It doesn’t take a deep search into social media to find a person who self identifies as an Atheist, but what IS an atheist? And what are the core tenets of the atheistic religion? today we will look at the 15 core tenets of Orthodox Atheism!
First, let’s define a few terms.
Atheist: from the latin for “No god/s.” Very simply, an atheist is an individual person who chooses to affirm the statement “There are no gods” as true.
This needs to be distinguished from Agnostic, which comes from the latin for “No knowledge.” This doesn’t mean they are completely ignorant, but their position is, “I do not have the information it takes to take a position.” It is an admission of ignorance, not actually a position.
All of that to say, the following list is the series of beliefs which I think a consistent Atheist must hold. Of course they can choose to reject any of them, but that makes them a heretic I suppose. Or maybe just a hypocrite, but we can discuss that some other time.
We begin with the very Creed which defines the Atheist religion:
- There is no God, gods, etc.
- There is no supernatural (Spirits, afterlife, etc.) No argument could be made AGAINST gods which would still allow for the Supernatural.
- Thus, materialism (The belief that ALL that exists is the physical universe of time, space, matter and energy).
- Thus, no miracles or magic (For there is no one/nothing to CAUSE a miracle in a material universe.)
- Thus, Determinism: ALL things and events are determined and controlled by the laws of physics and chemistry and all that follows from them.
5B. Thus, everything since the beginning of time has been pre-determined by those natural laws. Everything has always been and must always be as it is because of those initial conditions and COULD NOT have been different.
- There is no basis for any objective value. Everything is merely the dance of atoms obeying the laws of physics and chemistry.
- Thus NO free-will, for a FREE choice cannot be a CAUSED choice, but the will of man is merely the result of his brain, which is matter, which is controlled and determined by the natural laws.
7B. While some may appeal to Quantum uncertainty to allow for free will, this is a false hope for the uncertainty is merely our ignorance of all the causal determiners at the quantum level, not ACTUAL randomness. And even if it were, it is not our minds that CHOOSE the random outcome of the quantum uncertainty on a macro level, but our will would be a result of that uncertainty. Once again, our choices would be CAUSED even if not predictable.
- Thus, there can be NO Objective right and wrong. If we cannot choose to think, feel, or do, then we cannot choose to do other than we DO. Our thoughts and actions are determined by chemistry and physics just as the shape of a rock is.
8B. Also, with no transcendent moral law GIVER (God), there can be no objective moral law by which to distinguish between right and wrong, even if we COULD choose.
- Also, there is no justification for condemning any action as wrong or celebrating any as right. Murder is merely the interruption of the various chemical processes which we categorize as “Life.” The victim’s desire to live is not based on a free choice- the choice to continue living- but is predetermined by natural law just as his hair color or height were. The same can be said for any act of justice, mercy, charity, etc.
9B. Thus, there is no justification for civil law. We can no more blame a murderer for killing than we can blame a magnet for hanging on the refrigerator door. Punishing crime is like punishing leaves for being the wrong color.
- Life has no particular value because it is merely a chemical state, such as the burning of a campfire. Killing and pouring water on a camp fire are materially equal in the fact that they stop a chemical process from continuing. That “Life” is a more complex series of chemical processes does not give it some kind of transcendent value.
10B. Emotional appeals to morality are equally empty as emotions are merely a chemical state of the brain. The suffering of a victim or his loved ones is merely another chemical state which our brains are wired to dislike, just as thirst is a chemical state our bodies are wired to dislike. Love and compassion are also merely determined brain states.
- Furthermore, the SELF is an illusion. Through a lifetime, a human’s cells are constantly replaced so that the ENTIRE Collection of cells may be replaced several times over his lifetime. Since a human is merely matter, then the man who dies is not the same man (collection and arrangement of matter) who was born, nor the same he was as a child, or a teen, or a middle aged man. He is not even a series of identical copies. Thus, “he” is a series of DIFFERENT collections of atoms spread out over time.
- Along the same lines, the perception of a unified self is false, as the brain is composed of many parts which work dependently and independently. The part which says of itself, “I” is no more the one brain state than a certain program which is running on a computer’s screen is the whole computer or all of its programs.
- Thus, there is no basis for reason or logical thought. If the brain is matter, determined by natural laws, then it cannot CHOOSE to accept as true or reject as false any information which it processes. Something “Known” or “Believed” is merely a particular chemical brain state, predetermined by the laws of nature.
13B. Furthermore, since the history of mankind is one of uninterrupted religion and belief in the spiritual and supernatural, we know that Evolution did not select for brains which are driven entirely by the apprehension of truth, but rather evolution created brains which believe false premises and fail to process data logically and reasonably so as to come to true conclusions. Because the history of humans is one of consistent belief in religions and superstitions, we know the human brain cannot be trusted to merely discover truth, but can be trusted to embrace falsehoods. Even the logic or reason which is used to reject religions and the supernatural is done with those brains, which means the result of such arguments cannot be trusted to be reasonable or true.
- Thus, we cannot KNOW anything. We can merely have particular arrangements of brain states which we call “Knowledge” or “Beliefs” of certain propositions.
- Thus, Atheists don’t exist. Humans are merely a collection of changing matter in a particular arrangement (Same as any object in the universe), their unified self is an illusion, and they cannot choose to believe atheism or reject theism. One is an atheist, not because he has discovered it is true, or even because he has CHOSEN to believe it, but because the natural laws have caused his brain to be arranged in the manner which we call “Atheism,” just as his DNA have determined his hair color and height. Since we began by defining Atheist as an individual person who chooses to affirm the statement “There are no gods” as true, then we must conclude now that Atheists don’t exist.
So, it seems that I have just reasoned my way to the preposition, “If Atheism is true, Atheists do not exist.” Very sincerely I did not actually expect this when I started. I’ve not been arguing TO this conclusion, I’ve just been following the logic where it led. And I’ve wound up here, proving that, if Atheism is true, Atheists do not exist.
I can live with that. I never believed in them anyway.
Let me know what you think. If you disagree, let me know where my logic has gone off the rails and feel free to correct the argument. If you merely don’t like the conclusion, then you need to talk to yourself for a while. I’ll admit something here- as a Christian, I believe you’re really there. So you’ll have a real person to talk to.
For the video of this post, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiNNgVkaFFE
and to se Atheists declaring the tenets I list above, see the description under the video. You’ll get to hear the tenets right from the self declared atheists’ mouths.
Originally posted here: https://rentafriend2000.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/the-atheist-orthodoxy-challenge-by-raf2k/