Ask an Atheist Project, an ongoing project of mine which is kept going by the contributions of fellow atheists who submit their responses to a series of questions. This latest entry is by a friend of mine who goes by the moniker "PaladinSkyeGodEatr" here in the crazy online world of the internet. (HERE is a link to Paladin's Gamepad on Gametrailers, where you can find his blogs, such as his blog about Homeopathy, or his examination of Pantheism (a blog on which I believe you still owe me a comment, buddy ol' pal!) both of which i enjoyed).
So, here is his submission. Read, enjoy, laugh, cry, recoil in horror, whatever and then feel free to comment, and let him know what you think, where you agree/disagree, etc. And thanks very much to Paladin for taking the time to do this. Btw, if anyone reading this wants to see the other entries, and/or enter their own submission, please click the link above. Thanks.
1) What is an atheist?/What do atheists believe?/Don't atheists worship Satan?/Can you prove that god does not exist?
An atheist is simply someone who lacks belief in any gods. It does not necessitate any other belief system or dogma. Every atheist has their own opinions and beliefs about various subjects, which vary exponentially. An atheist could worship Satan, in some type of metaphorical sense, but not as a god as that would be a contradiction of terms.
The concept of “god” is so vague and ambiguous that it is an incoherent concept. First we would need to ask “what is (a) ‘god’?” If the answer is an unfalsifiable entity, then the question itself becomes meaningless to ask; it is akin to asking “can you disprove non-existence” in that non-existence is a meaningless term in and of itself. If the answer is something that can be falsifiable, then yes, it can be disproven. Any questions regarding interaction or manipulation of the universe are falsifiable. For example, creationist arguments typically employ supposed “science based evidence” to back up their claims; those claims are falsifiable and have been repeatedly disproven, thus leaving no reason such evidence for their particular god.
2) Aren't there some things that science can't explain? Also, how can you trust science since it's always changing?
There may or may not be things that science can’t explain. I don’t think many scientists would claim either way. But it does not make its importance any less. In fact, it is one of the main motivators of science, to find the unknown and supposedly unexplainable, by use of empirical evidence.
Yes, we can trust science. It never claims absolute certainty, and by concept necessitates change as new evidence is observed. If it did not change, it would not be science, and I would not trust it. As it is ever changing, new technology is achieved for practical uses in which we all benefit.
3) What evidence would convince you that god exists?
Dying and realizing I do have a soul in which the god(s) further explain to me with substantive evidence and critical reasoning how everything is the way it is and why.
4) Why is there something rather than nothing?
Why does existence necessitate a reason? You cannot even begin to answer this question without a reasonable and coherent answer for a purpose to begin with.
5) Where do atheists think the universe came from?
As atheism does not stipulate anything other than lack of belief in gods, this question is makes no sense. An atheist can believe in whatever else they want. Furthermore, the question assumes that the universe “came” from anywhere to begin with.
6) If you met god, what would you say to him?
I disapprove of the use of calling god a “him”. Because we have no basis on what “god” is, “it” would be more of a proper term. That being said, I would say “hi”.
7) Everyone believes in god, why don't atheists believe too?
This question is a contradiction in terms. “Everyone” does not believe in god(s). That is why the term “atheist” was coined. Furthermore, no one person can speak for all atheists. As stated previously, other than the lack of belief in any gods, atheists can come to any conclusion they want to based on any reason. The same goes for their lack of beliefs.
8) Where do morals come from, if not from god?
Morals stem from being a sentient being. It means to have an opinion of what is “good” or “bad”.
9) What's the point of living if you don't believe in god?
The question assumes a purpose of living. There not need be a “point” of living. We live because of naturalistic causation. We had no other choice but to live.
10) If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys alive today?
We did not come from monkeys. Other apes and humans (we are considered a great ape) share a common ancestor.
11) Don't you atheists wish there was a heaven?
As stated previously, every atheist has their own opinions and beliefs; this includes wishes. As for a “heaven”, I would first need it to be defined before I can even answer the question for myself.
12) Why blog, debate on forums, make videos, etc?
I like to blog for various reasons. I debate on forums because I like to practice my intelligence and critical thinking, learn, and because I find it enjoyable at times. I have yet to make any videos.
13) Pascal's Wager basically states that even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has everything to gain, and nothing to lose, whereas living as an atheist can possibly cost you everything but you gain nothing. Essentially, why don't you just believe, what do you have to lose?
Pascal’s Wager is a joke. It assumes there is something to be gained from theism while nothing from atheism. One could just as easily say that a god does exist but only “saves” people based on rational thinking, in which case many atheists and theists alike would be saved, while others are not, or any other imagined situation.
I do not believe anymore because of lack of reason to, after much research and critical thinking on the matter. It was a transitional disbelief. Furthermore, I would go as far to say that I am an Ignostic, as might be evidence in my response to the first question.
14. Why does it seem the universe is “fine tuned”? Does this not necessitate a god?
The question itself assumes a universe with a supreme being, as “fine tuning” is an action. No, the universe does not need to have been “fine tuned”. There is no reason to think that the universe could be any other way. Furthermore, there is no way of knowing that the universe could or couldn’t support life if any of its naturalistic laws were different. Anybody claiming otherwise is using pseudo-scientific knowledge. Lastly, if existence is indeed eternal, or infinite, than there is an infinite amount of time for all circumstances to arise in which life arising would not be random but indeed absolutely certain regardless of the chances.