13 arguments atheists shouldn't use
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09-02-2015, 08:38 PM
13 arguments atheists shouldn't use
Since there is a similar thread about arguments atheists shouldn't use I'm posting here a copy/past of a thread I made in AF some days ago

Quote:We atheists think we're right about the god hypothesis, and in our defense I'd say it's embarrassing to be always right on the same subject. Regardless, not everything we say is necessarily right, accurate or valid; and because I want atheists to grow as a demographic, I've decided to make list of arguments or factual statements that atheists should stop using. For the record, some of them are actually true and can be said in some circumstances, but when it comes to the debate about god's hypothetical existence none of the following proves that god doesn't exist or that atheism is logically correct:

1 - A high percentage of scientists don't believe in god ---> This is an appeal to authority, and it's not any better than the theist argument of Most people in the world believe in god, therefore god exists. Independently of what scientists think, atheism is not composed solely by scientists and just because scientists say so it doesn't mean they are right or that atheism should have a gigantic boost in credibility, since the average atheist is not a copy of Dawkins. This applies to appeals made to any scientist, famous or not. [It's true that most scientists believe in god, it's a fact, it has been surveyed - But this doesn't prove atheism is right; just like if most scientists believed in god it wouldn't prove god exists]


2 - Atheists are more educated and intelligent ---> This is also a fact, it's perfectly ok to say that the average atheist is more likely to be proportionally more educated and smart, however being smarter doesn't prove atheists are right, being smarter doesn't prove you have more credibility, and not every atheist is necessarily very educated and intelligent, just like not every theist is uneducated and close minded. I don't like when we put intelligence on such a high pedestal because it creates a bigoted idea that smart people are somehow special and better than less smart people.

3 - God/religion is evil, immoral, harmful and bad because of (insert a verse from the holy book, a bad action practised by a religious person or institution like the inquisition, etc.) ---> The reasons we should dismiss and criticize religion are many, but religion or god are not wrong/false/don't exist just because they are evil and bad. This is, at most, a reason to be against god and religion, but as far as I know, god could exist and be an evil being. I think this is a truthful statement, but it's not an argument to prove atheism is a better option than theism

4 - Assuming reasons why theists believe beforehand (You were just indoctrinated by society/parents/family, you are afraid of death, you really want god to exist, you are a wishful thinker, etc.) ---> Making assumptions about why people believe is wrong and lumps them all into the same category. It's true that some people believe their parents' religion, but there are new born religious people, people who are raised as atheists and end up believing. The way you end up believing or not believing something shouldn't be the reason why it's wrong or right. I'm not denying indoctrination plays a part (most likely a bigger one), but it's not the reason why god or religion are a false hypothesis. Just like theists, atheists could, trough some methods, persuade their children from birth to reject completely the god idea and dislike people who believe in god - But it wouldn't make atheism less plausible. By the way, I think it's ok to point out any of these after we have directly observed that the theist/s we're arguing with matches the description (for example if the theist says he believes in god because otherwise death seems like a terrible scenario - That's wishful thinking)

5 - Babies are born atheists ---> This is a no brainer, babies are born without a god concept in mind, but are also born without many abilities and realities that are latter taught in life, like morality - Babies are atheists but are also amoral, apolitical, etc. The truth is, a baby is born without capacities to take a stance on the god question, but that doesn't mean god doesn't exist and atheism is right. Logically, just like cats and dogs, babies are technically atheists, but it's irrelevant to the point; it's not the reason atheism is the most rational position

6 - Your religion is immoral according to my subjective morality ---> Attacking the morality of a religion, no matter how much you disagree with it, is not proof that god doesn't exist and that religion is false. I'm individualizing this "argument" from number 3 because there's a higher tendency for atheists to play the "religion is immoral" card - It's not a false statement, I'll say it myself that most religions are highly immoral according to my subjective morality, but that doesn't make atheism more reasonable taking into account that it is more about the lack of probability of god existing rather than morality itself.

7 - Everyone is an atheist to most gods, some of us take it one step further ---> This is not really an argument in the first place, but it's a little meaningless since it equates atheism with theism, as if not believing in other gods makes theists very similar to atheists. The truth is, theists believe in at least a god and atheists don't. It is true that theists are atheists to gods they don't believe in, but saying that "theists are atheists" is a contradictory statement because atheist requires lack of belief in any gods.

8 - You are just delusional, dumb, stupid, blind, indoctrinated, close minded, etc. (personal attacks) ---> Any kind of personal attack is not evidence that god doesn't exist. It your only desire is to mock a theist then these insults are perfectly ok, but in a serious debate it's not a reliable option and it doesn't give atheists more credibility to nickname theists as "delusional" and other insults that make the theist proposition seem less reliable.

9 - Lumping believers into the same bag by any reason at all and using it to strengthen an atheist argument---> (examples - Christians are really irrational so it's really obvious that you'll never forget your fairytale and come down to earth to realize god doesn't exist/You are so delusional that you cannot see how stupid your beliefs are). This is not even an individualized argument and it also relies on false assumptions and personal insults. It's easy to use this premise as a form of deliberately discrediting all theists but it's not logically consistent.

10 - Equating atheism with success, happiness, less suicide or healthier lifestyles, regarding individuals and nations ---> None of this proves religion or god don't exist. It's a verifiable fact and it's usually consistent, but it's irrelevant to dismiss the god hypothesis. I'm pretty sure if the number of Christians were rising, or if atheists happened to have worse lifestyles, we wouldn't like Christians using the exact same argument for Christianity

11 - Any argument that presumes the world is split between religious fundamentalists and atheists, giving atheists the victory ---> There are a lot of people who are not fundamentalist; some are moderates, others are liberal, some people are merely agnostics, others are deists, others are pantheists; it's really bad to create a dichotomy between two extremes to make you seem right. I don't like the "No true scotsman" fallacy, and this goes both ways (example - It's not valid to say Christians are only the bible literalists and use the premise to make Christianity seem less valid)

12 - Assuming all theists are irrational and all atheists are rational ---> Regardless of our opinion on atheists being right, there are believers that rationalize their behaviour and beliefs decently and bring some not so bad arguments (still fallacious, but I won't deny the argument from incredulity or the argument of cosmology is a lot less annoying than the argument of It is in the bible, it is true) and there are atheists who don't believe in god but lack critical thinking when it comes to discuss anything else (what other reason is there for homophobic, white nationalist or conservative/republican atheists?) - Indeed, I've met atheists who are complete assholes

13 - Calling religion a mental illness ---> While this is debatable, it's usually thrown as a form of discrediting religious theists and doesn't contribute to a rational, reasonable debate. It's also not enough to prove why the god hypothesis or a specific religion is unreliable. Not to mention I have my doubts that belief is a mental condition - But that's something we should discuss in another thread

Final notes:
- The order of the arguments is numbered because it's an old habit of mine, but it's not meant to signify decreasing or increasing importance; it's completely random
- I am not saying any of you use these arguments frequently or at all, but I've personally witnessed all these statements and some variations coming from the mouths of atheists
- A considerable part of what I've written is true and there's surveys, studies and statistics backing it up - It doesn't mean we can't say any of these things; but when we are debating theists about god's existence we shouldn't rely on cheap tricks. This is only valid when it comes to the debate about the god hypothesis, for anything else we are free to spit it all out.
--> The reasons for me to make a topic about any of this is because I think atheists are better, are right, are more rational and shouldn't rely on low blows (I don't mean better as a "better person", I mean better in the sense that we have a more elaborated and concise position regarding the god hypothesis)

Note - I changed my username to Dystopia in AF

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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09-02-2015, 10:43 PM
RE: 13 arguments atheists shouldn't use
1. This is a counter argument to those who say most scientists believe in god. Which they do not.
2. I do not really know anyone who uses that as an argument.
3. Wrong, this is a valid argument. It is the argument against the infallible bible that is filled with only goodness, love and light and justice. We need this argument more than any other to show them they are wrong.
4. everyone does this, so don't they. Get over it. Its just normal.
5. Babies are not amoral. Your argument here is weak. You clearly do not understand why we use that as an argument. It is to demonstrate what an atheist actually is and what the neutral position of believing something is, as well as to debunk "you were born a christian" fallacy.
6. Morality is Objective to evolution. Everything else that shapes what we call morality is just ethics build on the objective evolution of our species as a social species.
7. This argument is NOT meaningless, it has total validity in its use. The use is to help theists understand why we reject their god by showing them why they reject all of the others.
8. Personal attacks I agree on to an extent. There are just a few people out there that I feel deserve it. Not because they are bad, but because for some, mocking them into oblivion is our only way of weakening them and eventually getting rid of them forever. Like creationists.
9. This I can mostly agree with. While you never want to play the no true scottsman fallacy which is the other side of this, lumping every single person as being a same thing is also bad.
10. I have never heard that argument being used to throw out the god hypothosis. Are you sure you have? I swear, some of this I have no idea where it is coming from.
11. I don't really know many people out there who look at the world so black and white like that. No comment on this one.
12. Agreed! Being atheist or theist does not save you from being irrational! I should know! I am the most irrational person I know! Wink
13. I only use that when I want to be rude. Wink


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09-02-2015, 11:00 PM
RE: 13 arguments atheists shouldn't use
No evidence. *drops microphone*
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10-02-2015, 12:17 AM
RE: 13 arguments atheists shouldn't use
Some are really off base and also seem to assume things about atheists.

Like 6, you're either proclaiming definitive subjective morality or ignoring that there are still plenty of atheists who believe in objective morality. To them it's not just judging on subjective morality.

7- you're just bickering about the word choice. The core of the argument is still relevant as, You don't believe in 1000s of gods just like I don't, except for that 1.

Some of them I agree with and have even tried to counter other people on here who have made the comments over time. But not all these are bad arguments to use.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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10-02-2015, 06:23 AM
RE: 13 arguments atheists shouldn't use
#10 is a moral argument. The theist claims you need religion to be good, and the evidence shows that increases in religiosity seem to have no ability to increase moral behavior while lacking religion seems to do nothing to decrease moral behavior. You get the same thing when you talk about U.S. prison stats on religious belief where atheists are very under represented.
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10-02-2015, 06:47 AM
RE: 13 arguments atheists shouldn't use
Basically, you want atheists to stop using truthful statements in our arguments.

Ya, that's just stupid.

I disagree with just about everything you've said.

I'll address one point out of it all.
Saying that most all scientists are atheists isn't an appeal to authority. Its pointing out a relationship between critical thinking, logical analysis and the need to justify your position with evidence.

There are no authoritIes on atheism, but if there were, I would appeal to a few people on this forum. I wouldn't appeal to a scientist.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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10-02-2015, 06:48 AM
RE: 13 arguments atheists shouldn't use
I can list more than a hundred arguments theists shouldn't use

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html
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10-02-2015, 07:47 AM
RE: 13 arguments atheists shouldn't use
(09-02-2015 08:38 PM)Blackout Wrote:  We atheists think we're right about the god hypothesis, and in our defense I'd say it's embarrassing to be always right on the same subject. Regardless, not everything we say is necessarily right, accurate or valid; and because I want atheists to grow as a demographic, I've decided to make list of arguments or factual statements that atheists should stop using. For the record, some of them are actually true and can be said in some circumstances, but when it comes to the debate about god's hypothetical existence none of the following proves that god doesn't exist or that atheism is logically correct:

To the extent that these arguments are used to claim that there is no god and that atheism is correct, I agree. Where I disagree is that I don't often hear them used that way. They are, in my experience anyway, used mainly in reply to theistic claims that "scientists are turning to god" or "religion is good for society" or other such arguments. It can be useful to be able to show that the more you understand the less need you generally see for god, that your culture has a huge influence on your beliefs, etc. They aren't arguments FOR atheism but they are arguments that undercut the arguments for theism.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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10-02-2015, 07:56 AM
RE: 13 arguments atheists shouldn't use
I am making these arguments for the case of god - None of them proves the god hypothesis is irrational. I said and if you read it you'll notice that I said we can use these arguments in other circumstances. But using them to make atheism seem smarter or better is dishonest

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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10-02-2015, 07:57 AM
RE: 13 arguments atheists shouldn't use
(10-02-2015 06:47 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Basically, you want atheists to stop using truthful statements in our arguments.

Ya, that's just stupid.

I disagree with just about everything you've said.

I'll address one point out of it all.
Saying that most all scientists are atheists isn't an appeal to authority. Its pointing out a relationship between critical thinking, logical analysis and the need to justify your position with evidence.

There are no authoritIes on atheism, but if there were, I would appeal to a few people on this forum. I wouldn't appeal to a scientist.

I said these statement can be used in some circumstances. Read again smart ass.

Also, scientists not believing in god is not relevant to the point that "atheism is right". If most scientists were Christians, would you think this makes Christianity right?

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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