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ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I'm not sure what to respond

I'm not sure what to respond other than I disagree with those observations.

Cognostic's picture
Atheism is a belief like non

Atheism is a belief like non-stamp collecting is a hobby.

Sheldon's picture
Cognostic "Atheism is a

Cognostic "Atheism is a belief like non-stamp collecting is a hobby."

Precisely correct, and asking someone if they doubt doubting a claim, is like asking them if they find not collecting stamps rewarding.

Tin-Man's picture
Personally, I view doubt

Personally, I view doubt about the same as I view fear. They are both healthy and vital to our existence, just as long as YOU control THEM and do not allow them to control you.

I was a rappelling instructor for many years working with high school Jr. ROTC students during their summer camps. Naturally, many of the kids were scared (some downright terrified) about stepping off the tower and trusting their fragile little bodies with a thin length of military rope purchased by the government from the lowest bidder. Fair enough. *chuckle* Anyway, to help put their minds at ease a bit, I would give a little pep talk to the groups at the beginning of each training session. Part of that pep talk went something like this:

"Show of hands, who here is afraid?" (Of course, most of the kids would raise their hands, and I would raise my own hand with them.) Then I would continue, "That is good. Believe it or not, being afraid is a GOOD thing. The trick, ladies and gentlemen, is for YOU to control your fear, and NOT LET YOUR FEAR CONTROL YOU. Fear is your friend. It helps keep you alive. It makes you be extra sure you are doing things correctly. It makes you double-check your equipment. It helps you be more aware of your surroundings. I will let you in on a little secret: I am afraid every single time I step off that tower." Most of the kids got a really confused look on their faces at that point. (Oh, before starting my pep talk, I came off the tower face forward at a high rate of descent and stopped suddenly mere inches from the ground.) After a brief pause, I continued, "The day I step up onto that tower and I feel no fear about stepping over the edge is the day I will stop doing this job. Because that will be the day I start to become careless and risk getting myself or somebody else seriously injured or killed. Therefore, you need to know right now there will be nobody here today making fun of you for being afraid. You SHOULD be afraid. This is not a natural thing to do. But control that fear and use it to your advantage. DO NOT allow your fears to control you." I really miss those days out on the tower. Saw some great things out there with those kids.

So, in relation to doubts, to me it is roughly the same. Doubts and fear sort of work hand-in-hand in a way. (In my opinion.) They only become bad things when you allow them to take over your life and keep you from functioning and doing the things that need to be done.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
That's interesting, I would

That's interesting, I would agree there is a link between fear and doubt. Each one often causing the other.

I did JROTC all through Middle School and High School, so I definitely know how intimidating rappelling can be.

Tin-Man's picture
@John Re: Rappelling

@John Re: Rappelling

The most rewarding part of it for me were the times when we would get the kids who were so scared they were almost literally too afraid to even walk up the steps to the top. But then we would work with them a bit, and eventually get them up to the top, hooked to the rope, and stepping over the edge. Most of them would be screaming and genuinely crying their eyes out as they took that first step. And those were the kids who earned my respect the most. And I did my best to make sure they knew it. Again, I truly miss those days.

Randomhero1982's picture
"In contrast, you seldom hear

"In contrast, you seldom hear atheists talk about the doubts of atheism.
Do they have them? If so, what are they about?"

I will try to answer the question directly... I doubt many things in life, but my worldview of that there is no god is without any doubt.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Simple and straightforward

Simple and straightforward answer, I like it.

Kataclismic's picture
Atheism exists because of

Atheism exists because of doubt. Atheism is doubt. Evidence would quell all doubt.

Doubt relating to atheism? No, that doesn't make any sense. If I am an atheist because I doubt your story I can't then doubt my atheism. That's a catch-22.

It would require evidence of a tremendous shift in that which I know to be true for me to doubt my own doubts.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
That would depend on you and

That would depend on you and why you're atheist. Some prefer the term gnostic atheist or agnostic atheist. Others would rate their atheism on a certainty scale of 1-7.

If your atheism is the equivalent of Descartes' brain in a vat scenario, then I agree, this question is not for you.

Kataclismic's picture
Hmm, less to do with the

Hmm, less to do with the Matrix, more excluded middle.

LucyAustralopithecus's picture
on the spectrum of theistic

on the spectrum of theistic probability as made by richard dawkins, i would say i am a 6.
de facto atheist. very low probability, but short of zero. "I don't know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there"

so yes, i have some doubt regarding my atheism, i could be swayed if there was substantial evidence.

but being a child of science, i will follow the evidence, and so far it is overwhelmingly in favour of there being no god.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Great response.

Great response.


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