Nowadays, atheists define their position as “lack of a belief in God or gods”. This definition itself is idiotic. By defining their position as lack of belief, that means that bricks, dust motes, and people in comas are atheists.
If we add a reasonable clause to this, changing it to “Atheism is lack of a belief in God or gods, in an agent that is capable of such a belief.” we end up with a psychological property. Psychological properties are uninteresting for philosophical discussion. “I lack a belief in God.” Well, we do believe in God. So what? Do you hold that lack of belief to be rationally justified?
They claim this lack of belief doesn’t have any additional impact on other beliefs.
This is false, as observing and questioning their other beliefs shows. In addition to believing that atheism is a lack of belief in God or gods, they will also believe, with high certainty:
- That matter is all that exists
- That theists are delusional, irrational, brainwashed or lying about their beliefs
- Science is our most reliable way of knowing truth, because it often overturns itself
- If God exists, human beings are intelligent, wise, and moral enough to pass judgment on God’s actions and motives
- It is appropriate to worry about the effects of religion on people, but there’s no reason to worry about atheism
- Morality has no objective basis and some form of preference utilitarianism is the appropriate moral framework
and many others.
It seems pretty obvious to us that these are not merely lacks of belief. They only make sense if the proposition God exists is false. Which means that lack of belief is not what they believe. Someone who believes one thing and says another is either confused or a liar.
Atheists are either confused or lying.
Materialism, the belief that material is all there is, limits what’s explainable. Theists know that everything atheists say exists actually does, as well as more, the supernatural.
For example, a materialist must say that consciousness is an emergent property of matter interactions. That it somehow, in a way we don’t understand comes from matter.
Some theists would say that the mind is related to our soul, which has other properties, and is what our essence is. Such an view allows us to tie together logic, ethics and metaphysics in a direct, useful way. It allows us to talk about human purpose, human dignity and ground these things outside of mere opinion.
Don’t you think that we all have rights that are outside of what people’s opinion is?
If you believe only material things exist, subjective morality is the only reasonable position. And if morality is merely the subjective interests of individuals, that means that might makes right.
There is no grounding for moral action, outside of Pascal’s Wager style gambits, and at that point atheism is making “faith-based” statements as much as theists are. To claim that one is rational, to believe that value exists, for example, with no “evidence” is no more rational than claiming God exists with no “evidence”.
Science is a wonderful tool for understanding the material world. But the material world isn’t all there is. We also have to determine how to act, what is the nature of being human, of human relationships, our place in the world.
Science offers no answers to these. It can’t. To call something “Science” that does offer these is misnaming at best and propaganda at worst.
Herbicide isn’t good for watering plants, science isn’t good for finding existential truths.
Atheism acts like a cult, far more than religions do. If you don’t believe us, try tweeting the following to your atheist friends on twitter:
Theism is as reasonable of a position to take as atheism.
I’m not sure if God exists, but the religious tradition has brought us science, so it can’t be all bad.
I’m not sure what God is, but theists might know. And if they do, maybe they should worship God.
Nobody believes in “sky fairies” we should stop using that insult.
*Update December 2016*
TJ Kirk attacks Escaping Atheism and does or advocates almost everything in this article. Andrew the Middle School Dropout must be some kind of psychic idiot savant!