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Atheism Is Still a Belief


Atheists state that there is no God, or more
broadly speaking, there is no creator. They say that everything in the universe has
come about due to a series of random events. There was originally nothing, and then there
was something. Throughout billions of years, life has come
into existence through a series of randomness. Theories such as evolution and natural selection
try to explain this process. Atheists will argue that atheism is the default
position. That is, the burden of proof does not lie
with them to prove atheism. They say it is the responsibility of theists
(that is, people who believe in God or a creator) to prove their beliefs. But in this video, I will argue that atheism
requires just as much belief as any religion. Imagine an out-of-control truck that is hurtling
straight towards a cliff edge. The driver has hit his head and fallen unconscious. There is no doubt the truck will fly off the
top of the cliff. We all know about the Law of Gravity, or at
least, we all know about the consequences of gravity, even if we don’t know the actual
scientific explanation. An isolated tribal member that has never heard
of gravity and science still knows that if they drop something, it’s going to fall. It’s testable, provable, and repeatable. We can drop an apple from a rooftop a million
times and it will always fall to the ground, as long as other factors don’t come into
play such as strong updraughts and the like. Does anybody deny that the out-of-control
truck is not going to fall off the top of the cliff and smash into the ravine below? Does anybody predict that the truck will just
fly in a straight line and continue driving on the other side of the gorge? Of course not! Gravity is something we all know to be true,
at least the effects of it. How gravity happens is a different question
– science still doesn’t know the answer. However, we can all agree that gravity affects
us every day – at least here on Earth. It’s undeniable. But when it comes to atheism, atheists will
tell you that when you die, the molecules of your body will simply break apart. You will end up becoming “worm food” as
they often say. You will have no more consciousness, no more
thought, and no more knowing. You will have no knowledge of ever being alive,
nor knowledge of anything past, present, or future. You will forever be nothing. My question, how can they possibly know that? Is it testable? It is provable? Is it repeatable? The truck flying off the cliff is testable
and provable – even if we just use a toy truck in its place. How somebody feels, or what they experience
after they’re dead, is impossible to test. Sure, we can prove that their body is dead. But do we have any idea about consciousness? Do we really know how consciousness comes
about? How do we know that the body is not a vessel
for something else – something non-physical? For example a “soul”. Atheists will ask things like, “Do you believe
in unicorns? If not, how can you possibly believe in God?”. But for them to say there is definitely no
god, is like saying there is definitely no aliens. It’s unprovable – at least with current
technology. Atheism requires belief just as much as Christianity
requires belief. If I see a house, do I ever doubt that it
wasn’t created? I mean, do I ever think that the house just
popped into existence? Of course not! But I didn’t see the builders build the
house. I didn’t see the delivery truck drivers
deliver the bricks. I didn’t see the bricks being made at the
brick works. I didn’t see the clay and shale being collected
from the ground, nor have I ever seen this process. However, I don’t for a second doubt that
somebody built the house. When we see a tree, or a rock, or anything
else in nature, why do atheists suddenly profess that these things weren’t created? How can they know for sure that trees weren’t
the design of some grand creator? They can’t know. To say that atheism is true requires an element
of belief. But I think more often than not, atheists
don’t truly believe in nothingness after death. I think deep down they think, or they hope,
that there is more to life than just the physical world around us. Atheists will often declare that because they
are atheists, they try to live life to its fullest – a noble goal. They treat life as precious knowing that they
only live once. But I think if they truly believed in atheism,
surely they wouldn’t care. It they truly believed that once they die,
they become nothing, then surely it doesn’t matter what they’ve done in their life. After they’re dead, they won’t have any
memory of having lived. They will have no knowledge of past events. They will have no knowledge of anything. So surely, to be a consistent atheist, one
must admit that life is useless, has no purpose, and is a complete waste of time. We’ll all end up in a state of eternal oblivion
anyway. Why would it matter what we do with our life? The fact that (most) atheists state that it
does matter what we do with our life, probably means that they truly don’t believe in an
eternity of nothingness. In an interview with Larry King, American
astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, talks about death from a very scientific perspective. He states that we are simply energy-consuming
machines that return to room temperature once we die. But he goes on to say that he wants to be
buried so that his molecules return to the Earth. He explicitly states that he doesn’t want
to be cremated, because his energy would then be radiated out into space. That very statement, at least in my opinion,
states that he deep down believes that there isn’t just nothingness after death. If there truly is nothing, then what does
it matter where his molecules and energy end up? Elon Musk has often spoken of Simulation Theory. He uses the example of the computer game industry. Back in 1972, one of the earliest arcade games,
Pong, was released. It was basically a simulation of table tennis
which involved two rectangular paddles and a square ball going back and forth between
them. In less than 50 years, video games have almost
become photo realistic immersions with millions of people playing them simultaneously. He posits that if we agree that the video
game industry is advancing, even by a tiny amount every year, then eventually video games
will become indistinguishable from reality. You will not be able to tell the difference
between playing a game and reality as we know it. He then goes on to ask, “How do we know
that that didn’t happen in the past and that we’re not in one of those simulations
right now?”. He argues that the odds that we are in base
reality is one in billions. The point I’m making is that nobody can
know for sure what life is, and what happens after death. Theists will argue that there must be a God,
or gods. Atheists will argue that there is no God. But I’d hazard a guess that everyone is
wrong. Nobody can know, and nobody does know. If there are an infinite number of possibilities
to explain our existence, then surely the chances of us guessing the right one is minute,
or even impossible. Ultimately, the only real position I can take
is that I don’t know. And nor can anybody know. The term for that type of thinking is called
agnosticism. I am an agnostic and I think that’s the
only sensible position. Atheists might argue that agnostics are “fence-sitters”
– that is, we don’t have the fortitude to choose a side. But that would almost indicate that there
are only two sides to choose from, which I think is not true. I see no point in believing in something that
we cannot prove to be true. Just as I don’t know if there are multiple
universes or not, I’m certainly not going to definitively state that there aren’t. It’s unprovable with current scientific
knowledge. Before the discovery of bacteria and the like,
people used to believe that their body was made up of four bodily humours – black bile,
yellow bile, blood, and phlegm. To be in good health, a person must have the
right balance of each of the four. It was thought that diseases and disabilities
resulted from an excess or deficit of one of these four humours. Doctors would actually perform bloodletting
to try to cure people of certain conditions. Mostly, it resulted in more harm than good. Believe it or not, bloodletting was still
in use up until the early 20th century! (To be fair, modern medicine still uses bloodletting
for a few particular blood abnormalities). So regarding atheism, etc., what do I believe? Not that it matters. What I believe doesn’t change the truth. What anybody believes doesn’t change the
truth. But just for interest’s sake, I believe
that there must be something. Call it a God, a creator, a scientific experiment,
a video game simulation, or whatever else you can imagine. But I think that there must be something. For all of this around us to just pop into
existence seems almost absurd to me. There must be some other explanation. Be an atheist if you like. But don’t for a second try to tell me that
atheism isn’t a belief. If there is any doubt whatsoever, then atheism
is simply not the default position.

Jean Kelley

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20 COMMENTS

  1. sethpf798 Posted on November 2, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Do you start at believing everything, then stopping only when finding evidence against it? Because I believe in something only when it has appropriate amount of evidence first.

    Reply
  2. Ryan Goff Posted on November 2, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Very well said: the only consistent atheist is an agnostic Lol. Because if you believe solely in "science" then you cannot by it's nature dismiss the existence of God.
    Most Atheists will say something to the effect of they only believe in science, that they are paragons of logic, and something has to be "prove-able" for them to believe in it. However as you correctly point out science confined only to what we can observe and what we can test, therefore anything metaphysical is categorically beyond science's realm.
    As for logic, logic is only as correct as it's premise, for instance: All Atheists are smug, Tim is an Atheist, Tim is smug. This is a perfectly logical statement with a (somewhat) false premise, and thus it is absurd.
    Scientific proof requires that something be observable and testable, the supernatural is, of course, beyond our abilities to do so. However there are certain logical proofs for God that do exist and if anyone is so inclined they can simply google: "Thomas Aquinas 5 proofs"

    Reply
  3. Daily Rant Australia Posted on November 2, 2017 at 1:45 am

    I knew this video would cause a bit (a lot!) of controversy, but I put it up anyway. I know religion / atheism will always be a contentious issue. So hopefully we can keep the comments civil, but I'm a realist — this is YouTube! Urban Dictionary makes a good example:

    Person 1: That cat is quite adorable
    Person 2: Yes, indeed
    Person 3: I know, it's so cute the way it purrs!

    *5 mins later

    Person 1: A** S**T F*G THE GOVERNMENT CAUSED 9/11 B**CH VACCINATIONS BIN LADEN MOON LANDING FAKE MARS RAPE NUCLEAR WAR
    Person 2: IDIOT NOOB F***ED YOUR MOM NAZIS WW3 AL QAEDA MOTHERF***ER B**CH S**T ABORTIONS CALL OF DUTY DEMOCRAT RIGHT WING JFK HOLOCAUST S**T

    Reply
  4. Martyn Rogers Posted on November 2, 2017 at 2:07 am

    i understand that 'santa claus' does not exist. my grandchildren 'believe' that santa claus exists…… do you see what i'm saying there? the difference between understanding something and believing something is quite obvious. that is what 'atheism' is. we all know that adam west was the original batman, but everybody gets the micheal keaton point….
    the real point is that it doesn't matter who the original 'batman' was, because 'batman' doesn't really exist.

    as for 'god'…. define 'god'… length x width x height….? animal vegetable mineral? what where whey why how? if you cannot define 'god' using these parameters and still insist that it is a 'he', 'him', or 'father', and there's even a cult where there leader is the 'sun' of 'god'….
    …….then be prepared to be called psychotic….
    and why your 'god'? why not wotan and frigg? why not shiva? why not tom cruise and lord xenu?
    i'll tell you why, …because they're all bullshit.
    the christian 'god' is the same abrahamic 'god' that the muslims use…….just different conman selling it.

    i suggest looking at one of the universe videos here on youtube or universe simulator, where you can scroll across our solar system and see how isolated and away from it all when you look at the biggest picture. if you think it took a 'guy' to make it all……. i'm serious, expect ridicule…
    have you learned about the large hadron collider?

    Reply
  5. robtbo Posted on November 2, 2017 at 2:11 am

    Dude, read a fucking dictionary. If your opinion is different then your opinion is that you define the English language for everyone else, in which case you're delusional.

    Based on this video, you're delusional.

    Next.

    Reply
  6. Samaker Posted on November 2, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Agnosticism. wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism

    While many of your arguments are quite flawed, I like the premise of this video. I'd watch more of this.

    Reply
  7. Ferodaktyl Posted on November 2, 2017 at 6:59 am

    very poor arguments, each and every one of them have been discussed and debunked several times. Other than that, it's true that faith is a matter of choice, but it's stupid to say that faith applies to science, because science can be proven and does not need faith. (If you understand it, not talking about the uneducated having faith that light will come out if you press a switch on the wall).

    Reply
  8. Jillum89 Posted on November 2, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Well, if you define atheism on our behalf, instead of listening to what we say when we define it for ourselves, then you can of course make it into a position that has a burden of proof. If you get to make up the definition for us, that’s the easiest thing to do. (I could just as easily make the case that theists ought to spend life in prison … if I get to define what “theism” is, of course. I just don’t see the usefulness.) The fact is that there is no burden of proof on a statement that says “I don’t believe that”.
    Of course atheists, the people, can say anything and make any claim, and some of them may make the claim that there’s nothing after death or that there are no gods or whatever. But now you’re talking about the people, not the -ism. And you can't get to information about the ism from what the members say. Because the members are people, and they say more than what the ism defines. You can't talk about what music kings like to listen to. You can't talk about what partner qualities that stewardesses fall for. You can't talk about the phobias that people with brown eyes have. And you can't talk about the beliefs that atheists have. Because atheism does not address any beliefs. Atheism is what we, the atheists, say it is. We are the authorities on what we mean when we use a word. (Just like I don't define theism on theists' behalf, right?) What you can talk about is the beliefs that people have … people that happen to also be atheists. Or at least make it very clear that you're talking generally and broadly. But you're not. Because you are in fact talking ab out the ism. Athe-ism.
    When you say at the end: “But don’t for a second try to tell me that atheism isn’t a belief” then you are simply telling the world that you are a closeminded arrogant know-it-all. Good for you. You believe what you believe. And fuck whatever evidence or data that may ever contradict that! That is literally what you said there at the end. You define a word on behalf of other people. It doesn’t matter what those other people say. Your definition is right. Fuck what they say. That’s what you’ve said. Atheism isn't a belief. What you're talking about is the beliefs that people (who happen to be atheists) have because they are people. But you can't argue your way from the beliefs that people who happen to be atheists have anymore than you can argue your way to the music kings like to listen to. In fact, it would be a logical fallacy of composition. This is true of the part of the group, so it's true of the group. You're listing things that some people who happen to be atheists believe … and you extend it to the entire group on our behalf. And then you say clearly that you won't give a fuck about any data to show otherwise, because you apparently want to play an omniscient god that's infallible and can't possibly be wrong. I invite you to reconsider that.

    Reply
  9. Billy OldMan Posted on November 2, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    On the logical level: Marx said that when people deny God, they do a secondary thing, because first they have to state God's existence in order to deny it, and what they're essentially doing is, they're putting man in God's position, because they're claiming the role God played in the old religious world for themselves. They never escaped the paradigm, they only strengthened it. Maybe that will also explain why the the elite likes to play literal God with their eugenic and social engineering toys.

    Reply
  10. BionicDance Posted on November 2, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Why do we have to keep doing this? Why do we have to keep explaining that this extremist definition of "atheist" is wrong and only describes one specific branch of atheism?
    Can't you people FINALLY get this right. that not all atheism is the definitive statement that there is no god, that atheism is the absence of belief in any gods…? What does it take to finally get this through to you lot?

    Reply
  11. The Chidds Posted on November 2, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Tomorrow do how "off" is a TV channel!

    Reply
  12. Ghislain Leblanc Posted on November 2, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    You missed your own point! Atheists don’t make any claim. They simply default to the null hypothesis, which is, there is nothing. Theists make the claim that there is something so it is on them to demonstrate it. If I say there is no elephant in this room and you say there is one. It’s on you to point to the elephant. Simple as that.

    Reply
  13. Jess Alexander Posted on November 2, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    While I disagree with most of what you've said, I do agree with two things. First, we can't know for sure there is/was a god/gods or if there is anything after this life. However, and here's the second thing I agree with, taking an atheist stance is a belief. It is a belief that gods don't exist. A lot of atheists disagree with me on that, but that's okay; that's their belief.

    Having said that, while agnosticism is a good stance, I think we can come to a conclusion that gods don't exist when we study the origins of gods and religions. The conclusion might be wrong, but based on my studies, my belief is they don't exist.

    Reply
  14. Jason Roelle Posted on November 4, 2017 at 2:22 am

    Atheism is most commonly used to describe not believing a God, or god's exist. Yes there are people that we use atheism to describe believing no God, or god's exist. The honest thing to do if your going to address atheist in general, is use the common usage of atheism which is not believing a God, or god's exist. Also no one is saying that the universe came fro Literally nothing. If your using the common usage of atheism, atheism is not making any claim, and would not have any burden of proof. Someone who is claiming no God, or gods exist, would have the burden of proof for that negative claim, and I have never heard a atheist deny that.

    Reply
  15. Daathaan Posted on November 4, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Atheism is the default position because the default position is not to believe in anything. We're taught that there's an invisible sky daddy who's a prick later by indoctrination by well meaning but incorrect parents.

    Reply
  16. Enemy Sub Posted on November 6, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Anyone who claims that Atheism constitutes a belief is making a grammatical error because negative raising is not applicable when the presupposition has been explicitly denied. Unlike an object such as a truck which must be assumed to exist in order to shift the negative element from one clause to another (as in "I don't believe the truck has driven off the cliff/I believe the truck hasn't driven off the cliff") Atheists do not believe that some god exists in order to then state that it doesn't…oh yeah and where does your god go cliff diving?

    Reply
  17. RoryMcGinnity Posted on November 23, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    calling an atheist a believer is like calling someone who doesn't own a pet a dog owner

    Reply
  18. hitchhiker Posted on December 4, 2017 at 10:36 am

    I became an atheist about 8 years ago, I was very passionate and heavily involved in the community. I just don't give a fuck anymore. One of the reasons i left this community was because how toxic it is. It is mostly dominated by white men. The community is mostly racist and misogynistic and not welcoming to women or people of color. Their understanding of oppression doesn't extend beyond religion. They will whine about how oppressed they are because of their lack of belief, but the moment a woman or transgender person mentions the discrimination they experience because of their identity, they lose their shit. Also they hardly have any constructive discussions about religion either. Most of the time it's just senseless memes that ridicule religion and religious people. Their leaders are assholes too. Fuck them

    Reply
  19. God-Emperor of Mankind Posted on December 21, 2017 at 9:14 am

    I was born atheist. just like everyone else on this planet.

    So, you're basically claiming that babies, who are born without belief, are saying "there absolutely is no god".

    Atheism is the group of people who happen to not believe in the existence of a god, for different reasons. A baby, for example, doesn't believe in a god because nobody has yet brainwashed it with the Bible/Quran.

    Reply
  20. johnlochness Posted on April 5, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    The only reason the truck wouldn't fly off the cliff to the ground is a miracle from God.

    Reply
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