Why Defend Atheism?

The main reason I think that atheism is worth defending stems from my conviction that truth and rational belief are very important goods that are worth defending. In fact, they are both intrinsically and instrumentally valuable goods; ones that people in general have a fundamental drive to assert and defend. Whether this drive amounts to a personal preference or an epistemic duty, either provides a good reason to defend truth and rational belief.
- Ryan Stringer (from The Value of Atheism on The Secular Web)

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ryan_stringer/value-of-atheism.html

This seems a bit weak to me.

First, the “conviction that truth and rational belief are very important goods” should rest on something more than just the fact that “people in general have a fundamental drive to assert and defend” these things. A natural tendency to “assert and defend” something does not mean that the something in question is truly worthy of being asserted and defended.

Thus, even if there were a natural tendency to “assert and defend” belief in God, that would not imply that doing so is a worthwhile activity. A “fundamental drive” or natural inclination might be one that is irrelevant to human well being or even harmful to human well being. Not all drives or inclinations should be blindly followed. My natural inclination to consume a half-gallon of ice cream every day is one that I must resist, or at least exercise some degree of rational constraint over, if I want to be a happy and healthy person.

Second, although I agree that truth and rational belief are “very important goods”, it does not follow that any and every belief that I hold to be true is worthy of spending my time defending and arguing over. Some matters are just too trivial and insignificant to fuss over.

So, the crucial issue, it seems to me, is whether the question “Does God exist?” is an important and significant question. If this is an important and significant question, then it would be worth investing some time and energy in coming to a correct conclusion on this issue, and to help others to do the same. If it is not, then perhaps there are other issues that are more deserving of our attention.

About Stephen Law
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06394155516712665665 CyberKitten

    BB said: So, the crucial issue, it seems to me, is whether the question “Does God exist?” is an important and significant question.

    It's a stupid and pointless question because it can never be answered to everyone's (or possibly anyone's) satisfaction. It is therefore neither important nor significant.

    B B said: If it is not, then perhaps there are other issues that are more deserving of our attention.

    There are *so* many more important questions that I hardly know where to start.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17239457772830013242 tmdrange

    My earlier essay "On Defending Atheism" is relevant here. See:
    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/theodore_drange/defending.html

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18095903892283146064 RichardW

    It all depends on your goals and values.

    If you value knowledge for its own sake, that's a reason for learning whether God exists. If you think that knowing whether God exists will help you achieve some other goal, that's also a reason for learning whether God exists. For example, learning that God doesn't exist may help you achieve your goal of making better use of your time, by not wasting time praying to a non-existent God. On the other hand, if you think that knowing whether God exists will detract from achieving your goals, that's a reason for not learning whether God exists. For example, if your belief in God provides you benefits such as consolation and inspiration, that's a reason for not learning whether God exists, in case you find out that he doesn't.

    The relative weights of these reasons–and whether they're enough to justify making the effort to consider the subject–will vary from person to person, depending on that person's goals and values. So there's no universal answer to the question.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18095903892283146064 RichardW

    P.S. I should have added that the answer (to whether it's worth spending time on considering whether God exists) also depends how likely you think you are to correctly discover whether God exists.

    Personally, I'd like to know whether God exists, and I think that rational thinking points strongly to the non-existence of God (or at least the conventional versions of God). I also quite enjoy discussing the subject, so I don't feel it's waste of my time, though it's true there are more practically useful things I could be doing with the time.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18095903892283146064 RichardW

    P.S. I only addressed the question of whether it's worth the effort of trying to learn whether God exists. I didn't address the original question of whether it's worth defending atheism to other people. That depends on (a) whether you think theism does more harm than good, and (b) whether you think you're likely to change anyone's mind. I'm unsure about (a), and very doubtful about (b) as far my own powers of persuasion are concerned. Personally, I just get involved in such discussions for my own amusement.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    CyberKitten said…

    "It's a stupid and pointless question…"

    OK, but how do you really feel about this?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06394155516712665665 CyberKitten

    B B said: OK, but how do you really feel about this?

    I don't really 'feel' anything about it. It can generate a moderately interesting discussion over a few beers but that's about it. Although religion in general is a fairly interesting phenomenon in some ways I believe it to be anachronistic and irrelevant – or at least it *should* be.

    As to 'defending' Atheism, I really don't understand why it needs defending. If anything needs a defence it's theism – and I have yet to see any kind of 'defence' being offered that stood up to more than a few moments scrutiny.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10451560439211424765 sternship

    Please have a look at my post on secularising oneself – http://thewolfisdead.blogspot.com/2010/06/5-steps-to-secularise-yourself-and-lead.html

    I would like to know what people think!! cheers

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11389651479904502758 DM

    http://www.loiterink.com/photos/products/182_3424_500x500.jpg

    they are incapable of telling the difference between SCIENTIFIC *FACT* AND RELIGIOUS AND PHILOSOPHICAL *TRUTH*… FATAL ERROR!

    they also preach a *VALUE FREE SCIENCE* called *POSITIVISM* that ignores the inequalities of wealth and power in capitalist civilization…

    for a sample taste of PZ Myers' GARBAGE…

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/06/sunday_sacrilege_imagine_no_he.php

    HIJACKING IN PROGRESS!!!

    http://hawaiiwebgroup.com/maui-design/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/website-hijacking.jpg

    HIJACKING IN PROGRESS!!!

    how can these HEADLESS IDIOTS BET AGAINST GOD!!!
    ________________________________________

    what happens when you LOSE Pascal's Wager…

    http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/pascals-wager.htm

    _____________

    you FIGHT PAPER MONSTERS…

    the blood and bodies of the atheist movement…

    you mofos killed MICKEY MOUSE!!!!

    this has more TRUTH then what Dawkins, Randi, Harris, Myers, and Shermer
    combined have said in their entire lives…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=5R2wE8Sduhs&playnext;_from=TL&videos;=hht1U_19anc&feature;=rec-LGOUT-exp_fresh%2Bdiv-1r-3-HM

    they tried to BULLDOZE the entire METAPHYSICAL DIMENSION…

    they LOST THE WAR……

    you have FORFEIT YOUR SOUL, shermer… you have become an object in the
    material world, as you WISHED…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUB4j0n2UDU

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/7/11792994_ffaaee87fa.jpg

    we're gonna smash that TV…

    They had become ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE AND OF GOD…
    you pushed too much and *CROSSED THE LINE*

    degenerates (PZ) or children (HEMANT) – ATHEISTS!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRRg2tWGDSY

    do you have anything to say, you STUPID LITTLE F*CKER?

    how about I tell you, Mr. Shermer, EVERYTHING YOU THINK ABOUT THE WORLD is

    *WRONG*

    THE BOOBQUAKE – 911!

    http://dissidentphilosophy.lifediscussion.net/philosophy-f1/the-boobquake-911-t1310.htm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx7XNb3Q9Ek

    RUN, ATHEISTS, RUN!!!

    ——————-

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    A quote from tmdrange's article "On Defending Atheism":

    Why should atheism (and nontheism) be defended against the various objections? Obviously, because the truth should be disseminated and made as widely known as possible. "Knowledge is power" and "the truth will set you free!" If the truth is being challenged and is in need of defense, then there must be people who lack knowledge of the truth. It would be in their interest and in the interest of society for them to come to acquire such knowledge. Ignorance is bad and education is good. People need to exercise their critical thinking faculties and develop a more scientific and skeptical outlook on reality. The current wide reliance on faith and authority in people's thought processes is bad for individuals and bad for society. Being exposed to atheistic arguments would benefit people with regard to their intellects. And that applies to deists and religious humanists as well as to those who are staunch theists.

    ========
    I don't disagree with any of this, but this still seems weak to me, for similar reasons as my response to Stringer's article.

    If atheism is true, then we ought to defend atheism, but there are lots of true ideas that get doubted, rejected, or neglected. We don't have time to defend every true idea that is challenged. So, I think what needs to be shown is that the question "Does God exist?" is of great importance or significance, or that it is at least of higher-than-average importance.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    CyberKitten said:

    "It's a stupid and pointless question because it can never be answered to everyone's (or possibly anyone's) satisfaction. It is therefore neither important nor significant."

    CyberKitten also said:

    "As to 'defending' Atheism, I really don't understand why it needs defending. If anything needs a defence it's theism – and I have yet to see any kind of 'defence' being offered that stood up to more than a few moments scrutiny."
    =============

    The above two comments appear to be logically inconsistent with each other. At least, it is hard to see how to fit them together into a coherent viewpoint.

    If the burden of proof is on theism, and if theists have obviously failed to meet this burden of proof, then it seems to me that the question "Does God exist?" has been answered, at least to your satisfaction.

    And if your assumptions here are correct, then any the question should be easy to answer, at least for anyone who is more interested in objective truth than in preserving personal or socially fostered biases.

    How do you reconcile the above ideas (the God question can never be answered, and atheism is easy to defend)?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Richard W said:

    It all depends on your goals and values.

    ==========

    True, but we humans share many goals and values. The ones you mentioned, for example, have wide appeal: "making better use of your time" and "consolation and inspiration". How many people want to make worse use of their time? How many people don't want consolation or inspiration?

    Where people differ, more often, is on the relative weight or significance that we place on various goals and values.

    Perhaps the desire for "consolation and inspiration" is stronger in religious folks than in atheists and other non-religious people. Perhaps the desire to avoid wasting time on pointless activities is stronger in atheists than in religious people.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17239457772830013242 tmdrange

    With regard to Bradley Bowen's comment on my article "On Defending Atheism," it should be noted that, further on in the essay, I say the following:
    Converting people to atheism indirectly serves the purpose of defending church-state separation (or "battling theocracy"), for no atheists are in favor of theocracy or against church-state separation. On the other hand, to defend church-state separation does not in any way defend atheism, not even indirectly. One "kills two birds with one stone" by defending atheism, but not by defending church-state separation. Even if one does not succeed in converting the other guy on the spot when one defends atheism, one might plant seeds of doubt that develop later on. And those seeds of doubt could have the effect of later converting the guy to the cause of church-state separation. A further point here is that it is questionable whether church-state separation will ever be fully achieved so long as the U.S. society is overwhelmingly theistic in its orientation. It is an arguable position that such an event will happen only when the theistic orientation is considerably reduced (say, to below 50%). It is clear, then, that the defense of atheism has an essential role to play here.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    sternship said…
    Please have a look at my post on secularising oneself
    ===========

    Your post has some practical advice for living in accordance with an atheistic viewpoint, but does not seem relevant to the question at issue here.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    DM said…

    you mofos killed MICKEY MOUSE!!!!
    =========

    Did you forget to take your meds again?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    What makes a question an important or significant question?

    No doubt some people have some unique goals and values that others don't share. No doubt the goals and values that most of us share in common are given different degrees of priority by different people. Nevertheless, I think we could generally agree on some criteria for evaluation of the importance of questions.

    The question "Does smoking cause cancer?" for example, seems to be an important question. Why? Because (a) if smoking causes cancer, then significantly reducing the number of people who smoke could save millions of lives, (b) if smoking causes cancer, then significantly reducing the number of people who smoke could save millions of dollars in medical costs. This is not merely a matter of promoting truth or critical thinking, it is a matter of life and death, and it is a matter of great economic importance.

    It is not obvious that the question "Does God exist?" has this kind of practical value, but if there were a significant payoff in terms of preserving human lives, or saving millions of dollars in unnecessary expenditures, then I think we would all agree that would make the question an important one.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    The question "Does God exist?" is a philosophical question. That is, in part, why it is an important question.

    Philosophical questions are often, though not always, fundamental questions. The question "Does God exist?" is a paradigm case of a fundamental philosophical question.

    How so? Because three major religions assume that it is true that "God exists". Not only does Christianity, Judaism, and Islam make this assumption, but without this assumption, these religious viewpoints collapse into heaps of falsehoods and absurdities. In other words, belief in the existence of God is absolutely essential to these three religious traditions.

    These three religious traditions are important to evaluate because they have played a significant role in world history and continue to play a significant role in current affairs.

    If there is no God, then billions of human beings in the past and in the present have viewed the world from the point of view of a religious tradition that is composed of a heap of falsehoods, deceptions, and irrational beliefs.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    On the other hand, if there is a God, then either Christianity, or Judaism, or Islam might be the true religion.

    Furthermore, even if no one religion has obtained "the truth" about reality, if there is a God, then all three of these religions have at least grasped and preserved a basic truth about the nature of reality.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06653906240497605376 DM

    Let me show you the FATE OF TRAITORS…

    http://www.loiterink.com/photos/products/182_3424_500x500.jpg

    they are incapable of telling the difference between SCIENTIFIC *FACT* AND RELIGIOUS AND PHILOSOPHICAL *TRUTH*… FATAL ERROR!

    they also preach a *VALUE FREE SCIENCE* called *POSITIVISM* that ignores the inequalities of wealth and power in capitalist civilization…

    for a sample taste of PZ Myers' GARBAGE…

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/06/sunday_sacrilege_imagine_no_he.php

    HIJACKING IN PROGRESS!!!

    http://hawaiiwebgroup.com/maui-design/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/website-hijacking.jpg

    HIJACKING IN PROGRESS!!!

    how can these HEADLESS IDIOTS BET AGAINST GOD!!!
    ________________________________________

    what happens when you LOSE Pascal's Wager…

    http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/pascals-wager.htm

    _____________

    you FIGHT PAPER MONSTERS…

    the blood and bodies of the atheist movement…

    you mofos killed MICKEY MOUSE!!!!

    this has more TRUTH then what Dawkins, Randi, Harris, Myers, and Shermer
    combined have said in their entire lives…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=5R2wE8Sduhs&playnext;_from=TL&videos;=hht1U_19anc&feature;=rec-LGOUT-exp_fresh%2Bdiv-1r-3-HM

    they tried to BULLDOZE the entire METAPHYSICAL DIMENSION…

    they LOST THE WAR……

    you have FORFEIT YOUR SOUL, shermer… you have become an object in the
    material world, as you WISHED…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUB4j0n2UDU

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/7/11792994_ffaaee87fa.jpg

    we're gonna smash that TV…

    They had become ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE AND OF GOD…
    you pushed too much and *CROSSED THE LINE*

    degenerates (PZ) or children (HEMANT) – ATHEISTS!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRRg2tWGDSY

    do you have anything to say, you STUPID LITTLE F*CKER?

    how about I tell you, Mr. Shermer, EVERYTHING YOU THINK ABOUT THE WORLD is

    *WRONG*

    THE BOOBQUAKE – 911!

    http://dissidentphilosophy.lifediscussion.net/philosophy-f1/the-boobquake-911-t1310.htm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx7XNb3Q9Ek

    RUN, ATHEISTS, RUN!!!

    ——————-

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06394155516712665665 CyberKitten

    B B said: If the burden of proof is on theism, and if theists have obviously failed to meet this burden of proof, then it seems to me that the question "Does God exist?" has been answered, at least to your satisfaction.

    Only in the sense that they have singularly failed to prove their case leading me to not believe in God. As to whether or not he *actually* exists – I have no idea but I continue to doubt it.

    B B said: How do you reconcile the above ideas (the God question can never be answered, and atheism is easy to defend)?

    Atheism is easy to defend because it has never – at least in my particular example – ever come under what I would consider to be an attack. As far as I know there is no compelling evidence for God's existence nor are there any compelling arguments. My skeptical response to the God question is therefore completely intact. As I see it the very best theists can come up with is unfounded speculation largely built on wishful thinking. As such it's hardly a challenge that *needs* defending against.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    DM said…

    you mofos killed MICKEY MOUSE!!!!

    =========

    Yes, we heard that one already.

    Since you are a believer, and since Mickey's death troubles you so much, perhaps you should pray that God will bring Mickey back to life.

    If God does bring Mickey back to life, I promise to repent of my evil mouse-killing ways, to worship Mickey as my lord and savior, and to firmly believe him to be both fully God and fully mouse.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    CyberKitten said…

    Only in the sense that they have singularly failed to prove their case leading me to not believe in God. As to whether or not he *actually* exists – I have no idea but I continue to doubt it.
    ==========

    Let's see if I understand your viewpoint. There are no good reasons or arguments for the claim "God exists" so the most reasonable thing to do is to refrain from accepting this claim or belief.

    But you do not conclude that the claim is false, so apparently there are also no good reasons or arguments for the claim "God does not exist", or at any rate no reasons or arguments that are strong enough to warrant confident belief in this claim.

    But couldn't it be the case that you made a mistake in evaluating one of the reasons or arguments on this issue? Also, couldn't it be the case that there is one good reason or argument on this issue that you have not yet come across and considered?

    If so, then how can you be confident that this question "can never be answered to everyone's (or possibly anyone's) satisfaction"?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09925591703967774000 Dianelos Georgoudis

    tmdrange,

    I have a few comments on your essay about defending atheism:

    1. I think that the noncognitivist position is untenable and self-defeating. It is untenable because many atheist philosophers, including yourself, have written extensively about theism, sometimes using sophisticated theological reasoning. It is self-defeating because the one good argument against theism (the argument from evil in some of its versions) entails that the existence of God is a meaningful idea.

    2. The “lack of belief” definition of atheism is not only inferior, but actually psychologically incoherent, because even though one can of course lack a particular belief, one can’t really know that one lacks it. In order to check whether the belief “God exists” belongs to the set of my beliefs, I must first have some understanding about what that belief says, but then I can’t help but fall into one of the three cognitivist positions (positive, negative, or neutral).

    3. The value of truth (knowledge is power, the truth will set you free, etc) makes sense on theism, but, arguably, makes no sense on atheism. Naturalism is such a bleak worldview that perhaps it would be best to leave people with their delusions lest they start hurting themselves or others. Therefore, arguably, if atheism is true then it ought not be defended.

    4. I find there is a widespread misunderstanding about what “God exists” actually means. It does not mean that beside the existence of X, Y, and Z, the claim is made that also one more element, “God”, exists. Rather theism is a thesis about what “existence” actually is, namely that all existence ultimately rests on the presence and will of a personal being (who is moreover perfect in all respects). Therefore the negation of theism is not the claim that only X, Y, and Z exist, but rather the claim that all existence does not rest on the presence and will of a personal being, and is therefore autonomous, purposeless, and of a mechanical nature. It seems to me then that one can’t really conceptualize a non-theistic non-naturalistic reality (and I have never seen a coherent non-theistic non-naturalistic reality proposed). If atheism and naturalism refer to the same ontological position, then atheism is a positive ontology which makes some extraordinary claims about reality (e.g. that electrons, which are physical primitives with no access to some computing machinery, can nevertheless behave in ways that are highly computationally complex). To rationally believe in such a positive ontology one must defend it with evidence or good arguments.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06394155516712665665 CyberKitten

    B B said: Let's see if I understand your viewpoint. There are no good reasons or arguments for the claim "God exists" so the most reasonable thing to do is to refrain from accepting this claim or belief.

    Essentially, Yes.

    B B said: But you do not conclude that the claim is false, so apparently there are also no good reasons or arguments for the claim "God does not exist", or at any rate no reasons or arguments that are strong enough to warrant confident belief in this claim.

    I cannot say with certainty that God does not exist. However, I am of the opinion that the lack of any credible evidence for His existence leads to the view that He *probably* does not exist. After all we do not discuss the possibility for the existence of Dragons or Unicorns. Why? Because there is simply no evidence for their existence. After a while absence of evidence does indeed become evidence of absence.

    B B said: But couldn't it be the case that you made a mistake in evaluating one of the reasons or arguments on this issue?

    Of course.

    B B said: Also, couldn't it be the case that there is one good reason or argument on this issue that you have not yet come across and considered?

    Certainly.

    B B said: If so, then how can you be confident that this question "can never be answered to everyone's (or possibly anyone's) satisfaction"?

    Because I believe that, being the creatures we are and God being what He is supposed to be, that we can never understand anything about His nature or anything else about Him. It's a bit like expecting an ant to be able to understand the detailed workings of a circuit board it happens to be walking across. How does an ant even start to conceive of how a CPU operates? To answer the question of the existence of God we must at least have some understanding of what we're talking about. If God is all He is cracked up to be such an endeavour is beyond us. If He is not all He is cracked up to be… then surely He is not God.

    DG said: Naturalism is such a bleak worldview that perhaps it would be best to leave people with their delusions lest they start hurting themselves or others.

    [rotflmao]

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06957529748541493998 Metacrock

    "truth and rational belief are very important goods that are worth defending."

    Then give up atheism. Atheism is contrary to truth and it is not rational. The more proof for God one brings to the argument the more hostile and irrational atheists become.

    Atheism is an ideology. It's not actual inquarery it proprts to know the answers befoer the questions are asked. Look at the attitudes in the comments here:

    "It's a stupid and pointless question because it can never be answered to everyone's (or possibly anyone's) satisfaction. It is therefore neither important nor significant."

    Logically that should be for the believer to say not the unbeliever. But atheism is not about lack of belief, its' about a positive hatred of those who believe.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    CyberKitten said…

    …being the creatures we are and God being what He is supposed to be, that we can never understand anything about His nature or anything else about Him. It's a bit like expecting an ant to be able to understand the detailed workings of a circuit board it happens to be walking across. How does an ant even start to conceive of how a CPU operates? To answer the question of the existence of God we must at least have some understanding of what we're talking about.
    ===========

    Nice reply. Thank you.

    While I think there is an important point in your analogy, there are some significant differences between the analogues
    (ant and CPU vs human and God) that cast doubt on the point you are making. Ants do not have a concept of a "CPU" but humans do have a concept of "God". That is a significant difference.

    There are concepts in mathematics and physics that I don't understand and might not ever understand even if I put a lot of time and energy into trying to understand them. So, I do not doubt that there could be concepts that are beyond human capacity to understand. But "God" is a common word in the English language, so I think the meaning of this word is not beyond our comprehension, in the way that the meaning of the word "CPU" is beyond the comprehension of an ant.

    Also, it is not necessary to "conceive of how a CPU operates" in order to know that there are such things as CPUs. Many people know that CPUs exist without being able to describe how one operates. So, I don't think we need to know how a "God" operates in order to know whether such a being exists.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Metarock said…

    But atheism is not about lack of belief, its' about a positive hatred of those who believe.
    =========

    Actually, we atheists hate the superstition but love the superstitious people.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    P.S.

    My mother believes in God. My sisters all believe in God. My wife's parents believed in God all their lives. The husbands of each of my sisters believe in God. Most of my neices and nephews believe in God.

    I'm saddened by the extent of superstition in my family, but I don't hate anyone in my family. I really do hate the superstition, but love the supersititious.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06394155516712665665 CyberKitten

    Meta said: Atheism is contrary to truth and it is not rational.

    No. It is neither contrary to truth nor is it irrational. Actually I find it *very* rational.

    Meta said: The more proof for God one brings to the argument the more hostile and irrational atheists become.

    Erm, What proof?

    Meta said: Atheism is an ideology.

    No, it isn't. Atheism is a sceptical position on the God Question.

    Meta said: But atheism is not about lack of belief, its' about a positive hatred of those who believe.

    Funnily enough I would have said that Theism is a positive hatred of those who *don't* believe (as they do).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06394155516712665665 CyberKitten

    B B said: But "God" is a common word in the English language….

    So 'common' that it has a million and one meanings to over 5 billion people……

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11255167492144499245 BJ

    I blog for Tikkun magazine and have a new post called, "Atheists are Beautiful: A Religious Person Defends Atheism"

    http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2010/06/13/atheists-are-beautiful-a-religious-person-defends-atheism/

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Response to BJ…

    Nice article.

    We need more intelligent and critical thinking believers like you to challenge the beliefs and practices of the mass of ignorant and unthinking religious believers and the religious leaders they blindly follow.

    I'm doubtful about "Christian hegemony" simply because "Christian values" is too vague and plastic a concept to describe a particular set of values. "Christian values" can include "Love your neighbor" on Sunday, and "Rape, torture, and kill those wicked people in your neighborhood" on Monday.

    I think Marx had a more plausible understanding of the workings of "Christian values": ideology is driven by economic and political forces to a much greater degree than people are generally willing to admit. The teachings ond values of Jesus have almost nothing to do with "Christian values" but who benefits in terms of power and money has everything to do with what constitutes "Christian values" at any given point in time and in particular places.


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