Could atheists be guilty 

Of caricaturing the worst of religion’s malpractices or its worst practioneers, such as the Phelps of this world or the self appointed Pat who has a direct channel to god, in their attempts to argue, as Hitchens did, that religion poisons everything? 

When atheists reference data showing the areas with most religiosity are also most dysfunctional, could it be that we don’t look at the entire data? Data that, according to D Myers, show that those most devoted live longer, smoke less, divorce less, donate more- to both religious and secular charities-, are much happier and much more?

Or when we concentrate on the god of the OT, we overlook the sermon on the Mount and all other peace messages that on the surface demonstrate a benevolent and loving god?

And finally, are experiments on intercessory prayer begun with the foreknowledge they will fail? Is the Christian justified in the case of negative or no confirmatory results to say god is not to be tested? Is it a valid response? 

For Sunday reflection.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

22 thoughts on “Could atheists be guilty 

  1. Sam says:

    This could be the case, however it doesn’t do anything to help us unlock the answers to the universe. Lets say religious societies have the best healthcare, best education and lowest crime stats, how would this help to prove God exists? It would do little to prove to me that I shouldn’t be an atheist, either.

    Just my thoughts on this 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Mordanicus says:

    Hi Mak, I was wondering whether are experiencing a massive increase in spam messages today. Well, I do so (at two different WP accounts, in fact).


  3. I’m curious where there is data that show that theists donate more to secular charities. I know they certainly donate much to themselves in the guise of donating to their church.

    As for being happier, how is happiness being defined and does it take into account that delusions can indeed make people feel better? for example, if they believe that granny didn’t die but is “really” watching over them, or that one’s pet has been sent to the “farm” and hasn’t died, or that the various genocides didn’t “really” happen and one doesn’t have to confront that humans can be horrible? One fact will gut that happiness in a heartbeat.

    Liked by 5 people

    • makagutu says:

      The data Myers used is old or rather his book is old but he quotes a Gallup 1990, 92 and a 2001 independent sector survey that confirm faith- philanthropy correlation.
      No, such delusions are not accounted for, unfortunately

      Liked by 2 people

  4. john zande says:

    Atheists, no. They are not guilty of any of these things. Atheism has no content. Antitheists, yes. Sometimes, but generally justified.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. NeuroNotes says:

    “When atheists reference data showing the areas with most religiosity are also most dysfunctional, could it be that we don’t look at the entire data?”

    Let’s look at some data. In the U.S., studies show that the highest divorce rates tend to be in the most religious states. Published in the American Journal of Sociology, the strongest factors predicting divorce rates (per 1000 married couples) is the concentration of conservative or evangelical Protestants in that county.

    Studies also show that the least religious states tend to be the most charitable, while the most religious states tend to give to their own religious tribes (organizations/churches). Charitable donations used to pay clergy salaries and living expenses, administrative costs, building and maintaining churches and church property, and proselytization expenses, fall under the definition of charity according to our government. Only 10% or less of the donations given to churches are used to help the needy. Vermont (least religious state) has more charities per capita than any other state, according to the 2016 World Giving Index.

    In July of 2015, the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs showed that Hong Kong ranks #1 in life expectancy. The U.S. ranks #43. Eighty-three percent of the population in Hong Kong are either Buddhist, Taoist, Irreligious, or atheists.

    Liked by 6 people

    • makagutu says:

      David Myers agrees with you, but he argues those divorce rates are true if selected for those who don’t attend church regularly but that they don’t hold true for those whose attendance is weekly or much more frequent.
      But the data you present gives a different picture. It is possible these have changed since 2001.


  6. renudepride says:

    I think that we are ALL guilty of whatever shortcomings prevail within all of our societies. To say that one group of people is to blame for all the world’s failings is somewhat broad and very general. I know that as a non-practitioner I am just as much to blame as are the believers. I do, however, accept and acknowledge my culpability more so than others of both groups. Just my thoughts, sir!

    I hope that you are enjoying your weekend as much as I appreciate your offering here. Naked hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. NeuroNotes says:

    More data.

    “Religiousness has frequently been found to be associated with higher reported mental health levels than those found in individuals lower in reported religiousness. These results have often been inferred by scholars to mean that secular groups have poorer levels of mental health despite the fact that secular populations have rarely been included in studies. [snip] The implications of the current study are that secular and religious adherents have similar levels of mental health, which is contrary to expectations based on the previous literature.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Well, all atheists eat babies and poison the wells of Christians. So, I guess they are all guilty sons ‘o bitches. I got this data from It’s a website founded by former Catholic nuns who now sell bakery goods and offer inerrant truths about lots ‘o shit online.

    Liked by 4 people

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