Difference between revisions of "Atheism"

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(Creationists tend to win creation-evolution debates)
(Replacing page with 'Atheism is the philosophy of individuals who don't require an invisible man in the sky to direct their lives.')
Line 1: Line 1:
'''Atheism''', as defined by the ''Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' and the ''Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy'', is the denial of the existence of any [[God]].<ref>http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/</ref><ref>http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1998</ref>
+
Atheism is the philosophy of individuals who don't require an invisible man in the sky to direct their lives.
 
+
==Attempts to Dilute the Definition of Atheism==
+
Since 1979 proponents of atheism have often been attempting to dilute the definition of atheism to mean a mere [[agnosticism|lack of belief]] there is a God or gods.<ref name="DivCon">http://www.thedivineconspiracy.org/athart3.htm</ref>
+
One of the reasons why some proponents of atheism have been attempting to dilute the definition of the term atheism is to shift the burden of proof regarding the existence of God. <ref name="DivCon" />
+
 
+
In the article, ''Is Atheism Presumptuous''?, atheist [[Jeffery Jay Lowder]], a founder of [[Internet Infidels]], states that "I agree [with Copan] that anyone who claims, "God does not exist," must shoulder a burden of proof just as much as anyone who claims, "God exists." <ref name="DivCon" />
+
In short, the attempt to redefine atheism is a merely an attempt to make no assertions so no facts need be offered.<ref name="DivCon" />  The attempt to redefine atheism, however, is not in accordance with the standard definitions of atheism that encyclopedias of philosophy employ which is that atheism is a denial of the existence of God or gods.<ref>http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/</ref><ref>http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1998</ref><ref name="DivCon" />
+
==Types of Atheism Further Explained==
+
There different types of atheism, based on different answers to the following questions:
+
* In what God or gods deny and/or disbelieve?
+
* Why does the atheist deny and/or disbelieve?
+
* How does the atheist's denial and/or disbelief manifest itself?
+
 
+
=== Which God or gods? ===
+
Since atheism is denial or disbelief in a God or gods, it is important first to identify in ''which god'' the atheist denies or disbelieves.  In ancient times, for example, Christians were accused of being atheists because of their disbelief of the pagan gods, even though they believed in the ''Christian'' God.<ref>Athenagoras, ''A Plea for the Christians, 2d century a.d.[http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/athenagoras-plea.html]</ref>  Socrates was also accused of Atheism, although references to God run throughout his recorded statements.<ref>Plato, Apol., 26,c.</ref>  Also, [[Albert Einstein]] and [[Baruch Spinoza]] professed belief in "God," but they defined "God" as the cosmos as a whole, and without personality.  Therefore, one can be considered an atheist with respect to one god, but a theist with respect to another, and it is important to understand first in ''what God'' the atheist denies or claims to disbelieve.
+
 
+
=== Why does the atheist state they disbelieve?===
+
Atheists claim there are two main reasons for their denial of the existence of God and/or disbelief in God: the conviction that there is positive evidence or argument that God does not exist ([[Strong atheism]]), and their claim that theists bear the burden of proof to show that God exists, that they have failed to do so, and that belief is therefore unwarranted ([[Weak atheism]]).
+
 
+
=== Manifestations ===
+
There are two ways that atheism manifests itself:
+
* Theoretical atheism: atheism of the mind -- that is, ''believing'' that God does not exist.
+
* Practical atheism: atheism of the life - that is, ''living'' as though God does not exist. <ref>Dr. [[Martin Luther King]] in his sermon ''A letter to American Christians'' spoke of "practical atheism".[http://www.christianitytoday.com/leaders/newsletter/2001/cln10117.html]</ref>
+
 
+
== Various Causal Factors of Atheism ==
+
There are a number of reasonable causes for atheism:
+
* Rebellion -- atheism stems from a deliberate choice to ignore the reality of God's existence<ref>"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse..." - Romans 1:19-20 (NKJV) </ref>
+
* Error -- atheism partly stems from a failure to fairly and judiciously consider the facts <ref>"A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere--'Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,' as Herbert says, 'fine nets and stratagems.' God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous." -- C.S. Lewis, ''Suprised by Joy''.</ref>
+
* Troubled/non-existent relationship with a father may influence one towards becoming an atheist.<ref>http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth12.html</ref>  Dr. [[Paul Vitz]] wrote a book entitled ''Faith of the Fatherless'' in which he points out that after studying the lives of more than a dozen leading atheists and found that a large majority of them had a father who was the following: present but weak; present but abusive, or a father who was absent.<ref>http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/vitz.txt</ref><ref>http://www.probe.org/content/view/36/91/</ref>  Dr. Vitz also examined the lives of prominent theists who were contemporaneous to their atheist counterparts and from the same culture and in every instance these prominent theists had a good relationship with his father.<ref>http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/vitz.txt</ref> Dr. Vitz has also noted other common factors he observed in the famous atheists he profiled: they were all intelligent and arrogant.<ref>http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/vitz.txt</ref>
+
 
+
== Biblical Statements Regarding Atheism ==
+
[[Image:134t.gif|thumb|200px|left|The psalmist [[David]] wrote: "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."]]
+
The writers of the Bible considered the existence of God to be self-evident and [[Moses]] simply wrote: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." ([[Genesis]] 1:1). <ref>http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/AnswersBook/existence1.asp</ref>
+
 
+
Accordingly, the psalmist [[David]] wrote the following:
+
 
+
"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" - [[Psalm]] 14:1 ([[King James Bible|KJV]])
+
 
+
The psalmist David also stated that "The heavens declare the glory of God..." - Psalm 19:1
+
 
+
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans that the creation testifies to the existence of God when he wrote the following:
+
 
+
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse..." - [[Romans]] 1:19-20 (NKJV)
+
 
+
==Tenuousness of Atheism in Prominent People Who Claimed to Atheist==
+
[[Image:Sartre1.gif|thumb|150px|right|[[Jean-Paul Sartre]]]]
+
The atheism of notable people who claimed to be atheists has had the characteristic of tenuousness in regards to maintaining thoughts in accordance with atheism. For example, [[Jean-Paul Sartre]] was one of the leading atheists of the 20th Century.  Yet Jean-Paul Sartre made this candid confession:
+
{{cquote|As for me, I don’t see myself as so much dust that has appeared in the world but as a being that was expected, prefigured, called forth. In short, as a being that could, it seems, come only from a creator; and this idea of a creating hand that created me refers me back to God. Naturally this is not a clear, exact idea that I set in motion every time I think of myself. It contradicts many of my other ideas; but it is there, floating vaguely. And when I think of myself I often think rather in this way, for wont of being able to think otherwise.<ref>http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/apologetics/AP0702W4.htm</ref>}}
+
[[Image:darwin.jpg|thumb|150px|left|[[Charles Darwin]]]]
+
[[Charles Darwin]] wrote in his private notebooks that he was a [[materialism|materialist]] which is a type of atheist.<ref>http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1877</ref><ref>American Scientist May 1977:323</ref>  The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states the following:
+
{{cquote|In 1885, the Duke of Argyll recounted a conversation he had had with Charles Darwin the year before Darwin's death:
+
 
+
In the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilisation of [[Orchid]]s, and upon The [[Earthworm]]s, and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in nature—I said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of Mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin's answer. He looked at me very hard and said, “Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times,” and he shook his head vaguely, adding, “it seems to go away.”(Argyll 1885, 244] <ref>http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/teleological-arguments/notes.html</ref>}}
+
 
+
== Denials That Atheist Exist ==
+
[[Image:Vantil.gif|thumb|150px|right|Dr. [[Cornelius Van Til]]]]
+
Some have asserted that atheists do not exist.  In regards to a biblical statement on atheism Sir [[Francis Bacon]] stated in his essay ''Of Atheism'' the following regarding atheism:
+
{{cquote|The [[Bible|Scripture]] saith, The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God; it is not said, The fool hath thought in his heart; so as he rather saith it, by rote to himself, as that he would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it....It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip, than in the heart of man.<ref>http://www.authorama.com/essays-of-francis-bacon-17.html</ref>}}
+
 
+
In addition, Christian [[philosophy|philosophers]] and [[Christian apologetics|apologists]] Dr. [[Cornelius Van Til]] and Dr. [[Greg Bahnsen]] argued there are no atheists and that atheists are actively suppressing their belief and knowledge of God and enigmatically engage in self-deception.<ref>http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/PA191.htm</ref> The [[England|English]] poet [[Edward Young]] wrote in his famous work ''Night Thoughts'' that "By night, an atheist half-believes a God."<ref>http://www.bartleby.com/100/224.html</ref>
+
 
+
There is also the aforementioned tenuousness of the atheism in Charles Darwin and Jean-Paul Sartre who claimed to be atheists.
+
 
+
== Claims of the Conditionality and Nonconditionality of Atheism ==
+
[[Image:Raphael.jpg|left|140px|thumb|[[Plato]]]]
+
[[Plato]] wrote that "Few men are so obstinate in their atheism, that a pressing danger will not
+
compel them to the acknowledgement of a divine power."<ref>http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0609D&L=ads-l&P=15696</ref>  Reverend William T. Cummings is famous for stating that "There are no atheists in foxholes."<ref>http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0609D&L=ads-l&P=15696</ref>  Chaplain F.W. Lawson of the 302d Machine Gun Battalion, who was wounded twice in wartime, stated "I doubt if there is such a thing as an atheist. At least there isn't in a front line trench."<ref>http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0609D&L=ads-l&P=15696</ref>
+
 
+
Although news organization MSNBC featured a story in which atheist veterans claimed that there ''are'' atheists in foxholes,<ref>http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14322117/</ref> as previously mentioned, Sir [[Francis Bacon]] wrote: "The [[Bible|Scripture]] saith, The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God; it is not said, The fool hath thought in his heart; so as he rather saith it, by rote to himself, as that he would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it....It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip, than in the heart of man.<ref>http://www.authorama.com/essays-of-francis-bacon-17.html</ref> In addition, the Bible states that "The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit."(Proverbs 14:8). Also, there is the previously-mentioned theory of Christian [[philosophy|philosophers]] and [[Christian apologetics|apologists]] [[Cornelius Van Til]] and Dr. [[Greg Bahnsen]] who argued there are no atheists and that atheists are actively suppressing their belief and knowledge of God and enigmatically engage in self-deception.<ref>http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/PA191.htm</ref>'''
+
 
+
==Atheism and [[Communism]] ==
+
[[Karl Marx]] said "[Religion] is the opium of the people," <ref>http://www3.baylor.edu/~Scott_Moore/texts/Marx_Opium.html</ref>  and also wrote: "Communism begins from the outset (Owen) with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction." <ref>http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/comm.htm</ref>
+
 
+
[[Vladimir Lenin]] similarly wrote: "A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could."<ref>http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1909/may/13.htm</ref>
+
 
+
==Criticism==
+
 
+
===Atheism and Logic===
+
[[Image:Bible_Const2.jpg‎|thumb|225px|right|Dr. [[D. James Kennedy]]]]
+
[[D. James Kennedy|Dr. D. James Kennedy]] wrote the following regarding the illogicality of atheism:
+
{{cquote|Atheism is what is called a "[[universal negative]]." One of the laws of logic is that you can't prove a universal negative....You would have to examine every part of the universe....
+
 
+
By the way, you would have to be very, very fast because, who knows, this God, these angels....may be very, very fast, and just after you get somewhere, they may have left for another part of the universe.
+
 
+
This means that you would have to be [[omnipresent]]. You would also have to know everything about every part of the universe, so you would be [[omniscient]]. Then, just at the point when you proved that there was no God, you would also have proven that you were one.<ref>http://www.kennedycommentary.org/default.asp?pg=topicmessage&id=1419</ref>}}
+
 
+
Logician [[Mortimer Adler]] concurs with Dr. Kennedy that the standard definition of atheism which attempts to prove a universal negative is a self- defeating proposition and prominent atheists such as [[Gordon Stein]] and [[Carl Sagan]] have candidly stated that God's existence cannot be disproven.<ref>http://www.thedivineconspiracy.org/athart3.htm</ref>
+
 
+
===Atheism and Reasonable Argument===
+
 
+
Theists often criticize atheism as being contrary to persuasive argument.  [[Arguments for the existence of God]] include:
+
* [[Teleological argument]]: The universe exhibits overwhelming evidence of deliberate, intelligent, purposeful design, which implies an [[intelligent design]]er;
+
* [[Cosmological argument]]: Every event in our universe necessarily has a cause.  However, it is impossible that there should be an unending chain of causes going back.  Therefore, there necessarily must be a cause ''distinct'' from the universe as we know it which is capable of causing all things and is itself uncaused.  Atheism denies that that [[First Cause]] is God.
+
* [[Ontological argument]]: Since existence is inherent to the definition of God, it is impossible to conceive of God without conceiving of Him as existing;
+
* Historical arguments for the existence of God: Arguments stemming from historical accounts and archaeological evidence;
+
* Experiential arguments for the existence of God: Arguments based on personal experience and human intuition;
+
 
+
===Atheism and Mass Murder===
+
 
+
[[Image:Stalin.jpg‎ |right|225px|thumb|[[Joseph Stalin]]'s atheistic regime killed tens of millions of people.]]
+
Christian apologist Gregory Koukl wrote that "the assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world.
+
There are people who make accusations and assertions that are empirically false. This is one of them."<ref name="Koukl">Koukl, Gregory, [http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5527 The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?], 1994</ref>
+
Koukl details the number of people killed in various events involving theism and compares them to the much higher tens of millions of people killed under atheistic regimes.<ref name="Koukl" />
+
 
+
Koukl summarized by stating:
+
{{cquote|It is true that it's possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the detail it produces evil because the individual people are actually living in a rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it can produce it, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We're talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God.<ref name="Koukl" />}}
+
 
+
The [[theory of evolution]] played a prominent role in regards to communism.<ref>http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3054/</ref><ref>http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=276</ref> Communists, in particular [[Stalinism]],  favored a version of [[Lamarckism]] called [[Lysenkoism]]<ref>http://www.bookrags.com/research/lysenkoism-wog/</ref>. Many geneticists were imprisoned and executed for their ''bourgeois science'', and  agricultural policies based on Lysenkoism that were adopted under Stalin and Mao  caused famines and the death of millions<ref>http://www.bookrags.com/research/lysenkoism-wog/</ref>.
+
[[Image:Solzhenitsyn.jpg‎|thumb|150px|left|[[Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn]]]]
+
[[Nobel Prize]] winner [[Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn]] was asked to account for the great tragedies that occurred under the brutal communist regime he and fellow citizens suffered under.
+
 
+
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn offered the following explanation:
+
{{cquote|Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen [[Russia]]: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.''
+
 
+
Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened." <ref>http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=276</ref>}}
+
 
+
===Atheists in America and Charity===
+
Charitable giving by atheists and agnostics in America is significantly less than by theists, according to a study by the [[Barna Group]]:
+
{{cquote|The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.<ref>[http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdateNarrow&BarnaUpdateID=272 Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians] ''The Barna Update'', 2007.</ref>}}
+
[[Image:112006top.jpg|thumb|right|200px|Atheists and agnostics in America generally give significantly less to charity than [[theism|theists]].]]
+
Arthur C. Brooks wrote:
+
{{cquote|The differences in charity between secular and religious people are dramatic. Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money (91 percent to 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer time (67 percent to 44 percent). And, consistent with the findings of other writers, these data show that practicing a religion is more important than the actual religion itself in predicting charitable behavior. For example, among those who attend worship services regularly, 92 percent of Protestants give charitably, compared with 91 percent of Catholics, 91 percent of Jews, and 89 percent from other religions.<ref>Brooks, Arthur C., [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3647/is_200310/ai_n9340592/Religious faith and charitable giving] ''Policy Review'',  Oct-Dec 2003, p.2.</ref>}}
+
 
+
ABC News reported the following:
+
{{cquote|...the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable is their religious participation.
+
 
+
Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money: four times as much. And Arthur Brooks told me that giving goes beyond their own religious organization:
+
 
+
"Actually, the truth is that they're giving to more than their churches," he says. "The religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly non-religious charities."<ref>Stossel, John and Kendall, Kristina [http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=2682730&page=2 Who Gives and Who Doesn't?] ABC News, November 28, 2006</ref>}}
+
 
+
===Atheism and Immoral Views===
+
The Barna Group also found that atheists/agnostics in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; [[abortion]]; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obsene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; engaging in [[homosexuality]]/[[bisexuality]]. <ref>http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=152</ref>
+
 
+
===Atheism and Questions of Origins===
+
 
+
Atheism provides no useful input in regards to origins. [[Creationism|Creationist]] scientists state that the [[First Law of Thermodynamics|first law of thermodynamics]] and the [[Second Law of Thermodynamics|second law of thermodynamics]] argue against an eternal universe or a universe created by natural processes and argue for a universe created by [[God]].<ref>http://godevidences.net/space/lawsofscience.php</ref><ref>http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2329</ref><ref>http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/AstroPhysicalSciences14.html</ref> A majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs [[methodological naturalism]] since [[World War II]] have been atheists.<ref>Dr. [[Don Batten]], [http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/737/ A ''Who’s Who'' of evolutionists] ''Creation'' 20(1):32
+
December 1997.</ref><ref>[[Jonathan Sarfati]], Ph.D.,F.M., [http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3830 ''Refuting Evolution'', Chapter 1, Facts and Bias]</ref> [[Creationism|Creationist]] scientists also assert the [[theory of evolution]] is an inadequate explanation for the variety of life forms on earth.<ref>http://www.icr.org/home/resources/resources_tracts_scientificcaseagainstevolution/</ref> In addition, the current [[origin of life|naturalistic explanations for the origin of life are inadequate]].
+
 
+
==Atheism and the Existence of Evil==
+
 
+
Atheists state that the existence of evil is a problem for [[theism]] which holds to a good and powerful God.<ref>http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/evil.html</ref> [[Theodicy]] is the branch of study in theology and philosophy that defends the goodness of God despite the existence of evil.<ref>http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861719540/theodicy.html</ref> In traditional Christianity and Judaism the book of Job is used to explain the existence of evil.<ref>http://apologetics.com/default.jsp?bodycontent=/articles/doctrinal_apologetics/bowman-job.html</ref>  In recent times [[Christian apologetics|Christian apologists]] often cite [[Alvin Plantinga]]'s free will defense in regards to the existence of evil. <ref>http://www.xenos.org/essays/evilpo.htm</ref><ref>http://www3.baylor.edu/~Scott_Moore/handouts/free_will_defense.html</ref> The work of [[St. Augustine]] is also cited in regards to theodicy. <ref>http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5124</ref>
+
 
+
==Atheism and the Foundation of Modern Science==
+
[[Image:Bacon5.jpg|thumb|right|175px|In his essay ''Of Atheism'' Sir [[Francis Bacon]] wrote: "I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the [[Talmud]], and the [[Koran|Alcoran]], than that this universal frame is without a mind."]]
+
The birth of modern [[science]] occured in Christianized [[Europe]].<ref>http://www.ldolphin.org/bumbulis/#anchor5343749</ref>
+
[[Sociology|Sociologist]] [[Rodney Stark]] investigated the individuals who made the most significant scientific contributions between 1543 and 1680 A.D., the time of the [[Scientific Revolution]].
+
In Stark's list of 52 top scientific contributors,<ref name="Origins">Williams, Alex,[http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1581/ The biblical origins of science], ''Journal of Creation'' 18(2):49–52, August 2004.</ref> only one ([[Edmund Halley]]) was a skeptic and another ([[Paracelsus]]) was a [[pantheism|pantheist]].
+
The other 50 were Christians, 30 of whom could be characterized as being devout Christians.<ref name="Origins" />
+
Sir [[Francis Bacon]], sometimes referred to as "the Father of Modern Science", wrote: "I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the [[Talmud]], and the [[Koran|Alcoran]], than that this universal frame is without a mind."<ref>Bacon, Francis, [http://www.authorama.com/essays-of-francis-bacon-17.html Of Atheism]</ref>
+
 
+
[[Image:Cobb.jpg|left|thumb|200px|[[Rodney Stark]]]]‎In ''False conflict: Christianity is not only compatible with Science--it created it'' Stark writes:
+
{{cquote|Recent historical research has debunked the idea of a "Dark Ages" after the "fall" of [[Roman Empire|Rome]]. In fact, this was an era of profound and rapid technological progress, by the end of which Europe had surpassed the rest of the world. Moreover, the so-called "Scientific Revolution" of the sixteenth century was a result of developments begun by religious scholars starting in the eleventh century. In my own academic research I have asked why these religious scholastics were interested in science at all. Why did science develop in Europe at this time? Why did it not develop anywhere else? I find answers to those questions in unique features of Christian [[theology]].
+
Even in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the leading scientific figures were overwhelmingly devout Christians who believed it their duty to comprehend God's handiwork. My studies show that the "Enlightenment" was conceived initially as a propaganda ploy by militant atheists attempting to claim credit for the rise of science. The falsehood that science required the defeat of religion was proclaimed by self-appointed cheerleaders like [[Voltaire]], [[Denis Diderot|Diderot]], and [[Edward Gibbon|Gibbon]], who themselves played no part in the scientific enterprise......<ref>http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-3274629/False-conflict-Christianity-is-not.html</ref>}}
+
 
+
Dr. Charles Thaxton similarly states:
+
{{cquote|P. E. Hodgson in reviewing [[Stanley Jaki]]'s ''Science and Creation'' said: "Although we seldom recognize it, scientific research requires certain basic beliefs about the order and rationality of matter, and its accessibility to the human mind . . . they came to us in their full force through the Judeo-Christian belief in an omnipotent God, creator and sustainer of all things. In such a world view it becomes sensible to try and understand the world, and this is the fundamental reason science developed as it did in the Middle Ages in Christian Europe, culminating in the brilliant achievements of the seventeenth century."<ref>http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth17.html</ref>}}
+
 
+
==Ineffectiveness of Atheist Debaters==
+
 
+
===Doug Jesseph===
+
 
+
In October of 1997, atheist Jeffrey Jay Lowder, a founder of Internet Infidels, stated that he believed that "the most impressive debater to date" was [[Doug Jesseph]].<ref>http://www.infidels.org/infidels/newsletter/1997/october.html</ref> Yet Doug Jesseph claimed in a debate with [[William Lane Craig]] in 1996 that the [[origin of life]] had a detailed atheistic explanation(s).<ref>http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/doug_jesseph/jesseph-craig/jesseph1.html</ref> In 1996, [[John Horgan]] wrote the following regarding what the highly respected origin of life researcher [[Stanley Miller]] believed to the case regarding naturalistic explanations of the origin of life: "Miller seemed unimpressed with any of the current proposals on the origin of life, referring to them as “nonsense” or “paper chemistry.”"<ref>http://www.trueorigin.org/abio.asp</ref>  In addition, in 1996, John Horgan wrote the following in ''[[Scientific American]]'': "The origin of life is a science writer's dream. It abounds with exotic scientists and exotic theories, which are never entirely abandoned or accepted, but merely go in and out of fashion."<ref>http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/orignl01.html#orgnflfmjrprblmschcknndgg</ref>
+
 
+
===Gordon Stein===
+
 
+
[[Image:Bahnsen.jpg‎|thumb|150px|Dr. [[Greg Bahnsen]] became known as the ''man atheists fear most" due to [[Michael Martin]]'s cancellation of their scheduled debate.]]
+
In 1985, [[Christian apologetics|Christian apologist]] Dr. [[Greg Bahnsen]] and prominent atheist Gordon Stein had a debate at the University of California, Irvine.  [[John Frame]] wrote regarding the debate in which Dr. Bahnsen used the [[transcendental argument for the existence of God]] that "In the end, Stein walked and talked like a broken man."<ref>http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/Bahnsen.htm</ref> The Greg Bahnsen-Gordon Stein debate was recorded and transcribed and was dubbed "The Great Debate".<ref>http://prosapologian.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/great-debates/</ref><ref>http://www.bellevuechristian.org/faculty/dribera/htdocs/PDFs/Apol_Bahnsen_Stein_Debate_Transcript.pdf</ref>
+
 
+
===Greg Bahnsen and Michael Martin===
+
 
+
[[Greg Bahnsen|Dr. Greg Bahnsen]] became known as the "man atheists fear most".<ref>http://mywebpages.comcast.net/webpages54/ap/biobahn.html</ref>
+
This is because [[Harvard]]-educated [[Michael Martin|Dr. Michael Martin]] was scheduled to debate Bahnsen but pulled out of the debate at the "eleventh hour".
+
A press release at the time said that Dr. Martin offered ruses on why he pulled out and didn't want the scheduled debate recorded but the real reason was that "...Michael Martin is afraid that he will be publicly humiliated just as his friend and fellow atheist, Dr. Gordon Stein, was..."<ref>Anon., [http://www.serve.com/thibodep/cr/press.htm Press Release]</ref>
+
 
+
Martin later released his [[transcendental argument for the non-existence of God]] (TANG) in 1996 which was rebutted by Christian apologists.<ref>http://www.reformed.org/apologetics/index.html?mainframe=/apologetics/martin_TAG.html</ref>
+
 
+
=== Creationists tend to win creation-evolution debates ===
+
As noted earlier, a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the naturalistic evolutionary position since [[World War II]] have been atheists.<ref>[[Don Batten]], [http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/737/ A ''Who’s Who'' of evolutionists] ''Creation'' 20(1):32, December 1997.</ref><ref>[[Jonathan Sarfati]], [http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3830 ''Refuting Evolution'', Chapter 1, Facts and Bias]</ref>
+
Robert Sloan, Director of Paleontology at the University of Minnesota, reluctantly admitted to a ''Wall Street Journal'' reporter that the "creationists tend to win" the public debates which focused on the creation vs. [[theory of evolution|evolution]] controversy.<ref>Ankerberg, John, and Weldon, John, [http://www.ankerberg.com/Articles/science/SC0104W1E.htm Truth in Advertising: Damaging the Cause of Science]</ref><ref name="WWD">Fraser, Bill,[http://members.shaw.ca/mark.64/hcib/whowins.html Who wins the Debates?]</ref>
+
In August of 1979, [[Henry Morris|Dr. Henry Morris]] reported in an [[Institute for Creation Research]] letter the following: “By now, practically every leading evolutionary scientist in this country has declined one or more invitations to a scientific debate on creation/evolution.”<ref name="WWD" />
+
Morris also said regarding the creation scientist [[Duane Gish]] (who had over 300 formal debates): “At least in our judgment and that of most in the audiences, he always wins.”<ref name="WWD" />
+
Generally speaking, leading evolutionists generally no longer debate creation scientists.<ref>http://www.icr.org/article/811/</ref>
+
 
+
==Atheism and its Decline as a Theoretical Position==
+
 
+
According to  Munich theologian [[Wolfhart Pannenberg]] "Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide."<ref> http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/05/breaking2453432.91875.html</ref> [[Oxford]] scholar [[Alister McGrath]] agrees and has stated that atheism's "future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its habitat."<ref>http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/05/breaking2453432.91875.html</ref>
+
 
+
==Atheism in Academia==
+
 
+
There is a book by Richard H. Harvey, entitled "70 Years of Miracles." In it Harvey relates his experience in a Chemistry class at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania in the 1920's.
+
 
+
According to Harvey, his professor Dr. Lee was a [[deist]] who for many years had spent time with each freshman class lecturing against prayer. After a couple of sessions discussing the power of natural laws and the lack of evidence that any god interferes with those laws, Lee would announce that he would drop a flask to the floor and challenged anyone to pray that the flask would remain whole.
+
 
+
Harvey then related that one year, a student finally found the courage to stand up and volunteer to pray. Lee dropped the flask and it rolled off his shoe to the floor without damage. The class cheered and Lee no longer delivered his annual lectures against prayer. [http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/ath/blathm_urb_chalk.htm fair use]
+
 
+
== Other Well Known Proponents of Atheism ==
+
 
+
Prominent atheists and atheist schools of thought include:
+
* Carvaka school: an atheistic and materialistic offshoot of [[Hinduism]] in the 6th century b.c.
+
* Samkhya school: an atheistic school of classical Indian philosophy, originating in the 6th century b.c.
+
* Diagoras: Greek philosopher who denied the existence of the Greek pantheon
+
* Epicurus: Greek philosopher espousing [[materialism]], and stated that, even if the gods exist, they do not interact with humans and are therefore non-existent for all practical purposes;
+
* Lucretius: Greek philosopher espousing materialism, and stated that man should not believe in the gods because their ideas about the gods and their fear of death made men unhappy;
+
*[[Friedrich Nietzsche]]: Prominent 20th century atheist philosopher;
+
*[[Mao Zedong]]: Chinese Communist leader;
+
*Paul Kurtz: founder of the Council of [[Secular Humanism]]
+
*Isaac Asimov
+
*[[David Hume]]
+
*[[Bertrand Russell]]
+
*[[Ayn Rand]]
+
*[[Richard Dawkins]]
+
*[[Douglas Adams]]
+
*[[Ernest Hemingway]]
+
 
+
== Atheist population as a percentage of various countries' populations==
+
 
+
Specific research on atheists conducted in 2006 [http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news/allnewsbydate.asp?NewsID=1131 suggests] that the true proportion of atheists is 4% in the United States, 17% in Great Britain and 32% in France. In the United States, however, another 14% of the respondents identified themselves as agnostic indicating that 18% of the U.S. population do not ascribe to theistic views.<ref>In addition, 6% declined to say; and 3% indicated they were unsure of their beliefs.</ref>
+
 
+
== American's view of atheists ==
+
 
+
Research in the American Sociological Review finds that among several groups listed, atheists are the group that Americans relate least to in terms of their vision of American society and are the group most likely to be mentioned as one that Americans would not want to have marry into their family.
+
<ref>Edgell, Gerteis & Hartmann 2006</ref>
+
 
+
{| class="wikitable"
+
|-
+
! Position:
+
! This Group Does Not At All Agree with My Vision of American Society:
+
! I Would Disapprove if My Child Wanted to Marry a Member of This Group:
+
|-
+
| Atheist
+
| 39.6%
+
| 47.6%
+
|-
+
| Muslim
+
| 26.3%
+
| 33.5%
+
|-
+
| Homosexual
+
| 22.6%
+
| NA
+
|-
+
|Conservative Christian
+
| 13.5%
+
| 6.9%
+
|-
+
| Recent Immigrant
+
| 12.5%
+
| Not Asked
+
|-
+
| Hispanic
+
| 7.6%
+
| 18.5%
+
|-
+
| Jew
+
| 7.4%
+
| 11.8%
+
|-
+
| Asian American
+
| 7.0%
+
| 18.5%
+
|-
+
|African American
+
| 4.6%
+
| 27.2%
+
|-
+
| White American
+
| 2.2%
+
| 2.3%
+
|}
+
 
+
==External links==
+
*[http://creationwiki.org/Decline_of_atheism Decline of Atheism -CreationWiki]
+
*[http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf European Commission report on Social values, Science and Technology, includes info on Religious beliefs]
+
==See Also==
+
*[[Agnosticism]]
+
 
+
== Notes ==
+
{{reflist|2}}
+
 
+
[[Category:Religion]]
+
[[Category:Philosophy]]
+

Revision as of 23:41, 31 August 2007

Atheism is the philosophy of individuals who don't require an invisible man in the sky to direct their lives.