Apology for atheism

Hoyt wants to insist there is a standard definition of atheism, which he defines as

atheism entails a belief about the existence of deity

and any other definition incongruent wth his definition is incoherent or absurd. And one wishes he was right, but it does seem that is not the case. If one were to read Stephen Bullivant’s The Oxford Handbook of Atheism, they would discover, quoting Stephen, that

THE precise definition of ‘atheism’ is both a vexed and vexatious issue.

In fact, he (Stephen) goes so far as to give 5 definitions of atheism from scholarly works that show no consensus in the definition of the term.


Theists are interesting people. And Lyle Duell is no exception. In his recent post he is defending an absurd position that atheism involves three basic assumptions. But he doesn’t just stop there, no, he tells us atheism is a faith. How is it a faith?

it is a faith because it is an ideal that exists in the human mind and is supported by other human beliefs. The idea that it is a non-belief is nothing but atheistic sophistry. Call it a non-belief is like calling it a non-idea.

I have no idea what that means.

Over to the assumptions.

1. The first is that there is no God.

And he says this is absurd. To prove there is no god, one would have to be omniscient. In his words

No one can prove that there is no God for in order to do so they would have to be everywhere in the universe at the same time and also outside of the universe at the same time for the very place that they were not, might be the very place that the Uncreated one is present.

which if you ask me is such an absurd demand. The theist says god is everywhere. One need only to point one place where they don’t see god to show the argument of the theist is false or incompatible with reality. This argument against the first assumption, assuming there is such an assumption, is easily defeated.

2. The second assumption that I have found in most atheists is the belief that they are smarter than those that believe in God.

Against this 2nd assumption, he tells us William James had a higher IQ than Einstein and also

The most intelligent living person is Christopher Langan. He is considered by many to be the world’s smartest living person with an IQ of over 200 and he is a believer.

Assuming for a moment that the second assumption is held by many atheists is true, listing two individuals believed by the author to be intelligent is no evidence for god. In fact he admits as much. Anyone who believes donkeys can talk, snakes walk and zombies have roamed the earth can not claim honestly that he is smart when it comes to religious questions. This is not say the said individual cannot replace a flat tyre, far from it, it only means that in one area of their lives, they have opted to abandon their reason. I would think that is what is meant in that second assumption.

3. The third assumption is that science has proven that there is no God

I would ask for citation for this. From what I have read, it is argued science has reduced the sphere of operation for god[s]. No scientist has gone to the labs to prove the [non]existence of god. What would be the variables to be tested?


I know many of the atheists who land on this spot have been wondering whether or not they have faith. Worry no more. I finally have the answer to this question.

What is faith? Do you put your trust in someone? Something? Then you have faith. We are told

Faith is the result of placing our trust in something (e.g. an idea, a person, in God, etc), and that “something” reassuring us that our selection (or placement of trust) was correct.

He continues to say

For example, the atheist who places their trust in a scientific theory feels good about their decision, and many times will encourage others to feel the same way. In the end, I believe that that feeling of “reassurance” is, in essence, faith.

Then we come to the critical question of whether the faith of the atheist and theist are similar? The answer, dear friends, is a resounding no. It is only in appearance. ANd why is this so? The bible has answers

The reason these types of faith are not the same is because there are in fact different degrees of faith. The Bible speaks of “. . . a measure of faith,” that is given to all men (Romans 12:3). However, the Bible also speaks of great faith (Matthew 15:21-28), unwavering faith (Romans 4:20-21), and also faith without works (James 2:18). Although there are other types of faith, these are the main ones reference in the Bible, some on multiple places.

In conclusion, the atheist just has a measure of faith. You need to believe in god to have great faith. What are you waiting for?

Why is a person non religious

Well, the simple answer is they no longer believe the claims of religion are valid but not according to this Christian. He tells us the reasons for non belief can be summarized as

  • the experiences he or she has had with Christianity insulted their intelligence
  • the experiences they had with Christianity were negative, or even traumatic
  • or, they simply feel they don’t have a need for God in their life.

but forgets or is unaware Christianity is not the only religion. One could be a Jew, a Muslim, a believer in voodoo, heck! There are many religions to believe in other than Christianity. But most importantly, the gods of Christianity don’t exist.

Joseph, he who is all knowing, tells us

Somewhere along their journey in life, they were negatively influenced to the point of openly rejecting God.

and here, I thought if someone were to influence you away from religion, they would have done you a good. I can only say Joseph has not heard of W. K Clifford who said “it is wrong everywhere, always and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence“(extreme, I think, but you get my drift). (This paper (pdf) is a good critique of the Clifford Principle)

But the christian knows the reason you are an atheist is

 a traumatic event

your priest molested you and this led you to call it quits on religion or your cat died and you said no more religion for you.

Or maybe, you are the type of atheist who

doesn’t have any ‘need’ to know God (I don’t know why need is in scare quotes)

resulting from

monetary wealth, an abundance of secular education, and/or a self-professed “understanding” of Christianity in general.

What is the christian to do when faced with any of the above scenarios?

  • First and foremost, you must approach this type of person with humility in your own heart. Talking down to them, or challenging them in any way, will only bring conflict and contention.
  • Second, you must allow them to see how Christ is working in your own life.
  • And three, we must be patient and know that their on God’s time, not ours.

The christian, even after doing the above, maybe faced with the challenge of trying to teach one who wont listen. What is one to do?

Honestly, there isn’t much you can say that will get them to listen to you. But, what we can do is show them the light of Christ in our hearts by how we live our lives. It is this Godly happiness, that can only be found in one who has been saved by grace. When things get tough, they may look to you for guidance on how to be happy again.

What however got me laughing is the comment below this post. The author wrote

You’re off to a roaring start on the blog. Hope you are well and that you gather all the followers you can attract.

And it seems to me the bar is so low in christian circles if this is an example of a roaring start. Or maybe roaring has new meaning.

Confessions 3

If we believe the priests, we shall be persuaded, that the Christian religion, by the beauty of its morals, excels philosophy and all the other religious systems in the world.

Baron D’Holdbach

One of the most irrational of all the conventions of modern society is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected. …[This] convention protects them, and so they proceed with their blather unwhipped and almost unmolested, to the great damage of common sense and common decency. that they should have this immunity is an outrage. There is nothing in religious ideas, as a class, to lift them above other ideas. On the contrary, they are always dubious and often quite silly. Nor is there any visible intellectual dignity in theologians. Few of them know anything that is worth knowing, and not many of them are even honest.”

H. Mencken

My first confession was a story of how I became clever, saw the light and left the faith I had been brought up in. The second confession (very Catholic, if you ask me) was a short story of the past. Then there was reflections on Christianity and finally about atheist experience in Africa.

This posting is about what I have become.

A great amount of care was taken to make me a Catholic. It was taught in school as fact. I went to catechism school. Went through the rites, participated actively in church activities and generally without reflection. It didn’t occur to me to question the truth of this religion I was brought up in. Did I have doubts, yes, but not about the truth of the catholic doctrine. I worried a little about whether I would go to heaven or hell. And the book of revelation (the few times I read it) didn’t help matters in this front with its small number of the chosen ones.

When my faith began to wane or maybe I had lost, I read a lot on arguments for god and why they failed. I read on authorship of the bible, on the existence of Jesus and even on miracles. All this reading led to one conclusion only, revealed religions were a scam. I read a little here and there on Islam and even the Gita.

Does Christianity or any religion for that matter deserve the attention we give them? Is there any good in wasting years trying to demonstrate that religions are all false, that their claims are contradictory and many times impossible? Is there any truth in the claims of Christianity? Is there a way to verify any of it? Is it any more true than the religions my forefathers had believed in? If it had been true and was ordained by a god, why did it need violence, deception, evangelism to spread? Was it important that we, everyone, had a religion or believed in a god(s)?

I am at that point in my life where I can say theism is false. That the supernatural claims religions make are baseless. It is not important that one believes in a god(s) as long as one lives well with others. Be kind. Be useful. Life is simple.

Africa interests me. African religion and philosophy more so. How my forefathers lived, what they believed in and how this knowledge made life in society and community possible. How did they face calamity? Death? Disease? And in times of plenty and bountiful harvests or hunts, how did they celebrate? Now this is interesting stuff.

Talk of gods and miracles bore me.

Hell doesn’t interest me. Heaven is a scary proposition. Vicarious redemption is abhorrent. And the gods? They don’t exist. We make them all the time. The raw material needed is a sick imagination and a people gullible enough to believe.

To all my religious friends

And especially enemies who over the years have felt offended by my tweets, blog posts that are critical to religion, I want to tell you i am sorry and that I plan to continue doing just that.

The good news however, is that I have today joined a new religion that I didn’t know existed. I am an ordained minister as we speak and I will be blessing every tweet or blog post I send to protect it from your funny prayers.

There is peace that comes with finding the right religion and today I found it.

May the Dude be with you all.

on why the watchmaker argument fails

We know the contrivances of human beings whenever we see them. If I should find a bicycle assembled, I wouldn’t have to rock my head trying to discover its source. Everyone who has seen a bicycle knows to what ends they are produced and by whom. We do not have the same knowledge for things occurring in nature. I cannot tell, when I meet an elephant that there was a purposeful designer who wanted it to crash plants.

To say something happened by chance, does not rule out a designer. It could have been experiment and this result was a chance result. It was never planned.

The theist has no reason to limit the being of the universe to this

The only possible explanation for the structure is that it was designed by an intelligent being, not some random physical process.

For what is intelligence? It includes

the capacity for logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, and problem solving

many properties which would rule out the god of theism; an all knowing god can’t learn, reason nor plan. Such a god can’t be creative. We are told, for example if you believe the Abrahamic religions, that god said and it was. In a scenario such as this, the god need only wish and it is.

The question of how did the universe come to be is not made easier in supposing an intelligent designer. I could grant you a designer and ask why must we stop at one designer? If one argues from man made things to the universe, then we see that many things have components built by different people; someone a roof, someone windows and doors and another walls. So, then, we can be certain there is no contradiction in saying there is a designer for trees, another for elephants and another for fish and for all other million of things that exist.

I contend this blogger has not demonstrated his claim.