A fellow who goes by the name of Feeno stopped by and left some comments yesterday. As I am wont to do, I visited his blog and checked out what he’s been thinking about. And it puzzles me.
For example, in his comments to me he writes, “Age is a funny thing, the older I get the more I understand Atheism, yet somehow feel an even closer bond with God?”
But on his blog, he has a “Top Ten Reasons I Can’t be an Atheist”. It starts out:
#10 I don’t know everything.
#9 I’m not mad at anybody.
Sorry Feeno – but a really bad start. First, I don’t know of a single Atheist who thinks they know everything, I sure don’t. Having said that however, it is a fact that on average Atheists are better educated than believers. Pew research did a study a few years back that in essence reported that religious belief is inversely related to level of education.
Further, I think you’ll find that quite often Atheists know more about your religion, the Bible, and related subjects than you do, and that shouldn’t really come as a surprise. You arrived at your beliefs largely through faith – there is no evidence to support any of the principle claims of your religion. Most Atheists, on the other hand, arrived at their position only after a great deal of study and consideration. In my case, for example, I entered college as a pre-ministerial student in the United Methodist Church. It was during my studies – particularly a rather intense search for the historic Jesus – that my faith slowly lessened until I realized that I simply could no longer believe.
On your next point, you repeat yet another unfortunate misconception about Atheists, to whit that we are angry at someone, namely (though unnamed in your post) god. Such a statement indicates that you are unaware of what an Atheist is.
An Atheist, Feeno, is merely someone who lacks belief in a god or gods. . The word derives from the Greek – “a”, meaning “without”, and “theos”, meaning god. An Atheist is simply someone “without god”. That make you an Atheist, Feeno, as to all the other gods ever invented by man. You are atheistic toward Zeus, Ra, Vishnu, Baal, etc.
Let me ask you Feeno – Are you angry at unicorns? Or perhaps leprechauns? Are you angry at Vishnu?
Of course not, because none of these examples exist, and it’s pretty hard – or at least quite irrational – to be angry with the non-existent.
Going down Feeno’s list, most are gags, some quite humorous. Unfortunately, when he gets to his #1 reason, he falls back on yet another misconception:
#1 They’re to (sic) religious.
Feeno…Atheism is no more a religion than bald is a hair color. (See Greek derivation, above.) Being insistent on truth, accuracy, and evidence is not religious, in fact it is the polar opposite of religious. Having worked hard to arrive at their position, Atheists can be rather insistent and persistent in defense of that position, but religious? That’s a slur.
In conclusion, if you would understand Atheists you must first put aside all the untruths you’ve been taught about them. And one other thing – if you intend to engage in a dialogue with an Atheist, fasten your seatbelt, for they will insist on sticking to things like facts and logic. Those are things you will almost never come across in your church.