Some of these aren’t questions at all but stupid statements made by some of the uneducated numbnuts that troll my site. Since FSS (Frequently Stated Statements) isn’t a common internet term, I figured I would stick with the traditional title “FAQ” for clarity. This page is a work in progress.
- Atheism is a religion!
- Just look around you. There is proof of God all around you! Waterfalls, pretty flowers, etc.
- Radiocarbon dating is seriously flawed! Even scientists can't agree on its merits!
- If atheism isn't a religion, then why do you label yourself by what you aren't? I don't go around telling people that I don't collect stamps.
- If schools can't allow prayer because some students don't pray, they shouldn't be allowed to teach evolution since some people don't believe it explains the origins of life.
- What if you're wrong?
- The "Who created God?" question is irrelevant since God exists outside of time and space. He created time and causality, so he is not subject to them.
- Isn't an agnostic just an atheist that won't commit?
- What do you say to an atheist when he sneezes? What does an atheist scream during sex? What do atheists type instead of OMG?
Atheism is a religion!
I don't know who said it first, but I like the following analogy. Atheism is a religion like NOT collecting stamps is a hobby.
Just look around you. There is proof of God all around you! Waterfalls, pretty flowers, etc.
This is not proof of God. This is only proof for you, as you have been raised with severely deficient definitions of proof and evidence. The complexity of the natural world is in many ways still a mystery to science, but that doesn't mean that it was created by a deity.
Radiocarbon dating is seriously flawed! Even scientists can't agree on its merits!
Are you saying this because you have peer reviewed literature on the subject to support this claim or because your young earth preacher said it with raised fists and a surly look in his eye? This sarcastic, yet poignant video on the merits of radiocarbon dating pretty much clears things up.
If atheism isn't a religion, then why do you label yourself by what you aren't? I don't go around telling people that I don't collect stamps.
True, the label "atheist" describes what someone isn't, not what they are. I don't anti-label myself with any other aspects of my life, because none of those hobbies or pursuits encroach on my liberties. I choose to label myself as an atheist to associate myself with a growing social movement that seeks to change the perceptions of those without religious belief. If one day the stamp collectors start legislating their interests into law and they in some way take away from my freedoms, then I will gladly label myself as an aphilatelist.
If schools can't allow prayer because some students don't pray, they shouldn't be allowed to teach evolution since some people don't believe it explains the origins of life.
This one I hear a lot, and it mixes two separate issues. First, prayer isn't disallowed in school. I'm sure many students pray every day at school. What isn't allowed is a teacher-led prayer. Students at my high school met every day around the flagpole to pray before class began. Also, during the morning announcements there was always a moment of silence that could be utilized for whatever reflective purposes one desired. Part Two is pretty simple. Students are taught verifiable information in school. 2 + 2 will always equal 4. Red, yellow, and blue will always be the primary colors. And our Declaration of Independence will always have been signed in 1776. The theory of evolution, while not a scientific fact, is a constantly revised and amended knowledge base which has its roots in verifiable evidence. It quite aptly provides a framework within which speciation, common ancestry, and the benefits of fecundity are better understood. "God said it, therefore it happened" is purely speculative and has only one poorly cited and non-refereed source. If you want your children to learn speculations over science, that is fine within your home or church. Schools exist to expand knowledge, not neglect it.
What if you're wrong?
It doesn't really matter if I am wrong. I choose analyze religion the same way I analyze everything else in my life: critically and with regard to facts. If a personal deity did exist, the following quotes from Douglas Adams and Thomas Jefferson sum my feelings up.
“People will then often say, ‘But surely it’s better to remain an Agnostic just in case?’ This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. (If it turns out that I’ve been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your-fingers-behind-your-back, Clintonian hair-splitting impressed him, then I think I would choose not to worship him anyway.)” — Douglas Adams
“Shake off all fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.” — Thomas Jefferson
The "Who created God?" question is irrelevant since God exists outside of time and space. He created time and causality, so he is not subject to them.
Well isn't that convenient. Not only can you not prove God's existence (or the existence of any of the thousands of other deities that have existed throughout history), but you introduce more unprovable conjecture as an answer to a very logical question. The fact is, God had to come from somewhere. If you claim he spontaneously generated, then it is entirely possible that life can come from nothing. If you insist that he has a creator of higher complexity, he is not the only god, neither alpha nor omega.
Isn't an agnostic just an atheist that won't commit?
False. Atheism means literally "not theism". An atheist is someone who does not hold theistic beliefs. Atheism does not mean "belief that god does not exist". In other words, atheism makes no positive assertions; it only denies the positive assertions of those with theistic belief. Unfortunately, even many dictionaries have somewhat poor wording that leads people to believe that atheism is a belief, which leads to stupid people stating that atheism is a religion (see first FAQ). Agnosticism on the other hand is the assertion that it is not possible to know of a deity's existence. Therefore, atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive. One can be an agnostic atheist in that they do not hold god belief because they believe that the existence of god is unknowable. I personally believe that the idea of god is impossible. Neither does this counteract my atheism, nor is it the definition of atheism.
What do you say to an atheist when he sneezes? What does an atheist scream during sex? What do atheists type instead of OMG?
Apparently, when someone says, "Bless you!" after a sneeze or uses "OMG" in a text message, that is a deeply religious experience for some. I personally say, "bless you" or "Gesundheit", and I could care less what anyone else says. When I sneeze, I'm not so arrogant as to think that my wind-and-spittle expulsion requires any acknowledgment from anyone. As for saying "God" during sex or using "OMG" if you are too lazy to type out four extra letters to spell the actual words, I'd say that most Christians would find these uses to be blasphemous. I embrace their uses fully.