Okay, so I’ve noticed quite a few responses as of late regarding my original “Why atheism is stupid” post from almost 2 years ago, and since I originally posted it, I’ve come to some realizations, did more studying, and in general revisited my original thesis.
First, let me just say: I originally posted that entry in direct response to a lot of antagonism coming towards religious people from the atheist crowd. Places like Digg, or really any online community populated by techy folks, are rather hostile to anyone who professes any sort of belief in anything supernatural.
The post wasn’t meant to indicate that anyone who is an atheist is stupid. More or less that I found the belief stupid.
I think I was a bit angrier back then, and I reacted negatively towards the general hostility towards my faith.
But looking back, my argument was pretty flawed, and a few of the commenters caught wind of it before I did. While the principle is *technically* true, it’s pretty tautological.
To say that there is no definitive proof against the supernatural doesn’t prove it either. Also, the side making the positive assertion always bears the burden of proof.
It doesn’t fall on atheists to prove that God doesn’t exist. However, I think the part I struggle with, and the part I reacted to in the other post is that so many atheists DO try to prove He doesn’t exist.
I can totally understand a call to clear, rational thinking free from superstition. In fact, I applaud it.
But what I was arguing was, and perhaps this is a bit more what I mean: dogmatic assertions of God’s non-existence is stupid.
I can understand arguments against poor logic, I can understand arguments against improper methods of reaching a conclusion, and against illogical extrapolations off of data.
But there are some people who seem to have a vested emotional interest in proving that God does not exist.
While not evidence in and of itself, it seems striking to me that atheists would cast as fools and morons the vast majority of the human population, spanning through time, across multiple and very different cultures and beliefs.
Some would argue that it’s a human flaw, and that the reason it’s flawed is because of the way that humans brains are wired, and how they perceive the world. That when a human being sees a coincidence, they will most likely assign that coincidence to the act of something supernatural.
But really, the only way to know for sure if that’s true is to have a definitive knowledge that the world is in fact purely materialistic. It’s just as likely that the same characteristic that most human beings have shared throughout time, and the one that atheists do not seem to share is the same as how most people can see the world in color, but there are a few exceptions that do not have that ability.
That I guess is where the faith side comes in. For a scientist to say that the only part of the measurable world is the part that is measurable is pointless to say. But when scientists, and philosophers step out of that and say that the only part of the entirety of existence is the measurable world, it takes a leap of faith since neither of us know for sure.
But then what about the side where atheists are just atheists because of lack of evidence, and not dogmatic atheists.
And there I think there can be honest, real dialogue and disagreement.
I happen to believe in the existence of God for quite a few reasons, but one of them is that everyone believes in the existence of something eternal and self-existent. Materialist’s just happen to believe that it’s the universe itself.
That to me goes against our logic. Everything in the universe has a first cause. Everything originally comes from somewhere.
It seems to me then that the first action must have a first cause, and that first cause would have to be outside of the nature of reality because that would be the only way to escape the principle of first causes.
I know this argument has been hashed out before, by folks much smarter than me. But I have yet to see a compelling argument against that one.
One thing, though, that I have learned since my original post: angry diatribes accomplish little to convince either side. The only way to truly discuss this is not with insults hurled, ad-hominem attacks, or immature statements designed to insult and degrade the other side. The only way that has any effect is to discuss it politely, lovingly and respectfully.
And I, of all people, should have known that.