Is a person with out religion weaker than a person with it?

Would an athiest be considered weaker than someone who beleives in god?

Its irrelevant. What is you definition of strength? It if differs at all from atheism, or then, a belief in a God, then it can be considered weak to you.

Its all perspective.

Well is there any such thing as a true Atheist.

Most Atheists say they believe in no religion as it is unproven…yet it is not disproven either so their argument is hippocritical.

A person with religion has support from that religion in times of trouble, they can pray or visit a church. Whereas a person with no religion either quickly turns to it or has to rely on inner self.

Either way we are all equal in this sense as the strength comes form within. No God, no spirit, no mother nature etc…can ever change a persons inner strength.

Think about what you just said for a minute.

We atheists have no reason to disprove in something that to us, simply doesn’t exist. If something is told to us that really has no basis, why then should we even consider it to be true. It is basically a belief with no support accept the “faith” the believers have. It isn’t our job to prove you believers wrong, it is your job to prove yourselves right, and no one ever seams to do that.

That is why I wonder how so many can accept their religious beliefs.

Well, if an atheist has to rely on himself/herself all the time for support and cant retreat to a deity, then i think that would build strength…Not to mention most atheists feel that theists have a false strength for example (and i know this is highly unlikly) if somehow they proved your religion wrong(try and imagine that), would that not be devistating to you?

However it greatly depends on the person…

Probably by some, but would it be true?

From my perspective, someone who disbelieves or denies the existence of God has neglected one part of human experience, but I can understand how this position is taken. Atheists usually have found no reason to place their faith in a Deity and can often be found in opposition to hypocrisy, which has undoubtebly been an attribute of institutionalised religions.

Generally the whole morality question has been blown out of proportion by Christians, making the mark so unreachable (e.g. for priests), that hypocrisy was bound to be the result. The effect however has been like a smokescreen for true religious experience and brings the discussion about God into realms of the ridiculous. The Evangelicals have also done God a disservice, by overinterpreting the Bible and taking things literally that were not meant to be taken literally.

The other area of (Christian) Religion that has given rise to protest from the beginning began when the pupils of the original Apostles (in typical devotee manner) took the statements of faith to be proven fact. They made Christ into ‘the’ Son of God (almost like the greek gods) and ignored the fact that he wanted to be the ‘yeast’ for many ‘Sons of God’ - Peacemakers, who spread Shalom across Israel and the world.

I understand Atheists to some degree, and regard many of them not as ‘weak’ - which is usually a play on the assumption that they have no moral values - but as true humanists who uphold common values.


Bob, that was fair and balanced reporting!

Dev930 said:

I find as an atheist, that i am self-reliant. It really imbues one with a sense of the tragic, one stands or falls on one’s own accord. If the World is screwed up either one ignores it, or trys to fix it, but doesn’t pray. If life is hard service, one learns how to serve, one doesn’t wait for the after life. If one is persecuted for one’s belief, one teaches and learns humility, but avoids becoming a martyr.

Consider also that in a predominately theist population, that being an atheist at least requires courage.

Anyway that is my experience, but i can not say that my strength derives entirely from my atheism, but attempting to live an illusion-free life unaffected by dogma has definitely made me rely on myself more, and is that not the best strength to have? One’s own strength? Whether one is Christian, Atheist, or Muslim, one must eventually rely on one’s self and if there is a God i would hope that the divine deity feels that way too.


the real question is not “is a person with religion stronger than one without it,” because that can not be answered.

Can a person with religion be stronger than one without it? Yes.
Is this always the case? No.

It seems to me that atheists are hypocrites when theymake the argument that a person that has faith in god, or consoles himself through god is weaker than one that does not… because in that, one is saying that there is a god.

I would see the ideal atheist, for lack of a better term, to see that god is a human creation as the manifestation inner strength. I don’t understand why some atheists feel they must always be at war with those that have one religion or another, saying things like religion is a crutch, or believing in god makes you weak. It seems the ideal atheist would rise above the conflict nature, and have the wisdom to know that there is no god, and when one believes in (a) god(s), it is not false strength, but rather inner strength.

In essense, if an atheist relies on himself for strength, he’s relying on himself for strength. If a Thomas More relies on God for strength, and there is no god, then logically he’s still relying on himself.

For the record, I consider myself a deist…

Personally, i think the same thing. There is no correlation between one’s theistic/atheistic belief and inner strength, all i can do is relate my experiences.

dang, i was just gonna type that… beat me to it marshall…

I find it interesting that I was assumed to be a believer :evilfun:

I personally have no fixed belief or disbelief system. If someone proves something it does not always make it true to the person they have proven it to.

To answer the initial question of this thread, I think it all depends on who you ask. Typically, people believe that what is best for themself is the best for all, so ask most theists this question and odds are most of them will claim that an Atheist is weaker. Ask most Atheists, and many of them would probably claim that Theists are weaker. Then you have people that understand both positions fairly well and witness that it is not that relevant.

I don’t think it is so much with the philosophy as it is with those who advocate their personal beliefs as being in the best interests of others. What may be the best for me may or may not be the best for you.

“Body, Soul, Mind, these three: to the body belong sensations, to the soul impulses, to the mind principles. The impressions of sense we share with cattle of the field: the pulls of impulse with brute beasts, with catamites, with Phalaris, or Nero: and mind is still the guide into the way of duty, even for the atheist, the traitor, and for those who lock the door for sin. Well then, if all else is shared, the good man’s one distinction is to welcome gladly all that falls within the web of Destiny, to keep the god implanted in his breast unsoiled. . . .”

Is this true: that the only difference between the believer and the atheist is that whereas the former welcomes gladly all that befalls him the latter does not?

If you can’t answer that question for yourself whether you believe or not then you are the weaker one. But I personally feel that by me believing God I have triumphed over impossible odds in life. Some see it differently, which I simply cannot see how but it is not for me to ponder.

Our beliefs just help complete us. You can probably then only measure strength as a whole. Everything about the persons character must be considered.

It seems to me that atheists are hypocrites when theymake the argument that a person that has faith in god, or consoles himself through god is weaker than one that does not… because in that, one is saying that there is a god.

How the hell does that follow?

I can console myself in my belief in unicorns. That doesn’t make unicorns exist. It only means they exist “to me” that I have belief in them.

The only conclusion that has to come from your statement is that “one is saying that there is a belief in God.” In no way is it an admission of God’s existence.

And I think the question about, “But wouldn’t that make God your inner-strength?” can be answered by the, “But what would happen if you lost your faith?”

The answer is of course: some people could cope, and some couldn’t. The odd thing here is, for most atheists I know, if suddently God was proven to be true, they’d go, “Oh, well.” And for that matter, most deists, if it were proven God does not exist, they would go, “Oh, well.”

It seems it only matters horribly one way or the other to the hardcore fundementalists, and the supposed atheists who seem to be shock rockers of theism. These are the same people who come across Nietzsche and and think he’s the best thing since prepared garlic bread.

I can see how you could say that some fundamentatlists are “too” relient on God, in that their lives seem to center solely on their faith, and were it to be tested in the least way, it would crumble their worldview. The same can be said of some people who are so relient on their conflict versus faith, that were it to be tested in the least the same thing would occur.

So I guess the person with more strength, is the person who doesn’t stuff all his or her resolve in one perverbial basket.

Make sense?

Agreed. Nicely put. Also thanks for telling that unicorn theory to whoever that person was, because their theory was definitely faulted.

you seemed to have missed my point…

if there is no god… then there is only faith on some part of yourself.

if an atheist says one is weaker for his faith in god… he is saying there is a god to have faith in…

if no god exists, then the person is using faith in a self made thought.

it is true that if you believe in unicorns, it exists to you… but if there is no such thing as unicorns, and you still believe in unicorns, I cannot say you are weaker for believing in them, because logically, you are relying on yourself.

So really, in this long winded counter… I am really getting at the point that there is no correlation between inner-strength and a belief in anything.

because you can’t believe in something that isn’t there… even if it isn’t real, your image of it is in your mind, and that can only lead back to relying on yourself for inner strength.

…which is of course what atheists mean when they use the term “god.” They are referring to a prevalent delusion, a psychological phenomenon, not a real entity. I mean did you just now figure that out?

Perhaps. Scroll down to test that and see. I don’t want to respond to something you didn’t intend to say.

That doesn’t necessarily follow. The unicorn is not a part of “self.” It is merely a concept. I have the concept “apple” in my mind, but when I think of “apple” is does not necessarily relate to “an” apple. The “chair” you think of when you think “chair” is not the same “chair” that I think of when I say “chair” but we share a concept.

Thus, A) a concept does not necessarily have to relate directly to an object (thus the lack of “God” in reality, to the notion of “God”) and B) a concept can be based outside of “self”

It doesn’t necessarily follow that this concept, simply because it lacks an exterior object to originate, or relate the concept, must therefore be based upon my person in any fashion.

I really don’t follow you here. You seem to have gone from A to C with not part B to link the two.

Not at all. Or at least, not in the (forgive me for using the term) “real” sense.

Define “self-made.”

Again: no. Not at all. I can be relying on a concept that, while important to and obviously relating to me in some fashion, is not necessarily “of” me. So I don’t believe your statement necessarily follows at all.

I’m not convinced this follows from your previous statements. I can believe in the value of freedom, in the values put forth in the US Constitution, and this could give me great strength. It could even be termed inner-strength in some fashion. I think we need to define what we’re saying by “inner-strength.”

Are we relating it to some sort of personal identity? Or are we talking about the will? I think the former, but I want to make sure we’re all working with the same basis here before we make further statements.

Why? Again, I’m not sure concepts are necessarily a part of “self”. By self we usually mean something like personal identity, the haeccity of object C, personality, values, beliefs, so on and so forth. Some of that could indicate that “God” is indeed added into the equation. But then, the concept of God is both a part of me, and not. If I am Catholic my concept of God is both my own, and that of a collective. And thus, I am both relying on my own conceptions, but also on a collective concept that is not dependent upon me, but upon which I am dependent. This leads us into, “If one’s faith is tested, does one’s ‘inner-strength’ also falter?”

It seems to be answered with a resounding: yes. And thus, no, it is not at least “solely” a part of you, but is also independent of you. The concept “apple” is not dependent upon me, but I nontheless hold that concept in my own mind, and perhaps even relate it to personal events (I’m sure Robert Frost did just that) but that does not make it dependent upon me.

Make sense? I think I rambled a little. Let me know if something needs to be reworded, or expounded upon.

As a side-note, the very concept of “God” likely was introduced to me by other persons. I can merely encounter the apple and the concept is now present in my mind, though I do not intitially have the term “apple” to use. Even without the term, I have the concept. But more than likely the concept “God” was introduced by others, and had no import to me, nor was I even aware of it beforehand. And so, it could be plausibly argued that it is (at least intially) less a part of self at the first than “puppy” or “brother.” I have a puppy and a brother to relate these ideas to, but no “God” is present (at least not in the conventional sense). Yet, people tend to base far more of themselves and their worldviews on “God” and thus it’s certainly argurable that this makes faith a far shakier ground upon which to base one’s self.