Well, this certainly was an interesting exercise. I posted an article last week, “Finally – Proof That There Is No God”, at http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Finally-Proof-that-there-is-no-God-20130419, and what a stir it caused!
The truth is – this article was an experiment to highlight the fear, the hypocrisy and intellectual bankruptcy of our fundamentalist Christian elite that grace us with their presence and divine light on MyNews24. Here’s how it ran.
Firstly, I asserted that atheists now have evidence – incontrovertible proof, in fact – that gods do not exist. I then stated that it was of a type that science had no impact on and, to be balanced, said that it was also outside the domain of faith. This should already be a clue as to what the article was about, because this is exactly the kind of language and logic that believers use when asserting the existence of God and Jesus – “we believe it, it’s a matter of faith, and no scientific evidence will sway us, it’s beyond science”. Well, my evidence is beyond both science and faith – it’s a matter of “enlightenment”.
The first reaction was one of fear – I was surprised to see the number of believers that crawled out of the woodwork to either insult me or denigrate any evidence I might have before even seeing it. For people who are confident of their God’s unconditional love, omniscience and eternal promises, this level of insecurity was astonishing. Do you doubt the truth of the bible? Are you bothered by the inconsistent messages from the holy scripture and from leaders in your faith? Do you see the immoral character of the God portrayed before you, all the murders and violence? Why does it upset you that someone can regard what you hold dear as a fairy-tale?
Erika Lottering: “Lord forgive these blasphemous non-believers!!!!!!”
Martin Shane: “Rodins thinker- 3 degrees in science, use of an Avatar, christian friends by your own admission, posting utter drivel on forums. Your best contribution to society?”
Torq Smith: “Finaly Proof that another idiot exists.”
Tyronehster: “Finally. Proof that stupidity is, in fact, infinite.”
Smurwe: “HAHAHAHAH .. Finally proof that you have no brain.. and you proofed it yourselves.”
But what was really surprising – actually it wasn’t, it was entirely true to type – is that the very same believers who ridicule atheists for requesting evidence for the existence of God immediately demanded from me….. yes – evidence! It's amazing how believers came out in droves to criticize my logic, when it is in fact the same logic that they themselves use. Now this is intellectual bankruptcy and hypocrisy of the highest order, considering that believers are so vocal about there being no requirement for evidence in matters of faith. Allied to this is the propagation of ideas like talking snakes and donkeys, creation in six days, Noah fitting a pair from every species on his boat for a year, the list can go on. Then there are the assertions that the bible is the inerrant word of God - it plainly isn't inerrant, it's fraught with errors and contradictions. Even the gospel writers can't agree on some basic details of Jesus' life. Yet we have believers who regularly patrol this forum preaching these ideas that we know to be false and that they can't even back up with any evidence. The irony is that so many of them can't even see the distinction and the hypocrisy of their behaviour. That's why the atheists are having such a good laugh. Top honours go to JamesMWood for falling for the joke: “…with ref proof, show me yours! I don't need proof that's why its called faith, a concept or even basic english word with a meaning atheists don't seem to understand!”. Actually, james, I don’t need proof, either - it’s called enlightenment.
Karen Meyer: “You only gave an article of emptiness. You do not give us anything to argue with. I hope that the day you stand in judgement you realise that you blew it. I pray that my God will make you realise how much you are wrong.”
Mudare Tom: “Hey hold on. Mr article writer....your headline infers that the article will provide proof that there is no God. But going through your article you do not list any proof, but rather go on and on about the fact that you have evidence blah blah blah. You actually haven't listed any kind of proof. Come to think of it the article is actually empty. Good for debate, but it's still empty.”
San Stols: “Good for you! We, Christians, do not need proof if our Lord's exist. We know and see Him every day.”
SharksterII: “Roddie, I have evidence that your evidence is a lie, I will present when you bring this "irrefutable proof"...lol”. (Looking forward to it, Shark!).
Marietjie Meyburgh: “This article is nothing BUT some flimsy rhetoric thrown together.”
Thula Trevor: “that is why in religion there are words used like 'belief and faith', otherwise believing would be so easy (if god was visible or proven by so called intellectuals) and people who test faith like you wouldn't exist.”
Yaseen Toyboy Damon: “This article is like me claiming I've discovered a cure for cancer, but I can't share it with the rest of the world as the basis on which I found it doesn't allow me to share it... Well I say if can prove it. Let me see your proof.”
Nu_un_clear: “There's no proof in this article at all, maybe look up the meaning of the word " proof" rodince.”
That’s right, folks – just like the arguments you use in favour of your god.
Another element that crept into the commentary somewhere was the suggestion that atheists are somehow “cleverer than thou” and claiming to be more educated than believers. Well, when you have the sort of raw material like this to deal with, this time from rising bright spark Sydney Albertus Daniel:
“Thank you Martin...another nail in the coffin of atheism and the 'devilution theory'. Let's be honest...the 'devilution theory' and 'no god doctrine' is 'tooth fairy' stuff.”
You may have noticed that non-believers have to continually point out that the theory of evolution and atheism have nothing to do with one another, and also that the theory has been proven in nine different, independent branches of science. We also have to explain endlessly the difference between an hypothesis and a scientific theory. Then there’s the fallacious “Argument from Awesomeness” that is so often trotted out, where experiencing wonder at the beauty and complexity of the universe doesn’t get you to Jehovah, Jesus and the bible. I’m sorry, people, it’s not that we try to paint ourselves as better educated than believers – we actually are. Believers are caught in a wave of anti-intellectualism because it doesn’t suit their mythology, rational argument drives holes in it big enough to sink Noah’s Ark.
Naturally, the responses were peppered with threats of eternal torture and violence, but that’s pretty normal for believers. Jimmy James was particularly expressive on this point (his caps):
“R. T. AND THE FLESH AND STENCH WILL KEEP ON JUMPING TO BONES SO AS THE BURNING CAN BURN FOR EVER AND EVER!!! “.
What nice people!
Of course, it was no surprise to see believers wanting to trample on civil liberties… there were several calls for N24 to stop publishing these sorts of articles, and also to close comments on this particular one. Please bear in mind that atheists will fight for the right of believers to believe whatever they want, and indeed to write about it – they just won’t enjoy protection from criticism by rational critics.
Joe Anchovette: “News24, please ban this Rodin idiot and cease printing all these religious or anti-religious articles.”
Sizwe McIntosh: “AT News24, this story is disgraceful to be published. How can you publish such s**t here? Or you being used by the illuminati too? No wonder, no media ever talks about the true God, well we are aware this is the end of times, so media is used by the enemy, not spiritually only but even close contact.”
So the end result is that when a non-believer uses a style of argument on a believer that’s identical to that used by christians, the believers suddenly want evidence and proof – which he denies atheists when they request the same in connection with christian belief. Hypocrisy beyond belief! Now that the boot’s on the other foot, the flock should be feeling a bit sheepish…
As for the proof that atheists have? As I said before – prove that we don’t!