ARGUMENTS AGAINST ATHEISM
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Just to be clear, this response is from a Christian.
When someone makes a statement like "ATHEISM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SOME OF THE GREATEST CRIMES OF HISTORY", they are often trying to make someone guilty by association. It is a fallacy and very unfair.
Replace the word Atheism with Christianity and you could make the same argument.
All the crimes of history have one thing in common, people committed them.
If a particular "ism" has a philosophy that directly causes someone to commit a crime,that is fair game.
But often bad people use whatever philosophy is prevalent to erroneously support their crimes.
If you wanted an island of Atheist to wipe out another island you wouldn't tell them it was God's will.
Maybe you would try and convince them that Atheist are more evolved and so should wipe out the other island.
If the island was predominantly Christian you might try to convince them it was God's will.
Or that we should wipe out the other island to rid the world of evil unbelievers.
My point is that someone can misuse any "ism", even science or history to erroneously support their crimes.
But if the "ism" does not directly support those crimes, than it is solely the fault of the person committing the crime.
RE: More stupid shit from Jo.
oly war, any war fought by divine command or for a religious purpose. The concept of holy war is found in the Bible (e.g., the Book of Joshua) and has played a role in many religions. See crusade; jihad.
Have you even read the bible?
"15 And Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalekite did to Israel din opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalekite and devote to destruction 1 all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”
Note the way your deity specifically specifies the ethnic cleansing to include children and infants. Come one Jo, you're still treating us as if we can't read...now it's time for one of your desperate rationalisations again...
So are you saying the bible is wrong, and this was not what your deity wanted? I'd love to hear your rationale for that? Or is mass murder and ethnic cleansing moral when your deity commands it? How about slavery, and sex trafficking young girls taken as prisoners? Your deity commanded that as well, according to your bible.
Yes an atheist can commit evil atrocities, and be encouraged to do so, but this has nothing to do with atheism, as atheism has no dogma or doctrine, it is simple the absence or lack of belief in a deity, something we all know form your posts you struggle with...
Once again. Once you stop laughing, the burden of proof is theirs.
Believers have been using religion to justify the most appalling crimes for millennia .
I can't speak for others. THIS atheist states ; "I do not believe in god(s) due to a lack of proof. I do not claim to know"
That is a position called 'agnostic atheism' , it is not an argument. My position does not infer any particular philosophy or political persuasion.
I have made NO CLAIMS. As a result, I need explain nothing , refute nothing .
These claims by believers are simply attempts to reverse the burden of proof.
This is a good example if "counting the hits and ignoring the misses". They conveniently ignore the many millions murdered or tortured in the name of religion, from the Crusades to Cromwell to slavery. All sanctioned by religion.
But begin by requesting examples of their claims. And yes, Hitler was a christian.
That is the easiest argument to refute yet.
"Atheism" is not responsible for the great crimes in history, not even close. That honor belongs to various religious institutions. The middle east is soaked in blood, blood from disputes about religion/god.
An old favorite theist like to trot out is: "Hitler" Except that is just misinformed BS. Hitler and his minions were actually very involved in religion so not atheist at all. Even his own writing and other historical writing reflect this, Nazi Germany was not in any way "atheist."
RE: ATHEISM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SOME OF THE GREATEST CRIMES OF HISTORY.
There is an equivocation fallacy occurring in the statement. This makes it fallacious. Atheism is defined as "The lack of belief in God or gods." NOTHING MORE. An anti-theist is also an atheist. The anti-theist is opposed to belief in god or gods (more specifically the institutions that spread this belief).
Okay, so we have some governments that were anti-theistic (Atheistic). Mao in China abolished religion. Mind you it was not just the Christian religion but 5000 years of traditional Chinese religion. "Ideologically a Marxist–Leninist, his theories, military strategies, and political policies are collectively known as Maoism."
In the philosophy of Marxism, Marxist–Leninist atheism (also Marxist–Leninist scientific atheism) is the irreligious and anti-clerical element of Marxism–Leninism, the official state ideology of the Soviet Union. Based upon a dialectical-materialist understanding of humanity's place in Nature, Marxist–Leninist atheism proposes that religion is the opium of the people, meant to promote a person's passive acceptance of his and her poverty and exploitation as the normal way of human life on Earth in the hope of a spiritual reward after death; thus, Marxism–Leninism advocates atheism, rather than religious belief.
KEY TO WHAT HAS BEEN SAID ABOVE:
Maoism advocated an atheistic society and the removal of religion.
Marxism advocated an atheistic society and the removal of religion
Leninism advocated an atheistic society and the removal of religion.
Maoism, Marxism and Leninism are political ideologies. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in God or gods. These were political ideologies and not Atheistic ideologies. Atheism / Anti-theism have no dogmas, no rituals, no philosophy, no holy texts, no official government decrees, no laws, and they are not political movements. You do not get form Atheism to killing people for their religious beliefs. You do get from Marxism, Leninism, Maoism and even Hitler's Progressive Christianity to killing all those who challenge your government. If people want to follow a higher law than that of the government. they must be killed. NOT AN ATHEIST IDEOLOGY.
That's easy, they mean some atheists, atheism is simply the lack or absence of a belief, since it offers no dogma or doctrine it can't be responsible for anything. You might also point out that there is a large body of research showing that when objectively compared atheists are at least as moral theists. Also tell them to fuck off if they try to claim Hitler or the Nazis were atheists.
Kundalino - They claim that it is possible to prove some negatives.
Perhaps ask them to demonstrate this by proving Cthulhu isn't real.
Technically it is true you can prove some negatives, like in mathematics for instance. But in the real world, you can't prove negatives, or positives for that matter.
Unless you have some esoteric definition of proof, you can prove real world negatives. Let's say that real-world proof is to provide evidence beyond reasonable doubt, to a conclusion.
For universals like there is no god, or there are no unicorns etc. there is no useful proof, because one could always say that although not yet proven, a proof may lie somewhere, sometime somehow, as yet undiscovered. Thus agnosticism is the best option in these cases ~ assuming that PROOF is being asked for.
But in situations of limited scope, one can prove a negative. For example:"There are no eggs in this egg box". That's a negative statement , and it can be proven, (evidence beyond reasonable doubt), by looking inside that egg box.
Similarly for a positive:"There are three eggs in this egg box". That's a positive statement , and it can be proven or disproven, (evidence beyond reasonable doubt), by looking inside that egg box.
Yeah, I was talking about how the word is used in philosophy, math, and logic.
How to refute these other arguments of theists?
1-ATHEISM IS JUST ANOTHER RELIGION
2-“ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE"
3-WITHOUT GOD, THERE IS NO MEANING TO LIFE
4-RELIGION PROVIDES INSPIRATION FOR GREAT ART
1. By definition "atheism" is not religion.
2. Uh yes it is. If a giant concert has no people in it, that is evidence that there is no people at the giant concert.
3. No meaning? why not? Who decides life has no meaning? Meaning of life is a personal decision/conclusion god or lack of has nothing to do with meaning of life.
4. "great" art is very subjective. But at the same time even if it is absolutely true religion provides inspiration for great art, what does that mean? I seen great art inspired by all kinds of things. The pen/paper/dice game of dungeons and dragons inspires great art, does that mean religion is on the same level as dungeons and dragons? (A fictional game where we make up all the rules as we go along?) Oh wait maybe religion really is on the same level of dungeons and dragons!
1-ATHEISM IS JUST ANOTHER RELIGION
Atheism is not a religion, it is just one position, the lack of belief in a god or gods.
2-ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE
True, but there is still a lack of evidence. Because a specific determination cannot be arrived at, then the most rational decision is to lean towards where the evidence leads. And since there is zero evidence leading towards a god, then the PROBABILITY of a god is very low.
3-WITHOUT GOD, THERE IS NO MEANING TO LIFE
Life is what each individual makes of their life.
4-RELIGION PROVIDES INSPIRATION FOR GREAT ART
I agree. But when I gaze at pictures of the Vatican ceiling, or Notre dame Cathedral, I ponder how many starving children could have been fed instead of constructing a glorious building.
While I agree that religion has inspired great works of art, it is definitely not the only source. Modern artists catered little to religion (how many religious paintings did Vincent van Gogh do?). And the list of all-time great literary works is very lacking in anything religious.
RE: "Atheism is just another religion?" This is generally a "Straw Man Fallacy." The person who utters it is adopting some definition of atheism that has nothing to do with atheism. "Atheists believe God does not exist." "Atheists are Secular Humanisits."
WHAT EXACTLY QUALIFIES AS A RELIGION?
the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
Atheists have no such beliefs. We have no dogma, no holy books, no worship services (The assholes that started the Atheist Churches are questionable and I want to vomit every time I hear them say "Hail Darwin." A bunch of fucking idiots in my opinion.) Apparently some atheists miss church so much that they wanted to start an atheist church. It does happen. It is not the norm. They still have no dogma.
Definitions of a religion from various sources generally read in such a way to preclude atheism from consideration. ”a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices" ... "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith."
IN ALL HONESTY: Sunday Assembly(AN ATHEIST CHURCH) , and religions where many of the attendees do not believe in God, such as Unitarian Universalism. These can be considered the religious forms of atheism. But Atheism itself is not a religion. (FACE THE FACTS, I CAN TURN ANYTHING INTO A RELIGION - FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER - JEDI and more.)
Most people who consider atheism a religion are Conservative Christians or Muslims. It is basically a Straw Man Argument. "Atheism is a religion too."
1. look up religion in the dictionary, then look up atheism, QED.
2. This is a sound logical statement, now ask yourself does it mean you now believe in mermaids and unicorns, and if not then why not?
3. Inventing a deity and attaching meaning to your life because of it doesn't remotely make that invention objectively real.
4. So do dragons.
@Kundalino: 2-“ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE"
You already have an entire post dedicated to this topic. Are you not reading the posts people are giving you? Reference my previous post on the "Bear Cave Analogy." Nothing has changed since then. If something does change I will let you know.
@Kundalino: 3-WITHOUT GOD, THERE IS NO MEANING TO LIFE
This is no different than the assertion "Without god there is no morality." It is the very same argument and it was previously discussed. Just swap out the "meaning to life" with "morality" and your question is answered. THERE ARE NO NEW CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS. THEY KEEP SAYING THE SAME OLD SHIT OVER AND OVER AND OVER WHILE SIMPLY CHANGING A FEW WORDS.
@Kundalino: 4-RELIGION PROVIDES INSPIRATION FOR GREAT ART
COMPLETELY AGREE: I just learned to play Leonard Cohes song Hallelujah, an anti religious Hallelujah but if the original had not existed how would he have come up with the idea? It would be foolish to assert mankind has not received inspiration from religion. It is idiotic to assert that the inspiration came without a cost. (Ignorance, War, Damnation *Dante's Inferno*, Witch Burning, Slaughter of the Innocents. Look at all the people God kills in the Bible." Inspirational, absolutely, but costly as well.)
While religion is inspirational, so are many other things completely unrelated to religion. Newton watched an apple fall, Archimedes got inspiration from a bathtub full of water, Nicolaus Copernicus watched the heavens for his inspiration, None of these inspirational sources were as costly as religion.
Starry Starry Night. one of my favorite songs, inspired by a painting of VanGo's.
How much are you willing to pay for your INSPIRATION. Will you kill your neighbor? Will you give up your sense of curiosity? Will you kneel in the dark recesses of pews and pray to a magic man in the sky? Inspiration comes to those who seek it. You can find it free in a blade of grass, or you can pay for it with your eternal soul.
And why does life require a meaning?
It appears you need some study material. You can start with the following:
 The Proper Rules Of Discourse & Their Application
 Oh No, Not The "Atheism Is A Belief" bullshit Yet Again
 Mythology Is Not Created In A Vacuum (A brief post of mine for a change)
 Mythology As A Prescriptive Worldview
 Mythological Error Renders Supernaturalist Assertions Null And Void
 The Vacuity Of Apologetics, And The Nature Of Genuinely Informative Propositions
 More On Abuse Of Discourse By Pedlars Of Apologetics
 Exposing Rampant Supernaturalist Hypocrisy Over Observational Data
 Genuinely Existing Entities Are Testable And Observable
 More On Logic, The Genuine Nature Of 'Belief', and Quine's Existence And Singular Inference
 Nailing the "Hitler Was An Atheist" Canard Once And For All
 It's Time To Nail The Hitler Canards Again, With Stalin/Pol Pot Extras
 Consilience, What It Means In Science, And Why It Is Of Value
 Reliably Repeatable Interactions Can Be Modelled By A Turing Machine
 Information Is Not A Magic Entity (BONUS: Scientific Papers On Evolvability Of The Genetic Code
 More On The Evolvability Of The Genetic Code
 The Nature Of Random Variables (With Creationist Misuse Of Scientific Literature Extras)
 A Formal Test Of Universal Common Ancestry (Original Paper By Douglas Theobald Published In Nature)
 Paley's Watchmaker Is Destroyed By Watchmaking (Savour The Irony)
 Assorted Creationist Fallacies Destroyed: Serial Trials, One True Sequence, and "Fine Tuning"
 Destruction Of Creationist Canards Involving The Laws Of Thermodynamics
 Eye Evolution And Morphological Change Canards Dealt With
 The Evolutionary And Biological Basis Of Ethics
 An Exposition On The Scientific View Of The Origin Of Life
Reading the posts alone should keep you occupied with bedtime reading for about three weeks. Reading the scientific papers covered therein should keep you occupied for the next six to eight months. Care to exercise the diligence required to study that lot, and realise at the end why supernaturalist canards are pointed and laughed at here?
RE: Reading material. He does not read. He studies the Christian way. You pray for guidance and understanding, place the book on the nightstand next to your bed, and go to sleep. God will then tell you all you need to know.
@Calilasseia: thank you very much
There is no such thing as arguments against the non existence of something, only evidence for the existence of something. They are using a known common logical fallacy called argumentum ad ignorantiam. Beyond the lack of objective evidence, what are the arguments against the non-existence of invisible garden fairies?
It's a question borne of delusional blind faith, best to just point and laugh. Make sure they don't have matches and pitch forks first, they're a humourless bunch.
Is every atheist an absolute skeptic?
"Is every atheist an absolute skeptic?"
No, not all. Atheists come in all flavors, the sole connection being a lack of belief in a god or gods.
But you will discover that most atheists who find there way here began their lives in a theist family, and that most questioned the stories from the bible. Thus they can be defined as skeptics. For myself, it took me forty years from when I stopped attending church as a theist until I had the epiphany I was an atheist. And during that forty years I searched for any confirmation or signs of anything spiritual. So was definitely not an absolute.
I had never intended to be an atheist, and in many ways, I did not want to be an atheist. But my questioning and skeptical mind led me down the path where I now understand I am one.
Are you a member of any skepticism forum?
"Are you a member of any skepticism forum?"
Nope, not at all. My skepticism is internally self-generated as a result of many years and being burned a few times in finance and love. When you have been conned, you quickly learn what to look out for and the warning flags.
IMO a good part is one's ability and incentive to learn from your mistakes. If you just go through life without seriously considering the consequences of your actions, it is just a pinball machine of life. But if you attempt to observe everything and understand all the processes being played out in front of you, as well as being honest with yourself and admitting you screwed up, you never stop learning and improving.
@Kundalino: Is every atheist an absolute skeptic?
Absolutely not. Atheists can believe in chi, chakras, spirits, ESP, crystal magic, Auras, reincarnation, karma, and all sorts of mumbo-jumbo. The base line for being an atheist is "Non-belief in God or gods." That's it!
With that said, I think it would be fair to say that the majority of "VOCAL ATHEISTS" are skeptics. It is a bit hard to be vocal about atheism and not believe in God when you believe in crystal magic, chakras, reincarnation, or hold other magical ideas.
I think this has been answered.
Atheism is not a complex idea. It only means as a lack of belief, it is not a philosophy . IT DOES NOT suggest any specific ideals or philosophies.
Some atheists are ALSO cynics and/or Skeptics. Some are communists ,some are democrats , some are republicans. I happen to be a pluralist(look it up) Many of us are also agnostic;IE we do not believe, but do not claim to KNOW there is no god.
Speaking only for myself , it is my position that the existence of god is an unfalsifiable question. That means that (so far) it has been neither proved nor disproved.
Agreed, I absolutely concur.
A small observation here, agnosticism is the position that nothing is known or can be known about the nature or existence of god. This would of course always be true where unfalsifiable claims were being made about anything.
Again if something is unfalsifiable, then that means it cannot be falsified, even if it were in fact false. Thus we can know nothing about the validity of such a claim. It is primarily a scientific phrase, and all unfalsifiable claims are generally discarded as unscientific, as falsifiability is a fundamental requirement of all scientific claims. A useful phrase to remember, which is often used by science to describe such claims or assertions is "not even wrong," because of course falsifying claims is as important to science as validating them, as this advances our knowledge by learning something is untrue.
Of course all beliefs are by their nature the affirmation of a claim. Non-belief on the other hand is not an assertion of a contrary position, it is as the word suggests simply the lack of that belief, as is the case with atheism. This is not to say that an atheist cannot go further and make a contrary assertion, though it is false for theists to assign this to atheism, as they so often do.