Posts Tagged ‘things atheists hate’

2
Nov

Things Atheists Hate #3: Fallacious Logic

by PinPonPun in Atheism, Ponderings, Things Atheists Hate

Every once in a while I like to see a random video on Godtube; it’s like YouTube for Theists. It’s an endless source of amusement and fury, filled with fun happy videos that truly exemplify the Christian ideals of love and peace. 

For example, I found this recent piece providing irrefutable arguments against atheism:

 

  

Well, that surely convinced me to disavow myself of the “atheistic worldview” and “atheistic system” I’ve long been adhering to! Such fine, proper logic. Bulletproof arguments one might even say.

Or, maybe not.

First, he trots out the age old “First Cause” argument, though he attempts to put a clever little sophisticand semantic spin on it to avoid the typical refutation of the “then what caused God?” retort: he operates under the assumption that god is immaterial and thus not subject to the causation principles. If you prefer, he defines god as “personal” and matter (or, simply, “dirt” as he argues) as impersonal. His argument requires the assumption of dualistic worldview. 

By begging the question of god’s form he believes himself to be solidifying his argument when, in fact, he’s simply creating a logical fallacy and undermining his whole argument.

The second argument our young street minister provides is even more fallacious; first, it relies on the straw man argument that atheists state “There is no god.” While it’s certainly true that there are some atheists willing to state such an argument it is not, by definition, what atheism means. Still, it is a fairly common connotation of atheism so we’ll let is slide; besides, as we’ll see his argument doesn’t hold up anyway.

Let’s presuppose, he argues, that an individual atheist hold half of all potential knowledge; that is, half of anything knowable resides within the mind of a single person. Our friend from JTTN  argues that such an atheist simply cannot argue that there is no god as there is potential knowledge in the other half of all knowledge.

This is another common argument from theists; atheists, they believe, have the burden of proof when it comes to the non-existence of god. This, too, is illogical as seen in examples like Bertrand Russell’s teapot to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Faulty logic and arguments such as these are all too common as apologists seek to justify their belief and attempts to impose logical structure on said belief almost always fail. Rational logic and atheism often come hand in hand, so seeing such an improper application of logic is bound to evoke anger — especially when the arguments are presented again and again despite a bounty of evidence to their fallacious nature. 

 

BONUS VIDEO: A YouTube video refuting the First Cause argument:

 

This post is part of a semi-regular series of posts called Things Atheists Hate focusing on things atheists face each and every day that frustrate them, that anger them, and that cause them all sorts of annoyance.

 

 

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15
Oct

Things Atheists Hate #2: Using Religion to Justify Racism

by PinPonPun in Atheism, Church and State, Politics, Things Atheists Hate

I’m really at a loss of words, sometimes, when I read articles like this one on The New York Times website. Really, with quotes like this it’s difficult to believe that were are in the year 2008:

“He’s neither-nor,” said Ricky Thompson, a pipe fitter who works at a factory north of Mobile, while standing in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store just north of here. “He’s other. It’s in the Bible. Come as one. Don’t create other breeds.”

Or this:

“I would think of him as I would of another of mixed race,” said Glenn Reynolds, 74, a retired textile worker in Martinsdale, Va., and a former supervisor at a Goodyear plant. “God taught the children of Israel not to intermarry. You should be proud of what you are, and not intermarry.”

Or even this:

“He’s going to tear up the rose bushes and plant a watermelon patch,” said James Halsey, chuckling, while standing in the Wal-Mart parking lot with fellow workers in the environmental cleanup business. “I just don’t think we’ll ever have a black president.”

Why does it not shock me that these people were all found in a Wal-Mart parking lot? At least I know now that my fears of that mega-goliath shopping mecca are well founded.

One of the troubles I’ve had with reconciling religion, specifically Christianity, are its inherent contradictions. The Christian bible tells us that Jesus preached to “Love Thy Neighbor” — are the quotes above truly indicative of the love Jesus told his followers to exhibit?

Or have we simply regressed to earlier part of the 19th Century where prejudice was the norm and not only expected, but encouraged and fostered by our Judeo-Christian moral belief system?

This post is part of a semi-regular series of posts called Things Atheists Hate focusing on things atheists face each and every day that frustrate them, that anger them, and that cause them all sorts of annoyance.

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1
Oct

Things Atheists Hate #1: Media Coverage of Polls

by PinPonPun in Atheism, Ponderings, Things Atheists Hate

The recent US Religious Landscape Survey featured some fascinating data about the religious make-up of the American populace, but the biggest number to come out of the survey was the infamous “21% of atheists believe in God” that stirred up quite a bit of discussion on the internet and in the media. Everyone had something to say about this stat; many found humor in the fact. 

Some posited that this indicated atheism was becoming more of a cultural designation as opposed to a theological statement; others thought atheists must simply be confused about what atheism really means. But everyone mentioned that same seemingly absurd phrase — “21% of atheists believe in God.”

Most people, however, simply repeated the quote as they found it in the media; few took the time to actually examine the poll question itself being referenced. As someone who previously worked for a firm that did considerable amounts of political polling, I was curious; when forming a poll, the particular phrasing of a question can easily sway or alter the poll results and it seemed odd to me that self-identified atheists, when asked “Do you believe in god?” would answer in the affirmative.

So imagine my surprise when I found that the actual question was:

Do you believe in God or a universal spirit? [IF YES, ASK:] How certain are you about this belief? Are you absolutely certain, fairly certain, not too certain, or not at all certain?

That wording shows that the oft-quoted phrase should actually be “21% of atheists believe in God or a universal spirit” — a statement with a potentially different meaning, especially depending on one’s personal interpretation of what a “universal spirit” is. Baruch Spinoza might have argued that he believed in a “universal spirit” despite not believing in any sense of personal or self-aware god; Albert Einstein might identify himself as an atheist and yet make the same claim,

In fact, there is a whole movement of “spiritual atheists” — those that do not believe in any god or gods but do believe in the possibility of either individual spirits or a universal one.

Yet still, the 21% number is bandied about further reinforcing ill-informed public opinion on the nature of atheism and providing those that already view atheists so negatively with another piece of faulty evidence they can use to support their theistic worldview. 

Atheists hate faulty evidence.

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