Atheism is based on rational thought and reasoning. Precious little, if anything, is taken on face value and every possible detail is peer reviewed, critiqued and scrutinised as much possible. Yes, that sounds much like the scientific method but, generally speaking, Atheists embrace the scientific method like a middle aged cop embraces doughnuts.
What gets Atheists, such as myself, frustrated is seeing the same arguments brought up time and again and again and again and again and again and again …. even though they have been shot down and discredited so many times we should probably just make a macro in Office which gives an automatic reply whenever it encounters a certain set of key words. It’d really save us a lot of time and bother.
A good example of this is a recent little opinion piece written by one ‘Frank Pastore‘ called ‘Why Atheism Fails: The Four Big Bangs‘. Read on for what he wrote and a breakdown on why it’s really a bad piece of writing full of points and arguments which anyone with even a basic understanding of science knows to be a waste of time.
Pastore’s article basically goes with four main questions or points that he states that Atheism is unable to answer, which of course is wrong since they have all been answered many times already.
“What is the origin of the universe? Why is there something rather than nothing? How do you get matter and energy from nothingness? How do you get a rock out of nothing? “
Of course, the best scientific theory right now is that of The Big Bang. There is a tremendous amount of evidence to support the Big Bang theory; from mathematics, to observations to even other scientific theories/laws supporting it such as General Relativity. It happened, there is proof for it happened, etc. The following links can actually explain the facts as they are understood today:
“What is the origin of life? How do you get life from non-life? How do you go from a rock to a tree? “
That is solidly covered by the Theory of Abiogenesis. At it’s most fundamental, it is the theory which states how life originated on the planet we happened to call Earth. You get this nice chemical soup full of proteins and other fun things which when combined with some other neat things and elements goes straight to creating the known building blocks of life. Again, here’s some further reading on the subject from well respected sites that have more time than I do to type all the information out:
“What is the origin of mind? How does a living thing become a self-conscious being? How do you go from a tree, to an animal, to a human?”
That’s a misleading question to say the least. The power of the mind, or self awareness as some call it, is nothing more than a wonderful product of evolutionary means. To survive, we simply got smarter and smarter. The human brain is the most complex and powerful on the planet and we are the dominant species – not because we’re the strongest or fastest (really, we’re pretty physically frail) but because we learned and studied and mastered our environment so they we could not only survive but also thrive.
“What is the origin of good and evil? How does an amoral being become morally aware?”
For some reason I am not aware of, many religious people steadfastly hold onto the notion that ethics and morality come straight from their deity of choice. Which, obviously, is logically absurd. What about all the other deities worshipped across the world now and in the past? Didn’t they make morality and ethics? Why is your deity so special in that regard? Again, ethics and morality are derived simply from the evolution of life. Those that stick together and help each other out are far more likely to survive than those that go it alone. Hence, we developed a sense of right and wrong to assist us in keeping the species going – if you kill another member of the species or rob from them, you’re hurting the species as a whole and so on.
So that’s a quick explanation and links to further information if you want to know more. The point is that these questions/points/arguments have been countered many times before and it is only those people grossly ignorant of the subject matter who keep trying to bring them up.
The rest of Pastore’s piece of full of similar nonsense such as:
“Throw out lots of words that people can’t understand. Talk over them. Blind them with science. Talk about the details of the leaves on the trees but don’t allow them to bring it back to “Why the forest at all?” Assert the fact/value distinction. Claim that only science deals with knowledge. Drop in some postmodern gobbledygook.“
Which seems to be saying something along the lines of “If it’s complicated and you don’t understand it, then it must be wrong”. Which, of course, is wrong in itself. I do not understand how the car I own works, the mechanical workings of my own auto-mobile is not a matter in which I am learned. If someone wished to explain it to me, they would undoubtedly have to use a few terms I do not fully comprehend (at least, not until I do further research). Does that mean my car does not work? Oddly enough, it seemed to work just fine when I drove it just this morning. In short, it is not the fault of Atheists and Scientists if people are ignorant of science and theories – people have a responsibility to actually gain a basic understanding of what they are trying to talk about before they actually talk about it.
Many of the comments to that piece also demonstrate an astounding ignorance of Evolutionary Theory, even what a Scientific Theory is. For example, ‘lazyeyes’ wrote in reply:
“the big bang theory violates the law of conservation of mass, and the law of conservation of energy”
Again, this is an argument/point that has been countered and refuted many times indeed. A basic understanding of the Laws of Thermodynamics will tell you why that statement is wrong (though it will fail to tell you why people keep trying to use it).
To conclude, the above is but the smallest of examples why Atheists sometimes get frustrated – dealing with the wilfully ignorant is never a pleasant task and yet it it is something that needs to be done. What makes it even worse is when you find someone who portrays themselves as being an expert in a given field (the owner of http://www.atheist-stooges.com springs to mind as a good example) and then turns out to know nothing.