Atheists With Doubts

New thread courtesy of Doug – he writes:

Atheists With Doubts.
All of us have doubts.
All of us have questions.
Christians have doubts about Gods existence, Christians wonder why ‘good things happen to bad people’.
Just as Christians have doubts and questions about the fact that, ‘YES GOD IS’.
No doubt atheists sometimes have doubts that God does not exist.
This thread is specifically for you. This being an atheist web site I do not expect many if any hits, for who would want their name broadcast that perhaps, just maybe they have doubts that God does not exist. 99.9% of aethiests would refuse to express their doubts.

Belief in God is not a playground it is a battleground!

Best wishes & God bless you,
Doug

12 Responses to Atheists With Doubts

  1. The Atheist says:

    Personally, I have doubts all the time. In fact, any time someone presents me with a new view about who God is or why they believe he exists, I doubt my belief that there is no God. Sometimes the newly presented view is compelling enough to make me genuinely question if it could be true. Other times I force myself to doubt, at least long enough to appreciate why the person would believe what he does. In either case, that of genuine doubt and that of forced doubt, I weigh the view for myself and then decide if it could be true. And if it could be true, I make a judgment call: is it the most reasonable conclusion? Does it seem likely that it is true?

    For me, atheism is a conclusion based on doubt, not only doubt about God, but also continuous doubt about my own conclusions. I have no interest in retaining any particular belief that goes against reason, or that fails to take into account the available evidence. I endeavor to look at all available evidence and allow myself the freedom to be persuaded by it. Thus far, reason and evidence has lead me to the conclusion is that there is no God, that there is nothing beyond the natural universe.

    On the other hand, when presented with reasons to believe by someone who seems unaware of crucial evidence, like evidence for evolution, abiogenesis, origins of the universe, to name just a few examples, I don’t hesitate to share the rationale for my doubt. At that point, the person can choose to consider the evidence, or he can choose to dismiss it out of hand, or he can discredit the evidence by presenting evidence or rationale that I’m unaware of. When we allow ourselves to consider any available evidence regardless of what conclusions might follow, we can have meaningful, satisfying discussions.

    If anyone takes time to read through some of the past discussions on this blog, he will find a few satisfying and meaningful discussions (I guess satisfying and meaningful are subjective, I hope the other posters found the discussions to be satisfying and meaningful for them as well). Whether you are an atheist or a theist, I encourage you allow yourself to think for yourself. Be a free thinker (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freethought). Don’t be afraid of where the evidence leads, be resolved to bravely follow. And when newer evidence presents itself, don’t be afraid to change course (even abruptly!) if the evidence demands it. Free thinking can be unsettling, and even scary, but it is always thrilling and always satisfying.

  2. doug says:

    Free thought.
    Oh Really?

    Dear The Atheist,
    I really do prefer Samson because Samson was a Jew who turned from God, but then returned to God. I only hope that like Samson you will return to your belief in God.
    I know that you also are a Jew and always will be because it is in your blood and thus you can never change it. It simply is. I hope that like Samson you will return to God.

    I doubt your sincerity when you say that you are open to ‘compelling evidence’. Your monicor [sp] after all is ‘The Atheist’ and this is your website…’Ask an atheist’. This is your business. Why would you be open to anyone’s view that differs with yours. I am happy to have the opportunity to present the case through my eyes, my experiences, my understanding of God to you.

    I took a quick look see at your suggested reading….Freethought. It is the exact opposite of its title……..perhaps anacronym [sp] is the word I want.

    Remember I am speaking from my heart….my soul, so you may not find this to be ‘compelling evidence’.
    However God has blessed me with a good mind so I hope that you will open your, mind, your heart, your soul, your spirit to what I have to say.

    I was raised a Christian and the 10 Commandments and a strict sense of right and wrong, morals stuck to me.

    Freethought. Many if not all atheists claim to be open minded to the posablilty that yes GOD IS. I think not. By trying to place God in a box they are LIMITING their thought. The desire of an atheist is to be able to see or hear God at the very least.
    Sorry this is not going to happen. Just as you are saved by faith you have to accept that God is on faith. You accept the numbers and letters of physicists on faith, yet you refuse to accept the possibility that yes GOD IS on faith. Why? Because you can see and hear and talk to a physicists therefore what they hypothosise must be true.
    Being able to see or hear a physicists makes what they think or guess happened true.
    Not being able to see or hear God makes faith in him a farce to atheists.

    If you are truly honest with yourself this makes you close minded not open minded.

    Jesus said that we should have the “Faith of a child”.
    WHY
    Because a child believes without question. His faith is pure. Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy….their faith is true and unquestioning. They learn that mom or dad place a coin underneath their pillow. They learn that Santa is just a man dressed up in a red suit at the mall or see their parents placing gifts under the Christmas tree. These are PEOPLE they see.
    They cannot see God.
    Jesus bones are not on on display as Buddahs or Muhamads. This makes Jesus real.
    WHY?
    Because Jesus arose from the dead!
    THUS
    No bones.
    Freethinking is limiting one to what they can actually see, hear, etc.
    Thus a lie.
    Freethinking is opening up ones mind to the possabliity that yes there is a power greater than our own.
    Atheist depend on science and logic. OK lets take that and run with it. The Big Bang theory. The M-10 [11?] theory. It makes no difference! They both have to answer the same question.
    WHO created them? Who created the magnetism…..Who caused that explosion?
    WHO created these other dimensions?
    Take a piece of black construction paper. Now stare at it for a minute. Has anything appeared on it yet? No. Now take a crayon and make a mark on it. Something is now there. Where did the something come from? It came from you. Did physics make it appear? Did logic make it appear? Did reason make it appear? No. You made it appear. Was there any energy there? Was there any magnetism there? Were there other dimensions there? No….it was simply blank. YOU made something appear on that black piece of construction paper.
    Who made these dimensions? Who made the energy, matter, magnetism appear? Very simply God. You have to take this on faith. The faith of a child.
    You must try and imagine a complete and utter and total void.
    You must try and imagine a complete and utter anf total vacuum.
    Complete and utter NOTHINGNESS.
    Can you do it?
    I think not because you have bought into man and denied God after your brothers badgering.
    Even Mr. Dawkins admits to a supernatural power having created “The Heavens and the earth”. Can you not also concede this?
    You asked “Is it the most reasonable conclusion?”
    You asked for evidence?
    If you are TRULY open minded.
    If you are TRULY a “Free thinker.”
    Then yes!
    I only hope that you are not too imbedded, too bought into your atheism to consider these facts.
    Who or how did the magnetism, dimensions become?
    “Scientific evidence?”
    Maybe not.
    “Compelling evidence?”
    YES!

    Best wishes & God bless you,
    Doug

  3. The Reverend says:

    Compelling evidence? Hardly.

    You are asking skeptical people to believe that an omnipotent being created another being whose sole purpose is to worship it’s creator. This story fits in quite nicely with tooth fairies and santa claus. Stories parents tell their children to get them to be good.
    Even your own bible tells you; “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” This includes fairy tales.

    Freethought does not discount the existence of a god, it merely requires proof. Logic, reason and science do not discount the existence of a god, they just haven’t found any compelling evidence for one. (By the way, Prof. Dawkins does NOT admit to a supernatural power creating heaven and earth. Please read his books.)

    Is there a power greater than mine? Of course. The power of the universe is greater than mine, but I am a part of it.

    As for being a freethinker, I say it is the believers who are close minded to the possibility that their concept of god is somewhat shy of the mark. Almost as long as man has existed he has believed in gods, and as long as there have been believers there have been non-believers. Over the course of time the concepts of gods have changed, including yours. Why SHOULD atheists believe in gods?
    Freethinking not only concerns itself with the material world but also incorporates the ethereal. Freethinking most assuredly deals with the idea of the existence of gods. It deals with what people believe and why they believe what they do. That, my friend, is philosophy.

    As for Yeshua bin Joseph, there is serious doubt as to the historicity of your messiah. All the references I have seen so far are biblical and it is all second hand. No reality, no bones. However, if you have something else to verify any of your claims, I would be more than happy to have a look.

    I have more points to address but, at the moment, I have a house full of wanna-be-rock-star teenagers. I’ll be back.

  4. doug says:

    No further answers.

    Dear the Reverend & The Atheist,
    A couple of things first.
    My profile of atheists. Obviously I am not good at this. White and well educated individuals who tend to over think. J.D. proved me wrong on this. Some were burned out and their inner demons made them open to other realms of thought such as you The Atheist and J.D. You were easily influenced at this time or simply rebellious :

    The Reverend:
    Did we meet on Austin Clines site Atheist and Agnostics? I remember debating 8+ atheists for 7 hours. I have since been black balled from his site. My comments appear then magically disappear. Did I place too many doubts in his minions? I asked him how did he become without an original energy or supernatural power. His answer was poor at best, “I was born.” Sam answered, “By force of will.” Did a buffalo become out of “force of will”? Their brain is about the size of a pea and they are dumber than a rock. Another piss poor answer.
    Welcome back. It must have been hell on earth to have teenage rock star wannabes on your house.

    The Atheist:
    Your sincerity to the possibility of Gods existence is bogus.
    It is a lie.
    You may have convinced YOURSELF that it is true, but no it is not.
    WHY:
    This is your website.
    It is titled “Ask an Atheist”.
    By using the monicor “The Atheist” you show, you prove, that you are dogmatic in your point of view. Unwilling to sincerely listen to or open your heart to the possibility of Gods existence.
    You have over 20 categories for atheism.
    You state that you must ” FORCE ” yourself to the possibility of Gods existence. If you must “FORCE” yourself then you are not open to the possibility of Gods existence.
    You are HYPOCRITICAL ! ! !
    You have you sites that offer the best “Satire” to Gods existence. This is not open minded.
    There are several other reasons, but I will not go into them.
    Your sincerity is BOGUS !

    Thank you for considering this an excellent idea for a thread.

    This is not a thread for you.
    This is not a thread for The Reverend.
    This is not a thread for J.D.

    This is a thread for true “Atheist with doubts”
    For that matter it is a thread for Christians with doubts.

    I WILL NOT answer any questions from you, J.D., or The Reverend.
    Let us return to AT&Theists.

    Most sincere best wishes & God bless you,
    Doug

    I

  5. Damian says:

    Take a chill pill bro. Deep breaths.

  6. The Atheist says:

    Hey! Damian! Good to hear from you again.

  7. Damian says:

    How are you? I haven’t been here for a while and was surprised by the volume of activity (especially on the ‘at&theits’ post – which, to be honest was more than a little surreal at times).

    I still pop past Kevin’s blog more frequently than I should but no longer comment after noting that he had asked the same question at least three times about “if evolution is true then how did everything come from nothing” which you and I have put great effort into answering on numerous occasions and I figure he’s deliberately being disingenuous – perhaps for the ROI he gets by way of comments. Going back for a look from time to time (and fuming silently at my screen) is like a dirty addiction I have and I probably will need counselling to kick it.

    You’ve got the patience of a saint though and I really admire it. Good for you. Me? Deep down I’d rather tell people to just go fuck themselves but I’ve learned a thing or two from you about respect.

    You enjoying yourself?

  8. The Atheist says:

    I’m enjoying myself more than usual! I’m having a marvelous time on an island on the east coast (http://tinyurl.com/5ldbjj) – on a week-long vacation, which by US standards is pure decadence – don’t know what it’s like for you Kiwis; for most of the civilized world, anything less than a month is just a side trip. For us on the good ol’ US, a long weekend is a lifetime so a whole week is an eternity.

    To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t trade the at&theits thread for the world – I couldn’t make a better case against theistic thought if I tried. Of course, I do respect people for no other reason than their humanity. But it’s not saintly by any means – if you think about it (hint: you may only be able to properly “thing about it” after several pints of your favored swill – I’ve had my share this eve so you may have some catching up to do), it’s really a form of self respect in the very deepest sense, since intellect and sanity are only a veneer on the “self” – how I treat other’s is how I regard my “self” (too sappy? It may take a few more pints. Still too sappy? Maybe it’s just sappy! :) ). But in the final analysis, the tolerance really doesn’t cost me anything and it may be helping someone else out. Who knows.

    If you compare Kevin’s blog now to they it was when you first showed up there (which isn’t that long after I started posting), he’s changed quite a bit. He’s certainly nowhere close to being “cured” (and I have no expectation that he will ever be) but there is a very definite change in his thinking… a very… slow… and gradual… change – but a change none the less. It’s no doubt thanks to the steady diet of cognitive dissonance over a long period of time.

    But the best part of posting there is his audience. Kevin’s audience tends to be for the most part like him (with notable exceptions like Bill the LDS, me, and a few others) – fundamentalist. So it’s an ideal place to get the fundamentalist reaction to your ideas. It’s kind of like doing user-acceptance testing on some of your code (your ideas in this case) before the general release (you’re a programmer as I recall?). You get to see first hand how a particular presentation of a concept will resonate with them. And if you get angry when you read his blog, just lower your expectation! :))

    How have you been? Haven’t been on your blog for a while so I need to catch up…

  9. Damian says:

    All is well here thanks. Winter is approaching though so I’m getting ready to hunker down for a while and my wife and I have tentatively planned a holiday to Borneo later in the year to give us something to look forward to.

    I like your approach to tolerance and the link to self-respect. I’m going to mull on that for a while.

    With regard to your view that the at&theist thread being a good case against theistic thought I’m not sure I agree. Dementia perhaps? I felt like I was tripping just reading some of the comments there.

    Anyhoo, keep up the good work fella and catch you around!

  10. doug says:

    Damian & The Atheist

    3 Things

    Dear Damian & The Atheist,

    1] Damian….”Take a chill pill. Deep breaths.”
    Answer: Sorry but I am passionate about our Father.

    2] How do I get onto the afore mentioned blogs.

    3] I am happy that the two of you have found each other again.

    4] The Atheist I am glad that you and Damian have found each other again.

    Damian please join our discussion under “Why do AT&Theist argue Science vs. Religion. I would love to hear your comments.

    5] The Atheist. I hope you have a good vacation. I miss your posts. Where are you?
    Am I too much for you?

  11. Druggy says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Druggy!!!

  12. The Atheist says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Druggy!

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