Bay Area Atheists/Agnostics/Humanists/Freethinkers/Skeptics Message Board › All Atheists believe in God

All Atheists believe in God

Matthew
user 13597253
Dublin, CA
Post #: 2
Hello. For most of my life I've considered myself to be an atheist. It is only recently that I've come to the realization that atheists believe in God.

Throughout human history God has been used in society to explain nature and the world around us. The Native Americans had Gods of the rain, winds, and springtime flowers. The Greeks and Romans also used gods to explain natural occurrences. Christianity and Catholicism use God to explain how we were created and came to be. In every major religion God is always used to explain world and the unknown.

God is nature. In every religion past and present God is nature. God has always been nature. It's actually only a minority of religions which ascribe sentience to him.

Ergo, whenever you ascribe features to nature you are invoking a God. If you claim that the fabric of space-time can bend and stretch, you are giving unknown qualities to nature which can only be described as God-like.

When you wave your hands around and say that "Nature did it" or "Nature caused that," it is no different than a religious man saying "God did it" or "God caused that".

God is the unknown; a way to explain our world. For all intents and purposes the atheist's Mother Nature, with all of her paranormal qualities and attributes, is a God.

Athiesm is a religion. Not an organized religion, but a religion none the less. Indeed, it's impossible to *not* believe in a God.

Can you explain how our universe works without tossing up your hands and using nature as a supernatural scape-goat? What causes matter to bend space-time? Where does matter come from? What causes action-at-a-distance? What causes messenger particles? How is kenetic energy transformed into potential energy? If you throw up your hands and say that you don't know and that it's simply the natural order of things for things to be as they are, you have just invoked a supernatural scape-goat and have just invoked a God to explain the workings of the world, just as our ancestors used God to explain the workings of theirs. It's really no different.
Larry H.
terrycts
Group Organizer
Pinole, CA
Post #: 14
God is the mythical explanation of Nature. Science is the evidence-based explanation of Nature.

By promoting God talk, you are doing Atheism a disservice.
Wendy
user 9892369
San Ramon, CA
Post #: 121
Matthew says:

"If you throw up your hands and say that you don't know and that it's simply the natural order of things for things to be as they are, you have just invoked a supernatural scape-goat and have just invoked a God to explain the workings of the world. . . "

Okay. I don't know any non-theists who would say that, though. For my part, I can--and happily and confidently do--say I don't know, without throwing up my hands or ascribing unknown occurrences to "the natural order of things." What distinguishes atheists from The Others is their tolerance of the unknown. Of course, like most human beings, we'd prefer to have the answers to those intriguing questions you posed; but we're okay with waiting for science and the results of rational inquiry to catch up, even if that means going without answers during our lifetimes. In contrast, people who are uncomfortable with uncertainty embrace unprovable "explanations" [i.e., "have faith"] to help them survive the vagaries and injustices of the human condition.

Since particular words ("Nature/nature," "spirituality," "God/god," "religion," etc.) do not have shared meanings and give rise to some rather ardent proclamations, permit me to offer a paraphrase of Larry's pithy and useful response: "God is the mythical explanation of what happens and the way things are. Science is the evidence-based explanation for what happens and the way things are."
Matthew
user 13597253
Dublin, CA
Post #: 3
God is the mythical explanation of Nature. Science is the evidence-based explanation of Nature.

By promoting God talk, you are doing Atheism a disservice.

You are assuming that science has evidence-based answers to the workings of our world. It does not. Science relies on the paranormal just as much as any religion does. When we look at fudemental mechanisms for how our universe works, science does not have an answer, and we are left so assume things like "it works just because."

For example; why does the fabric of space bend in the presence of mass?

If you don't know, how can you expect me to take science's word for it? You expect me to believe that Nature can do all of these extraordinary and unexplained things? For some unknown and unexplained reason? Sounds like a mythical, faith-based explanation to me.

Okay. I don't know any non-theists who would say that, though. For my part, I can--and happily and confidently do--say I don't know, without throwing up my hands or ascribing unknown occurrences to "the natural order of things."

Okay. Your answer is that you don't know. But the followup I have to that is "You don't know what, exactly?"

You don't know how the universe works?

You don't know how nature works?

If you've answered yes to any of the above then it implies that nature is doing it. Thus, it again leads us to the excuse of "Nature did it," or, "it's part of Nature." You are using Nature as a scapegoat.

Any time you give up rational explanation for the unknown and extraordinary you are using a super-natural scappegoat for an explanation. A super-natural scapegoat used to explain the workings of the world is also commonly known as "God." Hence, you believe in God.

Athiests don't believe in a Personal God. But they do believe in a Natural God, just as the Native Americans and many others believed in Natural God(s).
Wendy
user 9892369
San Ramon, CA
Post #: 125
Matthew says:

>>If you've answered yes to any of the above then it implies that nature is doing it. Thus, it again leads us to the excuse of "Nature did it". You are using Nature as a scapegoat.<<

Not following your reasoning, Matthew. Waiting for credible explanation of some of the wonders of life and the universe does not mean we "give up rational explanation." Waiting for something is not the same as giving up on it.

I can't tell you everything I don't know, any more than you can tell me everything you don't know. And "knowing" isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. I might know how some things work, but a recognition of unexplained phenomena or processes does not neatly imply that Nature is therefore making them occur. Such an inference (not implication) is being made by you. Don't know how you can logically make that leap. I think you're struggling with understanding that many non-theists are fine with the fact that there is not yet a credible answer to some things. Notice that I said "many" non-theists, as I would never presume to state what Atheists do or don't believe.
A former member
Post #: 9
Mathew: You're committng a couple of fallacies here. You're equivocating on the words "religion" and "God" and you're appealing to ignorance. You're also contradicting yourself by saying that we're deferring to the supernatural by deferring to the natural.
A former member
Post #: 1
It is not true of christianity that god is nature. In many instances god appears in nature and the humans fight against nature. Certainly the beauty and majesty of nature are often attributed to god, but they are not one in the same.

Jefferson referred to "Nature's God" in the Declaration of Independence, but again this was based on the common structure of deism that assumes a god. This assumption was largely discredited by Thomas Paine in that time and by many other authors since.
Matthew
user 13597253
Dublin, CA
Post #: 4
Not following your reasoning, Matthew. Waiting for credible explanation of some of the wonders of life and the universe does not mean we "give up rational explanation." Waiting for something is not the same as giving up on it.

Bacically you are saying - "I don't know how nature does all of the fantastic and paranormal things that it does; but someday it might be explained."

Religious theists also say that "God works in mysterious ways" and speculate that "we might figure out how God works someday" or "God might reveal himself someday."

I don't see how your lame excuse is better than theirs. You are saying that Nature is a mystery. Well guess what; mysteries which invoke an unknown and unexplained clockwork to the universe are an invokation of the super-natural.

You are expecting us to give up rational explanation and just believe that the universe does the things it does "somehow." Well, "somehow" isn't good enough. If you cannot explain why space bends in the presence of mass, and yet still go on believing that space bends in the presence of mass, you are believing in something unexplained. You don't seem to care that you believe in something with mysterious properties and processes.

I can't tell you everything I don't know, any more than you can tell me everything you don't know. And "knowing" isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. I might know how some things work, but a recognition of unexplained phenomena or processes does not neatly imply that Nature is therefore making them occur.

Do you believe that there is an underlying clockwork to our universe? Do you believe that our universe is endowed with certain rules and processes which make our reality? If so, then you believe in Nature.

When an atheist says "I don't know, it's part of nature for it to be that way" it is no different than when a religious man says "I don't know, God did it."

Such an inference (not implication) is being made by you. Don't know how you can logically make that leap. I think you're struggling with understanding that many non-theists are fine with the fact that there is not yet a credible answer to some things. Notice that I said "many" non-theists, as I would never presume to state what Atheists do or don't believe.

It's not that Athiest's have no answer for things. They believe that they DO have an answer for things.

When asked what causes Gravity the atheist responds by saying that the fabric of space bends in the presence of mass.

When asked why space bends in the presence of mass the athiest's answer is "I don't know, but it just does." He goes on believing his premise that space bends, while passing off any followup questions with the answer of "unknown."

"Unknown" is the answer to many things. Atheists believe that there is an unknown and mysterious set of properties and processes to the universe.

In any subject on how the world works, if we keep asking why things are they way they are it always seems to boil down to "that's just the way it is in nature." The necessity for explanation is given up entirely at a certain point and the cause is blamed on a mysteious and unknown set of elements to the universe.

My argument is that if it cannot be explained, if it is unknown, if it can do the extraordinary and supernatural, then you are invoking a God to explain our universe. Athiesm is not any more rational than any one of the many other religions which attempt to explain our world with Natural God(s).
Matthew
user 13597253
Dublin, CA
Post #: 5
Mathew: You're committng a couple of fallacies here. You're equivocating on the words "religion" and "God" and you're appealing to ignorance. You're also contradicting yourself by saying that we're deferring to the supernatural by deferring to the natural.

When athiests refer to Nature, they are absolutely referring to the supernatural.

Nature is endowed with odd, phenomenal qualities which have not been explained. Thus, nature is supernatural.

Nature is often given as a scapegoat for many questions of "why" and "how" of the universe. It is contradicting to the extreme how atheists can give nature unexplained abilities and then still think that nature is somehow rational, somehow different than supernatural explanations such as God. It's the same exact thing. Whenever you attribute explanations to the unknown you are saying "God did it" whether you are calling it "God," "Nature," or "Frosty the Snowman".

It is not true of christianity that god is nature. In many instances god appears in nature and the humans fight against nature. Certainly the beauty and majesty of nature are often attributed to god, but they are not one in the same.

Jefferson referred to "Nature's God" in the Declaration of Independence, but again this was based on the common structure of deism that assumes a god. This assumption was largely discredited by Thomas Paine in that time and by many other authors since.

There is a difference between a Personal God and a Natural God. Personal God talks to people and has thought and plans. Natural God is an explanation for how the world works. Natural God takes the form of the supernatural clockwork of the universe.

All religions have a Natural God, but not all religions have a Personal God. In some religions God is purely natural, such as in Native American and African religions. In other religions, such as Christianity, God is both natural and personal.

In Christianity God is both the cause for creation/how the universe works, and is also a sentient being.

I am not saying that atheists believe in a Personal God. They don't. But they do believe in a Natural God, just as the Native Americans believe in Natural God(s).
Meg
Nuttmeg
San Quentin, CA
Post #: 6
Wow. I'm having a bit of difficulty following this, given the arcane twists and turns it seems to be taking!
Or maybe I'm just not very bright. I dunno.
I am an atheist because, like the bumpersticker says, "I Don't Know and You don't Either".
Atheists don't try to explain everything.
We just admit that scientific inquiry is still in it's infancy, we still don't even know how to cure the common cold, but we don't need some ethereal, nebulous, all powerful, (male usually) being to have made all things in order to explain their existence.
I understand that there are things we may never know the answer to, I just prefer we don't make one up, in our image, to explain the unexplainable.
Nature is not paranormal just because we can't explain all of it in rational terms.
mb
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