I was skimming some forums today about religion, and one user made the comment that “atheism is arrogant to suggest that it can prove that god does not exist…” This is a funny little twist of thinking. Atheism (and science) can’t prove that god does not exist. They can no more prove that god does not exist than they can prove that fairies, trolls, goblins, and unicorns do not exist. No, saying that you don’t believe in someone’s faith is not arrogant; claiming that you are god’s chosen people, and that you alone hold the keys to morality and immortality IS arrogant.
Another guy pointed out that nobody likes you when you insult their beliefs, and that you get more flies with honey. True, but what is an anti-religionist to do? For many people, merely questioning them on their beliefs is insulting, let alone calling them out on bullshit like 3k year old dinosaur bones on a 6k year old earth, or Noah’s ark, or all of us descending from 2 nudists in a garden with a talking snake, etc… Hell, for some the mere existence of an “atheist” or “anti-religionist” is insulting. The problem is that we are fighting dogma, not ideas. Ideas are open to question, debate, they can change and evolve. For dogma, this is unthinkable. If dogma can change, then it reveals that those who made it don’t hold the keys to unalterable truth.
Another problem is that the faithful, since there are more of them in society, have written the rules of etiquette to prohibit the questioning of their beliefs. It is a major no no to tell someone that their faith is wrong. We are instructed not to question religion. But why? We can question a person’s politics, beliefs on the economy, and choice of favorite sports teams, but not religion? Given it’s bloody and horrendous track record, why does it get a free pass? The only thing we can do is call them on their bullshit. There is a favorite quote among atheists pertaining to just that:
“Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.” –Thomas Jefferson
The fact is, religion can’t hold up to science. Sorry. Religion said the earth was flat, that gods made thunder and sent rain, that it was their judgment that made people sick. Science came along and proved that the earth was a sphere, that thunder and rain were natural,explainable, and even predictable phenomenon, and that germs, not god, made people sick. Religion was born to explain the unexplainable. So was science. The difference is that religion is fixed in it’s answers, whereas science always tests and provides evidence that can then be replicated for consistency. The two cannot co-exist.
Yet this gives me hope. As an atheist, it is easy to despair when you see just how religious the world is. (Especially in America…) Sometimes it feels like the fight to ride the planet of the virus is hopeless. But take comfort in this, we’re winning…. How so you ask? Just look around you. Yes, there are still a lot of religious people, but every day science continues its triumphant march, closing the gaps in which god can hide. Every time science can explain something new, there is one less hole for god to hide in. Science has slowly been proving religion wrong ever since its inception. I think there is a reason why the future in so many sci-fi shows is an enlightened atheist future, free of superstition.