Saturday 15 February 2014

Rebuttal to reasons atheism is stupid

Sometimes I read an article and get incensed enough I have to write a reply, the below did that for me, don't worry they are the same arguments you have heard for years;

Lets start with the opening, yes the bible says the fool has said in his heart there is no God... it also said; "anyone who claims another is a fool is in danger of hell fire" Matthew 5:22. So I guess that writer of Psalms and this writer are going to hell if it exists.
I shouldn't need to point out that an insult is the lowest form of attack, a simple ad hominem attack, with no merit. I agree that ideas need to be challenged and they can be insulted, but if you ever complain about someone calling your beliefs stupid then you have no right to put that label on someone Else's lack of belief... even if your beliefs include a talking snake, a talking donkey or a being who sent them self to earth to atone for their creations sin that offended itself, to appease itself so it wouldn't send its creation to a hell it created or allowed to be created... If we are going to go on stupid, surely buying the story of a virgin birth is stupid, surely buying the water into wine, walking on water, and the posthumous empty promise of punishment or reward is right up there with the stupidest things mankind has ever believed. But I digress, lets get into it.

1 - The existence of the universe.

Yes the universe exists, wow that must be proof of God... uh no, it would clearly be better evidence for the existence of God if we humans existed in a space that was not a universe, say a floating realm where all our need where met...

The analogy here with the ball is silly, we have explanations for how balls come into existence from existing matter, as do we for planets, stars, galaxies and the entire visible universe, they are all natural explanations. Sure the explanation for the initial conditions the singularity are not yet known, but it is more honest to start with "I don't know" and search for an answer than to start with "Magic pixies started the universe off" and then only look at things that confirm your assumption.

Therefore God is as likely to exist as universe creating pixies.

2 - The Big bang.

The universe contracting back and forth forever isn't quite settled, some evidence is pointing to that it may in fact be part of a multiverse. Regardless if all of this fails to bring sufficient evidence, you can't say "I don't know"..."therefore God", as this will put your God in the ever receding pocket of ignorance that its forebears occupied, ignorance such as Thor being responsible for lightning (sorry Thor, you are totally the reason for lightning), a giant wolf eating the sun during eclipses, and the earth being held aloft by a giant tree.

Atheists I know are happy with whichever way the evidence points, atheists like Bill Nye and Matt Dillahunty have both said all it would take to convince them that their position on God/s is wrong is evidence, theists like Ken Ham just said nothing could convince him his position is wrong, which is more intellectually honest.

So again to take your argument and give it undue merit, lets say the universe had a definite beginning 13.8billion years ago, not the 6-10,000 that creationists argue, not the length of time humans have been around as a literal interpretation of the bible suggests, but 13.8billion years ago. OK, so what, it doesn't have to have a supernatural cause, everything so far observed has had a natural cause why should this be any different. There are plenty of possible causes from quantum mechanics to the bounce theory of universe inflation deflation, all of them infinitely more likely than a timeless, spaceless pixie... sorry God.

Therefore God is as likely to exist as universe creating pixies, which are both a lot less likely than natural causes we have observed.
3 - The design of the universe.

There is a bit of an argument to authority here, just because one previously atheist cosmologist now believes in God, doesn’t mean there is any evidence in modern physics or cosmology to point to God. In fact to counter your argument to authority with an argument ad populum (argument to numbers), 70% of the USA’s national institute of science, doesn’t believe in a personal God, Hawking has said God is un-needed and Victor Stenger has written a very good book debunking these cosmological constants need to be just perfect for life to exist. The truth is we just don’t know, life could actually be more likely in a universe with different constants, or it could be worse, we don’t have another universe accessible to us with these different constants in place in which to test your hypothesis that life is only viable in universe with constants with these particular values.

No one is suggesting that life came about by chance, no biologist or physicist I have ever spoken to is that na├»ve. Natural selection seems to be a driving force for biological life. The constants being the way they are may not be chance, they may not be able to be any different. There is a principle called the anthropic principal, which basically states that the universe is capable of supporting life because we are here to observe it, eg I have seen these arguments before, because I tend to read websites with these arguments. It would be more amazing and confounding if we existed in world incapable of supporting life, or if everywhere was capable I mean the 99.999% of the universe that is extremely hostile to us the vacuum of space, the radiation… if all that was not there and the entire universe was habitable then your argument would hold more water, at present it is weak.

My favourite quote on this is from Douglas Adams;

“Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in -  an interesting hole I find myself in - fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise.”

The universe doesn’t appear at all designed for us, surely if it were designed for us the entirety of space would contain breathable air, no deadly radiation. It is as likely for a God to exist that created the universe like this as it is for a tornado to whip through a scrap yard and build a 1979 Valiant charger.

4 – The design of mankind.

We don’t know what the first life was, just like a lot of first things they aren’t around anymore. The other issues is microscopic weak early cells don’t fossilise or leave much of a trace. Darwin was likely right, the first life was likely simple, probably not even DNA at all, but RNA like viruses that contain half the information that DNA does. I am no biologist, but they are currently looking at non-biological replication, such as rusts and the like that are leading us to some interesting conclusions. Again why does life have to start with a supernatural cause, when every other thing we have witnessed gets started with a natural cause.

Yes Dawkins is right a single DNA molecule has a lot of information, but he didn’t suggest that just popped into existence one day, that is the theists claim. He proposes as do a whole swath of scientists investigating abiogenesis that life took millennia to form even the simplest of single celled bacteria. DNA is not data, or code or a message. It is just chemistry writ large, it only has a code that we have assigned to it, a message due to the way we or amino acids interpret it. Therefore DNA didn’t require a mind, just as chemistry doesn’t, therefore God doesn’t need to exists.

5 – The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Which historians have come to a consensus that Jesus even existed. A consensus means all the historians agree, this is simply false; there are plenty as listed below;

These all have their own cases, the Nazareth bit of the name is supposedly a town, that didn’t exist till well after Jesus’ death, the time line in the gospels is wrong, the story inconsistent between the gospels, as well as known forgeries and additions, look up “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” for some fun, a section that there is almost consensus on it being a forgery.

Saying that the willingness to die for ones beliefs validates them is also wrong, the suicide bombers the world over are willing to die for their beliefs, the Romans fought and died for their Gods as did the Greeks, Egyptians and others.

Again an argument to authority here, a historian can’t explain the rise of the popularity of Christianity unless Jesus rose from the dead… I can’t explain the rise in the popularity and wealth of the Mormon church unless Joseph Smith did get those golden plates and speak to the angel Moroni, I can’t explain the rise of Islam so quickly across the middle east unless Mohammed did speak to the angel Gabriel. These are erroneous arguments, the popularity of an idea even the quick rise in popularity does not lend any credence to the claim.

Not all of the previously mentioned claims of religions can be true, but they can all be wrong.

The best idea is to way the existing evidence for a claim with the logical possibilities or impossibilities of that claim, say if I claim I have a mobile phone. It is not that impossible a claim so you may accept it out of hand, say I am God and you can see the logical impossibilities in this statement (why do I bother working, why aren't I killing the first born of Egypt etc), and you can also weigh this with the fact I have given no evidence of my God-like abilities and you can dismiss my claim. This is all that an atheist does with religions.

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