Sometimes because religious beliefs are being pushed, sometimes to vent frustration with religion, but mostly to encourage the use of critical thinking and skepticism -- the topic is just incidental.
Is skepticism a good thing?
Of course. It's what underlies all critical thinking, reasoning, and applied logic. Skepticism is great because it forces you to gain your own perspective on topics, rather than put blind faith in others. Also, it doesn't just tear down beliefs -- it strengthens them.
Can you have strong beliefs without skepticism?
Sure, but not legitimate beliefs. They are illegitimate because, if they have never critically examined their beliefs, then they most likely just adopted someone else's. Belief and faith are meant to be personal and unique.
who're you to say whose beliefs are legitimate and whose aren't?
My name is Daniel James and I am a fool. But, do you see what you did there? You were skeptical about my thoughts, good!
What if the person did think critically about their beliefs and analyzed other possibilities and their studies only reaffirmed their original mindset?
Then their beliefs are strengthened. I have much more respect for a religious person who has done that than one who has not.
But how does skepticism strengthen one's beliefs?
As going through a rough patch in a relationship often strengthens the relationship, so to would a relationship with God. Also, by challenging and examining your beliefs, and arriving at your original conclusion, you will reaffirm your beliefs and understand your personal reasons of belief.
But skepticism about God is like a hole in your beliefs. You may choose to ignore those holes and move on, but they're still holes.
Skepticism in and of itself isn't really beneficial. Skepticism coupled with critical thinking is very beneficial. That is what I am talking about. When you pair them, you peruse your beliefs, recognize holes, and fill them.
But why does anyone even need to "peruse" their beliefs? Why isn't just believing good enough?
Cool. I thank you, Mr. DanielJames.
What are YOUR motives in deciding arbitrarily there IS a superior being?
Atheists don't belive in a god because they just don't. There isn't any evidence, and they don't have the natural impulse that others might to believe in a higher being.
I'd say that there's plenty of evidence for at least some planning behind creation. Because I really find it hard to believe that all of everything that's alive right now, with its diversity but clear cut distinction, beauty and functionality could have come from a series of random mutations.
No, I understand natural selection, it's, simply put, strongest will survive and flourish, right? I just find that mutations are not very common at all, and currently, when something mutates to the point where something within changes, most of the time its negative/weakens the creature. Right? At least nowadays?
Its funny you should mention that. The moths that were lighter blended in better with the trees and therefore thrived. The darker ones were just targeted more because they were more visible. When the revolutiin hit, pollution darkened the trees, making the darker moths easier to blend and easier to survive. The lighter ones just were eaten more. That's survival of the fittest, not necessarily evolution as a whole.
But we're still Homo Sapiens, right? Height and skin color and stuff explains differences in individuals and ethnic groups, but not necessarily species. Just like spotted moths. And scientists see small differences in species and... theory of evolution...
I honestly... just want to know.
Why are you so defensive? No one questioned the validity of your quandary
If there really is a superior being, why would he have created me with a mind that would question his existence?
because he has allowed you free will, the concept of a super being or god is not synonymous with a tyrant.
Well if he isn't a tyrant then why does he allow all the evil in the world to exist? The theory of a god is that he is omnipotent and omnibenevolent. So if he can stop the evil but doesn't, he isn't omnibenevolent. And if he can't stop it, then he's not omnipotent. Either way, he can't be both, so I have a hard time believing in a higher power.
He gave all men free will, that includes freedom to commit evil acts. If he were not to allow evil acts that in itself would make him a tyrant. The existance of evil is not evidence against god but it is evidence that their are forces that act against him. He is omnibenevolent because he will punish those who are evil. He is not a tyrant because he will not restrict your freedom to be evil. A tyrant is one who seeks to control people in order to serve their own purpose, God asks you to follow him in exchange for rewarding your service. Your logic is flawed, controlling people makes one a tyrant, letting people live a life of freedom makes one a generous ruler.
Allow me to correct myself, I wasn't trying to imply that god is a tyrant, I was simply stating that he couldn't exist given the stipulations of his existence, being omnipotent and omnibenevolent. And I was talking about not only man made evil such as what you describe, but also natural evil such as hunger, disease, and natural disasters. Why would a god put something like a hurricane on us if he is to be kind as is understood of him?
God is not a god of infinite kindness, that's not how it works.I honestly cannot explain why natural disasters exist in a world created by God, but I cannot see any reason the existence of powerful natural forces could be considered evidence against God's existence. there are no prerequisites for the existence of a god, so nothing can be factual evidence supporting or denouncing the existence of a god. anything either way is merely speculation or assumption, and it is truly ludicrous to outright deny the existence of a god or or deny the possibility that a god does not exist.
God is a god of infinite kindness. The Christian religion recognizes their god as a perfect being of which no being can be thought of as being better than him. So even if god were some mighty being, if he has a finite amount of benevolence, then a being with more can be thought of. Therefore, he must be omnibenevolent or he is not god.
No he is not, he is definitely a perfect being but he is not a god of infinite kindness. benevolence and kindness are not the same thing, as a god he has infinite benevolence because all that he declares to be benevolent is benevolent, that is the concept of monotheistic god. but he has done many things that most people would not consider to be kind. your thinking of benevolent and kind as synonymous in this context but they are not. they can be used as synonyms but in this context they would not be, perhaps they are not the best words to use. think of benevolence as being the right thing to do, and kindness as the nice thing to do. I think that is a sufficient way of differentiating them.