Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Atheism - Just another belief

"Atheism is just another belief system you know."

Ah, yet another favorite response used by apologists and theists alike. As though the statement somehow exonerated their extraordinary naivete (theists) and misplaced political correctness (apologist).  

Well I am sorry but it doesn't.  In the words of a man far more eloquent than myself, Ricky Gervais, "atheism is as much a belief as abstinence is a sex position". But, perhaps not surprisingly, the intended audience usually fails to appreciate the hilarious but uncannily apt analogy to their purported "argument".

They will attempt to dismiss the comeback as a mere quip, again as though such dismissal constituted an actual substantive response to the very valid analogy provided.  To avoid this, I prefer to unleash the following questions upon the person who invokes the "just another belief" argument to expose the bizarre intellectual vacuity of such a statement. 

What belief system does one have to subscribe to in order to believe that the Tooth Fairy does not exist? Should it be written off as "just another belief"?

If I claim that the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pasta & tabasco be upon Him) does not in fact exist, is it "just another belief"? 

If said person is not yet cowering in embarrassment from his/her apparent bankruptcy of thought, you should feel sorry for them. Evidently, God did not intend to make all of us equal.

It is indisputable that some beliefs bear more merit than others. Someone claiming a belief that Jesus resurrected himself is not claiming a belief of equal respectability as another who claims that light is composed of discrete packets of energy called photons

Moreover, it is impossible to prove a negative. Bertrand Russell gave us a famous teapot for elucidating that thought experiment rather eloquentlyIt is by no means axiomatic that simply because you cannot prove that something does not exist; a belief that it does, and its counterpart belief that it does not, should be taken to be equally plausible

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