Atheist Inanity

    What do Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Gore Vidal all have in common?  They're all atheists and I've never never seen anything by them in print where they say a nice thing about anyone.  Bizarely enough, all the atheists I've ever personally met are rather nice and tolerant.  However, judging from a limited viewing of the blogosphere a nice atheist is the exception not the rule.  Most explicitly atheist postings tend to remind me of Bill O'Reilly and other Fox News "personalities:" they insult all religions and believers, calling them "wackos" and "ridiculous."  A growing movement is even seeking to get religious education listed by the United Nations as a form of child abuse.

     The atheists like to call themselves rational, but they are not.  Rational arguement does not consist of insults, but of premises and conclusions.  It is not surprising that most atheist invective is directed against the Christian fundementalists of the United States--the heirs of the postmillenial evangelical pietism that gave us Prohibition in all its forms and other instances of morality enforced with coercion--because they are even less rational with Creationism and Intelligent Design.  Little invective is directed the Catholic Church because the Church has an ancient tradition of logicians--St. Thomas Aquinas, the Society of Jesus, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon, Peter Abelard, and William of Occam.  Not to mention devout Catholic scientists like Gallileo, Gregor Mendel (discoverer of Genetics), Fr. Georges LaMaitre (proposer of the Big Bang), and Teilhard de Chardin to name but a few.

    Catholic logicians are not going to be stopped by Richard Dawkins calling them idiots and arbitrarily declaring "there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God."  Please.  I'm sure the few people who have been healed at Lourdes or the thousands who witnessed the "Miracle of the Sun" at Fatima and Medugorje are suffering from "left-brain temporal lobe epilepsy" all at the same time, at the same place, describing the exact same thing, and experiencing it for the first and only time.  Yeah, real plausible explanation.

    I think the main problem is that atheists don't even try to understand the first thing about religion and many believers (especially the creationists or intelligent designers) get the bulk of their science education from quacks like Emmanuel Velikovsky.

    Furthermore: if there is no God, where do the laws of physics come from, why is the universe rational, and where do natural rights come from?  There's your trilemma. 


Published Sun, Oct 7 2007 4:12 PM by TigerofRobare


# re: Atheist Inanity@ Sunday, October 7, 2007 11:24 PM

Its self selection. The only atheists who are vocal about it tend be anti-religion. The rest just don't care.

Though, its possible to be an atheist that supports religions. I self describe as a Catholic atheist. Though I feel that the belief in a loving god and a benevolent state have the same root.

# re: Atheist Inanity@ Sunday, October 7, 2007 11:55 PM

First of all, Dawkins never said any of those people you mentioned were idiots... I am an atheist because nothing in the world necessitates an supernatural explanation.

As to this sentence...

"Furthermore: if there is no God, where do the laws of physics come from"

Answer: no one knows, no reason to think God did it - EXPLAINS NOTHING.

"...why is the universe rational"

I didn't know it was, how can you say it's rational, it does not an active, thinking agent. The term "rational" in reference to universe makes no sense.

"...and where do natural rights come from?"

What are these? These are human constructs.


Creationism does not provide a falsifiable hypothesis, so it is impossible to investigate by scientific means, therefore there will never be a proof/disproof for it, everyone is free to believe what they want, but I base my beliefs on evidence and I choose evolution as one of the best supported theories in all sciences.

# re: Atheist Inanity@ Monday, October 8, 2007 10:34 PM

Forgive me, Karolis, it was not Richard Dawkins but Christopher Hitchens who calls believers idiots.  (I recently read that he got drunk after debating a priest and some present were afraid he would assault him.

In usual discourse in my experience "rational universe" means that matter, energy, and spacetime in it obey mathematical laws which are discovered through reason.

I fail to see why arguing God created the Laws of Physics explains nothing.  Firstly, it explains why the universe obeys the forementioned rational laws (the Templeton Foundation, which keeps getting weird books that propose the "fine-tuning" of the universe as evidence for God published, is not what's intended, but the more abstract case of where the laws of physics and mathematics come from).  

Secondly, I once read Paul Davies say that saying "God created the universe" doesn't explain how He did it and so explains nothing.  But in my view, all of science is just that: how God created the universe and works within and through it.

In regards to natural rights: that's why I ask the question: is there a non-supernatural way to explain them?  I can envision an evolutionary psychologist could argue along certain lines for a psychological origin of natural rights (for example: All people think rationally and are different, therefore it is reasonable for an individual to assume that other individuals will desire different treatment, etc).

My point, I suppose, is that believers should not artificially create instances of Divine intervention where a natural process will do.

I consider Creationism and Intelligent Design to be totally discredited ideas of biology and not worthy of discussion anymore.

# re: Atheist Inanity@ Friday, October 12, 2007 3:34 PM

Let's not forget there is no shortage of mean and intolerant Christians.

# re: Atheist Inanity@ Friday, October 12, 2007 9:37 PM

I know:  "These people use a slightly different wording of the Nicene Creed: they're going to Hell!"

As is it says in Genesis: "When the Lord saw how great was man's wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil . . ."

# re: Atheist Inanity@ Saturday, October 13, 2007 9:23 PM

I agree with you. In my opinion, those who don't believe in God, lack of the most important thing (I don't mean to be controversial and I'm not considered myself better than others by believing). But I don't think it's useful to discuss about this, because faith isn't something you get by reading or learning. It's not the same as "human wisdom", such as economics or any social sciences.

TigerofRobate, I'm glad to find your opinions. I'd encourage you to read some of Jesus Huerta de Soto's work (although it's written in Spanish), specially when he deals with the relationship between "dynamic economic efficiency" and the role of ethics and moral values (in particular, the role of some institutions such as religion and family). He thinks that an economic efficient situation can never be based on injustice.

These are the most interesting views I've ever read on efficiency. If you're interested in this and can't read Spanish, I could make an effort to translate some short excerpts into English.

See you on here.

by martinf

# re: Atheist Inanity@ Sunday, December 9, 2007 7:53 PM

The idea of Natural Rights came first from the Stoics (well before John Locke). I don't recall whether or not they believe their rights to be "divinely given". But there are plenty of Atheists, such as myself, that find a theory of Natural Rights to fit in perfectly with humans being merely a creature of nature.

There is a series of qualities unique to humanity, that, by there very nature, entitle us to certain special treatment. Namely, having rationality, free will, autonomy, the ability to regulate one's life in accordance with one's chosen conception of the good life (from By virtue of having these traits, it can be said that a creature has certain "natural rights".

by Brandon

# re: Atheist Inanity@ Thursday, July 17, 2008 3:57 PM

This post is one giant ad hominem. You are attempting to group all atheists into one like minded social group. I challenge you to find a philosophical disagreement with atheism or non-belief with a real life atheist. I'll be happy to contest whatever you'd like--we can do it on forums, email, or through our blogs.


by jmw

# re: Atheist Inanity@ Wednesday, February 4, 2009 5:16 PM

"Little invective is directed the Catholic Church because the Church has an ancient tradition of logicians--St. Thomas Aquinas, the Society of Jesus, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon, Peter Abelard, and William of Occam.  Not to mention devout Catholic scientists like Gallileo, Gregor Mendel (discoverer of Genetics), Fr. Georges LaMaitre (proposer of the Big Bang), and Teilhard de Chardin to name but a few."

This is patently false. In fact most invective is directed at religion in general BECAUSE of the Catholic Church and its treatment of logicians like Galileo. The only reason athiests are currently less rabid towards "The Church" is because it has become so irrelavent in the industrialized world. In the face of priest scandals, centuries of innocent blood, and widespread corruption, there are few who take the Catholic Church seriously these days. Since there are few atheists in the third world, where the Catholic Church still has influence, there are few to rail against its religious nature. And those atheists in developed countries can make much better use of their time and effort attacking religions which are still growing.