1) Atheists Believe Everything Came From Nothing
This question has been asked for thousands of years, but now Quantum physics has provided a basis for some atheists, such as Lawrence Krauss, to indeed believe the universe comes from “nothing.” But Krauss doesn’t speak for all atheists and he speaks of a very different kind of “nothing,” the kind where virtual particles are created from borrowed energy inside a vacuum. This is not even remotely close to what theists mean by the term “nothing.”
When asked about the universe, most atheists simply stop somewhere along the lines of “the evidence suggests the universe began expanding approximately 13.77 billion years ago.” Beyond that I’m fine with “I don’t know.” I don’t need to know. I do not believe the universe came from “nothing” in the way theists use the word or in the way Krauss uses the word. I don‘t think there’s enough evidence to reach a conclusion yet and I‘m fine with that. I’ve never met an atheist who believed everything comes from “nothing“ in the way theists use the word and in my experience, only a minority subscribe to the theory Krauss puts forward. Theists may believe the universe sprang from nothing, but they then have the burden of proving there was ever “nothing” and that “something” requires any gods at all.
2) Atheists Have No Morals
Studies have shown our morals are a product of multiple factors. The Milgram experiment shows authority plays a major role. The Stanford prison experiment showed the same, but also displayed the role of social hierarchy. The “good or evil” puppet test for babies suggests we are all born with a basic sense of fairness, justice, and unfortunately, bigotry. Human morality is too complex to be explained by religion or lack of it.
Millions of atheists across the globe live moral lives every day. Some don’t. Neither do some believers. There are atheist charities and atheist criminals. There are religious charities and religious hate groups. Religious people and atheists can both behave morally or immorally because of—or wholly independent of—their religious beliefs. One doesn’t necessarily lead to the other. Studies have shown the basis of human morality is present even before we’re exposed to religion.
3) Atheists Have No Meaning of Life
Some theists consider this and think without belief in an afterlife, nothing really matters in this life. Believing in an afterlife can influence one’s meaning of life, but a meaning of life doesn’t require belief in an afterlife. Some theists refer to Nietzsche’s nihilism as if Nietzsche were the be-all and end-all of existentialist philosophy. But humans generally define our meaning in the moments we enjoy and the goals we set. This was probably best articulated by Albert Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus.
I enjoy every moment I spend with my daughter, and one of my goals is to be a good father. I enjoy art, and one of my goals is to read, hear and see more of it. I like a large, hot cup of coffee while watching the dim glow of morning just before dawn. I love the serenity of canoeing on a sunny day and the soft crunch of fresh snow beneath my feet. I enjoy my friends and my family. Atheism does give life meaning because as an atheist, I understand this is the only life I’ve got.
4) There Are No Atheists in Foxholes
Their assumption also implies that when a theist cries out “Oh God,” they are literally trying to talk to “God.” I have several religious family and friends who say “Oh God” in all sorts of scenarios but are rarely actually trying to carry on a conversation with The Almighty. Even a theist saying “Oh God” in a foxhole is most likely not actually expecting divine intervention. The phrase is generally used in the same way as “Oh Shit,” which generally doesn’t involve any reference to actual shit. Even so, there are millions of people who’ve encountered life threatening situations and didn’t cry out about god, shit or anything else.
5) Atheists Just Hate God
Just repeating the claim back usually gets the point across. Do Christians “hate” Allah? Do Muslims “hate” Jesus? Do Jews “hate” the FSM? Not believing in a particular religion is not dependent on a negative opinion of that religion’s deity or messiah figure. It’s simply the result of not being convinced because the burden of proof has not been met. I personally think Buddha and Lao Tzu both had great things to say, but I’m not a Buddhist or a Taoist.
6) Atheists Just Don’t Want to Submit to God
7) Atheists Are Angry
Being confrontational does not equate to anger. If someone told you Elvis was spotted buying T-shirts at K-Mart, their claims would be analyzed, scrutinized, debunked and in most cases, outright laughed at. I see no reason why it should be any different for religious claims.
8) Atheists Are Responsible for the Worst Atrocities in History
Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao did not execute people in the name of atheism, but rather for simply not submitting to them as if they were gods themselves. There is a long list of atheist politicians who never committed atrocities. Claiming atheism would lead to disastrous atrocities like those witnessed in the early Soviet Union is a hasty generalization fallacy which ignores all the good deeds of decent atheist politicians throughout time.
9) Atheists Are Guilty of “Scientism”
Scientism is a philosophy which holds that science is the ultimate truth, and that science is the only way to truth. But preferring science to superstition doesn’t mean science is always correct. Scientists are humans and can make mistakes like anyone else. However, the methodology of science does work. That doesn’t mean science is the only way to truth. It just means it’s an effective method of attaining natural truths.
Many atheists are equally skeptical of science and religion. My first assignment in my college statistics class was to find three examples of misused data in the media. This same task had been given to each class for over a decade and no two people ever turned in the same three examples. I have also studied philosophy, including philosophy of science, and so I understand science can be wrong. I have yet to meet an atheist who believes scientists are infallible.
10) Atheists Are All Rational and Logical
But all atheists are not rational. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in deities. There are atheists who believe in homeopathy, ancient aliens, 911 conspiracy theories and a host of other completely irrational ideas unsupported by any stretch of logic. Just because someone arrived at the rational non belief in deities does not mean they are rational about everything else.
By : Lee Myers