Sunday, July 12, 2009

A lesson in logical fallacies: the supposed denial of atheists

Why do theists always argue like they know more about atheism than actual atheists? Sure, it's most likely just an offspring of the treasured old Arrogance of Ignorance, but it's still entertaining (though at times plain exasperating) to listen to the religious claim about how atheism is evil for this and that – and never, ever, seem to get anything right about it at all. Obviously it's simply because their minds are clouded and warped, stripped of all critical thought by their faith and brainwashing, but it still gets tiresome to repeat the same points over and over.

Nancy Greenwood from Red Deer, Alberta, is a perfect fit for this description of a boringly inaccurate anti-atheist. She's sent a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Express detailing her views on atheism, and specifically, five points that are "difficult to admit" for atheists that she believe tears down our nonbelief. She reads like one big walking logical fallacy; it's hilarious.

Beach states there is no evidence for God. This is not true. There are some key factors involved in this thinking by atheists that are not usually published.

But – hey, wait! She said there was evidence for God – and then changes the subject? But why doesn't she present said evidence? Unless – she lied? How disappointing.

Firstly, atheists claim that they themselves are god. They claim they have superior knowledge then the rest of us by trying to say that they have better knowledge because of their own thinking. They will not acknowledge anyone else to be above them.

Hmm. I admit, I do have godly wit at times (oh, snap, right?) – but I must confess to seeing myself as no more than a (sorta-)humble human teenager. As do *most* other atheists, I'm sure (except perhaps for the "teenager" bit).

No, atheists don't see themselves as superior to anyone else – not in every way, at least. Sure, atheists do tend to be better-educated, more intelligent and more decent folks than most; this has been widely seen amongst statistics and polls (ie. most of the brightest minds of the world are atheists, there are no atheistic wars whereas 99% of wars in human history were predominately religious, atheists are in the lowest percentiles for criminals and dangerous folks in general, and etc.). But show me an atheist who sincerely claims atheists are superior to everyone else as though part of a superior race, and I'll show you a man who's simply insane – or believes in a very skewed form of "atheism".

Secondly, atheists have been hurt somewhere in their lives, can’t understand suffering, and are mad at God — so it is easier to deny there is one.

Wait – what? Atheists have been hurt, yet can't understand suffering? Seriously, how do thinking humans write these sorts of sentences without even noticing how utterly dumb and silly they sound?

And of course, that point is just silly. So atheists are only godless because they were hurt and blamed God, and then punished him by disowning him? Right. Baseless claims much, Nancy?

And of course, the premise of this point is that atheists actually do believe in God – hard to get angry at something you don't believe exists. I can't hate unicorns or flying broomsticks, can I?

Thirdly, atheists are looking for God for the same reason a thief would be looking for a police officer. They don’t want to be accountable to a higher being because of the wrong things they do.

Aha! The Return of the Evil Atheist! Of course atheists and criminals are the exact same thing, and of course, all atheists are evil bastards, and they just pretend to drop their belief in God because they fear Big Daddy will smack them around the head a few times for being just so dang evil.


Fourthly, atheists forget that when a person goes to a museum and admires a painting, that there was a painter/designer of that art piece. The art piece is absolute evidence of a painter and not caused by random nothingness.

All of the world, stars, animals, plants, oceans, and mountains are absolute proof of a divine intelligent being (beyond our human ability and thinking) who made these things.

Can the atheist make a tree? It is scientifically impossible for bees to fly (laws of physics) and yet they do. It is impossible for our eyes to see and yet they do. What more proof does an atheist need than their own heart pumping in their chest without them commanding their heart to pump each beat in perfect timing each and every second necessary?

Holy mother of Tod. That's one heck of a fallacy, the invalid analogy argument. Paintings had creators – so naturally, everything else in the Universe also had a creator. Oh, and also, seeing as my pen holds black ink, all ink is black. Dare to tell me you have a red-ink pen and I shall smack you, you heretic.

I do not deny that something did indeed create "world, stars, animals, plants, oceans, and mountains" – it's called physics (and, well, every single branch known to Science). Things developed over time until now where they're pretty much self-sustaining. Evolution means life creates new life and keeps on going, geology means the Earth is constantly changing, physics keeps the world balanced, chemistry keeps things interactive, and so forth. Yes, the world was created and developed – just not by a creator.

And what's that guff about bees violating the laws of physics? Bees fly because their wings displace air in a way enabling them to carry their body weight up and away. And there's enough knowledge and studies about the eye and how vision works to ensure that there isn't much left for us to discover or be confused over. Truly, that bit was just a couple of stupid claims. (Well, kinda like the rest, but whatever.)

Fifthly, denial is a strong coping mechanism in crisis, but does not serve anyone in the long run. Like an ostrich with its head in the sand, an atheist denies God not because God does not exist—but because the atheist doesn’t want God to exist and does not want to see the truth and evidence in front of their eyes.

Um ... isn't the fifth point just a mixture of previous points (particularly the third)?

I would rather believe in God and make sure my life is doing what is acceptable to this Superior Being than to not believe in God and find out I will be accountable to this God for everything I’ve done after I die. With 84% of the world’s population believing in the existence of God, I think the majority rules in this case.

Holy wow! The two single stupidest and illogical argumentative fallacies that exist, in a single sentence! First she uses Pascal's Wager, ie. the argument from ass-covering scaredy-catness which says that you should live your life as if a God did exist and was gonna judge and sentence you after your death, just because there's a small chance he might exist. It's a fallacy that's been demolished by numerous counter-argument, such as:

  • "No, there's not even a 'small chance' the Biblical post-life-sentencing-to-Heaven-or-Hell God exists because it's completely silly";
  • "It's an argument spawning just from being scared and insecure";
  • "So you gotta act good only because a God might be awaiting you, otherwise you'd have no reason not to be as vile and evil as you wanna be?";
  • "Why spend your entire life – a really long time by conventional measures – living according to the rules and laws of a petty tyrant you don't even believe exists (if you're using Pascal's Wager as an excuse, which would mean you don't actually believe in God but are playing along 'just in case')"; and etc.

And then, an even dumber fallacy: majority rules! After all, if 84% of the world follows some deity or another, than that's got to be the way to go, right? But wait – which of the (*counts*) hundreds of deities should you follow? And, seeing as many deities have multiple faiths under them, which particular faith? Ooh, what a noggin-scratcher.

In short: please, theists, please stop trying to use logic. You simply can't do it. And when you try and discredit atheism with said nonexistent logic ... verbal chaos and vivid laughter ensue, every time.

(via Pharyngula)


Post a Comment

You can post any sort of feedback or questions you like, just as long as you abide by the rules detailed in the About section. =)