Although a believer myself, I have a sincere desire to understand the atheist point of view. To that end, I think it is critically important that any fruitful debate begin with an understanding of the opposing position, thoroughly and fairly. As such, I respectfully pose the following two questions.
1) If you are an atheist, what affirmative beliefs does that entail for you?
2) If your response to #1 includes the affirmative position that “God” or anything “supernatural” does not exist, what do those terms mean to you? What, precisely, are you claiming does not exist? What is the demarcation between the “supernatural” that you believe does not exist and the “natural” that may, at least potentially in your analysis, exist? Alternatively or additionally, what attributes or qualities would make an entity a “God” or “god” such that you affirmatively claim he/she/it does not exist?
I do not intend to challenge anyones answers, although I may ask clarifying questions. Instead, I simply want to understand precisely what various people mean by these terms. Obviously, I am not looking for dictionary definitions, a “group” agreed definition, etc. Instead, operating on the assumption that an affirmatively held belief system would be reached by an individual analysis of the relevent arguments and data, I seek to understand more fully what individual atheists mean, in their own conceptions, by these terms and, perhaps, how usage may vary from person to person in ways that are often not appreciated.
For anyone who takes the times to respond, thank you.
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