Monday, September 11, 2006

The Atheist's Dilemma

This post provides the first 3 paragraphs of our LookingForClues article titled The Atheist's Dilemma. After the first 3 paragraphs, there is a link to the complete article.

If you would like to comment on the article, leave a comment on this post. Thanks!


At Tue Dec 12, 07:43:00 AM EST, Anonymous Raisedeyebrows said...

This article is very shallow in its discussion of atheism. Contrary to what the title suggests, it is not so much a good discussion about atheism as a typical Christian’s balk at anything that does not fit into the narrow confines of their religion.

The author does not seem to understand that atheists prefer to believe the truth, whatever that may be, rather than cling to beliefs which soothe them in times of hardship. She commits the logical error of equating feel good beliefs with truth. Interested readers may want to research “The Problem of Evil”, which is one of the reasons atheists believe that a Judeo-Christian God cannot exist.

Some parts of the article, such as the list of advantages of being an atheist, display complete ignorance and are borderline offensive. With regard to morality, atheists prefer to act ethically because it is the right thing to do, rather than to please a jealous, controlling God who will otherwise send them to hell. Atheists also do not have a history of burning witches, opposing new knowledge and denying women and homosexuals their rights.

Finally, the author poses some questions to atheists. She clearly insinuates that they have no good answers, since she did not see any on a website she visited. It is obvious she has not made any effort to discover answers, prefering instead, to believe that atheists shy away from difficult questions such as these. Here are my answers to her questions:

1. Anything that is important to them. Swearing on the Bible hardly prevents witnesses from lying.
2. Reason, compassion, intuition, advice of trusted ones. That’s one of the challenges of life isn’t it? Nobody has an infallible guide to life.
3. Because it is the right thing to do. Because it will allow one to live with one’s conscience and will benefit others.
4. There are plenty of things atheists care about, even if they do not “worship” them. Love, beauty, the universe in all its vast complexity.
5. At present, nobody knows the answer to those questions. That does not mean science will not discover them one day. The Big Bang does not make a definitive case for God, despite what Christians believe. If God had no cause, then why must the universe have a cause? It is difficult to imagine anything not having a cause, but it is a valid question.
6. Family members, kind strangers. However uncomfortable it is, one must accept that some things cannot be changed. Bad things do happen.
7. Some atheists do, some don’t. In any case, souls could come from the some place that the rest of the universe came from.
8. There wouldn’t be wars over religion for one thing. People, including women and homosexuals would be allowed the same rights as everyone else. Children would be taught to reason and learn WHY things are right and wrong, not just forced to swallow biblical teachings under fear of hell. Did you know that Sweden has 46-85% atheists in its population? So far, it hasn’t degenerated into a murderous, despotic society.
9. Pascal’s wager is wrong. It is a logical fallacy – the false dilemma. It wrongly presumes that you can be a Christian or a non Christian. But Islam also believes in heaven or hell. So now it is a bet between Christianity, Islam or atheism. And what about the other religions that believe in heaven and hell. The wager becomes meaningless. Besides, I can’t think of a more selfish reason to love Jesus than on the basis of a wager.


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