Atheism is a DOGMA! Get over it!

I recently had a long argument with an atheist who not only openly disagreed with all religions, but insisted that all religious people were delusional, stupid, even insane, while totally denying that he was himself promoting an unproven belief of his own.

What is atheism? There appear to be two kinds:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism

2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity

b : the doctrine that there is no deity

By the first definition, I am indeed an atheist, but I reject that term for myself because I know that people assume that atheism is about outright denial of God’s existence (the second definition) and nothing else. By contrast, I question God’s existence and do not deny it at all. My position is a neutral one regarding that specific issue.

And that is why Thomas Huxley in the 19th Century coined the term agnostic to describe himself and his beliefs, or lack thereof.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agnostic

1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
Thus by the first definition one can be an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist, though most people only know of the first kind (because that is consistent with the second definition) . What one cannot be is lumping all people who are religious into the same category of irrationality, delusion, and stupidity and then be nondogmatic at the same time. Not only are you being dogmatic, you are being a BIGOT.
: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
And any atheist who does that is no better than someone who is a religious bigot.
Atheists say that the burden of proof should be on the religious person to support the claim that God exists. But producing such proof is exactly what the religious person does when he produces the Bible, the Quran, or some other religious text that is the basis for a God-centered religion. You can say that the proof is insufficent to establish belief in God beyond a reasonable doubt, but it is still a proof. And religion by definition requires faith, not absolute proof. If belief in God could be established beyond a reasonable doubt, it wouldn’t be part of religion. Conversely, atheism also cannot be established beyond a reasonable doubt, because there is no way to disprove the existence of God. Atheism is a dogma, not an objective point of view.
When an atheist says that the Bible is no more credible than the Harry Potter books, he is not making an objective statement at all, but giving a subjective opinion. That’s exactly what a DOGMA is!
Does this mean atheism is also a religion? It depends on your definition of religion. I say no, because you don’t need faith to be an athiest or agnostic. Faith involves belief in something that cannot be directly detected. But you do have to make a choice to be an atheist, agnostic, or theist. Belief in the non-existence of God is as much a religion as not playing chess is a form of gaming. But one still makes a choice if one refuses to learn how to play chess.

Slandering skeptics in general

Take a look at this nonsense that was published on NaturalNews.com. I’m going to copy the libelous  words of the writer in red and then my direct responses in blue:

http://www.naturalnews.com/028012_skeptics_medicine.html

What ‘skeptics’ really believe about vaccines, medicine, consciousness and the universe

Sunday, January 24, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

NaturalNews) In the world of medicine, “skeptics” claim to be the sole protectors of intellectual truth. Everyone who disagrees with them is just a quack, they insist. Briefly stated, “skeptics” are in favor of vaccines, mammograms, pharmaceuticals and chemotherapy. They are opponents of nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, chiropractic care, massage therapy, energy medicine, homeopathy, prayer and therapeutic touch.
But there’s much more that you need to know about “skeptics.” As you’ll see below, they themselves admit they have no consciousness and that there is no such thing as a soul, a spirit or a higher power. There is no life after death. In fact, there’s not much life in life when you’re a skeptic. Continue reading

P Z Myers and his gang wreck a Christian poll

First, read this blog entry from Pharyngula:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/05/christianity_today_is_full_of.php

Category: Pointless polls
Posted on: May 1, 2009 10:26 AM, by PZ Myers

Can you bear yet another poll today? The initial results of this one, before all of you readers get to work and use your magic clicky fingers, is mildly interesting. The readership of Christianity Today consists primarily of scientific illiterates and wishful dreamers, split between people who seriously believe the earth is 6000 years old, those who think the Bible is a science text and are willing to stretch a metaphor, and fuzzy thinkers who want a god to have guided natural processes.

I imagine the readership here can rock their little world.

What best describes your view of the origins of creation?

Young-earth creationism 29%
Old-earth creationism 28%
Theistic evolution 26%
Naturalistic evolution 4%
I don’t know 7%
None of the above 6%

Continue reading

Battle on YouTube between two atheists

The opponents in this confrontation were gogreen18 (Laci) and The AmazingAtheist (TJ). Watch these videos and decide for yourself who was right.

These are Laci’s two YouTube channels:

http://www.youtube.com/user/gogreen18

http://www.youtube.com/lacigreen

This is TJ’s channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAmazingAtheist

In my opinion, Laci was expressing her honest revulsion at the sexist comments TJ made and it’s clear that as a young woman, she takes it very much to heart any attacks made against women which refer to their body parts. Why should anyone in a debate do that, no matter how offensive the woman’s opinions may be? I might call a woman like Ann Coulter a bitch, but I wouldn’t make specific reference to her breasts or suggest that she should only go shopping. But the fact that Laci used foul language to get her point across as much as TJ did weakens her case against him. Finally, anyone who refers to himself as an “Amazing Atheist” and is not James Randi needs to have his ego smashed. I was repulsed by this guy’s attitude as soon as I started watching his videos. An intellecual, this bozo is NOT!

Atheist Morality

This was taken from an anti-Creationist website:

http://www.creationtheory.org/Morality/AtheistMorality.xhtml

One of the most popular creationist attacks upon evolution theory (and science in general) is the moral attack. As the argument goes, science, evolution theory, and atheists are immoral, so they must all be wrong. This is a bizarre and logically indefensible argument; there are a lot of things about nature which are brutal and which may strike us as immoral, but that doesn’t change the fact that they exist!

Even if we were to accept the nonsensical argument that a scientific theory can be judged by the morality of its proponents, would the “moral argument” hold water? In order to for it to hold water, one would have to first show that atheists are immoral, and not only have creationists never produced a shred of evidence, but they’ve never even tried. As far as they’re concerned, it’s an unquestionable truth and no evidence is required.

In “1984”, George Orwell’s totalitarian state altered the language and created “NewSpeak” because its leaders understood that if you can control the language, you can control the way people think. Did Orwell invent that idea? Hardly. Any student of the English language can see that this is precisely how religionists have been subtly influencing people’s thinking for centuries. The growth of the English language has taken place under the care of evangelical Christians, and it should come as no surprise that it was deliberately designed to glorify religion and vilify rationalism. The word “materialism” refers to the idea that the material universe is all that exists (ie- the atheist viewpoint), but it is also synonymous with greed and selfishness. The word “faith” describes religion, but the word “faithful” describes trustworthiness and loyalty. In other words, the English language itself subtly reinforces the idea that religion is virtuous and atheism is immoral!

The English word “atheism” has a literal meaning, which is simply non-theism. Therefore, it is defined in most dictionaries as the absence of theism, or the refusal to believe in a God or gods. However, the Third Edition of the American Heritage Dictionary (copyright 1992,1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company) still retains an older definition which happens to be quite convenient for the fundamentalist hate-mongers:

Atheism
Noun.

  1. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
  2. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.
  3. Godlessness; immorality.

Did you notice the third definition? According to the American Heritage Dictionary as of 1996, atheism is immorality! What is it about America that breeds Christian fundamentalism? Why should it surprise no one that the “American Heritage” dictionary still shows the ancient 18th century definition of atheism as “immorality”? Whatever the reasons, America is a land of overt hostility towards atheism, and the continued use of the above definition is only a minor symptom. Perhaps the Minnesota Atheists put it best:

“Religionists regularly slander atheists as immoral and it goes far beyond a difference of opinion. Because of our supposed immorality, for which no evidence is ever given, we are barred from admission to organizations such as the Boy Scouts, the VFW and the American Legion. We are insulted publicly by clergy of all faiths, who seem to consider us unworthy to be citizens of the United States. A climate of opinion is created in which the chances of a known atheist being elected to office, no matter how ethical and well qualified, are slim to none.”

They aren’t exaggerating. In the 2000 federal election, both prospective leaders loudly and repeatedly bragged about their piety, in an obvious attempt to court the religious bigot vote. Newsweek magazine commented that it doesn’t matter which religion a candidate belongs to, as long as he is religious. The notion that “religious piety = moral fortitude” is deeply ingrained into the public consciousness, and no one ever stops to consider how hateful its consequences are: if piety is morality, then a lack of piety (ie- atheism) must be immorality! And with that, millions of Americans are instantly slandered as immoral, perverse degenerates who are unfit to hold public office. In fact, the state of Texas is one of several states which has even enshrined this bigoted policy into law: its state constitution bars anyone from public office if he does not acknowledge the “existence of a Supreme Being”.

Of course, there is no evidence whatsoever for religionists’ bizarre assumption that atheists are immoral, and while it would be considered hateful to make similar attacks upon Jews or Muslims, no one raises an eyebrow at this continued, public mistreatment of atheists. These pages were written with the goal of explaining, in some detail, the following points:

  1. Christians have been systematically rewriting history in order to pretend that Christianity versus Atheism is symbolic of Good versus Evil. We are never allowed to forget evil atheists (eg. Stalin), but evil Christians receive a distinctly different treatment. Their crimes are minimized or forgotten, and their religious affiliations are either concealed or misrepresented as atheism.
  2. You don’t need faith in God in order to be moral.
  3. Humanist morality is universal, while Biblical morality is not.
  4. Humanist sexual liberation is not the assault on family values that the fundamentalists seem to think it is.
  5. Humanists are no more likely to commit immoral acts than Christians.

Personal note by Dale Husband: My own experiences tend to support this. Athiests, as well as Christians, can be either enlightened or bigoted, and religious affiliation, or the lack thereof, seems to have nothing to do with one’s moral character.