My Problem With Atheists

My general impression of Richard Dawkins is that he is an unrelenting d-bag. I don’t know the man and I don’t know much about him. I read his one important book a long time ago and I am more inclined to his side in the great debate between Dawkins and Gould. I think Dawkins is a bit too narrow and reductionist, but Gould is simply afraid to face some tough facts about human biodiversity. None of that stirs much emotion in me. What has always bugged me about Dawkins is his evangelical atheism.

I’m not a religious man and I can’t say I’m a believer, but I’m not an atheist. To be an atheist is to know there is no god and as a matter of simple logic, no one can know that. In the set of things that are possible, no god is one member. A single god is another. Multiple gods is yet another. This set exists in the set of things no man can know, at least not in this life. You can believe, but you cannot know. Christianity incorporates this reality, which is why we have the expression “mystery of faith.”

Now, I accept that many people will disagree with that formulation. Many religious people will argue that they do, in fact, know that God exists because God speaks to them. Many atheists will argue that the lack of a belief in God is the same as believing there is no God. I don’t accept the premise of the former or the logic of the latter, but I don’t care all that much either. I’m indifferent to these things because I don’t have to live with them. I don’t walk around worried about my relationship with God and I don’t worry about your relationship with God, or the lack of one.

What I do know is man is a believing machine. Belief most likely evolved with language, which means it is one of modern man’s defining traits. As is the case with much of evolution, this is a guess, but read enough history and you begin to think it is a damn good guess. There’s never been a time when man did not have strong beliefs about a transcendent order. Even communism is an argument about returning to the natural order. Commies may not believe in God, but they believe they can do his job.

The old saying is that “a man who believes in nothing will fall for anything” and that has been my observation. Humans are built to believe and it is only a question of what they believe and how strongly. Some are deeply devout and others, like me, are over on the skepticism side of the belief range. Those fervent atheist, those devout atheists, are simply believing in something that is just as unknowable and requires as much faith as any formal religion. They just lack the decency to admit it.

Unlike those Christian proselytizers, who knock on my door to tell me the Good News, atheists never fail to let me know they are here to bring the Bad News. Atheists take a great deal of pleasure in making others unhappy. In fact, it seems to be the point of their religion, a religion they never shut up about. I’ve never met an atheist who does not hold his fellow man in contempt. It’s not a reserved contempt either. It’s a public, snotty contempt like you see in this story.

Dawkins has been making war on God for decades hoping that one day God will join the fight. In fact, it’s the reason he gets in the news at all anymore. Like many celebrity scientists, he stopped doing any real work years ago. Now he is just a professional celebrity, who courts the admiration of Progressives by making war of Christians. It’s a shabby way to be famous, but a familiar one. Black Science Guy leveraged his management of an amusement park into wealth and celebrity, by mocking the right people.

Bill Maher is a grubby pervert who got rich running a TV ministry for dimwitted liberals. For those who grew up watching TV preachers, Maher’s act is obvious. His show is church for moonbat shut-ins. Dawkins is on the show not because Maher or his audience understands a thing about genetics or biology. No, the point is to have a show where the atheists jeer at those who believe in God. Pagans lit fires and sacrificed animals to please their gods. Atheists jeer at Christians to please themselves.

Atheism is a religion for those incapable of selflessness, but obsessed with venerating themselves anyway. It’s a religion for those who want grace on the cheap. The major world religions make demands of the adherent. The Mohammedan believes Allah commands him to act in specific ways. Christians believe God has specified rules for those who accept Christ into their life. There’s no one to make such demands on atheists, so they make demands on everyone else. It’s why they always have a look on their face like they just detected a bad odor. You’re not meeting their standards.

That’s my problem with atheists. I don’t care what you believe as long as it does not ruin the limited amount of time I have on this earth. I would not care about Islam if not for the fact Muslims tend to explode in public places. Similarly, I would have nothing to say about atheism if not for the fact atheists go out of their way to be such raging public douche bags. I would have no reason to think about Richard Dawkins, but he keeps showing up to make sport of those who believe in God. That makes him a giant douche, which appears to be only point of atheism.

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Adama
Guest

Bravo. +100

Severian
Guest
Orwell said something about people “who don’t so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.” That’s evangelical atheism. My biggest problem with them — and I speak as a former atheist — is the assumption that because they thought of something for *their* first time, it’s the first time that thought has ever been thunk. Christian apologetics go back 2,000 years; Aquinas has better arguments *against* religion than I ever thought of. You may not agree with their answers (a lot of them do seem to be question-begging), but I guarantee you one of the Church Fathers has an… Read more »
Dr. Mabuse
Guest

This also applies to the gotcha arguments atheists like to spring on average Christians. Just because *I* can’t explain why a loving God would permit suffering to exist doesn’t meant that *no one* can explain it. Or has explained it. But these questions aren’t asked in hope of getting a real answer; they’re just rhetorical cudgels to strike down and humiliate the believer. They’re very uninterested in doing the actual research necessary to find out what the history of Christian thinking on difficult questions has been.

Severian
Guest
Ah yes, the ol’ Problem of Theodicy. Personally, I’ve never understood why that was supposed to be such a knockout argument. If there’s no God, then it’s not Evil, is it? “That horrible stuff happens” is just a fact about the universe, like the speed of light or gravity. By calling it Evil, you’re trying to argue with me in moral categories that you by definition must reject. It’s at best an argument against Christianity, not against the existence of God in general (and here, I’ll solve that problem for you: I’m a Cathar. There are TWO gods, one good,… Read more »
Member

The “problem” of theodicy is not a problem because we live in a fallen world.

Uncola
Guest

Alas, either way, the people perish in a paucity of percipience.

Solomon Honeypickle, proud octaroon
Guest
Solomon Honeypickle, proud octaroon

Atheism is so boring that even Zman can’t make it interesting 🙂

OfayCat
Guest

Not as boring as the idea that if you behave all your life you get to spend all eternity somewhere with god and all the other well behaved people who have ever lived …. I mean c’mon … eternity? Just how much golf can you play … and without your body …. It’s all nuts ….

Stargazer
Guest

Eternity is not ‘forever’ God created time when He created the universe. God is timeless. Our souls are timeless, unlike our bodies. The question is… do you want to be stuck in a self-imposed hell without any possibility of changing your condition or do you want to bask in the direct love of God? You choose. Jesus is the way to God. The only way. Amen.

Kay Omholt-Montague
Guest

Stargazer – How do you know that souls exist? And if they do exist, what makes you think they are eternal? How could a human being’s so-called soul exist without its physical body? When a person dies, where does this soul go?

Ken in NH
Guest

That’s one way to state your ignorance of Christian philosophy.

LetsPlay
Member
Actually, I find it fascinating. It’s like making government your god, liberalism your religion and faith, and being fervently fascist about it. At least evangelicals offer you the Word for your choosing but Liberals are forcing their life view on everyone as a way of life, as a religion … kind of like Islam. You might expect that in the human endeavor there would be a range of beliefs. What is so fascinating is how different those beliefs can be and to what extent some will go to push those beliefs on others. For me, when I go up into… Read more »
Kay Omholt-Montague
Guest
LetsPlay – I would never make government – or anything else my ‘god’. As for those who try to push their life views onto everyone else? I have had that experience with many religious people. In America, many politicians are trying to push the idea of a national religion onto all of its citizens. I do not see any atheists trying to push their views onto the entire country. But believe me when I tell you that atheism is not being forced onto anyone in this country – certainly not in any significant manner. Atheists are one of the most… Read more »
Kay Omholt-Montague
Guest

Solomon – You must not have been listening to the right atheists. I have found most of their discussions to be reasonable and very interesting. You might want to check out “The Atheist Experience” on YouTube.

Adama
Guest

Atheism’s main appeal is that it convinces you that you’re way smarter than at least 6.3 billion other people.

Dr. Mabuse
Guest

More like 108 billion, if we include all the people who have ever lived on Earth, who pretty certainly believed in some sort of deity.

Adama
Guest

Certainly a trend that smug condescension and “Bro, do you even science!” memes are bound to reverse.

Member

They cherry-pick science as much as they do scripture and “Racist! Bigot! _______phobe!” is their Rosary.

OfayCat
Guest

As I observe this planet and it’s various societies for many decades, I would say that it’s not a stretch to be smarter that the 6.3 billion others who put their fate in the hands of others. Faith eh wot?

Dan
Guest
My thoughts concerning the existence of a deity closely mirror those of the thezman. I am not a believer, but I have problems with the scientific explanations concerning the origins of life on our planet. I just can’t believe that one night billions of years ago, in southern Africa, a bolt of lightning hit some nice warm slimy mud, and an amoeba crawled out, (or whatever bullshit theory is being put forth by whatever bullshit scientist). I guess I believe there exists a lifeforce that we can never explain. The atheists are just like most of the gays. They are… Read more »
Pat Baker
Guest
The measure of a belief lies not in what it is, but, rather, in what it does (in your face at all times, mass murder, etc.). ‘By their fruit shall you know them.’ I’ve often wondered how belief in a cause/effect reality can stand in light of the missing original cause (that which caused the original effect – the big bang). I observe that atheists seek certainty, thereby projecting their assumption on believers, without ever realizing that faith is NOT certainty, but rather a creed adopted to transcend certainty and doubt. Perhaps that sounds nebulous in the extreme, and yet,… Read more »
James LePore
Guest

Z, I can’t tell you how much I agree. There’s a reason why pride, that is, self-preoccupation, is the first deadly sin. For Dawkins, Maher, et al, to be so certain there is no God is the height of self-importance, from which the fall will be very hard. Thank you.

Kay Omholt-Montague
Guest

James – I have never heard these guys say they are certain there is no god. What they HAVE said is that there is no evidence for a god. I have often heard them say they do not know what the origin of life is. On the other hand, I have heard many believers say they are certain there is a god. Personally, I don’t think anyone can know with absolute certainty whether there is a god or not.

JohnTyler
Guest
The great French mathematician, Blaise Pascal, provided a very good reason (Pascal’s Wager; look it up) why one is better off believing in God than not. Also, Nassim Taleb, and mathematician and author of The Black Swan and Fooled By Randomness, cautioned about rejecting religion because invariably it will be replaced by another belief system. In the past the “other” belief systems have been, for example, communism , national socialism, reading chicken entrails or actually believing (despite a 100% perfect record of being wrong) that a few PHD economists at the FED and other Central Banks can manage or guide… Read more »
Solomon Honeypickle, proud octaroon
Guest
Solomon Honeypickle, proud octaroon

Regarding NDE…a surgeon in the UK did a little experiment. He put various incongruous objects around the operating theater — up on top of cabinets where you can’t see them from the floor level. Not one of his patients who reported having a NDE ever mentioned these objects 😛

guest
Guest

Not only fall for anything, but harder, all my atheist friends are much more liberal than their religious parents are Catholic, for example, if that makes sense. Neither do the later believe that the four rides of the apocalypse will ride into town anytime soon, but climate doom, it’s just a matter of time… And don’t get me started on people identifying themselves as progressive, which means what? Further along, more evolved, or simply better. How full must one be, to identify as better? Someone should start selling holographic halos to those hipsters…

LetsPlay
Member

I think Ronnie said it best:
“The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so. Ronald Reagan
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/ronaldreag440732.html

Drake
Guest

My atheist in-laws come over all smug in their logic. Then they start preaching global warming, absolute faith in the state, multiculturalism, and all the other ridiculous tenants of their faith. They grow wonderfully outraged when I observe that they have replaced their Christianity and Judaism with an even more absurd set of beliefs.

Member
Dawkins. Scientist? Like Paul Ehrlich, his science is biology. Now Richard Feynman was a scientists, a scientists’ scientist, a real scientist of the hard science kind. He wrote of biology which should & could be real science & gave an example of a biology experiment that was real science. It covered the possibilities & properly deduced results. But Feynman complained mostly biologists don’t do that & their experiments & conclusions are non-scientific. Definitions, definitions: Feynman said he was an atheist & when challenged that he was no atheist by the definition of agnostic, “a person who thinks it is impossible… Read more »
Member

I was a double major in biology and chemistry before med school. Got an A+ in the capstone course on evolution that seniors and grad students took. I suspect that most of the “atheists” you know realize that they are such based on faith because they know of no experimental evidence giving them absolute proof that what they believe happened in the primordial soup ever happened without a great deal of help.

Member
Of course (nearly?) all belief is based upon faith. I wasn’t there when Eddington showed the sun bent light as predicted by Einstein. I believe it totally out of faith. One need not have absolute proof to believe something and what is absolute proof but your faith that someone proved it. Few have absolutely proved anything except for mathematicians & their field (mine) is all a mind game. All (nearly?) belief is really faith based upon, . . .well, faith that other things believed are true & reasonable & beliefs therefrom. Occam’s razor suggests selecting hypotheses (which is not the… Read more »
LetsPlay
Member

Tomato, tomatoe? Why the big to-do and splitting hairs about ZMan’s symantics about all this when it doesn’t count for a hill of beans that you and your friends don’t even deem it worthy of discussion? Ever ask yourself why this subject is taboo among yourselves?

Member
Big “to do” or not? You choose. As far as I know, atheists don’t get much press. I never heard of Dawkins before & I ain’t gonna study him. I do see more references, stories, etc re Libertarians – Seems like Ron Paul called himself one or some did. I’ve been told I R 1. I don’t read such lit, or visit such web sites but surely many do. What I understand is along the lines of “I ain’t bothering anybody so leave me alone unless we agree otherwise” & sometimes Z sounds like that himself. I think it’s common… Read more »
UKer
Guest
I take the line with Dawkins that he makes a living selling books and making appearances in the media because he has a rigid, inflexible view. For some reason (probably only known to God, if He, She or It exists) television in particular these days likes rigid viewpoints. Maybe it’s because the time slots are so small and doubt and uncertainty takes more time to explore, it’s better to get people in, hear their well-honed and rigid viewpoint, and move them on for the next rigidity to appear. If you see any old TV (and I did, ‘cos I am… Read more »
Member

A belief in God leads to Islam

Uncola
Guest

And Dr. Pangloss says: “Amen”:

Around 600 BC the biblical prophet Daniel predicted in the latter days, mankind would travel “to and fro” with great speed (Daniel 12:4). The literal interpretation of this passage caused Sir Isaac Newton in 1680 AD, to speculate how man would one day travel over fifty miles an hour.

Voltaire claimed this to be impossible and cited Newton’s speculation as proof of how Christianity causes even brilliant men to become foolish.

Evidently, not all roads lead to Jonestown. Or Mecca.

OfayCat
Guest

But many do … wanna take that chance?

Uncola
Guest

Only if I found the road less traveled because I’ve heard the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the devil is in the details.

LetsPlay
Member

Take a chance on what? Hillary?

LetsPlay
Member

Man, you should change your brand of rott-gut. Islam has nothing to do with God. But it is a perverted belief system.

james wilson
Guest

Exactly. Tocqueville–Mohammed drew down from heaven into the writings of the Koran not only religious teaching but political thoughts, civil and criminal laws and scientific theories. The Gospel, in contrast, refers only to general links of man to God and man to man. Beyond that, it teaches nothing and imposes no belief in anything.

Member
I’ve always said that maybe Epicurus was right and the gods are living a life of eternal bliss out there in the ether and are indifferent to our travails. How can you disprove that? But if so, what difference does it make to our life here on earth? All I do know is that all the religions on earth can’t all be right, and at least all of them minus one are false, and maybe all minus none are. Anyway, I can’t determine the validity of everybody else’s views on these matters and I have no interest in doing so.… Read more »
Clayton Bigsby
Guest
I think the piñata you’ve hoisted here and we are swatting away at, is the more extreme end of the spectrum of atheists… Like the explosive Muslims or snake handling Christians etc., etc…. As is frequently the case, the other ‘A word’ seems more apropos for most of us …. agnostic…. and Robert G. Ingersoll (even though he is commonly adopted and embraced by those you mention) was called the Great Agnostic, and has left behind some profound essays and enduring quotes on the subject of Belief and the lack thereof, of our ability to “know”…. “Reason, Observation and Experience… Read more »
The Usual Suspect
Guest

No one ever dies as an Atheist. Well maybe as an instant death accident? What do atheists scream at the moment of an epic orgasm “Oh my effing Dog”?:

OfayCat
Guest

The joke is …. ‘the problem with atheism is that you have no one to talk to while having an orgasm’

Okay, I have used up more than my share of commenting. Thanks and bye bye. Love this blog.

JohnTyler
Guest

There is no way to know that “no one ever dies as an Atheist.” To know this, the dead person would have to wake up, tell you he/she changed her mind about God, and then go die again.

Kay Omholt-Montague
Guest
The Usual Suspect – Your claim that no one dies as an Atheist is an arrogant one. How do you know that no one dies as an atheist – other than an instant death accident? It is simple. You cannot possibly know that no one dies as an Atheist. Some of the people who commented on this site were very angry that certain atheists said they were absolutely certain there was no god – saying they were very arrogant to make such a statement. I wonder if they would be equally angry with you – saying that you are arrogant… Read more »
OfayCat
Guest
Apparently there are many atheists you have not met. I am one. I do not slag Christianity as I believe the ten commandments make sense and are good rules to live by. Nearly all the people I know, including many family members do not believe in an imaginary friend in the sky. My position is simple, the invisible has a lot in common with the non-existent. Whether there is such a creature or not, he seems rather detached from the earth these days. Further, a kind loving god, which we are told he is …. also made Africa and Haiti… Read more »
Clayton Bigsby
Guest

Amen.

LetsPlay
Member

OfayCat: It is refreshing to hear from someone who admits to not being “sure.” For inquisitive minds like yours, I would recommend, if you have not already read it, a very good book by Dinesh D’Souza. Please check it out. He addresses the very questions you mention.

https://www.amazon.com/Godforsaken-Things-Happen-there-proof/dp/1414324855/ref=sr_1_20?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469765428&sr=1-20&keywords=dinesh+d%27souza

Member
I share Z man’s biggest gripe about atheists, i.e. that they are generally a bunch of insulting d-bags. I have a secondary gripe too in that atheists have also created the impression that it’s “scientific” to be an atheist. I even suspect the reason that so many claim to “love science sexually” as Ace used to put is because it gives them a good reason to be the d-bag atheists they crave to be. This is completely contrary to the history of the hardest sciences of all, however, math and physics. Many of the early geniuses in the field right… Read more »
fodderwing
Guest

I often have wondered if atheists going on about their belief system of unbelief is really little more than practice for facing the “Judge” on the Big Day. I suppose they are thinking that, if he’s there, they will have their self-righteous arguments and justifications well practiced, ready to argue their case. They will be their own advocate, thank you.

I say, never try to represent yourself in court.

james wilson
Guest
Tocqueville had a similar impression of Atheists–“If their system could be of some use to man, it would be in giving him a modest opinion of himself. But they do not demonstrate such a truth and when they think they have done enough to prove that they are brutish, they seem as proud as if they had demonstrated that they were gods.” And Eric Hoffer, an atheist–“What offends in the literature of dissent is the lack of hesitation and wonder.” I have always seen that when good writers or humorists who happen to be atheist proselytize on that subject they… Read more »
meema
Member

I saw a bumper sticker once which I thought was a modern paraphrase of a Voltaire quote: Those who do not believe in God had better be right.

guest
Guest
Purplehat
Guest

Z, I thought you had a conversion or epiphany in a Russian church…

walt reed
Guest

A contrarian point of view, if I may. The Atheists that keep their opinions to themselves because the subject is personal and private would not command your attention or signify as much with their actions, temperament, or interactions with other people. I am one of those people. In the sea of 6 billion, my reasons and conclusions are unimportant. My point of view does not require validation. Very best regards to you.

JPW
Guest

Nobody would disrespect that sort of an atheist. That individual would handle their business and allow me to handle mine. I’ve only enjoyed working with 1 self-proclaimed atheist. This guy told me once “I don’t buy it, but if it helps you, carry on..”

Uncola
Guest

“Contempt prior to examination is an intellectual vice, from which the greatest faculties of the mind are not free”

– (William Paley) –

OR

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance.  That principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

AND

“Time: That which man is always trying to kill, but which ends up killing him”

– (Herbert Spencer)

Joan of Argghh!
Guest

I love you for this ZMan, even if I am a believer. It’s the common, logical courtesy that should be afforded any reverent believer. It is also the common, logical conclusions that any thinking person would come to if they were honest about their own limitations.

northierthanthou
Guest

Your promotion of negative stereotypes is duly noted.

a boy and his dog
Guest

I’m an atheist, simply because I’m unable to believe the stories that the major religions are built around. However I feel proselytizing atheism is a waste of time and absolutely see the benefits to belief, and the value of Christianity’s contribution to the West. My wife is Japanese and I’ve become a big fan of their ‘state superstition’: it allows people to have their ceremonies and cultural adhesion, without making any teleological claims about the universe.

King of Pawns
Guest
I chose to reply to this comment because it is an excellent example of what most ” atheists” claim. My first thought is that you are not atheist, just a-churchist. Churches are man’s way of trying to put into words what they “feel”. That’s why there are so many different ones. Being unable or unwilling to beleive someone’s description of a thing is not the same as the thing not existing. If every church on earth is wrong, that still is not proof that God doesn’t exist….it is notoriously difficult to prove a negative. That brings me to my second… Read more »
GIS
Guest
By your analysis, we aren’t allowed to declare that the infamous flying spaghetti monster–or Zeus for that matter–doesn’t exist either. Atheists believe that some things are too silly to admit as a possibility and they believe that the Christian/Jewish/Islamic god fall into that category. You’re free to argue with that, of course, but not, it seems to me, that atheists are somehow making a logical error by insisting that not every damn idea is worthy of respect. That said, some atheists are a pain in the ass. For them, it’s not enough to dismiss religion as silly, they have to… Read more »
Kay Omholt-Montague
Guest

The vast majority of atheists do not make the claim that there is no god. They simply say that they do not believe in the existing claims that there is a god. They do not believe that the existing ‘evidence’ for any god is convincing.