Creationist Wisdom #305: Unbelief Requires Faith

Today’s letter-to-the-editor was brought to our attention by one of the most covert agents in our far-flung network of secret operatives. It appears in the San Diego Union-Tribune of San Diego, California. The title is A matter of belief and Part Two is here. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do, we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Okay, here we go:

Why do atheists get so upset at the mention of God? Are they afraid of something? Only after sharia law comes to the U.S. do they need to worry. From my Catholic schooling of many decades ago, we were taught that belief is ultimately a matter of faith, as logically is disbelief, since neither point can be absolutely proven.

Aaaargh!! Belief in an unevidenced proposition is not as logical as disbelief. We thought everyone knew that. The letter continues:

Catholics can also believe in evolution. All you have to believe is that God gathered the stuff together and lit the match. After that; it is all physics and chemistry.

Yes, that’s about it. Let’s read on:

I offer $1,000 and rejection of my belief to any atheist who can prove from where the universe came. I’m not very worried that I will ever have to pay off.

That’s probably a safe bet. But it doesn’t have any probative value as to whether a deity created the universe. And if there ever were evidence as to the ultimate source of the universe, it won’t necessarily be an atheist who discovers it. Theists can also do science if they want to, and many do. The letter continues:

If believers are wrong, nothing happens when they die. Atheists could be in big trouble if they are wrong. But at least they might be toasty warm for all eternity.

Charming. The letter-writer has invoked Pascal’s Wager, which is utterly fallacious. Okay, that’s where Part One ends, so let’s move on to Part Two. The formatting at that newspaper is utterly chaotic, and this may be a letter by someone else, but they were titled together and the mindset is similar so we’ll include it anyway:

I’ve had to chuckle this past week reading letters from atheists who think it is believers in God who are the ones with faith. Let’s get real.

Huh? Faith is defined as belief in something without proof or strong evidence. Here’s more:

To be an atheist you have to believe that the universe came into existence from nothing and by nothing. You don’t have to be a scientist to recognize the faith it takes to believe this silliness.

It gets tiresome to see the assertion that cosmology is identical to atheism, but we’ll try to overlook it. Anyway, no scientist has to believe that “from nothing by nothing” stuff. It’s sufficient to say that we don’t yet know. Contrast that with the faith of the letter-writer, who claims that somehow he does know. Whatever it is that he regards as “knowledge” comes only from faith. Moving along:

But atheist’s beliefs go even further into irrationality. We now know that the universe appears to have been designed for life. The odds against such a universe occurring by chance are absolutely overwhelming.

Aaaargh!! What we know is that life exists in the universe, albeit precariously and definitely not in most environments. We don’t have a clue that the universe was designed for life — indeed, most of it is hostile to life. As for “the odds” against the universe being overwhelming, we must ask: Compared to what? This is the only universe we know. We can’t compare it to others to learn whether it’s an outlier. It is what is is. Here’s the end:

So what are atheists forced to believe? That there have been literally millions or billions of universes and that ours happens to allow for life. They can’t explain how to get one universe but they are forced to believe in vast numbers of them. Atheists are people of profound faith.

No one, regardless of his religious beliefs (or unbelief) is forced to believe in the multiverse, and the multiverse concept isn’t logically related to atheism. As with evolution, theists can also believe it. However, this universe is the only one we’re ever likely to know, and for us it’s entirely sufficient. Why is reality so difficult for people to accept?

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #305: Unbelief Requires Faith

  1. For Pity’s Sake! Didn’t this clown’s Catholic upbringing mention the “Inquisition” or the “Crusades”? He thinks that Sharia law is something horrific compared with His Church’s own militants who would think nothing of flogging you in the street or burning you at the stake if you didn’t believe exactly what they did (or claimed to).

    How can anyone be so stupid (It burns, it burns!)?

  2. Eternal Damnation. It’s really quite brilliant though isn’t it? What a deterrent. No death penalty … not even torture … can compete with Swimming In Lava for eternity — without EVER passing out or becoming desensitized to the pain.

    If I have to choose between BUYING THAT LOAD OF GARBAGE and swimming in lava for eternity … then, oh well … maybe Satan will allow for asbestos swim trunks … he would probably want to protect that region, anyway … so that John Wayne Gacy will still find me appealing … if I’m not already to old for him.

  3. Ceteris Paribus

    The letter writer warns: “Only after sharia law comes to the U.S. do they need to worry.

    But unless and until the Supreme Court holds that the original intent of the 1st Amendment to the constitution does not prevent the establishment of any sectarian system of law, we have nothing to worry about Sharia law coming to the US. Or even the establishment of laws proffered by any other sect.

    Egad. I’m scared. Very scared.

  4. The Catholic Moron said:

    From my Catholic schooling of many decades ago, we were taught that belief is ultimately a matter of faith, as logically is disbelief, since neither point can be absolutely proven.

    Hey! Moron! Did you ever hear of another Catholic, a Belgian by the name of Georges Lemaitre? Didn’t think so. Lucky for you, too, because something tells me he’d grab his Catholic School-issued yardstick and rap you over the knuckles multiple times for the amount of stupid you managed to pack into one paragraph.

  5. “To be an atheist you have to believe that the universe came into existence from nothing and by nothing.”

    Nothing quite like putting words in your opponents mouth, eh?

    I don’t see how believing that the universe came into existence from something and by something implies God. There’s a whole lot of “somethings” out there that ain’t God.

  6. Faith is a gift of God. Along with Hope and Charity, one of the Theological Virtues.

  7. It seems that they actually enjoy being ignorant.

  8. “There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power.” — Gandalf

  9. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the proposition that disbelief requires faith, but after fasting and prayer I finally see the light. The principle extends to everything. Apathy requires zeal. Starving requires adequate nutrition. Distance requires proximity. Harmony requires cacophony. And so on.

    I used to scoff at the motto repeated by ministers at the religious college I dropped out of: “True freedom comes from rigid obedience to God’s law.” Now I totally get it.

    Excuse me. I will check myself in to the psych ward now, to be with other people who think like me.