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A point-by-point discussion/refutation of Conservapedia's (ever changing, thanks to Ken DeMyer) article on Atheism.

Table of Contents
--    Introduction
Types of Atheism:   Atheism and Which God or gods? - Atheism and Why do Atheists State They Disbelieve? - Manifestations of Atheism
--  Attempts to Dilute the Definition of Atheism - Biblical Statements Regarding Atheism - Tenuousness of Atheism in Prominent Atheists - Claims of the Conditionality and Nonconditionality of Atheism - Atheism and Communism
Criticism of Atheism:   Arguments Against Atheism and For Theism - Christian Apologetics Specifically Addressing the Issue of Atheism - Atheism and Mass Murder - Atheists in America and Charity - Atheism and Immoral Views - Atheism and Miracles - Atheism and Questions of Origins
Atheism and Health:   Atheism and Suicide - Sigmund Freud's View of Religion
-- Atheism and Deception - Modern Proponents of Atheism and Deception - Evolutionary Position Gradually Losing Public Support - Decline of Atheism as an Intellectual Position - Anti-Atheism Blogs - Reasonable Explanations for Atheism - Atheism and the Existence of Evil - Atheism and the Foundation of Modern Science
Atheism and Debate:Doug Jesseph - Gordon Stein - Greg Bahnsen and Michael Martin - Creation Scientists tend to win creation-evolution debates
-- Notable Incidences of Atheists Converting to Theism - Atheism and its Decline as a Theoretical Position - Views on Atheists - Brights Movement - New Atheism - Impact of the New Atheism - Atheism and the Bible - Internet Infidels and other Atheist Websites - Targeting of Young People by Atheists on the Internet - Atheism in Academia - Denials That Atheists Exist - Atheist population as a percentage of various countries' populations - Other Well Known Proponents of Atheism - Atheism Quotes

Conservapedia's Atheism text, verbatim and complete RationalWiki's responses

[edit] Introduction

Atheism, as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, is the denial of the existence of God.[2][3] The atheistic worldview has a variety of effects on individuals and society at large which will be elaborated on shortly. In regards to individuals adopting an atheistic worldview, atheism has a number of causal factors that influence its origination in individuals which will be addressed. In addition, critiques of atheism will be offered and some of the historical events relating to atheism will also be covered.

By framing atheism as "the denial of the existence of God," CP's definition posits the existence of God as being an established fact, putting the onus of proof on the atheist who is denying that which does exist. This of course, conveniently bypasses the need to objectively prove that God exists, something which, to date, no theist has managed to conclusively do.

Another criticism of this narrow definition is that it specifically focuses on the Judaeo-Christian god and not on the existence of other gods. This reflects the Christian influence in defining the term atheism. A more accurate definition of atheism would be, 'the belief that a god or gods do not exist'. (Source: The Encyclopedia of Philosophy and The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

It probably is also notable that the phrases "which will be elaborated on shortly" and "which will be addressed" are not very encyclopedic terms for "the trustworthy encyclopedia" and are quite typical of the longer CP articles where a decent, balanced introduction seems to be too much to ask for.

[edit] Types of Atheism

There are different types of atheism, based on different answers to the following questions:

  • What God or gods does the atheist deny?
  • Why does the atheist deny?
  • How does the atheist's denial manifest itself?
  • Depends on the atheist. There is no official doctrine of atheism which outlines what an atheist must believe.
  • There may be as many reasons for this as there are atheists, but for most atheists, it probably comes down to the lack of convincing evidence.
  • Varies wildly, from indifference to hostility to condescending pity.

[edit] Atheism and Which God or gods?

Since atheism is denial of the existence of God or gods, it is important first to identify in which God and/or gods the atheist denies. In ancient times, for example, Christians were accused of being atheists because of their denial of the pagan gods, even though they believed in the Christian God.[4] Socrates was also accused of atheism, although references to God run throughout his recorded statements. [5] Also, Albert Einstein and Baruch Spinoza professed belief in "God," but they defined "God" as the cosmos as a whole, and without personality.

Not much to say here that isn't already addressed above, except the passage seems to be very unsure as to whether Einstein and Spinoza were atheists or not, but lumps them in the same category as people who were 'accused' of atheism, even though, according to the article, those people clearly believed in a god.

[edit] Atheism and Why do Atheists State They Disbelieve?

Atheists claim there are two main reasons for their denial of the existence of God and/or disbelief in God: the conviction that there is positive evidence or argument that God does not exist (Strong atheism which is also sometimes called positive atheism), and their claim that theists bear the burden of proof to show that God exists, that they have failed to do so, and that belief is therefore unwarranted (Weak atheism).

See below, under 'Attempts to Dilute the Definition of Atheism'.

[edit] Manifestations of Atheism

There are three ways that atheism manifests itself:

  • Militant atheism which continues to suppress and oppress religious believers today especially in Communist countries.
  • Theoretical atheism: atheism of the mind -- that is, believing that God does not exist.
  • Practical atheism: atheism of the life - that is, living as though God does not exist. [6]
  • Militant atheism: The charge that "militant atheists" are responsible for suppressing and oppressing religious believers is not backed up by any evidence. It would appear that the article is trying to link garden-variety atheists with the most murderous ideologies of the twentieth century, such as Maoism and Stalinism, which is intellectually dishonest in the extreme for two reasons: First, just because some remarkably bad people were atheists doesn't mean atheism or atheists writ large share their moral flaws. This would be akin to arguing that the Pogroms are representative of Christianity or that Osama bin Laden is representative of Islam. Second, this argument, such as it is, tries to reduce communism--a complex set of political/economic/historical and ideological beliefs--to atheism, which is a small part of what communism is about, and discounts Liberation Theology and other ways in which communism and religion have historically co-existed. Perhaps most importantly, this analysis overlooks the far more common historical phenomenon of murderous religious suppression and oppression by theists - as practiced by Christians against Jews and witches, and Muslims against Christians, Hindus and Jews, etc, etc...
  • Theoretical atheism: Here, the article appears to be advancing the startling revelation that atheists do not believe that God exists.
  • Practical atheism: Here, the article appears, again, to be advancing the startling revelation that those who do not believe that God exists do not pay any attention to what He supposedly said. This statement is also used as a springboard towards identifying atheists with "immoral" actions, as Conservapedia wishes you to believe that by living with regard to God's non-existence one is living immorally.

[edit] Attempts to Dilute the Definition of Atheism

Although atheist Charles Bradlaugh in 1876 proposed the idea that atheism does not assert there is no God (by doing so he attempted to dilute the definition of atheism), since 1979 many proponents of atheism have been frequently attempting to dilute the definition of atheism to mean a mere lack of belief there is a God or gods.[7][8] One of the reasons why many proponents of atheism have been attempting to dilute the definition of the term atheism with greater frequency is to shift the burden of proof regarding the existence of God. [7]

In the article, Is Atheism Presumptuous?, atheist Jeffery Jay Lowder, a founder of Internet Infidels which is one of the principle websites for atheists, agnostics and skeptics on the internet, states that "I agree (with Copan) that anyone who claims, "God does not exist," must shoulder a burden of proof just as much as anyone who claims, "God exists." [7] In short, the attempt to redefine atheism is merely an attempt to make no assertions so no facts need be offered. [7] The attempt to redefine atheism, however, is not in accordance with the standard definitions of atheism that encyclopedias of philosophy employ which is that atheism is a denial of the existence of God or gods. [2][3][7]

  • Note that this appears to contradict the passage that defines the difference between 'strong atheism' and 'weak atheism' (Atheism and Why do Atheists State They Disbelieve?). That makes it clear that 'weak atheism' claims that there is no evidence of the existence of God, so belief in God is unwarranted, yet that passage still accepts this as a form of atheism. This passage dismisses that as not really atheism (and, incidentally, fails to say what this state of affairs actually is - it simply says that those who do not positively deny the existence of any divine being are not true atheists). This passage also fails to make a coherent argument as to why, exactly, atheists should bear the burden of proving the non-existence of God, but seems to take it as given that a simple lack of evidence for Him existing is not enough to fail to believe in Him. In addition, in the quote attributed to Jeffery Jay Lowder, it fails to spot that he appears to be referring to people who make a positive assertion that God definitely does not exist, rather than people who say that God probably does not exist, as there is zero evidence of Him.
  • This is really quite an extraordinary straw man argument. Let's restate it with a different subject:
Vegetarianism is bad, because you don't get enough B12. Many modern vegetarians define "vegetarianism" as meaning "you can eat eggs, too", but they only do this in order to get B12.
And then the article goes on to explain how and why vegetarians don't get enough B12.
So the question becomes: are you attempting to address the nutritional value of a vegetarian diet as it is actually practiced; or as you think, in theory, it should be? If the former, then it doesn't matter why egg-eating people insist on describing themselves as 'vegetarian'. If the latter, then this argument has nothing to do with the real world of real vegetarians.
Of course, what is really going on is two things:
  1. Simple sour grapes that atheists won't play by their rules and use (what they think to be) an easy-to-knock-down position.
  2. A belief that Atheism (capital 'A') is a spiritual force in its own right, a miasma that affects people, and that the affected people don't really understand its nature.

[edit] Biblical Statements Regarding Atheism

The psalmist David wrote: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'"The writers of the Bible considered the existence of God to be self-evident and Moses simply wrote: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1). [9]

Accordingly, the psalmist David wrote the following:

"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." - Psalms 14:1 (KJV)

The psalmist David also stated that "The heavens declare the glory of God..." - Psalms 19:1

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans that the creation testifies the existence of God, when he wrote the following:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse..." - Romans 1:19-20 (NKJV)

Using the Bible to criticize atheism is an example of the fallacy of appeal to authority. What is particularly striking is that the authority being appealed to is a book that is by definition irrelevant to atheists. Essentially, the argument here is: "Here's what a god that cannot in fact exist has to say about your positing its non-existence." This means that this is about as relevant as the various passages about infidels and unbelievers in the Qu'ran would be to an article on Christianity - interesting, perhaps, but completely irrelevant as to whether or not Christianity is a valid belief system.

When used in particular as an argument against atheism, it is an obvious example of "begging the question" (circular reasoning), and not just once, but at a number of different levels:

  1. God exists.
  2. Yahweh (the Bible God) is this God.
  3. God inspired the Bible such that it is infallible.
  4. The Bible says atheists are fools.
  5. Therefore, atheists are fools.

Thus, to use a remark from the Bible as somehow justifying the "argument" that "atheists are fools" is merely based on assuming the truth of the points in question - which is what "begging the question" is. (This particular criticism against atheism is also ironic in the sense that using fallacious argumentation as justification for a belief is itself foolish.)

"The fool saith in his heart, "There is no God"; The wise man says it to the world."

(Note that when this verse is used to express sentiment against atheists in the context of discussing other subjects, such as creationism, rather than functioning as a begging the question fallacy, it is functioning instead as two different kinds of the general fallacy of relevance, also more popularly known as red herring,: ad hominem and an appeal to the emotions. The appeal to the emotions is in the negative sense of appealing to anti-atheist prejudice, which is fairly prevalent among religious adherents, especially in the United States.)

And for what it's worth, David's authorship of Psalms is a position well out of mainstream biblical criticism.[1][2]

[edit] Tenuousness of Atheism in Prominent Atheists

The atheism of notable people who claimed to be atheists has had the characteristic of tenuousness in regards to maintaining thoughts in accordance with atheism. For example, Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the leading proponents of atheism of the 20th Century. Yet Jean-Paul Sartre made this candid confession:

“ As for me, I don’t see myself as so much dust that has appeared in the world but as a being that was expected, prefigured, called forth. In short, as a being that could, it seems, come only from a creator; and this idea of a creating hand that created me refers me back to God. Naturally this is not a clear, exact idea that I set in motion every time I think of myself. It contradicts many of my other ideas; but it is there, floating vaguely. And when I think of myself I often think rather in this way, for want of being able to think otherwise.[10] ”

Charles Darwin wrote in his private notebooks that he was a materialist which is a type of atheist.[11][12] The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states the following:

“ In 1885, the Duke of Argyll recounted a conversation he had had with Charles Darwin the year before Darwin's death: In the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilization of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms, and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in nature — I said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of Mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin's answer. He looked at me very hard and said, “Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times,” and he shook his head vaguely, adding, “it seems to go away. ”(Argyll 1885, 244) [13]

First of all, suggesting that notable atheists were insincere or plagued with doubt is quite an odd way of criticising atheism itself, but not exactly surprising, given that throughout the article the author heavily implies that atheism is a childish attack on faith instead of a valid viewpoint. Whatever the purpose of this section, the momentary doubts of well-known atheists in history are completely irrelevant to the arguments behind atheism itself, and if the author's aim was to suggest that atheists do not believe their own opinions, perhaps he should have provided more than two examples.

Secondly, the idea that many prominent people have trouble becoming strong atheists, but have no problem accepting God is absurd. God is not a doctrine which one believes blindly, and if one sees the problem in blindly believing this, but has some tenuousness in fully renouncing faith, one is still not accepting it. This attempts to say that "since you're not against us you're with us," and is one of the many conservative methods of promoting a black-and-white dichotomy. This may play into their section below, "Denials that Atheists Exist."

A further example of incorrect black-and-white description is this quote from Darwin, that he was a materialist. This can be refuted in one, simple, concise phrase: materialism does not equal atheism.

[edit] Claims of the Conditionality and Nonconditionality of Atheism

Henry More wrote the following: "In agony or danger, no nature is atheist. The mind that knows not what to fly to, flies to God." Reverend William T. Cummings is famous for stating that "There are no atheists in foxholes". Chaplain F.W. Lawson of the 302d Machine Gun Battalion, who was wounded twice in wartime, stated "I doubt if there is such a thing as an atheist. At least there isn't in a front line trench." On he other hand, the news organization MSNBC featured a story in which atheist veterans claimed that there are atheists in foxholes.[3]

There is, in fact, a monument to and organisation of Atheists and Freethinkers in foxholes, and many atheists have cited, amongst other things, the horrors of war as having driven their realisation that a moral God could not exist.

Also, how can you quote an atheist veteran saying there are atheists in foxholes in the same paragraph as someone saying there aren't and still support the latter?

[edit] Atheism and Communism

Karl Marx said "Religion is the opium of the people" [4] and "Communism begins from the outset (Owen) with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction." [5]

Vladimir Lenin similarly wrote: "A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could."[6] The theory of evolution played a prominent role in regards to atheistic communism. [7] [8] Communists, in particular Stalinists, favored a version of Lamarckism called Lysenkoism developed by Trofim Denisovich Lysenko. [9]. Lysenko was made member of the Supreme Soviet and head of the Institute of Genetics of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. [10] Later Lysenko became President of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences. [10] Many geneticists were imprisoned and executed for their bourgeois science, and agricultural policies based on Lysenkoism that were adopted under Stalin and Mao caused famines and the death of millions.[9]. The atheism in communist regimes has been and continues to be militant atheism and various acts of repression including the razing of thousands of religious buildings and the killing, imprisoning, and oppression of religious leaders and believers. [11][12][13][14][15][16][17]

In regards to atheism, North Korea is a repressive communist state and is officially atheistic. [18] The North Korean government practices brutal repression and atrocities against North Korean Christians. [13][14]

China is a communist country that is also officially atheistic. [19] In 1999, the publication Christian Century reported that "China has persecuted religious believers by means of "harassment, prolonged detention, and incarceration in prison or `reform-through-labor' camps and police closure of places of worship." [15] In 2003, owners of Bibles in China were sent to prison camps and 125 Chinese churches were closed.[16] China continues to practice religious oppression today. [17]

Marx may not have been as negative about religion as this quote mine might suggest. A somewhat longer quote reads: "Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."[20] Furthermore some sources translate the final sentence as "an opium for the people", in the sense of an opiate painkiller such as morphine, rather than an addictive narcotic. [21] Marxism must be viewed as a critique of Capitalist society and not as an affirmation of God's non-existence, indeed there is a difference between 'religion' and 'God'.

Indeed, Marx was heavily influenced by Feuerbach's work on religion, which saw religion as an expression of the believers desires. Within this context, religion for the proleteriat was a means to cope with their oppression. This is comparable to Nietzsche's criticisms of religion as "slave moralities". Marx merely claimed that religion allowed the people to accept their condition rather than rise against it, and thus acted to sedate the masses. Hence it needed to be dismantled for a proletarian revolution to occur.

Many theorists regard Communism as a memeplex sharing many features with religion, including prophecy, belief in something greater than oneself, a promised land, individuals to whom the truth has been revealed, heretics, groups of true believers setting fire to other groups of different true believers, adherence to crackpot theories like Lysenkoism rather than real, objective, testable science, and a complete inability to connect to the real world.

[edit] Criticism of Atheism

[edit] Arguments Against Atheism and For Theism

In regards to theism vs. atheism, theists often criticize atheism as being contrary to persuasive argument and have a number of arguments against atheism. Arguments for the existence of God include:

  • Teleological argument: The universe exhibits overwhelming evidence of deliberate, intelligent, purposeful design, which implies an intelligent designer
  • Cosmological argument: Every event in our universe necessarily has a cause. However, it is impossible that there should be an unending chain of causes going back. Therefore, there necessarily must be a cause distinct from the universe as we know it which is capable of causing all things and is itself uncaused. Atheism denies that that First Cause is God.
  • Ontological argument: Since existence is inherent to the definition of God, it is impossible to conceive of God without conceiving of Him as existing;
  • Historical arguments for the existence of God. For example, arguments stemming from historical accounts such as Christian historical apologetics and archaeological evidence such as Bible archaeology;
  • Experiential arguments for the existence of God: Arguments based on personal experience and human intuition. According to philosopher Alvin Plantinga belief in the existence of God exists is a "properly basic" belief and not based on inference from other beliefs but is rationally justified due to one's circumstances of immediate experience of God.[22]
  • Presuppositional Apologetics
  • Teleological argument: Scientific principles such as Evolution and the various iterations of physics demonstrate how the appearance of design can occur without a designer; for a simple demonstration of this, pour sand out of a bucket onto the same spot; if the bucket is held steady, the sand is poured onto a flat surface, and no other factors disrupt the process, a near-perfect cone will form. Who designed that cone? No one. It came into existence through the operation of the laws of physics.
  • Cosmological argument: Arguing that God caused the universe begs the question: What caused God? And if God can occur uncaused, why not the universe, a much simpler system? This of course assumes everything needs a cause, which is actually false (see quantum mechanics).
  • Ontological argument: The ontological argument was defined by Bertrand Russell as mostly stemming from bad grammar. This one is fallacious due to the lack of rigorous definitions for terms used as well as the assumptions it requires, most notably, the assumption that real things are "greater" than things that aren't real. It further assumes a platonic ideal of "greatness" in beings against which every being everywhere at every point in time can be measured and ranked (and of course defines God to be at the top of it).
  • Historical arguments for the existence of God. For example, the fallible word of mentally unstable individuals living in a far more credulous time, who advocate and practiced fasting (already known and easily demonstrated to impair one's rational faculties)? Biblical accounts are, at best, circular reasoning and possibly the most blatant form of it.
  • Experiential arguments for the existence of God: Mystical experiences can be triggered by influences such as LSD, strong magnetic fields, alcohol, starvation (see above about fasting), and societal pressures, and the kind of God one believes in can be traced to genetic and epigenetic factors.
  • Presuppositional Apologetics: God exists because people who assume God exists assume he exists.

[edit] Christian Apologetics Specifically Addressing the Issue of Atheism

In respect to atheism and Christianity, while there have been numerous notable books by Christian apologists addressing the various issues in regards to atheism and Christianity (Creation Science, Bible Archaeology, etc.) there also number of books that have addressed the general issue of atheism in relation to Christianity. A notable book of this type is Dr. Norm Geisler's and Frank Turek's book entitled I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.[23][24] In addition, two notable works were produced by Ravi Zacharias entitled A Shattered Visage: The Real Face of Atheism and Can Man Live Without God?[25] Also, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart coauthored a work entitled Understanding Secular Religions .[26] Lastly, Alister McGrath wrote a book entitled The Twilight of Atheism.[27]

Of course they have. They are Christian apologists, their job is to write books defending Christianity or they wouldn't have any money.

This is the most pathetic sort of argument from authority, on par with William Lane Craig: other people have devised argument X which I allege refutes this point, so you should accept the truth of argument X without hearing any shred of its content, simply because I can drop names.

[edit] Atheism and Mass Murder

In respect to atheism and mass murder, Christian apologist Gregory Koukl wrote that "the assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world. There are people who make accusations and assertions that are empirically false. This is one of them."[28] Koukl details the number of people killed in various events involving theism and compares them to the much higher tens of millions of people killed under regimes which advocated atheism.[28]

Koukl summarized by stating:

It is true that it's possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the detail it produces evil because the individual people are actually living in a rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it can produce it, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We're talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God.[28]

Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was asked to account for the great tragedies that occurred under the brutal communist regime he and fellow citizens suffered under.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn stated the following in relation to atheism:

Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened. Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened." [8]

This section says that arguments linking religion to horrific crimes committed in the name of religion are spurious, but arguments linking atheism to horrible crimes committed in the name of a philosophy that calls itself atheist (see "Atheism and Communism", above) are completely valid.

Notably, communist Russia's high death count is largely due to the purges, civil war and the subsequent famine. In these cases, the authorities justified their actions by appeal to the cult of personality surrounding Stalin. This is particularly ironic in that Stalin acted and demanded loyalty in the same fashion that YHWH does in the old testament. Whilst Marx was philosophically atheistic, Russian communism was not; it produced its own capricious rulers, and idolised them for their occasional success.

Finally, atheism and irreligion are not the same thing. Buddhists are generally atheists, though there's some mild scholarly debate as to whether Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy. Raëlians are atheists, since they don't impute divinity to the aliens they worship. Communism, as previously noted in this very article, bears a litany of striking similarities to theistic religions, and communist states, in their overwhelmingly obvious hostility to seeing themselves blasphemed, are anything but irreligious. The writers of this article are either unable or unwilling to recognize distinctions like these (a soft form, perhaps, of Jonanism).

[edit] Atheists in America and Charity

In regards to atheism and uncharitableness, charitable giving by atheists and agnostics in America is significantly less than by theists, according to a study by the Barna Group:

The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.[29]

Atheists and agnostics in America generally give significantly less to charity than theists

Arthur C. Brooks wrote in Policy Review regarding data collected in the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey (SCCBS) (data collected by in 2000 by researchers at universities throughout the United States and the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research):

The differences in charity between secular and religious people are dramatic. Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money (91 percent to 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer time (67 percent to 44 percent). And, consistent with the findings of other writers, these data show that practicing a religion is more important than the actual religion itself in predicting charitable behavior. For example, among those who attend worship services regularly, 92 percent of Protestants give charitably, compared with 91 percent of Catholics, 91 percent of Jews, and 89 percent from other religions.[30]

ABC News reported the following in respect to atheism:

...the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable is their religious participation.

Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money: four times as much. And Arthur Brooks told me that giving goes beyond their own religious organization:

"Actually, the truth is that they're giving to more than their churches," he says. "The religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly non-religious charities."[31]

It should be pointed out that this is not denied by atheists. Michael Shermer points out in 'The mind of the market' that "religious people are 4 times more generous than secularists to all charities, 10 percent more munificent to non-religious charities, and 57 percent more likely than a secularist to help a homeless person". It's no secret that leaving organized religion will many times lead to severing of social ties which could definitely lead to decreased charitable giving; so there is a plausible causal connection to explain the statistics.

What Conservapedia fails to grasp is that this is actually an argument against Theism. Increased giving to Charity is one of the more conspicuous examples of improved in-group cooperation; one of the more popular explanations for how religion evolved. The problem is that the same biological instincts that make you feel good when giving to the donation plate will also cause you to be hostile against those who don't belong to your circle of trust. As an extreme example; the same thing that will make a Muslim help another Muslim, is also capable of making him blow up a building filled with Christians or atheists.

Some criticisms could be made of the statistics and the specific methodological problems but regardless this is still an ad hominem argument. Even if atheism turned everyone into a selfish jerk, it would have no relevance on the truth value of atheism. The truth is not decided by which group gives away the most cash.

It's also worth pointing out that many religions have positions that are downright incompatible with charity. For example, secular charities can spend millions on distributing condoms to Africa to slow down the spread of AIDS. But if Catholic priests continue telling their congregations that condoms do not prevent AIDS, the efforts of these charities become futile. What is charitable to some people may not be charitable to others and this could be a partial factor explaining the quoted statistics.

There is also a big difference in the attitude towards charity between many Theists and Atheists: while the act of giving hard currency is considered by many Theists as a means to a better afterlife, the act of helping others, not necessarily with money, is a means for Atheists to fulfill their innate sense of altruism. The practical difference is that a part of the "charity" money goes to televangelists and other false charity work, while a part of the altruistic help given by Atheists is through direct participation in noble causes (like teaching at a University instead of getting a high paying job). The dollar-for-dollar comparison does not give a complete perspective on the intention of helping others.

Also the intention behind the charity of Theists might be different than the intention of Atheists: While Atheists really give their money away without getting anything back, Theists that go to the church/mosque every Sunday are told that they will go to Hell and experience eternal pain if they don't give to charity. So, while Theists assert that they are altruistic in their nature and blame Atheist to be egocentric, one might say that it is the other way around.

[edit] Atheism and Immoral Views

In regards to atheism and morality, the Barna Group also found that those who hold to the worldviews of atheism or agnosticism in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obscene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; and engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality. [32]

Dr. William Lane Craig states the following regarding the comments of debater Dr. Kai Nielson who advocates atheism:

He doesn’t really defend his point there, but he says, "I have a reason why we should be moral." He says, "It’s in our self-interest to be moral." I was really surprised to hear that coming from him. That sort of purely self-interested motivation for morality is, I think, fatal to the atheistic position because for someone who is sufficiently powerful not to be worried about what others do, self-interest can only lead to a sort of self-aggrandizing hedonism. It leads to the kind of life of a Marcos, a Papa Doc Duvalier, a Mbbutu, and so forth. Self-interest will never be able to justify an ethic of compassion. And so I think that was a fatal admission on Dr. Nielsen’s part for the atheistic worldview.[33]

Dr. Phil Fernandes states the following regarding atheism and moral relativism:

Nietzsche preached that a group of "supermen" must arise with the courage to create their own values through their "will to power." Nietzsche rejected the "soft" values of Christianity (brotherly love, turning the other cheek, charity, compassion, etc.); he felt they hindered man's creativity and potential....

Many other atheists agree with Nietzsche concerning moral relativism. British philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) once wrote, "Outside human desires there is no moral standard." A. J. Ayer believed that moral commands did not result from any objective standard above man. Instead, Ayer stated that moral commands merely express one's subjective feelings. When one says that murder is wrong, one is merely saying that he or she feels that murder is wrong. Jean-Paul Sartre, a existentialist, believed that there is no objective meaning to life. Therefore, according to Sartre, man must create his own values.

There are many different ways that moral relativists attempt to determine what action should be taken. Hedonism is probably the most extreme. It declares that whatever brings the most pleasure is right. In other words, if it feels good, do it. If this position is true, then there is no basis from which to judge the actions of Adolph Hitler as being evil.[34]

The alleged immorality of many of the activities listed is debatable - Illegal drug use is illegal by definition, but that doesn't make it immoral, The same with excessive drinking - alcoholism is considered a type of behavioral disorder and addiction by the medical community and most certainly not caused by religious beliefs or lack of them (except possibly in the case of communion wine?). Sexual relationships outside of marriage are not necessarily immoral. Abortion is morally difficult for some, but not for all. Cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage is not immoral to many if not most people in this day and age. Obscene language, well, shucks, darn gee willikers, it could be in poor taste sometimes, but that does not make it immoral. Gambling: like at church bingo? Pornography and obscene sexual behavior are left open and undefined, and what counts as sexual immorality for one may be a harmless kink for another as long as it involves consenting adults. Engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality - nothing immoral about that.

It should also be noted that the only reference used that actually gives solid facts and figures, instead of simply being quote or two (this one), actually seems to indicate that, as well as there being a variation in what is and is not considered immoral according to whether people are atheists or not, there is also a variation depending on what faith they follow, including variations according to what type of Christian they are. In addition, some of the things Conservapedia have listed as being 'immoral' are, in fact, considered 'morally acceptable' by a great many Christians, according to this source (for example, 50% of Protestants and 66% of Catholics deemed co-habitation morally acceptable and 52% of Protestants and 70% of Catholics deemed gambling morally acceptable). Not only does this further indicate that the idea that many of these things are immoral is debatable, it destroys what seems to be the whole thrust of this section - that atheists are what Conservapedia considers immoral and religious folk are not.

There is also growing evidence that some animals (other than humans) also exhibit moral behavior. For example, female lions in Africa show altruistic behavior towards each others' cubs, improving the chances of survival of the group. The image of animals (other than humans) doing whatever they like if they have the power is just not backed up by biologists' experiences. Some knowledge of right and wrong and an effort to abide by the notion of right is evident in the behavior of every dog that has been trained. A fundamental notion of morality in many Theists' view is that it is the logical result of having a human soul, but the study of other animals refutes this.

Also, this argument is begging the question: essentially, it is arguing that a system of thought that denies conventional morality is therefore immoral, without proving the system of thought wrong (and if it isn't proven wrong, then there is no evidence of the conventional morality).

[edit] Atheism and Miracles

See main article: Atheism and Miracles

In relation to atheism and miracles, modern scholars are divided on the issue of whether or not David Hume was an atheist.[35] With that caveat in mind, Hume is well known for arguing that it is always more probable that the testimony of a miracle is false than that the miracle occurred.[36] Christian apologists William Lane Craig, Norman Geisler, C.S. Lewis, JP Holding, and others have shown the inadequacy and unreasonableness of Hume's position regarding miracles.[36][37][38][39][40][41][42]

Atheists don't believe in miracles (at least, not as anything more than a metaphor for a greatly fortuitous coincidence). The point of this particular section is lost on me, personally. The assertion that disbelief in miracles is absurd because a sophomoric apologist like C. S. Lewis says so is more absurd than the assertion it is trying to refute. The atheist world view, unlike the fundamentalist Christian world view, is built on facts. Science does not accept eyewitness accounts, for good reasons, and miracles are never more than eyewitness accounts.

This section also makes the mistake of concentrating entirely on the views of David Hume, despite the fact it even admits that it is debatable whether Hume was even an atheist. In addition, one of the sources used in this section (this one) actually quotes from John Earman, a professor of history and philosophy in science, who finds that Hume's argument is flawed, yet appears to be, at the very least, an agnostic, if not an atheist, going purely by that source, and doesn't appear to have instantaneously converted to a religion upon finding Hume's argument is flawed. As this section is supposed to be about 'atheism and miracles', not 'David Hume and miracles', this means it seems to utterly fail to actually address the issue it's titled after.

[edit] Atheism and Questions of Origins

See Also: Atheism and Evolution

Creationist scientists state that the first law of thermodynamics and the second law of thermodynamics argue against an eternal universe or a universe created by natural processes and argue for a universe created by God.[43][44][45] A majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism since World War II have had the worldview of atheism.[46][47] Creationist scientists assert that the theory of evolution is an inadequate explanation for the variety of life forms on earth.[48] In addition, the current naturalistic explanations for the origin of life are inadequate.

The assertions that the laws of thermodynamics prevent an evolving universe is patently absurd; growth and development from an embryo to a fully-grown human being comes up against the same difficulties as apply to the increasing complexity of the universe, and no creationist would deny that they have grown since they were in the womb. Several defenders of evolution, such as Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller, are devout Christians, who obviously don't count because they're not the right type.

[edit] Atheism and Mental and Physical Health

See main article: Atheism and Mental and Physical Health

The is considerable amount of scientific evidence that suggest that theism is more conducive to mental and physical health than atheism.[49][50] The prestigious Mayo Clinic reported the following on December 11, 2001:

In an article also published in this issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic researchers reviewed published studies, meta-analyses, systematic reviews and subject reviews that examined the association between religious involvement and spirituality and physical health, mental health, health-related quality of life and other health outcomes. The authors report a majority of the nearly 350 studies of physical health and 850 studies of mental health that have used religious and spiritual variables have found that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes.[51]

In regards to data that relates to mental health and atheism, in December of 2003, the University of Warwick reported the following:

Dr. Stephen Joseph, from the University of Warwick, said: "Religious people seem to have a greater purpose in life, which is why they are happier. Looking at the research evidence, it seems that those who celebrate the Christian meaning of Christmas are on the whole likely to be happier.[52]

Duke University has established the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health.[53] The Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health is based in the Center for Aging at Duke and gives opportunities for scholarly trans-disciplinary conversation and the development of collaborative research projects.[54] In respect to the atheism and mental and physical health, the center offers many studies which suggest that theism is more beneficial than atheism.[55]

Currently, there is an ongoing debate regarding whether atheism was a causal factor for Friedrich Nietzsche's insanity or whether it was caused strictly by disease.[56][57][58][59] An article published on the Hong Kong Baptist University website offers the following regarding the cause of Friedrich Nietzsche's insanity:

Trying to explain what caused his insanity can only be a matter of speculation. Some people believe it was the result of a physical illness. Others interpret his suffering as that of a true prophet, almost as if he were accepting the punishment on behalf of those who could not see mankind's tendency towards self-destruction so clearly. Still others regard his final fate as a natural outcome of his philosophical outlook.[60]

This section again makes no valid point concerning the truth or falsity of atheism. Regardless of attacks on the statistical methods used, a causal relationship from atheism to unhappiness or other mental health problems does not show the existence of any god. More importantly, it does not show that disbelief in God causes mental illness,which is the article is trying to imply. Remember, correlation doesn't equal causation.

Mental problems leading to atheism would be more interesting, but the presented information (Even assuming that it is correct without question) does not make that claim. A proposition does not have to be comforting to be true.

[edit] Atheism and Suicide

See main article: Atheism and suicide

Although there are recent studies relating to atheism being a causal factor for suicide, an early proponent of atheism being a causal factor for suicide was the Reverend Dr. Robert S. MacArthur.[61][62][63] In 1894, the NY Times stated the following in relation to atheism and suicide:

Dr. Martin urged that a great cause of suicide was atheism. It was, he said, a remarkable fact that where atheism prevailed most, there suicides were most numerous. In Paris, a recent census showed one suicide to every 2,700 of the population. After the publication of Paine's "Age of Reason" suicides increased.[64]

The same NY Times article quotes the Reverend Dr. MacArthur describing suicide in the following manner:

It is mean and not manly; it is dastardly and not daring. A man who involves his innocent wife and children in financial disaster and disgrace and takes his life and leaves them to bear the burden he was unwilling to bear, is a coward.[65]

In 2004, the American Journal of Psychiatry reported the following:

Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation. Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members. Furthermore, subjects with no religious affiliation perceived fewer reasons for living, particularly fewer moral objections to suicide. In terms of clinical characteristics, religiously unaffiliated subjects had more lifetime impulsivity, aggression, and past substance use disorder. No differences in the level of subjective and objective depression, hopelessness, or stressful life events were found.[66]

The website Adherents.com reported the following in respect to atheism and suicide:

Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman compiled country-by-country survey, polling and census numbers relating to atheism, agnosticism, disbelief in God and people who state they are non-religious or have no religious preference. These data were published in the chapter titled "Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns" in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, ed. by Michael Martin, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK (2005). In examining various indicators of societal health, Zuckerman concludes about suicide: "Concerning suicide rates, this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health Organization's report on international male suicides rates (which compared 100 countries), of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. It is interesting to note, however, that of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism."[67]

Australian online opinion writer and lecturer in ethics and philosophy at several Melbourne theological colleges, Bill Muehlenberg, in his essay The Unbearable Heaviness of Being (In a World Without God) states the following:

Announcing, and believing, that God is dead has consequences. And it is we who suffer the most for it. We cannot bear the whole universe on our shoulders. We were not meant to. We must let God be God. Only then can men be men. Only then can we find the way forward to be possible, and the burdens not insurmountable.[68]
First of all, Conservapedia's sources quote only male suicide rates, and so give only a partial overview of suicide statistics.
(…)of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. It is interesting to note, however, that of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism. [1]

Correlation is not automatically indicative of causation. The high rates of suicide in former Soviet nations probably have a lot more to do with poverty and unstable socio-economic conditions than they do with plain old atheism. Incidentally, low suicide rates don’t necessarily mean good mental health. The fact that suicide is taught to be a mortal sin might go some way to explaining this. In religious communities, coroners are proportionately less likely to give a verdict of suicide because of the added grief and stigma this can bring to bereaved families. In any case, this entire section is simply a protracted Argument from adverse consequences. It has no logical merit. Conservapedia's quoted description of findings from the Zuckerman study states that the suicide rate is "the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better", which seems to signal that the other indicators examined in the study showed secular nations faring better than religious nations.

[edit] Sigmund Freud's View of Religion

Psychologist Sigmund Freud was a proponent of atheism who argued that theism was detrimental to mental health.[69] Oxford Professor Alister McGrath, author of the book The Twilight of Atheism, stated the following regarding Freud:

One of the most important criticisms that Sigmund Freud directed against religion was that it encourages unhealthy and dysfunctional outlooks on life. Having dismissed religion as an illusion, Freud went on to argue that it is a negative factor in personal development. At times, Freud's influence has been such that the elimination of a person's religious beliefs has been seen as a precondition for mental health. Freud is now a fallen idol, the fall having been all the heavier for its postponement. There is now growing awareness of the importance of spirituality in health care, both as a positive factor in relation to well-being and as an issue to which patients have a right. The "Spirituality and Healing in Medicine" conference sponsored by Harvard Medical School in 1998 brought reports that 86 percent of Americans as a whole, 99 percent of family physicians, and 94 percent of HMO professionals believe that prayer, meditation, and other spiritual and religious practices exercise a major positive role within the healing process.[70]

The mere fact that Freud is now no longer an 'idol', even if it were true, does not discredit his earlier statements - that the author woul almost certainly consider Isaac Newton's Arian theology both incorrect and immoral says nothing about the validity of Newtonian mechanics, nor the invalidity of Newton's less-known theories on alchemy. The cited conference, without information about the size or makeup of its attendees, cannot be used to make sweeping comments about the truth status of Freud's view of religion. The cited report clearly makes no attempt to correct for the faith of the studied populations, nor does it actually examine double-blinded data concerning the effect of prayer on healing. Indeed studies which have tried this have invariably found no statistically significant difference between prayer and placebo.

Again this section makes no supported comment on the relation of faith to healing. It blusters, and appeals to pre-existing bias and appeal to popularity.

[edit] Atheism and Deception

For more information please see: Atheism and deception

As alluded to earlier, prior to Charles Darwin publishing his evolutionist work On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, Darwin wrote in his private notebooks that he was a materialist, which is a type of atheist.[71] Charles Darwin’s casual mentioning of a ‘creator’ in earlier editions of The Origin of Species appears to have been a merely a deceitful ploy to downplay the implications of his materialistic theory. [72] Also, in his autobiography Charles Darwin wrote about the diminishment of his religious faith and Darwin deceitfully stated that he was an agnostic.[73] Specifically, Darwin wrote the following: "The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble to us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic."[74]

German scientist Ernst Haeckel was a very influential proponent of the evolutionary position and Haeckel was an advocate of atheism.[75] Ernst Haeckel attempted to portray himself as an ethical proponent of atheism, however, history shows he was a deceitful individual.[76][77][78] [79][80] The March 9, 1907 edition of the NY Times refers to Ernst Haeckel as the "celebrated Darwinian and founder of the Association for the Propagation of Ethical Atheism."[81]

Noted evolutionist Stephen Gould wrote the following regarding Ernst Haeckel's work in a March 2000 issue of Natural History:

"Haeckel’s forceful, eminently comprehensible, if not always accurate, books appeared in all major languages and surely exerted more influence than the works of any other scientist, including Darwin…in convincing people throughout the world about the validity of evolution... Haeckel had exaggerated the similarities [between embryos of different species] by idealizations and omissions. He also, in some cases — in a procedure that can only be called fraudulent — simply copied the same figure over and over again.…Haeckel’s drawings never fooled expert embryologists, who recognized his fudgings right from the start. Haeckel’s drawings, despite their noted inaccuracies, entered into the most impenetrable and permanent of all quasi-scientific literatures: standard student textbooks of biology... Once ensconced in textbooks, misinformation becomes cocooned and effectively permanent, because…textbooks copy from previous texts.... [W]e do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks!"[82]

Stephen Gould continues by quoting Michael Richardson of the St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London, who stated: "I know of at least fifty recent biology texts which use the drawings uncritically".[82]

Intelligent design theorist Michael Behe exposed the fraudulent nature of Haeckel's embryos in a NY Times article.[83] It appears as if Stephen Gould was irritated that the fraud was exposed in manner that publicly embarrassed the evolutionary community - namely though a high profile NY Times article.[84]

In addition, many of the ideas that Haeckel supported had a number of negative social effects.

So at some earlier point in his life Charles Darwin talked of a creator and later in life he talked about being materialist which has been equated with atheist? A materialist is someone who only believes in physical things. It has nothing to do with the nonexistence of god. To believe in god and be a materialist, you must believe god is physical(as Thomas Hobbes did). Most people's, who give life some thought, views change through out their life. They change their views as more evidence come to their attention. They don't write a 5,000 word blog piece full of hand picked quotes to support their own fears of their opinion being wrong.

Did you know Darwin started out studying to become a priest? He must have believed in God then. He then went out into the world, instead of sitting behind the 19th century equivalent of a computer, and experienced things that made him question his beliefs. He returned to England and thought about what he saw and over his life he went from being a C of E christian to an agnostic. This is because he thought about what he believed instead of trying to get people who believe the same thing as him to link to his 19th century equivalent of a blog.

Moving on to Ernst Haeckel. Note that again we see evolution support=atheism, which brings us to the false dichotomy of which is examined in Evolutionary Position Gradually Losing Public Support. The dichotomy aside note that it was scientists, not creationists, who first suspected him of fraud and Stephen Gould who voiced the concern. It was Michael Behe who wrote it in an article for NY times as part of his overall campaign to undermine evolution. This is what Gould was upset about, that Behe is using an unfortunate incident to try undermine the theory in an inappropriate public forum rather than through research in peer-reviewed journals.

[edit] Modern Proponents of Atheism and Deception

As mentioned previously, a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism since World War II have had the worldview of atheism.[85][86] The continued use of deceitfulness has continued by modern evolutionists. In recent times, evolutionists have tried to convince the public of the supposed validity of the evolutionary position by frequently using the term "overwhelming evidence" or similar terms in relation to the alleged existence of evidence that supports their position.[87] For example, Richard Dawkins, a prominent advocate of atheism and the evolutionary position, claimed in an interview with journalist Bill Moyers that there is "massive evidence" for the theory of evolution.[88] However, the scientific literature certainly contains material which illustrates the deceitfulness of stating there is "overwhelming evidence" to support the evolutionary position which is a commonly cited aspect of Western world atheism. For example, in January 2000 scientist Simon Conway Morris stated the following:

When discussing organic evolution the only point of agreement seems to be: "It happened." Thereafter, there is little consensus, which at first sight must seem rather odd. -(Simon Conway Morris, [palaeontologist, Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University, UK], "Evolution: Bringing Molecules into the Fold," Cell, Vol. 100, pp.1-11, January 7, 2000, p.11)[89]

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati states the following in relation to the diluted definition of the word "evolution":

...many evolutionary propagandists are guilty of the deceitful practice of equivocation, that is, switching the meaning of a single word (evolution) part way through an argument. A common tactic, ‘bait-and-switch,’ is simply to produce examples of change over time, call this ‘evolution,’ then imply that the GTE [General Theory of Evolution] is thereby proven or even essential, and creation disproved. The PBS Evolution series and the Scientific American article are full of examples of this fallacy.[90]

The CP article fails to distinguish between atheism and evolutionary biology. They are not even the same field. Even if Evolutionary biologists, or even atheists in general, were deceitful, no traction is gained on the question of whether atheism (or evolutioanry biology) is correct.

Dealing with the content, overwhelming evidence for "varying frequencies of alleles in a population under the influence of natural selective pressures" does exist. We have thousands of examples of this and hundreds of examples of speciation as a result of it. The lack of context on the first quote is telling; the article proceeded to deal with the percieved "oddity".

On the quote from Sarfati, then given the unchallenged evidence for change over time, then unless some novel process prevents large change, and another novel process produces the large differences between species, then given time the small changes become large (his "GTE"). Now apply Occam's razor.

Again a complete refutation of terrestrial evolution would not impact on the question of the existence or otherwise of god. They are separate questions.

[edit] Evolutionary Position Gradually Losing Public Support

There is evidence to suggest that the evolutionary position is gradually losing public support in the United States.[91] The prestigious science journal Science reported the following in 2006: "The percentage of people in the country who accept the idea of evolution has declined from 45 in 1985 to 40 in 2005. Meanwhile the fraction of Americans unsure about evolution has soared from 7 per cent in 1985 to 21 per cent last year.[92] In January 2006, the BBC reported the following in respect to Britain:

Just under half of Britons accept the theory of evolution as the best description for the development of life, according to an opinion poll. Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design (ID) should be taught in school science lessons.[93]

There is a reason evolutionary theory is losing public support: it is because a false dichotomy has been created, by both sides. The problem is that creationists, like Answers in Genesis, say you can't accept evolution because it goes against the the Bible. More vocal atheists like Dawkins say you can't study evolution without becoming an atheist. The result is that when polled about evolution, people feel that they are being asked to either accept or reject God. So they take the Discovery Institute's "creation-in-a-labcoat" ID and hide behind that to say they are neither an atheist or anti-science.

But to get back to the topic,

  1. Evolution has nothing to do with atheism, you could be an atheist who believes the world has always been exactly as it is now, unchanged since some infinite point in the past.
  2. The truth is not a popularity contest, if we took a poll and found the majority of people believed that pi can be expressed as a fraction (ie, pi is a rational number) and mathematicians just haven't found it yet, it would not make it true.

[edit] Decline of Atheism as an Intellectual Position

According to Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg "Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide."[94] Given that the evolutionary position is a often cited component of the ideology of atheism in the Western world, the gradual loss of public support of the evolutionary position is one of the many factors which are eroding the ideology of atheism. Oxford scholar Alister McGrath cites a number of additional factors in regards to the decline of atheism as an intellectual position.[95] [96]

Given the many factors which are eroding atheism as a intellectual position McGrath states:

...Atheism is in trouble. Its future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its natural habitat.[97]

So a theologian is now an fair source on atheism? Pre-existing bias? Again the existence of god is not a democratic question. Loss of public support, which is patently false in Europe, may stroke the ego of some theists but does not change truth.

[edit] Anti-Atheism Blogs

Currently there are a number of anti-atheism blogs. Some of the more notable anti-atheism blogs are the following: Atheism is Dead, Atheism Dissected, Richard Dawkins : Scientist or Activist?, Sam Harris - Myth Buster or Myth Maker?, and Dan Barker - One of America's Leading Atheists. The blog Atheism is Dead has been endorsed by Denyse O'Leary.[98] Denyse O'Leary is a Toronto based journalist and author who covers events surrounding the intelligent design issue. Denyse O'Leary also co-authors the blog Uncommon Descent which is a blog that is also authored by William Dembski and others.

All these blogs are run by the same person, Mariano, and he cross-links them to raise his profile (inevitably failing as the Google search engine was written by smarter people than him). Denyse O'Leary, the person who endorses these wonderful blogs, does the same thing with her intelligent design blogs. These blogs appear to have few readers, and the only reason they have an article at Conservapedia was because Kenservative created them in return for the blogs linking to the Conservapedia Atheism article in what he termed "Operation Grassroots". It is pathetic at best.

[edit] Reasonable Explanations for Atheism

For More Information Please See: Causes of Atheism

There are a number of reasonable explanations for atheism:

  • Rebellion: Atheism stems from a deliberate choice to ignore the reality of God's existence [99] (If there was a God, there wouldn't be so much suffering.)[100]
  • Moral depravity: Moral depravity has been demonstrated in the atheist community through history and through various studies.[101][102][103][104] The Bible asserts that "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." (Psalms 14:1 (KJV)). The biblical fool is said to be lacking in sound judgment and the biblical fool is also associated with moral depravity. For example, the biblical book of Proverbs states: "A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated. The naive inherit foolishness, But the sensible are crowned with knowledge."(Proverbs 14:16-18 (NASB)). The book of Proverbs also has strong words regarding the depravity of biblical fools: "The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but [it is] abomination to fools to depart from evil." (Proverbs 13:9 (KJV)). Regarding the deceitfulness of fools Proverbs states: "The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, But the foolishness of fools is deceit." (Proverbs 14:8 (KJV)). Noted Bible commentator and clergyman Matthew Henry wrote regarding atheism: "A man that is endued with the powers of reason, by which he is capable of knowing, serving, glorifying, and enjoying his Maker, and yet lives without God in the world, is certainly the most despicable and the most miserable animal under the sun."[105]
  • Superficiality: Noted ex-atheist and psychologist Dr. Paul Vitz has stated that he had superficial reasons for becoming an atheist such as the desire to be accepted by his Stanford professors who were united in disbelief regarding God.[106]
  • Error: Some argue that atheism partly stems from a failure to fairly and judiciously consider the facts [107]
  • State churches: Rates of atheism are much higher in countries with a state sanctioned religion (such as many European countries), and lower in states without a sanctioned religion (such as the United States). Some argue this is because state churches become bloated, corrupt, and/or out of touch with the religious intuitions of the population, while churches independent of the state are leaner and more adaptable. It is important to distinguish "state-sanctioned churches," where participation is voluntary, from "state-mandated churches" (such as Saudi Arabia) with much lower atheism rates because publicly admitted atheism is punishable by death. [108]
  • Poor relationship with father: Some argue that a troubled/non-existent relationship with a father may influence one towards holding the position of atheism.[109] Dr. Paul Vitz wrote a book entitled Faith of the Fatherless in which he points out that after studying the lives of more than a dozen leading atheists he found that a large majority of them had a father who was present but weak, present but abusive, or absent.[106][110] Dr. Vitz also examined the lives of prominent theists who were contemporaneous to their atheist counterparts and from the same culture and in every instance these prominent theists had a good relationship with his father.[106] Dr. Vitz has also stated other common factors he observed in the leading atheists he profiled: they were all intelligent and arrogant.[106]
  • Division in religion: According to Francis Bacon, atheism is caused by "divisions in religion, if they be many; for any one main division addeth zeal to both sides, but many divisions introduce atheism." [111]
  • Learned times, peace, and prosperity: Francis Bacon argued that atheism was partly caused by "Learned times, specially with peace and prosperity; for troubles and adversities do more bow men’s minds to religion."[111]
  • Negative experiences with theists
  • The advance of scientific knowledge: Science has in many ways become a new God. [112]
  • Rebellion: Atheism stems from a deliberate choice to accept the reality of God's nonexistence (If there were an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God, there wouldn't be so much suffering.)
  • Moral depravity: See "Atheism and Immorality" above.
  • Superficiality: Noted ex-atheist and psychologist Dr. Paul Vitz has stated that he had superficial reasons for becoming an atheist such as the desire to be accepted by his Stanford professors who were united in disbelief regarding God. This would point to Dr. Vitz having been a closet theist rather than having actually become an atheist; though this may seem like a "No True Scotsman" fallacy, "Atheist" is predefined as someone who accepts the nonexistence of God, rather than someone who has had this view pushed upon them.
  • Error: Some argue that atheism partly stems from a failure to fairly and judiciously consider the facts. These people are idiots. Fairly and judiciously considering the facts is what leads most people to atheism. Also, this is the reason why Wikipedia doesn't allow weasel words ("some people"), after all, you can find "some people" that believe the earth is hollow, flat or static in space..
  • State churches: Rates of atheism are far higher in every country except the US which has freedom of religion enshrined in its laws. The US is often regarded as a special case due to societal influences. Many of these other states do indeed have established churches, but this is a correlation, not necessarily a causation. It is important to mention that governments in Europe do not sanction or prohibit churches. They control carefully the tax exemption to religious groups and directly support them with tax money. This means that the requirements for churches to receive the money are higher than in the United States, where the main legislative priority is the First Amendment, that requires that the burden of proof towards considering a group not a religion is on the state.
  • Poor relationship with father: Anecdotal evidence suggests that many born-again Christians take to religion as a substitute for an absent or abusive father. So really, not much either way here. It's either irrelevant or a tu quoque.
  • Division in religion: Since there has never been a test case of one monolithic religion without the death sentence for atheism, this has never been examined as more than a thought experiment. The quote by Francis Bacon must be understood in the context of his time, when a monolithic church dominated every community until Luther divided the people inside every community, making blind faith a lot harder.
  • Learned times, peace, and prosperity: Francis Bacon argued that atheism was partly caused by "Learned times, specially with peace and prosperity; for troubles and adversities do more bow men’s minds to religion." So basically when you have the evidence in front of you and leisure time to examine it, you're less likely to believe in God? I can get with that.
  • Negative experiences with theists: Many atheists have had negative experiences with theists. Many theists have had negative experiences with theists of other kinds. This is because some theists (i.e. fundamentalists) tend to be intolerant, malicious or violent..
  • The advance of scientific knowledge: Science has provided us with a way of understanding the world which is more satisfying than Goddidit.

[edit] Atheism and the Existence of Evil

For More Information Please See: Atheism and the Problem of Evil

Those who advocate atheism commonly state that the existence of evil is a problem for theism which holds to a good and powerful God.[113] Theodicy is the branch of study in theology and philosophy that defends the goodness of God despite the existence of evil.[114] In traditional Christianity and Judaism the book of Job is used to explain the existence of evil.[115] In recent times Christian apologists often cite Alvin Plantinga's free will defense in regards to the existence of evil. [116][117]The work of St. Augustine is also cited in regards to theodicy. [118] Dr. Ron Rhodes of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministry states regarding this issue regarding the existence of evil in relation to atheism:

...it is impossible to distinguish evil from good unless one has an infinite reference point which is absolutely good. Otherwise one is like a boat at sea on a cloudy night without a compass (i.e., there would be no way to distinguish north from south without the absolute reference point of the compass needle). The infinite reference point for distinguishing good from evil can only be found in the person of God, for God alone can exhaust the definition of "absolutely good." If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one has the right to judge something (or someone) as being evil. More specifically, if God does not exist, there is no ultimate basis to judge the crimes of Hitler. Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God, rather than disproving it.[119]

A good segment of this section seems to be relying on the very existence of "Theodicy" to undermine the problem of evil, while actually providing no clear reason for why the very mention of people familiar with the problem is deemed sufficient to dismiss the idea entirely. Of course, they still provide a smattering of age-old justifications that fall ever so short of being sufficient. First, there is the idea that the problem of evil is explained in the story of Job. I assume that this explanation is something to the effect that human suffering is merely a test of one's faith. Of course, a just and loving God probably would not be so cruel as to arbitrarily torment his creations so that they can prove his love to him by taking the agony in stride. Yet, Job attests otherwise, lending credence to that particular argument against the problem of evil, while simultaneously conceding that God may not be as good and loving as modern day believers argue. The article briefly mentions free will as the cause of evil, which is inadequate, seeing as how free will contradicts an omniscient creator and the idea of being judged according to original sin, and that it fails to explain suffering caused outside of the realm of human activity. The ending quotation posits that one cannot know good from evil except from the perspective of an "infinite reference point", which is false unless you are willing to abandon any validity to the human perspective on good and evil, and thus forfeit all meaning to words whatsoever.

An infinite reference point would be absolutely useless to measure good or evil, since it would only tell you how far short from perfect something is, rather than give you the measure of when something changes from good to evil. What you actually need is the neutral "0" point of perfect amorality. Good falls on one side; evil on the other. How many religious people will speculate God as that reference point?

[edit] Atheism and the Foundation of Modern Science

The birth of modern science occurred in Christianized Europe.[120] Sociologist Rodney Stark investigated the individuals who made the most significant scientific contributions between 1543 and 1680 A.D., the time of the Scientific Revolution. In Stark's list of 52 top scientific contributors,[121] only one (Edmund Halley) was a skeptic and another (Paracelsus) was a pantheist. The other 50 were Christians, 30 of whom could be characterized as being devout Christians.[121] Sir Francis Bacon, sometimes referred to as "the Father of Modern Science", wrote in his essay entitled Of Atheism the following: "I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind."[122]

‎In False conflict: Christianity is not only compatible with Science--it created it Stark writes in relation to atheism the following:

Recent historical research has debunked the idea of a "Dark Ages" after the "fall" of Rome. In fact, this was an era of profound and rapid technological progress, by the end of which Europe had surpassed the rest of the world. Moreover, the so-called "Scientific Revolution" of the sixteenth century was a result of developments begun by religious scholars starting in the eleventh century. In my own academic research I have asked why these religious scholastics were interested in science at all. Why did science develop in Europe at this time? Why did it not develop anywhere else? I find answers to those questions in unique features of Christian theology. Even in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the leading scientific figures were overwhelmingly devout Christians who believed it their duty to comprehend God's handiwork. My studies show that the "Enlightenment" was conceived initially as a propaganda ploy by militant atheists attempting to claim credit for the rise of science. The falsehood that science required the defeat of religion was proclaimed by self-appointed cheerleaders like Voltaire, Diderot, and Gibbon, who themselves played no part in the scientific enterprise......[123]

Dr. Charles Thaxton states in relation to atheism the following:

P. E. Hodgson in reviewing Stanley Jaki's Science and Creation said: "Although we seldom recognize it, scientific research requires certain basic beliefs about the order and rationality of matter, and its accessibility to the human mind . . . they came to us in their full force through the Judeo-Christian belief in an omnipotent God, creator and sustainer of all things. In such a world view it becomes sensible to try and understand the world, and this is the fundamental reason science developed as it did in the Middle Ages in Christian Europe, culminating in the brilliant achievements of the seventeenth century."[124]

Here, the author is guilty of counter-historical reasoning. If "in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the leading scientific figures were overwhelmingly devout Christians," this is because, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, just about everyone in Europe was a devout Christian (or Jew, or Muslim in parts of the Balkans). The type of atheism that this little essay is attacking really did not exist in the 1500s and 1600s, as it arose in no small part from the effects of the practice of the type of science in question on religious discourse. Also, the Church had a monopoly on such institutes of higher learning that there were, as well as on basic literacy in many societies. Thus, it's not too surprising that scientific discovery emerged from people and institutions with close ties to religion.

One could also point out that in the sixteenth century, the period of Witchcraft trials was beginning. Hardly a safe time to be an outspoken heretic.

While Christians have made attempts to tie Science to Christianity, their arguments actually tie Science to Monotheism. Why Judaism (through it's 1000+ year history before Christianity) failed to produce science, why ancient Israel was historically behind other nations in technology, why Christianity failed for another 1000+ years to produce science, and why Islam experienced a brief period of Scientific progress, only to have their scientific progress collapse again are unanswered questions. An alternative explanation is that technology and thought had been progressing for thousands of years before science. The tools of scientific study (mathematics, technology) had been built by earlier (polytheistic) nations, and scientific study of the world was an inevitable next step in this progression. The development of science would predictably occur in a location where there was a significant population, sufficient mathematics and technology to support the practice of science, and sufficient wealth that some significant portion of the population could free themselves from the task of basic survival. Suggesting that Christianity aided science (based on the emergence of science from Christian Europe) has the same problems as suggesting that Greek polytheism aided philosophy (based on the emergence of sophisticated philosophy in a Greek polytheistic culture).

Further, there are reasons to suggest that belief in Christianity could've been an impediment to science. The belief that mankind are created in God's image could suggest that humans would be able to figure out the world purely through philosophizing (i.e. if we are created in God's image, then our minds should be similar in some ways to God's mind - and therefore, capable of understanding how the world works simply though 'proper thinking'). Also, since the salvation story is the central message of Christianity, science and technology are very peripheral to what matters. It's not at all clear why the Christian God would make the world comprehensible enough that human beings could be "sidetracked" by the practice of something so useless to the question of eternal salvation. Also, since the Christian God is an interventionalist God, there's no guarantee that He's not affecting the world in ways that would frustrate our attempts to understand it (take, for example, Newton's suggestion that the planetary orbits are kept stable by divine intervention). Similar to this is the question of how demons could frustrate any attempts to understand the world. (For example, St. Augustine's explanation that all diseases are caused by demons.)

Regarding Thaxton's quote that, "scientific research requires certain basic beliefs about the order and rationality of matter, and its accessibility to the human mind" suffers from the same problem. Greek philosophers believed that the world was accessible to the human mind - yet, they were Greek polytheists, except for those who were atheists. (In fact, they believed so strongly in the world's accessibility to the human mind, that they improperly attempted to answer scientific questions with thinking alone, in the absence of controlled experiments.)

Similarly, the study of mathematics (from the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, and Greeks - among other polytheists) requires certain basic beliefs about the order and rationality of matter. Ancient people came to these beliefs through experience (i.e. perceiving that the world acts in an orderly and rational way). The Christian quotes, on the other hand, suggest that belief in an orderly world can somehow occur only through religious belief.

Furthermore, the notion that Christianity created science is absurd. Thales, born in the 7th century BC(E), is often considered the "Father of Science".

[edit] Atheism and Debate

Although atheists claim there are reasonable arguments for atheism, the quality of atheist debate has been quite poor from the proponents of atheism. Below are some examples which demonstrate the unreasonableness of atheist debaters.

All philosophies are judged by their worst adherents.
What I fail to understand is why a competitive, realtime pitting of two peoples' memories against each other provides a better proof than lengthy and careful consideration of all the facts, followed by a concise presentation of those facts for others to verify.

[edit] Doug Jesseph

In October of 1997, atheist Jeffrey Jay Lowder, a founder of Internet Infidels, stated that he believed that in regards to atheism "the most impressive debater to date" was Doug Jesseph.[125] Yet Doug Jesseph claimed in a debate with William Lane Craig in 1996 that the origin of life had a detailed atheistic explanation(s).[126] In 1996, John Horgan wrote the following regarding what the highly respected origin of life researcher Stanley Miller believed to the case regarding naturalistic explanations of the origin of life: "Miller seemed unimpressed with any of the current proposals on the origin of life, referring to them as “nonsense” or “paper chemistry.”"[127] In addition, in 1996, John Horgan wrote the following in Scientific American: "The origin of life is a science writer's dream. It abounds with exotic scientists and exotic theories, which are never entirely abandoned or accepted, but merely go in and out of fashion."[128]

Upon reading through the first source given[129], this source, in fact fails to indicate that Doug Jesseph said any such thing. The closest that comes to in that source is Jesseph stating that, 'God qualifies as something mysterious, unintelligible and unfamiliar in the relevant sense', when explaining the 'Principle of Conservatism' (being, in essence, that you should accept simple, straightforward answers to explain something before resorting to the more outlandish and exotic, such as, to use the same example as Jesseph, leprechauns causing the noises in your attic, as opposed to a faulty ventilation fan), and that 'Darwinian biology and its theory of Natural Selection can account for all of the supposed evidence of design (at least on Earth) without supposing a designer. Then, by applying our Principle of Conservatism, there is no basis for the assumption that there is some supernatural designer out there.' The rest of this section appears to be an attack on the supposed claim of 'the origin of life had a detailed atheistic explanation(s)', but instead, as this claim is seemingly not made, it merely indicates that there is no definitive theory, at this point, on the exact mechanism of abiogenesis, merely various hypotheses.

[edit] Gordon Stein

In 1985, Christian apologist Dr. Greg Bahnsen and prominent proponent of atheism Gordon Stein had a debate at the University of California, Irvine regarding the positions of atheism and theism. John Frame wrote regarding the debate in which Dr. Bahnsen used the transcendental argument for the existence of God that "In the end, Stein walked and talked like a broken man."[130] The Greg Bahnsen-Gordon Stein debate was recorded and transcribed and was dubbed "The Great Debate".[131][132]

So some guy thought the Christian won the debate. Nice quote-mine job.

[edit] Greg Bahnsen and Michael Martin

Dr. Greg Bahnsen became known as the "man atheists fear most".[133] This is because Harvard-educated Dr. Michael Martin was scheduled to debate Bahnsen but pulled out of the debate at the "eleventh hour". A press release at the time said that Dr. Martin offered ruses on why he pulled out and didn't want the scheduled debate recorded but the real reason was that "...Michael Martin is afraid that he will be publicly humiliated just as his friend and fellow atheist, Dr. Gordon Stein, was..."[134]

Martin later released his transcendental argument for the non-existence of God (TANG) in 1996 which was rebutted by Christian apologists.[135]


Indeed, Dr Greg Bahnsen frightens many atheists, with his big sharp bitey teeth.

[edit] Creation Scientists tend to win creation-evolution debates

As noted earlier, a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the naturalistic evolutionary position since World War II have been holders of the world view of atheism.[136][137] Creation scientists tend to win the Creation-Evolution debates and many debates have been held since the 1970's particularly in the United States.

Gee, well in that case they must be right.

Ever heard of the Gish Gallop? Debates are not where science is settled, because human factors disturb the results. Science is settled in written fora, where nothing matters but the evidence. Repeatedly stating "Goddidit" is difficult to scientifically disprove when they refuse to allow God to be studied scientifically. It is, however, a tactic that tends to be popular with certain audiences.

Even so, Cdesign Proponentsists tend to lose debates when the evolutionist keeps their head and calmly refutes them point-by-point, an admittedly gargantuan task.

At least one "debate", in a formal setting with a judge and a jury, has been most unkind to creationists. They have not been able to win an important legal decision in decades.

[edit] Notable Incidences of Atheists Converting to Theism

In respect to the issue of ex-atheists there have been some notable incidences of atheists converting to theism. Lee Strobel converted from atheism to Christianity and then became a Christian apologist. [138] Before investigating the claims of Christianity Strobel had obtained a undergraduate degree in journalism and also obtained a law degree from Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School. Strobel was an award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune also won Illinois’ top honors for investigative reporting (which he shared with a team he led) and public service journalism from United Press International.[138] After a nearly a two year investigation of the evidence for Christianity Strobel became a Christian.[139]

C.S. Lewis abandoned his atheism and became a Christian and he was very much influenced by the writings of George MacDonald and G. K. Chesterton.[140] In Surprised by Joy Lewis says: "In reading Chesterton, as in reading MacDonald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous."[141]

British philosopher Anthony Flew abandoned atheism and became an deist after as a result of the intelligent design issue. According to the news organization MSNBC, Flew became a deist because he believed a super-intelligence was the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.[142] In 2006, Flew and 12 prominent academics urged that intelligent design be taught in British government schools.[143]

The work of ex-atheist and psychologist Dr. Paul Vitz is often cited in regards to atheism. As alluded to earlier, Dr. Vitz wrote the work Faith of the Fatherless.

Conversions from Theism to Atheism

A whole article could be written on just this topic, but it would prove nothing. Most atheists have in fact been raised as theists, and then realised they don't believe in God and "converted".

Instead, examine the four examples given. Only one scientist, a psychologist; the rest are two philosophers and a lawyer. Four examples does not an argument make. On the other hand... (examples, please? More than four would be great. Stick to scientists and theologians!)

  • Isaac Asimov — Author and biochemist, raised in a Jewish orthodox family (with admittedly lax religious influence)
  • Dan Barker — Atheist activist, formerly an ordained priest with a degree in religion
  • Richard Dawkins — Raised Anglican, rejected religion once he better understood evolution.
  • Charles Darwin — As above, except that he actually trained as a vicar before going on the Beagle.
  • Turan Dursun — Former imam, mufti, and Islamic scholar before converting to atheism. He was murdered, probably for his conversion.
  • PZ Myers — Scientist, raised Christian, converted before Confirmation

In any case, the argument is not whether people can convert, but what their reasons for converting are. Atheists believe the reasons for converting from Theism to Atheism are more compelling than vice versa.

[edit] Atheism and its Decline as a Theoretical Position

According to Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg "Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide."[94] Oxford scholar Alister McGrath agrees and has stated that atheism's "future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its habitat."[94]

It is perfectly correct that atheism is in decline as a theoretical position, as it becomes instead a normal lifestyle choice, perfectly valid and accepted by people without having to be defended. Furthermore, how do two quotes from theologians prove atheism is on the decline? This is a fallacious argument from authority.

[edit] Views on Atheists

In regards to various views on atheists, research in the American Sociological Review finds that among several groups listed, those who hold the position of atheism are the group that Americans relate least to in terms of their vision of American society and are the group most likely to be mentioned as one that Americans would not want to have marry into their family. [144]

Position: This group does not at all agree with
my vision of American society:
I would disapprove if my child wanted
to marry a member of this group:
Atheist 39.6% 47.6%
Muslim 26.3% 33.5%
Homosexual 22.6% NA
Conservative Christian 13.5% 6.9%
Recent Immigrant 12.5% Not Asked
Hispanic 7.6% 18.5%
Jew 7.4% 11.8%
Asian American 7.0% 18.5%
African American 4.6% 27.2%
White American 2.2% 2.3%

Examined closely, this is quite shocking. Atheists, a group of mostly peaceful, well-educated people, are more hated than any religious group, including one that has killed hundreds of thousands if not millions of people, having many of them tortured or burned to death, and has dragged back human progress by hundreds of years?

I'm not talking about Islam, either.

Nor Teh Gheys.

What this chart really establishes is that nearly half the people in this country (presumably mostly Christians) are bigots.

[edit] Brights Movement

Richard Dawkins is listed as an enthusiastic bright by the Brights Movement website. The Brights Movement was started in 2003 by Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell in 2003 in order to assist in the advocacy of a naturalistic worldview.[145][146] The Brights movement had a media campaign and was announced in Wired magazine (by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins), Free Inquiry (by Richard Dawkins), and on the New York Times op-ed page (by the philosopher and atheist Daniel Dennett).[145] However, according to a 2004 Skeptical Enquirer article the movement the "Brights label" reinforced a longstanding stereotype. Atheists already have a terrible rap for being coldhearted rationalists who attend Mensa gatherings and dismiss religious believers as simple-minded fools."[147] In October of 2003 in a article in the Guardian Dawkins associated being a "bright" with being an intellectual.[148]

Chris Mooney wrote in his Skeptical Enquirer article the following:

..a recent attack on the Brights movement in The Wall Street Journal by the conservative thinker Dinesh D'Souza confirms my worst fears (D'Souza 2003). The article blithely ignores a key caveat that the Brights defenders have explicitly laid out-namely, that the label isn't meant to suggest that religious doubters are smarter than everyone else. But I actually think this misrepresentation ought to be blamed more on Dennett, Dawkins, and the original founders than on D'Souza--for reasons I will explain. In his original New York Times op-ed announcing the Brights label, Dennett wrote, "Don't confuse the noun with the adjective: 'I'm a Bright' is not a boast but a proud avowal of an inquisitive world view." That's certainly nice in principle. But who did Dennett think he was kidding? How could anyone hear the label Bright and think anything but that atheists were claiming to be smarter than everyone else? As ABC commentator John Allen Paulos remarked of the Brights campaign, "I don't think a degree in public relations is needed to expect that many people will construe the term as smug, ridiculous, and arrogant" (Paulos 2003).[149]

Be it bright, secular humanist, rationalist, atheist, etc., it is not about the name, it's about the content of the argument and the type of person. Both Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett are two of the nicest, most sincere, and abundantly informed fellows to talk about the subject.

[edit] New Atheism

Dissent Magazine stated the following regarding the "New Atheism":

A number of prominent authors and scientists have published books in the past year that advocate a "New Atheism." The books, which include Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell, Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion, and Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great, have sparked considerable public controversy across the political spectrum.[150]

Dr. Alfred Mohler Jr. describes some of the key attributes of the "New Atheism":

Now, WIRED magazine comes out with a cover story on atheism for its November 2006 issue. In "The New Atheism," WIRED contributing editor Gary Wolf explains that this newly assertive form of atheism declares a very simple message: "No heaven. No hell. Just science."...

Wolf accomplishes a great deal in his article, thoughtfully introducing the work of militant atheists such as Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett. At the same time, he probes more deeply into the actual meaning of the New Atheism as a movement and a message.

At the beginning of his article, he gets right to the point: "The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it's evil. Now that the battle has been joined, there's no excuse for shirking."[151]

Yes, some atheists think that a philosophy which results in burning and torturing innocent people to death is just a little bit evil.

Just a little.

On the other hand, theists never, ever, say anything bad about atheists. They just love our little cotton socks, right?

[edit] Impact of the New Atheism

The "New Atheism" has not had much of an impact in terms of gaining new adherents to atheism. In a March 10, 2008 USA Today article Stephen Prothero stated the following regarding the impact of the "New Atheism":

Numbers lie, but they also tell tales untrustworthy and otherwise. So the key question stirring around the much discussed U.S Religious Landscape Survey released in late February by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life is what tale does it state about the state of the union.

For some, the story of this survey, based on interviews in multiple languages with more than 35,000 adults, is the strength of American Religion.

Not too long ago, I wrote that American atheism was going the way of the freak show. As books by Christopher Hitchens and other "new atheists" climbed the best seller lists, I caught a lot of flak for that prophecy. But atheist make up only 1.6% of respondents to this survey....[152]

A prime reason for the ineffectiveness of the "New Atheism" is the shallowness of its material. For example, even atheist philosopher Michael Ruse stated that that Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion made him "embarrassed to be an atheist".[153]

The "New Atheism" largely has a unfavorable view outside the United States as well. The liberal leaning British publication the Guardian stated the following regarding the "New Atheism":

Anti-faith proselytizing is a growth industry. But its increasingly hysterical flag-bearers are heading for a spectacular failure... These increasingly hysterical books may boost the pension, they may be morale boosters for a particular kind of American atheism that feels victimized - the latest candidate in a flourishing American tradition - but one suspects that they are going to do very little to challenge the appeal of a phenomenon they loathe too much to understand.[154]

Atheism is not a popularity contest. Regardless of how accurate the Conservapedia description of "The New Atheism" is or is not (it's the first I've heard of it), I fail to see how the "impact" of some movement validates or invalidates the basic idea of atheism. You either believe in god/gods, or you don't.

[edit] Atheism and the Bible

In respect to atheism and the Bible, atheists and skeptics have been disputing the reliability of the Bible for centuries. Christian apologist JP Holding rightly states that Bible exegesis and Bible exposition is a multi-disciplinary pursuit and often critics of the Bible have not done a fraction of the due diligence required when making a allegation regarding the Bible. JP Holding states the following:

Having now been engaged in apologetics for eight years actively and more years than that on the side, I have long since come to a conclusion that I have shared with others, but will now present in a systematic form here for the first time. My conclusion is a warning that is appropriate for any new readers (hence I link this article from my front page) and will be familiar to veteran ones.

I'll sum it up to begin: Whenever you run across any person who criticizes the Bible, claims findings of contradiction or error -- they do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. They have to earn it from you. Here's why.

It doesn't take very long to realize that a thorough understanding of the Bible -- and this would actually apply to any complex work from any culture -- requires specialized knowledge, and a broad range of specialized knowledge in a variety of fields....

Not even most scholars in the field can master every aspect -- what then of the non-specialist critic who puts together a website in his spare time titled 1001 Irrefutable Bible Contradictions? Do these persons deserves our attention? Should they be recognized as authorities? No, they deserve calculated contempt for their efforts. (By this, I do not mean emotional or behavioral contempt, but a calculated disregard for their work from an academic perspective.) They have not even come close to deserving our attention, and should feed only itching ears with similar tastes.[155]

Christian theologian and apologist Bernard Ramm wrote regarding the Bible and its critics the following in his often cited work Protestant Christian Evidences:

A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put.

No other book has been so chopped, knifed, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified. What book on philosophy or religion or psychology or belles lettres of classical or modern times has been subject to such a mass attack as the Bible? With such venom and skepticism? With such thoroughness and erudition? Upon every chapter, line and tenet?

The Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions, and studied by millions.[156]

In regards to the proponents of atheism, Christian apologists have responded to their various claims that the Bible contains errors or contradictions.[157][158][159][160]

In respect to creationism and the scientific literature, theists and gullible idiots have been disputing the reliability of the evidence for centuries. Rationalwiki editor Wazza rightly states that scientific research and science interpretation is a multi-disciplinary pursuit and often critics of the evidence have not done a fraction of the due diligence required when making a allegation regarding the scientific literature. Wazza states the following: “ Having now been engaged in kicking creo-butt for two months actively and more years than that on the side, I have long since come to a conclusion that I have shared with others, but will now present in a systematic form here for the first time. My conclusion is a warning that is appropriate for any new readers (hence I link this article from my front page) and will be familiar to veteran ones.

I'll sum it up to begin: Whenever you run across any person who criticizes the evidence, claims findings of contradiction or error -- they do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. They have to earn it from you. Here's why.

It doesn't take very long to realize that a thorough understanding of the scientific literature -- and this would actually apply to any complex work from any culture -- requires specialized knowledge, and a broad range of specialized knowledge in a variety of fields....

Not even most scholars in the field can master every aspect -- what then of the non-specialist critic who puts together a website in his spare time titled Answers in Genesis? Do these persons deserves our attention? Should they be recognized as authorities? No, they deserve calculated contempt for their efforts. (By this, I do not mean emotional or behavioral contempt, but a calculated disregard for their work from an academic perspective.) They have not even come close to deserving our attention, and should feed only itching ears with similar tastes."

[edit] Internet Infidels and other Atheist Websites

As mentioned previously Internet Infidels (also known as the Secular Web) is one of the principle websites for those who advocate atheism, agnostics and Philosophical skeptics on the internet. Christian apologist J. P. Holding has stated regarding the website Internet Infidels the following: "The Secular Web has a few intelligent people, but overall has long been a haven for every skeptical know-it-all to pronounce judgments upon matters outside of their expertise."[161] Although J. P. Holding has written rebuttals of the more well known members of the skeptical community such as David Hume[162], Friedrich Nietzsche[163] and G.A. Wells[164][165], Holding has also written rebuttals of lesser well known members of the secular community who publish and/or are featured on Internet Infidels such as:

Atheists' websites and targeting of young people are worse than their religious counterparts... how?

It is true that J.P. Holding III (a.k.a. Robert Turkel) has written several rebuttals of positions taken by infidels of various note. It is also true that many of these rebuttals have been rebutted in turn. Anyone interested ought to read both.

[edit] Targeting of Young People by Atheists on the Internet

In 2007 WorldNetDaily feature a column by Chuck Norris which stated the following regarding atheism and the internet:

Atheists are making a concerted effort to win the youth of America and the world. Hundreds of websites and blogs on the Internet seek to convince and convert adolescents, endeavoring to remove any residue of theism from their minds and hearts by packaging atheism as the choice of a new generation. While you think your kids are innocently surfing the Web, secular progressives are intentionally preying on their innocence and naivete.

What's preposterous is that atheists are now advertising and soliciting on websites particularly created for teens. The London Telegraph noted that, "Groups including Atheists for Human Rights and Atheist Alliance International – 'Call 1-866-HERETIC' - are setting up summer camps and an Internet recruiting campaign."

YouTube, the most popular video site on the Net for young people, is one of their primary avenues for passing off their secularist propaganda.[174]

Of course making children in a home-school class read and edit Conservapedia isn't targeting young people.

Chuck Norris doesn't write articles, he stares at his computer until words appear.

Chuck Norris is clearly a credible source for valuable information. He roundhouse kicked a library and it spat out a list of citations.

More seriously, there's an obvious double standard being applied here - it's fine for a conservative Christian to target children (and they do, and not just their own), but it's evil for atheists to do the same?

[edit] Atheism in Academia

In 2001 philosopher Quentin Smith stated the following in respect to atheism:

Naturalists [atheists] passively watched as realist versions of theism … began to sweep through the philosophical community, until today perhaps one-quarter or one-third of philosophy professors are theists, with most being orthodox Christians…. God is not 'dead' in academia; he returned to life in the 1960's and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments."[175]

In 2008 biologist PZ Myers stated the following in respect to theism:


[edit] Denials That Atheists Exist

Some have asserted that atheists do not exist. In regards to a biblical statement on atheism Sir Francis Bacon stated in his essay Of Atheism the following regarding atheism:

The Scripture saith, The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God; it is not said, The fool hath thought in his heart; so as he rather saith it, by rote to himself, as that he would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it....It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip, than in the heart of man.[122]

In addition, philosophers and Christian apologists Dr. Cornelius Van Til and Dr. Greg Bahnsen argued there are no atheists and that atheists are actively suppressing their belief and knowledge of God and enigmatically engage in self-deception.[176] The English poet Edward Young wrote in his famous work Night Thoughts that "By night, an atheist half-believes a God."[177]

The Christian Cyclopedia states regarding atheism the following:

It is not possible for a man to be an atheist, in the commonly accepted sense, in his innermost conviction. No amount of reasoning will erase from the human heart the God-given conviction that there is a Supreme Being; those who theoretically deny God's existence replace Him with something else.[178]

The first thing you should notice is that no actual evidence is presented outside their own religious views (that didn't even come from their holy book).

Sir Francis' quote is another case of severely reinterpreting the Bible to suit one's views, in this case the twisting comes from two simple words that likely would be used interchangeably in this context by someone without an agenda to push. Though its probably better for his case as the existence of atheists (and there's plenty evidence of it) would under his interpretation imply the fallability of the Bible.

The Cyclopedia quote doesn't even have a Bible verse to be butchered like the above one, rather it's just one unfounded assertion.

This attitude is common to most fundamentalists, however; they accuse atheists of setting up Darwin, or Humanism, or Nihilism as the new God, assuming that because they centre their lives around God, others must necessarily do the same. They have eaten pancakes for so long, they can no longer conceive of donuts.

[edit] Atheist population as a percentage of various countries' populations

For more information please see: Atheist Population

In regards to the atheist population as a percentage of various countries' populations, specific research on atheists conducted in 2006 suggests that the true proportion of atheists is 4% in the United States, 17% in Great Britain and 32% in France. A survey published in the 2005 Encyclopedia Britannica stated that 2.3% of the world's population consists of individuals who profess "atheism, skepticism, disbelief, or irreligion, including the militantly antireligious."[179] In regards to the 2.3% figure just mentioned, the 2005 survey cited by Encyclopedia Britannica survey did not include Buddhist in regards to the 2.3% figure and Buddhism can be theistic or atheistic.[180][181]

Repeat after me: The truth is NOT a popularity contest.

[edit] Other Well Known Proponents of Atheism

Prominent holders of the position of atheism and atheist schools of thought have been or include:

  • Carvaka school: an atheistic and materialistic offshoot of Hinduism in the 6th century B.C.
  • Samkhya school: an atheistic school of classical Indian philosophy, originating in the 6th century B.C.
  • Diagoras: Greek philosopher who denied the existence of the Greek pantheon
  • Lucretius: Greek philosopher espousing materialism, and stated that man should not believe in the gods because their ideas about the gods and their fear of death made men unhappy
  • Friedrich Nietzsche: Prominent 19th century atheist philosopher
  • Mao Zedong: Chinese Communist leader
  • Benito Mussolini
  • Paul Kurtz: founder of the Council of Secular Humanism
  • Bertrand Russell
  • Ayn Rand
  • Isaac Asimov
  • John Dewey
  • Douglas Adams
  • Ernest Hemingway

Yes... And? You were looking to make an ad-hominem attack, perhaps?

[edit] Atheism Quotes

For more atheism quotes please see: Atheism Quotes

There must be a rich vein in the quote-mine Ken owns the claim to!

It is worth noting that many of these people (Isaac Newton, Plato) lives at times and in societies where unbelief - even simple impiety - was a crime attracting criminal punishment.

  • "Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the Earth at the right distance from the Sun to receive proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance." - Sir Isaac Newton[182]
  • Newton here uses the Strong Anthropic Principle, when the Weak Anthropic Principle will do.
  • "I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily. Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors." - Sir Isaac Newton[183]
  • Newton was hardly an orthodox Christian. He believed in Arianism, which holds that Jesus was subordinate to God the Father, rather than equal to him.
  • "The Seventh Judicial Circuit of the Court of Appeals of the United States held that atheism is a religion and therefore it cannot be promoted by a public school. Currently public schools are promoting atheism through a dogmatic and uncritical teaching of materialistic theories of origins." - John Calvert, Intelligent Design leader[184]
  • The assertion that atheism is a religion based on a legal decision is faulty, as the legal definition of a religion is closer to "A viewpoint on the nature of God" rather than "an organised system of beliefs".
  • "Atheism is a disease of the soul before it becomes an error of understanding." - Plato[185]
  • Plato was writing shortly after the death of his mentor due to an accusation of atheism; it is hardly surprising that he would want to distance himself from such a view.
  • "Maybe the atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman." - Francis Thompson[186]
  • Many atheists come to their viewpoint after much soul-searching and attempting to make contact with God, particularly those from theist families; either God is hiding from us, or he doesn't exist.
  • "The atheists are for the most part imprudent and misguided scholars who reason badly who, not being able to understand the Creation, the origin of evil, and other difficulties, have recourse to the hypothesis the eternity of things and of inevitability." - Voltaire[187]
  • Voltaire is quoted elsewhere in this article as supporting atheism; criticism of one's philosophical allies is common and constructive in great philosophical debates.
  • "Atheists put on false courage and alacrity in the midst of their darkness and apprehensions, like children who, when they fear to go in the dark, will sing for fear." - Alexander Pope [188]
  • It takes real courage to look under the bed and see there's no bogeyman, when everyone else is huddling under the blankets and telling us we'll be eaten.
  • "An atheist’s most embarrassing moment is when he feels profoundly thankful for something,but can’t think of anyone to thank for it." - Mary Anne Vincent [189]
  • Atheists generally realise that being thankful to the people around them and the physical laws that brought them into being and continue to sustain them is a perfectly valid feeling; one can be thankful without necessarily having a thankee.
  • If there were no God there would be no atheists." - G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936) [190]
  • If there were no conception of God there would be no need for this discussion, and we wouldn't have a word for atheist, but the definition would still fit people.
  • "Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist there is no God." - Heywood Broun
  • Speaking as a victim of religious education, this is not true.
  • "Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God." - Tom Stoppard[191]
  • Another mis-mined quote, Stoppard actually said It is an interesting view of atheism, as a sort of "crutch" for those who can't stand the reality of God. Stoppard also said It's better to be quotable than to be honest.
  • "I gave in, and admitted that God was God." - ex-atheist C.S. Lewis, On relinquishing atheism at age 31 in 1929[192]
  • Lewis' conversion to theism is typical of those who maintain atheism not as a personal belief, but as a pose for those around them; most atheists, however, really do believe there is no God, or at least, don't believe there is a God.
  • "A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion." - Sir Francis Bacon [193]
  • In Bacon's time, when philosophy was considered from first principles, this may have been true. In the modern era, when we prefer to work from the evidence, greater knowledge generally means less belief.
  • In his essay rebutting a work of atheist Jeffery Jay Lowder Christian apologist JP Holding wrote the following: "...I find that there is no such thing as "reasonable non belief." The litany of excuses, wild speculations, and other absurdities ground out by skeptics and critics doesn't deserve the adjective "reasonable"."[194]
  • As with most of Holding's quotes regarding atheism, replacing Christian terms for atheism with atheist terms for Christianity produces a much more coherent statement.
  • "An atheist is a man who believes himself an accident." — Francis Thompson[195]
  • On the contrary, an atheist is someone who believes themself the one-in-a-million chance that came through. We are the winning lottery ticket of life.
  • "To be an atheist requires an indefinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which atheism would deny." - Joseph Addison, The Spectator, Mar. 8, 1711 [193]
  • This was written prior to the development of the theory of evolution through natural selection, which replaced biblical creationism as the best explanation for the wonders we see around us, and incidentally removed the need for a God; atheism moved from being a leap of faith (that something not-God would create us) to being the default position.
  • "It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Without the sustaining influence of faith in a divine power we could have little faith in ourselves. We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love. Doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics do not create. Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is a part of an unending plan." - Calvin Coolidge, speech, Jul. 25, 1924 [193]
  • Despite President Coolidge's convictions, most of modern technology and science was developed by a group made up in large part of atheists, agnostics and Spinozans. Atheists achieve, and in this day and age, biblical literalists do not.
  • "Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been its drastic un-interestingness as an intellectual position. Where was the ingenuity, the ambiguity, the humanity of saying that the universe just happened to happen and that when we're dead we're dead?" - John Updike [196]
  • Atheism opens one up to accepting the wonders of the universe, while theists must increasingly deny these wonders to maintain their faith. As Carl Sagan put it:
"In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, "This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed"? Instead they say, "No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way."
  • "God never wrought miracles to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it." - Sir Francis Bacon [196]
  • Bacon was writing in a time when Goddidit was a valid explanation. Now we have simpler and more plausible paths to the world we see around us.
  • "The habit of arguing in support of atheism, whether it be done from conviction or in pretense, is a wicked and impious practice." - Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.), Roman orator, philosopher, statesman[197]
  • Wait... atheism is impious? Didn't see that one coming...
  • "How to trap an atheist: Serve him a fine meal, then ask him if he believes there is a cook." — Source Unknown [198]
  • Of course there's a cook... and the cook evolved according to scientific principles. The existence of a cook for this meal does not imply the existence of a creator for the universe; one can also have a fine meal of fresh fruit without any cook being involved.
  • "I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up . . . they have no holidays." - Henny Youngman[199]
  • Many atheists celebrate Christmas as a convenient time to gather with their family and enjoy each others' company. Easter's a good time to find an excuse to eat chocolate. Also, we have towel day. Top that.

[edit] Quotes on Theism

Not that quotes prove anything, but hell, if they can quote, so can I!

  • "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions." - Albert Einstein

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Berlin, Adele; Brettler, Marc Zvi (2004). "Psalms". In Berlin, Adele; Brettler, Marc Zvi; Fishbane, Michael A. The Jewish Study Bible. Oxford University Press. p. 1282
  2. WP: Psalms [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psalms]
  3. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14322117/
  4. http://www3.baylor.edu/~Scott_Moore/texts/Marx_Opium.html
  5. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/comm.htm
  6. http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1909/may/13.htm
  7. http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3054/
  8. 8.0 8.1 http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=276
  9. 9.0 9.1 http://www.bookrags.com/research/lysenkoism-wog/
  10. 10.0 10.1 http://www.bartelby.com/65/ly/Lysenko.html
  11. http://www.academia.org/campus_reports/2000/March_2000_4.html
  12. http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/frroman1.aspx
  13. 13.0 13.1 http://www.nysun.com/article/23082?page_no=1
  14. 14.0 14.1 http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/5/7/120250.shtml
  15. 15.0 15.1 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_26_116/ai_56249447
  16. 16.0 16.1 http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35818
  17. 17.0 17.1 http://theworldnow.wordpress.com/tag/around-the-world/asia/china/
  18. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/IE12Dg01.html
  19. http://www.wtop.com/?nid=105&sid=1253071
  20. Marx - full religion quote
  21. Opium of the people
  22. http://www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth01.html
  23. http://www.rzim.org/slice/slicetran.php?sliceid=1029
  24. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38125
  25. http://satisfiedinjesus.org/resources/reviews/pdf/Zacharias%20-%20The%20Real%20Face%20of%20Atheism.pdf
  26. http://www.greatcom.org/resources/secular_religions/ch01/default.htm
  27. http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/religion/mcgratha.htm
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Koukl, Gregory, The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?, 1994
  29. Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians The Barna Update, 2007.
  30. Brooks, Arthur C., faith and charitable giving Policy Review, Oct-Dec 2003, p.2.
  31. Stossel, John and Kendall, Kristina Who Gives and Who Doesn't? ABC News, November 28, 2006
  32. http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=152
  33. http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/craig-nielsen2.html
  34. http://www.biblicaldefense.org/Writings/refuting_moral_relativism.htm
  35. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hume-religion/#10
  36. 36.0 36.1 http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/creation-providence.html
  37. http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/miracles.html
  38. http://www.ses.edu/journal/articles/2.1Hoffman.pdf
  39. http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth19.html
  40. http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/pages/resources/publications/knowingDoing/2004/Miracles.pdf
  41. http://www.tektonics.org/gk/hume01.html
  42. http://www.comereason.org/phil_qstn/phi060.asp
  43. http://godevidences.net/space/lawsofscience.php
  44. http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2329
  45. http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/AstroPhysicalSciences14.html
  46. Dr. Don Batten, A Who’s Who of evolutionists Creation 20(1):32 December 1997.
  47. Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.,F.M., Refuting Evolution, Chapter 1, Facts and Bias
  48. http://www.icr.org/home/resources/resources_tracts_scientificcaseagainstevolution/
  49. http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2001-rst/921.html
  50. http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2003/A/20037338.html
  51. http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2001-rst/921.html
  52. http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2003/A/20037338.html
  53. http://www.dukespiritualityandhealth.org/
  54. http://www.dukespiritualityandhealth.org/about/
  55. http://www.dukespiritualityandhealth.org/publications/latest.html
  56. http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/hutchison/070307
  57. http://www.ukapologetics.net/truthaboutnietzsche.html
  58. http://www.hkbu.edu.hk/~ppp/top/top19
  59. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17087793?dopt=Abstract
  60. http://www.hkbu.edu.hk/~ppp/top/top19
  61. http://www.adherents.com/misc/religion_suicide.html
  62. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/161/12/2303
  63. NY Times, September 17, 1894, ATHEISM A CAUSE OF SUICIDE.; Dr. MacArthur Preaches on the Sin and Cowardice of Self-Destruction
  64. NY Times, September 17, 1894, ATHEISM A CAUSE OF SUICIDE.; Dr. MacArthur Preaches on the Sin and Cowardice of Self-Destruction
  65. NY Times, September 17, 1894, ATHEISM A CAUSE OF SUICIDE.; Dr. MacArthur Preaches on the Sin and Cowardice of Self-Destruction
  66. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/161/12/2303
  67. http://www.adherents.com/misc/religion_suicide.html
  68. http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2008/05/26/the-unbearable-heaviness-of-being-in-a-world-without-god/
  69. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/march/21.36.html
  70. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/march/21.36.html
  71. http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1877
  72. http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/library/cd_relig.htm
  73. http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/library/cd_relig.htm
  74. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9C03EFDD123EE033A2575AC0A9659C946697D6CF
  75. "Another Evolution Fraud Exposed" - Creationism.org, INVESTIGATING GENESIS SERIES.
  76. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9C03EFDD123EE033A2575AC0A9659C946697D6CF
  77. http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=1180
  78. http://www.iconsofevolution.com/Icons of Evolution
  79. http://www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/survivalOfTheFakest.pdf
  80. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9C03EFDD123EE033A2575AC0A9659C946697D6CF
  81. 82.0 82.1 "Another Evolution Fraud Exposed" - Creationism.org, INVESTIGATING GENESIS SERIES.
  82. http://www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/survivalOfTheFakest.pdf
  83. http://www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/survivalOfTheFakest.pdf
  84. Dr. Don Batten, A Who’s Who of evolutionists Creation 20(1):32 December 1997.
  85. Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.,F.M., Refuting Evolution, Chapter 1, Facts and Bias
  86. http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0612school-year.asp
  87. http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript349_full.html
  88. Jonathan Sarfati,Ph.D., F.M. Refuting Evolution 2, Chapter 1, Argument: Creationism is religion, not science
  89. http://www.wasdarwinright.com/home.htm
  90. http://www.wasdarwinright.com/home.htm
  91. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4648598.stm
  92. 94.0 94.1 94.2 http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/05/breaking2453432.91875.html
  93. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/march/21.36.html
  94. http://www.s8int.com/Godless.html
  95. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/march/21.36.html
  96. http://post-darwinist.blogspot.com/
  97. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse..." —Template.Bible ref|Romans|1|19-20|version=NKJV
  98. What was the cause of atheism
  99. http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5527
  100. http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdateNarrow&BarnaUpdateID=272
  101. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=2682730&page=2
  102. http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=152
  103. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc1.ii.html
  104. 106.0 106.1 106.2 106.3 Vitz, Paul, The Psychology of Atheism, September 24, 1997 (lecture notes taken by an audience member).
  105. "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere--'Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,' as Herbert says, 'fine nets and stratagems.' God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous." -- C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy.
  106. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118434936941966055.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
  107. http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth12.html
  108. Anders, Kerby, Atheists and Their Fathers (Probe Ministries)
  109. 111.0 111.1 http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/ofatheism.html
  110. Why Atheism?
  111. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/evil.html
  112. http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861719540/theodicy.html
  113. http://apologetics.com/default.jsp?bodycontent=/articles/doctrinal_apologetics/bowman-job.html
  114. http://www.xenos.org/essays/evilpo.htm
  115. http://www3.baylor.edu/~Scott_Moore/handouts/free_will_defense.html
  116. http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5124
  117. http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Atheism.html
  118. http://www.ldolphin.org/bumbulis/#anchor5343749
  119. 121.0 121.1 Williams, Alex,The biblical origins of science, Journal of Creation 18(2):49–52, August 2004.
  120. 122.0 122.1 Bacon, Francis, Of Atheism
  121. http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-3274629/False-conflict-Christianity-is-not.html
  122. http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth17.html
  123. http://www.infidels.org/infidels/newsletter/1997/october.html
  124. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/doug_jesseph/jesseph-craig/jesseph1.html
  125. http://www.trueorigin.org/abio.asp
  126. http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/orignl01.html#orgnflfmjrprblmschcknndgg
  127. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/doug_jesseph/jesseph-craig/jesseph1.html
  128. http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/Bahnsen.htm
  129. http://prosapologian.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/great-debates/
  130. http://www.bellevuechristian.org/faculty/dribera/htdocs/PDFs/Apol_Bahnsen_Stein_Debate_Transcript.pdf
  131. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/webpages54/ap/biobahn.html
  132. Anon., Press Release
  133. http://www.reformed.org/apologetics/index.html?mainframe=/apologetics/martin_TAG.html
  134. Don Batten, A Who’s Who of evolutionists Creation 20(1):32, December 1997.
  135. Jonathan Sarfati, Refuting Evolution, Chapter 1, Facts and Bias
  136. 138.0 138.1 http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=3884
  137. http://www.leestrobel.com/LS_bio.htm
  138. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n23_v47/ai_17863106
  139. Lewis, Surprised by Joy op cit.
  140. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6688917/
  141. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/newspapers/sunday_times/britain/article1265412.ece?token=null&offset=12
  142. Edgell, Gerteis & Hartmann 2006
  143. 145.0 145.1 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_2_28/ai_114090211/pg_1
  144. http://www.the-brights.net/vision/faq.html#1
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  150. American Faith: A Work In Progress by Stephen Prothero, USA Today, March 10, 2008, page 11A
  151. http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/47052/?page=3
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  158. http://www.inerrancy.org/
  159. http://www.tektonics.org/gk/gerkin02.html
  160. http://www.tektonics.org/TK-H.html
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  163. http://www.tektonics.org/uz/wellsga01.html
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  171. http://www.tektonics.org/TK-T.html
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  197. http://www.bartleby.com/63/79/4779.html
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