Response to "Mr. Theist"
A commenter on this post (at my blog) brought up something I want to talk about: Faith and reason and all that jazz. Seth has dubbed him "Mr. Theist" so that is what I'm going to call him.
You have faith Kele, you just don't know it. Whenever you do something as simple as sitting in a chair, you have faith that it will hold you. I have faith that God exists and YOU have faith that He doesn't because you cannot pove He doesn't exist.
A theist has faith, an atheist does not. Of course, both of us do have faith in certain things, but that's a different kind.
First, let's look at the definition of "faith", from dictionary.com.
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.
Which kind are we talking about? I don't think we're talking about 3, 4, 5 or 6. I'll go with 2. "Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." I think an atheist does take faith in things probably every day, but that's with #1, and I think that can be partly based off reason and past experiences. An example would be the chair analogy Mr. Theist used. I can look at the chair and judge if it will hold me or not, wait for somebody else to sit there and then sit it when they get out of it.
But I think the kind of faith we're really talking about is #2. "Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." If there was logical proof or material evidence for a god, everyone would be a believer. There just isn't any right now. Maybe in the future sometime.
The atheists are being rational while the theists are being IRrational. "Irrational" is a good word to use, I think; I bet it would infuriate a lot of theists. Dictionary.com defines "irrational" as:
1. Not endowed with reason.
There ya go. That is the theist position. They have faith, or a belief that isn't based on logic or evidence, in god, while the atheist does not.
Note that I'm not calling theists irrational people, just that particular belief is irrational.
Until there is evidence for a god, I won't believe in one. But really, I don't want to believe a god exists. I'd rather KNOW a god exists based on logic and evidence. Until then, screw it!
So, Mr. Theist, YOU have faith God exists, based on irrational assumptions while my position is based on the evidence (or lack of evidence).
If you could prove your point, noboby would worship a God that doesn't exist.
You're making the positive claim, you have to prove your point. I don't have to do anything.
(I took out the evolution bit. Evolution has nothing to do with atheism so I felt that it shouldn't really be talked about on here. If any of the other contributers feel otherwise, please say so.)
So, basically, the theist belief that a god exists is irrational and not based on evidence, logic or anything. The atheist's position is based off the lack of any of these things. Until someone comes up with a good logical argument or good evidence, there is no reason to believe a god exists. As PZ Myers said at the presentation I went to yesterday (this isn't exact), we just don't have a need for a god in any of our current scientific hypotheses. Everything we know about in science just doesn't need it. They work fine without it.
(Oh crap, what time zone are we supposed to use?! Hahaha. I'll stick with the default for now.)
(This was also posted at my blog.)