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Old 8th May 2017, 07:23 PM
Madame Tarot Madame Tarot is offline
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Default Can We Choose to be an Atheist or a Theist

Some posters say they choose to be an atheist or a theist.

Surely believing in God or Gods is not a choice.

I see choosing/choice as the issue.

Juxtapose Unicorn or Unicorns into the above and maybe it might make more sense.

We can't choose to like ice cream we either like it or not or "take it or leave it".

Depending on your responses this could be a very meaningful thread, considering some posters choose to meditate and in the medication state they might become a believer.
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Old 8th May 2017, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Can We Choose to be an Atheist or a Theist

Are you posing a free will question?
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Old 8th May 2017, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Can We Choose to be an Atheist or a Theist

You can't choose to believe something.

I've mostly heard this from Theists, that Atheists choose 'not' to believe.
Theists intimate that Atheists believe in 'God' but pretend or choose not to.
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Atheist: n; A person to be pitied in that he is unable to believe things for which there is no evidence, and who has thus deprived himself of a convenient means of feeling superior to others.
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Old 8th May 2017, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Can We Choose to be an Atheist or a Theist

You can choose to be dick or not to be a dick, but choosing to believe or not believe is a bit more difficult, but who knows what goes on in the mind of a theist that has had to opportunity to evaluate the overwhelming lack of evidence for a deity.
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Old 8th May 2017, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Can We Choose to be an Atheist or a Theist

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wolty said View Post
You can't choose to believe something.

I've mostly heard this from Theists, that Atheists choose 'not' to believe.
Theists intimate that Atheists believe in 'God' but pretend or choose not to.
I don't think the "it's not a choice" answer is either useful or relevant.

My conclusion with regards gods is a consequence of my choices, not a choice or non-choice in itself.

By my "choices" i mean my choices to be curious, to question, to seek understanding, to sample all the available information and follow wherever it may lead.

Of course the religious will contend they make the same choices. I disagree.
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Old 8th May 2017, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Can We Choose to be an Atheist or a Theist

Indeed Warty, some theists posit belief in their nominated deity as a default, intrinsic state which 'sinners' choose to abandon or reject.

However, I think 'belief' is the wrong term to apply to this particular question, which restated might be something like: Can we choose to accept or reject evidenced or unevidenced claims and assertions?

This, I think, highlights that some kinds of political (small p) choices are made without reference to the truth status of a proposition, and the enquiry then turns to revealing the reasons for those choices independently of the facts of the matter.

Of course, we could easily get bogged down here, and we should probably acknowledge that one choice can, and often does, impact on many subsequent choices.

For example, the person who has arrived at the decision to withhold assent for all unevidenced claims will certainly be an atheist in circumstances where a belief in god-claims does not have to be, and generally is not, even approached.
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Old 9th May 2017, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Can We Choose to be an Atheist or a Theist

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THWOTH said View Post
Indeed Warty, some theists posit belief in their nominated deity as a default, intrinsic state which 'sinners' choose to abandon or reject.
Yes, I have heard things like "What dire event in your life caused you to reject the wondrous gift of the Jeebus? or "Why do you hate gAWWWd?" implying that deep down I must "know" their sky-daddy exists, but I choose to rock the boat and act like I deny this "undeniable truth."

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THWOTH said View Post
However, I think 'belief' is the wrong term to apply to this particular question, which restated might be something like: Can we choose to accept or reject evidenced or unevidenced claims and assertions?
Yes, exactly this.

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THWOTH said View Post
This, I think, highlights that some kinds of political (small p) choices are made without reference to the truth status of a proposition, and the enquiry then turns to revealing the reasons for those choices independently of the facts of the matter.
This is how my atheism came about...I realized I simply cannot believe anything without sufficient reason to do so. I didn't see it as a choice, but rather a realization of my skeptic nature.

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THWOTH said View Post
Of course, we could easily get bogged down here, and we should probably acknowledge that one choice can, and often does, impact on many subsequent choices.
This is one of the things I bring up to people who ask, "What harm is there to simply leave the deluded theist to have his beliefs, if they give him comfort/hope, etc.?"

Of course there's the more important issue of many theists not being content to keep their delusions private, and trying to impose them on others, but that's for another thread.

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THWOTH said View Post
For example, the person who has arrived at the decision to withhold assent for all unevidenced claims will certainly be an atheist in circumstances where a belief in god-claims does not have to be, and generally is not, even approached.
Indeed.I suspect most people behave as if there is no god/gods except for a few choice issues.
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Old 9th May 2017, 07:50 AM
Madame Tarot Madame Tarot is offline
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Default Re: Can We Choose to be an Atheist or a Theist

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pipbarber said View Post
Are you posing a free will question?
My question could be described as not in the freewill arena but more in the self deceit arena.

Some people, or so it seems to me, offer excuses for doing things they want to do. Excuses start with the kiddies after doing something "wrong" trying to get out of trouble with their parents.

"Me bruvver done it first."

But my "excuses" analogy my be unwarranted i have not given it a lot of thought.
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Old 9th May 2017, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Can We Choose to be an Atheist or a Theist

The only way I think you can choose to believe is if you suffer from anterograde amnesia and tattoo "god is real" on yourself.
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Old 9th May 2017, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Can We Choose to be an Atheist or a Theist

Quote:
Madame Tarot said View Post
Some posters say they choose to be an atheist or a theist.

Surely believing in God or Gods is not a choice.

I see choosing/choice as the issue.

Juxtapose Unicorn or Unicorns into the above and maybe it might make more sense.

We can't choose to like ice cream we either like it or not or "take it or leave it".

Depending on your responses this could be a very meaningful thread, considering some posters choose to meditate and in the medication state they might become a believer.
What's the reasoning behind the orange writing? Meditation is sitting, thinking, or not-thinking, and there is no obvious tie-in with belief, by choice or otherwise, is there?
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