Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Stupid! It Burns! (nit-picking edition)

the stupid! it burns! In On the statement that “we are all atheists” J. W. Wartick says:
“We are all atheists to other religions, we [atheists] just take it one step further.” ...

There’s a problem though, in fact, there’s more than one problem:

1) The statement is false

2) The statement is irrational

3) The statement–as with many false or irrational statements–proves too much (or too little). ...

The idea that Christians are atheists to all other religions is simply false. As I’ve explained elsewhere, to other religions, I am not an atheist, I am a rival theist–an adherent of another religion. ...

As I’ve argued elsewhere, the statement is simply irrational. The atheist is literally saying that the theist is an atheist ...

Consider the following statement:
there are a theoretically infinite number of possible answers to the equation “Two plus two,” but only one actually true answer. To say that “Two plus two equals four” is to automatically make me an unbeliever in all the other possible answers. It’s not rational, however, for the atheist to say, “Well I just go one step further and choose to disbelieve that four is the answer either.” (Dean Todd)

The same type of argument could be made for any true statement. Therefore, the type of reasoning employed in the “we’re all atheists” statement would undermine all true belief. ...

As one respondent put it:

The original formulation didn’t use the word “atheist.” It simply said, “You disbelieve in all the gods of all the religions other than your own. Well, we godless folks only disbelieve in one more than you do. We disbelieve in them all.” Stated this way, your hair splitting over the poetic use of “atheist” becomes irrelevant and the central point stands

But it can be seen that this falls victim to the same difficulties already pointed out above. For it could be said that “You disbelieve in all the possible answers to the statement 2+2=? except one [4], I just disbelieve in them all.” It’s simply positively irrational to even use it as a talking point. That, or it’s trivially true and therefore pointless.
There's a lot more stupid in the article.


  1. The "rival theist" point is incredibly disingenuous. Or else this guy is stuck in the BCE years or something (judging from the site design, he's not a woo-woo, all religions are correct type).

    He isn't merely a rival of other sorts of theism. He likely thinks they're laughable. "Those Greek gods are silly myths." He doesn't believe that Abrahamic, Greek, Norse, etc. gods all exist, and he merely follows Yahweh, because he's the best (like people used to). He believes only his stories are true, and the rest are myths.

    The atheist recognizes that his stories are silly myths as well. That's the point. It's one step beyond, "everyone else's theism is silly myth, but mine is real!"

    The math stuff is of course insipid. I can prove 2+2 equals 4, and not any other number. It's not a situation where people arbitrarily choose from among thousands of fanciful empirical hypotheses completely devoid of (or contrary to) evidence or proof.

    I don't have the energy to read more stupid.

  2. I read the stupid so you don't have to!

  3. Hello, Larry.

    Again, I appreciate the opportunity to have people with opposing views visit my site, but you have still not properly cited my entry. I ask that you either properly cite it by putting my name on this post as the author of the link, or you take this post down.



  4. Your demand is stupid and unreasonable (a link is sufficient citation), but it's moderate and not a lot of work, so I'll comply.

  5. The post is back up, JW. I don't know that it's you who filed a DMCA takedown complaint, but I will absolutely not tolerate further harassment.


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