The Atheist Orthodoxy Challenge by RAF2K

Having proposed the challenge recently, I have decided it only fair to toss my hat into the ring. This seems a silly formality, but then traditions are cherished even when they’re weird. Just look at what any royalty or head of a religious organization is forced to wear and you’ll see that tossing a hat into a ring isn’t all that bad. At least it’s not a powdered wig.

Before I make my list of Orthodoxy, let me first define a few terms. This, it seems, needs to be done as not everyone who uses the English language actually know what the words mean.

Atheist: from the latin for “No god/s.” Very simply, an atheist is an individual person who chooses to affirm the statement “There are no gods” as true.

This needs to be distinguished from Agnostic, which comes from the latin for “No knowledge.” This doesn’t mean they are completely ignorant, but their position is, “I do not have the information it takes to take a position.” It is an admission of ignorance, not actually a position.

To understand the difference between these two positions, imagine I came into the room where you and your friend Carl are drinking coffee with a big cardboard box. You ask me what’s in the box. “It’s a pair of ducks wearing party hats,” I reply.

You decide to take the agnostic approach. Because you can conceive of ducks wearing party hats, and have no evidence that I’m a big liar, you think it MAY be true, but until I actually open the box, you’re going to retain the right to be skeptical.

Carl takes the Atheist approach and says, “There are no ducks in that box.” He’s very certain. You know how Carl can be when he’s made up his mind about something. Even if he SAW ducks wearing party hats, he’d try and argue that they were actually doves or quail or something. Carl can be kind of stubborn.

All of that to say, the following list is the series of beliefs which I think a consistent Atheist must hold. Of course they can choose to reject any of them, but that makes them a heretic I suppose. Or maybe just a hypocrite, but we can discuss that some other time.

In short, a TRUE atheist must believe that NOTHING has value or purpose, and he must doubt his own existence and ability to know anything. No, really, read on. It’s logical, and kind of bleak. We begin with the very Creed which defines the Atheist religion:

  1. There is no God, gods, etc.
  2. There is no supernatural (Spirits, afterlife, etc.) No argument could be made AGAINST gods which would still allow for the Supernatural.
  3. Thus, materialism (The belief that ALL that exists is the physical universe of time, space, matter and energy).
  4. Thus, no miracles or magic (For there is no one/nothing to CAUSE a miracle in a material universe.)
  5. Thus, Determinism: ALL things and events are determined and controlled by the laws of physics and chemistry and all that follows from them.
    5B. Thus, everything since the beginning of time has been pre-determined by those natural laws. Everything has always been and must always be as it is because of those initial conditions and COULD NOT have been different.
  6. There is no basis for any objective value. Everything is merely the dance of atoms obeying the laws of physics and chemistry.
  7. Thus NO free-will, for a FREE choice cannot be a CAUSED choice, but the will of man is merely the result of his brain, which is matter, which is controlled and determined by the natural laws.
    7B. While some may appeal to Quantum uncertainty to allow for free will, this is a false hope for the uncertainty is merely our ignorance of all the causal determiners at the quantum level, not ACTUAL randomness. And even if it were, it is not our minds that CHOOSE the random outcome of the quantum uncertainty on a macro level, but our will would be a result of that uncertainty. Once again, our choices would be CAUSED even if not predictable.
  8. Thus, there can be NO Objective right and wrong. If we cannot choose to think, feel, or do, then we cannot choose to do other than we DO. Our thoughts and actions are determined by chemistry and physics just as the shape of a rock is.
    8B. Also, with no transcendent moral law GIVER (God), there can be no objective moral law by which to distinguish between right and wrong, even if we COULD choose.
  9. Also, there is no justification for condemning any action as wrong or celebrating any as right. Murder is merely the interruption of the various chemical processes which we categorize as “Life.” The victim’s desire to live is not based on a free choice- the choice to continue living- but is predetermined by natural law just as his hair color or height were. The same can be said for any act of justice, mercy, charity, etc.
    9B. Thus, there is no justification for civil law. We can no more blame a murderer for killing than we can blame a magnet for hanging on the refrigerator door. Punishing crime is like punishing leaves for being the wrong color.
  10. Life has no particular value because it is merely a chemical state, such as the burning of a campfire. Killing and pouring water on a camp fire are materially equal in the fact that they stop a chemical process from continuing. That “Life” is a more complex series of chemical processes does not give it some kind of transcendent value.
    10B. Emotional appeals to morality are equally empty as emotions are merely a chemical state of the brain. The suffering of a victim or his loved ones is merely another chemical state which our brains are wired to dislike, just as thirst is a chemical state our bodies are wired to dislike. Love and compassion are also merely determined brain states.
  11. Furthermore, the SELF is an illusion. Through a lifetime, a human’s cells are constantly replaced so that the ENTIRE Collection of cells may be replaced several times over his lifetime. Since a human is merely matter, then the man who dies is not the same man (collection and arrangement of matter) who was born, nor the same he was as a child, or a teen, or a middle aged man. He is not even a series of identical copies. Thus, “he” is a series of DIFFERENT collections of atoms spread out over time.
  12. Along the same lines, the perception of a unified self is false, as the brain is composed of many parts which work dependently and independently. The part which says of itself, “I” is no more the one brain state than a certain program which is running on a computer’s screen is the whole computer or all of its programs.
  13. Thus, there is no basis for reason or logical thought. If the brain is matter, determined by natural laws, then it cannot CHOOSE to accept as true or reject as false any information which it processes. Something “Known” or “Believed” is merely a particular chemical brain state, predetermined by the laws of nature.
    13B. Furthermore, since the history of mankind is one of uninterrupted religion and belief in the spiritual and supernatural, we know that Evolution did not select for brains which are driven entirely by the apprehension of truth, but rather evolution created brains which believe false premises and fail to process data logically and reasonably so as to come to true conclusions. Because the history of humans is one of consistent belief in religions and superstitions, we know the human brain cannot be trusted to merely discover truth, but can be trusted to embrace falsehoods. Even the logic or reason which is used to reject religions and the supernatural is done with those brains, which means the result of such arguments cannot be trusted to be reasonable or true.
  14. Thus, we cannot KNOW anything. We can merely have particular arrangements of brain states which we call “Knowledge” or “Beliefs” of certain propositions.
  15. Thus, Atheists don’t exist. Humans are merely a collection of changing matter in a particular arrangement (Same as any object in the universe), their unified self is an illusion, and they cannot choose to believe atheism or reject theism. One is an atheist, not because he has discovered it is true, or even because he has CHOSEN to believe it, but because the natural laws have caused his brain to be arranged in the manner which we call “Atheism,” just as his DNA have determined his hair color and height. Since we began by defining Atheist as an individual person who chooses to affirm the statement “There are no gods” as true, then we must conclude now that Atheists don’t exist.

So, it seems that I have just reasoned my way to the preposition, “If Atheism is true, Atheists do not exist.” Very sincerely I did not actually expect this when I started. I’ve not been arguing TO this conclusion, I’ve just been following the logic where it led. And I’ve wound up here, proving that, if Atheism is true, Atheists do not exist.

I can live with that. I never believed in them anyway.

Let me know what you think. If you disagree, let me know where my logic has gone off the rails and feel free to correct the argument. If you merely don’t like the conclusion, then you need to talk to yourself for a while. I’ll admit something here- as a Christian, I believe you’re really there. So you’ll have a real person to talk to.

And thanks for letting me be your Rent A Friend.

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About rentafriend2000
Rocking my 40's with a heart full of love and muffins, science and technology. Jesus loves me and wants me to totally rock! And I am here to help.

14 Responses to The Atheist Orthodoxy Challenge by RAF2K

  1. Your description of athiesm is incorrect. Using your ducks, I hold no belief regarding ducks in the box. Further, I hold no interest in the contents of the box. That’s completely different than an affirmation there are no ducks in the box.

    • Thanks for your comment. Your statement is almost correct, except that you reject my definition of Atheism. My definition is correct, and you’ll note that you make no attempt to defend your rejection of it. If you want to change the definition so it means no belief, or no interest, then my shoe is an atheist. That not only rejects the root of the word, and the way it’s always been used but makes the word useless. Words mean things. If you don’t like what they mean, then find other words to use, but you aren’t Mr Webster and I suspect he would be upset if he found you were trying to do his job. Old man Webster was a stickler that way, but it does help when we’re trying to communicate with other English speaking people.

      • [In the voice of Batman, as Die Valkyrie plays in the background]
        You’re a coward.

        Remember this? [Holds it up, then realizes he is not on camera and puts it down. Stews for a moment.]

        Remember stating that by my definition of athiesm your shoe was an atheist. [Checks MLA handbook and cannot find the section on punctuation. Decides a period is probably right.]

        Remember my response? [Waits for reply, but then remembers he is not on Skype and continues typing.]

        Good god, your shoe is not a sentient being. Look me up when it is.

        [Pauses to consider his ironic appeal to the “Good god” he does not believe in. Is that irony, hypocrisy or just blasphemy? Decides to Google it later. Over thinking what we write didn’t get us where we are today, after all. Write a bunch of words and MOVE ON! That’s our motto…]

        Remember they moment of fear and shame when you realized how stupid your remarks were? [possibly meant “Thy” moment of fear. Like the Amish would say. “Whenst thou dist realize the foolish nature of thy remarks, which thou dist make.” Like that. Those Amish are HARDCORE!]

        Remember deleting my reply?

        Remember blocking me?

        Remember feeling that bit of guilt as you edited your reply to remove your idiocy? [Considers giving context in case he does NOT remember, but then decides that he is the most important thing in the universe, so there is NO WAY this jerk could not remember. AND feel guilty. How could ANYONE delete a comment as BOSS as that shoe thing? That was GENIUS! I’ll bet it keeps him up at night.]

        Hold on to those memories. That’s what it’s like to be human. [GOOD! That is DEEP man. Like poetry.] Your religion, your god [HA HA! Lower case G! Suck on that, jerk!], caused you to run in fear. Remember that to. [too? two? 2? Screw it- this is the internet.] As a god loving christian you have a lifetime of fear and lies ahead of you. [checks off “Stick it to the man” on his list of things to do.]

        Remember I have a blog, too. [considers posting a link but can’t remember how to spell it.] Your cowardice will not go unrewarded. [Ends with a polite offer of a reward, which is a good way to make new friends, just like Apple Jack learned on last night’s episode of My Little Pony- Friendship is Magic! P’OWNAGE of Christian dorkwad complete! Reward self with entire bag of Oreos, but don’t tell mom…].

      • I love this comment for many reasons. One of them is, it gave me the opportunity to learn that I can edit other people’s comments before I let them get posted here. I may feel a little guilty about that later. Or I would if my alterations weren’t so freaking AWESOME! Anywhoo, watch this:

      • Yes, I have previously observed your demonstrations of cowardice. Other than providing a further exhibition of your juvenile emotional state, your efforts are pointless.

      • [in the voice of Batman] SWEAR TO ME!!!

      • In all seriousness, what is it I am supposed to be AFRAID of? Are you sure “Cowardice” is the word you mean to use? Did you try thesaurus.com for help?
        I mean, the juvenile emotional state I get. Frankly, you don’t know the half of that. But I truly don’t understand what you think I am AFRAID of. I’ll admit to spiders and heights, but since those never came up, I have NO idea what you’re saying. Please explain that bit to me, and feel free to share what previous demonstrations I have given. When was this? What was I wearing? What were YOU wearing? Whatever might help jog my memory. Did we room together in college and I just don’t remember you?
        You can’t REALLY mean the fact that I deleted that one short and worthless comment abut my shoe, can you? Is THAT some sign of COWARDICE in your head? REALLY?
        Really really?

      • [Roger fails to respond to what was said and has two more comments deleted]
        REPLY FAIL! Please read the question again (Or have someone fluent in English read it to you) and try again! Seriously, it’s like you didn’t read or understand the question. It’s not complex. Try it again. YOU CAN DO IT ROGER!!!! I BELIEVE IN YOU! A LITTLE!

  2. If Craig alone isn’t good enough for you, then here he is quoting an Atheist philosopher who says the same things.
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-definition-that-will-not-die

  3. Pingback: Top 10 ATHEISTS OF 2013 | CreationSoapbox

  4. Pingback: Top 10 ATHEISTS OF 2013 | Rent-A-Friend 2000's Biblical Thinking and Good Times!

  5. Pingback: The 15 CORE tenants of Orthodox Atheism! | A Bit of Orange

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