kids, unless I miscounted the gifts on Xmas morning. And my folks admitted long ago that THEY were the ones buying all my gifts when I was a kid. So why didn't Santa bring me or my sister anything? You see how this works? Santa does not fit in our reality, so if he were suddenly found to be real, I would feel like I was living in a nightmare.

Now, it would be slightly different if a man suddenly appeared this Xmas to fill the Santa roll. He could be an alien or a man from the distant future, using vast technology to deliver toys around the globe, or just be pure magic. If he could demonstrate that he could do what he says he can do, then that wouldn't be so bad. But it would also change our reality as we know it. Parents would no longer sacrifice in order to buy nice things for their kids. Why should we when Santa will fill the order for free? Kids would begin to look up to this guy like never before. He might even hold true his warning to bad kids and thus help us out with discipline, but then he might not and do us a great disservice. People would flock to the North Pole to get a glimpse of him. A whole industry might spring up around North Pole tourism. And if Santa could exist, wouldn't that make it just as likely that elves would, too? And elves have Elven magic, don't they? And trolls couldn't be far behind, could they? Can you comprehend where I'm going on this, or is it too big a concept? Change one core element of reality and it's a different 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 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:51 pm

Sigh.
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Postby whoosanightowl » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:25 pm

Coke or Pepsi.

Definitely, PEPSI! :lol:
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 Atheist37 » Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:41 am

Norton wrote:Take a Mississippi chill pill

I don't know what it means exactly, but it really rolls off the tongue nicely. I'm definitely adding it to my repertoire.
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Postby Paine » Wed May 09, 2007 11:33 am

I voted No based on the following chain of reason (however loosely connected the links may appear):

1. The vast, vast majority of belief systems in a god/supreme being virtually always involve an aspect of immortality (and, subsequently, an afterlife) inherent within humankind. There are obviously a few exceptions to this (such as ancient Judaism, for one, which considered death a finality), but it holds true for the most part. In other words, belief in god equates to belief in heaven, hell, nirvana, paradise, or some other form of existence subsequent to physical death.

2. I have no desire to live for eternity, whether in bliss or in suffering. One lifetime is sufficient for me, thank you very much. Not a single religion I know of has an appealing afterlife in the least, especially in the case of the god-awful Christian view of heaven, which seems to be to be a description of perhaps the most mundane form of existence possible, and for all eternity to boot!

3. I therefore would rather have no god at all.
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Postby Poemind » Wed May 09, 2007 12:17 pm

Instead of an all good god, I think I shall opt for one of Norton's Mississippi chill pills, thank you very much. Make it double while you're at it! :lol:
"My goal is to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone, but agnosticism about everything."Robert Anton Wilson
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Re:

Postby Char » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:53 am

Atheist37 wrote: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.


Quoted for truth.

I would like to believe in a good god, but the Christian one doesn't seem to come anywhere near meeting the criteria. I admit, I'm glad there is no evidence for that monster being real.
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Re: Atheists: Would you like to believe there is a good god?

Postby Shadrach » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:28 am

i voted "dont care" simply because i really dont care. my desire to want to believe in things makes no difference to reality. i would really like to believe my bank account is bursting with cash or my nephew is not autistic, but its not real.
Not all religions can be right but they can all be wrong.
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Re: Atheists: Would you like to believe there is a good god?

Postby skeptic346 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:20 am

I haven't answered the question in the poll because I think it is too ambiguous a question for me to choose one of those three answers. It it means would I like to believe in a good God considering the way the universe is now, I would say I guess it would be a good thing although considering that the universe we know of is completely inconsistent with an all good, all powerful god, it would have to mean that if there is an all good god, that his powers fall well short of omnipotence. This would still be better than nothing because it allows for the possibility of life after death, which would seem more likely with a good god existing than without one, and I don't want to die. Although some descriptions of heaven make it sound a bit boring, I'd rather be bored forever than dead forever, and it might be less boring than we think anyway. So yes, I would like to believe in a good god, as long as that god is good in the sense that we would get eternal life based on nothing more than us being a good person (according to secular humanist ideas of what a good person is) and that there was no hell.

Like others have said on here, I wouldn't like to believe in an all good, omnipotent god in the universe we currently have because then nothing would make sense anymore.

Another sense the question could have been intended to mean is would I like to believe in an all good god if the universe was then changed according to how it should be if a truly good and omnipotent god existed, and yes I think that would be good because natural disasters and diseases could be eliminated, we could have eternal life etc.
In conclusion, yeah it could be a good thing to believe in, depending on the definition, but I don't believe for a moment that it's true that a good God really exists. There are just too many problems with it.
"Philosophy is questions that can't be answered. Religion is answers that can't be questioned." - Anonymous
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