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Faith is a critical pillar in religions like Christianity. This entails treating not only doubt and skepticism as enemies, but also nonbelievers asking critical questions, offering reasons to doubt the reliability of religious claims. This attitude towards doubt may be an important reason why atheists and skeptics are so reviled by conservative evangelicals: the mere existence of atheists is a threat because they demonstrate a person can live and even thrive without faith in any gods.

Read Article: Threatening Atheism - Credible Atheism is a Threat

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February 19, 2010 at 8:28 am
(1) Angelisse says:

As an ahtheist don’t you agree you believe in something? You actually believe in the non-existence of God. You also believe in the existence of Evil. You see it everyday. Abuse to animals, to children and so many other evil things that occur. Okay, so Evil exists…and if Evil exists so must good. One cannot exist without the other because we could not define evil without good. If only evil existed then what would good be? How would we know it? I believe in evil and thus I believe in Satan. In believing in this I believe in good because I have seen good. I have experienced good thus I believe in God. It is quite simple indeed!

January 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm
(2) Lev Neiman says:

Angelisse, you say that you see evil and good, but do you believe that those things exist as they are on their own, or are they only good or evil because you perceive them to be good or evil? That is, is evil or good in the eyes of beholder or do they exist absolutely? You do not establish that (but I think you assume they exist absolutely) and then jump to conclusion that because of existence of absolute evil and good then God must exist as well. However even that connection is dubious as its not clear why there has to be a purely evil anthropomorphic Satan if absolute evil exists, and why an anthropomorphic God must exist if absolute good exists.

Also, the fact that you experienced good or have observed evil does not prove their absoluteness. It only shows that you have notions of good and evil in your head and in the past you have judged certain things experienced by you as either good or bad.

February 19, 2010 at 8:40 am
(3) Austin Cline says:

As an ahtheist donít you agree you believe in something?

I believe many things. But believe in? I don’t think so.

You actually believe in the non-existence of God.

Sorry, no. Your mind-reading powers are a failure, it seems. You might want to consider asking people what they think rather than trying to just tell them what they think.

I believe in good because I have seen good. I have experienced good thus I believe in God. It is quite simple indeed!

Simple… but it lacks any logical coherence. You don’t establish that the ability to judge something as good or evil requires the existence of any gods.

February 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm
(4) cag says:

I believe in stupidity. As proof, I offer Angelisse.

February 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm
(5) Edmond says:

@Angelisse

How do you go from acknowledging the evil that exists in the world, evidenced by “Abuse to animals, to children and so many other evil things that occur”, to believing in Satan? What does Satan have to do with any of the bad things that people do? A man who decides to beat his wife doesn’t have an invisible little devil on his shoulder forcing him to do it, he’s just reacting in the way he was raised, reinforcing attitudes about misogyny and violence that have likely been a part of his life since childhood. The good and evil we see in the world are simply the result of the good and evil decisions of people. Satan is a busy fellow indeed if he’s responsible for ALL the evil in the WORLD! It’s really too bad that you say “I have experienced good thus I believe in God”. You give zero credit to the good that PEOPLE do for one another.

February 19, 2010 at 4:16 pm
(6) Ron says:

(1) Angelisse says: I have experienced good thus…… I believe in God.
It doesn’t follow.

February 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm
(7) PManitok says:
February 19, 2010 at 6:47 pm
(8) Joseph says:

I, for one, don’t believe in “evil”. I believe in selfishness, cruelty, oppression, sadism, and inequity. All of which are substantial, not metaphysical like “evil”. Most war has been fought over competition for resources, the same way species in the wild fight and kill over territory (ie: food) and mates. The ones fought over ideology, be it religion or nationalism, may be unique to humans (or may not, as far as we know) but essentially it’s based on the same principles of competition. Only what’s being competed over is more abstract.

Biologically, we’re all driven to want everything for ourselves and our immediate family/tribe and eliminate the competition. Cooperation beyond the tribal level is a learned behavior. We have to teach our children about sharing and tolerance.

February 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm
(9) Brian Hawkins says:

Initial statement:

“Faith is a critical pillar in religions like Christianity. This entails treating not only doubt and skepticism as enemies, but also nonbelievers asking critical questions, offering reasons to doubt the reliability of religious claims.”

True. Faith is a critical, if not central, pillar in religions like Christianity, but I disagree with the notion that doubt and skepticism are “enemies” of faith. They are definitely not enemies, although I am sure some Christians might believe they are – and obviously some atheists. They are not similar, and doubt and skepticism could very well be a counter balance to faith, but they are not enemies of faith. Without doubt, faith wouldn’t exist. If anything doubt is a catalyst for faith.

July 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm
(10) Robert says:

Why doesn’t your God forgive and simply heal Satan? Did God know what Satan was going to do before God created Satan? Why did God act so surprised when Adam & Eve ate of the fruit from that most excellent tree of Knowledge? God didn’t know they would? I saw this example: It’s like a guy who gives his kids a pack of cigarettes, forbids them to smoke and leaves them with a tobacco lobbyist just to see what happens.

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