How does Justin Bieber’s popularity compare to that of Michael Jackson during his heyday?

Answer by Jon Mixon:

It doesn't.
 
Michael Jackson was 21 years old when Off the Wall, what would have been the most popular album during the entirety of the 1980s was released. That album sold 8 million copes alone (and more since that time) in an era where music videos were in their infancy and Jackson was blocked from performing on many networks and in certain venues due to his race. Bieber (who is now 21), on the other hand (as of 2012) has sold 11 million CDs TOTAL in the United States. with a total of 25 million sold worldwide.
 
Just two years later Jackson, at 23, released Thriller which was (and remains) the largest selling album by a single performer in the history of modern music. It has sold at least 51-65 million copies (as of 2013) and was for the years of 1982 and 1983 the best selling album in the music industry. That means just for Thriller alone, Michael sold 2 1/2 times as many albums than Bieber has for his entire career.
 
There's no need to delve into Jackson's lackluster Bad release in 1987 which sold a "paltry" 8 million albums as it is clear that Jackson was a bigger star even in an era without Internet streaming, YouTube or TMZ to record his every utterance and performance. In less than 10 years (1980-1989) Jackson sold a total of 41 million albums (if we just go with the numbers sold during that timespan)
 
Bieber's success is viewed as being "big" now because the music industry itself has shrank significantly. Jackson's success came at a time when the industry was dominant.
 
Winner: Michael Jackson.

How does Justin Bieber's popularity compare to that of Michael Jackson during his heyday?

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can’t they simply follow apatheism?

Answer by Ernie Jones:

Of course the existence of deities can be proven or disproven.

Anything that's real, anything that exists and is not totally walled off from us in another universe or something — in which case we can have no notion of it whatsoever and therefore no name for it or conversations about it — must provide some sort of evidence of its existence.

And anything that leaves evidence of its existence is subject to rational inquiry.

Now that the scientific worldview has replaced the mythic worldview for intelligent, rational, educated people, it's possible for us to examine claims about deities.  They all fail.

In fact, at this point, successfully proposing the existence of a deity is impossible.  If you say that your deity is exactly equal to the laws of physics and no more, then you're no longer describing a deity.  If you say that it's not, that it is both supernatural and "real", then you're contradicted by the evidence.

It's a no-win for the gods, I'm afraid.

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can't they simply follow apatheism?

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can’t they simply follow apatheism?

Answer by Sabarish Bharadwaj:

Actually, you can prove the non-existence of deities, depending on how they are defined.

For instance, suppose I define a god 'Airakea', and claim that she instantly turns any person into Hulk (green colored, super-human strength, etc.) when he/she kicks a kitten. No other conditions apply. You kick a kitten, you get freakishly strong, simple as that.
Now, would you say it is impossible to prove that 'Airakea' does not exist? No. You just go kick a kitten and see if you turn into Hulk. If you don't, then Airakea doesn't exist.

You can do that with any god- if the god is properly defined with testable claims, then you can easily verify its existence. One must wonder, is it just coincidence that almost all gods deal with 'sinners' in the afterlife, but never manage to strike someone down whenever they blaspheme?

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can't they simply follow apatheism?

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can’t they simply follow apatheism?

Answer by Noam Kaiser:

There is no need to disprove that which existence has never been backed by evidence.

You want us to believe in something that is as fact checked as the tooth fairy, unicorns or genies.

And you want us to allow speakers on behalf of this imaginary friend, to have a say in politics, healthcare, education and media.

Be apathetic if you want to.
I have children to protect.

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can't they simply follow apatheism?

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can’t they simply follow apatheism?

Answer by Steve Smyth:

I don't know if gods exist. I am not arguing against their existence. We don't have a clue what a real god is like. I assume, once again, the OP is talking about Yahweh, and in that regard, I do not believe in him because Christians make incoherent claims about the nature of his existence. You know, omni-whatever, he's timeless yet can affect time, he's spaceless but he can affect the material world, he lives in the same realm that numbers and abstract concepts like the laws of logic dwell in, etc.

As TMM said in his recent YouTube post, "How to Show that God Exists"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=…

you have to give us three things:

  1. A coherent definition of god.
  2. A set of empirically testable and falsifiable predictions based on the supposition that god exists.
  3. Test results that match those predictions and are more parsimoniously explained by god's existence than any other hypothesis.

You'd have me on your side at that point.

As far as apatheism is concerned, I think most people are. The issues of belief don't crop up enough what with the daily grind of work, school, paying bills, feeding the dog, etc. What I think atheist activists are most concerned about is fundamental activists trying to steer the US onto the theocracy highway by controlling the argument, or lying about our history, like the US was founded as a Christian nation and that kind of nonsense.

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can't they simply follow apatheism?

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can’t they simply follow apatheism?

Answer by Rod Fleming:

This is based on a false premise. We can indeed and have, many times over, disproved the existence of theist gods — Jahweh, Allah, a few million here and there. These are all micromanager gods –who not only created but are actually deciding everything, from which spermatozoon in the squazzillions that are ejaculated every day, gets to fertilise which ovum, of the slightly fewer but still billions that are released every month, to exactly how many raindrops will fall tomorrow and where and at the same time are monitoring every single thing you do, and even every single thing you think, and judging you for it, even if you're asleep at the time. That's right folks, a horny dream is actually a sin.

Common sense alone should tell you this is all total, complete and utter BS so woops, out go most if not all of the Earthly religions. (But we have much bigger hammers with which to destroy the premise, should we need them, do not fret.)

There is another class of 'god' however, the deist one. This cunning feller creates the universe and then buggers off to leave it to get on with it. It's kind of like a supra-universal fairy hippopotmus, happily farting universes into existence and caring about them about as much after wards. But since it's outside the universe, we can't see it, so…we can't prove it's not there. Now, you know, I think need your head looked if you believe arrant tosh like this, but I still cannot disprove it. I have to accept that yes, it is, remotely, possible that there is such a hippopotamus and that our universe is the consequence of its flatulence.

I don't really like apatheism because not a day goes by but I see the horrible damage that religion does. I can't really be apathetic about throwing young men off high buildings or making children believe they will burn in hell fire for eternity — for playing with their privates. So I am definitely an atheist, although I am not, as you will surmise from the above, an 'adeist'.

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can't they simply follow apatheism?

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can’t they simply follow apatheism?

Answer by Barry Hampe:

As I just wrote in answer to another question, "Keep it to yourself and we'll do fine. Insist on talking to me about it and I'll tell you why I think you are wrong." (Barry Hampe's answer to Considering that religion is very personal to many followers, is it right to criticize their religion like any other idea?)

Almost all declarations by atheists are in response to prior declarations by theists, which they often conveniently forget. ("It all started when he hit me back")

Amazon has 250 books on religion for every one book about atheism.

There are well over 300,000 churches in my country and less than 100 buildings that include something about atheism (mostly office buildings).

Finally, most atheists I know do not argue there is no god. They argue there is no compelling evidence for the existence of any god, which is a different proposition. And the opposition can shut them up at any time just by presenting credible, objective, verifiable evidence that their god exists. So far no one has even come close.

Clear?

Why do atheists argue there is no god? No one can prove or disprove the existence of deities, so why can't they simply follow apatheism?