This Made My Day
I read this comment from Omninerd.com, and it made my day. This is my favorite part:
And if you plan on defining your atheism as some mere “lack of belief”, this is not satisfactory. People and their positions are not defined by what they are not. That’s a really clever way to get out of blame and the burden of proof for your claims against theists and theism, but it’s just sophistry.
This I agree with whole-heartedly. Atheists are lazy debaters. Instead of making the positive assertion that there is no God (which they all believe), they insist on defining atheism as a lack of belief in any god. As to why they do this, the writer hit the nail on the head. They do it because the burden of proof is on the person making a positive claim. Therefore, by simply saying that they don’t believe in God (treating this as a given, not an actual claim), they are circumventing the need to actually prove that there is no God, something they know they can’t do.
The responses about to this, all from atheists, are very instructive. I especially like this one, from the most open minded skeptic of the group, obviously:
I stopped reading after that first sentence. Wrong! Religion is a superstition. Atheism is the lack of belief in any superstitions, ie: god/s and/or religions. Based on your first sentence I will assume the rest of that statement is as just as rediculous and not worth the time and effort to read it. Nice job.
Religion is superstition. Okay. The writer actually addressed your points in the body of the comment, but you wouldn’t know that since you didn’t actually read what was written. Gotcha. But theists are the close-minded ones.
This one is classic atheist:
What a wonderful display of Christian ignorance and bigotry. Way to go retard.
Name calling: what you do when you have no actual response to the argument. How is what was written an example of ignorance or bigotry? You got nothing except name calling? Cool.
Then, of course, there was Brian Sapient trying to clarify that he doesn’t believe that all theists should be locked in mental institutions:
I believe that theism is similar to a mental disorder. In some cases (note some, not all) people who believe they speak to God and that God speaks back are suffering from grandiose delusional disorder. I believe that certain anti-psychotic drugs could help people who worship a god. In some cases a theist could be helped with a therapist. In extremely severe cases a person might be best treated for their theism by receiving in patient treatment at a care center set up for such a delusion. Society doesn’t treat theism as a mental disorder because it has reached a degree of normalcy, otherwise it qualifies under current diagnostical terms as a delusional disorder.
This is why I don’t respond to Sapient anymore. He’s not worth the effort. Sorry that the writer mischaracterized your position, Brian. He thought you wanted all theists locked up in an institution, and clearly you only think some should be locked up. Duly noted.
There was one long reply, which I skimmed. It seemed to me that the reply simply quoted the original comment, and then told the writer he was wrong as a matter of course. Naturally, the writer is wrong because he is a theist, and we all know that atheism is the correct worldview. No reasonable evidence is given to back that claim up, it is just assumed wholesale and all dissent from it is labeled as unreasonable, bigoted, or ignorant. Nice arguing, atheists!