Arguments Against Atheism

Arguments Against Atheism: Atheists are Stupid

For the last Argument Against Atheism, click here.

Disclaimer: I often get people who simply read the title of this blog and get upset. This article is not written in support of the claim in the title but as an argument against that claim. I hope you enjoy it.


I spend a great deal of time reading theist blogs looking for ideas to use as future entries to this blog. The argument today is one that I have scrolled over simply due to the fact that I didn’t feel it was worth even talking about and yet the more I scrolled past these articles the more prevalent they seemed to become. So today I tackle the idea that atheists don’t believe in god because they are dumb.

Now this argument can come in a couple of forms which I will list now.

1.) Atheists are just dumb, or The fool has said in their heart that there is no god.
2.) Atheists deny reason and logic by denying the existence of god.
3.) The Devil blinds atheists to the reality that god exists.
4.) Atheists stupidly proclaim that there is no god while inwardly knowing that there is.

In this article I will attempt to debunk each of these claims.

1.) Atheists Are Just Dumb

PatrickStar

First off I want to point out that it is possible to be an atheist and be dumb. Nothing about atheism claims to be endowed with a superior intellect than any theist. Atheists simply do not have a belief in god or gods. What this argument attempts to claim is that all atheists are dumb and it is simply due to our stupidity that we attempt to make the claim that there is no god.

From my own personal experience, the less informed I was the more theistic I found myself to be. That isn’t to say that theists are stupid, I am and have been known to have a good grasp of life and ability to reason. Throughout school I was almost always at the top of my class and have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. At the age of three I taught myself how to read and have been reading ever since.(This is not due to a higher intellect but in the fact that I have autism and reading is little more than pattern sorting)

However, when there were facets of my life that I did not question I was a theist. I was skeptical of all things outside the faith but in regards to my theism I left it alone. This might seem strange to some atheists who were never a part of a faith but it is perfectly possible to be rational and logical in all areas of your life but still hold an illogical and irrational view of faith. For example, I could tell you exactly why the moon landing wasn’t fakes, why vaccines are not harmful, or why reptilians do not control the world but I could not tell you why the belief in hell runs contrary to the belief in a loving god. My faith was off-limits to my critical thinking skills and I think that many believers find themselves in exactly this same state of mind.

Prior to becoming an atheist I started college. I will never forget an assignment that I was given in a critical thinking course. The professor asked that we write down a few things that we were absolutely certain about (With the exception being matters of faith), after that we were to rank these in certainty. Once we did this we turned in our papers and were told that our assignment was to write a paper based on the counter arguments to our most sincerely held belief.

My assignment ended up being an argument against the “American Dream.” I remember thinking to myself, how on Earth am I going to argue against the American dream. However, I sat down and began researching the American dream, in the end I an innumerable source of information on-line which allowed me to see things from a new perspective and I ended up getting an A on the assignment. It wasn’t easy to keep my personal bias out of the article but in the end I found myself fascinated with the idea that I could be wrong.

After that assignment the professor told us that we should use these skills for any strongly held belief. It is something that stuck with me throughout the rest of my college studies and eventually helped me in regards to leaving the faith. When the doubts started to mount but my mind clung to those beliefs for dear life, I began to question and research. It is through that research that I found the courage to leave the faith and I will always be thankful for the lesson that my professor taught me. Even though that professor was also a Christian minister. (PLOT TWIST!!!!!)

hitchens razor

2.) Atheists Deny Reason And Logic By Denying The Existence Of God

This one is fairly easy to debunk and will require much less time and effort. For starters reason and logic both must be based on facts in order to be considered good reason and logic. Since the argument, “there is a god,” has no verifiable evidence to support such a claim it cannot be used in a reasonable and logical manner. You can however use bad logic in order to prove the existence of god but bad logic is never in any way reasonable.

For example:

All dogs have four legs.
Allgators have for legs.
Therefore all alligators are dogs.

It seems like a logical argument but the truth of the matter is that it is bad logic and completely unreasonable.  Hitchens Razor states

“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”

What this means is that if you say god exists and yet provide no verifiable evidence for the existence of god then it is equally acceptable to say “I don’t believe you.” No evidence is required to prove that I don’t believe you since no evidence was provided to prove your initial claim. This argument against atheism is complete bunk.

church lady

3.) The Devil Blinds Atheists To The Reality That God Exists

So the next couple of points are really not debatable due to the fact that any argument counter to the claim simply feeds into the initial claim. However, being a glutton for punishment I figured that I would touch on these two points. The first claim is that the only reason that atheists cannot see the proof of god is because the devil has blinded them to the reality that god exists.

The only argument against this that I can offer is anecdotal and so it technically is not a good argument in and of itself but since the original claim is indefensible I will allow it….since I write the blog and fuck you if you don’t like it. lol

When I first started having my own doubts I begged and pleaded with god to prove himself to me. Not because I didn’t believe in him but because it would absolutely destroy me if he did not exist, or so these were my thoughts at the time. I spent countless hours reading the bible and in tear-filled prayer trying to regain the faith that I felt falling away from me. I fasted to the point of sickness and gave up anything that could even remotely be considered as sinful. I sought counsel from other religious people and hoped that something would bring the breakthrough that god was real and working in my life.

It was only after many failed months, that equated to a few years in total, that I finally accepted my newfound lack of faith. Remember, I wanted my faith to be real, I wanted it more than anything in the world. Every single morning I awoke hoping that god would reveal himself to me in some way. Expecting this is obviously not evil when in the Bible numerous people doubted god and were provided with clear evidence that god existed. For example, doubting Thomas had to actually stick his hand inside Jesus for him to truly believe that he had raised from the dead and yet this was not actually counted against him in terms of the faith. Doubt was not sin and expectation of gods revelation was not a sin either, I was an earnest believer hurting and struggling, yet god never once stooped down to even provide me with the slightest example of his existence. The devil never played a part in this…

I need only point out that the bible clearly states in the book of James:

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
-James 4:7

In my state of submission, prayer, and fasting the devil couldn’t have even gotten near to me if we are to believe what the bible teaches. Thus this argument is null and void even if it is not actually a debatable argument.

4.) Atheists Stupidly Claim That There Is No God, While Inwardly Knowing There Is A God.

spongebob

Popular among apologists is the idea that atheists pretend to not believe in god while in reality they really do. Once again this is not actually a debatable argument since any argument against it once again feeds into it, but in the interest of this blog and my readers I choose to take a stand.

The only real argument that I can see which we can use here is how do they know that their god is the real one. A Christian apologist will use this argument to prove their theology and yet what is to stop a Muslim from using the same argument against the Christian. Isn’t the Christian just pretending to not believe in the Islamic god, while inwardly they know that there is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger? What is to stop the atheist from claiming the exact same argument in that the Christian pretends to believe in god knowing fully that god actually does not exist?

The true argument against this claim is that it is self-defeating. Absolutely anyone of any faith can make this claim with an equal footing. Perhaps there is someone who earnestly still believes in Thor, what is to stop him from claiming that everyone on Earth pretends Thor doesn’t exist knowing that he really does. I mean we have a whole movie series based around Thor and in a way this is a type of worship and adoration, so aren’t we all just pretending that Thor is non-existent?


The key reason that these claims are used is due to the fact that they are easy outs. A Christian or member of any faith can use these arguments without any need to defend them. They allow them to separate their minds further and allow that portion of the mind which deals with faith to remain fully sealed against skepticism. I found myself in this situation several years ago and I also found myself using these same arguments at the time. They are poor arguments and only truly point to the futility of attempting to prove that god exists.

Arguments Against Atheism

Arguments Against Atheism: Tradition

For last week’s Argument Against Atheism, click here.

Since I was a child I was raised to believe that the faith is true. One of the arguments that people use is that religion would not have existed for so long if it wasn’t true. My own mother used the example that, “she refuses to believe that her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were wrong.”  While at first this seems like an awful argument, which it is, it is also one of the tougher arguments that you might face.

First off, religion itself is almost entirely based around personal experience and feelings, when you add prior generations of believers, the strength of the belief seems to be hardened. You will hear theists speak of pasts scientists and world leaders who were believers as evidence towards a belief in a personal god. Using myself as an example, my family had been ministers for generation after generation. Even my earliest known ancestors on my mother’s side were ministers and priests. Tradition was even hard for me to give up but i felt it was necessary.

When someone gives up a traditional belief, they might feel as if they are doing some form of harm or insult to their ancestry. It’s a tough pill to swallow, that some of the people you loved and were closest to, were wrong. When you go deeper though you find that this argument is just as bad as it seems from the offset.

Humans used to believe that thunder, lightning, blizzards, sunlight, and volcanoes were all the result of gods. We then learned that these things were actually natural occurrences that simply occurred due to atmospheric conditions or tectonic forces. With this knowledge, would it make any sense at all to continue believing in the supernatural cause of these phenomena? Of course not.

Imagine seeing someone on the street, just before a thunderstorm, praying to Thor to spare him from the wrath of his thunder. You walk up and tell the man he is being silly, thunder is not caused by a god. He then tells you, it’s not silly, because his ancestors believed in Thor and so obviously he must exist or they would not have believed in him. You might consider calling the authorities to come and get this delusional man and have him evaluated.

Using tradition as a basis for your belief is no better than the theoretical man in the last paragraph. Offering your own mind to the superstitions of the past does nothing more than stagnate your own personal abilities and growth as a human being. Simply accepting that something is true is what the dark ages are all about. Only when we decided to reject the superstitions and beliefs of the past did we once again begin to progress as a species again.

All of the technology that you enjoy today is due to someone giving the middle finger to tradition. Why build washing machines? Washing boards were good for our grandparents and great grandparents. Why invent television if the radio was good enough for great-grandpa? Why invent the internet if letters worked well for those 100 years ago?

Part of what makes us human is that we are constantly striving to better ourselves as a species. We have set-backs and stagnate at times but the entire history of our species has been one of forward momentum. We shouldn’t allow the traditions and beliefs of the past to dictate where we are now or where we can go in the future.

Arguments Against Atheism

Arguments Against Atheism: Kalam’s Cosmologically Illogical Argument

For last weeks Argument Against Atheism, click here.

For those who, like myself, have come from the theist world, you will probably have memories of using this argument in the past. I can remember many times when I would use the cosmological argument as proof for a creator thinking that it made sense and was logically sound. As my faith left and my beliefs began to wane I found that this argument is actually illogical and actually quite asinine.

The cosmological argument has long been used by theists and philosophers to explain the existence of the universe. In its most basic form it can be laid out as such:

1.) Something Exists
2.) Something must have caused that thing to exist
3.) Something exists that caused the other thing to exist.

Let’s put it in a simple logical form.

puppy1.) Puppies Exist
2.) Puppies must be born in order to exist.
3.) Therefore mother dogs must exist.

The basis of this argument seems logical but it has long been debunked due to the fact that whatever causes one thing to exist must also have a cause by itself. So the argument soon is destroyed when god enters the picture. If everything that exists must have a cause then for god to exist, he or she must have a cause as well, then the next being would also have to have a cause and so on and so forth.

So theologians have decided to change things up a bit.  The Kalam Cosmological if-you-cant-convince-them-confuse-them.pngargument is what is now often referred to whenever someone uses the cosmological argument, since it is seen as fixing the issues of the original one. People like, William Lane Craig, constantly refer to this argument during debates thinking that it is an improvement but we will see that this argument is just as faulty in its assumptions.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument can be explained in the following manner:

1.) Everything that has a beginning must have had a cause
2.) The universe had a beginning
3.) Therefore the universe had a cause.

The key word that is meant to fix the errors of the original argument is the word “beginning.” Since god is supposedly eternal and the universe is finite, god cannot exist within the universe and is therefore outside of it able to be the cause of creation. This is made known because then the supporters of this argument will add the following stipulations,

4.) Whatever caused the universe must be separate from it.
5.) Therefore god, who is separate from the universe, created the universe.

So for the first issue let’s talk about beginning. For things to have a beginning, a middle, and an end, you must have time. Time as we know it is really nothing more than motion from one moment in space to another moment in space. For time to exist you must have the vast expansion of space. So when everything in the universe was condensed prior to the big bang, what sense of time would there have been?

Secondly for something to have a cause then they must be able to initiate that cause. That would in essence mean a beginning to a beginning, which if something exists outside of time, such as god, it would have no capability of existing both within and without time. Therefore god could not initiate the cause anymore than it could initiate the thought of initiating the universe.

However the main idea that I want to discuss is the assumptions made in the argument. As finite beings, generally living less than a hundred years, how could we have any knowledge of something that infinitely exists. This might at first seem like a, Ken Ham, “were you there” argument, but if you give me just a second I think you will understand what I mean.

radiation

For this argument to work first we have to agree that the universe is finite and that it needed a cause to exist, then we must presuppose that god is eternal and capable of causing the universe to exist. In order to presuppose that god is eternal and capable, we must also presuppose that god exists. In order to presuppose that god exists we must also presuppose to have knowledge and evidence of this god character. We must then take the next step to state that the universe existing is the evidence of that god character.

What you end up with is circular reasoning at its finest. The argument itself actually becomes this…

1.) Everything that has a beginning must have had a cause
2.) God has no beginning
3.) The universe had a beginning
4.) God exists outside of the universe
5.) Therefore the universe was created by god.

For this argument to work we must add into it that god is eternal and that he or she exists outside of the universe.  We must also claim that we have knowledge of these two facts and the only knowledge that we have is to say that the universe is finite and thus an infinite being must have created it. While this might seem to fix the initial issue yet it actually is open to the same issues.

Let’s say our universe is finite, and god exists outside of it. What prevents us from saying that the area outside our universe, in which god exists, is also finite, and thus there must also be another god outside of that finite space in order to give creation to our god. We can then continue outward ad infinitum. The universe can become like one of those russian dolls where you take off one layer only to find a smaller layer.

So we should now see that the Kalam cosmological argument is no better than the original cosmological argument and is susceptible to the same issues. It does nothing to prove that god actually exists, or that god is eternal, or that god is infinite. It also does absolutely nothing to describe the nature of that god if it were to exist.

I always find it funny to hear theists use this argument in an effort to prove their god or gods existence. If this argument were actually sound, it would only point to a god, giving absolutely no indication which god it would point to. Aren’t all god’s eternal? Aren’t all god’s considered omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient to some degree? What from this argument would make Yahweh more likely than Krishna, Allah, or Cthulhu?

Next you would have to prove the aspects of your god which this argument does nothing toward. A cause does not equate to love, goodness, mercy, or justice. It does not equate to a god that created the universe with us in mind. In this scenario, perhaps we are nothing more than a mold that formed on god’s yogurt cup that he left in his dorm room closet. Maybe our entire universe sits on the rim of a cup that god has been too lazy to clean in 13.8 billion years of our time? Would the Kalam cosmological argument disprove this? It would not.

So in conclusion, the argument does absolutely nothing to solve the issues of the original cosmological argument. It does nothing towards proving the existence of a creator, especially not a loving one, or a Christian one. All it does is create its own assumptions and presuppositions in order to prove the speakers already held beliefs, and in that it is nothing more than a fallacy.

I hope I have done this justice, to hear another take from some folks who I believe are much smarter than I am, here are a couple of hosts from the Atheist Experience speaking on the topic…

 

While you are here, find out more about me by reading my journey away from faith, found here.

 

Arguments Against Atheism

Arguments Against Atheism: Pascal’s Weak Wager

Today starts a new series of articles on the various articles against atheism. I thought I would start with the most convoluted argument that I can honestly think of. Blaise Pascal stated that (paraphrased): “Reasonable people should live as if god exists, even if he doesn’t, just in case he does exist and therefore we would risk going to hell if we deny his existence.” Basically it is an argument towards pretend faith simply due to the idea that it might prevent us from experiencing hell. To demonstrate the illogical nature of this argument, allow me to give the following example.

Say I told you that there was a restaurant in town which sold some great food, only there is a catch. You have to pick the one item, from 3,000 items on the menu, that won’t give you food poisoning. You would probably abstain from eating at that restaurant, even if I told you that if you chose not to eat there I would punish you in the future at some undecided date and time. Food poisoning is an awful condition and regardless of what punishment I might have in store for you at a later date, abstaining is the much safer choice.

“Food poisoning is an awful condition and regardless of what punishment I might have in store for you at a later date, abstaining is the much safer choice.”

This is also true with matters of faith. With somewhere around 3,000 different faiths in the world today, the thousands of extinct faiths from the past, and even the thousands of denominations within certain faiths that promote different strategies and ideologies for salvation, the choice is not 50/50.  In fact you would find that your chances of picking the exact right faith, the exact right denomination, and the exact right interpretation of scripture to be nearly identical to the choice of abstaining from faith. Both being 1/3000th+ chance of being correct.

“Both being 1/3000th+ chance of being correct.”

Folks use this argument as an effort to instill the fear of hell within the minds of those who might currently be experiencing doubts. I have a hard time believing that anyone who is as atheist would be swayed by such a weak argument. To give another example of how weak this argument is, let me provide the following example.

Lets say I sit you in a room surrounded by 3,000 curtains. I tell you that behind one curtain there is the keys to a mansion, millions of dollars, and the woman or man of your dreams. Behind every other curtain there is a man with a gun waiting to shoot you in the head. I then offer you the choice of walking away without looking behind any of the curtains. Which option would you choose? Walking away is the option that atheists choose as the likelihood of selecting the correct curtain is so small that it is much better to simply walk away even if the chance for some great reward might actually exist behind one of those curtains.

Believers will often times use personal experiences and anecdotes to try to support their choice of the correct faith.  The problem is that you can find these types of experiences and anecdotes in any faith that you choose. So you are then faced with the idea that either all faiths are correct or that none of these faiths are correct. Personal experiences and anecdotes do absolutely nothing to provide proof for the claims of any faith.

God

“…it assumes that an intelligent designer, capable of speaking the universe into existence, creating all life and all the laws of the natural world, is actually a complete moron.”

The second thing that makes this an incredibly weak argument is that it assumes that an intelligent designer, capable of speaking the universe into existence, creating all life and all the laws of the natural world, is actually a complete moron.  Think about it. Let’s say I absolutely love The Rolling Stones, I join their fan club and discussion groups, and begin telling everyone just how great The Rolling Stones are.  Would you take my claims seriously if I couldn’t name a single one of their songs, couldn’t tell you any of the members of the band, and didn’t actually own any of their albums? Immediately you would know that I was simply pretending to be a Rolling Stone fan, yet god isn’t intelligent enough to see through this ruse.

The idea that you could pretend your way out of some type of infinite reward or punishment seems to point to a creator who would make pond scum seem intelligent. In no way does this form any basis for a good, loving, or just god. It simply points to a god that enjoys a good lip service. So you have to ask yourself, when anyone presents this argument to you, are they actually an atheist just pretending to be a believer because they still fear the possibility of hell?