Monday, May 07, 2007

Agree or Disagree - part 2

Let's take an example: Some people believe we were made by a creator who has plans and purposes for his creation, while others believe there is no greater meaning to life, no grand design, and we exist not because of some divine intention but because of random chance. This is not a discussion between people of faith and people who don't have faith. Both perspectives are faith perspectives, built on systems of belief. The person who says we are here by chance and there is no greater meaning has just as many beliefs as the person who says there's a creator. Maybe even more.
- from Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

An atheist is a person of tremendous faith.
(not in God, but in something)

Agree or Disagree?

17 comments:

Morris said...

Agree. I've told atheists straight out that they have more faith than I do, to believe that all this glorious creation came around by pure chance - especially when there is just so much proof *for* creation.

Geppy said...

A co-worker of mine is an atheist. He was speaking of a book he read (forget the name) that he thinks is one of the greatest books written. In the book it speaks of scientific models that encapsulates all the theories and beliefs of the goal of that model. And then those who subscribe to the specific scientific model believe in what it stands for.

So, Religious believer, Scientist, and Atheist all have beliefs. All make assumptions about what is true. So, who can choose what assumptions are true except thru an outside party - the Creator...?

Geppy said...

Just finished speaking with my co-worker. The book is by Thomas Kuhn and is called The Structure of Scientific Revolution.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Scientific-Revolutions-Thomas-Kuhn/dp/0226458083/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b/103-7609357-1289431?ie=UTF8&qid=1178654054&sr=8-1

Wonder Woman said...

I dunno, touched "it" last time and kinda got burned. I guess that's what you get from random...

Oh dear where was I going with any of this?

Roland said...

You were going to the bedroom, WW. Old age catching up with you?

eaglewood said...

Atheists defiantly have faith. I cannot help but be reminded of a certain bunny slaying friend of ours to remember the very religious faith of that persons atheistic belief system.

I sometimes wonder about old bunny boy and how he is doing.

Roland said...

I know what you mean Eaglewood. Robert was definitely in a not good place last time I saw him. I hope he got some help.
And faith in the idea that there is no God when (at least to me) the evidence is so overwhelmingly in favor of Him being there, that it boggles my mind sometimes.

thimscool said...

If you're interested in seeing how he's doing, check out his blog.

Gentlemen, claiming that atheists are faithful based on your experience with SR is like saying that Democrats are thrifty because Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate.

Be serious.

Faith is not "belief without evidence". Faith is acting on your belief, within the context of your belief. If I had a nickel for every time I saw an atheist swear to God or act based on superstition, I wouldn't need to work anymore.

Atheists believe that there is no God, and they mock the very idea of faith. This is not a contradiction.

If pressed into a corner about their belief in God's non-existence, they will acknowledge that they have no evidence and that without evidence of God it is simplest to assume that there is no God. In other words, atheists are essentially agnostics with an ax to grind. Their behavior, not their rhetoric, is indistinguishable from an agnostics, however, because neither one acts on faith.

Satan believes in God, but has no faith. Atheists believe in no God, and have no faith. Agnostics don't have a belief either way, so they can't have faith. A religious person believes, and if they have faith they will walk through fire in that belief.

Roland said...

Atheists have faith in what they believe, though, thimscool.
They have faith that there is no God. Their faith is based on their beliefs.
And thanks for the link.
I never disrespected Robert.
I think he was very cool.

thimscool said...

My faith is very weak, and so maybe I am simply confused.

But you seem to be using it as a synonym for "belief".

To me, faith is more of a synonym for "trust".

Atheists have nothing to trust in. Please stretch to see my point of view, and maybe you can help me. Don't reject it out of hand. Please.

thimscool said...

Well, they trust their senses, and their experience, such as it is. But those are just mundane and any atheist will acknowledge that these are useless when contemplating things like the afterlife or the existence of a creator outside of their universe. Everyone has some 'faith' in their senses.

Roland said...

Thimscool,

I have some things to do in the days ahead (vacation) But want to discuss some of the things you wrote. Send me an e-mail to
tamron@juno.com

I don't use that e-mail as much, and from there, I'll give you the e-mail I really like and we can dialogue a bit more.

Hang in there. I like reading what you write. Honestly.

Geppy said...

thimscool,

I know that from my statement I referred to Christians, Atheists, and Scientists all having belief. As you said, Lucifer himself also has belief. Belief is not the equivalent to faith.

Christian faith is a specific type of belief. Christian faith is believing the promises that the Creator has given and fulfilled thru His Son Jesus. Christian faith is accepting His promises and knowing that He will keep them.

There are also other faiths. In a general context, faith is very similar. It is taking your belief and living as if it is correct and trusting in that belief.

So everyone has beliefs and their actions show their faith in their beliefs. Not all faith is a faith that leads to eternal salvation in God's Kingdom.

(My understanding, opinions, and faith.)

Roland said...

Thanks Geppy. Well put.

I'm just about to bed now, but kept thinking about this,
"Atheists have nothing to trust in."
They don't necessarily. Some think there is some ephemeral 'more' to life than this, but most do not. Their faith is not 'in' something being there, but 'in' something not being there.

thimscool said...

So how do atheists act according to their belief that there is no God?

What would that even mean? They just go about their business just like agnostics, who have no belief.

If engaged in an argument, they might show some 'faith' in their disbelief. But day to day, their negative belief just does not matter.

In contrast, a Christian of strong faith will constantly take actions based on their belief, like prayer. A faithful Christian will be affected many times a day by their belief in God.

Outside of conversations like this one, atheists are not affected any more or less than agnostics by their belief.

I may know what I'm talking about with regard to atheists, people...

Geppy said...

All true, thimscool.

Maybe the actions that an atheist may take based on their beliefs is in how they inter-relate with their fellow human beings. Who cares how loving or hating you treat your neighbor if this is all there is.

As far as my Christian faith, my actions must be the things that I do in private with Jesus (bible reading and prayer) and what I do for my "neighbors" in public - such as food and money for the poor, or computer repair for those without computer knowledge.

Everything we do in life are actions that are based on the faith we hold. To me, Christianity is the correct faith. And this faith should affect every single aspect of my life. Sadly, it probably hasn't yet as I am human and probably still somewhat self-centered.

thimscool said...

I would agree that Christianity is the correct faith, even if my belief and faith are weak.

I am concerned that many Christians are not practicing their faith, but rather living their culture. They may believe strongly in God and Jesus as savior. But that belief is very different from having faith in God's plan.

I believe this issue cuts to the heart of you and Roland's discussions with Eaglewood about judgment... Christians should have enough faith in God to allow their children to explore truth openly.