A while back, I wrote a review of an article called “Atheism is Illogical“, written on a theist philosophy site called Philosophy Out of the Box. I pointed out how absurd many of the ideas contained within the article were and, even though I had gotten the idea from a fellow atheist blog, the Athefist, I said I was going to keep an eye on future developments.
There has been a second, and in fact, a third article written and so, as before, I will delve into the ideas of this theist philosopher and hope he fares better than he did the last time. Watch for my take on his third installment, probably next week.
He starts off arguing that religious fundamentalists tend to ignore uncomfortable facts when he points them out in their holy books, but that’s not been my experience. In fact, it’s the fundamentalists who tend to do their best to adopt all of the inherent craziness that you find in religious books, that’s why you get loons handling snakes and drinking poisons and the like. It’s the liberal theists who pick and choose only the parts of religious books that they like and ignore the rest. Those are the people he should be complaining about, the hypocrites who only believe what they want to believe. And of course, he says he’s proven that atheism and theism are both religious positions but I beg to differ, I blew that position entirely out of the water in my last evaluation and simply stating something doesn’t make a belief so.
He starts arguing that words have meanings, something that anyone who has read this blog for any length of time will recognize, yet it seems that he has no clue what the words he’s trying to use mean. We already know he’s hopelessly lost with regard to “atheism”, in fact he entirely ignores the OED which defines atheism as “One who denies or disbelieves the existence of a God”. He gets to “denies” and calls it a day, proving that either he’s incapable of reading and understanding a dictionary, or he’s just dishonest. I lean toward the latter.
I say that because he does, in fact, make a vague attempt to handle the “disbelieves” part of the definition by quoting another “page” of the OED which defines “disbelief” as “to not believe or credit; to refuse credence to”. Okay, that’s certainly not what he’s asserting, he’s saying that disbelief means that atheists are holding an active belief in the non-existence of something, which is certainly not the case.
In my last article, I used the example of a froozle and I think it can be useful once again. See, according to Site Philsopher, there are only two possibilities. You either have a strong positive belief that the greater red-breasted froozle exists or you have a strong positive belief that the greater red-breasted froozle does not exist. There are no other possible conclusions you can come to, yet I trust anyone reading this will understand just how foolish such a position actually is. There are plenty of other options available to a true seeker. You can simply withhold judgement based on a serious lack of evidence supporting the claim, that’s what most atheists do. No matter how much some of these pinheads wish it were the case, that’s exactly what an atheist is, it’s someone who rejects the claims made by theists for lack of evidence or even coherent claims. Theists are unable to clearly define what their gods are in any way that makes rational sense, they are not able to provide a means by which an unbeliever can verify and validate the factual existence of the deity and they certainly have not ponied up a single shred of evidence that would differentiate the existence of a god from the difference of a froozle.
I really don’t see how this guy’s argument is going to get any better when he’s failed so utterly in his most basic of assertions. What he’s calling philosophy is really just embarrassing. Unfortunately, most apologists never rise above the simplistic level that we’re seeing here and that’s why they largely get laughed at by anyone with a clue. What we’re really seeing is a prime example of why theism is illogical and why theists have so much to learn.