Lawrence Meyers over at Faithzette, thinks he’s found the only open door through which atheists can find a faith in god. Hilariously, he actually asserts that the reason we have trouble believing in a god, is because we have a misconception of what god is… and he’s not being satirical. He’s dead serious:
Many atheists have simply never been given a context within which the concept of the Divine can be discussed or understood.
Right, Larry, it’s not like the vast majority of atheists out there were once devoutly religious. It’s not like many of us were pastors and priests, headed to seminary school or evangelicals out on the street passing out pamphlets. It’s not like there are many atheists who believed so strongly in their god that even in their current lack of belief, they struggle to discard the shame and the fear that comes along with a faith in any of the world’s major religions. No, with one sentence, you have managed to dismiss the entire life struggles of most people who identify as atheists today. We are just fools whose experiences simply pale in comparison to yours, oh, mighty wise one.
It’s funny, I have often been on the receiving end of a nonsensical diatribe from theists assuring me that there can be no morality without god. And yet, here you are, a religious person, acting like morality is elusive to you. Very strange.
This is about getting the conversation started in a language atheists can understand.
Yeah. This is not condescending at all, Lare-bear. Not at all.
One philosophy worth learning about is called Science of Mind, also known as Religious Science.
I see where you’re headed here, Lareski. You think because it has the word “science” in its name, that we’ll perk up and pay attention. You think that atheists are not actually skeptics, but rather, blind followers of anything called science and at the mere mention of our favourite method, we’ll believe you. Your failure here is in your lack of ability to understand what skepticism means. Your failure here is that you lack an understanding of what critical thought is. You see, as a skeptical atheist, I question everything. Yes, even everything that claims to be science.
Your Science of Mind/Religious Science/New Thought doesn’t stand up to that scrutiny, now, does it? You know like I know, that it’s not real science. It is, rather, on par with all the other wild supernatural claims that come with religious belief. It is completely unfounded guesswork pulled out of the asses of its founders.
The general conceits of New Thought — and these will be very familiar — are that there is an Infinite Intelligence, known as God, and it is everywhere. God is infinite, supreme, universal, and everlasting. In addition, Divinity itself dwells within each of us, and the highest spiritual principle is to unconditionally love each other. Another vital core belief: Our mental state does manifest into the physical and becomes an experiential part of life.
The only way your fundamental misunderstanding of an atheist’s position could be more obvious is if you had a porcine name and just built a giant boat in Kentucky. We don’t lack belief in god because we haven’t heard the right definition of god, yet. We lack belief in god because there is no evidence for any gods at all. So, before you embarrass yourself further with yet another description of what god could be, ask yourself these questions:
Is there evidence for this view of god?
Is that evidence demonstrable?
Can this demonstrable evidence be repeated by independent researchers across the globe, always yielding the same results?
If your answer to any of those is ‘no’, then chances are, Larry-Farry-Bo-Barry, chances the-fuck are you’d be hard-pressed to find an atheist who will believe it.
Larry, hun, that’s because our lack of belief is due to lack of evidence. It’s not because we haven’t heard the bestest story of god ever or considered the neatest possibilities. It’s not because it doesn’t make sense to us, or because we think god is evil or we hate god. It’s not because the Bible makes no sense and the stories seem far-fetched. It’s because, very simply, there is no evidence. Ergo, if you want us to believe in your idea of god, you must present evidence. It’s really that easy.
Anybody can get behind these ideas, particularly the last two. It’s hard to argue with unconditional love, and our culture has widely accepted the idea of “mind over matter” and “think positively.”
No, Lawrence, not everyone can get behind these ideas. There is a huge difference between “unconditional love” and “love is god”. There is a world of difference between “mind over matter” and “all our minds are part of one, single consciousness. There is a difference between “think positively” and “you can alter reality with your thoughts”.
“Love is god” is a claim. “Our minds are part of one, single consciousness” is a claim. “You can alter reality with your thoughts” is a claim. Said claims, if they are to be believed by a skeptic, require evidence. Demonstrable, repeatable evidence. I feel like Hey Jude because my son spins it on the old turntable over and over and over and over again. I keep saying this shit and it never seems to sink in.
“Believe in god.”
“Sure, evidence please.”
“Think about it this way: you believe in love. Well, god is love.”
“Okay, please prove it and I will consider it.”
“I don’t think you’re thinking about the possibilities, here. We could all be connected by some energy force – why can’t that be god?”
“It totes could, but you have to provide evidence of that for me to believe it.”
“But god is everything.”
“God could be the universe.”
“God is your ham sandwich.”
“God is in your socks"
“God is dog farts.”
You know the drill, amirite, atheists? No matter how many ways you stretch and skew what “god” means, we will still require evidence to believe it.
As I like to explain to atheists, I think of God as being an energy that flows through me that I can access any time I choose (and yes, you better believe George Lucas pulled from some of this same stuff when he created “The Force”).
Actually, Mr. Meyers, George Lucas was consulted by Joseph Campbell on his use of mythological plot mechanics. Campbell is the author of Hero With A Thousand Faces, and a master of comparative mythology. His perspective was not just fascinating and mind-opening, but it was also that the Jesus story was just another hero’s journey, like Luke Skywalker and The Buddha and Odysseus.
No one is disputing it makes a damned good story, there Lar-bear. It does. It totally does. But the evidence for the divinity of Christ is just as abundant as the evidence my husband is a Sith Lord. That is to say, not abundant at all.
The thing is, though, Larry, that what you “think of god as being” has no actual weight in real life. Your subjective thoughts and opinions do nothing to provide for us the evidence we require to share your views. We can all make wild, unfounded claims. Your neighbour could tell you that you have to gift them your car in order to keep the ravenous, human-eating moon beasts out of your neighbourhood. Your financial advisor could tell you to invest in IQ enhancing sunglasses. I could tell you that I’m 6 feet tall and have a third boob. Making a claim is easy. Backing it up is not so much.
We’re not missing the best explanation of god. You can tell us you like to think of god as a good blowjob first thing in the am, and we’d still resist your claims.
Larry, baby, doll, sugar bum… what we’re missing is…
Evidence of the light, my darling, is how you get atheists to “see the light”.