November 10th, 2010
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Did you notice the new Guest comic page? Contributions are invited.
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Ah, yes. They do get confused, don’t they. Brilliant once again, Author.
“Ah, yes. I recall from your file that you are some sort of theist,” said the Emperor. “I am an atheist, myself. A simple faith, but a great comfort to me, in these last days.” (He’s dying.)
—Lois McMaster Bujold, Shards of Honor
This was one of the best so far! 😀
This particular gem describes one of the great feats of sophistry committed by the faithful. This is what George Orwell dubbed “Double-Think.” First, the faithful will exclaim how virtuous faith is. Then, after debating atheists who think faith is a vice, the theists want to tell the atheists that “you’re just as stupid as us! See, you use faith TOO!”
It’s like “I am rubber – you are glue”
Completely asinine and facetious.
ROFLMAO!! Funniest webcomic of the day! (So far, still got about 20 more to read)
The inability to prove something does not prove it, neither does the disability of not proving anything deny it. The whole things ends up in faith, of one sort or another, a theist or atheist, usually confused.
Religious people will claim religion is a good thing, and then disparage atheism by claiming atheism is a religion, thereby disparaging religion.
I haven’t been confused about the “supernatural” since I gave up superstition (40 years ago) (for Lent) (HA! Take that faithy-faithists!).
Did that make as much sense as a NBH post?
The point of the religious pointing out that atheism is a faith is not to disparage faith, but to disparage the disparaging by pointing out that they are kinda hypocritical.
Religion is not faith. It’s just a type of faith. Atheism is a faith. Belief in extra-terrestrials is a faith. Even marriage is a faith; I mean, if it’ supposed to be built on trust, why do they call cheating “being unfaithful”?
So everyone has faith, whether or not they know it or like to admit it.
I suppose I’ll be willing to concede that my beliefs constitute ‘faith’ but I’ll defend to the death my lack of ‘religious faith’. Atheos = without god doesn’t it? Not without faith.
AAAHHH~excellent strip Author~ that is just too funny!
Thank you r00d b00y, for further demonstrating the fallacy of equivocation.
It’s not for Atheists to prove a god doesn’t exist. It’s for theists to prove their god does and so far, they haven’t.
r00db00y, your first paragraph is exactly right. Not going to accept that “atheism is a faith”, though.
We all believe some things without evidence, like getting in the car today is not going to end in a bad accident.
Since I see no evidence for any god, my lack of belief is only logical. Why should being unable to prove a negative about the non-existence of any kind of god, anywhere invalidate my disbelief?
Actually I can prove with 100% certainty that the god Mo believes in doesn’t exist, or at least I can if he doesn’t start denying all the miracles and other nonsense claims usually accepted by the faithful. It’s only when they are pressed that the apologists start getting vague and talk of allegories and poetry, not miracles.
Then there are the theologists who acknowledge that the gods the religious masses believe in couldn’t exist. Still they insist, for the sake of argument (what do you expect – it’s their job), that atheists are mistaken because somewhere, somewhen, there might be something that could be called a god. Meh. Evidence, please, and extraordinary evidence at that or why bother?
NBH still manages to sidestep the Turing challenge. But I would argue that there is just enough stupidity in what he says to prove he is a human after all. How is beleiving in science a faith?
@ r00db00y Long time no see! You are correct about the strip misrepresenting the reasons why the religious like to claim atheism is a faith. It was a cheap shot, played for laughs. However, as others have pointed out, you really should read up on the fallacy of equivocation.
This one really made me smile–because I loved this statement from Greta Christina just the other day:
“It’s a little odd to have this accusation [that atheism is faith-based] hurled in such an accusatory manner by people who supposedly respect and value faith.”
Love it! Thanks, Author:))
Its merely the hollow arguments of those who have lost the argument, they just use words incorrectly in the hope that you won’t notice. Faith is just a word with a meaning, that meaning does not imply religion, it implies trust, nothing says what that trust is in except the context in which that word is used. It isn’t relevant that the user does not understand his/her own language and uses the word incorrectly.
Atheism, to simplify, is a state of being without god, that does not imply the existence of god neither does it imply a set of articles of belief. It does not imply any trust in anything except one’s own powers of reasoning either. Therefore it is incorrect to say that atheism is a religion or religious faith; because it is incorrect the argument becomes semantic not philosophical.
Everybody’s gotta believe in something, even if it’s nothing.
yaggiddy yaggiddy yaggiddy
Religious faith is belief in unprovable impossibilities. All other types of “faith” are merely trust, even if the thing in question can’t be proven. So there’s a world of difference between “faith” in extra-terrestrial life (an eminently probable though unprovable assertion), and faith that someone can magically come alive after being dead three days.
My proof there is no god? G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, etc are still walking around freely on American streets and not in prison. Of course, those streets are in secure private gated compounds that are surrounded by armed guards, but still……
The ‘faith’ card, when played by the theist is facile at best and dubious at worst, the reason being is not that atheists do not have any articles of faith, but that any article of faith necessary to the atheist is one he shares with the theist. I consider the following to be my articles of faith:
1. I exist
2. A space separate from I exists, which I call the World
3. I have means of gaining information about the World, which I call Senses (not necessarily just the five).
4 My senses can give me wrong information.
5. There exist entities similar to I in the World.
I think that from these axioms & no others, observation and logical thought I can derive my position. I furthermore think that at least the Abrahamic faiths need these as prerequisites before making their own added presuppositions about God & the supernatural.
If this is the faith they are accusing me of, then fine, but they also better get rid of it then, and see how the rest of their edifice holds up.
Science is a faith, read a little bit about the history of various things that were accepted as science, believed and eventually abandoned, evolved or ignored. If an atheist has no faith in nothing, than they end up believing in something. Why are scientists dealing mostly with theories, derived from what? Perhaps the belief that they might be right? Laws are rare and difficult to prove, like the existence of nothing in the presence of something. Kindly don’t refer to others as stupid, it indicates a lack of faith.
@Nassar Ben Houdja. I’ve never called you stupid, Nassar. But you ARE ignorant and willfully so. The strength of science is that it requires us to revise theories in light of new evidence. It is the opposite of dogmatism, which claims that bronze age desert dwellers had all the answers. I gave you a reading list. Have you read any good books lately, or do you prefer to remain ignorant and misinformed?
Faith, the we just say so of credulity, begs the question of its subject. Science, as Sydney Hook notes, is acquired knowledge whilst faith begs the question of being so. Reason removes mountains of ignorance whilst faith rests on the argument from ignorance.
” Logic is the bane of theists.’ Fr. Grig\ggs
@NBH – I knew you would prove me right on the Turing arguement! No please listen to our good friend on this blog Darwin Harmless.
I’d say I’m more Peart than Dawkins in my non-belief anyway. Besides, have you seen the way that man plays drums? That there’s a religious experience in of itself!
Well, at least without the religious part… 😉
I love, love, love this one!!!! I basically had this argument about atheism with a friend of mine. And almost verbatim, he said the same thing as Jesus (about RD). It always pissed me off! Thank you!
@ Cygia – Peart is by far one of the most religious experiences available in today’s world. The drummer who other drummers say damn he’s awesome!!!!
@Unruly Simian — during this most recent tour, I was grinning like a fiend when Rush played “Freewill”, “Faithless” & “BU2B” one after the other. Given the themes of those songs (LOVE “Faithless” especailly), I doubt that was a random choice by the boys.
No no no, Richard Dawkins is not our prophet, he’s our saint. Completely different thing!
“The conventional wisdom goes like this: new atheists are aggressive, strident, shrill, militant, and fundamentalist. Their atheism is itself a religion, Richard Dawkins is their saint, and science is their god. They think science can answer all questions and that atheism can prove that god does not exist. They want to stamp out religion entirely, and if they get their way there will be no more art, literature, emotion, love, morality, or beauty.”
@OB. Theres an interesting thing going on here- something like “the only way art, literature, emotion, love, morality, or beauty can have value is if they are mysteries. Science kills mysteries, therefore science must be kept away from these things”
Dennett tells the story of a mate of his writing a book about magic. “Real magic?” he gets asked- “No, the stuff that conjurors do- pick a card, indian rope trick etc.” People get disappointed- “Oh, so not REAL magic then?”- In other words the only REAL magic is the kind that doesn’t exist.
I hypothesise that this is at the root of the objection of those who oppose scientific understanding- they think it kills all the things of value- once we show them it doesnt, their objections (which were always shite- read NBH for examples) melt away.
Typical religi-head’s fallacy, confusing ‘faith’ with ‘religion’.
(I might have faith in my table – as in ‘this is a sturdy table, I have faith in its sturdiness, so go ahead, put your priceless Ming vase on my sturdy table, it will not buckle and break under its weight – but this would hardly make me a member of the Seven Day Table Sturdiness Church, now would it?)
I can’t remember who first said it, but one of my favourite responses to this argument is “atheism is a faith in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby”.
Dawkins isn’t qualified to be a saint, as (i) he’s still alive and (ii) he hasn’t any accredited miracles. But we could imagine him as a sort of Pope with Hitchens, Benson and all the rest of the cabal in pointy hats, or maybe pointy hair.
@theholyllama, and in the same way that being bald is a hair colour.
But we’re atheists, so we get to make up our own rules about who gets to be our saint, so we’ve picked Dawkins, because we know it teases.
But if I get to wear a pointy hat too – well ok, you can change the rules. I’ll do anything for the sake of wearing a pointy hat!
What if atheism really is a faith… if we admit it, will the god-botherers go away and stop trying to make out we’re just as bad as them?
Let’s just say “oh yes, atheism and science are both faiths, you’re bang to rights, oh you’re too clever for us” so they can collect their free toaster or desk pad with built-in calculator or whatever it is they’re after?
@ fenchurch: no, that won’t satisfy them. One cannot coexist with someone that requires conversion of the other.