Considering Atheism (Part 2)

This article is a continuation of the argument made in our March 4 issue.  

Victor Martelle – Technology Director

Atheists are those who are primarily unconvinced of the justification for faith. These proposed justifications come in claims as evidence and arguments, and in hopes of answering the why question, I will attempt to address the more popular ones I’ve come across from an atheistic perspective.

The first matter I will take aim at is that of not knowing. There are many unknowns in science, for example, we don’t know what precisely sparked life on this planet. It then goes that God must have done it. By that standard, I could equally proclaim a unicorn twirled its tail and poof – out came the universe. Not knowing is the most correct answer we have to these questions and with the advancement of science, I’m confident we’ll find a naturalistic answer to these, as we always have.

Other arguments I often hear is that there is evidence for a god. This usually takes the form of prophecy, personal experience, and internet inquiry. Prophecy is found by almost all religions, many of which, when interpreted a certain way, could be viewed as correct. I emphasize “interpreted,” as prophecies aren’t usually explicit. Even if a fulfilled prophecy were to be unambiguous, does this prove the religion is correct, and how does this show a god exists?

Personal experience and internet inquiry are similar. If you look online for evidence of God (internet inquiry), you’d find many results of people seemingly experiencing a godly possession in a church or a religious leader performing healing. You may have even experienced some of these first hand. None of this however, is generally accepted as credible evidence. According to neuroscience, we know the brain can experience hallucinations and episodes depending on the circumstance. Not surprisingly, then, is that these possessions occur in many religions.

Healing the sick is also shared by various religions and often chalked up by skeptics as short-term placebos. Even if a person had healing abilities, why aren’t they putting it to the test of science or going to hospitals healing the sick?

There are also many other arguments to consider, and if you’ve felt I misrepresented one or I need to consider another, let me know! And if you are still confused as to why atheists are atheist, I will end with a quote from Stephen Roberts, “When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

Graphic courtesy of Seb Agresti