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Isn't atheism actually a religion?

Since abiogenesis and evolution have not been proven or explained, atheists must put faith in the unseen to explain their existence, just like Christians, Muslims and Jews.

But their faith is different from those three. They put their faith in unseen science rather than in unseen love. But brainy, logical science in itself has done nothing for humanity, only love and compassion has. Sure, all humans mess up and get angry and end up killing each other off, but is that because of a lack of love or because of a lack of scientific knowledge? You must agree, it is a lack of love.

Look inside your own heart and you’ll find God. God isn’t in the sky watching you, judging you. God loves us all so much more than that.

Posted: September 27th 2010

Mike the Infidel www

It takes neither faith, nor dogma, nor tenets of belief to actively disbelieve what we are told without evidence.

Nothing of what you said is even related to atheism. Science and atheism are not synonymous.

Look inside your own mind and you’ll find that God is an ancient invention of fearful humans who wished to convince each other that the universe is purposeful and has our best wishes at heart.

Posted: October 3rd 2010

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Dave Hitt www

Again? That trick never works. – Rocky the Flying Squirrel

Evolution is a fact. Period. Deal with it. Or don’t, and be rightfully regarded as goofy (at best.)

If you honestly believe that science has done nothing for humanity your only honest response is to avoid it entirely. Get off the internet. Sell your car. Move out of your house, which is full of science and engineering, and live in the woods. Kill your own food, but don’t use a spear (that’s science) or grow anything yourself (yep, that’s science as well). Don’t eat anything you can’t pick or kill with your bare hands.

I’d say “let us know how it works out,” but you won’t be able too, because you’ll have no way of communicating with us.

Posted: October 3rd 2010

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Eric_PK

If you think that evolution isn’t proven, I recommend reading Dawkin’s recent book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

Evolution is as well proven as gravity.

Posted: September 30th 2010

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Blaise www

Really? Another one?

The other responses took your question seriously, and answered it admirably point for point, so I’m going to go a different direction. You should read some books. No, not that creationist drivel, I mean real books, on science, history, and philosophy. You obviously have no comprehension of what “science” means, what “atheism” means, or of the history of science or religion.

How can we take any question seriously when the very way it is framed is so suffused with ignorance and unsupported, dogmatic pronouncements as to make it meaningless? This wasn’t a question, it was a screed.

Posted: September 30th 2010

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George Locke

No, atheism isn’t a religion. Abiogenesis and evolution are not part of the “atheist creed”. Some theists claim that since these theories are not well founded, God must be responsible. You don’t have to believe in a naturalistic explanation for the origin and diversity of life in order to see that these claims are totally bogus. On the contrary, examining these theist claims should lead you to believe that a natural explanation is more likely than a supernatural explanation.

This is the key point. One does not start with faith in materialism and then assert that God could not be responsible for creating life. No, one begins with as few assumptions as possible. Let’s compare the theistic and skeptical responses to the supernatural and natural explanations of the origin of life.

First why this is even a problem? Well, we don’t observe organisms emerging from dirt on a regular basis (or at all, for that matter), so we may infer that the origin of life is a special and rare event. Rare is just another word for unlikely. The problem, then, is to explain how an unlikely event came to pass. The theist argument is appealing because if there is a creator, then the emergence of life is not unlikely at all: there is a being with the will and ability to create life. The materialistic explanation lacks this appeal. It asks us to swallow the unlikely event whole. (This is of course a gross simplification of real abiogenesis theories. See here for more information.)

The theist carefully fails to mention that his premise that a creator exists demands an explanation too, though it should be obvious. In order for the supernatural explanation to be satisfactory, it has to show that the existence of God is more likely than the “mere chance” that life came into existence “randomly”. But the theist never really does this, does he? Whatever the theist uses to bolster his premise that God exists, it can’t be the fact that the naturalistic explanation for abiogenesis is unsatisfactory.

Therefore, one does not have to believe the naturalistic explanation in order to disbelieve this particular argument or arguments like it. No faith required!! See answers to this related question.

Now, to address several faulty assertions in your question.

Evolution has been, for all intents and purposes, proved and explained. If you don’t believe this then you probably haven’t “looked inside your own biology textbooks” (see here for instance).

Science has done plenty for humanity. Ever been to the doctor? Ever used the internet? Ever washed your hands? Science is there.

You imply that lack of love is due to lack of religion whereas in fact, religion causes quite a lot of hate. There’s a no true scotsman fallacy hiding in your logic there (i.e. you believe that hate can’t be caused by true religion, so if there’s hate it can’t be religion’s fault). In any case, I don’t see “love” as a realistic solution to the world’s problems. What we need is tolerance, which, by the way, is often incompatible with religion.

The Christian God judges people quite a bit — his book lists an awful lot of sins. A plain reading of the Bible leads me to conclude that this God condemns just about everyone to eternal suffering.

Finally, I’ve looked in my heart. I love truth too much to believe without evidence.

Posted: September 30th 2010

See all questions answered by George Locke

flagellant www

No! Atheism is not a religion: it is an absence of religion. (Or, as someone once put it: atheism is a religion in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby.) And you are wrong to suggest that atheists put their faith in unseen science: science has solved problems, e.g. the reasons for storms, plagues, and earthquakes – previously regarded as acts of – or punishments from – God. Further, the fruits of science are all around us: the jet engine, the transistor, and the use of fertilizer to increase crop yields, to name but three examples.

Atheist find religion silly or worse; we object to the undue reverence to which religious belief is subject, and the advantages organized religion get in society. It gets tax breaks when it should be paying its share like any other organization, its principals are consulted on the great issues of the day when, instead, they should be ignored or ridiculed, and, in the case of paedophile priests in the Catholic Church, they are judged by church law instead of being tried by criminal courts.

In short, you believe in God because you want to, not because of evidence. There is not the slightest evidence that the Bible is godly. The Old Testament includes a collection of incitements to murder and invasion in the name of a jealous god whose first four commandments are about licking his boots. And the New Testament seems to be based on the morality of the Essenes who predated Christ by many years (see the Dead Sea Scrolls).

So religion makes you feel good? Isn’t it better to look at the evidence and be right, rather than guilty of wishful thinking? You are wrong about abiogenesis – we weren’t there to see the first life forms but, based on scientific knowledge, we can imagine the mechanisms and replicate them in the laboratory. You are wrong about the principle of evolution, too: it is supported by extraordinary evidence, including transitional forms, its predictions have been borne out by subsequent discoveries, and it has yet to be falsified.

You conclude by suggesting that we might find god in our own heart. Yes, and we might believe in astrology, alchemy and alien abduction, too. And that’s only the As.

Posted: September 30th 2010

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logicel

Science is not unseen. With the scientific method we deepen our understanding of nature, allowing us to produce high agricultural yields, antibiotics, and many other achievements improving the quality and duration of our lives. Science keeps on trucking along, adding to what we already know. It is a process, not an endgame.

The horrors connected with science need correctly to be attributed to pseudoscience such as Social Darwinism or to the political use of it as in the dropping of nuclear bombs on Japan. Science in itself is blameless as it is just a reliable body of knowledge acquired through the scientific method.

Love is an emotion, it is not a magical force. It is not uncommon for bad to come out of love as in jealousy. However, empathy is an non-rational state that can influence positively how we build our societies and create our laws. And evolution gave us empathy (the 'selfish’ gene leads to the altruistic society).

Despite this built-in ethics machine, we do not have a perfectly peaceful/fair/just world as not all of us are capable of empathy as in one out of five of us (that’s the mix that evolution gave us and all the praying in the world will not change that proportion). Love will not deter an Hitler, a person lacking in empathy.

For the folks that have empathy, religion is superfluous, and for the folks that don’t have empathy, religion is helpless. Our reality is what counts, not what we desire to be real. To make this world a better place we need to accept that our reality is imperfect and will never be perfect and that we need to focus on improving how we live together.

Atheism is just the lack of god belief, it is not a religion. Often atheists will embrace humanism, which is not an religion either. Humanism is based on solid, man-made disciplines like psychology, medicine, sociology, etc.

If you said you love me, I am afraid that it would be meaningless to me. However, if you said to me that you have empathy for me, because, like you, I am a human, and that you support my civil and human rights, then that would make my day, light up my heart, and encourage me to feel positive.

Your saying that god loves me is even more meaningless because unlike you, god is highly improbable.

Posted: September 30th 2010

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SmartLX www

Evolution has been explained very well, and not only proven but observed. Species have diversified into two (drosophilia), and mutated new features (Lenski’s e.coli experiment), right in front of us.

Abiogenesis, unlike evolution, is a hypothesis rather than a full scientific theory because its mechanism isn’t yet known. We remain confident that it did happen because several aspects of it (creation of amino acids, initiation of self-replication) have been replicated in laboratories using only non-living matter. That’s what sets both evolution and abiogenesis apart from religion: substantive, unambiguous, available evidence for their claims.

Your view of science is seriously blinkered if you think it’s never done anything for humanity. Every day you enjoy the good health, amenities, security and society made possible by physics, chemistry and biology, and through them engineering, industrialisation and medicine. Science is applied with a great deal of love for humanity, and religion isn’t the only source of that.

I looked for God in my heart, I really did. He wasn’t there. I was. Are you sure the “God” in your heart isn’t just you?

Posted: September 30th 2010

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