Monday, December 5, 2011

Why Cat is an atheist

P.Z. Myers has a series of guest posts by folks who have decided that they are atheists.

Here's "Cat's" story, with my commentary:

Why I am an atheist – Cat

I’m an atheist because I don’t “believe in” God. Yes, it’s as simple as that.

Calling a definition a reason is indeed simple.

I don’t see any evidence that such a being exists (or plays an active role in the world, which amounts to the same thing).

Classical philosophers for several millennia have pointed out that that existence of nature itself presupposes Someone who is uncaused existence. The evidence for an Uncaused Cause is massive-- you can fill a library with the arguments in its favor. Aquinas alone devoted hundreds of pages of Summa Theologica and Summa Contra Gentiles to meticulous explication of the argument. Atheist philosophers (Flew), pagan philosophers (Aristotle), Jewish philosophers (Maimonidies), and Islamic philosophers (Avarroes) have made the same argument. But that's not simple enough for Cat.

That’s actually stating things too narrowly: the truth is, I don’t believe in gods. Or spirits, or the supernatural in any form, really.

Notice the sloppiness, characteristic of the godless "Brights". What does Cat mean by "spirits"? Things that are immaterial? Of course, all sorts of things are immaterial. Universals are immaterial-- truth, beauty, goodness, love. Reason is immaterial. The aspects of Cat's intellect that use reason are immaterial. Matter can refer only to itself-- a particular-- and inherently cannot manipulate universals, which is the domain of reason. So Cat is making the argument against immaterial reality with her  intellect, which is immaterial (spirit).  Self-refutation is characteristic of atheist metaphysics.

If something is genuinely supernatural – truly “beyond” or “outside of” the natural world – then by definition it can’t affect us. If it can affect us, it isn’t supernatural; it’s just a part of nature we don’t understand (yet).
Huh? Cat declines to inform us how she defines "nature". The classical definition is that nature is that which is a composite of potency and act and can undergo change. Supernatural is pure act.

She declares that she doesn't see any evidence for the supernatural, then defines supernatural as 'that for which there can't be evidence' (i.e. that which can't effect the natural world).

My head hurts.

So it’s fair to say that I’m an atheist precisely because I’m a materialist.

O.K. Cat, what's "material" about about your argument that atheism and materialism are true? The very act of asserting that your viewpoint is true is a repudiation of materialism, which entails the denial that immaterial entities (such as Truth) exist.

My head is throbbing now.

There’s a classic accusation leveled against people who’ve left their faith. “You were never a Christian (or whatever) to begin with!” That’s… actually kind of true, when it comes to me. I was raised Christian, but it was never a big part of my identity. It was just one more item in a long list of things that didn’t make much sense to me, but seemed to be very important to everyone else.

A lot of things don't make sense to Cat.

As I got older, and looked at it more critically, I quit identifying as Christian at all.

As you got older, you looked at things less critically. That's how you became an atheist. The usual story is that as one gets older, one begins to want things that Christianity says are bad for us. We face temptation.

Christians try to be good and pray for Christ's grace.

Atheists say 'Bye-Bye Christianity'.

The big turning point for me wasn’t realizing “I just can’t believe this” so much as realizing that the fact that I couldn’t believe it didn’t necessarily mean that something was wrong with me.
"Belief" is one thing, Cat. Logic is another. Belief is complex even for devout Christians. Even the greatest saints have struggled with faith. But the boilerplate atheist arguments-- 'there's no evidence... only material things really exist... science is the only way to truth...' -- are so transparently stupid that they deserve only derision.

That's where I come in.

43 comments:

  1. Michael,

    Your argument is bullshit.

    I hope I've caused your brain to explode.

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  2. Oh look, another moronic post by Egnor.

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  3. Good arguments, guys. Godless intellect at work.

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  4. God made us atheists. Who are you to question His wisdom?

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  5. Annnd YOUR argument makes any sense Egnor?

    Again name-dropping 'Aquinas' here and there doesnt amount to much.

    "Notice the sloppiness, characteristic of the godless "Brights"."

    And you call yourself a man of god? First of all, why does this person named Cat matter to you? Are you trying to say something to Myers? Then post something on his blog, and stop being a coward. Secondly, you start your argument with name-calling. AGAIN. Blanketing a whole group of people by calling them sloppy doesnt sound like something jesus would do, now would it, herr egnor?

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  6. “Classical philosophers for several millennia have pointed out that that existence of nature itself presupposes Someone who is uncaused existence. »

    You’re speaking of a long period in which humankind was bathed in ignorance and superstition. Yes, libraries could be filled, and yes, every so often there were some breakthroughs, mainly via philosophy, but modern science was still crawling.

    One thing is to have feelings – love, compassion etc.. it is quite another to believe there are beings above us that dictate our lives.

    There has never been one shred of proof of the supernatural. Nothing – Zero - not one tiny thing. The supernatural lives inside your head. Back some centuries ago people thought lighting was the furry of Gods, earthquakes were punishments and people were bled to take out evil spirits.

    Science proved all this wrong.

    Immaterial does not mean supernatural. I don’t argue only material things exist, nor that science is the only way to truth. Awkwardly I do believe there is more to life than mathematics, but that doesn’t mean it is God.. it could just as easily be something we haven’t yet figured out.



    “As you got older, you looked at things less critically. That's how you became an atheist. »

    It is quite the opposite Dr. Egnor, as one gets older, one looks at things more critically and analytically.

    Temptation is with us all through our lives, in every society, throughout all periods of history.

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  7. Reading this blog makes me happy I was born in a non-religious family in a country where people are less and less religious.

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  8. The evidence for an Uncaused Cause is massive-- you can fill a library with the arguments in its favor. Aquinas alone devoted hundreds of pages of Summa Theologica and Summa Contra Gentiles to meticulous explication of the argument.

    Hundreds of pages of drivel is not evidence. You've got nothing, so you appeal to authority and hope that no one notices that your authority is nonsense.

    And once again, it is really pathetic that in a desperate attempt for attention you refer to Meyers' much more popular blog. As usual, you prove that you are nothing more than a clown smearing grease paint on your face and jumping up and down hoping someone, anyone, will notice you. Its very sad how lonely, desperate, and insignificant you really are.

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  9. I don't believe in the words of the atheists.
    If there is no immaterial, then all the ideas and words on this page are meaningless. Especially their own.
    Almost as meaningless as discussing 'truth' with a materialist. To the materialist there is no right and wrong, NO objective truth to these folks - so why should I take their strange 'grunt symbols' (words) about such matters to be honest? Especially when they show such disdain to other objects with a different chemical inclination (ie people to the rest of us)- they are so intolerant.
    If there is only the material, and no moral, philosophical, of objective truth - as these poor philosophical cretins proclaim - then they too must be deluded, lying or making things up! The difference is they are doing so admittedly and maliciously, rather than innocently. They do so with pretensions toward POWER and CONTROL.
    So I am to accept their boring and direction-less lies over well meaning, culturally rich, and functional ones? Nope.
    Even if the GNUs were right, they would be IN the wrong. But they are, fortunately for all, wrong on ALL accounts. No shock there.
    Could not fight their way out of an intellectual wet paper bag.

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  10. Are you trying to say something to Myers? Then post something on his blog, and stop being a coward.

    leaving aside the fact that Egnor knows his drivel would be torn to shreds on Meyers' blog, Egnor won't post something over there because the whole point of referencing Meyers' blog here is a desperate attempt by Egnor to drive traffic to his site. Commenting on a post on Pharyngula would do nothing to get people to pay attention to Egnor. Egnor is just a clown in face paint pathetically trying to do anything to get attention. Or more bluntly, Egnor is an attention-whore and will suck any metaphorical dick to get approval.

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  11. hurrrr durrr jessus blesss murricaDecember 5, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    @crusadeREX

    Cool story bro. Your theobabble makes no sense.

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Headdesk
    God made us atheists.

    False!

    God made you in His image and gave you free will. But you use that free will for your own pride and arrogance.

    @Anonymous
    Commenting on a post on Pharyngula...

    There is a BIG difference between Egnorance and Pharyngula.

    Dr. Egnor does not censure anyone commenting on his blog as PeeZee Myers does with his dungeon. PeeZee is like a rotten child that won’t allow to be contradicted. PeeZee is hubris incarnate!

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  13. @herpies,
    Of course it doesn't. You live in a random universe, with no purpose or function, and no base forces beyond chance (shit happens)....so of COURSE it does not make sense to you!
    Only a guided, non material or spiritual being in a dualist reality, with a physical form, and with intent and purpose would 'make sense' of of my 'theobabble' (actually NOT theology at all - but a mockery of YOUR OWN beliefs). One of us 4d+ weirdos, not one of your own 2d people....er things.
    A naturally selected lust and fear factory - like you- (meatbag?) would probably be happier eating, shitting, mating, or sleeping.
    Or maybe killing something weak and defenceless to make up for the harsh treatment by you parental / senior meatbags?
    Whatever turns you on - that is, after all, your philosophy, Herpies.

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  14. @Pépé
    "There is a BIG difference between Egnorance and Pharyngula.Dr. Egnor does not censure anyone commenting on his blog as PeeZee Myers does with his dungeon. PeeZee is like a rotten child that won’t allow to be contradicted. PeeZee is hubris incarnate!"

    100%. The comparison is just NOT THERE.

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  15. Pépé and crusadeREX:

    God made you in His image and gave you free will. But you use that free will for your own pride and arrogance.

    Or maybe killing something weak and defenceless to make up for the harsh treatment by you parental / senior meatbags?

    I can't tell which one of you is more insane.

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  16. Dr. Egnor does not censure anyone commenting on his blog as PeeZee Myers does with his dungeon. PeeZee is like a rotten child that won’t allow to be contradicted.

    Spoken like someone whose repeated idiocy got him banished to the dungeon. If your posts here are any indication, you're too stupid to be let out in public anyway.

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  17. Of course, all sorts of things are immaterial. Universals are immaterial-- truth, beauty, goodness, love. Reason is immaterial.

    Sorry, you lose. These are all concepts created by very real material objects - human brains. They only exist to the extent humans conceive of them and define them, using material processes to do so. No need for mystical mumbo-jumbo.

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  18. Anonymous Coward,

    You have already demonstrated that you are sorely lacking in native intelligence; there is no need to keep bludgeoning a busted pinata. Dr. Egnor has commented at Pharyngula in the past and there is nothing wrong with him choosing to address Pharyngula content on his blog. PZ Myers does the same thing.

    Oh, and the vast majority of Pharynguloids are noxious mediocrities.

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  19. ...there is nothing wrong with him choosing to address Pharyngula content on his blog.

    Nothing wrong with it. It is just a desperate plea for attention, pathetically attempting to get people to notice his useless blather by glomming on to a much more popular blog. Egnor just smears on the clown makeup and waves his arms frantically hoping that someone, anyone, will pay attention to him.

    There's nothing wrong with it. It is just sad, desperate, and pathetic. Like you.

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  20. Oh, and the vast majority of Pharynguloids are noxious mediocrities.

    You and Egnor have noxious down pat, but you'd have to raise the intellectual content of your posts considerably to rise to "mediocrity" status.

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  21. AC,

    And yet you continue to post here, anonymously. Pharyngula is popular because there is no shortage of pretentious morons like you on the internet. PZ made a huge gaffe re: some studies (he did not even read them but rather relied on something he found on the internet), which I intend to address, probably on youtube. The really amusing part, though, is that several of his vapid followers, like Jen McCreight, simply cut and pasted what he wrote about the study, blissfully unaware that what he had written was total codswallop.

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  22. "God made us atheists..."

    Actually, I am willing to entertain the possibility that some bumbling demiurge created atheists (or, at the very least, the worse specimens among you).

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  23. Make that "worst specimens."

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  24. O'Brien: I think you are less demented but more arrogant than Pépé. Are you doing a contest?

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  25. Oh I'm certainly arrogant. I expect to spend a considerable amount of time among the penitents on Purgatory's first terrace. But that doesn't change the fact that the Pharyngula echo chamber is (for the most part) comprised of the worst sort of noxious mediocrities.

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  26. Pharyngula is popular because there is no shortage of pretentious morons like you on the internet.

    Pharyngula is popular because people are realizing that the bullshit you and Egnor peddle
    is nonsense dressed up in fancy clothes.

    You're just all upset that your hero is being shown up for the intellectually void clown act that he is. And you're showing yourself to be.

    PZ made a huge gaffe re: some studies (he did not even read them but rather relied on something he found on the internet), which I intend to address, probably on youtube.

    I'm sure that you will be amusing when you put on your clown makeup and join Egnor's desperate attempt to glom onto Pharyngula's popularity to gain attention. And you'll probably make a fool out of yourself demonstrating that you have no idea what you are talking about as usual.

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  27. But that doesn't change the fact that the Pharyngula echo chamber is (for the most part) comprised of the worst sort of noxious mediocrities.

    And yet they run laps around you and Egnor intellectually.

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  28. "Pharyngula is popular because people are realizing that the bullshit you and Egnor peddle
    is nonsense dressed up in fancy clothes."

    Feel free to add that delusion to your stockpile AC.

    "You're just all upset that your hero is being shown up for the intellectually void clown act that he is. And you're showing yourself to be."

    I am friendly with Dr. Egnor but he is not my idol by any means. By way of contrast, PZ is the idol of his vapid followers.

    "...And you'll probably make a fool out of yourself demonstrating that you have no idea what you are talking about as usual."

    Not likely.

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  29. "And yet they run laps around you and Egnor intellectually."

    I could take your opinion and a dime and still come up short at the gumball machine AC.

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  30. Not likely.

    I see you are afflicted by the Dunning-Kruger effect.

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  31. @Herpies,

    "I can't tell which one of you is more insane."

    Again you strain to understand something that should not exist to your mind...er brain. 'Insane'? That is merely a relative state in your estimation. There is not real 'sane' behaviour, only the accepted social and legal norms.
    Pépé's comments on free will, and my own on determinism will naturally seem to be 'insane' or make no 'sense' to you.
    Your cosmology is a causeless, random, and futile one: Sanity and sense are meaningless.
    Why seek what you do not believe in? Is somewhere in there a tiny little bit of atrophied FAITH?
    Very Quixotic stuff indeed.
    Oh...and to your monistic world view - INSANE.

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  32. @all materialists:

    Sanity, like morality is illusory... no?
    So why bother your limbic brains with things like sanity?
    Just go scratch that itch...whatever it is today.

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  33. "I see you are afflicted by the Dunning-Kruger effect."

    No, what we have here is you projecting your transparent mediocrity onto others. (Ah, if only I could buy you for what you are worth and sell you for what you think you are worth.)

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  34. Incidentally, one cannot be "afflicted by the Dunning-Kruger effect," but one can be an exemplar of it, as is the case with our anonymous coward.

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  35. No, what we have here is you projecting your transparent mediocrity onto others.

    As usual, you've got nothing. Sad and pathetic to see you dance around in your clown makeup thinking that you have anything worthwhile to say.

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  36. Atheists are cowards because atheism is intellectually hollow. Be reminded that their Flag bearer, Dawkins scampered away from WL Craig, like a frightened rabbit. PZee Myers ran away from Vox Day, but not before hurling insults.

    Although, I’m not a Christian, I’m with you in this fight. Atheism has a long history of wickedness. Think of the horrors that happened under atheists regimes in the 20th century. Atheism should be crushed!

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  37. @Anonymous

    I thought you were serious for a moment. Nice Poe.

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  38. Comments here are more and more looking like Spy vs Spy

    Atheism ruins everything!

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  39. I find this blog hilarious. But suddenly I realize that Michael Egnor, crusadeREX, Pépé and O'Brien are not just words on a screen, but they are real people who actually exist in the real world. And this is extremely scary.

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  40. @Anonymous

    ...this is extremely scary.

    Booh!

    You better get a life...

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  41. You better get a life...

    At least he isn't wasting his on fairy tales like you are.

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  42. "Pépé said...

    Season's Greetings to all atheists!"

    Whoooaaa.. that is SO hilarious! Boy that'll show them atheists!

    As usual Pepe, you've got no decent input.

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