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You can read the rest of the strip at Comic Blasphemy!
Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.
a) did not appreciate the porn ad at the top of the post. it was not labeled as an ad for porn and i though it was part of the post.
b) not really that funny, the cartoon itself.
this is a rich topic and one i’m willing to get really serious about debating it with believers. i think as far as claims go, it’s a powerful one and one of the better ones they make. *if* i’m going to be convinced to worship something, damn skippy it better be beyond created beings of all kinds. of course, i don’t think there is any evidence that such a thing exists, but it’s a good starting position, if you’re going to found a religion.
the cartoon author missed out on a lot of fun chances to explore the “uncreated” being-god, imho. ymmv
What exactly do you think is a “powerful”claim, and why? The entirely baseless claim that “god was always there” is one of the weaker ones ever uttered by any theist; one slash of Occam’s Razor delivers the much more parsimonious possibility that it’s the universe itself which has always existed, with no need for any gods.
Maybe that one cartoon was OK, but some of those previous cartoons left me wondering.
This cartoonist, or maybe Tina Fey, should host the Tonight Show instead of Jimmy Fallon.
It reminds me of my (late) younger son. 27 years ago when he was 4, my mother a rather pious catholic told him the story of god creating heaven and earth. He thought it over for a bit and asked his grandmama and what did god do before that?
My kid asked this question. Unless someone can give her a convincing answer, she will proudly declare she doesn’t believe in gods. And the usual “uncaused cause” argument doesn’t do it for her.
That was neither interesting, original, or funny.
Classic atheist error: Since atheism is obviously true, God must conform to the laws of a universe in which nothing can be God in order to be proven. One reason why falling into the trap of ‘prove’ God will get you nowhere with an atheist.
Classic theist error: Assuming a conclusion as a premise, and projecting those logical fallacies onto opponents.
One reason why when deductive reasoning and burden of proof is involved, you will get nowhere with a theist.
CT, I’m favoring that. The single best take on the atheist fallacy, as blasphemous illustrates with the usual ‘oh yeah, well we’re like smart man’ response. As soon as an atheist says ‘prove god’, I’ve known there was a problem that should have been obvious. You hit the nail on the head.
” ‘oh yeah, well we’re like smart man’ response”
What does this mean?
It was amusing enough to me that someone would post something as stupid as CT’s comment, but to then have that stupidity explained, and to have someone else show up after that to support the original comment (while completely ignoring the validity of the criticism and dismissing the critic for appearing to be too smart!)… that’s just hilarious!
Thank you, theists, for continuing to be the best recruiters we atheists have. I don’t know what we’d do without you… though keep up the good work, and I suppose we’ll find out soon enough!
J Meyers,The whole point of CT’s post is, of course, that atheists are guilty of exactly what BK was saying: assuming a conclusion as a premise, and then projecting that fallacy onto the opponents. Or better yet, in atheist terms: assume a priori a materialistic universe and no existence of a divine existence, then demand proof of the divine based on those assumptions. CT is absolutely right. As I say, I tried real hard to be an atheist once, but I lacked the blind faith, or the ability to be unaware of the fact that being an actual atheist demanded blind faith to begin with.
>>”assuming a conclusion as a premise, and then projecting that fallacy onto the opponents.”
You missed the point by about a mile. Atheism does not conclude or state that god does not exist. It says that there is no evidence for a god. It is up to the theist to provide the evidence (since God seems incapable of doing it himself). No vague assumptions are made about ‘materialism’ or ‘the divine’, since these terms only have meaning if you believe (a priori) in something called ‘the divine’. There simply is what there is. If there is a divine, then that’s really cool. Just prove it
>>>”As I say, I tried real hard to be an atheist once, but I lacked the blind faith, or the ability to be unaware of the fact that being an actual atheist demanded blind faith to begin with.”
Huh? Again, see the point above regarding “burden of proof”. Atheism doesn’t say “there are no gods and I’m right”. Atheism says “If you say there’s a god, then there’s no proof that you are correct.” there is no blind faith required to make that statement, just a comfortable relationship with reality.
Agreed. I was a little flabbergasted, and only when I read your comment here did I realize what Dave G was trying to say below.
Hilarious. And kind of sad.
The first problem is how to define “god”. “Omnipotent” doesn’t explain anything. What are god’s exact qualities and how does it use or transmit its supposed power?
I think this answers your question:
If God created, who created God? http://christian-view.com/atheism/if-god-created-everything-who-created-god/
If you choose to carry on the conversation, I would expect mutual respect, and intelligent argument.
Christian-view.com has a section on ‘atheism’. It might help with some of your answers.
Ok, I’ll bite. However, I want you to realize something:
>>” I would expect mutual respect, and intelligent argument.”
You’ll get intelligent argument, but you have already failed on the ‘mutual respect’ part, as the ‘atheism’ link on the website you provided is definitely not respectful. It makes broad sweeping stereotypical generalizations about atheists, such as this nugget:
“An atheist is someone who is only interested in asking questions, not in answers.” This is not a statement that one would make if they were interested in being respectful, or intelligence, because it doesn’t qualify as either. I appreciate the call to respect, but please try to actually give it if you plan on receiving it.
All the same, I like intelligent argument more than I like respect, so I’ll bite. Here, I’ll hit what I think is the main idea from every page on the ‘atheist’ sub-page, starting with the ‘who created god’ page::
From the “where did god come from” section:
>>” That is right. No one created God. He is eternal. ”
That’s fascinating! Prove it. Bible verses are not proof.
From the ‘proof of god’ page:
>>” like all atheists, Richard Dawkins NEVER produces any proof or evidences that God doesn’t exist.”
I’m not sure if you realize this, but it is impossible to prove a negative. If I claim I can fly and I have a pet unicorn, can you prove that I do not? Suffice to say, this web page is hilariously misinformed on what atheism is and how they think, and is obviously written by someone who has never met one. Maybe stick around here, read a couple entries, and educate yourself a little bit! Atheism does not say “There are no gods and I’m right”. Atheism says “if you say there’s a god, then there’s no proof that YOU are right”, and it’s up to you to provide the proof (since god can’t seem to do it on his own). It’s not up to me or Dawkins to prove that there isn’t a god just like it isn’t your responsibility to prove that I cannot fly, it is up to me to prove that I can fly.
From the ‘spot an atheist’ page:
>>”An atheist is someone who believes in a ‘no see no existence philosophy’. If you can’t see something, then it doesn’t exist.”
I really don’t think that anyone thinks like this, or I’ve never met them. When testable questions come up (such as ‘does oxygen exist?’) many atheists practice something called the scientific method, which is not as simple as just seeing something. It is a way to form an idea and test it via observable phenomena. Oxygen exists because there is evidence that it exists, and this evidence is available for immediate perusal! Anything that humanity has encountered so far that affects the natural world leaves evidence of its existence, like a volcano, or evolution. So, if you want to claim god exists, then please present evidence of god acting in the natural world that does not have a more benign explaination. That’s all that is needed. (Again, Bible verses are not proof).
>>”An atheist is someone who believes in one section of the Bible to disprove another section of the Bible.”
Since atheists probably don’t believe that any part of the Bible is the divine word of god, I seriously doubt that an atheist will cite the Bible as a text to disprove another part of the bible. Do you have an example of this happening? Maybe you’re referring to atheists pointing out contradictions in the Bible. Care to explain?
From the ‘what kind of father’:
This section is a rambling diatribe with little point, so I’ll answer the 4 questions posed at the end:
1)If God doesn’t exist, why do you spend the rest of your life disproving the existence of someone who doesn’t exist?
Answer: We don’t. As I said above, you cannot prove that something does not exist. We spend our lives trying to be as free from the influence of superstition as possible, and we battle the efforts of the religious right to make their religion into law.
2) In the West, atheism basically means ‘anti-Christianity’. How many atheists have ever read the Bible in its entirety – from the book of Genesis to Revelation?
Answer: Most have, including me, but this doesn’t matter. Why should it?
3) If you are an atheist, and you have never read the Bible in its entirety, do you agree that you are ill-informed about the Bible and the God described in the Bible?
Answer: See #2 above. I don’t think this answer applies to me. You’ll find that many American atheists are very well-versed in flavors of American christianity. In most cases, that’s how they came to be atheists.
4) Do you agree to take up my challenge to read the Bible in its entirety before opening your mouth against Christianity?
Answer: No. I’ve already read the Bible, and the god described there is not a desire-able figure of worship. Even if he existed, I wouldn’t like him.
Would you care to discuss any of these above points further? I expect intelligent argument, and respect (for real this time).
I obviously screwed up something in the Bill Mahr section, but I didn’t really have anything to say about it, since the section just seemed to be a rehash of the ‘no see existence’ fallacy, mixed with personal attacks on Bill Mahr. Not very respectful, or intelligent. But I’d be glad to discuss it further, if you want.
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