Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Atheists need greater faith?

David Oginde wrote a piece for Standard Digital entitled Why greater faith is required for one to be an atheist. An article that makes quite curious statements.
In its purest form, atheism is the lack of belief in a god and/or the belief that there is no god. Atheists mainly rely on logic, scientific and anti-biblical evidences to denounce God’s existence. This often poses several dilemmas for the atheist.
Many atheists consider faith and reason to be mutually exclusive. Dan Barker, an atheist, argues in his book Godless that, “If something is true, we don’t invoke faith. Instead we use reason to prove it. Faith is intellectual bankruptcy.”
It's worth noting that Dan Barker is a former preacher. But most of this sounds about right... Except for the dilemma bit of course...

To try to figure out God in your finite mind or subject Him to some scientific manipulation is to operate in the realm of the absurd! It is like an ant trying to walk around the equator to see whether indeed the earth is round. No ant has ever done it, and no ant will ever do it.
But the fact of the earth’s sphere remains for any ant willing to accept by faith! And for such an ant, it will be wisdom not foolishness; for if one day the ant kingdom discovers a way of going round the earth, they will discover that indeed it was round all along. Likewise, God must simply be accepted or rejected by faith. Neither affects His nature or being.
 Sorry, but these arguments all fail. God claims can be tested by science. Maybe not the existence of a deity directly (at least, unless God is defined in such a way to be meaningful). But we can certainly test claims of a god interacting with the natural world. We can look at the claim that the Christian god unleashed a global flood and test it. When we find that that story is simply false, it erodes from the source material for that particular god. In that way, many Biblical claims have been shown to be fictional. And the more of the Bible that is fictional, the more likely God is fictional as well.

And no, an ant need not believe the Earth is round simply by faith because 'no ant has walked the equator before'. I haven't walked the equator either, but I'm hardly relying of faith when stating that the Earth is indeed a globe (well, an oblate spheroid if we want to be accurate).

Let's pretend that I have never seen a picture of the Earth from space. Could I still say that the Earth is round without relying on faith? Without a doubt! I could simply run the same experiment that Eratosthenes did. By noting the difference in the angle of the sun between two locations at the same time on the same day, as well as the distance between those points he was able to quite closely calculate the circumference of the Earth! Oh yeah, and he figured this all out in 240 BCE.

And the fun part is that anyone can run this very same experiment for themselves. Through a simple test, anyone, including Oginde's intelligent ants, can find not only find that the Earth is round, but measure it as well. No faith required! Oh, and that goes for rejecting God as well. Despite what David claims, that doesn't require faith either. Not believing something requires no faith. Faith is the belief in something without evidence. Atheism is a lack of belief. Ergo, no room for faith even by definition.
The other dilemma that faces the atheist is the absolutism-relativism stance. Atheists argue that there are no absolute truths, and consider any such propositions dogmatic and mere bigotry. The challenge though is that they make such statements with a deep sense of finality and absolutism.
Except for the part where Oginde is completely wrong. Atheists tend not to believe in moral absolutes. That there is no universal, transcendent morality where there is no gray area at all about what is right, wrong, or if they are always right or wrong. Absolute truths are another story. There is only one set of truths in this universe, and I don't know an atheist who would ever tell you otherwise. What is true, is true. No ifs, ands, or buts.
Harrison, for example, describes himself and fellow atheists as free thinkers “who insist the existence of a supernatural being is a figment of the imagination.” In this, Harrison, like other atheists has just taken an absolute stand that there is no God. This negates the very foundation of atheistic framework of logical reasoning. 
That would be correct if that was actually the 'atheistic framework of logical reasoning'. But the truth is that Oginde simply has no clue what he's talking about. If you start with a false premise, you get a false outcome. And that's exacly what David has done.
For if everything is relative and there are no absolutes, then the most logical proposition anyone can make with regard to the existence of God is that there may be no God. And yet to take such a stance would be to allow for the existence of God, the very thing atheists would not want to accept.
There are absolute truths. But that still leaves us with two possibilities... There is a God, or there isn't. I don't know everything, so logically I must conclude that there might be a God. But at the same time, I lack believe in God due to the burden of proof remaining unmet. Because of that I, and most other atheists, are agnostic atheists. Unlike most believers, we are open to the fact that we could be wrong.

 If I am wrong and God is real, the truth is that I do want to know. Prove to me that God is real and I'll happily admit that I was wrong and accept God's existence.
It appears to me that greater faith is required to be an atheist — faith to believe that there is no God.
 Sorry, but relying on evidence to form one's views is the very opposite of faith...
 Every material reality around us seems to demand the existence of a supernatural source and cause. 
Like? Please, just one example. Because ignorance of scientific explanations is not a valid argument
for God.
To believe that the universe, in all its diversity and order, simply happened; requires more faith than I am personally possessed of.
It strikes me that David feels that his lack of understanding of natural explanations, probability, and imagination somehow counts as points in his favor. Too bad for him that his ignorance has betrayed him once more.


-Brain Hulk

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2 comments:

  1. "We can look at the claim that the Christian god unleashed a global flood and test it. When we find that that story is simply false"
    No offense. I would like to hear your critical review about the following article,sincerely.
    https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/geologic-evidences-for-the-genesis-flood/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No offense, but I certainly hope you aren't relying on AIG as your standard. The link you posted is not proof of anything other than ignorance of the actual explanations for the arguments presented.

      #1) The landscape of the Earth is much different than it once was. You also have to realize how mountains are formed. The crust of the Earth is made up of many different plates that are slowly moving in different directions. When plates slowly push into one another, the one is slowly pushed upwards. Through the vast passage of time what was once under the sea can be high above it.

      #2) Actually, the fossil record looks nothing like we should expect from rapid burial. If the fossil record truly reflected a global flood, we should see a completely random
      distribution of fossils. They should be all mixed up in no particular order. But we do see a very specific order. And order that perfectly represents a very old Earth with no global flood.

      #3) Again AIG is ignoring that the reason is the same plate tectonics that we talked about previously. The layers match up in areas opposite sides of the Atlantic because they were once joined in the distant past.

      #4) The answer AIG gives fails again. By ignoring plate tectonics and how old the Earth is leads them to the wrong answer again.

      #5) The erosion we see is actually nothing like we would see if there was a massive flood. Since AIG loves pointing at the Grand Canyon, how about the fact that the shape of the Grand Canyon is completely the wrong shape and construction to represent flood erosion.

      #6) Actually, there are well understood reasons to see such rock formations. Also, the existence of fractures elsewhere unravel the case being made here. The expatiation is a long one, but here is a decent read on the topic: http://questioninganswersingenesis.blogspot.com/2011/04/rock-layers-folded-not-fractured-or-are.html

      There is a lot LOT more that shows us that the flood didn't happen, and even couldn't happen. In fact I have written a few different blogs on that previously. But the sad uninformed 'explanations' found on AIG are explained by even the shortest on google searches. Do your homework before hanging your hat on AIG. Otherwise you will just look poorly informed.

      Delete