Jan 7, 2007 like wearing chanel [Click on image to enlarge/download/print etc. Licensing terms here etc.]
I’m still waiting for the next one ;-0
I like the Earthlink Ad !! I’ll click on it every time i visit your blog, now i’m clicking on it.
Atheism is also an indicator of an enquiring mind. Otherwise, all you’re left with is blind faith.
I wholeheartedly disagree, Richard.
Your argument assumes the automatic intellectual superiority of non-believers, which I have never seen any evidence of.
By the described nature of God, it is impossible to prove there is a God.
It is also impossible, for the same reason, to prove there is no God.
To believe in something without proof requires blind faith. Therefore both theism and atheism are ultimately about the gut instinct of the individual.
Why this simple piece of logic seems to escape most atheists, I don’t understand.
I get why atheists don’t feel the need for ritual, or why they resist organising themselves into a Church (although professional science is quickly becoming as bigoted on the subject as any church), I don’t understand how people who support logical reasoning can not understand that they also have blind faith if they believe in something unprovable.
Is there a God? I haven’t the slightest idea, and neither does anybody else if they think about it for long enough. That’s the nature of the question. Anybody who calls it one way or the other is merely relying on gut instinct, with no evidence to support their position.
Note, I am happy to accept that the organised religions are wrong about ritual, morality, idols, prophets, virtually everything they say. But that doesn’t prove there isn’t a God. Why atheists confuse the two, I have no idea.
Descartes, inventor of the scientific method, stated that there must be a God “because it is obvious”. Modern scholars interpret this as him not wanting to be condemned as a heretic “despite his method”.
Why can’t modern scholars accept that Descartes may have been intelligent enough to realise that the nature of God could not be proved one way or the other through his method and whilst his method may have raised questions about the Church’s validity, he was able to fall back onto blind faith when it came to belief in God?
It is possible to believe in God and be a scientist, in the same way it is possible to not believe in God and be a scientist.
If “faith” is belief without evidence then the absence of faith a is pretty key to being an Atheist in my experience, maybe this is what Richard meant by “enquiring mind”?.
Of course lack of faith doesn’t directly imply intellectual superiority but evidence suggests that it is a good indicator of it; most of the worlds top scientists proclaim to be atheists – even in the USA (National Academy of Sciences members are >85% atheist).
Of course you could argue “what the heck do scientists know about anything anyway”; until you need a heart bypass operation or a new laptop of course 😉
As an Atheist myself I always struggle to reconcile how someone can adhere to the scientific method and have faith at the same time, is that not an paradox?, it’s an interesting question and certainly divides opinion like no other.
Thanks, Hugh, for another great cartoon. Perhaps I’m biased since I have faith in God, but I do feel that sometimes atheists look down and ridicule believers.
With all due respect to non-believers, I do wonder sometimes if it is a superiority thing. It must be frustrating and even angering when folks evangelize that it’s actually someone else in charge!
Saying that it came because of God and not because of their own intelligence and power must be humiliating.
Thanks, again, for speaking your mind.
Ho hum – what a great start to the year. Sorry Hugh – gotta disagree with your comment. Faith has no basis in rational thinking and distills down to an argument that goes something like: ‘It is so because I say so.’
It does not assume any intellectual superiority at all on the part of atheists but a rational analysis of the facts based on the assumption that the nature of a supernatural being should be capable of scientific review.
As per my previous comment. If there is a God, why does he singularly discriminate against people with limb deformities?
It is true certain atheists take a position of intellectual superiority but then the same could be said of many people of faith. That’s a stale argument.
It is not a case of whether the existence of God is provable or disprovable but the probability that he/she exists based on verifiable facts. I’ve not seen the evidence to convince me.
But if you want to make a judgment based on ‘intellectual superiority’ (which I personally think is elitist) then I presume you’re discounting Einstein, Bertrand Russeell, Huxley and a string of other great thinkers going back into the mists of time?
Not sure where you’re going with the cartoon but 60% of Americans are said to believe in some sort of supernatural being. That would seem to run counter to your theory of wealth and atheism don’t you think?
The issue for most people I meet who are prepared to talk about this without getting steamed up is that most don’t really believe with the kind of faith I sense you’re describing but they’d like to hedge their bets – just in case. An eiminently practical if morally suspect view of the world. IMO.
Hugh, I thought about this cartoon overnight before deciding to comment. It is very thought provoking (and controversial). I think that many atheists are arrogant about their belief that there is no God. I know a woman who regularly insults and belittles those who are believers. While I respect her right to believe in God or not, I do no think it gives her carte blanche to just put down people who hold differing views. (She wears her atheism like Channel!!)
I personally believe in a higher power. I have seen too many things in life that are just too amazing to be an accident (like the time my infant needed massive life saving surgery and my best friend’s first cousin was on of the top doctors in the United States for this rare condition (there were only three at the time)….what are the odds you would need a pediatric neurosurgeon?…what are the odds that your best friend’s first cousin would be the most talented surgeon to save her life?)
But with my belief…I do not profess to be smarter than others. Maybe I am wrong. But I would rather believe in God and Heaven and be wrong…than the other way around! What a bummer to be the person who acts superior to others on the topic, marginalizing faith…and then die only to discover that you were wrong. Talk about feeling stupid. At least if I am wrong, when I die…I am just dead.
I don’t understand the “atheists are arrogant” argument – if I said, I know the mind of God, I know when and how the universe was created and I also know what specific moral code everyone should follow all of which I know with absolute certainty and without a single scrap of evidence, wouldn’t people think I was a tad arrogant? (Never mind all the burning in hell and stoning to death stuff). I am an Atheist but I don’t claim to know all this stuff, and I don’t see any evidence for God – that’s intellectual honesty.
As for “hedging” your bets; seems pointless to me, surely if there is a God and she is as “all seeing” as Theists claim she will see through that ploy??
So, come on Theists; let’s have a bit of honesty, as Mark Twain once said “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so” – if you have Faith that’s great for you, but trying to dress it up as somehow rational argument is a stretch for the rest of us.
BTW this is a really trendy debate at the moment isn’t it; is Hugh trying to advance the moral zeitgist?
And I thought this cartoon was about “people”…
Yup, atheists can be arrogant. Believers can be arrogant as well, assuming that we non-believers have no reason to live and no basis for moral behavior.
But Hugh is correct, although I disagree with his Chanel implication. Wealth and education do not provide intelligence or wisdom, anymore than poverty and illiteracy provide compassion and a greater understanding of the natural world.
What wealth and education do provide is the luxury of time to think about the nature of being. Any conclusions however are still subject to debate.
Like Johnny, I’ve struggled with the arrogant atheist line. I think it comes from two things.
1) Atheists like the phrase, “Prove it.” This is counter to faith in God because you can’t prove it, and when an atheist asks questions about finding proof, theist feel attacked and call us arrogant for wanting proof and having all these real world explanations for things. We’re not trying to be arrogant. That’s just how we operate.
2) Atheists are the minority to theists, and theists don’t ever realize that. Let me say that again, atheists are the minority. We’re threatened by the people in power because you all talk about your faith and say things like “there is no such thing as an atheist in the foxhole,” which is A) not true, and B) completely devalues the atheist way of thinking. Theists don’t realize how offensive they can be with simple little comments, and atheists react. However, since you didn’t realize that what you said was as offensive as it was, you think we’re over reacting and asking for proof makes us arrogant.
Lastly and changing topic, “why they [atheists] resist organising themselves into a Church … I don’t understand how people who support logical reasoning can not understand that they also have blind faith if they believe in something unprovable.” Let me clarify two things here. First, atheists don’t have blind faith in something unprovable. We don’t believe in God, and we’re not actively trying to disprove God because we don’t believe in God. We don’t have any blind faith in the non-existence of God. Faith requires a believe IN something not the absence of something, which is atheism, and therefore the burden of proof is on the believer, the theist. Also, atheists can’t start a church because it (and science) isn’t a religion. There is no faith to construct a religion around, and even if you wanted to wrap all atheists up into one bundle, you’d have a spread of beliefs far greater and more contrasting than wrapping all Christians, Jews, and Muslims together.