Astounding Ignorance From Christian Apologist Carson Weitnauer

You wouldn't think a co-editor of a book titled, True Reason: Christian Responses to the Challenge of Atheism,could be so unreasonable or utterly ignorant about atheism, but he is. The prerequisite for offering criticisms of atheism is to understand it. Let's explore his ignorance, below:

Weitnauer maintains that since many atheists claim the proper definition of atheism is simply the absence of belief in gods,
if atheism is a lack of belief and not a positive affirmation of what is real, good, and true, then the atheist immediately runs into serious problems.
Because of these problems he argues “'Atheism' Is Unworthy of Our Respect." He offers three "serious problems" of this definition. Let's explode them one by one.

This Atheism Offers No Support For Any Other Beliefs

Since atheism affirms nothing about the world, it cannot provide evidential or rational support for any other beliefs. All that atheism affirms is “lack of belief in gods.” But an absence of belief in gods is not a sufficient foundation for building any further conclusions.
Wait just a minute! What follows if there isn't sufficient reason to believe in any gods? No, really, give it a go. Use your brain. Play this song while you do:

Okay, ready? If atheists don't believe in any gods then they don't accept any supernatural beings or forces, which is the definition of a religion. Lots of things can follow from this, most notably Carl Sagan's aphorism that "The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be," but they don't need to do so. Atheism is not a worldview or a religion, and it requires no faith either.

Atheism Is Not Pro-Reason or Pro-Science

This point is just a clarification of the prior section. Because atheism cannot offer support for any positive belief, atheism is not intrinsically pro-reason or pro-science. Individual atheists might be in favor of reason or science, but they are not in favor of reason or science because of their atheism. If atheists wish to claim that they love reason and science, then they first have to state which beliefs they do have, the ideas that lead them to value reason and science. But even if they can do this, those beliefs are, by definition, not related to atheism. So “atheism” can never be pro-reason or pro-science. An individual atheist might happen to also have these values, but their ardent promotion of reason and science is not rationally related to their lack of belief in a god.
Oh, this deserves another clip, this one:

You see, Weitnauer fails to understand the basic distinction between a definition and a justification. The atheist definition is not meant to offer a justification for said definition. The justification for nonbelief comes from many sources, most notably science and reason.

Atheism is Not Morally Progressive

If atheism cannot offer support for any other belief, then atheists may or may not value the abolition of slavery, gay marriage, equal pay for women, abortion, communism, and greedy Wall Street bankers. No moral standards are implied by “I lack belief in the gods.” Because no moral vision can be logically grounded simply by the absence of belief in God, atheism is not morally progressive...So whenever an atheist argues for a moral position, it is fair to ask: what do you base your morals on? If atheism is just the lack of belief in gods, then morality is not based and cannot be based on “atheism.
Look, we need to begin thinking here. And to do that we must compare alternatives. What are the alternatives? There are authoritative commands from gods and godessess as communicated by private subjective voices to people who, because they become the official spokespersons of these gods and goddesses gain authoritative power over others. This has led to massive bloodshed, witch hunts, the inhibition of scientific progress and suicide bombers in a world of weapons of mass destruction and potential environmental disasters, along with a long list I don't care to go into further. If anything, when compared to this, I'll take what science has produced. Science has shown us what makes for human flourishing.

Enough ignorance. You can read more of it from him right here.

Weitnauer is the co-editor of the book in which David Marshall wrote two chapters. Go figure. Since Weitnauer has just shown himself to be a dummy, I highly recommend Dale McGowan's book, Atheism For Dummies.


Greg G. said...

Hey, is this thing on?