Sunday, September 21, 2008

"It takes more faith NOT to believe in God."


If you’ve never had a Fundie, or a Children of the Corn Mind Zombie theist throw that "It takes more faith not to believe in God" phrase at you, you simply haven’t been hanging around the right chat rooms or message groups.

It’s one of those platitudes they are taught to repeat. They think of it as the “Rubic’s Cube” of challenges… a real brain teaser. The technique is interesting because they use a theological term, "faith", and try to apply it to the scientific method which is devoid of faith and founded in evidence. Faith by definition is belief in the absence of solid evidence. Therefore evidence is the antithesis of faith, the opposite. They are like matter and anti-matter…they simply cannot coexist in one entity. Thus at face the statement is an exercise in the absurd.

There is overwhelming evidence that the Earth is very old as oppose to 6,000 yrs old as the biblical literalists believe; overwhelming evidence for evolution and none for Creation, nor an intelligent designer. Thus rejecting god/gods for an explanation for the species, or to reject a biblical time line for Earth’s age requires no faith at all.

Here's what eludes theists about this whole issue:
If we as atheists denied the concept of god simply as an arbitrary flat rejection, then indeed, it would be a decision predicated on faith. But, as thinking people, the rejection of a god concept is a result of accumulated evidence that support natural causes for the universe. Not just one piece of evidence, not just one theory, but multiple theories with vast amounts of evidence.

Since cumulatively, these natural, repeatable, and observable pieces of evidence contradict supernatural explanations that are devoid of evidence, it requires no "faith" to accept the natural explanation and reject the supernatural explanation. From there it’s a short step to testing and observing the ineffectiveness of prayer; the dearth of evidence for miracles, or reanimation of the dead, etc., etc. Pretty soon, without any agenda to defend, the illogic of god and supernaturalism becomes self evident.

That they can't fathom this simple reasoning, and thus keep rolling out the “it takes more faith not to believe” canard, I attribute to theistic mental block caused by the religion meme, or gross ignorance.

Science and reason neither demand nor require faith. They simply require examination of the data, the evidence, without an agenda that demands rejection / ignoring of any data/ evidence to keep it viable, which is precisely what theists must do to keep their faith

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another good post...

The trouble with using the word “faith” when arguing evidence reliability is there are two meanings that the religious will blur:

1) The "every day kind of faith" meaning based on repeated patterns (e.g. the sunrise and sunset occur on a regular basis)

2) The "blind faith" meaning based on NO (or very poor) evidence (God, Jesus, Moloch, Zeus, Fairies or anything else classified as supernatural)

When I argue with theists, to get around the ambiguity of meaning, I use the terms "trust" and "confidence” instead (I trust the scientific method to produce an accurate representation of reality and history. I have high confidence in the current theories of evolution and cosmology to be accurate)

Word games yes, but I might as well try to keep a debate on track so that a theist has one less tool to derail my arguments with "ah hah, so you have faith as well" gambit.

- Fastthumbs

DromedaryHump said...

Fast,
Thanks.

Yes, I too am careful to avoid using the word faith, instead using trust, confidence, high level of expectation, certainty, or assuredness in its place.

Just for good measure I try to couple it with "based on previous experience, empirical evidence, or observation, I have a high level of .... ".

So when a theist tries his : "Well, you have faith in your wife don't you?" I can say: "I have a high level of trust based on an extended period of observation and experience...thats she's not fucking anyone."

Heheheh...

Anonymous said...

Why is it called the THEORY of evolution as opposed to the LAW of evolution? Surely, all the "scientific evidence" of evolution must, by now, thrust it past a simple theory.

Second LAW of thermodynamics states that in a system, a process
that occurs will tend to increase the total entropy of the universe. So how does a simple, single celled organism INCREASE in complexity (the opposite of entropy) to some day become a multi-celled, multi-organ system such as mammmals and other higher organisms?

Where did that first "spark" of life come from? All of man's efforts to create life have failed miserably. We can clearly take living tissue and perpetuate life, but why can't we take carbon, hydrogen, oxygen (and maybe a few other essential elements) put them together and "start" a new living creature?

Why are humans the only creature capable of reasoning their own existence? No other creature despairs to the point of suicide. Why are we capable of such a thing?

DromedaryHump said...

Instead of calling you anon, and since you didn't provide a name I'll call you Jebus.

Jebus, look up "scientific theory" on Wiki, and you will understand why the term law is not used for Evolutionary theory...any more than it is used for Gravitational Theory. I'm guessing you accept the precepts of gravitational theory, but one never knows when dealing with a religionists.

You are obviously theist, because you are mouthing nonsensical and discredited arguments that apologetics sites have been using for decades. They have all been dispelled, and dismissed, and only the least among you still cling to them.

The answers to your questions are so well established that I won't even bother to broach them...only suggest that you read Origin of Species which you have never cracked. Mouthing the 2nd law of thermodynamics apologetic and mis applying it is the hallmark of science hating xtians invoking science to bolster a fable. Try reading a scientist's explanation of it, and entropy, then argue with them: http://www.strongatheism.net/library/atheology/argument_from_2nd_law/

The physiological and mental acuity of humans differs from other life forms and is a function of evolutionary process. Reasoning sklls developed as a defense and survival technique in lieu of other animals' strength and speed capabilities.
I can't imagine how any thinking person will equate higher thought processes, and mental disorder leading to suicide, to "god did it". I'll cahlk it up to the stunted thinking of a well brainwashed medieval peasant.

Regards,
Hump

DromedaryHump said...

Oh..the "spark of life" lol. I almost missed that one.

Do theists know what amino acids are? They are the building blocks of life. Without them no life can exist. Do theists know that man has created amino acids in the laboratory? Its old news... here:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2002/02_33AR.html

We are likely 20-25 years away from creating life forms in the lab. If man can do it, its likely that natural occurances are doing it throughout the universe.

What is it with theists believeing that life forms are only earth bound and can only be created by a spirit being from a mud man and a rib woman? Its the 21st century. Read a little, learn alot.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Let me paraphrase your "answer" "I know, but I'm telling you!" My 6 year old son uses that logic, too! Really, no answers worth "broaching" at all? Let me.

Gravitational Theory was what Galileo "suspected." When it was finally proven through using the scientific method it became law. Thus, the LAWS of Gravity. Yes, there are still some theoretical parts to gravitational science, but over a short period of time, those theories will either be proven, modified, or disproven. The difference is that evolution has not been "proven" because the most crucial pieces of evidence, missing links, are so few and are under such a cloud of mystery that they do not support evlutionary claims to the standard required to fully pass the scientific community.

And to say that Origin of the Species has the answers to my questions is like saying, "we're right, so you should believe us." Origin of the Species is the ORIGIN of the controversy! Any idiot knows you can't use the subject of controversy to support your theories! Here, let me try. "If you read the Bible more, you'd see where you are wrong." Surely, that must settle this arguement!

Let's move on, What about the planet itself. It has been stated by reputable scientists that intellegent life can only exist on a planet with similar size, distance from a heat source, an adequate supply of oxygen as well as a source of repleneshment ( that we get from trees, but may occur from the hydrolysis of water, and ratios of other elements nearly identical to that of Earth. The probabilty of such a planet is 1 X 10 to the 105. That's
a 1 with 105 zeros after it. A billion only has 9 zeros! A billion times a billion, 18 zeros!

DromedaryHump said...

Well, Jebus,

Here's the problem with your pick and choose scientific usage:

there are 100's and 100's of billions of suns/stars... and many billions of planets orbiting them. The fact the the odds are rare in the necessary distance from a planet to a sun, and the chemical and electrical, et al elemments necessary to support life is more than covered in the mathematical probabilities. In fact, that life exists in the universe is more likely than not.

Further, because of your religious bias and religio-centrism, you believe all life forms need be within the same zone/ distance from the sun as the earth to support life. While only a 2-3% variance in distance from the sun allows life as we know it to exist, it does not preclude that a larger distance variance factor wouldn't support alien life forms. It's a limitation in christian thinking, caused by failure to think beyond scripture.

evolution has no substantial evidence and proofs? LOL. the problem is all the proofs and evidence are rejected time and again by theists who don't want facts and evidence. Just like young earth creationists reject radio carbon dating, geologic layering, etc. etc. prefering the 6,000 year old earth the bible calculates for them Pick and chose those things you like..like the old "missing link..thus "there's no perfectr and complete proof" absurdity.

Yet, strangely, without a sintilla of physical evidence people like you default to the emminently more complex and irrational "a boogie man did it".

Yes, read "Origin of Species." It will clarify for you how & why life becomes more complex. Its a step beyond accepting what xtian apologists are telling you about it. My spitting facts and corrections to your preferred fables , that you simply will reject and revert to unsupported religionist idiocy to counter, isn't very satisfying. One can read the bible and get the gist rather clearly... its both horrific and sily, and takes little effort to understand bronze age pre-scientific perception of how the universe was formed. Unfortuantly, understanding science takes more than just blind aceptence because some cultist told me so. It takes evaluation of comparative theory, evidentiary examination, corroborating facts, the ability to falsify data, the abilty to repeat results etc, for it to be vetted and accepted. You know..the "scientific method"... the thing you dispise because they discredit your childlike mythology.

Finally..that we do not fully understand the physics of gravity is why its still a theory. Newtons law of gravity does not explain it. Yet, while we know tings fall, and things of differing mass fall at the same speed... we don't know the causation. That you don't see the relationship between the theorory of gravity, and the theory of evoluton in terms of not underatanding all of their complexities is a result of your stunted scoientific curiosity and familiarity.

Untill all elements of a discipline are fully understood and gaps closed it remains in scientific parlayence a "scientifi Theory". Thats the beauty of science. It oesnt assing "Law" or "Fact" quickly or haphazzardly. Likely you don't understand the difference between scientific theory, and theory in the common usage. Again..this is a xtian mental block.

Plate tectonics is a THEORY, Atomic THEORY is largely accepted as a truth, Accoustic THEORY, the THEORY of relativity...all of these things are likely accepted by even the most vapid of Christians...yet, the faithful keep defaulting to "Evolution is just a theory!" Stupid.

Anyway...I'm glad you abandoned the 2nd law of therodynamics nonsense. I guess you read the scientific explanation and realized thataccepting explations from Xtian apologetics site doesn't flesh it out very well. All the more reason to start reading genuine scientifc source material.

Moving on...
Hump

Anonymous said...

please don't mistake my moving on as abandonment. I am simply stating cases for you and others (mostly others) to see and judge for themselves. I am certain you and I will never agree, so back and forth yes, no, yes, no, solves nothing. Now, moving on...

There are 2 types of evolution theories. One is based on minute changes that result in different species within a genus or family. e.i. all cats, both big cats (lions and tigers) and small cats (bobcat and the domestic cat)

The second type requires a drastic mutation over a short period of time that results in a new class. For this to happen, wouldn't you, in fact, need it to happen TWICE, to BOTH a male and female to create offspring? Such mutation in DNA usually results death. Is it more possible to believe that such a mutation occurred TWICE AND to a male and female living close enough to then procreate a new species?

There are now 6+ billion humans on earth. It is estimated that the whole of modern human history (using your idea of evolution/ 4.5 billion year old earth started back in 50,000 BC) adds another 100 billion http://www.prb.org/Articles/2002/HowManyPeopleHaveEverLivedonEarth.aspx

why is it that in all that time, with all those humans, not 1 new species has ever been created? Can we assume that micro evolution stopped with the perfection of humans? How would you improve humans anyway? amphibous humans? wouldn't that be a step backwards on the evolutionary ladder? LOL!

Why do some species die off and others don't? If we are decendants of monkeys that evolved into apemen that eveloved into man, why do the monkeys (the ancestor) still exist but the apemen die off. Why do ALL the "transitional" species seem to disappear but the original species that created the transition still exist?

Random mutations in DNA resulting in higher life forms would be equivalent to hurricanes passing through construction zones and creating a house!

DromedaryHump said...

Anon said:
"If we are decendants of monkeys that evolved into apemen that eveloved into man, why do the monkeys (the ancestor) still exist but the apemen die off. Why do ALL the "transitional" species seem to disappear but the original species that created the transition still exist?"

Ok. this will be my last reply to you because the above comment proves your lack of understanding / refusal to explore evolutionary theory from the source, instead taking the erroneous interpretations of creationist pseudo-scientists. No doubt much of your understanding of evolutionary theory comes from Ray Comfort, aka "banana boy".

Nope... darwin didnt say man came from monkeys. Evolutionary theory says that monkeys as we know them, and man, simply share a common ape like ancestor.

But the ever repeated unthinking question of theists who lack true understanding never fails to amaze me "how come there are still monkeys if we came from monkeys." So lets assume todays monkeys and man came from a common ancestor. Why did monkey species continue to exist while hominids branched into human predessessor?
the scientific answer is: "Although complex species have evolved, this occurs as a side effect of the overall number of organisms increasing, and simple forms of life remain more common."

But the way theists unmderstand it best is with this simpler explantion: Most white americans came from europe. And yet, strangely europeans still exist. Go figure.

Move on. You've lost credibility here. try another blog posting that you may have better familiarity with. Like my new Jesus foreskin posting.

Regards,
Hump

(PS: Please use a name, Anon is tiresome)

Albert said...

Hi! I'm a new christian and I believe that I am gifted with intelligence by Him.

I didn't read much about your post but I saw the 9000 years as opposed to millions if not billions of years of existence of the earth.

When I was a child(12 I think) I stopped going to catholic church cause I saw the conflicts against the bible. At the same age I read about the 7 days creation one thing has came to my mind instantly, of course 7 days on earth is not equal to 7 days for the universe cause earth doesn't exist at all.

This is just my point of view and I don't intend to argue. Hope you will approve this on your comments! thanks! :)

Dromedary Hump said...

Albert,
There is no question that your comment will be approved. It's comments like these which prove my point, time and time again. No argument necessary.

I'm not sure you'd want to credit your god thing with giving you your intelligence. She/it may find that insulting.

Anonymous said...

the bible gives no age to the earth it says on the 1st day he did some then on the second day he did something else but the bible aldo says that with god one day is as a thousand years because god exists in a demention without time thus there is no cause and effect but since we live in a demention with time i.e cause and effect we try to justify gods existance on our terms the fact is who are you to demand he show himself when he made you and he left you with enough information about him to learn who he is is you choose to not believe it that is your fault other peoplw have no problem with it so what makes you more important than all the others he created throughout history furthuremore darwin didnt even know about dna how can.he tell us how life came about and doctors cant even cure a cold how can science which wad not around when the eartg was made be any better of a claim than creation

Dromedary Hump said...

anon...
five words:
- punctuation
-"dimension"
- You're an imbecile.