Response to Dr. Greg Bahnsen, Presuppositionalist


It is one of those embarrassing historical ironies that modern science could not have arisen except in the atmosphere of a Christian world-and-life view. Nevertheless, the scientific community today persists in playing the prodigal by assuming an antagonistic stance against the Christianity of divine revelation. Hypnotized by Darwin's evolutionary scheme and enchanted with the products of scientific technology, modern man has granted science a secularized godship and bows before it in fetish idolatry.

Fallacy: Because the world was Christian, Christianity caused science.

Fallacy: Even if religion was fertile ground for the development of the scientific method, it in no way demonstrates that religion and science are compatible.

Fallacy: Equating religious worship with scientific inquiry. How many times has this been addressed on the site? A hundred?

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Why Are Atheists So Angry?

"Why are all atheists so angry?"

I hear this question all the time. In fact, my Rambo-Kitty avatar is partially inspired by the question. Anyway, today I was reading an article about the debate between Sam Harris and Rick Warren, and was struck by Warren's statement, "I've never met an atheist who wasn't angry."

My first reaction was denial. Many atheists, myself included, are happy most of the time. My atheist friends are great fun to hang out with. We laugh and joke and drink beer, and hardly ever mention religion.

My second reaction, I confess, was anger. How dishonest of him to try to discount atheism by labeling us all as angry malcontents! This is exactly why people like him make me angry!

That's when it hit me, square in the forehead. He's not being dishonest. I don't doubt that every atheist he's met has been angry. If I met him, he'd almost certainly make me angry, too. That's just it! HE makes atheists angry, so they're all angry around him. So, I forgive him for thinking that all atheists are angry. I understand how he made the mistake.

Anyway, I'd like to reflect on "Atheist Anger" for a few minutes, and ask a couple of questions.

First, why is it a bad thing to be angry? The suffragists were quite angry, and for good reason. New Zealand had granted women equal voting rights in 1893, and America, supposedly the land of equality, was violently opposed to the idea twenty years later. There are still plenty of women who are angry because women make less money doing the same jobs as men in many industries, and women are often not even considered for promotions when they're equally (or better) qualified for the position. Are they wrong for being angry? Should they just sit quietly and wait for men to realize the error of their ways? Some people think so. I've noticed that the majority of them are men.

Am I making a valid comparison? Is it reasonable to compare life as an atheist in America in 2007 to life as a woman in the early 20th century? Clearly there are significant differences. Atheists can vote. They can, in theory, hold public office. They can get married, sign contracts, work wherever they're qualified. So, do we atheists have a right to be angry in the same way suffragists had?

To answer that question, I'll recall some more history. In Mosaic law, as we all know, women were slightly better than slaves. They had no property rights. In Roman law, women were completely dependent on male relations for all legal matters, and when they were married, it was a matter of purchase between two families.

Here, we can ask a pointed question. Do women have the right to be angry that they're not making as much as men in the workplace? After all, they can vote, own property, divorce their husband, sue him for child support and alimony, and live quite happily on their own. This country is one of the best places in the world to be a woman! What right do women have to be angry?

If your skin prickled a little bit when you read the previous paragraph, good for you. You're halfway to understanding why atheists have a right to be mad. The reason women still have a right to be mad is that things are still not equal. They have no obligation to remain silent simply because they have it better than someone who lived a hundred, or a thousand years ago. The reason women have it better now is that people were angry all through history, and made small gains here and there over many generations. Without the fuel of anger, women would still be property, and wouldn't even have the opportunity to be mad about making less money in the workplace.

So, what about us atheists? Do we have a right to be mad? Actually, yes. Did you know we've had atheist presidents? We have. I'll let you do your own homework on this, but it might surprise you to learn that many of the leaders of the U.S. throughout history have been openly atheist. Is this possible today? One congressman in California recently admitted to being atheist, and it caused a nationwide stir! It remains to be seen whether he'll be reelected. To be sure, he'll be attacked for being godless and amoral when election time comes around.

Until the McCarthy Era, the pledge of allegiance didn't have the word "God." Money didn't have "In God We Trust." Until the 70s, Christians were not actively involved in politics for the purpose of legislating religious values. Clearly, America is more theist than it used to be, at least politically. So, are things getting better for atheists? I dare say they're not. Unlike women, our situation is not improving. We are not being afforded more respect. Rather, we are being legislatively pushed farther into the margins where we have been quietly lurking for sixty years since the Red Scare.

To bring things back around, recall my comment about my atheist friends and I sitting around having beers and laughs. This is a good picture for you to hold in your mind's eye when you think of me, or any other atheist. This is what we want. We don't like being angry any more than women who'd like to be paid more. I'm sure all the angry feminists would rather things were better for women so they wouldn't have to be angry anymore. It's the same with atheists. If we were a bit less hated, vilified, and marginalized, it would be a lot easier for us to be in the presence of theists and not get angry.

Why are atheists so angry? Because things could be better, and we don't like being marginalized.
  • viric

Why should we convince others to atheism?

I've been talking with my wife on that. After some thinking, we cannot find a good enough reason for convincing some religious people to atheism. I'll explain which people.

Imagine someone, who works normally, and feels happy believing some religion. You know that very few people follow all the rules the religion gives, and most more or less base his owns' actions on 'intuition'. I think they simply choose being part of a religion for the pleasure of a community membership.

If that person feels happy, probably in life will not find any notable delusion, and works normally producing something good for the rest of humanity... shouldn't we let him live without trying to convince him on atheism?

I think that other cases of religious people (unhappy, clearly non-helping the human race, ...) deserve more attention by atheists, because we may help them.

I didn't write with much conciseness because I don't feel sure of what I'm saying, so please attack me on each flaw. :)
  • viric

Tolerance to other religions

Lately I had problems trying to convince one of those new-age "peace for all", "everyone is in his own right for anything", "each one's world point of view is fine", ...

As usual, he had the opinion: "You must tolerate any religion, as catholics, muslims, krisnas., because there aren't points of view better than other".

I wanted to convince him on that, that some "ways of thinking" are 'better' than other. In the sense of hapiness, of easiest living, etc. And sure I was against any of those "god-deciding"/"god-is-right"/"god-has-power" religions.

Lately, the 'revolutioning' parties in my country (Communists, ecologists, ...) seem to tolerate -anything-, and promote toleration for anything without judgment.

Maybe any of you have a good solid fundamental discourse on that?


An atheist's love life

Hi everyone, new to the community, and have already been mightily impressed by some of the interesting discussion.  Hopefully it will not die anytime soon, because that would make me sad.

So here's my question, open to both the atheists and anyone else...

Let's say you (and by you I mean I) are an atheist who has fallen deeply in love with a wonderful, sweet, caring young man who seems to be perfect for you in every way except that he's a deeply religious Sunday school teacher.  He knows and accepts that you are a nonbeliever, and you've had a happy, fulfilling 18-month relationship, but he has made it clear that he doesn't understand your lack of religious beliefs and would really like you to help him do so.

1) How does one explain why one is an atheist in a manner that will be understandable and helpful to a religious Christian?
2) What does one tell one's pain-in-the-ass atheist friends when said friends ask you what the hell you are doing messing around with one of Christ's little sheep when there are plenty of decent freethinkers available?  "We love each other" never seems to be a sufficient response.
3) Have any of you ever been in a similar situation, and how did it turn out?

Thanks in advance ^^
Lamb-ton Coach

(no subject)

Hi, I'm brand-new here, and I apologize if this has been asked before.

I'm an atheist, and I think I always have been. I was fortunate enough to be brought up in a household where my parents always encouraged us to make decisions for ourselves based on evidence and observations, and never once were we made to go to church. I have studied religions extensively because I have an academic interest in them (and, frankly, I want to be knowledgeable when strangers try to convert me), but I certainly have never believed in any kind of superior being. However, I know this isn't very common, even today.

What I was wondering is (to the atheists out there), what (if any) events/ideas/personal qualities do you think helped you decide that you were an atheist? I've always wondered how other people (especially those raised in religious households) came to the same conclusions as me.

  • Current Mood
    curious curious

Just a quick note...

From September 28 to October 2nd convert_me will dedicate itself to helping develop a better understanding of all sides of the issue by hosting the Great evolution debate of 2005.
it should be fun. Bring your opinions but note that is meant to be a cordial discussion and that it will be heavily moderated.

Please delete if this is completely inappropriate.

(no subject)

First off... I want to say 'hello'. I'm glad to have found a community that can help me learn more of different views from different people.

As for the question, I want to start off by saying that if this has been asked before, please feel free to point me in the right direction (link to the post, that is) and delete this post.

The only thing that almost convinces me of a higher power is fate. I "believe in fate", that everything happens for a reason and for the better of your being etc etc. But how can you have fate without a higher power (god)? I still highly doubt the existence of "god", but I would love it if another Atheist could answer that for me.
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    "Mutterspache" Gordian Knot
Old school Tori


Hello to all. I just want to say straight off the bat that I don't wish to offend anyone, and I'm not finger pointing. I just need some clarification. First off, I feel that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, or lack thereof. However, I don't think anyone should mock what anyone else believes or doesn't believe in. I know not everyone does this, but some people do.
*I've seen a lot of Christianity-bashing on the internet. First off, it's wrong. Why do people, including many atheists, equate atheism with anti-catholocism? There are quite a few religions out there, some more far-fetched than Christianity, but some atheists insist on mocking Christianity. What about Islam and Zaoism? Atheism is the lack of belief in all religion, correct? Hmm.
*Now, is atheism based on the fact that there's no concrete evidence proving the existance of any god or supernatural being? If so, isn't it fair to say that there's no concrete evidence that disproves that there's a god? I think the word Atheist is a strong word and is misused and thrown about too freely.
*What do atheists talk about in communities and in get-togethers? What is there to talk about? If you don't believe in anything, then there's nothing to talk about, right? I know that there could be talk of how it's hard being an Atheist because of discrimination and prejudice. But how the hell do Atheists get caught, so to speak. It's not like you're practicing any rituals or worshipping in public. And there's no official symbol for atheism that you can wear around your neck, is there? If you're in a religion-drenched town, and people knock on your door asking why you didn't come to the church/mosque/temple, then yeah, I understand that you'd be discriminated against. But maybe it'd be best to consider re-locating. No one should have to. They should be able to live where ever they want. And a girl should be able to wear skimpy clothes and walk down a dark alley at night without getting raped. But that's not how the world works. You have to protect yourself. I'm sure I have more to say but I'll leave it at this for now and if I get comments, I'll continue any discussion there. As I said before, I wish not to offend.