I was recently sent a link to an article on a Christian website named "5 Lies Atheist Tell". So I felt obligated to write a rebuttal to refute this ignorance and flat out falsehood. Enjoy.
1. The Biggest One- THERE IS NO GOD
"They would have no problem telling a dying child there is NO God. Clearly they have no idea if there is or there isn’t. They assume their conclusion is the only right one."
As an atheist I've never once made this claim nor have I seen many atheists at all make this claim. The truth is that the vast majority of atheists are also agnostic in the sense that we freely admit that we cannot prove that no god at all exists. However, many atheists, myself included, do contend that the specific gods given by religion do not in fact exist. This is a key distinction because it is a statement that their god does not exist based on factual evidence, however it is not a statement that no god at all exists. While all atheists do not believe that any god at all exists, this is not something we can prove and most of us well know it.
2. They say they have “Open Minds”
"We know that is not the case. When presented with spiritual issues they always dismiss it as fictitious, invalid or unsupported stories."
An "open mind" does not mean that one will accept any idea thrown at us. What it means is that we are open to accepting any idea that has factual evidence to back it up. So if you want to address "spiritual issues" you'll first need to show factual evidence that a "spirit" or soul exists. Any idea that lacks substantial evidence of a factual and observable nature can and should be dismissed as fictitious and invalid. I am not open to the idea that unicorns exist unless someone can show me a unicorn. In the same vein, I am not open to the idea of a soul or spirit and these spiritual issues that supposedly come with it unless you can show me that a soul exists. If anyone can provide concrete evidence that these things do in fact exist, then I will change my opinion based on the evidence. Without said evidence all I have is conjecture and that isn't anything worth changing my opinion for.
3. Christianity teaches you to not think.
"Atheist assume that the Bible somehow teaches Christians to not use your brain. This is clearly not the case."
The author gave some bible verses here to supposedly support their case which are:
“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hos 4:6)
“For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (Prov 8:11)
“Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline, and understanding” (Prov 23:23)
If you'll notice something here, two of these verses come from the book of Proverbs and the other is taken out of context from Hosea. The book of proverbs is in fact a book of general affirmations of wisdom and in many cases the verses have little or nothing to do with religion. So I want to offer as a rebuttal a verse not taken out of context that shows without a doubt that the bible asks of Christians to forgo using your own mind and simply accept the bible as truth.
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"" - 1 Corinthians 3:19
This is one of many verses which calls for Christians to accept the supposed word of god as written in the bible above both their own reasoning and the general reasoning of mankind. If this is not a call to ignorance, then I must be missing something.
4. Science exists despite religion.
"Truth: Science exists specifically because of religion. The scientific method comes from studying philosophy and Newtonian physics comes from studying astronomy. Religion caused people to study both philosophy and astronomy."
It seems that Christians have a serious problem with dealing with the facts of history. The truth is that religion has stood in the way of scientific progress since its inception. The Christian churches of both Protestants and Catholics have fought tooth and nail to either silence through violence or through falsehoods any scientific idea that threatens to undermine the legitimacy of the bible. If you remember only one name in this dispute it should be Galileo. The abuses he withstood at the hands of the Catholic church over heliocentricity and other cosmological ideas is a testament to the fact that science has persevered despite religion constantly trying to undermine and eradicate it.
5. They Don’t Care If There Is Or Isn’t A God.
"Deep down inside of everyone’s heart there is a missing element that is always questioning, searching and longing to find God. They may try to ignore it but it still remains there."
This is nothing but baseless assumption. Worse still it is a blanket statement that supposedly is meant to apply to everyone. What arrogance it must take to believe that you can make such a statement. To imply that you know the hearts and minds of all men is disgustingly arrogant. As for my part, I lack the arrogance to make a blanket rebuttal meant to speak on behalf of all atheists. I am well aware that we all have our own thoughts and feelings and that it is not my place to tell you what you feel. What I can do however is speak for myself and I can tell you without hesitation that I honestly do not care if a god exists. I am certain that none of the gods offered by religion exist and so if one does I can only hope that I'm judged, if judged at all, by the content of my character and my deeds as a man. Either there is a god that no one knows of and it is kind and loving but unable or unwilling to help mankind, or there is a god who is malevolent and I want no part of it, or there is no god and I have nothing to worry about. In each instance there is no reason to care if a god exists because it has no bearing on the here and now, which is where I choose to live.
I won't label the author of the original article a liar because I do not believe their intent was to deceive. However, this does not make them any less wrong. Every one of us has at one time or another believed something that was false. Usually this happens because we trust those who tell us things without actually verifying the validity of what we're told. It is a common human error, and not one we can say that only the weak minded and naive have fallen victim to. The author of the article made the mistake of thinking they understand atheists and atheism and thought they could wrap it up and pin a bow on it pretty as you please. But just as with the religious, we are all individuals and blanket statements simply won't do. If we truly wish to find a way to coexist peacefully we have to actually try to understand each other. A Christian can't tell you what an atheist is or what we think and believe because they aren't atheists and most never have been. If you want to understand our position you have to get it straight from the horses mouth.
I encourage any religious person who may read this to just go out and talk to some atheists. We're good people who live and love and hurt just like you. For all our theological disagreements we are all just tiny animals on a remote rock hurtling through space, and the only hope we have lies with us and our willingness to work together despite our differences.
* I included every line of the original article here in my writing, however I always encourage my readers to never simply take my word for it. As such, here is a link to the original article for any who wish to check my source: http://todaychristian.net/5-lies-atheist-tell/
Photo Credit: Flickr/ncaranti - Niccolò Caranti