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Start Digging

March 31, 2013 6 comments

by Noah Lugeons

StartDigging

The nature of most religious arguments is doomed from the start.  It amazes me how often I’ll theoretically concede a point just to point out that even then, they’ve done nothing to prove their point.  I will say, in effect, “You’re not right, but even if you were right, you still wouldn’t be right.”

How many religious debates hinge on things that barely crack the 3rd layer of the diagram above?  How often does the would-be apologist fail to even break the surface?  Arguing against evolution, the big bang, the secular root for morality, the existence of this or that miracle… none of this would even make it into the red.

It’s a really indicator of just how soundly we’re winning the debate.  At one time the best we could hope for was to stand in the yellow and argue with the folks in the orange.  Before Darwin, most learned men and women (and how woefully few learned women there were then) had to stand in the red and argue against the yellow.

But as empiricism charges forward, the mental-missionaries find themselves in constant retreat.  When they pick away at tiny nuggets of their own ignorance about evolution or abiogenesis, they’re breaking their pick-axes against the blue.  It’s gotten so bad for them that if they can convince one poor sap to even momentarily doubt evolution, they consider it a victory.  Never mind that this does nothing to prove superstition, theism, religion or their own personal religion.  They’re breaking out the party hats if they can simply convince someone to think perhaps something someone else told them might be flawed.

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How To Not Believe in God

March 26, 2013 1 comment

by Noah Lugeons

WhyNotBelieve

 

It baffles many atheists when religious folks say things like “I just don’t understand how you can believe in a world without God.”  They’re baffled because they’re quite certain that the theist is familiar with both of the constituent principles involved; god and not believing in something. How can a person who themselves rejects some beliefs be confounded by the notion of rejecting some beliefs?

The problem, of course, is one of cognitive dissonance. They’ve insulated the god-concept so much in their mind that they can’t apply reason to it in the same way that they can to claims of the paranormal or other religions. It sounds like I’m being dismissive, but how else can you possibly explain a person who thinks god has demanded the tip of their penis as a sacrifice laughing at how silly someone else’s beliefs are?

When I was a younger and less experienced atheist, I used to appeal to all the other religions that they didn’t believe in. I was often thwarted by hand-waving explanations of the various interpretations of the one god. It was only much later that I realized that intelligent people who have decided to ignore logic and be theists anyway have to build a hell of a defense around it. So much so that when they see somebody who has embraced the obvious, they don’t even know how we scaled the wall in the first place.

So I offer the chart above as a quick and easy visual aid for any theists that seem confused by your choice to reject all religious myths instead of all but one. And as it turns out, the Redditors love the charts and graphs, so expect to see more of them.