Saturday, August 9, 2014

32 fictions atheists believe to be true
Incredibly indeed!

Believe me, you can fly! This is not a fiction!

Atheists in general claim that they have no beliefs to hold. They say, atheism is not a belief system. They hold as true only facts, scientific facts to be more precise. In my opinion, atheism is a belief system too. Everyone of us lives in a certain belief system whatever the belief is (religious or secular). Belief system is any system that requires beliefs to make it work. Without constructive belief and trust, none can live normally, healthily, happily and constructively, in the real world. On the one hand, my atheist friends always state that Atheism makes no claims. It is a lack of belief and nothing more, but, on the other hand, they are not aware altogether that this statement is a claim too. In short, all atheists in fact believe in their belief and claim that Atheism makes no claims. It is a lack of belief and nothing more.” What is funny is that they even, I repeat, are really unaware of the fact that this statement is a claim and a belief too.

Science itself is a belief system. I can show it clearly, as follows.

  • Scientists believe that science, among others, is an effective method of understanding, interpreting, describing and explaining all the realities in the cosmos;
  • Scientists believe that whatever they think as true in their scientific theories, has some correlations or interconnectedness with empirical realities;  
  • They believe that their grand theories which have not been proved as yet, will one day be proved or disproved;
  • Insofar as their theories have not been proved/disproved yet, they believe that these theories can presently be used in a wise and prudent manner;
  • They in a humble way believe that in the course of time, everything in the empirical world can be explained by science;
  • Scientific hypotheses constructed and formulated by any researchers at the beginning of their researches contain significant elements of belief and faith that should be verified or falsified in the end of their researches. Because a hypothesis contains a belief or a faith (or a guess) to be tested, we can call it hypothesis. Without all these beliefs, science cannot work, and cannot make progress either.  
  • As it is acknowledged by scientists generally, for instance Albert Einstein, imagination too plays a crucial role in eventually giving birth to a new scientific view.  Without a belief or a faith, imagination cannot develop from one moment to another moment, even a belief or a faith is part of the overall imagination a scientist develops freely but in a controllable way. In short, a dynamic belief or faith is a crucial element in any imagination. Without a dynamic belief playing a role in any imagination from moment to moment, the imagination will change into fantasy, an empty and barren uncontrollable daydreaming.  
  • If you are familiar with how science works, historical science in particular, you certainly know that scientists often cannot achieve absolute certainty about the subject they are investigating. They can reach only the probability level, not the absolute certainty level, when they have to decide about the truth of the subject they are researching. When you move from the range of possibility to the range of probability, and from the range of probability to the range of relative certainty, your belief or your faith plays a role in deciding the most reasonable option you will take from many other options. In the world of probability where absolute certainty cannot be achieved, where complete evidence cannot be provided, your belief or your faith will accompany your reasonable decision, whether you like it or not. Belief or faith is absolutely unnecessary if everything is absolutely certain! In the world of science, unfortunately, there is no such thing as everything is absolutely certain.       
So, in the world of science itself, a type of belief or faith has an important and crucial and honored place. Do you want to deny this fact due to your insistence that what matters in life is only evidence? If so, how poor your life is. I hope you could see the difference between belief or faith in religions and belief or faith in the world of science. The former is absolutely unnecessary to be tested, verified or falsified, because it is believed to be based on divine revelations religious believers believe to be absolutely infallible and forever valid. The latter is viewed to be fallible, tentative and temporary, and therefore it is absolutely necessary to be tested, verified or falsified, by employing various scientific methods and various scientific perspectives.

I can argue that atheism is a belief system too. Here are my arguments. Atheists demand religious believers to provide any empirical evidence for God. They debunk theism due to the lack of evidence of God. Atheists don’t want to be regarded as believers. They want to be respected as people of scientific mind. So far so good. If atheism is scientific, one thing they should do in debunking theism is provide scientific evidence for the non-existence of God. Asking atheists to provide evidence in debunking theism is a normal procedure in science. Science is always based on evidence. But atheists can’t provide any scientific evidence at all for the non-existence of God. Poor! Without presenting the evidence that God exists, or the evidence that God does not exist, but claiming that each of their positions is scientifically true, theists and atheists employ the argument from ignorance or “argumentum ad ignorantiam”. This argument is false, due to the lack of evidence to support it!

When asked to provide any scientific evidence for the non-existence of God, they always say the burden of proof belongs to theists, not to atheists. This is their only spell and mantra, not a scientific statement. If atheists don’t want to bear the burden of proof, because they’ve no way to prove the non-existence of God, atheism then isn’t scientific at all. In other words, their claim that God doesn’t exist is not a scientific claim, but a claim of belief. Thus atheism isn’t different from theism. In conclusion: theism and atheism are beliefs, both are religion. So we have another religion currently, named atheism. We are justified then if we call them atheist believers.

To avoid presenting the argument from ignorance, both theists and atheists should provide empirical evidence for the claim each makes concerning the existence of God or the non-existence of God respectively. The atheistic claim that God does not exist (because there is no proof of Gods existence) cannot only be claimed, but should be proven empirically, insofar as atheists wish atheism to be viewed not as a belief. If atheists consider atheism absurdly as a science, or as a scientific position, regarding the non-existence of God, while on the other hand they cannot provide any empirical evidence for their atheistic position, they only tell the greatest bullshit to the world. Theists themselves do not claim that God should exist because there is no proof of the non-existence of God. Theists acknowledge openly and honestly that theism is neither a science nor a scientific position, but a belief, a religion.

One more note. Asking atheists to provide empirical evidence of the non-existence of God is entirely different from asking someone to prove that dragon or unicorn factually exists. Asking atheists to prove that God does not exist is scientifically necessary because they claim that atheism is a scientific debunking of theism or a scientific antithesis of theism. So far as I know, until now in the modern world, there are no official world religions that we call Dragon Religion or Unicorn Religion. Of course I know that dragon is a fictive animal that has an important role in the symbolic world of Chinese religions; but no Chinese will call their religions as Dragon Religions. Therefore, none wishes to make her/his life busy to scientifically debunk the Dragon Religions which do not exist in the real life.
God, god, where are you? Why do you disappear?
But I can go even much further to show you that atheists are real believers. I can show you that atheists, not only religious people, believe in a lot of fictions. The following list contains 32 fictions atheists believe to be true. Incredibly indeed! The list is all-inclusive. I am very, very sure that all the atheists will automatically and fanatically dislike this list so much. If you consider the list to represent the Straw Man Fallacy, be it! But you have the freedom to refute all the fictions I list below. Don't explain it away. You should argue, if you have the courage. Discarding the list without giving counterarguments is a silly crap. The easiest responses to the list is of course say that the list contains only bullshits, drivels, silly nonsense, insanity, Straw Man Fallacy, intellectual confusion, idiotic ideas, or thoughts of a troll. Thanks in advance if those are your responses. I do hope, whatever your responses are, you will not reveal the fact that atheism is an ideology of anger, hatred and abusive languages, so far as I have experienced. Oh yes, by fiction, I mean anything that is not factual, that has no historical basis. 

As this piece circulates to wider readers, I have received some comments that I judge worth quoting completely here, accompanied by my replies for the comments. This piece, thankfully, has developed into a conversation. Enjoy it.    

Fiction #1: Science alone can make our lives happy and real.

Comment: No, you alone are responsible for your own happiness. Science doesn't care about your emotions. Science only cares about learning how the universe works. 

Reply: No, you are wrong. Science gives you not only theories and scientific facts, but also values that can make your life happy, healthy, meaningful, etc. Being intelligent, smart, critical and thoughtful, e.g., is one of the priceless values science gives to you. Science has many things to do with our emotion, e.g., psychology, psychiatry, or even neuroscience. But, I emphasize, not only science can give us these blessings of life. Religions, cultures, arts, songs, music, paintings, other humans, animals, plants, nature, books, even fictive stories and metaphors, Batman and Transformer movies, etc., can too.

Fiction #2: Science produces only goodness for humans and the cosmos.

Comment: Don't be silly. Oppenheimer famously said "I am become Death" at the testing of a nuclear warhead. Not every advance is beneficial.

Reply: Fiction # 2 is defended by some atheists who apparently don't know that E=mc2 yields immense atomic energy that annihilated two Japanese cities. Instead of using science as the vehicle to reach our higher and higher cultural goals, they idolize and deify science.
Fiction #3: Complex scientific explanations are superior to simple ones.

Comment: Wrong, sir, and you are obviously unfamiliar with Occam's Razor. However, things that are provable and true are preferable to unsubstantiated claims.

Reply: Because I had in mind the Occam's Razor principles, I wrote the fiction #3. Some atheists, who don't know the principles, scorned the simple understanding of life many religious people adhere to. And then, they presented a complex understanding of realities that they viewed should have replaced the simple view of life held by religious people. Those atheists prefer living surrounded by complexities to living a simple life filled with peace, serenity and gratitude.
Fiction #4: Atheism is superior to theism because it offers no beliefs.

Comment: I disagree. Skepticism is preferable to faith, because it leads us to question and learn. 

Reply: If you prefer skepticism to faith, none will prohibit you. But let religious people live a life based on simple faith that makes them happy, serene, kind, human, friendly. Don't scorn or ridicule them as atheists often do. I emphasize, doubts are part of any religious faith which make the faith grow and develop. But my point is that it is entirely wrong if you maintain that atheism is not a belief system.   

Fiction #5: Proof is that we all need to make our lives freed from delusion.

Comment: That's not a fiction, silly.

Reply: That is a fiction. Let me explain. If you have a wife and children, should you ask them to prove, to give empirical evidence, that they love you, that they are faithful to you? Should you investigate your wife wherever she goes to ascertain that she is faithful to you? If so, what a poor family. We can live happily even though we don't have, or need no, proof for everything. Asking evidence for everything we or others do, or for everything existing under the sky, makes our lives so tiresome. We today don't need proof to be convinced rationally and healthily that tomorrow there will be a sunrise and a sunset. Life without constructive belief and trust is suffering, a delusion, a nightmare, an insanity. The capacity to believe or to trust in many life affairs is the marvelous result of the workings of the neurons in our brains nature has given us. Clear?  

Fiction #6: Without proof for everything that humans believe, they can’t live normally.

Comment: Obviously humans have lived for thousands of years with mysticism and fables. Your assertion is false.

Reply: That fiction #6 (related to Fiction #5) is not my assertion, but a belief atheists adhere to. This belief is clearly a fiction. So, without proof for everything in our world, we can live normally and even happily. Some atheists maintain that only the proven things that can make us live normally. What a poor life! What a complicated life!

Fiction #7: Atheism has no drawbacks if compared with religions.

Comment: As a former believer, my life has only been improved and enriched by my shift to atheism. Your statement is a tacit statement that atheism does have drawbacks, and that requires supporting proof which you do not offer. Disingenuous at best.

Reply: That is the claim made by some atheists, boasting that atheism is superior to religious faith, to religions, that atheism has no weaknesses and drawbacks. What I am refuting is the triumphalist claims of atheists. If you opine that both science and atheism cannot give humans happiness and serenity, religions can. I emphasize this fact to make you realize that there are many things religions can give to humans to make them serene, happy, delighted, hopeful, while atheism can give none as you have acknowledged. That is one drawback of atheism.  

Fiction #8: All the religions are cruel, brutal and destructive.

Comment: Not true at all, and you should almost be punished for slander. Many atheists (Sam Harris included) respect how peaceful Sikhism is both in word and in practice.

Reply: Almost of the atheists I have ever met view religions in a condemning and scornful manner. Only a few of them can evaluate religions objectively and fairly. This is the hard fact you can't deny. As I see it, religions have two sides, the good side and the bad side, as does atheism. Do you want to defend that there is nothing bad in atheism and in atheists? Be fair, friend! The triumphalist mentality of atheists, abusive languages atheists often use, as well as argumentum ad hominem they repeatedly employ, very clearly show the bad sides of atheism and of being atheist. As is the case with theism, atheism is not a magic either which can magically heal and save the whole world.    

Fiction #9: The root of all the problems we are facing now is religions.

Comment: This is the first one you've gotten even partly correct-- many atheists do think this. However, you claim it to be a fiction without explaining why it's not true. :P

Reply: If you say religions are the single root of our modern life problems, you can almost be punished because the slander you have made. Can you see, liberal capitalism of the West is also the serious problem the developing or underdeveloped countries are currently facing? Can you see, the USA militarism worldwide is our modern problem too? Can you see, German chauvinism and genetics can revive presently in many forms in many nations the world over? Can you see, climate change that we all are experiencing now is a very seriously threatening problem modern humans should face as soon as possible? Etc. Do you wish to naively maintain that all these problems stem from religions?   

Fiction #10: Atheism is the final and only answer to all the problems faced by us now.

Comment: This couldn't be further from the truth! Atheism isn't the final answer-- it's only the beginning! Once one frees their mind of superstition, then they can move on and focus on real problems and solutions to the problems of the world.  

Reply: According to evangelical atheists worldwide, atheism is the final answer for every problem of the modern world. This mental state of those atheists is the same as that of evangelical Christians worldwide, who proclaim that Jesus Christ is the final answer of the modern problems. Both groups know affirmatively the answers without knowing previously what the problems are. Due to this triumphalist mentality evangelical atheists suffer, one can say that atheism is part of the modern problems, not the solution we are searching for, as is the case with evangelical Protestantism. 

Fiction #11: Religions exist only to be ridiculed, scorned and attacked.

Fiction #12: Religions never give birth to noble people of the world.

Fiction #13: Religions have no good values for humans to live meaningfully.

Fiction #14: Spirituality can be eradicated completely without harming the human brain.

Fiction #15: Religions of the present are final, can’t evolve anymore to finally reach maturity.

Fiction #16: Atheism has the character of science; religion is anti-science in nature.

Fiction #17: Atheism is true, religions are false.

Fiction #18: Everything religious people say about atheism is bullshit.

Fiction #19: Everything atheists say about religions is true and factual.

Fiction #20: There will never be exchanges between religions and atheism.

Fiction #21: Humans require no transcendent meaning of their lives.

Fiction #22: Children should be guarded and protected strongly from any fictions.

Fiction #23: Fictions have no meaning for humans to live meaningfully.

Fiction #24: Any holy books should contain only facts if they’re to be true.

Fiction #25: All the religious people treat scriptural texts as facts, not as metaphors.

Fiction #26: All the religious people hate atheists and the other way round.

Fiction #27: Atheism makes people happy, religions make people depressed.

Fiction #28: Humans will live more happily if religions don’t exist.

Fiction #29: Religions control religious people; they thus can’t change them.

Fiction #30: Four billion religious adult people in the world today are nothing.

Fiction #31: Religions are the viruses of the mind eradicating everything in the world.

Fiction #32: There certainly will be no wars in the name of atheism in the future.

So, atheists in general have at least 32 beliefs that shape their belief system. In my judgment, any beliefs, religious or secular, are not necessarily bad in themselves. A religious belief in the loving and caring god can make religious people tough and strong in times of troubles. But the reverse can be true too: religious beliefs can destroy religious people, societies, human in general, and even civilizations, when these beliefs stimulate people to commit lethal terrorism in the name of their god they believe in blindly and foolishly. Being critical of any religious beliefs is a necessity if we wish to prevent this disaster.

Those conditions apply too to the beliefs atheists hold. They can believe in these 32 beliefs, or in science or in atheism itself. It is useless and deluded indeed if atheists still assert that they embrace no beliefs altogether. The most vocal of militant atheists, Richard Dawkins, in his belief system believes in the existence of superhuman intelligent aliens in space who created human beings long, long ago via their very advanced genetic engineering. Until now, this is not a scientific fact; it is a belief that Dawkins embraces. Not bad. He has discarded the gods of religions altogether, but unfortunately only to replace them with superhuman intelligent alien beings in space.  

What I expect is that atheism as a belief system can contribute much to humanity and our civilizations. This expectation can be fulfilled insofar as atheists can love all humans and disseminate peace and serenity to the world, and can be critical of their own beliefs as well. Without having critical stand toward their own belief system named atheism, atheism will only give birth to atheistic fanaticism and bigotry, part of the problems of the modern world.