It's a thought experiment -- it can't hurt you! No one is being asked to believe bullshit, just imagine what it might be like IF the bullshit were true. Yes, belief in absurdities is dangerous but merely contemplating them is not unless the contemplator is so insecure that they're afraid of their own mind. Jeez -- lighten up a little!
Dude relax, most people on here (and atheists in general) are a tad less than hard 7 atheists and that's not the point anyway. No one's trying to convert anyone to theism, least of all G (I've read plenty of his other blogs to know that). I agree with Anthony in that complete close mindedness is religion's game, not ours. Hell, even Richard Dawkins refers to himself as Agnostic on the question "is there a god." Your crazy standards would limit atheism to an extreme that would diminish us all.
Perhaps so, but most who have and use a full brain aren't threatened by ideas that don't mirror their own. That's what religions are for -- to be comfortably coddled with no challenge to think. Hey, I live in the Bible Belt, and know full well what it's like to be surrounded by those who really believe the God nonsense. Hell, I've had a cross burned on my lawn! Yes these delusions are dangerous, but just about the worst thing we can do is cover our eyes and pretend that they don't exist. Know thy enemy!
I'm sorry that mere reflection and trying to understand views different from yours and mine is so offensive to you that you need to shield yourself from the possibility that they exist (not that they are right -- just that they exist). Yes, this is a site for atheists, so we all share to varying degrees that point of view. But if it's only an echo chamber where we do nothing but reinforce one another's preconceptions it may as well be a church. And that would offend me.
News bulletin, guy: this question and others like it are things that have come up here and there in various forms over the not-quite-three years I've been a member of Atheist Nexus. And let's be real here: A|N is open to atheists, agnostics and non-theists of all stripes. We play with these questions and concepts and (at least in my case) have fun with them ... and to date, founder Brother Richard hasn't fussed at all about the fact that they exist.
If you don't like them, you can either not participate in them or find another atheist agora. If you think your disapproval of questions such as the one posted here is going to dissuade others from enjoying and batting them about, you are badly mistaken.
Oooo, a TRUE atheist wouldn't get into questions like this, eh?
Ever hear the "No True Scotsman" argument, Wayne? Yet another news bulletin: atheists and agnostics vary all over the map. The ONE thing they have in common regards the existence or lack of existence in a deity, FULL STOP. Any other putative characteristic is spurious.
I am an atheist. I also very much enjoy playing around with questions like this. Depending on the input from others, it can make me think and further develop my own rationality, never mind responses to hose-brain theists who occasionally show up here and there. It's also just plain fun and a way to interact playfully with other members here. And as I mentioned before, it's not even the first time such a question showed up on A|N.
BTW, NO ONE is attempting to modify your beliefs or lack of beliefs. We're here to talk, discuss, explore and have fun (or I am, anyway!). I have to say, if you are truly looking for atheistic orthodoxy, you're going to be a long time finding it, because not even the likes of Dawkins or Hitchens indulged in such, and they are far bigger heavyweights than either of us.
Wayne, you sound very angry. When I first joined this site, it was billed as being composed of atheists and agnostics. While it's true that, "A real Atheist KNOWS that there has NEVER been a God, will never be a God and there is no God now," an agnostic, by the very definition, does not. What would you report, that there's an agnostic on the board?
If the question were phrased that way, I think many would assume some deception on the side of the respective scientists. I think G was trying to determine how we would act, as atheists, in a world where god is beyond a doubt real. Would we worship him, berate him, or just ignore him and continue to live as we do. It was an interesting question and I didn't see anyone trying to convince anyone that god does exist. It was simply a silly hypothetical. I think the majority of scientists are a 6 out of 7 on the Dawkins Scale because being a scientists means being open to wacky possibilities. And Athiests don't always need to be a strong 7. It's enough to say that maybe there's something else out there that resembles what we would think of as a god, but I don't believe in the existence of gods. Your argument that states that an atheist knows beyond any doubt that there is no god and any deviation from that is not atheism, is reminiscent to me of Ultra-Orthodox Jews calling Orthodox Jews, non Jews. But if this question upsets you so much, you could invest your time in one of the strong atheism groups instead. Not that your opinion is unwelcome, I'm sure it is shared by many here and therefore deserves to be heard.
I'm curious, Wayne, how can you "KNOW" anything about an object of faith?
Listen Wayne. I have no intention of being inflamatory. I'm quite new to this atheism thing, and I do not presume to know much about anything as it stands. Only to give my point of view from the experiences I have.
I can understand your reasoning behind your passionate comment. Just as I hope you can understand mine behind my passionate reply. To be an atheist is a thing which I am very proud of, and I want to communicate my newfound truth to people through logic, reason and sound argument. The issue I have with what you have argued, is that it has none of these things. You have stated you opinion, spoken for other people, and presumed to know what we do not as a species, know.
For instance. 100 years ago we didn't know about black holes, but then Einstein came along. 500 years ago we didn't know the Earth was not flat, but then science came along. Every day we are discovering new things about the natural world we didn't know the day before. What if, in 50 years, we are to discover that there is a being that has all the qaulities we ascribe to God. It has such a small chance of ever happening, but to say that it is impossible is to negate the whole point of scientific enquiry.
I hold no personal grudge at any of the comments you've made on this post dude, and I can truly empathise with your experience of god being pushed at you from all angles. I was raised in church and probably was like one of those guys that persisted in doing what you and I so hate. I would only ask that when these people persist in pushing god in your face, that you push straight back and tear down there arguments through logic, reason, and sound argument.
I love getting these questions. I love the challenge of debate and the thrill of assembling a sound argument and DEMOLISHING THE THEIST!! haha. But I also like to contemplate the what if's on the basis that I will be asked these questions by theists in the future. (If you look at my original reply to this post it was somewhat comical)
So to the question that you so fervently abhor, what if there was scientific evidence that a God/s existed? I think what you need to do (and I'm not preaching to you man, just an idea from a comrade) is contemplate it, decide on a response, maybe even write it in here, and then throw it into the part of your brain that doesn't care.
Honestly Wayne. I hope you come to know peace instead of anger at the if's, but's and maybe's, and to let them slide when they don't matter
Much love bro.
No one is trying to convince anyone of anything. It's just a silly little thought experiment! Why is that so hard to understand? Honestly Wayne -- though I don't know you, I don't think I've ever come across anyone so closed-minded and apparently fearful of honest, experimental discussion who wasn't a theist. THAT'S what many of us come here to avoid. Again, and r e a l s l o w: It's "what if", not "this is". You willingly participate in this discussion and then act as if someone punched you in the nose by making the mere suggestion that we just think about what it MIGHT be like IF the bullshit were true.
Look, I'm so certain that there are no gods that I bet my life on it. I actively try to convince the hoardes of faith heads around me that their position is peurile and ridiculous. What I don't do, and what you seem to be doing, is respond to differing views by sticking my fingers in my ears and yelling, "NO, NO, NO"! Allowing for different points of vew is not a relativistic stance that any view is equal to any other. Just a willingness to even consider someone else's view is not re-setting the counter to 50/50. You can hold your view, if you are confident in it, without fear that taking your fingers out of your ears will destroy it, especially in a discussion like this one in a place like this where almost everyone shares your assumtions. Cripes, how in the world do you function in a world where most of those around you really believe the bullshit if you can't even bear to talk about it among like-minded friends?
For me, "atheism" is near-akin to "free thinking". This thread is about freely thinking about a hypothetical. There is no prosthelytizing going on here whatsoever.
I am always suspicious of those who guard their thoughts so aggressively - what are you afraid of, really?