Brief Q&A: Atheists versus Theists
(Top Posts - Distance From Belief
in theism - 061503)

Q: Do atheists consider their position intellectually superior?

A: Few people in any camp assume their position is intellectually inferior or incorrect. For example, many (not all) agnostics say one cannot know about supernatural beings / places one way or the other, so their position is supreme, and many (not all) theists say their supernatural beings / places provide all answers and can provide satisfying explanations for everything, so their position is supreme. As for a presumption or disposition towards feeling one's position is correct, are you presupposing that most theists and agnostics are somehow lacking in that characteristic?

Q: Are theists interested in logic and reason?

A: When a theist claims that the unknown is best explained by a supreme be-all end-all being, and are questioned as to why one should believe it, they often reply "just take it on faith". When asked about the logic of faith, they often reply regarding what they want / desire / need / fear, not regarding what is veritable or logical. Then, it becomes a journey down a road filled with wants / desires / needs / fears, and logic and reason become a theist's option to be used when needed and to be subsumed by faith when necessary to try to prevent a theist's position from faltering.

Q: Do atheists believe that they're intellectually superior due to their reliance on logic and reason as opposed to faith?

A: Perhaps, more accurately stated, many (not all) agnostics / theists / atheists have a point of view on supernatural beings and places that they feel is intellectually fulfilling when compared to the alternatives.

Q: Do insults play a role in atheist vs. theist debates?

A: Actually, there is a distance from persuasive dissertation which occurs when one side (or the other, or both) shifts away from the intellectual and into ad hominem distractory disputation.

Q: Are theists at a disadvantage in that they cannot "prove" the existence of God (and thus Christianity) using formal logic and empirical evidence?

A: Actually, that question presumes there might be a christian god who is hiding (kinda-sorta, as it must not be hiding if it's into worship and prayer and salvation and miracles and actually interacting with people in a revealing way in this dimension ... otherwise, it all comes across like "make believe"). What, after all, is the difference between gods that don't exist and gods that hide?

A god who is not hiding could be quite present and tangible. That begs the question, why would god hide? The discussion at that point then shifts to either there is no god or god is hiding for reason. Then, for the theists, it becomes a matter of either justifying god's hiding (today), explaining god's supposed "not hiding" (to various peoples in various ways at various times) in the past, and accounting for the claims of god intervention that have been reported throughout history (and which continue to be reported).

Which are true, which are false, and how does one go about selecting which ones to believe and which ones to doubt and which ones to disbelieve? It appears that most theists believe the version that mates to their particular society / culture / language / upbringing, with a minority believing in disparate versions and an even smaller minority claiming substantive actualized contact with a god in the current day.

Atheists (most) disbelieve in non-actualized contacts, and therefore are relieved of the burden of having to determine which non-actualized contacts are true and which are false. Some atheists are agnostic-like in disbelief, preferring to address supernatural claims from the standpoint of personal disassociation. Some atheists even profess admiration at times for those who believe in ways considered to be non-threatening and morally reputable, rather than addressing said claims with confident refutation.

Theists often address the problem of irreconcilable claimed god contacts by attributing it to god working in mysterious ways, yet that still does not relieve them of the burden of having to justify accepting god stories they like (god stories in tune with their society / culture / upbringing / language / religion) and dismissing or being disinterested in the god stories apart from their personal exposure.

How many christian theists, for example, are interested in the details regarding Mohammed's supposed god (allah) contacts or the multitude of god stories from cultures and civilizations long ago and far removed from the cultures of the modern day?

Very few.

Why? It's not part of most christian theists' society / culture / language / upbringing, and as such, it's of little interest and is disregarded as only being relevant for "other tribes".

That can be understood and explained naturalistically by simply understanding social bonding and the advantages that accrue to a group having similar interests / customs / practices.

Since the christian god is the icon of admiration / fear for christianized tribes (i.e., western culture), there is little to no interest in stirring the pot of doubt by comparing the christian god to the arab / islam / muhammed god (allah).

Likewise, for the vast majority in arab / islamic cultures, there is little to no interest in stirring the pot of doubt by comparing the arab / islamic god (allah) to the christian god.

Typically, when confronted with the dispute, many monotheists assert that there are different paths to the one and only "True (tm)" god ... the so-called ecumenical "god of all".

A minority (like Franklin Graham, bin Laden, Iranian mullahs, etc.) publically own up to the fact that their interpretation of the supposed supreme be-all end-all of all is irreconcilable with other interpretations, a minority, that is, when far removed from religious ritual, for when religious ritual is at play, most followers cling tightly to the notion that their interpretation of the supposed supreme be-all end-all of all is *the* one "True (tm)" version to be worshipped / feared / followed in the supposed "right" way ...

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Some phrases having various degrees of potency / receptivity / rejection based on the particular so-called monotheistic society / culture / language / upbringing / religion one is exposed to in the modern day ...

"Allahu Akhbar" (God is Great)

"In God We Trust"

"Inshallah" (if God wills it)

"one nation under God"

"Alhamdulillah" (Thanks be to God)

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me"

"There is no God but Allah, and Muhammed is His prophet"

"And God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son"