• Testimonials

  • Articles

  • Opine

  • Letters

  • Dr. Valerie Tarico

  • Dr. Marlene Winell

  • Recent Forum Testimonials

  • Videos

  • Recently Popular Blog Posts

You won’t believe the BEST reason for being an atheist!

By Ubi Dubium ~

A while back Jim posed a question on his blog, The Common Atheist.
His request was “If each of you would share right here one of your best arguments for atheism…”
And I replied with one of my best reasons, but since it was in a comment thread I tried to keep my answer brief.  However, I think the point I was making deserves a more careful discussion.  So here’s a full post about it.
First, we need to look at how people get their understanding of their religion.
  • With christianity, first and foremost they get it from other people.  People they trust.  People who tell them that they know things about god or the supernatural.  People who claim to speak for god.
  • Secondly they get it from a holy book, which is just a less direct way of getting it from other people.
  • And thirdly, they have personal experiences, including intense emotional experiences, that they believe come from their god.
The problem is that this is not unique to christianity.  All over the world, people of all different religions are getting their understanding from other people, holy books, and personal experience.  And there is no one majority religion in the world, no consensus about what god is or what god wants.  That means that people are using the same method for arriving at truth, and reaching different conclusions.
When people are using the same method, but getting inconsistent answers, this points to my first conclusion:
1. The method itself is flawed.
In science, if people were using some particular method for determining, say, the speed of light, and one group got an answer of 100,000 miles per hour, another group got an answer of 10 mph, another got an answer of -7 with no units, and yet another got an answer of “lumpy”, we would quickly realize that this was a terrible method and we shouldn’t trust it.  Perhaps one group would accidentally have an answer that is more correct than another, but this method gives us no way of knowing which answer is the correct one.  They may well all be completely wrong.  We need to throw out the flawed method, and find something else that gives more consistent results.
So if we have an unreliable method for arriving at the truth about religion, there is no reason that we should trust any particular religion’s version of truth.  Not unless they can show that they have a different and more reliable method of arriving at their answers.
And this leads me to my second point.  Millions and millions of people all over the world are using a flawed method to arrive at truth, and not getting consistent answers.  Yet those millions of people all feel confident that their method is working and giving them correct answers, and that the fact that other people are getting different answers from the same method is not concerning to them.  They don’t recognize that they are using a bad method, even though the evidence of this is so abundant.  So my second conclusion is:
2. Human brains are really bad at this. 
In a way, it’s like the Dunning-Kruger effect on a global scale. We evolved to be good at many things, including tracking animal migrations and remembering which plants are edible in which seasons.  We are good at working in groups, adapting to new environments, telling stories, creating tools to solve problems, and teaching skills to our children.  But we have no natural talent for discovering correct information about whether a god or gods exist,  and if so which ones, or what they want from humans.  We are so terrible at this that we aren’t even able to recognize just how bad at this we are.
The answers that one group of people are completely convinced of are no more likely to be correct than the different set of answers from another group.  Religions cannot all be right, since many of their beliefs contradict each other.  But they can all be wrong.  If you pick one at random to believe in, or just follow the religion of your parents or your geographical area, the odds are high that you have chosen the wrong one.
So my final conclusion is:
3. It is reasonable to withhold belief in all religions until a better, more consistent, method of determining the truth has been devised.
So far, no religious group has been able to produce such a method.   I’m not holding my breath that they ever will.

Filed Under: ,

About ExChristian.Net

The ExChristian.Net blog exists for the express purpose of encouraging those who have decided to leave Christianity behind. It is not an open challenge for Christians to avenge what they perceive as an offense against their religious beliefs. Please read the site disclaimer prior to posting comments.

RSS Feed
  • Popular This Week:

  • Post Categories

  • Special Contributors

A. Uiet Bhor (8) Agnosticator (9) Alegria (3) Alen Basic (1) American Apostate (3) Anne R Keye (6) AnonAgno94 (4) Apostate Paul (3) Aspieguy (11) Astreja (19) Atheist Dad (1) atheistnurse (10) AtheistToothFairy (6) Avangelism Project (7) Ben Love (67) Bill J (17) billybee (10) BlackFreethought (11) Bob Keye (3) Bob P (9) Bob R (5) boomSlang (2) Bore Venal Charlatan (2) Brian B (5) Brian Kellogg (8) Brisancian (3) Brother Jeff (9) Bruce Gerencser (2) Bruno Corey (1) Butch (2) C. T. Ogden (4) Calladus (5) Carl S (315) Carol Putnam (2) Carolyn Hyppolite (10) Cecelia (4) Cheryl Ensom Dack (6) Chris W. (1) Christian Agnostic (2) ChuckyJesus (7) ConversationsWithA (7) D. R. Khashaba (6) DagoodS (17) Daniel Morgan (2) Daniel out of the Lion's Den (15) Dano (28) darklady (7) Dave8 (1) DealDoctor (29) Dennis Diehl (1) Dethblight (6) dharma (4) Discordia (4) DocMIke (30) Doubting Thomas (2) Doug John (1) Dr. Marlene Winell (52) Dr. Valerie Tarico (208) DRC (2) dswrites (2) EChamberlainMD (12) Ed (Teapot) (2) Eric Jeffries (2) eveningmeadows (13) Evid3nc3 (4) ex-Pastor Dan (24) exfundy (8) exPenty (8) Faithfool (2) Fernando Alcántar (5) freddieb42 (2) freeatlast (6) Freethinking Okie (1) Gabe (3) God-O-Rama (6) Godlessgrrl (5) Greenworld (4) hellboundsoul (3) Houndies (3) Ian (14) illu minati (2) Incongruous Circumspection (11) J.C. Samuelson (25) J.W. (2) JadedAtheist (2) Jake Rhodes (3) James A. Haught (4) James C (4) Jazzybelle (3) Jennifer (3) Jody (5) John Blatt (8) John Botha (1) John Draper (21) John Fraysse (7) John Loftus (26) John Shores (26) Kalos (4) Karen Garst (23) Kevin Parry (1) Klym (24) Larry C (5) Larry Spencer (5) Libby Anne (3) Log1cd1ctat3s (2) Lorena (16) Luke (1) lungfish (1) Micah_Cowan (3) Michael Runyan (8) Michael Sherlock (5) Mriana (38) MtlRedAtheist (8) Nikki (1) Nvrgoingbk (7) NYdiva (2) ooglyman (2) Patrice (2) Paul So (26) Philippe Orlando (3) Philonous (1) Positivist (5) Psy-Cop (1) psychman33 (5) Rational Okie (3) Renoliz (10) Rev Ex-Evangelist (7) RickO (3) Ronna Russell (10) RubySera (1) Rudy (4) Russ Hamel (2) SailerFraud (5) Sam Singleton (5) SConner (2) SeageVT (3) Sharon (3) Simplex Munditiis (3) Son of a preacher (5) Stephen F. Uhl (4) Steve Dustcircle (4) Stillunsure (4) Stronger Now (3) summerbreeze (33) Susan G. Bonella (3) Tania (20) tekHedd (2) The New Heretics (4) The STeWpId MoNkEy (4) The Thylacine (2) TheThinkingAtheist (5) Thin-ice (5) ThinkTank (5) Thomas (1) Tim Simmons (23) Tim Whistorn (2) Tim Wolf (1) True Anathema (4) TruthSurge (11) Tyrone Williams (5) u (1) Ubi Dubium (4) undercover agnostic (24) unoder (7) Vadarama (2) Victor J Webster (2) Vyckie (11) Webmdave (67) WidePathGirl (2) WizenedSage (157) xrayman (6) xxkindofboredxx (2) Zach Moore (13)