Monday, October 17, 2011

Atheism misconceptions





Today the tweeters @askegg @steviebryant @SkepticalSkotty @_7654_ have all inundated my mentions with questions and of course accusations of being ignorant and what not. Vitriol behavior is not uncommon among atheists... I know.. I used to be one :) (http://twitter.com/#!/askegg/status/114921293895303168) (http://twitter.com/#!/Ignostic/status/114920423006814208) (http://twitter.com/#!/SkepticalSkotty/status/114921450019897344)

Let me begin on what I remember from all the tweets:

Atheism is defined as: a·the·ist [ey-thee-ist] Show noun a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/atheist)
Despite giving this definition, the above mentioned seem to disregard it. They claim that atheism is merely just a "disbelief" not a denial. However, that is illogical. The word "disbelief" means:"dis·be·lief noun \ˌdis-bə-ˈlēf\ : the act of disbelieving : mental rejection of something as untrue" -(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disbelief) Notice that it uses the words "mental rejection." Rejection is synonymous with denial. (http://thesaurus.com/browse/rejection) That being said, atheism is a denial or rejection of God whether as an entity or concept. The above insist that atheism is merely just disbelief. However, in order to disbelieve in something or someone, one must be aware of that something or someone. How can one disbelieve in god if one is not aware of the idea, person or subject? It is like Leonardo Davinci disbelieving that Iphones or wifi exist. How can he if he has never had prior awareness of the device or technology?

Moreover, another atheist asked for proof of God. When I began to question him regarding quantum physics and how I was going to show the evidence I found, he dismissed it quickly. He even called quantum physics a "psuedo science." (http://twitter.com/#!/SkepticalSkotty/status/114916449394499584) (http://twitter.com/#!/SkepticalSkotty/status/114921902363000833) This is called sophophobia- or a fear of knowledge. The question I ask is: Why even ask for evidence if one lacks objectivity and merely dismisses it? What this atheist is doing is similar to a creationists who despite evidence will still claim the Earth was designed in 6 literal 24 hr days. My conclusion is that this gentlemen is not knowledgeable in physics and therefore rejects it as mere pseudo science in order to save face, so to speak. He is just seeking to engage in nonsensical polemics and is not interested in truly discussing God and evidence using science.


Another gentlemen claimed that science is somehow superior to faith and religion. (http://twitter.com/#!/_7654_/status/114917684138868736) (http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/_7654_/~LRh0w) I tried to explain that science and faith are basically the same in that they both are based on perception and belief. In religion, ideas are formulated. Those ideas are then compared to sources "scripture/tradition," from there they are rejected as heresy or approved as doctrine. In extraordinary cases, they are proclaimed "dogmas" or "revealed Divine truth." Science is similar in that it starts with a "guess" or hypothesis. From there that guess is tested until it is either rejected, theorized or made into a official law. Science relies on perception. It uses instruments made by flawed men. Those instruments can fail, or perceive things differently than the human senses do. Moreover, there is the issue of the human perception. We all do not perceive the same thing. Each of us perceives things differently. Perception goes through many filters in our brains. If someone gets well after a horrible accident a believe will think it was a miracle. An atheist will see it as the body regenerated faster than normal. The even (recovery) is static, but the perception of both outside parties are different. Why? Because they passed through filters in the brain. Science is not immune to this. There are scientists who are for and against evolution, for and against life on other planets, for and against global warming. Each can provide must empirical data on each topic yet there can be many conflicting views. Again, this is due to perception. To say that science is above religion because it uses instruments and gathers data is silly. Both religion and science are subject to man's perception and not to mention mistakes.


As usual, atheists attack Scripture. One tweeter claimed that the Bible does not describe the sun as a "star." This can be seen in different ways. Depending on how it is translated, the Hebrew word "Shemesh" can be " a torch, star, or sun." It can also be used to describe a sun god. Moreover, it is interesting to note that the Bible is not science book. While some science is explicitly and implicitly shown, its purpose is not to explain things in the way we define science today. The purpose of the Bible is to highlight God's plan of salvation through revelation.


Another tweeter dismissed the idea that science is also faith in a sense. Faith is defined as "confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability." -(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith) Well when we learn science in school or read the science section of a paper, are we not trusting in the studies (thing) or person who wrote/researched the subject matter? Is that not faith? How many of us have traveled to space and have seen the solar system with our own eyes? How many of us have enter the earth and have walked on the mantle and core? How many of us have personally carbon dated fossils? Not many would say yes because not everyone has access to labs and other equipment to make this attempt. Nevertheless, we accept these ideas as truth. We take them on faith that those who conducted the experiments and research are not lying to us. Religion is no different. Religious people believe God is real, the doctrines are real and applicable. They trust that they are not being misled just as those who follow science only believe they are not being lied to as well.

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