A few months ago my Grandfather attempted to try and get me to go to church with him and the rest of the family (This happens every few weeks). As usual I refused and told him that I was Atheist which meant that I don't go to church. Then he asked me something new, he asked me why I didn't believe in something that people had believed for thousands of years. After all, billions of people could not be wrong.

Instantly in my head I said "Wow... could you have come up with a stupider argument?" Then outloud I said "So? Billions of people also believed that the sun revolved around us, that the Earth was flat, and that there were unicorns. Hopefully one day society will realize they were wrong about this too!"

I haven't been asked to go to church since.

Views: 85

Tags: argument, atheist, church, grandfather, grandparent, religion

Comment by Robert Karp on May 31, 2011 at 8:42am
Great response Katie, although I would've left out the whole unicorn thing. Not sure that was ever a viable theory on mammalian evolution ;- )
Comment by Steve on June 3, 2011 at 12:27pm
Religious people are happier in the sense that a drunken person is happier than a sober one
Comment by AntiChristianLeague on June 3, 2011 at 1:16pm

"Billions of people can't be wrong!" Argumentum ad populum! I LOVE logical fallacies!

Comment by Ida Claire on June 3, 2011 at 10:36pm

@ InfinetlyImpetus

Actually, it sounds like you are the one with a superiority complex.

And science claimed the Earth was flat and the sun revolved around the earth at a point in time when religion controlled science and government.  What was that called again.... OH YEAH. The Dark Ages.

We don't have better things to watch on television, but we do have our bodies to recharge, other people to help, and families to nurture and spend time with.  Minus the fairy tales and empty threats.

And unicorns exist in the same way that a deity does- in the mind.

Insubstantial rhetoric?  I think not.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on June 4, 2011 at 2:55am
Thank you Ida, Nelson.  And way to give your Gramps something to think about, Katie!
Comment by Jason on June 4, 2011 at 6:38am
50 million Frenchmen cannot be wrong
Comment by choSenfroZen on June 4, 2011 at 6:39am
I wish I had said something like that 45 years ago, would have saved a lot of trouble.
Comment by Ron V on June 4, 2011 at 7:31am

I agree with Nelson's post- there is much more to the statement "Studies have shown that people who go to Church and believe in God live longer and are said to be "happier" and "healthier".  Maybe Church could be a positive influence on you." than presented in InfinityImpetus' post.  

Could one also say that outside the US "the poorest nations with the worst living conditions, heath care, education, social support structures, etc., are the most religious?" There is validity to this, but such a statement needs much more analysis.

 

"And science claimed the Earth was flat and the sun revolved around the earth at a point in time when religion controlled science and government."

This too is an oversimplification of what "science" has proposed and what has been explored and accepted on the basis of the scientific method.  A significant point here is who "controlled" beliefs and claimed to be the "authorities"- for the Dark Ages, yes, it was religion.

Some specifics related to this post that religion ultimately rejected-

Pythagorus proposed a spherical earth.

Philolaus proposed a "central fire" universe where the planets, inculding the sun, revolved around a central fire.  This model was not pursued or accepted for centuries thanks to religion.

Science has always sought to expand knowledge.  Pythagorus and all others with new thoughts expounded their ideas and articulated the problems they had with their ideas.  The problems arose when religion simply rejected these ideas because they were contrary to the Bible or the Church's position.

The roots of many things we take for granted today were conceived by the Greeks.  Granted, they were wrong about many things, but at least they thought about things and proposed new ideas and models.  Similarly, the Persians proposed many useful ideas.  It was religion and religious authorities that rejected and suppressed scientific thought for centuries.

I believe we are hundreds of years behind where we could be with scientific research and medical science, as well as other areas of thought, thanks to religion.  And we are struggling to keep the religious from suppressing science and knowledge to this day. 

Comment by Ron V on June 4, 2011 at 8:18am

And, personally,  I wouldn't recommend church to anyone.

In general, I believe we would all be much better off if people read something other than the Bible (or Quran or Holy Book du jour) on Sunday (or whatever holy day) and went to the library or did community service work rather than going to church (or other "holy place") for the half day or more that, in my opinion, is otherwise wasted on what really amount to lies, superstition, and magical beliefs.

Comment by Steve on June 4, 2011 at 8:28am

The flat Earth thing is a total myth. Greek scientists/naturalists knew that the Earth was a sphere and even calculated its size with a reasonable amount of accuracy given the available means.

 

By the middle ages it was more or less common knowledge. It's hard to miss the curvature of the Earth on a ship at sea, for example. Depictions of a round Earth can be found in textbooks and even religious paintings.

Comment

You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

Forum

The Elephant in the Room...

Started by Belle Rose in Small Talk. Last reply by Unseen 1 hour ago. 3 Replies

Ear-piercing a baby

Started by Simon Mathews in Atheist Parenting. Last reply by Erock68la 6 hours ago. 25 Replies

My Grandpa died last week

Started by Physeter in Small Talk. Last reply by Pope Beanie 7 hours ago. 9 Replies

Torture Report release today

Started by Unseen in Ethics & Morals. Last reply by Pope Beanie 9 hours ago. 134 Replies

Is There Any Ex-Mennonites or Ex-Amish On This Site?

Started by Jessica Miller in Advice. Last reply by Belle Rose 16 hours ago. 27 Replies

Blog Posts

How did that happen?

Posted by Belle Rose on December 19, 2014 at 4:36am 6 Comments

Pabst Blue Ribbon to the rescue!

Posted by Ed on December 15, 2014 at 9:33pm 0 Comments

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service