Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


Atheism is the Null or the Default - what one must have unless the evidence specifies something else

A default is what you just have to start with. It may end up being all you have. It is as with a computer, " a selection automatically used by a system in the absence of a choice made by the user."

So there is that default that not making a choice leaves you with. There is also default as in choice. It is the choice you have to make until you get a better or more informed one.

To keep things simple, God can only mean the all-good being who alone should matter ultimately and be loved.

An atheist is a person who says no to the concept of God. The atheist fails to believe in the concept. That is not exactly a denial. But it is implicitly a denial for it is saying there is nothing that matters that much that it should be worshipped. In that sense she or he denies the very concept. It is denied indirectly not directly.

Indirect denial can be as strong as direct denial or even stronger. Just because it is not as visible does not mean it is any way less.

For that reason, this failing to believe should not be seen as agnosticism but as atheism.

An agnostic can decide that there might be a God and commit to him even though she or he is not sure. Atheism rejects the kind of committed belief that agnosticism allows for.

Making a default of atheism is a methodology. In an investigation you have to start somewhere. Start with atheism and see if you can get any further. Atheism has to be the default - it is the assumption you begin with. It is what you stick with if anything else is inconclusive.

If God is a belief that we need and one that we suffer without that does not make it true at all. It is bad to argue, "X is true for we hate the consequences if it is not." It is doing bad to avoid bad. Such a thing cannot truly fit regarding God as ultimately good and honest and beautiful. You use a caricature of God and in a sense that is atheist for who are you to do that? That is an indirect proof that atheism is the default.

What bad things do people fear from atheism?

Christians say God does not threaten human autonomy but gives us proper freedom. The implication is that any freedom without God cannot last and is not real. But God gives you freedom so your freedom depends on him. Sorry that is not freedom. Freedom needs nobody's permission but proceeds from self-determination and self-ownership.

People talk about the meaning of life. By that phrase you would expect to mean being fully alive and feeling fully alive. As reason is a part of you and of life then reason has a role to play in allowing you to have meaning and giving you meaning. Without reason even a God is no good! If we were more rational and careful our lives would grow. If reason and so on says there is no God then we will get meaning by denying him. By caring about and following reason and evidence and thus ourselves we go on a path that might lead to God being abandoned as a superstition and a crutch. They are fundamentally non-religious tools.

Many theologians try to show that reason is good but may warn that thinking will not lead us to God. Their view is that reason needs us to just take a leap and make the idea of a God who gives us reason and who makes sense our foundation. So we assume God gives us reason and that we can trust it for we trust him. For that reason they say that you don't need evidence for God. So reason is true for God says so and God says it because it is true. That shows that you need evidence after all for that is a circular reason. It is nonsense. Yet the believers allege that God is an example of a belief that makes sense without having or seeking evidence! They do not respect reason at all, they do not respect God and they do not respect you by manipulating you to listen to their message.

The Christian implies that an atheist who trusts reason is guilty of assuming that some trustworthy being, God, gives this power so it can be trusted but does not realise they are making this assumption. The atheist is accused of ignorance perhaps deliberate ignorance at times! If God belief were really good it would not infer such a thing!

They try to compare it to the example of how if you see somebody suffering you believe that they are suffering without evidence. Something tells you it is true even if the person does not tell you they are suffering or denies it. You do not even go by how their behaviour looks. You don't infer it from anything else but from how the situation seems. The reason is that it is so terrible to be wrong about suffering that you have to go by how it seems.

They are using suffering to show their point about God. That is good in the sense that we know suffering exists but we cannot be as sure that God exists. As the question of suffering and how it must be battled cannot be separated from the God question. God being found in suffering matters more than God being God. I mean a God that is with the suffering is doing what a God should be about assuming suffering for some reason has to happen.

You regard a person who seems to be suffering as suffering at face value. You just infer it. You do not infer it even from God who says people suffer. You atheistically make it about the person.

We have the assumption that there is a God that we make to back up reason. But it does not work for human suffering! Something is amiss! The answer is that God and reason are two separate matters entirely and assuming God implants reason will not help you be confident in your reason.

Instinct seems to say that if blind forces put us here then there is no reason to trust our brains. A computer that is assembled terribly may be left through the damage to be still able to do maths correctly. It is very unlikely but it can happen that the damage may just program it to do the right thing in a different way. In short we should just assume reason works and not need a God assumption to back it up. One assumption will do. It is irrational to look for another.

A process of elimination looks at all the suggestions that arise when there is a problem. You eliminate all the bad suggestions and settle for the one that is left if it is suitable. In a murder case, you show John, James, Jane and Joan were there nobody else. You show why John, Jane and Joan didn't do it. So that leaves only James. The evidence will show that he could have done it.

We conclude that by a process of elimination we are forced to make atheism the default.