Another atheist blogging on science and free thinking.
#atheist #atheism -
One thing I’ve discovered talking to believers, is they’re often quickly discomforted by the fact I don’t take them at their word. To me, this seems to be a given. It seems to be a hard thing for them to accept.
I think I understand why. A believer is coming from a community where they do have authority. In that community, their knowledge and claims are treated with respect- because in that community, the believer has obtained a degree of authority. And it’s hard to let go of that. The result is that many Christians or Mulsims I’ve debated, just start by assuming I will concede they have a similar degree of authority.
Well, let me burst your bubble. Outside your community- in the bright light of the internet- your authority counts for squat- nada- nothing- zero. I’m not going take you at your word for anything. If you want me to treat you as an authority on these issues, you have to start from scratch. You have to establish the veracity of your claims with solid evidence. Your word is not going to suffice.
Sometimes I get this argument popping up. It’s an argument from analogy. Kind of, because we know houses were designed and built, and a house is like the universe, it must be that the universe was designed and built by a creator.
Like most arguments from analogy, it is a weak argument*. It is not an appeal to evidence. It is an appeal to all sorts of hidden assumptions and presumptions that get attached to it. It fails simply because those assumptions aren’t shared by others.
We can test the claim that houses are designed objects. This is based on the following traits:
* Indeed, if you have to make an argument based on an analogy that cannot be supported by evidence, chances are it’s fatally flawed. Please stop.
- #atheist #atheism -
there always seems to be some Christian out there who is convinced the reason I’m an atheist, is because I’ve never heard the good news about Jesus. It’s like they’re expecting me to go “Oh wow, never heard of the guy. This is interesting, tell me more”.
You have to realise that in Western countries, atheists by and large are familiar with the whole Jesus story. And telling it to me all over again is just going to make my eyes glaze over. Nobody is an atheist because they’re not familiar with the purported life of Jesus. We’ve all heard it before.
As atheists, we’re going to have a whole bunch of objections to why your claim that Jesus is the son of god doesn’t stack up. Turning up in preaching-mode and ignoring these objections is an utter waste of time. I don’t care what you believe. And the whole Jesus spiel fails for three basic reasons:
No amount of repetition of the line that Jesus loves me and died for my sins, is going to make one iota of sense. It will have absolutely no impact. The evidence seems to point to Jesus simply being a failed Jewish insurrectionist in a time of religious and civil strife in Judea. If you want me to believe otherwise, then, fine, deal with the objections to your claim.
- #atheist #atheism -
After a spate of such attempts, it seems prudent to make some responses. It is largely a waste of time.
- #atheist #atheism -
Every so often, you run into Christians or Muslims who get a bit whiny. They complain that I’ll take the claims of scientists seriously, but not them (& the apologists they use). This leads to the complaint I’m not being fair. I’m prepared to accept some claims on faith but not theirs.
Well, that kind of misses the point. There’s an important thing about the scinetific method.
That’s the difference guys. Scientists don’t tell me I have to believe them and they do provide evidence when asked. Religious people constantly tell me I just have to believe them, and won’t supply evidence if asked.
Every so often, you run into a religious person who employs this line on you. They claim they were an atheist but then, they saw the light (or whatever). There’s a moment of awkwardness that follows this clumsy attempt to build a rapport.
Here’s why it doesn’t work.
These conversion stories are pretty basic fare for Christians. And I appreciate that from such a perspective, anyone who hasn’t adopted a formal religious stance is clumped into the big atheist set. It must sound kind of exciting, hearing these tales of conversion of atheists. But it doesn’t work like this. Real atheists don’t get converted to Christianity by listening to your faith and convictions.
If you want to convert atheist, then the only thing that will work is valid evidence that your beliefs can be substantiated. We’ve all heard the Jesus speech before. We’ve all been witnessed to, we’ve all been prayed for. You need to stump with evidence.