A Question for Atheists

Last Updated on 2024-02-27 by Joop Beris

Regular visitors will know that I like to answer those “question for atheists” articles. Sometimes these are well thought out questions that show insight and a quest for understanding. Others are simply evidence of atrocious reasoning powers, lack of scientific knowledge and/or baseless presuppositions. I’m afraid this article falls into the last category.

The article is entitled “A Question for Atheists” but proceeds to ask several questions, each betraying obvious presuppositions. Let’s have a look at them, shall we?

Which leads to my question for atheists: where do you get your faith?

Oh dear, it’s one of those people who think that atheism requires faith. It doesn’t because it is a position of disbelief. Atheism doesn’t assume anything so there isn’t anything to have faith in. Atheism is a disbelief in the existence of a deity. Period. No faith required to not believe in something.

But to look out at creation and proclaim: “I know there is no Creator!” is beyond me. How do you know?

This question assumes a priori that everything was created, which is by no means an established fact. Also, I don’t say “I know there is no creator” and neither do most atheists. I see no evidence for a creator so I don’t assume one exists. A position of disbelief, remember?

Merriam-Webster defines atheism as “a disbelief in the existence of divinity” or “the doctrine that there is no deity.” Both positions contradict logic and experience, but the latter is just absurd. How can one ever be 100% convinced that God does not exist?

There are very few atheists who are 100% sure that God does not exist. That being said, since there is no reliable evidence for the existence of a god, it is logical to proceed as if there is no god. After all, you wouldn’t believe in Steve-O the dragon who lives in my attic, would you? No, not without reasonable evidence.
In addition, most theists are happy to accept that gods like Zeus, Thor, or Ra don’t exist. We could ask them the same question: how can you be 100% convinced that these gods don’t exist? Or in other words, how can you be sure your God does exist?

In fact, much of science already points to the existence of God.

Okay, not a question but a statement, I know. However, to say something like this, demonstrates that you have no idea of what science is actually saying. The video linked to (don’t click on it, it will cause serious brain rot), is basically the old fine-tuning argument which is by no means a position accepted by the scientific community. Also, the video is produced by Prager University, which includes this disclaimer at the bottom of its own website: “Prager University is not an accredited academic institution and does not offer certifications or diplomas. But it is a place where you are free to learn.” I think they should put the word ‘learn’ between a couple of quotation marks. After all, it was founded by Dennis Prager, a well-known wing-nut. It has zero scientific credibility.

Atheists cannot explain the origin of the universe.

Well, neither can theists. They simply pretend to know by saying “god did it”. However, never in the history of scientific discovery has the best answer been a religious one. Saying “god did it” is just an end to questions, not actual understanding or an explanation.

Atheists cannot explain the origin of life.

Again, neither can theists. “Magic did it” is not an explanation, it doesn’t mean you understand it.

Ironically, atheism is not without its crowned saint – Charles Darwin.

No, we don’t pray to old Chuck and we don’t worship him either. He was a brilliant naturalist and we owe a lot of our understanding about evolution to him but it stops there. Saints belong in a church and atheism isn’t a church.

What we have never observed is a species becoming another species.

Wrong. Really wrong.

So what explains atheism’s appeal, especially among the young, urban, and educated?

Uhm…education? I’m serious. The more you know and understand, the less you feel a need to invoke a deity to make sense of the world around you. Education also allows you to see that religion offers no understanding of the natural world.

My guess is that some people are just confused. They would like to believe in God, but falsely believe God has been disproved by science. Others are apathetic; they just don’t care. But for others, atheism fits nicely into their secular worldview. If there is no God, then I get to be my own god.

I can’t speak for others here but for me, none of these explain the appeal of atheism. Science hasn’t disproved God because such an endeavour would be impossible. You can not prove that something doesn’t exist because you can not prove a negative. How would you find evidence for non-existence?
Someone who is apathetic indeed doesn’t care about God one way or the other. It’s unlikely they’d be explicit atheists. They simply don’t care.
Do I get to be my own God? That’s a nonsensical statement because I am a human being with all the limitations coming with that position. However, it does mean I get to choose my purpose in life which I think is a good thing. I also don’t have to fear the judgement of a celestial dictator.

Furthermore, I get the elitist’s satisfaction of believing myself superior to the ignorant masses, along with the occasional chuckle at their expense.

I can’t deny there is a certain satisfaction in this, yes. More often than not, the ignorant masses scare me, though.

Atheists like to point to all the wars that have been fought over religion, but they ignore the far greater number that have been fought over just this sort of hubris, including the worst tragedies of the 20th century.

The Second World War was not fought over atheism, religious wars were fought over religion. Hitler was not an atheist and even though Stalin was, it was not the motivation behind his atrocities. This is just a fallacious argument which does nothing to make atheism less credible.

But to categorically deny the existence of a Creator is unscientific, and atheism requires far greater faith than Christianity.

There’s nothing unscientific about atheism. Science asks questions like “how did the universe get here?” and then seeks to answer them. If those answers would point to a creator, that would be the scientific explanation. However, so far science has gotten by without the need for invoking a deity to explain stuff. Or rather, the more science learns, the less need to invoke a supernatural explanation for the natural world. Atheism is a position of unbelief in the existence of a deity. Such a position requires no faith.

That concludes the article and the question for atheists. Basically, the author who blogs under the nom de plume of “frontporchphilosopher” can’t believe that someone could be an atheist due to her own presupposed ideas stemming from her belief in the existence of a creator deity. This makes the entire article little more than an argument from incredulity.

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