Strong Atheism?

Hello everyone!

Strong atheism is an assertion that no gods exist at all - a 100% certain denial of the existence of God. It has always struck me as a very irrational belief.

How can anyone profess to be sure the universe was not created? No-one was there at the Big Bang to witness it, so we must all be agnostic?

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Hello Frederick12, welcome to Atheist Republic.

I am in full agreement. To state no god(s) exist is just like claiming one exists. Because of the “god” definition theists present, it can not be proven by rational scientific methods, nor can it be dis-proven.

As far as our personal opinions, that is another matter. But to state there is no god bears a tremendous burden.


Hello David! Thanks for the welcome!

I think the the whole definition of ‘God’ has become very much clouded by 2000 years or so of religion. Most religions seem absurd and their definition of God is accordingly absurd.

If you strip down the requirements for being ‘God’ to the bear minimum - throw away the 3O’s and all the divine intervention nonsense, you end up with just an intelligent entity that is somehow responsible for the creation of the universe.

My point is that it is very probably impossible to prove or disprove with 100% certainty the existence of such an entity.

Therefore, I hold that agnosticism is a more logical position than either theism or atheism.

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Science doesn’t prove anything with 100%

There is “consensus” or agreement that this (when it earns the right to be a Theory) is the best explanation for the evidence. Should evidence arise, to add or to change the consensus, then it finds its place in Science.

Absolutes (100%) isn’t a reality based idea, but an imaginative or idealistic concept.

To identify oneself as an atheist is a disbelief in the existence of god/gods.

Personally, unless you yourself are a “strong atheist” as described- I have rarely met an atheist to made a claim that there “is no god”. This would need evidence as well.

However to believe something without evidence, is foolhardy and not a practice approach to life.

Knowledge on the other hand is a different concept than “belief”.

An agnostic doesn’t sit in the middle of “belief” - however may claim “it is unknowable”. If it is unknowable, than the question is, without current demonstrable evidence of “god”, do you believe it exists?

Agnostic atheist or agnostic theist.

The only one thing I am certain of is that there is a “cosmos”. We may be brains in a vat, we may be a computer program, we may be experiencing reality as our senses deliver, we may be a god’s creation, or we may be one of many options.

But since I believe I am “here”, there is a “cosmos”, whatever it maybe.

FYI my definition of “cosmos” is all of everything.

Welcome Frederick12.

The idea that somebody had to be present to witness the Big Bang or evolution, etc., for them to be real is one of the absurd claims put forward by creationists. Taken to the extreme, that notion would eliminate all of history and science.

We can piece together what happened in the past from the evidence left behind, so in a sense we can all be witnesses to past events simply by studying the evidence. For example, I can witness the weather thousands of years ago by studying tree rings or ice cores. I can witness mega-earthquakes in North America centuries ago by studying tsunami deposits in Japan. And I can witness the Big Bang by studying the cosmic background radiation.

I tend toward “hard” atheism because millennia of searching by billions of people have to date produced not one scrap of evidence for any deity. I take the view that absence of evidence on a sufficient scale over a long enough period constitutes evidence of absence.

Further, if a god existed, you’d expect stories about it to be clear and consistent across all cultures. Instead every god closely resembles the culture that created it, and all of the stories are fragmented, ambiguous, and fragmentary.

Me too. What it is not is proof.

However, for all practical purposes it’s moot. Day to day, I live my life as if there are no god(s) and a bunch of other things, from the soul to the paranormal.

I’m a skeptic,and as such am reluctant to make absolute claims about anything. The one exception so far is the inevitability of of death for all living things, without exception.

Consequently. I’m unwilling to argue about what I see as a matter of semantics. (at least for me) :face_with_monocle:

  1. Agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive.
  2. Agnosticism and theism are not mutually exclusive.
  3. Theism and atheism are mutually exclusive.

Interesting claim.

Can’t help but respond;so what?

My position is that god cannot be argued into or out of existence. That claims about god are unfalsifiable. IE cannot be proved or disproved.()so far)

One of my self labels is 'agnostic atheist '. By that I mean I do not believe in god(s) because of a lack of proof, but do not claim to know.

To believe in a god, I demand empirical evidence in his/her/its existence. No one so far has managed to that in recorded history as far as I know…

I am dismissive of the apologists we get here because so far none have presented anything new. They drag out the same old claims, which often include one of the tired,. thoroughly discredited arguments for the existence of god. The most common is the teleological/intelligent design.

I am also contemptuous of the almost universal intellectual dishonesty and willful ignorance of such people.

@ Frederick12

. . .

If you strip down the requirements for being ‘God’ to the bear minimum - throw away the 3O’s and all the divine intervention nonsense, you end up with just an intelligent entity that is somehow responsible for the creation of the universe.

My point is that it is very probably impossible to prove or disprove with 100% certainty the existence of such an entity.

Therefore, I hold that agnosticism is a more logical position than either theism or atheism.


@ Nyarlathotep

Therefore, I hold that agnosticism is a more logical position than either theism or atheism.

  1. Agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive.

  2. Agnosticism and theism are not mutually exclusive.

  3. Theism and atheism are mutually exclusive.


On: “agnosticism is a more logical position than either theism or atheism” . . .

Theists must answer the question: “Do you believe that a god exists?” in the affirmative, ie. they are believers of some sort.

If a person cannot answer the question in the affirmative, then they do not believe, and are thus not theist, but rather. atheist by default.

{Gnosticism ~ agnosticism} relies on points of knowledge / reason, (“proof” in some fashion).

{Theism ~ atheism} is merely about belief.

If one is agnostic about the existence of any god or gods, then one should answer the question: “Do you believe that a god exists?”, with the reply . . .“NO!”, for if an agnostic person were to reply “Yes”, to the god question, then that would be irrational, ie. accepting belief without due evidence, reason or proof.

So IMHO it is possible to be an agnostic theist, but that strikes me as intellectually dishonest, (irrationally based), and an extremely poorly founded epistemological decision.



@ Frederick12

If you strip down the requirements for being ‘God’ to the bear minimum - throw away the 3O’s and all the divine intervention nonsense, you end up with just an intelligent entity that is somehow responsible for the creation of the universe.


Then do you end up with “God”? I’d say; “No!”


The quote from Nyarlathotep says it very concisely. However, strong atheism, which goes a step further, is a belief that no gods exist, and so is a position that has a burden of proof, (in philosophical discussion or empirical investigations). Weak atheism makes no claim other than an adherence to withholding belief, until convincing knowledge / reason provides proof in some fashion, (either way ~ pro- or con-).




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Stron atheism… (I think that word is bullshit and will be using anti-theism).

The anti-theist position is taken against specific gods in specific situations. “Your version of god can not exist.” It can not be logically all inclusive. It can be used when logically asserting that a specific god does not exist.

Once I get you to define your God, I can certainly make the claim that there is reasonable evidence to assume it’s existence or non-existence.

The claim that there are “No Gods” is as un-falsifiable as the claim that “Gods Exist.”

Oh dear, not the “where you there?” creationist canard, which we’ve seen time and time again and destroyed. Yawn.

Item number one: YOU “weren’t there” when the purported fantastic shenanigans asserted to have taken place in your mythology were supposedly happening. So any attempt by you to treat the unsupported (and risible) assertions in Genesis as fact, is subject to the same critique.

Item number two: physical processes have a habit of leaving behind them physical evidence of their occurrence. Some of that evidence is persistent over long periods of time. See: the cosmic microwave background.

In short, we have DATA supporting the Big Bang. You have none supporting mythological assertions.

As for the mere assertion that the universe was “created” by some magic entity, you might want to start paying attention to recent papers from the cosmological physics literature, which provide a number of testable natural processes within their pages for the instantiation of the observable universe and its contents, with no magic entity from a mythology needed. Tests of the relevant postulates are underway as active research projects as I type this.

Now, moving on the issue of strong atheism … you’ll find that many of the regulars here do not subscribe thereto, so your bringing this topic up is pretty much null and void in their case. I’m one of those regulars here who don’t subscribe to this. Instead, I regard merely asserted mythological candidates for the “god role” as being ruled out on cogent grounds.

Indeed, if you exert some diligence in the matter, you’ll find that I’ve written a lot of posts on the topic of whether or not a god type entity actually exists, on the previous incarnation of this forum as well as elsewhere, and I’ve presented ideas therein that the average mythology fanboy has routinely demonstrated to be incapable of even fantasising about. I’m on public record as welcoming evidence for any real god type entity that exists, on the basis that said evidence, when alighted upon, will falsify all of our pre-scientific mythologies at a stroke.

And this brings me to another applicable elementary concept here, namely, that in the absence of evidence for an entity, I may safely operate as if that entity does not exist, on the understanding that I will revise that position the moment the relevant evidence crosses my path.

In short, I want something a little more substantial than “my mythology says so, therefore it’s true” in order to accept the existence of any god type entity, and I regard mythological candidates as null and void before we even start. In case you’re wondering what concept is in operation here, I’ll refer you to Carl Sagan, who presented the following in Pale Blue Dot :slight_smile:

Quite simply, the authors of mythologies underestimated size of the observable universe by nine orders of magnitude, and its age by at least seven. The idea that a mythology containing an error of this order with respect to verifiable fact, can be trusted with respect to its unsupported (and frequently untestable) assertions about a magic entity, is a non starter.

Indeed, our pre-scientific mythologies assert that the universe was purportedly poofed into existence on a whim by various cartoon magic entities, whose constructions are risible in the extreme to anyone who enjoyed a proper science education. For example, the crude, sociopathic Donald Trump in the sky
found within the pages of the Old Testament, manifestly fabricated by bellicose goat herders as a post hoc attempt at “justifying” their bloody Lebensraum wars and kidnapping of underage girls as sex slaves, is so ludicrous a candidate for any real god type entity, as to be beneath deserving of a point of view.

Just as Sagan informed us that the real, observable universe is far grander and far more magnificent than the pre-scientific conceptions thereof in mythologies, the same will almost certainly be true of any genuine god type entity that exists, which, upon being discovered, will be orders of magnitude more glorious to behold than the pathetic little cartoon caricatures thereof presented in mythologies.

I’ll enjoy the spectacle of you blowing an artery upon seeing an atheist write the above paragraph. :slight_smile:



Like the OverLord? :dog: woof woof! Pant pant pant. Woof!

They’re not mutually exclusive. I am an agnostic about all god claims that are unfalsifiable, but also an atheist. I mean how is it rational to believe a claim when you can know nothing about it?

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Among philosophers there seems to not be a clear-cut definition of atheism, with the definition ranging from merely lack of faith in a supernatural being to actively denying the existence of a god. So one shouldn’t be surprised that both atheists (of whatever variety) and theists cannot agree on a unified definition.

In any case, my personal view and flavour of atheism is close to yours, in that the (by now infinitesimally small) gaps that a god (or gods) could fill to make this world and the universe work keep getting smaller as they are being filled in by the information we obtain from scientific progress in areas like cosmology, astronomy, physics, geology, chemistry, biology, exo-biology, paleontology, medicine, archeology, linguistics, history, etc. Even from disciplines like academic bible research, the traditional view of the judeo-christian god is under attack.

But there is a fine distinction here. Beliving there is no god is not quite the same as positively claiming there is no god. One can argue against the existence of a god without making the actual claim that the god does not exist. So I have sort of ended up defining my particular flavour of atheism to be the belief that there is no god, stopping just short of actively claiming there is no god. I can actively argue against the existence of a god, but I don’t really make positive assertions that any given god does not exist*. The only thing stopping me is the fact that you cannot prove a negative.

Additionally, I tend to be an anti-theist when it comes to religion expressed in public space and in politics and laws. Religion belongs to the private sphere, and once it is expressed in public with the intention of converting or influencing society, my view is that it is fair game, and can be argued against with the full force of the accumulated scientific knowledge available. That being said, I’m all for being inclusive and let people believe weird stuff, as long as they don’t force it upon others, or cause harm. In short, “live and let live”.

* Actually, it depends on context. If I don’t want to discuss god-stuff with theists, I throw out the “god does not exist, period”-view, while if I actually want to engage in a discussion I take the more mellow view. Sometimes, I also find it useful to take the most extreme god-does-not-exist view if I want to provoke theists with blasphemy. It seems to tick them more off then.

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Whilst from a logical stand point I would argue from the atheist stand point of, the evidence does not support the notion of a god/gods.

However, my personal point of view is 100% absolute on there is no God.

Perhaps it is some sort of Bayesian viewpoint, but I am happy with the preponderance of evidence.

The god hypothesis holds less evidence then santa claus, or that a purple dragon is in my attic… etc…

Therefore I’m happy with the 99% of evidence and will go with that.

Whilst this is true and I agree 100%, a theist can also claim there is no evidence against the god claim, and they do. Now this of course is a rational objection to the claim a deity doesn’t exist, but not to withholding belief in that claim, and certainly does not support any god claim, as this would also be an irrational argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy.

Nothing is rationally proved or disproved because of a lack of evidence.

This puts god claims that are unfalsifiable in the same category as all other unfalsifiable claims, and of course if you accept that it is remotely valid because it can’t be falsified, you’d not only be making an irrational argument, you’d be showing obvious bias, unless you accept all unfalsifiable claims.

I disbelieve all unfalsifiable claims, but remain agnostic about them.

We also have the added complication that many god claims are falsifiable, and some have been falsified with objective research, like intercessory prayer, the Turin shroud, the Exodus myth, the creationist myth that denies the objective fact of evolution etc etc…

Theists always ignore failures in their rationale, but bizarrely circle back to them later as if nothing has happened. @TheFlyingPig doesn’t even leave any gap in his repetition, but repeats his appeal to ignorance fallacies in the very next post after they’ve been explained.

Other religious apologists use an almost school ground rebuttal of “no you are” in response to explanation of why their arguments are irrational.

Bottom line is that despite thousands of years, and untold resources, religions have failed to produce a single piece of objective evidence, or a single rational argument to support their god claims.


Likewise. An indulgence in some mind-candy now and then does not mean “belief” “special knowledge” or “I know” (speaking for myself only)… no more than watching a good movie or reading a book should lead a person to keeping an eye open for Superman or Harry Potter or …well, you get the idea :bulb:

I use to do this as a JW. I think :thinking: it’s part of deep indoctrination and forcing your own mind to automatically “reject” anything contrary to what information you have already decided is “truth”.

When I took science in school, I easily “mentally ignored” the textbook (worldly satanic theory to undermine god): OR when going door-to-door, if a “Christian” said anything i mean the smallest thing contrary to my belief of “truth” I could easily dismiss EVERYTHING.

It worked on this analogy … “If you knew a glass of water contained a small amount of arsenic (or other deadly poison :skull_and_crossbones:) would YOU drink it? Therefore, do not allow your mind to be poisoned by water OUTSIDE of God’s Organization which supplies “life’s water free” … blah blah blah

It’s powerful shit when you buy into it and build your own mind prison.

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You and Fivel will hit it off well together. He makes a whole lot of unsubstantiated claims as well.