All to often I hear Xtians saying that that it takes faith to be an Atheist, just as religion requires faith. They typically state that the claims of the big bang or evolution are incredible and require incredible faith to believe. But to me these statements show a total ignorance or misunderstanding of the scientific method.

I will grant them this. The claim alone that the entire universe was born from the burst of pure energy and that we evolved from simpler organisms are pretty extraordinary claims, just as is the claim that everything is due to the hand of a cosmic magician. I agree that the claims alone are extraordinary, but at Carl Sagan once said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". And that's what separates science from religion. Extraordinary evidence is exactly what we have. Whether it be red shifting, background radiation, radiometric dating, elemental composition of the universe, application and adherence to natural law, fossil evidence, DNA evidence, distribution of spices, etc. We DO have amazing evidence. Having that brings an amazingly unlikely claim from hearsay to unequivocal truth. There was a time when it was an amazing claim to say that the Earth wasn't flat or that the Earth wasn't the center of the solar system and universe. Yet through the study of our surroundings and the evidence collected, we find these to be truths rather than wild claims. The way to truly understanding our world is through this tireless pursuit of knowledge.

In contrast, all religion offers is wild claims and a history of denouncing any who question them. If a person chooses to question science's claims that's all well and good. But they must then offer sound reasoning and scientifically acceptable evidence to to back up their claims. Science looks at the evidence at hand and then draws conclusions from said evidence. Yet religion starts with a conclusion and goes no further. And what about flexibility? Science realizes that we don't know everything and is willing to adjust as new information comes available. But yet again, religion remains rigid and calls anything that disagrees evil lies of Satan.

OK, I've gone off on a tangent here, but I think everyone gets the picture. Atheism by way of scientific evidence does not require faith. To claim such, exposes the persons ignorance to the facts at hand.

Views: 34

Comment by Prazzie on September 5, 2009 at 12:54pm
Explaining all this to them in a reasonable manner just won't work, though. Religious people will cling to the "atheism is just a faith, too!" canard like they have been clinging to Pascal's Wager all this time. They don't have much else. Of course, pointing out that they're calling atheism a "faith" like that's a bad thing will go over their heads.

I like to act astounded and ask "How many faiths do you have then? I thought your religion only allowed one faith?" They tend to look shocked and scared at what's next, then I start listing some of the gods whose non-existence is a matter of faith for them. They still won't get it. All the non-stamp-collecting-hobby metaphors in the world won't undo this one.
Comment by Reggie on September 5, 2009 at 2:18pm
Prazzie is right on. For people who lack the thinking skills and/or the understanding of how science works, grasping why we know our system of knowledge is a far superior system is beyond most of their ability.
Comment by James on September 5, 2009 at 8:43pm
I agree completely, that trying to reason with the unreasonable is futile. Just ranting I guess. :)
Comment by Reggie on September 5, 2009 at 8:59pm
It's a good rant! There are plenty of "fence sitters" that may yet be swayed! :)
Comment by GOPI KANTA GHOSH on September 28, 2009 at 1:11am
Comment by davesnothome on September 29, 2009 at 2:38am
There is an unstudied condition that Christians exhibit which I theorize goes something like this; from a young age, Christian children are strongly encouraged to believe the unbelievable and discouraged from believing what is so obviously true to the un-indoctrinated. In my opinion, this results in a form of retardation that makes reasoning with them impossible. How else can you explain that it makes more sense to them that life was spoken into existence? Seriously? Magic is easier to believe than science?
Comment by Morgan Matthew on September 29, 2009 at 3:02am
Hey Dave we are going to make your whole comment into a We Think Atheist video :] Great response.


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