Given the historical and spiritual significance of the Bible, Kevin has devoted himself to studies through prayer and discernment.
Welcome. Today we will be going over a few of the arguments that atheists typically use to combat religion. This is not meant to group all atheists together as that would be unfair. The purpose of this article is to combat the arguments that a substantial amount of atheists believe in.
- They are brainwashed.
- Raising a child in a religion is brainwashing.
- They are stupid.
- The No True Scotsman Fallacy
- They're only worried about the afterlife.
They are brainwashed
They argue that people are only religious because someone, such as their family, friends, community, etc. forced them into it. But this is not the case. To say so is to deny the fact that either way the person in question is still capable of choice and freedom of thought. While I will not deny that many religious people are brainwashed, the fact is that religion itself is not brainwashing.
It also implies that this was done when they were a child and it was passed down to them, also known as the "You're only religious because your parents are religious" argument. Or they will say you were forced to convert through psychological manipulation or intimidation. But again it ignores the fact that people are capable of making choices for themselves and for what they consider to be their betterment. So logically speaking it is possible for someone to look at a religious belief and come to the conclusion on their own that it is the truth. Just because someone is religious does not mean someone forced them into it.
Raising your child in a religion is brainwashing
This goes back to my point about people being able to think for themselves, but I also understand that a child, knowing nothing, can be taught to believe almost anything because they only know what their caretakers know. But if teaching them about religion is brainwashing because of this, how come this logic does not apply to teach them other things? We wouldn't say you are brainwashing a child if you told them taking something that was not theirs is wrong. Religion is also a code of ethics on how we are to treat one another and ourselves. Why is it only brainwashing when it involves the supernatural?
They are stupid
By this I mean atheists sometimes come up with simplistic reasons as to why someone believes in a higher power, such as saying they deny science or their faith is a blind faith. But doing this to a religious person is unfair because not everyone believes the exact same thing, even under the same denomination, but we will touch upon that later. Someone has one reason to believe and somebody else might have another. You have some religious people who cannot give you a reason as to why they believe. and then you have some who can present fascinating philosophical, historical, and scientific reasons as to why they believe. In his book The Intelligent Universe, astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle says,
As biochemists discover more and more about the awesome complexity of life, it is apparent that its chances of originating by accident are so minute that they can be completely ruled out. Life cannot have arisen by chance.
This is hardly a simplistic reason. It can certainly be debated, but this is not the same as someone believing for no reason to. And for the atheist who says they will believe in God if a good reason is given to go and label all religious people as simplistic and blind may be the very thing that prohibits them from finding the good reason they are looking for.
The No True Scotsman Fallacy
This is typically used as a counterargument when a religious person defends a generalization against their religion.
The No True Scotsman
Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the "Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again". Hamish is shocked and declares that "No Scotsman would do such a thing". The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again; and, this time, finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion....
....but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says: "No true Scotsman would do such a thing.
— Thinking About Thinking by Antony Flew, 1975
For example, a Christian might say, "A true Christian is not like the Westboro Baptist Church," and the atheist will claim that they are making this fallacy. This also coincides with the idea that no one can make a claim as to what a specific religious group is actually meant to believe, such as those who, like myself, believe in the Bible. According to them because the Bible is 2000 years old and there are so many different interpretations, no one can say what the Bible is actually trying to say. But that does not defeat the fact that the ones who write it did have something specific in mind, and that it was founded on a set of beliefs that were deemed empirical by those who wrote these stories down. And if you enough research you can see if someone is actually acting in accordance with it or not. I must also add that the atheist's assumption of what a true adherent of that religion is supposed to act like might also be wrong.
They're only worried about the afterlife
Although the afterlife does play a large part in religion, it does not mean that it is the only thing in mind, whether they focus on how wondrous their paradise is or how terrible their afterlife for the immoral is. This is ignoring the fact that not only does religion give a reward for right or wrong, but it also gives rules for right or wrong. The Bible says you shall not steal, you shall not murder, and you must honor your mother and father (The Ten Commandments, Exodus 20 1-17). It never says that it is purely for the reward. Throughout the Bible, we see reasons as to why certain things are called wrong and through careful research, it can be plain to see. People do see legitimate reasons to love our neighbor as ourselves, not just because they are scared of dying and that there is nothing on the other side.
The common arguments used against religious people have been shown to be fallacies, biased, and hypocritical. No wonder there are many atheists who denounce them and separate themselves from them.
Peace and blessings and all praises to the Most High.
AF Mind (author) on November 09, 2018:
My apologies for the typos, I cannot edit them due to them being uploaded to a network site.