I would have posted a comment on Dr. Zhivago’s blog, but for some reason comments have been disabled for the post I most wanted to comment on. People who deny existence of God is the title of the post, and it struck a chord with me because Dr. Zhivago paints a grossly inaccurate picture of atheists and atheism – the same strawman frequently presented by Christians. And it irritates me tremendously.
So, it is with great pleasure that I share with you the disassembling of Dr. Zhivago’s strawman atheist:
The existence of God has always been put to question by a lot of atheists.
Well, OK. I can go along with that.
They self proclaim to be all-knowing and just refuse to accept his existence.
No, Dr. Zhivago. Atheists do not claim to be all-knowing. In fact, we claim to know nothing of the existence of any gods and therefore choose not to believe in the existence of any of them. Perhaps you are confusing belief with knowledge?
Their judgment goes as such – ” God is not real, all of us have popped out by a chance, a one in a zillion chance that occurred with the formation of organic living things under favorable circumstances.”
Dr. Zhivago, would you please provide the source of that quote? Assuming, of course, you didn’t just make it up to use as stuffing for your strawman.
They profess only science, yet a lot of science itself alludes them, most of them are not even Science oriented, and those who are are too far behind in Science’s own rapid development and discoveries.
Here we have yet another misrepresentation. Atheism professes nothing. Atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Full stop.
Dr. Zhivago may be correct in saying that most atheists are science oriented. I don’t know; I haven’t met most atheists and have no way of knowing the extent of their scientific knowledge. However, one need not understand the first thing about science to be an atheist. Atheism is not about knowing, but rather not knowing.
I refer you to a post I wrote a few months ago on this particular subject entitled, What Do Atheists Have In Common? Here is a quote from it:
Atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Period.
Knowledge or lack thereof regarding what science teaches about the origin of life and the universe need not factor in at all. I have often found the following analogy useful in explaining this:
Let’s say my house burned down, and the cause cannot be or has yet to be determined. Is it rational to conclude that a fire-breathing dragon started the fire? Of course not.
Or let’s say the cause of the fire has been determined, but I have not been informed of the cause, or simply do not understand it. Would the fire-breathing dragon hypothesis make sense then? No. It would still be silly.
So it is with science and gods:
I do not need to know or understand the origins of life and the universe in order to rule out what is clearly irrational – in this context, any number of gods.
Science is a very compatible companion to atheism. People can develop a broader understanding of what science teaches about life and the universe after they are no longer blinded by faith, but scientific knowledge is not a prerequisite to atheism or necessary component of it.
I don’t need to be a fire fighter or have the slightest understanding of what can start a house fire to reasonably rule out fire-breathing dragons; I don’t need to be a scientist or have the slightest understanding about the origins of life and the universe to reasonably rule out the supernatural.
Back to Dr. Zhivago:
Some way up in the line, intellectuals pioneering the work of discoveries, are still limited to their own fields of knowledge. No one has yet been all-knowing.
Unlimited knowledge is not required to rule out the clearly illogical or irrational. I refer you again to the fire-breathing dragon analogy. I will also quote from another post I wrote a couple of months ago:
Another common attempted argument against the existence of atheists or atheism is the claim that one would have to know everything about everything in order to rule out the existence of God. […]
Based on this line of reasoning, these Christians had better start believing in the existence of every mythical, imaginary and fantasy being ever conjured up in the minds of people since the beginning of mankind. After all, they would have to know everything about everything in order to rule out the existence of any of these things. Right?
Following Dr. Zhivago’s logic, he is as audacious as he accuses atheists of being:
Yet many will have the audacity to Question existence of the Creator, just with pinch of knowledge they possess.
Let’s talk about audacity, shall we? Here we have a self-proclaimed scientist criticizing people for the audacity of questioning his god. The audacity to question, says the scientist. Is it just me?
And what about the audacity of asserting the existence of a being for which there is no evidence (let alone proof!) and then carrying on as if those who refuse to accept this assertion without question are the ones being unreasonable. The audacity!
But what exactly is Science? We have been thaught of it from Newton’s early theories and laws to the modern discoveries.
Yet Pure Physics, Chemistry etc… they are all but observations after various experiments, and conclusions drawn.
For an instance, just take a an atom and its constituents. The nucleus, electrons, Protons..
Their arrangement in particular fashion and having properties of itself.
We only discovered existence of these properties and their relationships and putting them into our own ways of using them – Call it Technology with all our Gismoz and Gadgets.
These are but LAWS, All this nothing but nature, and it is following a particular law. Why does it not transgress beyond this and behave in an erratic fashion?
These are matter of nature, obeying a law.
Where did this law come from?
Who is governing the law?
Who created these laws?
I will leave the discussion of science to those more qualified. But I must ask: why should I assume that something or someone created and governs these laws? The questions seem circular to me.
Dazed as you may get pondering on many questions.
God is one who has set these in motion. He is omnipresent, of no form, of no figure or limitation. He is just there.
More begging the question, a logical fallacy in which the premise not only assumes the conclusion, but is also just as questionable.
Perhaps its not in our mental capacity to define him explicitly just like we define a lot of things in nature.
It is unthinkable with our capacity, unimaginable.
So, because it is unthinkable, unimaginable and beyond our mental capacity to define, we should accept it as fact?
So those who vehemently deny his existence, are nothing but like those in olden times who did the same proving Earth is flat and died believing this false notion.
Once again, the premise assumes the conclusion. Dr. Zhivago assumes that atheists “believe a false notion”, and then compares that with something which has been proven false. That’s illogical and irrational. It is a desperate attempt to validate a weak and circular argument.
We know not much! What we know is still a tiny fraction of what actually is. Pure science is still progressing, newer discoveries are being made. Nothing has just stopped at Newton’s three laws.
Again, what Dr. Zhivago seems to be saying is that because we don’t know, that since there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support the existence of his god, we must believe. Do you suppose Dr. Zhivago applies this same principle to the uncountable other gods worshiped by humans? After all, new discoveries are made every day…
There is a million miles to explore ahead and no one at this moment is qualified to deny existence of God.
I submit that Dr. Zhivago has this backwards. It seems to me that no-one at this moment is qualified to claim the existence of any god as an indisputable fact. I further submit that this is precisely what Dr. Zhivago has shown us with his own words, despite what he says in those very same words.
I now open the floor to anyone who would like to comment here on Dr. Zhivago’s post, since he had the audacity to make such bold and inaccurate claims about atheists and atheism, among other things, and then close comments; I suspect this was done to avoid having his argument exposed for the fallacious piece of hogwash it is.