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for The Irrationality of Atheism

9/29/2011 c1 Misguided
There are many assumptions made in your essay, that could lead to a misperception in your message that you are attempting to bring across. In truth, your essay, as it is your opinion, is not right or wrong. But you are grouping Atheists and Christians into big groups as if they all think the same. You are entitled to your opinion, of course, and the essay was well written and however you do have a good point, the fact is that it is not well thought through and that you are not taking into consideration the thoughts and ideas of individuals. Not all Atheists solidly rely on facts that they believe to know, and though they are Atheists, that doesn't mean they do not believe in the possibility that God may exist. Christians may rely on their faith, and dismiss facts, or they may believe in the possibility that there may be no God.

But, you are referring to those who believe in solidity, having no division in ideas, and not taking into consideration any other way of how things may be. Again, this is not taking into consideration the thoughts and ideas of individuals.

All in all, you do make a great point, and the essay is well written and thorough in the message you are attempting to bring across. Many people may disagree, and many will agree. It IS your opinion.

Well done, all in all. But remember not to group people by certain aspects as categories are much too general and minds are much to complex.
9/23/2009 c1 BurnishTomatoes
Look, I think there are the idiots and misguided of both sides, and i could argue with a lot of things you said, but I only want to argue one. Not believing God exists, no faith, we're not trying not to, I honestly find nothing a god that says things like, I dunno, this

"Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." I Samuel 15:3

I just...I can't understand why anyone would follow a man like that.
3/11/2008 c1 wombleomlette
Atheism is distinguished by the lack of belief in God, not by belief in the lack of a God.

When believers make the statement that "God exists" they make a positive claim about the world which requires justification. Some will point to the beauty of nature as evidence; some will argue that God must exist by definition; some will refer to holy texts or dogma or "fine-tuning" etc. The point, however, is that the burden of proof rests squarely with the believer. If I do not agree that their evidence necessarily entails or provides adequate support for their conclusion, I am perfectly justified in rejecting the claim that "God exists" without having to make the counter-claim "God does not exist" and thereby needing to prove my own (equally improvable) case [provided, of course, I have good reasons not to accept the theistic argument].

In sum: just because we cannot conclusively prove the existence (or lack thereof) of God does not mean we are unjustified in holding any position on the subject. You can't prove that there isn't an invisible pink unicorn in your backyard either, but that doesn't mean you have to believe there is. Believers presumably believe for specific reasons and give evidence for their beliefs; atheists reject these reasons and evidence as insufficient for belief on the basis of other reasons and evidence and therefore do not believe. When I say I am an atheist, then, I definitely mean *atheist* - I do not believe in God.

I must also add that agnosticism is a claim about knowledge, not about the existential status of a particular deity. Agnostics claim *not to know*, or that we are *unable to know* the truth of a certain proposition. This can thus apply both to theists ("I don't/can't *know*, but I believe that...") and atheists ("I don't/can't *know*, but I don't believe that...") alike, and it is possible to be simultaneously atheist and agnostic; indeed, "weak" atheism is sometimes referred to as "agnostic atheism" insofar as it combines a lack of belief in god with the position that the truth of his existence or lack thereof is unknown/unknowable. Stating that I do not believe in god consequently implies nothing about whether or not I *know* (or believe it possible to *know*) that God does not exist. Certainly some atheists are confident that God does not exist - however, in the words of someone more eloquent than I: "Having doubt in all things means reserving the right to change your opinion if contradictory evidence comes to light. It most certainly does not mean you cannot have confidence in your opinion or cannot argue strongly in its favor in the absence of such evidence" (

Given the above, I must respectfully disagree with the conclusions of your essay.
1/23/2007 c1 4Himonky2012
Your last paragraph made it sound like Athiesm is the death of imagination and creativity. It sounded like Athiesm, by making a person doubt everything that's unprovable, limits the scope of a person's thoughts. Even as a non-Christian, I can agree with this in principle. You can't become overly scientific.

Therefore, you have to understand that the scientific method can't be applied to religion. Most, if not all, parts of theology are untestable. It's all based on your own personnel beliefs. Religion is in the eye of the beholder. You can believe whatever you want when it comes to religion. This includes Atheism.
1/5/2007 c1 11Areneth
It's an interesting essay. I like your thought processes, and how you explain everything well. It's very well written, and I agree with the majority of what you say. Though, I do think that this essay is based more off of what Christianity and Atheism have become, as opposed to what they are supposed to be.
1/5/2007 c1 74Itzcoatl
People often fall into the trap of beliefs in causes which they know the best and others are wrong. I'm a Deist yet I know better than to shoot down what others believe in. Thats almost like murder to the soul. Please R & R Chap 13 of the World:

How Messed Up Is It
1/4/2007 c1 28forty-two dreams
I admire your diction but not your syntax.

I believe some intellectuals divide all belief systems into four categories: Gnostic Theist, Gnostic Atheist, Agnostic Theist, and Agnostic Atheist. This division brings much clarity to the argument. Whether or not you are sure of the existence of God, you will probably choose to live your life as if he exists or as if he does not exist. Personally, I think gnostics of both sides are fools. However, it is possible for agnostic atheists to live a perfectly moral life based on rules with empirical sense behind them rather than the religious clout of long-dead over-respected moralists. Few have yet denied the existence of love, friendship, security, or altruism, and atheists can easily recognize the value of preserving these in order to create a stable society and a wealth of healthy relationships. I happen to believe the real message of books of the bible such as Leviticus was not that human beings everywhere should avoid eating shellfish, consider practicing homosexuals to be abominations, and learn the proper way to sacrifice birds, but that we should find a moral code that works in our own time and place and stick to it until circumstances change (e.g. we figure out how to sanitize shellfish so they're not poisonous anymore), altering it as necessary, but ultimately believing skeptically in its authority. And that's all the belief you'll get out of me!
1/4/2007 c1 8KeytoExistence
Like NoTrust, I would say that your points are a little misguided. You say that Christains have "faith without reason" but in fact reason was a big part of Christianity in the Middle Ages (with Aristolian philosophy and Thomas Aquinas) and in the 20th century (starting with C.S. Lewis writings such as "Mere Christianity" adn continuing today through). The study of adding reason to the Bible is called Christain Apologetics. Supposed contradictions in the Bible, for example, have been analyized are hotly debated concerning whether they are really contradictions at all. (In the case of numerical contradictions, the fault is attributed to copyist errors over time).

It seems that the non-religious time and time again make the assumption that religion has absolutely nothing backing it up when in fact a great deal of research has gone into verifying religious stories with interesting results. I know of no pastor or theologian that would argue that reason have nothing to do with religion.

Atheism too, I believe, has both faith and reason as attributes. I'm afraid that I can't write as extensively on this world view as I can on various religious ones, but just because they cannot verify that there is no God does not mean that their argument that God doesn't exist is invalidated. Humans do not use "logic" (in the sense that we prove something) in their every day decisions; instead we make deductions and inductions based on bits and pieces of evidence. I completely agree with you that Atheists cannot prove God doesn't exist, but I would hesitate to automatically called such belief "irrational."
1/4/2007 c1 15No Trust
Ironically, I think your criticisms of both Christianity and atheism are both misguided, at least if taken as cricism of their foundations... Though, I do agree that the descent into scientism and fundamentalist naturalism which is especially prevalent among biologists, is really sad and probably a result of trying to escape everything religious (including the perfectly reasonable).

As to the recommendations you have been given, Russel is somewhat worth reading but Dawkins and all his posse of clowns are really only valuable as a source of entertainment; it is no end of delight to marvel at the stupidity that trails from the pens of the world's "brights".
1/3/2007 c1 8Atlas Bergeron
Mr. Flames's points were duly noted. I changed the title and edited that embarrassing slip.

To Domoviive-I was unaware that the Greeks were so knowledgeable in the shape of the earth. I would be interested to know exactly how they calculated that using shadows.

I am hardly disparaging the Greeks, I heavily respect the Greeks (see my name?). At worst, I didn't know that they were so revolutionary in their understanding of geography.

To Hi'iaka- I have read very little of Russel. Primarily, the schooling for my use of logic comes from a logic class in college and Brand Blanshard's 'Reason and Analysis'

I do not necessarily mean that atheists instantly loose morals, I just mean that, like every other irrational belief, it can lead one into believing something which isn't true (as you most certainly know, you can prove anything as long as you have a contradiction as one of your premises.)

To coffee fiend

it is a difficult thing to debate, but it is my belief that since Atheists are almost bound to believe that they are on the side of reason, that you can debate them reasonably.

Beyond that, I realize that Nietzsche did not advocate a complete abolishment of ethics, but that does not deny the fact that people can easily become Nihlist when they believe that God is dead (although not necessarily so). The Ubermensch, btw, is when one overcomes Nihlism.

Its not overtly important to me that people agree with what I have to say.
1/3/2007 c1 carlyface
What the fuck?
1/3/2007 c1 10the coffee fiend
I rather enjoyed this. We covered this kind of topic in my "Religion Society and Power" Rels103 class last year. We were taught that there are several different ways to define a religion: a group of people that believes in a god, a group of people with a common moral ethos, or a group of people that states belief as fact.

Atheism (IMHO) largely states, as you pointed out, that there is no god...a claim they cannot prove. Likewise, neither can religion. I much prefer the term agnosticism, because at least they're honest about their position..."no knowledge of god". The irony of the whole situation is that there is little I can see to remedy the endless debate...it's purely philosophical. Just as I can sit and debate whether "if a tree falls in the woods with no one to hear it, does it make a sound?" until the end of time with someone of an opposing view, so will the religious and the non religious argue.

This essay was of higher quality than the majority of the works in here, although I would have avoided using contractions (but that's just me and my academic-essay foibles) . I also don't know if I agree with your summation of Nihilism: although (at the risk of sounding hoity-toity) the majority's understanding of Nietszche and other nihilists generally only extends to "God is dead". Nietzsche did reccomend the betterment of self through human rather than divine actions: that the onus for self improvement should be taken responsibility for by the person improving. So, it's not totally bleak, so long as you have the ubermensch in mind!

So yeah, I did really enjoy this. It's a shame you have such a tough crowd, though.

the coffee fiend
1/3/2007 c1 1Hi'iaka
You should read some Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins before you start making wild claims about irrationality and loss of morals due to atheism.

And I'm an atheist, and I damn well mean atheist.
1/3/2007 c1 Daniel Clarke
The first reviewer covered most of my points, so I won't bother going back over them.

But the Greeks did say that the world was a sphere, and they didn't just take a shot in the dark. They ran very careful experiments involving measuring shadows. If they had simply taken a shot in the dark, they would not have gotten the measurement to within a thousand miles of the actual circumference.

So don't disparage the Greeks.
1/2/2007 c1 6MrFlames
What's with the formatting of this? It looks like you tried to have a footnote but then it died or something.

Anyway, your "belief" that "no 'Atheist' actually means that they are an Atheist" is not particularly convincing, due mainly to it being wrong. One just has to read what many Atheists write to see that they genuinely don't believe in "God".

Aside from that, you present your arguments poorly due largely to your misuse of terms. You title the essay "The Dogmatism of Atheism" but in reality you hardly argue that atheists are dogmatic at all-instead, you assert they are irrational. Regardless of whether your claims are true or false, they're at least misleading, since "dogmatic" is quite different from "irrational". While an exploration of how Atheism can become "dogmatic" might be rewarding, the majority of this piece would be more accurate if titled "Atheism is Irrational" so as to reflect your thesis.

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