Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Why I'm An Atheist - 13 Reasons & Arguments For Atheism

More than three years ago I wrote a post entitled Why I'm An Atheist, where I briefly explained some of the reasons why I don't believe in god. That post, which was long over due at the time, needs an update. With each passing year I get much better at understanding the arguments for and against the existence of god, and since that post came out I've created several new arguments of my own. Rather than write it in essay form, which I did in the original post, I'll instead outline the main reasons and arguments briefly, one by one. So here we go.

I'm an atheist because....

1) The traditional notion of god isn't coherent

In order to even consider the possibility that a god exists, we first need a coherent concept of god. The traditional notion of god in classical theism is that of a timeless, changeless, immaterial mind, who also must be infinitely good, infinitely wise, and can do anything logically possible. There are some variations on this concept, but almost all traditional or classical theistic gods have these basic characteristics. The problem is that a timeless, changeless being by definition cannot do anything; it's necessarily causally impotent and nonfunctional. Change requires time, and time requires change. This is logically certain. And to create something, one must do something. Doing requires a change, regardless of whether that change is mental or physical. A being that cannot do anything cannot be omnipotent. As a result, the traditional notion of god is self contradictory. The theist's only resort here is special pleading. That's why I like to get all theists to agree beforehand that god is not beyond logic. That is, god cannot do the logically impossible or be the logically impossible. Once a theist agrees with this, they've cut themselves off from special pleading as an option. Some theists think god is atemporal before creating the universe, and temporal after creating the universe. But it isn't logically possible to exist timelessly and then suddenly jolt yourself into time out of your own will, because your will was timeless and frozen. It couldn't change into the state to want to change.

Given the necessary rules of logic the traditional attributes of god are incoherent:

P1. It is logically impossible to do something without doing something.
P2. It is logically impossible to do something without change (even if everything is immaterial).
P3. It is logically impossible for change to exist without time.
C. As such, a timeless, changeless being cannot do anything.

The failure of theists to come up with a coherent description of god is enough by itself to warrant atheism, but there's many more reasons to think no gods exist.

2) Since the universe is eternal no god could not have created it

Since god is considered the creator and sustainer of the universe, it's helpful to point out that the universe doesn't need a creator or sustainer because it's eternal—even if it has a finite number of moments in what we'd consider our past. That's because eternalism is true. Special and General Relativity both entail that every moment of the universe—the past, present, and future—all physically exist in an eternal block universe, a 4 dimensional spacetime manifold. An eternal universe cannot by definition be created, since it didn't begin to exist in the regular understanding of begin to exist (which assumes presentism is true).

(If at this point you're thinking that the big bang proves our universe has a finite past, and therefore cannot be eternal, let me remind you again that eternalism means that the past, present, and future—all physically exist in an eternal block universe, and therefore the universe can have a finite number of moments since the big bang and be eternal because all moments of time never begin to exist, nor cease to exist. Eternalism is also different from the Steady State theory of the universe. Those who don't understand this do not understand special and general relativity properly.)

Now it would be foolish of me to make such grand claims without providing any evidence why eternalism is true. That would be making a faith claim, like the religious do. Well I've written several arguments for why eternalism is true, perhaps more than any other blogger online.

For logical arguments on why Special Relativity entails eternalism click here:

Does Special Relativity Entail Eternalism? Part 3 - The Logical Argument

For General Relativity click here:

Does General Relativity Entail Eternalism?

And if you deny eternalism, there's a steep price you have to pay:

Here's What You Have To Believe In Order To Deny Eternalism

3) Causality doesn't exist in the way we think it does

The failure of all the "first cause" cosmological arguments for god result from naively taking our everyday notions of how we see the way the universe works and extrapolating from that huge metaphysical first principles. Given that the universe is eternalistic as per (2) above, fundamentally speaking, there are no causes in the way we traditionally speak of them. There are simply just worldtubes or particles in spacetime, and one point on the worldtube doesn't really "cause" a later point on the worldtube to exist because all points in the worldtube exist. The proper definition of causality given how the universe really is is therefore the relationships of intersecting worldtubes as they precede or intertwine with one another in spacetime; they're a description of the relationship between patterns and boundary conditions. This is why the notion of causality outside space and time makes absolutely no sense and there is no evidence for it whatsoever. At the fundamental level, the word "cause" really should be replaced by the word "explanation" or "relationship."

Therefore, all the theological "first cause" arguments fail because they all assume an antiquated concept of causality that has been falsified by modern science.

For more clarification and a deeper explanation of what I mean by this and what I don't mean, read Causality Doesn't Exist — In The Way We Typically Think It Does: A Further Explanation

4) The big bang does not say the universe came from "nothing"

Many people falsely assume the the big bang entails there there was a state of nothingness, and then *poof* you get a big bang. That's not what it says. That's not even what inflationary theory says. They both simply say that there was a first moment when time=0. There wasn't anything prior to that; there was no state of "nothing" from which everything came out of. And since space and time are tied together, as Einstein showed, with no space prior to time=0 there was no time either. So you can say that the universe always existed, in the sense that at every moment of time the universe exists. There is no time when the universe didn't exist. In this sense, the universe is omnitemporal. That means there was always something. Somethingness is the ontological default, and not nothingness.

Now of course it is always possible that there was spacetime prior to the big bang. If there's an infinite amount of spacetime prior to our universe's big bang, then the question of how do you get something from nothing is moot. And if there is a finite amount of spacetime prior to our universe's big bang, the same principle applies to the absolute origin.

So the first cause arguments not only get causality wrong, they get the big bang wrong as well. As a result, all first-cause arguments from apologists ranging from Aquinas to William Lane Craig fail for this reason.

I've created an infograph describing this with some visual representations in a new post Why Almost Everyone Gets The Big Bang Wrong: Infograph

5) Argument from core theory

Scientific knowledge has advanced to the point where we can be very confident there is no soul having any effect on us.

The 5% of the universe that makes up ordinary matter are made of fermions and bosons. Bosons make up force fields. An example would be the Higgs field, which gives particles matter. Fermions make up the objects of matter that you and I are made of.

There are basically only three kinds of matter particles and three forces that you and I are made up of. Protons and neutrons, which make up the nucleus of atoms, and orbiting electrons, are the three matter particles. Then there are the three forces in the Standard Model: the strong and the weak nuclear force and electromagnetism. The strong force binds the nucleus of atoms together (and the quarks that make up protons and neutrons), the weak force allows interaction with neutrinos and are carried by W and Z bosons, and electromagnetism binds electrons with the nucleus.

Then there's gravity, for which we use the General Theory of Relativity to describe. Gravity is a very weak force and is very simple: everything pulls on everything else. It could be said that gravity isn't really a force per se, but is rather the curvature of spacetime. Regardless, it's just easier to describe it as a force. There are two other generations of fermions but they decay rather quickly and aren't particularly relevant for describing the stuff that you and I are made of and interact with.

So that makes up everything you experience in your everyday lives, without exception. When we combine all this knowledge into a single theory, we get what is called Core Theory. It was developed and named by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek. And there's an equation that describes Core Theory:

Given the truth of Core Theory, which every experiment ever done is compatible with, there are further consequences for one's worldview. And that is, in what worldview are the reality and consequences of Core Theory most compatible with? Naturalism or theism? I'm going to argue that naturalism is by far more compatible with Core Theory than theism is.

So we can argue:

  1. Any non-metaphoric version of a soul requires a force that has to be able to effect the atoms that make up your body (lest our bodies and behavior be fundamentally explained purely physically)
  2. Core Theory rules out any possibility of particles or forces not already accounted for within it that can have any effect on things made of atoms (like people).
  3. Core Theory is true.
  4. Therefore, no non-metaphoric versions of a soul that have effectiveness on things made of atoms exist.
  5. Naturalism entails that there be no souls that have effectiveness on things made of atoms.
  6. Almost every version of theism does claim human beings have such souls, including every major religion.
  7. Therefore, the probability of Core Theory and naturalism is greater than the probability of Core Theory and theism. All things being equal, this makes naturalism more likely than theism.

In other words, the probability of Core Theory being true on naturalism is greater than the probability of Core Theory being true on theism. It's more expected. This is thus an evidential argument, not a logical argument. Where CT=Core Theory, N=naturalism, and T=theism:

Pr(CT ⋀ N) > (CT ⋀ T)

Or more simply:

Pr(CT & N) > (CT & T)

Since most religions include a some notion of dualism where humans have a soul (even Thomistic hylomorphic dualism still posits an immaterial "intellect" having causal effect on the physical body), from modern science have very good reasons to think no souls of any kind exist. The burden of proof would be on any person who believes a soul or intellect that has a causal effect on the body. The theist, for example, denying this would have to show how a soul can effect the body without violating the law of the conservation of energy and momentum.

For a full description of the argument, see The Argument From Core Theory

6) Libertarian free will is incoherent

Libertarian free will requires at least 3 things: (1) We are in control of our will; (2) Our mind is causally effective; (3) In the same situation we could have done otherwise. But logically that's impossible, because:

P1: Our thoughts (mind or will) is either caused or uncaused, no other option is available
P2: If our thoughts (or whatever caused them) are caused we cannot be in control of them
P3: If our thoughts (or whatever caused them) are uncaused we cannot be in control of them
P4: It is logically impossible to choose our thoughts
P5: Being in control of our thoughts (mind or will or whatever caused them) is a requirement of libertarian free will
C: Therefore libertarian free will is logically impossible

Many people upon hearing an argument that free will is false will immediately respond with the view that if there is no free will we won't be able to be logical, and thus arguing logically that there's no free will is self refuting. But this gets it precisely backwards. It's actually because there is a causal connection between events—a connected relationship that our thoughts can make sense at all. This causal relationship (using the definition of causality I've given above) is the only way our thoughts and ideas can have a connection with the world around us.

In order for our thoughts to be truly free in the libertarian sense, they'd have to be uncaused, and something uncaused will have no necessary connection to anything that came before it. It would have to be just a coincidence that they had any connection to reality. Furthermore, you cannot by definition have control over something uncaused. So libertarian free will would require your thoughts to be metaphysically random and spontaneous eruptions with no causal connection to reality. Thus only determinism can actually make sense of having thoughts that reliably correspond to reality. 

The implication of this argument is astounding. If libertarian free will is logically impossible, that means god can't have libertarian free will. A god with no free will is not a god any traditional theist would recognize as god. God would be omnipotent, yet have no free will.

(The Kalam Cosmological Argument's first premise "Anything that begins to exist has a cause" also entails determinism, which negates free will.)

For the full logical argument see here: Logical Argument Against Free Will

In addition to this, there's plenty of neuroscientific evidence against free will.

7) Brute facts are unavoidable

There is a famous trilemma in philosophy called the Münchhausen trilemma which states that all explanatory chains will have to terminate in one of three options when providing an explanation or proof of anything:
  • The circular argument, in which theory and proof support each other
  • The regressive argument, in which each proof requires a further proof, ad infinitum
  • The axiomatic argument, which rests on accepted precepts
When explaining something and you go down the line of the explanatory chain you will eventually have to resort on one of these three methods. Either your explanation will be circular, it require an additional explanation ad infinitum, or it will terminate in an axiom which itself has no further explanation.

Since the traditional notion of god in classical theism is that of a timeless, changeless, immaterial mind, who also must be infinitely good, infinitely wise, and can do anything logically possible, then all of god's will and desires must exist timelessly and eternally in an unchanging, frozen state. That would mean that god timelessly and eternally had the desire to create our particular universe, and not some other universe, or no universe. God doesn't think in temporal order, as we do, weighing the pros and cons of each option, with the possibility we could have decided differently. No. God's desire to create our particular universe was eternal and unchangeable, just as his entire mind is. Here's why this is a problem. Our universe is not logically necessary; it didn't have to exist. Every theist would agree with that (that's why they claim god had to create it). But if our universe is not logically necessary then there's no logically necessary reason god had to desire it be created it. Nothing compelled god to do so or even desire to do so. So why then does god exist timelessly and eternally with the desire to create our universe, and not any other universe, or no universe at all, if each of those other options are just as logically possible, and yet also not logically necessary?

Another way to put it more succinctly is this: Why does god timelessly and eternally exist with desire X rather than desire Y, when neither desire X or Y are logically necessary or logically impossible?
The Münchhausen trilemma, along with this dilemma, show that brute facts not only make sense, they're unavoidable even if we posit god's existence. Thus we could argue more formally:

  1. The traditional notion of god in classical theism is that of a timeless, changeless, immaterial mind, who also must be infinitely good, infinitely wise, and can do anything logically possible.
  2. All of god's will and desires must exist timelessly and eternally in an unchanging, frozen state.
  3. That would mean that god timelessly and eternally had the desire to create our particular universe, and not some other universe, or no universe.
  4. Our universe is not logically necessary; it didn't have to exist, and god didn't have to create it.
  5. The theist would have to show that it was logically necessary for god to create our particular universe in order to avoid eventually coming to a brute fact.
  6. There is no way to answer this question, even in principle, with something logically necessary.
  7. Thus at least one brute fact must exist even if god exists.

Another way to look at this problem is another example of god's contradictory nature, and this is especially true on the Thomistic conception of god the Catholic Church espouses.

(1) God's nature is necessary
(2) the choice to create this universe is part of god's nature
(3) the choice to create this particular universe is not necessary

So god's nature is both necessary and not necessary. Since Thomists argue that god's will is identical to his substance, it's therefore identical to his essence. And since they claim god's essence is necessary, and yet it isn't necessary for god to will this particular universe, god's nature entails a contradiction for being both necessary and not necessary. 

But no theist can argue successfully that it is logically necessary for god to have willed our particular universe. Since it's not logically necessary for god to have eternally willed our universe rather than another one, or no universe, the principle of sufficient reason requires that god's eternal will be explained by something contingent (which will lead to either an infinite regress of contingent explanations) or something else that is logically necessary. And since the logically necessary option is not available to the Thomist, the only two realistic options are an infinite regress of contingent explanations, or a brute fact. See the logical flow chart below for a better understanding.

Theism, particularly its Thomistic version, can't even stay consistent with its own metaphysical first principles.

For the full logical argument see here: Why Brute Facts Are Unavoidable

All this and I haven't even gotten to the problem of evil yet. Now the version of the argument from evil I find most inspiring is an argument from natural evil.

8) Omnibenevolence is incompatible with the natural evil of evolution

The late Christopher Hitchens often argued that any creator to this world is either incredibly incompetent, incredibly indifferent, or incredibly cruel. I agree.

When you look at the full picture of evolution and you consider the 3.5 billion years during which this unfolding drama played out, when there were millions and millions of species that evolved only to be snuffed out and pushed into evolutionary dead ends, and during which time there was at least 5 mass extinctions in which some 70-95 percent of all the living species on earth at that time went extinct, I'm being asked by theists to believe that this was all part of a divine creator's plan who was sitting back and taking pleasure in watching millions of species (whose evolution he allegedly guided) get wiped out one after the other, and then starting all over again, and then wiped them out again and repeated this process over and over, until finally getting around to evolving human beings – which I'm told was the whole purpose of this cruel and clumsy process.

I created an evolutionary argument against god a few years ago, where I analyze the logical possibilities between the suffering required by evolution with the popular belief now among scientifically inclined theists that god used evolution to create human beings. We can argue:

  1. If god chose to use evolution as the process by which he created human beings and all other forms of life, then god knowingly chose a process that requires suffering that is logically unnecessary.
  2. If humans are the product of gradual evolution guided by god, then at some point during the process the soul appeared.
  3. Once human beings had souls, they could be rewarded in an afterlife for the suffering they endured while they were alive.
  4. If higher level primates are capable of third level pain awareness (knowing they are experiencing pain) then our pre-human hominid ancestors did too and they did not have souls.
  5. This means god chose to create humans using a method that knowingly would involve conscious suffering that was not logically necessary.
  6. An all-good, perfectly moral god who is incapable of unwarranted cruelty would not create beings that could consciously suffer in a way that was not logically necessary.
  7. Therefore, the traditional notion of god who is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good does not exist.

Most theists when hearing this argument will try to refute it one of a few ways. One way they'll do so is to say that god had morally sufficient reasons for allowing the suffering of evolution. They won't usually give any specific reasons, but they'll insist, god has them. This combines a level of skeptical theism with something like a soul building theodicy. But the suffering I'm talking about here affects animals as much as humans, and animals traditionally have no soul in Abrahamic theism. If they did, animal sacrifice would be that much more immoral, and it's commanded by the Abrahamic god. (See here for a critique of the "God has morally sufficient reasons for allowing suffering" theodicy.)

Furthermore, since animals are usually unaware of the deeper questions of why they're suffering, they have no ability to grow morally from any of it. They lack the intellect to grow but still have the capacity to suffer. C.S. Lewis wrote in The Problem of Pain, "So far as we know beasts are incapable either of sin or virtue: therefore they can neither deserve pain nor be improved by it." Suffering also afflicts humans in ways that make little sense to soul building. It afflicts babies, the righteous and unrighteous, those spiritually fulfilled and unfulfilled alike.

If omnibenevolence is compatible with millions of years of beings suffering that couldn't be improved by it, then what isn't compatible? What logical argument shows exactly what an omnibenevolent being can and cannot do? Is a billion years of suffering compatible? What about a trillion? Without a logical doctrine it makes the term "omnibenevolence" meaningless and unintelligible.

And any creator god does not merely allow suffering — suffering is built into the design. God is unavoidably directly responsible for all natural suffering in the universe:

(1) God (an omnipotent, omniscience, omni-benevolent being) exists.
(2) Natural evil exists.
(3) God is the creator and designer of the physical universe, including the laws that govern it.
(4) Natural disasters, and the evil they cause, are a direct byproduct of the laws that govern our universe.

In other words you can't claim that god is the creator and designer of the physical universe, including the laws that govern it — which is what every theist insists — and not also accept that natural evil is a direct byproduct of those laws. Natural evil cannot therefore be due to demons tinkering with god's plan. Demons would be the ones who actually created and designed the universe if that were the case. 

So the suffering and haphazardness of the evolutionary process gives us good reason to believe there can be no omnibenevolence and therefore no traditional notion of god (which many theists say is the only kind of god that can exist). Furthermore, the fact that libertarian free will is incoherent prevents the theist from using the "free will defense" as an argument against moral evil. Take that away, and they've got nothing.

For a full description of the argument, see the Evolutionary Argument Against God.

9) No god of any religion is compatible with the ontological argument for god

Another extremely simple and effective ontological argument I originally found on SkepticInk can be used to easily refute any one particular god and is great at disproving Christian, Jewish or Islamic gods using the same basic deductive logic all theists already use:

  1. God is the greatest conceivable being.
  2. I can conceive of a greater being than Yahweh.
  3. Therefore, Yahweh is not God.

This doesn't disprove god per se, but it shows that none of the concepts of god in any existing religion can even meet the standards of greatest conceivable being, and therefore none can be god.

10) Euthyphro's trilemma

Starting with the Euthyphro dilemma we can ask, "Is something good because god commands it, or does god command it because it's good?" If something is good because god commands it, then god’s commands can be arbitrary. God could command genocide and slavery, and they would be morally good merely because god commanded it. And if god commands it because it’s good, that means there’s a standard of good that exists independently of god. Either way, the theist has a problem. Either morality is arbitrarily decided by god, or morality exists objectively and independently of god. The theists is in a dilemma.

But — the Euthyphro dilemma is actually not the end of the conversation, because there is technically a third option. The theist can claim it’s a false dilemma and that god commands something because god is good. They can say god is the standard of moral values: goodness and god are the same. But there’s a problem with this. This third option only opens up a further dilemma. If the claims is that god is the source of the good, I can ask, "Is god good because of the properties that he has, or are the properties that god has good because he has them?" Basically, if god is good because he’s loving and kind, then those properties are good independently of god, and thus goodness and morality would have to exist independently of god. But if the properties god has are good because god has them, then god has to be good logically prior to any properties he has, and that makes god’s goodness unintelligible. How can god be good prior to being loving or kind, or having any good making properties?

So the Euthyphro dilemma really is just a starting point that terminates in a trilemma for the theist. The theist cannot attempt to ground morality in god without hitting this trilemma:

  1. Show that morality is arbitrarily decided by god.
  2. Show that morality exists independently of god.
  3. Make a circular argument.

It's a bit like the Münchhausen trilemma above. If the theist insists that morality cannot exist independently of god, their only alternatives are to say morality is arbitrarily decided by god, or make a circular argument. This means the theist has no logical basis for saying god grounds morality or that god is needed for morality or that the atheist has no basis for morality, objective or not.

11) Religious belief is product of the brain

We have evidence that the sense of god is a neurochemical brain state that has evolutionary underpinnings.

Evolution has embedded the predilection to notice patterns and to invoke agents when there aren't any, in a phenomena known as patternicity and agenticity, respectively. Our hominid ancestors lived in a world of danger, and they weren't yet the top of the food chain. If a noise was heard in the grass it was better to assume it might be a dangerous predator than just the wind. If they were wrong, they made a false positive, that is they incorrectly thought something was there that actually wasn't, and no harm was done. If, however, they assumed it was just the wind and it turned out it was a predator, they made a false negative, that is they incorrectly assumed there wasn't something there when there was, and they likely lost their life as a result of it. So evolution has made it so that false positives are much better to have than false negatives.

What does all this mean? It means that seeing patterns and agents that aren't there is hardwired into our brains by evolution, and this forms the basis for why we tend to attribute random, natural events as being the product of intentional agents. This manifests itself into the belief in spirits, demons, angels, ghosts and gods. "The problem we face is that superstition and belief in magic are millions of years old," writes skeptic Michael Shermer in The Believing Brain, "whereas science, with its methods of controlling for intervening variables to circumvent false positives, is only a few hundred years old."

This means that we have a naturalistic, evolutionary basis for why we believe in gods. It isn't a mystery why most people and most cultures believe in gods. Science explains it. It's called the hyper active agency detection device. (For any claim that it's a just so story, read here.)

12) All the arguments for god fail

As I wrote in my original post, you cannot use intuition to make metaphysical principles, like everything that begins to exist has a cause. This is why all the arguments for god fail. They take human level perception and understanding of the way the world works and extrapolate from them gigantic metaphysical principles. Science tells us the universe never began to exist in the sense of popping into existence out of nothing. Nothing never existed, and the whole history of the universe is ontologically real. Furthermore, causality is just the relationships of events in spacetime. It's not anything like Aristotle thought of it. So all variations of the "first cause" argument fail, be it the Kalam Cosmological Argument or Aquinas's unmoved mover. The argument from contingency fails because it assumes the principle of sufficient reason, and my argument above shows that brute facts are unavoidable. Furthermore, the first premise of the KCA, that everything that begins to exist requires a cause, actually negates free will. If my actions and intentions all require causes, then they're causally determined. To say that my soul causes them only pushes the cause back one step.

The Fine-Tuning Argument I don't think gets off the ground because of the incompatibility of an omni-god with the unnecessary conscious suffering of evolution. This argument also makes it appear as if god himself must conform to the laws of physics and can only create a life-bearing universe just one way. If god can do anything, he should be able to create such a universe an infinite number of ways, and even create ones that contained life but weren't fine tuned for it. That would actually be evidence for god.

The Moral Argument is negated by (10) above, and although there are too many version of the Ontological Argument to mention, they all involve either claiming that if a maximally great being is possible, then it therefore must exist, or if a maximally great being is conceivableit would be better for it to exist than not exist, and so it therefore exists. The OA fails for a number of reasons. First, given the logic backing up the OA, if god is by definition the greatest conceivable being, then I can easily conceive of a being greater than Yahweh, or Allah, or any other conceived deity, and so therefore none of these gods can exist. The OA therefore actually disproves the god of Abraham.

Moreover, the moral argument and the ontological argument are incompatible with one another. If god is the standard of goodness by which all moral truths are measured by, then to use that same standard to measure the criterion by which we determine what a maximally great being is, it makes the ontological argument totally circular. God is being presumed in order to determine what is god is. Otherwise, how would the theist arrive at the idea that being all-loving is maximally great? And what standard would they be using to determine what an all-loving being can and cannot do? This would all have to be determined without presupposing a standard that is ontologically grounded in god, and would thus have to exist independently of god's existence.

So it appears we've got a catch-22 here with the ontological and moral arguments. I can't see how a theist can have it both ways.

Those are the most common and the most sophisticated arguments for god that exist. Although there are many others, they all fail due to incorrect understandings of science, or they have internal contradictions and/or contradictions with other arguments.

For refutations of Thomistic arguments, see here.

13) All religions appear man made

Religious texts are all internally inconsistent, they all fail to be corroborated by history and archaeology, and they all contain the flawed cosmology and superstition endemic of their day. The Bible isn't even consistent on why suffering exists, it's also extremely vague on the details of heaven and it contains several books in the New Testament that aren't even considered authentic (e.g. 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Hebrews, etc.). Before I did research into the authenticity of the Bible, I thought most of its stories were at least historical to some extent. To my surprise, they weren't. Most of the Old Testament stories are entirely mythical and are backed up by no evidence at all. The evidence we do have concerning the history of the Ancient Near East, falsifies the narrative. The New Testament wasn't written by any eyewitnesses who could have known Jesus and bears numerous signs of interpolation, alteration, geographic errors, and parallels with Near Eastern mythology that it appears to be in the genre of historical fiction. The Qur'an is filled with numerous contradictions and is inconsistent not only with science but with itself. And since it claims to be the literal word of god and not just inspired by god, it therefore must be false.

If there was indeed an all-knowing creator who revealed himself, why would he do it in such a way that contained all the ignorance extant of that time? Why not include a few detailed verses about something like evolution, DNA or germs which no one knew about at that time? The excuses I've heard for this vary and are all laughable. Some theists say for example, that god wouldn't to give us too much evidence, because then we couldn't reject him. What?!? So god purposely makes his revelations ridiculous and unbelievable to test our faith? This is just an apologetic attempt to make the religion unfalsifiable by arguing that the less evidence we have and the less plausible it sounds, the more it's got to be true. It's not worth any intelligent person's consideration.

Other religions like Hinduism, Mormonism and Scientology are self-evidently false to anyone with a decent education in science, philosophy and history. Buddhism and many other Eastern religions are less like religions and more like philosophies with a religious aspect, without a deity. Still, some versions of Buddhism for example contain absurd metaphysics like reincarnation that are obviously false. There are hundreds if not thousands of other world religions that share the same self-evident falsehood that Hinduism and Mormonism contains and many of them serve more as a cultural glue that bonds members of an ethnicity together, but nonetheless, all contain false beliefs left over from our superstitious nature. The most plausible worldview that contains a god to me is deism, but with deism you still have the problem of how a deistic god can create an eternal universe, that's why I'm not a deist. And for pantheists, they just call the universe god. It's semantic.


I've outlined 13 good reasons why I'm an atheist above. Many of them are unique to me, and perhaps, never been argued before. I am confident that each is true and that together they make an awesomely powerful case against theism that goes far above and beyond a reasonable justification for atheism. Argument (1) by itself is enough to justify one's atheism. Combine that with arguments 2-13 and you have what I see as an irrefutable case that there is no god, and that naturalism is true. When theists complain that atheists are incapable of bearing any burden of proof, they've never been to my blog. Atheists are certainly capable of making positive arguments for atheism, and this blog post is the proof.

[Updated Jan 2018 to include new links, images, and logical arguments]

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...