What are love, art and the question of spatiotemporal limits, if not evidence of something more? Can evidence be inconclusive? “I don’t know!”
Can human being’s confidence they know the will of a creator be construed to justify any immorality? Are all claims to know the will of a creator, equally questionable?
Can empathy exist without revelation? Does ‘survival of the fittest’ negate the notion of empathy?
Can negativity be positive? Should evil be hated?
Is ‘hope’ of value when it’s false?
Had you the means to invent conscious beings, that experience, joy and pain, would you? Is G-d love?
Teaching a child to be confident regarding that about which you yourself have doubt, is negligent in the least.
A common defense of faith is, “Since nothing can be known for certain, believing a book claiming to be written by the creator of the universe, and being absent of that particular belief, are equally valid positions. Claims about the supernatural are just as credible as claims about anything else.”
If all theories were equally plausible, the universe would have no consistency and every decision would be speculation of paralyzing uncertainty. If nothing can be known for certain, there must at least be degrees of confidence we can depend on. While some things we can be pretty sure of, other things are highly doubtful. Regarding decisions of significant consequence, we should only seek the greatest degree of certainty. Faith is something we most rely on when sufficient evidence is unavailable, not something we should hold as our greatest aspiration. A distinction can be made between what you can be confident is real, and highly improbable superstitious beliefs.
The argument that there can be no distinction between what is real and what is not, can be used to defend the existence of virtually anything imaginable. If your argument can be used to support more than one from any number of opposing views, it compromises your position more than defends it.
Even though a particular thing might be true, unless you are of the utmost confidence that it is in fact true, to claim it is true, is disingenuous in the least.
Another common defense of faith is, “just as we trust medicine to work without knowing how, religious claims too must be accepted on faith”. However if you ever hear from a doctor that somethings must be accepted on faith, you’d be advised to find a new doctor.
If nothing can be known for certain, how come we don’t consider ourselves agnostic regarding the existence of Santa, the tooth fairy, gravity or the sun? How come we dare to take a position on everything except against the claims of religious texts? Agnostic is a term used by atheist looking to appease the religious and by religious to mitigate the astronomical nature of their claims.
If the prefix “a” means “not”, the word “Atheist” simply means “not Theist”. ‘Atheism’ is not to hold any particular belief, such as the belief that there is no god, but rather it is just the absence of holding a Theistic belief. Before it can be indoctrinated, every infant is an Atheist. Since neither Agnostics nor Deists are Theists, they are both forms of Atheism. Atheist does not equal Adeist.
Vocal Atheists (Anti-theists or Atheologists) are not merely those devoid of Theism, but are opposed to the notion.
If Theism is a fiction like any other, why do only Atheists exist and not A-tooth-fairy-ists or A-unicorn-ists? Because those who believe in the tooth-fairy or unicorn don’t interfere in the lives of others with the likes of marriage inequality, subjugation of women, Israel/Palestine, ISIS, climate change denial, science education, population growth, ecclesiastic sex abuse… and on.
Why are anti-war activists so mad? Why is any opposition bothered by what they oppose?
However unlike other opposition groups, atheists are often regarded negatively because what we appose is widely accepted as being the source of love, morality and all that is good.
Though there can be no evidence disproving supernatural claims, there is plenty of reason to suspect that religions are man made.
To the extent that the supernatural influences human behavior, there are essentially just two positions, those who believe they have received specific directives form God via prophets (Theists), and everyone else (Atheists).
‘Atheism’ is the absence of a theistic belief. On the other hand, the absence of a deistic belief would be ‘Adeism’. However, this term is unheard of, because unlike theism, there is no reason why anyone absent of a deistic belief would care to make a distinction between themselves and Deists. Since a Deistic god is not concerned with human affairs, the actions of a Deist aren’t influenced by their ideology.
“What about the role of Atheism in fascism?”
If you’re suggesting that Atheists are more prone to committing genocide, bless your heart.
If you’re suggesting that we must ignore any consequences of religion in hope of deterring any dictators determined to commit genocide, why would I consider it a deterrent when I myself don’t fear a god?
Or perhaps you’re suggesting we lie to ourselves about the existence of supernatural creatures merely to avoid sharing knowledge of a truth with the wrong men?
One can be driven to a particular action solely by a particular ideology, get emboldened by the ideology to pursue what they already had in mind, and/or do things entirely uninfluenced by their ideology.
The catholic church celebrated Hitler’s birthday every year until his death. In 1943 the church declared Stalin “The Divinely Anointed Ruler”. Mao ruled as himself a god. Whether religious extremists are driven by their religion or merely emboldened by it, is arguable, but if any of these tyrannical communists and socialists were in fact absent of theistic beliefs, it certainly wasn’t a position as present in their conduct, as God is in the actions of religious extremists.
“Find a society that said we adopted the teachings of Lucretius, Democritus, Galileo, Spinoza, Darwin, Russell, Jefferson, Thomas Paine and Albert Einstein, we make that, scientific and rational humanism our teachings, find me the state that did that and fell in to tyranny, slavery, famine, torture and genocide, then we’ll be on a level playing field.” -Christopher Hitchens
If you need religion in order to be a good person, you’re not a good person.
It is unfair to waste a child’s most receptive years teaching them untestable theories as truth. (In developed countries many religious elementary schools still don’t teach math and science.)
Is it possible that members of religions other than your own are just as confident that theirs is the one true religion, as you are it is yours?
No amount of historical records could convince me that nature is sometimes suspended.
Why is it that the religion most people find to be true, just so happens to be the very one they were born into?
I don’t claim there is no god. I only submit that any claim that there is a god, is no more credible than any other work of fiction.
Don’t believe everything you read, especially when the author claims to be the creator of the universe.
“Just because you’re offended, doesn’t mean you’re right.”
― Ricky Gervais
Since our species is fittest when we look out for each other, we created religion in hope to persuade the minority who by chance have mutated to lack empathy, to behave civilly anyway.
To think for instance that ‘without god we could have no morality’ or that ‘an existence with no afterlife, is one not worth living’ expressly illustrate some of humanity’s motives for creating and believing in religion.
Defense of religion’s utility, only negates its factuality.
Only when the transgression is against something imaginary, is there truly no limit to the degree of retaliation some might justify.
If a god exists but does not intervene in human life, even though there is suffering in the world it can be argued that God is not evil, because a balance exists between joy and pain. If a god exist and does at times intervene, judging by the degree of suffering that occurs, he must be a sadistic sociopath.
“I tortured and crucified my son so that I won’t have to torture you for an apple your ancestors ate, on the condition that when you read about these events thousands of year after their supposed occurrences, you don’t question them.” -God
There will forever be those who identify as the true descendants of Abraham. Our only hope of mitigating the inevitable, negative effects proven to stem from these beliefs, is for the rest of society to adamantly maintain that supernatural claims are wholly unsubstantiated fantasies.
It is not merely ‘an ism’, but ‘the ism’.