Monday, April 18, 2011

Answering As An Atheist (Part 2)

Following up from last week's Ask An Atheist Day, some additional questions and my responses to them:

Q. "Why are you an atheist?"
A. "Because I'm unaware of solid, objective evidence that supports any claims for the existence of god(s)."

Q. "Can you prove that God doesn't exist?"
A. "No, and I don't have to. In science and law, the burden of proof is on the person who makes a claim, not on those who question or deny the claim. If I said there was an invisible pink unicorn living in my back yard, it would be my job to provide evidence of that, not your job to search my back yard and demonstrate the lack of hoof prints or unicorn droppings. My only assertion is that 'I have no belief in any gods,' and I'm the only person who's qualified to speak on what I do or don't believe."

Q. "Why not accept Jesus just as 'insurance'?"
A. "Ah, good ol' Pascal's Wager, or what I call the 'CYA' (Cover Your Ass) argument. French philosopher Blaise Pascal, a Christian, suggested that even we atheists should act as though God exists. If He doesn't, Pascal argued, no harm done, but if He does, we 'gain all.' There are plenty of good arguments against Pascal's Wager that I won't bother listing here since the Wikipedia article I linked to above has an extensive criticism section. But of those who advance this stale old argument, I ask: Do you find Pascal's Wager convincing enough to take the bet yourself? Have you covered your ass by acting as though you believe in all the concepts of God that compete with your own and all the religions that threaten dire, eternal consequences for those who make the wrong choice?"

Q. "Why are atheists so arrogant?"
A. "LOL! We atheists often wonder why some (not all) believers seem so arrogant. Anyone who defends their position firmly may appear 'arrogant' to someone with an opposing viewpoint. A speaker or writer's 'tone' can affect whether, or how long, we'll pay attention to them, but what matters in the end is whether their words are true or not."

atheist arrogance

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