Atheism is often presented as a rational position. It is categorized as the "truth" that knocks down the "myths" and "fables" of religious belief. To the uneducated individual, atheism will be attractive. A person without proper understanding in areas such as philosophy, theology, and the sciences will fall for any chic argument presented by atheism.
Moreover, atheism is not united at all. The majority of atheists adhere to its ideals due to political persuasion. Most atheists classify themselves as Liberal or Progressive. One will rarely find a Conservative atheist who adhere to ideals such as the protection of all human life, the uniqueness of heterosexual marriage and the reality behind economics and how they affect all.
A tweet I received today reminded me of this disunity among atheists:
@sacerdotus even if he does you know full well atheism is a massive spectrum the only thing we share in common is a lack of belief in a god
— sam carpenter (@SamCarp20) March 10, 2013
This young man's tweet is incorrect in claiming that atheists share a common lack of belief in God. Atheists are known to hold all kinds of beliefs regarding God. Some claim that God does not exist at all. Others claim that God may exist but they are not convinced due to any apparent lack of evidence claims. There is no unity at all among atheists. This is because they lack Reflective Equilibrium. The term originates from American philosopher John Rawls. Reflective Equilibrium is the attempt of the individual to balance ideas in such a way that they become coherent. The individual takes on a deliberative process in which beliefs are accepted, rejected or blended with others. In Psychology, the equivalent of this can be Cognitive Dissonance.
Atheists cannot find common ground in their beliefs regarding the existence of God. They cannot find common ground on mostly everything. Take the blog feud regarding morality and science between Sam Harris and my former professor who I have much respect for, Massimo Pigluicci. Atheists often attempt to hide behind science believing it to be a safe haven for and promoter of atheism; however, science is no such thing. Science seeks knowledge. It tests questions and retests them. Unlike atheism, science does not reject hypotheses without testing and retesting them. Atheism right away concludes the non-existence of God. Science does not take this approach. This is why there is no science indicating that God does not exist. No scientific theories even hint at the non-existence of God. They exist to explain the mechanisms behind what is being studied, not the ultimate causality of them.
Atheist's will state that they do not know the origin of everything. A simple "I don't know" is a valid response; however, if atheism believes "I don't know" suffices in regards to causality, then on what ground is God ruled out? If one does not know what caused everything to exist, then how can one immediately rule God out of the equation? In the equation regarding causality, only two testable variables exist:
- a. God is the cause: P(G ≥ .05) or P(G ≠ .05)
- b. An unconscious agent is the cause: P(UCA ≥ .05) or P(UCA ≠ .05).
There is no middle ground in the equation.
The lack of Reflective Equilibrium kicks in here when atheists claim to not know the causal factor of everything while at the same time ruling God out. Atheism once again becomes "stupid" and irrational. Its attempt to hide behind science exposes it more to the world as a position that cannot stand on its own either, scientifically or philosophically.
It is no wonder why atheism has the lowest retention of any religion. After a while, atheism loses its luster and people grow out of it. Who in their right rational mind would adhere to such nonsensical rhetoric that presents itself as rational but is just diatribe meant to appease those who are contrarian?