Common Problems with the Atheists

Every day these days is like a box of chocolates.

I have been down to the bottom of several lines of thought, and one of the things that amazes me the most is that they all exist in the same world. How is it possible that this world produces such widely divergent views? If they are all delusions, why does it generate such delusions?

I shouldn’t be criticizing the atheists. I need those guys. But for all the things they have right on paper, they keep on saying a handful of remarkably shaky catch phrases that prevent me from ever really supporting them in any dialogue that lasts more than 5 minutes.

Why do people always overstep the reasonable limits? Is it worth sacrificing the airtight quality of the rest of their arguments?

Why can’t the atheists just argue that atheism is a rational viewpoint, without trying to demonstrate that it produces the happiest, more beneficial life? I’m not inclined to believe that it does.

Ask them for any doctrine you please, and you will get it. Your University professors are bound to preach optimism; and it is an easy and agreeable task to upset their theories – Arthur Schopenhauer

Everyone would be happier if we got rid of religion.

People who are religious are happier than those who are not.

Religion is bad for the world because of the Crusades and the Inquisition. It is of no significance that Communism has links to atheism. Hitler was a Christian.

Largely untrue.

Good people doing bad things? That takes religion.

Bad people doing good things is just as likely to take religion, and this scenario is more common in the civilized world.

America is not a Christian Nation.

The fact that you even take the time out to argue about this shows tremendous bias and irrationality. Discussions about America are totally out of proportion with the topic at hand. Only in the United States do the arguments over God’s existence include regular debates about the intentions of the people who founded the country in which the debate is taking place.

Theists came up with this idea of life being meaningless [without God] because they needed reasons to justify God’s existence.

The problem of meaninglessness was noticed by perspicuous atheists because they were the ones who needed to deal with it.

Anyone can be a smiling, ardent atheist. You can be one of the best and the brightest.

Smiling, ardent atheists tend to be first-world, intelligent, gainfully employed, computer-literate Caucasians born into privileged families. Only the best and the brightest can be the best and the brightest.

I am an atheist and I am happy. Therefore, atheism is nothing to be upset about.

Many Christians believe that atheists will burn in hell, and they are happy. Therefore, Christianity is nothing to be upset about. Also, see above.

There is a natural explanation for everything

There are discernible correlations between everything.

Believing in heaven diminishes the importance of this life, and of everything

Or you could face up to the obvious flip side of this coin. If there is some kind of afterlife (any at all), presumably things done in this life can impact it, making this life “important.” If there isn’t, nothing you do can make any difference that will be preserved, making what you choose to do rather “unimportant.”

Science has shown that the supernatural, God, etc. is superstition

Science makes testable claims.

It’s nobler to be good without God, because this shows you don’t need reward or punishment systems.

Everyone needs reward and punishment systems, because everyone does everything for a reason.

You are in control of your life without God looking over your shoulder. Take control of your life.

Even though you always say, as a natural consequence of your arguments, that:

Free Will is an illusion

And you have no choice but to say that.

Jesus didn’t even exist

Stop saying this. You lose credibility when you say this one.

I am an atheist who accepts evolutionary theory. I am among the ranks of the intelligent.

This result can be achieved with no parenting and a grade 10 education, provided there is no religious influence.

I have degrees in science. I could not have gotten these degrees without having a correct worldview.

There are Young Earth Creationists with PhDs in science. If things like that can slip through, there are probably infinitely many smaller things that gush through on a regular basis. Lots of them are probably in your head.


10 Responses to “Common Problems with the Atheists”

  1. wabasso Says:

    I disagree with both statements on the first point. Do we have a good way of measuring happiness? And if we did, would we be able to correlate “religiousness” with happiness? AND even if we did find a correlation, all other things being equal, I imagine it’s the sort of system where reintroducing other factors (age, nationality, wealth, etc.) could invert the relationship.

    Or maybe you were just trying to respond to an unsubstantiated claim with another unsubstantiated claim, tongue-in-cheek. In which case, disregard.

  2. A lovely collection of uncited straw men. Argument is so easy when you can just make up your opponents’ positions. But that’s the Christian way, eh? Whatever it takes to further your position; who cares if it’s actually true.

  3. That’s a scientific result that I have read in several different studies over the years. I think some of them even crop up in particular RSS feeds that both of us are subscribed to.

    Whether the methodology is sound, I don’t know. I doubt it’s so flawed, however, that the converse could be reasonably claimed.

  4. Also, note the neon Case in Point above my comment.

  5. wabasso Says:

    I figured we both take those studies with a grain of salt. It is entertaining to read how Y correlates with Z but I always assume that’s without considering A through X. We don’t see capitalism collapsing because a study shows you’re no happier being paid more than 75k a year. “It’s more complicated than that”.

    That being said, I can agree that your point seems less incorrect and the converse argument should be prepared to bring scientific studies to the table.

    I love that you get randoms dropping by to criticize your blog. When I used to keep a Livejournal I tried keeping my posts open in the hopes I’d generate a forums for discussion from people all over the internet. I rarely got strangers commenting. I never did anything to really publicize my writing but I suspect you don’t either. Maybe there are people out there searching for “Christian + blog”.

  6. We can discuss the studies sometime if you want – they’ve done tests on people’s health, for instance, which are more quantitative.

    I love it when the randoms perfectly illustrate the point I’m trying to make. I’m going to dedicate an entire post to that comment within a day or two.

  7. wabasso Says:

    We should definitely discuss that, or truth metrics in general. I want to learn to be a better scientist.

    It’s not just the randoms but the entire mode of thought that most people are used to using. “This evokes an opinion of mine, therefore, I offer it”. I am far from an exception to this. Like that time I replied to something you said on Facebook that completely missed a nullifying point directly above. And many a time I’ve started typing something on here, then canceled it, because I realized I wasn’t actually saying anything.

  8. I think many of us suffer a bit from scientific mediocrity, but I’m also not sure that’s what makes the difference… in my estimation, people just need to be better logicians.

    You raise a valid point: maybe it’s just the Internet, and has nothing more to do with real atheists than Internet Christians (with whom I have no experience) have to do with real Christians.

    Google placed some Christian ads (some of them involving DVDs about people who took a peek around heaven and hell) on this post. It made me surprisingly angry…

  9. Good points. I suspect that many of these viewpoints come from the same vein as misguided Christian ones. I get a little embarrassed when I see fellow atheists fumble with positions like these, and even more embarrassed when I’ve had similar stumbles.

    One minor point:
    I don’t know if “Jesus didn’t really exist” should always cause you to down-grade someone’s credibility. It depends on the perspective. If someone is implying that “nobody ever did all the things which Jesus supposedly did to fit the legend of Jesus, and, therefore, nobody should honestly be called Jesus with all of his associated implications,” then perhaps they are still credible but just have poor, inflammatory word choices.

    But, chances are, you are probably dealing with someone who just doesn’t think Jesus exited at all.

  10. Salutations.

    Of course. But I’ve never met a person who, by claiming that “Jesus didn’t exist,” was making an inflammatory distinction between the “historical Jesus” and Jesus Christ. Whenever I see this statement, it is meant in the “Jesus-was-a-Corn-King” and “Jesus was a myth” context–the Brian Flemming, Tom Harpur, etc. version. And that does downgrade my view of the person, because it is a triumph of ideological motives over evidence.

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