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Why do Atheists reject religion?

Orose_Khan
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5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/16/2016 10:59:37 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?
Hi Orose,

Answers will vary, because atheism isn't a doctrine or philosohy. It's actually a theological category invented by people of faith for people who reject their faith and everyone else's. So there's no cohesion to it. Unlike (say) Roman Catholicism, for most atheists it's not even a social identity. Were it not for religious people talking to us about why we should follow religion, we might never think of ourselves as atheists at all.

With that said, everyone is a creature of their society, and societies change. Irreligion has been on the rise since the Enlightenment, but especially in the last century and a half or so. Rather than talk you through a single rationale, let me offer some observations that many atheists share. You're welcome to reflect on them, ask questions about them, or argue with them if you want.

1) Our ideas of knowledge has changed. It's no longer acceptable that untested revelation should be pronounced knowledge.

2) Our understanding of our world has grown. It's no longer credible to claim that man is the centre and pinnacle of reality, or that the reality we inhabit is morally ordered, or created intentionally by a morally ordered being for any matter related to human welfare.

3) Our mastery of historiology (the methods used in historical authentication, verification and analysis) has grown. It's no longer credible to claim that scriptural authors were authentic, or that the characters and incidents they wrote about were real or portrayed accurately and fairly.

4) Our understanding of humanity has grown through medicine, psychology and sociology. It's no longer credible to claim that any element of human consciousness survives the body; that morality requires religious doctrine; that religious doctrine is sufficient for morality; or that ancient religious canon has sufficient wisdom, justice or compassion to guide humanity today.

5) Our understanding of professional ethics have grown through constant study and reflection. It's no longer credible to allow clergy to operate professionally without the same accountabilities for honesty, diligence, competence, neglect, harm and corruption that now apply to all other professions.

6) Our understanding of the sociological impacts of religion have grown. It is no longer credible to claim that the religious are more altruistic, tolerant, wise, peaceful or law-abiding than the irreligious.

7) Our understanding of cause and consequence has grown. It is no longer credible to claim that prayer or religious ritual is more efficacious than a placebo in any substantive fashion.

8) Religious claims about God tend to fall into one of three categories: the invalid, the inaccurate and the unethical. Metaphysical claims are invalid due to the changing meaning of knowledge; historical claims are too inaccurate to be credited; while any other evidence, moral claims absent are unethical.

If you believed all those things (as I do) it'd be hard to even pretend to be religious.

With that said, I don't much mind that you are, though I mind very much how you treat others and what you tell them.

What matters most to me for your happiness, dignity, agency and wisdom is that you learn, and seek to use your mind.

To the extent that any questions may assist with that, please feel free to ask them.
Orose_Khan
Posts: 4
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5/16/2016 11:20:04 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
I doubt it was ever credible to claim the bible to be the "gospel truth" so to speak. I also doubt that it was ever credible to claim that human consciousness survives death or that the church was absolute. We still believed it though. Mostly through ignorance, but we are human and are prone to mistakes.

Why though? Morals are absolute it is true, and I find religion to be more of a frame for a painting of morals than anything else... but does not science support the existence of God? The Law of Conservation of Energy would render the Big Bang theory flawed due to the lack of energy predating the Universe. The theory of evolution would also be flawed due to the lack of previous life on Earth. I believe that for every cycle, God was the catalyst who started the ball rolling.

I do not mistreat atheists unless they mistreat me, but as Darth Vader said, "I find our lack of Faith disturbing."
Orose_Khan
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5/16/2016 11:21:57 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
I meant to say "your lack of faith". But it's not limited to Catholicism, there's the Islamic religion, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism and the list goes on.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/16/2016 11:40:59 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 11:20:04 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
does not science support the existence of God?
No. Due to the way it handles knowledge, science doesn't even recognise the question.

I believe that for every cycle, God was the catalyst who started the ball rolling.
That's not theism, Orose. it's Deism. And if you want to embrace Deism, then understand that you've proven nothing about theism.

For example, there's nothing in the premise of a created universe to ensure that:
1) It was by a single agency, and not several;
2) The agency was intelligent, competent and purposeful;
3) The universe we inhabit was its primary creative purpose;
4) The agency was aware of or anticipated the eventual existence of humanity;
5) The agency has any further interest in its creation, knows of the existence of humanity or has any interest in it;
6) The agency was honest, wise or benign or considers human welfare part of its morality; or that
7) The agency is unique or supremely powerful.

"I find your lack of Faith disturbing."
All humans have faith, Orose. We could never accept our pay in currency or visit a dentist without it. But such faith is testable and falsifiable. We can check currency exchange rates and the qualifications and success rates of our dentist. Because we can test our beliefs, if we're wrong, we can find out and learn from our errors.

The kind of faith religion calls faith isn't faith in that sense. Many atheists consider it (as I do) an assertion of cultural presuppositions, a failure in critical thought.
TheGreatAndPowerful
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5/16/2016 1:21:25 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?

To me, I see no difference between your god and Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy; It's a fairy tale for adults.
Deb-8-A-Bull
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5/16/2016 1:44:40 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 11:20:04 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I doubt it was ever credible to claim the bible to be the "gospel truth" so to speak. I also doubt that it was ever credible to claim that human consciousness survives death or that the church was absolute. We still believed it though. Mostly through ignorance, but we are human and are prone to mistakes.

Why though? Morals are absolute it is true, and I find religion to be more of a frame for a painting of morals than anything else... but does not science support the existence of God? The Law of Conservation of Energy would render the Big Bang theory flawed due to the lack of energy predating the Universe. The theory of evolution would also be flawed due to the lack of previous life on Earth. I believe that for every cycle, God was the catalyst who started the ball rolling.

I do not mistreat atheists unless they mistreat me, but as Darth Vader said, "I find our lack of Faith disturbing."

Tell us about confession booth theory.
And the power of the holy water.
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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5/16/2016 2:39:44 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?

Three words. Lack of Evidence. Oh, and I mean verifiable, factual evidence, not 'the Bible says'.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,110
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5/16/2016 3:27:04 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?

Well, you would need to define "higher power" in a way that wasn't pulling the definition out of thin air. I've seen god defined as "personal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, etc", but I see nothing about reality that precludes other options, or even points strongly to such characteristics. Yet, many believers claim (with certainty) their particular god exists and they know him and his characteristics. Judging from my own past, I consider it to be a matter of belief being passed down from parents/culture, and confirmation bias building up those unexamined beliefs. Truly, there is no certainly to be had about the existence of higher power.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

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What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
matt8800
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5/16/2016 3:31:40 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 11:20:04 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I doubt it was ever credible to claim the bible to be the "gospel truth" so to speak. I also doubt that it was ever credible to claim that human consciousness survives death or that the church was absolute. We still believed it though. Mostly through ignorance, but we are human and are prone to mistakes.

Why though? Morals are absolute it is true, and I find religion to be more of a frame for a painting of morals than anything else... but does not science support the existence of God? The Law of Conservation of Energy would render the Big Bang theory flawed due to the lack of energy predating the Universe. The theory of evolution would also be flawed due to the lack of previous life on Earth. I believe that for every cycle, God was the catalyst who started the ball rolling.

I do not mistreat atheists unless they mistreat me, but as Darth Vader said, "I find our lack of Faith disturbing."

A couple points maybe to consider:

1. Most atheists do not believe in life after death and some do. The ones that do don't believe out of "faith"; they believe because they think there may be some credence to things like near death experiences and/or Ian Stevenson's studies into reincarnation. Richard Dawkins does not believe in life after death yet Sam Harris believes it might be a reality.

2. To know what an atheist believes or does not believe, its important to acknowledge the definition of "god". Atheists, by definition, do not believe in the existence of a personal, interventionist god that watches people from the sky waiting to punish them for misusing their genitals. Some atheists are materialists and some are not.

3. Lets say that objective morality does exists and the big bang required a creative force to get it to "bang". How would this further the argument that Catholism is true?

4. Faith, by definition, is believing in things with no evidence. How is developing the habit of believing things with no evidence a good thing? If god is all powerful and wanted us to know he existed, wouldn't he provide more proof than a face on a grilled cheese sandwich?

One should know the difference between knowledge, belief and suspicion.
brontoraptor
Posts: 11,685
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5/16/2016 4:43:22 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
Most Atheists are men. It is used to oppress women by means of darwinism to justify men over women as the "superior animal".

http://www.debate.org...
"What Donald Trump is doing is representing the absolute heartbreak, and anger, and frustration at a government gone mad."

http://youtu.be...
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,110
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5/16/2016 4:53:32 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 4:43:22 PM, brontoraptor wrote:
Most Atheists are men. It is used to oppress women by means of darwinism to justify men over women as the "superior animal".

http://www.debate.org...

Not only is this off topic and one of your many strawmen, but it doesnt deserve a serious response. I encourage others to recognize and ignore such dishonest posts.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
RuvDraba
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5/16/2016 4:56:27 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 11:52:55 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
So in the end it is personal belief? Belief in One God, Many gods or No gods?

I'm what's sometimes called a 'hard atheist', Orose -- one of the few on this site, so far as I know.

'Soft atheists' tend to treat gods as a legitimate but improbable conjecture. They hold that nobody can know about gods, an afterlife, or similar metaphysics, but it's okay to talk about them as though we might know one day so long as we don't claim they've been proven today.

They think such beliefs are very improbable, given the evidence -- and you can see what they want by way of evidence in some of the responses above. They want users of confession booths, holy water and prayer to prove they actually do something. They want evidence that a soul is made of something, that near-death experiences report something significant and verifiable, or that memory can be restored to a damaged brain

I don't demand that, because I don't think that even such breathtaking observations would actually be evidences of a transcendental god. They'd just be evidences of nature working differently to the way we presently think it works. (Besides which, I'm happy for such stuff to be treated as inspirational art, even recognising that it doesn't do anything.)

I hold that gods are not a question of personal preference, and that the matter is already settled. We already know everything we need to know, to pronounce transcendental gods invalid, illegitimate, unethical, and terms used only by the dishonest, the naive, the cynical and the profoundly ignorant. That the large proportion of people on the planet still hoping and wishing for transcendental gods are victims of a psychosocial delusion, and that my fellow 'soft atheists' are going too easy on everyone else. :) (Which is not to say they need to be rude or hostile; merely that they need not tolerate certain claims as legitimate conjectures.)

So in the end is it personal belief? That too depends on whom you ask. :)
brontoraptor
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5/16/2016 5:01:44 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 4:53:32 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/16/2016 4:43:22 PM, brontoraptor wrote:
Most Atheists are men. It is used to oppress women by means of darwinism to justify men over women as the "superior animal".

http://www.debate.org...

Not only is this off topic and one of your many strawmen, but it doesnt deserve a serious response. I encourage others to recognize and ignore such dishonest posts.

How's it off topic. He asked why. I gave a why.

And...you did respond. Are you sure you're sure that you're not going to respond, or is a kind of respond not really to respond in a responsive responding like manner?
"What Donald Trump is doing is representing the absolute heartbreak, and anger, and frustration at a government gone mad."

http://youtu.be...
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/16/2016 5:21:01 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 5:01:44 PM, brontoraptor wrote:
At 5/16/2016 4:53:32 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/16/2016 4:43:22 PM, brontoraptor wrote:
Most Atheists are men. It is used to oppress women by means of darwinism to justify men over women as the "superior animal".

http://www.debate.org...

Not only is this off topic and one of your many strawmen, but it doesnt deserve a serious response. I encourage others to recognize and ignore such dishonest posts.

How's it off topic. He asked why. I gave a why.

Bronto, Orose is a fifteen year-old young adult raised in a Roman Catholic tradition asking sincerely and respectfully how things work for people he views as being least like the traditions he knows and loves.

Members owe Orose respect for the question, for the manner in which it was asked, and for the fact that from such curiosity are kindness, justice and mutual understanding built.

Which is why Skep rightly dismissed your malignant, attention-seeking barrow-pushing as off-topic and even more disrespectful than it normally is.

I endorse that view.
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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5/16/2016 5:32:21 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 5:21:01 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/16/2016 5:01:44 PM, brontoraptor wrote:
At 5/16/2016 4:53:32 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/16/2016 4:43:22 PM, brontoraptor wrote:
Most Atheists are men. It is used to oppress women by means of darwinism to justify men over women as the "superior animal".

http://www.debate.org...

Not only is this off topic and one of your many strawmen, but it doesnt deserve a serious response. I encourage others to recognize and ignore such dishonest posts.

How's it off topic. He asked why. I gave a why.

Bronto, Orose is a fifteen year-old young adult raised in a Roman Catholic tradition asking sincerely and respectfully how things work for people he views as being least like the traditions he knows and loves.

Members owe Orose respect for the question, for the manner in which it was asked, and for the fact that from such curiosity are kindness, justice and mutual understanding built.

Which is why Skep rightly dismissed your malignant, attention-seeking barrow-pushing as off-topic and even more disrespectful than it normally is.

I endorse that view.

And I also support it. It is an honest question, honestly stated. That should be shown the respect of honest, meaningful answers.
Athomos
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5/16/2016 5:47:39 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?

Christianity is booth false - none of its fundamental historical and scientific premises have any validity - and also morally obscene - its central tenets are immoral.

As for the Catholic Church, that institution which has behaved like a street corner cheap hooker willing to bed whichever local dictatorship in exchange for some temporal power, it is with great joy and satisfaction that I watch as it crumbles and fades into oblivion in the West.
brontoraptor
Posts: 11,685
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5/16/2016 5:54:56 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 5:47:39 PM, Athomos wrote:
At 5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?

Christianity is booth false - none of its fundamental historical and scientific premises have any validity - and also morally obscene - its central tenets are immoral.

As for the Catholic Church, that institution which has behaved like a street corner cheap hooker willing to bed whichever local dictatorship in exchange for some temporal power, it is with great joy and satisfaction that I watch as it crumbles and fades into oblivion in the West.

You must be completely out of your mind.
"What Donald Trump is doing is representing the absolute heartbreak, and anger, and frustration at a government gone mad."

http://youtu.be...
Athomos
Posts: 401
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5/16/2016 8:18:37 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 5:54:56 PM, brontoraptor wrote:
At 5/16/2016 5:47:39 PM, Athomos wrote:
At 5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?

Christianity is booth false - none of its fundamental historical and scientific premises have any validity - and also morally obscene - its central tenets are immoral.

As for the Catholic Church, that institution which has behaved like a street corner cheap hooker willing to bed whichever local dictatorship in exchange for some temporal power, it is with great joy and satisfaction that I watch as it crumbles and fades into oblivion in the West.

You must be completely out of your mind.

I take it you do not live in a Western country.

These days, it is impossible for youth to care any less about what the Catholic church has to say, on anything. And because I have an interest in art, I think I may stepped into catholic premises more often than your run-of-the-mill western catholic.
DanneJeRusse
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5/16/2016 11:35:37 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 11:21:57 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I meant to say "your lack of faith". But it's not limited to Catholicism, there's the Islamic religion, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism and the list goes on.

Then, wouldn't that also include you? What about your lack of faith in the Islamic religion, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism and the list goes on? It would appear that we all lack pretty much the same faith in most religions, some of us simply lack faith in one more religion than you.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Keltron
Posts: 161
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5/17/2016 1:55:02 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 4:56:27 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/16/2016 11:52:55 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
So in the end it is personal belief? Belief in One God, Many gods or No gods?

I'm what's sometimes called a 'hard atheist', Orose -- one of the few on this site, so far as I know.

'Soft atheists' tend to treat gods as a legitimate but improbable conjecture. They hold that nobody can know about gods, an afterlife, or similar metaphysics, but it's okay to talk about them as though we might know one day so long as we don't claim they've been proven today.

They think such beliefs are very improbable, given the evidence -- and you can see what they want by way of evidence in some of the responses above. They want users of confession booths, holy water and prayer to prove they actually do something. They want evidence that a soul is made of something, that near-death experiences report something significant and verifiable, or that memory can be restored to a damaged brain

I don't demand that, because I don't think that even such breathtaking observations would actually be evidences of a transcendental god. They'd just be evidences of nature working differently to the way we presently think it works. (Besides which, I'm happy for such stuff to be treated as inspirational art, even recognising that it doesn't do anything.)

I hold that gods are not a question of personal preference, and that the matter is already settled. We already know everything we need to know, to pronounce transcendental gods invalid, illegitimate, unethical, and terms used only by the dishonest, the naive, the cynical and the profoundly ignorant. That the large proportion of people on the planet still hoping and wishing for transcendental gods are victims of a psychosocial delusion, and that my fellow 'soft atheists' are going too easy on everyone else. :) (Which is not to say they need to be rude or hostile; merely that they need not tolerate certain claims as legitimate conjectures.)

So in the end is it personal belief? That too depends on whom you ask. :)

Maybe I'm one of those soft atheists. I don't much care for the label. Basically there are two reasons I don't believe in god(s): 1. I've never seen any evidence that a god exists, and 2. I can't see any need for having a god. There is nothing in the way reality functions that requires a god, and if there is a god it doesn't seem to do anything, so it's basically just like a hood ornament. Hypothetically though, if there was a creator there is no reason to think it would need to be the abrahamic version. Could be aliens, or Scandinavians, or some supreme lizard being thing.
brontoraptor
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5/17/2016 2:14:54 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
Selfish against society
"What Donald Trump is doing is representing the absolute heartbreak, and anger, and frustration at a government gone mad."

http://youtu.be...
AWSM0055
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5/17/2016 3:28:18 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?

Well, Catholicism itself is good example of why we reject religion.
"Evolution proves necessity is the mother of invention" - David Henson

"Calling my atheism a religion, is like calling my non-stamp-collecting a hobby" - MagicAintReal 2016

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Matt8800: "When warring men kidnap damsels of the enemy, what do they do?"

Jerry947: "They give them the option of marriage."

Matt8800: "Correct! You won idiot of the year award!"

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Sam7411
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5/17/2016 3:30:34 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/17/2016 3:28:18 AM, AWSM0055 wrote:
At 5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?

Well, Catholicism itself is good example of why we reject religion.

OOoooooooh sick burn
bulproof
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5/17/2016 3:49:55 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?
Atheists can't accept religion since religion generally concerns god worship and there are no gods.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Emmarie
Posts: 1,907
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5/17/2016 5:02:49 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 10:22:43 AM, Orose_Khan wrote:
I'm a devout Catholic who is about to be confirmed. May I know why Atheists reject the belief in a higher power?
Your OP reads, "Why do Atheists reject religion?" not why do atheists reject belief in a higher power. The question should really be if you are almost confirmed, Why do believers reject religion? Rejecting religion, isn't rejecting a belief in God, which is what atheists do. I will try to answer tomorrow, why I, a believer reject religion, but not a belief in God.