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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Theists... If you were the last Theist alive, and everyone else was a nonbeliever, would that make you seem any crazier than Atheists already think that you currently are?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30946points) July 10th, 2009

Theists, would your belief be shaken if you were the last of your kind? If all the religious texts had somehow been proven wrong to the absolute, then a completely Atheistic society could have you declared certifiably insane and lock you away forever.

Would you be coherent enough to consider that you may be wrong in your belief, or would you suffer a life of imprisonment in order to stick with your convictions?

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32 Answers

Facade's avatar

Imprisonment isn’t all that bad :)

seekingwolf's avatar

Well, I’m not a theist, I’m a Buddhist…but I’ll say this..

Part of having “faith” means trusting in something that you have no material proof of…you just believe because you “know” it’s there. Such knowing is called “gnosis” (a greek word) which roughly translates to instinctively knowing something is true without needing any “proof” to validate it.

Atheists drive me crazy sometimes…always with the “PROVE THIS PROVE THAT OR ELSE YOU’RE WRONG AND I’M RIGHT.” Spirituality just doesn’t work like that, I’m afraid. Until you understand that, you aren’t going to progress far spiritually…and you’ll keep asking Fluther questions regarding Atheism to try and validate yourself.

avalmez's avatar

your question is badly stated. the details help though.

First, you assume it’s possible to prove God does not exist. Questionable. And, if such a proof were to be devised, a theist could just as easily posit the proof defines God.

avalmez's avatar

and anyways, the business of science is not to prove or disprove the existance of God. Rather, the business of science is to understand and describce nature, which God hath wrought.

lillycoyote's avatar

Well, as a someone somewhere the deist/theist range, my beliefs are more defined really by what I don’t believe than what I do believe so I’m not sure what there would be a whole lot to defend. I don’t really have any “convictions” that would be worth going to prison for. I believe what I believe and I don’t care what anyone else believes. I also know I could be wrong. My defending my beliefs in a court in some court in a world populated entirely by atheists would make some very bad television, if you know what I mean. I figure there either is a god or there isn’t and what I or anyone else believes has absolutely no bearing on the reality of it, whatever that may be. At least in a world full of atheists I’d only have people on one side of the issue telling me I was wrong, instead of getting it from both sides, the religionists and the atheists.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


You assume what I must assume. The details portion of this thread clearly depict a hypothetical situation where every religious text is disproved. Science may have the ability to do that. Not intentionally, but by default of new discoveries.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Based in our current world… yes.

But in a world where Atheists rule, could not Theists and even Agnostics be looked at as complete lunatics? They already look at them that way.

If someone insisted and lived his life based upon the unicorn menstrual moon cycle, we would view him as crazy, maybe to the point of incarceration depending upon how vehemently he preached his views.

The last Theist standing will be viewed very much the same.

Jayne's avatar

@seekingwolf; as you say, spirituality doesn’t work like that, and neither does science; in fact, it is an established principle in science that nothing can ever be proven true, but only in some cases proven false. Therefore, a responsible atheist should never say “prove it or you’re wrong”. If they do, they are no more rational than the believers they scorn. Given this, a proper forum of debate would not involve proof one way or another, but only evidence to demonstrate that one conclusion is more likely than the other. And by that standard, “gnosis” doesn’t hold up very well, simply because the record of history and a survey of human beliefs demonstrates very clearly that it leads, with equal authroity in each case, to mutual exclusive and absolutely irreconcilable beliefs. Gut instinct can not be used as evidence, but only as a personal starting point or guide, and not as a foundation; it should never be a reason for believing something, it should only be an indicator of where to start looking for those reasons, which should themselves be rationally founded.
BTW, I wasn’t really arguing for or against anything you said, just building off of your comment about atheists annoying you.

avalmez's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies history is replete with examples where the beliefs of some were veiwed as completely lunatic. in as many cases as not, the believers survived the non-believers as the opposite.

arnbev959's avatar

I am not a theist, so I can’t answer as one.

There are some beliefs that I hold very dearly, that I would never give up. But I probably would pull a Galileo and publicly renounce them to avoid prison, assuming these were merely beliefs (and not something that I would have to act upon. I might publicly state that I believe murder is a-ok, as long as I wasn’t expected to go out and kill someone.)

cwilbur's avatar

If a thousand people say a stupid thing, it is still a stupid thing. I do not evaluate my beliefs based on their popularity, either.

seekingwolf's avatar


I totally agree with you, esp with the gut instinct being a “starting” point for forming one’s beliefs and not being the basis. I should have explained that a little more clearly…but I couldn’t have said it better than you did. :) Thanks

CMaz's avatar

This is a whose team are you on question.
If it was proven without a doubt that god was not real. Meaning all the answers to the universe were solved and it clearly made sense that no god was needed. Just add water. Then there would be no need for that person to confess a faith that did not exists. That last person would also be enlightened at that point and all would be perfect in the universe.

Unless you think, people believe in what they do, just to crawl up your butt.

augustlan's avatar

If I were the last theist in the world, I believe I’d keep my beliefs to my self thankyouverymuch.

CMaz's avatar

Ok, lets reverse the question. So the Christians wont, by having fun with this discussion, feel like they are betraying God or will get hit by lightning.

If it was proven without a doubt there was a God. You walked out the front door and there he was, 200 ft tall. And explaining everything to you, everything about everything.

To say at that point, there is no God would be contradictive to what you now know is true. There would be no room for doubt, doubt is based on questions not answered.

avalmez's avatar

@ChazMaz you describe an opposite circumstance but don’t ask a corresponding question. theists fully expect that each of us in our turn or mankind at large at some point in history will learn the truth of the existence of God. Perhaps much like you describe – suddenly, there you stand in the undeniable presence of God (pretty scary thought to even contemplate, huh?).

Science may or may not be able to prove or disprove the existence of God. My guess is that it won’t, and guess what? i wouldn’t count that as a failure of science because as i wrote above, science is not in the business of disproving God, but rather it is in the business of understanding nature, the physical world. To a theist, understanding nature is revealing God.

So from my perspective, it’s difficult to contemplate a question that i believe stretches the imagination to the point that the question has no rational basis.

What’s more, the question reminds me that “Atheists” already consider me crazy. The details tell me given the premises of the question, i will be certified insane and locked away.

no, sorry. the question might as well be about racial or political or religious intolerance, and lacks integrity (big word for me lately, integrity). yes, it’s devised to provide amusement, but i thought we got passed enjoying throwing christians to the lions.

btw, i do not consider myself a christian.

Ivan's avatar


You are an atheist.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think of theists as crazy…I see some of them as crazy but there has to be more than just their belief in a god…so I resent the notion

avalmez's avatar

As do I hence my prior comment about badly posed question.

CMaz's avatar

“the question reminds me that “Atheists” already consider me crazy.”
That, taken in its context, would be nothing more then opinion. Based on ones own lack of self worth. Not yours but theirs.

I for one, do not care what others think, if seen as their opinion. You can have one, I will take it into consideration, but I do not live by them.

seekingwolf's avatar


Uhm, no…wow, good job reading (see my first post). I said I was a “Buddhist”. Yes, I don’t believe in god, but “atheism” not only denounces the existence of a god, but also says that the world “is what is is” and any spiritual feelings/experiences are merely the product of some neurological reaction.

Unlike atheists who need everything to be proved to them and take the world at face value, I believe there is more to life than we can ever know…

seekingwolf's avatar


In my own experience with atheism (I’ve met some atheists) they have told me that not only do atheists reject the idea of a god being present, but they also reject the idea of spirituality…chalking it up as results of chemical reactions.

People aren’t adding that part in with their definitions with your thread, but because I’ve heard this part included with the definition of atheism from atheists themselves, I’m inclined to believe it.

Ivan's avatar


I’m sure plenty of atheists do reject spirituality. I’m sure plenty of atheists also believe in alien abductions and Bigfoot. That has nothing to do with what atheism actually is, though. Atheism is not a doctrine or a set of beliefs. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a god. Anything besides that is purely coincidental.

seekingwolf's avatar


I see what you’re saying. Lots of atheists I know do reject spirituality though. This sort of puts them into a class by themselves in a way, since many people of other religions (like me, from Buddhism) can be considered atheists since we don’t have deities. However, because we believe in spirituality, this sets us apart from a great number of atheists who reject spirituality. I think there needs to be some sort of distinction, but that’s just me.

Ivan's avatar

Well, I think a lot of atheists would reject being categorized in such a way, but it might alleviate some confusion.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Go ahead and ask the question… You’re on a roll.

“Are Buddhists and Taoists considered as Atheists because they don’t believe in God?”

It goes better with your recent line of questioning and I can’t wait to see how that stirs the pot.

Ivan's avatar


By all means, the honor is yours.

mattbrowne's avatar

If someone were the last atheist in the world, I would admire him for his belief and the resolve to stick to it against all odds.

CMaz's avatar

If there was the last atheist in the world. He/she would not be an atheist but a trouble maker.

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