Daily Archives: July 2, 2009

Beliefs of Unbelievers

Unbelief is… well, unbelieving, the denial of beliefs (chiefly defined in this blog as unbelief in religious claims).  However, unbelievers in religion often( and sometimes famously) go well beyond simple denial. They frequently proffer replacement beliefs – beliefs that are meant to dislodge religious dogmas with the “true” and “better” beliefs… of unbelievers, some of whose claims are:

“…God is a delusion
God is a myth
God is a fiction
God is a bad dream
God is a means of intellectual and political oppression

God is an infantile idea that keeps theists in an infantile state

God did not create man; rather, man invented God

God was an invention of pre-scientific man and has been explained away in our modern age of science

God is an excuse to be illiterate, especially in science

God is an excuse to be socially and morally prejudiced

God is an excuse to hate, maim and/or kill others

Science is good and progressive
Religion is bad and regressive

Science proceeds from reason and doubt
Religion proceeds from unreasoning, blind faith

Science successfully explains the origins of cosmos, life, and humankind
unsuccessfully explains ” ” “

Religion makes extraordinary claims
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary investigations

Science helps mankind
Religion impedes mankind

Science educates and edifies
Religion obfuscates and corrupts

The soul is an illusion
The soul is a misidentification of neuroprocesses
Man’s “rational intellect” is his highest “gift”

The human brain is the “creator” of the “soul”

The human brain is the generator and mediator of consciousness: it is  the “enchanted loom,” the “three-pound universe”

Human uniqueness is a myth

Man is insignificant in the cosmos

Genesis’ creation narrative is a “primitive myth told around campfires by nomads”
The Bible is made up of “fables”

Jesus didn’t exist
Jesus was nothing more than a pagan myth
If Jesus
did exist, he was most likely a conservative-nationalist political rebel, and/or a hallucinating schizophrenic or a megalomaniac

It was Paul, not Jesus, who founded Christianity

The Christian testament was written hundreds of years after Jesus’ death…”

Some unbelievers simply think that religion is irrelevant, but they do not appear on the above list because they usually do not attack religion; because they seem to think that religious beliefs are not  important enough to merit active efforts toward attack or replacement.  Aside from that consideration, each of the preceding unbelieving propositions is open to debate.  But the relevant  point is that unbelievers often, and sometimes vehemently, publicly express their non-and-anti-religious beliefs, which they hold to be true and superior to religious beliefs.

In fact it is readily apparent that many unbelievers who promote replacement beliefs are actually motivated by these beliefs and are not content with simple denial of religious propositions.  So the frequently made claim, “unbelievers are defined by unbelief; since they don’t believe, their non-belief cannot be critiqued – for the simple reason that it is empty of content, and therefore non-existent.”  That’s true, as far as it goes.  But when unbelief is founded on stated beliefs,  cherished and strongly expressed in public forums – then it is obvious that unbelief is not necessarily founded on simple negation.  To that extent, the expressed beliefs of unbelievers are as vulnerable to criticism as the beliefs of believers.