Atheism is for Fifth Graders

so why are you talking about this again?

so why are you wasting my time with this again?

 It’s time for me to slay my own Laplacian Demon (go look it up, I’ll wait). It goes something like this:

How can Atheists make the claim that God doesn’t exist when it’s blatantly obvious to everyone with a Middle School education that their claim that the Universe came from nothing is equally ridiculous?

Seriously, you hear it all the time. Some smug fuck says some shit like “it’s only a matter of time before everyone else figures out God doesn’t exist” or “God is just a natural progression of worship away from the stars and towards a more human-like character of the heavens, didn’t you see [insert Internet documentary here]?” Then they say something about the Big Bang, do some hand-waving saying ‘scientists are still working out the details’, and never realize how retarded their argument is because there is no Atheist theory on how the Universe came to be.

The way I see it is pretty clear. The ‘Big Bang’ was initiated by some entity external to the Universe and external to the Universe’s laws of space and time. That entity, whatever it is, is what all the World’s religions refer to as God or gods. Everyone, especially the Agnostics, should agree with this basic idea. The matter of if this entity still exists and guards over the Universe is another matter entirely.

But seriously, I have no intellectual respect for anyone who is a non-Agnostic Atheist who can not even acknowledge the statement in the previous paragraph. Atheism is a childish view harbored by individuals who are not intelligent enough to recognize the inherent contradiction in their view. It’s like the goth kids who don’t realize they’re only goth because they’re ugly. Or really, more like those kids who support “anarchy” only because nobody else supports it even though they don’t know what it means. Then these kids grow up to be “Libertarians”, not realizing that their political vision would only benefit the “good old boys networks” and other rich, powerful, old money peoples at the expense of larger society, including them. 

The larger view is quite simple: a little knowledge is dangerous. It empowers fools in the same way Religion empowers fools. Hm. This idiom becomes more and more relevant by the day as information, much of it unreliable, spreads quickly to an ungodly number of people before any subject expert can publicly dispute it or any individual taking in that information can put it in perspective. A great example of this, which I expect more of with far more disastrous consequences, is the “Steve Jobs had a heart attack” rumor that (very) temporarily shocked Apple’s stock price that was started by a bunch of 4chan fags. No I’m not gay bashing, 4chan is… well, if you’ve never been, you have to go. It’s like the Disneyworld of the Internet. Anyway, it’s amazing how powerful the control of information flow across the Internet is. Any shitfuck idea  or rumor, when funneled through the right data portals, can wield an incredible and immediate power. A question: what would Information Terrorism be?

So yeah, all the Atheists who casually drop their beliefs in the middle of a conversation to look cool just sound like the kid in History class who thinks Communism is superior to Capitalism to draw attention to himself. At least to me.

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “Atheism is for Fifth Graders

  1. you nailed goths on the head. i think your next step is to “jay walk” and point out these contradictions before they spread.

  2. So, do you call yourself a Santa Claus agnostic or an Easter Bunny agnostic? How about a Mithra or Zeus agnostic? We non-agnostic Atheists really only believe in one less deity than you do, the one which is most popular in the culture you happened to be born into.

    There are pretty good, evolutionary and sociological explanations for why human beings and societies invent gods. These explanations are better than yours, which says that the big bang had to be initiated by some subject, external to the universe. This is just the human being’s feeble mind trying to order their observations and force patterns, and causal relationships on them. And, it turns out, there’s a pretty good biological explanation for that little quirk too.

  3. SDR

    It takes quite a twisted version of logic to see the universe having been created as “obvious.” Either that or a complete lack of understanding of how evidence works. Nothing is obvious; the burden of proof is on the one making the claim. You made a claim, that there is a creator, therefore if you expect others to accept it you must back it up with evidence. As it is a scientific claim, you have the obligation to present this great new evidence you have that the entire scientific community, including religious scientists, have missed! You don’t. Since you have no evidentiary or even plausible mechanistic possibility to back it up, you default to “it’s obvious.” That’s simply not evidence. It’s as meaningless as saying something is “common sense.”

    And your claim that atheists (that’s lowercase because it’s not a proper noun. It’s a state of being, by etymology “without religion/god belief”) “casually drop their beliefs in the middle of a conversation to look cool” is a red herring at best, and at worst says a lot about your bias. I suggest that I am around a lot more atheists on a regular basis than most people, and I can’t say I often hear atheists randomly bringing up the fact that there is no god in the middle of unrelated conversations. If the conversation is relating to religion or a god, why is an atheist not allowed to express his view? I doubt you would say a Christian talking about his/her religion would be doing it to “sound cool.”

    Religious people discussing their views are fine, but an atheist should just keep quiet, I guess. The religious are allowed to discuss religion and it’s normal, but when an atheist does it he’s just trying to sound cool, as if atheism is really accepted in America and it makes us “cool.” Your attempt to dismiss the atheist voice is transparent. My degree and research in the field of religious studies, and I’m an atheist. With all my training I guess I have nothing to say. I’m just trying to sound cool.

    You clearly show that you are not anti-atheism, which would be fine. There is nothing wrong with having opinions counter to those of atheists, just as there is nothing wrong with being anti-religion, having opinions that disavow religion. That isn’t bigotry, both are valid views. Your writing suggests, though, that it is not atheism that bothers you so much, but the fact that atheists exist and dare to express their views. How dare we! You are not anti-atheism, you are anti-atheist, and that is bigotry.

    I suspect that you would surely be one of those who claim that “atheists are intolerant and bigoted against the religious.” I can say, as both a measure of an expert in religion and an atheist myself, that you would be wrong. The majority of outspoken atheists are anti-religion, not anti-religious people. We, as a group, as victims of bigotry tend not to lean toward being bigots. An atheist couldn’t make it very far being anti-theist, considering most of the world is religious. If we hate religious people so much how would we be able to live in America?

    You, like, many religious bigots seem not to make the distinction when it comes to atheists. We criticize religious bigots, not all religious. You criticize all atheists. And how easy it is, isn’t it, to express your prejudice in this country. I wonder if you would have such gravitas to express your beliefs in a country so repressive to people who share them if the circumstances were reversed, and we were the majority.

  4. me

    Jonathon S, you claim that “This is just the human being’s feeble mind trying to order their observations and force patterns” implies that you have some superior, non-human mind which can actually comprehend the pre-Big Bang universe. You are a human being and don’t know shit. If there is a god, He is going to be pissed the fuck off that you compared him to Santa Claus.

  5. No it doesn’t imply that at all. It just implies that I know the limitations. I don’t mistake my innate need to find order and patterns to mean that everything must conform to the order and patterns I can come up with. As you said, I’m a human being and I don’t know shit. I admit that. You can’t.

    I still won’t call myself a Santa Claus Agnostic. And if God is going to be pissed that I compare him to Santa Claus, I can probably kick his ass so no big deal.

  6. Jonathan S, you make some decent points. If you’re curious, I didn’t make these observations in a vaccum, I was aided by the feeble minds of graduate students and scientists in math and physics (really the same thing at that high of a level) from around the world at a highly respected research institution. I came to understand how being agnostic is the most atheist anyone can honestly claim to be. Beyond that is what I perceive as a display of armchair science from people who majored in sociology and like to talk about dark matter.

    SDR, I genuinely appreciate your feedback so I’ll take the time to respond:

    It takes quite a twisted version of logic to see the universe having been created as “obvious.” … You made a claim, that there is a creator, therefore if you expect others to accept it you must back it up with evidence.

    I never used the words create, created, or creator. I did say initiated. More scientifically, I mean “supplied the energy for the Universe”.

    And your claim that atheists (that’s lowercase because it’s not a proper noun. It’s a state of being, by etymology “without religion/god belief”)

    Good call.

    I doubt you would say a Christian talking about his/her religion would be doing it to “sound cool.”

    In an unrelated conversation? I certainly would. Like athletes/actors thanking God on the podium.

    My degree and research in the field of religious studies, and I’m an atheist. With all my training I guess I have nothing to say. I’m just trying to sound cool.

    Maybe you can present an atheist theory of how the Universe came to be, then, because I’ve never heard an atheist give any remotely plausible, complete theory.

    Your writing suggests, though, that it is not atheism that bothers you so much, but the fact that atheists exist and dare to express their views.

    When a group of people have what I see as a completely implausible and amazingly incomplete theory (which is fine), then act “holier than thou” in all theistic conversations (which is not fine), I am quite unshockingly negatively biased against those people. Now if this is only a vocal subset of atheists, I apologize. But I think it is the majority, which is unsurprising based on the explosive subject.

    I wonder if you would have such gravitas to express your beliefs in a country so repressive to people who share them if the circumstances were reversed, and we were the majority.

    So we’re talking about Russia here? Or I guess the USSR? Oh man, if I could only live in an atheist utopia like that!!!

  7. Essentially, you’re saying the the uncaused First Cause argument is not only valid, but obviously so, ignoring all other possibilities, such as an eternal universe or colliding singularities in multiverse. Weird.

    We know the universe expanded because of red shift, but we don’t know what happened before that expansion. You posit some “entity”. I suppose that entity could be another singularity, but what if the universe is cyclical? What is your evidence–your “obvious” evidence–that it had to be some external “entity”?

    Something had to be eternal, but I’m an atheist because I don’t buy into the claims people make about gods; all god myths I have encountered are just that: myths. It’s that simple: I don’t buy the claims of theists, so I’m an atheist. How difficult is that to understand?

    I am an agnostic about origins, because I don’t make a claim to knowledge about them. That’s separate from my rejection of the man-made myths I’ve encountered–I didn’t become an atheist because of science. I became an atheist because I examined the claims of theists and found them lacking substance.

    Maybe you’re talking about a particular type of atheist, but you didn’t start your post that way. I resent it when people choose to use broad, derogatory statements that dismiss the years-long intellectual journey I took to get away from faith, especially when I doubt they’ve thought their own positions through without talking to people who describe themselves as atheists.

  8. Greg, I appreciate the thoughtful comments. I’ll try to answer:

    We know the universe expanded because of red shift, but we don’t know what happened before that expansion. You posit some “entity”. I suppose that entity could be another singularity, but what if the universe is cyclical? What is your evidence–your “obvious” evidence–that it had to be some external “entity”?

    To be fully accurate, the red shift itself could be an illusion of the Cosmological Principle, but if the CP doesn’t hold… I don’t even know what that implies. My most obvious piece of evidence is that in this Universe, mass/energy doesn’t spontaneously appear. Given this fact, it appears that even if the Universe were cyclical there would need to have been some external entity (not abiding by the CP) to start the cycle since a cyclical Universe is, by definition, conserving energy.

    I am an agnostic about origins, because I don’t make a claim to knowledge about them.

    That’s a great way to put it, and I respect that as a perfectly logical point of view. I see the view of “I don’t buy theistic arguments” as being agnostic, as there’s no definite conviction of tracing back what is almost definitely an irreversible process (creation of the Universe) to any definite and specific origin. So Greg, I’m guessing I need another term to describe the people I am talking about. If atheist doesn’t mean “definitely sure no gods exist” and only “not theist” (like it literally means), then what word am I supposed to use? In definitions I have read, “not theist” is agnostic and not atheist. I realize the inherent contradiction.

  9. Agnostic, in its simplest definition, is one who does not make a claim to knowledge. A person can simultaneously be an agnost and an atheist, since one can make no claim to knowledge about origins and still reject the claims of theists on their merits.

    Positive atheists do assert that no gods exist, but their arguments are typically against the Christian god. Negative atheists demand proof when someone makes claims that gods exist. If they can’t provide evidence, their gods remain myths.

    Sometimes, agnostics lend too much credibility to claims. Faith-based claims are completely empty, so supposing that people basing their claims on faith might be correct is simply giving credit to people who have no basis for their claims other than “I say so, and I believe it.” They might give evidence, but it won’t be objective or verifiable.

    Getting back to your supposition that an external entity must be responsible for the expansion of the universe…why? If the universe is cyclical (and I have no evidence that it is), then it could be eternal. After all, matter and energy can neither be created or destroyed, right? If that’s true, and some force (the extreme gravitational forces of black holes? I don’t know) brings the singularity back together at some point, it could just go on forever. Introducing some other entity into the picture only adds an unknown to something that is itself unknown. If the entity you propose exists, where did it come from?

    A contraction of the universe seems to violate the second law (well, theory; nothing is really considered a law anymore) of thermodynamics, but we have to remember that thermodynamics theory was developed regarding what is observed in the universe as we know it–in the four dimensions we can perceive. Who knows what effects operating in other dimensions and previously unknown conditions would have? I don’t understand quantum physics well enough to talk about it intelligently, but a friend of mine who received his master’s from MIT told me that thermodynamics take on an entirely different meaning in that area of science. Time, space, matter, and energy do peculiar things.

  10. tokyojesusfist

    How can Atheists make the claim that God doesn’t exist when it’s blatantly obvious to everyone with a Middle School education that their claim that the Universe came from nothing is equally ridiculous?

    Even if that explanation is ridiculous, it doesn’t mean that yours is any less ridiculous.

    Then they say something about the Big Bang, do some hand-waving saying ’scientists are still working out the details’, and never realize how retarded their argument is because there is no Atheist theory on how the Universe came to be.

    You’re right, there is no “atheist theory.” There isn’t supposed to be one, and I’ve never heard anyone claim that there should be one. There are scientific theories, however, and they’re a bit more plausible than “well God did it, obviously.”

  11. As a so-called “atheist”, I would never and have never made the claim “all that exists” – the universe – came from nothing. As so many point out, that statement is nonsensical. Among the many things that ARE true of me is that I reject the theistic explanations for those origins. I do not know for certain how the universe began – assuming it does in fact have a beginning – but neither does anyone else, and quite likely least of all a theist. Your religion will not give you answers to that question. It’s not a question of religion, it’s a matter for accurate observation and logically-consistent reasoning. Make a religion of your discovered answers eventually if you wish, however, making a religion before you have authentic answers is foolish. It will be a religion empty of all but wishful feelings. I call it “feelings” because to call it “thinking” is far more credit than it deserves.

  12. Hey Greg,

    After all, matter and energy can neither be created or destroyed, right?

    Not inside of the Universe. This fact alone suggests that the energy in the Universe came from outside of the Universe, it’s really that simple.

    If the entity you propose exists, where did it come from?

    Since it is external to the Universe, it is not governed by any laws of spacetime and could have come from… I won’t even make a guess.

    Naumadd,

    It’s not a question of religion, it’s a matter for accurate observation and logically-consistent reasoning.

    That’s a great point. In a large sense, there’s nothing that says religion needs to address origin. By doing so, it has created a nonsensical tension between itself and science when, at their core, the two exist for entirely different reasons. Science is after objective provable truths and religion is after spiritual truths. Of course, religion was science (and knowledge for that matter) before science became secular, so I suppose it’s only natural.

  13. I’m sorry, but you’re still supposing that the matter and energy present in the universe wasn’t always here, and you can’t know that. Therefore, the external entity that is not bound by space and time is speculative and not actually necessary, unless you can prove that the matter and energy in the universe wasn’t always here.

    I thought of something that I should have brought up in my last radio debate with a Christian talk show host, Bob Dutko, when he said that an eternal universe would violate the second law of thermodynamics. I should have mentioned inertia. The second law may only apply to objects in motion; if the universe had not expanded, entropy may not be the rule at all. The singularity (if that’s what was present before the expansion apparent in what we observe) could have been in place indefinitely; objects at rest tend to stay at rest, while objects in motion tend to stay in motion. If the singularity (hypothetical assumption) was at rest, it might not have been radiating its energy, because it wasn’t spinning.

    If the singularity I propose hypothetically existed indefinitely, then you’re right in one respect: something would have had to put it into motion to cause it to expand. It could still be an endless cycle; maybe the singularity only exists in the moment between cycles; maybe there’s an endless cycle of singularities hitting each other in a multiverse; we just don’t know. It’s all mights and maybes, and until I have evidence for any of it, I’m not going to commit, and I’m not going to make up an intelligent entity outside of space and time to fill that gap in my knowledge.

  14. rob

    wow, way to spark a shit storm!!! congrats!

    you should check out the book “Is God A Mathemetician, I’m sure you’d appreciate it (you can borrow it if you want).

  15. Ryan

    I thought the whole point of this post was about non-Agnostic Atheism? Even I am an Agnostic Atheist.

    Anyone who purports to have knowledge of the origin of the universe–whether or not a God was involved, for instance–is a fool in my book. I thought the target of the original post was Atheists who fit that description.

  16. Greg,

    I’m sorry, but you’re still supposing that the matter and energy present in the universe wasn’t always here, and you can’t know that.

    Keep in mind that a notion of time outside of the Universe is far from a given. Energy could have always been bounded by the spacetime of the universe while being initiated (I think this simple tense is right…) by an external entity.

    I’m not going to make up an intelligent entity outside of space and time to fill that gap in my knowledge.

    The best analogy I can think of is how people make up life on other planets because they feel like there’s a certain probability that it has to be out there somewhere. But why do they make up lifeforms on other planets to fill gaps in our knowledge? There’s no hard evidence that it exists. Because there’s heat and water on other planets? So what? Am I supposed to believe that this lifeform that is likely too many lightyears away from us to ever prove exists just… exists? It’s all mights and maybes.

    Ryan,

    That was the whole original point, yeah. I might have gotten sidetracked in the comment section.

  17. Ryan

    Of course, the Atheist counter-argument to my view usually employs some version of Occam’s razor, so that is worth mentioning as well. I’d contend that this argument may work against a specific organized religion, but not against the mere existence of God.

  18. The reason that your analogy about alien life is false in relation to the origin of the universe is that we know life exists on this planet, we know there are other stars like ours, and we know now for certain that planets orbits some of those stars. Even if we didn’t know that last bit, it is logical to think that life might exist elsewhere in the universe under conditions similar to those in our own solar system. That’s not much of a leap, and the evidence we have that it might be true exists right in front of us; if life is here, it can be elsewhere. After all, the ingredients come from stars, ultimately.

    In your case, you’re asserting that it’s obvious that an entity (a single entity, as opposed to multiples) exists somewhere outside (where is outside?) the universe that had to provide the energy necessary for the matter and energy that make up the universe we know to expand from some point. We have no precedent for that assumption; we have no evidence. All we know is that the universe appears to have expanded for some reason.

    I notice Ryan posits an intelligent designer, and probably a particular one, given his use of a capital “G” on the word “God”. You were more careful in calling it an entity. In either case, Occam’s Razor does apply; you’re adding an unknown to an unkown, which adds unnecessary complexity. Occam’s Razor is a useful principle in science, and seems to work in most cases, but we have to remember that it’s not an absolute. My objection to adding an unknown to an unknown is that we haven’t figured out the first unknown yet; why should we add a second?

  19. Ryan

    Yea but I like to say God to denote some dude with a white robe and a beard; I feel like god could have 6 heads and arms growing out of his butt or something. Also I use God/god to distinguish the mono/polytheistic versions.

    No, I certainly did not posit an intelligent designer. I’m assuming the religious side of things is some Deist approach that accepts biological evolution.

  20. Ryan, if you did make the assertion that Occam’s Razor applies to religion, but not to the “…mere existence of God.” What do you mean by “God” in that statement?

    As for your last post, you’re still proposing an intelligence by taking a “Deist” approach.

  21. tokyojesusfist

    The best analogy I can think of is how people make up life on other planets because they feel like there’s a certain probability that it has to be out there somewhere. But why do they make up lifeforms on other planets to fill gaps in our knowledge? There’s no hard evidence that it exists. Because there’s heat and water on other planets? So what? Am I supposed to believe that this lifeform that is likely too many lightyears away from us to ever prove exists just… exists? It’s all mights and maybes.

    Your theories are all mights and maybes too. It’s amusing how you casually ignore all science and substitute it with “well I think maybe it could have went like this, maybe, I dunno” and so on. And if you disregard something because no hard evidence exists to support it, you must necessarily disregard the existence of God.

    As for extraterrestrial life, Wikipedia sayz that the universe is currently believed to be 93 billion lightyears in diameter, that there are more than 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, and that each galaxy contains anywhere between 10 million and 1 trillion stars. Since we obviously know that intelligent life exists, it is entirely reasonable to conclude that there must be other intelligent lifeforms elsewhere in the universe.

  22. Ryan

    Most likely Eric Clapton, or some sort of universe creator, as opposed to Zeus et al.

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