1. Joined
    09 Jul '10
    Moves
    720
    09 Jul '10 13:23
    I have a suspicion.

    I suspect that most believers think it is better that God should exist than not exist whereas most atheists think it is better that God should not exist than exist. Put another way, there are relatively few believers who would regret the existence of God, and relatively few atheists who would regret his non-existence.

    Perhaps we could take a straw poll to get an idea of the truth of this suspicion.

    If true, that would mean that, when it comes to the existence of God, belief and desire typically line up in the same direction.

    Let's assume it is true. If so, why? Two key possibilities occur to me.

    First, the preference that God should either exist or not tends to engender the belief that God does either exist or not. This would mean that beliefs about the existence or non-existence of God are at least partly motivated.

    Second, the belief that God does or does not exist tends to foster the view that his existence or non-existence, respectively, is better than the alternative. This would mean that preferences for the existence or non-existence of God are at least partly rationalizations.

    Or is there another explanation that preserves the rationality of belief in, and desire for, God's existence or non-existence?

    Or, is it only believers or atheists who are principally responsible for driving the belief-desire correlation?

    I also wonder whether agonstics might be more open-minded about whether the existence of God would be a good or a bad thing.
  2. England
    Joined
    15 Nov '03
    Moves
    33497
    09 Jul '10 13:25
    do you mean does god exist or not?
  3. Joined
    04 Feb '05
    Moves
    29132
    09 Jul '10 14:02
    Originally posted by IshDaGegg
    I have a suspicion.

    I suspect that most believers think it is better that God should exist than not exist whereas most atheists think it is better that God should not exist than exist. Put another way, there are relatively few believers who would regret the existence of God, and relatively few atheists who would regret his non-existence.

    Perhaps we c ...[text shortened]... s might be more open-minded about whether the existence of God would be a good or a bad thing.
    you are wrong that atheists wish for the non-existance of god. they simply believe that to believe in something without proof is illogical. they believe that the idea of god is on the same level as the idea of unicorns. at no point does wishing comes into play.
  4. Joined
    09 Jul '10
    Moves
    720
    09 Jul '10 14:04
    Well, read desire purely as a hypothetical preference. Would atheists typically prefer that they God they don't believe in exist or not exist, hypothetically speaking?
  5. Joined
    04 Feb '05
    Moves
    29132
    09 Jul '10 14:13
    Originally posted by IshDaGegg
    Well, read desire purely as a hypothetical preference. Would atheists typically prefer that they God they don't believe in exist or not exist, hypothetically speaking?
    hypothetically or not they don't care.

    they view the existance of god as a hypothesis. an unproved hypothesis. a so far unprovable hypothesis. therefore they see no use for it and they discard it. they would deal with it when and if the time comes (ie proof about existance or non existance is found).
  6. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    09 Jul '10 14:492 edits
    Originally posted by IshDaGegg
    Well, read desire purely as a hypothetical preference. Would atheists typically prefer that they God they don't believe in exist or not exist, hypothetically speaking?
    As an atheist, I don't believe in any and all gods.
    As an atheist, I think some types of God would be a good thing and some would be a bad thing. It all depends on the God in question.
    For example, if the existence of God would not significantly affect my current life, but would afford me an after-life in heaven (where heaven is defined as minimally a place I would like to be) then I would prefer the existence of God.
    If on the other hand his existence will lead to my spending an eternity in an undesirable place (hell) then I would prefer his non-existence.
    etc.

    As for fairies and unicorns, I think I am decidedly in favor of their existence. I hear ground unicorn horn in your tea works wonders for when you get to meet the fairy queen🙂
  7. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    09 Jul '10 14:52
    A common saying amongst theists is:
    "I wouldn't believe in a God that.....".
  8. Joined
    02 Aug '06
    Moves
    12622
    09 Jul '10 16:433 edits
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    you are wrong that atheists wish for the non-existance of god. they simply believe that to believe in something without proof is illogical. they believe that the idea of god is on the same level as the idea of unicorns. at no point does wishing comes into play.
    ====================================
    you are wrong that atheists wish for the non-existance of god. they simply believe that to believe in something without proof is illogical. they believe that the idea of god is on the same level as the idea of unicorns. at no point does wishing comes into play.
    ========================================


    If the existence of God and the existence of unicorns are roughly the same, i don't understand this disproportional intellectual attention given to debunking the existence of God.

    I mean there is probably thousands of times more mental power aimed at disproving God exists on the Internet and in libraries, then there is debunking unicorns.

    If they are about the same why so much lopsided effort aimed at disproving God ?
  9. Joined
    02 Aug '06
    Moves
    12622
    09 Jul '10 16:44
    Are there any best selling books having sold millions of copies debunking the belief in unicorns ?
  10. Joined
    09 Jul '10
    Moves
    720
    09 Jul '10 17:51
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    hypothetically or not they don't care.

    they view the existance of god as a hypothesis. an unproved hypothesis. a so far unprovable hypothesis. therefore they see no use for it and they discard it. they would deal with it when and if the time comes (ie proof about existance or non existance is found).
    I think many atheists do care, one way or another.
  11. Standard memberavalanchethecat
    Not actually a cat
    Joined
    09 Apr '10
    Moves
    14251
    09 Jul '10 17:58
    Originally posted by IshDaGegg
    I think many atheists do care, one way or another.
    I'm more of an agnostic, but I'd love it if some sort of god does exist - it'd be great to survive my death in some way. Of course if some of these christians are right I'll never know anyway as I'm told my soul will die with me for not being a believer. That's ok though, because if the christians areright about that, then I disrespect my creator, and that sounds like a tricky relationship to maintain with equanimity for eternity.
  12. Joined
    09 Jul '10
    Moves
    720
    09 Jul '10 17:59
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    As an atheist, I don't believe in any and all gods.
    As an atheist, I think some types of God would be a good thing and some would be a bad thing. It all depends on the God in question.
    For example, if the existence of God would not significantly affect my current life, but would afford me an after-life in heaven (where heaven is defined as minimally a p ...[text shortened]... I hear ground unicorn horn in your tea works wonders for when you get to meet the fairy queen🙂
    I agree there are an infinite array of possible Gods, whose varying characteristics conspire to make their existence more or less desirable.

    But consider the modal God, the prototype, that the believers you have encountered believe in. Would you prefer that sort God to exist or not?
  13. Joined
    09 Jul '10
    Moves
    720
    09 Jul '10 18:06
    Originally posted by jaywill
    Are there any best selling books having sold millions of copies debunking the belief in unicorns ?
    Are there millions of people advocating that unicorns do exist, organizing their lives around this dubious premise, and deriding infidels who fail to follow suit?

    Not much need for "The Unicorn Delusion" then.
  14. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    09 Jul '10 19:27
    Originally posted by jaywill
    If the existence of God and the existence of unicorns are roughly the same, i don't understand this disproportional intellectual attention given to debunking the existence of God.
    It is their non-existence that is the same. The disproportionality is due to the disproportional number of believers. I can assure you that in places of the world where other supernatural phenomena is believed in, an appropriate amount of effort is put into disproving its existence. In Zambia, belief in magic or 'witchcraft' as it is better known there, is widespread. I and others who don't believe in it will quite readily take up the issue with those who do, and at times go to great lengths to prove the point.
  15. Standard memberSwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    2014.05.01
    Joined
    11 Apr '07
    Moves
    92274
    09 Jul '10 20:04
    Originally posted by IshDaGegg
    I have a suspicion.

    I suspect that most believers think it is better that God should exist than not exist whereas most atheists think it is better that God should not exist than exist. Put another way, there are relatively few believers who would regret the existence of God, and relatively few atheists who would regret his non-existence.

    Perhaps we c ...[text shortened]... s might be more open-minded about whether the existence of God would be a good or a bad thing.
    I'm an atheist, but I think it would be highly desirable if certain types of gods existed. For example, gods that are primarily benevolent, without the mean streak that many of today's popular gods have.
Back to Top