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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is the rise of atheism due to humans getting smarter?

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That's what this article claims. I'm not so sure that's the cause. Maybe we're becoming better informed, and we're certainly becoming more likely to be exposed to differing points of view thanks to the internet, the growing number of news sources, diversity in our neighborhoods (at least for some of us). I think 9/11 opened the eyes of many to the dangers of blind faith and dogmatic belief, and the scandals over the years from evangelicals like Ted Haggard, Jim Bakker, etc. combined with the idiocies of Pat Robertson have eroded the appeal and influence of religion.

I also wonder if changes in our society to provide more opportunities for socializing have had an impact. One of the strongest traditional benefits to belonging to a church is the social benefit, and with online social networking, services like meetup.com and others, are people finding that component without the need for churches and their reinforcement of religion?

I think we need to consider another factor, and perhaps the most influential on the "rise of atheism". As more and more people come out, it not only allows others who have been in the other closet to feel more comfortable admitting their atheism publicly, but it starts to raise doubts in some believers minds. By making the issues public, more believers are exposed to our point of view and begin questioning and examining their beliefs. Some, of course, will stay Christian, but many won't be able to convince themselves (to borrow a phrase from vjack) that the grass is actually blue.

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4 comments:

vjack said...

I tend to think that the Internet is probably the most important factor today for current interest in atheism. But whatever it is, I'll take it!

Makarios said...

Ah yes, the atheist's love affair with intelligence - one aspect of the triune god of atheism. The other two being pride and science. This supposed rise in intelligence has brought us all sorts of advances.

. The intelligence in which atheists place their faith is the same intelligence that allows men and women to rationalise abandoning their children and spouses in order to pursue affairs with other individuals.

. This is the same intelligence that produces more divorces the higher one’s education.

. This is the same intelligence that produces more alcohol consumption the higher one’s education.

. This is the same intelligence that leads a person to say, The living organism within my womb that I’m aborting is not a human being. In fact, even when the child’s head has exited my vagina and its brain is being sucked out of its head, this is still not a human being.

. This is the same intelligence that leads a person to say, divorce is actually good for the kids.

. This is the same intelligence that leads a person to say, It’s ok to steal millions of dollars from other people’s pension plans.

. This is the same intelligence that thinks pornography doesn’t hurt anyone; that in fact pornography should be a protected form of expression.

. This is the same intelligence that believes that what we watch, read, listen to or think about might influence others, but it won’t influence me.

. This is the same intelligence that says we can have an effect (the universe) with no cause.

. This is the same intelligence that says that matter and energy can create itself.

. This is the same intelligence that sees this logical contradiction as acceptable, as long as it keeps a Creator God out of the picture.

In this, atheists place their faith. On this chunk of sand atheists build their philosophy of life.

. This is the same intelligence that says that a cosmos that reveals purpose, order and design points to an accidental origin with no external cause.

. This is the same intelligence that points to moral, intelligent, living beings and thinks it rational to say they are the product of an accident with no evidence of design.

. This is the same intelligence that says all humans have an idea of a most perfect being because there is no such thing.

. Atheist intelligence is the kind that rejects any book that challenges their faith by claiming “It’s only written by humans.” Then, this same intelligence turns around and vehemently supports its beliefs by quoting from books written by, yes of course, humans.

. This is an intelligence that supports ethical and moral codes established by community and social norms. This, even though those same community and social norms have been in the past, and are today responsible for the most horrendous abuse we could ever imagine of humans, animals and the world itself.

. This is the intelligence that will spend years and years and years debating which is an easier definition to defend, “Atheists don’t believe in God,” or “Atheists are non believers in God.”

. This is the same intelligence that refuses to acknowledge that atheists are in fact suppressing an innate knowledge of God.

. This is the same intelligence that says, I don’t have to have a reason for what I believe. It’s you (the Christian) who has to give reasons for what you believe. And then, and THEN they believe that comment gets them off the hook! One Atheist even went so far as to say to me, “I’m right because I say so.”

Ya, it's sure good that we're a lot more intelligent.

Samuel Skinner said...

Human intelligence hasn't changed over the past 100,000 years. Education has, but it isn't the reason for atheisms spread. I think the big reason is cosmopolitanism- big cities where conformity breaks down.

"The intelligence in which atheists place their faith is the same intelligence that allows men and women to rationalise abandoning their children and spouses in order to pursue affairs with other individuals. "

Lust is generally not considered equivalent to intelligence.

"This is the same intelligence that produces more divorces the higher one’s education."

... but less if you are an atheist than a Christian in the US.

"This is the same intelligence that produces more alcohol consumption the higher one’s education."

Never been to Russia I see.

"This is the same intelligence that leads a person to say, The living organism within my womb that I’m aborting is not a human being. In fact, even when the child’s head has exited my vagina and its brain is being sucked out of its head, this is still not a human being."

I don't say that- it is living and it is human. So are my fingers.

". This is the same intelligence that leads a person to say, divorce is actually good for the kids."

... it can be if the parents are really incompatible.

" This is the same intelligence that leads a person to say, It’s ok to steal millions of dollars from other people’s pension plans."

That is greed.

"This is the same intelligence that thinks pornography doesn’t hurt anyone; that in fact pornography should be a protected form of expression."

What would Ron Jeremy do?

"This is the same intelligence that believes that what we watch, read, listen to or think about might influence others, but it won’t influence me."

This is pride.

"This is the same intelligence that says we can have an effect (the universe) with no cause."

This is physics. Don't mess with them- they have atomics.

"This is the same intelligence that says that matter and energy can create itself. "

This is quantum physics. We can actually measure it.

"This is the same intelligence that sees this logical contradiction as acceptable, as long as it keeps a Creator God out of the picture. "

This is projecting.

"This is the same intelligence that says that a cosmos that reveals purpose, order and design points to an accidental origin with no external cause."

This is hubris- to believe that you are choosen by the Gods themselves and to see their handiwork in all things, rather than accepting the truth and humility.

"This is the same intelligence that points to moral, intelligent, living beings and thinks it rational to say they are the product of an accident with no evidence of design. "

This is ignorance that is blinded by the words so much it does not even see what the words actually mean. Purpose is for slaves or servants.

"This is the same intelligence that says all humans have an idea of a most perfect being because there is no such thing."

This is tunnel vision, which ignores humanities starting beliefs as they do not fit into the pidgeon hole.

"Atheist intelligence is the kind that rejects any book that challenges their faith by claiming “It’s only written by humans.” Then, this same intelligence turns around and vehemently supports its beliefs by quoting from books written by, yes of course, humans. "

This is a lack of comphrension and understanding. Atheism does not claim that the people who write books about it are anything more than men- and is more than willing to proof read, discard and examine its literature.

"This is an intelligence that supports ethical and moral codes established by community and social norms. This, even though those same community and social norms have been in the past, and are today responsible for the most horrendous abuse we could ever imagine of humans, animals and the world itself. "

This is irony.

"This is the intelligence that will spend years and years and years debating which is an easier definition to defend, “Atheists don’t believe in God,” or “Atheists are non believers in God.” "

The first is better. Fewer words. Also irony- theology ring a bell?

"This is the same intelligence that refuses to acknowledge that atheists are in fact suppressing an innate knowledge of God. "

This is paranoia and the shallowness unable to realize other human beings are not exactly the same as you.

"This is the same intelligence that says, I don’t have to have a reason for what I believe. It’s you (the Christian) who has to give reasons for what you believe. And then, and THEN they believe that comment gets them off the hook! "

The burden of proof is heavy, but I am sure you can handle it- your lord carried a cross after all.

"One Atheist even went so far as to say to me, “I’m right because I say so.” "

This is stereotyping- one does not speak for all and all do not speak for one. We aren't Catholics you know.

mathyoo said...

I'm not going to take the time to fisk Makarios entire comment, but I will say that every single one of his points either commits a logical fallacy, is in direct contradiction to evidence easily available from reputable sources, or both. Willful ignorance is just sad.