Original article written by Richard Lee Spinos. Rebuttal written by me. Each paragraph will be separated, and the original details will be in bold. You can find the article in question here: http://www.facebook.com/notes/richard-lee-spinos/why-i-dont-believe-in-atheists/165046006869872
My rebuttal will be indicated by a hyphen. Comments from the comment section of that note will be included.
Everyone knows that there is a God. Everyone.
Assertion, which requires evidence to support.
One may argue that many people identify themselves as atheists (meaning they don’t believe in the existence of God).
That would be weak atheism. There is also strong atheism which is the belief that no gods exist. While it may seem like as though there is no difference, it is very slight. I’d believe the smurfs don’t exist since they are clearly a group of fictitious characters which originated a few decades ago. I lack a belief in god because despite the widespread belief in deities, of which a multitude of different personalities, capabilities, and definitions which can be applied to each of the gods that were once believed in at some point in history, I have yet to see evidence for the existence of any of them. While some may view arguments for their existence as a valid means of coming to the conclusion that a god exists, I see one potent issue, and that is the fact that the existence of anything can be successfully demonstrated through argument, especially to those who already believe in it.
Well what if I said that I don’t believe in the existence of atheists. There is no such being. Before you stop reading and condemn me as some kind of kooky hack let me give you proof that atheists really don’t exist.
I kept reading. I had something worse in mind than a “kooky hack.”
Most likely you are thinking of all those people you know that claim that God doesn’t exist and are wondering how I can seriously argue that these people don’t really exist. Of course I am aware of many people who claim that they are atheists, what I don’t accept is that they really do disbelieve. Every atheist really does believe in the existence of God they just deny his existence.
Deny the existence of something which most of us have critically examined, and found lacking in evidence? If I wanted to take a cheap shot at the author, I’d say “Richard Spinos really does believe in the lack of evidence for the existence of a god, he just denies the fact that there is a lack of evidence.”
If they really were true atheists they would never define themselves as such.
It wouldn’t be needed if so many people tried to do things because they believed in a god. If people weren’t passing laws to gain the favor of a god, sacrificing people or animals, or carrying out punishment for things that they believe their god condemns, do you think we’d need to say “We don’t believe in a god”? We’d identify ourselves as rationalists, secularists, skeptics, humanists, human rights activists, or even by profession, all of which are not exclusive to atheism, unlike christian, hindu, muslim, which are exclusive to theism. It is the prevalence of theism that brings about the need for most to identify themselves as atheists.
Permit me to redefine the meaning of atheist. I submit that those who claim to be atheist are simply against the idea that they have developed of God and would like to convince themselves that things would be much simpler (or more comfortable) if he just didn’t exist.
Not all atheist is an atheist because they don’t like the idea of god, regardless of what name you call him, her, or them. Some such as myself prefer evidence. If you can’t provide evidence, we don’t see a reason why belief in it is justified. I’d have no problem with the Sumerian god Enki. One god who repeatedly warns human kind of impending danger which threatens to wipe them out, and shows how to avoid it. But if I were to state that I believe or know that he exists, simply because it makes me feel better, it wouldn’t be justified. The only thing that could justify it is evidence. If I were to believe in the exact same interpretation of god that you have, I have no doubt that it would be comforting, but how you feel doesn’t justify the belief. If it did, two people could hold the belief in two different gods, and we’d be able to come closer to figuring out which one, if either, actually exists.
The existence of atheists, as per my modified and accurate definition, actually serves to prove the existence of God.
It’s not an accurate definition. You might have modified it, but you haven’t said anything for why it should be the definition found in any dictionary, book on philosophy, or any other source. Allow me to demonstrate. “Permit me to redefine the meaning of theist. I submit that those who claim to be a theist are simply for the idea they have developed of god and like to convince themselves that things would be simpler, easier, and more comfortable if one exists because it’ll provide everything they want, so they can be lazy. It’ll provide revenge for them with eternal torment, while granting them eternal bliss.” Why would this definition be accurate? Certainly, there might be some who might hold that position, but is accurate to most? Why should it be used in a dictionary or any other source? I haven’t stated why it should, and if I did, I’d be lying.
How so you ask? One answer is by the atheist’s falsely claimed negative belief system, not so much by the existence of this false system, because without a doubt it is always false, but defining oneself by this negative belief system.
Who in the world defines himself by what he is not, or by what he does not, except the atheist, God help his poor soul!
If something is given such importance in a society, and you didn’t believe in it, what would you do? Would you state that you don’t believe it? Without the importance of that one thing, what would you do?
A theist is a believer in the existence of God. He has a positive belief system and his life is more or less impacted by his belief.
In the existence of at least one god. When it has a capital G, and doesn’t meet any of the other qualifications for capitalization, it tends to refer to the god depicted in the abrahamic religions. Would you honestly be able to say that you KNOW that Hindus believe in the existence of God? They are polytheists, meaning that they believe in multiple gods.
Some people deny the existence of God. If they really disbelieved in God why is it that they feel compelled to prove his inexistence?
To prove the inexistence of something which hasn’t been proven to exist? I don’t know about you, but that sounds ridiculous. What we can do though is to show why belief in the concept of god (following the common interpretations of the qualities of the gods from various cultures) isn’t justified, show that one isn’t needed as part of an explanation, and that concepts such as morality can exist without a god.
The atheist’s hate of God, and his idea of the God that he claims doesn’t exist, is the proof of His existence, or at the very least of his belief in God’s existence. How can one hate that which doesn’t exist?
I don’t hate god. I hate the character of the god that a majority of people (roughly 30 percent in Christianity, roughly 20 percent in Islam, and I need to find the percentage for Judaism) believe in as defined by their holy books. I hate the things which people have done in the name of that god. I have no problem with the idea of gods such as Prometheus, who in Greek mythology, was genuinely good, gave to humanity and asked for nothing in return, but was punished by Zeus, who had Prometheus crucified and his liver eaten every day by crows or ravens for eternity. I have no problem with the idea of the existence of a god. I only ask that you prove that one exists first.
I deny the existence of mother earth, as a conscience entity that can be offended and take revenge. I don’t only deny that there is a mother earth I am certain that such a thing does not exist. I could never be offended by mother earth since I really don’t believe that she exists.
And how many people do you see who act as though it exists, believe that the books attributed to it are infallible, and act as though it is something that is good when the Torah depicts a sadistic god with a poor control of his temper, the Bible depicts a god that can’t forgive without threatening people with eternal torture if they don’t agree with him, and each of the flaws of character of that god in the earlier books gets incorporated into the later ones. How many people do you see saying things such as abortion shouldn’t be allowed under any circumstance because it upsets mother earth? That stem cell research shouldn’t be allowed because mother earth thinks it isn’t okay? That well supported theories that contradict the literal interpretations of the books attributed to mother earth shouldn’t be taught? That people who have a sexual orientation that is defined as an abomination in their holy book is sufficient basis to deny them equal rights? I am certain a god doesn’t exist, but when people do that sort of thing, do you expect people who don’t accept it to remain silent?
The earth is an inanimate object that doesn’t even know it exists much less that it is a mother. Yes I am absolutely sure that there is no mother earth as the Gaia hypothesis claims.
Ah, the Gaia hypothesis. The hypothesis which proposes that homeostasis in the soil, atmosphere, and water is produced and maintained by the biosphere. I’ll provide a link to the edition of the paper available in 1973 by Games Lovelock and Lynn Margulis on the Gaia hypothesis. Personally, I’ve read quite a bit about it. Funny enough, try to find the point at which it states that Mother Earth (in the sense that many north american aboriginal tribes believed in, such as O-ma-ma-ma from the Cree, or in the sense that some of the early greek myths concerning how the world came to be).
Yet I would never in a million years define myself by my lack of belief in a mother earth. I would never coin a title like “ageomaternalist” and claim to be one. Why? I don’t care if people believe that a mother earth exists.
Would your opinion change if the belief was being used to justify the type of things I had mentioned above?
I could never feel threatened or despised by her or by her preferences. Many people believe that we should be more “green” conscience and should be kinder to the earth.
What “green” conscience refers to is being more environmentally friendly so that we can avoid damaging the environment in which we live, and given that Homo sapiens live just about everywhere on the planet, that means we should try to avoid wrecking it. It has nothing to do with the existence of “mother earth.”
Perhaps you have heard of the Gaia hypothesis which is supposedly one of the most interesting and revealing theories about man’s relation with the earth called “our big home”. Propounded by James Lovelock – supposedly a great scientific thinker of our time, states that this theory, if analyzed in right perspective (like maybe on drugs), has the potential to completely change the way we look at world around us. ‘Gaia’ has been coined after the name of the Greek goddess for earth.
THE IGNORANCE! IT BURNS! FOR FUCKS SAKE! END ME NOW! Actually, don’t end me. End the source of the ignorance. Okay, who thought I wanted to kill Richard Spinos? Give that man an education, and make sure he understands it.
Please excuse my gleeful ridicule of this nonsense.
Only if you excuse my gleeful ridicule of your ignorance.
The fact is I know the earth isn’t alive anymore than the planet Mars.
The gaia hypothesis refers to the homeostasis produced and maintained by the biosphere (which is the life), which Mars appears to lack.
Yet if a group of people want to start a religion and believe that we should worship mother earth and serve her by not driving pollution causing automobiles and doing anything to avoid global warming or cooling, ozone depletion or whatever, that wouldn’t motivate me to debate them and try to prove that mother earth doesn’t exist. Much less start a mother earth denier’s society like the atheists do to debate the non existence of God. What do they care if I or anyone else believes in God?
Why do we care? Are you aware of how many people have been killed, with the justification being “God has condemned them in <x book>, <y chapter>, and <z verse>”? Do you know how many people haven’t been allowed to have medical treatment because they or their family believed “God will heal them”? Did you know that the belief in the Pox Goddess of India, named Shitala, stood in the way of the eradication of the small pox virus in India? Did you know that God (the same one it seems you believe in) is being used to justify the stoning and burning of children in Kenya, due to the belief that they are guilty of sorcery? Did you know that in Uganda, that same god is being used to justify the murder of homosexual people? Most atheists care about if people believe in god because it can produce problems, for other people. While god and religion can also be used to motivate things that help people, I dare you to provide one example of something that religion can do, such as feeding and sheltering the homeless, that is measurable, and can do better than secular organizations, or people who are working towards the common goal of helping others.
And in regards to the environmental details you had mentioned, I don’t know about you, but if I happen to live in a home, I’m not inclined to damage it in such a way that it is no longer able to be lived in. Each of the things you mentioned, would make Earth very difficult to live on if they are not minimized.
You may argue that Christianity is a threat to the atheist because it judges his lifestyle and that is his beef.
Well, that and the fact that it’s being used to justify a lot of bullshit. Honestly, I grew up in a household where the verse about “Spare the rod, spoil the child” was taken literally. It was taken to the point where I wasn’t able to sit for a few days at a time. I know you’ll say that “it wasn’t meant to be taken that far” or “not all christians do that sort of thing.” Guess what. That book which you follow can be used to justify that sort of thing. I’ve seen the bible used to retard science and society, in MY lifetime. Less than twenty years. I fear how much I’ll see things such as that hindered with justification for it coming from the bible or any other book which people regard as holy before I die. If I can provide my voice in an effort to counter it, you can damn well bet that I will. It is not merely that it judges one’s lifestyle. It causes problems, and is full of immoral things, committed by the same god which people believe is good.
Still that is nonsense. A tree hugging mother earth worshipper could judge me as an earth hater, and say that I am an immoral sinner against the earth because I don’t give a rat’s tail whether I contribute to global warming or not. Would that offend me? Only if in my heart of hearts I knew that I was guilty of real evil. I actually get a kick out of informing people that I’m not concerned about global warming and that I don’t care about doing my part to prevent it.
I’ll be blunt: if the depth of a cut were equal to the depth of your ignorance, it would be enough to cut a blue whale up into cubes no larger than a nanometer. Have you even taken a look at a scientific paper on the subject? Granted, that might be a bit more than you can handle. Have you looked at a researched article that got it’s sources from peer-reviewed journals on the subject? Have you tried to get an education in regards to environmental catastrophes, climate change, or anything else like that?
I couldn’t sin against mother earth if I tried. When someone falsely judges you they don’t hit any nerve do they?
If somebody judges another falsely, and it produces problems, which it all to often seems to, it will hit a nerve. It is the nerve that you feel when you see another suffer, from inequality brought on by religious dogma, from the murder of people who did nothing more than be human, and from the murder of people who were not understood, with the lack of understanding based on religion. It is the nerve of empathy. The best way to avoid feeling pain from it is to exercise the muscle that you use to defend them. It will not lessen the pain you feel next time, but it will motivate you to do so again.
If you never started an unlawful fire in your life would you become offended if someone accused you of being an arsonist?
Would you begin to get offended if it was constant, you can’t get away from it, and you could see it was producing problems?
If on the other hand supposing you were guilty of stealing company property like stationary or staples or fax machines and you were accused of being a thief. Depending on your character and personality you would present a range of adverse emotions and reactions. Why?
Or the person would return them. Being accused and found guilty doesn’t always produce adverse emotions or reactions.
Because your conscience accuses you. You know you are guilty and it just eats you up. The same is true with an atheist. He just can’t let it go. Why? He is in dissonance with his conscience.
You happen to be right. It does have to do with the conscience. It has to do with the fact that we know it isn’t right for you to infringe upon another. We know that is isn’t right to act in total ignorance of the impact of our actions. And we know that it is utterly disgusting to justify it with god. If that wasn’t happening so often, we wouldn’t be so vocal.
The apostle Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit sums it up superbly: (bold mine)
Romanos 1:18-22 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
– The original so that you can see the bold sections he referred to. (“The apostle Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit sums it up superbly: (bold mine)”)
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”
Allow me to sum this section up: If the rest of the article isn’t convincing, what makes you think that this will be? I’m also reminded of a verse from the bible concerning the addition and removal from it. I’ll have to find it.
There you have it. The atheist knows that God exists and that he is guilty before God.
Yes, your misrepresentation and poor arguments were effective. I dare say as effective as using a wet noodle in a sword fight, but that might be giving you more credit than you deserve.
But rather than humbling himself and repenting of his rebellion, he would rather just deny God’s existence.
Once again, I find it ridiculous to accept something which lacks evidence. Given that the existence of a god lacks evidence, it would be foolish to accept one.
The atheist sincerely wants to disbelieve God’s existence but he finds that he is in constant conflict.
In constant conflict with those who wish to use god as a hammer to bash in skulls by tormenting children with the concept of hell, retarding the development of science, and treating people as scum because their religion condemns them.
He feels compelled to ridicule those who believe and admit to believing in God.
I’d have no problem with believing in god if there was evidence for one. I might not agree with his character, and if that god is just as vile, or worse, than the one depicted in the bible, then I would be a vocal critic, such as anti-theists are now.
The atheist is more of a God hater than an unbeliever.
An atheist is an unbeliever. By the proper definition which you decided to ignore in favor of your definition which you didn’t justify.
The proof is in his compulsion for disproving that about what he should be at peace.
And I would be at peace with it if it was used to promote tolerance and equality. I would be at peace with it if it was used to encourage people to learn about the world around them. And yet too often, it isn’t. If that, and everything else I’ve mentioned, isn’t motivation to show how flawed holding belief in god is, I don’t know what is.
The truth is that if someone really were to be an atheist, he could never complain about being judged. Judgment, justice and injustice would have no more meaning to the atheist than to a rock or a tree.
When judgement takes the form of death to those who don’t believe, when judgement take the form of removing the citizenship status (George Bush Sr. “No, I don’t know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic.”), and the loss of employment as so many have gone through when they said those three little words, “I don’t believe,” which have more weight to them in this society than “I do believe,” it does have meaning.
When you think about it, if there is no God, there is no purpose in anything.
If you need purpose, give yourself a purpose. After all, the god you believe in never hold you what it was, and you are doing what you’ve been doing, exactly as you’d do if you gave yourself a purpose or a goal.
The implications of denying God are so manifestly absurd that it is no wonder that Satan the god of this world felt compelled to blind the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
So much for monotheism. Even the trinitarians were pushing it. What about the “glorious gospel”? I don’t regard it as “glorious.” The new testament is just as barbaric as the old testament. “Slaves obey your masters.” Cursing the fig tree for not producing fruit OUT OF SEASON. Raising a child from the grave, only after the mother decided to be submissive, stating “But don’t the dogs occasionally eat the scraps of their masters,” on the basis of cultural superiority (Jews and Gentiles).The concept of hell comes with infinite punishment for finite acts, which throws out the idea of a loving god. If things like that are found in a book that is glorious, then I have a suggestion for you. Mein Kamp. Look it up. It has racism, condemnation of that which can only be supported by ignorance, calls for barbaric acts, which has goal of sending people to that infinite torture. Mein Kamp. Seems like the type of crap you’d enjoy.
If Satan didn’t blind the human mind no one would even claim to be an atheist since such a position is so absurdly impossible.
And many of us regard the position of theism as absurdly impossible, and some of us regard the position of theism as toxic.
From the peanut gallery, I mean comments section.
Richard Lee Spinos “Simon, welcome, to begin with, there is a difference bettween proof and evidence. I have evidence for what I believe in that may not serve as empirical proof but it is reasonable enough to inspire belief. Isn’t there anything that you believe that scientificaly cannot be proven? I would say that most of what most people believe cannot be proven, and a good part isn’t even based on evidence, and some isn’t even the least reasonable. This is true in general, whether a person believes in God or not.”
Mark Ray “Pardon my jumping in, but it is no surprise that you replied as you did. You know that there is a God, but have chosen to deny it. Therefore, No man can change your mind. God makes it clear in many places in His word that He must enlighten your mind. I pray that happens for you. You can find yourself in the passage that Richard quoted in his note, but a couple of verses before that (Rom 1:16) says, ” I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone whom believes.” That too can be you. The very fact that you have a brain that can form thoughts is proof enough that there is a God, but that also means that same mind God knitted together for you can come to a reasoning faith. Like Romans 1, Psalm 19 also speaks of the clear witness of God’s handiwork in all we see around us. It also speaks of the many riches that can be yours in believing His Word. I hope you have a Bible and take the time to read it. If not, it is easy enough to Google the Chapter.”
Dave Kyger “Simon, Please pardon me, and don’t think I say this lightly, but I knew there is a God when I first saw you.”
I’ve read this sort of thing before. Reads almost word for word like something from christian apologists William Laine Craig or Ray “Banana Man” Comfort. It’s unoriginal. The arguments presented are weak. If you really wanted to strengthen them, I’d recommend trying to read more than one book. I’ll see about providing verses in regards to the bits from the bible that I had mentioned.