Monday, December 12, 2011

My Response to the Argument That Atheism is a Faith

This argument is used a lot and it baffles me how non-atheists think they get to define what atheism is when they know next to nothing about it.

Faith, according to the dictionary, is the act of believing something which has no evidence.

If it takes faith to not believe in god, then it also takes faith to not believe the sky is orange. You don't believe the sky is orange. There is no evidence that the sky is orange. Since you don't believe the sky is orange and there is no evidence that the sky is orange, then I could accuse you of having faith that the sky is not orange.

Stupid right? The same applies to atheism.

There have been hundreds if not thousands of different gods worshipped by humans in recorded history. How much faith does it take for you to NOT believe in all of those? Ra was the Egyptian sun god. Zeus was the king of the Greek gods.

I would be willing to wager that it doesn't take any faith... Just as it doesn't take any faith to not believe in the Christian god.

We now view the ancient Greek religion as mythology. But it was as real to them as the Christian god is to you!

The fighting atheist said it best: "Claiming that atheism is a faith is like claiming that NOT collecting stamps is a hobby or that NOT smoking is a habit."

Atheists don't try to define what Christianity is. Why do Christians think they have to define atheism? Either way, it's another weak argument that is easily debunked.


Twin-Daddy said...

It's about like not collecting stamps is a hobby!

EriK said...

Mormon411 said...

Thank you for that link, EriK. I didn't read it in it's entirety but skimmed it over. I don't disagree that we all believe. I believe that Oprah is a real person. I've never seen her in person, but I believe. This is because of the overwhelming evidence that she is real.

What evidence is there that Jesus is real? I'm talking about actual evidence, not your collection of 2000 year old myths that you call the Bible.

The author, at the end of his article, states that he prefers to plant his beliefs in "solid ground" and then states that he still believes in the myth of Jesus. What is wrong with this picture?

Typical. Ignore the evidence and just keep believing. The more blind and ignorant your faith is, the more glorius your heavenly reward will be.

If there really was a god, is this the type of followers that he would want? Ignorant, gullible, blind faith despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, wishful thinkers, etc. I wouldn't.

IonicPaul said...

Remember that these writings came from a time when slavery and ignorance and mindless obedience were considered good qualities in the majority of people. As the bible is a collection of time pieces, it's no wonder the god they invented is so horribly detached from morality to us, because this religion was written for illiterate, downtrodden middle-easterners (not the being middle-eastern is inherently bad; it's just fun to point out the common mistake of portraying Jesus as white, if he even existed), not for timeless guidance of humanity through the ages.

Yes, the Bible got some things right, but for every moral I can agree with, I can find ten things that disgust me. It's like saying "Well, Hitler believed in good nutrition, so nevermind the whole anti-semitic racist government he set up and used to kill millions of people! He's got some good ideas about our nutrition!"

And yet people do the same with religion. At least Hitler was real.

EriK said...

"I'm talking about actual evidence, not your collection of 2000 year old myths that you call the Bible."

The problem with this is that it isn't "silly myths," that's just a hand-waving fallacy. It really doesn't matter what your preconceived opinion says, what matters is what is actually true about the Bible.

It is only an unscholarly minority who denies that Jesus ever existed--the vast majority of even secular historians acknowledge his existence as proven fact. You can take their expertise or leave it, I suppose.

Before I go on to give you just one very important link regarding the facts of the Resurrection (it's not what you're used to, I assure you), I need to address this statement you made:

"The more blind and ignorant your faith is, the more glorius your heavenly reward will be."

Hebrews 11 says that faith is the confidence of what is hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. If the Bible uses a different definition for 'faith' than you do, then it wouldn't be too terribly logical for you to use your own definition to laugh at the Bible when it says we ought to have faith, would it? That would be begging the question.

The Christian God as described in the Bible applauds those who reason and investigate the claims that are made in it, and commands believers to have a "reasoned defense" of what they believe, to give to unbelievers when they are challenged.

Faith is not by definition blind. That's why faith and blind faith mean different things--if they meant the same thing, they would be the same word. That they are different assumes that their meanings are, also.

Here's the bottom line: Biblically speaking, faith is simply believing that something is going to happen, even if you haven't experienced it yet. The Christian faith is extremely well supported and our faith is not vain but built on solid evidences that we've reasoned about, and on testimonies we've found to be trustworthy.

So, to answer your last question, God agrees with you--He doesn't want ignorant or gullible followers with blind faith. He wants everyone to be fully persuaded.

Now, as promised, the link that will (if you read the whole thing) challenge you to come up with an alternative explanation to the evidence (given in the article)---which I personally believe to be impossible. There is, to use your words, mountains of evidence against any contrary explanation to the Resurrection.

Here we go:

Bearz said...

I am not entirely sure what it is you want here, to be right on your own (digital) super-highway pulpit? Anyone can have that, by moderating the comments that come in.

The more I have read your blog entries the more I come to a singlular view, which you will probably disagree with. You write about religions in general, and Mormonism in particular, as if religious experience is always and only about a centralising self- proving authority centralising it's adherents through obedience and long church services. You write about religion as if it were nearly all delusional, e.g. the faint praise of 'Just because Jesus is a myth doesn't mean that he didn't have good teachings to live by'. I live as if Christmas time should be all the time and need knows no season, but then again I am anti-capitalist and I believe Jesus was real as part of my belief system. You write as if religion is all brain washing, and atheism never could be, because it is scientific and science is always right.

My experience of religion is that it has freed me from a lot of brainwashing about family values which were atheistic and careless. Faith and, ahem, meditation, have been tools for personal growth which worked for me, and yes I do appreciate that science is hypothesis-test-result-was hypothesis proved by the test?. My ideas about religion are about faith as de-centralisation, and I remain a man of faith, faith in human scale processes amongst other things.

The urge by humans to centralise and organise other humans predates known religions, and it is true to say that the bigger the organ- isation, the bigger the hierarchy and the greater the distance from top to bottom, and the harder that is to justify or explain, so the more brainwashing is involved. But you could ask the U.S. government and other governments about that sort of dynamic, or the candidates who are lining themselves up to be president later this year. That process is power at work and it works the same through secular processes as religious processes.

I wish you well in your individuality, and fighting centralisation where you find it, but not every religion, or christian practice, is about centralisation. There is a big wide world beyond Mormonism and America.

Mormon411 said...

I do not moderate.

Religious people moderate because they can't stand it when someone disagrees with them.

dfish said...

I'll pray for you.

Mormon411 said...

If you really want to help me, why don't you give me a million dollars? Afterall, prayer is how to do nothing and still think you're helping!

Bearz said...

If you want a million dollars then print it yourself, and spend it on yourself, you have your own version of God whom you promote here, you may as well have your own version of money too, to complete you being the measure of yuor ow3n rightness. Perhaps the money you print you can take out of your version all taint of religion and history out of money...

Mormon411 said...

Did you just say that I promote my own god here? And therefore I should print my own money too? What is that supposed to mean? Why don't you stick to defending your god rather than making comments that make no sense at all.