A Reason to Believe Atheism
This thread is interesting to me from the Rational Response Squad forums.
A user going by heel13, who is leaning toward atheism, has asked for one logical reason to believe atheism. Forty-six posts into the thread, and not one atheist has offered up a single logical reason to become an atheist. Instead, Lisa (EdwardNortonFan) sums up what they have been telling heel13:
The burden of proof is not on us atheists to disprove god’s existence; it is on those who believe he DOES exist. Atheism is a lack of belief in a god. It CAN mean denial of a god, but not necessarily. Either you believe or you don’t. Period. It’s that simple. If you don’t believe there is a god, then you are an atheist already. And to me, it seems you don’t.
It seemed so simple a question, now why can’t they do it? Is there any logical reason to become an atheist? Or, is it as I contend, a matter of emotion?
Posted on October 14, 2009, in Apologetics and tagged atheism. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
Well, I’ll jump in with a paraphrase of some philosopher dude whose name currently eludes me – we’re all atheists when it comes to Zeus and Thor and Ra and Bast and Titan and all those other classic pantheon deities. People who insist on calling themselves “Atheist” simply believe in one less god than you do.
The trouble is the assumption that atheism is something to believe in. It’s not. It’s just a state of being, independent of idea that supernatural entities have anything to do with our existence.
There are a lot of emotional reasons people have for moving toward the atheist ideology – a quick tour of de-conversion websites will illustrate that easily enough.
The logic aspect though. I think it comes down to a reluctance to credit some invisible thing for everything good, instead of crediting people. For blaming an evil demon for the bad instead of accepting the fact that every one of us has a mean streak in us somewhere. Nobody ever needed an exorcism – just anger management training or something. It’s illogical to assume human beings can’t control their own selves yet so many religions rely on ridiculous rules and regulations that take everything natural about humanity and make it dirty and sinful and wrong. Then punish people when they fall. They can’t not fall. The goals they try to attain are often unachievable yet they will devote their lives to these pursuits and will fall and fall and fall over and over again. It’s illogical to continue to attempt what’s impossible.
Atheists also boggle at the idea of holding onto archaic traditions that make no logical sense from the outside. Take the Eucharist. How can anyone believe waving hands over bread and mumbling a prayer infuses each and every wafer with the body of Christ? What the flip!?
Faith exists beyond the realm of logic, though, right? Catholics believe it, so it becomes true even though there’s no way to measure a wafer and scientifically find the bit of a bite that would be Jesus.
I think I’m missing the point.
A logical reason to be atheist would be to have the chance to shuck off all the outdated silly things religions force people to do that don’t help humanity prosper. What does the Eucharist really do? Nothing. It can’t even stop a stomach from rumbling.
Even better, choose atheism so you can walk away from a history of hatred toward women, homophobia and child molestation. Don’t fund a prejudice with your 10% tithe. Instead, fight for human rights, including the right to live life free of religion.
I’ve addressed the “one less god” argument in a separate post, so I’ll leave that alone.
The Bible is clear that every good gift proceeds from God (Jms 1:17), but it is also clear that humans have a part to play (see Deuteronomy 29:29, and this exposition). So, when I needed the deductible for my car insurance, it may have been my grandpa that loaned me the money, but ultimately the gift came from God. My grandpa would agree with me there, by the way. He was happy to be in a position to help me in my time of need, and credits God with putting him in that position.
Who blames an evil demon with bad stuff? Most modern theodicies build on the idea that the price of being granted a free will is misuse of the same, and that is where evil comes from. I lean more Reformed in my thinking, so I believe that evil was willed by God for a greater good. The Bible teaches that we live in a fallen world, and as such we must take the bad with the good. No blaming demons for it, much of the evil in the world is caused by sinful men disobeying the law of God. But that evil has a place and purpose willed by God, which is of great comfort.
Now you prove that you haven’t read anything that I’ve written. I’m not Catholic, so the Eucharist example isn’t valid. It’s easy to assert that religion is sexist, but can you prove that the Bible actually teaches it? I don’t think you can. Homophobia is a loaded term, but it turns out there are many reasons to believe that homosexuality is a sin. None of these should be used as reasons to condemn the homosexual. Child molestation? Really? Every minister of the Word is a child molester in your eyes? This scandal is a relatively recent thing and as far as I can tell, condemned by every major religious figure outside of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. There is no history of child molestation unless you think you can provide one.
So far, you’ve given me reasons to throw off religion, but no logical reason to not believe in God.