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Atheists can be split into those who believe religious views are generally harmless, and those who wish to actively challenge religious beliefs. The latter group, sometimes referred to as militant atheists, often believe that harm stems from delusion, where religion is no exception.
With the scientific method, it is an empirical question as to whether a person's belief in God has a genetic component. From a religious point of view, the idea that a person's fate is predetermined from material causes may undermine the concepts of free will and spirituality.
In war, both sides will often assert that "God is on our side". An extreme case is a holy war - a war primarily justified by religion. This occurred with the Christian Crusades that started in the late 11th century, which were in retaliation of previous Muslim conquests. In contrast, secular humanists assert that only ethical principles such as liberty can be said to be "on our side", else objectivity is lost.
The answer lies at the heart of one's personal philosophy or religious belief. For theists, the meaning of life is to serve God. For atheists, the meaning of life is generally more complex to define. For a theist, life cannot be meaningful without God - an assumption vigorously challenged by many atheists.
People who believe in God generally believe that a purely analytical and scientific method of forming knowledge is constrained to a subset of reality that cannot encompass God. Atheists on the other hand, typically say that God is merely one of numerous theories that lack coherence and supporting evidence, and that these shortcomings already constitutes sufficient proof of God's non existence.
All religions promote a path promised to lead to ultimate happiness. Clearly, the path advocated by each has significant differences. However, are these paths simply different routes up a mountain, where the truth at the summit is shared by all?
This philosophical question is a form of the Cosmological Argument or First Cause Argument. The question is whether it makes sense that the universe "came into existence from nothing". Modern physics suggests that the notion of time, and hence cause and effect, break down at the time of the big bang, rendering the intuitive demand for a "first cause" meaningless.
Both western and eastern religions assert that the world is a just place, whether that is made possible by God, or through the subtle workings of the Law of Karma. In contrast, from an atheists perspective, the universe is at best an amoral place. Bad things happen to good people and vice versa; morality is only enforced, if at all, by humans, not God; morality a muddled mosaic of meaning undermined by mortality.
God is the central being in Abrahamic religions, who is the creator of the universe and the ultimate arbiter of human affairs. Many philosophers have also used the word in a more abstract way, yet still in way that shares and strives to capture a sense of ultimate profundity. Atheists believe that God does not exist, for such reasons as the degree of suffering in the world, or because God is superfluous to a naturalistic universe or because the very concept of God lacks determinate meaning.
The Catholic Church
The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God
Steven Novella
Does God exist? Disagree
First, to be clear I don’t believe in God or any supernatural being …
Kenneth Miller
Miller proposes that God set the world in motion and nature is evolving just as planned. "We cannot think of God as a part of nature. God is the reason for nature," he explained.
Massimo Pigliucci
The new ad says: “You KNOW they’re all SCAMS,” and it’s signed “American Atheists — Telling the truth since 1963.” “They” are at least five of the major religious traditions, as is made clear by a set of symbols accompanying the poster. … it is a really bad PR move, even if the target audience is in fact limited to closet atheists and agnostics. … it is an even worse PR move when it comes to the public perception of atheists considered more broadly.
James Randi
Is God just? Disagree
I accuse the Christian god of murder by allowing the Holocaust to take place -- not to mention the "ethnic cleansing" presently being performed by Christians in our world -- and I condemn and vilify this mythical deity for encouraging racial prejudice and commanding the degradation of women.
Massimo Pigliucci
The new ad says: “You KNOW they’re all SCAMS,” and it’s signed “American Atheists — Telling the truth since 1963.” “They” are at least five of the major religious traditions, as is made clear by a set of symbols accompanying the poster. … First, the ad is simply making a preposterous claim that cannot possibly be backed up by factual evidence, which means that, technically, it is lying (but see below for another interpretation). Not a good virtue for self-righteous critical thinkers.
James Randi
Does God exist? Disagree
To make sure that my blasphemy is thoroughly expressed, I hereby state my opinion that the notion of a god is a basic superstition, that there is no evidence for the existence of any god(s), that devils, demons, angels and saints are myths, that there is no life after death, heaven nor hell, that the Pope is a dangerous, bigoted, medieval dinosaur, and that the Holy Ghost is a comic‐book character worthy of laughter and derision.
Steven Novella
What if someone claims that there is a god that exists outside the confines of the material universe? This being is unknowable to us mortals, one can only have faith in his existence. A believer can also claim that the existence of the universe was the will of this being. These beliefs are all inherently untestable.
James Randi
I’ve said it before: there are two sorts of atheists. One sort claims that there is no deity, the other claims that there is no evidence that proves the existence of a deity; I belong to the latter group, because if I were to claim that no god exists, I would have to produce evidence to establish that claim, and I cannot.
Robert Todd Carroll
In the end, science can't decide the god question any more than philosophical concepts can determine what's real or not in biology or theology.
Ron Paul
I get to my God through Christ. Christ to me, is a man of peace. He is for peace.

New Comments

0 Points       Sherlock Holmes       23 Nov 2013     Does God exist? Agree
I beleive that God exists that loves us so that he gave His One and only Son to die on the cross for our sins and rise from the dead on the third day.I am a Christian.

0 Points       Nashhinton       20 Apr 2013     Is God on our side in war? Disagree
God doesn't exist.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Must God exist to explain how the universe began? Disagree
There is no reason to believe that a god needs to be invoked to explain the universe.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Does life have a meaning? Disagree
To believe life has a meaning is an inherently religious belief. Once you understand that the universe itself has no purpose; life, as a part of the universe, also has no inherent purpose.

1 Point       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Should atheists directly challenge religious beliefs? Agree
Challenging religious beliefs is just as important as challenging any other crazy beliefs (homeopathy, flying saucers, bigfoot, etc.). In fact, in some ways it is more important, because religious belief is a lot more widespread than any other pseudoscientific belief.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Is God just? Disagree
The fictional character known as “God”, as it was imagined to be by the writers of the bible, is clearly not just.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Does God exist? Disagree
There is simply no good evidence to suggest that any gods exist.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Can science prove or disprove the existence of God? Agree
On the few occasions that religious people actually do try to provide evidence, it fails to be convincing.

As for the other times, the best way I have heard to put it is this:
“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” —Christopher Hitchens

This may not be universally agreed to be the way science works, but it is how it should work.

1 Point       Nashhinton       12 Feb 2013     Does God exist? Disagree
"God" is a delusional fantasy conjured up by our paleolithic ancestors to explain natural phenomena that couldn't be explained during the time. It was also socially constructed and popularized during the Neolithic Revolution to police the early tribes, cultures and common people through propagandized information that would appease their fears of death and misery (Terror management theory). It is the biggest cop-out ever created and has caused nothing more than technological regression and wars upon humanity.

1 Point       Anonymous       13 Jul 2012     Is God on our side in war? General Comment
God doesn't interact in human affairs in that way. We were given free will for a reason.

-1 Point       Haruka       14 Apr 2012     Does God exist? Neutral
I am completely neutral. I am non-religious as well.
There is no proof that God exists.
There is also no proof that he doesn't.
Religion is just something for people to rely on, so I say believe whatever you want!

0 Points       Benja       07 Feb 2012     Is God just? General Comment
Scientific theories have the disclaimer: "may be replaced by a theory that better explains new evidence".

What's shameful, or perhaps tragic, my dear Vickie, is how Christians claim to be certain of what they know, and then indoctrinate their kids to believe the same. There's no possibility in your mind that God can't exist, or that some evidence could convince that he doesn't. Your imagination suffocated a long time ago in a small plastic bag.

God Question Index

Does God exist?
Should atheists directly challenge religious beliefs?
Is God just?
Can science prove or disprove the existence of God?
Must God exist to explain how the universe began?
Does life have a meaning?
Do all religions ultimately express the same God?
Is God on our side in war?
Does belief in God have a significant genetic component?