Thursday, October 1, 2009

“Atheism is a Product of Irrationality”

The above was the title of a recent Letter to the Editor that appeared in our local newspaper.

There has been something of a letter war going on by the very small number of religious extremists in New Hampshire, and the Freethinkers in our state. Barely a week goes by when something really inane isn’t posted by a religious whacko that naturally provokes a logical and measured response from the large number of god-less NH residents.

Here’s an extract from the latest offering by the religiously impaired:

“To me, atheism is not only a moral evil but a metaphysical evil because, as defined by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), evil is the absence in nature of something that ought to be there; for example, it is a physical evil to have been born with only one eye.”

“Atheism is a mental evil because the mind does not have the rationality it ought to have. Abdicating all sense of balance, ratio, and proportionality, atheists are irrational because they deny that of which they have no clear idea.”

About as backward and topsy-turvy illogical babble as one could imagine. I just couldn’t just let it go. My response follows.

In Mr. Cervo's letter of Sept. 24 entitled "Atheism is a product of irrationality" he exposed the problem inherent in "theist think." Indeed, his letter is the quintessential example of the ills of avoidance of secular thought that seem to be the hallmark of the religiously afflicted.

Missing an eye is a "physical evil"? Atheism is a "metaphysical evil'? Lacking belief in supernaturalism is a "mental evil"? One can practically hear the screams of the heretics under the Inquisition's torture devises clanking away in Mr. Cervo's basement.

When the absence of delusion and gullibility and the acceptance of the scientific method and evidence are defined as irrationality; and when blind belief in supernaturalism born of the imagination of ancient pre-scientific cultists is considered rational, then we truly have not progressed far beyond the Dark Ages. It is the doctrine of a Bizarro World where “rational bad, irrational good; reality bad, unreality good.”

I wonder if Mr. Cervo 's concept of rationality includes not "suffer[ing] a witch to live" , attributing a two headed frog to Satan's handiwork and plague to God's wrath. That's the rationality religionists have embraced for thousands of years ... that’s what they call a "balanced" mind. It would be laughable if it were not so frightening in its implications.

And on it will go. A similar letter of nutty devotional apologetics will, no doubt, appear next week. It’s sort of like watching the movie “Groundhog Day,” although if groundhogs could talk, they’d likely make more sense than these crazies.


NewEnglandBob said...

Thomas Aquinas' definition of evil is so wrong that it shows him to be malevolent and therefore evil himself.

Of course, there is the entire argument about morality and its pre-existence to religions, and how religions have tried to usurp it for their own usage but have mangled and twisted it out of shape. I doubt the religious wacko could even comprehend this.

Has Mr. Cervo murdered his child for disobeying as his bible commands him to do? Does he own slaves and treat them poorly as commanded? Did he murder or at least cast out non-believers as the OT, NT and Koran require him to do? Does he throw out all money lenders?

Religion is one of the last places to look for morality. Religion is the place to look for irrationality and delusion though.

Rachelle said...

I agree, NEBob. People who say they get their sense of morality from religious texts probably haven't read them.

Mr. Cervo's comments were so "out there" they nearly gave me a headache. But I knew Hump's reply would be better than aspirin. LOL!

Tracey said...

Some of us don't need the greed of riches and rewards of the fear of unspeakable torment from some invisible skydaddy to distinguish right from wrong, good from evil.

Dromedary Hump said...

Imagine a belief system that welcomes, hopes for, and in some cases work toward the destruction of the Earth and elimination of the species in a ball of fire as foretold in Revelation.

The very concept that it is moral to want to see the end of life on earth is oxymoronic.

love that aspirin analogy..i am flattered :)

oneluv said...

religionists are quick to laden the word atheism with a full load of negative baggage. for many atheists, their "atheism" is not a product of irrationality, but a consequence of rejecting primitive, pre-scientific superstition - a corollary of their loyalty to reason, rationality,
intellectual honesty.

for the religionists, however, all human beings are born atheist. a belief in god(s) is not something one is innately born with. it must
be learned. the problem for the religionist is that the notion of god is an alleged mental content based on a false idea that
cannot be integrated into a cohesive whole (one entity, three personages, etc). furthermore, asserting that a god created the universe commits believers to a false view of reality, complete with all the associated fallacies. this is what the arbiters of moral rectitude consider rational. cervo is a funny kid. hehe

good post, hump!


MLavoie said...

Just over a year ago, there was a letter to the editor in our local paper that I had to respond to. Some nonsense about atheists needing to start their own Church. I tried to reason with the person who wrote the letter (my first mistake) and simply got another nonsensical rebuttal a couple of weeks later.

I wondered to myself if it was worth writing again, but then I thought of all the conversations I'd had with other fundies, and decided that my time and sanity were worth too much to me.

As to the letter you mentioned in this post, it terrifies me that that is how some people really think. I can scarcely imagine the mental acrobatics that go into making oneself truly believe that kind of crap!

Randall "Doc" Fleck said...

Thanks for standing in the trenches for us.

I wonder Mr Cervo has considered the fact that atheism exists entirely as a rational response to irrational theistic beliefs? If there were no theists there would be no atheists. Theism came first.

The word atheism is derived in opposition to its forerunner, theism.

Dromedary Hump said...

One luv...
If only Mr. Cervo were "a kid" his backward non-thinking could almost be excused. Sadly, he is middle aged.

I have tried to reason with atheists who believe they should have a "church", and who even suggest we should attend services with theists to demonstrate our "goodness." There is no reasoning with them; they represent the "Uncle Tom" atheists.

Whether theist or one of these judas goat atheists, I agree, it can be a frustrating experience.

zarton said...

Hello all,
I just want to announce that I have changed my mind, I am a believer. There IS a god, and his name is Elisha... Elisha Archibald "Archie" Manning III . This is the ONLY religion, by the way, that is based upon empirical evidence.
Archie sent his only begotten son, Peyton, (the other two were not begotten) to Indianapolis to win a Superbowl for your sins. I have confirmed that Olivia Manning is "IN FACT" a virgin. If you want to complete the holey trinity, then look no further than Eli Manning, or as I like to refer to him as the "Holy Giant".
After creating the universe Archie threw Satan (Bill Belichick) out of heaven for thinking that he was God. Bill, being the bastard that he is, came to earth and convinced a snake (Tom Brady) to convince the only two humans on earth to defy Archie by looking at the book of knowledge.(the Manning family playbook)
Archie being the kind God that he is, decided to "save" mankind by giving us Peyton. Peyton has paid the price for you. All you have to do is accept it and become a Colts fan. Of course Peyton has lost some games, but that is only to test our faith.
Peyton used his 12 disciples.. or as they are sometimes called "the receivers" to help save the world. Need more "proof" atheists? If you weren't so caught up in your evil ways and watched the lord your god any Sunday (the lord Peyton's day), then you could see the many miracles he preforms on a Sony high def TV that your God endorses.
The lord often tells his followers in the prayer meetings (huddle), "Verily I say unto you, take this football and run with it, for it is my flesh, and take this Gatorade and drink it, for it has electrolytes that will replenish you."
Christianity wants people on theirs knees crying. Peytonism, wants you on your feet, cheering. Come on atheists, do you want to spend eternity on the sidelines pouting? Or do you want to be in the end zone in an eternal touchdown celebration? Did I mention there would be cheerleaders, lots and lots of cheerleaders?

All you have to do is accept Peyton as your personal MVP (Most valuable Peyton)

Your new Peytonist,

Rachelle said...

Cheers, Hump! :)

Randall said: "If there were no theists there would be no atheists. Theism came first.

The word atheism is derived in opposition to its forerunner, theism."

I totally agree...Which is why I say we are all born "ignorant" not "atheist." :) Those crazy god ideas are introduced first. LOL!

Rachelle said...

Zarton: "Did I mention there would be cheerleaders, lots and lots of cheerleaders? "

LOL! Let me guess...72?? LOL!

Well I reject your Manning gods for the gods of the Chicago Bears. LOL! Hail Urlacher! (Who is out for the season unless he can heal himself.) Which reminds me...Did the pope pray his wrist better or did he see a doctor? LOL!

oneluv said...


i know - it was a poor attempt at sarcasm and the use of the latest slang.


Dromedary Hump said...

gottcha! ;)

Tracey said...

Al Davis (Satan) created the Raiders, and his minions (myself included) bleed silver and black. No worship of any of the Manning pantheon until they wear silver and black.

Angel said...

Doc, I think I have to disagree with you about theism coming first.

If you look at a child's innocence before learning about God/Gods then wouldn't atheism have naturally occurred first? Not knowing or having a reason to believe in God/Gods? It wouldn't have been given a name until something opposite from it came into existence.

The more I read your blog, Hump, the more impressed I am with atheists.

I wouldn't say that atheism is like being ignorant, either, would you? Maybe BORN ignorant. We all are. But certainly not IGNORANT as adults. You're exposed to all kinds of theist ideas growing up. But choose to embrace a lack of belief concerning deities.

Dromedary Hump said...

No so much "embracing a lack of belief" . It's about embracing reality, the natural world, and reason. Reason is the enemy of Faith. As reason expands, it errodes and eventually edges out and elimiates faith. Thats why there are only 6% believers among the scientists in the National Academy of Sciences, our greatest scientific minds. And 4% among the Royal Society, UK's scientific brain trust.

Unfortunately, the reverse is true as well, faith in supernaturaism can force out reason. This is demonstrated by Young Earth Creationists, those who reject scientific evidence because it contradicts scripture, theists who think homosexualty is a choice one makes, etc.

Angel said...

Thank you for being gentle with me. I know.. I know.. I used that pesky "B" word again. *sigh* I'll eventually learn how to use it correctly given enough time.