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Why Is Atheism so Appealing?

Who wouldn't want to think that their own intelligence is the source of their enlightenment?

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PJ Lifestyle Comment of the Day

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April 24, 2013 - 9:00 am

From Tactical Duck on “6 Reasons Why Rational Thinkers Choose to Believe in God“:

“I don’t want to believe there are consequences for my disgusting, degenerate lifestyle therefore there is no god.”

Every atheist I’ve ever met is hiding from their own guilt. That, or they believe saying “I’m an atheist” makes them an instant intellectual, oozing with sophistication.

This sums up atheism. http://i.imgur.com/duIMgHP.jpg

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Top Rated Comments   
"Every atheist I’ve ever met is hiding from their own guilt. That, or they believe saying “I’m an atheist” makes them an instant intellectual, oozing with sophistication."

Just the opposite here. Being both politically conservative and an atheist has distanced my wife and I (perhaps even our kids) from potential close friendships in Key Largo. Everyone's nice, but not quite trusting of us. I NEVER mention that my ideology is atheistic unless asked. As far as guilt goes, we're squeaky clean... have to be because we're not going to get a brake for good intentions.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (65)
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Sticks and stones may break my bones, but "randomengineer" will not break my arugment. I asked for a definition of God, specically qua actual infinity, and I get NO answer whatsoever, just a brazen statement that God is not necessary to explain how the universe works. Since I do not know what "rando" means by God re infinity (which property shows up in any philosophical or theological discussion of God for centuries), I cannot argue with him. Next, Rando- designates my thoughts as "essentially meaningless". So with a non-definition he refutes a definition. I will let the matter drop as I can, alas, only stand a certain amount of dogmatic irrationality.

However, I do not wish to leave "rando-" with nothing to speculate about. I would suggest that he obtains "The Devil's Delusion. Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions" by David Berlinski, a mathematician. Berlinski will place your denial of non-religious explanation of the university in doubt for you. Or, turn to "UncommonKnowledge" and listen to the interview with Berlinski where in he prefers a creationist view to a Darwinian view of evolution. Indeed, he finds Darwin to be a grand tautologist and nothing more. Blah, blah and naught more. Or turn to the "Proof of Heaven. A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife" by Eben Alexander, M.D. in which he lists a whole series of his "death experiences" NOT in anyway explainable by the scientific method. If there are data not explainable by the scientific method, then said method loses its universality. And that means that the atheist's claim that the divine is not needed to explain events in the universe is refuted. I can, but will not, mention at this point physists who need the explanatory power of God (albeit with variant views). I see no point. There is one point, however, I must take up.

"WHY" is atheist appealing? "Randomengineer" says atheism is attractive because it deals "solely with reality". REALITY??? What do you mean by a concept that possesses a long history, about which I suspect you know nothing. Please give one scientific experiment that presents me with "reality". "Reality" is not an empirical concept nor one derivable from empirical events because it an prioiri that determines what "empirical" IS. And that "science" which deal with "is", viiz., being is called ontology. It is within this "super-empirical" (not "supernatural") realm that notions such as "universe", "explanation"and "science" recieve conceptual content. This includes the mesmerizing term (for Randomengineer) of "reality". Unfortunately, PJM comments tempt philosophically uneducated amateurs to go beyond their fields, e.g., engineering, and throw out dogmatic claims. I, just as much as you, Mr. Randomengineer, am interested in "reality" (and can discuss the concept much more fully) and I end up a theist (without differentiating here with the term). So your explanation of the "why" of the appeal of atheism does not differentiate it from the "why" of the appeal of theism for me. For that matter, if someone thinks that magic is at the core of reality, then the magician too completes Randomengineer's reason for being an atheist. I relunctantly and sadly must conclude that Randomengineer has not at all explained the "why" of the appeal of atheism, rather sureptitiously summgled in a reason which automatically denigrates a theist position as contrary to "reality", whatever that might be (and if Randomengineer will look at Richard Rorty he will discover that that peculiar pragmatists holds "science" to be but a narrative, in essence not different from any other made-up story).
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
WHY is atheism appealing??? That is both the title and theme of the article. I have a hard time locating a comment that unequivocably seeks to explain this "why". Instead commentators go off, often bitterly, into claiming there is no reason for belief in God or God, by the defenders, is seen only under the aspect of revelation. In short, the comments re theme constitute an abismal failure. Can someone explain to me "why" atheism is appealing. Whether one holds to or rejects atheism is TOTALLY irrelevant. Atheism could be truer than true and yet not be appealing. So, WHY the appeal?

As to the comments on reasons against believing in God (and those in favor thereof) I find a totally painful lack of logical organization. Before I judge whether a new species X is or not, I must first establish some essentially defining features or I am just blabbing much ado about nothing. Failure to do this leads to knights in the air tilting with castles in the air with the ultimate result of hot air. So, how about a definition of God.

So that some organized thought might commence, I will suggest a two-fold definition of God. God is omniscient and God is absolutely ACTUALL infinity re his ontological properties, i.e. divine Being (Deus est esse infinite). Now, before any commentator, particularly the atheists amongst them, should begin pontification, the object to be negated must be defined. For afterall an A-theist must know what the theism means that s/he is seeking to negate. (Actually, the "why" that interest me is "why" atheists think they are denying anything.) To be against revealed religion or to find it inadequate is not grounds, based on the definition given, to be an atheist. But, if one takes my challenge seriously, one will have to review a great deal of critical reflection from Aristotle through the Early Church Fathers, the great Arab philosophers on into modernity with thinkers such as Leibniz and beyond. Oh woe, you atheists have a lot to do before you can justify your "a-".

For what it is wothr Josiah Royce, prof. at Harvard unti 1916 has argumented directly from divine omniscient to divine existence and I from actual infinity to divine being. Note that I just wrote "being", viz., "esse infinite". In conclusion I will grant you atheists that God qua actual infinity does not exist and for that reason God IS. Or, if God is, God does not exist. Hint for a resolution: "existence" is being limited to finitude where being and non-being is possible. This is not so re actual infinity (unless a contradiction in conceptualization is found).
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
114: No meetings!
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most atheists I have had contact with seem to be intent on advertising their superiority to the superstitious masses.

What I find amusing is that I am a Buddhist and we are technically speaking, an atheistic religion.

You wanna be a atheist? Fine, but please spare me the sermons. I have friends that are of other religions. But none of them are as tiresome as the self styled intellectually superior atheists.

I've been told that atheism is not a religion. So quit acting like it is.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
My beliefs are better than yours, and yours make you a bad person.

Now that is intellectually deep. My shallow unbelieving mind can barely comprehend your intellectual majesty.

Just when you least expect it; it's the Spanish Inquisition.

50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
What menaces religion these days are not the loud voices of people impressed with their own atheism but the silent disbelief of a majority of educated people. Of course many of these folks maintain a public connection with the old faiths for political or cultural reasons or reinterpret theological notions into some vague allegory in which God becomes a symbol of aspiration or solidarity with other human beings. On the other hand, as far as a personal God with purposes and consciousness analogous to ours goes, the thesis doesn't make the cut. One is aware that there remain plenty of people for whom the traditional deities have psychological reality; and it's impolite, if not impolitic, to hurt their feelings. Hence the silence.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
On a couple of conservative fora which I frequent, I have occasionally seen serious disdain directed at those who are both political conservatives and nonbelievers (atheist, pantheist, agnostic or whatever).

For some reason, conservative Christians seem to be much more perturbed by the small handful of openly atheist conservatives than they are by the tens of millions of Catholics and Protestants who vote the straight Democrat ticket, generation after generation.

Us non-believing conservatives get grilled repeatedly about how (1) we can't be conservative because we don't believe our freedoms are guaranteed by the Holy Trinity as defined in the Nicene Creed, or (2) we are atheists because our atheism permits us to enjoy a continuing daily routine of knocking over convenience stores, painting swastikas on synagogues, and diddling Cub
Scouts.

But as for me, I'm pro-America, pro-life, and pro-liberty and I've been an atheist all my days.

You are welcome to believe as you choose. I'll never insult your faith and never have.

I don't have a problem with a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn, either. In Jefferson's great phrase, "It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg".

But when anyone says I can't be a conservative because I am not a Christian, that ticks me off big time and I will respond, sometimes (despite my best efforts) in anger.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
For the record, I would much rather spend time talking with a respectful, conservative atheist than a loudmouth, liberal "christian." Hands down.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Slow day so I can actually do this.

You haven't said a thing that I haven't felt or thought. It's why only very rarely do I say I'm a Christian, even as I decided I must probably be one. Because, really, there's no end to the people who (like the Woody Allen character in MANHATTAN and her 'orgasm') will tell you you're doing it wrong, aren't really saved, blah, blah, blah. I'm sure to fail the test according to someone. Hell, just by saying I'm a Christian because I decided I am isn't going to pass muster with many of these posters. Fine.
I became a praying man when our sons were born.

Brother, I know exactly where you are and there isn't anything wrong with that. Obviously you're moving forward to how-would-I-know-where? You don't have to fall for chumpy choices. I refuse to buy into the false choice of 'you must believe in God or you will believe in nothing.' I'm not satisfied that every person should 'believe' to another's satisfaction. Living a good life, believing as you can--that is not shaping God to suit you. That's accepting that God is big enough and understanding enough to connect to the likes of you. How do I know? I don't. I pray.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was raised in a very Christian area and attended a Christian church for a while.

Later, I became angry with God and told myself I was an atheist. I wasn't, I was "sticking it in God's face" every opportunity I could get.

From there, I became "agnostic" as the anger from my teenage years subsided and I started growing up. Finally, I came back to full belief.

At this point, I am not a Christian, as I've read the Bible (and am re-reading the Old Testament with my son). I've heard plenty of arguments, but the concept that people would worship Jesus as if he were God flies in the face of my own understanding of the Bible.

Thus, I'm a believer. I love the Old Testament. I have very little use for the New Testament (anyone else think Jesus sounds just like a low-level socialist agitator every-single-time-he-opens-his-mouth?)

Still, I would never disparage a Christian for their beliefs. I'm often infuriated at the treatment of Christians by American society at large. And still, I get regularly beaten up on message boards by Christians who can't wait to VOMIT the teachings of Christ at me incessently.

Nothings quite as pleasant as people who post Biblical verse to prove their points, as if they themselves wrote the versus and have a lock on the meaning of the intent behind the words.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, lessee... the Jesus as socialist thing, it's just crap. He is, after all talking to individuals not governments. Yeah, he gets lifted out of context by the fairness whores. But don't trust, me, I'm nobody's goto guy. Besides, I'm a real big fan of thinkers like Ayn Rand when she's on her game. If you really care about the great unwashed, people, captitalism's the way to go. Would Jesus approve? Well, all depends on what's going on in your head, I guess.

As far as the rest of it, you sound dead normal to me. Glad you figured out how you want to approach this stuff. I was reared protestant but I had a mentor as a young adult who was deeply catholic. You know what? We never discussed religion. We discussed literature. Our discussions were suffused with the assumption of human value. He didn't tell, he showed. All too rare, but you're still, as the saying goes, "surrounded by teachers."
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have never EVER met a happy atheist, or read a book by one that wasn't dark in tone. Also, all of the atheists of my personal acquaintance have been that way because they had a desire to often or daily do things that any Christian or Jewish clergyman would have told them was sinful. The only way for many people to silence their consciences is to delude themselves into thinking it's some kind of "crazy voice in my head", my "inhibitions", which do not count because "there is no God". Worse, atheistic groups are trying mightily these days to make believing in God and following the precepts in the Bible some kind of horrible moral crime,"hate speech","intolerance", "gay bashing", and so on, trying to force their own delusion on the rest of us. The fact that THEY are the ones who are actually intolerant is proof of THEIR mental illness.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hi, maybe I can shed some light on the problem. For some twenty years or so I have known where I stand on the issue. Newly minted non-theists are sometimes pretty angry, and the later it happens in life, usually the more they have to be angry about. Nobody enjoys the feeling of being deceived and surrounded, even if its not on purpose.

Over time though, we all gain perspective. When I was younger, it was important to me to be able to hold my own ground on issues. Today though, I question the interior motivation so many people feel to have other people think and feel as they do. Some of it must be fear and co-dependence, but it probably goes deeper than that. People get stirred to all manner of violent and repressive actions over it, but I question what the value of any success in that metaxical arena really is.

I am comfortable with my place in the universe, and it has been good to me, as I hope it is to you. If my willingness to reject any sense of narrative in the natural world perturbs you, take solace in the fact that there are no mass deconversions. A secular society can be composed of many sectarian interests, and allows us all the neutral space to live according to our consciences. I know full well that what we enjoy today was brought about by more spiritual people than those that abjure gnosis, but for all of the same reasons.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know an atheist in my everyday life. This person is THE most acerbic human being I've ever met.

Moreover, it's not good enough that they are atheist, but anyone who isn't is "F-ing Stupid!"

Oh, by the way, this person is constantly talking about diveristy and inclusiveness.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have met several atheists who fit your description to a "T". However, I have also met several who do not engage in such childishness.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Belief" has been diminishing progressively for a very long time. "Hope' on the other hand has been increasing as the basis of Christianity for a very long time.

Belief envokes fear of taught consequences - old Judeo religious law. Hope only envokes the 'grace' teachings of religion -- Christianity.

Galatians 2:16 - "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."

Matthew 19:16-17 - "And behold, one came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" (17)And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."

And thus, the conflict and hypocrisy.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Phooey! I SPIT on your god!
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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