In case you weren’t un-convinced before

The Minnesota Atheists had created a list of 18 unconvincing arguments for the existence of a deity.

Apparently someone responded by giving them even more.

So here are 34 Unconvincing Arguments for God (pdf)

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26 thoughts on “In case you weren’t un-convinced before

  1. How about a nice list of unconvincing argument that atheism isn’t a religion? Certainly seems as dogmatic as most religions and their such agressiveness in trying to prove the doctorine right.

  2. I have only one argument, and clearly I’m biased as to whether it’s convincing, but it’s my argument and here it is.

    I am not dogmatic about my not believing in Yeshua, Elohim, Yaweh, YHVH, Zeus, etc. If at any point any person could point out to me any reason to believe in/ worship any of these, and the reason was not utter bullshit, then they’d have a convert.

    The only doctrine I ever proselytize is that you shouldn’t believe what other people tell you when every argument they give to defend their position is logically false.

    To a reasonable person without a personal stake in the argument (whatever argument you’re having at the time), I expect this would not seem like such a bad doctrine to adopt.

    The only other doctrines I bother with (which tend to be universally accepted by anyone with the ethical maturity of a seven-year-old) are that we should treat each other with compassion, should never lie solely for our own personal gain, and that family should be the most important part of our lives.

    I feel no obligation at the moment to “prove” these “right” though if you’re really interested I’m sure you could convince me to start a thread on the subject.

    Any chance, Steve, that you bothered to read the document I linked to? Or did you just comment and move on to the next atheist blog so you could call them dogmatic also?

  3. You’re assuming that I’m trying to convince you of anything. I don’t care what you believe. I just think that religions and atheists seem to act in very similar agressive ways. Just relax, neither side is working on anything but beliefs. The reality is that both sides simply don’t have any evidence

  4. You’re assuming that I have made an assumption, which is funny to me.

    I’ll take your word for it that you’re not trying to proselytize. Thank you for that.

    But you are incorrect in stating that “neither side is working on anything but beliefs”. Let me be clear here: I do not try to convince people of my “belief” that there is no god.

    Do you “believe” that Thor was a mythological figure, or has your life/education/experience provided evidence that this is so?

    This blog exists for three reasons:
    * to point out the lack of evidence you’ve just mentioned
    * to shame/heckle people who try to assert that they have a foundation for their messed-up ideas, when what they present as “evidence” is (at best) misguided, (typically) underinformed, or (at worst) dishonest
    * to decry with lots of swearing and vitriol the damage being done to our nation and our world by people who refuse to acknowledge that there is an objective difference between “good evidence” and “really fucking bad evidence” when we we’re looking for “the truth”.

    I could go off about how the religious and atheists do not act in similar ways, but that really would appear dogmatic.

    Let me mention though that our culture would not have sat back and allowed the President of the most powerful nation, ever, to have gone to war in a foreign country if he kept reassuring us that the Invisible Pink Unicorn (blessed be her holy hooves) told him there would be no casualties.

    This, you see, is why I’m not going to “just relax”.

  5. Here may I suggest “Inherit The Wind.” Spencer Tracy, 1960. Watch the dialog between Henry Drummond (Tracy) and Matthew Harrison Brady (Fredric March). Granted this is a very thinly disguised rendition of the 1925 “Scopes monkey trial” with debates between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, but the arguments for and against a God are similar. It shows the futility of using “faith” as an argument against “fact” (quotes fully intentional).

    I am neither supporting Atheism or any other valid belief system (or lack of belief system, whatever), mind you. It’s just one of those rare moments where I have an obsolete reference which applies. If anything, enjoy the movie because Spencer Tracy does a hell of a job, if that could ever be in doubt.

    Just to clear the air though:

    *misterpost is right: Bush is an asshat and religion sure as hell has no place in politics. I don’t care if you’re Catholic, Mormon, Jewish or Bhuddist–keep your God out of the polling place. Your “truth” probably won’t jive with someone with bigger weapons and dirtier tactics, so put it away until Sunday and shut the fuck up about it while deciding the laws for everyone.

    *Evidence is in the eye of the beholder, Steve. Have you not read any of the other blog entries? Has this not been hashed out before? Watch the above mentioned flick. It may be biased torwards Evolution, but it’s still one hell of an argument. And it’s enjoyable. Also, one might say that suggesting an argument against the validity of Atheism suggests a negative opinion of it to start. At least I would, and I might just be a dick enough to say it. And I am far from Athiest, so that bias does not apply.

    As a former student of biblical archaeology with a deep personal interest in comparative religions, despite being a horrible speller, I have seen enough so-called “evidence” used to start wars and kill a lot of people in the name of a hypothesis. It sickens me. Most organised religion seems to be nothing more than the Hatfields and McCoys on a usually, but not always, polite level.

    And misterpost is very correct: Athiests and the religious do not act in similar ways. Athiests don’t go about shoving ideas down throats; they tend to let you believe what you want and let you go, despite what is done to them in return.

  6. Heh, I don’t consider pointing out the lack of evidence on one side of an argument and the wealth of evidence for the other side as “bias”.

    But, you know, I’m obviously a product of a corrupt liberal secular education system.

  7. Actually atheist do have a history of shoving their beliefs down people’s throats. Try saying Merry Christmas in a public place. The history of recent religious intolerance in Russia and China in the last 70 years is legendary. Religion threatens totally control of the state and therefore they tried to eliminate it.

  8. See http://intellectualize.org/images/help_oppressed.gif
    Now, with the mockery out of the way, do you honestly believe that the “do not question The Party” philosophy of the communist revolutions (in Russia or China) is derived in any way from a philosophy that says “I do not believe things to be true for which there is no good evidence”?

    Repression of religion in these places is a misguided over-reaction to the well-documented ills caused by religion in Europe over the last 2000 years. The Communists did try to crush religion, and replaced it with their own dogma, yes.

    But don’t conflate atheism and totalitarianism. Two totally separate schools of thought.

    I’ll warn you ahead of time, if you pull a Godwin’s Law I will ban you.

  9. I disagree and suggest the following correction to your statement:

    *Communism* is the religion of the communist state.

    Atheism is one of communism’s dogmas, but it is not communism’s foundation. I reiterate: “There is no god” does not lead to “do not question The Party”. You’re at risk of conflating with Correlation with Causality, which is a no-no on this blog.

    Certainly you can see that one can be atheist without being communist? [Hint: look up the religious and political standings of nearly all Nobel laureates]

  10. Try saying Merry Christmas in a public place. BOLLOCKS. That’s called Politically Correct jargon, not Atheist. Five will get you ten it’s all instigated by the ueber-religious too.

  11. Steve, let me reassure you there’s not much “Political Correctness” going on in this blog.

    Read more of my stuff, and read the 34 unconvincing arguments document.

    And have a great day.

  12. I’d go back and reread your history about Marx, Lennin, Stalin and Mao and how they used atheism. The atheist movement before them is tiny.

    On the other hand I don’t see any political movements tied to agnostics. If atheism isn’t a religion is certainly is a belief system.

  13. “I’d go back and reread your history about Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao and how they used atheism. The atheist movement before them is tiny.”
    Do you even bother to read what I’m saying? Atheism being used as a dogma pushed by a political movement is not the same thing as atheism causing a political movement.
    And the fact that an idea is being used to buoy up a political movement (regardless of its consequences) has nothing to do with the actual veracity of that idea.
    I swear you’re begging for me to call Godwin’s Law on you.

    “On the other hand I don’t see any political movements tied to agnostics. If atheism isn’t a religion is certainly is a belief system.”
    Moderates and agnostics get walked on as a matter of course. I’d go back and reread your history about the last 4 presidents of the United States and how they used _the name of_ xianity.

    Am I pushing a dogma on other people? I don’t think so. I think it’s more fun just to make fun of the idiocy of other people’s dogmas.

  14. I don’t know why you left Jimmy Carter out? He was a born again Christian. Big part of his campaign. Much more religious than Regan.

    How about the last 44 presidents, they all had beliefs in a God. Not always the same one. As long as you painted the last four as evil might as well get the entire bunch.

    Presidents also don’t do things in a vacuum. You might as well toss in almost all members of congress of both parties and the Supreme Court. They both say a prayer before they get to work.

  15. I wasn’t equipped to pay much attention to the Carter administration, and I wasn’t around before it.

    What did you think of the 34 unconvincing arguments?

  16. I find that these arguments focus almost exclusively on a Christian piont of view. There are many of these items other religions would disagree with. However,

    The one sentence I find interesting is the statement,

    “Instead we find that people tend to believe, to varying degrees,
    the religion in which they were indoctrinated. Or they are
    atheists.”

    While there is a possibility that one or the other might be right, it’s also possible that they both might be wrong. A dual choice is a false choice. When we consider that there just might be something else going on, the possibilities are infinite but it makes it more possible to find out.

  17. I’ll grant you the focus on the Judeo-Christian point of view. That probably has to do with the fact that, in our country, the three Abrahamic faiths do the most proselytizing, influence the most votes, and spend the most money. By several orders of magnitude.

    But this has nothing to do with the validity of the 34 arguments, nor the veracity of the evidence which suggests to me that the universe can and does exist, with or without Abraham’s god.

    I don’t think August created a false dichotomy, I think he was making an observation using the word “tend to”, rather than “do”. I think that leaves room for the other 10-odd percent or so of the world’s population that is able to change its metaphysical outlook over the course of a lifetime.

    Perhaps his point could use some clarification, why don’t you send him your feedback?

  18. Just so you know the Jewish faith doesn’t proselytizing. In fact, they make it very difficult to convert. If you can find someone who has converted, ask how difficult it was. In some more orthodox communities, you have to be born Jewish. They don’t do conversion.

  19. Steve is right about that — Judaism is a rather exclusive club.

    I had forgotton that prayers were said before the houses got down to increasing the national debt. I had also forgotton that “In God We Trust” was not on money until 1957, and “under God” was not in the Pledge of Allegence until after World War Two. Some historian I turned out to be.

  20. Wow, that was insightful and informative. You really showed me with that last comment.
    I have seen the light and regret all the negative things I’ve ever said about religion and the existence of the Judeo-Christian deity.

    Except of course for the things I have good reason for saying, which is everything in this blog. You care to elaborate?

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