Skip to comments.New Scientist : Time to accept that atheism, not God, is odd
Posted on 03/05/2010 10:26:58 AM PST by SeekAndFind
IF YOU'RE one of those committed atheists in the Richard Dawkins mould who dreams of ridding the world of religious mumbo-jumbo, prepare yourself for a disappointment: there is no good evidence that education leads to secularisation.
In fact, the more we learn about the "god instinct" and the refusal of religion to fade away under the onslaught of progress, the more the non-religious mindset looks like the odd man out. That is why anthropologists, psychologists and social scientists are now putting irreligion under the microscope in the same way they once did with religious belief (see "Where do atheists come from?").
The aim is not to discredit atheism but to understand how so many people can override a way of thinking that seems to come so naturally. For that reason, atheists should welcome the new scrutiny.
Atheism still has a great deal to commend it, not least that it doesn't need supernatural beings to make sense of the world. Let's hope the study of atheism leads to new insights into how to challenge such irrationality.
(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...
I posit that humankind is becoming less intelligent with the education of today, not more. I further posit, that the intelligence of people in the U.S. from it’s founding up through the 1800’s and into the early 1900’s was head and shoulders above what we see today.
Atheism is dependent on an unsupported belief: "There are no gods".
This cannot be known with surety. To believe it, requires an act of faith. The position cannot be proven, because to do so would be to prove a negative, and that cannot be done.
Religion depends on an act of faith. Believers know this and accept this.
Atheism depends on an act of faith. Believers usually cannot accept this and delude themselves into thinking that their worldview is based on logic. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
My priest always says about atheists..if they’re so convinced that there’s NO God, then why do they worry so much when others pray?
Any dogma that insists that something does not exist is scientifically suspect.
I believe we are in an interesting pandemic of what I like to call “arrogant ignorance”.
Too many people today don’t know what they don’t know. And are too arrogant to know it.
“Atheism is dependent on an unsupported belief: “There are no gods”.
This cannot be known with surety”
One cannot be sure of of Russell’s teapot or the Flying Spaghetti Monster either.
Not only that, but they are pompous about their arrogance.
I’ve never met a real atheist. Face to face, on further questioning, they all have eventually admitted they are more agnostic than atheist.
But evangelical atheists are on a mission to stamp out Christianity. It would appear that, as a Christian, I'm a bit more enlightened than the religious fanatics who obsess on the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
If you consider that a biological definition of intelligence must include the proliferation of one's genetic material (e.g., reproduction), the Western world has become decidedly less intelligent over the past century.
Mankind is getting more and more EDUCATED but less INTELLIGENT !!
That is a very astute observation, my FRiend!
One of the most dynamic illustrations of this principle can be seen in the Fictional Culture of Star Trek's Planet Vulcan.
The Culture there is steeped in hubris over its conquest of Emotion and Superstition through the application of "LOGIC."
Yet, upon examination, the Culture, Morals, Customs, and Beliefs, and practices of Vulcan Society are more Spiritually Rigid, Avuncular, and Superstitious than the most primitive tribes of headhunters!
It must have something to do with that "mating once every seven years" thingy. LOL.
If you get deep enough into physics, string theory and all, you’ll find that there is no other explanation for all matter but that it is due to the existence of a divine being.
My experience anyway.
If they are REALLY convinced there is no God, then others praying should not bother them in the least.
No. I think the DO believe in God, and are anrgy at Him for some reason of their own.
Well, I was addressing a philosophical rather than political issue. But I with you there. I don’t like people of any stripe who are strident and imposing in regards to their religious beliefs (or non-beliefs).
“Ive never met a real atheist. Face to face, on further questioning, they all have eventually admitted they are more agnostic than atheist.”
I suspect that some sociopaths may be true atheists.
Reading the letters home from soldiers during The War Between the States attests to that!
I would disagree. I don’t think a lack of intelligence is the problem — I think arrogance is the problem.
I would suggest that secular “intelligence” abounds, and that “intelligence” breeds arrogance ... which leads to athiesm, because arrogant people become less able to fathom anything greater than themselves (or humanity generally).
“Intelligence” may very well lead to liberalism for the same reason ... as people determine that, due to their “intelligence”, they are more capable of determining what is best for the great unwashed.
I posit that you are wrong.
While those that made up the upper trades/professional class were probably heads above those in the same professions today in learning, that has nothing to do with intelligence.
As far as education, it isn’t even close. Today’s population, for all its failings, is infinitely better educated and literate. I don’t know how you could measure it from the get go, but the National Assessment of Adult literacy has a chart showing that in 1870 the illiteracy of the total population was 20% with Black Americans at 79%. In 1979 it fell to .6% overall with Black Americans at 1.6%.
Now the social content and competency level on subjects taught by the education Socialists is a differnt topic. All they need is the right information.
I can understand the mindset of atheism, although I disagree with it, but why are so many atheists resentful of those of us who do believe? It’s the anti-God fervor of many atheists that leads me to believe that they are insecure. Afterall, I haven’t burned any heretics at the stake for some time now...
No. I think the DO believe in God, and are anrgy at Him for some reason of their own.
Seeing how some “athiests” conduct themselves (especially here in lefty Minnesota), it’s not trying to submit a logical premise that “there is no God”, it’s more shaking a fist toward Heaven and yelling “No, God!”. Open rebellion. Much like Satan’s rebellion.
Yes. That is the impression I get, Too.
That was a remarkable piece of insight. I’ve never thought of atheism in such terms. You are right. The existence or absence of God, both being unprovable, both require an act of faith.
Wow, I learned something. Thanks.
>> One cannot be sure of of Russells teapot or the Flying Spaghetti Monster either.
This is true. There is no proof of either God or the monster. But, the aforementioned monster is not supported by the circumstantial evidence which weighs in favor of the existence of God ...
... such as the 66 books of the Bible, by different authors, spanning thousands of years documenting eyewitness and historical evidence of the existence of Him and His Son; or,
... the archeological evidence demonstrating the existence of Biblical places, events and practices (which lends voracity to the accuracy of the Bible); or,
... the scientific evidence which suggests to me a system so complex that it cannot be written-off to random chance; or,
... the personal experiences of million-upon-millions of individuals who have seen the Holy Spirit at work in their lives.
When your “spaghetti monster” can cite to circumnstantial evidence if its existence from historical, archeological, scientific and personal records ... I’ll take it more seriously. Until then, it is but a ridiculous straw-man constructed by desperate athiests.
The watch-like precision of the movements of our solar system and the universe display an obvious need for a higher intelligence than man. Or consider the absolutely dazling workmanship of approx 3 billion quadrenary-coded commands found in each DNA strand, each determining what lifeform will develop.
Could that all really be just a matter of chance?
**display an obvious need for a higher intelligence than man**
Or .....display the existence of a power beyond the comprehension of man.
Your priest is a smart man.
Too many people today dont know what they dont know. And are too arrogant to know it.
This applies to other topics as well. The most educated society in history is the most foolishly ignorant.
To the average person that makes sense, things are much too complicated to just have happened.
However, there is a verse in the new testament that says somthing to the effect of “in thier vain, men will refuse to believe to truth.”
Wish I could remember exactly where that is.
Who’d want to believe in and put their faith and trust in a “god” that they can easily comprehend with their human mind? I prefer to believe in a God, who is eternally greater than I am, and whom I cannot fully fathom. That called humility and “fear of God”, something atheists themselves can never deign to acknowledge.
Deep down I think atheists know that they are weak and small, like everyone else but their pride won’t allow them to admit it. So, they place their beliefs and energy in evangelizing on behalf of humanistic endeavors, such as socialism, which to them is a pseudo-replacement for God.
They get to mate once every seven years??? Lucky devils.
No need to posit... there is a grade school test from the 1800’s which most teachers and college graduates would fail.
You know these days we throw the terms billions and trillions around like mere childs play, but...
If you take the approx 3 billion lines of code in DNA as an equivalent stack of books (avg size/avg print), they would reach a height roughly equal to the Washington Monument.
Could any of us read that many books in our lifetime? Better yet, fully comprehend them? No wait better still, write that many meaningful books in a lifetime?
Another dazzling display of the awesome power of the Creator God is the trillions of msg/sec comprising the involuntary communications between the brain and cells, rifling through each lifeform from birth till death.
Let’s go one further though, let’s say molecular scientists succeed in unraveling all of the meaning of the 3 billion lines of code and create their own ‘designer lifeform.’ Are they going to be able to ‘breathe’ life into it?
BTW you can use blueletterbible.org to find most any scripture and in most every translation (like the one about being fearfully and wonderfully made in the womb).
“Religion depends on an act of faith. Believers know this and accept this.
Atheism depends on an act of faith. Believers usually cannot accept this and delude themselves into thinking that their worldview is based on logic. In fact, quite the opposite is true.”
Clear Case, you are aptly named.
To my knowledge it was not atheists that were burned at the stake.
It was usually Protestants of one variation or another.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster joke can be traced easily from its origin a short time ago.
Hardly the same evidence for the God of Scripture, as you mentioned.
From a recent Bible study in we came across the greek word ‘rhema’ relating to the ‘word of God.’ At first it struck me odd b/c in John 1 it reads that the “Word was with God and the Word was God” where ‘word’ in this context was translated from ‘logos’ or logic.
Then it struck me that surely God is saying inferentially that He is the ‘Logos God’ or the God of logic, science, and nature, but also the ‘Rhema God’ or the God of the unseen wind, miracles, and super-natural.
Think about it sooner or later your gonna read a scripture and say “but that’s impossible.”
“All things are possible with God” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” - wow what an awesome God who constantly refreshes and renews me.
I think the saying goes, “A God small enough for me to understand isn’t big enough to help me.”
Yes, I know. I’ve seen that test. Too bad that some who have posted back to me think that people of today are more literate and more intelligent than people were during the 1700’s and 1800’s. I believe there is no contest.
I think we are all missing the point, because we are too focused on our own society (Western society, in this case).
In Japan, the higher your IQ the more likely you are to be a Christian.
In Russia, the higher your IQ the more likey you are to be religious and favor free markets and capitalism.
In China, the higher your IQ the more likely you are to favor individual rights.
In the USA, the higher your IQ the more likely you are to be a big-government socialist.
What do all these have in common? We are talking about holding a view that is not traditional in that country.
Japan: traditionally non-Christian.
Russia: traditionally (at least under USSR) atheist and communist.
China: traditionally group oriented (the rights and needs of the group come ahead of the rights of the individual).
USA: traditionally small-government & individual rights.
All this really means is that people with high IQs are more open to non-traditional ideas—and nothing more.
And “more likely to believe” is different thant “everyone believes”. We’re talking a small percentage of people, not a wholesale stampede.
The next time someone drops the “smart people are atheist” (or liberals) argument you can reply: “Not in Russia. In Russia the smartest people are religious, favor free markets and capitialism, and individual rights over group rights.” The ask them if they understand why.
Then we should study mindset of a monotheist vs hinduist vs zen budhist etc. Atheist or zen monk both are equally different from a Christian
bumpus ad summum
You're starting too big. It's quite possible that a designer life form need not be all that complex to meet some reasonable definition of "life." There are projects underway to do just that.
More interesting, though, are the logical implications of success in such a project. Here we have a hypothetical new life form ... which required an intelligent creator to bring it into being.
It would not support the atheist view of the universe, to say the least.
Right. Too bad that so many forget that educateed people in those times had not only read all the French and English classical works of the time and were widely read in both Modern Latin and Classical Greek. Now people learn Spanish and imagine they are educated - somehow, while they busily do their sums on some fashion of a caluclator.
I couldn’t possibly agree more! Everything you’ve stated here is EXACTLY what I’ve been saying for some time. An age of enlightenment? Hardly.
I recently had a discussion with a colleague in an offshoot of the entertainment industry who claims he is a closet atheist. He suggested he hasn’t “come out” because of the backlash he’d suffer...from colleagues...in the entertainment industry.
I wrote him recently about how I didn’t feel atheism could stand philosophically, because it would demand a universal knowledge of something no one has proof of. His response to me was “ill take science and reason over superstition any day—!
I love this response. He completely misunderstood or ignored everything I said about philosophy and recognizing logically what can and cannot be proven...and genuinely believes he’s on the side of reason. And I continue to be unfamiliar with the science that disproves the existence of God that he mentions.
No, we are living in a dark, dark age, where sound bytes have replaced knowledge. People believe something, but cannot define why they believe it, or even adequately defend their beliefs. I believe posterity will mark this time period as relativism run amok, where every man could believe whatever he chose, and be justified in knowing nothing.