Creationist Wisdom #617: Atheists Are Irrational

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Daily Lobo, the student newspaper of the University of New Mexico. It’s titled The beliefs of many atheists are based on unscientific presuppositions. The newspaper has a comments feature.

This letter has two authors, but because they aren’t politicians, preachers, or other public figures, we won’t embarrass or promote them by using their full names. Their first names are Marshall and Ringo, described as “Daily Lobo readers.” Excerpts from their letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

We would like to present the results of the Atheist Survey collected on the UNM Albuquerque campus in April-May 2015. Of the 56 self-proclaimed atheists and agnostics who completed the survey, 45 (80 percent) have at least one parent who believed in God, 35 (63 percent) believed in God as a child, and 42 (75 percent) began to doubt God’s existence prior to leaving high school.

That’s probably not a remarkable result. What caused their unbelief? Marshall and Ringo tell us:

Regarding what caused them to disbelieve in God, 41 (73 percent) answered study of science, philosophy or personal research and 15 (27 percent) cited life experiences. 39 (70 percent) believe in the Big Bang theory and 55 (98 percent) believe in evolution. To the question about what might convince them that God exists, 24 (43) said that adequate evidence or miracles might convince them.

Aha — it’s the usual suspects: science, the Big Bang, and evolution. Let’s read on:

Perhaps the least surprising result of this survey is the universal belief in evolution, since, if there is no God, the existence of life on Earth must have a natural explanation, of which the theory of evolution is the only one accepted by scientists.

[…]

Since most atheists and agnostics began life as believers in God, having parents who were theistic, it is very likely that understanding the theory of evolution contributed to their conversion to atheism. Only 70 percent believe in the Big Bang, so the rest likely believe in an eternal universe, thus avoiding the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God.

The Kalam cosmological argument is a “modern” version of an old Muslim argument that can be traced back to Aristotle’s unmoved mover. The Discoveroids like it — see Three from William Lane Craig. Marshall and Ringo continue:

The most surprising result of the survey was that 40 percent suggested they might believe in God if adequate evidence were presented: either scientifically verifiable evidence or palpable miracles.

Yes, of course. Verifiable evidence is what’s always been lacking. But look what Marshall and Ringo say about that:

Of course, they have already consigned the existence of life and the universe itself to the category of “not evidence for God,” or else they would be theists. Any physical, scientific evidence offered for the existence of God could be easily consigned to the same category.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Just as creationists dismiss evidence for evolution. The difference is that evidence for evolution does exist. Here’s more:

These 40 percent of the atheists who think new evidence might convince them of the existence of God seem to be unaware of the presuppositions on which their worldview is founded, and perhaps unaware that they even have any presuppositions.

Presuppositions? Like logic and the scientific method? Yeah, well, it’s rather difficult to do any science without them. But Marshall and Ringo deal with that at the end of their letter:

They seem to think that it is a scientific fact that the existence of the universe and life on Earth are not evidence for God. They fail to understand that they have a worldview based upon presuppositions, which by definition are not scientific facts.

So there you are. Marshall and Ringo are convinced that atheists and agnostics are blind to the facts. Perhaps they are. What do you think, dear reader?

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #617: Atheists Are Irrational

  1. I think that two people are saying things to make themselves feel better about their beliefs.

  2. Notice that it is always creationists who jump to the defense of their religion in these awkward letters, uttering the same nonsense over and over, to justify their beliefs in myth, legend, super heroes, etc. It is creationists who propose laws to deny science and to eliminate teaching science, who deny evidence and reality, but continue to strive for their mystical, magical deity with all the baggage associated with their claimed deity.

  3. DavidK says: “… these awkward letters, uttering the same nonsense over and over …”

    Huh? Hey — the universe exists! Life exists! What more do you want?

  4. So anything that exists is evidence for intelligence?

  5. Assuming the stats are correct, only 98% “believed” in evolution? What the heck does that 2% believe? Raëlianism? David Berlinskiism?

  6. Stephen Kennedy

    These two must be hoping for a job at the ark park. They used the same language and arguments that Hambo does and sound just as stupid.

  7. @Reflectory:
    What woulld you say if a stranger asked whether you believe in snow?
    I don’t believe in snow. Or in evolution.

  8. The letter does not say, but I think that the survey group were offered multiple-choice responses, from the neat, separated categories of those responses.

    The 63% of the survey group who had believed in God in childhood, but had become atheists or agnostics, were asked to explain their loss of belief. From its non-appearance, I think that they were not offered the option of explaining that they stopped believing because the tenets of their faith became impossible for them to accept. Damnation, for example. Biblical authority or infallibility. Magisterium of the clergy. Many other dogmas, pronouncements or teachings.

    That is, this survey artificially walled off the possibility that the respondents lost faith because of what that faith entailed, as if that were not a possibility. This is an obvious failure.

    But it assumed that science was a cause, when causation is not directly indicated, as is demonstrated by the wording: “it is very likely that understanding the theory of evolution contributed to their conversion to atheism”. That is, they weren’t asked about that. The surveyors simply think it very likely. That seems merely to be an expression of prejudice.

    Indeed, it was apparently not even established that the study of science preceded the loss of belief. Even if that study preceded the loss, the post hoc, ergo propter hoc error is obvious.

    In other words, this survey and the reportage of its results are riddled with design, methodological and logical errors. I truly hope that it was not conducted or reported by students of any of the human sciences – sociology, anthropology, or psychology. If so, the University’s programs in those departments are clearly of questionable value.

  9. Huh. I thought everyone knew that the existence of the universe and life on Earth are evidence for the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Isn’t it obvious?

  10. They just don’t get it do they?

    No one “believes” in the Big Bang or Evolution, they accept science based on the evidence.

  11. “They seem to think that it is a scientific fact that the existence of the universe and life on Earth are not evidence for God.” – Oldest argument in the book. It’s just a restatement of “oh yeah, well prove that there is no god, then!”

  12. These 40 percent of the atheists who think new evidence might convince them of the existence of God seem to be unaware of the presuppositions on which their worldview is founded, and perhaps unaware that they even have any presuppositions.

    Presuppositions? Like logic and the scientific method? Yeah, well, it’s rather difficult to do any science without them. But Marshall and Ringo deal with that at the end of their letter:

    They seem to think that it is a scientific fact that the existence of the universe and life on Earth are not evidence for God. They fail to understand that they have a worldview based upon presuppositions, which by definition are not scientific facts.

    Ad of course creationists don’t have any “presuppositions,” heavens no! They just know the Bible is true as written from beginning to end, because, after all, God wrote it.