There is an order of operations to atheistic diatribe. Religion is deconstructed, God is argued unnecessary, and mysterious elements that give rise to religion are described as things that are better left mysterious. Finally, it is argued that we can be moral, satisfied beings without God.

Why does everyone conveniently arrive at the latter conclusion? It has nothing to do with atheism. In fact, it sounds a great deal like an a paid advertisement.

I would like atheists to consider the possibility that they are right, and that because they are right, the eventual fate of the human race is destruction and suicide in the face of a global intellectual awakening to an ultimately meaningless and amoral existence.

I see nothing inconsistent about this idea, and I see no God to make a rule that it should not be so. I see no logical reason why this should not be a convergent inevitability–an intrinsic property of the system. Yet it is never considered as a real possibility by anyone.


8 Responses to “Atheism”

  1. Brian Westley Says:

    It isn’t considered as a possibility because only straw atheists made up by theists act that way. Millions of real, live atheists already exist. But a lot of theists seem to prefer their made-up fantasies to real life, whether it’s about how they expect atheists to be uniform nihilists or their particular god delusions.

  2. While you are entitled to some assumptions about the intent behind a piece of writing, you are not entitled to quite this many, and you are wrong about all of them in this particular case.

    My use of the words “human race” and “suicide” were illustrative; perhaps they’ve thrown you off.

    This is about an idea, not a behavioural expectation. There are real individuals, having not a bit of straw in them, who exhibit this response to the scenario. However, a paralyzing nihilism can be a natural consequence of atheism without generating the concomitant behaviour in most atheists. Made-up fantasies are indeed effective protection from reality, and they are sold in all shapes and sizes.

  3. The latter conclusion is arrived at because believing in a God is as arbitrary as any other detail of a religion. You specifically did not mention a belief in Jesus, Vishnu, Buddha, numerical sacrifice requirements, which books to read, regulations on female attire, etc. I agree that a world of atheists may indeed converge to one of destruction and suicide but I do not see the possibility as any more or less likely than a world of subscribers to other beliefs. Or to a world with a mix of subscribers.

    Indeed many atheists would suggest that a world of intellectual awakening would eliminate religious-based violence and persecution. I think we both agree though that people who would commit such acts will not (necessarily) be stopped by the removal of religion in the same way that atheist murders would not (necessarily) be saved by theism.

  4. I am unsure why you made the first two statements, but I’d say believing in a God is not an arbitrary part of religion any more than hunger is an arbitrary part of very specific dinner plans.

    I agree. I didn’t intend to speculate on actualities so much as to assert a disconnect between the perceived human necessity of a belief and its relation to the truth, in a paradigm where no such connections should be presumed to exist.

  5. WOW, I responded to that thinking you were the first guy… and I only vaguely wondered why his attitude changed. I didn’t even ask myself how he could have known we’d “both agree” on something. I have taken special note of this event and adjusted my thinking to account for what just happened there.

    Sorry about that.

    The first guy’s post reminds me that I want to write a piece on “lifted thinking” sometime. I believe you can estimate the extent to which a person’s thoughts were independently developed by observing how many popularized terms appear in the expression of their ideas (since, if they were fully developed within the individual, they would be framed in the language most natural to that individual). I thought of this because First Guy uses “straw” (= straw man) and “god delusions” (= the title of a certain book), both of which are quite common in these types of discussions.

  6. I actually had a long second rebuttal typed up in this box here (prior to Oct. 6) and as I was reading it over before posting I realized it didn’t really make a point contrary to what you said. As you know, I have a habit of collecting my thoughts in the comments of other people’s blogs.

    I wouldn’t have guessed that you were replying to the other guy. When you said you were unsure about the first two statements, I assume you meant my answer to your question about the “latter conclusion”.

    I think it’s a bit of an unfair jab to pick out the popularized terms and phrases. It would certainly be nice if this was an accurate metric to the validity of a point, but even mimicking can forward a valid point from better spoken experts. What would you do if what you had to say was best said by someone else? Would you intentionally change the language to reflect your own, even if it made it more awkward? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reading something and going “Ah hah! That is exactly how I feel.”

  7. No, no; I was responding to you. I just thought that you were him posting again. And yes, that is what I meant.

    I didn’t say it was an accurate measure of the validity of a point, but that it implies that some of the thinking was directly imported from outside of the individual. There is a tendency of the mind to “snap” to an interpretation, whereby the gaps in an existing framework of hunches and ideas are filled in. Note that the words I used as an example (above) are unnecessary: he could have removed “straw” entirely, and simply said “delusions” instead of “god delusions.” This doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with the ideas, but there are two implications. First, it becomes more of a conversation with a representative than a real person. Secondly, I believe it *is* slightly less common to find good thinking in this form, because concepts that are not completely stable within the personal experiences of individuals are more likely to survive this way. As a disclaimer, I do not intend to suggest that this discredits our friend up there. He merely reminded me of the idea. But if you have any doubts about the general truth of what I’m saying, I encourage you to talk to a creationist.

  8. I’m sure Camus just had low blood-glucose levels at the time, and that after further thought and a sandwich, his inlook on life may have been a little bit more cheerful.

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