Mythbusters Save the Day Again (Or, The Savage Truth about Atheism)

I recently accomplished an unprecedented philosophical feat- namely the proof that, If Atheism is true, then atheists don’t exist. That was THIS POST.

I thought there would be some backlash from those who didn’t like the conclusion, but I’ve yet to get a single complaint about that. Self-proclaimed Atheists seem to be fine with not existing, but they are all up in arms about my defining “Atheism” to mean: an individual person who chooses to affirm the statement “There are no gods” as true.

Instead, they insist that Atheism merely means having no belief in the existence of God. Of course I felt this definition weak, since it applies to my shoe. Is my shoe an atheist? I’m fairly certain it has no belief in the existence of God. What about my socks? I could be literally SURROUNDED by atheism! I was unprepared for this can of worms. I was also unprepared to find the atheists who read my blog would be more upset about my accusing them of thinking something to be true than my suggesting that, on their belief, they don’t exist. I sincerely thought the response would have gone the other way.

I’ve been learning a lot as of late. Not all of it has bolstered my faith in the human race.

My problem with this is not only that they wish to change the definition of a word so that it no longer means what it has meant for three thousand years, but also that they will make the word “atheism” useless. Consider what they say- “Atheism” is a lack of belief in God, so an “Atheist” is just someone who has no belief about the existence of God. But that means we can no longer use that term to refer to the people who we have always referred to with that word, namely people who say “There is no God or gods.” What do we call them now?

They try to add words to specify these people; they call them, “Hard Atheists” or “Gnostic Atheists.” This fails for obvious reasons. Calling someone a Gnostic Atheist means their position is, “I have no belief about the existence of God, and I know He’s not there.” So by labeling those people this way, you are saying they believe something which they do not believe, which is either meaningless or a bazaar insult indicating the level of their disconnect with reality. And HARD atheist seems to mean “they REALLY REALLY don’t know, and they REALLY REALLY don’t believe anything about the existence of God. REALLY.” In short, this weird change of definitions serves only to muddy the waters. Words should mean things so we can understand each other. This isn’t the way to do it.

How can I convey the problem with this shuffling of terminology? I stewed about it for a few days. Then, out of the blue it hit me: MYTHBUSTERS!

The discussion we are having is the same kind they have every time they do an experiment on Mythbusters. They are trying to decide if something is true or not. They consider the options, look at the evidence in favor of the differing positions, and then experiment to see which position seems more defended by their own observations. But they only have THREE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES:

CONFIRMED– the assertion is TRUE (Meaning, it is reasonable to believe it- there is data which supports it being so)

PLAUSIBLE– (Meaning it is at least possible that it is true, but they don’t have enough information to say that is IS true or that it is not)

and BUSTED– The assertion is demonstrably FALSE (Meaning that it is not reasonable to believe it, there is evidence against it being so)

People like to argue about what PLAUSIBLE means. I don’t understand this. These people are like restaurants which serve a medium and large but no small. How can you have a medium with no small? The medium IS THE SMALL. If there is no smaller size, you can’t have a MEDIUM. That’s what Medium means! It means the one in the middle! Its too big to be small and too small to be large. Why is that hard?

When it comes to the plausible concept, it is really simple. You’re not sure enough that it’s true to say CONFIRMED and you’re not sure enough that it’s false to say BUSTED! It’s merely an “I don’t know. Maybe.” That’s all. You might lean heavily toward it PROBABLY being true, or MOST LIKELY NOT true, but until you say CONFIRMED or BUSTED then you are saying PLAUSIBLE. It’s an admission of ignorance. Just watch Mythbusters and you’ll see them explaining it sometimes. In your daily life you take this position when you say things like, “I think maybe…” or “It seems likely…” or “That could be true, but what’s more likely is…” If one of these positions was the default, this would be it. We accept a lot of things as more plausibly true than not, and sometimes even take a step of faith and act as though it is true. When I get in the car to drive somewhere, do I KNOW I will not die in a horrible accident involving six tanker trucks, a herd of bison, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra? I do not KNOW that, but I get in the car because I know my chances of arriving alive are actually better than my odds of being creamed, so I act in faith on what I considered plausible because of my reason, based on what I DO know.

BUSTED is very simple. It says, NO WAY! And I want all of the less philosophical (By which I mean childish) atheists out there to note something YOU say which Adam and Jamie NEVER say. They NEVER say, “I’m calling it busted, and I don’t need to have any reasons.” Or as those of you who love internet scattered jargon call it, “I don’t have any burden of proof” which just means, “I don’t need to give evidence or reasons.” What The kids on Mythbusters always say is, “The Myth says THIS, HOWEVER, we’ve seen THIS which tells us that there is NO WAY that could have happened. It’s BUSTED.” Can you imagine how irate you would have gotten if they had done an episode about, say the moon landing and Adam had said, “It’s BUSTED! The moon landing never happened,” and Jamie would reply, “What makes you say that?” and Adam had replied, “Don’t you try shoving your burden of proof off on me! YOU have to prove it DID happen. I don’t have to prove anything.” You’d be all, “Why am I watching this?” None of you would ever accept that kind of argument from anyone about anything, so why do you accept it from yourselves about the existence of God?  Seriously, it just looks like a childish, irrational, emotional outburst from someone who KNOWS they are lying and also knows they can’t fabricate a plausible enough story to keep themselves from looking stupid, so they toss out some jargon which essentially says, “I AIN’T SAYIN’ NOTHIN’!” Which is not as air tight an argument as it sounds. It actually sounds like you already know where the arguments will lead, which is not where you want, so you yank the parking brake at the first sign of being asked to think.

In short- if you claim ANYTHING to be a fact- the existence of God, your mother’s maiden name, whether or not there is a tea pot orbiting the moon-  you have also accepted the burden of proof. The only alternative is to admit that you’re irrational and you choose to believe things without reason, which, as far as I can tell, makes you crazy. Mucho Cray Cray.

Which from now on is my Gangsta Rap Name.

I think the connection should be obvious- The idea up for debate is the existence of God. The Theist says, “Confirmed!” The Agnostic says, “Plausible, but I don’t know.” And the Atheist says, “FALSE!” When the Atheists try to combine Atheist and Agnostic, I am hearing “Plausible and Busted.” I know some will try to argue that “Atheism” means simply a lack of belief- which would still fall into Agnostic/Plausible because it is based on NOT knowing- and if you don’t know it is false, then you are admitting that it MIGHT be true. Others will try and argue that it means a lack of interest in the question, which would be apathy, but again that is not the same as BUSTED!

Imagine if, after some experiments, Jamie asked Adam what he thought and Adam said, “I have no opinion. So it’s busted.” Jamie would, of course, ask, “So you think, based on the data, it did NOT happen?” and Adam replies, “No, I’m not claiming to KNOW it didn’t happen, or even to have an argument against it being possible. I’m saying I Don’t believe it happened, and that’s why my position is BUSTED.”

“You mean, Plausible.” says Jamie. “You think it might be possible, but you’re not convinced by the evidence.”

“I mean,” says Adam, “That I am not convinced by the evidence, and while it might be possible, I’m saying Busted.”

Well, you can imagine the fight which would ensue. That show is GOOOOD Television.

In summary- if “Atheist” means “Agnostic,” then “Atheist” doesn’t mean anything and we now need a word to mean what Atheist has always meant until very recently. Putting atheist with agnostic is the same as saying “This Myth is Plausible Busted!” which is also meaningless and fails to convey anything useful. If you claim something to be a fact- whether that fact is the affirmation of something or the denial of it- then you have just accepted the burden of proof. So either explain your reasons and evidence, admit that you can’t explain it and admit that you have faith in something you can’t explain, or shut up. Seriously, if you have no reasons, arguments, evidence or sober thoughts to support your assertions, then just shut up. You’re not being reasonable, you’re being insane. But only I am going to be “M.C. Mucho Cray Cray”- coming soon to Def Jam records!

Ok, I can’t confirm that right now, but it is at least plausible.

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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.

One Response to Mythbusters Save the Day Again (Or, The Savage Truth about Atheism)

  1. Pingback: The Savage Truth About Atheism | A Bit of Orange

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