Thursday, June 26, 2008

There Are No Non-Religious People, Only False Gods

Samizda complains about people trying to speak for God. Comments ensue.

A couple:

And in thus declaring on behalf of God (or the lack thereof) that no one can possibly speak for God, you thereby speak for God, rendering yourself no better than those you decry. It could be that God wants particular people to speak for Him. Yet you declare on God's behalf that this could not possibly be what God wants. In fact, your declaration of what God wants seems to trump all the others. Mighty presumptuous, I'd say. How dare you?


Seerak posits that:

This is psychological projection at its best -- one that I've always found a funny one, because the religionists are effectively trying to declare that atheism is no better than religion, as if they were unaware that the same logic says that atheism is as good as religion -- in which case, what exactly are they knocking?

Nothing, really. As long as everybody admits it, I'm fine.

Here's the problem. Atheists act as if they're the only ones around without a religion, and therefore the only secular people in the world. Hence, because the USA and many other countries are supposed to be secular, then only atheists and/or atheistic values do not violate the conceptual 'separation between church and state'.

No, you do not get away with that. Either your belief system makes some pretty unequivocal truth claims about the state of the universe and supernatural powers, or it is entirely useless. You seek to drive education, justice, usage of public property, morality, ethics, science, technology pretty much all of civilisation in accordance with your belief that there is no god and/or we're not accountable to anyone but ourselves.

Because I believe atheists have a religion, they should be subject to exactly the same limitations as all other religions; namely, that there be a separation of church and state where such a concept exists, for instance.

Seerak goes on:

Anyway, the real issue that the religionists will evade, and must always evade, is that atheism is not a positive belief of any sort.

Well, here's the problem, though; the term 'atheist' is derived from 'a' meaning without, and 'theos' meaning God (or god). So, it does seem that atheism is a positive belief system after all.

Here's another way of looking at it. Logic states that either A or not-A is true; it cannot be that A and not-A are both true.

A. There is (at least) a God.
not-A. There is no God.

We usually call those who say A is true 'theists' and those who say not-A is true 'atheists'.

Again, what might your response be? That this question is irrelevant? Whether Bigfoot exists or not I consider irrelevant also, but that does not change the truth value of proposition one bit

Similarly, the FSM's existence is also not impacted by my belief or lack thereof.

Please tell me how you can call yourself atheist without affirming not-A as above. This is the bloody definition, for crying out loud.

Or perhaps I misunderstand atheism completely. Perhaps judging by the more famous atheist 'representatives' such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Peter Singer and Friedrich Nietszche is not the right thing to do, considering their militant, almost evangelical zeal to promote atheism. Maybe they're better labeled anti-theist instead.

So, Seerak, why don't you tell me exactly what your belief towards God is? And don't say, 'none'. Or rather, go ahead, but try not to evade the natural consequences of your statement.

"I don't believe in ghosts" is semantically equivalent to saying "I believe in no ghosts" i.e. 'There are no ghosts". Many atheists try to weasel out of it; but the fact is, all negative statements have equivalent positive statements. Saying that A is not true (i.e. A is false) is equivalent to saying not-A is true. And however you want to word it, this was always true, is always true now, and will always be true, world without end.

You know how this ends. :)

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