The No God Delusion: Deconstructing The Atheist Myth

We followers of Spinoza see our God in the wonderful order and lawfulness of all that exists and in its soul (“Beseeltheit”) as it reveals itself in man and animal.[1]
-Albert Einstein

Skeptical_of_atheismIn my unfortunate encounters with pathological skeptics I’ve observed that most of them also call themselves atheists. I suppose that’s fitting since atheism involves either an entirely unfounded belief that God does not exist or a false belief that there is no evidence that God exists. The former type of atheism is called positive atheism while the latter is negative atheism.

Positive atheism is a wholly irrational faith-based belief because it is not possible to prove or even provide evidence that every concept of God does not exist. The negative atheists are not as irrational since they simply don’t believe that God exists. Negative atheists are however indistinguishable from agnostics. Agnosticism is the position that the existence of a deity is unknown or unknowable. In other words, there is no evidence to support or deny the existence of a deity or that such a notion is untestable (unfalsifiable). Presumably negative atheists don’t believe God exists because they believe there is no evidence of God’s existence or any way to obtain evidence. Therefore, to both the negative atheist and the agnostic, the existence of God is unknowable. To say negative atheism is somehow fundamentally different than agnosticism is to split infinitely fine hairs.

It’s important to understand though what the term “definition” implies. A definition is not what a small determined group wants a term to mean. A definition denotes how the majority use the term. In the beginning atheism referred to the belief that there was no God. Atheism is a French word that comes from the Greek word “atheos”.[2] “A” mean no and “theos” means God. The original French definition of the term atheism means a belief that there is no God. So the “no God” definition is the original definition and is the definition still used by the majority of people today. Atheists presumably realized how irrational their position was so they are in the process of attempting to subtly change the original definition towards that of negative atheism.

Atheism requires that no god exists or that there is no belief that a god exits. It doesn’t limit the concept of god in any way. Atheism doesn’t deal only with the Christian concept of god or even merely a personal god. Therefore, to show that negative atheism is also false, all that must be done is to show that some form of god exists. If the Universe were a sentient thinking entity that would count. Since the Universe is the totality of all existence, a sentient thinking Universe would be omnipresent and omniscient.

The notion of a thinking conscious Universe is referred to as pantheism or panpsychism. Now, what is thought? Thought is simply awareness of ideas or awareness of information. Thought also involves combining simple ideas to create more complex ideas. We use thought to get things done and when things get done other thoughts are generated. Consciousness is awareness of your self or body.

Many people seem to believe that thought magically arose out of nowhere at a certain point in the evolutionary process and at a certain point in human development. They believe that mental states magically arise from nowhere when neurons simply pass electro-chemical signals to one another. They believe that mental states magically arise when atoms making up the brain interact with one another. There is however absolutely no evidence that anything at any time can magically arise out of nowhere.[3] We do know that complex things like people are made of simpler things like cells, which are made of simpler things like atoms and so on. We know that complex matter does not magically arise out of nowhere. Complex matter is simply created over time by arranging simpler forms of matter. Why shouldn’t we assume then that the capacity for complex thought is similarly composed of simpler thinking components. I mean we do acknowledge that our own complex thoughts are made of many smaller thoughts.

This is a very difficult topic for certain people to grasp. Try thinking in terms of a growing human embryo. At the early stages the embryo has no nose. At a certain point the embryo develops a nose. The nose doesn’t magically appear out of nowhere. We can see the progression. The nose is created by the process of simple physical systems arranging to create a more complex system. With mental states we can’t see the progression yet but we should assume it happens the same way: systems with simple mental capabilities combine to form complex systems with complex mental capabilities. If there isn’t this progression, mental faculties have to magically arise out of nowhere at some point which is impossible.

If you’re still having trouble try thinking at the atomic level. Your body including the brain is made entirely out of atoms and nothing more. If you believe atoms don’t have awareness then this means that you believe awareness magically arises out of nowhere when atoms in a certain configuration interact with one another. This is impossible. The only possible alternative is to see atoms as having a simple awareness. When simple atoms are highly organized you get a complex structure like a human. Similarly, highly organized units of simple awareness beget human-level awareness.

Since an atheist does not believe any type of God exists, including the pantheistic conscious Universe, the atheist must believe that thoughts magically arise out of nowhere. The only way for thought to not magically arise out of nothing is if thought is a fundamental property of the building blocks of matter. Note that energy is the ultimate building block of matter. The Universe is just energy and nothing more. If thought is a fundamental property of the building blocks of matter then this proves the God of pantheism is a fact. Since the pantheistic God is a fact this proves that negative atheism is also a false irrational belief.

The great majority use atheism to denote the belief that there is no God. Yes definitions can change over time but it hasn’t fully happened yet with atheism. Though the process is started and may eventually succeed. Rejection of belief is the same thing as not knowing. We already have a word for not knowing God exists, agnosticism. This suggests that the less used meaning of disbelief in God is a contemporary bastardization used by those atheists that seek to hide their true irrational position. Like all religions, atheism is meant to distract people away from the truth. In doubting the existence of God, the atheist requires holding the entirely absurd notion of mental states arising out of nowhere. In essence, atheism predicts an impossibility which actually falsifies it. So the atheist horse is dead but faulty faith-based thinking will keep atheists fervently beating that horse to the ends of all irrationality.

Notes

1. “Einstein and Religion: Physics and Theology” (1999) by Max Jammer ISBN 069110297X

2. “English recusant literature, 1558–1640″. A Replie to Mr Calfhills Blasphemous Answer Made Against the Treatise of the Cross. 203. p. 51. Martiall, John (1566).

3. Many like to cite the Lawrence M. Krauss book “A Universe from Nothing” for evidence of particles arising out of nothing. The problem is that the book’s misleading title equivocates the ordinary meaning of nothing being “not anything” with the quantum vacuum which is definitely not empty. Those who have actually read and understood his book will realize that Krauss in fact states that the quantum vacuum is not nothing.

Michael Fullerton

Michael Fullerton

BSc Psychology/Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1995. Member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.

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5 comments

  1. thebeardeddude says:

    That’s it then? I give you gold in critical review form and you give me some excuse for not being able to even read it all? You expect people to read your babble but reserve the right to refuse to read reviews and critiques of it?

  2. thebeardeddude says:

    “I suppose that’s fitting since atheism involves either an entirely unfounded belief that God does not exist or a false belief that there is no evidence that God exists. The former type of atheism is called positive atheism while the latter is negative atheism.”

    This is where you have already begun to lose me.

    For starters, saying that a belief in the nonexistence of something is unfounded, implies that nonexistence can be proven. It can’t. The belief in the nonexistence of something would therefore be the default position until sufficient evidence is presented to falsify that belief. One would not be wise to claim that big foot exists without a specimen, nor a god.

    Next is that I don’t see a difference between a belief in the nonexistence of something and the absence of a belief in something. They are not mutually exclusive positions and are different wordings of the same thing. So, I don’t know why people feel the need to split them up into 2 different categories, but if you must, then I am both.

    “Positive atheism is a wholly irrational faith-based belief because it is not possible to prove or even provide evidence that every concept of God does not exist.”

    Is it irrational to believe that Big Foot does not exist until proven otherwise? Faith implies that you believe something because of a lack of evidence. Belief in the nonexistence of god is because the lack of evidence is what should be expected for the nonexistence of anything that does not exist.

    “The negative atheists are not as irrational since they simply don’t believe that God exists.”

    You believe there are levels of irrationality? It’s a scale? If something is irrational, it is equally as irrational as a belief in anything else that is irrational. There wouldn’t be levels of it. If you are looking for feedback, then I’d just tell you to commit to your point and not try to hedge your definitions.

    “Negative atheists are however indistinguishable from agnostics. Agnosticism is the position that the existence of a deity is unknown or unknowable.”

    One deals with belief, the other with knowledge. Even what you call a positive atheist would likely tell you that they do not know god does not exist.

    “In other words, there is no evidence to support or deny the existence of a deity or that such a notion is untestable (unfalsifiable).”

    The bit here that is incorrect is that there is no support to deny the existence of something. Lack of evidence is the support needed to deny it. And it is untrue that a god is not testable, but many definitions of a god would be unfalsifiable and those that change with each test would be too.

    If a god exists as proposed by most major religions, then it interacts with our universe and the Earth in particular. Physical and energetic interaction, would be detectable, therefore testable, therefore those definitions could be falsified. To date, such tests of supernatural and/or paranormal claims have led to the conclusion that nature exists and supernature does not. Those definitions of god as proposed by religion, are demonstrably false.

    “Presumably negative atheists don’t believe God exists because there is no evidence of God’s existence or any way to obtain evidence. ”

    The problem now seems to be that you have not committed to a definition of what god is. If you mean the biblical god, that god doesn’t exist and can be demonstrably shown so. The Islamic god? Same thing. If you are using some other definition of god that is unfalsifiable and untestable, then sure. But that god would necessarily be indistinguishable from one that did not exist. It is therefore, a pointless definition.

    “Therefore, to both the negative atheist and the agnostic, the existence of God is unknowable. To say negative atheism is somehow fundamentally different than agnosticism is to split infinitely fine hairs.”

    Yet you seem to try and do so with atheism. Your post is only 2 paragraphs long and already lacks direction. Commit to a topic and go. And don’t spend your time on definitions. If you have to make posts giving your definitions of things in order to begin, no one is going to read it because you are going to appear to be manipulating definitions to serve your own purpose and make your arguments for you.

    “It’s important to understand though what the term “definition” implies.”

    You are not starting to talk to your audience as if they are complete morons, insulting your audience certainly won’t endear you to them. Set a target audience (adult) and write for that audience. Make assumptions about things they should know (like what a definition means and implies).

    “A definition is not what a small determined group wants a term to mean.”

    That’s exactly what a definition means. It may not be a commonly accepted definition. And if it is a definition that is refuted by the majority of people then it is a definition that is pointless in discussion.

    “A definition denotes how the majority use the term.”

    Terms have multiple definitions commonly. So trying to say the above, negates multiple definitions. But yes, the idea is that if I say “god” living in the US, the assumption will be made that it is the Christian god. If I mean something else, it is on me to make that clear. Which probably means using a different word or a qualifier (like, Islamic God or God of the Pagans, etc)

    “In the beginning atheism referred to the belief that there was no God.”

    I assume you mean, originally it meant this. And it still does.

    “Atheism is a French word that comes from the Greek word “atheos”.[2] “A” mean no and “theos” means God. The original French definition of the term atheism means a belief that there is no God. So the “no God” definition is the original definition and is the definition still used by the majority of people today. Atheists presumably realized how irrational their position was so they are in the process of attempting to subtly change the original definition towards that of negative atheism.”

    No. There are multiple definitions of any given word and can vary depending on usage or even culture. In any event, I’ve already given my piece on how what you call “positive” and “negative” atheism are the same thing.

    “Atheism requires that no god exists or that there is no belief that a god exits.”

    2 things.

    First, you are beating your own dead horse. Another paragraph dealing with the same thing yet again.

    Secondly, I say you are beating your own dead horse because I am not sure who you are trying to direct this towards anymore. I think you have some idea that this is an issue among atheists.

    “It doesn’t limit the concept of god in any way.”

    That’s because atheism is in response to concepts of god, not about defining concepts of god.

    “Atheism doesn’t deal only with the Christian concept of god or even merely a personal god.”

    Specifically, it refers to each god separately. So yes, it does not deal solely with Christianity and I don’t anyone claiming it does. Once again, I don’t know who your target audience is anymore. It clearly isn’t an atheist and likely not an agnostic. Who are you writing to? You need to have a better picture of that.

    “Therefore, to show that negative atheism is also false, all that must be done is to show that some form of god exists.”

    Yes. Go on.

    “If the Universe were a sentient thinking entity that would count.”

    I guess? If you define god as a self-aware and thinking universe, this would seem to be a god of sorts, I guess…

    The issue now becomes how specific you intend to be. Considering that any individual human is necessarily part of the universe, and is sentient, and capable of thought, that this would qualify each human as part of your universe-god.

    But this too is quite a useless concept. Each person is sentient and capable of thought, but collectively do not comprise the whole of the universe and have no collective sentience or thought.

    At least we are getting to what you actually mean by god now.

    “Since the Universe is the totality of all existence, a sentient thinking Universe would be omnipresent and omniscient.”

    Omnipresent? Sure, as that would imply that if the universe is all that exists, then it exists everywhere it exists.

    Omniscient? If the universe is finite and knowledge is finite, then based on our understanding of limit theory, knowledge of all things would appear to be impossible to achieve. Let alone if the universe is infinite as this would imply knowledge is infinite.

    Therefore, you are making a claim that has no support in regard to omniscience.

    “The notion of a thinking conscious Universe is referred to as pantheism or panpsychism. Now, what is thought? Thought is simply awareness of ideas. Thought also involves combining simple ideas to create more complex ideas. We use thought to get things done and when things get done other thoughts are generated. Consciousness is awareness of your self or body.”

    Thought is awareness of ideas, fair enough. This necessarily means thought is a product of a brain and/or neural network.

    Consciousness is self-awareness, yes.

    “Many people seem to believe that thought magically arose out of nowhere at a certain point in the evolutionary process and at a certain point in human development.”

    No. Thought is a product of a brain and/or neural network. You seem to be implying that thought is only possible in humans and that thought came about at one instance in time. I don’t know anyone that thinks this.

    “There is however absolutely no evidence that anything at any time can magically arise out of nowhere.”

    I still don’t know why you think this is what scientists say. Thought and the capacity for thought would have arisen in the same way that limbs and organs did. No different.

    “We do know that complex things like people are made of simpler things like cells, which are made of simpler things like atoms and so on.”

    Yes, go on.

    “We know that complex matter does not magically arise out of nowhere.”

    What is “complex matter”? Is a star “complex matter”? Is anything that is made out of simpler components “complex matter”? How does “complex matter” differ from matter?

    I am even more confused now as to who your target audience is. You spend time defining what definitions are, but throw around unqualified and undefined terms like “complex matter” as if I should know what you mean.

    “Complex matter is simply created over time by arranging simpler forms of matter.”

    Define it, before you use it.

    So, an atom is then “complex matter”?

    A neutron is “complex matter”?

    And you are already making some assumptions by interjecting your opinions into your writing by saying “by arranging”, which implies conscious thought. You have to give the support for that first, before making the claim that matter has been arranged into “complex matter.”

    “Why shouldn’t we assume then that the capacity for complex thought is similarly composed of simpler thinking components.”

    There is only thought. What you call “complex thought” is a result of not so much comprising simpler thought, but increasing capacity. My computer is capable of processing, but a computer with more RAM and a better processor can process more complex programs. It’s not addition of new parts or even more parts, just expansion of existing parts. As in, how thought has evolved through time from neural network to brain to bigger brain. All are capable of thought, but capacity increases.

    “I mean we do acknowledge that our own complex thoughts are made of many smaller thoughts.”

    I have no idea what that means. What is the difference between a thought, and a “complex thought”?

    “This is a very difficult topic for certain people to grasp.”

    If poorly defined, any concept is.

    “Try thinking in terms of a growing human embryo. At the early stages the embryo has no nose. At a certain point the embryo develops a nose. The nose doesn’t magically appear out of nowhere. We can see the progression. The nose is created by the process of simple physical systems arranging to create a more complex system.”

    And thoughts didn’t magically appear out of nowhere along the evolutionary lineage of life. I don’t know where you are going anymore. You’re now mixing in examples involving embryonics. You are jumping all over the place.

    “With mental states we can’t see the progression yet but we should assume it happens the same way: systems with simple mental capabilities combine to form complex systems with complex mental capabilities. If there isn’t this progression, mental faculties have to magically arise out of nowhere at some point which is impossible.”

    You are comparing how thought evolved to how limbs develop, but are arguing that there isn’t a progression in the evolutionary lineage of life where thought developed?

    I am so lost now. At what point in the development of the embryo’s nose, do you call it a nose? At what point in the history of life, would you call responding to external stimuli “thought”?

    You are now trying to turn gradual development into a black and white system with 2 end-members. Thought, and no thought. I can’t even tell if your argument is self-refuting because I can’t follow the logic you are using.

    “Since an atheist does not believe any type of God exists, including the pantheistic conscious Universe, the atheist must believe that thoughts magically arise out of nowhere.”

    I’m even more lost now. You are now acting like you have proven that a conscious universe exists, and then propose a non sequitor that denial of that conscious universe must necessarily mean denial of the evolution of thought.

    Your non sequitor is mind-boggling and demonstrably wrong/bad.

    “The great majority use atheism to denote the belief that there is no God. Yes definitions can change over time but it hasn’t fully happened yet with atheism. ”

    You’re back to trying to beat this dead horse in your conclusion, except I haven’t figured out what you are trying to say in the preceding paragraphs. You don’t have a salient point to conclude yet.

    “Rejection of belief is the same thing as not knowing.”

    No, it just isn’t. Rejection of belief would necessarily mean knowing that belief exists, not knowing means you are unaware of the belief in the first place.

    I am likely unaware of several belief systems that have exited throughout human history. I can’t reject what I do not know to reject.

    “We already have a word for not knowing God exists, agnosticism.”

    Repetition in a short essay is not a good style.

    “This suggests that the less used meaning of disbelief in God is a contemporary bastardization used by those atheists that seek to hide their true irrational position.”

    You never qualified this assertion.

    “Like all religions, atheism is meant to distract people away from the truth.”

    Non sequitor and a strawman. It does not follow that atheism is a religion and trying to argue that it is, is a strawman. This is the first time you have tried to introduce your opinion that atheism is a religion. Once again, who is the target audience here?

    “In doubting the existence of God, the atheist requires holding the entirely absurd notion of mental states arising out of nowhere.”

    That non sequitor again.

    “In essence, atheism predicts an impossibility which actually falsifies it.”

    Atheism doesn’t make a prediction, it refutes a prediction.

    “So the atheist horse is dead but faulty faith-based thinking will keep atheists fervently beating that horse to the ends of all irrationality.”

    I’ve addressed the ideas behind this already, but I’ll make note again here that atheism is not a faith-based position. It is the denial and/or absence of a position/belief deemed to be irrational as it is not based on evidence.

    • Your comment contains only inane banter, falsehoods and logical fallacies. The only interesting thing in it is an apparent appeal to ignorance fallacy. I don’t believe I have ever encountered an actual use of this fallacy before. Usually someone merely falsely claims it has been committed. But you say: “The belief in the nonexistence of something would therefore be the default position until sufficient evidence is presented to falsify that belief.” What you are saying is that A (X doesn’t exist) is true because it has not yet been proven false. Any rational person would always take the agnostic position as the default position.

      I don’t have the time or inclination to deal with every other mistake you’ve made in your comment. If you want to state the single most important point you believe you’ve made I will address it.

      • thebeardeddude says:

        My critiques are logical fallacies? I don’t think you understand what it means to receive a critique.

        Your article is completely nonsensical, lacks focus, lacks direction, and it is not possible to discern who the target audience even is.

        You make numerous claims that seem to be based on the assertion that you have provided evidence for your beliefs, which you haven’t.

        You need to (at the very least)
        1) rewrite this and scrap all the wordplay with definitions.
        2) Set a target audience.
        3) Write for that audience
        4) Give the premise of the point you are trying to make
        5) Support it with evidence
        6) Use this evidence to conclude as to the validity of your initial premise.

      • thebeardeddude says:

        I’m also not convinced you read beyond my first paragraph. If so, keep going.

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