Atheist on one god or many gods

I often see people respond to the questions "Whats your proof that god doesn't exists" and "Are you an atheist" with "Depending on which god or gods".

Please remember to follow our
If you are new to the subreddit, check out our
I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please
The statement actually tends to be more like this, from what I've seen:
"I'm a gnostic atheist about YHWH, but I'm agnostic about gods in general."
That shows that they do assert that YHWH isn't real, but they just don't know about the general concept of a deity. I think that's a perfectly valid statement and not a trap at all.
Fair point. Like I asked from
Ah, so its the unfalsifiable aspect of it that makes the distinction important?
This is what I say:
Everyone has a different definition of the god(s) they believe in. This creates a moving target for the atheist expressing skepticism regarding those beliefs. There are at last count something on the order of over three thousand different gods that humans have worshiped;
1. I don't believe in any gods that are responsible for the creation or function of the universe.
If you have evidence to demonstrate that your god is the author of all and that nothing can exist without your god then show me the evidence. Your personal conviction is not evidence of anything except that you're convinced. I need more than words to believe, I need
2. I don't believe in any of the gods that must be argued into existence.
Philosophical arguments from
3. I don't believe in any gods that are interested or interceding in our lives.
Gods have been depicted as everything from humans or familiar animals with super powers to single
4. I don't believe in any gods that have the power to suspend natural laws to perform miracles.
Miracles are tricky things. They never happen when anyone can test or verify them. A discouraging number of them have been debunked, even the "official" ones. They're always held up by the faithful as evidence of their gods' power but they're rarely convincing to anyone else. I rarely hear of devout Hindus experiencing a miracle from the Christian god or devout Christians experiencing miracles performed by the Muslim god. But let's assume for the sake of argument that these miracles really did happen as claimed; where's the evidence? Even an ethereal, extra-temporal omnimax god would necessarily leave traces when interacting with our universe, also known as "evidence." The evidence presented for these miracles is always subjective and typically anecdotal. There's never any evidence that skeptical researchers can point to and say "that must be of supernatural origin, because it violates causality."
5. I don't believe in any of the gods that have been presented to me because I've not been given convincing evidence that any of them exist.
I've said it before and I'll continue to say it as long as it continues to be applicable: I'll believe anything you tell me as long as you show me evidence appropriate to the claim. Nothing else will do, and you're only wasting your time if you think you've come up with a new argument or example for why I should believe. If your evidence wouldn't win you
I agree with all of this. Obviously you are not one of those who answer with "depends" like I said. May I ask if you know the reason why some atheists respond with "depending on which god"? Is there a nuance or technical aspect that I don't understand? Because to me, it really just looks like there is no proof for any and all gods, so we don't even have to disprove the gods one by one.
Within agnostic atheists I usually hear the claim of gnosticism in regards to particular dieties but not a general case.
Like knowing the omni max god does not exist, the roman pantheon, etc. Then staying away from claiming to absolutely know every god concept is false.
We do have some awesome gnostic atheists in the sub who give compelling reasons for their believes in all god concepts being false.
Oh I see. But regarding this point Then staying away from claiming to absolutely know every god concept is false, isn't this easily settled already, that all god and god concepts are man made?
I don't know, maybe there is a subtle distinction that I'm missing.
It's the gnostic bit that changes with relation to the god definition isn't it?
Could you please elaborate.
I think you are missing the point. It is a rhetorical trap but the trap is set by the atheist for the believer.
A Christian is an atheist with respect to every god (literally thousands most of which have no living adherents) other than the Christian concept of God.
By flipping it back on them by asking "Which God?" it's forcing them to acknowledge this.
Wow! Thank you very much!
This is really the answer to this question and I am surprised others did not respond like this.
If you say you are a god and I as a Christian don’t believe you then am I now an atheist?
There are no purported deities that have even come close to meeting the basic criteria of evidential support that they are something other than fictional mythology. Thus all deities.
You appear to be misunderstanding 'atheist' and 'agnostic'. This happens a lot. Or perhaps I am misunderstanding what you are saying?
Remember, most atheists describe themselves as agnostic atheists, and the terms are neither mutually exclusive nor do they address the same concepts. Atheism and theism apply to belief, and gnosticism and agnosticism apply to knowledge.
Yes. Which is why I am an atheist.
No, I understand the burden of proof, and often point that out. Hence my atheism. Sometimes I further point out that one can be gnostic about certain purported deity's lack of existence due to the purported attributes rendering the concept invalid. Then, of course, the discussion often ensues about the reasonable use of the concept of certainty and knowledge and when one can say 'X does not exist' as opposed to 'The claim that X exists has no support'. Gnostic atheists often will explain this very well using other common reasonable claims of non-existence.
I know about agnostic atheist and gnostic atheists, but I just want to keep with the simple classification.
I agree, which is my point in asking other atheists why they seem hesitant to claim all gods as unproven already.
Also agree.
You are conflating belief (what a person treats as true) with knowledge (belief with sufficient evidence of being true). Atheism simply deals with belief (or more specifically lack thereof) not knowledge.
That's not proof of agnosticism that's justification for atheism (lack of belief in any gods). Proof of agnosticism needs to provide sufficient evidence that gods are possible something you have failed to provide.
The answer you provide is only applicable to the question regarding proof.
See above. It would seem you are confused. Perhaps the question was the degree or strength of their atheism? Some are more demonstrably wrong than others.
I don't think that explaining my position is falling into a trap.
I wouldn't. I'd say I lack a belief in any gods existing because, to the extent any god has been defined, I am unaware of sufficient reason to warrant belief. So I am an atheist.
It isn't a trap, Atheists are asking for the other's conception of deity to know whether they disagree the think exists, or whether to call it a god.
No it is a reply that takes into account the not uncommon habit of using a creative definition of god as something that evidently exists, be it "the sun" or "the explanation for the universe whatever that may be" or similar.
Some gods are really easy to disprove while some others are not. I'm a gnostic atheist towards gods which demonstrably don't exist and agnostic towards the ones which are defined in such a way as to make them unfalsifiable. For example, I've climbed Mount Olympus and there was nobody up there. So if you claim your god lives on top of Mount Olympus I know your god isn't real because I already checked.
I am a skeptic. I do not bother entertaining any claim until there is as lest some evidence supporting it. This is the reason I call myself an atheist and not agnostic about it.
If I'm not going to say I'm on the fence about the existence of the boogieman, then why should I say I'm on the fence about the existence of any gods.
On what other, non-religious position are we required to be “agnostic”?
No - we disbelieve until and unless some good reason is put forward to start the conversation.
So far no religion has put forward anything that challenges that disbelief with any reasonable force.
That’s atheism.
The only reason people come around with the whole “agnosticism ftw” attitude is that religion has been given an unearned respect by virtue of popularity and antiquity - neither of which are good reasons for respecting an idea.
it's helpful when people are clear about the gods they're referring to - it doesn't really matter to me - i always just say it like this:
there's no gods.
sometimes i say it like this:
there are not any gods.
while other times i say it like this:
god isn't real.
feel free to try this at home.
Posted by
Archive-Bot version 0.3. |
It depends on the definition of atheism that you use, for one thing. And the evidence you've found to justify your position.
If you use the definition commonly used here, atheism is the "lack of belief" in gods. And yes, I lack a belief in all gods. It's quite easy to dismiss all god claims solely because of a lack of evidence. So yes, I'm an atheist toward all gods.
However, some people define atheism as the belief that gods do not exist. I also fit this definition, but only for some gods. My belief that some gods do not exist is based on MORE evidence than just a lack of belief. But this evidence doesn't apply to all types of gods. For instance, a deistic god that is completely hidden from us cannot be falsified in any way that I know of. So while I don't believe in deistic gods, I don't believe they do not exist.
And last, but not least, I've had people tell me that THEY are god, or that all of humanity is god, or that trees are god or that the sun is god. And I believe crackpots exist, and that trees and the sun exist, so this is why I always ask "which god?".
Gods can't be proven false, religions can.
So If investigating the claims of some religion, they are incompatibles with reality I can't be convinced that its true, so at worst its false and at best followers of that religion are ignorant of the nature and desires of that god in case it exist. so there is no logic in following that religion.
Maybe some kind of deistic entity could possibly exist, but gods from holy books can't possible be true even if they exist if those books have claims contradicting reality, if the book can't get nature right, how could be right about god?
so even accounting maybe someone accidentally may have invented the right religion, I find not rational reasons to believe one. And I find irrelevant whether or not a deistic entity exist, because it doesnt care either.
Never been comfortable with the designation atheist, and that was before delving into this sub with all the various forms of gnostic/agnostic etc. atheism, at root they all tend to have theism as the default position. In discussion with believers I like to take the blank sheet approach, I assume there is no explanation including 'god did it', then argue about what it the best fit. I'm happy to say I don't know, but when pressed I have never heard any question where gods work was in any way supported or even a poor runner up. Trying to view it as objectively as possible, god is always a very poor hypothesis, and when viewed from first principle is will mostly appear very childish.
This mostly comes up when theists ask this while working under the definition of atheist = asserting no gods exist or when asking whether one is a gnostic atheist. Or for "whats your proof that god doesnt exist" which is just another way of asking whether one is a gnostic atheist concerning that particular god.
I've yet to see someone answer "are you an atheist" with "depending on which god or god(s)", and you're right that at least with the way the word is used on here it would make no sense to answer in that way.
If you believe in even just one specific God or gods, you are a theist. If you don’t believe in any of them, you’re an atheist. If you believe that there is an equal chance for there not to be a god or there may be a god then you’re a Pure Agnostic.
I'm atheist with regards to all gods, I'm gnostic with regards to specific gods.
This should be a distinction you understand after the last 76 threads on that topic you made.
I tend to keep a deal of snark in my answer. "Which god? I'm afraid there's quite a lot of gods that I don't believe in, you'll have to identify yours."
For me, all gods. Also atheist about luck, karma, spirits, soul, providence, fate, destiny and any and all magical thinking
Some people think of the universe as a god.
I think the universe exists.
What is it that needs to be lifted?
Sounds like you are atheist.
I’m Agnostic Atheist so I lack a belief in god(s).