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Why I am not an Atheist

November 6, 2013

There are a number of reasons why I refuse to consider myself an atheist, including a refusal of the ontology guiding secular humanists:

Holes in the biological explanation of living beings

Evolutionary theory offers us the best knowledge we have yet of human biology, but it still offers us little in answer to the big questions. Problems of life origins, of consciousness, of the mechanism of evolution are far from solved by the current scientific situation of knowledge, despite the enthusiastic claims of atheists that they have been solved in favor of a materialist ontology in line with their atheist position. Some may point to natural selection, but to this day what this theory gives us is an accurate way to gauge and measure evolutionary changes after they have happened. We still have very little control over, or understanding of, the genetic mechanisms as they happen. Despite mapping the whole genetic code. The origin of life according to natural selection theory relies on a pure article of faith, after the fact, that out of randomness something out of nowhere replicated itself, purely by accident. A conceptual and logical paradox. Note that the scientific knowledge is still there and valuable in its correct domain, but what we don’t have is support for ontological conclusions that atheists would like to push for.

The paradox of a first cause in a materialist universe

The Atheist has a story of how everything in the universe was created, he calls it the big bang. Yet the paradox of a first cause remains, and it remains unclear if there was something that caused this big bang, or if it was the result of a previous big crunch.

The limits of rational thought

The paradoxes we have talked about arise because of the limits of the rational mind, and the fact that this is only one part of our consciousness that we draw upon to understand and make sense of the world around us. Why would I then be drawn to an atheist position when it ignores these limits and ignores the other means through which we understand the world and our surroundings?

Conflict between the two fundamental theories in physics: Quantum Theory and Relativity

We all know of this issue that has been with us for some time in theoretical physics. What does the conflict tell us? That the theories are wrong? Of course not, they work perfectly in their respective domains. What it tells us is that: not for all the knowledge in physics do we find support for a specific ontological position about the fundamental physical and material make-up of the world.

These are then some of the core reasons why I am not an atheist. My issue is not its promotion and enthusiastic support of scientific knowledge, this is a good thing. But its over use and misuse of it to justify ontological conclusions convenient to the atheist position, that simply do not follow from the scientific knowledge we have available to us.

Note:

I had planned to go into more detail on these aspects of why I am not an atheist, but I will have to save that for the next time I come back to this topic, as my computer decided to get a life of its own and start downloading hundreds of updates I didn’t ask it to download. These downloads slowed my computer down to crashing point and cost me hours, more time than I have ever been cost by an actual virus, that these updates are supposedly supposed to protect you from.

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14 Comments
  1. And none of this has anything to do with atheism: the position of not believing that a god or gods exist.

    • I am responding to common ontological positions of secular humanists and atheists in the UK, as I refer to at the beginning of the post. If you think none of this ontology has anything to do with people who hold atheistic views you must be either very naive or disingenuous.

    • Atheism has developed into a social movement with many positive ontological views of its own that it relies on to justify its claim regarding the non-existence of god or gods.

      • Atheists have joined social movements. But that doesn’t change what atheism is.

      • Huh? Atheists don’t exist in isolation first and then join social movements. They are formed and guided themselves by these social movements.

  2. We cannot simplify things to put it down to a basic argument that gods don’t exist. As the ontology we hold influences what we mean by these terms. People mean so many different things by god, and by existence. I think it is better to try and dig a bit deeper here, rather than try and cling on to an isolated point of argument.

  3. Social movements create atheists, atheists develop views about the world, these world views lead to obsessions with particular points of argument, all guided by their ontology that makes them see things from a certain perspective. It is all interlinked. To suggest these things have nothing to do with atheism is to take an extreme isolationist view, imagining you can abstract an argument from the social context in which it has become a relevant point of debate.

    The problem with many atheists is this inability to acknowledge the social context influencing their views, while all the time they are quick to jump on the social context influencing others views, such as with religious indoctrination. There was a time when it was took for granted that some sort of god-like presence existed. We now live in a time guided by different ontological parameters. But the parameters remain. We have not broken free of them into some pure absolute realm of unprejudiced truth and knowledge.

  4. Regarding biology – consciousness, what consciousness even is and how it arose. Of the questions you raised, that is the only real question under the umbrella of evolution. The rest are, in fact, answered.

    Regarding cosmogony – The Big Bang cannot, on observation of the evidence, be doubted. The cause is still up for debate, but the fact that we don’t know what caused it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I’m not sure why you’re comfortable shoe-horning God into that unknown.
    Regarding rational thought – what other methods of knowing do you propose? You have evidence (science) or think hard about it (philosophy) (or, in reality, a mixture of both).

    Regarding relativistic and quantum disparities – there used to be a disparity between electricity and magnetism, but now it’s electromagnetism. There used to be a disparity between electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force, but now we know they are expression of the same thing. I’m not saying relativity and quantum mechanics will be unified eventually. But they may. But I don’t even see that these have to be unified.

    Summary: you’re not an atheist because you’re aware of the current frontier of science. But if you go backwards through time you’ll notice the frontier of science recede. And in those times you’d have been an atheist for comparatively easy question (that we now have natural answers for). That means you’re simply using God as polyfilla to put in the cracks of sincerely difficult questions.

    • You sound like a very typical atheist person who knows very little acting like he knows a lot, like you are an expert teaching a student or something! The gaps remain in our knowledge, and they are much bigger, and much more significant, than you like to believe and suggest in your comment. I will write in much more detail on it another time.

      As for god, I’m not using god for anything, it is atheists who are obsessed with the need to prove god doesn’t exist. God doesn’t come into an explanation for me as polyfiller or anything else, as I am happy to accept that certain things are currently unexplained, and, to my mind, agreeing with Kants epistemology, are set to remain unexplained or unexplainable, due to the limits of the rational and logical aspects of the human mind. The concept of god is as bad, if not worse, than atheism for the ambiguity in what people mean by it. So it is impossible to have any sort of meaningful debate about it without resorting to a shouting match between people disagreeing with each other interminably. However, for people who believe in god they do at least acknowledge usually that it is a personal belief, they don’t make knowledge claims about it, unlike an atheist who superficially presents “knowledge” that god doesn’t exist to justify his point of view.

      • If you’re happy there are things we don’t know, there being big questions is precisely no reason to believe in God.

      • Maybe its a reason for other people, I don’t know, people give reasons and justifications for all sorts of things. But it isn’t a reason for me to believe in god, when in using the word god we are assuming a common reference and meaning that we can all point to, but there simply isn’t one. Time to close this discussion as I am much more interested in developing my understanding than getting bogged down in arguments with people who rush in to criticize my point of view when they have no interest in what I have said, but only in what they want to say and believe.

    • how something originally replicated itself out of randomness is also an unanswered biological question, so I have already doubled your unanswered questions with a moments thought on this subject.

      • That happens all the time. So, no, you haven’t.

      • something replicates itself all the time ?? if so what happens to the law of entropy? Replication has to be a very rare occurrence otherwise the entropy of the universe is undermined. Do you not realise the conceptual difficulty of something replicating itself randomly?

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