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107

I think you have the logic of this backwards. In theism (and some other religious doctrines) life continues after the death of the physical body. They believe euthanasia is a negative act that can impact that ongoing spiritual life in unpleasant ways, so they have a motivation to endure even the worst suffering during their physical lives. Atheists do not ...


92

We must draw a distinction between atheism and agnosticism. Atheism is not believing in the existence of a God (or Gods), regardless of whether conclusive evidence is available, while agnosticism is the view that conclusive evidence for whether a God or Gods exists cannot exist1. There can be an agnostic atheist, a gnostic atheist, an agnostic theist, or a ...


86

Nomenclature You don't explain why you get the impression that atheism is dogmatic, but it appears that you mix terms which are not interchangeable. If you leave catholicism because of your dislike of any kind of enforced structure, it means you're antireligious and probably anticlericalist. You didn't say anything about your faith, or lack thereof. It's ...


83

I think it's important to note that in cases where this is considered, death is already approaching. It isn't a choice between life and death. It's a choice between dying now or going through a few months of agony and then dying. To most people those months of agony are quite undesirable, where they will be in terrible pain and without hope of recovery. ...


71

No, atheism is not a faith based position. This has been debunked time and time again and there are numerous resources on the internet that cover this error in logic. If theism claims the existance of a god, an atheist is one who is not convinced of that claim and rejects it. An atheist has no responsibility to disprove the claim that god does exist because ...


65

I think you have a false premise. Your premise seems to be "Devout believers/adherents of the religion Islam believe that humans need not make any effort in their survival in the natural world." I don't think that is true. Evidence against that premise is that people in Saudi Arabia farm, gather, purchase, or otherwise obtain food to eat. If your premise ...


35

The only requirement of meeting the definition of "atheist" is that you do not have belief in any god(s). Computers, rocks, and newborn babies are all, by definition, atheists; because they do not believe in any god(s), notwithstanding that they do not understand what is meant by "god", nor that they have never even thought about the question, nor that they ...


33

I have personally known two friends who, when faced with incurable cancer, elected to end their own lives at a time and in circumstances of their own choosing. Both made this choice when it was abundantly obvious that death was near and inescapable, and their suffering had become unbearable. In one case, the victim's pain was so great that the sheer ...


31

There's a good joke about this. The Mississippi floods, but this guy stays put and says "God will save me". A policeman comes past and says "Better be going" but our guy says "God will save me". The river rises more, and he moves upstairs. A rescue boat comes past and the crew say "Come on, you've got to go", but our guy says "God will save me". The river ...


28

Both positions, the theist and the atheist made a claim: The theist claimed the existence of god, the atheist claimed the non-existence of god. History shows: Neither of them could prove his claim. Having learned the lesson, today’s atheists make a weaker claim: The traditional god-concept - god being omnipotent, omniscient, all-good - is inconsistent. The ...


25

At its core, atheism is not an active position, it is merely a passive position. Two atheists can have nothing in common other than that they do not believe in a god. There cannot be a dogma as there are no teachings or philosophy where things like religions are built around. However, some people tend to take things a bit further and actually establish a ...


24

Alvin Plantinga, a Christian philosopher, presents a similar question regarding an extreme form of atheism that he calls "naturalism". Rather than asking whether the atheism of naturalism is faith-based, he asks whether naturalism might be a "religion" (page 311): Now it is not clear that naturalism, as it stands, is a religion; there is enough vagueness ...


23

Atheist conceptions of the idea of God often rest on a straw man fallacy that portrays a theistic view of God as Russell's teapot or as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Both of these conceptions view God as an object which is easy to argue against. These analogies of God as an object floating about in a gravitational field are weak, hence logical fallacies. ...


23

I upvoted niels nielsen's answer, but I'd like to expand on it. Yes, death is an individual choice! I, too, have known people who have been forced to suffer for years with problems that could only have been cured by miracles (which never happened). Death is inevitable. Therefore, whatever follows is inevitable, whether it's an eternity of shopping in some ...


22

This isn't really a philosophy question, but there is no atheism stackexchange and so it seems philosophy is the next best bet (we do address the philosophy of religion/religiosity and the lack thereof, but a question phrased like this is more of a psychology and/or cultural question). However, psychology wouldn't take this question and since I can't think ...


19

There are some religious groups --I'm thinking here of "prosperity" churches --that promote the message that nothing but good things will ever happen to the truly faithful. But these are definitely among the minority among religious traditions. Most religious people don't take it as an article of faith that bad things won't sometimes happen in their lives. ...


18

Whether atheism can be reached by scientific reasoning depends on whether scientific reasoning is the only way to form justified true belief. Can I only say that I know something if it can be scientifically demonstrated? More weakly, can I only know that a deity exists if that deity can be demonstrated scientifically? I cannot see an analytic argument which ...


18

First of all, I'm removing the references to evolution as this has been removed from the OP. The rest of this answer should directly address the relationship between the evolution of the brain, social development and the emergence of morals... Morals don't evolve (biologically at least); they are more of an emergent property of social development. If humans ...


17

Whether or not God exists is an objective question with an objective answer, however the argument beginning Is it true that "X" exists in reality only when we are aware of having experienced it, or are aware of our potential of experiencing it is starting with a baseless assumption. It's kind of like assuming the strongest form of the anthropic principle....


16

Is it that New Atheism isn't philosophy? Yes -- it is not a philosophy; wikipedia describes it as "a social and political movement" first associated with Sam Harris, an American writer who holds a B.A. in philosophy and a Ph.D in neuroscience but does not practice either professionally in the sense of having academic tenure. Harris's works appear to be ...


16

Where's the illogic in preferring (1) not to exist to (2) existing and suffering in agony? It's true, from an atheist standpoint, that after euthanasia I will not know that that I have ceased to exist and that I am no longer suffering in agony. But again, where's the illogic in preferring (3) not knowing that that I have ceased to exist and that I am no ...


15

The atheist position(s) The most reasonable atheist position is the following position. They might say "People say that some supernatural being exists, and they call this 'God.' Until they provide sufficient evidence for this claim, I choose not to accept the claim." This position is often called weak atheism (contrasted with strong atheism), ...


14

No, atheism is not just another form of dogma. Atheism is defined as a certain answer to a particular question. Namely the answer: No, there is no god. The term „atheism“ does not refer to the manner how one expresses this answer. While dogmatism is a certain manner how to express one‘s own answer to a given question. Expressing a position in a dogmatic ...


13

I've been an atheist for as long as I can remember (I never quite believed anyone could rise from the dead, walk on water and stuff without documented, repeatable proof) and I've never struggled with this question, for the simple fact that life is awesome. I love many things: Photography, gadgets, my wife, my cat, my family, helping people. I get much ...


12

The quotation is incomplete and Russell's thought is cut off right in the middle. The full quote by Russell continues thus: "… None of us would seriously consider the possibility that all the gods of Homer really exist, and yet if you were to set to work to give a logical demonstration that Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, and the rest of them did not exist you ...


12

More complex answer: It depends on the meaning of the word "atheism" I know two very different definitions of the word - both used by people calling themselves "atheists": "Atheism" means that someone does not explicitly believe in god. A person who has never heard that a god may exist therefore must be an atheist because it is not possible to believe ...


12

Is it true that "X" exists in reality only when we are aware of having experienced it, or are aware of our potential of experiencing it through our five sense organs, namely - eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin? I do not accept that proposition, or at least I do not accept that the definition of "reality" it implies is equivalent to common-use definitions ...


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