Essay:Response to CP's "Atheism"

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Essay:Atheism/torefute


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Introduction[edit]

Before working on this article please see Conservapedia:Atheism

"Atheism" seems likely to become the new "Evolution" of Conservapedia. As the latter continues its descent into crapitude, the noble minds of Conservapedia have turned their attention to the subject of atheism, in an attempt to embiggen the article with needless repetition of the same, silly points. Debate on the subject has reached new heights of inanity from the Conservapedian perspective, and new lengths, becoming one of the most hotly-contested last stands of rationalists on Conservapedia, including new lights of the rationalist movement as well as old warhorses. Though soon they will all be banned, and their well-argued points whitewashed, their efforts will not have been in vain. For this article will attempt to dissect the "arguments" advanced, and, if lucky, garner another copyright infringement notice, despite the fact that criticism is per se Fair Use.

Point by Point to the Conservapedia "article" on Atheism by Ken DeMeyer[edit]

Conservative's Original Essay

Conservative alleges:

RationalWiki's Response

But the obvious truth is that:

1[edit]

  1. 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).

1[edit]

  1. Simple tautology. The Bible is a document written by believers in a god, and cannot be expected to condone disbelief in the same. As if a physicist pointed to a physics textbook as proof for the validity of physics.

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  1. Rebellion: Some argue that atheism stems from a deliberate choice to ignore the reality of God's existence.

2[edit]

  1. Contradicts the definition given at the beginning of the essay that "atheism is the denial of the existence of god." Contending that atheism is rebellion means that atheists merely pretend to deny the existence of god.

3[edit]

  1. 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.

3[edit]

  1. The fact that one Christian pretended to be an atheist to better fit in on a university faculty reflects on that individual's lack of character and principles, and provides no evidence against the validity of atheism.

4[edit]

  1. Some argue that a troubled/non-existent relationship with a father may influence one towards becoming an atheist.

4[edit]

  1. If every child who had a bone to pick with his or her father was an atheist, there would be very few Christians, Jews, Muslims or believers in any faith.

5[edit]

  1. Arguments for the existence of god: Teleological argument: The universe exhibits overwhelming evidence of deliberate, intelligent, purposeful design, which implies an intelligent designer;

5[edit]

  1. The teleological argument provides just as many (if not more) argument in favor of the non-existence of an intelligent designer. There are numerous examples of shoddy engineering in the human body and elsewhere.

5[edit]

  1. Christian apologist Gregory 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 atheistic regimes.

5[edit]

  1. An absurd contention when such historical events as the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Peru, to name only a few, are considered. When figures for such events are adjusted in proportion to the population at the time, they easily surpass such events that have occured since the Church lost the power to organize such sprees.

5[edit]

  1. The theory of evolution played a prominent role in regards to communism.

5[edit]

  1. An example of the propensity of ultra-right fundamentalist Christians to stray off the subject into areas that are probably the real reason they have such dificulty with atheism. It has nothing to do with belief in god at all, but the conservative obsession with the concepts of private property and man's rightful place at the pinnacle of creation (I ain't related to no ape).
  2. This is empirically incorrect besides; Lysenkoism, Stalin's non-Darwinian alternative to bourgeois pseudoscience, opposed every claim of Darwinian and modern evolutionary theory at every level, and Mao was (being Stalin's agent at least into the 1960s) no promoter of either formulation. The theory of evolution has historically met with rejection where it has clashed with Communist dogma.
  3. This also seems to be a fallacy of equivocation: the word 'evolution' in its most general sense simply means "change over time"; it refers in biological contexts to a specific aspect of biology where allele frequencies across populations vary over time as a result of numerous external mechanisms. Marx believed that the former occurred in a social setting (like any rational person; the society of today has changed beyond recognition in the last two centuries alone) but had nothing to say about the latter.

5[edit]

  1. 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).

5[edit]

  1. Such statistics are based on church activity, including funds extorted by churches from parishioners by means of peer pressure during services, and mere attendance of church being counted towards volunteer activity. In addition, it misses the fact that many people, including philanthropists, are superficial Christians, espousing the creed and attending church services for appearance's sake.

5[edit]

  1. ...atheists/agnostics 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; engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality.

5[edit]

  1. The flaw in this argument is obvious: while atheists might admit to such behavior (being fundamentally more honest than Christians), Christians exhibit the same behavior. The difference is that Christians have the need to hide such activity, and to regularly denounce others who engage in it. Witness the widely reported examples of sexual impropriety among leaders of fundamentalist churches and the Catholic priesthood.
  2. This argument also assumes what it sets out to prove: Christian morality is obviously the only correct moral theory, and therefore atheists are evil because they arrive at different moral conclusions from those who self-identify as Christians, and because atheists are evil Christian morality is therefore correct.

5[edit]

  1. Atheism provides no useful input in regards to origins.

5[edit]

  1. A mere statement of opinion. By this argument, every culture with a creation myth has an equal claim to the truth (the Earth is actually supported on the back of four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle winging its way through the void). In addition, simply stating that some sort of deity or divine creator was responsible for the inception of the world and the universe does not really answer any questions about the origin of the universe, because in order to rationally understand the existence of such a creator, one would be forced to find answers to numerous questions about how and why this creator came to exist, who or what created this creator (and why), what reason this creator had for creating the universe, etc.
  2. Atheism is not a comprehensive worldview - it is a singular philosophical position on the existence of a divine being or collection of beings. It doesn't set out to offer "any useful input on origins", but this is not an indictment of it - federalism is not a comprehensive worldview but a restricted political position, and it is certainly not indicted by the fact that it fails to offer any useful input on the beginning of the universe.

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Independent Observations[edit]

References[edit]