• Casey Roberts

Arguments for Atheism

Religion is founded around two main mental states: Faith and Belief. Faith is believing in something no matter the evidence or arguments to the contrary, a very irrational notion. Belief is what must be done to arrive at faith, one cannot have faith without believing religion to be true on some level or on some scale. Faith is a willing detachment from reality, or it is founded on ignorance of basic discoveries made by science. A rational mind will trust evidence over faith, it is a self-explanatory distinction. Belief is obtained through the want to believe in something, believing in believing, which is why saying, "I believe..." can be a mistake in most situations. Instead, considering something as likely or unlikely is something more psychologically honest and healthy. Religion is not necessary, and is a waste of time, when contemplating and explaining origins of the universe (creation vs. the big bang), and it is a cancer of the mind, eroding away reason and rationality.

The religious believe that a creator started everything, the universe, life, and so on. This is a mistake for several reasons, but the biggest problem with their belief is that they will be stuck in an infinite regression. If their philosophy can be taken as remotely credible, they must then answer questions of from where the creator came. Christopher Hitchens points out how dysfunctional belief really is by saying, "The three great monotheisms teach people to think abjectly of themselves, as miserable and guilty sinners prostrate before an angry and jealous god who, according to discrepant accounts, fashioned them either out of dust and clay or a clot of blood." If creation on such a scale is possible, then it follows that the creator itself could have been created. Some argue that there is only one creator who was/is past infinite, but they must then explain their grounds for assuming the past infinite exists, which cannot be done. The religious are willing to believe in what is impossible to explain because they have faith in a god's ability to do what we consider impossible. Creationists engage in the faith and belief irrationalities-believing that totalitarian religious texts are credible, and faith that they are correct in their examination of our origins. Science contains much more credible and sufficient explanations for things religion attempts to claim as its own.

Neurologically, the function of faith is directly related to parts of the brain associated with emotion and satisfaction. This is not surprising, faith is not an evidential entity, rather it is used as consolation and gratification. Biologist Richard Dawkins provides his expertise by saying, "Constructing models is something the human brain is very good at." He goes on to explain how "exceptionally vivid" models or "hallucinations" can account for many of the neurophysiological phenomena that causes people of faith to claim a visitation. Faith falls short psychologically in providing a reasonable explanation for its use, but its foundation is rooted in a fear of death. People don't want this life to be all we experience, so they have faith that something lies beyond this world. There is no credible evidence of an afterlife. Faith is a somewhat self-contained mental state, faith is faith and the faithful argue that it needs no defense. In reality, faith requires the greatest defense, not only for its use, but for its existence. Religious belief relies on faith to maintain followers, critically observing religion will cause it to collapse fairly quickly, but faith will keep it alive as long as people want it to.

Christopher Hitchens has been subject to misdirection by the religious, "One is continually told, as an unbeliever, that it is old-fashioned to rail against the primitive stupidities and cruelties of religion because after all, in these enlightened times, the old superstitions have died away." If only it were true that the old superstitions have gone, but the majority of religious groups still hold on to their own form or superstition. Jewish men must cover their heads to show subordination to god, Islamic men must grow a beard, and subject women to cruelty by treating them as cattle as well as forcing them to cover their entire bodies. Christians still claim that god uses natural disasters as punishments, a ridiculous notion. Islam demeans and humiliates women like no other religion by beating them, keeping them from going to school, forcing young girls to marry men more than twice their age, and those are only a few of many examples. Religion is not only reliant on faith, but it is a wicked doctrine. In general, good people will do as much good as they can, wicked people will be bad as they can, but if you want a good person to do something evil you need religion.

Evidence is the best way to understand the macro and micro level of all we know exists. It seems an obvious, basic statement that couldn't possibly be argued against, but the religious have a way of distorting things for their benefit. The evidence shows that the universe can arise spontaneously, thanks to the laws of physics and the discovery of quantum mechanics. "Science is correcting the irrational reasoning of primitive humans using primitive minds." (Roberts, 2017) Evidence also shows that evolution is closer to a fact than a theory. It was a theory when Darwin was alive, but findings since then have reinforced this theory many times over. Evidence shows that we are biological organisms that decay after death, conversely the religious assume the existence of a soul, but have no explanation as to where it resides. All of the assumptions of the religious have a very simple source, the function of the human brain. The brain is the vehicle used for the creation of religious concepts, it is what we use to do our thinking, and it will eventually decay, it is unavoidable and inevitable. When evidence is revealed about an issue that will refute religious beliefs, the faithful will ignore or distort it, refusing to entertain the idea of changing their minds. Being able to admit that one is wrong is a powerful tool to possess, but religion is fundamentalist, and will never wield that tool.

Richard Dawkins places heavy weight on evolution, weight that it can easily bear, by saying, "The evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design." He is of course correct. Evolution is a fact, it happened, many people stumble over the word "theory" in evolution, but it was a theory when Darwin was alive, so much evidence exists now it can easily be called fact. The religious hate evolution, it completely contradicts what their holy books tell them. We (humans, animals, plants, etc) were not placed on Earth, we happened to evolve from what this planet would allow to happen. We may just as easily have never existed, things were not specifically "set-up" to allow life to grow, but they did, and it's remarkable and worth celebrating. Ninety-nine percent of all species ever known to have existed have become extinct, everything that exists now is within that one percent. If it were designed, what kind of design is that? Instead, our current state demonstrates the validity of the long and laborious processes of evolution by natural selection. People want to believe in something, and a lot of those people choose religion, which comes with a faith reduction. The religious boast about using tunnel vision, ignorance, and faith, not realizing that the arguments they use to support their position simultaneously erode that position. The psychological defects of the religious push back against reason and rationality, referring everything up a celestial entity which cannot be proved and cannot be challenged. It is rather convenient for them to assume there is something beyond themselves on which they can rely, it is also delusional and intellectually lazy. The faithful attempt to redefine evidence, and conform it to what they want to be true, which is blaspheming (a word their familiar with) the existence of evidence. Endorsing faith makes any conversation to the contrary necessary, there is nowhere to go once faith is cited, just as police can no longer talk to a suspect once a lawyer is requested. The religious deserve to be left out of meaningful discussion and discovery, they will only convolute and impede the path to greater knowledge.