On Atheism

A useful way to think about faith and belief is to imagine a scale where at one end you have fanaticism and at the other end you have extreme skepticism. The Muslim wearing a suicide vest is down at the fanatic end, while H.L. Mencken was down at the other end with the extreme skeptics. Disbelief is not the opposite of belief. Skepticism is the opposite of belief. The believer is willing to accept, without evidence, the truth of some statement, while the skeptic is unwilling to accept statements without proof.

Atheists will argue that atheism is the opposite of religious belief, but that’s what is called a gratuitous assertion. The atheist believes there is no superior being. They have no proof of this as there can be no proof. In that regard, atheism is illogical as it is something that can never be proved. Christianity, in contrast, can be proved. Christ could show up and confirm the tenets of the faith. The same is true of Islam or Judaism. In other words, even though there is no proof now, there could be proof. That’s not possible with atheism.

My general impression has always been that atheists are a) mugging for attention, b) mostly opposed to Christianity in a subversive way and/or c) not well versed in religion or the role of religion. Bill Maher is a famous atheist because it makes him safely edgy. He gets to be controversial without any risk of controversy. A Penn Jillette, on the other hand, is just angry that his mother died and his prayers were not answered the way he wanted them answered. He’s also arguing from a position of ignorance. He’s just not that smart.

It’s why I don’t find atheists or atheism all that interesting. Most of it is just a pose from people who demand the right to say controversial things, but have nothing controversial to say. They are meta-rebels. These are people who talk about being rebellious and subversive, but never dare color outside the lines. Entertainers are fond of this style of edginess as it safely allows them to flatter their audience’s own egotistic need to see themselves as an avant-garde. Every modern TV comic falls into this category.

The other day I saw on twitter that Richard Dawkins went somewhere to insult Christians and was so proud of his efforts he was tweeting about it. Dawkins is more famous for being a public douche bag now, than he is for his book The Selfish Gene. I chalk this up mostly to the madness that results from trying to square the prevailing orthodoxy with the realities of biology. Dawkins wants to be a beloved public intellectual and an honest man of science. Instead he is an obnoxious provocateur and a public nuisance.

Dawkins claims to be a militant atheist, not just an anti-Christian bigot, but it’s hard to find any evidence to support his claims. He’s careful not to say bad things about Muslims, probably because he enjoys having his head attached to his neck. Similarly, he has been very careful not to upset the Jews. Christians, on the other hand, get no breaks and he seems to go out of his way to offend them. This is true of all atheists. Whether it is because Christians are a soft target or just anti-Christian animus is debatable.

The other day, someone asked me about this clip from the Joe Rogan Show that Cernovich was promoting. The point was to solicit an opinion from me on Cernovich. My reply was “I will not be shocked if one day we learn that Sam Harris has been strangling hookers and burying them in the desert.” I’ve never found Harris very interesting, so I never bothered to watch him. In that ten minute clip, I got the impression that Harris has a lot of demons. I was also reminded that atheist are almost always joyless dickheads.

I was also reminded that Vox Day used to give Sam Harris the business. I no longer remember the details, but I think a few of the alt-right people have taken shots at Harris, who in addition to being an atheist, is a hooting Progressive and an anti-Trumper. That’s a feature of atheism that goes unremarked. Most are Progressives and usually the hard thumping variety. They may not believe in God, but they are bubbling over with belief in the One True Faith. This suggests that maybe atheism is just another facet of Progressivism.

The Prog impulse to root around in the private lives of strangers, imposing their values on everyone, comes from public Protestantism. This is the general belief that societies are judged as a whole, so the faithful have a duty to root out sin and lift up sinners. In the same way, atheists seem to think that their sacred duty is to stamp out Christianity, as if it is a sin preventing mankind from reaching the singularity. It is excessive belief, manifesting as a hostility toward the more conventional expressions of belief.

To be clear, I’m not a believer. I’m down on the end of the scale with Mencken. I don’t know if the Christians are right about a God in heaven, but I don’t know they are wrong either. I don’t know. I can’t know. For all I know we could be a science experiment for some extra-dimensional species. That said, if religious faith brings you happiness, I’m happy for you and wish you the best with it, just as long as you don’t make a nuisance of yourself. In other words, indifference is my preferred position on your religiosity.

I do know I’d never want to live in a world ruled by atheists.

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Member
Stefan Molyneux – still an atheist – probably agrees on most of your points https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqQdc0mX1_c Penn Gilette had a pivot point (one of the few reasons I occasionally listen to Glenn Beck). He bought a Kreskin psychic powers kit, then while looking up juggling at the library, magic (conjuring and mentalism) was next so he read and found out it was all a hoax. And some bits of “science”. So he became a hard skeptic at a young age. http://www.glennbeck.com/2017/05/19/the-pivotal-moment-that-made-penn-jillette-hate-magic/ As to Dawkins and the quesiton, the problem is that the experiment is constrained so cannot be successful. Consider someone… Read more »
Member
I prefer to call my attitude “affectionate indifference”, and include atheists in that. Yes, they are shrill and obnoxious, but no more so than vegans, leftists, con-men, evangelical Christians of various flavors and gold bugs. But who cares? We’re all hairless monkeys with a taste for gin, bad women (or bad boys) and trouble. Especially trouble. Ever seen the internet video of 3 monkeys sitting peacefully in the sun, having browsed the jungle fruit? One of them simply cannot stand the peacefully quiet boredom and repeatedly pokes and aggravates his neighbor monkey until the riot is on. That’s us, that’s… Read more »
Member

Fred, indeed, it is all of us, but on this blog, nobody personifies that monkey better than karl hungus.

karl hungus
Guest

you should change your nick to ButthurtMike

Member

karl, can’t you take a compliment?

Let’s put it this way, you are this blog’s Brad Marchand.

sirlancelot
Guest

But everyone wants him on their team, Bard Marchand that is 🙂
Yes, even the Habs !

Member

sirlancelot – If you are a regular here, don’t you think my analogy has some merit?

Yes, we exchange barbs, but, where the compliment applies is that karl is a smart guy, just like brad marchand is one helluva hockey player.

MadSklz
Guest

POKE

Dutch
Guest

The Progs are basically atheists, and we are largely ruled by them these days.

Drake
Guest
I disagree. They are the most religious people I know. They have faith in big government and socialism – in spite of history. They worship at the alter of climate change despite the complete lack of evidence. Everything the believe is made up nonsense, but they buy into it with mindless fanaticism. Progs are such absolute fanatics, they truly believe that anyone who opposes them is evil and should be silenced and destroyed by any means. They would be far less dangerous to themselves and the world if they channeled this religious energy into a harmless religion such as Christianity… Read more »
Ryan
Guest

Climate change/environmentalism is their version of immanentizing the eschaton.

paul
Guest

Yes, I went to a Richard Dawkins lecture in Christchurch once. He is an obnoxious raver, and puts people off his interesting writing on molecular biology. He is also a globalist and proposed after Brexit that the votes of the people should be subjected to a rerun.
He thought this should overturn Britains venture into Nationhood.

MarzAat
Guest

My position is much like yours — not a believer but see no need to be a proselytizing atheist.

I am driven especially mad by professing atheists who talk about a “duty to the environment” or how man is “nature’s mind”. Duty to what or whom if it’s a godless universe?

Give me almost any traditional believer rather than someone with that cheap spirituality.

Alzaebo
Guest

Since it’s the same social instinct- perhaps someday they could be harnessed as a team.
Unfortunately, proselytizing is also a social instinct… good grief, so tired of the anger.
Such a waste. All for show.

Member

Proof? Miracle of the sun in Fatima? That was witnessed by 70,000, the majority faithful Believers, but a large minority who were ther to document a miracle would not occur, but it did.
How about Our lady of Guadalupe?
How about many incidents of the host having human flesh DNA?
There are many more supernatural events performed in the name of Christianity out there.
God has put proof out there in many places if you choose to look.

Alzaebo
Guest

Even the most isolated primitives, in a mountain forest or island atoll, have the same terms used in every language and culture.

Gods, ghosts. Heaven, hells. Angels, demons, spirits. Miracles. Knowing.

And what is the big-brain answer?
“They all just made it up.”

You mean that every people made the same mistakes, the exact same mistakes, over and over again, all over the world, for ten thousand years?!

And that means they’re all stupid, and you, Mr. Big-Brain, are the first smart person ever born?

Hard. Man, that must’ve been hard, figuring that one out.

Alzaebo
Guest

“You”, figuratively, not ‘you’ as in TuNeCedeMalis!

As an atheist who supports believers- all one must do is learn to translate, so I speak their language- I think public decency is most important.

Often I’m a bit blunt, but don’t mean to offend. I too tire, greatly, of the rancor.

The good thing about Christians is that they think a lot about the important things. And work hard at them.

Member
Whose to say God of the Bible didn’t influence and visit other cultures? So if they have words, why not? Certainly most people in a faith believes they have a tru faith, but the difference with Catholics is that we point to documented supernatural events. How can you shrug off the events of Our Lady of Fatima? Have you researched it? Our Lady of Lordes? Joan of Arc? Our Lady of Akita? The list is long, some 20th century. What I am saying is that Christ came down to show the doubting Thomases and do ties to do so. But… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest

My question for atheists: If none of this God talk, etc., means anything, why are you so freakin angry about it all the time_?

Member

They are closer to gaining belief or conversion than the indifferent ones. Their display of anger shows a struggle.
As in love, the opposite is not hate it’s indifference.

Alzaebo
Guest
Sorry, but no. You cannot answer their questions, yet claim to have answers. Your question is, “Why did the Father put me here?” Their question is, “How does It work?” Both are wrong, both are right. Both intuit that there is much, much more- but cannot say what, exactly, iT is. There is a component that both miss in their estimates. The nonphysical component that we sense but whose mechanisms we have not yet described. You could call it “spiritual”- it is not- and the feral abilities we have but have not exploited because no accurate description is avaiiable. (Well,… Read more »
Alzaebo
Guest

Oops, read it again, you are right.
It is a struggle. Their frustration shows it.

Alzaebo
Guest

And to Al- of course they’re angry.
What makes perfect sense to you is alien gibberish to them. They can’t speak your language.

You think them blind, and they think you’re crazy.

Ron
Guest

Mark Twain’s brother once said of him. “He just having an argument with God”

Ryan
Guest

In some cases it’s bad childhood experiences. In others it’s just normal people enjoy being angry. And probably some self-righteousness thrown in.

TomA
Guest
It helps to understand the roots of all religious practices (and the associated belief systems). They are very ancient and have persisted continuously to the present time for the simple reason that they “work” in the sense that they aid the memetic process of passing wisdom from generation-to-generation. The task of imprinting our young with useful knowledge and behaviors not easy. It requires repetitive messaging combined with simultaneous stimulation of multiple brain centers (e.g. rituals). Only then can the brain wiring be effectively modified. What we call religion is simply the formalization of the practices that succeeded after much trial… Read more »
Frank Griffin
Guest

Well said. I was just thinking yesterday how much value the teachings in the new testament have in individual and group behavior regardless of their source. At the same time, I have wondered whether the success of Islam has much to do with the constant daily rituals and the simple sense of belonging they may inspire. I believe that on a population wide basis people latch on to simple ideas and the “everybody is doing it” multiple times per day stuff allows a lot of people to participate regardless of their actual beliefs.

LPT
Guest

Some belief sets are useful; others not. It is not an accident that the most extreme and least useful (to the practitioner) versions of Islam are practised in rich oil nations, or by benefit farmers in the West (or international aid farmers such as in Gaza). In Islamic societies with reasonably sophisticated economies, such as Turkey, leading your life according to rules set out by tribesmen a thousand year ago will not make you successful in society.

Alzaebo
Guest

Dagnab it! Some angry person downvoting many worthy comments. Most of ’em. I like Dawkins , for instance, but don’t like his Prog model- and many here have noted what rude boors public atheists are.

Been counter-upvoting.
I wish atheists hadn’t gone all revival tent on us. Next they’ll go full Puritan.

I continue to apologise to you for my own.
Maybe I’m a Moderate Atheist?

Hey buddy! Stop making us look bad!
Learn to translate!

Alzaebo
Guest

Yes, a deep well of experience.
Portable, waterproof, and communicable.
Nested information not stored in flesh like DNA, stories are a leap beyond.
We don’t have to relearn everything from day one. Our group parallel processing is a radical advance.

Member
In my younger years, way back when, I used to argue about the existence or not of God with anyone with nothing better to do. I called myself an atheist back then, but even at that time, I used to say that ultimately, how do we really know, and maybe Epicurus was right in thinking that the gods live in some sort of ethereal realm of bliss far from the rough and tumble of our world, about which they don’t give a damn. Over time, I got over that and became embarrassed by the obnoxious behavior of professional atheists. I… Read more »
Member

I could never get the metaphysics behind dimensional analysis. How is it that when you see a particular unit on one side of an equation divided by a number having that same unit that the unit simply disappears? I ended up having to simply accept that it works whether it makes sense or not and go from there. There is as much faith involved in chemistry and physics as there is in religion. People for the most part simply don’t realize this, but take it for granted. They just learn what the priests tell them.

Member
I largely agree that there is some faith required in science, but not to the same degree or of the same kind as in religion (or atheism, for that matter). There are parts of chemistry that seem to require some faith – but those fall out of observables at the quantum level and are taught conceptually for the sake of simplicity. Physics then rests solely on mathematics. If you trust mathematical rigor, you trust physics (this isn’t to say that it’s impossible to get the math wrong or to accidentally come up with equations that seem to work empirically but… Read more »
Member
So how does dividing a milligram of sodium by a milligram of sodium equal zero? Outside of referring to mathematical abstraction there is no rational answer to this. Sure, it works when the rule is applied, but this isn’t theoretical reason, only practical reason. Accepting that it will work consistently for you is a matter of absolute faith. This faith allows a system to be built around this basic tenet. At various points one finds that a few of the dogmas built upon it don’t quite match up with experience and the dogmas need modification, but the basic tenet remains.… Read more »
Member

Dividing a milligram of sodium by a milligram of sodium would equal 1… Units are mathematical entities. They simply cancel like numbers do. If you want to argue that mathematics is built on faith, that’s fine but there’s a massive qualitative difference between the type of faith required to cancel units and the type of faith required to believe in a deity. Thanks for the reading tip, I might look into it.

Member

I was wondering when someone would notice that. After I wrote the comment I noticed the supposed error, but after thinking about it decided not to change it and Instead watch to see if anyone noticed. Having it come to one instead of zero makes no difference when you think about it, in fact zero makes more sense. Sodium disappears from the equation seemingly by magic. It isn’t the math that has to be taken on faith, it is the application of it to real things.

Piffle4Me
Guest
” God wants to show himself to me, I’ll be glad to make his acquaintance. In the meanwhile, I’ll go about my business, and he can go about his.” You’re an agnostic as you stated, not atheist which is fine. 🙂 But if you ever met God, you’d wet your pants. That’s the problem. So many moderns have not imagined what that encounter would be like. It will be tinged with fear, from beginning to end. That’s why almost every angel in the Bible starts with “Be not afraid”. Tbh, I tend to think modern society is crumbling in part… Read more »
KWEiler
Guest
“For all I know we could be a science experiment for some extra-dimensional species.” Back in the 1940’s or early ’50’s, the science fiction writer Nelson Bond wrote a story a story,”The Cunning of the Beast”, based on this premise. In it a scientist named Yawa Eloem is complaining to his fellow scientists about the problems he was having with his experiment (a thinly disguised rewrite of Adam & Eve in Genesis). Some have speculated whether we are living in a matrix of some kind, with super-intelligences running things behind the scenes. To me it looks suspiciously like a traditional… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest
Agreed. Just to re-state what ought be obvious: If there’s a physical, material matrix, it came from somewhere – someONE created/built it from outside of itself. Else a matrix that can make itself from nothing and then create us is just an obtuse re-definition of the God of the Bible Likewise, if any universe is a simulation, then it’s running on some processor outside that universe and someONE wrote that code, else it’s just another obtuse redefinition of God in more ‘sciency’ sounding terms: Designed to ‘tickle the ear’ as St Paul says. As for strict materialism being literally true,… Read more »
Member

I know one thing. The idea that we were created out of pond scum festering for billions of years is less believable than the fact that someone (God) built us. Just look at the human body, it’s a self healing machine with specific organs that do specific things. Look at the earth. It’s a self healing nuclear reactor. You think these things just happened on their own?

Ryan
Guest

There’s a fallacy to that thinking. If God is all powerful, then he logically can create a universe in which people result from evolution.

Member

Sure, but look at the human body. Look at the separate organs. Look at the way things are tied together. It’s a lot like a building where you have plumbing, roof, sewerage, mechanicals, electrical, smell, sight, a server that runs everything, etc. I have trouble believing that just happened on its own.

james wilson1x
Guest
Eric Hoffer described the true atheist as the gentle cynic who likely didn’t care very much about that subject and didn’t live for the need to be right anyway, but only the need to discover truths. The Prog atheists, which is most of them, are a highly religious bunch. They live their religion every day and keep a sharp eye out for apostates. They have more rules than a pious Catholic, plus sacraments, indulgences, and inquisitions all their own. They seem however not to have acquired the habits of confession or contrition. Although I have never to my knowledge changed… Read more »
Garr
Guest

Harris is publicly anti-Islam, though, so maybe he can get a little credit for that?
Plus he’s really into martial arts and carries a pistol everywhere, so he’s not a pussy.
But I didn’t really like his book “Spirituality without God” (or something like that) because he kept denying that there’s a self while saying “I” a lot.

Ron
Guest
Just discovered this relevant quote today: “Epictetus the Stoic in the Second Century made the same pithy observation about Epicurus and the Hedonist of the Academics whom the Stoic soundly criticized.” “Man, why do you trouble yourself about us? Why do you keep awake for us? Why do you light your lamp? Why do you rise early? Why do you write so many books, that no one of us may be deceived about the gods and believe that they take care of men; or that no one may suppose the nature of good to be other than pleasure? “For if… Read more »
Member
As a largely lifelong student and practitioner of Zen, I suppose I can be classified as an atheist, but NOT a “materialist” in the sense of believing the only “reality” is that which we perceive while encapsulated in flesh, that when the flesh capsule dies, that’s all there is. No, I don’t believe that for a moment. Neither, however, do I believe there is a self-conscious, volitional super-entity who (anthropomorphizing) created everything and everyone and keeps tabs on us all. Other people’s beliefs are their own affair as far as I’m concerned, so long as they don’t try to jam… Read more »
Member

You are not an atheist.

Allan
Guest
tpd, an atheist is a person who lacks belief in a god, esp. the god(s) of classical theism. Montefrio qualifies, given his own professed lack of belief, and to reject that is to insist, in effect, that he is lying. Like millions in Asia and elsewhere, Montefrio doubts the popular assumption that (i) the God hypothesis and (ii) materialism must be contradictories (where one must be true and the other, false). Instead, we suspect that these two positions are contraries, like hot and cold. In other words, both can be false. I think that we need to explain the origins… Read more »
Member

You have your god in a box of your own making. I hope for your sake you can keep him comfortable.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Allan ; Doc gave you a good short answer. Here is a longer one. Despite really liking your first name ;-), you are falling into a classic error in Theology/Philosophy that’s been around since antiquity. It is attempting to use language (a finite and incomplete system) as the ultimate reality when in fact it only functions as a useful approximation to explain aspects of reality. When new aspects of reality are discovered, new words are created to describe them. It seems so natural that it is easy to forget that that specific part of reality existed before we made up… Read more »
St. Jude
Guest
The Bible says that with God, all things are possible. This is pretty much the Christian definition of omnipotence, which seems to be what you are arguing against. I will steal from C.S. Lewis heavily here: You state that God can’t make nihilism true, so therefore, there is a power beyond God, or an object that His power cannot alter. But what you are really doing is claiming that having both ends of a mutually exclusive proposition is impossible (it is, intrinsically), and therefore a limitation of power to God. This does not follow logically. Intrinsically impossible things or events… Read more »
wtoo jones
Guest
” I can’t know” In recent years I’ve been primarily agnostic, but always felt like i was copping out. Then i came across the true position of the agnostic – it’s not just that you don’t know, it’s beyond your capabilities to even understand the question. This solves my issue when i listen to atheists whose absolute certainty annoys the hell out of me. And the inability to conceive of the supreme being is regarded in some philosophical circles as proof that there is a supreme being. Besides, read some physics – we live in a really strange place where… Read more »
Member
“My general impression has always been that atheists are a) mugging for attention, b) mostly opposed to Christianity in a subversive way and/or c) not well versed in religion or the role of religion.” I had a classmate in med school who did the research and found out that no religious studies major who had applied for our state med school had ever been turned down. He then went on to cynically double major in religious studies and biology and was duly accepted. I do not know what he said in his interviews, but it could not have been anything… Read more »
originalguest
Guest

I was officially done with (((atheism))) when i saw kosher food being served at one atheism convention, which is itself contradictory, conventions and books on atheism. Official atheism is de-facto an anti Christian movement.

Member

See my comment above.

Member
Jordan B Peterson got into this the other day on the Rubin Report. Essentially, Christianity lays the groundwork for all of the assumptions at play in interpersonal relationships in the West. If you hate western culture, if you think it’s unfair, you have to remove the Christian underpinnings first. Otherwise, people will still hold certain beliefs about society and justice that are antithetical to the progressive/Marxist system. As Peterson puts it, even if a Westerner doesn’t actively believe in God, they are still a Christian. He mentions Harris (paraphrasing) “He says he isn’t a Christian. No? Well you’re acting it… Read more »
Drake
Guest

That Tenth Commandment is really a pesky one for the Progs. How are they supposed to create an envy-based society if you don’t covet your neighbors’ stuff?

Member

Nonsense. The basis of the West was laid by the Greeks and Romans.

originalguest
Guest

thezman said: “Airlines are an interesting sub-species of business that you cannot compare to other industries. I know a lot about the economics of air travel. In the US, it is better to think of it in the same way the Soviets thought about concrete production or the Chinese think of steel production.”

This deserves it’s own post! Please elaborate fully.

Member

Your point about public Protestantism is a huge insight.

Overall, militant atheists protest too much.
Their arguments generally expose a raging misanthropy, reframed as anger at God.

The former is not socially acceptable, bordering on sociopathy …and genocidal when enforced under communism.
The latter can at least have an intellectual or rebellious sheen.

walt reed
Guest
I ceased being superstitious when I was about 13. Belief in a Super Being did not ring true. 55 years have passed. It still doesn’t ring true. Arguing about religion is a waste of time. Not a soul (couldn’t help it, I was raised in the South) outside my family knows my opinion on this matter. Voted for Reagan twice, voted for Trump. The American wing of the Caliphate should be shipped back to the Hell Hole of the Middle East. Z, I agree with most things you write about. Lumping Free Thinkers with SJW’s and blood sucking, non productive,… Read more »
Member

If you consider what the term “free thinker”has meant in the past, it probably doesn’t do justice to yourself to use it in self-description. I have an atheist friend who is one of the few people I correspond with. Despite his atheism he and I agree on almost everything. Weird. I don’t think there is a category for people like him and you. Asking for more precision in this is rather fruitless.

walt reed
Guest

Fresh fruit is worth the effort.

Member

I don’t there were any atheists in foxholes in the Ardennes in late December, 1944 and early January of 1945.

Severian
Guest

Evangelical atheism is pretty infantile. I felt that way even when I was an atheist. Ever tried telling a buddy that his girlfriend is no good for him, is sure to cheat on him, and his relationship is doomed? How’d that work out? He’ll either find out in his own good time or he won’t; the only question is, is he gonna punch you in the face in the process.

George Orwell
Guest

Infantile indeed. On a local freeway we have some of those signs designating “sponsorship” of the freeway. And one of them is from some group called Atheists United. I rather doubt that this sign is prompted a single person to investigate atheism as a way of life. Just more silly virtue signaling.

The JG
Guest

Zman: “I do know I’d never want to live in a world ruled by atheists
Then be thankful we live in a world/western civilization that was ruled by White, Male, Anglo-Saxon, Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christians. Because anything that matters most in our growth as a species flows through these sources.

Mars Lee
Guest
Z-man, Been reading you for a while now but this is the first time I’m commenting. I agree with most of the points you make above except one. I don’t think either side of the proposition could ever bee proven. The non-existence of god can’t be proven for obvious reasons, but I don’t beleive the existence of god can be proven either. Maybe this is just because I’m a sci-fi fan, but Ive thought about it and come to the conclusion that even if Jesus (or Mohammad, or Ra, or whomever) came down from the clouds while a celestial band… Read more »
EngBill
Guest

I automatically associate “Christian” with “The Westboro Baptist Church”, The Inquisition, IRA bombings, Salem Witch hunts, the misery caused by the poverty created by the construction of medieval churches, the “blue” laws that closed almost everything on Sunday in 1950’s Ohio, etc… I don’t see much difference between sharia law and medieval Christian law. I am much more of a skeptic than and atheist. B U T I am definitely in the fight against post-modernism.

Guzalot
Guest

I associate atheism with Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot.

Member
When I gave up belief, I spent some time looking for a community and fell in with a lot of other atheists. They were largely welcoming, until my conservative political views were revealed; then I was immediately shunned. Most all the atheists I encountered were hard-Left, which was not a deal-breaker, but what really repulsed me was their gleeful willingness to embrace government-run totalitarian policies: In their Brave New Atheist World, parental rights would be denied, all art and entertainment would only support the atheist narrative, and hive-thinking would be the default state. It did not take long before I… Read more »
John Hinds
Guest

I can’t know.

True that. That all knowledge is anthropomorphic is, to me, an incontrovertible truth. Where knowledge ends understanding begins – knowledge ‘leads’ to understanding but a leap is made at the terminus. Its in that leap that faith arises. If you want to understand the argument for/against existence of a ‘superior’ being you must first understand epistemology. Its rare to encounter such an approach whether from people of faith or skeptics or so-called atheists. I present the simple formula that of course G_d doesn’t exist….He’s eternal. (S. Kierkegaard, who was not only a Christian existentialist but a pastor, too.)

FaCubeItches
Guest

Evangelical atheists are annoying in the extreme. The ones who don’t talk about it unless asked – and there are plenty of those – are fine.

Alzaebo
Guest
Angry because their questions aren’t being answered, because the “answers” are a different dialect. “It’s Greek to me!” People to whom God is a natural seem crazy, seeing nothing, speaking in gibberish, and therefore dangerous. How can I trust what this lunatic says? Note how differing religions- including Leftism- feel the same way. Outraged. Because emotive speech signals position and loyalty, not neutral information. Emotion is how primates order their groups, including emotive sound signals. Our hoots, calls, and displays. Here’s how to translate: Dear atheists- God is social probability modeling. Believers’ perceptions are built around a core- that there… Read more »
sirlancelot
Guest
Having little or no exposure to religion growing up it is a non-issue for me. However living in an Irish-Catholic neighborhood surrounded by Roman Catholics it was amazing to see the dedication and Faith they placed in their religion. Tapped into a higher power many years ago and this never seemed to bother my friends or neighbors Atheists on the other hand are that “in your face” type and their company gets old quick. When they find out you don’t belong to a organized religion it’s the full court press trying to convince you there is no God. I’ll take… Read more »
Member
So which came first, the caterpillar or the butterfly? I was an atheist for an awful long time, but I find evolution to be utterly inadequate as an answer to the complexity of organisms and life in general. Behe’s book has a bit about the chemical reactions that occur within the eye to convert photon reception into an electrochemical signal. I have a bit of knowledge about control systems, but this is just mind bogglingly complicated. A random process cannot account for what we see around us. The numbers just do not add up. And while I’m at it, how… Read more »
Alzaebo
Guest
Uh oh. I think that the Prog-estant Atheists are being… cultivated. By the scriptwriters. Much as the genocidal psychotic, John Calvin, and his Protestant armies were cultivated to war on the Roman Church. He was the Christian Mohammed, and his Puritan pirate descendants kept the slave trade going. Auction ports in the north, colonies in the south, two wars of sucession to protect that trade in North America. His predecessor, the largely fictional Arab Mohammed, was the figurehead of two vassal mercenary armies made to war on the Eastern and Western Roman Christian empires. After 300 years, the factions united… Read more »
Member

I’m a skeptic. The big bang theory seems to imply just as huge a leap of faith as a God. I tend toward evolutionism (despite rather thin evidence) rather than the only other alternative, creationism seems to require a God laughably interested in humanity.

Audacious Epigone
Guest
Member

One should expect less trust from people who believe in the fall of man and variations of original sin. Without these one could easily grow up believing in the natural goodness of people.

Jewel
Guest

I have one small disagreement on your definition of what a believer is. It was reason and belief that made me believe in God. Not the lack of rationality but the other side of the same coin.

Neil Dunn
Guest

My path: agnostic–>atheist–>apathetic.

Piffle4Me
Guest

Yes, exactly. That’s why as much as I enjoy Z Man’s Blog, there’s nothing down the agnostic path either. Either we grapple with the truths of Christianity and find a way to believe or we indifference ourselves into oblivion. Noting that atheists are unpleasant is great start but it’s hardly helpful in the long run if that’s as far it goes.

JohnC
Guest
I gave up on Harris when he was on Dan Carlin show and his anti Trump stand. He has gone on about the need for a world government and until then the need for the US to take the lead in being the world’s policeman. Don’t get me wrong I like that he speak out against Islam. I think that where he has it wrong is that for a society and mainly a western society like the US it is almost impossible to fight the growth of Islam, and at the same time be pushing for more progressive laws, ideas… Read more »
Piffle4Me
Guest
This is an excellent set of observations. But as an ex-agnostic whose concerns overlap yours, I also find them frustrating. The reason the Progs win and have been winning? People like you who are intelligent and appear to have some common sense can not be bothered with the all important question of is Christianity, the religion of Western Civilization, true? Is there some meat on the bones? Meh, I’m too dumb, leave it to someone else. Umm…okay. Because prayer might help save Western Civilization if it’s true. Going to church might help if Christianity has *any* truth at all. The… Read more »
Member

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doug
Guest
would it help at all to say that while i myself am not a believer, i also don’t believe a world with more not believers would necessarily be a good thing? the reason atheists go mostly after christianity is because you can’t attack what you don’t know. christianity is the religion most familiar to most atheists. the fact that atheists go after christianity is proof positive that christianity is the most tolerant religion. whether that is good or bad, i”ll leave to you…. i do tend to like dawkins but can understand how people can get annoyed with his preachiness.… Read more »
John Lombard
Guest
There’s a fundamental problem with your argument — the claim that “The atheist believes there is no god.” Wrong. The correct statement is, “The atheist lacks any belief in a god.” I understand the confusion, as there’s some debate on this even within he atheist community. But essentially, you have the strong atheist, and the weak atheist: strong atheists are those who positively assert that there is no god; weak atheists are those who simply state that they do not believe in any god. A person who believes in a god — any god whatsoever — is a theist. A… Read more »
Member

Believer here. Good, internally consistent, well thought out comment. God gave us reason for a reason.

Thinka Boudit
Guest

Zman, you are making the common error of saying that atheism is a belief that cannot be proven. Atheism is the absence of a belief.

In logic, people who make an assertion have the burden of proof. If you propose the existence of a magic person in the sky, the burden is on you to provide evidence.

The absence of belief in magical people does not require proof.

zogger
Guest
I am not as well read on this topic as most of you, the following has guided me to believing in God: 1. Not sure if there is God or not but in the long run it is safer and costs nothing to believe than to not believe (Not sure who said this). Similarly, I’d rather believe in God and be proven right than not believe in God and be proven wrong. 2. Once science can explain what existed before the big bang, I might start to believe them. 3. If you don’t have a set of values (like the… Read more »
S Willson
Guest
As an agnostic, I have always viewed atheism and religion to be equally faith-based belief systems, because neither can prove their case. I strongly suspect atheists are correct, but I don’t KNOW. Too much of atheism is devoted to bashing Christianity, for no obvious reason. I remember discussing The God Delusion with an atheist family member, and her conclusion was the same as mine: That Dawkins overstated his case, and that the book was mostly an anti-Christian rant. I do disagree with one premise from the article: That believers in a Supreme Being could prove their case when their Apocalypse… Read more »
Guest
There are two very different types of “atheism”: The first type are people who do not believe in God because they have no evidence that He exists. For them, and this is not sarcasm, they don’t believe in fairies for the same reason. Faith, the belief in something despite having no evidence, is simply not part of their experience. These are the people I think of as “real” atheists. The second type are people who make the positive assertion that there is no God. As you point out, they have no evidence to substantiate their assertion. They do, however, have… Read more »
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