I Don't have enough Faith to be a Theist.
In last week's article, "Atheist Arguments" (ID #9714), respected Times Writer and Whyville's best known Jesus Freak Antier argued strongly against atheists and atheist beliefs.
I perhaps would have read the article with a bit more balance if the first point that she made hadn't been concerning "idiot atheists". The gauntlet has been thrown down and I shall respond with a statistical riposte. Of all of the credited research studies done about the relationship between IQ and religiosity, in the particularly-smart-people magazine Mensa, Paul Bell concluded that of 43 studies into the relationship between IQ and religiosity, all but 4 suggested that the higher the IQ, the lower the chance of religiosity in a person. But "Ah!" you might say, "that article was quite a few years back, wasn't it?". The most recent study was in 2008 by Helmuth Nyborg which suggested that atheists were on average 3.82 higher on the IQ scale than people who were quite religious and 5.89 points higher than people who were very religious.
"I mean, honestly: HONESTLY"
I am not saying that religious people are unintelligent. I'm saying Antier should watch what she says on occasion.
However, this is irrelevant. Whyvillians, when originally planning this article, I wished to outline all of the counter-arguments for theistic arguments and make some arguments for the non-existence of God but I have decided against this and will try to make this a short and sweet summary of the differences between atheism and theism from an atheists view. Please note that in this articles I won't be calling theists "idiots" or saying it "isn't logical" (ID#8735) as there are plenty of good reasons to be religious but one should not be blind to all the other evidence.
Theism: Belief in a god.
Atheism: Belief in no god.
The main difference between theism and atheism is faith. You will be hard-pressed to find a theist who doesn't believe in a particular god e.g. Yahweh (the Christian, Jewish and Islamic god), Zeus, Odin, etc. There is little and most likely no evidence to prove the existence of an exact god so religious belief is fundamentally based on faith (the sort you don't need tangible proof for). Antier herself admitted (ID #8717) that the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God that she often quotes is not a proof of the Christian God but the proof of something supernatural.
As an aside . . . May I introduce you to The Transcendental Argument for the Non-Existence of God*
1. Logic assumes it's principles are true.
2. God created everything, including logic, or everything is dependent on it.
3. Anything that is created or dependent on something else is not necessary (If logic is dependent on God, it is not logically necessary).
4. So God could arrange things so that New Zealand is both south of China and not south of China and this is not logically possible.
5. Because of this, logic can not be dependent on God (2) as two contradicting things cannot be true (1).
As the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God and the Transcendental Argument for the Nonexistence of God cannot both be true, this argument is irrelevant.
I'd love to talk about all the arguments but most of them basically boil down to "Something seems not to make quite enough sense so obviously this is controlled by a scientific being". An example of this has happened in recent times with things called "Cargo Cults" which could be explained at great depth but this won't happen. When Europeans started settling in places such as Papa New Guinea in times as late as 1940, the original residents would see the technology that they had and would worship it. The Europeans, when equipment broke, would send it off and receive back new, repaired models. This didn't make sense to the original residents so they decided that this must be some supernatural power and started worshiping it. They didn't quite understand it so they started worshiping it. This is almost exactly how religion works.
At this point I must say that andreappd in her article "I Don't have enough Faith to be an Atheist" (ID#8735) presented an excellent argument (if one slightly based on extreme faith in God) on the causation argument that you certainly should go read. For some reason, she didn't understand that it was 2008 because of a bunch of monks who sat around and decided one year that the year was 1400 or whatever and we've constantly been counting up from there but I won't dwell on that. The argument she presented was that everything has a cause and that cause is God and nothing can have caused God because God has always existed. I don't know about you but to me this feels like a bit of a cop out. It's a hundred times harder to show that the universe has been around forever than to assume that God has been around forever. This is because the universe is complex and many theists would have you believe that it is only complex because God made it so. Naturalists believe that the world is beautiful but this is because of natural things and anything supernatural would make it less beautiful. Sure, we can't explain some things quite yet but the wrong thing to do is to assume that because we can't explain it, the answer is God. It's not a stupid belief to see if evidence comes out because evidence always does come out about everything.
It could even be said that complete theistic belief is harmful to our society. Many theists believe, as I have explained earlier that things we cannot explain are ultimately linked to some form of supernatural being. This negates the need to try and find evidence for things such as the creation of the universe or how animals are so complex. This stops progression.
Lastly, educated atheists will never say "there are some things we can't answer". Most of the time they will say things like "there are some things we don't know quite yet". This is very different. Developments are constantly being made in science. A couple of hundred years ago it would be perfectly plausible that the earth was 6000 years old (as I'm often told it is by many Christians). Now, however, we realize through carbon-dating of rocks, fossils and historic evidence that this is not true and the world is most likely millions of billions of years old. I won't believe anyone who says that God made this so to confuse non-believers.
My last word: There is not enough evidence that a god doesn't exist but there is not enough GOD DAMN evidence to prove that one does.
This is Cobd...
Authors Note: I hope my radical views haven't offended you. If they have, you have a choice: you can either reply to my article in a cool and measured fashion; you can y-mail me and debate with me in a cool and measured fashion or you can shout and insult me and go back to kindergarten where you belong. Please be considerate, folks.
Authros Note 2: Forgot to mention! Don't worry if you don't believe in the Christian God and find yourself scared you won't go to Christian heaven. I just read Romans (a book in the bible) and it clearly states that as long as you're a good person, you'll still be heading up there. Plus, Jesus is all forgiving, isn't he? Just worry about the possibility that it might be Odin, who's a bit of an angry viking.
Sources and Further Reading: Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion
The Full Transcendental Argument for the nonexistence of a god - http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/martin-frame/tang.html - Michael Martin
Type "Arguments for the existence fo God" into www.wikipedia.org and go wild!