Are you an atheist and do you believe you have reliable truth discerning concepts? On what basis?

I think we pretty much don't have a reason to trust out belief systems IF I was to be an atheist, id have to assume that all concepts of thought and reason are invalid. They are products of an unguided irrational process of evolution (note that the theist can belief in evolution but a purposefully guided process).

Evolution is NOT concerned with truth, it simply doesn't care whether your beliefs are true or not. What matters is what helps you survive so there are natural limitations to brain chemistry in that we have no reliable basis for believing that we can form reasoned thoughts that are true. We cannot discern one thing as true from another. To be an atheist means that one HAS to believe that evolution that our brains are a product of an irrational process unconcerned with whether your beliefs are true or not.

Your beliefs to form any concept of truth are all equally unreliable and untrustworthy including those very same beliefs that you believe you hold that make one an atheist.

As Dawkins puts it - "You're nothing more than a collection of molecules dancing to the tune of your DNA. Free will is wishful thinking but we have no scientific reason to believe it" - Garden of Eden - Dawkins

Some obvious examples of the unreliability of our brain if Atheism is true:
- We know that there are more colours in the universe because we know certain animals have a wider colour gamet than we do and are capable of seeing colours that we can't. Yet we commonly believe we can accurately identify the colours around us.
- We are predisposed believers in God from birth, and 95% of the planet throughout history has always believed in God past and present. So if atheism is true, we've always been oriented towards something untrue which makes us doubt our reasoning capacity.
- We're often tricked by our brains into thinking we see certain patterns in nature which aren't really there.

I just struggle to understand whether atheists have actually thought about this question and how some can put faith in their belief faculties as atheists


Most Helpful Girl

  • " To be an atheist means that one HAS to believe that evolution that our brains are a product of an irrational process unconcerned with whether your beliefs are true or not. "

    Well, no. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in god (s). That's all you need to qualify as an atheist. An atheist could reject evolution.

    "there are natural limitations to brain chemistry in that we have no reliable basis for believing that we can form reasoned thoughts that are true."

    Yes, we do have limitations. We've developed the scientific method to account for those limitations. The scientific method is a systematic approach to observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable experimentation. Is it possible for science to get something wrong, due to a lack of full information, human bias or error, etc? Of course. But within the field of science, if it is discovered that, say, a theory is wrong, it is either changed or discarded to account for the new information. While science seeks truth, it doesn't claim to be absolute truth.

    Here's the thing. Even if we may get things wrong, there are tons of things that we've at least been able to get close enough to right (or 'truth") to use reliably and practically in our every day lives. All of the technology, all of the medical advancements, and so on. These things are based on scientific discovery and understanding, and converting this understanding into practical uses.

    Like, humans have discovered and studied electricity. We've been able to harness and utilize electricity in all kinds of ways. You can say, "Oh, but the human brain is irrational". Yeah, but we've still been able to do this and seem to have gotten it right.

    Science is the most reliable way that we've been able to understand our universe, and unless you are proposing a better way, then people will continue to use it to try to understand our universe to the best of our ability.


Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 1

  • Dude, I don't care. I'm an atheist because the concept of believing in a little man in the sky with mystical powers is ridiculous to me. How does that change my ability to understand scientific evidence?

    Your arguments don't make sense. If atheists cannot perceive truth, why should theists be able to? There's no biological difference between the two groups, merely a philosophical one.

    • I'm sorry but if you can't even be bothered to understand the logic and then rebuttal a straw man than the discussion is useless. You missed the entire point and you seem to think that this is exclusively my opinion.

    • Whatever, bro. Be a religious elitist. Your God preaches love and acceptance. I think you missed that day in Sunday school. No matter what, you're still an ass.

What Guys Said 4

  • As an Atheist, I'd like to flip your script on you and ask on what basis does having a diety suddenly solve this issue?
    You still process the world through the same lens as me, god doesn't solve your problem - he compounds it.
    In what way does having a god actually change your ability to take in information and draw objective conclusions?
    Because from your post, all I'm getting is "Objective reality through the the lens of a subjective mind poses a problem. But not for me because god." I don't follow.

    I mean, lets use your first example of colour -
    In what way does having a god suddenly make your perception of colour more reliable than mine? We have the same hardware, after all.
    It's also interesting to note, that generally, when people don't have the same hardware (For instance, colourblindness) there are tests available that with some reliablity allow us to work out in what way they are effected, and to what degree. Even this supposedly subjective matter can be tested and understood, but that's more of a tangent and I won't waste more time on this.

    As for how so I reliably discern truth?
    I suppose I don't. I'm happy to admit that there are many examples of objective and subjective topics, and I can only draw to the best answer I can with my limited frame of reference.
    I don't find it a worthwhile use of my time to split hairs over whether or not what I see as 'red' is actually objectively 'blue'. All I can go by is my common reference point. If you add white paint to blue, presumably what I would see would be a lighter red or pink. I can still use my reference points to understand to what severity the colour has changed. Even with a subjective medium like colour, there are objective values and statements I can extrapolate.

    I feel my answer may be slightly off the original question, but it's a complicated question which I can't really articulate an answer to, that I'm satisfied with.

  • ""We are predisposed believers in God from birth, and 95% of the planet throughout history has always believed in God past and present.""

    That is like saying a lot of women are wearing high heels, so women are predisposed to wear high heels because it is a result of having less testosterone.
    Which, of course, is not true. People are governed by the rules that society provides in order to adhere to what increases the likelihood of their survival most. Men are frowned upon for wearing high heels, so they learn not to wear it. Women learn that it increases their 'femininity' which is supposedly a good thing for females, so they do wear it.

    The concepts of the belief that humans are just finite state machines defined by their DNA that permanently stop functioning when they die has far more basis than religious ideas, than for example the idea that you were created from Earth, had soul (read, magic) breathed into your nose, then when you die, this magic thing goes in heaven, hell, or some alternative form of life in another alternate world or something. One is based on fact, the other on fiction.

  • Logical Positivist.

  • 'We are predisposed believers in God from birth' - Aside from this statement, I can see what you're saying. People who believe in a religion either choose to do so or, more commonly, do so because their parents do so and they are brought up in that environment.
    Not believing in God has nothing to do with anything else you do/don't believe in, nor with how you believe in it.
    If I were to be an atheist and had to have another reliable truth discerning concept (which by no means does any atheist or theist have to) then I would go with mathematics. When you boil anything down, it goes into mathematics. For example; Biology can be explained with chemistry which can be explained with physics which can be explained with mathematics.