Friday, March 9, 2012

Insipid Christian Comments 101: “Coincidence is the atheist’s excuse for not believing in God.””

The odds of any one individual being struck by falling space junk are estimated to be approximately 1 in 21 trillion. That’s a serious long shot.

And yet, if man and the planet Earth are lucky enough to survive for an extended period of time, and we continue to insert space junk into orbit, it’s a safe bet –at least even money - that one of our future relatives is going to get their oversized cranium crushed by the remnants of something earthlings shot into space. If I was to make such a bet, and take the affirmative outcome, it wouldn’t be based on “faith,” it would be based on statistical analysis.

“Coincidence is the atheist’s excuse for non belief.” has become a favored hackneyed platitude among the non-thinking. It is the cagier sibling of the “It takes more faith to be an atheist than a believer.” old saw that Christians roll out from time to time. Both of these one liners are pulled from fundamentalist apologetics sites and repeated ad nauseum. Hailed as highly insightful by the unthinking they are more reflective of an embarrassed admission of their lack of scientific understanding; a defense of their rejection of reason; and the wanton refusal to dissect their credulity than anything approaching serious argument for belief or against reason.

Would it be coincidence if someone is struck by space junk far off into the future? Not if you accept statistical probability as real. Does it really take faith to realize that since we have already discovered planets that orbit within their sun’s habitable zone (the “sweet spot” necessary to sustain life as we understand it), to accept that earth is just one of perhaps millions of planets in the universe similarly situated? We don’t have to take the existence of such a possibility on faith, after all, we have the model for it right

Does it really take more faith to accept in the probability that all the components – the necessary elements and conditions for life - converged on earth during its first 11 billion years to yield simple life forms some 3 billion years ago, than it does to accept a super boogieman of unknown origin decided to throw it together in a week, like some grandiose 4H project? After all, how many billions of planets failed to get hit with that "space junk" of life - or did, and it failed to take root?

Nothing about rejection of the supernatural is faith based, it is reality based. Faith is the rejection of what they call “coincidence,” what we’d call inductive probability. Faith requires no probability analysis, indeed demands the rejection of it. Faith needs no understanding of the chemical make up of the cosmos. Faith requires the dismissal of the scientific method; of observation; of corroborating evidence by varied scientific disciplines. Faith demands a divine purpose and prime mover. It requires turning a blind eye toward, even ridiculing, any reality that jeopardizes that which is accepted as a truth because the Bible tells them it is truth.

Faith has no problem with accepting divinely created mud-men and rib-women, talking snakes and donkeys; a place of eternal pain or eternal happiness after death; an earth only a few days older than the 6,000 years the biblical literalists claim man has existed. The fantastical becomes fact. It requires no analysis of probability, objective data, observation or anything remotely associated with science or exists in the suspended animation of non-think, in diametric opposition to reason and discovery.

In short, faith is the religionists’ excuse for remaining ignorant.


NewEnglandBob said...

Fundagelicals do not understand probabilities and statistics and that makes them ignorant. The fact that they do not want to understand things like probability or statistical analysis or reason makes them as dumb as doorknobs.

Their foolish argument “Coincidence is the atheist’s excuse for non belief.” can then be called the "Argument of the door knobs"

Note to HUMP: the subscribing option is gone. I can no longer subscribe to comments.

Dromedary Hump said...

you can subscribe to the blog, but not comment replies? sheesh. I can't find any setting for that. It must be a temporary flub by blogspot, Bob.

flyz4free said...

Ignorance in any arena can be forgiven as long as the pursuit of knowledge is not forsaken and that ignorance mitigated as much as possible. Personal wilfull ignorance is the worst kind of crime against the intellect. Promoting and celebrating wilfull ignorance is literally a crime against humanity.

Bill Weber said...

Let us agree, there is no coincidence? It that is true then there is no temporal illusion. So, if one thing happens after another, then the first thing caused it to happen. It is not a coincidence that these two events occurred in close time proximity. And, if you don’t believe that then you are using an excuse? What about if you believe that you are using poor logic? Saying no coincidence is like saying there is no difference between correlation and causation. It seems like I am taking about an argument that was settled during the middle ages, but theists forgot they lost this argument so we have to be subjected to the same illogic again and again. The main reason I am not bored with theist arguments from the dark ages is that I feel so frustrated and angry that we have to go over the same thing again and again because theists don’t keep track of arguments they lose. They just wait a decade or more and use them again.

Anonymous said...


The thing is, there is always a new crop of theists who hear Pascal Wager, Watch Maker analogy, etc. and think (with the usual little or no critical thinking skills) that's the "irrefutable" logic for Jesus, Allah, Moses, etc.

So yes, we're going to have to keep on beating a dead horse every time until Christianity, Islam, Jeudism, etc. finally dies which is very unlikely in our or our great great grandchildren's life time.

- fastthumbs

Chatpilot said...

This was an excellent post Hump! Like me you seem to like the direct approach. Unfortunately, it seems that to date no approach seems to be working. It almost seems like when it comes to words like reason, critical think, etc. we are speaking a different language than the theists. Some even have the audacity to equate their silly beliefs to science or their very own definition to the word reason.

I've been saying for the past eighteen years that as long as their are gullible people there will be religions. There will always be those that choose to run with their idea of absolute certainty based on nothing more than the pointless and empty concept of faith.