15 May, 2010

Not Exactly a Leap, No

Via Happy Jihad's, this answer to that sneering, obnoxious claim by theists that atheism requires a leap of faith just like belief blah blah blah bullshit blah:

Even were one to concede that some ‘absolute atheists’ know for certain there is no God, that would not require the same leap of faith as one who knows for certain that there is must take. A theist must take the word of his or her holy scriptures, her personal experience, his longstanding tradition, and come to accept that the world was created by an immense invisible being who works through mysterious means, controls the weather and occasionally demands human or personal sacrifice.

An atheist looks at the lack of evidence for god/s, notes that evolution accounts for the diversity of life, that cosmological theories such as the Big Bang account for the universe’s existence, points out that all religions seem more focused on human concerns than is logical for a creator of the entire universe, and concludes that believing in God/s is rather foolish. This is the state in which I, and atheists following last week’s definition, rest.

Our theoretical ‘absolute atheist’ then takes it one further step, and concludes that the non-existent evidence is sufficient, and takes the miniscule millimetre-wide step of faith to this statement: “There are no God/s at all, whatsoever, ever, under any circumstances.” It involves faith, sure, but about as much faith as my stating: “There are no Mars Bar farms on Pluto, whatsoever, ever, under circumstances.”
Brilliant.  Simply.  Brilliant.

I shall have to run off several copies and keep them handy.  Perhaps in nice pamphlet form, for those times when theists come out with that "leap of faith" dribble and try to hand me pamphlets about Jesus & Co.


Anonymous said...

*grins* I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Unknown said...

I had many a debate about atheism vs agnosticism in college and the whole "faith" issue. My beliefs are like yours and I developed a simple test to explain it that I hope you will find helpful.

Ask the question, "Will monkeys fly out of my butt?"

If you respond, "I suppose there could be an infinitesimal but nonzero chance. I cannot prove that they will not." , then you are agnostic.

If you say "No.", then you are an atheist.

george.w said...

I cannot agree that acknowledging an infinitesimal but nonzero chance of a God equals agnosticism. It's analogous to Christopher Monckton saying he has no idea where Obama was born. He does in fact have a pretty good idea; he just likes focusing on the marginal possibility.

I think there is a nonzero chance of a god but still call myself an atheist because I am not a theist. A theist believes in god and I don't.

There is also a nonzero chance of a race of intelligent unicorns that shit multicolored candies. But I don't call myself agnostic about that possibility.