Uncommon Sense

July 19, 2019

Why Atheism?

Filed under: Reason — Steve Ruis @ 9:06 am
Tags: , ,

There is a brilliant, indefatigable writer on Quora who addresses questions of theism and atheism brilliantly. His name is Barry Goldberg. Here is a taste of his writing.

What are the top ten reasons to be an atheist?

Barry Goldberg, Born Jewish, Raised Mormon, Discovered Philosophy and Became Atheist

Updated Oct 31, 2018

What are the top ten reasons to be an atheist?

The Top Ten Reasons to Be an Atheist (in no particular order) are:

Drum roll please…

  1. It’s obvious that all world religions are the product of extremely ignorant (not stupid) near barbarians who didn’t understand much about the world around them and made up stories to explain things the best they could. We no longer believe that the universe is made of four elements, that our health is governed by the balance of our four humors, that the Earth is the center of the universe with everything revolving around it, that mental illness is caused by demonic possession, etc. Why, then, should we still cling to ancient ideas about gods?
  2. It’s obvious that most people who say they believe in God believe in the God that is worshiped by the culture in which they grew up. And everybody is convinced that their religion is the only “right” one. They can’t all be right, but they can certainly all be wrong.
  3. It’s obvious that the universe is just too vast and full of stuff not in any way related to humans to seriously believe that it was all made just for us and that we are the pinnacle of all creation.
  4. It’s obvious that the religious beliefs of today are substantively the same as every other discarded superstitious belief of the past. If it’s silly to believe in Thor and Osiris, it’s just as silly to believe in Allah or Jehovah.
  5. It’s obvious that every single bit of proposed “evidence” for the existence of God has either been totally debunked or can be explained through other means. And it is obvious that any justification for believing in God is part of an ever-shrinking “god of the gaps” argument.
  6. It’s obvious that the various “Holy Scriptures” that supposedly provide the only source for knowledge about God are riddled with internal inconsistencies and blatantly wrong information about the world and world history.
  7. It’s obvious that every depiction of God that is actually worshiped by anybody is riddled with logical inconsistencies. How can God be all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving if he permits massive suffering throughout the entire universe (and not just suffering caused by man’s free will)? Why would an all-loving God set up a system whereby the vast, vast majority of his children would never get a chance to hear the “truth” and be saved, and thus be condemned to an eternity of torture? How can God simultaneously be immaterial and timeless (“pure mind”) and still interact with the material world?
  8. It’s obvious that things like “God moves in mysterious ways” and “God always answers prayers, but sometimes the answer is no” are just lame excuses to explain why God rarely (if ever) keeps his supposed promise to actually GIVE the faithful what they ask for in faith (not just “answer their prayers”).
  9. It’s obvious that “God” is just Santa Claus for adults. Believing in Him may give you comfort in times of trouble and give you something to look forward to, but that doesn’t mean He is real.
  10. And, to top it off, after thousands and thousands of years, no believer has ever offered a shred of compelling evidence or any sound logical argument to support a belief in such a being. Although, to be absolutely honest, the entire notion of “God” is so insanely ridiculous and childish and obviously the product of ignorant superstitions in the first place that it’s hard to even imagine what sort of “evidence” or “argument” would actually be sufficient to support a belief in such a being. And if you think that makes me sound “closed-minded,” then I’m afraid you’ll just have to blame the people who came up with such a ridiculous notion in the first place.

 

47 Comments »

  1. May I share a link to this on social media? I have family, friends, cc and acquaintances who might benefit.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Bruce — July 19, 2019 @ 9:47 am | Reply

    • Send away! I don’t “do” other social media.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 19, 2019 @ 10:21 am | Reply

      • Thank you.

        Like

        Comment by Bruce — July 19, 2019 @ 10:30 am | Reply

        • No problemo! The work is really Barry’s and since it is there for all to see on Quora, I consider it free advertising for his posts.

          On Fri, Jul 19, 2019 at 10:30 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — July 19, 2019 @ 11:00 am | Reply

  2. Only the truly indoctrinated can believe such nonsense and drink the Kool Aid. It is just like my father told me about voting Republican. “People on our socio-economic scale voting for Republicans is like chickens voting for Col Sanders!” Look at the Trumpistas. Case in point

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Holding The Line In Florida — July 19, 2019 @ 10:07 am | Reply

  3. I await Branyan’s drivel…

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by john zande — July 19, 2019 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

    • Well he has! Better than normal, even.

      On Fri, Jul 19, 2019 at 1:40 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 20, 2019 @ 9:32 am | Reply

  4. Brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by maryplumbago — July 19, 2019 @ 2:20 pm | Reply

  5. Powerful! I just may copy it to my blog since I probably have some followers you don’t have. Of course the believers most likely won’t comment but the message is there.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — July 19, 2019 @ 4:20 pm | Reply

  6. To me, this Barry is very obviously quite smart. All the gods are and forever will be, myths, just mythical critters made by superstitious humans.

    Like

    Comment by Walter Kronkat — July 19, 2019 @ 4:59 pm | Reply

  7. There are much better reasons to be an atheist.

    1. No burden of proof for any of your claims.
    2. Freedom to deny your claims are in fact claims.
    3. Relative morality.
    4. Sleep in on Sundays.
    5. Accolades for mocking people you believe to be mentally ill.
    6. Satisfaction of being smarter than the vast majority of humans throughout history.
    7. Oblivious to the futility of being smarter than anyone if atheism is true.
    8. Your emotionalism counts as science.
    9. Personal attacks on theists count as logic.
    10. Start any statement with, “It’s obvious…” and you’ll get credit for being brilliant.

    Like

    Comment by John Branyan — July 20, 2019 @ 12:10 am | Reply

    • and as usual JB does drivel on with false accusations with nothing to support them as usual. I do love JB. He has told me he isn’t a Christian, and that I’m someone he admires on his very own blog “Indeed. You are the standard of goodness and virtue. You are a light in the darkness. You are the way the truth and the light.” Nice to see him deny his savior. And “Keep it up, Vel.
      You’re doing a noble and important work here, protecting mankind from my insidious lies.” He’s so honest https://johnbranyan.com/shut-up-and-look-at-my-trophy/#comment-25339

      I’m also quite happy to have morality that can change and isn’t stuck with what ignorant people made up a couple of thousand years ago, and thinking that it’s perfectly find for might to equal right. Poor JB, he’s offended that someone might be smarter than him and wants to claim that atheists should be nihilists again.

      Thanks,JB for again confirming you aren’t a Christian at all, Just like you’ve said repeatedly.

      Like

      Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 20, 2019 @ 10:00 am | Reply

      • I love the appeals to “objective” morality. When the whims of one god can change the rules in a trice. And being subjugated to such a deity makes it objective? Interesting logic.

        Like

        Comment by Steve Ruis — July 20, 2019 @ 10:02 am | Reply

        • And yet another great reason to be an atheist…
          “Strawman arguments are sufficient rebuttals.”

          Atheism has lots of benefits!

          Like

          Comment by John Branyan — July 20, 2019 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

        • indeed. 🙂 With Christians, they wish to claim an objective morality but as soon as they excuse their god for doing soemthing they’d be horrified with a human doing, the morals become entirely subjective, depending on what something is, not if something is good or evil.

          Like

          Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 20, 2019 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

      • You just reminded me of another great reason to be an atheist!

        – Self-contradiction is allowed.

        I sincerely wish my philosophy would allow that!

        Like

        Comment by John Branyan — July 20, 2019 @ 10:30 am | Reply

        • so, show where I or anyone else has “self contradicted” themselves. Now, what is your philosophy, JB, since you have declared yourself not a Christian?

          Like

          Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 20, 2019 @ 2:25 pm | Reply

          • Asking me to point out your self contradictions makes me suspect you might not be smarter than me. Perhaps you should ask one of the other genius atheists to assist you via private message (so I won’t know about it).

            Like

            Comment by John Branyan — July 20, 2019 @ 4:14 pm | Reply

            • aka JB is lying again and can’t support his claims. Nothing new at all. Again, JB, thanks for showing that you are not a Christian, just like you said.

              Like

              Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 21, 2019 @ 8:31 am | Reply

              • Were none of the other genius atheists willing to help you or did you not bother asking them? Or maybe you asked them and they couldn’t see the contradiction either…?

                Don’t worry about it. You’re an atheist! Self-contradiction is allowed.

                Like

                Comment by John Branyan — July 21, 2019 @ 8:43 am | Reply

                • Keep showing you have nothing to support your lies with, JB. 🙂

                  Like

                  Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 21, 2019 @ 9:02 am | Reply

                  • LOL!
                    Will do!

                    Like

                    Comment by John Branyan — July 21, 2019 @ 9:04 am | Reply

                    • I know you will. You are doing so well in showing that you aren’t a Christian, JB.

                      Like

                      Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 21, 2019 @ 11:37 am

                    • What is a Christian?

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — July 21, 2019 @ 12:05 pm

                    • that is a good question. since you claimed you are not one, you should know, right? If you do not know, then I just have more confirmation that the term Christian is essentially meaningless.

                      Like

                      Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 21, 2019 @ 12:32 pm

                    • I said the term Christian is meaningless ten years ago.

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — July 21, 2019 @ 1:52 pm

                    • Perhaps, but we can read your blog and know that is not what you really think.

                      Like

                      Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 22, 2019 @ 8:42 am

                    • It’s meaningless because of people like you who reject every attempt at definition.

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — July 22, 2019 @ 7:20 pm

                    • And again, we have JB changing his story and trying to blame someone else for his false claims. Good for you, JB.

                      We have plenty of Christians who define Christianity, and plenty of other Christians who say that they are wrong. In that none of you have any evidence to support the claims that only your version of Christianity is the right one, we find that it is likely that none of you are right.

                      Like

                      Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 23, 2019 @ 8:33 am

                    • You’re such a good person.

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — July 23, 2019 @ 8:40 am

                    • Thank you, JB. I know I am. No god and no lies from you needed.

                      Like

                      Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 23, 2019 @ 8:41 am

                    • from JBs website with someone describing JB: “Can a Christian comedian hold his own in a regular comedy club? John sure can! He’s made our audiences laugh very hard and there’s never a swear word or innuendo…he’s welcome at the Improv anytime — Rene’ Harte – Improv Comedy Club – West Palm Beach, FL”

                      and JB’s own words “f you’re Christian, your loyalty is supposed to be with Christ. Loyalty to Christ should affect your vote because it should affect EVERY aspect of your life. As political parties change, Christ remains the same. Voting straight Democrat is nothing to brag about. Your loyalty isn’t a badge of honor. These days, it’s a mark of shame.”

                      “If you’re a Christian, you can’t be pro-choice.”

                      “Then, if you’re a Christian, ask yourself if any of that is supported by the Bible.”

                      “When professing Christians don’t understand Christianity, the internet becomes a loaded gun in the hands of a toddler. Their theology is cobbled together from memes they’ve seen on Facebook. They only know the Bible says, “Don’t judge”. They believe Jesus approves of abortion. God is a mashup of pop psychology, cultural norms, worship music lyrics, and personal feelings.”

                      ” You can’t follow the teaching of Christianity if you don’t know what Christianity teaches. Christianity teaches that Jesus is enough. You are not. If you don’t like that idea, you are free to reject it. Just don’t be ignorant about what that means. Rejecting Christ means you’re not “a Christian”. ”

                      quite the words from someone who has claimed not to be a Christian and now to claim that he has claimed that the term Christian was “meaningless ten years ago”.

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 22, 2019 @ 8:48 am

                    • oh and this one is just great “Are you a Christian?

                      Then you can’t vote for Democrats anymore.

                      Sorry.”

                      It seems that JB is quite sure he can define what a Christian is. https://johnbranyan.com/?s=Christian

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by clubschadenfreude — July 22, 2019 @ 8:49 am

  8. Okay, let’s move through a few thoughts. Why I believe. I didn’t grow up in the church, but early in my life, I wondered how I got here. I knew something was up. I just didn’t have any answers, or at least, wasn’t aware of what was right in front of me. 1) The very fact that I’m here, I exist and am aware of my own existence, told me I was created (I didn’t create myself.). A friend once asked a homeless person if he believed in God. The homeless man replied, well, who do you think created you? That was all he needed. 2) Then, I looked at all the marvels of the world and universe. In the universe, there is amazing consistencies. Everything is moving in circles. As any scientist will admit, there could have been no “big bang” that created everything, because explosions never result in any kind of order. Yet, all the planets and stars were created and are still in creation. **Do you know that everything starts with one thing that makes everything else? 3) But there’s something more. To state no God exists is to believe you are god. For only god could know everything to say there is no god (a contradiction in terms). The only thing one can say is they don’t know. But even in that admits something. 4) The most basic life form never could have self-evolved. Not possible. A cell, or most basic form of life, can’t self-evolve. There’s more chance that twenty folding chairs (with rubber cups on the legs with rivets) spontaneously formed on a distant planet, in a cave. 5) The only thing I can reason for people to become atheists is personal life experiences, but then, not seeking for the real answers. I’ve had friends who were once “believers” becoming atheists, so we talked, but it’s up to them to seek and ponder, so we leave it to them to find their answers. But whatever one believes, what is is. Believing doesn’t change truth. 6) One cannot decide there is a god or not based on followers. If one woman says a car is beautiful, the car is beautiful or not whether one says so or not. Regarding all the aweful stuff in the world, read Genesis. From the beginning, we were given choices. Follow God and His teachings, which is best for us, or choose the oppposite and die inwardly. People continue to make these decisions daily. His teachings is not burdensome, as Jesus explained, but actually brings peace and hope. It’s what’s best for all of us. The reason for all the sufferings is people don’t seek God, continue to go their own ways, even through sufferings, and don’t seek the understanding that will free them from their own internal difficulties. **But, it’s for each person to seek. *One other thing. What hope is there to believe in nothing? We live, eat, work, then die, never to be conscious of anything ever, for one never ever will be again. But there’s something else, and I’ve noticed this in others. Psychiatric medicines. I’ve noticed in some that the meds keep some people from thinking on any level of depth. Since they’re not troubled, they’re not concerned with the afterlife. Some, perhaps, but not all.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by dolphinwrite — October 3, 2019 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

    • Probably the one sentence in your loooong comment that had any real impact is this: Believing doesn’t change truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Nan — October 7, 2019 @ 1:44 pm | Reply

      • It’s how you understand it. I knew there had to be something at a very early age. We didn’t go to church, so I had no conversations about this, just realization. It troubled me: why we’re here, with no answers. So, for years and years, I pondered at times. I wasn’t satisfied with what the pastors told me. I had to understand for myself, as you and everyone finds their own answers. But I wasn’t looking for “my” answers. I was looking for what truly is. Along the way, I realized things, had “ah haaa” moments, then found what I discovered right in the bible. So much I came to understand on day to day living, Jesus explained. He had said what I discovered on my own. Wow! If you’re looking to not believe, you will find it. But I’m not looking for belief. I’m looking for truth. **Look, if a person is happy being an atheist, who am I to argue? I’m not looking to change anyone. But there are readers surrounded by information, many confused, many who want to believe, and I’m sharing as you are. You share. I share. People talk. Then let people decide for themselves. Looooong comment? You betcha. You put the site out, we comment. That’s how blogs work.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by dolphinwrite — October 7, 2019 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

        • Your write, “I’m looking for truth.” I guess the next question is, What is truth? And how can you know for certain that what YOU believe to be truth … really is “truth.”

          It’s a merry-go-round. And each person has to decide where to get on and where to get off. I made my decision a long time ago.

          Like

          Comment by Nan — October 7, 2019 @ 3:07 pm | Reply

  9. Again, one cannot say there is no truth or we cannot be sure. If a person really believes there is no truth or cannot be sure, the first question is what is telling that person there is no truth or can’t be sure? It’s a contradiction in terms. To say there is no truth is to have a truth that says there is no truth. To say we can’t be sure is to be certain of a truth that says we can’t be sure. Those are truths. It’s that easy. But one has to be outside the world of language, relying on understanding. That’s something I’ve been looking for. I also understand how little I know, a work in progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by dolphinwrite — October 7, 2019 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  10. I do not disagree, but will comment to the extent that looking for “answers” and “truth” has two fundamental aspects: where to look … and how to look.

    I have been a fan of philosophy since high school. But I recognize that just thinking about stuff will take one only so far. I have looked at philosophy as an exercise in “how to think” but I am beginning to wonder about that. (I am finding that reading Daniel Dennett is restoring that conjecture for me.) And then where to look for the truth is always pertinent. In the sciences (my training) there is an ongoing tension between experimentalists and theorists. They tend to snipe at one another but, in fact, both are quite necessary. The experimentalists provide things to think about and the theorists provide the thinking. The tension comes from one group getting out ahead of the other a bit too much. The theorists are supposed to provide ideas to experiment upon (If we only knew …) and the experimenters are to provide things that need explaining. In physics right now the theorists are a bit too far out ahead of the sweet spot and so are coming up with things that do not or can not help.

    The last place I would look for truth is from the pulpit of a church. This is not what those are for. Nor do they seem to know where to look other than to their ancient documents (most of which they only have copies of copies of copies of). This doesn’t mean someone cannot find their own truth sitting in a pew, I just think it will not be because of anything said from the front of the room.

    Like

    Comment by Steve Ruis — October 8, 2019 @ 12:39 pm | Reply

  11. To each his/her own.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by dolphinwrite — October 8, 2019 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

  12. I agree with all of these points, however , using it’s obvious for every statement might trigger people who don’t agree.

    For a lot of people, the idea of a God existing has been drilled into their before they could speak. Some won’t even take part in the real world for fear that it will harm them.

    Like

    Comment by Athena Bocock — October 9, 2019 @ 10:56 am | Reply

  13. I’ve never been one to “worry” over what someone else believes. However, over the years and in my work, I’ve seen the debacle created by those undermining our Constitution (Not you.), then realizing there’s a time and place to speak up and write. If another believes in Confucian, our Bible, Buddism, or something else, that’s for them. Each person, in America, is free to believe as they wish, and that was the reason people fled Europe, to worship as their conscience dictated. But the important thing I’ve seen is the many who need hope. People with cancer, people struggling to make ends meet, people who’ve lost friends and family. People look for meaning. They look for hope, And in the classroom, some kids/teens would love to pray or read their bible when finished with their work, or set up an after school gathering with other students. Hope is what people need. Hope helps some get through another day, make sense of things, and provides a light for what’s ahead. Sometimes, for some, very difficult times are what finally gets them to turn towards something bigger than themselves. For some, without this hope, life is unbearable. For some, things stop making sense. And in this, having found for myself the understanding I was searching for, I must share and let readers come to their own conclusions. But again, that’s for each person. In the bible, if I understand correctly, our Lord spoke, but never forced his purpose on anyone. He, as I understand, let each person decide for themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by dolphinwrite — October 9, 2019 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

    • He, as I understand, let each person decide for themselves.

      Your perspective is admirable. It’s just too bad that the many who believe hope only comes from religion (Christianity) aren’t willing to recognize or accept that others have their sources for getting through life as well.

      Like

      Comment by Nan — October 9, 2019 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

      • Again, we live in a free country, with our freedoms attacked. Each person is free to follow their beliefs so long as no other is harmed. That’s the founding principle of America.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by dolphinwrite — October 9, 2019 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

    • I was with you, 100%, up to your last sentence. The Bible is a book which preaches obedience and the costs of disobedience can be dramatic. The Hebrews of the Bible were said to have suffer plagues, slavery and deprecations of all kinds for disobedience. The prime trope of the entire book is “believe in me and love me or burn in Hell, forever and ever, Amen.” So, you can say that the biblical god doesn’t force his purpose on anyone, but that is a bit like saying that people in prison are actually free.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — October 10, 2019 @ 10:02 am | Reply

      • Actually, that is an interpretation from most who haven’t read the bible, or at least most. There was a time when I decided to read most of it (Kings was a struggle.). From the beginning of the bible, it is explained that the first two were very happy, living with all they could want. I think the interpretation of “hell” is misunderstood, if I’m correct. As I understand, we are created in His image. Our life is from Him, meaning he’s the source of our existence, without which we would cease to exist. But he gave us the ability to choose. The first pair chose to be their own gods, which separated them spiritually from their Father. You see, God is good. He’s the source of good. He is the good. Without Him, there is no good. That’s the best I can share that. So, the only alternative is to be with Him or separate from Him. But the only way to separate is to move away, which is evil. For to move away from good is evil. Some have shared that “hell”, as people call it, is eternity separate from God, our Father. You see, the pain is not being in agreement with good, to be one’s own god, which is not possible. In this state, perhaps, no one can be in the presence of good, because the pain would be too excruciating. That’s hell. To live forever, separate, and in pain because the goodness people are not in fellowship with goodness.
        That’s pretty technical and intellectual in explanation, but that’s the best right now.
        In earthy explanation, it would be like having a good father and mother. The child, as a teen, goes out and takes drugs, not listening to their good parents. When he returns, he no longer can have a relationship with him parents, hating them, uncomfortable with their goodness, rebelling, and arguing, because he chose to move away from them. So, he has to find friends that encourage each other to rebel. From that point forward, anyone decent they make fun of, tease, or beat up. Their only choice is to keep moving away, finding more and more people who they now find an afinity for. That’s hell.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by dolphinwrite — October 10, 2019 @ 4:01 pm | Reply


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