Monday, December 05, 2016

Beware of stereotyping atheists


I found this statement interesting:
First, the dogmatic nature of this position is evident to anyone who has actually argued with an atheist. After arguing with hundreds of atheists, I have yet to encounter one who will not back off the extreme nature of this dogmatic posture. That is, I cannot find an atheist who argues as follows:
I agree there is some evidence for theism, enough such that theism can be considered a reasonable position. However, I find this evidence to be unconvincing and weak, thus I remain an atheist.
But in this piece by Jeff Lowder, he takes the exact position you say atheists never take.
There are real “old atheists” out there. The gnus just yell louder.

10 comments:

Legion of Logic said...

I do encourage everyone to read the full blog post and comments. While the author has not confirmed as of the time I am writing this, I've been reading his blog long enough to safely (I believe) assume that he is speaking only of New Atheists, given what he has written in the past, and not all atheists.

B. Prokop said...

"We [atheists] simply used critical thinking to come to the conclusion that the supernatural folklore of millennia ago is unfounded and archaic."

I have yet to meet in person (not on the internet) a single atheist who can honestly say the above. There has always been a load of personal baggage way out in front of all such intellectual foofaraw.

Ilíon said...

VR: "There are real “old atheists” out there."

The "old atheists" whom you think were so reasonable ... and civil ... were such intellectually dishonest fools as Bertrand Russell and Anthony Flew.

Cal Metzger said...

Yeah, this is all pretty stupid:

Aritcle: "Instead, I have reliably discovered, time after time after time, that atheists cling to the “there is no, NO, NO(!) evidence for the existence of God” dogma."

Dogma is a position that one takes based on instruction. The above is an observation that all atheists make -- there is indeed no real / good evidence for the Christian god. Zippidy doo dah.

This is not dogmatic. This is observational. I'm sorry for you that this problem apparently makes Christians (and other theistic believers) feel ashamed, or feel bad about themselves. Maybe you all should consider that the problem is with your need to feel that silly beliefs should be respected, instead of having beliefs that can be supported by real / good evidence.

Article: "The extreme, dogmatic nature of this doctrine shows itself in how the atheist movement portrays religious people as delusional, mentally ill, stupid, and/or dishonest."

Well, no. Religious belief does that one all by itself. Don't blame the messenger, and all that.

Silly Article: "You can only view theists in such a way if a) you perceive yourself as having superior thinking skills that b) discover there is NO evidence for the existence of God. It’s so obvious that only the delusional and mentally ill would dare disagree with you."

Equivocate much, oh writer of article? There are unexplained questions about existence that are awesome and intriguing and possibly intractable, and we all (atheists and theists and whatever else we might call ourselves) can face them and wonder and guess and appreciate and even test and try to explain. But these are basic questions that we all face -- they are philosophical questions, and they are physical questions, and they are subjective questions, but they are definitely not GOD questions.

God questions are about stories -- stories that borrow from evidence that we all share, and claim them for a belief that fails to confirm its own narrative.

That's it, isn't it?

John Moore said...

Yes, we need to consider the definition of "dogma."

a) It's not dogma just because you continue to defend the same position over time. Dogma is when you refuse or are forbidden to consider alternatives.

b) It's not dogma to define a word a particular way. For example, I use the word "bachelor" to mean an unmarried person, and that really is the definition I subscribe to. On the other hand, I'm open to another definition of "bachelor" that you might propose, as long as your definition seems useful or insightful.

c) It's not dogma just because your position is seen as extreme. It's not dogmatic to claim some rule has no exceptions. For example, I say all bachelors are unmarried without even a single exception. That sounds like an extreme view, but it's not dogma for me, because I'm still willing to consider alternative suggestions.

d) It's not dogmatic to argue forcefully against your philosophical opponents. Using "ad hominem" attacks is not in itself a proof of dogmatism. Dogmatism just means you refuse to consider any alternatives to your position.


Dogma is the opposite of critical thinking and consideration of evidence. If your whole philosophy is based on critical thinking and consideration of evidence, then you don't have a dogma.

Joe Hinman said...

Cal:

Equivocate much, oh writer of article? There are unexplained questions about existence that are awesome and intriguing and possibly intractable, and we all (atheists and theists and whatever else we might call ourselves) can face them and wonder and guess and appreciate and even test and try to explain. But these are basic questions that we all face -- they are philosophical questions, and they are physical questions, and they are subjective questions, but they are definitely not GOD questions.

sure as hell are God questions you know nothing.

God questions are about stories -- stories that borrow from evidence that we all share, and claim them for a belief that fails to confirm its own narrative.


what sophomoric ignorance,the extreme arrogance of stupidity is found among atheists as nowhere else. even arch liberal theologians don't treat idiot fundamentalists with the kind of arrogant ignorant contempt that atheist blow-hards do.

none of the big questions are about God it's only 90% of the human race for all of it's existence that has found it's so but you know so much better.

Joe Hinman said...

Idíon said...
VR: "There are real “old atheists” out there."

The "old atheists" whom you think were so reasonable ... and civil ... were such intellectually dishonest fools as Bertrand Russell and Anthony Flew.

as are some alleged Christians. After combating thousands of atheists over the last 15 years and being attacked and slandered and ridiculed insulted, my mother was called heroine addict and whore I had death threats and all kinds of abuse from atheists but Jeff Lowder and the more regular posters at SOP have been far more supportive of me and honorable to me,and tolerant of me as "resident opposition" than most fundies.

Chad Handley said...

Nothing but respect for Jeffrey Jay Lowder. One of the smartest and most respectful atheist speakers out there, and in all my encounters with him, just a nice guy to boot.

If the atheist community had any sense, he'd be their standard bearer, not shrieking loons like Dawkins or Krauss.

Joe Hinman said...

I completely agree

B. Prokop said...

Me too.