A couple of days ago, I bought myself a copy of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion… finally. I haven’t had the time to start reading it yet, but feel that I need to read books like his and others by popular atheists, because from what I’ve seen in videos, his attitude is quite similar to mine. It would be great to have an understanding of the views of popular atheists (and theists too but I dread reading religious apologetics because their faulty logic jumps out at me), and it’s time for me to start. It will be especially useful when I debate theists and write about it… But until then, you’ll have to settle for my own ponderings on the subject.
Another of the really stupid arguments used by theists multiple times in various debate groups I have belonged to, is the suggestion, often phrased with condescending arrogance and sarcasm, that atheists (claim to?) have special knowledge that god does not exist. The sarcasm is, of course, misdirected, and the suggestion that we are the ones with special knowledge is itself ironic, when coming from a person who claims to have a personal relationship with the creator of the entire universe.
Of course it’s nothing more than a poor attempt to shift the burden of proof. But it isn’t deliberate. A person who is brainwashed has no idea that they are brainwashed, so such a person does not even realize that he or she is the one making a claim.
As an atheist, I assume nothing. I don’t know how the universe came to be, and I admit that I don’t know. I don’t have to provide an alternative explanation to yours, even if I don’t believe yours. And you can deny science all you want, and come up with weird contrived refutations of evolution as much as you like… It doesn’t validate your assertion that your god exists. It doesn’t make your belief in any way equivalent to science.
By disbelieving in your god, I do not believe in some opposite of it. I also don’t believe in nothing, or creation from nothing, because I reject your claim of creation anyway. I claim not to have any knowledge about any god, but reject all gods as magical explanations for the unknown, because that’s what they are.
Conversely, theists do claim to have special knowledge. But in every case, they assume that their god is real. Starting with the assumption that you confuse for knowledge, and failing to realize that you made an assumption, is the only explanation for the attitude where you then claim that anyone who doesn’t believe it is making a claim to have special knowledge. But it doesn’t make sense. You made a claim. It’s up to you to prove it, and not up to me to prove that your god isn’t real, or even to define what the fuck your god actually is. Do you even know?
I’m also often told that I can’t refute their religion because I didn’t study it. And I always answer that absurdity the same way… Did you study every other religion that you don’t believe in? If you didn’t, how can you say you don’t know for sure that the other gods aren’t real? Have you read every book ever written about fairies? Do you know everything there is to know about unicorns, or dragons? And the answer is always the same… crickets.