It is my contention that religious belief is delusion. Most religious people will adamantly maintain their belief regardless of what information or logic is presented to counter that belief. Now, most atheists, would probably change their position if someone were to present a cogent unassailable logical contradiction, or, better yet, actual proof or verifiable information that showed that there actually is proof of the supernatural. (However, perceived images of the virgin Mary, etc., in grease stains on kitchen counters does not meet the criteria of proof.)
If you point out a logical contradiction to a religious zealot, they will redefine the words, or make some other contortion of reason and logic to explain it away. I think, most atheists, if confronted with some reasonable counter arguments, will examine the evidence, and not just from atheist sites, but from many sources. I find that with religious believers, that their citations almost always refer to some religious site, and the problem with some of the religious sites is that they have no compulsion to stick to the facts. They feel free to alter and confabulate in whatever way they think will support their position. I am sickened by the lies and untruths religious people propagate to lend credence to their position. How they manage to be so credulous about anything that supports their belief, and deaf to anything that contradicts it, is the hallmark of delusional thinking.
I admit, when someone cites their holy book as proof or at least evidence, I automatically tune it out, but that is because I spent 30 years of my life studying religious texts, (Bible, Koran, Bahagavad Gita, Rigg
Vedas, Tao Te Chin , etc.) and found all of them to be less than authoritative. And most to be irrational, illogical, unreasonable, and impossible. But on the rare occasion when someone offers something new, I immediately start to Google and find every reference I can and look at the source and try to determine the veracity of the evidence.
I do believe that there are some atheists who are such simply by default, they never thought much about it, just basically went with the flow, and have not spent time thinking about what it means to be an atheist. But I also think that there are atheists like me, who cannot stop thinking about the universe and how it fits together, and what is reasonable and logical and cannot make Kierkegaard's leap of faith to accept the supernatural. The supernatural is simply unnatural, and doesn't make sense, but if you presented me with proof, or at least good evidence I would have to fit that into my belief system, i wouldn't just reject it out of hand, or try to redefine the language, or make contorted twists of logic to explain it away.

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Comment by Galen on November 20, 2009 at 1:04am
Wholeheartedly agreed!


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