The Irrationality of Atheism

By Garrett Berg

There has been a corruption today within the intellectual and scientific community on the topic of religion. What was once a sincere attempt to understand the universe and the unknown, has turned into a mesh of undefined words and hidden meanings; thrown together without the glue of either reason or observation—lacking both a priori as well as empirical justifications. People, in their haste to run away from irrational religions such as Christianity, have fallen into the almost deeper irrational pit of atheism. In their blind fear of the unknown, they have plunged themselves into a state of proclaiming that they know the unknown. intellectuals always want sure answers; it seems that when they cannot find the sure answer of "who is God?", they simply create their own. "There is none."

What such people don't realize is that Atheism is just as irrational as Christianity. Christians believe in faith without reason; that is, they believe that if they do find a contradiction in the bible, or in the nature of god—that it is a virtue to believe in the Bible and the God portrayed anyway—to believe against the law of contradiction, and thus to have 'stronger faith.' On the other hand, Atheists believe in reason without faith; that is, they proclaim that God doesn't exist, as if they have some evidence. As if that claim is as true that gravity doesn't exist without matter, or that energy cannot be lost, or that one cannot reach the speed of light. The fact is, Atheists cannot say with certainty that God doesn't exist, and yet they go out, waving their arms, proclaiming Christians and all religious people are morons for believing in such a thing as a God. If one is to be rational; one can't simply say something without proof.

If a scientist does not know something, and they want to know it, they formulate a theory and devise tests to prove that theory. This is how empirical evidence and knowledge about the universe and the world is obtained. But if a honorable scientist doesn't care about the information; or feels it is irrelevant, than he does not make any kind of call on its outcome. For instance, if I was unsure of whether carbon and hydrogen reacted, then I might create a carbon gas (or solid) and mix it with a hydrogen gas. If they didn't react I could say, "No, at such and such a temperature under such and such conditions of pressure, carbon and hydrogen do not react." But if I didn't care about carbon and hydrogen, but did not know whether they reacted, I wouldn't instantly jump to the conclusion that they did or didn't react, this would be foolish.

Of course there are differences between this analogy and what I am trying to say. The analogy is testable: my friend could simply go to a physics lab and try to get the two elements to react in order to prove me wrong. On the other hand, does this mean that it is wise to instantly assume something is false simply because it is currently impossible to test? Absolutely not—it may have been impossible to prove that the earth was a sphere during the time of the Greeks, but that doesn't mean that if an ingenious (or lucky) Greek one day declared, "Eureaka! The Earth is a sphere!" that he would be any less right. Whether or not a theory is testable does not tell you whether or not it is true—its truth or falsity is independent of you making any kind of theory or postulation.(1)

So, obviously it would be foolish to suppose that just because a theory is currently impossible to prove that it is false—but this is just the logical trap which Atheists are falling into. They wish to make a truth judgment on an entity which they have never seen, and to which they have devised no tests for. Many people have created theories for what God is—such theories include the thousands of religions which have existed since the beginning of mankind: from the believe that God is a dead tree or the spirit of the buffalo, or the thunder storms; to that God is a space alien who likes to have sex with drug induced young teenagers. There have been millions, if not billions or even trillions of conjectures as to what God is or isn't; as to what God wants or doesn't want. Most of these, I would have to admit, are false. It is foolish to believe that all religions are absolutely true—as if the random thoughts of confused individuals immediately point to the one true God. But it is also foolish to believe that none of them contain any truth. For example, some people may believe false things such as that the sun is smaller than the earth, sits very close to the sky, and rotates around the earth. But the untrue beliefs do not in any way cancel out the true ones—for instance, that the sun is warm, that it provides light, and that if it doesn't rise tomorrow morning, we will all die very soon.

But this is getting off the point, and the point is that our language has been corrupted by the very word 'Atheism', which denotes a belief, as in the kind of faith which Christians hold, in there being no god. There are many who will say this is not what they mean when they say that they are Atheist, but if this is not what they mean, then they should in fact call themselves Agnostic.(2)

It is my belief that no 'Atheist' actually means that they are Atheist. What they actually mean is that they are Agnostic, that they are like the mathematician who doesn't know how long it takes for the grass to grow one centimeter, or like the scientist who doesn't know the proper way to say "little rubber ball" in Arabic. Simply put, they don't really care whether there is a God or not, just as they don't care how fast the grass grows—and all they see is violence and conflict in the realm of religion. As such, they flee religion, taking up the banner of Atheist without realizing that with it, they are taking up the banner of hypocrisy. They begin to proclaim that they know about death—that it is simply a void—when they know nothing about death at all. With their blind sprint from a God, there may also be a blind sprint away from morals—the proclamation that God is dead may lead them to the Nihilist belief that ethics is meaningless.

This is the reason I write this—because I have concern for all those who have run from religion because of the contradicts they see, and then find themselves in the deep, dark cavern of Atheism. Their sprint is understandable, but that does not dispel the fact that the longer they believe themselves to be Atheist, the longer they convince themselves that the unknown is false. And this a dreadful cost to pay—the belief that what is unknown is false is the belief that there is no point in exploring the unexplored. Atheism has robbed many intellectual people of the clarity of their reason. In essence, Atheists become just as blinded by their faith as Christians do.

(1) this example does not, however, necessarily support Christianity. Take, for instance, if a different Greek were to say "Eureka! The Earth is a spherical cube!" This would obviously be incorrect, the earth being a cube rules out it being a sphere; just as it being sphere rules out it being a cube. You can't have your cake and eat it too—it is either one or the other. Thus, even though God is not currently a testable entity, that does not immediately imply that God is the Christian God—especially if there are direct contradictions within the very nature of the Christian God see my 'Logical Debasement of a Christian God'.)

(2) There are some Agnostics who start with the theory that there is no God, and try to prove this theory; but accept that they do not know for certain whether this is true or not. While it would be possible to label these people as Atheists, I choose to not do so—since they do not fall into the kind of irrationality that "belief in no god" would entail.

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Some responses

The other responses are on the reviews page.

To Itzcoatl-
shoot down? bringing up the point that their belief is irrational and pointing out that Agnosticism is more what they are looking for is not shooting down someone's belief-it is redirecting it. I can see where you come from, but the fact is that one must first prove that their belief is irrational before they can redirect it.
I am a deist as well; and I certainly have no problem with Agnostics. It is those who have a directly irrational bias against Christianity (or any religion), and yet espout reason as their guiding factor, that I am targeting here.

to forty-two-dreams
I agree on many of your points (although some would go against the thoughts that Atheism is inherently 'good'). My point about nihilism was not that all fall into its grip, but rather that it is possible that they might.

to No Trust- my criticism of Atheism was inherently one of its foundation-there is no other foundation of Atheism except that it is irrationally biased against there being a God (that I can see). My criticism of Christianity too (in the note referenced) is against its foundation-it is against the idea that Jesus even could die for our sins (although this note is not really on Christianity so much as it is on Atheism).
Basically, I don't understand what distinctions you are making when you say that they are "misguided... when against their foundations" and yet you "agree that the decent into scientism... is really sad and probably a result of trying to escape everything religious." Seems to me that you are either contradicting yourself or using terms I am not acquainted with.