08
Dec
09

Atheism, what is it?

Strictly speaking, atheism is the lack of any deity or supernatural power. It does not, strictly speaking, preclude the existence of souls, nor does it prevent the belief in pretty much anything else other than deities. Indeed, there are atheists that I would consider among the least reality-based and most prejudiced people in the world; Maher comes to mind. Atheism is, strictly, a statement of what one is does not believe in. As such, it is often viewed as a negative. What then, does atheism have to do with science, morality, relationships, sexuality, or anything else? Simply put, only parts of those which would include belief in a deity.

Where, then, do the arguments against science as a supposed attack on atheism come from? More importantly, where do the arguments against atheism as a supposed argument against science come from?* I think it stems, partially, from a response to the questions of “well, where do you think the universe came from?” or “well, how can you be moral without god(s)?” Aside from the nonsensical nature of these questions, as if the evidence for the origin of the universe proves the existence of their deity. Ignoring the blatant idiocy of arguing that religion gives morality, what does specific ethics have to do with science? Ethics are informed by culture, science is informed by evidence, and religion ignores evidence in favor of ancient cultural tradition.

But these arguments illustrate a point, creationists and the pompously pious do the same things: when arguing one point, they immediately shift to another, and when that is proven fallacious, they shift once again. This “Gish Gallop” is most notable when discussing something such as evolutionary biology with a group of creationists. You will notice they shift, immediately, and as frequently as possible, to other topics.

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2 Responses to “Atheism, what is it?”


  1. December 8, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Bill Maher is not an atheist. He is a Deist. He believes in a God, just not one that worries at all about anything.

    Having said that, I think it is because creationists get really upset that atheists use science against them all the time. It is like a game of whack-a-mole. A creationist will say, “I ain’t descended from no monkey.” I will point them to something like ERV evidence on my blog. Then they run to answers in genesis for something that will refute ERV evidence and I will point them to a publication that shows that answers in genesis was wrong. They say we have never witnessed the birth of a star, then I point them to a NASA page documenting the birth of a star. It can seem to them that every time a creationist wants to believe a silly claim or piece of supposed evidence for things like a global flood, they are knocked down by science. It must seem like a conspiracy to them I guess. Science is the enemy of silliness and ignorance.

  2. December 9, 2009 at 2:06 am

    I think that all this is about people who WANT to believe that ‘dead’ doesn’t mean ‘dead’. What happens when you die? Some want to believe that you go to Heaven. So, are you dead in Heaven then? Certainly not, how dare you!

    So, ‘dead’ is equal to ‘dead’ when that suits you, and ‘dead’ is equal to ‘not dead’ when THAT suits you. Confused? If you’re NOT confused, then you’re probably a member of some religion or other, otherwise you WOULD be confused by this obvious drivel.


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