Quick background here. It has become fashionable as of late for defenders of the religion to spend hours among themselves gloating that “atheism is a religion.” They write books, make youtube videos, preach, lecture, and go on news shows to declare that “atheism is also a religion.” This message is so prevalent that I WAS going to provide a few links for my readers to peruse and know I’m not exaggerating, but it turns out there were something like 18 million hits for the query “atheism is a religion.” So if I may, it is a message that is as common as the birthday song, endemic in nearly every religious group.
But this is crazy! This is not what one would expect. For example, if a geologist, biologist, and cosmologist were talking about someone that believed the earth was flat and evolution was fake, they wouldn’t elevate that person by stating that “evolution denial is a science.” Imagine if an astronaut, that spent 6 months in space circling the ball earth every 90 minutes, tried to explain to a flat earther that “flat earthers are scientists.” Can we all agree this is a scenario we would never expect?
We would not expect it because it isn’t science. At best, it is pseudo-science, and at the worst it is just crazy. But it is not science. And no actual scientists would try to prove evolution is true by claiming that evolution deniers are also scientists. After all, the reason the person got the wrong answer is because they did NOT do science.
So why do religious idiots want atheism to be a religion so bad? In short, to level the playing field.
Let me just put this out there. This is a horrible argument. You are admitting to being stupid, gullible, irrational, and illogical. And your best defense of being stupid, gullible, irrational, and illogical is to say “well, so are you!”?
But unfortunately for the religious person, that is exactly what they have to do. And they are forced to do this because it all comes down to HOW we know things. There are lots of ways we learn and know, including trying, reading, listening to stories, and going to school. Of all the methods we learn and know, science is THE BEST process we know of to gain knowledge. It is the best because of it’s reliability. When you are really specific, and really precise, and you test thing repeatedly, and other people also test the same things repeatedly, and you not only try to explain but make very precise predictions, and those test and predictions always come true, and every technology or activity that bases itself off that science works reliably, that means it is a reliable method.
On the complete opposite end of the “how we know things” spectrum is making shit up. Making shit up is notoriously unreliable, ineffective, useless to technology, and predictions fail. This is what religion is. Made up shit. Science gives us smart phones. Religion gives us people burying babies in post holes when building houses. And since the religious person is “punching up” as it were, they have to try and tear down their opponent to their level.
The scientist doesn’t have to do this. For that matter, no expert in ANY field has to do this. If someone professed that welders are fake because solid metal can never become liquid metal, the welders and engineers of the world would not have to try and tell the state-of-matter deniers that they, too, are also welders. That is ridiculous. But that’s because the welder is right when saying the metal becomes liquid and flows together before hardening back to a solid.
“You’re as dumb as I am” is a horrible debate premise. The only real conclusion is that neither idea is reliable. But just like every stupid statement, the devil is in the details. Obviously, the first detail is that atheism does not inform any pathway to knowledge. Atheism is only my disbelief that you have the right answer. Atheism does not assume or represent that I have the right answer. Atheism does not have a method to gain knowledge. And the second detail is that just because making shit up in the name of god is a poor pathway to knowledge does not mean all pathways to knowledge are equally flawed.
As an atheist, I may choose to gain knowledge by sitting in the trees and listening for advice from tree pixies. I can do that and still be an atheist. But I would be just as likely to be wrong as the religious person. Or I can talk to experts, get an education, or do science. And any of those methods are better than your method.
But at the end of the day, atheism is not a religion, and yes, my way of getting knowledge is vastly superior to yours. I’m not as dumb as you are, no matter how angry that makes you.
The Spartan Atheist