IS atheism rational?

Do people still ask this question? I thought every rational and reasonable person would have come to this very conclusion on their own without my help even if they continued to talk loudly to themselves in the hope their plans would turn out differently.

It seems I have been ambitious, too ambitious. We have this author  who thinks they have done the world a favour by exposing the irrationality of atheism. Their post starts by a strawman and from there any conclusion they arrive at is true. They tell us

Many people believe that atheism is based on reason and science, while religion is based on emotion and faith. But in this video, I show that atheism is not rational, is not based on science, and in fact is just another religious belief.

As am wont to say, one has to be really daft to claim with a brave face in public that atheism is a religious belief. This type of person can only be thick as a stone. Atheism has nothing to do with science. You can know zilch about science and be an atheist. Atheism is a response to whether one believes deities exist. It is not whether one knows the Newton’s Laws of motion.

The atheist is under no obligation to give any reason for the non-existence of god. All the atheist need to do is ask the theist to present the evidence for his claim. There is no need to shift the burden of proof here.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know we had dogma. The good book of atheism has the following dogmas that we heathens must recite every morning.

1. There is no God.
2. There is no objective truth.
3. There is no ground for reason.
4. There are no absolute morals.
5. There is no ultimate value.
6. There is no ultimate meaning.
7. There is no eternal hope.

 

I love this list. And like the god claim, the theist has the burden of showing that the positive claim is true. I am patient and will wait for the proofs. While we are on it, I will remind this theist and many others who visit us that atheism is a lack of belief in gods.  We have covered morals in several posts. Jesus asked what is truth did not answer. There is nothing in the definition of atheism that got to do with meaning, value, morality, truth and so on.

The OP gives the following as the standard arguments by atheists and I will respond to each on its turn.

1. The existence of God is incompatible with the existence of evil.

This is a strawman. The argument states that the presence of evil is inconsistent with the existence of an all loving and all-powerful god. It leaves room for a god that is malevolent and not powerful.

2. God is a projection of man’s imagination.

I will wait for the theist to show this is not the case.

3. Since God cannot be scientifically demonstrated, he cannot exist.

Can the theist demonstrate in some other way that god exists. We are open to suggestions and demonstrations.

4. People believe in God because they are culturally conditioned to do so.

This should be obvious even to an idiot!

5. The idea of God is nonsensical, like the idea of a square circle.

Can the OP give us a coherent definition of god.

6. If God made the world, who made God?

For stupidity, this theist would receive the first three trophies! This argument is a rewriting of the cosmological argument which attempts to leave god out of the cause effect continuum. The theist tells everything has a cause except his god without giving us a good reason this is so.

7. Since there is no evidence of God’s existence, he does not exist.

Please god help us here. What are you and where are you?

It is true that

The arguments of atheism do not stand up to rational analysis

when the arguments you have listed are a strawman. They would not stand up. The theist has made a claim there is a god. I ask the theist where is the evidence. He presents arguments- word plays- as evidence, I show that these are inadequate, why cry foul? Why can’t the theist ask his god to settle the matter by presenting himself or itself.

To appeal to arguments of the type

No-one, however, can prove that God does not exist, because that would require having all possible knowledge. The atheist would need to have infinite knowledge throughout all time, and be everywhere at the same time, to be absolutely sure of everything. In reality, the atheist would need to be God in order to prove that there is no God!

is to raise the stakes to such a level that allow the theist to claim that his god is hiding under the stone that you haven’t checked. His god will always be hiding somewhere. This claim although looking valid doesn’t help us in our quest for knowledge. It is a weak defense. The person employing it can’t defend his position as rational.

The claim that

Atheism is not rational because it is impossible to prove that God does not exist

attempts to go round the problem unsuccessfully. The onus is on the theist to tell us what god is and if god is. Trying to shift the burden of proof will not take us anywhere.

If it is true that

The principle arguments put forward by atheists to disprove the existence of God are
invariably based on unproven assumptions and unreasonable tests

it can only be said all the arguments so far advanced by theists have been defective. Atheists offer rebuttals to the arguments. I don’t need to come up with any argument. The ones offered by theists are just as good to show the impossibility of god- whatever you define it to mean.

And we would not deny

No matter what criteria the atheists employ, there will always remain the possibility that God exists outside of their knowledge and beyond the confines of their naturalistic view of the world

our only question to the theist would be how does he know? Does the theist have some secret knowledge the atheist lacks? Is it also not true based on the argument above that the theist could be wrong on all he thinks he knows about god? Is the theist open to this possibility?

The OP concludes

Atheism not only fails to prove its case, it also fails to disprove the evidence for the existence of God. In reality, there is abundant evidence to support the view that the cosmos was created by an intelligent, purposeful and supernatural being. It is not enough for atheists to dismiss this evidence out of hand simply because, by their own definition, there is nothing to investigate. Saying that God does not exist, does not make it so.
It is more reasonable to believe in God, because the existence of this life is impossible to
understand without God.

To which we call bull! The existence of god is a hypothesis in need of proof. The theist has his work properly outlined for him/ her. The theist claiming a god exists has first to tell us what god is, and whether god is. Assertions and arguments will not hold. To claim arguments can be used to demonstrate a god exists is to define god into existence and anything can be argued to be in this way. The claim that the universe was created by an intelligent being is not an argument for theism. If anything, this argument could only be used by deists. It is a leap of faith to claim that the author of the universe was intelligent, purposeful and supernatural is not supported by any evidence. It is an assertion in need of proof. The universe could as well be the result of a malevolent creatures. Nothing stops it being the work of different creators. One creating trees, another water, another elephants and another idiots. Who knows, there could be a god who multiplies the number of idiots and another who creates genius one after every so long? Saying that god exists does not make it so. It is more reasonable to believe the universe is atheistic, that it is indifferent to whether you have an orgasm or not, that it doesn’t give a rat whether you have cancer or not. All advancements we have made in science have not had god in their explanations. The word god has no explanatory power. To understand the world around us, we must ditch the god belief. We then begin to look at the world as is.

 

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Who needs god

Here is a piece on the necessity of atheism that I would suggest each of you read.

Most people, who mention the first cause argument by Aristotle, ignore the point that he, Aristotle, chose to have just one cause for simplicity but says in his works there could be up to 56[?] causes. The believer must accept the possibility of there being many first causes.

I love Camus and his book the Myth of Sisyphus where he deals with the question of suicide. A very interesting read.

Now, go read the piece.

Who needs god?