I stumbled across this little letter to the editor on the NewsOK website today. (I like to hit various news sites around the country and the world because I do my best to be exposed to various viewpoints and because I’m not a hypocrite when I tell others to turn off Fox News for a week and see how their mood lightens.)
I’m frequently tired of, this blathering misconception that atheism is a religion. (Note that I spell atheism with a lower case “a” as opposed to religions like Christianity, Islam, Judaism that all demand capitalization.) The linked letter to the editor starts off about the billboard at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, then the author goes on to state everything other than something to support the stated premise that atheism is a religion.
Said writer makes a number of claims about atheists one of which is that he was himself a former atheist (they never are). Let’s just examine the premise he postulates.
Philosophically, atheism is founded on a contradiction. Ask the atheist why he doesn’t believe in God and the standard reply comes in the form of an objection to evil or suffering, such as: “If God exists, then why did He allow the Holocaust?” or “God doesn’t exist because when I was 12 my Mom died of cancer.” In other words, God doesn’t exist because He could do a better job at being God. Got that? He isn’t because He is … (stupid, or uncaring or incompetent). This is clearly a contradiction, which just as clearly refutes the assertion that atheism is based on reason.
Well about the only thing he got right (almost) is the very first sentence.
“Philosophically, atheism is founded on a contradiction.”
Which, if you want to get down to brass tacks, yep you’re almost there. You say you believe in an imaginary friend who counts how many bad things you did and passes judgment on whether or not you are going to get that Xbox Kinect for Xmas this year.
(oh wait that’s Santa but the same general flawed premise.)
But what he is stating is that people become atheists due to their loss of faith (apparently like he did, if his claims that he believes he was an atheist are true) due to a tragedy in their lives or they observe tragedy around them. But this isn’t a contradiction. That’s a loss of faith. Faith is the operative term here. Having faith, in spite of reason, in the unreasonable.
Atheism is simply rejection of a flawed premise. A non-testable hypothesis. Contradicting the unbelievable. That’s it, that’s all.
We know the nativity scene is a myth. It didn’t happen. It is a well-known fact to all but the believers and the apologists that this December 25th date was a machination of the church to co-opt a pagan holiday. Jesus, if he actually ever existed, would have been born in the spring. (Google it. It’s not my point here.)
The vast majority of people who I know who left their previous faiths, other than the folks (notice the proper spelling otherwise I like to say foolks which is a hybridization of fools and folks and if you say it fast sounds like another more appropriate word entirely.) who were raised as atheists from birth, did so because of education. Because they studied religion, they read the Bible or the Torah or the Koran or the Vedas or whatever holy books of their parents’ faith of the month was.
And it didn’t make sense. It was unreasonable and illogical.
Tab A did not fit into Slot B
That is all atheism is. It is not faith-based. It is simply rejecting something that does not make sense. That and the fact that we don’t need to believe in an imaginary best friend who is going to make our boo-boos better and will help us win the big game.
We accept that we are in control of our own destiny. We make our own choices and we live with those decisions. No born-agains, no do-overs, no after-life.
How sad for you if you can’t deal with that…