Saturday, January 11, 2014

Best of the Worst Arguments for Atheism

Decent arguments can be made for atheism.  Aquinas identified two, the seeming causal closer of the natural world and the existence of evil.  There are also many bad arguments for atheism, most of them made on the internet.  I have selected several of the most wonderfully bad arguments found on the collection at Thomism.org

ARGUMENT BY DEFINITION
(1) If you cannot agree on a definition of a thing, then it does not exist.
(2) People cannot agree on a definition of God.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM THOMAS EDISON
(1) Thomas Edison was an atheist.
(2) He invented the lightbulb.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM JUMPING TO A CONCLUSION WITHOUT USING PREMISES
(1) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM BRUCE LEE
(1) Bruce Lee was an atheist.
(2) Bruce Lee knew King Fu.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM THE SPANISH INQUISITION
(1) The Spanish Inquisition killed pretty much everybody.
(2) That's right. It killed everybody.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM MIRACLES
(1) Atheist: "It's interesting that miracles conveniently never happen around skeptics."
(2) Theist: "Well, I had a friend who used to be a skeptic until a miracle in his life happened."
(3) Atheist: "That doesn't count. He's not a skeptic anymore. I'm talking about real skeptics. The ones who stay skeptics even if they see a miracle."
(4) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM SWEDEN
(1) There are lots of atheists in Sweden.
(2) Sweden is pretty much the best country ever.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM SANTA CLAUS
(1) Santa Claus does not exist.
(2) Therefore, God does not exist.

NON-SEQUITUR ARGUMENT
(1) Atheist: "No miracle has ever been confirmed by science."
(2) Theist: "So, you think that disproves God's existence?"
(3) Atheist: "The Church hates gays."
(4) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM UNIVERSE CREATION
(1) I define "Universe" as everything that exists.
(2) God could not have created the Universe because under this definition, He would have created Himself.
(3) If you object to my definition of "Universe," you can go screw yourself.
(4) Therefore, God does not exist.

SIGMUND FREUD'S ARGUMENT FROM OEDIPUS
(1) The belief in God arises from the unconscious fear that your father is going to castrate you when he finds out you have a desire to sleep with your own mother.
(2) Obviously, only a crazy person would think that.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM ADULTERY
(1) I'm sleeping with another man's wife.
(2) I don't feel like believing in God right now.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM SPEAKING IN TONGUES
(1) Padre Pio [or some saint] could speak to people in their native language even if he never learned it.
(2) No, he didn't.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM RACISM
(1) Lots of white people believe in Jesus.
(2) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM DIVINE PRODUCTIVITY
(1) The evolutionary process is slow and inefficient.
(2) God would have made it faster.
(3) This is because God, being eternal, would have been pressed for time.
(4) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM SCIENCE AND STUFF
(1) Here's a picture of Neil Degrasse Tyson superimposed on a starfield background with an quote about how big space is.
(2) ...
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.


Check out the rest of the page for more hilarity.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Triumph of the Revolution



Progressive ideologies seem to be quite varied, but a common heritage can be established in the motto of the French revolutionaries, "Libert√©, Egalit√©, Fraternit√©."  Each of the various progressive movements can be classified according to the way they prioritize these ideals.  Libertines, naturally enough, value liberty the most, socialists and their fellow travelers emphasize equality, while nationalists prefer fraternity, in civic or ethnic terms.  These ideologies are all truly revolutionary ideologies, and the regimes in which they are employed are revolutionary regimes.

This is not to say that anyone with any affinity for the three ideals are revolutionaries.  Many love liberty not merely as an abstraction to be forced upon atomistic individuals, but rather recognize its value to a happy and productive people.  Those who would advance ordered liberty are wary of license and do not seek to overturn those limitations placed on man by nature and propriety.  All right thinking people acknowledge some level of equality, and honor the dignity of all men made in the image and likeness of God.  However, a proper respect for the equality of man must be tempered by an appreciation for the natural inequality of man in ability, morals, and vocation.  Feelings of fraternal affections between people of a similar culture and heritage are natural and good, and are in fact necessarily opposed to revolutionary fraternity.  This latter conception of brotherhood reduces all men to citizens under a particular regime or members of a certain race, while sweeping away local traditions and those ties between diverse communities rooted in shared faith or sentiments.

The West today faces a crisis.  Some form of revolutionary, progressive regime rules Westerners across the world, not only in our halls of power but in our schools, our churches, and in our homes.  The Jacobins have conquered the world and we failed to notice, perhaps because the conspicuous guillotine has been replaced by the hidden slaughter of the unborn.  Opposition to the revolution is led most often not by principled defenders of God, family, and tradition, but rather by revolutionary alternatives to the party in power.  I do not mean to say that our leaders are necessarily a bunch of bloodthirsty scoundrels, but rather that they usually adhere at least somewhat to a revolutionary ideology, and as a a result make decisions based on false ideas about human nature.


What is to be done?  Frenchman could do their best to subvert the revolution while waiting for the British to appear, but His Majesty's Army is not coming to save us.  When all the world groans under the unnatural tyranny of revolution, to whom shall we look for salvation?  Edmund Burke, the great British statesman and critic of the French Revolution, recommends a gradual, incremental approach to social and governmental reform, but that formula was advanced in the context of a stable and sane order.  The same approach may still work in our revolutionary times, building upon the vestiges of a natural order that still remain below the politically correct surface of modern life.  People of all persuasions have a natural love for their families, their homes, and their communities.  It is our task to cultivate those natural affections and from them draw a commitment to a strong social order befitting a happy and virtuous people.  This is not the work of rhetoricians or legislators but of normal people living out their daily lives with hope, faith, and charity, in defiance of an anti-social society.  It will be a long and difficult journey up the cliff from which we have fallen, but we may yet return to solid ground.