Knowing There's No God Vs. Believing There's No God

Discussion in 'Agnosticism and Atheism' started by HelloPeople88, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. HelloPeople88

    HelloPeople88 Member

    Does anyone find a difference? Do Atheists actually know, or do they believe something doesn't exist since they can't see or recognize it visually?
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  2. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    There's a difference. Some atheists actually see themselves as agnostic atheists. Makes sense to me.
  3. HelloPeople88

    HelloPeople88 Member

    So some actually admit that they don't know while others believe that they do?
  4. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    Haha, yes :)
  5. morrow

    morrow Free as a bird

    No one actually knows if there was or wasn't a god!

    But people believe there might have been, or probably wasn't

    It's an individual thing in any religion...
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  6. HelloPeople88

    HelloPeople88 Member

    Are you saying Atheism has characteristics of a Religion?
  7. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    Lol Chinacat is that you?
  8. morrow

    morrow Free as a bird

    No I'm not. I just think religion itself, is an individual thing!

    So what you believe, is your own..
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  9. HelloPeople88

    HelloPeople88 Member

    For sure. It's just that you lumped believing vs not believing into your comment on religions so was just trying to clarify
  10. Moonglow181

    Moonglow181 Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    I agree with this....

    What I believe or not believe is my own, and how does it affect or make a difference to what you believe or don't? I have asked that question repeatedly.....It is a private matter....

    but for the record, organised religion is not for me, and I resent anyone who tries to make it so.
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  11. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    There is a distinction, but it's not all that important. The difference between "knowing" and "believing" something are really only to do with subjective degrees of certainty on a topic.
    The important distinction is whether or not you are sufficiently certain of a position to let it influence your decision making. Atheists in general are sufficiently certain that there isn't a god that they don't bother behaving as if there might be one.

    I am sufficiently certain that there are no pixies at the bottom of my garden that I don't bother to leave offerings of dried fruit for them, lest they steal our children in the night. Logically, I cannot entirely discount the possibility that they exist, but In the face of a total lack of evidence, I see no reason to alter my behavior.
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  12. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    Same here. It would be nice if I could join an organized religion but I can't. Well, not sincerely at least.
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  13. HelloPeople88

    HelloPeople88 Member

    I like this response. But I would argue that there is a difference between conviction and knowing. Atheists look and don't find and so have certainty/conviction that it doesn't exist. But what about looking for the one who is looking for God? Wouldn't God as a Creator have a direct connection to you as an extension of the Creator?
  14. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    I think the difference between conviction and knowing is so subjective as to be meaningless. If I claim to know something, I only mean that the evidence for something presented to me is sufficient to meet my personal standards of proof.

    A religious person might say "how could you not believe in god? look at this beautiful sunset" (crude example, although some arguments do boil down to similar things)

    Presented with the sunset, the atheist remains unconvinced of the existence of God. The evidence presented has not met his personal standard of proof. Presented with exactly the same information they reach different conclusions because of differing standards. Any claim that there is an objective difference between "knowing" something and "believing" something is rooted in the idea that one state is shored up with evidence and one is not, but as I showed, any evidence is appraised subjectively by the individual. Under scrutiny, therefore, the idea of an objective distinction between "knowing" and "believing" something falls apart because all it comes down to is level of certainty that you feel and what label you choose to apply to that level of certainty. It's all very much subjective.

    You lost me with the second half of your post, I'm afraid.

    All that i can offer is to say that I suspect that an atheist looking and not finding and a person who is looking for God are different only in their individual standards of proof.
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  15. HelloPeople88

    HelloPeople88 Member

    I just meant that instead of looking outwards one could look inwards into trying to find the one searching as a potential trajectory worth exploring. If God does exist, then you should be able to find it within, as you wouldn't be separate from something that created you. This goes hand in hand with your comments on subjectivity.
  16. guerillabedlam

    guerillabedlam Senior Member

    In regards to a Personal God, I think atheists who Know God doesn't exist rely on what we do know of the world and it's processess and logical inconsistencies in certain "qualities" of God. So the atheist may rely on similar types of knowledge that they would have to know the Earth won't fly into the Sun tomorrow.

    Belief would probably be more along the lines of concluding God doesn't exist without delving into analyzing reasons.
  17. Chodpa

    Chodpa -=Chop_Chop=-

    i'm buddhist - but that said, buddhist are atheists - buddha said quite plainly - no god prevents suffering, sickness, pain, or death - all the wasted propitiation to falseness is bad karma
    that said, i do know buddhists who have very clear vision and can see things other people can't and my understanding is that if you're in the trees you can't see them
    but if you are at a distance there are things to behold - gods aside
  18. HelloPeople88

    HelloPeople88 Member

    I feel that Gods are just an artistic metaphorical Archetypal expression of the very same thing that the Tao would be.
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  19. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    what i know is that no one knows anything about it, whether there is one, none or many.
    i know there is a universally wonderful strangeness that we all share, that no one can ever know, but only experience, and the more we pretend to know about it, the less we experience it actually.

    (i can believe all sorts of things and do, but does believing them make them real? i can't even say for sure that it doesn't.
    but i do wish people would wake up and stop calling anything that would want to be feared good,
    and stop denying that consideration is morality and lack of it is tyranny)
    2 people like this.
  20. Irminsul

    Irminsul Valkyrie

    Considering that many of our gods are nothing more than the characteristics of ourselves, you'd better believe I know they exist. :)

    In here. -points to heart-

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