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21 November 2010

The Rationality of Atheism

Talk of bringing atheism into a religious discussion forum brought up the position that atheism "would be the voice of reason waiting to hear what you believe and why." Disregarding the fact that superiority complexes seldom provide the voice of reason, let us examine some points:

In the presence of positive evidence, the reasonable course of action is to accept the evidence. Skepticism is healthy; denial is not. Also note that not all evidence is empirical.

In the absence of positive evidence, the reasonable positi...on is not atheism, but agnosticism. Atheism is a positive statement ("there is no God") which cannot rationally be based on no evidence.

Only negative evidence would provide a rational framework for atheism, and negative evidence cannot exist.

To examine this point on a more personal level, let us consider the case of the mathematical-dyslexic in the modern technological world. Constantly surrounded by people who tell him that mathematics provide the underlying basis for everything from skyscrapers to cellular telephones to cellular mitosis, he would nevertheless be unable to render anything beyond meaningless strings of symbols from any mathematical formula.

Since no evidence could be presented to our mathematical-dyslexic for empirical analysis, would it truly be reasonable for him to reject all non-empirical evidence (such as witness testimony from engineers) and claim that mathematics could not possibly exist? Or worse, to group with other mathematical-dyslexics and write books about how people who believe in mathematics were delusional; that mathematics was merely a superstition which only led to evil?


Karinna said...

Towering intellect. You are right; thank God you are so humble.

Gnostic Paladin said...

Heh. Thanks!

Gnostic Paladin said...

Does that represent an official endorsement by La Fritella Nostra? :)