This is well known enough that Johnnie Moore (A Liberty University Professor) should know about it considering this conundrum can be solved by a quick “google”.
For a theist there’s nothing quite like watching an atheist get an intellectual walloping from a preacher. There’s just something apocalyptic about it, and it most easily occurs when the atheist tries to chop up religion to irrelevancy without realizing that he is himself awfully religious.
A religion is a belief in a god. I have no gods. Not my old million or so gods, not your ironic carpenter god. There have been millions of gods out there all created by mankind and not one of them has proven to be real or even has a mild basis in reality. Just as a child believes that the fantastic presents received on Christmas come not from the logical source of the parent who happened to read the letters you wrote and mailed them for you but from the mystical entity that is Santa Claus, the adult believes in gods, attributing to him (It’s invariably a him for most people) responsibility for the good that happens in your life. In some cases we may even create another entity responsible for the terrible things that happen in life.
A god is as irrelevant as the fairies, the Loch Ness Monster or Santa.
It happened again recently at the Cambridge Union debating society when former Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams took on the best known name in contemporary atheism, Richard Dawkins. They were debating whether religion has a role in the 21st century.
Dawkins said it didn’t.
Williams said it did.
Except religion has repeatedly shown to be nothing but a staid entity that cannot change with the times and has repeatedly placed itself sorely in the path of progress be it in humanity, charity or science.
In the end, Williams was handed a decidedly strong victory with more than two times as many votes from the audience as the infamous atheist, Dawkins. It was a triumphant day for the faithful and a shameful one for the irreligious.
Except it’s a polarised issue and no religious person would ever vote for a world without religion so your options are reduced. If we filled the audience with atheists then Dawkins would have won. Debates are a stupid way of deciding the utility of religion.
But here is the thing with religion.
Just because you win a debate doesn’t mean your gods exist. I could win a debate that Leperchauns exist doesn’t mean that they actually do.
But actually no one really is irreligious.
This world beats to the rhythm of religion in a thousand ways, and absolutely everyone is religious — including atheists.
Of course not. Religion is heavily entrenched in culture however you can separate culture and religion.
Just like we separated the religions of the gods that we name the days of the week after.
Religion certainly includes an idea of a God under whom man is inherently subservient, but religion also governs the belief system undergirding the way people think about, and live, their lives.
Gods. The third biggest religion on the planet is Hinduism. And unless Islam and Christianity got together to believe in the same god they arguably believe in two different religions.
Religion actually just provides blinders that prevent you from seeing how the world works because you think the zenith of human endeavour was some 2000 year old book written by people who would call us gods because our technology is pretty much “magic” to them.
It tells them who their authority is and it informs their values and behavior. It gives them their sense of morality and goodwill, and it guides them in the way they treat themselves and others. Religion does nothing less than construct one’s view of the world.
Which authority? Dharma? Jesus? Allah? Cargo?
Except that people who believe in a god have repeatedly demonstrated a complete values dissonance that has affected their moral stances in negative ways.
Christianity claims to be the universal moral code that all human existence is based on (despite being a good 3000 years younger than my old faith). Yet the Bible doesn’t treat rape as a horrific crime against humanity that we do but as a crime against property. The Bible doesn’t say “Slavery is an Anathema to Humanity” it says “GO FOR IT – SIgned Big J”.
Atheists are, in fact, some of the most religious people.
First, they have a functioning God under whom they are subservient (normally it’s science or rationality, but mainly themselves), and that idea of God informs the way they live and interpret their lives. It informs their biases and determines their values, and governs any sense of morality or ethics they adhere too, or ignore.
What? That is a highly stupid argument. You cannot claim to be a professor of anything and say something this stupid and expect to not be called out on such a stupid argument.
Science isn’t a god. It exists.
If we took the sum total of scientific knowledge and the sum total of Christian knowledge and erased both of them from the earth. Humanity would redevelop all the science it lost (In quite a short order especially if we keep to the scientific method) and learn precisely the same things that we know today.
Religion would look completely different. The difference is that our belief in science isn’t based on the supernatural but the understanding of the functioning of the universe we live in and the utilisation of such knowledge for our own benefit.
Once that’s all settled all that’s left is the preaching.
And they preach all the time.
This new breed of atheists is obsessed with the idea of God. They write books, deliver speeches, comment-bomb the evangelical blogosphere and generally rant on ad nauseam about the ills of believing in God.
Yes and why not? We live in a world where we deny people the right to freedom to be happy or bodily autonomy based on the statements of imaginary beings. Of course we would speak out against it.
We live in a world where people who don’t believe in a god are routinely ostracised and even killed. To speak out for them is basic humanity.
And we speak out against gods. The Christian’s god is as bullshit as the gods the Christian believes are fake.
Honestly – comically – some atheists must type the word “God” on the Internet five times more often than most Christians I know and they do it with the fury of a fire-and-brimstone zealot!
Maybe no one invokes the name of “God” more than they, and they are doing so in more and more virulent ways such as the shocking moment when Dr. Dawkins recently told Al-Jazeera television that he believed being raised Catholic was in itself even more psychologically damaging than being abused by a priest!
Actually. Dr. Dawkins was abused by a priest. He stated that to him personally the abuse he faced was less damaging than religion.
Which is fine. It was his abuse and how he dealt with it is his methodology. He never spoke out against the abuse faced by the thousands of people who were abused by organised religion.
Instead of just ignoring God, or the idea of God, atheist preachers feel somehow compelled to rid the Earth of him; so they argue endlessly that theists can’t prove God exists without confessing that they can’t prove he doesn’t either.
In the interest of scientific veracity you cannot disprove ANY negatives. You cannot disprove the existence of Dragons.
You can however comment on the unlikeliness of their existence due to the various laws of nature they break such as aerodynamics.
We cannot disprove the existence of any god.
We can however comment on the unlikeliness of their existence due to the fact that a god would entirely have to be reliant on breaking all known laws of existence and therefore have to be entrenched in “total magic”. And by this logic the Christian cannot disprove the existence of Shiva or Allah and so is intellectually dishonest by claiming their religion is the “one true path” to Heaven.
However if we are to accept the existence of Jehovah we have to accept the equal existence of Moloch and Tlaloc and Shiva and Allah and Wotan and Superman. After all, you cannot disprove the fact that Superman doesn’t exist and hasn’t saved the word repeatedly from the machinations of Darkseid.
Occasionally, some of them discover that they do indeed worship a God, but it is an insufficient one.
They worship a God that loses his car keys when they are in his hand, or that misplaces the glasses on his face – a God filled with flaws and inadequacies, and a God (themselves) whose probability of helping them supernaturally is absolutely zero.
No. You see, we aren’t that laden with hubris. We may think we are the most intelligent creature in the known universe but we know how utterly insignificant we are on a Solar Systemic scale let alone a galactic or universal scale.
If you wish to call us a god then fucking fine! You may mock our short term memory about our car keys but that’s also fine too. But here is the deal.
Everything you possess as a human being from the shoes on your feet to your longevity to the laptop and the Internet on which you make your stupid claim that the world is 6000 years old was made by humans.
The probability of us helping you supernaturally is zero. We don’t have any supernatural powers.
We don’t NEED supernatural powers because the natural ones we have seem to exceed your nearsighted creation of a god. We may forget where we placed our glasses but all of human endeavour has created the paradise that people like Johnnie Moore live in. It is not prayer that killed Smallpox or put a man on the Moon or made the Internet.
It’s people who scratch their arses and pick their noses and fart. It’s people who fall in love and people who throw tantrums when other people fail to put a ball into a specific zone. It’s all these imperfect people who have made the world what it is today.
Not Jehovah. If we prayed rather than did we would still be scared of the dark and the terrors that it hid from our ape ancestors rather than having touched our moon.
Everyone needs and everyone has a “God.” That’s why we’re so religious.
It’s a matter of which religion is yours.
One of the nice things about the Christian God is that he seems to be as concerned about those that do not believe as those who do.
So does Dumbledore but you don’t see me running around demanding a moratorium on the Dark Arts.
And Jehovah’s concern for those who don’t believe is not healthy. Because if you don’t believe in him he will torture you eternally.
Because he Loves you deeply. The only reason he hits mankind is because he is worried about us.
Or as one skeptic-turned-believer has said of the Him, “a young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere – God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”
He knew it well.
If you wish to be an atheist then read all religions and then revel in the variation of superstition.
For C.S. Lewis, the iconic British scholar, was himself a convert from the religion of the atheism to the religion of Christianity because, as he later said: “atheism turns out to be too simple.”
No… Atheism says that there is no god. It means we have to explain how the world functions not through the use of a deus ex machina of “magic” and “miracle” but through science.
It’s a lot lot easier to be a priest than it is to be a scientist. Atheism may be simple but what it implies is that we are responsible for thinking about what our actions mean and how the world works around us.
Above is the price of actually knowing how to treat a human being and not relying on the Supernatural interference of a god.
Still think atheism is easy? It means accepting you know absolutely nothing and there are more things on earth and in the heavens than dreamt of by our ancestor’s religion. That the knowledge you acquire is hard.
Each one of those books is bigger than the Bible. Each one of them helps me understand the human body better. And that’s just the human body. I would need libraries worth of books to collect all of human knowledge and you are telling me that none of that human endeavour means anything compared to your single, tiny book which tells us that slavery and rape aren’t as bad as we think it is?
C. S. Lewis is right. Atheism is easy.
Being a human is not.
Oddly enough, atheists often accuse theists of being the simple ones. We are “anti-intellectual,” they say, and in so doing they become exactly what they accuse us of being.
It must be an unfortunate plight to be both anti-intellectual and religious!
God help them.
Of course you are anti-intellectual. When the world proves that the Bible is incorrect the Fundamentalists of the Liberty University instead retreat behind their fantasy and declare the world to be incorrect. When the world proves us correct we will change our tune but for now?
There are no gods. Any person who claims to have been in contact with one or who claims that you should do as their god says is doing so not out of a position of knowledge but a position of deepest, darkest ignorance.
The world is more fantastic than C.S. Lewis or Liberty University’s esteemed alumni could ever understand. And to understand how amazing the world and the universe is you need to stop using your religion as a security blanket to cover yourself whenever you are challenged by things that you don’t understand. The world doesn’t need to be complicated. Rainbows aren’t less real because they are a product of the splitting of white light into component wavelengths rather than the immortal covenant of a god who drowned an entire planet. While one may be inherently a more lofty and meaningful gesture it doesn’t change the fact that white light refracted causes rainbows. All the beauty of a rainbow (even a double one) isn’t ruined by knowing that it’s natural rather than divine.
There are no gods, humanity is responsible for it’s actions. It’s just that simple.